Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “the fire dancer”

Lost Scene From The Fire Dancer

The things I find when I go through my notebooks!  This would’ve never fit into The Fire Dancer, but it was a fun little exploration piece when I was figuring out Holly’s relationship with Callie and Tristan.  Holly travels back to the Seasons in the Sun days for this one, so this was cool for me to see how these two characters, the first I ever came up with, have grown!
(please remember this is raw and unedited, straight from the scribbles in my notebook)

fire couple

Fourth of July weekend and the Vineyard was packed. I threaded through the crowds on the sidewalk, seeking refuge in a colorful coffee shop. It reminded me of my favorite café in Santa Fe, and I knew this kind of place would have some funky brew of iced tea. Never sure if it was a dream or if I was time traveling at first, I needed to find a place that would ground me.
Women swarmed around the barista station even after they’d picked up their iced lattes. Trevor George’s son, Tristan, was behind the counter. My heart pounded when I saw him, he was the one who brought me here. I went up on my tiptoes to get a better look at him. Looks and charm ran in the family. Waiting in line to place my order, I was captivated. His dark eyes glittered when he spoke, his lips curled up in a slow, easy smile. The things that mouth could probably do already.
“Can I help you?” A girl too young to be working asked with enough force to make me believe it wasn’t the first time she tried to get my attention. She rolled her eyes when I jumped, then shot a quick glare over to Tristan, knowing who’d stolen my attention away from her. Not in a jealous way, but a don’t even bother because he’s mine way. That wasn’t the only reason she caught me off guard. I didn’t expect to give Callie, the future mistress of the most powerful vampire clan in Las Vegas, my drink order.
No, she was the one who brought me here. She had no idea who I was, just another girl staring at her boyfriend. This was a hiccup for me, a trip of five years or so. I always had trouble in my time travels, not blurting something out that would scare the hell out of people. But this time, saying something would change everything. For me. And it was tempting.
“I’d like a large pomegranate orange iced tea, please.” If I didn’t get this tea I was going to explode. Traveling back to another time didn’t make my fire go away. Chaos would break out on the island if I dripped even a spark here.
Waiting for my drink, I had an excuse to watch him. He was just a boy. Jailbait. No matter how good looking he was, it was disgusting to watch women old enough to be his mother flirt shamelessly with him. He took it in stride, born to celebrity through and through, smiling at each one of them like he’d come to work just to make their latte.
Callie joined him to thin the crowd. He softened when she came over. The show didn’t stop, but it changed. Young as she was, she was awfully cute. Tawny skin, green eyes, honey colored hair escaping from a braid. She already had fire inside her, too. Good. She was going to needed it. I smiled as she whipped through the line.
She grabbed Tristan’s arm. “Why didn’t you tell me we were out of soy?” She pushed a honey curl back into her braid.
“Who drinks that shit, anyway?” The smile he gave her was like the sun breaking through the dark sky at dawn. Pure adoration, everyone disappearing around them. The other women waiting for their drinks might as well have had their picture taken with a cardboard cutout. How could they not notice that? I was actually envious of this little girl. She had everything I wanted.
“Half the island does!” Callie threw her arms up before stomping into a back room.
“Holly!” Tristan called out, still snickering from Callie’s outburst. “Pomegranate orange iced tea.”
Our fingers brushed as he handed me the drink. No sparks. Our eyes locked but the moment was cheapened because I knew I’d never believe his lie. He’d never be able to love anyone but her.
I wondered if I told him his future, if it would change a thing.
“Thanks.” I turned and pushed past the crowd. I needed air.
Even though in many respects Tristan was already a man, with Callie he could be a boy. Their fates were already hopelessly intertwined, floating together above the earth in a bubble. When it shattered, it would rain down on everyone. And no amount of fire would alter the outcome. I needed to fight my battles in the present, not the past.
Taking a cool, fruity sip of my drink, I was glad I kept my mouth shut. Even if it wasn’t what they expected, they both got what they wanted. Each other.

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Meet Cash Logan (Snippets from The Fire Dancer)

Today is: National Coconut Cream Pie Day, National Have A Coke Day,National Military Spouse Appreciation Day,
National Provider Appreciation Day.

