My Writing Process Blog Tour

The AMAZING Nina D’Arcangela nominated me last week. You can go Here to read her post. You should, you’d then understand why I call her amazing. Not only does she write for herself and Pen of the Damned she also writes for (and edits- she a co-owner) of Siren’s Call Publications But that isn’t all she also owns a photography studio.

See she’s amazing!!!! If you don’t already follow her. . . first let me pick my jaw up off the floor, second go and follow her, third follow her on all social medias.

Now for all my juicy secrets.

What am I working on?
I’m working on Among the Shadows a sequel to In the Shadows (the novel I just finished -that’s being beta read right now)
Adriana married one of the vampires – James, and helped the vampire coven stop the zombie virus, that she started –yeah it gets deep. In AtS the High Witch Council has declared war on vampires because they are keeping Adriana from standing trial for her part in the zombie outbreak and for breaking witch rules. I’ve just started writing so there isn’t much to tell.

I’m trying to finish a few other novels when AtS gets annoying –I’m talking to you James! I’ll start revising a vampire novel soon (I don’t wanna, revising is hard and writing is fun). There’s two anthologies I’d like to submit to in December, that I need to get working on.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Why my work differs from others, that’s a hard question. I’d have to say, because my children are different from other children, my writing is different from other’s. It’s a part of me, no matter how small that part might be. They are my imganiary friends and they’re as strange as I am, that’s why they came to me to write their stories. I think all writers are different from eath other (even in the same genre) because they are different people from different paths. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t have so many authors.

Why do I write what I do?
Why I write what I do? Why not? Write what you know, as writers that’s always part of the advice we read. I know vampires, so that’s what I write, mostly. I know witches, and other supernatural creatures, guess what else I write. :D I know romance and heartbreak, I know motherly love and the fear of losing a child. I know the gut wrenching sorrow of watching your child suffer and doctors doing their best to keep the alive for something as simple as a food allergy. What I don’t know I learn. So why do I write what I do? Because I take what I know and love and twist it until it hurts to love it and in that way I heal my own wounds, insecurities, and give myself strength to face it all again.

How does my writing process work?
Process? LOL, there is no process. Once upon a time I tried to create a process I rarely wrote when I did that. Homeschooling four kids, I’ve learned to write when I can. Jot notes or record my thoughts on a scene. That recording my thoughts worked twice until I had little demons running around saying “Note to self…… and repeating my scene.” I try to wake up extra early and write, but sometimes that doesn’t work well after I’ve spent most the night writing. When I write at night, there’s usually a scented candle burning. There’s nothing like writing by candlelight, the flickering of the flame casting eerie shadows across the wall. The Muse lurking in the corner of the room, shrieking at times.

Now for my nominees. Actually I’m only choosing one.

Jeanie Grey
Photo on 2012-01-16 at 12.49 #2
About
Jeanie Grey is a feminist writer and reader of romance and erotica currently working on three romance novels – a scifi-vampire-suspense, a contemporary, & a historical pirate – scheduled to come out in 2014. She’d love to connect with you via Twitter (@jeaniegrey) or Facebook. You can also email her at writejeaniegrey (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Blood Spell

Today, I’d like to thank J. Elizabeth Hill for being a part of Vampire Month. If you don’t know the amazing @jlizhill, I recommend you all head over to her blog and stalk, I mean, follow her, while you’re off following her, stop by Amazon and pick up her books, (not vampire but still enticing). She agreed to write a vampire story for us. Part 2 tomorrow.
I’ll shut up now and let you get to reading this awesome story.

The Blood Spell
By J. Elizabeth Hill

Jansen grinned at the strange weapon in his hand, using his body to keep it hidden from his prisoner. The dagger was one of a kind, specially made for him. Two slender, double-edged blades sprouted from the guard. The gap between them narrowed but they never actually touched. The hilt was wrapped in black leather. To Jansen, the dagger was a work of art, but it was also the most important tool in his plan to overthrow the Bloods. Finding someone who could design and make what he’d dreamed up hadn’t been easy or cheap. Humans weren’t permitted to make weapons anymore. Yet another way the Bloods kept them weak.

This wasn’t the time to dwell on that though. There were more important things for him to do. He turned to face his prisoner, who had finally returned to consciousness. Jansen’s eyes bore into the Blood, and he was gratified by the way it squirmed, even if it wasn’t from anything he’d done. Not yet.

The creature sat in a chair, though it wasn’t tied there in any usual sense. Instead of ropes, a device of gears, inward-pointing spikes and metal bands wrapped around it like a vest. Its arms were trapped at its sides by the contraption. Heavy chains ran from the device to large iron rings set into the floor.

Jansen sneered at its clothing. A fine, dark green waistcoat, and loose-sleeved, white shirt that buttoned at the wrists and had a high, stiff collar. Sleek tailored pants disappeared into black, polished knee-high boots. Even its long silver hair, which belied an otherwise youthful appearance, had been sleek when they captured it. Of course, the contraption had made holes in the fine clothes, and the beast’s blood stained a few places, but it was minor. So far.

