Category Archives: 2011 releases

Indie publishing year in review – becoming a top 50 KDP author, signing a Spanish book deal, and more

I don’t often talk about my self-publishing adventure or my life as an indie author of paranormal romance books and the odd science fiction romance, but I thought that I would take a moment to talk about it as we head towards the final days of 2011, because other indies seem to be genuinely interested in it.

I get emails asking about my self-publishing story and I think I’ve spoken enough about it in the past on various blogs that most people know how I got to where I am today, so in this post I’m going to focus on 2011 only, with the odd flashback to 2010 and my life prior to the ebook boom, roaming the wastelands of the book publishing world in search of the mirage that was ebooks hitting the big time.

What happened in 2011?

2011 was the year that I would really begin my journey as an indie author. I didn’t really know it back at the end of 2010, at least not before that crazy Christmas week, and even then I didn’t have a clue as to just how things were going to change for me.

Prior to this year, I had been waiting for ebooks to make it big and for the world to sit up and take notice of them. I have been self-publishing my books since 2006, when I formed Alinar Publishing with fellow author Alexandra Marell / Candy Nicks. Our vision was to create a friendly umbrella company for a select few authors that we knew so we could publish our books on places like Fictionwise. The idea was that we would work as a cooperative, helping each other promote our books to a wider audience. Every year we heard that ebooks were going to make it big and every year we waited for it to happen. I sold well back in those days. Probably more books that most authors who were e-published. It’s nothing compared to what I sell now, or what most indie authors can. Times were hard, and they were difficult times to work through. There wasn’t a chance that a self-published author, or even most e-published ones, could live on their royalties. Of course, it’s a whole different world now for indie authors. It’s really not that difficult any more to make some money on your ebooks because there is now a platform and a market for them, and indie books are more widely accepted by review sites and readers.

To get a feel for why 2011 was going to be a monumental year for me, I need to go back to 2010 and a decision I made.

In July 2010, I sold a whopping 2000 books on Amazon. Considering that I had released nothing new for around a year because I had been pursuing finding an agent with a book I had been working on the previous year, this was impressive to me. That translated to around $2000 earned. I figured that I could just about scrape by on that and the royalties I received from Smashwords per quarter, and with new books coming out in August, October and November 2010 and then a steady flow after that, I would be able to survive with perhaps only a small amount of contracting as a web developer to top up my earnings. It would have been a definite drop from my £40,000 a year salary as a developer without the contracting but all of a sudden being a full-time writer was a possibility. I had always joked with my husband about staying at home and writing all day, and it was meant to be nothing more than something we would laugh over. It wasn’t supposed to become a reality. Sales went up and down, but by November I had crunched the figures a thousand times and decided that they were steady enough to provide a small income and that I could take a shot at it. If it all went wrong, I would go back to contracting and then eventually back into a full-time developer position.

So, in December I handed in my notice at the company I was working for in London. I was on a three month notice, so would have to wait it out until the end of February 2011 before I became a full-time indie author. I set aside what I could each month as a contingency fund to see me through the bleaker months. I am a realist after all. I don’t expect the ebook boom to last without a little backlash at some point. I’m still waiting for it to happen. I sit here every morning grabbing my daily sales figures, watching them like a hawk, and have done that since early 2010 when I first put my books on Amazon.

I don’t think anyone could have predicted what happened over the Christmas week in December 2010. Sales on Amazon tripled, and sales at other retailers I sell at via Smashwords also shot up. I think many indie authors on Amazon KDP were left gobsmacked by the sky-rocketing sales figures they were seeing and as we went into the New Year we were all left waiting for the bubble to burst. I know I was watching my figures wondering when they were going to return to normal.

Well, they didn’t. I went from selling around 2700 in November, to 4400 in December, and then 8300 in January 2011. It didn’t go down as I had expected. In February I came close to selling 10,000 books in one month on Amazon. Considering this was also the month where I was out of action for two weeks because of my ear operation, I was surprised to see the numbers still rising. I put it down to the fact that in January I released Love Immortal, a vampire romance novel, and in February Hunter’s Moon came out, which is the ninth book in my Vampires Realm series.

In March 2011, I became a full-time indie author. I had visions of just working a few hours a day on writing, as I had when working as a full-time web developer, but that just isn’t the way I work. I think I have worked around 8 to 11 hours a day since going full-time. That may seem crazy to some people, but it works for me and it allows me to do my writing and do everything else that I have set out to do in order to build my author platform. Believe me, even with that many hours put in each day, I am still behind on a multitude of things. March was also the month that I broke the 10k barrier of sales on Amazon.

I was receiving around $13,000 in royalties each month. I don’t tend to talk sales figures because I don’t like to feel I’m throwing it in people’s faces. I feel extremely fortunate that readers enjoy my books enough to keep buying them, and that all my hard work over the past five years as an indie author has begun to pay off. I try to tell myself that I have worked damned hard to achieve what I have and that I should probably be a little more proud of my achievements than I am. I know that some indie authors like to see how others more established than them are doing, so I hope this buoys them up and gives them a reason to keep pursuing their dream.

In March, I also made the decision to leave Alinar Publishing. It wasn’t an easy one to make because I had grown with the authors there but I felt it was time to focus on my own career so I could really make a go of it and wanted to move on. I don’t regret it. Life is too short for regrets. It was great while it lasted but it was also a lot of work and time for me that I felt was better spent on my own books and career. I no longer had the time to run another website. Not if I wanted to improve my own and do all the other things I had written down on my plan for the year, such as touring blogs with my books.

Settling in to life as a full-time indie author was hard at first. I remodelled my office, strove to find some harmony in working from home and headed to cafes whenever that wasn’t working, and often lost focus due to the internet. The internet is the bane of a writer. It sucks up your time and your productivity bombs.

In April I released my next book, Ascension, and kicked off my first official blog tour. I had done a few posts at blogs prior to this for my previous books, Love Immortal and Hunter’s Moon, but this was the first time I would be writing posts about my books, character interviews, and a ménage of other things all in a concentrated period. My blog tour basically lasted a year. I arranged dates throughout the entire year as I knew I would be releasing at least another three novels, one of which was the next book in a popular series of mine, Her Guardian Angel. I met some wonderful people at the book blogs and it was great working with them and getting to know them as I toured with each of my books, and touring their blogs again in 2012 is part of what I’m looking forward to most about the coming year.

It took me quite a while to find my balance as a full-time writer. I’m still not sure that I’ve found it but things began to improve in May, even though my sales figures had dipped again because I removed some books from sale in April.

In June, something incredible happened and I still smile whenever I think about it now. I received an email from a large Spanish publisher who were interested in translating some of my books. We discussed them all and they were quite settled on publishing my Her Angel series in Spanish. They had a few paranormal romance authors on their books already, such as Christine Feehan and Kresley Cole, and wanted my angel romances for the same imprint as the Christine Feehan books. I agreed and then we did the usual contract back and forth. I don’t have an agent at the moment, but I was lucky enough to have my friend Maria’s husband offer to take a look at the contract and his advice was invaluable.

We agreed on everything in the end and the first book, the anthology of my Her Angel novellas Her Dark Angel, Her Fallen Angel and Her Warrior Angel will be published in February 2012 with Booket. It’s very exciting not only because this is the first time I have received an advance from a publisher, but because I’ll get to see my heroes speaking Spanish and will see the books in large retail stores whenever I visit Barcelona and on top of that I designed the front cover image for the book too. I supplied a design idea for it when we were discussing the cover design they had come up with and they loved it.

So my life as an indie author was on the up. To celebrate the release of Her Guardian Angel at the very end of July, I put Her Dark Angel on offer at 99 cents on Amazon Kindle and some of the book blogs I had been working with were kind enough to promote the offer for me. Her Dark Angel sold 2000 copies in that first month, and went on to sell 3000 in the next two months. In total it sold close to 14,000 copies between January and November 2011 on Amazon Kindle, making it my best seller for the year and also pushing it into the best seller positions on Amazon. It was number 1 in paranormal romance on UK and US.

By the start of November and the release of Heart of Darkness, my sixth novel of the year, I had worked my way into the top 50 Amazon KDP authors and had sold over 100,000 books in 2011 under my two names of Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. I hadn’t really considered how well I was doing before this point. I wasn’t thinking about my book sales in terms of the year. It was a monthly thing for me and I wasn’t adding up the figures as I went, rolling one month into the next. I wasn’t even keeping track of how well particular books were doing. My focus was on total daily sales and trying to keep those on track.

I think the sales figures don’t just show my hard work and the benefit of new releases, but they reflect the increase in ebook sales in general too. In the whole of 2010, I sold 22,000 books at Amazon. Bearing in mind that I didn’t have my entire backlist of books added until summer 2010, I thought this figure was rather good. If December ends up like November, then I have experienced around a 550% increase in my book sales this year on Amazon alone. According to people like Bowker, ebook market share has increased by 10% this year. If a 10% increase in market share, plus the amount of hours I put into promotion, marketing and writing, and the steady number of releases I put out, equals a 550% increase in sales, then I think I shall probably do the same again next year! I only wish I could break into the Apple and BN market more. At the moment, around 79% of my book sales come from Amazon, and 21% come from other retailers. Around 10% of that is Apple, and probably around 5% is BN. I put the low BN numbers down to the fact that as a UK indie author, I can’t use their Pubit! scheme and that they promote Pubit! books more than they promote books from Smashwords etc.

But I digress.

In November, Forbidden Blood was nominated as Best PNR Vampire Romance 2011 at The Romance Reviews. I couldn’t compete with the authors I was up against, but was honoured to see my book there alongside Lara Adrian, J R Ward and Gena Showalter. It’s at this point I began to feel that I really was close to making it and living the dream I’d had about being an author. I adore those authors, and Christine Feehan. They are some of the top paranormal romance authors and it was thrilling to see my book there competing with theirs, and it will be thrilling to see my book in Spanish bookstores next to Christine Feehan next year.

As we head towards the New Year, I do feel as though I’m on the verge of making it. I have big plans for next year, for the next few years in fact, and will continue to pursue my dream and do all I can to make it happen. I’m realistic. I’ve never had fantastic luck like some people and a lot of making it big in publishing is luck. That isn’t going to stop me. With a lot of hard work and effort, good old fashioned elbow grease, I feel I can achieve anything that I put my mind to or set my heart on. I’m never one to back down from a challenge, so I’ll be striding into 2012 with my head held high and determined to beat the system and snatch a shot at my dreams.

What I’m taking away from 2011 isn’t about book sales or royalties though. It’s the sense that I can make it, that I have what it takes and I write books that people want to read and even fall in love with. That knowledge inspires me and gives me the strength to keep going, to keep pushing and keep trying. What I’m taking away from 2011 are all the kind words people have sent to me, whether it’s in emails, on Facebook or Twitter, or in reviews for my books. It’s all the laughs I’ve shared with the people I’ve met on Facebook. All the friendship offered to me by bloggers around the world who have taken a moment out of their busy schedules to host me on their blog or help me promote my books. I’m taking away the kindness I was shown by everyone I met, the appreciation and praise for my books, as that’s what gave me the most pleasure this year and that’s what will keep me writing in 2012 and for a long time to come. Being an author isn’t about book sales and royalties. I spent four years without much of those, but kept going because of the people I met and the love they showed my books. I write because I want to reach readers, not make a fast buck. I want to give something to people, a world full of possibilities and romance, and fantastic heroines and heroes they can fall in love with. I am thankful to everyone who has read my books, and doubly thankful to those who took a few minutes to let me know they had enjoyed them. I am grateful for all the friends I made in 2011, and I’m looking forward to stepping into 2012 with you all at my side.

If you’re an indie author with a question, or anyone with a question, feel free to leave it in the comments section and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible.

Posted in 2011 releases, indie publishing, writing | Comments Off on Indie publishing year in review – becoming a top 50 KDP author, signing a Spanish book deal, and more

270000 words written and 680000 words released as an indie author in 2011

I was thinking about how many words I had written since turning my hand to writing original fiction (around two million as of this moment) and how many of those I had released this year, and was curious about how many I had actually written this year. It turns out a lot less than I released, but that makes sense as I had a lot of books waiting in the wings for me to edit them and then publish them.

