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Danger is Sweet
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   Love as deep as the sea!

Title: Danger is Sweet

Author: Cornelia Amiri

Publisher: Awe-Struck

GENRE: Fantasy Fiction/Romance

ISBN: 1587493969

Paperback; 153 pages


* also available as an eBook


Rating: Highly Recommended


September 15, 2004


In 843 AD a young Scotsman and his cousin take a boat out into a storm for the thrill and attempt to catch a boatload of fish to impress Kenneth’s father, the King at the time. Imperious to the danger of doing such a foolish thing, Malcolm and Kenneth realize their folly when both are thrown over into the sea and only Kenneth appears to have escaped with his life.


Several years later Malcolm arrives on Scotland territories and discovers that not only is his father dead, but Kenneth’s father the King as well. Malcolm is persuaded against his will to stay and champion Kenneth in his quest as King to unite the Scots and Pict’s.


However, before the mission is complete, an attempt on the Kings life forces Malcolm into marriage with a beautiful Pict woman who despises Scots. Malcolm eventually gains the respect and trust of his unwilling bride and they both fall madly in love.


The task of uniting the Scots and the Pict’s under King Kenneth McAlpin is close at hand. Completion will end Malcolm’s forced stay in the territory, as well, as his one-year hard marriage to his Pict wife, Bethoc.


Just as everything seems to come together, Bethoc unearths a secret about Malcolm that leaves her distraught. Can their love overcome this obstacle or will they be forced apart forever?


Danger Is Sweet combines romance with duty, pride, honor and a little bit of the paranormal. It is a delightfully enchanting tale about the mysteries of romance and the sea.


 Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds


Purchase your copy today!

An Interview with Cornelia Amiri



Betsie: To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


Danger Is Sweet is a tale of romance between a Pict princess and a Scott warrior in 9th century Scotland. Set against the backdrop of Kenneth McAlpin’s reign, it’s laced with Celtic mythology, including selkies and the stone of destiny.




Betsie: Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


I was born in Wilmington, Delaware and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Baytown, Texas. Reading was a part of my life beginning with the first grade. One day, at age six, I took some lined writing paper and a fat pencil and created what I called books, the first grade reader type. I sold them in our front yard on Broadmoor Court in Baton Rouge, LA.  It was kind of like a lemonade stand with an upside down cardboard box for my counter and a cardboard sign written in black crayon.  I marked them down from 5 cents to 1 cent then for free. A boy who was in my class rode by on his bike and took them all for free.




Betsie: Who were your earliest influences and why?


As a teenager I loved the sci-fi wittings of Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison. They influenced me to maintain realism, write true emotion, be creative in my writing, and focus on strong characterizations. 




Betsie: What would a typical day be like for a writer?


On a day when I’m off work from my day job, I begin between 8 am or 9 am. I go to the computer and pull up a completed rough draft I have to do rewrites on or I’ll pull up a new project where I write fresh with the purpose of finishing a rough draft.  It depends on how high my energy level is. I usually have one finished rough draft and two I’m beginning with only three or four chapters completed.  Also, I usually have about five additional plot ideas, characterizations, and premises for future projects.  So I always have plenty of stuff to do. The better I feel, the more likely I am to work on something new.  Then I get hungry. I eat. I   work on my writing some more. I get tired. I rest. I write some more. I get kind of bored. And I do critiques or answer more e-mails or research or write my column for Savvy Click. Then I eat super. Watch a little TV. Talk to my son. I go back on the computer for an hour or two and write more. I fall to sleep about 12 am, wake up about 4 am, and write some more.  I go back to sleep about 6 am and wake up about 8 am and do it all over again. It would be a very geekish and boring life to most people, but I find it fun. I am never happier than when I am writing. 




Betsie: How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I’ve been writing seriously (with the intent to get published) for five years. In addition to the novels, I have written a monthly web-site review column for the last three years. I also write non-fiction articles on a variety of subjects from domestic violence to retro decorating. Including an Up Close & Factual Infoproduct, published with Our Mail Network, Get A Grip On Debt With  Credit Counseling. I also write short stories, one of which will be printed in Aribella sometime in 2005.  




Betsie: Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


I think fiction because I still have to research and learn everything I can about the time periods I write in, but I also have to create the characters. I have to write characters charts, which outline what has happened in their life prior to where their story begins in my book. I also find fiction more fun to write.




Betsie: Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


Yes, there are times when it all seems too much. Writing takes up a lot of time. The book sales are so far below what I would like that it seems almost embarrassing at times. Co-workers at my day job and acquaintances seem to think that I am either lying about being a published author or that I am self-published. This of course results in a lot of negative self-criticism on my part, but then I remember how lucky I am. For I am living my dream. Here it is, only five years after I decided I was going to go for this, and I have three books published with one of the most respected and highly recommended e-publishers, Awe-struck E-Books. In the grand scheme of things very few people even follow their dreams much less have as much success with achieving them as I have. I’ve got the hard part down, I’m writing and getting quality books published. All I have to do is find out how to sell them at the level I need. I remind myself that my writing is good, because my books receive rave reviews from so many sources including Romantic Times Book Club. My second book was nominated for an Eppie in 2004. And Kathryn and Dick at Awe-Struck wouldn't publish my books unless they were of an exceptionally high quality.  Those are the only kind of books that Awe-Struck publishes. In fact, in the 2004 Eppies, in the historical fiction category, out of the five finalist, four of them, (including the winner, Elise Dee Beraru’s The Hungry Heart) were Awe-Struck novels. And the best part is, I’ve only just begun. My writing gets better with each book.