Coconut Cream Pie. Yes. (And a side note, tomorrow is Lost Sock Memorial Day and Butterscotch Brownie Day. Plan accordingly)

If you’ve read We Own the Night, you’ve met Cash Logan. Alluring, cunning, and unpredictable, the vampire who helped make Callie a true clan leader was never supposed to be in that book.

I’d come up with the idea for Cash around the same time as Holly Octane blew into my life, which is probably how they became intertwined. I’d been writing all these pretty boy vampires with dirt on their souls. Don’t get me wrong, I like my pretty boys. A lot. Tristan oozes sex his long hair and tattoos, Ryder has that chilled out older dude thing going on, and then there’s Blade, my fallen angel. I might have a type. Whatever. This isn’t about me, it’s about Cash. I wanted more than a pretty face. I wanted a character that plunged straight into darkness with no apologies, that I had to go against my better judgement to trust, but still convinced me to trust him. That character was Cash Logan.

rob zombie

I’ve always pictured Cash to look similar to Rob Zombie. I never asked myself, “What would Rob Zombie be like if he was a vampire?” because there’s the outside chance he might actually be a vampire. I actually hope he is. The musical connection to a dark fantasy rock n roll cirque book is pretty strong. Holly would totally dance to this song:


And if Julie and I ever made a movie, it would probably be close to a Zombie production. Say what you will about those movies, but they kinda spoke to me.

So many of my vampires were created in the last few years, but Cash is much more of a classic vampire. Created in the eighteenth century by Aidan to satisfy Talis de Rancourt, he wasn’t suited for his original purpose. Talis  delighted in tormenting her new toy, ultimately committing him to Bethlem Royal Hospital in London.

Images jumbled in my brain as if someone spun a wheel. I saw Cash, bound, bloody, and burned, surrounded by laughing onlookers. His hair was shorter, and it was a different time, but I knew him. His eyes. No matter what humiliation was bestowed upon him, they remained proud.

Cash may have been beaten, but he didn’t go down without a fight. He wanted revenge. He used his immortality to his advantage, putting the weak out of their misery and forming a troupe of performers that would become his first dark magic show.

Bethlem also led him to Holly.

But now, Talis has created a modern troupe of vampires to revive her Las Vegas empire, and Cash Logan is pissed.  His magic show has made him famous, but he’s never come out publicly as a vampire. In Cash’s dark world, nightmares are real. What Talis has done with Immortal Dilemma threatens to disrupt the balance that immortals have created for centuries.  Cash needs to destroy Talis to protect his way of life. Cash needs revenge.

Which leads him back to Holly.

“Gone are the days of the two-headed dolls and the men with the forked tongues. Science can take care of that now. But where does that leave people like us? Exposed. All we can rely on is exploiting the darkness within our souls, and the rare individual who has a special talent. Exceptional strength. Mind control. The ability to control the elements. That’s why I need Blade.” Cash tipped my chin up so I met his eyes. They were almost solid gold, metallic. “The two of you will make an exquisite team, both of you able to do something that science has yet to figure out.”

Cash and Holly have much in common, and they agree on one thing for Cirque Macabre: they want a return to classic entertainment.  Only problem is, they don’t quite agree on what that means.

Cash shook his head, dismissing my outburst. “Why not? People have been attending public executions for centuries. I’m sure you’ve been to see gladiators in your time travels. Maybe you went to the witch trials? I’m sure you’ve seen a hanging or two. You were one of the performers who wanted a return to classic entertainment. You should have been more specific.”

All I’d wanted to do was wear a headdress.  “We’re better than that, now. As a society.”

Cash laughed. “Are we? We might have more laws, but I think you can agree with me that people are no different now that they were in the past. They hide their darkness now, but it’s still there. Evil doesn’t die.”

The Fire Dancer is coming May 21!  It’s available for preorder now!

Meet Holly Octane! (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Today is: National Bombshell Day (and therefore the perfect day to meet Holly!), National Indie Bookstore Day (shop and support! holla!), National Start Seeing Monarchs Day, National Truffle Day (if they mean the Lindt variety, I took care of that), National Life Insurance Day, National Scrapbook Day, and my second favorite behind Bombshell Day, National Homebrew Day.

So get your day on. However you choose.

vampire month

Everyone, meet Holly Octane. She’s been waiting for you.

