Let’s get started by learning more about you, what would you like to tell us about yourself?
I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a passion for storytelling and have been writing since I was very young. I work full-time, go to night school, have two beautiful kids and am probably pretty average, if not boring, to meet in real life. Which is why writing fiction is so appealing, I guess—I can imagine all sorts of glamorous lifestyles, intriguing characters and challenging conflicts that the everyday world often lacks.
What was your first published work?
Book of Days, a sword-and-sorcery style fantasy that came out in 2002. It was my first attempt at fiction after a nearly 10 year hiatus from writing. It’s not a bad story, I guess, but I definitely feel my writing style has strengthened and matured since then.
Tell us about your current book?
In Dark Passages, Tristan Morin is a vampire on a mission: to not fall in love with Karen Pierce. To do so would prove that humans and Brethren were meant to be physically and emotionally bound to each other—something he, as a full-blooded Brethren, refuses to believe. It would be so much easier if Karen wasn't beautiful. And if there wasn't something about her that draws him like a moth to a flame, damn near impossible to resist.
Karen has always felt an inexplicable attraction to Tristan. More than just the fact he's strikingly handsome, it's as if being with him is something natural, comfortable and right. But soon a brash choice on his part leaves her heartbroken and confused, and a sadistic new enemy will put their tentative love—and their lives—to the ultimate test.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
Dark Passages: Tristan & Karen is the fourth installment of The Brethren Series, which chronicles an ancient sect of vampires who have lived in secret within human societies for millennia. The Brethren originated in medieval France, and they migrated to America just prior to the outbreaks of both the French and American Revolutions. Over the centuries, some have amassed a sizable fortune in the bourbon distilling and Thoroughbred horseracing industries and live on enormous estates tucked among the rolling Bluegrass hills of Kentucky, while others—including Tristan’s family—have made their homes in eastern California, near the shores of Lake Tahoe. They’re considered outcasts by the Kentucky-based Brethren because of their conviction that Brethren were meant to feed from each other, not humans.
They’re a sort of blend of a wolf pack and a cult. It’s a very misogynistic society in which women are on the low end of the totem pole and have no say in their lives whatsoever. Because dominance over the Brethren isn’t something permanently awarded to any one particular clan, there is always a sort of Shakespearean-like conspiracy underway within one family or another; one trying to usurp authority from the other. Unwittingly, Tristan and Karen find themselves thrust into the middle of one such family feud in Dark Passages.
The idea for the series came from my youth. I live in Kentucky, in the heart of horseracing country. During my childhood, we would often drive past Thoroughbred horse farms. If you can picture nothing but rolling, open fields of lush, green grass, bordered by white fences, and horses set out to graze, you’ll have a good idea of how beautiful they are. I often wondered about the people who lived on these farms, and it occurred to me that pretty much an entire community could live tucked away on one or more of them, with the outside world completely oblivious to their existence. From there, the idea of the Brethren vampires eventually grew.
Can you give us a little glimpse into the book, perhaps a part of one of your favorite scenes?
I love the way this book opens: with Tristan and Karen making love for the first time. By this point in their relationship, they’ve known—and resisted—each other for years, and are finally giving in, throwing all of their inhibitions aside. It’s a different kind of love scene from anything I’ve written to date because it’s more a physical surrender for them than an emotional one. They’re ripping clothes off, shoving each other into walls; everything is fierce and passionate and harried. And the whole time, Tristan’s struggling not to bite Karen, feed from her, because he knows if he does, then he’ll be emotionally and psychically bound to her. He’s terrified of that kind of vulnerability with anyone, but especially with Karen, and he’s fighting it tooth and nail. (Pardon the vamp pun!)
What’s next? Do you have any upcoming releases?
The Brethren Series continues in June, 2011 with Dark Passages 2: Pilar and Elías, another novella-length installment that serves as a prologue to the novel-length Dark Vengeance, which will be released in November.
This fall, readers can also check out In His Hands, a paranormal romance short story that’s going to be released independently in ebook, and will also appear in the Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance print anthology.
I’m also excited about the forthcoming release of Forsaken, Book One in The Netherworlde Series, in July. Forsaken introduces readers to a new and different paranormal world, and to a young man who must escape servitude to a sadistic demon in order to reclaim the life—and love—he’s lost for more than five years.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on two projects simultaneously—Dark Vengeance and Dark Passages 2: Pilar and Elías. The second Dark Passages installment is a fairly new development—just start writing it in early April—and it came about because I became intrigued by two characters introduced in Dark Vengeance, a young woman named Pilar Cadana and a police detective named Elías Velasco. In trying to figure out how their backstory works into the events in Dark Vengeance, I decided the best thing to do would be to write it out, its own stand-alone story.
When you’re not writing what are your favorite hobbies or entertaining activities?
LOL – as I mentioned before, I stay pretty busy, so “free time” is something I don’t get much of, or very often. I always enjoy spending time with my family, however, whether it’s going to an amusement park or the movies, taking a walk to the playground or just lounging around on the couch sharing a bowl of popcorn together—it’s heaven.
What would readers be surprised to learn about you?
That I would rather eat a really good cheeseburger than a really good steak.
Just for fun lightning round:
Black or white Black
Red or pink Red
Angels or Demons Angels
Vampires or werewolves Vampires, of course!
Coke or Pepsi Coke
Coffee or tea Coffee
Wine, beer or mixed drinks Wine (Moscato…mmmm!)
Casual or Formal Casual
Backyard barbeque or gourmet meals Backyard BBQ
Paperback, hardcover, or digital Paperback
Before you go would you like to share any more details about your current release, perhaps a blurb or excerpt?
I’d love to. Here’s a peek at the opening of the first chapter, which as I mentioned earlier, is one of my favorites in the book.
Tristan Morin shoved Karen Pierce back into the nearest wall and pressed his mouth against hers. The warmth of her lips, the sweetness of her tongue, saliva and breath—it was enough to strip the senses from him.
“Tell me to stop,” he whispered, because it was all he could do not to wrench her head back by the hair and sink his teeth into the hot, pulsating length of her carotid artery. His canines had extended, dropping from recessed grooves in his gum line. His pupils had enlarged, an ancient, primitive reflex that left them dilating wide enough to nearly swallow the visible portions of his irises and corneas. In this sudden, extremely light-sensitive field of vision, Karen’s pale skin seemed to glow, miniscule droplets of perspiration glistening against her face like diamonds.
“No.” She shook her head defiantly, her cheeks flushed, her blonde hair askew, her blue eyes glossy and round with eager anticipation.
He reached between them, ripping open her blouse with a single, forceful yank. Buttons popped loose, scattering against the floor. She wore no bra beneath; he drew back long enough to shrug his way out of his own shirt, then pushed himself into her, feeling the incredible heat of her body, the bullet points of her nipples against his chest.
“Tell me to stop,” he pleaded again, because if he didn’t, he was going to feed from her. And I can’t do that. God help me, I can’t.
Where can your book be found for sale?
Dark Passages: Tristan and Karen is available for only $1.99 in a variety of ebook formats, including for your Amazon Kindle and Nook ereader. It’s also coming soon in trade paperback for only $5.99.
Bloodhorse Press: www.bloodhorsepress.com
If readers would like to learn more about you where can they find you on the web?
If you would like to schedule Sara to appear at your book blog or website email me to set up a stop, I am currently acting as her publicist.
Would you like an ecopy of Dark Passages?
Leave a comment on this spot with your email addy
1 winner will be announced next Wednesday