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Girls*Heart* Books: Tammy's Two Cents: Breathless by Scott Prussing: Review, Interview & Giveaway!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tammy's Two Cents: Breathless by Scott Prussing: Review, Interview & Giveaway!


Weston College freshman Leesa Nyland has been fascinated by vampires since she was three years old. That's when her mom started acting weird, insisting sunlight hurt her skin because she'd been bitten by a one-fanged vampire.
But fascinated doesn't mean Leesa believes. Any more than she believes in blue fire, people who live for centuries, and kisses that can kill. But when her beloved older brother suddenly disappears, she is forced to consider all these and more. She also has to figure out what to do about her mysterious new boyfriend. She knows Rave likes her a lot--so why won't he kiss her?
As Leesa draws closer to finding her brother, she faces some gut-wrenching decisions. Should she risk her mom's life trying to "cure" her? Should she continue seeing Rave, after he reveals his dangerous secret? And most terrifying of all, should she make the ultimate sacrifice-give up her humanity-to save her brother?
 

Not to be cliché but, Breathless is a breath of fresh air.  Prussing has taken the almost worn out vampire/vampire hunters genre and given it new life!   The characters are unigue and engaging, the story interesting and the love triangle intriguing! 
I may sound like a broken record, I know, we have ourselves another strong female lead and very real, believable characters. I also liked that Prussing avoided the usual teenage female character; Leesa is a grounded, selfless non-annoying character. 
Leesa receives a cryptic and disturbing letter from her brother, Bradley just before he disappears; she packs up and heads of the college.  The same college her brother attended and disappeared from.  She quickly makes friends with the quirky Cali (whom I loved straight away because Leesa’s disability didn’t even phase her!) Shortly after that she meets the mysterious Rave, a guy she's immediately attracted to. And then there's the equally mysterious Stefan who seems interested in her as well, can you say Love Triangle; and a damn good one to boot! 
I have to stop there, if I say anymore it will ruin the surprise… this book is a must read guys, packed full of action, romance and mystery.

Of course I had to request an interview with Scott and he said yes! 
Giveaway details after the interview………………
Scott Prussing
 SCOTT PRUSSING'S WEBSITE

*Tell me a bit about yourself.
I grew up in suburban New Jersey and went to college and grad school in Connecticut. I have
degrees in psychology from the University of Connecticut and Yale University. After graduate
school, I was smart enough to move to beautiful San Diego, California, where I live just four
blocks from the ocean. I love it here. In addition to writing, I enjoy riding my bike along the
coast, going to the movies (not renting), reading books of all types, golf and hiking. I’m one of
the few people in the United States without a cell phone.
I’m single (but looking!) I recently took early retirement from a career in health education and
preventive wellness to concentrate on writing. I’m the author of the three books in the paranormal romance series Blue Fire Saga (Breathless, Deathless, and Helpless). I’m working on the fourth (Fearless) and hope to release it in June or July. I’ve also written two mystery/suspense novels (Unturned Stones and Tangled Webs), a teen romance Mine: A Love Story, whose plot is based on the hit songs of Taylor Swift, and a fantasy adventure novel called Dreams of the Last Born.

*What was your inspiration for Breathless?
I hate to admit to this, because it sounds so commercial, but it’s true, so here goes. In the mid
nineteen eighties, I wrote a mystery/suspense novel called Unturned Stones. It’s still my favorite of all my books. I think it’s totally original, well-written, with lots of clever twists. I managed to acquire a New York agent, but he was unable to get it published. I wrote another mystery/suspense novel, Tangled Webs, but still had no luck getting published.
Flash forward 15 years. A friend of mine’s husband, who is an avid reader, read my two
books and loved them. He knows how hard it is to get anything published and casually uttered this “throwaway” line: “You should write something with vampires in it. Anything with vampires sells.” I thought: I can do that. So I did. And thus was Breathless born. I self-published it and gained enough avid fans clamoring for more that I had to write a sequel, and then a third book. And still they want more…
I wanted Breathless to be a Twilight type story that was really not like Twilight, if that makes any sense. So I just started thinking about what I could do differently, but still appeal to that huge audience. I invented volkaanes (vampire hunters) and one-fanged vampires and gave my heroine some definite strengths and weaknesses. I made my vampires a bit more traditional, with no “sparkling” or total assimilation into human society like attending highschool. I used my mystery/suspense background to create a suspenseful story (why did Leesa’s brother suddenly disappear and what happened to him) as a backdrop for the romantic triangle of Leesa, a volkaane and a vampire.

*Was there a particular person that was the inspiration for Leesa?
No, not at all. She is completely a creation of my imagination (though I like to think she has at
least a little bit of me in her).


