Alexis Morgan guest blogs
by Sharon Ashwood on July 21st, 2009

My name is Sharon Ashwood, and I’m a Paladin junkie …

But why stop there? That would be like stopping before dessert. Alexis Morgan serves up a whole oh-so-yummy smorgasborg of dark heroes and the second of her Talion series is coming out this month! And if you read to the end of the post, you’ll see she’s giving one away :grin:

Alexis Morgan is the best-selling author of over eighteen published books. She’s written short contemporary, American West historical, and paranormal romances. Originally from Missouri, she’s currently makes the Pacific Northwest her home. She loves to hear from fans and can be reached through her website: www.alexismorgan.com.

dark_warrior_unbroken_3-181

I’m so pleased to be hanging out here at Silk and Shadows for the day. I especially want to thank Sharon Ashwood for inviting me, but also for writing such a great book. If you haven’t read Ravenous, what are you waiting for????

But on to the topic at hand. I’m in the final countdown until the release of DARK WARRIOR UNBROKEN, the second book in my Talions series from Pocket Star. The official date for its debut is July 28th, but sometimes books have a way of sneaking out onto the shelves earlier.

I’m pretty excited about this particular book because it was a particularly challenging story to tell. You see, when Sandor Kearn was introduced in the first book in the series, I had a serious love-hate relationship with the man. His fault, not mine. Really.

To begin with, let me explain that Sandor isn’t quite human. Instead, he’s a member of the warrior class of the Kyth. Originating in the harsh climate of northern Scandinavia, his kind developed the ability to borrow energy from those around them in order to survive the long winters. Unfortunately, they thrived at the cost of the normal humans around them, forcing the Kyth to spread their numbers out over the rest of Europe and even the New World. Didn’t you always wonder why the Vikings and others like them liked to wander around so much? Well, now you know.

Most of the time, the humans Kyth harvest energy from are not harmed—think of all that free-flowing energy at weddings, sporting events, and dance clubs. But sometimes Kyth go rogue, and that’s where the Kyth warriors come in. Called Talions (which actually means “punishment meted out in kind or an-eye-for-an-eye justice), it is their job to police the Kyth and destroy the renegades.

In the first book, Sandor was the highly polished ambassador for his people, charged with introducing newly discovered Kyth to their heritage. By the end, he’d had to face some hard, ugly truths about himself. His own book begins with him struggling to come to terms with the darkness in his soul. He soon meets the heroine, Lena Wilson, who has some pretty heavy duty secrets of her own. Together, they have to find some common ground that lets each of them come to terms with the mistakes in their pasts.

All writers have themes they return to time and again in their stories. For me, it’s often a character’s struggle for redemption and restoring their sense of honor. Sandor’s personal journey made him a better man, one I could both respect and like. I hope you all will enjoy making that journey with him.

If you have questions for me about either my Talion series or my Paladin series, I’ll do my best to answer them. One lucky person will win an autographed copy of DARK WARRIOR UNBROKEN, so keep those questions and comments coming!

Alexis Morgan

37 comments to “Alexis Morgan guest blogs”

  1. 1

    I love your Paladins series and enjoyed the first Talion book. Looking forward to this one!


  2. 2

    Congratulations on your upcoming release. And I love the story behind these books. When did you first come up with the idea of the Kyth?


  3. 3

    Chris–I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my guys! Sandor’s book was an interesting one for me to write, so I hope you enjoy it as well.

    Lady Vampire, I got the idea for the Kyth when reading a book on ancient women warriors. As the archeologist described excavating one of the graves, I wondered how it would feel if you actually knew the woman in the grave and that the scientists had it all wrong about her. Despite their best guesses about her life and times, they’d never really know her at all. From there, I had to figure out how a man would still be around a thousand years after the woman’s death. That man turned out to be Ranulf Thorsen, the hero in the first Talion book.

    Alexis


  4. 4

    Well, I did not realize that was the reason Vikings were explorers! Good to know :lol:

    Do you do a lot of physical research for your books? By that I mean actually going to the places your characters go. Or do you rely on the library/Internet?


