Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5 Questions of a Paranormal and Contemporary Erotic Romance Author

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, and the Wicked. Today I have the honor of hosting paranormal and contemporary erotic romance author Nara Malone with a new release through Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Blind Heat, out today! Nara and I came together over a good peach ice cream recipe and she’s become one of my favorite authors. Nara is graciously offering an e-copy of the first story in her Pantherian Passions series, The Tiger’s Tale, to a lucky commenter.

Welcome, Nara. Thank you for being with me today.

Thank you for having me, Siobhan. Dropping in for a chat with you is always fun. I’ll be hosting Siobhan at next week and we have a groundbreaking project cooked up. Be sure and drop by for that.

What started you on the path to becoming an erotic romance author?

I was having some success as a columnist for a local weekly paper. I wrote the front page feature for the B-section. So I tried writing a couple of short stories. I was told that was a hard market to break into, but both of my submissions were published by the first market I sent to. So, I thought I’d try a novel. I like digital publishers and erotic romance because they allow authors the greatest creative freedom.

I wrote the first thirty pages of The Tiger’s Tale and submitted it to Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight contest. I was hoping for some feedback. Imagine my surprise when I was the finalist with the highest score. I had to write the rest of the story real quick in case I won. And I did win. Raelene Gorlinsky asked to see the partial. So my call, when it came, was from Raelene and the first thing she said to me was, “Nara, I need to know what happens next.” I sent her the rest and she sent me a contract.

Congratulations on your release of Blind Heat with Ellora’s Cave. Introduce us to the main characters and premise of your story.

Blind Heat is the sequel to the Tiger’s tale and Ellora’s Cave has approved Patherian Passions as the series title for all my Pantherian Stories. Pantherian shapehifters are both human and one other species. They can shift between the two species at will.

The hero in Blind Heat is Marcus, a Pantherian and a millennial being. He’s been alive a millennia, but he’s not immortal. As high magus of the Pantherians he’s revered and with that has acquired a touch of arrogance. Allie will bring him down to earth.

 Like many species on earth,  Pantherians are facing extinction. A mysterious wasting sickness has decimated the Pantherian female population, leaving males to move to human controlled regions of the world where they live in their human form and find companionship with human females.  What Marcus longs for is the one thing he can’t have, a true mate, someone who will accept him in his true form.

Allie is determined to build an ordinary life. To survive she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.

Marcus is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know he is a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night of passion spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian, won’t forget.

But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus isn’t satisfied until he discovers the source of her problem—face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. Marcus decides to use erotic rituals to teach Allie to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is that she will see past the man and recognize the beast within.

Did anything in particular inspire this story?

Two things. I used to work as a biomedical engineer and that job took me into the sort of research labs where parahuman research takes place today. My awareness of the plight of the animals,--particularly hybrid animals they call “humanized”--is the driving inspiration behind the Pantherian series.

Inspiration for Blind Heat is even more personal because I included a face blind character. I was born with a genetic condition called prosopagnosia, commonly known as face blindness. Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know other people perceived things differently than I do. I didn’t understand what was special or noticeable about Barbara Streisand’s nose or Betty Davis’ eyes.

What is face blindness and how have you found ways around it in daily life?

The best way I can think of to explain face blindness is to show you what face blindness does to a person. Here’s a video clip of a woman who was left face blind by an accident. I think she feels the loss more acutely than I do because she remembers what is like to recognize people visually, rather than from a set of facts she’s memorized as clues about them.

Face blind people can see just fine. What they can’t do is imprint the memory of a face. That’s as much as current research can tell us at this point. Some individuals, like me, also can’t imprint a memory of how to get to a specific place. I have run the same ten-mile route with running buddies over the span of 12 years and I still get confused at certain turns. When I watched the video above. I couldn’t pick out the woman’s mother from photographs I watched her take. I didn’t know when they showed Terry a picture of herself that it was her. I took the famous faces test and failed miserably.

There is no cure or treatment for face blindness. As part of a Harvard study I took part in, I learned that I can look for differences like the height of eyebrows and distance of mouth from lips to help decode faces, and that helps, but I think there are differences others see that I don’t.

I depend on friends who help me navigate and identify people at events like conferences or road races where there are big crowds in unfamiliar locations. What I notice about a person is their hairstyle, body shape, and the sound of their voice. You’ll see in Blind Heat that those factors can fail. Men have generic hairstyles and modes of dress that make them hardest to recognize. Business people have uniform dress codes that are a nightmare for the face blind to sort out. If I can hang back on encountering someone I might know, wait for them to speak first, I can usually recognize their voice. I’m acutely aware of the nuances of voice.

