It’s week 2 of International Heat’s Meet the Heat festivities, and our spotlight is shining on Lexxie Couper.
This sweet, charming looking woman, who you just want to take in your arms and cuddle, is in fact as twisted as they come. Seriously. You read any of her books yet? Twisted! The thing is her books are also brilliant. The kind of book you cannot stop reading once you’ve started, because the horror and the eroticism – not to mention the incredible romance – suck you straight in and don’t let go until you’ve finished the last page. Even then, elements of her books stay with you for days as you ponder some of the scenes over and over.
I tried hard to describe Lex and to better define her work, but found it impossible, so I thought it would be better if she defined herself. I sent off a couple of questions for her to answer. Below are her responses, followed by an excerpt from my all time fave Lexxie Couper book, Savage Transformation, which releases later this year. (Yep, it’s the sequel to Savage Retribution, which was my literary introduction to Lexxie Couper.) PLUS, PLUS, PLUS… I have an exclusive preview of her cover too. It’s brand new, it’s stunning and it’s never been revealed before.
So….Meet Lexxie Couper…
1) Your pen name is Lexxie Couper. Why?
Lexxie comes from a very C grade, sex obsessed cult sci-fi tv show called The Lexx. The Lexx was a bio-mechanical spaceship that was also the most powerful weapon in the known universes. Man, I got hooked on that show. When my first submission was accepted (Shifting Lust with Changeling Press) I was in the middle of a Lexx bender, hence Lexxie Couper comes from one of my best friends who has always believed I’d one day be a famous author and has read just about everything I’ve written.
2) You write dark, twisted and incredibly sexy paranormal romance. Do your books reflect the real you?
LMAO If I say yes, are you going to be scared of me? Wait, you also said incredibly sexy, didn’t you? Well, in that case, yes, yes they do
3) Why dark, twisted paranormal romance? (I happen to know you’re equally talented at writing contemporary, erotic romance.)
Okay, firstly thank you *smooch* Secondly, I honestly have no idea. I love reading scary books (Stephen King has been my favorite author since I was in Year Five). When I was in high school I wanted to be the Australian version of King, but I’m also an incredible romantic. I sincerely and completely believe in true love and happy ever afters. Being scared and being in love so deeply your heart aches are not that far apart on an emotional and physical scale, you know. Both make your heart race, both make your palm sweat and both make you cherish life. Okay, that sounds really weird. Maybe I really am a dark, twisted person after all?
4) Which is you favorite Lexxie Couper book?
Oh this is a hard question. Ummm….I think Death, The Vamp and His Brother. The notion of making the Grim Reaper not only a female but my heroine, and have her fight to SAVE lives, as well as fall in love with an Aussie…well, it tickles my funny bone
5) Who is you fave Australian?
On a sexual level – Hugh Jackman or Eric Bana (both at once would be nice *grin*). On a more grown-up, responsible level – Dick Smith. What Dick Smith has done for this country as not only a business man, but as a philanthropist is both awe-inspiring and heart warming. His patriotism for Australia makes me proud and his unwavering love of this country and belief it can be an even better place to call home for everyone moves me to be a better Aussie myself. (betcha didn’t expect that answer, did you? lol)
6) If you had to have a menage with two people, who would they be? (And yes, you have to answer).
My husband (of course) and David Tennant (he of Dr. Who fame). If I exclude my husband and have a totally fantasy ménage (because David Tennant’s going to jump in my bed the second he visits Australia *snort*) I’d go with David Tennant (still. Yes, I’m that much in lust with him) and Robert Downey Jr in Tony Stark/Iron Man mode
7) If you had to have a menage with two Australians, who would they be?
Oh, Eric Bana and Hugh Jackman. Wait, i forgot to list my husband just then, didn’t I?
8) One of your ex-pupils (from your teaching days) approaches you to say they found your books at Amazon – and read them. How do you respond?
Laugh my arse off. Then ask then to write me a five page essay comparing and contrasting it to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
SAVAGE TRANSFORMATION: The Blurb
The Second Book in the Savage Australia trilogy
Sydney Detective, Jackie Huddart’s gone home to visit her childhood friend in Tasmania, the smallest state in Australia. The trouble is, her childhood friend seems to be missing, and someone wants Jackie to find her. Someone who knows exactly what Jackie is.
As Jackie begins the hunt to find her friend, she is joined by the very mysterious and way-too-sexy Riley Wilson, a man who seems to have just as many secrets as she. Which may explain why Jackie feels like she is the one being hunted. But by who?
(Note from Jess: See? I told you the cover was stunning.)