Dust swirled in the shafts of sunlight that streamed from holes in the corrugated metal roof of the one-room shack as he walked a few steps closer to the Blood. Everything humans had left these days was filthy. Even the inside of this hovel was littered with piles of garbage. This was the start of changing that though. He’d live with the dirt and worse to free humanity from this enslavement to the walking dead.

Both of them were distracted for a moment by a foot scuffing on the packed dirt floor. Jansen looked over at Wallen, the only member of the Rebellion he trusted enough to bring in on this. Should he send the older man away? No, he needed someone there with him, to steady him if he went too far in this interrogation.

Besides, Wallen ran their spies. He needed to be there, in case it said something they could capitalize on. That alone was worth the possibility of being distracted, and the other man might be old, but he wasn’t a fool.

Jansen returned his attention to the Blood in the chair. This was such a rare opportunity. Capturing any Blood was hard enough. The very things that made them such good predators doubled as defenses. Most were careful. They were all strong and fast enough to tear apart even a group of humans who came after them.

Surrounding them didn’t help much, and their keen senses doing so difficult.

To take this one was nearly a miracle.

A loud crack from outside caused Jansen to jump. It took him a moment to place the vaguely familiar sound. Gunfire. It had been a long time since he’d heard the sound. Some idiot had probably found an old pistol, a relic from the time before the Bloods rose and took over the world. The human constables who kept the peace in the ghetto of Pavros would deal with them. They might be traitors to their own species, working for the Bloods, but they were good at dealing with lawbreakers. That was fine for now, as long as there wasn’t a building by building search as a result of one moron showing off.

When Jansen looked back, the Blood grinned, revealing fangs, a sight that never failed to revolt him. Memories of similar ones grazing his neck still haunted him.

“You’ll be caught,” it whispered.

“Really?”

“No one gets away with this sort of thing. When Lord Dametri finds out you’ve taken me, he’ll hunt you down. Your punishment will be severe.”
“Won’t happen.”

“Keep telling yourself that, if it brings you comfort, human. But our Blood Lord has longed for a good hunt. Sadly, I doubt you’ll give it to him. Most of your kind are so complacent these days that it’ll be easy to pick you out of the rabble.”

“We’re not as tame as you think, Cantor.”

Wariness crept into the Blood’s eyes, giving Jansen a triumphant thrill. Outside, voices called and boots clattered across the broken cobles. There was a shout and another shot fired. Then crackling, followed by several screams. The smell of burning flesh filtered into the shack. Constables didn’t bother with projectile weapons. The Bloods provided them with weapons charged with magic. Evasion was nearly impossible and they were always lethal. Humans had no defense against such weapons anymore, since the Bloods had hunted the mages to near-extinction.

“So you know who I am.” Cantor’s voice was still soft. “What is it you think you can get out of me? If you think I’ll betray Lord Dametri, you’re wrong. And when he gets hold of you, he’ll make your death slow and painful. He doesn’t suffer his retainers being interfered with, much less harmed.”

“Yes, I’m sure he’ll be most concerned when the Blood he’s put in charge of his security vanishes for a while. Can you imagine what he might think?” Jansen smiled.

“Nothing much,” Cantor sneered. “He’ll ask me some questions, trying to figure out where this dump is and how to find you and that’ll be it.”

“Are you sure?” Jansen leaned in close to the Blood’s ear, his short, wild, brown curls falling into his eyes. “What if he thought you’d told us something? Or everything?”

“My Lord would never believe I betrayed him, not on your word.”

“Oh, I have people to sing my song who will be believed.”

He forced himself to remain as calm as possible as the creature held its now-worried silence. It wouldn’t do any good for this creature to realize he was nervous. He needed to break its confidence, make it think he held all the cards.

“You’re not the first we’ve captured.”

Cantor’s eyes went to Wallen. The older, grey-haired man would nod in confirmation, though neither human would have divulged that none they’d taken and interrogated before had been nearly so important in the power structure of the city. At last, the Blood returned its gaze to him.

“That’s not possible. I’d know. The whole staff would know and there’d be a hunt on for you.” The slight tremor in its voice belied the confident tone.
“Because Dametri doesn’t keep secrets, does he?”

Silence. Reflexive swallowing. Had the thing actually become paler still? It looked away.

“Not something like that. He’d warn me, for the security of- for my safety if nothing else.”

There it was. The crack.

“You mean for the security of that tower. Lord Dametri cares about Lord Dametri, that’s it. You’re fooling yourself if you believe otherwise, Cantor. And once he hears even a whisper that you’ve told us the secrets of the tower, he’ll have you killed.”

Another silence, then its eyes met his. This close, Jansen could see the red flecks in its irises. “No. I won’t betray him and he won’t believe I did, no matter who you send with this story of yours.”

So it was going to be the hard way, then. Jansen preferred it that way.

