I love every character I’ve written. Still, I should’ve known my alpha vampire, Lee, was going to be a special force when he insisted on speaking first in a book that wasn’t even his. I always swore I loved beta males the best–I married a brainy guy, after all, and I hold fast to my assertion that smart and funny are a brand of sexy all their own that can outlast brawn and beauty any day. But Lee and his salty, human-hating ways stood up and grabbed me from word go.
I thought I’d be so resistant to writing his book. Alphas are asholes, right? Sexy assholes, sure. But assholes all the same. When I sat down to write Hunter by Night, I fell in love with Lee and Alexia in ways I never imagined. I dug into Lee’s story and found pain I hadn’t known. Writing their book touched me deeply, and wrapping up this trilogy has been amazing. So rewarding, in so many ways. I had no idea Lee and Alexia could be so romantic together.
So I wanted to share an exclusive excerpt today from my favorite alpha, and there’s a prize: The big mac-daddy alpha male blog-hop prize of course, as well as a chance to win either a paperback or BN/Kindle copy (for international winners) of any of my current releases – King of Darkness, Prince of Power, or One Week.
So I was reading a post on someone else’s blog this morning, about an idea that was born at a Cracker Barrel. Since I haven’t eaten at one of those in years, it occurred to me that a) a story idea I’m currently playing with also came (in part) from an encounter I once had a Cracker Barrel and b) before that, the last time I’d eaten at one was after camping with friends – we got rained out, and when we woke up the next morning we decided warm biscuits beat wet cereal or trying to make a fire.
I’l admit, I’m kind of a wussy when it comes to camping. My idea of “roughing it” is staying in a hotel that lacks wi-fi or valet parking. I tried to paddle a canoe in girl scout camp and wound up going backwards. I’m simply not outdoors inclined unless it’s to read a book in the sun.
I went camping that rainy weekend–it’s been maybe a decade or so now–because my friends wanted to go and I loved my friends. I’m one of those people with only child syndrome, so I tend to be super loyal to my buddies because I didn’t have a big, tight-knit family. Oh, yeah, and there was a boy involved (isn’t there always?). Disappointingly, none of those folks are in my life now, but the memory made me realize how nostalgic I’ve been feeling lately about my college years. Maybe it’s the fact that I –gak- just passed my mid-thirties. *grabs the hair dye*
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m about to release the last book in my beloved Chronicles of Yavn trilogy that’s got me reflecting on all the angst of my twenties and earlier (horrors), but I’m doing the thing I never thought I’d do and noodling around with some younger characters, with very dark problems that have nothing to do with vampires. Will anything come out of it? We’ll see I suppose. I kinda hope so, because the hero? He looks an awful lot like this guy. 😉
More to come, I’m sure.
Finally, after all the wondering and waiting, we have a definite release date, a blurb, and all those jazz-handsy things for Hunter by Night!
If you originally pre-ordered for the January release and your order was cancelled, I apologize sincerely. That was out of my hands, but I urge you to PLEASE pre-order again. We are in the home stretch, and I am proofing the final draft of the book now. I am told ARCs (uncorrected advanced copies) are about to go out, so I really do believe we are set for the date.
<– AND I recently got word that Lee has a hot new cover. It’s very similar to the old one – the guy’s face is a little different, brighter eyes and the typography has changed some. I’m actually cool with that because now, if you look just above the “g” you can see that hot-assed vein running up his abs. I am SO down with that.
So look out for Lee and Alexia coming in a few months, and in the meantime please spread the cover love. <3 I’m so in love with this book, and it’s been a long time coming. I can’t wait.
About Hunter by Night:
A supernatural war is about to ignite a scorching hot romance
Lee protects his vampire race, and hates humans as much as the enemies he kills. Just as he’s assessing new recruits to join the vampire king’s army, all hell breaks loose. The estate’s security system fails, evil is heading their way, and human-hating Lee is stuck protecting Alexia, the queen’s human best friend. But as dangerous obstacles force Alexia and Lee closer, an undeniable attraction is revealed, and the two must find a way to compromise.
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His boots sped over the damp earth. Moments later, they arrived at one of the local properties where show horses had once been trained. The economy was tough these days, especially for humans. Dilapidated fences ringed the perimeter, and downed dressage posts lay on the ground in a dirt ring in front of the house. The humans had clearly loved their horses. The nicest kept building on the property was the barn. It stood close to the house. Closer than some people kept them.
