Lisa: We’re so pleased to have author Tibby Armstrong joining us today on the blog tour for her new novel from Ballantine/Loveswept, Surrender the Dark.
Welcome, Tibby, let’s start with an easy question: will you tell us a bit about yourself and how your writing career was launched?
Tibby: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a treat to be here!
I hail from Connecticut and now live in Northern Georgia by way of Cambridge, Massachusetts. By day I am an intrepid librarian-come-project manager and by night I don the mantle of my author alter-ego.
My LGBT writing career was launched first with the release of the Hollywood series about two young men who meet in private school and carry on a secret love affair that then continued into adulthood.
Lisa: Surrender the Dark is book one in a new series, but is a standalone as well, is that correct? Tell us a bit about the world in which the story is set.
Tibby: It is a standalone, and explores secondary characters from book one in books two and three.
Surrender the Dark is the story of Benjamin Fuller, a man who hails from a long line of vampire hunters, and his nemesis, Tzadkiel, who has come to seek his revenge. A game of sensual cat and mouse ensues in which the hunter becomes the hunted in more ways than one!
Lisa: If I’m not mistaken, and please correct me if I’m wrong, this is your first foray into speculative romantic fiction. Is there an author, or authors, whose work inspired you to branch out into this genre? If so, who would you give credit to for inspiring you in that direction?
Tibby: This is indeed my first published foray into paranormal romance. The first several novels I wrote were in the genre, but my contemporary work found a home first. I’m so excited to be able to return to the dark and dreamy world of paranormal romance!
I think my biggest influence to date would have to be Maria V. Snyder and her book Poison Study. Though she doesn’t write romance per se, and is a YA author, her characters—particularly Yalena and Valek—come alive for me under a canopy of world building that is as lush as it is intriguing.
Lisa: What appeals to you about writing a paranormal fantasy? Do you feel you’re given more freedom to develop your characters than you would be in a strictly contemporary romance setting?
Tibby: This is such an interesting question!
I think paranormal romance is much more similar to the inside of my head than contemporary romance. It’s a bit of a brooding place reminiscent of Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. I’ve always been a sucker for the dark hero, and paranormal romance seems to lend itself best to that feeling. I’ve written my fair share of brooding contemporary romances, and had a great deal of fun doing so. However, there’s a transportive quality to paranormal romance and urban fantasy that I’ve never found writing anything else.
Lisa: We readers and reviewers talk a lot about the chemistry between the love interests in our romance reading. What would you say is the spark between Benjamin and Tzadkiel that makes them eventually work as a couple?
Hate and love are so close on the emotional spectrum. It’s amazingly easy, when you can get your characters to truly despise each other at first, to use that wealth of emotion to fan the flames of the intimate moments.
Truthfully, there was so much natural antipathy between Benjamin and Tzadkiel at first that, despite their intense and immediately explosive mutual attraction, I wondered if I would ever get them to stop trying to kill each other long enough to get down to the business of romance!
Lisa: The next book in the series, Taste the Dark, is due out later in 2017. Would you care to whet our appetites a bit with what we can expect from it and if we meet the MCs in Surrender the Dark?
Tibby: We certainly do catch up with the cast from Surrender the Dark again in Taste the Dark. Benjamin wouldn’t have had it any other way!
In Taste the Dark, we meet a new character, Lyandros, the mora’s (coven’s) one-time Justice Giver. Lyandros has been haunting Boston’s streets since his murder at the hunter’s hands 20 years past. Wandering alone and without any hope of moving on from this plane, he stumbles across a man, newly passed on, who needs his help navigating the spirit realm: AKITO.
Immediate and intense, his attraction to Akito leaves Lyandros doubting his ability to control urges that at one time he would have indulged without reservation or regret.
Lyandros isn’t certain that he should—or even can—bow to his attraction to Akito. Akito, however, has his own ideas. Knowing that Lyandros once was the master of the mora’s tributes–men who long ago were sentenced to become the sensual playthings of the Justice Giver and his retinue–Akito is intrigued.
The more time he spends with Lyandros, the more Akito wonders that anyone would consider being chained to Lyandros’s bed a punishment. Yet, if Lyandros ever discovers Akito’s friendship with the hunters, those sexy games could turn all too real–a fate Akito would like to avoid . . . if he can.
Lisa: Thanks so much for stopping by today, Tibby, it’s been a pleasure chatting with you!
Tibby: Likewise! Thank you for having me!
About the Book
As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.
Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.
After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.
About the Author
Tibby Armstrong has been a romance reader since the age of eleven, when she snuck a very bad historical from her aunt’s shelves. In her late twenties, she fell in love with paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Now she writes LGBT contemporary and paranormal stories with strong relationship threads and a healthy helping of steam.