Today’s Author Spotlight comes to you courtesy of Tima Maria Lacoba, the creator of the Dantonville Legacy series. Reading through the answers to the questions I sent out, I was intrigued to find that we both share a love of history, though I’ve unfortunately been unable to get my hands dirty on a dig. Oh, and no-one has every tried to buy me either.
So, with those things in mind, I’ll hand off to Tima Maria Lacoba…
Introducing Tima Maria Lacoba
A former ancient historian and archaeologist, Tima Maria accidently smashed a 3,000 Egyptian vase while on her first dig! Her supervisor made her glue it back together again. It took a week. From there she went on to specialise in late Roman-British archaeology, and the military forts along Hadrian’s Wall, because buildings don’t smash as easily. Now she’s combined my love of history with another passion – story-telling – to create a dark tale of Roman soldiers who’ve waited nearly two thousand years to be released from an ancient curse.
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
I’ve has always been a storyteller, but it wasn’t until five years ago that I seriously ventured into writing. The result was Bloodgifted. In 2011 it was shortlisted in the Atlas Award and eventually came fourth place. In 2012 it was listed among the top ten in the Choclit Search for an Aussie Star Competition. In 2013, I was offered a publishing contract but declined in favour of going indie, preferring the idea of being in charge of my own creation.
Bloodgifted, Bloodpledge and BloodVault and the first three books in The Dantonville Legacy series. I also intends to satisfy my fans requests by writing individual books on the other characters in the series. So Terens, Cal Jake and Sam will each have their own story.
Currently I live on the Central Coast, an hour’s drive north of Sydney in Australia. My little house is surrounded by bushland, possums and seed-dropping Rosellas on one side, and waterways on the other.
Between bouts of writing, I can be found in the kitchen baking yet another chocolate recipe. This activity is responsible for forming more gothic, urban fantasy stories in my mind for future books.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
My current WIP is BloodWish, the 4th book in my gothic romance – the Dantonville Legacy Series – and continues the story of Laura Dantonville, a young woman with a shocking family secret – a curse – only she can lift.
Who is your intended readership?
Originally I aimed for women readers in their mid 40s, but since releasing the first book in the series, I’ve been surprised to see that it’s also attracted a much younger audience.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Truly, I didn’t intend becoming an author. It just seemed to be a natural progression from academic writing to fiction. I’d just handed in my Masters Thesis and began work on BloodGifted.
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
There are too many names, but among my favourite authors are James A. Michener, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Maggie Shayne and Gena Showalter. In different ways, each of them has inspired me.
What advice would you give beginning writers?
Write what you love and never give up, and study your craft.
Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?
Being an archaeologist and ancient historian, I’ve been on many digs around the world. When I was in Israel, as part of an international team excavating a New Kingdom Egyptian site, a group of Bedouins came past and began haggling with one of my colleagues. He sent them angrily away. It was only later he told me they were interested in buying me!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?
I’m a keen gardener. There’s nothing like pulling out weeds to vent your frustration over a plot hole or writers block. Besides that, I love doing crafty things like jewellery making.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
Once I’ve completed my gothic romance – the Dantonville Legacy Series – I might try my hand at a historical novel. As an archaeologist, how could I not?
#1 : Blood Gifted
What if you had the power to lift an ancient curse but at a frightening price? Primary school teacher Laura Dantonville’s ordinary life comes to an end when she learns her family’s ancestral legacy, and a shocking secret that explains her strange inability to age.
Propelled into a violent underworld ruled by magic, murder and mystery, and stalked by vampire clans who covet the rare gift her blood bestows, Laura has to consent to the protection of a guardian – Alec Munro, powerful leader of the Dantonville clan. Despite a powerful attraction between the two, she discovers a far more intimate association between them is necessary if she is to end the curse that has plagued her family for centuries.
With time running out, Laura must decide to which world she belongs – human or vampire? Can she tread a delicate path between the two? Or will her fate – and that of her family – be decided by her police detective boyfriend Matt Sommers who is determined to destroy anyone who stands between them?
#2 : Blood Pledge
Ending a curse was never meant to be easy.
When Laura Dantonville learnt her family’s well-kept secret and the reason for her inability to age, she never suspected it would impact her relationship with her police-detective boyfriend, Matt Sommers. But neither had she expected the growing attraction she and her vampire-guardian, Alec Munro, would have for each other.
In those few days, Laura had entered the world of the Brethren – vampires who rule the city’s dark underworld, and where resentment and anger grow at Alec’s privileged position as daywalker. Among a powerful few, alliances are made and conspiracies formed, threatening a war that could destroy them all and endanger every human on the planet – creatures who would do anything to prevent the curse from ending.
To protect Laura from the Rebel faction who see her as their ticket to the daylight, Alec must invoke the Pledge, an ancient ceremony that enforces Brethren loyalty to the Principate. But will it be enough to ensure her safety and bring about the ending of the curse that has plagued her family for centuries?
#3 : Blood Vault
Keeping a secret has never been more dangerous …
Hidden in caverns deep beneath Chateau D’Antonville in a misty French valley, lies a priceless treasure – the Bloodvault. Containing thousands of Ingenii blood vials, just one sip enables a vampire to daywalk. For nearly eighteen-hundred years, the family has kept the vault’s existence secret from the Brethren. But now, the Rebel leader, Count Timur, has learned of its whereabouts.
Faced with an imminent attack on her family’s ancestral home – Chateau D’Antonville – Alec and Laura must flee Sydney to confront this new threat. But the Rebels are not their only enemy. Will Count Timur leak the secret of the vault and cause even their loyal allies to turn against them?
With the very survival of the Principate at stake, Alec and Laura must try and persuade her father, Luc, to share the secret and open the Bloodvault or risk losing everything, including their lives.
In the midst of this, from among their own, comes a betrayal so deep, so unexpected …