I am V.L. Brock, author of romance novel, Impulses and the romantic suspense/mystery trilogy, The Dark Evoke Series.
I live in South Wales, UK, have been married to my high school sweetheart now for 6 years, and have a gorgeous 5 year old son.
Raised in a creative family, witnessing one another expressing themselves through creativity, albeit musically or through a form of literature, it was only a matter of time before my passion for devising characters and their unique stories in their own world, began to form and grow. From there the seed was sown and flourished into a young girls dream.
Throughout the years I have often toyed with the idea of pursuing this path, yet unknowing where to begin. There are so many routes in this day and age to help get from A to B, that the dream was both tangible and terrifying. So with that, I decided to self-publish and that decision was most probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I use writing as a form of therapy, so when I discovered that a man who was the closest thing to a father to me was struck down with a terminal illness, I made it my duty to inform him of my desires to write and get my work out there. Throughout my life he would often give the, 'what are you going to do with you life' speech, and I used that as my motivation to keep and fulfill a promise.
4 months later, in February 2014, I released my debut romantic suspense novel, Impulses, which follows, Hayden Wentworth, a handsome, successful San Francisco lawyer who is striving to overcome the inner demons of his past, and sexual predator, Samantha Kennedy.
With two lives: one broken, one reckless, both hurt, Impulses demonstrates how powerful love is when you meet 'The One'. How withstanding trials through heartache and love breeds determination, strength and courage and how true love holds no bounds.
Synopsis for Impulses:
“The day we first met, you said, ‘Before we begin’. Well, that was the beginning…it was the beginning of us.”
After a disastrous end to a far less than perfect relationship, twenty-four year old, Samantha Kennedy has traveled the path of promiscuity in order to strive for affirmation of her desirability. Unknown to her, Samantha’s beliefs of the world of men, is about to chart a new course when she begins a new position at reputable law-firm, Wentworth and Associates, and sets her eyes on her boss, San Francisco’s tall, dark and handsome, renowned lawyer, Hayden Wentworth.
After suffering the aftermath of his first love and having his heartbroken, thirty-one year old, Hayden Wentworth has lived the past year in black and white. Haunted by demons as a result of the torment he has endured, Hayden’s bleak world is about to be revived by his attractive new secretary, and sexual predator, Samantha Kennedy.
Emotions that the pair long ago abandoned to save themselves any further heartache are unearthed, but should love ever be considered as a game of Russian roulette?
If they are to come together, Samantha and Hayden must relive their pasts in order to bury them for once and for all.
But what happens when you fall deeply and desperately in love with someone who has the traits of the one person who you strive every day to hate and resent?
With two lives, one broken, one reckless, both hurt, Impulses, is steamy yet emotional, dark and a very deep story. Centered on varying problems which arise in relationships, Impulses shows how you can be shattered by voices of inner demons, yet saved by love, strength and persistence. Sometimes indulging in your impulses is a way to stray from your fears. Sometimes, it is the only way to face them.
Excerpt of Impulses:
Even absent sight, the glare which bounds from my window and ricochets around my room causes me to screw my eyes shut farther, in an attempt to cling onto the vivid images that sleep delivers. But my effort is unavailing; the illusory world that I sink to fades and morphs into reality. Surrendering to wakefulness, I stretch my body, my muscles sigh indulgently as I straighten.
Reaching out, I search blindly for the protective, strong and gorgeous man that for most of the night lay spooning me and fingered through my hair until I drifted peacefully. Alas, I am greeted with cold and ruffled sheets beneath my wandering, caressing fingers.
I am startled by his unexpected absence.
Instantly assembling the covers around my body, I perch myself up in the empty bed. Fighting my way through the somnolent daze, I scan the room. My chaise longue lay bare of Hayden’s neatly folded clothing. Where is he? What has happened? Did I dream that he stayed with me the night? Did I dream that he said he would never go anywhere?
Pushing my disheveled tresses back, I peek at my alarm clock, 2:45 p.m. I have slept most of the day away. A new sense of disorientation surmounts a minimal amount of panic that obscures my reasoning. I fling the comforter off my body and heave myself out of my pit. I throw on my sweats and black camisole before I leave the empty room.
“Good morning, Sammy. Finally decided to emerge?” Jessie calls impishly from the living room while I stagger through the dining area.
The only word that I can manage to verbalize through my unsettled haze is, “Coffee.”
“It’s in the pot,” she answers from the comfort of the sofa.
I round the pillar to the kitchen and pour myself a full mug of much needed caffeine. Briskly making my way back around the bar, I slip onto my stool.
