Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Tristan”

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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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.

Fame < Infamy

Today’s Brew: I’m drinking the French Toast Coffee I bought for Julie. Because I feel like it.

by Kristen

ONE WEEK UNTIL NIGHT MOVES!!!

I’ve always been fascinated by musicians. When I was really young, like kindegarten, first grade, my dad used to bring his favorite records into my room and play them for me on my Bee Gees record player. We listened to Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, The Kingston Trio, and Waylon Jennings because my favorite song was The Dukes of Hazard theme.

Do you see the groundwork that was being laid for my life? You take out the Australian Disco sticker on our delivery device and I was being set up for a lifelong love of outlaw musicians. Buddy Holly seems tame now, but in the 50’s, he was a trailblazer. Not only did he set the standard for what we know as the recipe for a rock band: 2 guitars, bass, and drums, but he helped blur the racial divide in popular music. The Kingston Trio helped lay the groundwork for the folk rock movement in the 60’s.  I loved these nights.

Fun Fact: I’ve seen Johnny Cash live!  In 1995, at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concert in Cleveland.  My friends and I were on a mini tour and actually there to see Bon Jovi. Every time I said I was excited to see Johnny Cash, people gave me funny looks. Take that, hipsters. I am thirty years ahead of you.

I’m addicted to the way I feel when I think of you.–Fall Out Boy, Fame < Infamy

As time went on, music became a part of the fabric of my life. I’ve gone to hundreds of concerts, maybe even into quadruple digits, I don’t know anymore. These people have become my friends, and more than that. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because the music is magic, I’ve always been fascinated by the world that revolves around a single note plucked from a guitar string. The amplifier calls us to gather, and we watch and listen, beginning for something original and outrageous. We ask these people to take us away from our lives for a song or an evening. The musicians are the conductors of our fantasies, not just physical, but emotional. Tell me your mind has never wandered to imagining a better life while you’ve listened to your favorite band. I’ll call you a liar.

And that’s why I write about musicians.

I am God’s gift but why would he bless me with
Such wit without a conscience equipped–Fall Out Boy, Fame < Infamy

But it’s not just the fantasy I’m interested in. I love juxtaposing it with the reality. In Because the Night, Callie knew Tristan before he was famous, and she has a hard time dealing with the changes it’s caused in him.  This wasn’t exactly fiction. A friend of mine struggled in years, playing in cover bands and tribute bands (because that’s all that really makes money if you’re playing the local circuit), and finally got a chance in a band that became successful. I’m not naming names here, but if you went to any high school anywhere in America, you’d see this guys face on at least one T-shirt. I make very subtle references to the band in Because the Night. I went to see him in this new band, and was shell shocked.  He wasn’t even the same person. Shallow, self absorbed, and just generally a jackass. It was hard to deal with, especially knowing what a funny, sweet person he used to be.

In Night Moves, you’ll meet Soul Divider. Soul Divider’s heyday has passed, but don’t tell their singer, Drake Bonham. I can’t tell you who I based him on, because like Drake, this person’s lawyers are much better than mine. He still thinks he deserves his place on the A-list, and will do anything to stay there. The rest of the band, his employees, have been forced to come along for the ride. Riding a wave to the top is fun and exciting. Trying to climb back up after falling off is soul sucking and degrading. If you’re a writer trying to get your work out there, you know how it feels to think no one gives a shit. It’s awful. You do all this work, and everyone’s all like “hey, Dino erotica!” Soul Divider understands your pain.

As these guys get older, some of them are tired of sewing their wild oats. They just want to settle down, buy a house, have some kids, and play gigs. But they’re trapped in other people’s fantasies. It’s hard to make those things agree. I have friends in this situation, too. One rock star girlfriend can’t even have a Facebook account under her own name. Fans have broken through every security feature she put on it, and posted her private info on public forums.  I blended a few musicians together to create Ryder Maddox. The guy who loves the music, but is tired of the fame. What else can he do? He’s been playing in bands his whole life. I’ve read many interviews with musicians who have had to move on. No one wants to hire them. They have no marketable skills in our world. Because they’re artists, they’ve figured out a way to persevere. But some of them have a love hate relationship with the fantasy.

These guys have everything that we mere mortals want, but does it make them happy? Not always. That’s what makes the story.

Get ready for Night Moves!! Because the Night is 99 cents until March 25!

March Madness! Seasons in the Sun on Sale!

Today’s Brew: Hot Marshmallow Madness, or something like that? Basically peppermint hot cocoa with fluff. And probably diabetes.

by Kristen

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14 Click on the photo and make it yours!

