Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “immortal dilemma”

Then and Now: The Evolution of the Synopsis

Today’s Brew: Iced Honey Vanilla Tea. The obsession continues.

by Kristen

For some reason, this blog post always gets a ton of hits. We get a lot of searches for “the hardest paragraph to write.” The hardest paragraph to write is actually the one I’ve been dicking around all day instead of really concentrating on what I’m supposed to be doing, but whatever. This particular post is about writing a synopsis.

Twelve books later, it still sucks. Twelve books! You guys. Anyway, I know there are a bunch of contests going on, and constant querying and book readying, so I thought you may enjoy a comparison of what our synopses were in 2012 for our first books and what they became.

Ellie Morgan is used to losing everything. She thought she was comfortable with her life as an advertising executive, until she and her best friend both became captivated with newcomers to their secluded New Hampshire town. When fate connects her to Nicholas French, she is enthralled by his supernatural allure and his belief that she is meant for so much more. Ellie struggles to reconcile falling in love with the vampire who gives her the home she longs for, while being forced to make impossible choices, and sacrifice the unthinkable.

Death hovers around Ellie Morgan like the friend nobody wants. She doesn’t belong in snow-swept Ossipee, New Hampshire, at a black tie party––but that is where she is, and where he is: Nicholas French, the man who mystifies her with a feeling of home she’s been missing, and the impossible knowledge of her troubled soul.

Nicholas followed an abomination that is one of his own, but finds that fate has driven him to New Hampshire. He is a being of the Shinigami, a heroic vampire order that save their victims from more tragic ends. And he knows why Ellie is human repellent… why physical agony grips them when apart.

Then–(it was called Immortal Dilemma)
College freshman Callie can’t wait to leave the confines of her sheltered life on Martha’s Vineyard to reconnect with her first love, Tristan.  Finding him is easy–he is the face of the explosive Vegas vampire rock scene and the star of his own reality show.  Getting close to this larger than life rockstar is more of a challenge.  Callie must weave her way through a constant stream of insatiable groupies, security guards, paparazzi, and all the other complexitites of Tristan’s fame to try to save him from himself.  She finds herself drawn to him by some inexplicable force, and finds what she’s looking for where she least expects it.  What is she willing to do for her happily ever after?

Sex, Blood And Rock n’ Roll

Immortal Dilemma is the hottest band in the Las Vegas vampire rock scene. They draw insatiable fans from around the globe, thanks to a supernatural attraction called Bloodlust. Tristan craved such an opportunity to fill his empty mortal life, and now he has eternity to earn his place along the legends of rock n roll debauchery.

Callie always feared that Tristan’s excesses would get him into trouble, but she never thought they’d lead him to immortality. To reconnect with him, she must weave her way through a world not only she had no idea existed, but does not welcome her.

Blade turned down a spot in Immortal Dilemma after learning what he must sacrifice for that lifestyle. He finds Callie a refreshing change from the girls in the vampire rock scene. When Callie drags Blade back into the world of Immortal Dilemma, his resistance drives her into the waiting arms of Tristan, who shows her the true meaning of Bloodlust.

But the very things that Callie fights so hard to save are the very things that fight to destroy her.


Book Love and Lipgloss

Today’s Brew:  Hot chocolate with buttershots in it. Oh yeah.

by Kristen

As I might have mentioned a time or two on this blog, Because The Night comes out in November. That means a few things.  Hurking, first and foremost.  A lot of that.  I should be really skinny by release day.  It also means blog tours.  Which means more hurking for me, but for you it means giveaways!

Karrie hard at work

Karrie hard at work

I couldn’t just do what everyone else does for giveaways.  I needed to do something fun and cool and…me.  My agent suggested doing something makeup related.  How does it get more me than that?  It just so happens that a friend and colleague of mine has her own makeup line.  Meet Karrie Welch of Fortunate Face Minerals.

