Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Wednesday's Guest- Lex Valentine

LEX VALENTINE is a bestselling, award winning author who writes across genres from contemporary to paranormal, urban fantasy and sci-fi. A native of California’s Central Coast, Lex now lives in Southern California with her college student daughter Nikki, her long haired, tattooed husband Ken, and a bunch of cats she calls “babies.” She loves loud rock music, builds her own computers, and works full-time for a cemetery/mortuary company as the network administrator. You’ll find Lex on the net at

What gave you the push to become published?

Not a what but a who. Author Jennifer Leeland. When I tell this story Jen always says I give her too much credit. To my way of thinking, I don’t give her enough. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I’ve never not written (cept for the 10 years following my parents’ deaths.) I’d been writing online in a serial story with a bunch of other writers for a few years and decided to start a blog. I got really involved in the blogging community and started doing Thursday Thirteens. One trip around a bunch of TTs I found the Redneck Romance Writer aka Jen. I started visiting her blog regularly and then she started checking out my blog Sunlight Sucks. She found me posting bits of my writing from the serial story and started telling me that I should submit my work to publishers. She really encouraged me by insisting that my work was good enough to be published. Finally, I listened to her and now, here I am!

What is your favorite thing about writing?

Giving the characters life. Giving them the HEA. Making sure that they recover from the events in their lives and end up happy. Getting from point A to point B and ending up at point Z with a happy ending whose poignancy makes you cry. I love every minute of fleshing out the characters. I love writing dialog. And like most writers, I love typing The End! LOL

What else do you have in the works?

I just had four releases in a row here at the end of 2010. Honorable Silence from MLR Press and Rock My World from Ellora’s Cave in November and Unbreak Me and Christmas Wishes from Pink Petal Books in December. My next release is January 25, a short dark tale entitled In the Light which features my werewolf Weylyn Randall. Wishing on a Blue Star is an anthology from Dreamspinner Press filled with stories inspired by or written for author Patric Michael who has cancer. I’m also working on a Quickie for EC featuring James Fox of Rock My World. Next up in my Tales of the Darkworld series at Pink Petal Books is Breathe Me In, a novella featuring vampire Wilson North and magia Garrick Forrester. And I’m finally going ahead with a project I’ve been sitting on for a year for MLR Press, two novellas Primal Fear (an Edwardian gay paranormal romance) and Primal Urges (a contemporary gay paranormal romance.) Lots of M/M romances to start the year but more M/F stuff is coming later in the year from me.


Rock star Gia Santora is at the height of her career when a frightening brush with a psychotic stalker changes her life. She’s ready for more than a string of one-night stands on the road, but finding a date isn’t easy for a woman with a bodyguard. When she meets her sexy, young opening act, he pushes all her buttons, sexually and emotionally.

Sin Carstens is rock’s hottest new guitar god with a body and a voice to match his name. He takes Gia on a wild sexual ride that has them literally rockin’ the tour bus. But Sin’s got priorities other than music and sex. He wants a relationship with the commitment-shy Gia. With the stalker on the loose and their lives on the line, Sin’s willing to fight Gia’s fears in an effort to win himself the sexiest woman he’s ever known and prove that he can rock her world.

Gia followed the sounds of the music. Still damp from the shower, her hair hanging in a tangled wet mass, she peered into the main room of the suite, wondering what CD Sin had put on. The entertainment system stood dark. Startled, her eyes took in the picture Sin made as he sat at the baby grand piano in faded jeans, barefoot and bare-chested, his long fingers moving expertly over the ivory keys.
She hadn’t known he could play the piano. She didn’t recognize the song, either. Its plaintive notes grew in a crescendo of sound that told of someone whose spare life had suddenly become rich and full, laced with happiness and fulfillment. The melody called to her and she itched to write lyrics for it. Lyrics from her heart.
Silently, Gia acknowledged that the music uncannily matched how she’d felt since she’d met Sin. Unsatisfied with her life, with the lack of emotion and intimacy, she’d been ripe to fall in love with a man who wanted something more than a single night with her. She didn’t know exactly where her relationship with Sin was headed, but he made her feel complete and she would forever be grateful to him for this little piece of heaven he’d given her.
Driven by the music, unable to stop herself, the words spilled from her mouth in a clear, bell-like tone, very unlike the sexy whiskey tones she used when she sang Firewire’s songs.

