I’m pleased to welcome author Tracy Cooper Posey to Fiction Vixen today.
Avoiding Detection One Meeting At A Time
This is my last stop on a very long book tour for Blood Knot, my erotic urban fantasy novel. In fact, the tour is so long, I’ve already brought out another novel in the meantime — such is the pace of the self-published world.
But Fiction Vixen is my last stop, just before I take off to Australia for the whole month of May. Sounds idyllic, but I’m actually dreading it, because for the entire month, I won’t have Internet access. I’ll be a wreck by the time I return to Canada in June!
Anyway, I was floating around Sophia’s site, and noticed her little blurb at the top; “Avoiding Reality One Page At A Time.”
Which sums up the subject of this post very neatly!
There’s a lot of vampire paranormal and urban fantasy fiction out there, and I’ve read my fair share of it. I’ve also watched a lot of it. One of the trends I’ve noticed in a lot of the fiction is the tendency for vampires to cling together. Laurel K. Hamilton called a group of vampires a “kiss”, but I don’t know if anyone else has picked up on that nomenclature. It could be that vampires find the rest of the world a fairly hostile place. Humans like to hunt them down and chop off their heads and carve out their hearts, so vampires prefer the safety-in-numbers factor, and gather in groups whenever they can. Hunting in groups is possibly more effective, too. Who knows? If there is any reasoning behind it at all, whatever the reasons, they don’t make it to the printed page or film. The vampires just lump together like predatory animals, usually living in big, rambling houses that humans could never afford.
Charlaine Harris’s vampires congregate. So do Hamilton’s.
Now, if the humans in the fictional world the vampires are living in are fully aware of vampires, then living and gathering in big groups like that is of little consequence. The humans might find it vaguely uncomfortable, but that just adds conflict to the drama of the novels.
But when it comes to fictional worlds where vampires are not “out” to the general human population, then big groups of vampires are a problem.
Ever since I began writing paranormal and urban fantasy romance, I have always questioned the wisdom of vampires gathering in large numbers and drawing attention to themselves. The movie Underworld was particularly bad in this regard. They had whole estates full of armed vampires…and that didn’t raise any questions amongst the humans living nearby? (Although I love Underworld, and suspend disbelief where I have to, including allowing the idea that you can shoot your way through to the next floor by turning in a circle and firing bullets.)
I have always avoided the group/herd mentality in my vampire novels. It seemed to me that vampires with survival instincts honed over hundreds and sometimes a thousand years or more, would know better than to hang around in large, attention-getting groups. With Blood Knot, I formalized this logic even more.
Consider very early Christian groups, way back in the first and second centuries, when Christians were a persecuted minority. Back then, they didn’t gather in large groups. They didn’t dare. They met in secret and used secret symbols (the fish symbol, or Ichthys) to lead other Christians to their meetings. And the meetings were small. Two or three or four. Perhaps a handful.
It was this idea I used to form the vampire world that Sebastian and Nial live in, in Blood Knot, where vampires never meet in groups larger than two, and long term associations between two vampires are unusual. As the vampires are on the verge of being exposed to humans, this gives the vampires weaknesses they must work to overcome.
After thirty-five novels with various publishers, under various pen names, and after nearly ten years with Ellora’s Cave primarily writing in romantic suspense and paranormal romance, I have finally taken a deep breath and self-published Blood Knot, an erotic urban fantasy romance (MMF, Contemporary, Vampires, Paranormal), and my 36th novel overall. It was released on March 9, 2011 and is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, Apple Ebook Store and the Sony Ebook Store for $2.99 in all the common e-book formats, and will soon be available in print.
I’ve won a number of awards, including Australia’s Emma Darcy Award (the equivalent of the Golden Heart) and was most recently nominated for the CAPA’s Best Erotic Paranormal and Favourite Author categories. You can find out more about me and my books here.
Winter, a professional thief who can manipulate others’ biologies by touch, accidentally “healed” her former partner—and former vampire—Sebastian, whom she secretly loves. Her healing created a symbiotic pairing between them that neither of them wants.
Nathanial, a sexy thousand-year-old vampire and Sebastian’s ex-lover, talks Sebastian and Winter into stealing evidence that will expose all vampires to the world. But Nathanial is a puppet-master who doesn’t believe in falling in love with humans, leaving Winter unsure of his real feelings for her once he seduces her, or how he feels about Sebastian, the former vampire-now-human whose life he has turned upside down once more.
But the evidence they steal is hot property. The future of all vampires is on the line and others will stop at nothing to get it, leaving Sebastian, Winter and Nathanial with no allies but each other. They must trust each other to survive. Only…can they?
An Excerpt From: BLOOD KNOT
Copyright © TRACY COOPER-POSEY, 2011
All Rights Reserved.
[For readers who are following my blog tour, these excerpts are consecutive — each excerpt follows the last one. Check on my blog for details of previous excerpts, and subscribe to my blog to learn about future blog tour posts and the excerpts that go with them. http://tracycooperposey.com]
“You are not what I expected, Winter Manon Kennedy,” Nathanial whispered.
It was such an exact echo of her own thoughts about him, that she jerked in surprise and looked more closely into his eyes, forgetting to monitor his responses. “Sebastian warned you about me?”
“Warned, no. But he spoke about you. You don’t fit his description. I don’t mean just the physical, either.” He frowned. “Sebastian usually sees people more clearly than that, too.” He lifted his other hand a fraction of an inch. “I confess it doesn’t help that you have Sebastian’s eyes, either.” He gave a small grimace. “As I am trying to be honest,” he added. He lifted the hand captured between hers. “So, do you think honesty is going to be possible between us, Winter?”
