Interview With Author Virna DePaul + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Interview , The Danger Lover , Virna DePaul Posted on May 27, 2011 @ 6:00 am 45 comments

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Author Virna DePaul to Book Lovers Inc. today. Virna is a former prosecutor who writes about flawed individuals who find redemption through courage and love. Chosen By Blood is a paranormal romance and Virna’s first print release in a series called Para-Ops and it is published on May 3, 2011, to many rave reviews!

Virna! It’s such a thrill to be able to chat with you today, thank you for agreeing to join us!

Virna: Thank you so much for having me here! I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you and your readers.

Virna can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Virna: I’m a mother of three young boys and a long-time romance reader who loves to travel, see Broadway shows, and is always struggling with balancing all the important aspects of my life. I’m an odd mixture of shy and bold. I flounder at making small talk and worry about what others think of me, yet I enjoy a challenge, whether it’s auditioning for a Shakespeare play with no prior acting experience or asking difficult questions in order to make a genuine connection with someone or to grow as a person.

Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Virna: I don’t really have a typical day because I haven’t come up with a regular writing schedule that works for me. Each day I simply prioritize the same 101 tasks most working mothers have to juggle, trying to fit marketing and writing in somewhere. Since I write fairly fast, it’s a little too easy for me to put off writing until I have a deadline approaching. But then again, it’s what seems to work for me. I’m hoping to find a happy medium someday.

What can we expect of Chosen By Blood?

Virna: Chosen by Blood is book 1 of the Para-Ops series. The Para-Ops team is the first special ops team formed by the FBI to recruit both humans and Otherborn, humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA. The Para-Ops team is comprised of Knox Devereaux, the vampire leader, Felicia, a special agent skilled in hostage negotiation, a wraith, a mage, a werebeast, and a human psychic shaman. The team is formed after humans and Otherborn fought each other in the second civil war. There is tension on the team not just between humans and Otherborn; each race has to grapple with their own fears and biases even as they try to work towards peace in the nation as a whole. Chosen By Blood is the love story of Knox and Felicia.

In Knox Devereaux, you created an extremely strong, charismatic, arrogant “dharmire” or half human vampire who agrees to lead the Para Ops team. Knox has a particular vulnerability with regard to a certain human and I want to talk about that in a minute. Knox lives on a knifes edge and while he also is the leader of his clan he has been forced to prove himself repeatedly because of unfortunate circumstances surrounding his father. Could you share a little more about Knox’s character with readers and maybe give a little background about the vampire hierarchy regarding his mother and the counsel?

Virna: Knox is a dharmire, a half vampire/half human who is the son of the Vampire Queen and a traitorous human who informed other humans how to kill vampires. Knox struggles to lead his clan, which is literally starving due to an FBI-engineered vaccine that changes the properties of human blood so it can’t nourish vamps. At the same time, he believes it’s only because of his human blood, the same human blood that his clan despises, that he’s strong enough to lead. He’s constantly trying to prove his loyalty to his people, including the Vamp Council (a combined legislative and judiciary branch of the vampire government), which is adamantly opposed to humans and vampires mating. The Vamp Council constantly reminds Knox of his duty to marry another vampire.

In the world of this series, vampires are NOT monogamous and the males are duty bound to marry and procreate with vampires. Yet even though Knox feels genuine affection for his married-for-convenience wife, Knox loves a human, Special Agent Felicia Locke. Because of her strong human morals, she tries her best to stay away from Knox. Felicia’s bound and determined not to be his mistress on the side, but her resolve weakens when she and Knox join the Para-Ops team.

Felicia Locke is an impressive heroine, she is human, a seasoned FBI agent trained in hostage negotiation and is a specialist in ‘verbal judo’ which I thought was brilliant. Felicia also has other learned abilities thanks to her close association to the vampires. She proves to be just as capable as the ‘Otherworld’ members of the para-ops team physically and especially psychologically. One could describe her as a kick-ass heroine but she is more than that isn’t she?