“I take it everything went well last night?” she hauls herself from the couch and strides to the unoccupied seat next to me. She straightens out her overly large, black, boyfriend sweater that hangs off her left shoulder exposing her red bra strap. Her hair is plated in childish pigtails, with identical tendrils on each side of her face hanging free.
“We now have no secrets that could be detrimental to our future if that is what you mean, Jess,” I mutter, stilling my mug in mid-air before taking a sip. “Where is he?” The notion of him being too much of a caring person that he couldn't find the strength to leave me while I was staring at him in the eye fills me with dread.
With an ache in my chest and the inability to catch a decent breath, mixed with the fear that maybe last night was the last night together, sends me into anxiety overdrive. My head starts throbbing, my ears ringing and the room spins on its axis as G-Force holds me fixed, paralyzed to my seat. I watch the events around me unfold, but powerless to fight through it.
“Hey, sweetie, you look like you just seen a ghost. Are you okay?” Jessie brushes my matted hair back from my face.
“He’s left me, hasn't he, Jess? He couldn't do it when I was awake, so he waited until I was sleeping.” A sharp stabbing pain hits like a bolt out of the blue against my right temple, as tears begin to gather.
“Sweetie, you have been summoning tears like a noble woman summons her servants, over the last day and a half.” Withdrawing her hand from my rats-tails, she presses against the top of my knee and squeezes with a reassuring influence. “No, he hasn't left you, but he did ask me to give you this.” She leans to the side and removes a folded piece of paper from the back pocket of her skinny jeans and hands it to me.
I stare at the paper between my fingers then back at Jessie. Her bright, emerald eyes are brimming with love and diligence as she cocks her head and smirks at me.
“It’s a goodbye letter. I know it is, Jess.” I verbalize my insecurities, shaking my head in denial, pleading to the cosmos that I may be mistaken, and that my trepidation and negativity is misguiding my judgement of Hayden’s abilities to be so callous.
“Stop thinking the worst of everything, and just read it, Sammy.”
I concentrate on the lined parchment in my grasp. With great hesitancy, I unfold it once. Peeking up into her warm expressive, green eyes, her sculpted pink lips and high-rise cheekbones, she inches forward on the stool.
“I’ll be in the shower if you need me okay, Sammy.” And with a tender caress of my shoulder in and offering of comfort, she smiles her secretive smile, and leaves me alone with my letter.
It rustles as I finish unfolding its contents. In Hayden’s neat, italic script, I begin to read:
From the first time I laid my eyes on you, I felt something in me shift and unfurl––awaken even. The words you spoke that day haunted my mind, it gave rise to a lost expectation I never imagined I could have recaptured. You said, “Before we begin.”
Well, Samantha, that was the beginning…it was the beginning of us, and you have consumed my every waking and sleeping thought since that day.
I recall the elation that I felt secretly exploding within me the first time you placed your soft lips upon mine. It was then that I knew that there was something different about you; you brought color into my dark, abysmal life, you made me feel hope. You unknowingly helped me rediscover feelings and abilities that I was convinced was lost forever, in an abyss that was slowly singing out to me like a siren’s song––to become a part of and to lose myself to entirely.
Well, beautiful, I have lost myself to the siren’s song…I have lost myself to you.
Every passing moment that I’m with you, I feel I can achieve anything, can do impossible things just for you, because you are my strength. You have done more than just give me your time and affection, you have ignited the furnace within me, showed me that I can make someone happy and make them feel special without the menial, stereotypical things that some desire…and that I am not a weakened man.
Your faith in me, unlocks the door to my self-loathing and I am gradually freeing myself from the cursed voices that condemn me to acknowledge the derisive sentiments they torture me with everyday.
My furnace burns for you…I burn for only you, Samantha Kennedy.
You are the light at the end of my tunnel. You are the air I need to breathe.
I worship the ground you walk on; for you are a Goddess…you are my Queen.
Forever yours, Hayden xxx
Purchase Links and Book Trailer for Impulses:
My second novel, the first installment of The Dark Evoke Series titled, Seeking Nirvana was released on June 16th. Unlike Impulses, The Dark Evoke Series is much darker. What I love about this series is, it toes a line which has been a topic of controversy for quite sometime, and the further into the series you go, the darker it gets.
Synopsis of Seeking Nirvana (Dark Evoke, #1):
****CONTAINS AN ELEMENT OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE, AND IS THEREFORE ONLY RECOMMENDED TO READERS OVER THE AGE OF 18****
They say that old habits die hard, and twenty-seven year old, Kady Jenson, is about to discover how true that statement actually is.