SAVAGE TRANSFORMATION: An Exclusive Sneak Peak
Marshall Rourke’s groin wouldn’t listen to him. It stiffened in immediate interest the second Jackie Huddart turned to face him, the pit of his belly joining in the fun. That his body reacted so quickly to the woman was a problem, that his inner beast enjoyed the entirely carnal reaction more so.
This hadn’t been part of his plan.
Yeah. Sure. That’s why you packed your black silk boxer shorts.
Forcing aside the desire to step closer to Jackie, press his nose to her neck and take a deep breath, he stood motionless. He needed her to digest what he’d just said before anything else. She would react two ways, of that he had little doubt: one, she wouldn’t believe him, two, she’d break down and beg him to help her find her friend. The standard response to an announcement such as his.
Unreadable eyes the color of ancient amber studied him. Her hands clenched into fists at her side.
Here it comes. The rejection. The denial.
Without a word, she turned on her heel and walked away, heading towards the bright green VW in which she and Delanie McKenzie had arrived.
Marshall raised his eyebrows. Okay, that wasn’t what he’d expected.
“Hey?” he called, following her. “Did you hear me?”
The woman didn’t respond. Her shoulders snapped straight under the black cotton of her shirt, the fists swinging by her sides balling tighter.
“Hey,” he repeated, increasing his speed to keep up with her. Damn, she was quick for someone so friggen short. And still in human form. “Hey! Didn’t you hear what I-”
She turned. So fast he didn’t see her move. One minute he was admiring the graceful beauty of her back, the next, he was flat on his back, the heel of her shoe pressing into the base of his neck as she rammed her foot against his collarbone.
Holy smokes, how did she do that?
“I’m going to give you two options, Mr. Rourke.” Her voice was even and smooth, like buttered whisky. She glared down the length of her petite body at him, eyes still unreadable, heel pressing harder to his throat. “You can tell me exactly where my friend is, or I can call the cops and have your Texan arse thrown into jail.”
A cold ribbon of unease unfurled in Marshall’s chest. It wouldn’t do for the local authorities to be made aware of his presence in the country. He wasn’t in Australia on official business. In fact, he wasn’t on official business period. If his boss found out where he was, he’d face the dressing down of a lifetime, with a suspension and possible confinement period thrown in for good measure. The P.A.C. Unit Director had no tolerance for agents doing their own thing, no matter how right that thing was.
He shifted underneath Jackie’s foot, the asphalt biting into his shoulder blades as he did so.
Jackie’s heel shoved harder still to his neck, pressing on his windpipe and he stopped moving. “Time’s running out, Mr. Rourke.”
A low growl deep in his dual existence rumbled through his chest. He may be experiencing an increasing level of discomfort, but his beast, the ancient, primal creature that it was, seemed highly amused by his situation. And aroused.
Marshall stopped himself from rolling his eyes. Great. Just what he needed. A horny, laughing dire wolf tainting his judgment.
Shouldn’t have put the idea of Jackie Huddart as a sex object in its primitive, instincts-driven head then, should you. That’ll teach you to pack silk boxer shorts.
He ground his teeth. “Listen,” he began, but her driving heel cut him short. Christ, she was going to asphyxiate him with her goddamn size six shoe.
Amber eyes regarded him. “Thirty seconds, Mr. Rourke.”
“I know what you are.”
Jackie’s eyes widened – a fraction. “And what am I, Mr. Rourke?”
He looked up at her, her heel making it difficult to breathe, her sweet subtle scent making his want to drag in breath after breath after breath. “A were-Thylacine.”
Jackie Huddart didn’t move. She became a statue, her stare fixed on him, her knuckles white. “A werewhat?”
Despite the heel cutting off his air supply, Marshall grinned. She was good at hiding her surprise. With a face like hers – stunningly gorgeous and completely expressionless – she’d win a lotta poker matches. “A were-Thylacine,” he croaked, curling his fingers around her ankle in a tight grip. If he needed to he’d flip her off him. “A shape-shifting Tasmanian Tiger.”
Her poker-face didn’t change. Neither did the position of her foot. “I think you’ve been watching too many movies, Mr. Rourke. This is Australia, not Transylvania.”
He gave her another grin, the discomfort in his lungs beginning to turn into a painful burn. This was not how he saw this unfolding. “Transylvania is traditionally the home to vampires, Ms Huddart.” He shifted slightly, the minute action earning him a sharp increase in pressure on his throat. “Australia however, is the home to many vampires and werewolves, Declan O’Connell being one of them.” Her eyes widened again – the reaction to the Irish alpha wolf’s name almost undetectable. She was good at hiding her emotions. Very good. But he was better at exposing them. He pressed his fingers harder to her ankle, the fine bones like hot steel under his grip. “Tasmania however,” he continued, preparing his body, his beast, for whatever came next, “is the native habitat of the shape-shifting Thylacine. To be precise, the last shape-shifting Thylacine.” He let her see his teeth in a grin he knew was borderline wolfish. “You.”
