Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “The Night Songs Collection”

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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The Night Songs Collection is on SALE!

Today is:

by Kristen

Happy Chocolate Chip Pizza Party Day!  Here’s where vampire month gets fun.  If you haven’t checked out my vampire books, now is the time!  Every title in The Night Songs Collection is 99 cents each through May 20.  Some of these have never been on sale before.

night songs sale 2

Because the Night: http://amzn.to/1H6H5WO

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.

Night Moves: http://amzn.to/1EKmS7A

We bonded in darkness, over darkness.

Melanie Vaughn’s job ruined everything. Her social life, nonexistent. Her relationship with her boyfriend, a hostile roommate situation. She resolves to fix everything one snowy afternoon, but instead comes home to discover her boyfriend is already exploring other options. Blonder, bustier options. Rage drives Melanie to do the unthinkable.

When Soul Divider was on the top of the world, so was Ryder Maddox. When the band faded into obscurity, Ryder’s luck plummeted with it. In a last ditch effort to rekindle the band’s heyday, Soul Divider teams up with powerful vampire clan leader, Talis de Rancourt. In return for her services, the band pays the ultimate price for never ending fame.

Now on the run, Melanie meets Ryder in a middle of nowhere hotel. She never expected her teenage rock star crush to be as lost and as in need of a companion as she is. Their connection is all consuming, even before they find they share another kinship: murder.

The newly turned vampires in Soul Divider still have a lot to learn. The police and public begin to connect the girls that go missing or die in sync with the band’s tour schedule. Back at home, clues are also adding up against Melanie as well. Between constant media coverage and unrelenting attention from the authorities, Melanie and Ryder find themselves in uncharted territory.
We Own the Night: http://amzn.to/1ICbnX7

The Ultimate Manipulation.
Callie Chabot would stop at nothing to save her ex-boyfriend Blade Bennett from the clutches of vampire clan leader Talis de Rancourt, even if means becoming immortal herself. What she doesn’t know is that Blade has already defeated Talis, and he’s waiting for Callie in the afterlife.
Now Callie only has her creator, Tristan Trevosier, to turn to for guidance. But he’s too wrapped up in the debauchery of the Las Vegas rock scene to give a damn about the particulars of being undead. That’s enough to drive Callie crazy on its own, but female vampires are automatic clan leaders.
Not only does Callie have no idea how to wrangle a vampire clan, but her would-be followers have more to gain from her failure. They instead choose to follow Blade—and he’s hell-bent on making Callie pay for her bad decisions. Since he took out the existing clan leader, that automatically puts him at the helm of what should be Callie’s new clan.
A Master of Deception.
That’s when seasoned rogue vampire, Cash Logan, shows up, shrouded in magic and mystery. No one is sure which side Cash is on, but Callie needs to take a chance on the one vampire who is willing to give her the answers she needs, no matter how dark and frightening they may be. Callie must trust her instincts and form alliances that may backfire. Cash shows Callie that playing nice is no longer an option, and that fixing her wrongs won’t always make everything right.
To take control of her clan, Callie must look to her rival to discover exactly what makes her a leader.
Silent Night: http://amzn.to/1PKnxfk

This Christmas isn’t about celebration for eighteen-year-old Kyndra, it’s about survival. Grieving the loss of her grandmother and struggling with the indifference of her family, Kyndra now splits her time between her dead-end mall job, her junkie ex-boyfriend’s bed, and the streets. Longing to be close to her grandmother one more time, she wanders into Christmas Eve mass and prays she’ll find the place she belongs. Home.

Aidan isn’t ready to let go of the past either, even though he’s had nearly three hundred years to do it. He chronicles the search for the reincarnation of his beloved wife as the vampire romance author Allison Duprois. Aidan knows the wife he mourns is out there, but fears writing their story is as close as he will get to her.

At Christmas Eve mass, he finally finds her. Alone, with no place to go.

