Grave Destinations by Lori Sjoberg-Interview , Review and Giveaway
Grave Series #2
by Lori Sjobert
Genre: Paranormal, romance, erotic
Release Date: January 2, 2014
GRAVE DESTINATIONS (Grave Series #2) by Lori Sjoberg
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 2, 2014
She’s sexy-fierce, resourceful—and will do anything to protect victims as innocent as she once was. But this kick-ass reaper never bargained on meeting her not-quite-human match…or putting their very souls on the line.
A luxury Caribbean cruise is Ruby Dawson’s idea of hell even under the best circumstances. Too many bad memories bubble up—especially of the wrenching injustice that made her a reaper. It doesn’t help that Jack Deverell is making this routine soul-collecting job twice as difficult with his devilish good looks and not-so-innocent questions. Now, as several unscheduled, unexplainable deaths throw passengers and crew into a panic, Jack becomes the prime suspect. The only way Ruby can save him is to challenge the decades-old curse threatening his soul. And as a malevolent unstoppable force turns their immortality into a fatal weakness, Ruby and Jack must risk their fragile humanity to save Fate’s delicate balance and their own unexpected destiny…
REVIEW: GRAVE DESTINATIONS is the second instalment in Lori Sjoberg’s contemporary paranormal Grave Series but can be read as a stand alone-the first two stories are not connected although one or two characters will overlap. The premise focuses on Ruby Dawson-a reaper-whose latest assignment is to ‘reap’ a soul on board a cruise ship but when a second death occurs within a short time period, Ruby knows something is wrong.
Enter Jack Deverell- Ruby’s prime suspect-and the man who would steal her heart. But when a third unexpected death happens, Ruby must call in reinforcements who will make Jack’s life a little more difficult on board the ship.
The relationship between Jack and Ruby is one of instant attraction-both looking for a no-strings attached night of passion but one that brings into focus the who and what that is Ruby and Jack. We learn their back stories and histories; their heartbreak and regrets. And we also learn that Jack is a little more than what he appears to be. Not quite human, Jack holds a secret that could very well end in everyone’s death.
The secondary characters are colorful and play an active role in the storyline especially Ruby’s immediate superiors. You know there is a potential for a few more storylines when Ruby says goodbye to the man who has always had her back.
GRAVE DESTINATIONS is a fast paced, interesting storyline focusing on reapers and the souls they direct into the afterlife. There is a little bit of mystery; a little bit of sex; and a little bit of humor all rolled into a story about death and crossing over. If you like a paranormal storyline with a strong heroine who knows a thing or two about surviving, then Grave Destinations is the story for you.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.
Review by Sandy
TRC: Hi Lori and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of GRAVE DESTINATIONS.
Lori: Thanks! And thanks for having me here today!
TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Lori: Certainly! I write paranormal romance for Kensington Publishing. Grim Reapers are my specialty. My debut, GRAVE INTENTIONS, was released last January, and the second book in the series, GRAVE DESTINATIONS, came out a little over two weeks ago. When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my husband and four-legged fur baby.
TRC: GRAVE DESTINATIONS (January 2014 release) is the second storyline in your Grave Series. Would you please tell us something about the premise of the series? Of Grave Destinations?
Lori: The Grave series follows a group of reapers working in the central Florida area. To atone for their sins in life, reapers serve Fate by harvesting the souls of those who died from unnatural causes. In GRAVE DESTINATIONS, that means going on a luxury cruise. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Not for Ruby, the reaper assigned to the task. Being on an ocean liner serves as a painful reminder of why she became a reaper in the first place. Her routine soul collection turns into anything but when she encounters Jack Deverell. Not only does he make her heart race, but he also asks too many questions. And when unscheduled deaths start happening on board, Jack becomes the prime suspect. Now Ruby must decide if Jack’s responsible, or if there are darker forces lurking on board.
TRC: Are all of the storylines interconnected or can they be read as stand alone novels without too much confusion?
Lori: Each story can be read as a standalone novel, but each book gives a little more information about Fate and her band of reapers.
TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?
Lori: My contract with Kensington was recently extended to four books, but I planned on the series running for five to six books.
TRC: What or who was the influence (if any) behind the series and the leading characters?
Lori: I’ve had a soft spot for reapers ever since I read On A Pale Horse years ago. I hadn’t thought of writing about them, though, until I watched the series Dead Like Me. As for my characters…well, I’ve always loved strong female characters like Sarah Conner and Buffy Summers, and that played a hand in the creation of Ruby.
TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters in this storyline, which models or actors best represents your ideal image?
Lori: Oh man, do I have to tell? I’d hate to ruin the image someone’s already built in his or her mind!
TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?
Lori: When deciding where to take my stories, I try to avoid the easiest path while keeping the characters in character and their actions consistent within the parameters established in the worldbuilding.
TRC: Are you a plotter or a panster (write by the ‘seat of your pants’)?
Lori: When I started writing, I was a total panster, but now I’m a bit of both. When I start a new novel, I write scenes as they pop into my head. After I reach a certain point, the plotline begins to solidify in my mind and I’m able to organize things chronologically.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Lori: In the beginning, the characters direct the writing. It gives me a chance to slip inside their minds and see what makes them tick. But once they become fully developed, I take the reins and go from there.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
Lori: If characters don’t feel genuine and relatable, they won’t come alive in the minds of readers. To accomplish that, I delve deep into the emotions and perspectives of my characters. That way, readers can understand and sympathize with their actions. If that connection isn’t made, the character fails to resonate and come across as two-dimensional.
TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?
Lori: For me, writer’s block is a sign that I’m taking the story in the wrong direction. When it happens, I take a long look at what I’m writing to figure out where I’m going wrong. If that doesn’t work, I take a break and pick up a book. Reading usually relaxes my mind and allows me to look at things from a fresh perspective.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story?
Lori: World building! In particular, keeping the world building consistent with what was established in book one of the series.
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Lori: I bounce ideas off my husband all the time. He looks at things from a completely different perspective and has given me some fantastic ideas. I also have a critique group and several author friends who are always happy to lend an ear or give feedback.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Lori: At the moment, I’m working on book three of the series. The working title is Grave Vengeance and features Dmitri, the former spy-turned reaper. And let me tell you, I’m having a great time putting his character through the proverbial ringer. *grin*
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Lori: I’d just like to thank you again for inviting me to stop by!
Favorite Food – Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich
Favorite Dessert – Anything involving chocolate
Favorite TV Show – The Big Bang Theory
Last Movie You Saw – Catching Fire in the theaters; Man of Steel on DVD
Dark or Milk Chocolate – Dark chocolate
Secret Celebrity Crush – I take the fifth. Hubs will be reading this! LOL.
Last Vacation Destination – Montrose, Scotland
Pet Peeve – People who drive ten miles under the speed limit in the passing lane!
TRC: Thank you Lori for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of GRAVE DESTINATIONS.
Kensington Books is offering an ecopy of GRAVE DESTINATIONS to one lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.
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