He turned a small wheel on the vest-like contraption. The gears around it moved, causing the bands of metal encircling Cantor contracted a small amount. The spikes pierced its flesh, drawing fresh rivulets of blood to stain the white shirt and green vest. More were driven into its neck. Blood welled up, then slowly rolled down the pale skin, scenting the air with copper, salt and sweetness. Always, their blood smelled sweet in a way human blood didn’t.

The growing panic in the Blood’s eyes eased when Jansen’s fingers came off the disc. Silence reigned inside and out. The constables were gone and the already-fading smell of burnt flesh suggested they’d taken any corpses away with them. No hope for Cantor. Jansen smiled, watching this sink into the Blood. Then he stopped. Victory wasn’t his yet. Torture wasn’t why they’d gone to the trouble of capturing Cantor. There was more he needed from it than information.

“Get this thing off me.” The imperious tone was typical of Bloods, but the creature’s eyes darted around too much for Jansen to believe it was anything but frightened under that attempt at a cool demeanor.

“But we haven’t finished our conversation yet.”

The eyes settled on him again, wider than before. “I’m not saying anything more until this has been removed.”

Jansen blinked. He’d expected this Blood to hold out a lot longer before even suggesting it might cooperate. Why the sudden change? Was it trying to lead him into a trap, betray him to Dametri? He couldn’t allow himself to fall into Dametri’s hands, and not just because he’d never survive if the Blood Lord realized who he was.

“Jansen, look at the blood.”

He looked at Wallen, intending to ask him to step out, but when their eyes met, Jansen found real concern there. “It’s not supposed to do that, is it? Did your contact mention this?”

Jansen looked at Cantor again and was stunned. Everywhere the metal thorns pierced the Blood’s now perfectly still body, tendrils of smoke rose lazily into the air. Worse, the blood continued to seep. The smell was faint, but acrid. What was going on? “No, she didn’t.”

Jansen made a decision. He couldn’t risk Cantor being damaged too much by the device, no matter what promises that mage had made. Rolling up the sleeves on his shirt so they wouldn’t catch on any of the machines gears or pieces, he knelt beside the chair. Before he could begin inspecting the device, he noticed the Blood’s eyes. Wider than ever and terrified. He followed its gaze and realized the hand holding his dagger now rested on his knee, forgotten in his concern over the device. He stuffed the dagger, no more than the length of his hand, into the sheath in the back pocket of his overalls.

Cantor didn’t relax. It flinched back when Jansen reached out and turned the dial back. The spikes didn’t move. He stared at them, frowning now. She’d told him he’d be able to remove the device when he was through with it.

“Are you going to get me out of this or not?”

Was that a pleading note he heard from this creature? “And what do I get in return?”

“I won’t betray Lord Dametri.”

“That’s not what I asked.” Negotiating was good, but the smoke coming from Cantor’s blood was getting worse. How long did he have to dicker with this thing?
For a moment, it was silent and when it spoke again, the words were clipped. The Blood was in pain. “I could give you information on my species.”

“You assume we don’t know everything already.”

“You don’t. I assure you, you don’t. I know things you couldn’t possibly know unless there’s another Blood you’ve trapped and blackmailed into helping you. You need what I can tell you.”

He thought quickly. The offer was tempting, especially with the desperation in its voice. In setting up this little scheme, he’d realized how little they knew about their masters. But weighed against all they could learn if he went through with his original plan for Cantor, he wasn’t sure if it was worth the trade.
“Jansen?”

Wallen’s question reminded him he didn’t have forever to make the decision, or to figure out what the device was doing to Cantor, in case he wanted to keep using it. Jansen traced a finger along one of the spikes but it felt like ordinary metal to him. His finger was unmarked when he pulled it back and inspected it. Then he touched the blood welling up around the spike in the creature’s neck.

He yanked his hand back immediately as the skin began to burn, nudging the spike enough to shift its position. The Blood shrieked and shoved back in the chair.

The chains kept it from going far, but Cantor screamed again. Jansen stumbled back, confused, then realized its movement had pulled the spikes into its back.

“What in hell’s going on?” Wallen moved toward their agonized captive, but Jansen held up his free hand without looking. Instead, he stared at the smoking, bubbling blood on his fingertip. He rubbed it against the front pocket of his overalls and stared in amazement as a hole appeared in the fabric. His fingertip was an angry red. This had never happened before.

Cantor thrashed as wildly as the contraption and chains would allow, finally flipping the chair out from under itself and kicking it away. The creature knelt among the chains before growing still again.

Jansen watched it closely, trying to decide if it was okay or if he needed to do something to keep the Blood from being further damaged. The moment he saw that the wisps of smoke were thicker now, he decided.

“The heavy bolt cutters, Wallen. Quickly,” he snapped when the other man didn’t move immediately.

“I told you, I don’t have any.”

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story. . .

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The Blood and the Cauldron Part 3

Karen is back to give you the final installment of The Blood and the Cauldron

The Blood and the Cauldron – Part 3

Mark pounded on the door of the cottage. He hated going behind Ewan’s back, but his friend was in over his head this time. ‘Kate! Open up!’

