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by Dee Gentle
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity

January 2006 Issue

PNR Attractions 2006

Spotlight on Upcoming Paranormal Releases

J. R. Ward

J.R. Ward is the USAToday bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books.  She lives in the South with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever.  Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.                     

An Interview With J.R.Ward

PNR: How long have you been writing? What inspired you to choose writing as a career?

J.R. Ward: I've been writing since I could hold a pencil.  My mother has loads of short stories and partials and full manuscripts that I put to paper when I was young.  I wrote all the way through high school and college and law school.  It wasn't until I was working as a lawyer in Boston that I sent something into an agent.  My first book was published in 2002.

It never dawned on me that I could write full time.  I just didn't think I would be so lucky.  I love writing.  I love getting up in the morning and knowing that I have books to work on.  I love getting to spend so much time in my head.  So I guess you could say I'm following what inspires me.

PNR: Do you have a strict writing schedule? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

J.R. Ward: I have a very strict writing schedule.  I draft in the morning then I take a break and come back to it in the evenings.  This is every day: weekends, holidays, birthdays, sick days.  When it’s deadline time, I work around the clock to get the job done. 

As for my free time, I'm a gym rat so I hang around weights and machines a lot.  :)  I am also pathetically devoted to my dog.  And I’m a sucker for pop culture. 

PNR: Most authors are avid readers; what is your favorite genre to read? Favorite authors?

J.R. Ward: I love to read, but I don't get to do it very much anymore.  If I’m laying down a first draft on a book, I don't read anything.  I don’t want my voice to get swayed in any way.  If I'm through the first draft, then sometimes I’ll pick something up, but usually if I’m awake, I want to be writing.  I do love romantic suspense.  Suz Brockmann, Elizabeth Lowell, Karen Rose and Shannon McKenna.  I’m also into historicals; Laura Kinsale comes to mind.  When I decided to try and write vampires a couple of years ago, I stopped reading paranormals altogether.  Now, I'm back to reading them recreationally as long as they don’t have vampires in them.

PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?

J.R. Ward: For me, the hero has to be compelling, the heroine has to be his equal and whatever journey they're on has to amplify the changes they inspire in each other.  Then the pacing has to be strong.  The descriptions have to plug you right into scenes so you can look out of the characters' eyes.  The words have to be chosen with care and precision.  And there has to be that special, indescribable flow within all the moving parts of the plot, something that just takes you away.

PNR: Why do you think the vampire is such a popular character in the paranormal romance genre?       

J.R. Ward: Vampires are incredibly compelling both as heroes and antagonists.  They are powerful, dark, dangerous, and sensual.  The lore around them is commonly known so people have a connection of sorts to them in real life.  And then there is the way they sustain themselves.  The hunger, the hunting, the need... it's all very enticing.

PNR: Readers and reviewers are raving about your new series, could you tell us about what inspired the idea for the series and your plans for the Black Dagger Brotherhood?

J.R. Ward: First of all, I'm so very grateful for the support the Brothers and the series has been given. <g>  I've been blown away by the reaction.  As for the inspiration, I’ve always been a horror fan, so it’s no surprise that eventually my love of romance got tangled in my affection for the dark and eerie.  But I have to say, I don't know where the series came from.  One day, it just landed in my head.  Or shall I say, over two thousand pounds of male vampire came into my head.  It was wild... the world the Brothers live in was fully formed: all the rules and the conflicts and the players, it just came to me in one giant rush.  And yes, their names, too! <g>

There are ten books in the series at this point, two of which concern folks that will be introduced along the way.  Then there are more Brothers and also subspecies within the world I would love to explore.

PNR: In DARK LOVER, your hero and heroine, Wrath and Beth burn up the pages and capture the reader’s heart, could you tell us a little about their development?

J.R. Ward: I loved Wrath and Beth together, I really did!  Like the rest of the series, they just came to me, but I can tell you why I think they work.  She’s strong enough to stand up and give him the what-for.  At one point, he tells her no one has ever talked to him as she does.  And that's the key.  She’s not afraid of him, as most people are.  And on the other side, Wrath holds the answers to all her questions.  He’s what she’s been searching for though she didn’t even know she was looking.  Together, they work.