Waking up in the hospital with a complete stranger at her bedside should have caused panic and confusion, but for a reason unknown to her, Kady finds herself drawn and calmed by the presence of the rugged, devastatingly handsome man with the pleasant Irish brogue.
It’s when she discovers that she has just woken from a four day coma, with a three year void in her memory, which spawns confusion and panic.
Kady soon comes to realize that things change with time, and not only appearances.
Not only is the sexual chemistry she once shared with her long-term boyfriend, now a long-ago memory, but Kady also begins to unconsciously fall back into unremembered habits, and with each day, the increasing sense of foreboding becomes increasingly harder to ignore.
Left on her own when her boyfriend goes on a business trip, Kady seeks help from the Irish stranger as they go on a quest together, in a race against time, to piece the puzzle together.
This is the first installment of The Dark Evoke Series, and is therefore NOT intended as a standalone novel.
Excerpt from Seeking Nirvana:
Seconds passed in a form of salted tears trailing down my face, and over my swollen lip. I tasted the salty residue as I swept my tongue over the cracked flesh between sobs. I have no idea how long I cried. All I can remember is the pressure in my head, directly behind my eyes, and the way it radiated through my cheekbones. Thrown into disarray, my shoulders juddered, sending my body into a mass of constricting, tautening muscles with each tiny gasp as I attempted to halt my cries in the warmth of Liam’s arms.
There was nothing I could do about my misplaced years. There was no magic medicine to administer to help spark something, no matter how trivial it may be. There was no magic procedure that the doctors of MA General could carry out like in some sci-fi movie, hook me up to more probes and wires and have my body zoom through a tunnel of flashing images while they flooded back.
They were gone. At least, they were gone for now. And that was something I didn't truly comprehend how demanding it would be to accept. But I had to accept it. Regardless.
“Mr. DeLaney,” Leviton’s voice shaded my rapid pants as I fought for a lungful of air. “If I could have a talk with you outside please,” he requested.
I unwillingly pulled myself away from the warm crook of Liam’s body, shifting my head from the consoling warmth and rhythmic rising and dropping of his chest, back onto the white cotton pillow. Striving to reassure me, he grazed his thumb over my knuckles as he thrust himself from the bed. “I won’t be a few minutes, baby,” he smiled.
Everything at that point may have been buried in a dense, stifling fog, but the look in Irish’s eyes didn't go unnoticed, as his gaze combed Liam while he was skirted at the foot of the bed, and trailed behind the sympathetic doctor into the hallway, closing the room door gently behind him. That grimace couldn't have gone undetected, totally impossible. It was the lighthouse beaming through my fog, guiding me to a question that I really didn't even wish to contemplate.
Incalculable times I exhaled loudly, ousting all of my frustrations in one simple breath, but it didn't help. My frustrations and alarm was as visible as the flat-cap on Irish’s head. Every fleeting moment which passed alongside a groan, had my agitation escalating, scaling higher and higher like one of those carnival attractions, where you hit the button with the hammer to see how strong you are. And I was very close to reaching the jackpot.
Air was expelled in hefty grunts, while my fingers had become a knotted mass in my lap. Teeth were grinded and temperatures had rocketed as the silence turned into piercing bells ringing in my already aching head.
“How do we…? How long have we…?” I wavered, my attention shifted from my blue woven cover, to the well-defined man at the foot of my cot. “How do I know you?”
Seeing the corner of his lips curl into a smile, albeit a sad one, I felt the atmosphere in the room begin to normalize and adjust. It was no longer suffocating and awkward like it had been with Liam amongst the room’s occupants. With his hands hidden in the front of his dark, denim pockets, his arms pushing his plaid shirt back to showcase his white T-shirt that clung to his torso, he paced leisurely to my side.
“We've known each other for about eighteen months. I work for, Liam.”
“Eightee––” I sighed. Quelling the sense of uprising panic, I breathed in a deep breath, well, as deep as my smarting ribs would allow, and exhaled through pursed lips. Having a void that immense in my mind was too overwhelming. I instantly began to wish I didn't ask such a stupid question, a question which would trigger an immeasurable degree of anxiety that I just didn't need at that point. “You’re an architect, too?” I added.
He sniggered then hung his head for a moment. When he lifted his gaze, his head was cocked; he looked adorable with that shy expression. Shaking his head, he licked his lips slowly. “No, I um…” he hesitated, and I sensed a degree of discomfiture radiating from him. “I’m in construction,” he sighed.