I know many will find the figures a little odd, but I don’t always rush to get books out the moment I have written them. Yes, I write fast, but I that doesn’t mean I’m in a hurry. I can easily write a 120,000 word novel in under a month, but that’s only because I have written a lot of books and my speed has picked up over the years and the stories. I often take around two to three times as long to go through the various editing stages of the book as I do to write it. A 120k novel normally takes me around 3-4 months from start to finish.

Technically, I wrote 270,000 words in 2011, and around 160,000 words of those are actually for books I’m releasing in 2012. Only one of my releases in 2011 was written this year, and that was Her Guardian Angel, the fourth book in my best selling angel romance series Her Angel.

The first drafts of Heart of Darkness and Hunter’s Moon were written in 2010, and the first drafts of Love Immortal, Ascension and Forbidden Blood were all written in 2009. I like to take my time when it comes to editing so I can do a quality job on it and really polish the book until it shines. There always tends to be a backlog of books in my editing pile, because my muse likes to throw new books at me and sometimes I give into his wicked whispers to write the book straight away, especially if it’s a novella.

So, while I may have only written 270k in 2011, I did publish closer to 680,000 words this year. The reason the figure is so high is because I published several paranormal romance novels whose word counts were in excess of 100k.

I think that 680,000 words is probably a record for me in terms of most words released in one year, and is probably a very high figure for any author to release in one year, even an indie author like me.

In 2012, I will probably be releasing two to three novels and four novellas, which will total around 350,000-400,000 words. I will also be writing other novels and novellas for 2013, so expect my writing figure to be a lot higher next year as I will be doing my best to get more books down in first draft for editing in 2013. I think my figures will probably be somewhat reversed next year, with the writing figure higher than the published figure.

Here’s a breakdown of my indie published releases this year, their genre, a little about them, and their word counts:

2011 Paranormal Romance Books

Felicity Heaton
Rescued from werewolves by the most breathtaking man she’s ever seen, Lauren is dragged into the fight of her life and a dark world she never knew existed. There, she discovers that she’s the latest reincarnation of a goddess and must drink the blood of her immortal protector, Julian, in order to reawaken and continue her three thousand year old mission to defeat Lycaon, the original werewolf.

With the help of Julian and an organisation of people with supernatural abilities, Lauren fights for her life, their future and the fate of mankind against Lycaon and his deadly army, but can she succeed when Lycaon has killed all of her predecessors?

Can she crack the armour around Julian’s heart and seize her happily forever after with him? And can Julian bring himself to trust Lauren with the fragments of his heart after everything he’s been through?

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 157000 words
released: January 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @ http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Love%20Immortal

F E Heaton
The horror of the night he failed to save his werewolf pack from the cruelty of their vampire masters has haunted Nicolae for one hundred years, driving him deep into the Canadian wilderness in search of peace. That peace is threatened when unfamiliar hunters and the scent of blood lead him to a beautiful woman and a hard decision—face his past and help her or risk losing everyone he cares about again.

Bearing a heart filled with grief and with vengeance on her mind, Tatyana is intent on killing the hunters she’s tracking and returning to her vampire bloodline, but her plan didn’t include being shot with poisoned arrows or rescued by a glowering alpha werewolf who stirs forbidden hunger in her.

When the hunters make their move, will Nicolae be able to stop them before it’s too late? Will he be able to overcome the darkness in his heart and embrace his desire for a vampire? And can Tatyana face her fears and risk her life for the sake of forbidden love?

genre: paranormal werewolf romance
length: 65000 words
released: February 2011
Book 9 in the Vampires Realm series

Read a sample or find out where to buy @ http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Hunter’s%20Moon

Felicity Heaton
A witch on the verge of achieving phenomenal power, Lealandra must turn to her half-breed demon ex-lover Taig for protection from the dark force that is after her and also from her own magic.

With her Counter-Balance dead and her coven against her, Taig’s blood and power is the only thing that can help her control her magic and survive the ascension and gain the strength to defeat her enemy.

Old feelings come flooding back as Taig allows her into his world and Lealandra finds herself fighting not only for survival but to win his broken heart again and heal the pain in their past. Can he forgive her for walking out on him all those years ago and will he ever believe her when she tells him that he’s not a monster but the man that she loves?

genre: paranormal / urban fantasy romance
length: 91000 words
released: April 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @ http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Ascension

Felicity Heaton
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.

Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?

As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.

Forbidden Blood is a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 126000 words
released: June 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @ http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Forbidden%20Blood

Felicity Heaton
A simple mission becomes a fight for survival in this fantastic instalment in the Her Angel series.

A guardian angel dedicated to his duty, Marcus will do whatever Heaven asks of him, but even his loyalty has its limits. When his superior orders him to gain Amelia’s trust through seduction, Marcus starts to question his mission and his feelings for the beautiful woman he has watched over since her birth.

Amelia has gone from one bad relationship to another, so when a gorgeous guy moves in next door looking like Mr Right, she hopes he doesn’t turn out to be another black knight in disguise. But there’s more to Marcus than meets the eye, and when he rescues her from three demonic men, Amelia is thrust into his nightmarish world—a world where God and the Devil exist, and only one angel can save her from death—Marcus, the angel she’s falling in love with.

On the run from demonic angels and the Devil himself, aided by Marcus’s angel friends and their amazing women, fighting for survival against the odds, Marcus and Amelia discover a love that will last forever.

A love so strong it will shake Heaven and Hell.

genre: paranormal angel romance
length: 110000 words
released: July 2011
Book 4 in the Her Angel series

Read a sample or find out where to buy @ http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Her%20Guardian%20Angel

Felicity Heaton
A vampire prince on a four hundred year old mission to avenge his murdered sister…

Aleksandr Nemov won’t stop until the last of the vampire hunter’s progeny is wiped from the Earth. Each kill has stolen a piece of his humanity, pushing him towards the black abyss all vampires hold within their hearts. Now he is teetering on the edge, close to devolving into a beast, and time is running out as he tracks the last hunter to Prague. There he finds a beautiful woman who could be his one chance for salvation, but is it already too late for him?

A vampire guard who will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves…

Elise is dedicated to her duty. It’s the only thing she has left. All that changes when she meets Aleksandr in Prague and her master grants him permission to stay at her bloodline’s mansion. She knows all about Aleksandr but none of it prepares her for how she feels when the legendary prince’s hunt becomes one for her heart. Elise battles him with all of her strength but can she stop herself from falling for the handsome hunter? When he reveals the depth of the corruption in his soul, will she have the strength to face the pain in her past and do whatever it takes to save him?

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 130000 words
released: October 2011

Read a sample or find out where to buy @ http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Heart%20of%20Darkness

Posted in 2011 releases, 2012 releases, indie publishing, writing | Comments Off on 270000 words written and 680000 words released as an indie author in 2011

September paranormal romance book news

September continued to be a fantastic month considering it followed the awesomeness that was August. I decided to extend the offer on Her Dark Angel (Her Angel romance series #1) as I wanted to get it up on Barnes and Noble, the Apple iBookstore and other sites for only $0.99. A few of the blogs that had helped me out with promoting the special offer price of under a dollar helped me out again, and the novella remained in the top 1000 for the entire month on the US Amazon Kindle Store and in the top 300 on the UK Amazon Kindle Store.

At its peak, Her Dark Angel (Her Angel romance series #1) was at #643 on the US Amazon Kindle Store out of over 835000 books and reached the #10 in Kindle Store > Romance > Fantasy and #10 in Books > Romance > Fantasy!

On the UK Amazon Kindle Store, the book reached #145 and was #2 in Books > Fantasy > Paranormal and #2 in Books > Romance > Paranormal! Also, a few times in the month, all four books in the Her Angel romance series were in the top #1000 at the same time! How cool is that?

I know some authors complain about authors labelling a book a best seller when they break into a category on Amazon, but I think that being in the top #10 for a category means that Her Dark Angel is now a best selling book, since it was beating many top traditionally published authors. I get it when people call something a best seller that is listed as #73 in some random category, but you can’t begrudge me the pretty label when I’ve broken the top 10 and was #2 for some categories!

In September I was busy writing. I wrote the first draft of Masquerade (Vampires Realm romance series #10) and also the first drafts of Covet (Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series #1) and Crave (Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series #2) as well as completing Heart of Darkness. Heart of Darkness is a stand alone vampire romance novel that will be out on October 22nd, so there isn’t long to wait now!

It was great getting back to writing again. I had really missed it because I’ve been so busy with editing and other author work. I was really thrilled to get Masquerade sorted out too because it’s been such a thorn in my side. There’s still work to do on it to get it to the standard I like to produce and also get it feeling right to me, but that’s what the second draft is for. I’m working on that right now.

I’m not sure when I’ll be releasing Masquerade. I had wanted to get it out before the end of the year, but it might be January now as I want to allow enough time to do a good job on the book and don’t want to rush it. December is creeping up on me really fast too.

I’ve had some new reviews to share too… mostly for the Her Angel series, but also for Forbidden Blood (Vampire Venators romance series #1)!

“Forbidden Blood is a gripping, dark and sexy ride! From the first sentence to the last I felt so intertwined with the characters and the story that I had to read it in one sitting – unable to break away. The entire story took me through every emotion there is and I loved it… Felicity Heaton has created a story paranormal romance that will spellbind your heart and imagination with the power of betrayal, revenge, love and possible forgiveness. In fact, I find this story worthy of re-reading! Forbidden Blood is that good!”

— Talina, Night Owl Reviews – 4.75 Star TOP PICK! — click here for the full review

“I highly recommend reading this book in a seat that you can buckle yourself into while having an entire day on your hands. Once you pick up Her Guardian Angel you can’t put it down. The anticipation of what will happen next will keep the pages turning as fast as you can read them. Heaton does an amazing job of telling a story that is filled with interwoven destinies, curses, deception and a history that some will fight all to see that it is never repeated again. This book is packed with awesomeness. Readers are giving an incredible love story, heaps of action and fighting and a suspenseful story that you are crazy if you don’t run out buy it and read it.”

— Vanessa, The Jeep Diva – 5 Stars! — click here for the full review

I think that rounds off the awesomeness that was September! I’ll try to make my monthly catch up post earlier next time!

Posted in 2011 releases, angel romance, Covet, Crave, forbidden blood, Heart of Darkness, Her Angel Series, Her Dark Angel, Her Guardian Angel, Masquerade, paranormal romance, Vampires Realm | Comments Off on September paranormal romance book news

August paranormal romance book news

Her Dark Angel - best selling angel romance book

My fantastic offer on my angel romance novella Her Dark Angel made August very special for me. It was the first time I had managed to break into the top 1000 on the US Kindle Store. At its peak, Her Dark Angel reached #735 out of over 750000 books and was #11 in Kindle Store > Romance > Fantasy and #12 in Books > Romance > Fantasy. It would have been wonderful to break into the top 10 in those categories but I’m sure I’ll manage it soon.

On the UK Kindle Store, Her Dark Angel reached #320 out of the hundreds of thousands of books listed there and ranked at #2 in Books > Fantasy > Paranormal, #7 in Books > Fantasy >Romance and #7 in Books > Romance > Paranormal.

Her Dark Angel is still only $0.99 and is a great introduction to my best selling angel romance series Her Angel. Since I’m offering this book at a $2.00 discount, you can get the entire series in e-book for less than $11 right now!

Her Guardian Angel - angel romance novel

Since the release of Her Guardian Angel, the fourth book in my Her Angel series, I’ve been scribbling down ideas for the next novel, Her Demonic Angel. It’s going to be as big, emotional and hard-hitting as Her Guardian Angel, so you had better all prepare yourself. This time, you’ll probably need to make sure you’ve read Her Guardian Angel so you know enough about the world to really enjoy the plot to the maximum degree.

Her Guardian Angel has started receiving reviews at various book blogs and it’s doing great so far. I think reviewers are really surprised by the depth of the plot and just how emotional the book is, and also the course the series is taking. I had promised that it was going to be one heck of a thrill ride and I think I delivered. It’s great to see it doing so well, getting four and five star reviews, and it makes me happy as I put so much effort into making it original and I had wanted to write something with emotional punch. Yes, I know most of my stories play on the readers emotions, but this one is really intense and the action and pace is super-fast. Here are snippets from some of the reviews:

“I feel like this book has changed the entire dynamic of the universe Felicity Heaton has created.  Something big is introduced and if the series continues I can see it having huge impact on the overall battle between heaven and hell. The battles are big, the love is even bigger and the betrayals our heroes face is game-changing. Just the way I like my romances.”

