[see contest details at end of post]
As a prelude to publication Ronnie has written two short stories - Unspoken and Never Again - which profile two of her main characters. You can find stories for a free download at http://www.feedbooks.com/user/136200/profile
Crimson Dawn is my first novel and the first in a planned series that I am calling the Darklife Saga. It revolves around a ninety eight year old pureblood vampire named Valeria Trumaine.
The inspiration for Crimson Dawn, lies in my total love of Kim Harrison’s characters Rachel Morgan and Ivy Tamwood and their relationship. But as much as I love them there is one aspect of their relationship that irks me to no end. I’m sure many of you have read The Hollow’s books but if you haven’t, Rachel is a witch and totally straight. Ivy is a bi-sexual vampire and happens to be head over heals for Rachel. To make a long story short, they are roommates and locked in this gay girl in love with straight girl, up and down relationship.
I love the novels and eagerly await each new addition but Rachel’s inability to commit to Ivy began to bug the hell out of me. As a gay girl, I want to read a mainstream style urban fantasy in which the protagonist gets her girl, or at least doesn’t keep her on this up and down, rollercoaster ride. I tried to find just such a novel, but unless you want to be stuck reading hard core erotica all the time, they are hard to find.
Disgusted with the slim pickings, I decided to write my own lesbian urban fantasy/paranormal romance. With that goal in mind, I sat down and started outlining what eventually became Crimson Dawn.
Crimson Dawn is set in a world where the humans know about the supernatural races that walk the earth with them. But while they live, work and play with humans, there is still this underlying fear of them. Many humans are watching the extra’s like hawks, just waiting for them to mess us so they can run and cry foul to the media. Extras have to walk a fine line to keep public opinion in their favor. As a result they developed the CMS system.
The CMS’s, short for Center for Multi Species exist to provide the humans with a civilized representation of the races that were once considered monsters. There are CMS’s in most urban cities across the country. There are three sections to a CMS. But the most important is The legal system, which includes the police division known as The Sentinel Unit.
Val is the only pureblood vampire to work as a Sentinel. She originally took the job as a means to make amends for things that she had done in her past while she was with her nightmare of an ex-boyfriend, Tristan Meriwether. Over time the job began to give her purpose and make her feel less like the monster she saw herself as.
It’s ironic that Valeria’s job as a Sentinel puts her in the unthinkable position of having to track down her ex-fiance when he turns rouge and begins drawing unwanted attention to the Extra‘s community. In a world where supernatural races i.e. Extra’s, are hounded by paparazzi much like athletes and actors are in reality, bad press is a no-no.
It sounds easy enough, vampires are the ultimate predators right? If it was easy then there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell. Valeria’s orders to hunt her ex Tristan down are not without opposition from the vampire nation because he’s the son of a vampire master and a member of a very prominent family.
Aside from the hunt for Tristan, Valeria will be forced to face the feelings that she has for her best friend and roommate, Irulan, a Sidhe princess. Irulan, keen on keeping Valeria alive for multiple reasons, will be drawn into the hunt, and forced to face her past in order to secure Valeria’s future.
Crimson Dawn is so many things, a fast paced urban fantasy, a paranormal romance, and above all, a dream come true. It’s characters are, I hope, relatable enough for readers to fall in love with. I know I have, but I’m biased so.
Valeria, or Val for short, is smart mouthed and head-strong. She’s also fiercely loyal and protective of the people that she loves. Val has a tendency to leap without looking and it gets her into trouble sometimes. The fact that she is a member of a powerful family means there are all these expectations that she feels she needs to live up to. There are also issues from her past that make her question who she is and what she is cable of. All of these things come together and are at complete odds with the person that she wants to be.
One of most important things that I tried to do with her, is show that despite the fact that she is a vampire and has all these powers and social standing, she’s fallible and very human.
One of the other major characters is Irulan, a three hundred plus year old Sidhe princess. A refugee from the FaeLands, she is one of only a handful of Sidhe that live in the human realm, and the only royal to do so.
She has been in Valeria’s life since she was a baby and has been her mothers best friend for over two hundred years. This dual friendship with both mother and daughter is going to put Irulan in more than one tight spot.
Irulan is a character who I never really intended to grow as much as she did, but as I wrote more and more of her into Crimson Dawn, my readers began to ask for a story abut her past. Fueled by their request, I sat down and began Never Again: An Irulan Short. By the time I was done with the short story, she was running neck and neck with Valeria as my favorite character to write.
With the publication date for Crimson Dawn just weeks away, I have begun to answer interview questions for a few book bloggers. One question in particular stood out and I’m going to end this by answering that question.
That question was, ‘Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?’ I’m not sure if there is a message per say, but I do have a definite goal. I want Crimson Dawn to gain readers who might not have been sure that they would like it because the two main characters are lesbians. I want people to get so lost in the storyline that by the time they are done with it, they are wrapped up in the characters because they were that relatable and memorable. And as a new author, I just want people to read it period.
* Veronica is offering a copy of Crimson Dawn to one lucky reader.
* Leave a comment for Veronica about this post for a chance to win.
* Be sure contact information is included with your comment.
* Contest ends April 19, 2011 at 11:59pm EST
* Contest is international