A piece of heaven
In your arms each night
I can’t go back
And I won’t fight
To hold you if you want to fly
My eyes, my arms are open wide
My heart knows that this is right
Always my soul belongs to you
Traded for a piece of heaven tonight

She crossed the room as she sang, noticing the stiffening of Sin’s back as her voice rang out. When she reached his side, he stopped playing and let his hands fall to his thighs.
“Where did you learn to play like that?” she asked quietly, recognizing the training behind his expert playing.
His eyes met hers, his expression serious and intent. “Where did you learn to sing like that?” he countered. “That’s no rock ‘n’ roll voice, Gia.”
She shrugged. “So I have a trained voice. Lots of rockers do.”
He shook his head. “No, not like that. You could sing with the likes of Placido Domingo or Andrea Bocelli.”
Her brows arched up. “And how would a two-bit rocker from Grants Pass, Oregon know that?” She rounded the piano and sat on the other side of the bench. “You didn’t learn to play like that from some piano teacher in Sunday school, Sin.”
He smiled then and played an arpeggio. “You’re right. I didn’t.” He tilted his head and looked at her. “I did go to college, you know.”
“So did I. Where’d you go?”
He drew a breath and began to play. She recognized the song instantly. Mozart’s Sonata in D major. She raised her hands to the keyboard. Somehow, Sin had guessed she’d know the famous four-handed duet. As they played, she watched his hands. Those fingers had played her as well as they played the baby grand.
“I graduated from Juilliard,” he murmured as the music flowed around them.
Gia sighed. She should have known. His pitch was just too perfect. She slanted a look at him through her lashes. “I went to Oberlin Conservatory,” she admitted.
He grinned at her wickedly. “Really? Old school? I would have pegged you for a Berklee grad.”
With a laugh, Gia stopped playing and smacked his shoulder. “My mama wouldn’t let me go to the big bad city. She thought the depths of Ohio would be safe for a seventeen-year-old.”
“I bet you got into way more trouble in Ohio than you would have in Boston,” Sin said with a laugh. He switched back to the song he’d been playing when she came in. “Sing those lyrics again, please. I’ve had this song in my head for weeks but the words would never come. Yours are perfect.”
Gia blinked at him. “You wrote this? It’s beautiful.”
Sin laughed again, this time very softly. “I’ve been calling it Gia’s Song in my head.” He glanced down at her, his eyes filled with emotion. “It’s how you make me feel, Gia.”
She swallowed hard. The moment had come, the one she’d yearned for and yet dreaded for weeks. “Sin, I…” Tears filled her eyes and she broke off, sniffling. Again, she sang the words that seemed to fit the song so well.

A piece of heaven
In your arms each night
I can’t go back
And I won’t fight
To hold you if you want to fly
My eyes, my arms are open wide
My heart knows that this is right
Always my soul belongs to you
Traded for a piece of heaven tonight
She stopped and looked up at him. “I love you, Sin.” Emotion overwhelmed her and the tears that had gathered in her eyes spilled over. “I love you so much.”
The music died away as Sin’s arms came around her, holding her tightly.
“Oh, baby. Gia, I love you too,” he whispered.
He kissed her and her tears ran into their mouths. Gia didn’t care. Sin loved her. Her piece of heaven had just expanded to fill the universe.
Sin lifted his head and wiped away her tears. He had the most brilliant smile she’d ever seen on a man’s face. She turned her head and kissed his rough palm.
“So where do we go from here, baby?” he said softly.
She grimaced. “Detroit. Ugh.”
Sin laughed and hugged her. “Not on the tour. You and me.”
She tipped her head to one side as she gazed at him thoughtfully. “I don’t know. I’ve never been in love before.”
His brows shot up. “Never?”
“Nope. You’re it, mister.”
The fact that he owned her heart felt right too. Gia never would have thought of herself as the kind of woman to give so much of herself to a man, but Sin wasn’t just any man. He was special because he “got” her. No one had even come close before.

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Karenna Colcroft said...

Wow, you have a lot coming up, Lex! Congratulations on your success so far, and here's hoping for much more for you.

Cassie Exline said...

Awesome accomplishments. What a cool place to work.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Congrats on all the well-earned success, Lex! Awesome excerpt.

Lex Valentine said...

Thank you Karenna, Cassie and Cindy!

I have that A-type personality that just keeps me plugging away no matter what! I guess the upside to it is that I keep having new releases. ;)

Jasmine Aherne said...

Great Interview Lex!

And I adore the cover for Rock my World!!!