PNR: The intensity of the sexual scenes is quite hot in DARK LOVER, is it challenging to write love/sex scenes?

J.R. Ward: It's gotten easier! <g>  When I first started writing romances, I found love scenes very difficult to pen.  But now I don’t fight it.  I just let them flow as any other scene would and I push all my inhibitions out of the way: I don't let the subject matter hinder me anymore.  My job as a writer is to put what’s in my head on the page as faithfully as I can.  That includes the love scenes.

PNR: How do you feel the sensual/erotic genre has affected the paranormal romance genre?

J.R. Ward: I think the trend in romance in general has been toward hotter books and the paranormal genre is no different.  I like passionate romances, personally.  I think though, that one of the best things about paranormals is the world building.  To the extent that the passion enhances the book, it's great.  But it shouldn't detract from the world building.

PNR: Your contemporary work written as Jessica Bird is very popular, what made you decide to write in the paranormal genre? Which genre is your favorite to write?

J.R. Ward: Well, as I said, the Brotherhood showed up in my head and demanded to be put down on the page.  What I love is balancing the dark, raw quality of the Brotherhood books with the contemporary writing.  It's great to go back and forth between the two.  But as for my favorite, the Brothers are what drive me the hardest.  They are the compulsion that keeps me up at night.

PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on, and what readers can expect to see in the coming months.

J.R. Ward: Right now, I’ve just finished Zsadist’s book, LOVER AWAKENED.  I'll be starting Butch’s story next.  Then it’s Vishous and Phury. 

There are two Black Dagger Brotherhood books coming out in 2006: LOVER ETERNAL (Rhage’s book) in March and LOVER AWAKENED (Zsadist's) in September. 

PNR: Thank you for taking time out to talk with us; where can readers find out more about your upcoming projects, and how can they contact you?

J.R. Ward: Thank you for the interview!  Readers can visit me at and/or email me at



Featured in this Issue:

Gena Showalter

J.R. Ward










J.R. Ward

The Black Dagger Brotherhood

Buy it now!

Signet (Eclipse)
September 6, 2005
ISBN: 0451216954
448 pages

DARK LOVER - In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing their enemies, the lessers, more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood....

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed—orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate—Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead....

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both....

Buy it now!

Signet (Eclipse)
March 7, 2006
ISBN: 0451218043
464 pages

LOVER ETERNAL - In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover—for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. Her faith in miracles was lost years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves.

Get ready for Z's Story!

Coming Soon!

Signet (Eclipse)
September  2006

LOVER AWAKENED - In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her.

Writing as Jessica Bird

Buy it now!

(Special Edition)
January 1, 2006
ISBN: 037324732X
256 pages

Read the Reviews!
Getting tangled up in fantasies about some man Joy saw maybe five or six times a year was ridiculous. And it wasn't like Gray ever encouraged her. He remembered her name. But that was as far as it ever got. Well, except in her dreams. In real life, however, the attraction was totally one-sided.

Or so she thought. Joy couldn't believe it when her daydreams about Grayson Bennett, political consultant and heartthrob extraordinaire, seemed poised to become reality. When he noticed her — really noticed her. When he gazed at her with the same desire he'd inspired in her for years. But was sweet, small-town Joy a match for arrogant, big-city Gray, ruthless about all things — except opening his heart?

Buy it now!

(Special Edition)
July 1, 2005
ISBN: 0373246986
256 pages

Read the Reviews!
The force of those eyes hit Frankie Moorehouse like a gust of wind. But she quickly reminded herself that she had dinner to get ready, the staff of White Caps B&B (such as it was) to motivate. She didn't have the luxury of staring into a stranger's face.

Although, jeez, what a face it was.

And wasn't it just her luck that the owner of that face, Nate Walker—with his rebel attitude and distaste for authority—was the chef her restaurant desperately needed, and he was staying for the summer.... was a bit too tempting to let this breath of fresh air sweep her off her feet. Because all work and no play had been Frankie's motto for much too long!

Buy it now!

