Please welcome Virna DePaul!
V-Day Is Me-Day.
Literally! Some of my friends call me “V” and it makes me feel loved! Growing up, I didn’t like my unusual name, and this was reinforced by kids at school calling me “VD,” Vern,” or “Fern”—not exactly names a teenage girl wants associated with herself. One day, I overheard a friend saying that “Virna,” just sounded like an “old lady” name. She was actually talking about her aunt, but her words still hurt —mainly because she was right. Whenever anyone tells me they know a “Virna,” the person they’re speaking of is usually a grandmother or great-aunt.
To go along with my name, I was a bit of a nerd. Shy. Quiet. Of course, I loved reading, but it took me a while to find myself. Even when I did, others still clung to their “idea” of who I was. The real me felt invisible.
Things changed, especially when I started writing. When I write and when I hang with writers, I feel authentic and life seems full of limitless possibilities.
By getting to know other writers and learning how to network, I’ve learned how powerful my voice can be—both written and spoken. Bonus: I got to choose a “cool” author name for my erotic romance titles. “Ava Meyers” sounds exotic and passionate and young. At least I think so. J
Thankfully, I’ve come to appreciate the uniqueness of my “real” name, too. I even put it on my first mass-market novel, Chosen By Blood, because while it might not project a certain image, it’s me, all mine. And I’m determined that when people pick up a “Virna DePaul” book, the LAST thing they’ll be thinking of is a nerd or grandmotherly type person (crossing fingers on that one!).
Two author names, but one writer: ME. Virna DePaul stories = suspenseful and sexy. Ava Meyers stories = blow the doors off HOT. Like variety? I hope so!
Today, Valentine’s Day, celebrate who you love, but also who you are on the outside and the inside. Each of us is as complex as the characters we read about, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Finally, here’s a little treat for you. It’s a sneak peek of Wild For Him— my new novella from the upcoming Set Up For Love anthology (Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the excerpt!). The theme of the anthology, which also showcases stories by authors Susan Hatler and Delilah Sloan, is about finding Mr. Right…with a little help from friends.
Excerpt from Wild For Him:
Tam was right. Daniel Mays knew how to kiss. His lips were a study in contrast. Soft and firm. Tender and voracious. Cool and hot. She moaned as his tongue entered her mouth, teasing her own. Her entire being was suddenly awash in sensations.
Her heart beat faster.
Her skin grew hotter.
Her lips clung to his.
Her nipples hardened and she could feel herself getting wet.
She felt disoriented. And scared. She broke away from him in panic, struggling to catch her breath. “What are you doing here?” she finally asked, embarrassed by the husky alto of her voice.
Daniel’s own voice was raspy. “I offered to take you to your sister’s engagement dinner. Didn’t Tam tell you?”
Uh no. Embarrassment and anger washed through her. “She didn’t tell me she’d set me up with you. If I’d known...” She shook her head. “I mean…”
Daniel nodded. “You mean you would never have opened the door.” He cocked his head. “Why is that?”
“We work together.”
“So let’s date together.”
“No!” She almost yelled it, startling both of them. She trembled with panic, wanting to accept his invitation yet knowing how weak and pathetic that made her.
He frowned. “Bryn, there’s something between us. That kiss was amazing. I knew it would be. I knew you would be.” He stepped toward her, but she held up her hands.
“Daniel, stop. It’s not going to happen. Nothing is going to happen.”
Daniel closed his eyes, as if calling upon a higher power for strength. “All right,” he said after a moment.
He slowly walked toward Bryn, who backed up despite herself. He kept pace with her until she bumped into a wall. He then planted both of his palms above her head and leaned down, staring into her eyes. He was so close she could see that a gold band encircled his dark pupils. “I’ll go. But this isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot. Just one taste, Bryn, and you got me harder than any other woman. Think about how good it was. And how good it’s going to be. Because we’re just getting started.”
He dropped his heated gaze to her lips. She held her breath. Waiting, praying for him to kiss her. Instead, he pushed away, walked backwards to the front door, then turned and left the house.
Bryn slid down the wall until she was sitting on the floor. With her heart thumping heavily in her chest, she touched her lips with her fingers, closed her eyes, and, just as he’d commanded, thought of how good it had been.
Just one kiss and her body had ignited. Wanted more. Wanted him. Her starved senses had come alive. She’d felt the heat emanating from his body. Had smelled him, clean and spicy. Soap mixed with the heady strength of his cologne. She’d opened her mouth to him, but she’d wanted to do more. She’d wanted to touch him. Press her body into him. The wanting hadn’t surprised her, or particularly scared her.
What scared her was the intensity of her response. If she’d thought she could lie under Daniel and let him have her while she moaned softly, she might have given in to her body’s desire. But he brought out her wild side. Made her want to push him down and tear off his clothes. Made her want to throw caution to the wind, forget decorum and respectability, and squirm and writhe and howl and scream until she forgot everything, her past, her present, her future, and simply lost herself in him.
Just one kiss, and she’d been ready to throw away her better judgment.
That’s what had scared her.
It had given her the strength to back away when he’d tried to kiss her again.
And it would give her strength the next time.
Because she couldn’t forget what mattered. Justice was everything to her and Daniel’s job was all about impeding it. She couldn’t afford to lose control, and with Daniel, there’d be no other result….
**Thanks for reading! I’m giving away a free e-copy of the Set Up For Love Anthology PLUS an e-copy of my paranormal novella, A Vampire’s Salvation (which Laurie reviewed on this site, saying it “has danger, a hot alpha vampire and some hot sex”) to one random commenter!
Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor whose debut paranormal romantic suspense novel, Chosen By Blood (Book 1 in the Para-Ops series), will be released May 3, 2011 by Berkley Books but is available for pre-order now! Virna also writes contemporary romantic suspense for Silhouette Romantic Suspense and HQN.
Virna writes erotic romance under the name Ava Meyers. Her popular Red-Hot Cops series, including the novella Copping To It, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other e-book retailers.
Visit Virna at www.virnadepaul.com.
Visit Ava at www.avameyers.com