Once again, her reaction surprised him. He expected to be attacked. Or for her to shift into her other form and then attack. What he didn’t expect was for her to remove her foot from his neck and step back away from him.
He snapped to his feet, brushing down his backside, still half convinced she was going to throw herself at him with that same preternatural speed she had before.
Could be fun.
He looked at her, ignoring the suggestive comment, as enticing as it was. Having Jackie Huddart throw her tiny little body at him in the right circumstances was down right appealing.
“Tell me where my friend is.”
Her voice was cold. Very calm, almost indifferent, but cold all the same. She stared at him, fists bunched, her small frame radiating an energy he understood all too well: pent-up fury and tenuous restraint. She was having difficulty controlling her inner beast. A state of being he existed in twenty-four seven.
Especially since Einar’s “retirement.”
The dark thought extinguished the rising heat in Marshall’s body and he grit his teeth. His ex-partner was never long from his mind. Nor were the man’s actions since P.A.C. “let” him go. Daeved Einar’s activities were not only thoroughly documented by the Paranormal Anti-Crime Unit, they were classified Security Level Red. That he knew about them at all would be grounds for immediate dismissal.
That he’d contributed to Einar’s freedom was an atrocity he could never forget.
“Where is my friend?”
Jackie Huddart’s low growl snapped Marshall’s mind from his ex-partner with a start. He focused not only his gaze, but his senses on the woman standing before him. The fingers of her right hand were wriggling. What did that mean?
You will have the time to figure that out. If she falls for this next bit.
“I can’t tell you that, darlin’.” She stiffened at the word and he tucked the reaction away for further analysis. “But I can take you to her. If we leave now.”
“You can tell me where she is, or I can arrest your arse and charge you with aiding and abetting an abduction.” Her eyes flashed gold fire. “Since you know so much about me, you know what I do for a living. Unless you want to share a cell with an ‘Australian native’ big enough to break you in two with his bare hands I’d suggest you start talking now.”
The pit of Marshall gut tightened. His inner beast growl. He studied her, weighing his options. He needed her. More than she needed him. He had little doubt she’d find Delanie McKenzie without his aid, but would he be able to find Daeved Einar without her?
You haven’t been able to so far.
He ground his teeth. Fuck.
Pulling in a steadying breath, Jackie’s delicate scent tickling his olfactory nerves until his balls grew tight, he stepped forward. Play it cool Rourke, or you’ve lost her.
“I can’t tell you, Detective Huddart,” he said, emphasizing her rank, “but you need to believe me when I say, if we don’t go now, the person who has taken Delanie will have her skinned and gutted before the cops can even think about putting out an APB.”
The brutal description drained the blood from Jackie’s face. The first true reaction he’d elicited from her. Her jaw bunched and she stepped toward him, closing the small distance he’d left between them. He wished she hadn’t. Her unique scent, unlike any he’d tasted before, filled his breath and his balls, already heavy with a carnal interest grew heavier. Oh, boy, he hadn’t counted on this.
“Who are you, Mister Rouke?” Her heat folded around him, a thrumming contradiction to the icy rage in her eyes. “If I’m to trust my best friend’s life in your oh, so mysterious hands, at least tell me who you are.”
He looked down into her face. A gentle wind blew at her hair, lifting the burnished chestnut curtain from her temples and his chest squeezed. This close, he could see the faint smattering of freckles across her nose. This close he could see the gold chips in her eyes. This close he could see the fine bone structure of her skull, the soft fullness of her lips.
This close, his inner beast could feel the ancient magick of hers.
Feel and crave.
Damn it, he hadn’t counted on this at all. “I’m no threat to you. That’s all I can tell you.” It was a lie – he was a threat. At least, what he was doing threatened her life, but he couldn’t think about that now.
She studied him; face expressionless, eyes conflicted. She wanted to tell him to go to hell, but the fate of her friend held her tongue. The fingers of her right hand wriggled. “You have exactly thirty minutes. After that, if Delanie is not standing before me safe and well, I will call the cops.” She paused. “Or tear your throat out.”
Again, his inner dire wolf reacted to her – a deep, base reaction. It wanted her. It wanted to mate with her.
And so does your inner man, Rourke. Fess up.