Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today's Special - - Virginia Kantra


You may have guessed from reviews that Gannon and I have posted that we're huge fans of Virginia Kantra's Children of the Sea series.  (Click here to read Gannon's review of Virginia's current release, Forgotten Sea.)  We love these stories and apparently we aren't the only ones as two of her 2010 works, Immortal Sea and "Shifting Sea" are finalists for the 2011 RITA awards (winners to be announced July 1st at the RWA National Conference in NYC) Congratulations, Virginia!  

Please join us in welcoming Virginia back to The Romance Dish as she blogs about star-crossed lovers.




My husband and I were only seventeen when we met, an Italian steelworker from Ohio, the first of his family to go to college, and an English professor’s daughter from the Main Line. Our friends were confused. Our parents were dismayed.

Even I had doubts, though Italian Guy says he never did. But I was an English major. I’d read Romeo and Juliet. I thought then that what Juliet really needed was a Sassy Gay Friend. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this now. Really. I’ll wait.)




“What, what, what are you doing?” Romeo and Juliet are too different, too impulsive, too young to fall in love. They barely know each other. They should have listened when their families and friends warned them they were headed for trouble.

Of course, they don’t, with disastrous consequences.

All those doubts boiled back when I started writing Forgotten Sea. There are always good reasons in a romance novel why the hero and heroine cannot fall in love. But the obstacles and the stakes felt higher in this book.

Fallen angel Lara Rho, is a Seeker—one called to rescue other lost children of air before they’re hunted down by the demonic children of fire. She thinks she’s found her latest charge in sailor Justin Miller. But Justin is no angel...and no ordinary mortal, either. He remembers nothing of his life before the day he was plucked from a shipwreck seven years ago. The two are so different, in temperament, in background, in their values and outlooks on life. Lara’s fierce attraction to Justin and her determination to do the right thing pits her against her own kind and puts them one step ahead of the pursuing demons. On the road—because of course it just had to be a road romance, too, with its shortened time frame and added danger—Lara and Justin must work together to discover his true identity before what they don't know kills them both. With so much at risk, the last thing they should do is fall in love.

Star-crossed? You bet.
Reckless? Oh yeah.
Would they be safer if they’d never met? Definitely.

Writing Lara and Justin’s story reminded me how it feels when your world upends and spins into a heart-pounding new orbit. When you challenge everything you know and leave everything you love behind.

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What, what, what was I thinking? But when I look at my husband, I know that lovers can make their own happy ending, against all odds.

I hope you’ll join Lara and Justin on their journey of discovery, share their adventure and feel those feelings again--the passionate attraction, the reckless commitment, and the breathless tumble into love. (And, of course, the happy ending!)

What’s your favorite story of star-crossed lovers? Does it end happily or unhappily? And, if there’s someone special in your life, do you come from the same or very different backgrounds?

One randomly selected person leaving a comment today will win a signed copy of Forgotten Sea. (U.S./Canadian addresses only)


For more information about Virginia, please visit her website and "like" her author page on facebook. 

37 comments:

  1. My favorite star and time crossed lovers has to be Jamie Frasier and Claire Randall from the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon.

    Separated by time and space, what could be more romantic. And Jaime can't even go after her, she has to come back to him! Sigh!

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  2. Good morning, Virginia! We're so happy you're here today.

    Before I discuss my favorite star-crossed pairs, I have to say how funny I think the "Sassy Gay Friend" videos are! I've seen a few, and they always make me laugh. :-D

    Of course, I love Romeo and Juliet, but their ending is not the HEA I like. Every time I watch Romeo and Juliet, even though I know how it ends, there's part of me that wishes Juliet would wake up just a wee bit sooner. ;-)

    So glad Flora mentioned Jamie and Claire. Love, love, love them!

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  3. Forgot to say that Iestyn and Lara are another pair of star-crossed lovers that are now on my list of favorites. :-)

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  4. Hi Virginia! ::waving enthusiastically:: It's great to have you with us today!

    Forgotten Sea is such a wonderful story. I've read the ARC twice and am looking forward to picking up a published copy to add to my Children of the Sea keeper shelf.

