Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Blade”

One Last Longing Look At Las Vegas

Today’s Brew: Pumpkin Spice

by Kristen

***BECAUSE THE NIGHT is still 99 cents! Grab it before it goes back to full price!***

I’m still kind of jetlagged, but otherwise everything’s back to normal and my trip seems like a dream. My intent had been to share photos with you as they happened, but Twitter doesn’t always like to upload my photos, and my computer decided to have a Jim Morrison style blackout halfway through the trip.  I’m also the world’s worst photographer.  So even though I tried to break my bad photography habits, it just didn’t work.

Better late than never!

The gondola ride at the Venetian.  Callie and Blade’s first date.  We had a delightful Mexican lunch and watched couples feel awkward as they were serenaded through the mall.

My favorite schlocky attraction and the second part of the date is the Bellagio water show.  The hooker card people would not give me cards! Bastards! But Liz got some.  I have that picture on my Twitter page. I was so tempted to call one of them just to talk to them. The research! That would be worth the $35!

I basically took Liz on all of Callie and Blade’s dates.  Here’s the Hoover Dam.



Another of my favorite attractions in Vegas is the Neon Boneyard. It’s no secret that I love old stuff, and I love Vegas, so all the old Vegas signs?  Heaven. I visited the museum a couple of years ago, and if you saw it before it was up and running in The LaConcha, go back!  It’s much more organized, and night tours are available.

Believe it or not, there are things I’d never seen before in the Las Vegas area.  We took the Camaro out for a road trip and visited The Valley of Fire.  It’s only about an hour outside of Vegas, and it might as well be on the moon.

So now I’m back high atop Whiskey Tango Boulevard, full of inspiration and research to edit and create.


Back in the Burbs! News and My Gift To You!

Today’s Brew:  After making sweet love to my Keurig (having to get totally dressed before going downstairs for $7 coffees loses its charm), I am drinking all the water since I am as dry as the Mojave.

by Kristen

I’M BACK! My computer revolted in the middle of the trip, so the caps refer more to my ability to use my computer than the fact I’m back in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is not any more exciting than when I left it.  I’ll share photos in an upcoming post.

Do you ever have a vacation epiphany? The thing in your life that suddenly becomes clear?  That’s the thing I look forward to every vacation. Trips to places like Vegas contrast with home pretty vividly. There’s no reason to stop living and having fun just because the plane brought me back. We all need to make every day as exciting as possible. It’s easy to be lazy when we’re home.

Find reasons to wear fishnets.

Before my technical difficulties, I’d promised you a whole bunch of events and news connected to Because the Night.  I didn’t forget!  It’s just all going to come in one post now. So without further ado….

  1. Because the Night is still 99 cents on Amazon!  Not much time left, so don’t miss out!
  2. Because the Night is going to be available on Audio!  I’m pleased to announce that Audible has purchase the audio rights to the book.
  3. And here’s my gift to you!  When the Night Comes! It’s a short story that expands on a behind the scenes Callie and Blade ahem, interaction that some readers said they wished they were able to see. You guys are dirrrrty! It’s available on Smashwords.  My apologies for not having it on Amazon.  I tried for 2 weeks to make it free on there via price match, but they weren’t having it.  If you love it, jump right into Because the Night!

Click on the cover to get your free story from Smashwords!

2013 has been a great year for both Julie and me.  Julie is coming over tonight so we can start planning 2014!  Thanks again for all your support! None of this would happen without you!

Meet Blade: Because the Night Character Expo

Today’s Brew: Still rockin’ the pumpkin spice K cups.

by Kristen

Today I’m introducing you to Bradley Bennett. That’s Blade to you.

When Because the Night was still called Immortal Dilemma, hell, I actually didn’t even think it even had a name yet, I wanted to write Callie into a completely terrible house party scene that made her pretty much hate her life. Don’t tell me you’ve never found yourself at some disgusting random party house in the early hours of the morning, with mixed drinks in old juice bottles and people screwing in the bathrooms.

Oh, that’s just me and Julie? Whatever. I guess know I know why Callie acts up when I leave her to her own devices.

I never expected her to meet someone at that party. But without warning, Blade walked in and asked to sit down next to her on a filthy couch cushion (sans couch.) At first, I thought of him as this kind of goofy Bill and Ted type character. But then something else happened.

He stuck around. I liked it, and so didn’t Callie.

I never intended to write a love triangle, but Blade had other ideas. I’ve said many times that I let my characters take the driver’s seat, so I went with it. I modeled him after Casey James, the country singer and American Idol contestant. I had such a crush on Blade when I wrote the book that any time a Casey James song came on the radio (he’d been nowhere for years, and then I decide to base a character on him and he has a hit record? I am just that good, people.), I’d get all giddy.

Later on, when my Pinterest addiction came to be a thing, I found that the model Christopher Brown was even more Blade than my original Blade.

Blade (Christopher Brown)

A lot of my early readers have had a soft spot for Blade as well. He’s that guy who’s got his shit together, but he still knows how to have fun. He takes Callie on simple dates that are awesome. He’s comfortable just hanging around. He’s comfortable in his own skin.

Or so we think.

Blade is someone who had a taste of the dark side, and realized he’d rather grow up. He finds a girl that he thinks is different than everyone else in Vegas, and falls really hard for her. Little does he know that Callie will drag him kicking and screaming back to the dark side.

Blade is someone who knows what he wants, and when he doesn’t get it, look out.

Riding The Waves Of Feedback…And Nausea.