— Kelly, Reading the Paranormal — click here for the full review

“This book had me glued to the pages. It was an unputdownable read with an array of characters that you feel an instant connection with, a swoon worthy hero who risks it all for the woman he loves, and a strong heroine who will fight right along side him, this book truly has it all.”

— Paromantasy — 5 STARS — click here for the full review

“I LOVED this book!! It has to be the best in the series so far. I couldn’t put it down. I read the whole thing in one sitting, and used a box of Kleenex in the process. I swear I cried my way through it, and was a total emotional train wreck by the end of it all. But it made for an amazing read!… You have to grab a copy, it will awe you.”

— Madame D, Madame D’s Boudoir — 5 STARS — click here for the full review

Awesome, huh?

August also saw me complete the second draft of my upcoming vampire romance book, Heart of Darkness. Heart of Darkness is a stand alone vampire romance novel, and features one of my favourite heroes, Aleksandr. He’s a bit of a rake and a little behind the times on modern women because he’s spent the past four hundred years focusing on hunting the vampire hunters that plague his species, but Elise, the heroine, whips him into shape as he pursues her like a predator chasing prey. Heart of Darkness will be out on October 22nd, so make sure you pencil it into your diaries!

I also had a great chat with fellow author Candy Nicks / Alexandra Marell and hit upon a great idea for a trio of very hot vampire erotic romance novellas. I quickly typed out around 6000 words of outline for the three novellas and now that I have the stories set out on paper and in my head, I’ll be writing them soon.

Masquerade, the tenth book in my vampire romance series, Vampires Realm, has taken another bump because of the novellas ideas I have, so I’ll be pushing that down the queue. Since the trouble it gave me that forced me to stop writing it at 30000 words in and made me re-evaluate the plot of this vampire romance novel, I’ve spent time writing down new ideas for the improved plot and figuring out how to overcome the problems I thought it had in terms of characters. I’ve got everything together for it now and I just need to rewrite the outline to include all the new plot ideas and changes I want to make and then I’ll be ready to start writing it. Thankfully most of the 30000 words I had already written is still usable.

I think that was all my writing news for August. It was a really eventful and busy month for me, and now I have a new trio of vampire erotic romance novellas to write, September and the rest of the year will be just as busy!

Posted in 2011 releases, angel romance, Heart of Darkness, Her Angel Series, Her Dark Angel, Her Guardian Angel, Masquerade, paranormal romance, reviews, vampire romance, Vampires Realm, writing | Comments Off on August paranormal romance book news

Her Guardian Angel – Angel Romance Novel out now!

It’s the release day for HER GUARDIAN ANGEL today! Her Guardian Angel is the fourth book in my Her Angel romance series, and the first novel as the previous three stories were novellas. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first three stories (HER DARK ANGEL, HER FALLEN ANGEL and HER WARRIOR ANGEL) as you can read this one out of order with them.

You’ll even get to meet the heroes and heroines from the first three novellas as they feature heavily in Her Guardian Angel!

Her Guardian Angel is available now in e-book formats from my website and from Amazon Kindle Stores. It will shortly be available from Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo and Apple iBookstore too, as well as in paperback.

Here’s the blurb and an excerpt from Her Guardian Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #4)

Felicity Heaton
A simple mission becomes a fight for survival in this fantastic instalment in the Her Angel series.

A guardian angel dedicated to his duty, Marcus will do whatever Heaven asks of him, but even his loyalty has its limits. When his superior orders him to gain Amelia’s trust through seduction, Marcus starts to question his mission and his feelings for the beautiful woman he has watched over since her birth.

Amelia has gone from one bad relationship to another, so when a gorgeous guy moves in next door looking like Mr Right, she hopes he doesn’t turn out to be another black knight in disguise. But there’s more to Marcus than meets the eye, and when he rescues her from three demonic men, Amelia is thrust into his nightmarish world—a world where God and the Devil exist, and only one angel can save her from death—Marcus, the angel she’s falling in love with.

On the run from demonic angels and the Devil himself, aided by Marcus’s angel friends and their amazing women, fighting for survival against the odds, Marcus and Amelia discover a love that will last forever.

A love so strong it will shake Heaven and Hell.

ebook price: $3.99
genre: paranormal angel romance
length: 110000 words
rating: sultry
released: July 2011
Book 4 in the Her Angel series

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Her%20Guardian%20Angel
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005EUJIG8/
Amazon Kindle Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B005EUJIG8/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005EUJIG8/

Excerpt
Marcus stretched his left arm out above his head on the pillows of his double bed, buried the fingers of his right hand into his overlong black hair and stared into the inky dark of his bedroom. The open window to his left allowed pale light to filter in from the street far below but it barely cut through the gloom and it wasn’t the reason he had lifted the sash around midnight. The stifling summer’s day had given way to a humid night that showed no sign of cooling down before dawn broke and heralded the next unbearably hot day. A light breeze washed in through the open window, refreshing him as it caressed the left side of his bare body. The heat wasn’t the only thing robbing him of sleep.

The banging came again, more persistent this time, and Marcus clenched his teeth to contain his growing irritation, his focus wholly on the hall outside his apartment. The man had been attacking the door of his neighbour for almost twenty minutes now, rousing Marcus from sleep and throwing him straight into a bad mood that had gradually deteriorated into a desire to beat some sense into the mortal.

He drew in a long breath, held it a moment in a vain attempt to regain control of his temper, and then exhaled slowly. The man hurled another string of impotent threats at his neighbour’s door and Marcus’s anger spiked right back up. His silver-blue eyes slid towards the digital clock on his bedside table. The display mocked him with the ungodly hour this man had chosen to air his bitter disappointment to not only the female but the entire apartment block. Three in the morning.

Because of the humidity that showed no sign of abating and had made it impossible to get comfortable, Marcus had only been asleep for a scant few hours. He hated waking early, especially when he was stuck in the hell known as the mortal realm.

The man banged again, rattling the wall with a tremor that reached Marcus. He was no threat to the woman because she wasn’t foolish enough to answer her door, but it grated on Marcus’s nerves nonetheless.

His temper frayed when the man shouted foul accusations at her.

All of them false.

Marcus had known Amelia all of her life, although she had only known him this past month. He had watched over her and she was a pure soul with terrible luck when it came to men, and the man knocking down her door didn’t deserve her.

Unable to bear another second and sensing Amelia’s increasing fear through the wall that joined their apartments, Marcus rose from the bed and slung on a pair of dark grey jogging bottoms. He walked through his unlit apartment with ease, not bothering with the lights as he could easily map a safe path around the furniture without seeing it, and unlocked his front door. He yanked it open and stepped out into the dull cream hallway on the other side, his gaze immediately fixing on the mortal that was daring to break his sleep and threaten Amelia.

The dark haired man looked at him.

Marcus coolly stared back.

“What’s your problem, mate?” The man’s fingers curled into fists at his sides. Marcus noted everything about him in under a second.

He was drunk. He was itching for a fight. And he was a fool who thought this sort of abuse would win Amelia back. On the surface, the man wanted to upset her and hurt her, but Marcus could see beyond the façade to the pale hope in this man’s heart that Amelia would be his again.

That was something Marcus would never allow.

“You.” Marcus pinched the bridge of his nose, rubbed sleep from his eyes, and then leaned back against the doorjamb, folding his arms across his bare chest and crossing his legs at his ankles.

The man regarded him for a moment and then turned back to Amelia’s door.

“I think you should leave now.” Marcus stepped forwards, bringing the man’s attention back to him so he wouldn’t bang on the door again and cause Amelia’s fear to increase. “Before things get out of hand.”

The man smiled, amusement touching his dark brown eyes. “What you gonna do about it? She’s my girlfriend… not yours. Piss off back inside and get your nose out of my bloody business before I break it.”

Marcus sighed. He had warned the man. He had done everything by the book. His patience wearing thin, he looked the man over again, taking in his dark jeans and the loose t-shirt that covered a physique half his own and the way his fists shook as he shouted at Amelia’s door. Without resorting to violence, Marcus wasn’t sure how to convince the man to leave. He could compel him, but using his powers on such a base creature was beneath him and would do nothing to teach the man a lesson in manners towards women.

The man banged on the door again before Marcus could stop him, hard enough this time that the white painted wood creaked under the attack, and he heard Amelia gasp.

“That is it.” Marcus took another step forwards and the man swung at him. Marcus dodged his fist, clamped his left hand down on the man’s wrist, and twisted his arm behind his back. The man bent forwards to stop his shoulder from popping out of its socket, facing away from Marcus, and grunted in pain. Marcus glared at the back of his head. “I said to leave.”

The man struggled in his grip but stilled when Amelia’s apartment door eased open a few inches and she peered around it. Marcus stared at her, frowning at the tears that streaked her flushed cheeks and the fear in her grey eyes, and tightened his grip on the man’s arm until he let out another deeply satisfying grunt.

“What do you want?” she whispered, voice hoarse and trembling.

It wasn’t like Amelia to look afraid of anything. Marcus had seen her fight it out face-to-face with her exes without showing a trace of fear but this one had rattled her. Weariness shone in her grey eyes, lending them a cold edge he hadn’t seen before. Her gaze tracked up Marcus’s arm, lingering a moment on his bare torso, and then reached his face.

“I’m sorry if he woke you.” Her gentle tone dissolved some of his anger.

Marcus loosened his grip on the man’s wrist but held on to him. “It’s not a problem. I couldn’t stand by and do nothing.”

The man twisted enough to look back at Marcus over his shoulder and then turned his head towards Amelia.

“Oh, I see how it is. Dump me and then move on to the next bloke, right? You’ve probably been fucking him from the moment he moved in. Well, I’m sure Mr Muscle is a great catch…” The man wrenched free of Marcus’s grip and stumbled forwards a few steps before righting himself. “But I’m gonna have to fuck up that pretty face of his.”

Marcus reacted on instinct and launched his left fist at the man to counter his attack. The moment he did, he felt the strength drain from his arm and pushed harder. He had been holding back to avoid seriously injuring the mortal but now that Heaven had stripped him of his immortal strength he needed to do the opposite and give it everything he had.

He leaned back to avoid the man’s punch while still pushing forwards with his own and slammed his fist hard into the man’s jaw, cracking his head to one side and sending him crashing into the cream wall. The man bounced off it, hit the dark banister opposite and then collapsed into an ungainly heap on the wooden floor of the hallway.

“Shit.” Pain shot along every bone in Marcus’s hand and up his arm to his elbow. It had actually hurt.

The man groaned and dragged himself to his feet and Amelia hesitated in the doorway of her apartment, looking as though she couldn’t decide whether to assist him or keep back. Marcus shook his hand and waited for something to happen. Instead of the instant punishment he had expected, there was only silence as the man stared hard at both him and Amelia, and then stumbled down the stairs to the next floor.

Marcus still waited.

Part of him couldn’t believe that he had struck a mortal and the rest couldn’t believe that he wasn’t being punished.

Heaven had limited his power the moment he had subconsciously decided to hit the man, leaving him with only the strength of a mortal and therefore open to attack himself. The punch had hurt him. Perhaps that was punishment enough. Perhaps all of this was punishment for his misdeeds.

Marcus sagged against the wall and blew out a sigh, clutching his injured hand to his chest, convinced that Heaven would call him in to reprimand him soon enough. He had committed an act of violence against what could be considered an innocent human. Marcus couldn’t think of the man that way. He was vile and cruel, seeking to scare Amelia and hurt her. Marcus had only done his duty by protecting her.

He opened his eyes and looked across at her where she stood at the banister peering down into the stairwell, her hands clutching the wooden railing.

His gaze drifted down over her shoulder-length straight dark hair to the plum-coloured slip that only emphasised her sensual curves, to the lean lengths of her legs. She was so soft and pure. Delicate yet strong of heart. Her fear was gone now, leaving behind the confident woman he was used to seeing in her.

She looked across at him and his eyes dropped to her bare feet. He frowned at the tattoo on her left ankle. A cherub? The plump winged babe sat just above her ankle bone, staring back at him. He smiled. Is that what she thought his kind looked like? The image humans had of angels couldn’t have been more wrong. It amused him, stealing away his pain and pushing it to the back of his mind.

