Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kerrelyn Sparks’ first paranormal romance, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, flew out of the bat cave in 2005 and survived three weeks on the USAToday Bestseller list. In 2006, Vamps and the City became the second book in the Love At Stake series. Kerrelyn lives in the Greater Houston area with her husband and brilliant children. At this time, there are no vampires in her family. Werewolves are another matter entirely. Please feel free to visit her at
www.kerrelynsparks.com or email her at
email@example.com. Letters may be sent to P.O. Box 5512, Katy, TX 77491-5512. All email will receive a response, except on the night of a full moon.
To request bookmarks or autographed bookplates, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
It seemed like a natural progression. I’ve always loved to read, and even as a youngster, I suspected that writers had the most magical and fascinating lives (I wasn’t a very realistic youngster!) During my 20’s and 30’s, I thought about writing, but life was very busy, and I didn’t really believe I could write a book or get it published. It wasn’t till I was in my 40’s that I realized I’d better stop thinking about writing and actually do something about it. I started writing in 1998 and sold my first book in 2000.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love the freedom of it. And the creativity.
I dislike my own insecurities over writing. I have to remind myself all the time that I really can do it.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
Not well. It’s harder in the summer when the kids are home. And the holiday season can be very difficult. But it’s amazing how motivated I can get when there’s a deadline approaching!
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Characters come first for me. Once I get to know them, the plot unfolds. I find world building a fascinating process. In the Love at Stake series, it’s the same world, but with each book, it’s becoming larger and more complex.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
My first book was a historical romance, but now, I’m writing paranormal vampire comedy. I consider it a mixture of contemporary (a contemporary heroine) and historical (a historical hero since he’s hundreds of years old). I love the fantasy element because it’s so much fun! I love writing Romance because it celebrates the power of love, it spreads hope, and it’s just plain good for your soul. Romance readers know that!
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That’s a hard one. Some people (non-Romance readers) think that writing romance is easy. It’s not! And some people think the minute we’ve sold a book, we’re rich. That’s certainly not true, either. It’s actually a tough business to survive in.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
A mixture of both. I’ll imagine a character, but in the process of making them real and three-dimensional, I may borrow physical characteristics and habits that I have observed in people around me.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
My favorite is always the hero of the book that I’m currently writing. I need to be excited about his story, instead of pining for one of the heroes from a past book.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
For the last book—Be Still My Vampire Heart, I would want Gerard Butler playing Angus MacKay, and Catherine Zeta-Jones playing Emma Wallace.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
That they can be the heroes or heroines in their own lives. They can find true love, they can demand respect, they can conquer their fears, and they can overcome their conflicts. And if I can also bring a smile to their face or make them laugh, then I am very happy.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Never give up. Keep writing, keep reading, and keep finding joy in the journey.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jayne Ann Krentz (and Amanda Quick), Julie Garwood, Lisa Kleypas, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Tolkein, Jane Austen, Maggie Osborne, JK Rowling, Mary Stewart
What are you reading right now?
The seventh Harry Potter book. I was behind in the series, so I had to read the sixth one before starting the seventh.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
One look at her was enough to stop his heart…
If it was still beating. Angus MacKay has been undead for almost five hundred years and it’s not often something, or someone, surprises him. Until Emma Wallace. The sight of this luscious agent from the CIA’s Stake-Out team is enough to stop Angus in his tracks. Then he discovers she’s a vampire slayer, intent on killing the “monsters” who killed her parents. And it’s Angus’s job to stop her.
The only good vampire is a dead vampire. It’s been Emma’s motto since she dedicated her life to the destruction of these “things.” Now Angus MacKay wants to convince her differently. Sure, he’s a sexy Highland warrior, complete with brogue, kilt, and sword, but he’s also one of them. And it’s her job to kill him.
The war is on, but will it end in the destruction of one or both of them…or in total surrender to a passion for the ages?
It is the evening of St. Patrick’s Day, and Angus MacKay, the general of the Vamp army, has a new mission—- Stop the mortal who’s slaying vampires in Central Park.
Chapter One, Scene 2
Emma Wallace stomped her feet silently in the grass. The chilly air felt good as long as she was walking, but whenever she crouched behind a tree for very long, her legs grew stiff.
This part of Central Park was dead, even too dead for the Undead. Time to move on.
She slung her canvas tote bag over her shoulder and enjoyed the comforting sound of wooden stakes clattering against one another. She slipped out of her hiding place and skidded down the sharp incline to the brick path below. Her movement startled some birds from a nearby tree. They cawed, beating the air with a fluttering of wings as they flew into the darkness.
Emma waited, blending easily into a tree’s shadow with her black pants and jacket. All was quiet once more. Hard to believe that a short walk south would deliver her to noisy avenues where postparade celebrations still raged.
