Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Author -- Karin Harlow

Here at The Romance Dish we love to talk to debut authors. Joining us today is paranormal romantic suspense debut author Karin Harlow.

Karin is in the midst of a media blitz over her novel ENEMY LOVER, which is the first in the L.O.S.T. series. I have just finished reading this book and I totally LOVED it! My review will be posted tomorrow, May 20.

Please give a warm welcome to Karin Harlow.

Thank you for inviting me! I love the new digs, ladies! Very friendly and I don’t get lost! :-)

So, today I want to talk about movies and emotion. I’m a visualist. I like to see things, hear them, experience the story by being there in the moment. I love atmospheric movies. Movies with pacing that keeps me on the edge of my seat. But more than that, the best movies, regardless of genre, for me are the heart-pounding in your face romances. I want to feel the rush the characters are feeling.

One movie I watched a while ago that had me on the edge of my seat and in tears was Casino Royale. Two scenes actually got me. The one where James gets his boys whacked. Yowch! I could not stop cringing! But it was the scene in Venice, where after James realized the woman he loved had betrayed him, and all hell started to break loose, that he went after her. Not able to live with herself for what she had done (even though I understand the reasoning) his lady, unable to face him, ran. One thing lead to another, the building they were in began to fill with water, and when James got too close, she locked herself in the cage elevator that was underwater, wanting to die rather than face him for what she had done.

“No, no!” I screamed. “Man up! You can work this out!”

Despite her tearing his heart out and feeding it to the fishes, love triumphed. Desperately, maniacally, James tried to save her. But when he was finally able to release her, it was too late. He didn’t give up. No, not James. He swam with her limp body clutched to his chest to the surface, where he tried desperately to breathe life into her dead body. I felt his desperation. I felt his entire world crumbling around me as it crumbled around him. I felt his helplessness to save the woman he loved. And though I read the book, which, big surprise did not end that way, I knew why double-oh-seven became the cool, calm, calculating womanizer we have always known. His heart had been ripped out, torn into pieces and cast into the wind, never ever to be completely whole again.

That scene has stayed with me years later. It has become my visual mantra. My high water mark for ripping the guts out of my characters, and consequently myself. When I cry as I’m writing a scene, I know something good is happening, good in the sense I have struck a deep, raw nerve. It’s really what separates a good book from a great book. The emotion the characters wring out of me the writer and you the reader. I worked hard to make each and every page of ENEMY LOVER mean something. I worked hard to make each scene count. I worked hard as I reached deep inside of my battle weary and war torn characters to pull the last vestiges of their emotions from them, then force them to give me more. I loved every freaking minute of it!

I’m proud to say that Jax Cassidy and Marcus Cross are two of the most destroyed and rebuilt with parts missing characters I have ever had the pleasure to write or read about. Their depth is deep, authentic and moving. I make no excuses for who they are and what they do. Hell, Marcus is a vampire at the top his game. A predator by nature, he owns the term vampire. And Jax? A force of nature to be sure. Put the two of them together and you have nuclear fission.

Yeah, they’re the kind of characters I love to read, so it’s not wonder they’re the kind of characters I love to write.

How about you?

What movie have you watched lately where a character just ripped your heart out?

Answer and be entered to win a custom L.O.S.T. latte mug!

Oh, PS -- I love to hear from readers! Feel free to stop by my site or friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. You can always reach me at

~ Buffie


Book One in the highly anticipated L.O.S.T. series.
Pocket Star, May 25, 2010

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, special ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus's right hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.


  1. The Book of Eli (Denzel Washington) I LOVED that movie. It's totally unique, and absolutely character driven. Of course, Denzel can do no wrong LOL
    Don't enter me in the contest, but thanks for another really fun question Karin!! And Jax and Marcus are easily amongst the most memorable fictional characters ever, IMO

  2. Hey Karin! Thanks for joining us today.

    I have to say that I haven't been to a movie in a really long time. But the last movie I watched that had characters that have stuck with me was THE BLIND SIDE. Sandra Bullock's character was powerful. A mother to the end!

