Review of A TOUCH OF CRIMSON, Sylvia Day Interview + Giveaway!!

>> Sunday, October 09, 2011

I'm excited to have Sylvia Day here today! The first book I ever read of Sylvia's was Pride and Pleasure, her February historical romance release. I was beyond entertained; I was impressed. So much so that I wrote a detailed review of Pride and Pleasure on Savvy Authors. As many of you know, I'm a lover of craft, and was thrilled to find not only how much stellar craft Sylvia utilizes in her writing, but how she manipulates those elements to take her storytelling to the highest level.

I was excited (though not surprised) to find that same level of mastery in A TOUCH OF CRIMSON. Really fabulous books are always more difficult to review, not unlike they are to write. All the elements intertwine and play off each other to weave an intricate tapestry of plot and subplot, emotion and intellect, character and setting. I toyed with the idea of making this a two-part review, but decided to spare you my blathering and hit the high points of what I loved most about A TOUCH OF CRIMSON.

Comment or ask Sylvia a question to enter to win:
1) A copy of A TOUCH OF CRIMSON
2) 1 of 5 custom handmade bookmarks


A TOUCH OF CRIMSONAn angel with immense power and insatiable desire, Adrian Mitchell leads an elite Special Ops unit of the seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen--angels who have become vampires--and command a restless pack of indentured lycans.

But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals--losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her: Shadoe, her soul once more inhabiting a new body that doesn’t remember him. This time he won't let her go.

With no memory of her past as Shadoe, Lindsay Gibson knows only that she can't help being fiercely attracted to the smoldering, seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay is soon caught between her angel lover, her vampire father, and a full-blown lycan revolt. There’s more at stake than her love and her life--she could lose her very soul...


My Review:
A TOUCH OF CRIMSON begins with action and intensity--my favorite way to get things going. Immediately, I recognized the depth and number of characters. As this is the first book in a paranormal series, the ground work must be laid. This is often a difficult task, and in the hands of a lesser writer, would surely confuse, if not lose, readers. But Sylvia creates a world filled with various species, the Sentinels, the Lycan and the Fallen, and rules governing those species’, yet never makes the complex complicated.

This also shows how Sylvia trusts her readers, how she respects their ability to follow her threads, pick up her clues, utilize their intelligence to soak up all the information she's offering. I respect an author who believes her readers are sophisticated and intelligent and writes to that audience.

With her lyrical prose and fresh description, Sylvia guides the reader expertly through each group's description, culture, powers and conflicts. She deftly illustrates how each species is both at odds with and in need of the others, outlining a tight web of conflict, all while moving the story forward with action and spicy dialogue.

When you look below at Sylvia's answer to the question on creating villains, you may understand why I found the villains in A TOUCH OF CRIMSON so gripping. They felt more developed to me than most villains. A familial-type group much like the Sentinals or the Lycans, the Fallen have suffered immensely – the head of the family, a fallen angel, has lost his wings at the hands of Adrian, who himself says it was wrong to take them. And Syre’s son, Torque, who losses his wife at the beginning of the story, again at Adrian’s hands. Their loss and suffering make them sympathetic villains – my favorite kind.

The heroine in A TOUCH OF CRIMSON, Lindsey, is as wounded as the rest of the crew, though you’d never know it with her kick ass attitude. She never backs down, but is driven to hunt by memories of her beloved mother slain by vamps when she was a child. There is something deep inside that tells her she has an obligation to utilize her given abilities to right this tragic wrong, all of which made her very empathetic.

Adrian, the hero, is suffering penance for his history of wrong-doings by losing the love of his life--Shadoe in Lindsey’s body with no memory of Adrian--over and over again. He is fighting her father, the villain, for her love, an age-old conflict that tugs at heartstrings. Each man believes he’s doing the right thing for her, each says he is doing it out of supreme love for her, yet each hold their own private agenda – it’s like a train wreck from which you can’t look away, hoping to see survivors emerge from the wreckage.

The complexity of species and cultures crossing in this novel makes for many unexpected twists and turns during the course of the story. And while the questions for A TOUCH OF CRIMSON are answered within this book, many others remain, dragging the reader's interest to future books. Numerous well defined secondary characters and intriguing story lines make this first of the series rich in its own right, while priming the reader for the series as a whole, because after reading A TOUCH OF CRIMSON, you won’t be able to stay away from the remainder of the trilogy.