Aidan brings Kyndra into his home, and gives her the safety, comfort and love she longs for. Though he gives her second chances she never thought she’d have, Kyndra still can’t get over Aidan’s mysterious past. Not to mention that he claims that he’s a vampire. Life alone on the streets is dangerous enough without handing her trust and love to the wrong person. Can Aidan break through the walls around Kyndra’s hardened heart to convince her that she belongs with him, forever?

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.”

 

 

The Night Songs Collection 1-3 Box Set is Now Available!

Today’s Brew: Hook up an IV of coffee and spike that bitch. Today’s my last day on the movie I’ve been working on, and from the looks of the scene list, it may be the longest day in movie making history. That’s fine, we’re having a party.

by Kristen

You know what is the gift that keeps on giving? Get your mind out of the gutters. It’s vampires. Who else can give you the gift of eternal life?  If you’re going to live forever, you’re going to need something to read. A lot of something. So I would love to offer you the first three books in The Night Songs Collection. It’s like a one way ticket to Las Vegas without the hangover, or the goons chasing after after you to collect on your gambling debts.  It’s debauchery in the comfort of your own home.

Because the Night, Night Moves, and We Own the Night all available in one pretty package!

Because the Night, Night Moves, and We Own the Night all available in one pretty package!

It’s only 3.99 until 12.31.14! And you can get your very own copy here. Oh, and another thing, while we’re talking about gifts…you can buy an ebook as a gift on Kindle and have it delivered whenever you want. There’s eight days of Hanukkah, twelve days of Christmas…and at least a handful of days of Festivus.

This is what you get. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

Because the Night:
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.

Night Moves:
Melanie Vaughn’s job ruined everything. Her social life, nonexistent. Her relationship with her boyfriend, a hostile roommate situation. She resolves to fix everything one snowy afternoon, but instead comes home to discover her boyfriend is already exploring other options. Blonder, bustier options. Rage drives Melanie to do the unthinkable.

When Soul Divider was on the top of the world, so was Ryder Maddox. When the band faded into obscurity, Ryder’s luck plummeted with it. In a last ditch effort to rekindle the band’s heyday, Soul Divider teams up with powerful vampire clan leader, Talis de Rancourt. In return for her services, the band pays the ultimate price for never ending fame.

Now on the run, Melanie meets Ryder in a middle of nowhere hotel. She never expected her teenage rock star crush to be as lost and as in need of a companion as she is. Their connection is all consuming, even before they find they share another kinship: murder.

The newly turned vampires in Soul Divider still have a lot to learn. The police and public begin to connect the girls that go missing or die in sync with the band’s tour schedule. Back at home, clues are also adding up against Melanie as well. Between constant media coverage and unrelenting attention from the authorities, Melanie and Ryder find themselves in uncharted territory.

We Own The Night:
Callie Chabot would stop at nothing to save her ex-boyfriend Blade Bennett from the clutches of vampire clan leader Talis de Rancourt, even if means becoming immortal herself. What she doesn’t know is that Blade has already defeated Talis, and he’s waiting for Callie in the afterlife.

Now Callie only has her creator, Tristan Trevosier, to turn to for guidance. But he’s too wrapped up in the debauchery of the Las Vegas rock scene to give a damn about the particulars of being undead. That’s enough to drive Callie crazy on its own, but female vampires are automatic clan leaders.

Not only does Callie have no idea how to wrangle a vampire clan, but her would-be followers have more to gain from her failure. They instead choose to follow Blade–and he’s hell-bent on making Callie pay for her bad decisions. Since he took out the existing clan leader, that automatically puts him at the helm of what should be Callie’s new clan.

That’s when seasoned rogue vampire, Cash Logan, shows up, shrouded in magic and mystery. No one is sure which side Cash is on, but Callie needs to take a chance on the one vampire who is willing to give her the answers she needs, no matter how dark and frightening they may be. Callie must trust her instincts and form alliances that may backfire. Cash shows Callie that playing nice is no longer an option, and that fixing her wrongs won’t always make everything right.

To take control of herr clan, Callie must look to her rival to see exactly what makes her a leader.