Today’s Brew: Caramel Apple Something or other.

by Kristen

The first advance copies of Because The Night are in the hands of my street team and reviewers.  Many people have read this book before, but having it out there, almost for real, is nothing short of terrifying.  Every time someone says they’re reading it, my stomach twists up and I forget to breathe for a second.  It’s like that dream when you show up to high school without your clothes on.


This isn’t just any book I’ve asked for an opinion and a review on, it’s mine.  They are the characters I created and nurtured.  It’s the story I wrote.  In short, they’re judging my imagination. Kind of what makes me, well, me.

Next month, I’m the featured author in Opening Line. Unless they decide my book is an unpromotable piece of slop and rescind their offer.  They’re reading it now.  And live tweeting it. A literary magazine.  Nothing to see here, move along.

A street team member tweeted that he loaded his kindle with “Kristen Strassel and Stephen King.” IN THE SAME SENTENCE. He said that.  How can I compare to the God forsaken master?

Most of the feedback I’ve had so far has been very positive, and I love everyone who has enjoyed it.  The thing that’s the most surprising is how strongly people feel about the male lead characters.

Some are very strongly into Blade.

Blade (Christopher Brown)


And others enjoy Tristan.

Totally Tristan.


I always worry when someone expresses a strong preference in one of the other, because I know how the story turns out and I wonder how each camp will feel about the ending.  At first, I was upset if someone really liked one of the guys and disliked the other, but then I realized that the party lines were splitting kind of evenly. That’s cool!  You guys are good!  Now we have something to talk about.

There’s nothing that can prepare you for this.  It’s strange and scary and the coolest thing ever.

I should buy stock in antacid before release day.

Anatomy of a Vampire: Because The Night Style

Today’s Brew: Back to the water thing.

by Kristen

I loved this so much when Julie did it, I had to add to do it for my vampires as well. It’s a great way to show our take on the mythology and what makes our vampires different from each other.  So without further ado:


1. My vampires can feed off of energy, which is perfect for rock stars. They have crowds of adoring fans surrounding them all the time, so they feed off of their adrenaline.  However, they can also pick up on negative vibrations, which can bring them down or drive them crazy, so they have to find a way to deal with that.

2. Blood is erotic for my vampires.  They don’t need it, but they certainly do like it. They can feed from humans and humans can feed from them for an out of this world sexual experience.  The blood also makes them stronger.

3. My vampires can’t go out in sunlight.

4. They become unconscious during daylight hours.

5. In Because The Night, we don’t learn that much about other abilities that this particular vampire clan has.  Tristan is in a sort of denial and a bit apathetic towards what he is.  We do know they have superhuman strength and speed.  Later we learn that they can see and hear things that humans cannot.


6. Only creators can read the minds of their “children.”

7.  Bloodlust is the thrall.  It attracts fans to the bands, and therefore provides them with an endless energy supply.  Bloodlust is also the sexual experience when blood is shared.

8. My vampires can and do drink alcohol and do drugs.  Like blood, they are metabolized as energy.  After all, their rock stars. Rock stars have vices.

9. They aren’t meant to be monogamous.

10. Women vampires are the most powerful, and there are very few of them.  They are usually clan leaders.  Two females in the same clan will not play nicely together.

Another Country Heard From

Today’s Brew: There is not enough coffee in the world to keep me awake today. It’s 6:30 and feels like midnight.

If you are here as part of the #gutgaa blog hop, welcome! Click here for our pitches and first 150 words.

Immortal Dilemma didn’t start off as much of a dilemma at all. It started as a simple paranormal love story. My only dilemma was how I was going to make it interesting. I needed Callie to find Tristan. I had no intention of making it easy on her. Realistically, how could it be? She has little money, no close friends or allies, and has no idea what she’s up against trying to infiltrate a paranormal rockstar underworld.

Like Janelle suggested, Callie needed a few practice runs out in Vegas before she tried to approach Tristan. When Callie, Janelle, and Amanda went to the party after going to the Bite Marks night club, my only real intention was to show the gritty underbelly of the rock scene. My friends never wanted to go home after the club closed, and I found myself at many strange impromptu parties in the early hours of the morning when I was Callie’s age. The after parties were usually the best part of the night, where the action really happened.

That was true for this party as well. I had no idea Blade would show up and sit down next to Callie. But boy, am I glad I did.

Blade is just as pivotal to Immortal Dilemma as Tristan is. Tristan may be Immortal Dilemma, in every sense of the story, but Blade is the one who added the real conflict. He gets overshadowed by his undead opponent, just being a mere mortal mechanic from Canada, but he is the one who shaped the plot and solidified Callie’s inner conflict. Sure, Tristan isn’t what she expected, or how she last saw him, but without Blade, she might have been able to accept more easily. Blade is the one who shows Callie what she really wants, even if it’s not hers to have.

As feedback on Immortal Dilemma comes in, many readers have questions about Blade. What does he look like? When I first pictured him, I was thinking of him in more Bill and Ted terms. Just a goofy, nice, fun guy Callie met at a party.

But as Blade revealed more of his personality, it was clear he was more than that. I had such a crush on Blade as I wrote the book. I started to picture him more as Casey James from American Idol. Casey never particularly excited me on the show, but he was all I could picture while writing. He just happens to be playing in Boston tomorrow night, and I can’t go because I’m working on a movie this week. The hours are way too brutal to squeeze in an extracurricular trip to the city in the middle. Even if it’s for my book boyfriend.

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