*I simply must know, how did the idea for your history/story of the vampires come about; research or just a fantastic idea?
I like the way you phrased that! It would sound egotistical if I called it a “fantastic idea,” but
that’s what it was, just a fantastic idea. I did very little research beyond what I already knew
from reading and watching movies. (Btw, I never read or saw Twilight until after Breathless was written.)

*For those who are unfamiliar with your novel, Breathless, how would you introduce it?
Breathless is book one in the Blue Fire Saga, a paranormal romance series set at a small college in present day Connecticut. There are currently three books in the series.
Weston College freshman Leesa Nyland has been fascinated by vampires since she was three
years old. That's when her mom started acting weird, refusing to go outside during the day and insisting sunlight hurt her skin because she'd been bitten by a one-fanged vampire.
But fascinated doesn't mean Leesa believes. Any more than she believes in blue fire, people who live for centuries, and kisses that can kill. But when her beloved older brother suddenly
disappears, she is forced to consider all these and more. She also has to figure out what to do
about her mysterious new boyfriend. She knows Rave likes her a lot—so why won't he kiss her? As Leesa draws closer to finding her brother, she faces some gut-wrenching decisions. Should she risk her mom's life trying to "cure" her? Should she continue seeing Rave, after he reveals his dangerous secret? And most terrifying of all, should she make the ultimate sacrifice-give up her humanity-to save her brother?

*What are the pros and cons to being an indie author?
Let’s start with the pros. I receive over 95% of all revenue from my print books (PayPal takes a small cut to handle the credit card operation). I also get 65-70% of the revenue from my ebooks(naturally, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords take their cut.) I also have complete control over all aspects of my work: content, editing, cover art, promotion, etc. In promoting the books myself, I have made many wonderful friends, primarily through Facebook. (Would you believe I didn’t even have a FB account before self-publishing my book? I now have well over 500 friends, as well as more than 800 “likes” on my FB fan page, Breathless Fampires.) Now for the cons. As a self-published author, I am responsible for 100% of the costs, though I was fortunate to have a friend “invest” in me to help defray the cost of printing Breathless. And believe me, there are many costs (printing, cover art, editing, shipping, etc.). With experience and a growing fan base, I’ve learned to reduce many of these costs. I get volunteer readers to proofread a few chapters each of any new book. I’ve used the same cover art for all 3 books of my Blue Fire Saga, getting a friend with Photoshop to change the color of Leesa’s shirt and using a paint program myself to change the titles and the number of drops of blood. The other major downside to self-publishing is the promotion. I have to do all the promoting myself. Established publishers have far more contacts and outlets through which to publicize and sell books, so getting the word out as a self-published author is challenging, to say the least. It’s especially challenging because of all the competition out there. As it gets easier and easier to self-publish ebooks (not to mention virtually free), it becomes harder and harder to get noticed amidst the hordes of books flooding the market.

*What has been the most interesting comment (or review) about your book?
It’s difficult to pick out just one, but this one from a review by a woman at Literal Addiction Paranormal Book Club is certainly among my favorites: “Let me be honest and say that I was
apprehensive to even start this review—a paranormal romance said to straddle the line between YA and Adult written by a dude—yeah, just wasn’t sure what to expect. However, let me finish by saying that Breathless was fantastic! A unique, creative, fresh approach to the vampire genre that we’ve all come to know and love, but with characters that are NOT from your ordinary Super Groups or perfection personified and who wrap you around their little fingers just pages "after you meet.”
I especially love the “written by a dude” part.

*Who is YOUR favorite author?
This is actually a difficult question, because I don’t really have anyone who I identify as my “favorite” author. The Lord of the Rings is my all-time favorite book, so that would make Tolkien a natural choice, but I’m not all that fond of his other books, even The Hobbit. When I was younger, I read every book Edgar Rice Burroughs ever wrote (and there are a LOT of
them!), so he deserves a mention as well. I call the wizards who appear in book three of my Blue Fire Saga “waziri,” after the native tribe that were Tarzan’s friends. Then there are five or six mystery/suspense authors who I really like and read all their books.

*What are you reading right now?
I usually read a book or two a week, so this will change by the time this is posted. But as I write this, I’m reading The Hunter, a mystery/suspense by John Lescroart, who I always enjoy.

*Tell us your latest news.
My latest news appears in the answer to the next question.

*Are there to be anymore installments for the Blue Fire Saga?
(for those who aren't familiar…Breathless/book 1; Deathless/book 2; Helpless/book 3)

Book 4, Fearless is currently a bit more than halfway done. I hope to release it by end of summer, maybe sooner. There will definitely be at least a fifth book. I’m leaning toward Heartless as the title of number 5.

                                                                     


5 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this giveaway! I am really looking forward to reading your book!

    smp0804@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Always love a good vampire story..thanks for the giveaway.

    Debi Anne
    debi01760@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this chance at this great giveaway! This book looks amazing, promises to be a good read.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the giveaway Scott

    ReplyDelete

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