This interview is part of our Paranormal Romance Author series of interviews where we interview some of today’s top paranormal romance authors! Be sure to check out our past Paranormal Romance Author interviews to learn more about various authors working in this popular genre!
For this week's interview, we talk with Cecilia Lane who hit the paranormal romance scene in 2016 with her popular Fated Hearts Club series. Her follow-up, the Dragonsworn series, had its third book release, Scorch, this past March.
In this interview, Cecilia talks about what pushed her to become a writer, how she's able to put out a fair amount of books in a short amount of time, her Fated Hearts Club and Dragonsworn series, and about her upcoming release! And be sure to read a hot excerpt from her latest release, Scorch, at the end of the interview!
For those who are unfamiliar with you and your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Of course! I’m a Florida native but currently live in Richmond with my boyfriend and our furbabies: a sweet old golden retriever and a jerk cat. It’s pretty neat to experience seasons and there are so many amazing parks around the city to explore when the weather is nice.
When I’m not reading or writing, I’m usually cuddled up on the couch and being a complete homebody. I watch a disgraceful amount of television (but holy butts, how can you resist Legion and Game of Thrones and Westworld and Fargo and The Expanse?).
When did you first entertain the idea of becoming a writer?
Pretty much from the fifth grade on. We were given a little project to write a story and I haven’t stopped. In middle school I wrote some truly embarrassing fan fiction with a friend but that only made me want to try harder. I was reading the Wheel of Time and Pern and Vampire Chronicles and just knew I had to create things like that.
What finally pushed you to write your first book, Burning for the Dragon (the first book in the Fated Hearts Club series)?
Pure greed, hah! True answer: Mr. Lane received an offer he couldn’t refuse and dragged me out of Florida. I had a lot of time to myself after all the unpacking had been done and quickly ran out of excuses to not try my hand at writing. As much as the doggo thinks she’s good company, I was bored out of my mind by week two.
Speaking of Burning for the Dragon, it came out in August 2016. Since then, you've put out quite a fair amount of books. What's your secret to putting out so many titles in a short amount of time?
Butt in the seat, that’s all there is to it. There are a thousand different ways to go about writing but none of that matters if you’re not actually putting down words.
I’ve learned I need to have a solid outline before I get started or I just waste time trying to find a way to link scenes together, then backtracking when those scenes go nowhere. I’ve also started playing on 4thewords.com – I get to kill monsters by writing words! Outline + gamification + brain.fm = winning combination for me.
You contributed to the multi-author series, Arcane Affairs Agency, with Bear Enchantment. What was it like to be a relatively new author and being asked to be part of this series with more established authors?
It was pretty awesome and really taught me a lot about how other writers work and how to blend our styles together. Bear Enchantment was my second book out, so there was a ton to learn. I barely dipped my toes into marketing when I joined the group and the more experienced authors helped the newbies out with planning and what needed to be done. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about writing. Most everyone in the community is interested in building each other up.
In late 2016, you released Smoulder which is the first book of your new Dragonsworn series. Can you tell us more about it and the series?
Smoulder once again visited the Fated Hearts world. I wanted to expand on the dragons and their new royal couple so came up with this idea that any royal child would be given guardians to see them into adulthood.
To be selected as Dragonsworn is the highest honor and comes with blood oaths to bind them to service. These men train from the time they’re children for a shot at being chosen. They teach the royal child to defend against attacks and are the first tutors, so they aren’t just all brawn and no brains. Should they – and the child – survive into adulthood, they know they’ll likely continue to serve as counselors.
The series follows Rafe, Brody, and Levi as they find their fated mates and protect the little princess. And let me be clear – just because they are fated doesn’t mean the relationships come easy.
You just released Scorch, book three of the Dragonsworn series. Where does it fit into your overall plan for the series?
Scorch is the sixth book set in my Fated Hearts world. I’m moving on to some other projects for now, but I’m sure I will revisit the world in the future. I’d love to show how the little princess Cassandra matures and maybe even needs to select new Dragonsworn for her own child one day.
On your site, you have a cover preview for Dragon Claimed which doesn't look like it fits in the paranormal romance genre. What can you tell us about it?
Dragon Claimed is my contribution to the Lost Dragon Princes series. Powyrworld is the brainchild of Emma Alisyn and her mother, Danae Ashe, under Dreamkeeper Publishing. The series is billed as urban fantasy romance, but it definitely has paranormal elements with fated mates and dragon shifters.
Each book is written by a different author, for five books total (and maybe some novellas later!). Five baby princes were stolen from the Dragon Court and now we’re finding out what happened to them in the years that they’ve been gone.
In my story, Dragon Claimed, you meet Eoghan Gilchrist who serves as the head of a shifter mob family and Annika Leeds who can’t remember who she is and is just looking to find herself. It’s my longest book to date and I had a great time writing it. It’s also my first time writing accents and now I can’t get Eoghan out of my head!
Dragon Claimed is on preorder and set to be released next week on April 24th.
What other projects do you have lined up for your fans in 2017?