‘Good Goddess!’ The door flew open, revealing the Witch – as she was known to nearly everyone. Most people didn’t want to know her name, or any more about her than they needed to. At this moment, Mark saw why. Her arms were covered up to the elbows with leaves and sap, and in her left hand she held a bundle of twigs which was crawling with spiders.

‘Kate, I need your help,’ panted Mark. ‘It’s Ewan.’

‘Get in here.’ Kate hurried back inside.

Following her, Mark glimpsed something steaming away in her stillroom, before he was whisked into the kitchen. She threw the twigs out of the window, then scrubbed her arms at the huge Belfast sink.

‘Tell me,’ she commanded, ‘While I get this stuff off.’

Mark decided against asking what the ‘stuff’ was. ‘Ewan’s been seeing a girl,’ he began. ‘Someone new to the town. She went to explore the House, and got taken. Now Ewan’s gone after her – on his own.’

Kate dried her hands, and frowned at Mark. ‘Someone new? Mark, no-one new has moved in for months. You know I keep track, because of our – vampire problem. Where did Ewan meet this girl?’

Mark’s brow furrowed. ‘Just in a bar, I think.’

‘Have you met her? Do you know her name?’

‘No…they’ve only been together a few weeks.’ Mark looked down at his feet. ‘And he was really soppy about her…I kind of didn’t want to be a spare wheel. Oh – she’s called Cara.’ He raised his head sheepishly, to a blazing stare. Alarmed, he asked, ‘What’s wrong?’

‘Cara!’ Kate was throwing off the robe she always wore when conjuring, and marching towards the stillroom. ‘That…oohh, I knew I sensed something, but I couldn’t see it!’

Mark scurried after her as she grabbed a small bag and slung it over her shoulder. ‘You know her?’

‘She’s a vampire.’

Mark recoiled. ‘What?’

‘An old acquaintance.’ Kate was filling a bottle from the cauldron. She stepped into the circle of protection chalked on the stillroom floor, and held out her hand. ‘Come on! And grab one of those.’ She nodded at the long stakes leaning against the wall.

Mark seized one. She pulled him in close, and reached into her bag. Rubbing her fingers together, she scattered a red powder all around them, forming another circle inside the chalk. Mark wrinkled his nose. The powder had a cloying, coppery smell, almost like…

‘You might want to shut your eyes.’

Mark forgot about the powder. ‘Why? What are we doing?’

‘Getting there fast.’

The world tilted and threw Mark across the room – or at least that was how it seemed. When his vision cleared, they were standing at the main door of the House. Kate’s eyes searched his, and he nodded. They darted into the hallway, Mark holding his stake like a quarterstaff. No-one about. Kate pointed at the stairs, and the two of them ran up silently. As they reached the landing, they heard whimpering cries.

‘That’s Ewan!’ Mark made as if to dash forward, but Kate stopped him.
‘You know what we might find?’

Mark’s eyes narrowed. ‘We’ll save him, or avenge him.’

‘Good lad. Come on then!’

They raced through the furthest doorway, Kate calling out words in spell speech. Three vampires jumped to their feet, leaving what resembled a pile of bloody rags on a bed. Cara flew into the air, shrieking with rage as Kate’s magic pinned her to the ceiling. Mark screamed obscenities at the other two as he charged at them.

Ewan’s eyes flew open as the pain and pleasure were torn away. He stared around wildly. Where had Cara gone? A dark figure had the acolytes trapped against the wall with a wooden staff. Ewan glimpsed Mark’s black hair and flashing eyes as the weapon was twisted and used to stake both of the vampires at once. Strong arms were gathering him up. He looked into the face of the Witch as she lifted him, as though he weighed nothing. He tried to speak, but his mouth might as well have been sandpaper. The room swirled around him, and everything went dark.

Mark left the pile of dust that had once been the acolytes, and ran to the bed.

‘Here!’ Kate held out her hand, the other arm wrapped round Ewan. She glanced up at the screeching Cara. ‘I can’t hold her there for long…’

Mark took Kate’s hand, and the world dissolved as all three of them were pulled through the air. It was as disorientating as the first time; like being on a scary fairground ride. When his surroundings took shape again, they were back in the stillroom. He felt sick and dizzy; it had all happened so quickly.

‘Take Ewan out of the circle!’

Kate’s voice jolted through him, and he half-carried, half-dragged his friend from the chalked area. Ewan was a mess. His shredded clothes revealed bite marks all over his body, blood trails striping every inch of skin in shades of red.

‘Kate – Ewan, he needs…’

‘I know! I have to do this first.’ Kate stood in the circle, drawing symbols in the air and muttering. The red powder rose from the floor in a cloud and surrounded her – and the figure taking shape beside her.

‘So you stopped me before I could finish off my little lover.’ Cara’s mocking voice came from a distance. ‘I see age hasn’t slowed you down. And you have a new warrior. Such a pity for me he and Ewan are friends – you might not have made your rescue in time, otherwise.’

