Tmonique Stephens, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Eternity
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eternity-tmonique-stephens/1112725622?ean=2940015097443
Publisher: Soulmate Publishing
Cover artist: Steena Holmes at The Authors Red Room
Length: 271 pages
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: Only a cursed man would wait 2000 years for one woman
Blurb: Cursed for 2000 years, Roman Nicolis has tracked his lovers’ soul through each reincarnation only to lose her horribly every time. Reclaiming their love is his only salvation. He’s been her friend, her father, her neighbor, but never again her lover until now.
A late night walk home throws Stella Walker into the path of a killer. The last thing she remembers are the deep blue eyes of the man trying to kill her—and the first things she sees after a seven day coma are the same blue eyes in the handsome face of the man hired to protect her. Is he truly the owner of a security firm assigned to protect her or the man who wants to finish her off? Is it fears she feels when Roman touches her or the memory of something sweeter? She will have to push past her fears and reclaim a love that has lasted two millennia.
Past secrets haunt them. An angry demon stalks them.
Roman will do anything to recover what they had. Though Stella’s ruined childhood has made her close her heart and body to any man, he must get past the walls around her to gain her love and trust, for it will take their union to defeat an unexpected enemy sent from the Egyptian Gods. A man Romans respects, and Stella trusts.
Two hearts - one soul. For all eternity.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Roman Nicolis: 35ish, CEO of Nicolis Security/Mercenary
Stella Walker: 24, Waitress/Student
Curled on his body in the middle of Central Park, Roman let Stella sleep. Holding her wasn’t a hardship as his mind wandered to the future, their future. Foolhardy, definitely, but what else could he do when he held the object of his obsession in his arms?
Remember your promise and let her go.
He stroked a wayward lock of hair behind her ear and slid his fingers down her silky cheek. She nuzzled him, turned her face into his palm and kissed him. Every noble intention evaporated like a bead of sizzling water in a hot skillet. Cock rock hard, he had to kiss her, feel her breath on his skin, in his body. In the deserted park, he needed her now.
The fine hairs on the back of his neck bristled. He froze. Battle instincts surged to the forefront, screaming for action, instead, he listened to the night surrounding him and waited. Though not a hub of wildlife, the creatures of Central Park were silent. They also waited. Somewhere, nearby, a predator stalked.
He nudged Stella. She stretched, making him aware of every curve and hollow she possessed, and purred, a sexy rumble deep in her throat. Before she could say a word, he cupped her head and pulled her into a quick kiss.
“Shhh, we’re in danger,” he whispered against her lips.
Her head popped up and she eased off him. In the gloom, her frightened eyes met his. “What?” She mouthed.
“We have to get out of here.”
Crouched low, he took her hand, together they crawled along next to the hedge. He looked over. His keen eyesight picked up nothing and no one. So why did the same excitement he used to get before a battle race through his veins? Stella squeezed his hand. Her wide eyes sent him a question he couldn’t answer.
He drew his gun from the small of his back and the silencer from his jacket pocket.
“Roman?” Her voice wavered.
He spared her a glance. “Whatever happens, do exactly as I say. Understand?”
Her head bobbed on her neck.
“Walk beside me, not in front or behind. Got it?”
Not far from the nearest road, they stuck to the trees and away from the open expanse of the Great Lawn.
Leaves crunched behind them. He’d never run from anything in his life. Even before the curse and his immortality, he stood his ground and killed everything in his path. Now, whatever stalked him, stalked her. His senses told him only one lurked in the darkness, but with Stella to protect, he couldn’t risk it.
The Delacorte amphitheater loomed ahead. He guided her into the shadows. Stationed behind a statue, he aimed and watched the route they had just taken. Stella clutched his jacket, her shivering body pressed close.
“There’s someone out there.”
“It could be anyone, ’kids maybe?”
“Maybe.” He agreed purely to reassure her. But as he spoke, one hundred yards away, something peeled away from the shadows of a large tree and charged.
“Stay.” He ordered. Through his jacket, her nails dug into his back. He pulled away, but she wouldn’t let go. He shrugged out of his jacket and advanced. She called to him, begging him to return, but the blood rushing in his ears drown out her voice. He rushed forward and focused on the attacking foe.
Wait. He skidded to a halt. He had a shot, but...something was wrong. The height was too short. Whoever ran toward him must be a child—or running on all fours. He squinted at the slice of darkness closing the distance between them. The tree coverage ended and speckled moonlight dotted the Great Lawn, uncovering the thing barreling forward. For a split second his mind tried to unravel the impossible nightmare quickly shrinking the distance, before he fired three shots between its widely spaced eyes. It roared and charged faster.
“Run, Stella!” He fired, running back to the theater. She hadn’t listened. Instead of running away, she met him. He grabbed her hand and ran, but she couldn’t keep up and the thing behind them closed the distance.
“Is it him, The Strangler?” she shouted breathless.