Seasons in the Sun is on sale for less than one dollar for the month of March.

Ten Reasons for you to spend your hard earned dollar on my book:

  • It’s set in the summer. It’s been 20 degrees forever. Reading this book will make it warmer outside. I promise.
  • No one can actually afford to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, so you can pretend you’re vacationing with celebrities.
  • You get to see Callie in her awkward, home-schooled glory.
  • Human Tristan. Surfing.
  • Callie and Tristan work in a coffee shop. Tristan with a job. Somehow this will justify your coffee consumption.
  • Callie’s mother will make you feel like Mother Of The Year.
  • If you read Because the Night and didn’t quite understand what Callie saw in Tristan, you will get it now.
  • Night Moves comes out in three weeks, and Callie, Tristan, and Taryn all make appearances.  Oh, you don’t know who Taryn is? Read Seasons in the Sun and find out.
  • Callie follows her heart, meaning she does more dumb shit.
  • This is as close to a sweet romance as I’m ever going to write.

And the official blurbage:

Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie’s sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn’t show anyone else. She’s determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she’s the one who’s wrong about him. He’s beyond her help. But it’s too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

A dollar! It’s floating around in your purse. You’d give it to one those homeless guys with the cardboard. A whole evening’s worth of entertainment for a dollar. You can’t beat that.

 

Let’s Pretend It’s Summer

Today’s Brew: Gingerbread? Pumpkin Spice? Honestly I’m not sure.

by Kristen

Even though it’s so freakishly warm in Massachusetts today I walked around outside in just a light sweatshirt and capri pants, the rest of you are freezing your unmentionables off. So let’s tell the Polar Vortex what it can do with it’s frostbite and use the power of visualization to transport ourselves to a summer vacation on a warm island.

Can you tell I’ve been doing yoga?

Seasons in the Sun, a summer romance, released on December 4. Let me tell you, December is a weird time to promote a book. Everyone’s all wrapped up in Nano in November, then Christmas. No one wants to think about summer yet. Winter is still fun until you have to dig out from eighteen inches of snow like we did this weekend. One snowstorm is all it takes. Now when I say SUMMER, heads turn.

Six months til Bkini Weather!

Six months til Bikini Weather!

Summer, to me, has always been one of those magical times where anything can happen. I love the warm weather, and I love being outside in it. There’s nothing I like better than sitting by the water, devouring a good book. When we were kids, summers were awesome.  Julie and I, if you didn’t already know this, grew up in the apartment complex that I live in now. It wasn’t always Whiskey Tango Boulevard, it used to be quite nice. We had an awesome pool, and there were tons of kids our age around to hang out with, play Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows. We tortured the life guards by either hating them or loving them. At night, we’d play four square or have games of hide and seek so big the entire street was in play.

As we got older, we’d all sit outside and talk. I love being outside on summer nights as much as during the day. Of course, we started to venture off Whiskey Tango. Sometimes we told the truth about where we were going, sometimes not so much. Summer meant relaxed responsibilities. I had a job since I was fifteen, but I usually worked at night, so I didn’t have to be up early. Staying out all night was a right of passage.

If you’ve read Because the Night, you know that Callie came to find Tristan after meeting him a few years back. Seasons in the Sun chronicles the summer they met. I used a lot of my experiences as influence for the story. The beach side setting, the sneaking out, even the concert, because what’s better than a summer concert?

So if you need a way to escape the cold, or if you want to live vicariously through my crazy past life, Seasons in the Sun might be the fix you need.

Seasons is in the Sun is available on Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Barnes and Noble, but you can get the correct format through Smashwords.

Happy Book Birthday, SEASONS IN THE SUN!

Today’s brew: I will blow bubbles in my coffee and pretend it’s champagne.

by Kristen

Today SEASONS IN THE SUN comes out into the world. It seemed like just a month ago I was releasing my first book, Because the Night

Seasons in the Sun available 12.4.13

Seasons in the Sun available 12.4.13

Seasons in the Sun is the prequel to Because the Night.  It wasn’t part of the original plan. Hell, who am I kidding, there was no original plan. I just wanted to complete a book. I never thought it would snag me an agent, or become a thing. Seasons in the Sun came to life when I asked my friend Liz to read Because the Night. It was the first draft, and of course it was absolutely perfect and nothing like the version available to you today.  Liz was a tough critic.  She liked it, but she saw holes. It was the first real criticism I ever got and it was a reality check.