Mark gulped as he realized who Cara meant by warrior. He had known his family’s association with the Witch Clans was dangerous, but…

‘You were very sneaky, getting into town without me seeing you.’ Kate’s voice was calm, but Mark knew she was furious at having missed a vampire entering the boundaries. ‘Care to tell me how you did it?’

‘Not really.’ Cara sounded nearer this time.

Mark could hardly see Kate now for the red mist rising from the floor. On the contrary, Cara was becoming more visible by the second. He clutched Ewan closer.

‘Didn’t think so.’ Kate reached into the bag strapped across her body. ‘So you’re just going to follow me in here and finish what you started?’

‘Of course. Your pathetic circle of salt can’t stop me.’

‘It’s not supposed to. You’re not the only one who can work tricks unseen.’ As Cara materialised, Kate held up the stake.

Cara laughed. ‘You know that won’t stop me either.’

‘Depends whose blood is on it.’

Mark had never seen a vampire grow pale before, but he swore that Cara did. The red mist rushed towards the weapon as it was plunged into Cara’s chest.

The vampire’s scream was so piercing, Mark let go of Ewan and clutched his head, sure this time he really was going to be sick. He clamped his mouth shut and breathed through his nose, and the dreadful sound died away. Kate appeared beside him, her hands stained red. She laid them on Ewan’s abdomen, murmuring unintelligible words.

Ewan’s wounds began to close, and his skin took on a healthier pallor. As her hands moved over his friend’s body, the red on Kate’s skin faded.

She caught Mark’s questioning eye. ‘A spell,’ she stated. ‘The powder contains my blood. Stronger than a vampire’s – although not much stronger than hers. But enough to put her out of action for a while, and heal him.’

‘She’s not dead?’

‘No. She’s too powerful.’ Kate stroked Ewan’s matted hair away from his face. ‘Come on; let’s get this young man to a comfier place.’

‘Is he going to be okay?’

‘Well, that depends what you mean by okay.’ Kate scooped Ewan up, and Mark scrambled to his feet and followed her to the living room couch. ‘For one, in spite of our rescue, he’s not going to be happy that you came to me. You know how his family feels about witches.’

‘Stupid,’ muttered Mark, gazing at his friend with affection. ‘Narrow-minded, idiotic…’ He looked away as Kate peeled off Ewan’s ruined clothes.

‘Also,’ she continued, ‘there are consequences to healing him with my blood. His own removed by a vampire, then replaced with mine? Do you know what that makes him?’

‘No.’

‘Neither do I.’

Oohh. Well, that’s where we leave the story – for now. What will happen to Ewan? Don’t worry, there will be more in the future, just wait and see…

I know. I know. I can’t believe she did this to us! At least there’ll be more and as soon as I find out where you can go to read the rest, I’ll be letting you all know.

Thank you, Karen for entertaining us with this wonderful tale.

The Blood and the Cauldron – Part 2

Everyone who knows Karen’s writing knows it gets HOT and steamy. She’s about to make it hot and steamy up on this blog. You know if you’ve got Little “eyes” all around you or not. If you do, I recommend you come back once those little “eyes” take their naps. :D