Meet...Immortal Dilemma, Fire Dancer, and Soul Divider

Meet…Immortal Dilemma, Fire Dancer, and Soul Divider

Karrie formulates all her own colors for all of her natural products.  I approached her with my idea to formulate lip glosses based on the bands in the Night Songs series, and she thought it was a great idea.  This Monday, I went to her laboratory to mix the perfect colors for Immortal Dilemma (blood red), Fire Dancer (a warm orangey red) and Soul Divider (a sheer plum with dark pink shimmer).  ‘Who the hell is Soul Divider?’, I hear my street team roar.  You’ll mean them in Night Moves, the second book in the series.

Before the lip glosses were born, they were just minerals in jars.

Before the lip glosses were born, they were just minerals in jars.

So these aren’t just little pots of goo.  No sirree, Bob. These are tubes that you click up similar to a Stila lip gloss.  On the bottom of the tubes, they will have little stickers with the appropriate band name. Like lip gloss you buy in stores, kids. This is a real thing. I couldn’t be more excited, not only that my book is coming out, but as a makeup artist to have products I helped create it surreal. They are highly pigmented and have all natural ingredients like jojoba oil and orange oil.  Julie of course had to try it out as soon as she got there.  Her review:  “It felt good and tasted good.  It was light but had substance.”  So what I’m saying is, this is the good stuff.

Then they get all ground together in a magic bullet looking contraption

Then they get all ground together in a magic bullet looking contraption

Right now, I’m planning on using these as promotional items.  If there is interest, I can make them available for sale.  (They would be $10 each, and whatever shipping costs).

And lip glosses were born!

And lip glosses were born!

Check out the Fortunate Face website for more information on Karrie’s products!


Today’s Brew: Harpoon Cider

by Kristen

I am so pleased to share this with you!


Please add Because The Night on Goodreads!  

Happy Anniversary!

Today’s Brew:  Champagne!

by Kristen

June 20th marked our one year anniversary on Deadly Ever After.  Julie and I knew we needed a blog to get the word out there about our books, so we decided to do one together.  I had blogged before, but Julie was pretty relatively new to the internet.  It really never interested her before.  I know, it sounds hard to believe now.

The blog has been successful beyond anything we could have hoped for.  Our second day, we had 50 views.  Of course, some blogs have 50 views a minute, but for two unknown writers just starting out on a WordPress site, it got our attention.  We knew people would be paying attention.  I’m glad we had a good start because it helped us keep our momentum and build a community of friends and writers.

Some fun stats.  We have had just over 20,000 views.  113 countries have visited us.  That’s my favorite stat of all.  We have 175 people who follow our blog.  Our posts have been commented on 1290 times.  Our best day was actually June 20, our anniversary.  We had 874 views.  These are our top ten most viewed posts:

The Existence of Frigging Creeps, Specifically Ken Hoinsky
About Us
How Not To Be A Writing Loser by Julie
The Horrors of the Bethlehem Royal Hospital, London
Meet The Animal by Julie Hutchings
An Evening With Tiffany Reisz
Creating The Animal by Julie Hutchings
The Exception by Kristen Strassel
The New Hippies
Writing YA: How Old Is Too Old?
Because The Night

I love that it’s pretty evenly a mix of my and Julie’s posts, as well as About Us.

I don’t think that either of us could have guessed what would have happened with the blog or our writing in this past year.  We had both just finished our first drafts of Running Home and Immortal Dilemma (now Because The Night) when the blog started.  We didn’t know any other writers.  We’ve made some great friends.  Running Home is coming out in a month.  I have an agent.  Julie’s working on her third book.  I am working on my second full length novel, and I’ve also completed a novella.  I’ve been published in an anthology, Julie’s work will be featured in an anthology this summer.  We’ve done guest posts all over the world.

I’m excited to see what we will post for our second anniversary.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, read us, laughed and cried with us.  We love every single last one of you.

Kristen and Julie

New Beginnings

Today’s Brew:  Blueberry and French Vanilla.  Why stray from the best? As a side note, I think Julie is rolling around naked in coffee grinds today.  The Undead Duo is nothing if not classy.

by Kristen

I’ve started a new manuscript.  It’s weird.  For the last two years, I’ve been full speed ahead on Immortal Dilemma.  I’ve seen those characters lives through their eyes, I’ve known what they’d say and do in every situation (even though they still managed to surprise me, even at the very end.).  They’ve become my children.  Right before my vacation, I passed in my latest round of edits to my agent.  They were pretty radical.  I took a little break from writing while I geared up for my vacation and of course while I was away.  I didn’t jump right back in when I came home, either.  A terrorist on the loose  in the state tends to be a little distracting.