Holly was conceived, like many of you, at a concert. (Thanks, rock stars!) About two years ago, I went to see Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper. Alice’s guitarist was this bad ass chick who absolutely shredded. I could’ve sworn that he introduced her as Holly Octane.  As soon as I got home, I looked up Alice’s current touring band, because if I didn’t hear him right, I was so using Holly Octane as a character name.

Since I’m telling you about a character named Holly Octane, his guitarist was actually Orianthi. She’s currently doing some thing with Richie Sambora. I think she’s also doing Richie Sambora. Some girls have all the luck!  Beauty, talent, and a smokin’ hot old dude on their arm.

orianthi

Anyway, I kept thinking about Holly Octane. I had to write about this girl.  I knew she was part of my Vegas vampire world, but I never considered her a vampire.  She figured in with Cash Logan. When Jolene Haley approached me about the Pen and Muse Dark Carnival collection and I chose to write about a fire dancer, my Holly came blazing to life.

Holly was always meant to have her own book, and that story, Heaven’s on Fire, was always meant to be the first chapter. (It’s changed quite a bit from the original, but the bones and the concept are still there.) Cash and Holly were a bit impatient for their debut, and they both figure into the events of We Own the Night.

Since she wasn’t a vampire, I had to figure out what the heck she was. I knew she was an immortal creature, but honestly, so what. Those bitches are a dime a dozen. There was more to Holly than an infinite future. She’s a Bleed. Her immortality extended both ways. Forward, backward, and if possible, sideways. She can travel back in time, but she can alter human history.  Vampire history always stays the same. Why?

You’ll have to read the book and find out.

A couple places Holly travels to in The Fire Dancer: The Tropicana in Las Vegas in the 1960s to train with one of those showgirls from Les Folies Bergiere, and Bethlem Royal Hospital in 18th century London.

We learn what Holly is the same time that she does. She was adopted, along with her girlfriend Rainey, by a woman named Lucille who sees the girl as an embarrassment. It’s much easier to manipulate them if she keeps them in the dark.  Rainey’s gifts are more clear, she’s a Seer, but Holly is an anomaly. She knows to find the answers she needs, she must find her parents. But to do that, she must alienate the person who loves her the most. Rainey.

Holly loves performing. For those few minutes each night she’s on stage, she’s untouchable. No one knows what to make of her. And she’s becoming addicted to the feeling. She didn’t always burst into flames, extreme emotion makes her ignite. And she’s still not quite sure how to control it.

As far as Holly knows, she’s the only one of her kind. But when Cash Logan introduces her to Blade Bennett, sparks fly.  He’s a vampire with a power that he shouldn’t have and he can’t control. Fire. Holly’s the only one who could possibly help him figure out this power, but their connection is too fiery to ignore.

TFD-T5

So what does Holly want? To find her family. To be loved. To have the never ending adoration of the crowd. And a headdress.

About The Fire Dancer cover:  If you see artwork online and you’re absolutely in love with it, contact the artist!  I got in touch with Daoyi Liu after finding her amazing illustrations online, and I was able to commission her to bring Holly to life. She NAILED it. Daoyi made Holly just as beautiful as I imagined her to be. I handed the reins over to Hang Le, and the cover was born.

Since Holly loves it when she has an adoring audience, she’s hoping you’ll help spread the word about The Fire Dancer’s release!  Enter for the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! All you have to do is share a post on Facebook, tweet about the book, or preorder it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! The contest runs between now and May 20. It’s sponsored by moi, and WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon have nothing to do with it. You can enter each day.

THE FIRE DANCER Cover Reveal

Today’s brew: Berry Zinger iced tea

by Kristen

This one’s been a long time coming, and I’m so excited to finally be able to share the awesomeness with you!  My vampires are spinning in a different direction.  It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Cirque Macabre and THE FIRE DANCER.

This ain’t a love song…

Meet Holly Octane, a burlesque performer that bursts into flames with any extreme emotion. And there’s a fine line between love and hate. THE FIRE DANCER is my first step away from romance into straight dark fantasy with a touch of horror.  It’s twisty and dark. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sexy book, but instead of focusing on the romance, it focuses on Holly’s journey and what makes her ignite.  It also features many of the villains from The Night Songs series, and shows you a different side of them.  After all, there is three sides to every story.

