Ava’s Interview – Cassi Carver

Please help us welcome CASSI CARVER to Guilty Pleasures and take a moment to read Ava’s great interview with Cassi.

A: Cassi!! I am so excited about your new series. It’s been a while since I got in on a series at the beginning and fell in love. Slayer’s Kiss is freakin’ awesome! I want to tell our readers about you and your new release due out on February 14th from Samhain.

C: Hi, Ava! Thank you so much for having me here at Guilty Pleasures!

A: First, what were you doing before you started writing about smoking hot angels?

C: Before I started writing, I was reading. When my kids were young and still at home during the days, I would start a new book every Monday morning and not go to sleep that night until I’d finished it. I was a great mom Tuesday through Sunday, but come Monday, Mom needed some “me” time!

A: Can you explain to our readers the differences between paranormal romance and urban fantasy as far as genre?

C: This is a harder question than you might think, because it’s constantly being redefined and many people have different opinions on the subject. Here’s what I think…

Paranormal romance—like urban fantasy—takes place in a world where fantastical things can happen and super-human creatures exist, but in paranormal romance, the focus tends to be more on the relationship between the main characters, and it ALWAYS has a happy ending. Urban fantasy is often more plot driven, and sometimes there’s no romance at all. Because urban fantasy is usually written in a series focusing on the journey of the central protagonist, each book may not have a happy ending, but instead feel like a chapter in the hero or heroine’s life.

My series is structured like typical urban fantasy, but because I’m such a devoted fan of romance, the relationships between the main characters play a huge role in the books. To be honest, Slayer’s Kiss is almost a hybrid. If urban fantasy, romance, and erotica got together and had a book baby—it would be Slayer’s Kiss! Not being confined by one genre has made the series such fun to write!

A: What inspired you to write your first book?

C: The real answer is a little embarrassing, but I’m amongst reader friends, right? I dabbled in writing when I was young, but after having kids I spent the next decade reading. Then something happened. I discovered urban fantasy. You know that small sadness you feel at the end of a good romance novel when you reach the end and it’s time to say goodbye…well multiply that by ten books with the same heroine! I would actually go through mini-depression when I was done with a series! Finally, one day, I sat down at the computer and decided to let myself create my own characters and my own story to divert attention from the characters I missed—and I’ve been writing ever since.

Slayer’s Kiss is my third novel. The first two were practice books—but boy, my first book was looong. I must have still had trouble with saying goodbye because that first novel was 166,000 words (550 pages)—which I was told at the time was too long to sell.

I’m cured now. The Shadow Slayer novels come in under 90,000 words to help keep the pacing tight (around 300 pages?), and right now, I’m finishing a Shadow Slayers novella that will be under 30,000. That’s progress and healing in action!

A: How do you come up with titles for your books?

C: With my debut novel, I wanted something that reflected both sides of Kara—something kick-ass and sensual—thus, Slayer’s Kiss. I didn’t know you were supposed to relate it to the story somehow! My editor almost changed the name of Slayer’s Kiss, so now I make sure that every title has something to do with the central conflict or theme. So when I tell you that book two is titled “Shadow Rising,” that’s a clue of things to come!

A: Are you involved in the cover selection process?

C: At some publishing houses, the author is allowed very little input on her cover. I was thrilled that my publisher, Samhain Publishing, allowed me to be part of the process. My fabulous editor, Jennifer Miller, helped me not only with the cover, but with every step along the path from submission to publication. Along with her and the very talented cover artist, Angela Waters, we came up with something that fit the mood of the book and incorporated the things I felt were important. It was a wonderful experience working with the professional team at Samhain!

A: How do you come up with characters’ names?

C: I know some authors look at the meaning behind names, but I sit down with extensive lists and pick my favorites. The names have to sound like the character I’m trying to capture. That’s more important to me than the meaning of the words—but that doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally throw a hidden meaning in there just to keep readers on their toes! I love naming characters!

A: How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry break for a while?

C: My process always starts with extensive back-story, world-building, and plotting. I know things about my characters and their world that may never make it onto the page, but it helps me write a complex and authentic story, where I can stay true to the characters and their motivations. I think this is essential in a series that’s going to get increasingly complex. It also allows me to weave in mystery subplots over the course of several books.

As for what my writing schedule looks like…*clears throat*…I’d just like to say for the record that I’m a total angel—a true beacon of writerly productivity. I work diligently every day. I never waste time on Twitter or Facebook. *cough* I always meet my word-count goals because I’m totally self-motivated. And I would not—ever!—stay at my computer for thirty-six hours straight to meet a deadline. (I refuse to go past thirty-five. The screen gets too fuzzy.)

So it’s a good thing I’m so disciplined, because 2012 is a busy year for me and The Shadow Slayers series. The second book, Shadow Rising, is coming out in September, and I’m hoping the novella will be released by the end of the year. In the meantime, I’m working on a new paranormal romance series, and I’ll be turning in the third full-length Shadow Slayers novel in the next few months. I’m so excited to see what the future holds for me as a writer and for the characters I love!

Thank you so much for inviting me to Guilty Pleasures, Ava, and for coming up with those great questions! I can’t wait to give out some copies of Slayer’s Kiss! I hope your readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! To be entered to win, simply leave a comment below, and if you’re feeling brave, share with us what was the last book that you had trouble saying goodbye to…

I love hearing from readers, so stop by and say hi!


Cassi is giving away FIVE copies of Slayer’s Kiss.  Be sure to leave a comment and fill out the form for a chance to win.  Winners will be selected 2/15/12 at 9:00 pm, CST.

When the past flies in your face, 
clip its wings. 

Visit Cassi’s web-site

Kara Reed is a supernatural failure. But where her magic falls short, her fists get the job done. The criminal element doesn’t stand a chance once she hits San Diego’s dark streets.

When two smoking-hot tenants move in next door, she thinks her love life might finally be heating up. Just being near Gavin and Julian is enough to make her want to offer her body on a platter.

Gavin and Julian know it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. They’re fallen angels sent to watch over the king’s daughter, one of the last females of her kind. Trouble is, she doesn’t seem to think she needs watching—unless they’re watching her shimmy out of her clothes.

No matter how tempting her guardians, Kara’s not about to let anything stop her from tracking down a sadistic killer who carves into his victims and leaves them for dead. Even when she realizes her target may be the very scourge of heaven from which her angels swore to protect her…

Warning: Contains a kick-ass heroine with a foul mouth, a kind heart and a raging libido, and two fallen angel warriors who wouldn’t have her any other way. Watch out for sex in the clouds, a magical island of hedonism and a love triangle that gives new meaning to the term “hot-wings”.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Copyright © 2012 Cassi Carver
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Kara glanced at the unfamiliar area code and frowned. “Hello?”

“Hello…Miss Reed?” a deep, masculine voice answered. “This is Gavin. I wanted to let you know I’m in the lobby, waiting.”

Kara scrunched her face, glancing at the phone as if the man had spoken a foreign language. “Waiting for…?”

“Our eight o’clock appointment. It’s eight thirty.”

“Oh, crap.” She grabbed her purse and ran to the kitchen, glancing at the level of food in Mr. Pibb’s half-full dish on the way to the door. “I’m late.” She was planning to get to work early tonight to talk to her boss about more regular hours. She still had time if she walked fast.

“That’s all right. No problem.” For whatever reason, the man sounded appeased by her panic.

She glanced at the phone again as she went out the front door and made her way to the elevator. “Who are you?”

“Gavin. Gavin Cross.” He sighed into the phone. “Your new tenant. We had an appointment at eight for me to pick up the keys to my apartment.”

Kara blew out an incredulous breath, realizing this was the man who’d been on a waiting list for a tenth-floor apartment with a view. Three days ago, newspapers had starting arriving on the doorstep of the vacant unit next to hers—and she was enjoying reading them. “Yes, Mr. Cross—eight this morning. And you never showed. Who does business at eight o’clock at night?”

Kara lived on the top floor of her building, and the stairs didn’t bother her, but even witches didn’t enjoy hiking ten flights in high-heeled boots. She jammed her finger impatiently against the elevator’s button and jumped in before the doors fully opened.

“I thought it was scheduled for tonight,” he protested. “I told you I work during the day.”

The floors wouldn’t count down fast enough. She was already late, and now some bonehead thought he could convince her she had the time wrong. She tried to keep firm boundaries with the tenants or they walked all over her. And even so, she still got the occasional call in the middle of the night because someone’s window was sticking or a strange smell was coming from a drain.

“Yes you did, but I didn’t agree to meet in the evening.” Even apartment managers have lives, buddy. “I’m sorry, but I’m busy tonight. I thought you’d decided to take an hour off work this morning.”

When the doors opened, she shot off the elevator and ran smack into a man’s brawny chest. Her phone slid from her grip and clattered to her feet.

“Sorry!” With a phone in one hand, the man reached out to steady her with the other. “Are you okay?”

Kara sucked in a breath, staring straight into the heart-stopping eyes of the towering man before her. He was stunning. Dark blond hair, hazel-green eyes framed by thick, dark lashes and an incredibly large, muscular frame wrapped in a slick charcoal suit and tie.

“Gavin Cross?” she confirmed, her palms pressing against his chest as a tremor ran through her body. She’d never met a man who could make her salivate at first glance, but he looked like he’d taste better than a slice of cherry cheesecake after a month of tofu.

“Miss Reed?” His eyebrows shot up and his eyes widened as he took in her attire. “You really were in a hurry, weren’t you? Going clubbing, I see.”

“Not exactly. I mean, yes. The Hoolecha Inn. It’s a club, but I work there.”

“And I’m making you late for work?”

“Late for being early.” She scanned him up and down and bit her lip. “It’s fine. Really. It’s just down the block on the corner of 6th and F.”

Gavin shook his head. “I’m such an ass. Sorry about the misunderstanding. You must think I’m an idiot.” He glanced down at her hands on his jacket but made no move to back away. She might have been imagining it, but it felt as if he actually leaned closer.

“Gavin…” she began. “Can I call you Gavin?” Kara trailed her hand from his chest and placed it on his arm. He smelled like musk and soap. She wanted to slather herself in him. “It’s completely my fault. I’ll grab the keys and show you to your apartment. It’s the one next to mine.”

When Gavin placed his own phone in his jacket pocket, then knelt to pick up hers, Kara’s breath hitched. His head was only inches away from the juncture of her thighs. What was wrong with her damn libido lately?

Balanced on the balls of his feet with her phone in hand, he stopped and looked into Kara’s eyes. His head angled slightly toward Kara’s short skirt, and his nostrils flared. She could have sworn she heard a low rumble rise in his chest. Her body responded with a flood of moisture and a pounding throb between her legs.

She knew logically she couldn’t screw him right here in the lobby. She wasn’t even that type of girl, regardless of what it looked like when she and Abbey went hunting.

“Your phone.” He placed it in Kara’s palm, grazing his hand along hers.

“Thanks.” She was so breathless she could barely get the word out.

When Gavin stood, Kara didn’t have the sense to stifle her surprised gasp. His slacks were stretched to bursting with an impossibly huge erection straining against his zipper. He followed her eyes to his groin. “I guess I owe you another apology.”

“Don’t worry, I get that a lot,” she joked, trying to hide her fierce reaction to him behind a smile.

His gaze swept slowly from her head to the tips of her boots, lingering on her large breasts and rounded hips. “I’m sure you do.”

“Come on, I’ll show you up.” Kara turned and gestured for him to follow her into the elevator. Just being in the enclosed space with him made every nerve ending in her body tingle. The night air under her skirt had never felt so sensuous…teasing her, tickling her thighs, suggesting she hike her skirt up even farther and bare herself to this man.

Damn it, this wasn’t like her.

Even so, as she stopped at her apartment and unlocked the door, she heard herself asking, “Do you want to come in?” The breathy sigh in her voice offered more than her simple words.

“Come in?” he echoed. “Would your roommate mind?”

She could barely pull her eyes away from his groin. “It’s only me. I live alone.” But I don’t want to be alone tonight. “Will you come inside, Gavin?”

It seemed for a moment as if he stopped breathing, but then his lungs finally expanded again. “Thank you, but no.”

She wasn’t sure how those four little words of rejection could cut so deep coming from a man she’d met only minutes before, but something about him felt so right. His essence was like warm sunsets and French kisses on the beach. She swallowed hard as her cheeks warmed. “Sure. Just let me grab the keys.”

She opened the door and reached a hand to the key organizer by the entryway. Only one set was ready and waiting, so it wasn’t hard to find. She would have willed the earth to open up and swallow her whole if not for a quick, final glance at Gavin’s burgeoning interest. His mouth might say no, but his body disagreed.

Kara swallowed her pride and took one last chance. Curving her mortified lips into a small smile, she dropped the keys in his hand. “If you change your mind, you know where to find me.”

WE LOVE WHEN YOU LEAVE COMMENTS…To leave a comment click on comments a page will pop up for you to leave your comment. Thank you!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

83 thoughts on “Ava’s Interview – Cassi Carver

  1. Informative interview. Can’t wait to read Slayer’s Kiss to see what happens between Kara, Gavin and Julian. Thanks for the giveaway.


  2. Thanks for visting, Adelle! You’re excited to read the series? Well, I’M excited for you to read it, too! 😉 Have a great Valentine’s Day!

  3. I really love it when you do the author interviews. It is really interesting to learn more about them. This book has a great cover. It sounds like this will be a exciting new series.

  4. I am going to have to move this up in my TBR. THANK YOU Cassi for the interview and give away!

    Great questions Ava!

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, Becky! Ava has a wonderful way of asking questions that gets right to the heart of things. Thank you so much for commenting!

  6. Great interview Cassi and Ava! I’m looking forward to reading this series. Thank you for sharing with us!!

  7. Hi, Asher! Thanks for adding Slayer’s Kiss to your list. Kara and I are honored. 😉 And yes, you may need that fan when you start the book. Is there such a thing as too much sex? Nay, I say!

  8. Thanks for reading the interview, Eileen! I don’t know when the last time was that I talked about myself so much. LOL We should all interview each other more often. It’s pretty cool! 😉

  9. Thank *you*, Rach, for stopping by! Guilty Pleasures is a wonderful site and I’m so glad to have found it. I love meeting other UF & romance readers like you!

  10. Awesome interview!!! I have not read urban fantasy, but I think that will change now. This is going on my TBR!! The story sounds awesome and I can not wait to get hooked on another series.

  11. What a great interview. This different from what I usually read but I love a kick ass women!!

  12. This book sounds really good. Thanks for the introduction to a new to me author.


    lindsaywolford at sbcglobal dot net

  13. The book sounds fantastic. Thanks for the interview and giveaway oppourtunity!!! Definitely would love to read Slayers Kiss!!!

  14. Hi, Mikala! If you love kick-ass women then you’ll love Kara! I love strong women, too. Tough, but not too snarky or mean. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

  15. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Traci16! Good luck with the giveaway and I really hope you enjoy the book as much as I’ve enjoyed working on the series!

  16. Thanks for stopping by, Jocelyn! Could you be, perhaps, my friend Jocelyn, the women’s fiction writer extraordinaire? I really hope you enjoy the series!

  17. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Mbourn! I’m thrilled to hear you’ll be adding Slayer’s Kiss to your TBR pile! Finding new-to-me authors is also a joy of mine!

  18. Yay! Thank you, Anna! It’s always fun to have another author stop by. I’ve been seeing the best reviews for “A Secret in Her Kiss”! I’m getting my signed copy this weekend! 😉

  19. Hey Cassi,

    You’re the greatest. Keep on promoting. You know those who want to read will and those who don’t won’t, but they wouldn’t have a choice if they didn’t hear from you.

    Great job.

  20. Thanks for the moral support, RW! And thank you for visiting Guilty Pleasures! You know, RW, you remind me so much of my friend, Bob!;) Best of luck on your books!

  21. Hey, Crazy Granny! (Love the name, by the way. Heehee.) Thanks for stopping by today! I’m honored you’ll be adding Slayer’s Kiss to your TBR pile! 😀

  22. Hi, Cec! That’s awesome that you enjoyed the interview. I had so much fun doing it. Ava wrote great questions that wrung the honesty out of me. 😉

  23. Cassi, thanks for visiting- great interview Ava. The book looks really interesting. You are certainly onmy buy list. Happy Valentine’s Day:)

  24. Thank you for commenting, Suzanne! Yes, Ava did a great job with the questions! It’s been such a fun day here at Guilty Pleasures! Good luck on the drawing and have a wonderful V-Day. 🙂

  25. Thank you, Rose! That’s great news! If you love the excerpt, then you may love the book. Thank you so much for stopping by to read and comment!

  26. Hi, Ruth! I’m so glad you liked the interview and the premise of the book! It’s really exciting to be a debut author and to visit great sites like this one! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  27. Thank you, Gladys!! I really appreciate your stopping by and commenting! It’s been a fabulous day and I’m thrilled so many folks intrigued by Slayer’s Kiss! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  28. Enjoyed the interview. Slayer’s Kiss sounds like an awesome read. I have added this book (and series) to my to buy list. That excerpt was hot! 😉

  29. Aw…thanks, Mary! That’s so nice to hear! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview and the excerpt! (And covers are so much fun, aren’t they?) Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  30. Hi, Shelly! Yay! Thanks for adding Slayer’s Kiss to your buy list! I hope you enjoy the story, and yes, it is HOT! But you’ve been warned! 😉 Happy Valentine’s Day!

  31. WOW!!! Cassi, I am so excited for you and all the interest in Slayer’s Kiss. Thank you so much for joining us!

    I MUST make room to move it up in my TBR!

  32. Hi, Timitra! Thank you for visiting me at Guilty Pleasures! I’m so glad the book and the blurb look good to you! Good luck and happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  33. Thank you, Didi! It’s been a blast! I can tell you have some really cool readers here at Guilty Pleasures and I’ve been honored to hang out with you all!

  34. Hi, Mimirose! Thank you for taking time to comment to hopefully win a copy of Slayer’s Kiss! I love you avatar. If that’s your pooch–you’re a lucky woman! *hugs*

  35. I think the title was a perfect choice it was both sides of the coin. Good luck with this book and the series. Love series, and I agree it does get you down, when you finish a good book/series. lisagk

  36. Thank you, Donnas! Being a debut author, I was really nervous about those first reviews, so it’s awesome you’ve been hearing good things. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  37. Hi, Lisa! I’m so glad you like the title! Titles are one of those things, in my opinion, where an author is smart to take her publisher’s advice. They know what sells. They let me keep “Slayer’s Kiss,” but next time around, I’ll choose something easier to figure out, I think. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  38. ***UPDATE!***
    Hi fellow Guilty Pleasures fans! I wanted to let you know that because of your support, Slayer’s Kiss has made it to Samhain Publishing’s bestseller list as of today! Whoo-hoo!! Thank you so much for being part of my debut!!

  39. All I can think is ‘WOW’…and then to have it get on the bestsellers list! That’s awesome!!
    Congrats to Cassi…..

  40. The last book I had trouble saying goodbye to was Bound by Darkness by Alexandra Ivy. The characters were very deep emotionally and so easy to fall in love with. I miss them.
    *sniff sniff*

  41. Congratulations Cassi on making it onto the bestsellers list…I’m sure it’s just the start of great things to come, enjoy!!!!

  42. Thank you Cassi for sharing your release week with us and the great give away!

    To all the GP readers, you are the greatest! Thank you for helping make Cassi’s debut release week special!

    CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of Cassi’s contest!
    Rose D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.