Who are these new people?  Their story presented itself to me a couple weeks ago, but I’ve only been able to dive in these last couple of days.  When I started Immortal Dilemma, I had done quite a bit of pre-planning.  It had been a long time since I’d written anything, so I approached it from the way I’d become familiar with: story boards and character studies a la film.  Now that I write all the time, I just dove into this new thing. Yeah, that’s actually what the file is titled on my computer.  This New Thing.  I didn’t bother with character profiles or world building or research.  Just jumped in, head first.  Over the weekend, I’ve probably got down about four thousand words.  But now I feel like I did when I took snowboarding lessons.  How do I control this thing?  Someone give me the instructions!  I’m going to go back and do a little more investigation into why I need to tell these character’s story.  They’re going to be on tour, I can tell you that much, so my world will consist of cheap hotels and tour buses.   I haven’t even totally settled on my MC’s name.  If you have any cool, classic, but not crazy girl names for someone in their mid 20’s, let me know!  (Twitter boys, be nice.  You already razzed my male MC.)

I read a lot while I was on vacation.  I usually can devour a book a flight, and then need something to bury my nose in while I’m out of my element.  My favorite two that I completed this week were the Johnny Cash autobiography, Cash, and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s new paperback release, Time Untime.  If you’re not familiar with Kenyon’s work (I just started reading her stuff), she is influenced heavily by Greek mythology.  Regrettably, my working knowledge of ancient mythology and the classics is piss poor. Upon coming home from the Worcester Art Museum, I asked Julie if she knew their were Indian mythological gods.  Of course she did, she studied classics in that thing called college that I hardly bothered with.  For financial and scheduling reasons, finishing my degree is impractical at this stage of the game.  But I found a way to fill my brain with things I think I might find interesting.

There are tons of free college level courses you can check out online.  Did you see that free word I put in there?  There are two great resources, coursera which offers a variety of courses from all over the world, and MIT Open CourseWare, which is pretty self explanatory.  Even if I had all the time and money in the world, this girl is never getting accepted to MIT.  So how cool is that?  I signed up for Greek and Roman mythology through the University of Pennsylvania.  I’m pretty stoked about it.  I’ve also found a class that breaks down literary relationships that is running this summer, taught by a Brown professor.   Check it out.  You never know what you’ll find!

The Exception by Kristen Strassel

Today’s Brew:  get your popcorn ready! Julie and I just came from a really romantic night at the movies.  Beautiful Creatures?  Wait for DVD.

by Kristen

I’ve been fooling around with this concept for a while.  Finally the inspiration came from a dinner party I attended the other night.  This story is inspired by Immortal Dilemma.

The Exception

“So you think you can handle me?” My tattooed fantasy stood just inches from me, his eyes soft, wearing a smile that said nothing but danger.

I nodded.  I couldn’t speak.  I’d played this very moment out so many times in my mind.  I’d known just what to say to lure him closer.  But it was already a done deal, a negotiation of sorts.

Not what I had imagined so many times before, alone in my house, the car, the shower. You get the picture. What the hell was I doing? I’d only slept with three people in my whole life and here I was, with this larger than life stranger, practically paralyzed.

Now that I was actually here with Tristan Trevosier, my whole body trembled, and I had to clench my teeth together not to fawn over him, profess my love like some pathetic preteen fangirl.

“What’s your name?”  His voice was little more than a whisper.  He took one more step, close enough to touch my arm.  He ran his rough fingers, calloused from playing guitar, down the length of my bare skin.  With his other hand, he tipped my chin up to meet his eyes, which burned with every scandalous thought I knew brewed in his soul.

“Andrea.” Why did I feel so shy now? This was what I wanted, wasn’t it?

“Your husband seems like a nice guy.”

My eyes widened. My guard rose like iron gates around my conscious. I shouldn’t be doing this.

But I had to.

“He’s wonderful.” I gulped.  “Your girlfriend is okay with this?”