“Oh,” is all I could muster, before he removed his hands from his pockets, and took position on the ugly green seat next to me. “Do you enjoy it?”
Resting on the edge of the chair with his elbows supported on his knees, he rubbed his hands together, making circular motions over each of his palms, opting for nonchalance. “Its work,” he answered simply through an unconvincing grin.
I could understand and appreciate that. Being a stripper was never on my list of desired employment opportunities. The way my stomach knotted, and the shame I felt every time someone asked me what I did for a living, was considerable. People always judge a book by its cover, that’s a fact. And it’s unnerving when you know people judge you because you’re not a doctor, a lawyer, an architect…but work is work.
My attention shuffled from Irish to the door as I heard the click of the handle being pushed down. Liam stepped inside, closing the door behind him.
“Hey,” I breathed.
His soft, loving expression turned cold and hard, as he was welcomed by the sight of his employee sitting beside me, leaning into his arms and only a few inches away from the bed itself. Liam may have been at the end of the room, but his jaw was working like Santa’s elves the day before Christmas Eve. Scowling, he stomped into the room with as much control as he could gather…which wasn't a lot for Liam DeLaney; he was never able to keep a firm lid on his emotions.
Still, Irish didn't even batter an eyelid, let alone shift out of the seat, which made Liam worse.
“What did the doctor say?” I asked, not only out of pure interest, but in an attempt to bring an end to the once again, thickening, hostile atmosphere.
Taking extra caution not to snag my IV, he took a seat on the left of my bed. I watched and blenched as his thumb traced over my cracked, swelling mouth before lingering over my lower lip. I couldn't help but smile when I met his green and blue speckled eyes.
“He said that…” he began but soon trailed off. The man to my right was shot a disdainful scowl. “You can go,” he snapped.
I glance to my right, a V scorched into his dark brown eyebrows, his molded, pale lips hardened into a stubborn, firm line.
“I said, go. There is no need for you to even be here now. Kady doesn't even know you; you’ll get her confused.”
“Very well,” Irish muttered on an outbreath. He pushed himself up slowly, and placed a kind hand over mine. Yes, you knew he definitely worked in construction, because callouses which covered his palm was scrapping across the back of my knuckles. “I’ll be around if you need anything, Kady. I won’t be far.”
I felt the mattress quivering beneath me, as Liam’s body shook frenzied and incessantly. “She has me. She doesn't need your charity,” he seethed.
“Even still,” he lifted his head, his eyes narrowed at Liam in silent warning, before returning them to me. “I’ll be around. Nothing will change that,” he promised with a smile.
“Thank you, that’s very kind, um…”
I remember how his eyes blazed and how a twitch kissed the left corner of his mouth, a tiny dimple making an adorable appearance. It was a look that was both sad and hopeful. And although I have no idea why, it warmed me.
“Walker. My name is, Walker.”
Purchase Links and Book Trailer for Seeking Nirvana:
Why did you start writing?
I was in a very bad place in my life when I began to write. It was actually the idea of medical personnel for me to begin writing, to use it as a method of venting and freeing up a lot of space in my head which was drowning in past regrets and resentment. I used it as a form of therapy and in doing that, bridges were successfully rebuilt and it's brought a lot of inner peace, you could say.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Some people may call this silly but, for me, I find it in knowing that I have kept, and still striving to uphold a promise which was made to someone who played an enormous part in my life, just before he past away. It drives me. It puts me on that metaphorical spot that helps me see things from different angles and reminds me not to give up.
Music is another way I find inspiration, especially when my characters refuse to let me channel them. I've just filled my phone up with Nickelback because 'Irish' (Walker), was being stubborn.
How do you go about creating the perfect "Swoon" worthy man?
We each have our own ideas of 'the perfect man'. I compile a list of attributes that I find attractive, expand on it and finally add flaws to make them human.
If you couldn't be an author, what would your ideal career be?
If I couldn't be an author then I'd love to be a counselor. I've always reflected on my own life lessons and used them to help offer advice and guidance to others who are struggling. I'm the kind of person who, even if it is 3am, if someone needs help I'll always be there.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? Why are they your favorite?
No, I don't have a favorite. My characters are made up of each attribute I possess, they are small pieces of me. Jessie from my debut, Impulses had spent many years being the rock for Samantha, giving her advice, helping her see that altering your viewpoint of life is possible if you have a powerful enough reason/person to kick you up the backside to do it. That is the part of me that strives to help people. You can see where I'm going with this...