  5. 5

    Great question, Zita. I prefer to use settings that I’m familiar with for my books, even if I twist them a bit for my own use. An example would be using the Seattle Underground for my Paladin headquarters, and adding an extra large cave system the already numerous caves in southern Missouri for the Paladins to use.
    That’s why I usually use Washington state and Missouri in my books. I grew up in Missouri and still go back to visit (in fact, I just was there two weeks ago), and I’ve lived in the Pacific NW for the past 30 years.
    I’ve also used Kansas and Colorado when I wrote westerns because I’ve spent time in those states as well.
    For the first Talion book, I did visit a car museum just to study the Packards they had so I’d have a better feel for the car that Ranulf has owned since it was new in 1940. Those were some very classy vehicles, I must say.

    Alexis


  6. 6

    Can’t wait to read this one. I had the same love – hate relationship with Sandor in the first book – can’t wait to see how his story turns out.


  7. 7

    Hey Alexis! Do you know how many Talion books we will have to look forward to? :grin:


  8. 8

    Hi Alexis! Just popping over for a visit. :grin: I cannot wait for the release of Sandor! The cover is way yummy. I agree with you on theme. I like to watch my heroes struggle with their personal/internal issues while they seek some form of self-worth. The harder and darker their journey is to achieve this, the better.


  9. 9

    Hey Alexis,
    I had to preorder the book from amazon and can’t wait for it to get her. As terrible as it is, I love to read during the kids soccer practices and games. I know I should be watching them play but…

    I’ve been waiting for Sander’s book to come out ever since first reading about him in Ranulf’s book. His strict by the rules attitude really made me curious for a closer look into his past. It also reminded me of my husband when we first met. That is until I managed to teach him how to let loose a little.


  10. 10

    Hey, everybody! It’s nice to see some familiar faces in the crowd!

    Rightn ow I have three more Talion books in mind, but only one of them is actually under contract right now. The hero is Grey Danby, and you’ll meet him at the end of Dark Warrior Unbroken. Think Daniel Craig with attitude!

    Alexis


  11. 11

    I love the premise for these books and can’t wait to read them. My husband and I do Norse/Viking re-enactment so a book with Norse elements are sure to please us both.

    How much background research do you try to build into your characters to make them “true to form”?


  12. 12

    Kansascowgirl,
    I always try to make my characters ring true to their nature. When I made the switch from westerns to paranormals, I realized I needed to do some heavy duty research into the warrior mindset to get it right. I read a bunch of books on highly trained military elite–from historical times all the way through to modern day Navy Seals, Special Forces, Delta Force, and Recon Marines. I’ve also read extensively on the psychological costs involved in being on the frontline of any conflict. I think both helped me make my characters more real.

    Alexis


  13. 13

    Hey Alexis, I’m looking forward to this book. This heroine’s one I have a particular fondness for, considering I was there when she was “born”.

    And Sandor…what can I say. He always intrigued me. It’ll be interesting to see how you get these two to mesh.

    I’ll say it again — I love this cover! Especially the Thor’s hammer tat. Very hot.


  14. 14

    Bonnie–

    Yeah, I love this cover, too. I sent some serious chocolate to the art department at Pocket as soon as I saw it. They do such a great job on all of my covers.

    We did have fun working out exactly who Sandor’s heroine had to be. It always helps to have friends who can help brainstorm, seeing the story’s potential.

    Thanks for always being there for me,

    Alexis


  15. 15

    Well, had I had the opportunity, I might have killed Sandor off at some point, he was such a stinker at times, so it will be interesting to see how you resolve him so I like him. And I have no doubt you will. :grin:

    My copy’s on pre-order. Can’t wait! In the meantime, let me say again how hot that cover is. You have the best heroes…


  16. 16

    Oh, those arms! Swoon! And now that you’ve mentioned Daniel Craig for story 3, I’ll just faint dead away…

    Thanks for guesting with us, Alexis. It just so happens UNBROKEN comes out on my birthday, so my sweet XY has an easy shopping list!


  17. 17

    I must be in the minority, but I loved Sandor in the first book and can’t wait to read about him in Dark Warrior Unbroken.

    I love how you’ve created a whole, complex mythology of the Talions and yet it’s grounded firmly in the constructs of the real world. There are probably Kyth everywhere…we just don’t know it!