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  5. fsbuchler, I'm probably one of the few people on the planet who hasn't read the Outlander series yet. One of these days...

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  6. Gannon said, Forgot to say that Iestyn and Lara are another pair of star-crossed lovers that are now on my list of favorites.

    Me too! :)

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  7. Thank you so much for having me at The Dish today!

    Ah, yes, Jamie and Claire...Love that whole series, though none of the others equal the OMG punch of Outlander for me.

    Time travel is such a big obstacle to resolve believably. But another "favorite pair" would definitely be Grace and Black Niall from Linda Howard's Son of the Morning.

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  8. I think Daniel and Serai from Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day is my favorite so far. But I've just started "the children of the sea" series, and I'm really getting into them:) I can't wait to get to "Forbidden sea"! After reading the excerpt, it just gave me chills...

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  9. Virginia, what a lovely story you and your DH have! As for favorite star-crossed lovers, I'm drawing a blank, but those stories are fun to read, where it seems fated even though in some ways the couple don't necessarily seem a good fit! As for my husband and I, we do have somewhat similar backgrounds...

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  10. Forgotten Sea sounds like it's going to be a terrific read! I just purchased Sea Witch for my Kindle because the whole Children of the Sea series looks good and I thought I would start from the beginning. Is it necessary to start from the beginning of the series? Or can each of the books stand alone?

    As far as star-crossed lovers go... most of the paranormal series I read don't have the problem of the lovers not being able to be together; the relationships always seems to come together in a HEA. So, definitely Jamie and Clare Fraser! Luckily they do end up together for most of the series, albeit in a different time from her own... I guess you can't have everything! :-)

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  11. Virginia said, Time travel is such a big obstacle to resolve believably. But another "favorite pair" would definitely be Grace and Black Niall from Linda Howard's Son of the Morning.

    I finally got a copy of that book. I've heard so many wonderful things about if from other readers. Now to find time to read it myself!

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  12. tshudson13 said, I think Daniel and Serai from Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day is my favorite so far.

    I've heard great things about this series. Another one I have to find time to read!

    Thanks for stopping by today!

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  13. flchen1 said, those stories are fun to read, where it seems fated even though in some ways the couple don't necessarily seem a good fit!

    I totally agree! My late dh and I were one of those couples. Made our happy 25 year marriage all the more special.

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  14. Great blog and I LOVE that cover! All the best for your release!

    I am going with Time Travel, 'Kiss of the Highlander' by Karen Marie Moning Gwen and Drustan. *sigh*

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  15. Welcome EarthAngel! You said, I just purchased Sea Witch for my Kindle because the whole Children of the Sea series looks good and I thought I would start from the beginning. Is it necessary to start from the beginning of the series? Or can each of the books stand alone?

    I don't know how Virginia will answer this but, as a reader, I highly recommend you start with Sea Witch and read the rest of the books in order. Each book in the series builds upon the previous book and you'll enjoy them so much more (again, in my opinion) by reading them in order. Enjoy!

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  16. Karyn, I think that's one of my favorite covers of the year. Yum!

    You said, I am going with Time Travel, 'Kiss of the Highlander' by Karen Marie Moning Gwen and Drustan. *sigh*

    Great book!

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  18. I honestly can't think of my favorite star-crossed lovers of all time as it would probably take me quit awhile to go through all the stories I've read and pick the best ever. I would say my favorite star crossed lovers out of the books I've read in the last several months would be Aiden and Charity from Aiden's Charity, part of Lora Leigh's Breed series.

    I've read a couple of the books from your Children Of he Sea series and can't wait to get my hands on this story. Thanks for the contest!

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  19. I'm another reader who thinks that Jamie and Claire Frasier from Outlander have to be my favorite.
    I was so impressed by that book and those characters that I have been following the series for many years and always await the newest book with bated breath.

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  20. TS, I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt! And I love Alyssa's Atlantis series (which I would say even if she hadn't given me a cover quote for Forgotten Sea!).