First of all, check out this gorgeous cover. I know, I’m talking about my child and everyone’s children are beautiful, but my artists deserve a massive shout out. They knocked it out of the park. I found the amazing Daoyi Liu to do the illustration, and Hang Le knew exactly how to make this cover sing.

THE FIRE DANCER is available for preorder (at the special introductory price of 1.99) and on Goodreads.

Fire-Dancer-FOR-WEB

Blurb:

At Le Cirque Macabre, Holly Octane bursts into flames five nights a week. The stage is where Holly feels most alive. When she’s there no one can touch her, and everyone adores her.

Brought to Las Vegas as vampire bait, Holly’s connection to the immortals is a mystery. She’s one of a kind– traveling through time and igniting when her emotions get too hot to handle. The only people who understand her are an aunt with a hidden agenda and her fortune teller girlfriend, Rainey, who doesn’t see a future with Holly in it.

Cash Logan needs Holly, but she’s not the reason he came to Vegas. The enigmatic magician seeks Blade Bennett, a vampire that has a power that he shouldn’t have–fire. A power that could determine the future of all of vampire kind. Holly’s the only one who can help Blade control his fire, but their feelings for each other are too fiery to ignore.

Immortals rule the Vegas night, and not one of them trusts Cash or Blade. If Holly lets them draw her in to this world designed to destroy her, she’ll lose everything—the only family she’s ever known, and everyone who adores her.

Las Vegas is her stage, and Holly is determined to set the city on fire.

Fire-Dancer-print-FOR-WEB

Excerpt:

“How long have you been like this?” His gaze ran the length of my robe, and he didn’t have to clarify what he meant.

As far as everyone knew, I was twenty-four. “Decades. I think.” The concept of time simply made me dizzy.

Cash nodded; my answer didn’t surprise him. “You were born north of London in 1781, in a village called Moorfields.” My knees buckled, and if I didn’t clutch the table, I would have fallen. Even though I knew the answer wasn’t going to be something nice and neat like twenty-five years ago in Memphis, actually having the answer blew my mind.

“I remember things that happened before that.” I couldn’t face him. “And I think I remember you.”

“Do you?” Cash ran his fingers lightly along my hair, never touching my body. At first, I was terrified we’d burst into flames. We’d fireproofed my dressing room, but Cash wouldn’t survive. This information was just the tip of the iceberg. I needed him to stay alive. “What do you remember?”

Images jumbled in my brain as if someone spun a wheel. I saw Cash, bound, bloody, and burned, surrounded by laughing onlookers. His hair was shorter, and it was a different time, but I knew him. His eyes. No matter what humiliation was bestowed upon him, they remained proud. “Chaos.”

His silky laugh almost convinced me I’d been wrong. No one could actually survive the state I pictured Cash in, his skin purple from abuse, weak from starvation, and still have a sense of humor. But those eyes. “That’s about right.” He moved closer to me, my robe pressed against my skin.

I couldn’t let him distract me. “But why do I remember things that happened before that? Like I was there. Is that even possible?”

“If you experienced it, then you made it possible, Holly.” His words were soft, and like time, they made me dizzy. “You’re a Bleed.”

My eyes snapped open. “A what?”

“You’re a Bleed. You age much more slowly than mortals, your immortality extends in all directions. Forward, backward, and sideways if it’s possible.”

I had to turn and face him. Rainey would knock on the door any time now, and I needed to wrap this up before she came. She’d warned me stay away from Cash. We’d been fighting too much lately already. I hated it. “How many of us are there?”

“You mean how many of you are there.” Someone knocked on the door softly. I forced my eyes away from Cash, and he stepped back. The knock repeated, more forceful this time. Rainey would be able to sense I wasn’t alone, even if she couldn’t see Cash. “You might be the only one.”

“Then how do you know so much about it?” I kept waiting for the heat to rise in my body, but it didn’t. All the triggers, fear and frustration, were there, but no flames. The knocking became frantic.

“Because I do.” Cash placed my hat back on my head before he headed to the door. His hand was on the doorknob when he turned back to me. “You’ve been patient this long, Holly. I want you to need me.”

 

 

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