“I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“That girl, who was sitting in the room. I’ve seen pictures of you with her online.”

“She’s not my girlfriend, she’s my soulmate.”  He smiled, amused.  “Like you and your husband, we understand each other. What we have to do.”

My jaw, still in his hand, dropped.  I didn’t understand this at all.

“Back to your husband.”  His eyes bore into mine so I could look nowhere else. “What doesn’t he do for you?”

We’d been married for six months, this trip to Vegas technically our honeymoon. We’d hardly had a real fight yet. I’d waited longer than my girlfriends to get married, but Brian had made every minute of that wait worth it. Now, here I stood before this Adonis, barely more than a teenager, who had no problem questioning our marriage right after he asked me my name.

“What do you mean?”

“This is your fantasy, right, Andrea?” Tristan cut me off.  “I want to make it worth your while.  What doesn’t he do for you? Sexually.  I don’t give a rat’s ass if he takes out the trash or puts down the toilet seat.”

Despite the electrical charge in the small space between our faces, I couldn’t help but laugh.  I closed my eyes and swallowed hard. “He doesn’t like to go down on me.”

Tristan rolled his eyes.  “I’ll never understand why some dudes are so stupid.”

He pushed me against the wall in the small room and sunk to his knees in front of me.  I lost my urge to defend Brian’s honor as he pushed up my skirt to my waist and tore my lace panties off of me like they were made from tissue paper.  My breath quickened as I stood in front of him. Bare.  He only used his hands to part my thigh, kissing my pubic bone before moving down, licking, sucking, teasing. His dark hair tickled my thighs. All my muscles pulsed and sang. His hands and mouth held me steady against the wall, or else I might have fallen on top of him in a crumpled heap.

I wanted to beg him for mercy, but I never wanted him to stop. Sanity was overrated.

In a fluid moment, Tristan rose to his feet, his hands sliding up to the waded fabric at my waist.  “Do you understand what Bloodlust is, Andrea?” He breathed into my ear.

I hadn’t expected him to stay in character.  But I couldn’t deny it.  Something pulled me to him. “I do. That’s why I’m here.”

“You don’t know what it is for me.” He kissed my neck, and I stiffened with nerves. “The blood is what gets people like me off.”

He grazed his sharp teeth against my neck.  Weren’t they just part of his costume? He wouldn’t really take it so far and try to bite me, would he?

“It’s real?” I could barely manage the words.

“It’s real. “ I could feel him nod against my neck.  “Relax.  This is why you’re here.”

I didn’t relax. I froze as he punctured my neck.  My mouth opened to scream but nothing came out. As he sucked, I entered an alternate universe, almost a higher consciousness.  My muscles softened and all those little things that mattered just second before didn’t matter now.

“Good girl.” He reassured me as he finished. His hands moved back down to my legs, pushing me up against the wall, entering me.  My god, was he wearing a condom?  The panic seemed separate, like someone else worried about it for me. He sucked on the wounds on my neck as he thrusted in beautiful rhythm, like the musician he was. I exploded, seeing nothing but stars.

Tristan gently put me back down on the floor, back to earth, and adjusted my skirt.  He kissed me on my forehead as he adjusted himself, a bizarrely chaste move after what he had just done to me.

“Go back to your husband, Andrea.”

With that, he walked away from me.  Shut the door behind him as he left the room. The curtain closed on my fantasy.

Real life awaited. I was terrified.

I dug in my purse for my phone.  As I expected, Brian had left me close to a dozen messages.  He waited for me at the bar in the lobby.  Before I ventured out, I stole a quick glance at myself in my compact mirror.  I was still real. My only souvenir to remember my encounter he left me with was two neat little teeth marks.

I peeked out the door into the hallway.  Thankfully, everything was well marked and I was able to find my way back out into the Sin City Vampire Club without having to ask for help.

Brian sat alone on a corner stool, happily sipping some concoction out of a plastic skull souvenir cup.  His face brightened when he saw me, kissing me in greeting. “So, did you do it?”

