It is such a pleasure to welcome author Susan Blexrud back to PVN. Black Fang, the fifth book in her terrific paranormal romance series has just been released. She's here to give readers some background for this latest adventure, provide a preview, and also offer a contest. [see contest details at end of post]
Let’s Talk BATS
I’ve always liked these furry little mammals, and yes, they’re mammals, not rodents. Even when I was a little girl and my mother would warn me that if I didn’t come home before the bats came out for their nightly feeding, they’d fly in my hair, I still thought they were cool. I’d run home with my hands covering my head lest one of the creatures mistook me for a snack. I’d look up and watch their aerial acrobatics, the way they never flew in a straight line and could dodge and dive on a dime. They never dove at me. Thus began my fondness for bats.
In December 2010, I read a newspaper feature in The Orlando Sentinel about white-nose syndrome, a fungus that is decimating bat populations. These beneficial animals keep the mosquito population at bay and are master pollinators, but this mysterious fungus is threatening their very existence. From New England and into the central states, the fungus is spreading through caves, causing bats to be disoriented, interrupting their hibernation, and ultimately killing them. There is no cure, and it is spreading like wildfire.
So, I got to thinking. Who could save the bats? Sure, the Environmental Protection Agency was working on the fungal scourge, but what about the creatures that had a real vested interest in the survival of bats? That would be VAMPIRES. If bats were threatened, wouldn’t vampires in bat form also be vulnerable to the deadly virus? And if vampires were involved, who would try to thwart their plans? How about the vampires’ most stealthy enemy, Unseelie faeries?
The fifth story in my fang series, Black Fang, debuted in August. Here’s the blurb and an excerpt.
Enter John and Lauren Wright. The vampire couple has conquered evil enemies in the past, but the perpetrator behind the bat deaths is more cunning than any they’ve encountered. Though John initially suspects that werewolves are the culprits, he discovers he is up against a colony of Unseelie faeries. The intoxicating scent of the faeries has been known to deceive vampires, pitting friend against friend—and wife against husband.
John and Teensy landed in the palace’s kitchen, where the cook promptly began beating John on the head with a wooden spoon.
“Stop!” He rubbed his cranium. “We’re here to see the king. He’s expecting us.”
“Well, you have a strange way to make an entrance.” The cook, wide as she was tall, gave John the stink eye.
“My fault,” said Teensy, dusting off her hot pink sweatpants. “I must have used one spider leg too many in the potion. I was aiming for the banquet hall.”
“You’re right under it,” the cook said as she nodded to a vaulted doorway. “Take those steps. I’m sure you’ll be a big hit.” She swatted John on the butt with her spoon as they passed her. “Or at least the gorgeous guy will.”
They hurried up the steps with Teensy chattering instructions along the way. “Stay close to me when we get in the hall. I may need to whisper, and I’ll be able to feel if you’re inching to the dark side.”
“I won’t let them get to me.”
“Right.” Teensy tugged on John’s sleeve. “Don’t get cocky.”
They burst into the banquet hall. John counted eight guards stationed at the doorways and then focused on the dais. The king was seated at his throne with a lovely, and very naked, faery maid sprawled face down/butt up across his lap. He was spanking her vigorously with his bare hand while two other faeries bounced around them, obviously enjoying the show. Lauren was standing next to the seated king, a smile as big as the Florida sun on her face.
“Lauren!” John called as he walked toward her, his hand held out. “Come to me, my love.”
She looked at him and clapped her hands. “Wow, you’re cute!”
Teensy, who was attached to John like a pilot fish on a shark, said, “Egad, it’s worse than I thought. She has no idea who you are.”
John stopped at the bottom step that led up to the throne. He sensed the guards circling him and getting closer as he approached the king. Again, he said, “Lauren, come to me, my love.” His heart pounded in his ears. She looked so beautiful…so vulnerable…and so clueless.
“My, my, you got here quickly, and uninvited, at that.” The king pushed the faery off his lap, rose from the throne, and put his arm around Lauren’s shoulder. John stiffened as she leaned into the king.
“This ain’t gonna be easy,” Teensy whispered.
John waited until Lauren’s eyes met his. “Avery misses you.”
Lauren cocked her head, and Teensy took advantage of the brief spark of recognition in Lauren’s eyes to throw a handful of sparkly dust in Lauren’s direction. She sneezed.
“Seize them,” the king shouted to his guards.
*Now, here’s a contest. One commenter will receive a download of my new e-book novella, Black Fang.
*Just go to my website and look for my time travel novel. Tell me the name of the novel in the PVN comments, and you’ll be entered to win Black Fang.
My website is: www.susanblexrud.com