Virna: Most definitely! Felicia is a good and loyal friend who lost her beloved parents before the war. She longs to belong, to be part of a family, and to find a man who can love her and put her first. As much as she believes Knox desires and even loves her, and as much as she desires and loves him, she refuses to compromise her morals or her self-worth, especially for an immortal who detests his own human blood and therefore can’t help but detest hers as well.

Knox is absolutely besotted with Felicia and because there are significant issues, barriers if you will that as she sees it prevent them from ever becoming a couple. The sexual tension is like an electric current arching between these two, it’s a real battle of the wills isn’t it?

Virna: I tried to create a hero and heroine that yearn to be together but encounter significant conflict to their romance. I think anytime true passion is denied, no matter the reason, temptation is never far away. Reason flies out the window and the saying “All’s fair in love and war” will come into play. After a decade of staying away from Felicia, I wanted to portray Knox as someone who’d reached this point. A male hell-bent on claiming a woman is incredibly hard to resist, in my opinion, especially when that male is a three-hundred-year-old vampire.

I found Chosen By Blood to be a multi layered story Virna, it’s suspenseful, thrilling and full of action scenes, however you also embrace several themes in the narrative. It was heart breaking at times, because of the conflict that Knox and Felicia face because of basic moral and cultural differences between their species. In addition you also allow readers to see the ravages of chemical warfare in a post war world and how prejudice and fear prevails despite the war being over and the government signing treaties to allow the Others to assimilate. Did you set out to address moral and ethical issues as part of your paranormal series?

Virna: Thank you for recognizing all those layers! I didn’t consciously set out to address these themes when I started writing, but as the story evolved, it was impossible not to address them. I’ve always been fascinated with the tension between desire and duty, and so Knox’s conflict came to me fairly early in the process. As I explored the strength of his loyalty to his people, I wanted to make something HUGE be at stake—the survival of a whole race seemed to be the thing. Yet I also wanted to highlight how too much of anything, even a good thing, can be harmful. And since I wanted to create a team of several races having to work together for a common good, it was only natural that I explore the fears and biases those races would bring to the table before that could happen.

The Para-Ops team are certainly an interesting cross section of Otherworld and humans, fascinating characterization. “Chosen By Fate”, is the next book in the Para-Ops series due out in October 2011. Where will you be taking the team next?

Chosen By Fate is the story of the team’s ghost, Wraith, and its human psychic shaman, Caleb O’Flare. Wraith and Caleb first meet in book 1 and their strong reactions to one another are the product of complex back stories. In their own ways, Wraith and Caleb have to deal with the tension between pain and pleasure, a dichotomy that is brought to the forefront when they set out on their next mission, investigating a series of crimes in the feline community in Los Angeles.

How many books are you contracted to write so far for the Para-Ops series?

Virna: I sold the first two books of the series plus the option book to Berkley. I’m currently working on the proposal for Book 3, which is about the team’s werebeast, Dex Hunt.

What can readers expect next from the desk of Virna DePaul?

Virna: I’m excited to be writing paranormals for Berkley, but also contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin. My debut novel with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Dangerous To Her, comes out in September 2011. It’s about an undercover cop who poses a bailiff in order to investigate a judge. He ends up reuniting with his college love and discovers she’s harbored a secret for almost a decade. I’ve also just sold another story to HRS about a woman who must accept the reopening of her mother’s murder investigation by the one man she hoped never to see again. Finally, in April of 2012, I’ll be launching a new series with HQN.

Wow, you are going to be really busy! Congratulations on all your upcoming publications! I for one will be looking forward to reading your future publications! 🙂

Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Oh, wow. Okay, well: 1) I try to make my stories entertaining but also relevant to people’s lives. This means not shying away from the darker aspects of humanity, but not skimping on the things that make romance so critical—passion, redemption, and hope; 2) I include lots of action and sensuality in all my plots; and 3) I’m only going to get better and better because I’m foremost a reader who knows what it’s like to be swept away by a story and I want to bring that experience to others. 🙂

Well, IMHO you’ve succeeded in meeting all three of those objectives in Chosen By Blood, it’s an awesome page turner!