Cover Reveal: Silent Night by Kristen Strassel

It’s that time again!  The books are coming fast and furious this fall.  (No, I won’t be able to keep up this pace forever).  Everyone, please meet Kyndra and Aidan.  They’re bringing you book four in The Night Songs Collection, Silent Night.  It’s a standalone book that I’m billing as Pretty Woman meets Dracula at Midnight Mass.

What the hell do these two have to do with the rest of The Night Songs Collection?  Aidan created Talis and Cash, and he’s going to tell you his story, under the nom de plume of Allison Dubrois.

Silent Night Digital Cover Large

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00024]

BLURB:

This Christmas isn’t about celebration for eighteen-year-old Kyndra, it’s about survival. Grieving the loss of her grandmother and struggling with the indifference of her family, Kyndra now splits her time between her dead-end mall job, her junkie ex-boyfriend’s bed, and the streets. Longing to be close to her grandmother one more time, she wanders into Christmas Eve mass and prays she’ll find the place she belongs. Home.

Aidan isn’t ready to let go of the past either, even though he’s had nearly three hundred years to do it. He chronicles the search for the reincarnation of his beloved wife as the vampire romance author Allison Duprois. Aidan knows the wife he mourns is out there, but fears writing their story is as close as he will get to her.

At Christmas Eve mass, he finally finds her. Alone, with no place to go.

Aidan brings Kyndra into his home, and gives her the safety, comfort and love she longs for. Though he gives her second chances she never thought she’d have, Kyndra still can’t get over Aidan’s mysterious past. Not to mention that he claims that he’s a vampire. Life alone on the streets is dangerous enough without handing her trust and love to the wrong person. Can Aidan break through the walls around Kyndra’s hardened heart to convince her that she belongs with him, forever?

PREORDER ON AMAZON FOR 99 CENTS!   ADD ON GOODREADS

Happy Book Birthday, We Own the Night

Today’s Brew: Mimosas

by Kristen

Please join me in welcoming WE OWN THE NIGHT to the Night Songs family!  Callie and Tristan are back to resolve the issues they created in Because the Night, and Melanie and Ryder are joining forces with the Las Vegas crew, so to speak.  We even have a happily ever afterlife.

While the series will continue, WE OWN THE NIGHT wraps up this particular story line.  That doesn’t mean that these characters are done forever, they’ll just have fresh issues to deal with in the future.

We-Own-the-Night-print-FOR-WEB

 

 

AMAZON    iTUNES

EXCERPT

I heard the door open softly, but I didn’t turn towards Tristan. He slipped under the blankets and pressed his body against me, draping his arm around my stomach. I didn’t say anything, but I snuggled against him.

“So many nights, I carried you in here and watched you sleep until I almost burned myself with the sunrise.” He murmured, playing with a curl of my hair. “I miss that.”

“That feels good,” I said softly. “I used to hate it when I woke up in here, alone. Now this is where I come to get away from you.”

“There are things I can’t explain to you about this world, but you’ll understand it once it happens to you,” Tristan continued twirling my hair between his fingers, and I wrestled with consciousness. “I know it drives you crazy.”

I turned towards him, resting my head in the nook on his shoulder. “What do you know about Cash?”

“Not much.”

Shouldn’t Tristan know something about the other vampires in town? Maybe that was asking too much. It’s not like they handed out an updated directory every year. “Do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing?”

“I’m sure we’re going to find out.” Something about the way he said it, he seemed a million miles away.

Before I had a chance to ask anything else about Cash, our lips met and we were speaking a whole other language. Tristan pulled me in close, his fingers so tangled in my hair I thought we may have to stay like this forever. My hands found their way down to his ass, his hips grinding against me in a way there was no question what he was thinking about.

I couldn’t think anymore tonight. And I just didn’t care.

The Night Songs Collection: This Is The Remix

Today’s Brew: I’m off coffee for the rest of the day. I’ll be setting my alarm for 3 AM, because my job is just that glamorous.

by Kristen

I have a confession to make.

I’ve been keeping things from you.  Not bad things, I just wasn’t ready to spill it yet.  But now I am.