Her biggest beef? She just didn’t buy that Callie would be so hung up on Tristan that she’d go searching for him years later.

Oh yeah, Liz?  Instead of weaving some details into Because the Night, I wrote a prequel based on Callie and Tristan’s summer together.

Now she buys it.

So if you run into Liz Washer, makeup artist extraordinaire, somewhere in the wild, you can thank her for inspiring me to write Seasons in the Sun.

A little Night Songs Collection inside info for you.

All the titles are song titles. Seasons in the Sun  doesn’t have “night” in the name because there are no vampires.

BUY ON SMASHWORDS!  OR BUY Seasons in the Sun ON AMAZON! DON’T LET ME TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.

And here’s a little hot first chapter action:

My bike skidded into the alley beside the café.  I knew I was late.  I leaned it up against the building, pulled my damp braid away from my neck, and fanned out my shirt.

“Where have you been, Callie?  Your shift starts at nine.  No excuses.  I’m not going to treat you differently than anyone else on the staff.  It sets a bad example.” My mom was rolling out dough on the table. There was flour on her apron and in her hair. It had obviously been a busy morning. She barely looked up from her work as she acknowledged me.

I looked at the clock on the wall.  9:15. “Sorry.”  I mumbled as I grabbed my apron.  “Where do you want me today?”

Mom sighed, pausing for a minute to think strategy.  “Barista station.”

Not so bad. I figured she’d give me something I hated to punish me for being late. My mom ran a tight ship. The Magnolia Café was her dream in action and she wasn’t about to let anyone, including me, screw it up. But I loved making the coffee. It was what we were known for. I liked helping the island wake up.  The regular faces became more recognizable each day.

This was my first summer as an official employee.  I’d worked behind the scenes for years.  I was thrilled to be old enough to be a real part of the team. Even if it I was working for my mom, I wanted to make a good impression.

“Guess what?  I met the twins.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Caroline’s niece and nephew.  Taryn and Tristan.”  We rented the guest house on Caroline’s sprawling property.  I’d been hearing stories about Caroline’s family my whole life.  Her sister was a model, married to a movie star.  Did it get any more glamorous than that?

“Oh.”  Recall was written all over her face.  My mother found Caroline’s family less impressive than I did.  We didn’t even have a TV in the house, that’s how much she cared about Hollywood. “Were their parents there as well?”

“I don’t know.  I just saw the twins.”

“Did Caroline say anything about the party?”

“What party?”  I had no idea what my mother was talking about.

“Never mind.  She wouldn’t say anything to you, anyway.” I felt like a little kid for the second time this morning.

I headed out front to relieve Olga, the early morning barista.  Keisha, my cousin, was tidying up behind the counter and restocking the muffins and bagels. She came every summer from Jamaica to work with us at the Magnolia.

“What’s going on, girl?  You’re late.”  She hip checked me playfully as I walked passed her to the coffee station.

“So I hear.  Good morning to you, too.”

“Ha!  You were fired, you know.”

“Yeah I’m sure.”  Where else was my mother going to find such willing, well trained, underpaid labor?

“You missed the hot Australian dude.  That man can eat his croissant in my bed any day….”

I giggled and swatted at Keisha. “Oh!  That reminds me.  I met the twins.”

“What twins?”

Apparently I was the only person who was excited about this.  I was starting to feel a little foolish telling everyone so enthusiastically about my meeting.  “Caroline’s niece and nephew.  Tristan and Taryn.  From California.”

“Oooooh, the movie star kids.”  Now I had Keisha’s attention.

“Yes.”

“Tell me all about them.”

“I don’t know, it was quick.  We didn’t say much.  But Tristan is really good looking.”

“Oh yeah?  How old are they?”

“Gosh, I don’t know…Caroline said they weren’t much older than me, but they looked like they were about twenty five.”

“All those famous people have botox and nose jobs and boob jobs…did the girl have a boob job?”

“I didn’t know I was supposed to check out her chest for you.”

“God, I’d love a boob job.  Instead I got a big ass.  So how good looking are you talking?”

I blushed a little bit as I started making a nonfat caramel latte for Janis, one of the regulars.  “Really good looking.  Like I didn’t know it was possible to be that good looking.”

I could still feel where Tristan squeezed my hand while he looked me right in the eyes, making my knees knock.  I could still smell the spiciness of his cologne.

“He must be gay then.”  I was a little mortified by that.  I shot a quick look at Janis, who was smirking at our conversation.  I added her extra whipped cream before she even asked.

“What?”

“Anyone from California who’s that good looking has got to be gay, girl.  Get used to it.”