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Simple. I read or cook. I love being in the kitchen, baking my cakes and brownies or just experimenting with food in general.
What’s your greatest weakness?
As in guilty-pleasures? I have three: coffee, coconut mushrooms and those mini corned beef pasties you can get from the petrol stations.
If we are talking about men, then accents, more specifically, the Irish accent.
Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Although there are fictitious elements in both Impulses and The Dark Evoke Series, 3/4 of the story is me.
I use writing as a form of therapy, an outlet for past regrets and hurts that have occurred in my life. Life is a lesson for which we learn with each day that passes. Some lessons are painful, others emotional and some distressing. I'm an honest person, an open book, I answer honestly and hold no shame with past happenings because it tells a story, it makes you stronger, it makes you who you are today.
Recognizing that the foundation of my books come from my experiences, if one person came to me and said, "because of your book, I..." then as far as I am concerned, my goal is fulfilled.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
My debut, Impulses was a lengthy standalone, to which I literally gutted myself open. Although it has fictitious elements, 3/4 of the story was yours truly. I felt as though my future books would be lengthy also. Thankfully, that is not the case with The Dark Evoke Series.
The one element which remains within my writing is how raw it is, and can be, since my ability to create my characters incidences and circumstances, stem from life experiences. I am a very open, very honest person. I believe that we learn from our mistakes in life and there is nothing to be ashamed of because they make us stronger. As a result of that, I am able to express myself wholly through my characters, through their trials and tribulations and through their emotions and I feel they come alive more so, because they're flawed. To some degree, I feel that my readers can sense parts of me within the words on the page because those words were formed from my life experiences, and involvement in situations, that are relevant to my characters.
How does your writing process work?
This is actually quite an amusing question for me at the moment because I am suffering one Hell of a writer's block.
My answer to everything is, 'create a timeline'.
I shrug on my jacket, step into my shoes and I walk the streets, most probably looking like some made-up zombie, while I get the cogs in my head turning. I play out my scenes like one would watch a movie unfold on the big screen, sometimes listening to music which my characters favor the most. I go through everything, even down to the facial expressions and the mumbling dialogue. Trust me; I have had more than the occasional few stares around my neighborhood because of this.
When I have several main scenes along with dialogue, I focus on the scenes which will strew them together.
With Impulses, I focused intently on the number of pages...something I will never do again. Instead, I have begun to focus on the word count. Sometimes, I find it's better to have fewer words, you can always go back and add scenes or further your descriptions later. I find that method better than stripping a good few thousand words from your work.
But most importantly, I continue reading. It's crazy, but reading helps me write. Your brain is a sponge; you continue to learn more whether it be sentence structure all the way down to vocabulary. It really does help oil up those cogs.
What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music etc?
For a carnal sex scene, a glass or two of wine. As we know, alcohol lowers your inhibitions so you're less likely to get embarrassed by typing certain graphic terms on your computer. Write your sex scenes with a glass of liquid courage and edit sober.
For an actual love scene, definitely music. There are two love scenes in Impulses where I had the music playing while writing and safe to say, the second scene after Sam and Hayden went through a harrowing time, had me physically removing myself from the computer. The tears were streaming.
Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
I suffer from something called astrophobia, which is a phobia of planets and space as a whole. I don't dare look up at the night sky or the moon because it sends me into severe anxiety attacks.
Favorite animal: Wolf
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite food: Anything with a ridiculous amount of garlic and cheese.
Favorite genre of music: Motown
Favorite Season: Summer
A few reader of Impulses have often asked me if I was planning to write a sequel or a spin off with Jessie. Well, I wanted nothing more than to keep Hayden and Samantha in their own bubble of happiness, yet seeds were sown by these lovely readers who took a chance on an lengthy novel by an unknown author.
As July 14th will mark Samantha and Hayden's first wedding anniversary, I have written a short story titled, Impulses: Tainted Beginnings. This will be posted on my blog for my readers. Although it will contain spoilers for those who haven't yet read Impulses, it can also give a small taster of the love they share.
As Facebook's ever changing algorithms are making it somewhat difficult with page reaches, my readers can feel free to 'Friend' me here.
An enormous thank you to the lovely Bree and Olivia at beautifully Broken Book Blog for this amazing opportunity. And a massive thanks to my street team, Vic's Angels, for the constant pimping and enthusiasm.
My fellow IEZ authors, I love you all. Not only do we support each other, but we have some amazing laughs. They have definitely made this journey interesting.
If anyone has read my books, please feel free to get in touch. I love to hear what you thought and I read every review.