I separated from my agent. My decision. Nothing bad happened, we’re still on good terms.  I will always appreciate the fact that Pam gave me my writing wings, and I know I wouldn’t be in this place if I never had her as an agent. I just wanted to take things in a different direction. The more I explored writing and publishing, the more I realized that right now, indie publishing is best for me.  I’ve known this for a while, but when I really wanted to self-publish a book more than even try to shop it around to publishers, I knew I had my answer.

Will I try the traditional route again? Maybe someday, if it’s right. Will I want another agent?  Not right now, but again, I’m leaving all my options open.  It’s exciting.  I have a lot of news to tell you about.

  • BECAUSE THE NIGHT and NIGHT MOVES are temporarily unavailable right now. BECAUSE THE NIGHT was re-edited and both books are getting new covers. Guys, they’re fucking awesome. I can’t wait to show them to you.  (Want to participate in the reveal?  Click here.)  Hang Le designed the covers and she knocked it out of the park. The books will rerelease July 12, and I’ll be doing a ton of fun promo that day.  I’ll tell you more about it that week.
  • WE OWN THE NIGHT is still releasing September 1, to correlate with the Audible release.  The cover reveal is also July 12, and you know, you should really sign up to participate.  🙂  It’s on Goodreads now.
  • Remember that book I said I wanted to self-publish?  Yeah, that’s happening.  It’s a contemporary romance, a new genre for me.  It’s called SECONDHAND HEART, and I’m looking to release it in October.  It features a 21-year-old military widow and a failed reality show star who’ve both come home (to my hometown) to start over.
  • That doesn’t mean the end of The Night Songs Collection.  In November, SILENT NIGHT, a book with new characters in the Night Songs world, will be released.  My elevator pitch for this book is Pretty Woman meets Dracula at Christmas Eve Mass.

So like I said, I had some news. It’s going to be a busy few months and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

 

Switching Gears Between Projects

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, my beloved

by Kristen

Couple of fun announcements first: Please check out my new author website and follow me on Tumblr! I WILL Tumbl for you. Please get the 80s music reference. Please.

It’s well documented that I’m a blonde. It’s more than just a hair color, sometimes, it’s a state of mind. When Kathie Lee and Hoda retire, I would hope someone will have the good sense to hire Julie and I to replace them. Who better to take over day drinking and inappropriate behavior on network TV than The Undead Duo? I dare you to find a better pair. And then please let us all go out drinking together. I’ve already got my role on this new TV show all set up: the bimbo sidekick. Sometimes I can be the funny one, sometimes the serious one, sometimes the smart one, but god damn, I make a great bimbo.

Bimbos get distracted easily. Never have I found this to be more true than when I try to juggle multiple projects. I’m starting to feel like one of those tired old mammas who yells at you for whatever sin you’ve committed but then calls you by the dog’s name.

Of course, you know NIGHT MOVES is out, so I’m doing promo for that. People are asking questions about Melanie, Ryder, and the rest of the characters and I have to think of them in ways I might have not considered before. It’s awesome to see my creations through other people’s eyes.

I just finished up a book that is vampire free. It’s in the hands of beta readers now, and I anxiously await their opinions. Notice I’m not telling you anything about this book? I feel like there’s just too much right now, and I’m even getting confused. I’m a big believer in keeping it simple. You’ll know everything about it all in due time.

Now that the book that shall not be named is done for now, I’m diving into final edits on WE OWN THE NIGHT. I’m psyched about this, because I miss Callie and Tristan. This book has been done since December, and this is the longest I’ve been away from these characters since I created them. Getting back into Callie’s head space is refreshing, a little shocking (if you’ve met Callie, you know how she rolls) and a little like welcoming home a long lost friend. She’s just met Melanie and Ryder at the point I’m working on now, it’s a Night Songs reunion.

