A big welcome back to Barbara Monajem who today celebrates the release of her paranormal/vampire novel Tastes of Love and Evil, Dorchester Publishing Co. (August 24, 2010). This is the second book in the Bayou Gavotte Series.
Thank you, Barbara for sharing this special day with the readers of Patricia's Vampire Notes!
[Read a review of Book one Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil. See contest details at the end of the post.]
THE RUNAWAY PARANORMAL
When I started writing vampire paranormals, I thought it would be fun to write a story that was close to real life – just beyond the boundaries of possibility. I picked the aspects of vampire lore that worked for my purposes and ignored the rest. So, my vampires aren’t undead. They’re fine with garlic, crosses, and sunlight. They ‘re born with a vampire gene, grow fangs at puberty, develop a taste for blood, become sexually irresistible, and have enhanced senses. Not too far from ordinary reality, I figured. In my first paranormal romance, Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil, the heroine is a vampire. Sure, the cop who falls in love with her has some good instincts, but that’s nothing we don’t see in real life.
Tastes of Love and Evil, which has just been released. Rose, the heroine, is another vampire. Which was fine, but suddenly in walked Jack, the hero, and…turns out he’s a human chameleon. He can literally fade into the background. He’s a paranormal version of the kind of guy who can make himself largely unnoticed, and he uses that ability to save abused women. Let’s face it – disappearing is a little farther from reality than having fangs, but he was such a cool character that I couldn’t say no.
Fast forward to book three, which I’m working on now. Constantine, the main character, is a far cry from a regular guy. He slipped into my almost-normal world as a secondary character in book one. Secondary characters are sneaky. They rise out of the writer’s subconscious ready-made, apparently to fill a role in a story, but really, they’re just trying to muscle in and take over. Constantine can send dreams – and nightmares. He can plant thoughts in people’s minds. He can make them see what he wants them to see. And that’s not all. As I write the story, I learn more and more about his paranormal abilities. Believe me, I didn’t plan this one. Give the paranormal an inch and… wheeeee, you’re on a roller coaster ride far, far away from the world as we know it. So much for keeping things almost real!
Here’s an excerpt from Tastes of Love and Evil. Jack has just been shot by some bad guys, and although Rose doesn’t know him (she thinks of him as just some random man), she’s given him her hotel room key so he can take refuge. But the bad guys are posing as feds, and they’re searching the hotel.
The room was empty.
No, it just appeared to be. “I told you there was no one here.” Her nostrils quivering, every sense alert, Rose scanned the bed, the curtains, the embroidered mantle draped on a chair, the Elizabethan gown on the luggage cart. “Now get out of my room!”
The gunman ignored her, ducking in and out of the bathroom, glancing into the closet, going efficiently through every hiding place. Warmer, cried Rose’s senses, warmer, warmer, damn, oh God please no, as he shoved past the luggage cart to the window, and then as he returned, colder, warmer, colder, where the hell is the man? One-handed, the fake fed lifted the mattress and box spring, but no one was concealed underneath.
Sirens cried in the distance, and a second later the gunman’s phone squawked a warning. He left without looking back.
Rose retrieved her breakfast, double-locked the door, and scanned the room. Aha. She’d seen this phenomenon once before. She knew Random Man was in the room, somewhere near the window. “They’ve gone,” she said softly. “You can come out now. You need to have that wound tended.”
Nothing. Where was he?
“I brought coffee and doughnuts.” She put the food on the table. “I’d be happy to share, once we’ve patched you up.” Pause. “I know you’re here. I can hear you breathing.”
“I can smell you,” Rose said, her voice rising, tendrils of allure escaping. You and your blood. “I’m here to help, you fool!”
Still nothing. Or maybe…a faint shimmer, like heat rising in summer air, over on the luggage cart, right by the Elizabethan gown. Damn it, thought Rose. If he stains that costume… Anger coupled with the aroma of blood overwhelmed her senses, and her fangs slotted down. Purposely this time, she directed her allure toward the luggage cart. Another shimmer, instantly controlled, and then absolute stillness.
No more pussyfooting around. She smiled and sent a wave of allure crashing across the room. Random Man resolved into view, gold and tan and brown blending with the dress, then gradually reacquiring his own muted shape and colors, blue denims and Saints jacket, nondescript but definitely all there.
“God help me,” Random Man said. “Not another vamp.”
If you were going to write a paranormal romance (or if you do write them), what abilities would you like your characters to have?
What kind of paranormal characters are most fun to read about?
Why do you suppose it’s so hard to keep paranormal characters close to real life?
Answer only one of Barbara's for a chance to win a signed copy of Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil.
Be sure I have access to your email address.
Contest ends August 31, 2010. Contest is open worldwide!
This Contest is closed. The winner is Debbie. Congratulations!And a big thank you to all who participated!