  18. 18

    Nightmusic–We all had our moments with Sandor in the first book, but if he’d been perfect, there would have been no room for growth. How boring would that be? :grin:

    Jessa–I seriously love Daniel Craig, too. Those eyes. Well, and everything else about him. And Happy Birthday! I’m a July baby, too. :cool:

    And Laurie, thanks for stopping by! I’ll be interested in hearing what you have to say about Sandor once you’ve read his book.

    Alexis


  19. 19

    Hi Alexis,
    Congrats on the upcoming release. I’ve been waiting for Sandor’s story. I can’t wait to see how he recovers from his feelings of failure at the end of “Dark Warrior Unleashed.”


  20. 20

    The fact that you had a love-hate relationship with this hero before you started the book really intrigues me, Alexis. I can’t wait to see how heroic he ends up being given his darker nature. After all, dark heroes tend to be rather welcome over here on Silk and Shadows. :-)


  21. 21

    Jane, thank you for letting me know that you’ve been looking forward to Sandor’s story. I hope you find it a satisfying resolution to the changes that started in the prior book.

    Annette, I did really struggle with Sandor in the first book. I needed him to be clearly different from Ranulf in the story. They each had their strengths and their own flaws, which definitely set them at odds with each other. And me, too, as I tried to get their stories down on paper. :shock:

    Alexis


  22. 22

    When you’re writing about these gorgeous men, do you base their physical appearance on anyone famous or someone you know?


  23. 23

    Great question, Jody! Actually, about half the time I keep someone famous in mind–Russell Crowe, Daniel Craig, Paul Bettany, Adrian Paul, and Peter Wingfield have all served as inspiration. The rest of the time, I can just see the character in my head–Sandor Kearn and Hunter Fitzsimon, the hero in my upcoming release Defeat the Darkness, fall into this later category.

    Alexis


  24. 24

    Thanks so much for coming by and blogging with us!

    I gotta say, Daniel Craig? I’m in!


  25. 25

    Alexis, question:

    Adrian Paul = Devlin?

    *sigh* Adrian Paul. *sigh*


  26. 26

    NM–*sigh* is right. But even when a real person inspires a character for me, more often than not it isn’t how they look, but how they move or perhaps a fleeting expression on their face. Like the look Keanu Reeves gave Sandra Bullock in Speed when he realizes she couldn’t get off the subway car and wraps his arms around her as they sink to the floor. Attitude is more important than looks as well.

    Alexis


  27. 27

    Oh, yeah…Keanu Reeves…I melt at him too. Can’t help it. See? Tall, dark and oh baby!

    I agree though, it’s the way they carry themselves or the look in their eyes. And that shot in Speed? Yup, I agree.


  28. 28

    Congartulations Alexis,
    I look forward to Dark Hero “Unbroken”. That cove is really awesome.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com


  29. 29

    Hi Alexis,

    Congrats on the new lease, I can’t wait to read all about Sandor’s story. I love his character!


  30. 30

    Peter Wingfield is an excellent choice, Alexis. I drool over him myself.


  31. 31

    Hi Alexis. Congratulations on the upcoming release of Dark Warrior Unbroken. Sounds wonderful. Love the cover.


  32. 32

    I can’t wait to read this book. I have two questions. I didn;t read everyone elses comments to hopefully no one has already asked you.

    1)Why do you write stories for the romance genre?
    2) If you could start a new series in a different genre, what genre would it be and why


  33. 33

    Congrats on the release!
    I love dark heroes and I’m looking forward to reading this book!


  34. 34

    Alexis Morgan,

    What beautiful covers you have! And gorgeous hero names!

    I’m a little late in posting, but I’m going to run out and grab up the first in your Talions series, so I can be ready for Book 2!

    Kim


  35. 35

    I am new to your work, collecting them and put in my tbr pile to read in order :) .

    Both series look awesome.

    Pam S
    pams00@aol.com


  36. 36

    Since I’m dying (dying, I tell you) to get my hands on this….Do we know if a winner’s been chosen yet?


  37. 37

    I remeber really enjoy reading the first Talion book so can’t wait for this one!!


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