Saturday, April 3, 2010

Character Bites with Valerie J. Long’s, Zoe Lionheart

ValerieJLongLIONESSHEART Hi, friends! I am Zoe Lionheart, involuntary heroine of a series bearing my name which just starts on eXtasybooks. I’m glad Tamara offered me the chance to talk to you, my prospective fans, for the first time, and I hope we will have more opportunities to talk once I’ve found out what I am.
You can find my first mission, Lioness’ Heart, released April 1st 2010, here:

Buy Link

What makes you special?
Good question–I’d like to know that, too. So far it’s a mystery to me. You know, I’ve lead a quite ordinary life, working for a small print shop in Phoenix, until the day my friend was shot down right before my eyes. I barely got away alive. But then, the killer has been after me, the cops have been after me, suddenly my life was a mess! I had to hide in the witness protection program and I needed a new job. Then I was offered a very special job in a very special unit. It didn’t take me long to go for it. First, all other options were ultimatively boring. Second, I’ve always liked this Mission Impossible stuff–the ones with Peter Graves–I simply couldn’t resist being part of it. Third, the team lead–Matt–is such a cute guy!

Do you have special abilities?
Yes, sure. I’ve been a computer geek all my life. There’s hardly a system in the world I can’t hack into–that’s what the team needed me for. Doing some research and such. However, it didn’t take long and I got my first field mission. Matt had to understand that some computers are not connected to a public network–then you have to go and look for yourself.

I have a knack for martial arts, too–and had a good teacher–but that’s probably not what you are referring to, eh? I recently found out that I can run hundred meters in less than eight seconds, and I can keep that pace for half an hour. You’d call that special, do you?

Tell me about your most current adventure.
The one I’ve just finished? Perhaps I should give an idea how it started–have a look what Valerie wrote:

“In front of Rick’s door, a parking space had just become available. Hastily she maneuvered her Mini into the gap. A last look into the mirror—fine. She opened another two buttons of her blouse as the stern office look was not to Rick’s taste and because she wasn’t just flat as a pancake, she could depend on that to titillate him.

Shit. She’d almost landed in the pit, which was gaping in the sidewalk—the municipal services had been in a hurry to knock off work. Well, she could understand that.
In the corridor of the old five-story building, she stopped once again. Today she would go the whole hog so she quickly removed her slip from under the new, trendy black Kate-Moss-look miniskirt, which she had bought last Saturday for this opportunity. For a moment, she pondered where she could leave it, then dropped it into Rick’s mailbox with a whimsical smile.

On the stairs to the upper floor, she had to restrain herself. She didn’t want to be out of breath—at least not yet. Impatiently she covered the last steps, key in hand. Silently she opened the apartment door. She smiled as she heard the light music from the kitchen. To the left, in the dining room, everything was prepared—candles, bowls, chopsticks—so he would be cooking Asian style. One look to the right—oh, rose petals on the pillow! Yes, Rick knew how to create a romantic atmosphere. The corners of her lips slightly lifted.
There was a loud bang and then Rick’s horrified, painful cry sounded from the kitchen. She ran across and jerked the kitchen door open. A cloud of steam gushed toward her. Rick lay on the floor with a blood-covered chest and a dark-red face, rice grains stuck everywhere—to cupboards, ceiling and floor. She leaned down to Rick and lifted his head—perhaps the wonderful curves in her neckline would help to clear his fogged senses—and cried out, “What happened? Are you okay? Does anything hurt? Should I…”
His index finger covered her mouth. “The pot exploded. I meant to change the pressure cooker’s valve seal ring long ago—must have been jammed.” He looked down his body and plucked a small metal piece from a bleeding wound in his chest. “Mmm. This must have been the bolt to the handle.”

He flipped the bolt away as she hugged him, glad that nothing too serious had happened to him. She didn’t care that her blouse was soaking up his blood—but she noticed very well how his trousers became too tight for him. With swift fingers, she opened his fly and seated herself on him. A pity about the dinner, but this would become a wonderful evening!

Still totally inebriated by the adrenaline rush of the exploding pot spectacular, their first intercourse was short and intense. Rick just let it happen, but Zoe took control, her sensual perception sharpened by the preceding shock—and resulting fear for his life. When he responded with passionate strength, the sex was better than she had ever experienced.
She’d had lovers before, had been with tender and patient partners as well as indifferent mechanics. She’d had short and intense relationships up to the three-minute balcony fuck—which hadn’t been too bad, had wasted painfully long, affectionate evenings with a half impotent Italian-American, but nothing could have prepared her for this moment.
And Rick was insatiable. While she still waited for her heartbeat to slow, his hands slid up her side, found the beginning of her breasts, wandered toward her buttons. Methodically, he opened her blouse, pushed the blood-spattered fabric away, let his fingers tenderly circle her round, firm breasts. Then suddenly he grabbed her waist, pushed her above himself. She tensed, spread out her arms, enjoyed the feeling of hovering above him.
They made love to each other a second time, short but intense, on the groaning, protesting kitchen table. Afterward, she wrapped her legs around his hips, let herself be carried around the kitchen table in waltz time while his tongue played with her nipples. Finally he settled her to the floor, ran his hand across her short black hair.