Betsie: What is the hardest part about being a writer?


The hardest part in general is the time it takes. No one has that much extra time so you have to steal it from other places. In my case I write when I should be cleaning, cooking, or sleeping. I put my writing over every aspect of housework all the time. I also eat a lot of fast food to save cooking time and clean up time. Then again, I don’t like housework. So secretly I’m kind of happy with that excuse not to do it.




Betsie: Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


I love history and I use my knowledge and interest to write historical romance novels. I also collect vintage clothes and sell them on E-bay.  I use the basic familiarity with colors and textures for sight and touch senses when writing.




Betsie: Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


I find pushing myself to write everyday and to focus my free time on my family and writing over anything else is a healthy sacrifice. It’s not easy to follow a dream. It’s always hard work but in the end I would sacrifice a lot more by not following my dream. I think our dreams are spiritual realizations of the type of work we were meant to do. I feel that if I did not follow my dream I would fall short of my reason for being here. But I don’t think the essence of the dream should be sacrificed. As a young writer, (I’m not young in age but I am new to writing) I don’t think I should be following strict publishers marketing guidelines in my writing. At this early stage of my writing, I do not want to try to write books almost identical to those that are selling well. I want to write the stories that are coming from me. Because I think it is the only way I can find and develop my individual voice and grow to be the best writer I can. This is the way I will become a best selling author. That is the path I’m taking. My writing is my dream so I wont’ do anything I feel may stop me from developing my writing to it’s full potential. 




Betsie: What question do you get asked more than any other?


That question is, How long does it take you to write a book?  It really does vary and I can write a rough draft faster than I can rewrite a book. But nine months total is a fair answer.




Betsie: What’s the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


A fan told me they were mad when they finished reading The Fox Prince because they liked my characters, Tryffin and Aelfrida, so much they didn’t want the book to ever end.




Betsie: What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


Here are some direct quotes from readers about my books. These readers are all with book crossing, so I took the quotes from their journal entries. “When I had to put it down I still thought about the characters,” “A very quick read and written very well.” “She makes the people in her books real as she can to make you feel what they feel.” “Characters were compelling” and “Beautiful story, with fleshed out interesting characters.”




Betsie: Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


I watch what goes on around me as if I was watching a move. Writers create characters, places, and stories that imitate life as closely as possible. You only imitate what you love. I find real life and people to be wonderfully entertaining. I love the drama, I love the humor, the action, and all the surprise endings of day-to-day life.  No matter what happens to me or around me, I know if nothing else, I can always put it in an article or a story.




Betsie: Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?


There are many. Some are Morgan Llywelyn, Cecelia Holland, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, J. R. R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Don Coldsmith, Rosemary Edghill, Teresa Mederios, Anya Seton, and Judith Merkle Riley.




Betsie: If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Put the inner editor aside, write, and finish a rough draft. Write the story as it comes out of you, but don’t make any corrections. Just write. When you’re finished learn the craft through books, classes, workshops, any and all ways you can, so you can craft the rough draft into a publishable book. And never give up.




Betsie: What kind of movies do you enjoy?


I love independent films, especially those that deliver social message in an entertaining way. I’m into fantasy, especially magic, so the Lord of the Ring films and the Harry Potter movies top my list. And I love period films, the latest being Troy and the new King Arthur film. I am looking forward to Mel Gibson’s movie about Queen Boudicca as she is my favorite, all time historical character. I am working on something about her.




Betsie: What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldn’t want to live in?


The only one that comes to mind is New York, but It’s not that I wouldn’t want to live there, I just don’t think I can currently afford to live there.




Betsie: What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?


Someone asked me what it was like to write about the 18th century. But when I told them no my books are set in the dark ages; they were very nice about it. They said, “Oh, I’m way off.” It can be confusing for people who speak to many different writers on a daily basis and I do set my writing in unusual time periods.




Betsie: What’s the best part of being a writer?


You know how each of us, in our daily lives, often find ourselves talking with people, sometimes even answering their questions, but they just look blankly at us or interrupt or walk off. In other words people don’t listen to what you have to say. But in my writing people not only listen to what I have to say, they pay me for it. That’s pretty cool.  Who wouldn’t love that?




Betsie: What's next? 


I’m working on a sequel to The Fox Prince, called The Vixen Princess. It’s Nesta’s story, Tryffin’s sister.  I haven’t received final word yet, but I’m hoping it will be available from Awe-Struck in 2006. Also, I have a short story that will be published in Aribella sometime in 2005.



Betsie's Literary Page has enjoyed learning of this talented author and we hope you did too. Here's to wishing Ms. Amiri great success!