“How many people have you met from California?”

“None.  But I know.  I read Perez Hilton.”

Who? “Is he on NPR? Because that’s all I ever get to listen to and you know it.” My mom ran a tight ship at home too. We didn’t have cable and I got homeschooled. My pop culture knowledge was embarrassingly nonexistent.

“Oh yeah, I forgot I was back in the stone ages for a minute.” Keisha rolled her eyes. “I’m just saying, that’s how it is.”

It was just easier to agree with her. “Whatever. He didn’t seem gay.  Not like I’d know if he was anyway.  But I don’t think so.”

“I guess between the two of us, we’ll find out, right?”

Blood Stakes: The Clash Of The Vampires

Today’s Brew:  Witches Brew!  Happy Halloween!

by Kristen and Julie

To celebrate Halloween, we bring you a collaborative story between our favorite bad boys, Tristan and Lynch.

Her skin was so tan, it begged to be cracked and broken open like a tropical fruit, to let me taste the sweetness inside until it was gone.

Not here. I threw the dice again, willing myself not to look at the tan one, or even to feel the slowly lapping tongue of the chubby blonde in my ear on the other side as she crawled up and down my suit, wrinkling it. There would be a busty maid waiting to pick up my suit no matter what time I got back to the room, and when that busty maid quietly disappeared, another would replace her. Just like magic. This was Vegas, and magic happened all the time.

I needed to get the hell out of New Hampshire for a while, to somewhere with some refinery that appreciated a man with taste, and with taste for a special kind of sin. Looking around the high roller room, I thought I’d found it. Until my eyes landed on him.

Surrounded by a swarm of bimbos that made my dates look like choir girls, hair and leather sprawled out from the chair at the table.  He didn’t have a glass in front of him, but a bottle, that he lifted to his lips in between sucking on the necks of the girls closest to him.  He didn’t even look at them, how could he, his eyes open little more than slits.

“Young lady,” I said quietly to the waitress, a pristine thing in black and white, an old movie waiting to be colored red. She came to me quickly, smiling shyly.

“Yes, Mr. Lynch?” she said, a melodious voice that I wanted to hear scream.

“Can we please,” I glanced to the over-active corner, “tidy up a bit?”

Her eyes widened, her lips moving with a childlike uncertainty. “Oh, sir,” she said. “That is Tristan Trevosier.”

I ran a finger down her arm, feeling the goosebumps rise under my cool touch. “Why should that matter to me, darling girl?”

“He’s famous, you know?  He’s in Immortal Dilemma.”  Her eyes widened and she jerked her head back to the spectacle at the table in the corner.

“Still doesn’t matter.” My words were little more than breath against her skin.  She shivered as I spoke. “Why would that make him special?”

“I’ve heard he’s a…” She turned back again, looking nervous and lowering her voice.  “Vampire.”

“Do you know what vampires do?”

She was trembling, and it hurt to look at it. I would crush her butterfly wings to stop them from shaking. “Are you saying you think they’re real?”

“I don’t have to think it.” My shield was a fluttering thing around us, but still strong enough to keep the women I escorted from seeing as I leaned in, sniffing deeply her hot pink aroma.

“Mr. Lynch?” she squeaked, eyes darting to the shimmering air around us.

“Sssshhh.” And I plunged my fangs into the warm pulsing vein in her throat, my hand over her mouth so I could feel the scream. I’d been drinking, and my shield was a near failure. I would never be the strongest vampire. The thought of that made me drink deeper, squeeze her cheeks harder, want to consume and obliterate all at once.

“Hey! Hey, man. What the fuck are you doing?” The famous vampire approached me, snapping me out of my thrall.  There was delicious suction when I pulled my mouth from the waitress, her blood salty and thick.  She whimpered softly against my hand, now wet with her tears.  Gasps and murmurs swirled around us.  “We don’t do that shit in public.”

“You…you saw that?” It was my turn to be surprised.

The rockstar already slid his hands around the waist of my waitress, again making the swarm of on lookers and hangers-on cry out with objection or envy. He pressed her against his body, concealing her open wound.  “Yeah.  That’s not how you do it.  You do it like this. Are you ready, sweetheart?”

Drowsy, the waitress nodded as Tristan ran his tongue along her neck then laid her down over the lip of the craps table, so her legs were up above her head.  He ran his hands along her thighs, pushing up her already barely there uniform skirt and biting into the tender flesh of her inner thigh.