Virna, it’s been such a delight to chat with you today and thank you again for joining us at Book Lovers!

Virna: Thank you so much for having me! I’m proud to be a reader and writer of romance novels. I’ve met so many people who’ve encouraged and inspired me, and I hope to do the same.

Where to find Virna:




Virna has generously offered one copy of Chosen By Blood to one lucky commenter!

All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is open worldwide!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, June 11, 2011; and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!


About Lea

Lea is an animal loving, tree hugging vegetarian who lives in Toronto, Canada with her family, which includes three dogs. She is a prolific reader and has been blogging and reviewing since 2008. Lea is a contributor at the USA Today HEA Blog and an active member at Goodreads.

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Join the Discussion
  • debbie May 27, 2011 at 6:59 am

    That was a very good interview. It sounds like the author put a considerable amount of time and effort into building the world in this story. I would love to read it.

  • ruth May 27, 2011 at 7:19 am

    If the publisher knows what's good for them they'll bring us Dex. Dex is my favorite character.

    Twitter zombvmpr

  • Karen H in NC May 27, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Hi Virna,

    You are new-to-me author and I'm not too familiar with your genre. I enjoyed reading your interview and book details. I think I would enjoy your work. Thank for the giveaway.

  • Virginia C May 27, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Hi, Virna! I enjoyed getting to know more about you in your terrific interview. Congratulations on a fabulous new PNR Series! I am infatuated with Knox. Who wouldn't be charmed by a besotted Vamp? When you were a prosecutor, did you have an interest in becoming a writer? Did the cases you handled in your work give you special insight into creating your story lines and characters?

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  • Ren May 27, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Hi Virna!
    Congrats for the release of your book, Chosen by Blood. I'm paranormal romance fans, and I will put your book at my wishlist 🙂

    My question for you are, how many books you plan for this series? Is your book can read stand alone or must be read in order? I'm intrigue about The Others, What creature is included in The Others who will appear in the next books? A hint maybe? 😉

    Thanks for the giveaway too

    sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

  • Ivy May 27, 2011 at 8:13 am

    This sounds like an incredible read. I'm always open to new authors/series. I like your reasons why to I should give you a go too. Thanks for the opportunity!


    ivydtruitt (at ) gmail (dot) com

  • Virna DePaul May 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Hi Debbie, Thank you for stopping by! I do love the world I created and hope readers do too.

    Ruth, I hope the publisher listens!! I'm working on Dex's story right now. 🙂 Did you see you won the CBF Arc/Shamrock earrings? Congrats!

    Karen H, Thanks for commenting! I appreciate it!

    Virginia C, Thanks you! So glad you love Knox. Writing was always a dream for me, even before I became a lawyer. It just took me realizing it wasn't a silly dream. The cases I worked on definitely gave me insight into human nature and plot possibilities.

    Ren, Thank you for your comments! I have at least 4 books planned, with endless possibilities. 🙂 I do think each can be read on its own, but there are definitely carry-over plot points, so reading the series would give a reader the best experience. The Otherborns are vampires, weres, shape shifters, mages, wraiths, and felines. I plan on adding some new ones to the mix, as well. The next book, Chosen By Fate, is about the wraith and the human psychic shaman. Book 3 is about the werebeast and a vampire.

    Ivy, I'm glad you liked my reasons. Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  • Faith Bates May 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Fantastic interview Virna. I love how multi-layered your characters are, it's so easy to be pulled into the struggle of wills because of how easy it is to relate to your characters.
    I also love the fact that you remind us your a reader to and that you write what you'd love to read. It's great to feel a sense of companionship with the author. Thanks for giving us an awesome book and a piece of you 🙂

  • Teril May 27, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Thanx for the interview it was full of awesome. The characters sound so wonderful and full of depth, I cannot wait to read your new release. I have seen great reviews on line and the snippets from the book that I have seen have all been great! I love the second cover also.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  • Kaya H May 27, 2011 at 10:51 am

    That was a great interview. I had not heard of this book prior but now I am totally intrigued. These characters sound great and layered, and the plot looks nice and deep. I love the sound of book two. Thank you for coming on adn introducing me to your work.