Sylvia's Interview:
What sparked the idea for this book/series?
Really, the idea was sparked by a combination of an editor and my existing Marked series. The editor sent a note to my agent saying that if I wrote a paranormal romance series with alpha heroes, she wanted to see it. My Marked series is where I’d introduced my Dominion world, which encompasses the entire hierarchy of angels. The Marked series focused on the lowest sphere and I always knew I was going to explore the other spheres and ranks at some point. The editor’s prodding had me thinking along paranormal romance lines and the story of the Watcher angels struck me. Angels who fell from the heavens for lust and love. How could I not write about that? It’s just too awesome. In the end, the editor who prodded me forward with the idea isn’t the editor who won the auction for the series, but I’m grateful to her all the same and always will be. The idea was there in my mind, but she gave me the impetus to get it down on paper now rather than later.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
I’m not sure I have a strategy, but I try to see my villains as complete characters, like my H/h. Unless they’re mental defectives, they’ll have facets of their character that aren’t horrible. They’ll have things they care about, things they’ll fight for. They can cry and feel pain, they have dreams and disappointments. Ideally, I like to understand their motivation—maybe even relate to it—even if their means doesn’t at all justify the end they’re going for.

Tell us something unusual about the creation/execution of this book:
The Renegade Angels series is a trilogy. Now, a trilogy can either be a set of three individual works that are connected by characters and/or theme, or it can be a single work divided into three parts. The latter is what the Renegade Angels series is--one story, divided over three books. That’s been a rocky road to travel, because I have to answer some questions in each book, but not all. Each book features a different couple and their romance, with each couple picking up the baton from the couple before as they all race to the finish. I have to set up each book so that a reader could pick up #2 or #3 and get the gist, but since it took an entire book to tell Act #1 and Act #2, I don’t have the room to rehash what’s already happened in detail. And all three heroes are also antagonists, which means there are shades of heroism and villainy in each one.

What do you love most about this book/series?
The characters are so many shades of gray. They surprise me all the time. And it’s a challenge to write. I’ve never tackled anything with this type of construction before.

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?
Aisle. I don’t like having to ask someone to get out of my way, because then I’m dependent upon them to be polite and do so. Plus I don’t care what’s out the window; my nose is in a book and I’m not looking anyway.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?
Yes, I am. *shudder*


Comment or ask Sylvia a question to enter to win:
1) A copy of A TOUCH OF CRIMSON
2) 1 of 5 custom handmade bookmarks

International
**MUST** leave a contact email to WIN



Author Bio:
Sylvia Day is the national bestselling, award-winning author of over a dozen novels written across multiple sub-genres — contemporary, fantasy, historical, futuristic, science fiction, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy — under multiple pen names: three! A wife and mother of two, she is a former Russian linguist for the U.S. Army Military Intelligence.

Sylvia is a lifelong California resident who loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her to Japan, Holland, Germany, France, Mexico, Jamaica, and all over the United States. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Orange County (the O.C.), and later lived in Monterey, Oceanside, and the Temecula Valley.

She is a Japanese-American who enjoys the many Japanese cultural events in Southern California as well as frequent family jaunts to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Sea World. Her childhood career aspirations were few — become a dolphin trainer at Sea World or a bestselling novelist. Obviously, the dolphin trainer career took a back seat.

65 comments:

Brandy B aka Brandlwyne 10:54 PM  

Hi Sylvia,

I love the book cover and the book sounds like it would be right up my alley. I am always looking for a good book. I think its neat that you like to travel, how for away have you been???

Brandy
brandyzbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

Emily Tardy 12:49 AM  

I've heard so many great things about this book, can't wait to read it. I also have a fear of heights! lol, even small ladders freak me out =D
Thank you for the giveaway

emilytardy@yahoo.com

angel 1:04 AM  

I completely enjoyed this book. I could not stop reading it when i picked it up. My question is how soon is the next one coming out? And how did you come up with the idea for this book?


angelbiker82@gmail.com

Ifrah 3:19 AM  

Hello Sylvia !
The blurb of your book sounds so intriguing and the cover is beautiful ! Would love to read it <3


starlight023(at)hotmail(dot)com

Vanessa N.,  3:59 AM  

The cover is awesome and loved the blurb. I haven't had the chance to check out the with angels as the main characters. Can't wait to check this out.

mythic021@gmail.com

REGINA ROSS 4:59 AM  

great interview and what a beautiful cover :)

reginamayross@gmail.com

Temara 5:10 AM  

This book sounds fantastic and like something I'd love!! Thanks for the giveaway!! My question is Sylvia what's your favorite character to write about from A Touch of Crimson?
temarasheppard@yahoo.com

Anonymous,  6:42 AM  

I love your book cover. Gorgeous! The book sounds fantastic. I love reading series with angels. Great interview. And thanks for the giveaway.