He went there instead of the main house. The building appeared sturdy, and it would be a less obvious place to hide. Upon inspection, Lee found that some straw remained in the upper loft area.
He sat her against a bale of hay. Her clothes, soaked with blood and rain and spattered with dirt and tree sap, had seen better days. Still, after everything she’d just gone through, her dark eyes challenged him.
“Are you okay?” She nodded and brought her hand to her face, but he grabbed it preemptively. “Don’t touch. Do me a favor and look to the left.”
She complied. A deep cut across her cheek oozed steadily. Unexpectedly dark and lovely… for human blood.
Lee’s fangs thrust into his mouth. He ignored the pulsing ache in his cheeks and gums. All that life-giving fluid of hers. All… over… her. “I’m going to stop the bleeding.”
A blink and slight nod was all he got in the way of approval. She sat still, even though she probably didn’t know what he was about to do. And he didn’t explain, because around Alexia, he barely kept his will on a leash. Darkness pressed in around them, but she didn’t complain and didn’t act nervous as he pushed against her. His cheek brushed against hers as he swept his tongue over her cut. The smooth, delicious warmth of her human blood slid down his throat and deep into his gut. A throbbing need took root. Merciful heaven.
He’d dealt with his share of human fluid over the centuries. In battles, prisons… The odor pungent and reminiscent of dirty pennies. Alexia might have soft, olive skin and doe-like eyes, but he’d expected nothing more of her blood than the same astringent copper.
He sucked a deep breath and took another swallow, trailing his tongue again gently over warm, wet skin. Alexia’s blood tasted pure. Clean, with hints of all that tea and raw honey she loved to consume. Lee had never perceived anything so refreshing.
“Lexi…” Unable to say anything else, he licked from collarbone to chin, cleaning the blood from her skin. Across her jaw. More. Dear fucking God… like breathing, he wanted more.
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Ebook discounts galore, right here:
For Valentines Day, Scribbling Women and the Real Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them is on sale for 99 pennies until 12/15. Proceeds benefit Win so I hope you’ll check it out.
Also, One Week is on sale for .99 until 2/15! Get it on sale at Amazon or B&N.
There are also many other Sourcebooks titles on sale this month, including Olivia Cunning’s Hot Ticket, CH Armirand’s One Day in Apple Grove, and Shona Husk’s Outcast Prince. Sara Humphreys has kindly compiled a full list of the Sourcebooks sale titles at her web site, you can find it here.
I also noticed several hot category-length titles on sale for less than a buck from some of my fave authors, including ones by Tessa Bailey, Katee Robert, Diane Alberts, and Gina L. Maxwell. You can bet your sweet bippy I totally just stocked up on all f the above titles.
Finally, don’t forget I’ve got some rockin’ giveaways: If you’d like to win an ebook copy of One Week, Book Obsessed Chicks is giving one away here – there’s also a groovy interview. If you’d like to win a tote bag full of goodies and swag, check out the One Week blog tour schedule. Every stop is a chance to win.
I’m extremely honored to be part of this anthology: Scribbling Women & The Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them
Containing twenty-eight essays from twenty-eight fabulous romance authors about their own personal love stories, you’ll find touching remembrances, funny anecdotes, and everything in-between. The stories are about how we met, how we wed, and how we loved. When I touched base with Hope Tarr, who came up with this amazing idea and put the whole thing together, she said she was light on wedding day stories. The day I married my husband was full of one crazy happening after another, but beautiful all the same, so that was the story I shared in Scribbling Women. I hope you’ll enjoy it and all the other stories in Scribbling women, and the good cause you’ll be supporting with your purchase.
About Scribbling Women:
In Scribbling Women and the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them, twenty-eight popular romance fiction writers reveal their real-life stories of how they met, wed and love—and are loved and supported by—their spouses and life partners. At times whimsical and laugh-out-loud funny, at others poignant and bittersweet, all unfailingly inspiring, each essay celebrates that most powerful and sacred of human bonds: love.
Happily Ever After isn’t only the stuff of romance novels and fairy tales. It is every woman’s birthright.