Editing is stressful! When I draft, there’s no pressure to make things perfect because there’s always going to be another draft, revision, a chance to improve. But this is the round of work with the spit and the shine. This is the one you’re all going to see. It’s got to be 100%. I also have to consider the best interests of the book when making changes. Julie is my editor, which is a blessing because 1. she knows these characters inside and out 2. if this book sucks, she will pay for it dearly in buying me alcohol to mask the pain and 3. we get to discuss the edits as she applies them. That’s a luxury not many people get. Sometimes, Julie will be like WTF about a scene, and I can talk her through it. It doesn’t mean we leave it like that. If Julie didn’t understand it, neither will you, but we can make the absolute right edit that is true to what I’m thinking and what she understands. It makes me much more confident about making changes to the manuscript.

I had a hard time walking away from WE OWN THE NIGHT when I finished it, because it closed the door on this story. With SEASONS IN THE SUN, it’s technically the fourth book with these characters and this story line. Callie and Tristan didn’t want to say goodbye, either. I wonder how it will be to pass it in and really come to THE END. I didn’t close the door completely on these characters, so they might make another appearance sometime in some form. I haven’t decided yet.

I do want to continue The Night Songs Collection. My original idea was to have it as a universe instead of straight line story, with characters that might connect in different points in their lives. Kind of what Sherrilyn Kenyon does, but my way, because I don’t like to follow rules ever.

So there will be more books. Book 4, which will have new characters but is in The Night Songs world, will be coming to you this fall. This will be my first totally self published project, and holy shit, am I nervous. Julie is editing in now. I’ve got an amazing cover artist working on the art for it. I’ve got the formatter lined up. Everything is pretty much ready to go. Once I’m done with WE OWN THE NIGHT, I move straight into edits on this one.

See why I’m not throwing around titles? It gets confusing, fast. I took the “keep writing” thing to heart. Now I’m finishing up these projects, letting a few of them come down the pipeline so I can breathe and not work on four books at once.

Then….who knows?

NIGHT MOVES Meet the Characters: Erin

Today’s Brew: Water, it’s Sunday evening and I have to be up at 4 AM for the first time in a long time.

by Kristen

One of my favorite parts of releasing new books is introducing you to the characters. They’re people who lived inside my head for a better part of a year, talking to me, helping me tell their story. Now they’re ready for the world to meet.

NIGHT SONGS comes out March 26, so I’m going to introduce you to all major players in the book in the next few posts. If you can’t wait to own the book, which I totally can’t blame you for, it’s available for pre-order on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble!

First up: Erin Monticelli

Pink hair and tattoos Erin

Who the hell is she? Erin is Melanie’s long lost best friend from childhood, and she’s also Drake Bonham’s other woman.

What does she do? Erin is a travelling fetish model, a job she created so she could support herself while she traveled with Drake.

Travelling fetish model, you say. Yes. A photographer friend of mine that I’ve worked with forever does fetish work. He tends to work with a lot of the same models, and over the years they’ve become my friends. A lot of the girls book work all over the country, doing videos, photo shoots, conventions, and club appearances. Some of them are pretty famous in the genre. I love their confidence, not only in their bodies, but to pick up and go to where the work is. These are business women. Go ahead, tell me they can’t possibly be making any money. Sex sells, remember? And that trip I took last summer to the UK, you know the two week one? Paid for with the profit from these fetish videos.  I find the whole thing so intriguing, that I created Erin in tribute.  All of the fetishes Erin mentions in NIGHT MOVES are indeed real.

Why I love her: Erin is unapologetically the person she wants to be. Tattooed, pierced, pink haired, and hot, Erin uses this to her advantage to get what she wants. Being a sex bomb takes confidence, and Erin’s got it. It doesn’t always win her a lot of female friends, but the guys certainly don’t mind. Erin also knows that she’s working with a ticking clock. She knows she’s not going to be able to model forever, and she understands what she means to Drake, whether she likes it or not. Erin truly lives in the moment.

Erin from Night Moves. :)

Enough of me telling you about Erin, here she is in action:

“Um, yeah. Mel, you don’t know about the blood?”

“Sort of. I don’t know.” I sighed. “Tell me.”

“Have you drank from Ryder yet?”

I almost spit up my drink. “What?”

She pushed harder against my ear and spoke slowly. “Have you drank his blood?”