How could he be so enthusiastic about this? So casual? After all, it was his big mouth that set the whole thing into motion in the first place. “Hey Tristan, you’re the one that I’d let my wife sleep with.  It’s her fantasy.”  He had blurted out in the Immortal Dilemma meet and greet line.  I had wanted to kill him for saying such a thing until Tristan cocked his eyebrow, looking me up and down, and smiled.

I’m sure he’d spend our time apart texting his buddies at home, bragging about what was going on. How would I ever be able to face our friends?

I’d cheated on my husband. And everyone would want to hear every single detail.

I nodded, climbing up on the stool beside him, wincing at my soreness. I could barely look him in the eye.

“So was it hot? Like real vampire sex?” Brian’s eyes blazed. This still wasn’t real to him.

I pulled my hair away from my neck, revealing the puncture wounds.

He ran his fingers gingerly against the swollen scabby marks.  “Wow.”  His tone changed a bit as what happened sunk in.

I folded my hands in front of me and stared at them.

“Do you want a drink, babe?”

I shook my head.

“What do you want to do?

“I just want to go back to the room.”

“Okay.”  He threw some money up on the bar, leaving his skull cup behind as we slid off our bar stools.

We walked back to our hotel, hand in hand, forever changed from how we arrived.


Today’s Brew: Not blood. More like Great Value Grape drink stuff.  Yeah, basically Kool Aid.

by Kristen


Photo courtesy of Isn’t it AWESOME??

The desire to see blood being shed
A lust or desire
A fetish associated with sexual activity
The need to consume blood
A feeling of

Bloodlust is not a new concept by any means. It’s even got it’s own Wikipedia page, making it super legit.  Many vampire books before Immortal Dilemma have dabbled in Bloodlust and still more thayhave yet to be written will play with it.  Many vampire flicks bear its name and musicians sing about it.

In Immortal Dilemma, Bloodlust refers to the inexplicable attraction that people feel towards certain vampires.  Sexually,  the blood is erotic, mind altering, and addicting.

Bloodlust makes these vampires hard to resist and impossible to forget.




Tristan In The Flesh

Today’s Brew:  Popsicles.  Yeah, I’m sick. 😦

by Kristen


But mostly, I just watched Tristan.  Tonight he wore his signature black leather pants, which clung dangerously low below his hipbones.  They ended in black combat boots that were casually untied.  He topped the outfit off with a black T shirt adorned with an intricate white pattern, front and back, that clung like a second skin.  His eyes were heavily rimmed with black liner and his hair hung in his face, down on his chest and back.  It swung around him as he roamed all over the stage.  His fingers moved over his guitar seductively, teasing it, bringing it to the brink of hysteria then coaxing it back down to a purr.  Almost as if he was making love to it. —Immortal Dilemma


As soon as I saw this picture, all I could think was THERE HE IS.  Tristan.  The main male character  from Immortal Dilemma.  My Tristan has a sleeve of tattoos on his left arm and his hair is possibly longer (hard to tell in this picture).  But otherwise, it’s him.  I enjoy him tremendously so I wanted to share my findings with Deadly Ever After.

I found this photo through Pin Queen 1369, who also has a awesome pinterest full of sexiness. It’s not safe for work in any way shape or form, but what fun is?  Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy what she’s got to offer.

I Get Around

Today’s Brew:  Starbuckian Goodness

Guest Post: Kristen Strassel and Writing in a Crowded Genre

The fabulous Muses, aka Jolene Haley and Kristen Jett, at Pen and Muse asked me to do a guest post for them, and it’s up today!  Go check it out!  I talk about writing in a crowded genre.  We all hear that there’s too many vampire books, young adult, new adult, erotica, insert popular genre here.  I tell you why I stuck to my guns, and what you can do to make your work stand out.

Romancing the Otherworldly Valentine Event

Today’s Brew:  Orange Tea

by Kristen

Hey everyone!  I’m participating in a New Adult event today!  Check out for more details on how to win New Adult books and other fun swag!


Facebook Event Details:
Love New Adult but looking for something with a little bite? Here’s an event geared toward the other side of NA. Whether your tastes range toward shifters or men from other dimensions, there’s a New Adult title out there for you. Come by for prizes, games, and fun at the Facebook party between 8-10 est on February 13th.


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