    EarthAngel, thanks so much for giving the Sea books a try! The first three (Sea Witch, Sea Fever, and Sea Lord, involving the Hunter siblings) should be read in order, if you can manage it. The next two are very standalone, although they do reference characters and events from earlier stories. The prequel novellas in Burning Up and Shifter can be read at any point. Have I hopelessly confused you now?

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  21. Karyn, thanks for the good wishes! I do have the most amazing covers ever, thanks to the fabulous Tony Mauro. You can see the original artwork (and read an interview with him) here:

    http://virginiakantra.net/maurointerview.html

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  22. I have to say I never enjoyed Romeo and Juliet. Maybe I don't have enough sass to go against the family. I was always partial to King Lear and Hamlet.

    The closest I can come to thinking of Star-Crossed Lovers is Lucivar Yaslana and Marion the hearth witch in the Black Jewels anthology Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop.

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  23. Outlander is a fav. One of the saddest that sticks in my mind is James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Edith Keeler (Joan Collins) in the original Star Trek episode City on the Edge of Forever.

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  24. But another "favorite pair" would definitely be Grace and Black Niall from Linda Howard's Son of the Morning.

    Virginia, after years of hearing people rave about that book, I finally located a copy at a UBS. Can't wait to read it!

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  25. I am going with Time Travel, 'Kiss of the Highlander' by Karen Marie Moning Gwen and Drustan. *sigh*

    Karyn, I love all of KMM's MacKeltar books. Yum!

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  26. Great post Virginia, and congrats on your new book. It sounds like an awesome story and I can't wait to read it. Love the cover.

    I guess I will go with everyone else and choose Jamie and Claire for my star crossed lovers because I can't thing of anyone else right now.

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  27. I love Tristan and Isolde. But not a very heppy ending

    Hollybwright at comcast dot net

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  28. Although I love HEA it seems the ones that aren't stick with me the most - Romeo and Juliet, Titantic and of course Rhett and Scarlet!

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  29. Hello and welcome back, Virginia!! And congrats on your newest release! PJ and Gannon have done a lot of wonderful raving about your books! :)

    As for the star-crossed pairs, I'm drawing a total blank! As for me and my husband, we come from different backgrounds. My husband comes from a VERY dysfunctional family and mine is not...and this includes the extended families, too!

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  30. I don't know about "favorite" but Romeo and Juliet convinced me that I would never be such idiots when I became a teenager. Theirs was a cautionary tale to me (as a rather serious middle schooler).

    I, too, haven't read "Outlander" even though I have it as a paper book and ebook. One of these days...

    Those Sassy Gay Friend videos are wonderful!

    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

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  31. Virginia, thank you so much for visiting with us today! We wish you all the best with FORBIDDEN SEA and at the upcoming RITA awards ceremony.

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  32. Tough question...Jamie and Claire are up there and Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont from "A Discovery of Witches." Can't wait to read the sequel.

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  33. Sookie Stackhouse and Vampire Bill! My fiance and I are from very different backgrounds, but our viewpoints and life values mesh.

    Robin D

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  34. I have all the books for the Outlander series and still haven't read them. They are exactly my type of story and characters. I am guilty of looking at how long they are and knowing If I start them, I'll want to read them all the way through. I'll never get anything done.
    Most time travel books fit this category pretty well. This past year, Elizabeth Lane put out CHRISTMAS MOON. Very real characters, time travel, and a doomed future. Well done and no real certainty there would be an HEA. I really enjoyed it.

    My DH and I had different backgrounds. I grew up in a small city, a irish-french catholic, and was surrounded by a large extended family. Until my last year of college, I never went anywhere. My DH came from a military family that had moved around the country. Small family with a New England protestant dad and southern baptist mom. We just celebrated our 39th anniversary last week, so we must be doing something right.

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  35. What a great post today. Fascinating. Star crossed lovers have always intrigued me. Tony and Maria in West Side Story.

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  36. An extremely special post today which resonates with me. Love that topic. In the book, Keeping Time which is memorable the two characters who are star crossed lovers are Daisy and Michael.

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  37. I love Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series. The fact that Phedre and Joscelyn actually make it as a couple is so amazing. I would love to win this giveaway.
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

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