Okmom43@aol.com
Debbie B

Erin O'Riordan 7:41 AM  

Hi, Sylvia. I just finished reading 'Steamlust,' and I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed "Iron Hard."

erinoriordan@sbcglobal.net

crystalgb 7:43 AM  

Great interview. Sylvia's book sounds wonderful. I love the cover.
Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

Melissa 8:22 AM  

Loved the interview!!This book is on my TBR list and I would love to win this!!!I LOVE the cover!!

melissalamb@muasfiber.com

GzNKz4evr 9:28 AM  

Joan,
I am always up for your "blathering" so blather away! :)

Sylvia, I saw the trailer for this book and was intrigued. Even more so now knowing that it is a trilogy of one story over three divided parts. It sounds like something that would be difficult to both write and pull off. I haven't read very many Angel books, but I am fascinated by the whole idea of The Fallen. I can't wait to get a hold of this book!

Kendra
kendraedens@gmail.com

Anonymous,  10:05 AM  

Never read her books but Im always willing o try new authors to me.

Maria
riospena@sbcglobal.net

Miss Mel 10:31 AM  

The cover is beyond gorgeous and the book was brilliantly written. I could not put it down. I can't wait to see what happens in A Hunger So Wild and to learn more about Elijah.

xmelaniexthomasx[at]aim[dot]com

Sylvia Day 10:42 AM  

Hi, Brandy.

I guess Japan is the farthest away I've been. :) I hope to get to Australia and New Zealand someday.

Sylvia Day 10:43 AM  

Emily,

I can totally relate. It doesn't take much height to kick in my phobia. :)

Sylvia Day 10:44 AM  

Angel,

I'm glad you enjoyed A TOUCH OF CRIMSON! The next book, A HUNGER SO WILD, releases July 3rd.

Sylvia Day 10:45 AM  

Ifrah, Vanessa, Regina ~

I agree about the cover. I think it's beautiful, too!

Sylvia Day 10:46 AM  

Temara,

I honestly can't pick just one. I'd say it's a tossup between Adrian, Lindsay, and Elijah. :)

Sylvia Day 10:48 AM  

Debbie B, crystalgb, Melissa,

I happy to hear you love the cover, too. The artist is Tony Mauro and I'm a huge fan of his work. I'm thrilled to have one of his covers. :)

Sylvia Day 10:49 AM  

Kendra,

I hope you enjoy it when you read it! Thank you for giving it a try. :)

Sylvia Day 10:50 AM  

Miss Mel,

I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book! You made my day. :)

donnas 12:46 PM  

Congrats on the release! Sounds like a great book and I have to admit I really love the cover. Looking forward to reading it.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Linda McDonald 2:37 PM  

Congrats on your new release Sylvia! It sounds great, and you got an awesome cover too! Yay! I'm very happy that your career aspiration of being a best selling novelist has come true....and even though you aren't a dolphin trainer, you can still swim with them at Sea World! :)

csolinda(at)hotmail(dot)com

Sylvia Day 3:08 PM  

Linda ~ You made me laugh. Thank you. :)

Raonaid Luckwell 3:21 PM  

Joan is totally going to get after me... But I have yet to read one of your books. LOL. I do have "pleasures of the Night" in my TBR pile. Friend gave me that and a bunch of other books along with Eve of Destruction

I've noticed a lot of angel themes this year..

Raonaid at gmail dot com

Joan Swan 3:39 PM  

Good Lord, Rachel...

**arms crossed, shaking my head, tapping my foot...**

What AM I going to DO with you???

You will SO love Sylvia's books! And since Kendra gave me permission to blather (have I mentioned how much I love you, Kendra?), I'm going to post a section early in A TOUCH OF CRIMSON that completely won me over to Adrian.

Well, okay, maybe that happened on like page...um, three. No, maybe two. But I mean REALLY won me over.

Will do that as soon as I get some other stuff done around here...

Check back!! :)

Raonaid Luckwell 4:55 PM  

* hangs head * I know! I know! First Lauren Dane and now Sylvia! At least I do have some of her books but alas they are not first in the series. I read series books in order!