They ran past The Preserve, rounded a column and then stopped. Shrouded in gloom, the outline of the pond appeared in front of the Belvedere Castle. He didn’t want her to see what chased them, but before he could stop her, she turned. Her scream pierced the night. Yards away, a bellow replied. He jerked her around and shoved. She stumbled and fell into the water.
“Go!” This time, she didn’t fight. For a second, he watched her swim. Then turned in time for claws to dig into his side.
Stella slipped, fell face first in the shallow water and choked on a foul mouthful. She lunged to her feet, brushed the wet hair out of her face and waded on. Water rose from her hips to her neck quickly and then leveled off as she approached a small dock jutting out of tall grass. Arms trembling, she hoisted herself up. A spike of pain spread from the healing wounds on her abdomen. Her arms almost caved, but at the last second, she flipped a leg over the edge of the dock and rolled onto her back. In the silent night, smacks and grunts echoed, water splashed. Something gave a roar no human could make.
She had to get help. The dock led to the castle. Stella jogged up the stairs, clutching her side and cut through the fake façade to reach the 79th street transverse. Waving her arms, a car wheezed bye, then another one.
Damn New Yorkers. Headlights split the darkness. She ran into the road.
“Stop! Please, stop!”
The car swerved, centimeters separated her and the bumper. It shimmied on the road, but straightened and kept on going. She had to escape the park. Call the cops. Save Roman. A scream lodged in her throat.
Wounds aching, she ran hard. The exit of the park and the traffic on Central Park West came into view. There were people up ahead. She had to get there. People meant help. Her steps faltered and her shoulder slammed into a lamppost. She started to fall.
An arm circled her waist and hauled her up. For a second, she tore at the limb until she glanced up. “Ro—”
Blood. Nearly everywhere she looked. Tattered pieces of his shirt flapped in the breeze exposing deep gashes across his pecs and down his ribs. Behind him, a tree splintered and toppled onto the roadway. Roman took her hand and together they ran the last yards to the exit.
They darted out of the park and onto the sidewalk, alongside the wall separating the park from the city. Still, she heard it, the beast, thing, whatever, over the wall, matching their pace.
A hand tipped with razor sharp claws scraped along the top of the wall. A scaly arm, a snout unhinged and rows of teeth and protruding eyes that rotated freely.
It. Saw. Her.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
Tmonique Stephens: I always start with an idea. What if... Those two words takes my imagination down the Yellow Brick Road to my hero and heroine, my opening scene, plot, conflict and ultimately my story’s happily ever after.
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Eternity is about a group of men who descend from the Egyptian gods. Their heritage has been hidden, but slowly come to light along with a multitude of consequences. Though Eternity is a paranormal romance, there are elements of suspense and mystery as the two lovers are hunted by an unknown enemy.
How do you come up with ideas?
Tmonique Stephens: My ideas usually come to me right before I fall asleep. My mind seems to be more open and relaxed. I get my best ideas that way. I just have to remember to record or write them down before I pass out.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
Tmonique Stephens: I learned technique, conflict and my writing style. I’m still working on trusting my instinct, but I believe that will come with time.
Would you consider self-publishing?
Tmonique Stephens: Yes, I’m working on a novella which will tie into my Egyptian series that I plan on self-publishing. I’m looking forward to getting my feet wet.
How many hours a day to you spend writing?
Tmonique Stephens: Since I work full-time during the week I usually write three hours per day after I get home from work and six to ten hours per day on the weekend.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Tmonique Stephens: I wrote consistently until I graduated from college in the late 1980’s. After graduation life and all its complexities interfered with my writing and I didn’t writing anything until I got serious in 2007. I would tell the younger me to not be afraid of rejection and to keep writing even when I didn’t feel like it.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Tmonique Stephens: My favorite authors are JR Ward and Stephen King. I will always pick them first to read. I also love Kresley Cole and Karen Marie Moning.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Tmonique Stephens: I would love a house in Atlanta, an apartment in Manhattan and a time share in St. Thomas USVI.
What song would best describe your life?
Tmonique Stephens: Different songs apply to me at different times in my life. Currently, the song that best categorizes me is Gym Class Heroes The Fighter and Phillip Phillips Home.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Tmonique Stephens: Walmart would be a good depiction of my current lifestyle, but at heart I’m a Neiman Marcus kinda girl.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Tmonique Stephens: I learned to love reading and writing in school. Books have always taken me to another place or world where my imagination could break free from the confines of reality.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Tmonique Stephens: Addictive reading hazard. Read at you own risk.
Please fill in the blanks
I love pizza with roma tomatoes, fresh basil and gouda cheese.
I'm always ready for a party.
When I'm alone, I write and plot.
You'd never be able to tell, but I love alternative music.
If I had a halo it would be slightly crooked.
If I could travel I'd never come home.
Books Coming Soon
I’m working on Everlasting, the sequel to Eternity. It’s the story of Reign, Roman’s brother and Alexis, a NYPD detective trying to recuse her career. Their wants are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but they will have to join together defy the gods, save each other, and defeat an enemy that just won’t die.
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