Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vallerie Ullmer @valerieullmer Author of Xander A Dark Assassins Novel #ParanormalRomance #DarkAssassins #Xander

I’d like to welcome Valerie Ullmer, author of Xander (A Dark Assassins Novel Book Three) to my blog today.

RW:       Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live, etc.

VA:        I live in Denver, Colorado with my husband of sixteen years and our black lab mix, Maddie. I have been a writer for seven years, but I published my first book (self-published) in 2016 and I’ve been hooked ever since.

RW:       How many hours a day do you spend writing?

VA:        That depends on whether I procrastinate the book or not. Usually, I spend at least three to four hours a day outlining or writing, but that could increase the closer I get to my deadline.

RW:       Why did you decide to write? When did you submit your first manuscript and what genre was it?

VA:        I had thought about writing for twenty years because I loved reading. Every book I read increased my wanting to write, but it wasn’t until I was laid off from my job in 2010 that I took it seriously. I studied and made a poor attempt at my first manuscript, which I still have. The mistakes I made throughout the book still haunt me, but like everything else, it was a learning experience. I didn’t submit my manuscript to an editor or a publisher. I instead decided to self-publish, and I love the control I have. Some of the costs are expensive, but it’s worth it, At least for me it is. I write paranormal and contemporary erotic romance.

RW:       Has your life changed since you became a writer? What’s the best thing about being a writer?

VA:        I’m happier since deciding to become a writer. I used to dread going to work and when there, became bored with my job. But with being a writer, you and your imagination create the stories you want. I couldn’t ask for a better career.

RW:       What makes a good book? A great romance? Is humor important in fiction and why?

VA:        In general, a good book has to have a main character who you care about, at least a little, from the beginning. If you have no desire to see them succeed, or even fail, at their journey, then you have a badly written book. With romances, you need a spark, a connection that only these two protagonists have. Even if they hate each other, it’s still a spark and the story can go anywhere from there, as long as the characters stay consistent in their personalities and grow from the experiences.

Humor is something that I find goes with certain books, but I find that when the author concentrates on trying to make the book funny, they lose sight of either the relationship that they are trying to develop or the story goes off on a tangent that doesn’t resemble a romance. A little humor is good.

RW:       How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

VA:        Life experiences aren’t in them as much as my personality. I noticed that my heroines, even while scared as they are going through a change that upends their lives, aren’t going to sit back and let someone fight their battles for them. I do, because the older I get I find I do this, a lot, throw in some snarky comments, especially in a tense situation.

RW:       How do you come up with story ideas? What kind of research do you do for a book?

VA:        Story ideas are easy. They come from other stories, a situation that I watch unfold in front of me as I walk through the store, a conversation I overheard. I have tons of story ideas, but the problem is that sometimes I write them down and when I come back to them, I’m not interested or I can’t see how the idea would become a full-fledge book and I move on. Luckily, over the next six or so months, I am working on two novellas, the fourth through sixth book of the Dark Assassins series, books two and three of the Unexpected series, and I’m starting a new trilogy after that.

I’ve never been much of a researcher. I will research history of a certain time period: weapons, careers, and sometimes sexual positions, but mostly I’m creating my own world where I decide what happens. Research has never been my strong suit.

RW:       Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?

VA:        Steamy showers, Ocean, Puppies, Chocolate.

RW:       A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?

VA:        A smart-ass who loved writing.

RW:       Hunky heroes or average Joe?

VA:        Hunky heroes

RW:       You'd never be able to tell, but (fill in the blank).

VA:        I have a wicked sense of humor.

RW:   Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

VA:    Thank you so much for having me, Rochelle, I appreciate it. It was a lot of fun!


The Plot

Half-human, half-shifter.

Xander has secretly yearned for a mate for most of his immortal existence, and yet after three of his friends find exactly what he’s always wanted, he’s come to believe he’s missed his chance at happiness.

Until he hears her voice.

Frost is a wildlife biologist and tracker and she has been assigned, despite her adamant protests, to lead mercenaries into the mountains of Snowfall, Colorado for the sole purpose of killing immortal shifters. In order to protect those who have no idea of the kind of danger they’re in, she agrees. As she leads the armed men on a wild chase around the snow-covered pines, she can sense she’s running out of time.

Until she hears his voice.