Including a face blind character in Blind Heat allowed me to tell a story from a viewpoint where I could describe the world the way I perceive it. That was fun. It’s the closest I can come to giving people a look at the world through my eyes. I sometimes feel like I perceive the personality of person-- imprint that subtle essence of who they are rather than what they look like. I thought that was a good fit for this story and Allie’s growing ability to see past Marcus the man and into the beast within.

What other projects are on the horizon for you that we’re likely to see?

I’m part of the multi-author paranormal series called Passion’s Portal that Ellora’s Cave has just approved. The series includes a host of shifters and magical beings. A unique element will be the interactive website where readers can interact with characters and explore the mysteries of Shadowling Manor , the mysterious location of the portal and the launching point for each character’s sex magick adventure.

My first contribution to the series is Make Me Wet, is a selkie story. I’m doing the final polish on that right now. The first release in the series, Serving Nicole comes from  USA Today bestselling author Marilyn Campbell. Marilyn says she’s turned in final edits, so we’re expecting to learn the release date on Serving Nicole in the next few weeks.

Other  stories from spectacular authors listed in the initial proposal are:
Pack Matingby Brandi Evans;  Taking Flight, by Charlotte Stein; and Trial by Fireby Shannon Emmel

You can read the blurbs and read more about the series here.
You can get to the website from either or Only a bare minimum of the features are visible and accessible at the moment. We’ll unlock more as the series books release.

Thank you for joining me today, Nara and we look forward to all your upcoming releases!

Nara is graciously offering a copy of The Tiger's Tale to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is say hello and make sure there is a valid email address or Twitter handle in your comment to win. The contest ends Thursday, May 31st at 8:00 pm PDT, and you must be over 18 to win. If you leave a comment at the website too, you’ll be entered twice. Good Luck.
If you’d like a copy of Blind Heat and can't wait for the giveaway, you can find it at:

And be sure to check out The Tiger’s Tale, the first book in Ms. Malone’s Pantherian Passions series:

You can find Nara at:

The number one place to find out more about my paranormal shifter stories is I post about both Pantherian Passions and Passion’s Portal stories there. I’ve also included links to the Pantherian Virtual World I built for readers to explore. You’ll find back story for the series, pictures and video, and profiles for characters in the series.

The following excerpt picks up where the excerpt on the EC site leaves off.

Adult Excerpt:

Marcus ran his thumbs over rain-studded skin at the edge of her bra. He needed to reel himself in. He’d been trying for the last few hours to keep the inner beast leashed. He’d only meant to come close enough to touch her dreams, thinking then her guard might be down. Few humans had the skill to shield their thoughts from him as completely as Allie. But it hadn’t been hard to track her down a few days after she’d taken Hella. She had routines he could set his watch by. It hadn’t been long before she was back in the park for another run and he’d followed her home. But Hella wasn’t in Allie’s apartment, nor had he managed to get any information regarding Hella in repeated visits to Allie’s office. Numerous suggestions and influences hadn’t penetrated Allie’s mental blockade.

The erotic suggestions he’d sent winging into her dreams had penetrated, stirred her needs, but it had opened no more than her body to him. A body soft, yielding. Her excitement evident to his Pantherian senses. The quick beat of her heart, the welcoming scent of female ready for a male.

A firm tug at the zipper on her running bra accomplished nothing, so he did away with that impediment in the same way he’d dispensed with the shirt. Her escalating arousal had her back arching, intensified the scent of desire. Her eyes went wide and pupils narrowed. He had her full attention now.

Ripe breasts springing free to fill his palms, had his attention.

Prim, shell-pink nipples begged to be licked. She held her breath when he dipped his head to do just that. Flesh tightening under his tongue had his teeth automatically closing around the hard little nub. The soft sound she made in her throat was so mew-like he was tempted to toss her over his shoulder, head back to his truck and keep her. Unfortunately, he was fairly certain that practice had been outlawed in this country a couple of centuries ago.

Sex at dawn in a public park probably wasn’t legal either.

There were only so many laws he was willing to follow.
Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)


  1. Hi Meg, Thanks for having me today. The Tiger's Tale was my first published novel and "readers have been after me to get the sequel out there. It's so exciting to see Blind Heat release. I've been working like a demon to get the virtual world and the site ready in time for the release. Also, one note. Neither domain posted to link to the Passion's Portal site is tracking yet, the actual URL is in case any of you want to peek. We're still under construction, but things are coming together.

  2. Really interesting interview. Nara, I've never heard of face blindness before, but you've explained it well. Must be difficult to live with at times.

    Congrats on the new release!


  3. Congrats on the new release. This book, this series, sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it.


  4. Congratulations on your release, Nara!!! Nice excerpt! Can't wait to meet Marcus and discover your fascinating Pantherian world. I had no idea there was such a thing as face blindness... I am glad that you're bringing it to light and that it is included in your story. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. great interview. Sounds like a great read. I'd love to win this the start of this series.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com


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