His strength returned and the pain dulled further, leaving only a gentle throbbing and bruised knuckles behind as a reminder of what he had done.

“I really am sorry about that.” Amelia’s soft voice stole into his thoughts and he glanced up at her. She crossed the hall to him and peered at his left hand. “You should put some ice on that.”

Marcus studied his red knuckles. Is that what humans did in this sort of situation? In his world, they had angels with the ability to heal others. Such an angel could easily fix this issue for him. Even if he couldn’t find one, the red marks would be gone in less than a day, his body’s superior healing ability quickly erasing them.

“Would you like to come in for some coffee or a drink? It’s the least I can do as payment for being my hero.”

Marcus stared at her. Coffee was payment for being a hero? He hadn’t indulged in such drugs in a long time and while he knew about the sexually stimulating effects that caffeine had on his kind, he had no interest in drinking coffee with Amelia. If he did that, he wasn’t sure what would happen between them, but it would certainly be embarrassing for him.

“No, thank you,” he said and when she looked as though she needed a reason for his refusal, he added, “It will keep me awake.”

She still didn’t seem satisfied. She shifted foot to foot, her gaze darting down to her hands in front of her, and then looked right into his eyes again.

“How about I ice those knuckles instead then?”

Marcus glanced into her low-lit apartment and then back at her, and caught the fear in her eyes as she looked down at the stairwell. She was afraid that the man would return and begin harassing her again. He would accept her offer but not because he needed her to assist him with his healing. He would go with her because he could see that the man had won and had shaken her up, and that she was asking him to stay with her a while because she was scared.

It was his duty to protect her. Tonight, that duty could extend to guarding her a little more closely than usual. Once she had settled and was comfortable with the idea of being alone again, he would take his leave.

He nodded when her attention returned to him.

Amelia led the way into the apartment, leaving him to muse what he had done tonight and his duty.

She deserved better.

A better life.

That was the reason he was here—to keep her safe and watch over her. To protect her from the creeps and from something else.

To give her that better life.

He was sure of it.

Marcus followed her towards the kitchen, noting that the layout of her apartment differed slightly to his as he passed through the pale square lounge. There were no windows in it, just like his one, because the bedroom and bathroom lined the exterior wall opposite him. Their positions in the apartment were reversed in his. He stared through the open door of the room to the right. Her bedroom was next to his and the head of her bed rested against his wall. She slept so close to him, yet he couldn’t feel her when he was in bed, couldn’t sense her on the other side. At such proximity, he should have been able to even when her signature was dulled by her sleeping. His gaze fell to rest on the long cream couch angled towards the television set to his right in the corner of the lounge. A pillow occupied one arm of the sofa and a scrunched up dark blue blanket sat at the other end.

Did she sleep on the couch?

He looked through into the bedroom again, frowning at the smooth covers on the double bed.

Was that why he couldn’t feel her when he was in his bedroom?

Back when he had been watching over her from Heaven, she had always slept in her bed. Had something happened recently to change that? If it had, it must have occurred in the past month when he had been in the mortal realm. When he was here, he couldn’t watch over her as he had in Heaven, able to view her through buildings using the power granted to the angels of his division. He had to physically see her.

Amelia came back out of the room to his left. He dragged his gaze away from the bedroom and the bathroom next to it, and finished crossing the room to the open double doors that led into the kitchen. Her small kitchen was brighter than his, the cupboards a pale type of wood, with stainless steel appliances.

Some former owner of his apartment had deemed it stylish to have a dark kitchen. Marcus deemed it impractical. It was a nightmare to keep clean so he had given up feeding himself shortly after moving in and had resorted to eating take away food, instant meals or eating out.

Marcus leaned against the kitchen counter, his hand throbbing. It had been a while since he had felt physical pain. He couldn’t remember the last time it had hurt to punch something.

He couldn’t remember the last time he had fought someone.

Amelia placed a red and white chequered tea-towel down on the side and emptied out several trays of ice cubes into it. She gathered the ends and twisted the bulk of the cloth around to keep the ice in, and then came over to him. He started when she took hold of his hand, gently slipping her fingers under it so they brushed his palm, and raised it. Heat travelled up his arm and it had nothing to do with pain this time.

She rested the ice pack on his knuckles and he didn’t feel the cold at all. He stared at their joined hands, urgently trying to decipher how she had warmed him with only a light touch and alarmed by the hard beat of his heart against his chest. She looked up into his eyes, her grey ones full of warmth again, softening her delicate features and holding his attention.

“Thank you.” She glanced away again, her gaze briefly dropping to their hands and the ice pack, and then met his eyes. His pain faded in an instant, driven away by the heat of her touch and her concerned expression, and he marvelled at the effect she had on him. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. She was his duty and that was all she could ever be. Once he had fulfilled his mission, he would finally request his transfer and would never see her again. Her thumb brushed his and fire shimmered over his skin. “I really am sorry that he woke you and that you had to hit him.”

“I said it was nothing.” Marcus hadn’t needed to hit the man. He could have compelled him to stop but he had reacted on instinct, and for some reason that instinct had been to punch him. He could think of a million situations with mortals when he had been in danger and had compelled them. Why not this time?

Had Amelia’s presence as a witness deterred him?

Or was she the reason he had struck the man?

He had been consumed by anger, enraged by what the man had said about himself and Amelia, driven to violence by a handful of words.

He was Amelia’s protector. Her guardian.

He was not her lover.

Her fingertips grazed his palm as she removed the ice pack and inspected his left hand. A shiver tripped up his arm and down his spine, and his shoulder blades itched. He took his hand away from her and rolled his shoulders, trying to relieve the tension building there.

His wings wanted out.

“How are they feeling?”

Marcus’s head snapped up, his eyes immediately locking on Amelia. His wings? She nodded towards his knuckles and relief swept through him.

“Fine,” he said absently and breathed slowly to steady his racing heart.

There was no way she could know about his wings but, for a moment, it had felt as though she had been reading his mind. It had been a while since his wings had wanted to come out. After five centuries of living with them sealed away, he had grown used to them not being there. It had been strange becoming accustomed to them again when the binding curse had started to lose effect over thirty years ago. Most of the time, he was content to physically put them away as he was now. It took concentration to maintain their disappearance but it used less energy than hiding them from human eyes with a glamour, and it was far easier to move around in the mortal realm without worrying about accidentally knocking things over with them.

“Are you alright?” Amelia ducked towards him, interrupting his view of his knuckles and replacing it with an altogether more pleasant one of her face and her cleavage.

Marcus stared at her plump full breasts, his pulse picking up again, and then averted his eyes. Women had no shame. It was little wonder his master had decided that they should not serve him. They were wily, manipulative, a distraction, and considered by most as the source of all sin.

“Fine,” Marcus repeated and took the ice pack from her, ramming it onto the back of his hand when all he wanted to do was stick it down his jogging bottoms to bring his libido under control.

His fellow warriors had warned him about women, especially ones as beautiful as Amelia, and he wholeheartedly believed every word that they said. Women were dangerous. He would not falter though. Amelia was his mission and his allegiance was to his master, his loyalty to his duty, and nothing would change that.

Once this irksome mission had ended, he would return to Heaven and request his transferral as originally planned, and would join the ranks of the soldiers who protected the realm of Heaven from intruders and wars. He would defend that which he believed in. Not this mortal world, but his world.

He had never physically guarded a human before but was certain that his assignment to act as her next door neighbour was a sign that his mission was progressing and soon he would be free of it.

He couldn’t wait to return home.

“How are you feeling?” Marcus took the ice pack away from his hand and set it down in the stainless steel sink beside him.

Amelia shrugged. “Better, I guess.”

She didn’t look better. The weary edge was back in her eyes, draining them of warmth, and he found himself desiring to comfort her.

“He won’t come back.” His words had the desired effect and she brightened for a brief moment and then it faded again.

“You don’t know that.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “I do pick them.”

Marcus turned and ran his hand under the cold water, letting it wash away the trace of blood on his knuckles. When he reached for the tap to shut it off again, he felt Amelia’s eyes on his bare back, boring into his shoulders, and lingered a moment. Would she mention the marks he had revealed by carelessly turning his back on her?

“It won’t be long before I drive you away too.”

Those words, softly spoken, caused him to look over his shoulder at her, a frown drawing his dark eyebrows tightly together. She dropped her gaze and then met his with resolution that didn’t surprise him. This was the Amelia he had come to know these past three decades. Strong, able to face anything head on, unflinching.

“What makes you say that?” Marcus turned back to face her, aware now that he was bare from the waist up and was probably only encouraging any attraction she might feel towards him. He should have put on a t-shirt before leaving his apartment but he’d had one thing on his mind—getting the irritating bastard in the hallway to shut up so he could sleep.

Or was it purely so he could sleep?

He stared at Amelia, taking in the way her cheeks coloured as he did so and how she couldn’t hold his gaze.

He had thought only of protecting her.

Defending her.

“The last bloke who lived alone next door to me left only a couple of months after moving in.”

Marcus knew for a fact that the man had been forcibly evicted due to a minor error in payments caused by Heaven’s intervention but had later won money on the lottery that had allowed him to place a down payment on the house of his dreams. The young man had been the easiest target to remove in order to place Marcus close to Amelia. The old lady who lived in the apartment on the other side of Amelia was frail and had lived in the building for over twenty years and relied on those around her to assist her. She also slept heavily, meaning that Amelia’s ex-boyfriends didn’t wake her when they came to knock down her door. Marcus would have had a contender in the guardian stakes if the young man had remained living next to her and they had moved the old lady.

“You do live alone, don’t you?” There was a tremble to that question.

Marcus nodded without thinking and then considered the implications of his answer when Amelia’s grey eyes warmed again. A loaded question. She had cleverly used it to discern his availability.

He briefly considered making up a girlfriend in order to obliterate any attraction she might feel towards him so he could continue his mission in peace but couldn’t get the words out when he looked into her eyes again.

The space between them shrank until it felt as though she was barely inches from him. Her soft breathing filled his ears, drawing his attention down to the sensual bow of her dusky pink lips. The tip of her tongue swept across them, leaving moisture in its wake, luring him in.

How long had it been since he had kissed a woman?

Not in this lifetime, that was for sure.

Marcus dragged his eyes away from her, shutting down his emotions at the same time. Amelia was a mission. He couldn’t allow things to become complicated. Not when he wasn’t even sure why he had to protect her.

He couldn’t get involved with her.

He had to maintain his distance.

No matter how impossible that seemed now.

No matter how much he wanted her.

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Her%20Guardian%20Angel
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005EUJIG8/
Amazon Kindle Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B005EUJIG8/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005EUJIG8/

Posted in 2011 releases, Amazon Kindle, Her Angel Series, Her Guardian Angel, new release, paranormal romance | Comments Off on Her Guardian Angel – Angel Romance Novel out now!

Love Immortal – character interview with Lauren

As part of my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour, I’ll be interviewing some characters and doing some posts on my own blog too, Indie Paranormal Romance Books. Today, I caught up with the ever-lovely Lauren from my epic vampire romance book, Love Immortal.

Lauren, for those not familiar with her, is the beautiful, warm and brave redheaded heroine who discovers in Love Immortal that she’s the latest reincarnation of a demi-goddess when she’s saved from werewolves by Julian. Julian is her sexy, mysterious and immortal Arcadian, who is responsible for giving his blood to her to awaken her latent powers. Together, they team up with Ghost, a demon-hunting organisation, and take on Lycaon, the vicious original werewolf who was cursed by Zeus for tricking him into eating human flesh. Along with Julian, Lauren is also the ancestor of what we think of as vampires.

FH: I have Lauren here with me today to talk about her book, Love Immortal. Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Lauren: Wow, where to start? I was your regular thirty-something before the night that I met Julian. All I expected out of life was growing up, getting married, doing something with my career and maybe having kids. I certainly never expected that I would wind up facing down a werewolf(!) on my way home one night and having someone like Julian rescue me. *looks dreamy* That man knows how to make an impact on a girl’s heart. I was so shell-shocked that I just went along with everything at first… then out of the blue someone is telling me that I’m a reincarnated goddess and I’m about to reawaken those powers through death. Talk about a slap in the face. I really wasn’t sure how to react to that one. Death at thirty-five definitely hadn’t been on my agenda. I was just lucky that I had Julian there to help me through it all, and that I had the guys at Ghost to support me. I couldn’t have coped without them.