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  • Nadia Lee May 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I can't believe I've not heard of this series! I love paranormal romance novels, and am always looking for a new series to try.

    And don't you just love how everything comes together as you write whether or not you planned it that way? 🙂

  • Bethany C. May 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I really like that there are so many different paranormal beings- something for everyone! I look forward to reading how they all interact.


  • Betty May 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for a great interview. I've heard so many great things about this new series. I can't wait to read Chosen By Blood.

  • LSUReader May 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    What a nice introduction to an author who is new to me.

    Virna, your Para-Ops series sounds very interesting, and I see you'll soon have a romantic suspense book out. Are PNR and romantic suspense your favorite genres? What usually fills your TBR list? Thanks for visiting.

  • Danielle May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I really like that even though the books deal with vampires, the premise is not so overused and boring like some other new PNR series that pop up all the time now. Would love to get my hands on Chosen by Blood


  • Natasha A. May 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I'm very happy to read more about this story/series!! I have had it on my to buy list since I first saw it a few weeks ago!!
    I look forward to reading it!

    natasha AT

  • Victoria May 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Your entire bases for this series sounds fantastic. I really can't wait to read CHOSEN BY BLOOD. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.


  • Estella May 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    great interview! I love paranormal stories.
    I like your book covers. Who does them?

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  • Chelsea B. May 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Hi, Virna! 🙂 I am very excited to read Chosen By Blood! I've been hearing fabulous things about it!
    Wishing you great success!!


  • Virna DePaul May 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Faith, I love that sense of connection, too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Teril, Thank you for reading the reviews and snippets. I hope you enjoy the book(s)!

    Kaya H, So glad you're intrigued! 🙂

    Nadia, Thank you! I hope you'll give it a try. And yes, when everything connects and flows, it's magical!

    Bethany C., It's been fun exploring the different races and seeing how they all can work together.

    Betty, Yay on hearing great things!!

    LSUReader, yes those are my two favorite genres. Right now, I love Rhyannon Byrd, JR Ward, Larissa Ione, Cynthia Eden, Karen Rose, etc. Lots more! I do love contemporaries like Rachel Gibson, Susan Andersen, Christie Craig, Lori Foster etc. And of course, historicals every once in awhile too. I just love romance in general.

    Danielle, Thank you! I really hope my stories are fresh but also satisfying to the PNR reader in general.

    Natasha A.: Thank you! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

    Victoria: Thank you for stopping by!

    Estella, Berkley's art department did the covers. I agree, they're GORGEOUS!!

    Chelsea, thank you so much! I appreciate your enthusiasm and well wishes very much! 🙂

  • Barbara E. May 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Your Para-Ops series sounds fantastic, and I'm eager to see how this special ops team works out. I love the covers shown so far, especially Chosen by Fate, the blue really stands out.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  • Virna DePaul May 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Barbara E., Thank you for your interest in the Para-Ops team. I love the blue on Wraith's cover, too. Berkley's art dept is AMAZING! 🙂

  • Jen B. May 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I really want to read this book! I have to say that I love the covers. I know authors often say that they don't have much cover control but did you? These covers suggest that either you did or the artist has done both covers. I love the red on the first and the blue on the second. Will the third be color coded? I just love really good series covers! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Diane May 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I just finished reading your book and now am waiting for the next one, really enjoyed it.