The Blood and the Cauldron – Part 2

‘No,’ he whispered. ‘It’s not true. It can’t be. I’ve seen you in daylight. You can’t…you can’t…’
The corners of Cara’s mouth turned up. ‘Never full daylight, Ewan. At dawn and dusk. If I’ve consumed enough human blood I can withstand the light. It lulls people into a false sense of security.’
He scrambled towards the door, but the acolytes caught him. His body betrayed him, refusing to fight as lust surged at their touch. Forcing his mind to overcome his treacherous limbs, he struggled in their grasp. He might as well have fought against steel. They held him easily as Cara approached.
‘Ewan.’ Her voice slid over him like silk. ‘Don’t fight. It’s a long time since I’ve met anyone like you. So passionate, so determined. I want you. I want you to want me.’
‘I did want you. I thought we – we…’
‘We were. We are. Give yourself to me. I’m still the same woman you wanted. Be mine.’
‘I’ll die.’ His voice was flat. He couldn’t escape. The acolytes would kill him, if Cara didn’t.
‘That’s up to you.’
‘I can’t become one of you. Not after…’ He refused to think of his sister. He had sworn revenge for her death. Now the other woman he loved was one of the enemy. He was drowning in horror and lust. He couldn’t think. He couldn’t move.
His vision swam as he gazed into her eyes. Please, he begged silently. He was no longer asking for release. Instead, he was pleading for it not to hurt, for her somehow to take away the pain at discovering her true self. She understood.
She wrapped her arms round him, and her lips met his in a gentle kiss. He was falling, falling into oblivion. She tasted of cinnamon and chocolate. The sensible part of his mind screamed for him to reach for his stake and destroy her, to at least die fighting. He dismissed that voice, giving into desire. Base instincts took over as he pressed against her and writhed in her arms.
‘Give yourself to me,’ Cara murmured again. Ewan closed his eyes and moaned, at war with himself. The other two vampires had let go of his arms, and were running their hands down his back, his thighs, reaching between his legs and stroking his most sensitive flesh. His mind became a blur of hot wet longing. He kissed Cara back fiercely, and sensed her exultation as his last defences dropped. She licked the roof of his mouth and bit his tongue, drawing blood and already feasting on him. He was lifted, carried, floating as light as a feather while they caressed him. Pleasure coursed at every touch, every stroke, every kiss. Now they were laying him on something soft…he opened his eyes and saw the canopy of the four poster above.
The vampires spread him out on the bed. His body revelled in their sensual touch even as his mind screamed at him to resist, to fight, to run… His pinioned wrists were kissed and caressed by soft lips and tongues. Cara sat astride his legs, and ran her nails down his chest and abdomen. He groaned at the sensation and closed his eyes. Fight! The tiny voice that was his mind shouted. Throw her off! His body dismissed that voice, writhing in ecstasy as the two holding his wrists suckled his fingers and licked the soft skin on the insides of his arms.
Ewan’s back arched as Cara continued to caress his chest, running her fingernails over his nipples. Pain suddenly shot through him as the others sank their teeth into each wrist. His eyes flew open as the voice in his head broke through the pleasure for a second, and he tried to pull away from their grasp. Cara ran her hands down his body and placed them on his groin, stroking him through his jeans and banishing all thoughts of escape. The pain receded to a dull ache as the young vampires drank slowly, softly, saving the best for their mistress. He pressed his erection against Cara’s hands, desperate for more. With a wicked smile, she unbuttoned his fly and freed him. She lowered her head and brushed the tip of his cock with her lips. He moaned and tried to raise his hips from the bed, aching for a firmer touch.
Cara slid him further into her mouth. His world dissolved until all sensation was centred on that one part of him. The other vampires were forgotten. The voice of reason inside his head receded to a distant murmur. His body was a thing apart, trembling with desire and lust. It no longer mattered that the acolytes were slowly but surely draining his blood. All that mattered was Cara, sucking him harder and harder. Her nails raked the tender skin of his belly, slicing his flesh so that the blood flowed freely. Dimly, he was aware that she was licking that blood from his cock as she fellated him.
He was growing dizzy. His vision danced and he closed his eyes once more as his orgasm approached. The tiny voice of reason inside broke through for one last time, but he was too weak to fight even if he had wanted to. Yet he knew what would happen the moment he came. Cara would sink her fangs into his flesh and suck him dry in more ways than one. On the other side of this pleasure and pain lay only death.

To be continued in Part 3…

The Blood and the Cauldron – Part 1

Karen Soutar, is an awesome writer. Her vampires are smexy to the extreme. This installment is tame, but just keep coming back. Tomorrow’s installment is as hot as an Arizona summer.

The Blood and the Cauldron – Part 1

The heavy door swung inwards without a sound. That was good; he had half-expected it to creak. He stepped inside, hugging the wall and scanning the hallway for any movement. There was none. He left the door open, hoping that a little light would follow him. It was risky being here this late. The sun was almost down. Then they would rise, and he had no way of knowing how many there were. He had only ever seen the two, but he couldn’t save Cara if there were many more. He would be too outnumbered.

He had asked Mark to go with him, but his friend had refused.
‘It’s a trap,’ Mark had stated, ‘And we’re not going. They’ve been after you since they got your sister. Now you’ve given them bait.’
‘I can’t just leave Cara!’ Ewan had protested.
‘You know why we don’t get involved in relationships. Innocent people get hurt.’ At the expression on his friend’s face, Mark softened a little. ‘Look…why don’t you ask the Witch to help you?’
‘And be beholden to her? No thanks.’

