A Deadly Future Back to Blog

Update:

Robin K. is the winner!

Robin, please email me: contact AT carrielofty DOT com. Select one of Ann’s available solo works (here: http://www.annaguirre.com/books/the-list/) and one of mine (here: http://carrielofty.com/Books.html). I’ll send you your selections to the address you provide. Congratulations!

Thanks to Cindy for inviting me here, and to everyone for stopping by!

***

Hi, everyone! Carrie Lofty here. Thanks so much to Cynthia for inviting me to stop by today! Her holiday celebrations are almost as much fun as her books are to read.

I’m also in good company. Like Lisa Renee Jones from yesterday’s post, I also have five books coming out in 2011. Hard to believe! The Regency-era Portrait of Seduction will be released in May from Carina Press, and in November I begin a new Victorian series from Pocket, which kicks off with His Vows to Keep. All very lovely and historical.

But not very deadly. I think only one villain bites in between the two books.

With Ellen Connor however…that’s where the deadly fun really starts.

Ellen Connor is the pseudonym I share with my friend Ann Aguirre. In late 2008 we decided to give co-writing a try, when Ann had an idea for an apocalyptic romance. Vicious monster dogs. Shapeshifters. End-of-the-world horrors. Oh, and amazingly hot sex between our tough chick, Jenna, and her ex-military partner, Mason. Thus Nightfall was born, the first of our “Dark Age Dawning” trilogy from Berkley.

Writing it was a blast. We wrote for ourselves, just enjoying the freedom of tackling a project without any expectations. We didn’t even know if we could work together long-term! But the deeper we climbed into our apocalyptic world, the more fun we had. And the more bodies piled up.

It was quite the change for me. My medieval romances had a slightly higher body count–you know, all those random guards that have to be fought when escaping a castle–but this was entirely different. We had to figure out how to kill evil monsters using WD-40. We had to decide how people would go about eating while trapped in a bunker with no electricity. And as a bonus, we even managed a way to make having sex in a Home Depot ultra hot. Doubters! Fear not! It is very possible!

What I learned is that there are just as many difficulties in writing a fictional world as there are in recreating an historical setting. (I’d never done this before, so the process was surprising.) When we had a question about what was happening, I couldn’t consult a book or find a primary source. Nope. Just…make it up? Really? The answers to all of our deadly, nasty, drooling, shapeshifting problems were all in our brains. Sometimes two brains gave us a problem-solving edge. Sometimes we had two very different ideas about how the story should proceed.

So needless to say, it was unlike any writing experience either of us had ever had. We successfully recreated the magic formula when we tackled Midnight this past summer, and we’re hip-deep in Daybreak right this moment. The trio hits the shelves in June, September and December. Here’s a little taste of Nightfall:

From out of the enveloping darkness, Jenna caught the faint baying of distant hounds. Only they didn’t sound like any dogs she’d ever heard. Their howls echoed with an unwholesome wetness, as if they keened through blood. Her heart skipped a beat, and the cold cut through her jacket like icy knives.

The second scariest part? Mason was about the most harmless thing in the woods.

“We have to get back to the cabin.” He tugged her hand. “You’re not ready for a fight.”

“Will I be?”

He leveled a steady look on her, his confidence and secrets almost hidden in the near dark. “Yes.”

Jenna had no time to think about that, stumbling as he pulled her back toward the cabin. She hunched into her jacket, feeling naked and undone. They sounded closer now. She smelled them too, a noxious stench that reminded her of graveyards. In her mind’s eye, she could almost see them, hideous skeletal things with flesh barely clinging to bone.

But that was crazy. They were just dogs, some strays that had gone feral.

Shadows flashed in her peripheral vision. She put on more speed, the feeling of life or death hitting her hard. The threat was intuitive, on a soul-deep level, and kicked her flight response into high gear. Dry, brittle branches whipped her face as they ran. They felt like bony fingers clawing at her skin, and she swallowed a scream.

I want to wake up now. Time to wake up. The only reply to her desperation came in the form of Mason’s warm fingers twined with hers.

Are you a fan of apocalyptic romances? Does the idea of a happy ending even at the end of the world work for you as a romance? Leave a comment or question and I’ll give one random winner a book from my backlist and one from Ann’s. Your choice. Good luck!

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61 responses to “A Deadly Future”

  1. Cynthia Eden says:

    I cannot wait to read Nightfall!! It looks so awesome. Thanks very much for guest blogging with me today, Carrie! I love your books.

  2. Jillian says:

    I love the idea of 2 writers joining together to write a book. Seems like it would be a challenge. Some have been very successful at it. Here’s hoping yours go on to be best sellers.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      It’s a challenge on occasion, but Ann and I have had such a good time working together. We really click on the important issues, such as who’s hot and what we find sexy and exciting. The rest is just technical stuff *g*

  3. Edie Ramer says:

    Great excerpt! I don’t think I’ve read an apocalyptic romance, but this sounds like a great way to start. And if it didn’t have a happy ending, I wouldn’t want to read it.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      There has to be a happy ending! How could two people so fine not manage to be happy together? They’re the baddest in the land. Not even zombie dogs will stop their love πŸ˜‰

  4. Viki says:

    Excellent excerpt. I also love the cover. I’m good with apocalyptic romance. If you’re going out, you might as well go out with the one you love.