FH: Can you tell us about what happened in your story?

Lauren: Sure. One minute I’m normal and the next I’m a goddess. *laughs but there’s nerves in it* I really still can’t get over that one. Julian was amazing. He was so supportive and kind to me. I know he’s my protector, but I really felt he was helping me out of more than just duty. He did everything he could to make me feel better about what was happening to me, and explained everything so well so I would understand. I had so many questions and so many fears, but he handled them all and he gave me his strength too. He did everything for me. He endured so much for me. I can’t thank him enough for what he went through so he could be there during my awakening. I can’t thank the members of Ghost enough either. They all lent me their strength and without them I wouldn’t have survived Lycaon’s attacks.

FH: In Love Immortal, you meet Julian, who is your immortal protector and reminiscent of a vampire. How did you meet and how did you feel about them initially?

Lauren: Julian saved my butt from werewolves and just thinking about the way he dropped into my life, sword in hand, devastatingly mysterious and sexy, sends a shiver through me. It was difficult to come to terms with the suspicions I had about him and, after those were confirmed, what he was. I mean, it’s not every day that you realise that vampires and werewolves exist, and that you’re about to become a vampire too. He’ll get a mood on if I mention the V word around him, but I still feel that we’re vampires more than anything else. I know we’re different to Morgan and his kin, but we drink blood and we’re immortal.

FH: Your relationship with Julian was complicated by the fact that he is your protector and also everything he’s been through in his past. Was it difficult to crack his armour and the barriers around his heart?

Lauren: It took a lot to get through to him, but I wasn’t going to give up on him. Julian is so gorgeous, and such a beautiful soul, and I fell so hard for him. When I realised what he had been through, my feelings for him grew until I couldn’t contain them. He frustrated me so much with the way he acted but I know it was all because of the way he had been treated, and that I could win his heart if I just persevered and proved I wasn’t going to hurt him too. Talking about this makes me want to go and find him, and give him a hug. I know I lashed out at him sometimes but I think that might have actually worked in my favour as it gave us both a reason to speak to each other about the things we felt, and in Julian’s case, the things he had been through. I think having to fight for him has only made me love him more.

FH: You’re so mushy over him. *smiles* You’re a reincarnated goddess. That must have come as a shock to you. Was it hard for you to accept your fate and your role?

Lauren: Was it ever. I don’t think it was helped by the fact that I only had a short time to come to terms with it before my awakening happened. It wasn’t Julian’s fault that he was late in finding me. I can’t hold that against him because he endured so much in order to be there for me during my awakening. I don’t think I could have suffered what he did. I would have taken the easy way out. Julian helped me accept what was happening to me, and I honestly went through with it so I could win his heart and his love. Sounds corny, but it’s true. I did it for him. I wasn’t going to give up on him, or on life. If the only way to continue living was doing so as an immortal goddess, then I was going to go through with it so I could get what I wanted—a life with Julian.

FH: How has life been since the events that happened and brought you together?

Lauren: We’ve been busy. Duke keeps us constantly on the go and I’ve been training hard to improve my skills. Julian is a fantastic instructor, although sometimes it’s hard to concentrate and I end up tackling him to the ground so I can kiss him. He gets miffed when I do that, but I make it worth his while to shut up and submit. *smiles* I think we’ll be going on a new mission as soon as I’m ready. Morgan won’t shut up about his werewolf infestation in Paris. I know that Julian doesn’t want to go back to that city, or see Morgan ever again, but I did promise to help him out. I’ll have to keep my guard up around Morgan and make sure that he doesn’t try anything, because I’m sure that it will be the end of the vampire if he does. Julian won’t stand for it. He’ll kill Morgan if he tries anything.

FH: Describe yourself in one word?

Lauren: Warm. Julian would say that about me and I think I know myself well enough to agree with him now. I tend to put others first and friendships mean a lot to me, and I’ll do all in my power to make people happy. I guess that makes me warm.

FH: Thank you for meeting with me today and chatting. Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

Lauren: Julian mentioned that people have been asking for more of our story. I think I’d like that, but I know you’re busy with all your other stories. A sequel might be nice though. *smiles* You know you want to spend time around Julian again. The man is a god!

Here’s a little information about Love Immortal and the places it’s available:

Felicity Heaton
Rescued from werewolves by the most breathtaking man she’s ever seen, Lauren is dragged into the fight of her life and a dark world she never knew existed. There, she discovers that she’s the latest reincarnation of a goddess and must drink the blood of her immortal protector, Julian, in order to reawaken and continue her three thousand year old mission to defeat Lycaon, the original werewolf.

With the help of Julian and an organisation of people with supernatural abilities, Lauren fights for her life, their future and the fate of mankind against Lycaon and his deadly army, but can she succeed when Lycaon has killed all of her predecessors?

Can she crack the armour around Julian’s heart and seize her happily forever after with him? And can Julian bring himself to trust Lauren with the fragments of his heart after everything he’s been through?

ebook price: $3.99
paperback price: $12.99
genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 157000 words
rating: sultry
released: January 2011

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Love%20Immortal
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HYHHME/
Amazon Kindle Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B004HYHHME/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004HYHHME/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Love-Immortal/Felicity-Heaton/e/2940011179648/
Kobo Books: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Love-Immortal/book-OyQ9CMW5Jkaf0K_UwfVfGw/page1.html
Sony Reader Store: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/felicity-heaton/love-immortal/_/R-400000000000000340123

Available in paperback from:
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1456487884/
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456487884/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Love-Immortal/Felicity-Heaton/e/9781456487881/

Posted in 2011 blog tour, 2011 releases, character interviews, Love Immortal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance, vampires | Comments Off on Love Immortal – character interview with Lauren

We interrupt this broadcast…

This week has not been a good week. First it took me a while to get back into the swing of things after my trip to Istanbul, Turkey. The muse went AWOL, which isn’t like him, and when I eventually dragged him back, he just wasn’t interested in writing Masquerade.

Or maybe that was me not interested in writing it.

It’s not so much that I’m not interested, just that I feel there are problems with the story and some things just weren’t clicking for me. I felt it wasn’t going to be a success as it was. I did get up to around 30,000 words of the story written this week, and with them came a few revelations that have led me to re-think the plot and the story, and the characters involved. Not a bad thing. Better I put it on the back burner now so I have time to think about it and get it perfect rather than having to rewrite huge tracts of it at a later date when a deadline is tight.

The trouble is, I had planned to get this story written and released on September 10th this year. See the problem there. Very short deadline in which to write something to fill the gap. Not sure yet what I’ll do but I do have another story in mind for release this year as my second Vampires Realm story. I’ll think of something to release in September, but it might be a short story or novella rather than a novel. I’m going to crunch the figures in my schedule and see what comes out. It might be that I shift the release of Heart of Darkness to September 10th from October 22nd, and then write something new in time for the October 22nd release date.

You’d think being an indie author it would matter what date I release stuff, but I have a whole year’s worth of guest blog dates in place and I refuse to disappoint the people who have kindly offered me a slot on their blog. I also have advertising in place too.

If I can’t get anything written in time, then I will probably use those dates to promote my first two releases this year, because I didn’t have the tour in place then and they could do with some promotion.

It wasn’t just Masquerade not quite feeling right that has put me behind. It’s my main computer too. It upped and died on me recently during a Windows Vista Service Pack 1 upgrade and I’ve had to reinstall everything. Thankfully, I had backed up all my files to my external hard drive before upgrading to the piece of poop that is the Service Pack 1. Why Windows allow this SP to still be used when they know it has faults is beyond my comprehension, but I think it just goes to show how crap Microsoft is.

Needless to say, I’m mightily miffed at Windows and it’s eaten up my whole day fixing the cursed computer in question. There goes my writing time. Got to reinstall lots of drivers, programs, devices, and put all my files back on my computer now. Bleh.

I had really hoped to get Masquerade written but perhaps it’s a good thing that my release order has changed. Heart of Darkness features a guard as the heroine, and hunters as the enemy. Masquerade has the hero and heroine as guards, and vampires / vampire hunters as the enemy too. Might be too similar, even though the stories are quite different.

I think that I will probably keep Heart of Darkness as my October 22nd release, and then have When Darkness Falls, which is a Vampires Realm novel, as my December release. Masquerade will have to wait until next year before it’s released.

My other option is to write Descent, the second story in my Shadow & Light Trilogy for release in December.

Choices, choices. It’s difficult really. I guess it will all come down to if I have enough time. I picture When Darkness Falls as a novel of around 65,000 words, while Descent will likely reach 90,000-100,000 words. Obviously it takes me longer to write, edit, polish and proof a novel that length.

Maybe this is all just fate telling me that I’m a crazy lady to want to release 8 full novels in the space of just a year. It’s saying “slow down, chillax, follow the flow” which I could happily listen to!

Back to work for me. For a change it isn’t writing that’s beckoning me rather it’s the techy stuff of reinstalling and rebuilding a computer. It’s been a while. I’ve had this one for two years or so without it giving me hell. My previous one required a fresh Windows install everything few months!

I’ll keep you guys posted on what I decide to write for when.

🙂

Posted in 2011 releases, Heart of Darkness, Masquerade, Shadow and Light Trilogy, When Darkness Falls, writing | Comments Off on We interrupt this broadcast…

Hunter’s Moon – character interview with Nicolae

As part of my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour, I’m interviewing some characters and doing some posts on my own blog too, Indie Paranormal Romance Books. Today, I caught up with Nicolae, the hero from my vampire / werewolf romance book, Hunter’s Moon.

If you haven’t met him already, here’s the lowdown on Nicolae. Nicolae is a dark, sexy, and rugged ex-alpha werewolf with a past that could make any woman want to kiss the guy. He’s strong, a loner since the events that led to him fleeing Europe, and can be charming when he needs to be. He’s a born leader and extremely protective, and very territorial. He won’t let anything happen to anyone or anything in his territory, even if that person is a vampire.

FH: I have Nicolae here with me today to talk about his book, Hunter’s Moon. Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Nicolae: Ah, what like? I mean, is it alright to talk about that stuff?

FH: *nods* You can tell us anything. It’s all cool.

Nicolae: Alright then. I’m Romanian, although I have lived in Canada for the past century, and I’m a werewolf. Hell, it still sounds crazy when I say that aloud, even though I’ve been a werewolf for two centuries now. I was turned in Romania and lived with my pack there. It was peaceful until the vampires came for us. We didn’t stand a chance. My sire, the alpha of the pack, and I, and the other warriors amongst us tried to fend them off. They rounded us up and took us all to the compound. It was hell. I don’t want to think about it even now. We had done nothing to deserve such brutal treatment and abuse. Our pack had lived in peace, keeping to ourselves, never treading into vampire territory. When I finally managed to put an escape plan into action, I only made things worse. I lost my entire pack that night… and fled here, to a place where I was free of the vampires.

FH: Here being the remotest place on Earth. It must have been hard for you to deal with everything that had happened, and I’m sure many women’s hearts have gone out to you already. Can you tell us about what happened in your story, Hunter’s Moon?

Nicolae: It was around a century after I had escaped Romania and the nightmare of losing my pack, and I was finally learning to deal with it all in my own way. A night time hunt with the local timber wolf pack turned that all on its head. The peace I had found was shattered by a group of hunters and a woman. Tatyana. A vampire. It was difficult for me to accept her presence in my territory after everything I had suffered at the hands of the vampires, but the threat of the human hunters drove me to take her back to my cabin and help her heal. I had needed to know what she did so I could protect the local werewolf pack and the timber wolves. I thought she had brought them with her… I couldn’t have been more wrong.

FH: In Hunter’s Moon, you meet Tatyana. How did you meet and how did you feel about her initially?

Nicolae: Looking back now, I can’t believe that I ever wanted to leave her in that clearing to die from her wounds or the sunlight. She’s everything to me. The reason for my existence. It was difficult to get past everything that had happened to me, all the pain in my past, and accept her in my life and my territory. I was never sure whether I was coming or going at first. She tied me in knots and challenged everything that I believed about the vampires, and I’m glad that she did. We’ve both had hatred bred into us, and it was time for us both to open our eyes and look at each other for ourselves, not have our judgement coloured by what we’ve been told to believe and what had happened to us in our past.