“What are you doing over here?” the chubby blonde bitched at the rock star. “Lynch, what is he doing?” she said, turning to me as I wiped a smear of blood off my chin. She noticed, and came quickly to look at it. “Are you okay?”

So she hadn’t seen me take the waitress’s blood. Only he had. He actually was a vampire.

I tapped him on the shoulder as he ravaged the waitress’s thigh. “I think you should go back to your hole in the earth, little boy, before I take your harem away from you.”

He raised his head just enough for me to see the blood glisten against his chin.  His eyes burned black and he bared his fangs to me.  “Try it.” He growled.

Faster than he could think, I took him by the mane of hair, wishing I didn’t have to touch it all the same, and slammed his face hard into the table next to the waitress. She screamed, a tinkling sound in this place, but only had the life left to curl in a ball on top of the game.

Tristan sprung from the table, but swayed when he stood. And I was the undisciplined one? He was a raging mess of a boy, with bloodshot eyes and a drug-thinned body. He ran at me, and I hit him, sending him back against the table. The girls were all screaming, mine and his alike. It made my teeth gnash and my heart pound.

My interests were no longer on him.

“Alright, man, I get it, you’re strong,” the rock star said.

If he said anything else, I didn’t care.  The plump blonde cried out, pushed away from the table by Tristan.  She somehow made her way into a chair, her arms wrapped loosely around her body in a hug. Nothing was going to bring her comfort tonight. I walked to her, going down on one knee and smiling into her tear brimmed eyes. I pulled her arms away from her stomach, pulling her body to mine, to taste the sweet nectar she held inside.

“Stop screaming,” I said through a smile. “It makes me crazy.”

But all the screaming around me, a cacophony of songbirds, had my teeth roaring to sink in to any one of them and all of them.

Her soft belly was in front of me and I pinned her to the chair, ripping my teeth into the flesh of it while she writhed like she loved it. The wound was wide, and she wouldn’t live long enough to enjoy me finishing her blood.

When I drained her, I moved to the next one, and the next one, wondering how long I had before the cameras caught on through the shield. I saw Tristan flash by as he did the same, laboring over the sucking of each girls’ thighs and chests, while I relished the distress of the others. It was a beautiful tragedy, perfection of destruction.

All too soon, the bystanders were reduced to bodies strewn on the carpet like emptied drink cups.  The rock star sat back down at his game table and ran his fingers through his hair.  He raised his bottle to me. “Cheers.”

Invigorated from our little competition, I couldn’t help but ask. “So what else is there to do around here on a Friday night?”

 

***You can find more Lynch in Running Home and more Tristan in Because The Night.***

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:

Tristan

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.

Blade

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.

I Am The Best She Claimed And More/A Battle Scarred Conquistador

Today’s Brew:  What is the legal blood coffee content level?

by Kristen

Those lyrics make me picture a tanned, dusty abdomen dewy with sweat. The kind that’s defined and sinewy by having to fight for everything you have. In my mind’s eye, I reach out to delicately trace along the slightly raised, pinkish lines, the newly healed skin telling its own unique story.

And that’s before I know it’s a Thirty Seconds To Mars song.

If you’re a heterosexual woman in your twenties or thirties and the words “Jared Leto” don’t get your spidey sense prickling, I suggest you have your pulse checked.  You might have left him behind, trapped in your 90’s memories as Jordan Catalano. Let me tell you, NO ONE leans against a locker like Jordan Catalano.

But that’s not important right now.

This post isn’t about Jordan Catalano, it’s about Jared Leto.  That voice.  I bring up My So Called Life only to reference the episode when Rayanne joins the Frozen Embryos, has stage fright, so Jordan Catalano takes over singing for her.  You know what that voice sounds like.  Velvety and seductive like a lover you don’t quite get to see in the dark, but you feel no shame from this encounter because something like that can’t possibly be wrong.

Chatting with Melissa Petreshock this morning on Twitter, she mentioned Jared considered himself a vampire. Claimed to drink blood to keep himself young. Rock Stars. Vampires. You know, the very thing I write books about?  Like I needed another reason to swoon over this man or his band.

Even though Jared has not directly influenced any of my characters, YET, he perfectly fits the prototype of a Tristan or a Ryder. He hates being known as just a pretty face. He wants to explore his artistry without the confines of what the industry or the powers that be expect of him. He’s extremely talented. And he draws you in without you even realizing he’s got you.

To me, that’s where the seduction of a musician and a vampire intertwine.  The lure. The offer of something no one else can provide you with. The escape from every day. The promise of a moment in time being frozen forever.

 

 

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