So he found himself alone, back at the house where Cara had been dragged away. The memory of her cries made him shiver. She had wanted him to explore with her, saying it would be an adventure. In vain he had tried to tell her what lived there. She hadn’t believed him. Not being brought up in the town, she scoffed at the idea that there were any such things as – vampires.
There was an ornate staircase at the far end of the wide hallway, rising to the upper floor. The doors on either side opened onto reception rooms, except for one which led to the basement stairway. This much he knew from the plans. Would they be in the basement? Heavy drapes covered all the windows, so not necessarily. The undead would be safe from the light in any part of the house, except where he now stood in the fading dusk.
He had to start somewhere. He edged towards the basement door, leaving his refuge of light. He tested the doorknob. It wouldn’t budge. Crouching, he peered at the slim gap between the door and the frame. Locked! He could see right through the keyhole. He straightened, groping in his pocket for his lock pick.
A crawling sensation down his spine made him turn, and his worse imaginings were confirmed. Two vampires, the females who had dragged Cara off. They descended the stairs, arms outstretched to clasp him in a deathly embrace. He backed away, reaching inside his jacket for the holy water. If he distracted them with that, he might be able to stake both before they knew what was happening. No, wait – they would know where Cara was. If he killed one and captured the other… They were closer now, gliding down the last few steps. Their movements were noiseless, which was unsettling. God, but they were beautiful. He tried to watch them without meeting their eyes. He removed the stopper from the bottle with trembling hands.
‘Ewan,’ they whispered, reaching out to him with slender white arms. ‘Eeewannn…’ Distracted, he met the gaze of the nearest – and was hit with a wave of desire so strong he cried out. A rush of heat throbbed in his groin. He ached to step into that welcoming embrace. He slammed his hand against the wall, scraping his palm down the peeling paintwork. The pain broke the spell. He scrambled back towards the main door, realising too late that the sun had sunk below the horizon. There was no refuge that way.
‘Where’s Cara?’ He kept his voice steady. If he found her, there would be two of them against the vampires. Cara was feisty; she would fight alongside him. He refused to consider that she might already be dead, or so drained that she would be too weak to move.
Sibilant laughter was his answer.
They had come from the upper floor. He let his body sag as if in defeat, then, when they were mere inches away, he threw the holy water. He darted past the writhing, screaming vampires and mounted the stairs two at a time. Damn, which room to try first? Then he spotted the door ajar at the end of the landing. He raced towards it, knowing the two downstairs wouldn’t be distracted for long.
He took in his surroundings: a faded but ornate bedroom, with a canopied bed against the right hand wall. The drapes at the window would once have been the colour of fine wine, but were now like watery blood. They still blocked out the light; a single candle burning on the dresser threw a faint, eerie glow across the room.
There was a figure in the bed, covered by a gossamer sheet that accentuated womanly curves. He rushed over and threw the cover back – to reveal Cara, deathly white and asleep – or unconscious.
She wore a gown of some floaty fabric, not the jeans and shirt she had on earlier. He feared that they had fed on her – she was so pale – but there were no marks on her neck, or anywhere else, as far as he could see. He shook her shoulder, trying to be gentle so that if she were injured, he wouldn’t make things worse. No response. He knew she wasn’t dead, as her chest rose and fell. Maybe she was so drained, she wouldn’t wake? Could he carry her out of there – and deal with the vamps? A hiss from the doorway told him he was about to find out. Glancing from under his lashes so as not to meet their eyes, he saw the two females in the doorway.
They weren’t looking at him, but past him.
There was a gossamer movement of air behind him. Icy fingers brushed his neck, and he jumped from the bed. Cara sat up; baring her teeth in what was once a beautiful smile – except now her elongated canines were clearly visible. Ewan choked back a sob.
He didn’t care that the other two had moved to stand beside him – until they curtsied low to the figure on the bed.
‘Mistress.’ They spoke in unison.
Cara inclined her head, as though granting a boon.
All the air left Ewan’s body, as though he’d been punched in the stomach. The acolytes acknowledging Cara that way – that could only mean – how – how?
She was vampire. Not turned by them – she was their creator. She had been vampire all along. How had she fooled him?
‘Ewan.’
Her voice was honey. How could she sound so sweet when she was a monster? Revulsion warred with desire in his gut. He had been deceived – lured here – trapped.
‘Ewan, look at me.’
He was lost, anyway. Three of them, against him.
He gritted his teeth, and raised his head to meet her gaze.

To be continued…

Embrace the Passion

Today I’d like to introduce you all to an amazing vampire author. Caris lives in Arizona, she knows a thing or two about heat. Her stories can prove it. She’s here to talk about “Embrace the Passion”. I could go on and on but my goblet has run dry, I’ll go get a refill while Caris takes over.
*Turning to Caris* Thank you so much for coming over tonight.

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Hi, Everyone! I’m so happy to be here today sharing with you about my beloved vampires. In the Blood Rose Series, I pose the question: what if only one woman could meet the blood-needs of a mastyr vampire? What would that look like and would the woman even want the job?!?

In EMBRACE THE PASSION, the fourth book in the Blood Rose Series, our beleaguered and very isolated mastyr vampire, Seth, meets his match in the form of a beautiful bodyguard assigned to him against his will. He doesn’t want a distraction in his life, especially not one as beautiful and as wild as the shifter, Lorelei….

Seth has lived a solitary life and needs no one…

Mastyr Vampire Seth craves Lorelei, his new bodyguard, but he has a hands-off policy with those under his command. However, the sexy glint in her eye, as well as her wolf-shifter ways, keeps him in a fevered state. He’s lived a life of enforced solitude as Mastyr of Walvashorr Realm, but when the enemy arrives, ready to invade his land, he must rely on his bodyguard more than he ever dreamed possible. So much proximity breaks through his resistance and he takes the woman, marking her in a shocking shifter way that overturns his careful, analytical world. But when her connection to the enemy puts his realm in danger, how can he embrace a serious relationship with her?