  5. I think as long as I get my happy ending, how I get there is the ride I enjoy. If that include a apocalypse, lol, then Im okay with it :)

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Very cool! I am continually impressed with the variety available in romance. So much to choose from, and all with the potential for that fabulous *ahhhh* payoff when a couple finds happiness. Thanks for visiting, Nikki.

  6. DinahT says:

    I don’t have to have a perfect HEA but I will not reread or continue a series if I do not get a feeling of hope for the future.
    That is one reason I am not a fan of horror. Sort of if there is no hope why continue.
    Dinah

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Makes absolute sense, Dinah. One of the things we insisted on when we finished writing is that NIGHTFALL *is* a romance. Hope, happiness, and a (fairly) secure future. The works! I hope you give it a try :)

  7. Teri C says:

    You know a happy ending does not always do it for me. When the character interactions are fantastic in the story with great snark or seriousness I love it. It can be a traumatic ending and be ok as long as the characters are well spoken together. No cliffhangers or open ends in a last book of a series, though those really upset me especially when they happen and the author does not write any more books in that series.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Oh, I completely agree there. I don’t go for open-ended books so much, unless I know there will be overall resolution at the end of a third book or whatever. It’s why I can’t get into soap operas, where the happiness is only temporary and no one can just be *done* with their drama! Good to see you here, Teri!

  8. Kaya H says:

    I love the genre and all of its aspects. Happy endings are great. Characters separating on good terms or bad are great.
    What counts for me is the meat of the book and how they interacted and if the exchanges were great inside. Then I am happy.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Kaya, thanks for stopping by! I like the idea that the meat of the book is most important, but I know I’ve had wonderful reads ruined by endings I didn’t care for. Mostly lit fiction with intentionally bleak finales. I’m a scaredy cat mostly, and stick to romance for that reason!

  9. Colleen says:

    Sounds like a very interesting trilogy… I enjoy the journey the characters take to get to their Happy Ending… if it seems like the end of the world then they have a lot more challenges to overcome… but you will have my attention with how they deal with everything around them and themselves. Thanks for sharing! πŸ˜€

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Hi Colleen. Thanks for stopping by! I agree that the end of the world puts them through their paces. If they can survive the apocalypse with their love intact, they can survive anything!

  10. infinitieh says:

    I love the book covers! My favorite cover model Paul Marron looks great on “Nightfall”!

    I’m a bit wary of post-apocalyptic romances (ever since I read the YA books by Carrie Ryan) but if there is a HEA, then I’m more open to reading them. No matter the human condition (war, apocalypse, etc.), love will exist.

  11. Jennifer L says:

    I can’t wait to read this book!!! I’m new to post-apocalyptic romances, but I love Ann’s Jax series and all of Carrie’s work…so I’m really looking forward to reading NIGHTFALL.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! We’re super excited for readers to take a peek at our dark sides. Well, Ann’s work is already pretty dark. Oh, wait. Mine is too. *g*

  12. Valerie says:

    Hi,

    Great post. I’ve always wondered how two writers collaborate on a book. There are some good partners out there and it seems as if you two will do well!!

    For me, it doesn’t matter how dark and weary the world is, as long as there is hope and a happy ending then I’ll read it!!!

    Valerie
    in Germany
    valb0302@yahoo.com

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Thanks, Valerie! Ann and I have been fortunate to work well together, and that our ideas so nicely mesh. One of those ideas was that we had to end on a hopeful note. No way were we going to drag readers through hell and back and not give them a reward.

  13. Jolene Allcock says:

    Wow, the covers to these books are HOT and they sound amazing. Thanks for posting on here, I cannot wait to get ahold of these books :) I’ve never read an apocalyptic romance, but it sounds like something I would really like. I like finding new books, authors and reading something new and fresh and I think I just hit the jackpot with this!!! I don’t mind a book not having a happy ending IF it’s a part of a series and there are more books to come. As long as there is a happy ending in the near future. For stand alone books, I need them to have that happy ending. Real life doesn’t always give us that happy ending we strive for, that’s why is soo imoportant to have it while reading. To have everything tied up nicely with no loose strings and it leaves me filling full and satisfied and at the end of the book, very happy

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Because we conceived of this book initially as a one-off story, we always had a happy ending in mind for it. Now that it’s expanded into a trilogy, we intend to show even more hope for the world at large–not just the romantic couples–by the time all three books wrap up. Hope you give it a try!