FH: You have a lot of history with the vampires of Europe and it’s generally frowned upon for a werewolf to enter into a relationship with a vampire. Was it difficult to get past the terrible thing that the vampires did to you and your pack, and fall in love with Tatyana?

Nicolae: Of course it was, but Tatyana’s bloodline weren’t responsible for what happened to me. The European vampires are often at war with each other, squabbling over territory and other petty things. Her bloodline, the Nocens, probably hate the Tenebrae bloodline as much as I do. I know that it was difficult for Tatyana too, and I think that helped me cope with my feelings and face them. Werewolves don’t have laws against relationships with another species, but vampires do. Tatyana is risking a lot by being with me. When we eventually return to Europe, we’ll have to be careful about it. If the Law Keepers discover that Tatyana is with a werewolf, they’ll hunt her down and kill her. Not that I would let them get close enough to try, but it’s always there at the back of my mind.

FH: How has life been since the events that happened and brought you together?

Nicolae: Peaceful. It might sound crazy, and sometimes I feel as though I’m dreaming, but everything has settled down again since the end of our story. Tatyana is slowly building a relationship with the local werewolves, and even the local timber wolf pack is beginning to accept her. She’s hunted a few times with us, and has learnt that catching the deer we’re chasing isn’t the way into a wolf’s heart. She lets the timber wolves have the glory now, and they’re getting along better for it. Hell, even I wanted to snarl at her when she beat us to the deer that time. *laughs* She’ll make a good pack member one day, when she stops trying to be the alpha female. She’ll tell you different of course. Sometimes, when we hunt together and it’s just us, I let her win. Don’t tell her I said that. She’ll wring my neck if she thinks I’m letting her beat me to the prize… but it’s all worth it. Seeing her smile, seeing her happy and proud… that’s something I’ll do anything for. Even losing a hunt. She’s beautiful when she’s standing over a fresh kill, empowered by her victory. And hell… she’s a saucy vixen afterwards too. My little alpha female.

FH: Your story, Hunter’s Moon, is a book in a series. Can you tell us a little about the series and can we expect see more of you in other stories in this series?

Nicolae: Shouldn’t you be the one telling me that? *laughs again* I’m sure we’ll cross paths again at some point. The series you write based on the werewolves of my home continent and the vampires of the pure European bloodlines truly reflects the darkness and the danger of our world, but also the intense passion and the deep love we feel for our mates, even if the ones we fall for happen to be the enemy.

FH: Describe yourself in one word?

Nicolae: I’m thinking. *looks pensive* Failure springs to mind, but Tatyana would argue about that. Let’s see. She would say… complicated. I would probably say… possessive. It’s the wolf in me. *cracks a charming smile*

FH: Thank you for meeting with me today and chatting. Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

Nicolae: Only that I want your solemn promise not to mention any of what I’ve said when you interview Tatyana. If she comes back knowing any of this, I’m hunting you down.

FH: Hmm, I’m not sure that’s much of a threat. I would probably pay to have you hunt me down. *looks at audience* Wouldn’t you?

Here’s a little information about Hunter’s Moon and the places it’s available:

Hunter’s Moon
F E Heaton
The horror of the night he failed to save his werewolf pack from the cruelty of their vampire masters has haunted Nicolae for one hundred years, driving him deep into the Canadian wilderness in search of peace. That peace is threatened when unfamiliar hunters and the scent of blood lead him to a beautiful woman and a hard decision—face his past and help her or risk losing everyone he cares about again.

Bearing a heart filled with grief and with vengeance on her mind, Tatyana is intent on killing the hunters she’s tracking and returning to her vampire bloodline, but her plan didn’t include being shot with poisoned arrows or rescued by a glowering alpha werewolf who stirs forbidden hunger in her.

When the hunters make their move, will Nicolae be able to stop them before it’s too late? Will he be able to overcome the darkness in his heart and embrace his desire for a vampire? And can Tatyana face her fears and risk her life for the sake of forbidden love?

ebook price: $2.99
paperback price: $6.99
genre: paranormal werewolf romance
length: 65000 words
rating: sultry
released: February 2011
Book 9 in the Vampires Realm series

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Hunter’s%20Moon
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004P5NQ0W/
Amazon Kindle Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B004P5NQ0W/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004P5NQ0W/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Hunters-Moon/F-E-Heaton/e/2940011207600/
Sony Reader Store: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/f-e-heaton/hunter-s-moon/_/R-400000000000000351166

Available in paperback from:
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1460978544/
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1460978544/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunters-moon-f-e-heaton/1030625714

Posted in 2011 blog tour, 2011 releases, character interviews, Hunter's Moon, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance, vampires, Vampires Realm, werewolf romance | Comments Off on Hunter’s Moon – character interview with Nicolae

Forbidden Blood – Vampire Venators Series #1 – Chapter Five

As part of my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour, I have been posting chapters of my next release, Forbidden Blood.

Forbidden Blood is a dark vampire romance novel, and the first book in the Vampire Venators series, and will be released on June 18th 2011. I’ve already posted chapter one, chapter two, chapter three and chapter four. That means that today is the final chapter I’ll be posting, and with it I’m adding a little about the series.

Enter a dark world where humans live alongside nine species of demon without knowing it and a mysterious circle of ancient beings called the Sovereignty battles to protect mankind. For each of the nine species, Venators are chosen, hunters who are given the power of the Sovereignty and fight in their stead to defeat those in their species who seek to harm humans and demons alike. It is a world of vampires, werewolves, therianthropes, angels and other demons, each with their own distinct society and world they desire to protect–a world they desire to keep separate and hidden from ours.

Forbidden Blood
Felicity Heaton
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.

Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?

As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.

Forbidden Blood is book one in the Vampire Venators series and a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 126000 words
rating: sultry
released: June 18th 2011
Book 1 in the Vampire Venators series

CHAPTER FIVE

Amber woke slowly to an unfamiliar view. She lay on her back, staring at the ceiling, and could see the edges of the brown walls either side of her and the window behind her that formed another wall. She felt very calm, as though she had slept deeply. It surprised her. After what she had been through last night, she had expected not to sleep at all. She had drifted off waiting for the nightmares but felt as though her dreams had been pleasant, or non-existent.

Perhaps her dreams and reality had swapped places. She was living a nightmare and dreaming her old life now. The fear that had settled in her heart last night hadn’t gone anywhere. It was quieter now, lessened by the steps Kearn had taken to protect her, to make her feel safe, but it wasn’t going away. Deep inside her heart, a voice whispered that she should fear Kearn too, but for some reason she couldn’t bring herself to feel that way, not even when a part of her knew that there was something different about him.

It didn’t matter what he was. He was protecting her and she could help him. They needed each other. In order to swap her dreams and reality back around, she had to be strong and get through his, and she would, with Kearn at her side.

The quiet noise of the flat panel television built into the oak wardrobes opposite the foot of the bed filled the silence along with her breathing. She stretched. Kearn’s bedroom was soothing. She wanted to sleep here forever.

The bed was soft and warm, the room peaceful and quiet, and she felt safe.

Amber rolled onto her side and took a deep breath. The brown pillows smelt like Kearn. She hadn’t noticed it before. It was a warm smell. She smiled. Probably a very expensive warm smell.

There was no doubt in her mind that Kearn’s job paid well. The car, the apartment, and the terribly modern décor that gave it an air of something out of a perfect homes magazine, all pointed towards money.

Another smile touched her lips when she remembered him insisting on her taking his bed. Very chivalrous.

And then there was his brother.

They looked alike in some ways and the very opposite in others. She imagined Kearn with blue eyes and black hair cut short around the sides but longer on top. They would definitely look alike then.

His brother had a different personality though. He was open, playful, and seemed to take great amusement from saying things that Kearn thought weren’t suitable. If they hadn’t told her that Kyran was the older brother, she would have thought him the younger.

Kearn seemed so cold in comparison, and more distant than she had first placed him. His behaviour around his brother, the flashes of anger swiftly chased by sorrow that had crossed his face at times, and the way he had ended the night so abruptly, all of them increased her feeling that Kearn was hiding something. What did he want to conceal?

Kyran had said that he knew vampires and he knew what his brother did to them. What did Kearn do to them? She had been about to ask him when she had felt incredibly sleepy. The tension in the apartment had risen the moment Kearn had closed the bedroom door on her and then the front door had slammed. Had they argued? Because of her?

Amber sat up on the double bed and pulled the brown duvet to her chest, covering her bare breasts with it.

Why would they argue because of her?

Because Kyran had been too friendly or because he had said something he shouldn’t have?

Amber looked over at the bedside table.

And why were her clothes gone?

She scrambled across the double bed and peered down at the floor in case they had fallen off. They were gone. Her shoes were too. Only her black handbag remained.

Had Kearn taken them?

She blushed from head to toe at the thought of him coming into the room while she had been sleeping in his bed wearing only her knickers.

Her eyes widened.

He had even taken her bra.

Her cheeks burned now.

Amber wrapped herself in the brown duvet and shuffled carefully to the bedroom door. She opened it a crack and looked out into the main room. She couldn’t see Kearn. The television in the white dividing wall above the low rectangular open fireplace was off. The apartment was silent save the noise of the television behind her.

Kearn was gone.

She hitched her duvet toga up and went back into the bedroom, crossing it to the bathroom. There was a white bathrobe on the back of the door. She dropped the duvet and put on the robe. It was too big for her but it was better than walking around Kearn’s apartment in only her knickers.

She made the bed, turned off the television and then returned to the bedroom door and opened it.

There was no sign of her clothes in the living area, or in the kitchen in the right hand corner opposite it. The glasses and bowl were on the drainer, and Kearn’s bloodied shirt was gone. She picked up one of the glasses, filled it with water and drank it down in one go. Her stomach growled. Food. She hadn’t eaten in almost a day.

Amber checked the pale wooden cupboards. The first two being bare didn’t bother her, but after the fifth, she started to find it strange. When she had checked every cupboard and found only a few glasses and some other kitchenware, but not cutlery or plates, she was disconcerted. She approached the large white refrigerator with caution, fearing what she would find in it. Vampires drank blood. What if the fridge was full of bits of people or blood bags stolen from the local hospital?

She grabbed the refrigerator door and yanked it open.


A blank white space greeted her.

Her heart pounded against her ribs.

She was going crazy.

She had to stop being so suspicious.

Vampires killed people. Maybe he didn’t keep his food in the house. Maybe he ate street food of the vampire kind.

Amber shut the fridge door. She really was being stupid now.

Kearn hunted vampires.

Maybe he ate out all the time. There were people who did that. She had seen television programs where famous people had never used the expensive stove in their oversized kitchen. Kearn could be just like them.

Or he could eat blood.

She walked out of the kitchen, trying to distance herself from her thoughts as easily as she could distance herself from the refrigerator.

She stopped at the black front door of the apartment.

There was a note stuck to it, written in neat cursive script.

Do not even consider leaving. I shall return by the time you have showered and shall bring you breakfast. Kearn.

She tried the handle anyway. Locked. Some of the locks she could open from the inside, but one of them needed a key.

Well, that was considerate of him. He stole her clothes and locked her in his apartment, and then offered her a shower and said he would bring her breakfast. He was confusing her more every minute that she knew him.

Breakfast?

Amber glanced to her left, through the small study area to the bank of windows that formed the wall there. The sun was heading towards the horizon, casting a golden glow over the rooftops of London. He had a strange concept of meal times, but then he hunted vampires. It was probably a job he could only do at night.

She perused the books in the beech bookcase that lined the wall of the study opposite the open fireplace, her fingers tripping from spine to spine. There were many novels on the side nearest the front door, but closer to the wooden desk in front of the window, the books were all factual, and some of them were definitely not available in stores. Books on demons, vampires, werewolves and other creatures. All of them old and large, and leather-bound. None of them had authors or publishing houses on the spine. She took a thick, heavy tome on vampires, placed it down on the desk and opened it carefully to somewhere near the middle. Her gaze scanned the neatly hand written paragraphs on the yellowing page and stopped on a name she recognised.

She had to read it three times to make sure she wasn’t imagining it.

Earl Huntingdon.

