This week’s author profile focuses on J.R Ward. I chose her today because she has become one of my favorite authors and I think she is well overdue for her profile. She is the best-selling author of the Black dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angel Series’.
Born Jessica Rowley Bird in Massachusetts. As a child she was a very avid writer. This love of writing continued through the summer before college where she wrote her first novel. When she went to college at Smith College, she continued to write but just for herself. She majored in history and art history concentrating on medieval period. After graduating from Smith College, she went on to get her law degree from Albany Law School. With her degrees she worked in healthcare administration for many years and even became the Chief of Staff at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, Ma. In 2001, she married her husband and he encouraged her to really focus on her writing and get her manuscripts published. In 2002, that is exactly what happened, Leaping Hearts was published. Many years following her initial book she published the first of the paranormal romance series Black Dagger Brotherhood and from there it is what you call history. She currently lives in the south with her husband and her furbaby, a golden retriever.
J.R Ward is an outstanding writer. She is one of the most dynamic and creative storytellers that is currently being published. Not only is her writing phenomenal, but she also has a connection with her fans that not many authors do. I have to give her a lot of credit for that. She is at a point in her writing career that she can just sit back and write and her fans would still buy her books without question. But, she does not do that. She continues to reach out to her fans through both her books and her many social media outlets (message boards and facebook).
One of the main reasons I personally connect with her books is that she makes the characters relatable even if they are vampires or angels. If you have not read any of J.R Ward’s books step away from the computer and run not walk down to the local bookstore and buy one. You will not regret it.
Since I am a huge BDB (Black Dagger Brotherhood) fan I figured I would post an excerpt from Dark Lover. Dark Lover is the first book in the BDB series. Enjoy!
Walking through Screamer’s, Wrath sneered as the bar crowd tripped over itself to get out of his way. Fear and a morbid, lusty curiosity wafted out of their pores. He breathed in the rank odor. Cattle. All of them. From behind his dark glasses, his eyes strained against the dim lights and he shut his lids.
His vision was so bad that he was just as comfortable with total blindness. Focusing on his hearing, he sorted through the beats of the music, isolating the shuffling of feet, the whisper of words, the sound of another glass hitting the floor. If he ran into something, he didn’t care. Whether it was a chair, a table, a human, he’d just walk over the damn thing.
He sensed Darius clearly because his was the only body in the place that wasn’t reeking of panic.
Although even the warrior was on edge tonight.
Wrath opened his eyes when he stood in front of the other vampire. Darius was a blurry shape, his dark coloring and black clothes the only information Wrath’s vision gave him.
“Where’d Tohrment go?” he asked as he caught a whiff of scotch.
“He’s taking a breather. Thanks for coming.”
Wrath lowered himself into a chair. He stared straight ahead and watched the crowd gradually swallow up the path he’d made.
The pounding beat of Ludacris faded into old school Cypress Hill.
This was going to be good. Darius was a real straight-shooter who knew Wrath couldn’t stand having his time wasted. If there was silence, something was up.
Darius tipped back his beer then let out a deep breath. “My lord-“
“If you want something from me, don’t lead with that,” Wrath drawled, sensing a waitress approaching them. He had the impression of big breasts and a strip of flesh between her tight shirt and her short skirt.
“You need a drink?” she asked slowly.
He was tempted to suggest she lay herself on the table and let him go to work on her carotid.
Human blood wouldn’t keep him alive for long, but it sure as hell tasted better than watered-down alcohol.
“Not right now,” he said. His tight smile spiked her anxiety and gave her a shot of lust at the same time. He took her scent into his lungs.
Not interested, he thought.
The waitress nodded, but didn’t move away. She kept staring at him, her short blonde hair a halo in the darkness around her face. Spellbound, she seemed to have forgotten her own name, much less her job.
And how annoying was that.
Darius shifted impatiently.
“That’s all,” he muttered. “We’re good.”
As she backed up, getting lost in the crowd, Wrath heard Darius clear his throat. “Thanks for coming.”
“You already said that.”
“Yeah. Right. Ah, you and I go way back.”
“We’ve fought some damn good fights together. Cut down a lot of lessers.”
Wrath nodded. The Black Dagger Brotherhood had been protecting the race against the Lessening Society for generations. There was Darius. Tohrment. The four others. The brothers were vastly outnumbered by lessers, de-souled humans who served a nasty-ass master, the Omega. But Wrath and his warriors managed to hold their own.
And then some.
Darius cleared his throat. “After all these years-”
“D, you’ve got to cut to the point. Marissa needs to do a little business tonight.”
“Do you want to use your room at my place again? You know I don’t let anyone else stay there.” Darius let out an awkward laugh. “No doubt her brother would prefer you not show up at his house.”
Wrath crossed his arms over his chest, pushing the table out with his boot to give himself a little more room.