  14. Melanie S. says:

    oh my, thanks soooo much for sharing the excerpt with us – I can’t wait to read those books!!!
    for me a Happy End works everywhere, it’s just important that there will be one (and I can even wait some books until I get it, but I have to know there’s a chance)…
    wish you all the best, Melanie

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      We got you covered! So exciting to see that people are already talking about these. I can’t help but talk about them because the covers rock my socks :)

  15. Chelsea B. says:

    I have never read an apocalyptic romance. But romance definitely works for me, so I don’t see why that should change because it’s the end of the world πŸ˜‰

  16. Angie D says:

    This series sounds great. I just started reading apocalyptic books so this series is going into my TBR pile. Now after seeing your covers you’ll have to excuse me while I go wipe the drool of my chin.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Angie, I’m passing you a napkin. *drool*

      It’s rare that authors think the covers so exactly match the tone and characters of their books. These are just phenomenal! They so accurately reflect our stories that it’s almost eerie. Can’t wait to see the cover for Daybreak. Soon, my precious….

  17. Jane says:

    I haven’t read an apocalyptic romance, but I do think I would enjoy it even if the world is ending as long as it has a happy ending. I would be satisfied knowing the hero and heroine are together.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Our world doesn’t end so much as…Change. And yes, that leaves open the possibility for happiness. We wouldn’t leave readers hanging! Thanks for stopping by, Jane.

  18. Chris S says:

    Thank you for sharing your cowriting experience. I found it quite interesting. It’s nice to hear about behind the scenes.

    As for apocolytic romances, for me what is important is it having a good love story with a happy ending.

  19. Cindy McCune says:

    I NEED A HAPPY ENDING!!! Even if it’s in the arms of the one you love. Would love to have this book…thanks for the chance :)

  20. Robin K says:

    Would be nice if there was some form of hope yet. Can’t imagine seeing true love found and then promptly hit with a meteor LOL

  21. Cindy L says:

    Wow Carrie…you definitely got my attention with this series! I’ve never read an apocalyptic romance, but I’m going to start with yours! Will this be available for Kindle on Amazon? I only saw it available as pre-order for paperback.

  22. E.D. Walker says:

    I totally love apocalypse stories, and there should be more romance at the end of the world, I say.

    There’s this great old Twilight Zone episode with the end of the world and the only people left are an American soldier (played by a very young, very beautiful Charles Bronson) and a Russian woman. It’s so short, and there’s really more a promise of romance, but they manage to cram some very cute moments into such a short space.

  23. Mariska says:

    i’m not into an apocalypse stories, but since this series have HE, i would really like to give them a try :)

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Not only does the series have a happy ending, each book does too. There’s a different couple in each of the three stories, each with their own romantic conclusion. We’d love it if you tried our take on the apocalypse :)

  24. Danielle Gorman says:

    I like any type of romance. If I am able to believe in it and the love they feel for eachother than that is all that matters for me.

    iqb99@yahoo.com

  25. Diane Sadler says:

    Yes I enjoy apocalyptic romances and yes I do believe in dying together forever. I read your excerpt and am sure I would like to read yours and Ann’s books.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Glad to here it, Diane! I think our version of a forever love is right up your alley. NO martyrs here. Just some kick-ass people who will fight the whole world to be together.

  26. Pam P says:

    A fan of both you and Ann, cool that you are writing together. I like apocalyptic romances with some sort of HEA, got to have hope for better things to come, see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Carrie Lofty says:

      Exactly! I think we started this just as the housing crisis was beginning to shut down a lot of people’s hope. I don’t think it was a conscious decision to tackle weighty issues, but I liked that we provided hope to characters in even more dire situations!

  27. Spav says:

    The only apocalyptic romances I’ve read are the Envy Chronicles series by Joss Ware and I love them. I can’t wait to read Nightfall.

  28. Carrie Lofty says:

    Robin K. is the winner!

    Robin, please email me: contact AT carrielofty DOT com. Select one of Ann’s available solo works (here: http://www.annaguirre.com/books/the-list/) and one of mine (here: http://carrielofty.com/Books.html). I’ll send you your selections to the address you provide. Congratulations!

    Thanks to Cindy for inviting me here, and to everyone for stopping by!

  29. Ilona says:

    With you and Ann writing Nightfall there is no way I am missing adding it to my collection :d It spounds wonderful.

    As you probably guessed I love apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic) romances. There is just soemthing about finding love under such circumstances that intrigues and excites me πŸ˜€

  30. Stephanie M says:

    I love apocalyptic books. I love reading Lori Handeland’s Phoenix Chronicles because every day they are fighting to keep an apocalypse from happening and there are new developments between the characters that help determine whether the good guys or bad guys are ahead.

  31. Donna S says:

    It does. I think the HEA always works. At least they will end their time happy!

  32. Brandie says:

    I have only read a few apocalyptic books but I have to say I do really enjoy them. It gives the whole story a little more edge because the world is crumbling around them and the love is still true. Also I think that Happy Endings are wonderful!