She cast a quick glance around the apartment, her heart starting to race and tremble at the thought of being caught snooping in Kearn’s things, and then read the passage about the earl.

A vampire.

Kyran knew vampires. Was that why Kearn didn’t like Earl Huntingdon? Perhaps there were good vampires after all and that was why Kyran was friends with him.

Or perhaps not.

Amber read the page, enthralled by the things it said about the earl and his bloodthirsty ways. He sounded dangerous, the sort of vampire that people had written tales about centuries ago, like Vlad the Impaler. He sounded like the sort that Kearn should kill.

She went to turn the page and read on but stopped herself. Reading about the horrible things vampires did to people and to other vampires would only frighten her. She closed the book and placed it back on the shelf. She was better off not knowing. They said ignorance was bliss after all. When Kearn had caught the vampire, she would be going back to her life. Kearn wouldn’t be there to protect her from the scary vampires. She would be alone again and she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life afraid, fearing that someone like Earl Huntingdon would somehow find her. She wanted to live life.

Dragging herself away from the study, she walked around the wide white dividing wall of the modern double-sided fireplace and stopped dead when she saw a black jacket and Kearn’s gun on the end of the long black couch against the bedroom wall. The setting sun glinted off the silver gun, luring her to it.

She stopped at the window-end of the couch beside the gun and stared hard at it, memorising the weapon’s exact position on the jacket so she knew where to place it so Kearn wouldn’t know what she had done. With her heart in her throat, she reached a trembling hand out to the gun and closed the fingers of her left hand around the grip. Her whole arm shook as she lifted it. It was heavier than expected and felt cold against her fingers. She kept it pointed away from her, afraid it would go off, and studied it. It looked like a gun from a movie, sleek and modern, and dangerous.

What kind of bullets did it take? They had to be special to kill vampires.

Amber tried to figure out how to open it, turning it one way and then the other, and even looking closely at the bottom of the grip. In the movies, people changed the clip so quickly she never saw how they got it out. She lifted her other hand, tempted to pull the top part of the gun back and then stopped herself. She didn’t know what would happen if she did that. If she blew out a window or made a hole in the white wall, Kearn would know that she had been messing around with his gun. Afraid of the consequences if that happened, Amber placed the gun back down in the precise spot and position she had found it, and stepped back from it. She didn’t like it.

Turning away, she walked back to Kearn’s bedroom and through it to the bathroom. Take a shower. Kearn had said he would be back when she had showered. She looked at the large white cubicle to her left. Take a shower she would.

She stripped off the bathrobe and her knickers, and closed the bathroom door. The clear shower door squeaked when she slid it open. She turned the water on and stepped under the jet, showering quickly and holding her hair up so it didn’t get too wet. It would frizz if it did and she didn’t want to look like a prize poodle around Kearn.

Amber shut the water off and stepped out of the shower. Her head spun. She closed her eyes and waited for it to clear. It had done that from time to time last night too. Was it the vampire trying to control her?

She shuddered at the thought. She didn’t like the idea that someone could control her and make her do things against her will. She unravelled the bandage on her hand. The cut across her palm was still raw and it was bleeding in places again. She washed it in the sink and then looked for a new bandage, finding some in the cupboard in the black sink cabinet. She carefully wound it around her hand, tight enough that it would stop the bleeding, and pinned it.

The vampire had wanted her to taste her blood but she hadn’t been tempted this time. Was his hold over her fading?

The sound of a door closing made her look up at herself in the mirror. Kearn.

She clawed her hair back into a neat ponytail, slipped the robe on, and tied it.

Kearn was in the kitchen when she walked out of the bedroom. He glanced over at her, his green eyes as impassive as ever. Not even the sight of her in his bathrobe fresh from the shower provoked a reaction. He crossed the room and held two large black paper bags out to her. There was a store name she didn’t recognise written on the side in a white cursive font. She peered inside the first one at the clothes. The second had a cardboard shoebox in it.

“What is it?” She looked at Kearn.

“Your outfit for tonight.” He dropped another similar bag on the couch facing the window and she looked in it too. Her own clothes. He had taken them to a store and, judging by the bags, it had been somewhere expensive.

Kearn held a small brown bag out to her.

“What’s this?” She took it from him.

“Breakfast,” he said without any trace of emotion, his eyes not leaving hers. “Coffee and pastries. I asked the woman what you might like.”

Amber frowned. What she might like? As though a stranger would know such a thing. Couldn’t he have judged for himself? Maybe he didn’t know what food tasted like. Maybe vampires didn’t eat anything other than blood.

Maybe he just didn’t eat pastries. She had known men in her past that didn’t touch sweet things. He could be like them.

“What about you?” She placed the clothes bags down on the couch beside the other one and eyed him closely, studying his face.

“I ate when I was out.”

Amber stared at him. He stared back, colder than ever. He really wasn’t very talkative. The effort of trying to make conversation with him was exhausting.

Kearn walked around her and along the length of the couch beside the wall to the far end of it. He leaned over and paused with his hand just above his gun. He kept his back to her as he picked it up.

“Do not ever touch it again,” he said and went into his bedroom, closing the door.

A few minutes later the shower was running and Amber was still standing in the middle of his apartment feeling guilty for snooping and wondering how the hell he had known she had touched the gun. It had been in exactly the same place as he had left it.

He was an enigma.

He had no food, a lot of money, and treated her coldly even though she was helping him. She looked at the clothing and the food that he had bought. She couldn’t figure him out at all. She had never met anyone so distant either. Was it his work? Maybe he was just unused to company. He hadn’t been that at ease with his brother too.

Maybe he wasn’t human.

She couldn’t push that thought away. Whenever she gave it a chance, it came back.

Amber walked over to the kitchen island and placed the brown paper bag down on the granite top. She sat on one of the black and wood stools that followed the curve of the island, and opened the bag, removing the white paper cup of coffee. She took off the lid and scooped up some of the foam with her finger. Cappuccino. Just the fix she had needed.

There were a lot of different pastries in the bag. Covering his bets?

The bedroom door opened and Amber looked over her shoulder at Kearn. He rubbed a brown towel against his wet hair. Water dripped from the ends of the long silver strands and rolled down the bare strip of chest and stomach visible between the two sides of his black shirt. His body was delicious. Just what she wanted to eat for breakfast. His muscles shifted and bunched with each move he made as he dried his hair, a feast for her eyes only. She stared, unashamed of what she was doing. If he was going to put it out there, then she wasn’t going to shy away.

Kearn tossed the towel back into his bedroom, ran his fingers through his hair, and then walked over to the jacket on the couch. He picked it up and placed it over the back of the couch facing the window. Amber sipped her coffee and kept watching him, or at least his body. He ruined her fun by buttoning his shirt and tucking it into his black trousers.

He came over to her and looked at the paper bag. She took another sip of her coffee and drank her fill of his face, putting to memory the curve of his lips as they parted and the way a line formed between his dark silver eyebrows when he frowned. He was undeniably good looking and was starting to creep back into sexy territory.

“Want one?” Amber offered the bag, part of her doing so out of politeness and the other part wanting to test him.

His green eyes shifted from the contents of the bag to her hand that was holding it. Blood was seeping into the bandage again.

“Take it if you want it,” she said and his eyes met hers, incredulous and searching. It was the first sign of something other than cold calculation in them today. He almost looked shocked.

“No, thank you.” Kearn pushed the bag back at her. “You should dress. We need to arrive at the club before everyone else so we do not look as though we are together.”

She took a long leisurely sip of her cappuccino, unwilling to be rushed by him, and then slipped down off the stool.

When he had said they would go to a club, she had expected them to be together the whole time. The thought of being alone when the vampire could be stalking her was frightening but she had promised to play bait for him. She picked up the bags of clothes from the couch. What sort of bait did Kearn have in mind? The clothes would give her a hint.

She walked into his bedroom, kicked the door closed, put her coffee and pastries down on the side cupboard and dumped the bags on the bed.

Refusing to hurry, she ate a croissant and drank half of her coffee, and then devoured another pastry.

Amber pulled the large shoebox out of the first bag and opened it.

She tipped the contents of the other bag out on the bed beside it.

Her eyes widened.

“What the hell!”

That’s the final chapter of my sneak preview for Forbidden Blood, but you don’t have to wait long to get your hands on this book now. It’s released on June 18th, just next week! Have you all enjoyed the book so far?

Posted in 2011 blog tour, 2011 releases, forbidden blood, paranormal romance, vampire romance, Vampire Venators, vampires | Comments Off on Forbidden Blood – Vampire Venators Series #1 – Chapter Five

Forbidden Blood – Vampire Venators Series #1 – Chapter Four

As part of my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour, I have been posting chapters of my next release, Forbidden Blood.

Forbidden Blood is a dark vampire romance novel, and the first book in the Vampire Venators series, and will be released on June 18th 2011. I’ve already posted chapter one, chapter two, and chapter three of this long novel, and now here’s chapter four. Just one more to go after this and I hope you’re all enjoying it so far.

Forbidden Blood
Felicity Heaton
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.

Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?

As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.

Forbidden Blood is book one in the Vampire Venators series and a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 126000 words
rating: sultry
released: June 18th 2011
Book 1 in the Vampire Venators series

CHAPTER FOUR

Kearn led the way up through his apartment building. With all of the stores closed until morning, he would have to wait to visit the club and see if he could attract attention with Amber and her blood. He had hoped to end this tonight and take her home, ridding himself of both the temptation she presented and his unending mission to capture the man, but fate had never been kind to him. For now, he would battle his lingering hunger for her and bide his time. Tomorrow, he would buy her some clothes to wear to the club, and together they would hunt down the vampire. He didn’t have much experience of dressing women, but was sure someone at the shops would be happy to assist him, especially since money wasn’t a factor.

Humans and vampires were very similar in that respect. Money could buy you anything and the more you had, the more people were willing the crawl on their bellies for you.

Amber’s fatigue flowed through the connection between their blood. It wasn’t the only feeling that he could sense in her. Her emotions were steadily turning towards fear again. Perhaps it was a good thing that they had been unable to go to the club tonight. She needed to rest. All he had done since meeting her was push her into doing things his way. The man he sought would be cautious tonight. Going to the club wouldn’t have produced any results. Tomorrow was a different matter. The vampire would want to find her. He would come out hunting and Kearn would be waiting for him.

There was another reason for him to take things more slowly. Pushing her now, when she was tired and afraid, would only lead to him losing her. She had locked him out of the car tonight and she hadn’t done it out of fear of the vampire. She had feared him. He needed her to remain with him. His instincts whispered that he could force her to stay, at least until her blood was completely absorbed into his. No. No good would come of it. His mission was to protect humans, not prey on them. Not anymore. If it came down to it, he would confess that her suspicions were correct.

He was a vampire.

“So did they hurt when you had them done?”

He stopped just short of the black door to his apartment and turned to face her.

She looked nervous. Her heart was racing, sending her blood to the surface. It filled the white hallway with the sweet enticing scent and caused his fangs to itch. Her blood had tasted so delicious. His stomach ached, hunger to taste her again causing it to cramp, and he struggled to hold his fangs at bay. It was just the remnants of her blood affecting him still. The effects were already wearing off. He just needed to hold it together for a few more hours and then he would be free of the haze induced by her blood and she wouldn’t be such a temptation. His gaze slid to her neck and his throat burned. He closed his eyes when the hallway brightened, signalling a change in his irises, and clamped his teeth together. It was just her blood in him. It would pass. He told himself it repeatedly but it didn’t ease the tight ache in his gut. He wanted her blood, and it went deeper than a craving for another high.

“Kearn?” she whispered and he drew a long, steadying breath, and then opened his eyes. The hallway was dim again. He looked up at her.

Her gaze fell to his hand.

His did too.

He raised his right hand and her eyes followed it, fixed intently on the silver marks that covered it to his fingertips.

She seemed fascinated by them. He had caught her looking at him countless times since meeting her, and several of those she had been staring at his arm, her gaze tracing the marks that flowed over it from his shoulder to his hand. He was surprised that she hadn’t asked him about it before now. Twice she had seen it activated. Now she was asking him whether the marks had hurt, as though they were just a tattoo, rather than asking what they did and what he was.

Didn’t she want to know?

Or was she trying to pretend that she hadn’t noticed, and that he was only human?