Ballantine Books
April 1, 2004
ISBN: 0345458966
384 pages

Read the Reviews!
Callie Burke has lived her life on the fringes of high society, the unacknowledged daughter of a powerful man. After a lifetime of being second best, she's not about to repeat her mother's mistake and give her heart to a man who's out of her league. But then she meets Jack Walker, the scion of one of America's oldest families. Her career as an art conservator is just getting started and working on his priceless new painting is exactly what she needs professionally. She's also intensely attracted to him, even though he's rich, prominent and a hard-nosed businessman- exactly what she always swore she'd stay away from.

Jack Walker always gets what he wants and he wants Callie from the moment he sees her. Except he's not a free man. Recently engaged, he realizes after meeting Callie that he's with the wrong woman. It's a mistake he's willing to rectify, even if it means breaking off a relationship with someone who's from his world.

Their passion is undeniable but Callie is wary of being hurt, torn between her past and her hopes for the future. To win her heart, Jack must prove that love means more to him than money and she's the only woman for him.

Buy it now!

March 2, 2004
ISBN: 0345458958
394 pages

Read the Reviews!
A beautiful woman pursued by a serial killer. A hard- hearted bodyguard. A passionate love that changes the course of two lives.

Grace Hall lives in the lap of luxury, surrounded by gorgeous things and glittering people but when a serial killer marks her for death, she finds herself totally alone.

She hires John Smith as her protector and finds a passion she never dreamed of, in a tough man from a different world. Beneath his brash self-confidence, she sees the potential for true love in him and it becomes clear that, although he's nothing she's ever wanted before, he's everything she needs.

At first, Smith is convinced Grace is only what she appears to be- rich, pampered, beautiful- so he isn't concerned about the hot desire he feels for her. He's a man with total faith in his self-control and he has no intention of getting involved. She's a client, she's in danger and she's not his type, anyway. But the longer he's with her, the more he's impressed by her courage and strength, tested by her honesty and intelligence, tempted by her very presence. Soon, he realizes he'll never find another like her and he's caught between what's professional and what he wants.

As the killer gets closer, and the emotional stakes get higher, Grace and Smith face a crucial choice. Whether to follow the rules or follow their hearts.

Buy it now!

June 1, 2003
ISBN: 0804119899

Read the Reviews!
Carter Wessex is an archaeologist on a mission. She wants to find a fortune in missing gold but she needs permission to dig on Farrell Mountain first. The trouble is, sexy Nick Farrell is renowned for keeping people off his property. When Carter approaches him anyway, sparks fly at their first meeting. The ruthless corporate raider doesn't want his vacation home disturbed by yet another trespasser, even if she's a beautiful one. Things change when he realizes Carter, who is the estranged daughter of another financial tycoon, could be useful to him.

When Nick invites her to come to the mountain and dig, she's suspicious of his change of mind and well aware of his ruthless reputation. But, as she gets to know him, their initial attraction becomes an undeniable passion. As skeletons are unearthed, and the details of the gold's disappearance are gradually unveiled, they embark on a love affair which touches Nick's heart in a special way. He realizes he's falling in love with her but tragically, it's too late. His plotting is revealed before he can stop the events he put in motion and Carter suffers a betrayal so deep, she fears she will not recover.

Can Carter forgive the man she's given her heart to and learn to trust him again? Will the mystery of the gold be solved? As Carter comes to the end of the dig, she finds more than she ever bargained for up on Farrell Mountain.

Buy it now!

July 30, 2002
ISBNL 0804119880
384 pages

Read the Reviews!
Her dreams are within reach...

All she has to do is learn to hold on...

A beautiful young woman with a defiant spirit, A. J. Sutherland spends a small fortune on a horse with a wild reputation, and is forced to sacrifice her position at her family's stables to keep him. She plans to ride the magnificent stallion in the biggest event of the show jumping season and she knows she can win. But without the backing of Sutherland Stables, A. J. must rely on a stranger to help her: a man who makes her heart pound, her head spin . . . and who just happens to be a legend in equestrian circles.

When Devlin McCloud's career was cut short by a tragic accident, he never expected to get back in the ring. But when A. J. asks him to be her trainer, he finds he cannot resist the chance? or his stunning new employer. And what begins as a business arrangement soon becomes something deeper, as Devlin and A. J. learn that even in a sport full of hazards, sometimes the most dangerous thing to risk is one's heart. . .

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