I pulled away from her, horrified. “Seriously?”

She dissolved into a fit of giggles. “Girl. Don’t knock it until you try it. It’s like traveling to another dimension.” She almost swooned. I still hadn’t recovered from the shock. “Words don’t describe unless you’ve experienced it. It’s like what ecstasy wishes it could be.”

“I thought people stopped doing E years ago.”

Erin rolled her eyes. “Not the drug, silly. The real thing.” Welcome To The Jungle began to blast from the PA, and the lights fell over the room, delighting the crowd. Erin grabbed my arm a little too hard. “Showtime!”

Erin got up to dance in front of the table, but I wasn’t in the mood. Ryder was in perfect character, joking and teasing the fans in front of the stage, playing the happy band mate, but it seemed obscene knowing how miserable he really was.

And the blood! How could I think about anything else? I could hear my own thrumming through my veins, my muscles clenching at the thought of drinking from Ryder.

“Let’s put on our own show.” Erin snapped me back to reality by grabbing both my arms to guide me out of the booth. I wrestled one hand free so I could bring my fresh drink along. It had been a long time since I’d put on a public performance. Who was I kidding? Before Ryder, I wasn’t even wearing cute underwear anymore.

God. Poor Jamie, he probably wished for death just so he could be rid of me. I had practically been a corpse myself.

Erin raised my hand in hers, spinning me around underneath it. She’d managed to clear out a space near the stage for our dance floor. The guys that surrounded us leered as their girlfriends looked disgusted. I wanted to run back to the table, but I knew Erin wouldn’t let me. She’d drag me right back. She shimmied down the side of my body, placing her hands on my waist to slide back up. I swayed back and forth with the rhythm in an effort to not look like a total ass.

I looked up at the stage. Drake couldn’t take his eyes off of Erin. Of course, four feet above us he had the best seat in the house. Erin’s cleavage swelled out of her black lacy corset top. A big pink bow held her in place like she was a present. I snuck a look back at her, but her eyes were locked on Drake as she nestled her butt into my hips and we rocked back and forth in unison. I looked over at Ryder and rolled my eyes. He just laughed.

I followed Erin’s routine for the rest of the concert. Our dance floor had closed in a bit, as people tired of watching our show and went back to viewing the one they paid to see. After the band took their final bow, a group of girls lingered near the stage, presumably pleading with the roadies to help them meet the band.

“They’re so stupid.” Erin threw her legs over mine. We were back in the booth, finishing off our drinks. The band usually did some sort of meet and greet after the show, so there was no need to hurry back to the bus.

Only three days into this and the bus already felt like a coffin. Windowless, airless, cramped. Of course, I was traveling with the living dead, so it made sense. Maybe Erin didn’t have it so bad in her own car. At least she could open a window.

“Hey, Erin!” A skinny, pretty girl in an off the shoulder T-shirt and torn jeans approached the table, flanked by three of her nervous looking friends.

“What’s up, Catelyn?” Erin’s body language screamed for this girl to go away louder than the fake smile she plastered on her face. “Great show, huh?”

“As always.” Catelyn looked at me, trying to figure out how I played into things. “We were just wondering if you knew about any after parties or anything.”

“Now why would I know something like that?” Erin sat up straighter. I couldn’t tell if she was offended or surprised.

“Well, you know, since you and Drake—”

Erin leaned forward, placing her hand over Catelyn’s. “Drake and I are just friends. Nothing else. I don’t know what he does. I’m just spending time with my girlfriend, like you ladies are. You know, girls’ night out.” There was a bite to her words.

Catelyn’s friends looked at each other, sharing disappointment and maybe a little disbelief. Whatever it was, they weren’t getting what they wanted at this table.

“Right, girls’ night,” Catelyn repeated, her face falling a little. “Have fun, ladies.”

The group left us to our own devices.

“Who the hell were they?”

Erin fell back, drink still in hand, rolling her eyes. “Oh they’re Soul Divider super fans. I’d call them groupies, but even Tommy won’t touch them. The band hides when they see them. They’re so pathetic. They’ll sit outside anywhere they think the band is, for hours.”