  • emmad May 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Love hearing about new authors and from your description definately sounds like a series I would enjoy. Love the art work as well.
    I do have a question though. Do you have an ereader and how do you think they (ereaders) have changed the book market


  • Virna DePaul May 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Jen B., My publisher asked me how I envisioned the covers, and I told them. They took my general preferences and created something wonderful, especially because they incorporated specific details from the book. The same artists did the covers, and i hope they'll do future ones the same way. 🙂

    Diane, I'm glad you enjoyed CBB. CBF will be a fun ride, too! 🙂

    emmad, glad the series sounds interesting to you. Re ereaders, I do think it has changed the market, giving readers and writers more choices and opportunities. I have an ereader, but in truth I still prefer reading print books. My ereader's great when I want to buy a book NOW and can't wait for the bookstore to open, but otherwise it doesn't get much action. Maybe that will change…? Thanks so much!

  • marybelle May 28, 2011 at 2:38 am

    I enjoyed the interview. I love discovering new authors & their works, so it's all good from here.

  • mbreakfield May 28, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Great interview! Chosen by Blood sounds like my kind of read and, I love the cover.

  • Tore May 28, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Thanks for the great interview. I love paranormal books and I can't wait to read yours. Your new book sounds really great. I can't wait to read it and the series. Please enter me in contest.

  • Welzen May 29, 2011 at 10:53 am

    That was a great interview.

    I had not hear of this book but I like the plot. It looks like an incredible story.

    Congratularions on a fabulous new PNR Series 🙂

    I love the covers.

    Finally, what inspires your writing?

  • BooksforCompany May 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

    They are definitely three great reasons to read your books! =)
    booksforcompany @

  • Stacie May 29, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Congrats on the new release Virna!

    I think this new series sounds very exciting. I would have to say that paranormal romance is my favorite genre. I love the color scheme for the books in this series also. Having the focus on one striking color really draws in the eye.

    Congrats on all of your upcoming series too. It looks like you will be busy for a while.

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net
    GeishasMom73 on twitter

  • Melissa (Books and Things) May 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I have heard such good things about this book and the interview was fun. Great 3 reasons! Oh do enter me. I really want to read it!

  • kara-karina May 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Well, I certainly can not stay away from a woman trained in verbal judo and a vampire with a marriage of convenience! *grinning* This goes on my huge TBR pile no matter what, and thank you for a giveaway!

  • Linda May 30, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Added to my wishlist & looking forward to reading it . OK I hv to buy it 1st! … winning it would work most excellently too 🙂

  • Pamk May 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    great interview and I've already added the first book in this series to my wish list. Looks like I need to add the second one too lol.
    Looking forward to reading your books.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  • Sheree May 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Great interview! I'm just bummed that I missed out on meeting Virna in Campbell on Saturday! 🙁

    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

  • JessS June 1, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Great interview. I've heard about this books and would really like to read it. I love, first off the fact that it's a special ops team, that sounds awesome and mysterious, and also the interactions between all the different supernatural creatures sounds like it'd be really interesting. Also I love the covers.
    I've noticed that there are so many different ways of spelling the word for a half vampire and you use dharmire so, my question is why did you chose it and how exactly are you meant to pronounce it?

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Maria (pronounced Mariah) I blame my mother... June 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I have seen lost of great revies for Chosen By Blood around lately…and those reasons sound like good ones to me. I think it is important for a writer to also be an avid reader!

    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

  • Anonymous June 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    great interview. congrats on the new release. ive heard a lot of good about you and your books. id love to read your book.


  • Sarah June 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Sounds like a great first book! Can't wait to read it and the next one 🙂

    smaccall AT

  • Meredith June 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I've never read anything by this author. Her books look great–lots of action and adventure.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  • donnas June 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Great interview. Congrats on the release. Sounds like a great new series and Knox sounds like a interesting character. Love romantic suspense too so going to have to be on the lookout for both!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • Jeanne June 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    It´s the first time I hear about this author but it sounds interesting and I think I could like it 😀
    I´m thinking that I would love Knox Devereaux xD Let´s hope I will read it!

  • janhvi June 12, 2011 at 2:38 am

    thank you for this awesome giveaway and for making it international!!:)
    i am always looking forward to reading new authors with something different and unique.this book sounds amazing with good world building.
    i am looking forward to reading it.

    GFC-Janhvi Jagtap
    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

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