Xander understands exactly who Frost is the moment he hears her thoughts. With the help of Kane and Gunnar, they eliminate those in her group as they try to keep her safe. But during the fight, she is hurt and all of his protective instincts flare to life. As Xander learns more about her, he realizes that Frost might be the key to the creation of the immortals, both vampire and shifter.

But when she becomes a target of those who want to destroy the Dark Company and Xander’s family, how far will he go to save her?

An Excerpt:

“Are you Xander? The one I’ve been talking to in my…well…mind, I guess you could say?”

He nodded as he moved forward, taking her left hand in both of his.

“I really was trying to lead them away, but despite me trying to convince them that they were headed in the wrong direction, they noticed the smaller animals avoiding this area. All animals will always listen to their instincts and stay away from apex predators.” She paused for a long moment, her eyes never leaving his as she explained. “Sorry, I tend to talk a lot when I’m in pain…or nervous. But I got shot in the shoulder and it hurts like hell.”

Xander and Kane chuckled, bringing out a huge smile on Frost’s face.

“There you go. You guys looked so serious for a minute. But seriously, the cold is helping, but my ass is starting to go numb. You don’t talk much, do you? Well, I ramble so that’s why I became a wildlife biologist. So I can talk to the animals instead of getting weird looks from people. If I didn’t see him in his human form, I could’ve sworn the gray wolf thought I was crazy. Although, animals give me about the same confused looks that you guys are giving me now. Huh.”

Xander couldn’t tear his eyes away from her.

“Are you sure she was shot? She’s not really acting like it,” Kane said.

Frost pulled her gaze away from Xander and glanced up, way up, to where Kane stood with his arms crossed, wearing a short-sleeved shirt and jeans with just a pair of tennis shoes on. Xander could tell that her pulse didn’t increase, nor did her pupils widen, as she glanced at Kane. He relaxed until her eyes narrowed a fraction.

“And what do you know about it, Blondie?”

Kane raised one of his eyebrows, too stunned to talk.

“I’ve been running on adrenaline for the past few days, trying to lead these assholes off a cliff while avoiding any evidence I found of animals in the area, but there isn’t a cliff around here that is hidden. So how about we cut me some slack?”

Xander jerked out of his astonishment when she tried to stand. As she spoke to Kane, he traced every inch of her. Beautiful pale skin, plump peach lips, beautiful green-blue eyes, and long, flowing dark hair. But her cry as her movement pulled at her wound had him darting forward, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her close. The humming that he hadn’t recognized before faded away abruptly when he touched Frost. She seemed to sense the silence and comfort as well, because she sagged against him, blowing out a relieved breath.

Should I get Liv? Gunnar communicated while still in wolf form.

“Can you point me to the nearest hospital?” Frost grunted with her face pinched in pain.

“No.” Xander’s fierce anger came out of his mouth, before he realized that the harshness might have Frost fear him. Instead, she smiled.

“Yes, Gunnar, can you go and get Liv?” The wolf ran off through the trees as soon as Xander spoke.

Xander lifted her in his arms and walked toward his house, taking care not to jar her too much. But when he spotted a cringe with each step, he cradled her in his arms and it managed to lessen the shock.

“Who’s Liv? Your wife? A doctor?”

Xander’s heart ran a mile a minute because he knew that after searching for years, decades even, that he’d finally found his mate. And she was tough, beautiful, and brilliant. He held her tighter to his body when he started to salivate, already feeling the need to claim her. But putting his selfish needs on hold, he cursed himself because he wasn’t able to protect her.

“No, Liv’s a friend and a vampire. Kai is her husband and mate.”

Frost relaxed in his arms and he continued to explain.

“The blond is Kane—he’s also a vampire. Gunnar is a gray wolf shifter, as you saw.”

“And you’re Xander, who I can somehow communicate with through my mind. Which is completely wicked, by the way.”

He laughed, cutting off the sound, not wanting to jostle her too much. “Yes, and I’m a snow leopard.”

Valerie Ullmer


Valerie resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and their dog, Maddie. Although she had been interested in writing a romance novel for years, it wasn’t until she wrote her first book that she really became hooked, and now she can’t stop. She has notebooks full of ideas, and she plans to write most of them in the years to come.

When she’s not writing, learning about the craft of writing, or reading anything she can get her hands on, she can be found surfing the Internet way too much, watching Investigation Discovery and thinking that her neighbors are up to no good, and finding new ways to get her husband to laugh.

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  1. Thanks for having me, Rochelle!

  2. Sorry to get back to you so late, Valerie, but you're very welcome!