She let go of his hand. “Like you did with me, Nial, I have you keyed now. If I’m touching you, I’ll know if you’re lying.”
He smiled. “You called me Nial.”
“I did, didn’t I?”
The captain of the plane stepped through from the cockpit and announced they would be landing in twenty minutes. Time to buckle up.
Nathanial’s smile faded as he turned his chair and reached for the seat belt. “And how am I to know if you are lying? Winter?”
She thought about it as she arranged and fastened her own belt. “As long as you don’t lie, then I know it’s safe for me to tell the truth. As soon as you shift away from the truth, you’ll send me running. That’s as good as I can give you.”
He considered it for a moment. “Under the circumstances, thanks to your talent, it’s better than two liars could hope for. We’re both good at extemporizing. Let’s see where honesty takes us.”
Winter had never been able to define the relationship between Sebastian and her, but honesty had destroyed it, whatever it had been. Fear touched her as she realized how dangerous honesty was in her life.
The chairs were locked facing toward the front of the cabin, so when Nathanial picked up her hand she was startled.
“Relax,” he murmured. “And stop worrying. You asked for no lies, remember?”
He brought her hand to his lips and kissed the back of her knuckles. Astonishingly, it didn’t feel silly at all. It was arousing as hell. Especially when his tongue slipped between her fingers to stroke the sensitive flesh there gently.
She let out an unsteady breath.
“Everything will be fine,” he told her. “I am not Sebastian.”
Then she realized the secondary source of her fear. She had invited a vampire into her life, her arms…and possibly her heart. One that was at least a thousand years old.
The truth was, she was terrified underneath her arousal. Ripping off a Mosler safe with a thermic lance seemed…well, passé, in comparison.
AS THE LEAR touched down in L.A., she wondered if it was the danger in Nathanial that she was chasing. She hadn’t worked a job for nearly a year and the most dangerous hiking to be had around Helena barely lifted her pulse. Winter had long ago acknowledged that she needed the rush of danger in her life, at least in small doses, to feel alive. It was a product of growing up amongst bombs and lawlessness.
Was she simply reaching for the most dangerous thing around right now?
And should she tell Nathanial that?
Winter glanced at him. He was watching her, his eyes hooded so that the blue irises gleamed with the last of the sunset. It was an altogether predatory stare, one that made her jump.
“What interesting thought just passed through that fertile mind of yours?” he murmured.
She drew a breath for courage. “I’m wondering if I’m drawn to you because you’re dangerous, not because of you as a person.” She gave a tiny shrug. “You should know that about me. It’s been a part of my life forever.”
The Lear came to a soft halt and the engines immediately wound down.
“Serbia, yes?” Nathanial murmured, unbuckling and standing up.
She nodded, pulling her own seatbelt undone.
The captain and co-pilot emerged from the cockpit and the co-pilot opened the cabin door. The LAX ground crew already had a portable stair trundled up to the jet.
“Give us a few minutes,” Nathanial told the captain.
“Certainly,” the captain said easily and tugged his co-pilot off the plane and down the stairs.
Nathanial turned to Winter. “You were maybe five when the war began?”
“Eight, when the official war began,” she said. “But there was fighting and bombs and violence long before then. And more fighting and bombs and violence long after the official war was over, too. It was only a year or so before I left for America that I can truly remember a time when there wasn’t explosions or people being killed because of which side of a border they lived on. It just…petered out.”
Nathanial’s hand curled around her waist and drew her closer to him. It was a casual move, almost non-aggressive. A man offering comfort, or a hug, almost.
“And how many times would you have actually died if not for your talent?” he murmured, holding her firm as she flinched. That was why he had drawn her to him. “How many times, if not for your ability to manipulate your own biology and heal yourself, would you not have survived, Winter?”
The number was scalded into her brain in neon letters. “Seven,” she said stiffly. Not even Sebastian had thought to ask these questions of her.
“And which of those seven occasions was the one when your family died?” His voice was the gentlest she had ever heard.
But it still seemed to tear away a small piece inside her. Winter shook her head. “The second.” Hot tears pricked at her eyes and spilled down one cheek.
Nathanial kissed her wet cheek and she felt his tongue delicately sweep across her flesh and wipe up the tears.
Tracy would like to giveaway an eBook copy of her erotic urban fantasy romance KISS ACROSS SWORDS.
Taylor Yates never dreamed growing up she would end up happily living with two drop-dead sexy vampires and time-hopping through their thousand years of personalhistory. Her life is complete…or is it?
When she finds herself at the seige of Jerusalem during the first crusade, Veris doesn’t know her at all and doesn’t want to. Worst of all, he and Brody are total strangers, and Taylor drives a wedge in deep between them by trying to seduce Veris at their first meeting—not something a lady of the day does if she wants to keep her head.
Taylor and Brody must woo Veris using the customs of medieval England, win his heart and his full commitment before Jerusalem falls in four days time—or when they return to their own time, their lives as they know them will be gone…
You can find out more about Kiss Across Swords here.
To enter leave a comment on Tracy’s post answering the following questions:
After reading Tracy’s thought’s on the topic, do you think if vampires live secretly among humans it’s more believable for them to congregate and live in groups or do you think it’s more believable if they are solitary creatures.
Giveaway is open until May 6, winner announced soon after. Remember this is an ebook giveaway.