Maybe that was why the park was so quiet. The vampires could be hunting in the streets. After a long day of green beer and whisky, the revelers would never remember what bit them.
Suddenly the brick path beside her was clearer. Brighter. She could make out individual trees and bushes. She moved quietly onto the pathway and looked at the nearly full moon. The clouds had moved away, leaving the orb bright and glowing.
A slight movement caught her attention, and her gaze lowered. To the south, a lone figure stood on top of a huge crag of granite. His back was to her. Wisps of clouds floated past him, stirring his kilt. Moonlight gleamed off his dark red hair.
Mist swirled around him, making him look ethereal. Like the ghost of a Highland warrior. Emma sighed. That’s what the world needed more of today—-brave warriors, willing to fight evil.
Sometimes she felt vastly outnumbered by the creatures of the night. As far as she knew, she was the only vampire slayer in existence. Not that she blamed anyone for that. Most people didn’t know about vampires. But she did blame her weak and ineffectual boss. Sean Whelan was afraid to pit their small team of four against a group of vampires in battle, so he had assigned them to merely watch and investigate.
Watching wasn’t enough for Emma. Not since that horrid night six years ago. She refused to dwell on it. She’d found a much better remedy than grieving. The trick to killing vampires was to find one alone in the act of feeding, then take him by surprise with one swift stake through the heart. With every vampire she turned to dust, she was one step closer to finding peace.
She patted her bag of stakes. With a permanent marker, she’d written Dad on half of them and Mum on the other half. The stakes were working great, and the death count was up to four. It could never be high enough.
She glanced again at the kilted man standing on the boulder of granite. Where had all the brave men gone? Fierce warriors who could stand alone in the face of danger.
The mist drifted away, leaving the man’s form outlined in silvery moonlight. Her breath hitched. He was stunning. His broad shoulders filled the dark sweater he wore. His kilt fluttered slightly in the breeze, revealing strong, muscular thighs. Good heavens. He would make a great warrior. Strong and relentless in battle.
He fumbled at something below his waist. Emma winced. Was he playing with himself? He lifted something to his mouth and drank. Moonlight glinted off the metal. A flask. Super. With a sigh, she turned north and walked away.
What a silly waste of her time, fantasizing about a brave Highland warrior. She should have known he was just one of the thousands of kilted, liquor-guzzling men roaming the city after the parade. Besides, in her line of business, she couldn’t afford to get sentimental. The enemy was ruthless.
Scrunch. Emma halted and listened. The path curved to the left and out of sight, but she could hear the sound of footsteps shuffling through dead leaves. She lunged to the left and hid behind a tree. The footsteps grew closer.
A lone man came into view. Emma caught her breath. He was wearing a long black trench coat. The vampire she’d killed last night had sported one just like it. Maybe they all shopped at the same store, Vampires “R” Us. She lowered her tote bag to the ground and retrieved one stake.
He came closer. He’d be easier to kill if he was feeding, but there were no victims nearby. Emma slipped the stake into her belt behind her back. She’d lure him in, using herself as bait.
She sauntered onto the path and gave the man an innocent look. “I think I’m lost. Do you know the way out of the park?”
The man halted and smiled. “I was hoping to find someone like you.”
Right, someone to feed from. Damned bloodsucker. Emma widened her stance so she wouldn’t lose her balance when he attacked. She reached behind her back and curled her hand around the stake. “I’m ready when you are.”
“Okay!” The man untied the belt on his trench coat.
It was then that Emma noticed the hairy calves below the hem of his coat. Good heavens. He wasn’t wearing any pants.
“Ta-da!” The man whipped open his coat.
Shit! He wasn’t wearing any clothes at all. She grimaced. Just her luck to go vampire hunting and find a flasher.
“What do you think?” The man fondled himself. “Pretty impressive, huh?”
“Excuse me a moment.” She let go of her stake and removed her cell phone from its holster on her belt. She’d call the local police to pick this guy up before he gave some poor lady a heart attack.
“Oh, is that one of those picture phones?” The flasher grinned. “Great idea! Could you put me on the Internet? Here, let me give you a profile shot.” He turned to the side so his erection would stand out.
“Brilliant. Just hold that pose.” Emma flipped open her phone. A dark shadow obliterated her view.
She immediately reached behind her back. False alarm. She released the stake. It wasn’t a vampire. Even so, her heart raced, for there in front of her was the man in the kilt.
“This author is a gem in the Super Natural genre.”
-- Huntress Reviews
“An absolute delight!”
-- NYTimes bestselling author Lynsay Sands
Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks
Release Date: March 27, 2007
Genre: Paranormal Vampire Comedy
$5.99 from Amazon.com
Purchase Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks HERE!!!