    And I have to agree with Bonnie, Jax and Marcus are VERY memorable :-)

    Best of luck with ENEMY LOVER!

  3. Hi Karin! Welcome!

    I don't watch that many movies but, after reading your blog, I'm going to be renting Casino Royale. Wow! You ripped my heart out just writing about it!

    Love the excerpt from Enemy Lover. I'll be picking that up too! How many books do you plan to write in the L.O.S.T. series?

  4. It's weird, but all I remember from Casino Royale was the poker scene. I'll remember Jax and Marcus, though. I felt the remembered emotion and raw tension just reading this blog. An awesome book!

  5. Hi,
    I have to say Prince Albert from the Young Victoria. All my goodness i felt for him. It seemed to be the only true love story between royalty and when you find out he died so young.... I looked up Victoria and Albert story afterwards and Q.Victoria spend 10 years in mourning for him. That was some powerful love between them.


  6. Bonnie, did not see that movie! Adding it to the netflix cache. thx!

    and tho i'm a wee bit biased, Jax and Marcus are on my all time to remember list!

  7. Buffie, thank you again for having me. I really like the new place.

    I loved The Blind Side. Loved SB's character. I love mama bear characters.

    So glad you feel the same way about Marcus and Jax as I do!

  8. PJ you will not be disappointed! I mean those scenes aside, who can't look at Daniel Craig for 90 mins and not have a smile on their face?

    I hope you do pick up ENEMY LOVER, I'm really proud of that story. I'm working on book two of the series. More books depends on how well one and two do. Yanno, that bottom line thing. I'm crossing everything ENEMY LOVER does well out of the gate. I have lots of L.O.S.T. books to write!

  9. Hey, Edie, that was a great scene! I really enjoyed the entire movie. Much better in some ways than the book, which was written in a very odd disjointed way. I'm so happy you enjoyed the blog. Marcus and Jax really did put us through the emotional ringer. :)

  10. Jedisakora, I read a book many years ago about Victoria. It was basically her memoirs put together into story form. Her love match with Albert was truly what fairy tales are made of. She was never the same after his death.

  11. Hello and welcome, Karin! So glad you could be with us today. :) Congrats on your debut release!

    I have to go with Harry from the Harry Potter movies. He goes through sooooo much in his young life. I just love him!

  12. Sorry I'm so late to the party, Karin. I'm looking forward to reading ENEMY LOVER--sounds great!

  13. I love tortured heroes and heroines. They make a story so much more visceral. I love stories that break you heart for the characters. Have not been to any movies except kids movies lately. no gut wrenching pathos there. If you want to watch a movie that will grab your heart and squeeze it, try THE PAWNBROKER with Rod Steiger which came out in 1965. There is a man whose heart has been totally destroyed and he isn't getting it back.
    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  14. Hey, Karyn, was that not just the best ever? Loved that movie on so many levels!

  15. Thank you for the welcome, Andrea, I'm really happy to be here! Ah, yes Harry Potter! an amazing character!

  16. Gannon the party is still going! Better late than never. Glad you made it! I hope you enjoy ENEMY LOVER, I certainly enjoyed writing it!

  17. libaraypat, I'm going to check The Pawnbroker out! Thank you!

  18. Karin--I think your retelling of the Casino Royale scene may have been better than the actual movie! (Or maybe I need to watch it again.) I can't recall any recent movies that have stayed with me like that. Your book sounds great.

  19. Thanks, LSUReader! If you happen to pick up a copy of ENEMY LOVER email me and let me know what you think!

  20. Hi Karin, late to the party. Just want to say I had added your debut to my wishlist when I first ran across, and glad to see how much Buffie loved it. A little paranormal with the romantic suspense draws me in all the more.