Anonymous,  5:39 PM  

Congrats on the new release. You are a new author for me and always looking for new authors to read.
My question is do you ever read in your spare time? Any favorite authors? Favorite books?
Also if you could write any other genre beside paranormal what would you write?
Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
GFC & blog follower: Chris Bails
christinebails@yahoo.com

Linda 7:48 PM  

Love your editor!! And I think all your fans are so thankful that the dolphins lost out.

thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

jo 7:55 PM  

I loved pride and pleasure it was wonderful, I was so mad I didn't lose my virginity that way. But congrats on the new book I know its great.

Jolina417@yahoo.com

Sylvia Day 8:04 PM  

Erin ~

I'm stoked to hear you enjoyed "Iron Hard"! I had such fun writing that story. :)

Sylvia Day 8:09 PM  

Raonaid ~

I hope you enjoy my books when you get to them. :) PLEASURES OF THE NIGHT is first in that series, if that's helpful at all. And my "Eve" books are angel-based, too. Those books (my Marked series) and the Renegade Angels are both set in my Dominion universe, although the plots aren't connected in any way.

Sylvia Day 8:21 PM  

Hi, Chris. :)

To answer your questions:

1) My question is do you ever read in your spare time?

Yes! Lots and lots. I read whenever I can and sometimes when I'm not supposed to be. :)


2) Any favorite authors?

Lisa Kleypas, J.D. Robb, Nalini Singh, Shelby Reed, Lora Leigh... I could really go on and on. I keep track of the books I'm reading on Goodreads, so that's one way of seeing what I'm enjoying now. :)

3) Favorite books?

Oh, this would take pages and pages. I love the In Death series, the Iron Seas series, the Guild Hunter series, pretty much anything Lisa Kleypas has ever written, absolutely everything Shelby Reed has written (most especially The Fifth Favor), Lauren Dane's Federation Chronicles and Phantom Corps, Kathleen Woodiwiss's Shanna. And tons more. Really.

4) Also if you could write any other genre beside paranormal what would you write?

I write everything--paranormal, historical, contemporary, futuristic, science fiction, erotica, romantic suspense, fantasy, and combinations of the above. I've been very fortunate to have been able to write (and sell) whatever strikes my fancy. God willing, that will always be true!

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes 9:01 PM  

Congrats on your new release!
I have several your wonderful books on my must have list, and I just love what I have read about Touch of Crimson...*S*
I love emotional stories and this trilogy sounds so very good.
Thank you for the giveaway!

Darcy
pommawolf @hotmail.com

Anonymous,  9:27 PM  

RachaelM

I have wanted to read this book for awhile. I have seen it reviewed on several blogs over the last week or so. My questions are 1)When is the next book coming out and 2) How many are you planning on writing in this series. Thanks for taking time out of you bust schedule to do this interview and provide a giveaway.

rachaelmccully@yahoo.com

Na,  11:30 PM  

I am really looking forward to this book. I like the premise and haven't read an "angel" stories in awhile.

Great interview. I like villains to be fully developed and sometimes I end up caring for them as much as the good guys. It's important I understand where they are coming too.

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

Carol L. 5:32 AM  

I absolutely love Sylvia's books. This book has been on my TRL. I can't wait to read about these characters. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am also petrified of Heights. I just lock down literally. :)
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Lori D 6:31 AM  

Love the cover of this book. I'm new to this genre and must admit it is the great covers and intriguing story lines that are drawing me. I've added this book to my list and am looking forward to reading it.

Dibert92@atlanticbb.net

Anonymous,  7:09 AM  

Love the interview and the review. I would love a chance to win a copy A TOUCH OF CRIMSON.

julskim(at)excite(dot)com

Raonaid Luckwell 10:19 AM  

Thanks so much Sylvia! I thought Pleasures of the Night was second.. I think I must have misheard my friend then. It's why I never started it.

Sebrina 10:25 AM  

I love 'finding' new authors and/or books to read. I feel like a kid in a candy store or like I just had tons of espresso, either way, I love that feeling! lol
It's always the covers that grab me first; and this one is good!
Thanks for the chance to win....
GFC: Sebrina C
sebrina_cassity@yahoo.com

Joan Swan 12:49 PM  

Okay, I totally know I owe you guys an excerpt...it's coming, I promise...

Sara W. 1:02 PM  

I haven't had the chance to read this yet, but I am SO looking forward to it! :)

Sara W. 1:05 PM  

Forgot my Email! sarawatts18@gmail.com :)

Sheree 1:06 PM  

Does being afraid of heights translate to aisle seats? I wonder....

ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

Tanja 1:12 PM  

Love the concept of "A touch of Crimson". I'm always on the lookout for unusual vamp stories. This is already on my TBR list. Thanx.

thaack@yahoo.com

Diana 1:33 PM  

Very beautiful interview! I really loved the story of A TOUCH OF CRIMSON.
Thank you for the giveaway!

artgiote at gmail dot com

Joan Swan 1:51 PM  

So, as I said earlier, while I was instantly intrigued by and attracted to Adrian, this is the passage where I fell in love with him...

Chapter 3, Page 19:

They had never been apart this length of time before. Their reunions had always been random and unpredictable, yet inexorable. Their souls were drawn to each other despite the disparate roads their lives were traveling.

The endless cycle of her deaths and her inability to remember what they meant to each other was his punishment for having broken the law he'd been created to enforce. It was an excrutiatingly effective reprisal. He was dying in slow degrees; his soul--the core of his angelic existence--was ravaged by grief, rage, and a thirst for vengeance. Each time he lost Shadoe, and every day he was forced to live without her, further compromised his ability to carry out his mission. Her absence impaired his committment to duty that was the cornerstone of who he was--a soldier, a leader, and the gaoler of beings as powerful as he was.

Two hundred damned years. She'd been gone long enough to make him dangerous. A seraph whose heart was encased in ice was a hazard to everyone and everything around him. He was a danger to her, because his hunger for her was so voracious he questioned his ability to restrain it. When she was gone, the world was dead to him. The silence within deafening. Then she returned, and the rush of sensation exploded around him--the pounding of his heart, the heat of her touch, the force of his life. Life. Which was lost to him when she was.

*Sigh*

Sylvia Day 2:31 PM  

Hi, RachaelM ~

1)When is the next book coming out?

A HUNGER SO WILD releases July 3rd, but I've been asked to write a novella that will release sometime in June.

2) How many are you planning on writing in this series?

The Renegade Angels series is a trilogy, so there will be three books. There will also be some digital novellas that will release in between books. (one of them, A DARK KISS OF RAPTURE, is a free read that's available now) The novellas will expand on some of the secondary characters, but it's not necessary to read them to understand what's going on in the full-length books.

Sylvia Day 2:33 PM  

Linda ~

LOL! Thank you. :)

Sylvia Day 2:34 PM  

Jo ~

I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed PRIDE AND PLEASURE. :)

Sylvia Day 2:35 PM  

Darcy ~

Thank you! I hope you enjoy my books when you read them. :)

Sylvia Day 2:36 PM  

Na ~

Great villains stick with us as much as the heroes do. :)

mrsworldwidewebb 4:15 PM  

I love the cover! I will be reading this book because I love the angels.. One of the questions I love to ask authors is do your characters "drive" you or do you "drive" them? Like do your stories change because of the characters asking you to or what?? I can't wait to read!

mrsworldwidewebbATcoxDOTnet

aka Kathy

Sara M 6:18 PM  

I'm really looking forward to this novel. And I love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

Sara M
sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

Di 3:16 PM  

I've never read a book about an angel.
That is a beautiful bookmark.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Anonymous,  3:23 PM  

I am looking forward to reading this book. btw- I love the cover! Thank you for sharing your talent! Wishing you continued success!

Loraine
l_k_hunziker (at) hotmail ( dot ) com

KhelseyJackson 3:38 PM  

I love the cover! And great interview!!

khelseyrjackson@gmail.com

Carrie Ann Ryan 7:45 PM  

OOooh! I can't wait for this book! The cover is amazing!

carrieannryanwrites@gmail.com

Joan Swan 7:02 AM  

WINNERS chosen courtesy of Random.org! Congrats! Everyone--thanks for coming by the blog!

A TOUCH OF CRIMSON: Debbie

BOOKMARKS:
Chris
Darcy
Diana
Kathy
Khelsey

Sherry Isaac 9:23 AM  

Hello Joan! I've been absent for a while.

Sylvia, I've seen your book covered on other blogs and now here, with Joan, you are definitely on my to-read list.

My work is hard to pigeon-hole, so I like to see other authors writing across genres. Shows me it is possible.

Sylvia Day 10:41 AM  

mrsworldwidewebb ~

My characters absolutely drive everything about the writing process for me. I actually consider myself more of a narrator than writer. It doesn't matter what I have planned to write, the characters will go their own way and I just have to follow along. :)

AquarianDancer 6:41 AM  

Hi Sylvia!

What is your favorite book that you have written?

Anonymous,  7:46 PM  

I have been dying to get my hands on this book. I have it on my wish list. I just want to thank you for sharing your stories and your talent. It makes my world so much better to have great books to read thanks to great authors like you.
musicalfrog at comcast dot net

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