She admired his toned body as he faced her from the kitchen door and she sprawled herself, purring, on the rice-covered kitchen floor. Her gaze wandered up his trouser legs to his still open fly, followed his chest’s muscular curves, where suddenly two red flowers blossomed.

As if in slow motion Zoe watched how Rick’s knees gave in, how his breaking gaze ran across her body for the very last time, how his voiceless cry fought to protest, how the stream of his life pulsated from his chest, how his light went out forever.”

If you could offer your author advice, what would it be?
I prefer if she writes down my stories as I see them. I don’t like if she lets someone sneak up my back and my readers learn about it before I do. Well, she promised me the fourth book would be first person narrative. Do you know what’s good about it? I’ll probably survive the next two books, too. But don’t bet on it–she’s a nasty person sometimes. I’m certainly not the one telling her what to do. If you have ever seen her eyes turn all black, you know you don’t argue with her.

Are you happy with the way people perceive you?
Not entirely. I feel the other people on the team still don’t see me as a full member. I’m just their hacker, and I’m supposed to be left in a safe place when the action starts. I can understand that, I’m new to the group and the other four have worked together for a long time. It’s always this group building stuff. They don’t know me yet, they don’t know if they can trust their lives to me, even if I’ve already saved their asses more than once. Probably we’re not talking enough.

Did you do anything special after your first adventure?
Well, Doc said I should take some weeks off to recover from my injuries. I grabbed my bike and went north, up the coast to Vancouver. I like the Canadians, I like cities at the coast in general, and I very much like this one. I’ve met a nice young waiter in Gastown. We have a lot of fun together, and I think I’m to blame if he doesn’t get enough sleep.
When I’m alone, I try to find out more about me by testing my limits. You could see me in the early morning running around Stanley Park.

If you could pull your author into your world, what do you think would happen to her?
I think we might become friends, teammates, even lovers. We already share a lot, the computer stuff, common values, common thoughts, why not our bed? However, I don’t know if my world could bear someone like her.

What motivates you to continue on these adventures?
If you knew what I found out you wouldn’t ask. Those guys we’re up against have some really ugly ideas. Now that I’m in the position to help, I feel I’m the best woman for my task. Also, I agreed to do that job, to become part of the team. I stand to my commitments. Always.

Hmm–maybe it’s Matt, too.

How many sex partners have you had? How many at one time?
I haven’t counted. There were quite a few during college and university, but rarely more than one at a time. There has been the occasional spring break gangbang, but that was just plain fucking and sucking, I don’t think that counts.

Do you think you are a superior being?
In a way I must be. Otherwise I couldn’t do what I did. But if by saying “superior” you mean “better” in ways of ethics, no. I have my virtues and flaws like everyone else. I’m not perfect, only physically enhanced.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve seen or done?
Me–taking several flights of stairs within the blink of an eye. If that’s not odd, what is?

If you could change one thing about you or someone you loved, what would it be?
Bring Rick back to life.

What’s the one thing you wish you could change about yourself or someone you love?
I’d like to know who I really am.

How do you deal with stress?
Concentration. If time permits, I think about good sex for a few seconds, then get back to business.

Tell us about your first meeting with Matt.
Oh–that! I broke his nose. Probably not the best way to get acquainted with your new boss, would you agree? It was a test. He played the bad guy, I had to wrestle him down, which I did. He feigned to give up and tried to attack me again. He wanted to teach me never to trust an enemy who is not entirely disabled. Well, he took a severe blow and was down again. That way I taught him that I’m not easily surprised and that it’s not a good idea to change the rules while I’m in the game without telling me. If anyone tries to cheat me, I play “no rules”. And believe me–you don’t want me to play without rules.
Matt now knows that. Well–it took him a while to recover, but then he invited me for a cappuccino and into his team.

Do you have any idea where your abilities could come from?
Honestly, no. See–I don’t have problems with garlic or sunlight, I don’t feel the need to drink blood, so my abilities are probably not vampiric. I can visit churches, so I don’t think I’m a demon or something like that–I don’t believe it’s anything metaphysical at all. I can’t remember having been exposed to radioactivity or been bitten by strange creatures or whatever marvels there may be. The only clue I have is that I need extraordinary amounts of nutrients to perform, so the laws of physics apply to me. I’m quite sure I have been born by my mother, not from a bio lab. What does that leave? Heredity? But I can’t ask my parents–they both died in a car accident when I was fourteen–and I have no other relatives I know of.

And a word to my readers – if you have a question you’d like to be asked in the next interview, don’t hesitate to write me:

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  1. Me being pulled into Zoe's world? Tamara, you can't be serious! With the things to come I know about, I'd rather be dead!
    Um - No. I still have to write down Zoe's story.

  2. Oh my dear, you might be surprised of what can come of being stuck in someone else's world. :)