She’s loved him from the first moment she saw him…

Lorelei guards Seth night after night, her heart on fire. She’s loved him from the time she snuck into his workout room and watched him go through his rigid exercise routine. Now serving as his bodyguard, she wants to take her relationship with the Mastyr of Walvashorr to the next level, but Seth holds back. That he desires her comes through in his wicked mossy scent, which in turn ignites her inner wolf. When he finally gives in to his own cravings and makes his move, she shows him how hot shifter-love can be. But will she ever be more than just his bodyguard?
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Excerpt from Chapter One:

Chapter One

As the snowy December evening gave way to full-dark, Lorelei took up her bodyguard position outside Mastyr Seth’s backdoor. She was about as qualified to guard the mastyr of Walvashorr Realm as a rabbit taking on a hawk, but she was here by Queen Rosamunde’s orders, so here she’d stay.
Her real problem, however, went way beyond her lack of any real battle skills, since she’d done the unthinkable and actually fallen in love with the man. Seth had a long history of keeping his distance from anything that smacked of a relationship and he had absolutely no reason to be interested in a realm-person of questionable parentage.
Lorelei’s mother was the present scourge of the Nine Realms and the power behind the recent, deadly Invictus insurgence. No self-respecting mastyr could ever involve himself with the daughter of the ancient fae, Margetta, the one responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of realm-folk.
Yet hope, as always, refused to die.
She trembled now as she waited for him, standing in the snow, her heart thumping heavily in her chest. She savored this first moment of the night, anticipating the long hours ahead in Seth’s company, traversing the realm beside him, hunting the enemy of the Nine Realms, the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs.
She heard him moving through the house, heading in her direction. He knew by now to expect her the moment the sun set fully in the west.
His wonderful mossy scent reached her first, an erotic musk that rippled along the air and teased her shifter vibration first, then her overworked fae mating vibration. From the first time she’d seen him at the queen’s castle two months ago, she’d had the worst crush on the vampire.
A moment later, he came into view through the glass door.
He arrived at the kitchen threshold and paused to buckle the belt that angled across his long leather Guardsman coat. Meeting her gaze though the glass door, he frowned, his expression, as usual, disapproving.
He lifted his chin. “You might as well come in. I have a call to make and you’re shivering.”
She couldn’t tell him the truth, that she wasn’t cold at all, that she shook because of him and not because of the below freezing mountain temps.

0 ETP - Embrace the Passion

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You can find
​ Caris Roane​ at:
Website: http://www.carisroane.com/
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Author of:
Guardians of Ascension Series – Warriors of the Blood crave the breh-hedden
Dawn of Ascension Series – Militia Warriors battle to save Second Earth
Blood Rose Series – Only a ​B​lood ​R​ose can fulfill a ​M​astyr ​V​ampire’s deepest needs
Blood Rose Tales – Mastyr V​ampires who hunger to be satisfied
Men in Chains Series – Vampires struggling to get free of their chains and save the world

About the Author
Caris Roane is the New York Times Bestselling author of over 70 books. Currently she writes paranormal romance, both as a self-published author and for St. Martin’s Press. She began her career writing Regency romance for Kensington publishing and was awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in Regency Romance in 2005. Caris currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy and she really doesn’t like
​​scorpions ​! ​​! For more information, visit Caris at http://www.carisroane.com
000 Caris Roane - Author Photo 2

Caris Roane
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Available Now…
EMBRACE THE PASSION, Blood Rose Series #4
DARK AND DEADLY: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romances: Boxed Set $.99
And Available for Pre-Order…
SAVAGE CHAINS, Men in Chains Serial in Three Parts – May 27th!

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Bhuta

The “bad natured spirit” from India is called a Bhuta. It’s a vampire spirit that looks like a flickering light or a shadow, but it can possess a corpse.

Bhutas are created when a person with a physical deformity dies or when someone dies before they should murder, suicide or accident.
Once it has a body, it spreads disease and it now is able to shape-shift into an owl or bat.

scary-bat

The Bhuta is one of the vampires that don’t drink blood. It feeds on corpses sometimes it desires milk. In this case, it will attack a baby that’s recently fed.
Since it mostly feeds from corpses it’s usually habitat is cemeteries, but because it possess the dead, it can be pulled to the corpse’s favorite places while alive. Like alcoholics at bars, book-philes at libraries, etc.

If you start to feel very uncomfortable, and animals start leaving the area, it means a Bhuta is nearby.
To keep it from attacking Mecaru Ceremonies are preformed every 15 days to honor and show respect to the Bhuta. Only then, will the Bhuta search for ways to stay at peace with the community.
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It’s believed the Bhuta is a companion of Shiva (the Hindu Great God) it can’t stand on the ground and doesn’t cast a shadow. It hates the smell of burning Turmeric, if it smells it for too long it will disappear.

masks on a shrine

masks on a shrine

Small shrines –for worship, sacrifices and to keep them pleased, are called Bhandara they are found throughout India, but especially where Bhuta are revered. Cradles the only requirement for these shires. Bhuta rests in them, because the Earth is considered sacred and the Bhuta can’t touch it.