I’m currently working on a new series called Cursed Dragons. The first book should be out sometime in May and will have at least three books in the series. These will follow dragon shifter brothers who fight demons and whoops, get cursed. I just can’t get away from the fire breathers!
After that, it’s kind of up in the air. Dragon Claimed and now the Cursed Dragons series are my move away from novellas and into novels. I have a vampire series that’s been brewing for a few years now and I might just jump in and finish that (no promises!).
Could you share with us an excerpt from your latest release, Scorch?
Sure! Here you go...
Roxy woke with a start on the morning of the third day. She pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes and willed herself back to sleep. In sleep, there was nothing. In the daylight, there was Levi. The man was a walking, talking temptation and she couldn’t explain her jittery hands away on a caffeine overdose.
Three days locked away in a pair of adjoining motel rooms with the door between them always open. Three days of never being truly alone. Three days of accompaniment wherever she went. Her protection detail grated on her nerves but it was Levi that truly messed with her head.
No one warned her that days of constant companionship with an unfairly attractive man would awaken all the desires she’d hidden away in the last year. Especially when he kissed her like she was the only one that mattered in the world.
She rolled out of bed and stepped into the bathroom. It was the one place she could have a moment to herself. At that moment, it felt as dangerous as handing herself over to Thilo. Every time her eyes closed, she could feel Levi’s eyes on her and imagine the warmth of his fingers when he pulled her closer to his body and pressed a kiss to his lips.
Her skin felt too tight and agitation weighed on her shoulders. Her cold shower did nothing to ease her edginess.
She dressed in a new skirt and shirt. The material draped loosely around her curves and hid the bigger parts of her. She only had a few outfits, provided generously by the de Rege dragons. One of the first things Levi had done after taking charge of her protection was visit her rented room. He wouldn’t give her all the details of what he found there but all of her clothes had been destroyed.
Exiting the bathroom, Roxy settled back on the only comfortable seating space in the room: the bed. Levi had risen and the sound of his own shower cut through the silence. She turned on the television and flipped through the channels, trying unsuccessfully to distract herself.
She caught a glimpse of Levi exiting the bathroom in his room. Her mouth dried and her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. He hadn’t bothered dressing before exiting in a cloud of steam. Water rolled down his chest in the dips of his muscles and into the towel tied around his narrow waist. He ran another towel through his hair and the water-dark locks stuck up in a mess that her fingers itched to straighten.
His bed protested when he knelt and reached across for something. She squirmed, imagining adding their own notes to the afternoon chorus of lovers.
Swallowing the groan building in her throat, she stood and hurried to the kitchenette that was little more than a mini bar and a coffee maker. She needed a drink and she didn't care if it was before noon. Anything to distract her from the man who appointed himself her guardian.
She froze when she heard his footsteps behind her. Cautiously, she turned and found Levi only feet away. Still shirtless. Still with only a threadbare towel around his waist. Her eyes fell to the drop of water that rolled from his collarbone and over the dragon tattoo above his heart. How easy it would be to take a single step closer and lick it from his skin.
Levi’s nostrils flared and a slow, wicked smile spread across his face. “We have time to kill.”
“There’s nothing but time to kill.” She struggled to push the words between her teeth.
“Exactly. Might as well make it interesting.”
The husky tone on his final word made her body warm. Her nipples tightened at his suggestion. She couldn’t breathe. She didn’t dare to breathe. She’d smell the burnt, woody scent of him and her resolve would crumble.
Hazel eyes darkening, he took one step closer. Then another. The counter bit into her back and he caged her in his arms. She had nowhere to run, nowhere to look except at the hard planes of his chest or his tongue licking a slow path over his very kissable lips.
He leaned closer and she couldn’t help but tilt her head. His lips skimmed down her neck. “Let me take your mind off things,” he murmured.
“Does that line ever work?” Roxy tried to inhale anything but the scent of him. Strong, smoky, delicious. It stroked over her nerves. She hated and loved that he could distract her so easily.
She wanted him. She wanted to run from him. Thilo had taught her true fear. There was no such thing as safety while Thilo roamed the streets. Levi offered it to her but it was still only an illusion.
“Levi… We shouldn’t,” she breathed.
“We should. Fuck, Roxy. You think I can’t smell how wet you are right now?” He moved his hands from the counter to her sides and drew slow circles with his thumbs.
Roxy gasped. She wasn’t an innocent virgin but she wasn’t exactly experienced, either. The raw, naked desire in his words slithered liquid heat through her and she nearly nodded.
Levi nipped and licked his way over her jawline and swiped his tongue over her lower lip. Roxy groaned and closed her eyes in anticipation. She didn’t have long to wait. Levi softly kissed her lips, then again when she made a sound.
He moved his hand to cup her cheeks, his thumbs lightly grazing over her cheekbones. A shiver ran the entire length of her body and she thought she would die the moment she parted her lips and let Levi take command of their kiss. He lapped at her mouth, teasing and tasting her with each purposeful swipe of his tongue and eroding away at her sense of control.
We want to thank Cecilia for taking the time to do this interview with us! And be sure to follow Cecilia online: