Thursday, January 17, 2013

Angel's Assassin: Interview, Opinion, and Giveaway

Damien is an assassin, a man with no home and a tortured past. Sold into slavery as a young boy, he is trained to kill with cold calculation, without remorse. As a reward for his ruthless success, he is given a chance to earn his freedom from his cruel master. One last mission. One final person to slay…

Lady Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of purity and goodness, beloved by all her people. She lives her life trying to atone for her mother’s cruelty by being a fair and just ruler. Secretly she fears that one day her mother’s murderer will return for her.

When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of dark passion and forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart.

Can Aurora’s light heal Damien’s dark spirit or will his evil consume her? The eternal battle of good versus evil, love versus hate, dark versus light, all come to a shattering climax in this historical romance set in medieval England.

In the author's words . . . 

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the mother of four children, my youngest is 14, oldest is 21.  I have three teenagers, so that officially designates me as stark raving crazy!!!  Seriously though, I love my children.  I am happily married for 22 years.  I have five cats. 

Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?
I never planned to be a writer.  I always wrote, from when I was in Junior High School.  I would write stories about my favorite television show and put myself in it.  Eventually, I began to write my own characters and my own stories.  I took a romance writing class in college and joined Romance Writers of America.  I entered RWA’s national contest, the Golden Heart, for feedback.  And I was a finalist!  My editor was the judge.  So, it all kind of just happened.  I will be forever grateful that it did. 

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
I love to play Rock Band and sing.  I’m not very good, but I can pretend. 

If you had to sum up Angel’s Assassin in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Damien is an assassin.  Aurora believes in the good in people.  Can she heal his dark soul or will his evil consume her?

Do you have a favorite character in the book? Who and why?
Damien.  He is strong and confident.  And troubled.  He thinks he is beyond redemption.  He is wrong.  J  I gave him Aurora to help him be saved.  She did a great job!

What message do you hope readers take away from the book?
I would like them to walk away feeling great, feeling like there is hope, like they can be the person they want to be! 

What three words would best describe Damien?
Loyal, Persistant, Stubborn

What is your favorite scene in Angel’s Assassin?
I love the scene where Damien accompanies Aurora to watch the knights practice in the tilting yard.  It is filled with tension, they are surrounded by people Damien doesn’t trust, people he has been taught to kill.

What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book?
Getting the ending right.  You might laugh, but this was the most difficult part for me.  I rewrote the ending four times before I knew it was the right one.  When you read it, let me know what you think!

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’m working on another full-length medieval entitled Cursed With A Kiss.  It’s about two fictional warring countries and the love that springs between the princess of one and the knight of the other. 

What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?  
My greatest pleasure has been finaling in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest with my first novel, The Angel and The Prince.  That really kicked off my writing career.  I sold The Angel and The Prince to Kensington because of that.  It was truly an honor and an experience I will never forget.

How do you feel about book trailers and do you have any?
I have book trailers for all of my full length books.  I love them because I imagine all of my books as movies when I write them.  I can see the scene.  I just wish with the book trailers that I could get more visuals instead of just words.

What is your greatest weakness as a writer? Your greatest strength?
My greatest weakness is description.  During my first draft, I don’t take time for the description because I’m afraid I’ll forget the dialogue.  So I go back and “beef” it up on a rewrite.

My strength is dialogue.  I can hear the characters talking in my head. 

Why did you choose to be an Indie writer and would you choose to self-publish again?
I originally chose to be an indie writer because I wanted my readers to be able to get my back list.  All of my novels were out of print at Kensington, so I got the rights back and put them out myself.  Angel’s Assassin was my first official indie book.  It has never been in publication before.  I’m so glad I did it.  I would definitely do it again.  I enjoy the control it allows me.  I get to say what is on the cover, when it comes out.  It will never go out of print, so readers will be able to get it forever!  I love indie publishing. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your reader’s today?
I’d like to thank you all for reading a little bit about me and my stories.  I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to drop me a line at my website – and let me know how you like my books.

Enjoy an excerpt from Angel's Assassin

Damien faltered.  She had seen his dark side.  She saw him kill the assassin with no remorse, no mercy.  He should leave.  He should turn around and get the hell out of here.  Roke be damned.
Instead, he took a step toward her.  Would he ever see those blue eyes light with warmth when she looked at him?  An irrational fear tightened around his heart.  He reached out a hand to her.  “Are you---?”
She launched herself past his open palm and into his arms.  “Damien,” she whispered.
For a moment, Damien stood shocked, shocked she would touch him after seeing how he had killed the assassin.  And then, it didn’t matter.  All that mattered was that she was alive.  Damien wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight.
A movement shifted through the forest.  Damien froze suddenly and jerked his head sharply to his left.  He firmly set her away from him.  He grabbed the sword from the ground and stepped in front of Aurora, scanning the surrounding trees.  The dead assassin’s blood slowly dripped down the blade.  The brush around them bent slightly in a soft breeze, drawing his attention this way and that.  No birds sang.  No sound other than the defiant rustle of leaves reached his ears.  He stood very still, waiting for whoever was out there to move first.  He was convinced someone else was there.
Damien heard the rustle of Aurora’s skirts as she moved up to him.  She touched his arm with trembling fingers.
Anger tightened Damien’s fist.  How many damned assassins were after her?  After this one little, innocent woman?  How many assassins did it take to kill her?  How many assassins was Roke willing to risk in this game?  “Are you hurt?” he whispered to her.  He kept his gaze moving, scanning the area around them as he talked, his sword grasped tightly.  When Aurora didn’t respond, Damien turned his head toward her.  “Are you hurt?” he demanded.
“Damien,” she whispered.  Her voice was full of fear.  Her hand squeezed around his arm.
Suddenly, the forest shifted.  Damien’s head spun and his footing wavered.  Damn, he thought frantically.  Damn!  The poison.  Not now.  He couldn’t let it cloud his mind.  Not with another assassin waiting for Aurora.  Damien turned to Aurora.  He had to get her out of there.
He looked around, but he could barely focus.  His vision wavered, focusing and then blurring, clear then hazy.  No, he thought.  Not now.  He glanced down at Aurora.  Her large eyes looked to him for protection.
He cursed.  “Run,” he told her.
Shocked confusion furrowed her brow.  “Run?”
“There is someone else out there.”
He saw her eyes widen and his heart ached.  Anxiety knotted tight in his stomach.  She was so beautiful.  So innocent.  So frightened.  Damien could not let anyone hurt her.  But right now, he couldn’t prevent it.  His eyes rolled and he toppled forward to the ground.
The author is giving away one copy of "Angel's Assassin" and one copy of her medieval romance, "The Angel and The Prince"

Meet the Author
Laurel O’Donnell has won numerous awards for her works, including the Holt Medallion for A Knight of Honor, the Happily Ever After contest for Angel’s Assassin, and the Indiana’s Golden Opportunity contest for Immortal Death. The Angel and the Prince was nominated by the Romance Writers of America for their prestigious Golden Heart award. O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her five cats. She finds precious time every day to escape into the medieval world and bring her characters to life in her writing.

A Reader's Opinion
Surprisingly Julie Garwood's medieval romances are the only ones I recall reading, so it was enjoyable to discover a new author writing in the genre. O'Donnell is a talented writer whose strength, I felt, was in her characters. Damien really did seem like a cold-hearted assassin, void of feeling toward women. Aurora seemed to be a caring young woman with a forgiving heart. I enjoy unlikely pairings, and the author managed to have them come together as though they were meant to be. I would likely read more books by this author and recommend her books to others. 

Content Note: This is a very sensual book with more than one intimate encounter. The content didn't bother me (I usually skim over it anyway), but it's there for those who like to know.



  1. MK -
    Thanks for all you've done for me! It's been fun. Thanks for hosting Angel's Assassin!

  2. It's wonderful to have you here with us today Laurel. I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading your other medieval romances.

  3. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it to see more of Damien and Aurora and how she saves him.


  4. whoa I am in love with this book already - how cool!


  5. This books sounds right up my alley. I am glad to have found your blog. Love the banner. New Follower :)

  6. This book sounds awesome! Another one for my wishlist! Thanks!