“Like we used to do?”

“Fuck no. Mel, we were never pathetic. Those girls are in their thirties. I think some of them still live at home. This is all they’ve got. I mean, at least we have reaped rewards for our hard work. They must love being frustrated. Unless they’re doing one of the roadies, gross, they certainly aren’t getting anything here.”

“Maybe that’s not what they want.”

“What the hell else would a bunch of cougars follow a band around for? I mean, don’t they want their fantasy to come true? After five or so years following them around like pathetic little puppy dogs, they should have moved up from the meet and greet line or moved on.”

“Well–” I don’t know why I felt like I should defend these girls I didn’t even know, but for some reason, I kind of felt bad for them. They obviously wanted something. From somebody. “Maybe this is their fantasy. And there are five guys in the band, and how many women trying to get in their pants? Not everyone can be successful. If everyone could have them, no one would want them.”

“I guess you’re right.” Erin slid out of the booth and smoothed her denim mini skirt. “But it’s still pathetic. I’m going to call it a night. I have a shoot in the morning.”

“In Milwaukee?”

“Nope, just outside of Chicago. That’s where you’re headed in a few hours.” She kissed my cheek. “Have fun tonight. I’ll meet up with you at the hotel tomorrow.”

“Promise you’ll be careful? This all scares the hell out of me.”

“I will. I’ve worked with this producer before.”

“Producer? Are you sure it’s not porn?”

“Porn doesn’t really have a definition.” She giggled. “You just know it when you see it.”

I gasped. “Erin!”

“No, it’s just some silly little video. You’d be shocked what gets guys off.” She turned to walk away, but looked back and me and smiled. “God, I love the sickos.”

NIGHT MOVES COVER REVEAL (AND PRE-ORDER!)

Today’s Brew: I haven’t even had my coffee yet!

by Kristen

Today is one of those days where the hours and hours of sitting on the couch with the computer on my lap, listening to what the voices in my head have to say and capturing it all pays off. BECAUSE THE NIGHT ends…unresolved. So without further ado, I give you NIGHT MOVES:

NIGHT MOVES COVER

Night Moves–The Night Songs Collection #2–Coming March 26, 2014

We bonded in darkness, over darkness.

Melanie Vaughn’s job ruined everything. Her social life, nonexistent. Her relationship with her boyfriend, a hostile roommate situation. She resolves to fix everything one snowy afternoon, but instead comes home to discover her boyfriend is already exploring other options. Blonder, bustier options. Rage drives Melanie to do the unthinkable.

When Soul Divider was on the top of the world, so was Ryder Maddox. When the band faded into obscurity, Ryder’s luck plummeted with it. In a last ditch effort to rekindle the band’s heyday, Soul Divider teams up with powerful vampire clan leader, Talis de Rancourt. In return for her services, the band pays the ultimate price for never ending fame.

Now on the run, Melanie meets Ryder in a middle of nowhere hotel. She never expected her teenage rock star crush to be as lost and as in need of a companion as she is. Their connection is all consuming, even before they find they share another kinship: murder.

The newly turned vampires in Soul Divider still have a lot to learn. The police and public begin to connect the girls that go missing or die in sync with the band’s tour schedule. Back at home, clues are also adding up against Melanie as well. Between constant media coverage and unrelenting attention from the authorities, Melanie and Ryder find themselves in uncharted territory.

NIGHT MOVES will be available March 26, 2014. My, ahem, birthday. So if you were wondering what to get me, the gift that keeps on giving is right here, baby. Add it to Goodreads!!  

UPDATE: You can also pre-order NIGHT MOVES on Smashwords!

I know what you’re thinking right now. Who the hell are Melanie and Ryder?  What about Callie, Tristan, and Blade? NIGHT MOVES continues the story of The Night Songs Collection from a bit of a different angle. Callie, Tristan, and Blade all make appearances in NIGHT MOVES, and the characters are going to come together in the next book to tell the conclusion of the story. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy meeting these new characters and going on tour with Melanie and Soul Divider!

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