He didn’t give a crap that Marissa’s brother had delicate sensibilities and was offended by the life Wrath lived. Havers was a snob and a dilettante who had his head up his ass. He was totally incapable of understanding the kind of enemies the race had and what it took to defend the population.
Wrath wasn’t about to play dandy while civilians were getting slaughtered. He needed to be in the field with his warriors, not taking up space on some throne. So Havers could shove it.
Although Marissa shouldn’t have to deal with her brother’s attitude.
“I just might take you up on that offer.”
“I have a daughter.”
Wrath slowly turned his head. “Since when?”
“Who’s the mother?”
“You don’t know her. And she, ah, she died.”
Darius’s sorrow rose up around him, the acrid smell of old pain cutting through the stench of human sweat, alcohol, and sex in the club.
“How old is she?” Wrath demanded. He had a feeling where this might be headed.
Wrath cursed under his breath. “Don’t ask me, Darius. Don’t ask me to do it.”
“I have to. My lord, your blood is-”
“Call me that again and I’ll close your mouth for you. Permanently.”
“You don’t understand. She’s-”
Wrath started to get up. Darius’s hand grasped his forearm and then was quickly removed.
“So she might not survive the transition if she goes through it. Look, if you help her, at least she has a chance of living. Your blood is so strong, it would increase the likelihood of her making it through the change as a half-breed. I’m not asking you to take her on as a shellan. Or to protect her because I can do that. I’m just trying to… Please. My other sons are dead. She’s all that could be left of me. And I… her mother is one I loved.”
If it had been anyone else, Wrath would have used his favorite pair of words, fuck and off. As far as he was concerned, there were only two good positions for a human. A female on her back. And a male face down and not breathing.
But Darius was almost a friend. Or would have been one, if Wrath had let him get close.
As Wrath stood up, he closed his eyes. Hatred washed through him, directed into the center of his own chest. He despised himself for walking away, but he just wasn’t the kind of male who could help some poor half-breed through such a painful and dangerous time. Gentleness, mercy, they were not in his make up.
“I can’t do it. Not even for you.”
Darius’s agony hit him in a great swell and Wrath actually swayed under the emotion’s force.
He squeezed the vampire’s shoulder.
“If you really love her, do her a favor. Ask someone else.”
Wrath turned and stalked out of the bar. On his way to the door, he wiped the memory of himself from every human cerebral cortex in the place. The strong ones would think they had dreamed him. The weak ones wouldn’t remember him at all.
Out on the street, he headed for a dark corner behind Screamer’s so that he could dematerialize. He passed a woman getting felt up by some guy in the shadows, a bum who’d collapsed in a stupor, a drug dealer arguing on a cell phone about the going price for crack.
Wrath knew the moment he was followed. And who it was. The sweet smell of baby powder was a dead giveaway.
He smiled widely, opened his leather jacket, and took out one of his hira shuriken. The stainless steel throwing star felt comfortable in his palm. Three ounces of death ready to hit the air waves.
With the weapon in his hand, Wrath didn’t change his stride, even though he wanted to rush into the shadows. He was spoiling for a fight after shutting down Darius and the Lessening Society member behind him had perfect fucking timing.
Killing the soulless human was just what he needed to take the edge off.
As he drew the lesser into the dense darkness, Wrath’s body primed for the fight, his heart pumping steadily, the muscles in his arms and thighs twitching in anticipation. His ears picked up the sound of a gun being cocked and he triangulated the weapon’s aim. It was pointed at the back of his head.
In a fluid motion, he wheeled around just as the bullet exploded out of the muzzle. He ducked and threw the star which flashed silver and twirled in a deadly arc. It caught the lesser right in the neck, splitting his throat open before continuing on its path into the darkness. The gun dropped to the ground, clattering across the asphalt.
The lesser grabbed his neck with both hands and fell to his knees.
Wrath walked over and went through its pockets. He took the wallet and the cell phone he found and put them into his jacket.
And then he withdrew a long, black-bladed knife from his chest holster. He was disappointed the fight hadn’t lasted longer, but going by the dark, curly hair and relatively inept attack, this was a new recruit. With a quick thrust, he pushed the lesser on to its back, flipped the weapon in the air and caught the handle with a swipe of his palm. The blade plunged into flesh, cut through bone, reached the black heart.
With a strangled sound, the lesser disintegrated.
Wrath wiped the blade off on his leather pants, slipped it back where it belonged, and stood up. He looked around. And then dematerialized himself.
J.R Ward’s next book, Rapture (Fallen Angels #4) will be in stores September 25, 2012. Her next BDB book Lover At-Last will be out Spring 2013. For additional details about J.R Ward you can visit her website www.jrward.com. For information regarding her Black Dagger Brother series or her Fallen Angel series you can visit Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.