Perhaps she wasn’t as strong as he had thought and was having trouble believing everything and taking it all in after all. Kearn reminded himself that she was human. This was probably some strange dream or nightmare to her. There had been moments when her blood had conveyed that she trusted him, and wanted to remain with him. Was her denial of the truth standing before her all because she wanted to continue to trust that he would save her? If he told her that he was a vampire, would she want to leave? Would she fear him then and see him as she saw the man—a beast and a monster?

Part of him didn’t want her to feel that way towards him.

He would never harm her.

He only wanted to protect her.

He opened the door to his apartment while considering what to say about his arm and whether to tell her about himself. It wasn’t a good idea. The moment the door swung open, he drew his gun and aimed it at the person standing in the middle of his home.

His brother raised his hands in an act of surrender and smiled.

“What are you doing here, Kyran?” Kearn holstered his gun and walked into the apartment. Only one of the lights in the kitchen was on, leaving the rest of the large room in near-darkness.

Amber followed him. When she stepped out from behind him, Kyran’s dark blue eyes were on her.

“He cried like a baby when they put those marks on him.” Kyran smiled broadly, his gaze assessing Amber.

“I did not.” Kearn closed the door. It was unusual for Kyran to drop by unannounced to his apartment. His brother knew how much he hated it.

“It isn’t like you to bring a girl home, Kearn.” Kyran’s blue eyes remained locked on Amber and he inhaled deeply.

His gaze slid to Kearn. The look in his eyes and the connection they shared through a familial bond asked a question. Was she Source Blood? Kearn refused to answer. His brother didn’t need to know and wouldn’t be able to tell from Amber’s scent alone.

“Don’t tell me you are planning to go a little rogue? The old habits die hardest, don’t they?” Kyran said with a wicked smile.

Amber stared at Kearn.


Kearn glared at his brother. He wasn’t intending to take Amber’s blood. He knew the law and he wasn’t going to break it by using her blood purely to get high. He had only taken a small amount for testing purposes. That was as far as it went. This wasn’t the same as back then. He hadn’t known he was breaking the law. He hadn’t known she was tainted.

It was typical of his brother to bring up his past. Kyran had always found it amusing to make him uncomfortable but that trait had turned vicious since Kearn had become a Venator, to the point where Kyran took intense pleasure from saying things that would get him into trouble. He was convinced that his brother did it to see him suffer, to make him pay for the things that had happened between them centuries ago, so he bore it as punishment for his sins against his own blood.

He bore it in the hope that one day they would finally move past what had happened and would be able to forgive each other.

“Why are you here?” Kearn looked hard at his older brother and then moved back to the door of his apartment. It wasn’t like Kyran to hide in the dark and he could smell blood other than Amber’s. The flat dull smell of vampire blood. It all smelt the same, not unique like human blood. He turned on the ceiling spotlights. “And why are you bleeding?”

Kyran touched a gash on his face. It wasn’t the only cut. A myriad of thin red lines covered his face, neck and hands. He grinned.

“I was playing with Earl Huntingdon and Marchioness Montagu. You know what they can be like.” Kyran’s grin widened. His blue eyes shifted back to Amber. “Although if I had known you had such sweet company, I would have come here earlier.”

Kearn crossed the room, grabbed Kyran’s arm, and led him over to the small dining area in the far left corner of his apartment. He didn’t relinquish his grip on his brother.

“She does not know what we are.”

“Kinky,” Kyran whispered and raised a dark eyebrow in Amber’s direction. “Do you intend to reveal it during the act?”

Kearn tightened his grip on his brother’s arm, bringing his attention back to him. Kyran frowned down at his hand and then into his eyes.

“She is a lead on a case. Bait.” He kept his voice low so Amber didn’t hear him. He wanted to tell his brother that he wasn’t interested in drinking from Amber, or anything sexual, but couldn’t bring himself to lie. His eyes threatened to stray to her, to take in her beauty, but he kept them fixed on Kyran.

“A Source Blood?” Kyran went to look at Amber again but Kearn stepped into his path.

“If you reveal what we are—”

Kyran slapped a hand down hard on his shoulder and smiled. Kearn could see straight through it. Whatever his brother was going to say, it was a lie. The look in Kyran’s eyes screamed trouble.

“I will not say a word out of place.” Kyran removed Kearn’s hand from his arm and was past Kearn before he could stop him.

Amber still stood by the door, an air of hesitation about her, as though she had noticed the tension between him and his brother and didn’t want to be caught in the crossfire.

“I have been unforgivably rude.” Kyran stopped far too close to Amber for Kearn’s liking. “Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Kyran, and I am Kearn’s older brother.”

“Amber,” she said and then peered around Kyran to him. “Brother? You don’t really look alike.”

They had looked alike before he had become a Venator. His hair had once been black like Kyran’s and his eyes had been an equally deep clear blue. In terms of stature and build, they had remained much the same, and he could see himself in his brother’s face. His eternal torment.

“Kearn looks like our father.” Kyran’s tone was sharper than razor blades. Kearn could sense the hate and the hurt in him. It was never going away.

Kyran should have been Venator. It was the tradition in the Noble and Lesser Noble families. The eldest son carried on the duty of their father as Venator. He had wanted it to be that way, because Kyran had thought of nothing but becoming a Venator since they had been children. Kearn had fought the Sovereignty, had tried to convince them to give the duty to his brother, but they had given it to him regardless. Kyran had hated him ever since. A part of Kearn still hated his brother in return for his role in what had happened, but the pain of what he had gone through was nothing compared to the fact he had stolen his brother’s dream.

Time had healed some of the breach between them, but sometimes Kearn got the feeling that nothing had been forgiven or forgotten. No matter how much progress they made with each other or how they tried to get along, the past would always stand between them.

The countess would always stand between them.

There was something akin to concern in Amber’s eyes as she looked at him. Why? Because of his silence or because of the mix of sombre and fiery feelings that accompanied his thoughts? She would be able to sense them if she tried. The connection her blood in his veins caused between them was open and transmitting the emotions in his blood back to hers.

Kearn reached out to her through their connection and felt the concern in her. He closed off his emotions and monitored her in case the vampire tried anything.

She forced a polite smile at Kyran.

“You mentioned an earl and a marchioness. I’ve never met anyone who knew fancy people like that.”

Kyran looked over his shoulder at him, his black eyebrows raised again. Kearn shook his head a fraction, enough that only his brother would notice the answer to his silent question. No. He hadn’t told Amber about them and their family and he wasn’t going to let Kyran mention it either. It was best she knew as little as possible.

“Kearn doesn’t approve of Earl Huntingdon. He believes him a bad influence. Don’t you, brother?”

Kearn left the dining area and came to stand near Amber in the open space between the four areas of the main room of his apartment.

“Because he is.” Kearn held his hand out, indicating the living area beyond the wall of the open fireplace. “Perhaps we should sit down since Kyran seems to have no intention of leaving soon.”

“Sounds like a wonderful idea.” Kyran flashed a smile and held his arm out to Amber. “Shall we?”

She hesitated, looking unsure of what she was supposed to do, and then slipped her arm around his brother’s one. Kearn glared at his brother’s back as he led Amber to the couches, his eyes shifting to red for a moment and the world sharpening with it. Kyran would feel the threat. Hopefully, it would improve his behaviour.

Kearn turned away and went into the kitchen area, trying to clear his head. What was Kyran playing at? Of course he despised Earl Huntingdon but Amber didn’t need to know that, or about anything to do with the sordid man. Earl Huntingdon was an animal. His family had always relished power and embraced the myths surrounding vampires, and had always been the most blood-soaked and violent because of it. Sometimes Lesser Noble families had no sense of breeding.

He took a fresh glass from the cupboard and filled it with water.

Kyran wouldn’t talk to him about what had happened during his century of exile from their family, but he knew that Earl Huntingdon had invited him into his home and treated him like a brother. The earl was young, almost the same age as them, and had taken the role as head of his household when his parents had died around two centuries ago. He had been only one hundred and fifty at the time, the equivalent to a human fifteen year old, but he had been bloodthirsty and ruled in violence with his sister.

Kearn carried the glass with him across the room to the living area and rounded the black couch that faced the window. Kyran was sitting on the one against the wall, his legs crossed, revealing a rip in the knee of his black tailored trousers. Had Kyran been out killing tonight with the earl and marchioness? The three of them were prone to such acts of debauchery when together. He couldn’t smell human blood on him, but it was difficult with Amber in the room. The heavenly scent of her blood drowned out everything else, filling his mind with the need to take more.

His gaze roamed to her where she sat on the couch that faced the window, staring out of it. Forbidden. Why did that word only make her more tempting? He placed the water down on the coffee table in front of her and she looked up at him.

“Thank you.” She smiled and then it melted away into a frown. Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Does your brother know what you do?”

Kearn flinched internally at that question. He could feel Kyran’s eyes on his back, boring a hole through his chest as though he wanted to rip out his heart with thought alone.

“Yes,” Kearn said in a tight voice and sat beside her. She shuffled over to give him room and then sat with her hands in her lap, her body angled towards him and his brother.

He tried to think of something to talk about that wouldn’t give Kyran an opening to hate him, ridicule him, or reveal anything about them and their family.

“I think Kearn has some more bandages if you need some.” Amber smiled in Kyran’s direction. She toyed with the cream crepe bandage around her hand.

“Did something happen to you?” Kyran sat forwards, resting his elbows on his knees. He reached a hand out to Amber.

Something inside Kearn said to knock his hand away and not let his brother touch Amber again, but he kept still. He didn’t have any claim to her and his brother was behaving himself. If he stopped him, the next thing his brother said would probably be something about his penchant for blood drinking. The introduction had been bad enough. Permit me to introduce myself? He might as well have said—I’m a ridiculously portrayed vampire from a cliché low-budget movie.

Amber placed her hand into Kyran’s. His brother cooed over it in a way that made Kearn want to hit him.

“This is terrible. You poor thing. What happened?”

It would have been more convincing to Kearn had his brother not been drawing a deep breath the whole time, trying to catch the scent of her blood.

“A man attacked me. A vampire, actually.” She eyed Kyran closely.

“Damned vampires.” He rolled his eyes.

Kearn did take her hand away from Kyran now, and gave his brother a dark look for good measure.

“I take it you know about them?” Amber put her hand back in lap and started toying with the bandage again. Kearn kept a close eye on her, concerned that the vampire’s hold over her might not have faded completely. Since it was the vampire’s blood in her body, and not the other way around, he would still be able to find her using the lingering connection between them until tomorrow night, or even beyond that, but Kearn had expected his ability to control her to have left her system by now.

He picked up the water and offered it to her with a smile. A delightful blush stained her cheeks. She had reacted the same way when he had smiled at her earlier tonight. Did she like it? He smiled again and she took the glass, running her fingers around the rim of it with her eyes downcast. Shy?

He could feel Kyran’s eyes on him. Watching. It wasn’t illegal for him to study a human and Amber fascinated him.

“I know all about vampires,” Kyran said in a tone as black as an abyss. Kearn looked at him when Amber lifted the glass to her lips. Kyran blatantly ignored the silent command not to watch her by staring at her throat while she drank. Red briefly ringed his irises. “I know about them and the terrible things that Kearn does to them.”

Amber choked, coughing and spluttering, her hand over her mouth. Kearn quickly took the glass from her. She stared at his brother with wide eyes. He didn’t like the question he could see in them. She didn’t need to know what he did.

He touched her shoulder and used the connection between them to give her feelings a slight push. Not too much influence over her thoughts. More of a suggestion than a command. He wouldn’t control her as the other vampire had.

She rubbed her eyes and yawned. “I feel tired.”

“It is late.” Kearn placed the glass down on the square coffee table, feeling Kyran’s glare on him the whole time. “Perhaps you should rest. You have had quite a night. I will stay on the couch. Please, make yourself at home in my room.”

“Really? I couldn’t.” Her beautiful hazel eyes met his, full of warmth and honesty. They backed up the message her blood sent to his. She felt bad for taking his bed.

“I insist.” He took her elbow, bringing her with him when he stood. Kyran was still staring at him. He led Amber past him and to the bedroom, and turned the light on for her. “The bathroom is just through that door. The control for the blinds is on the bedside table, as is the remote control for the television, in case you feel uncomfortable sleeping without background noise tonight. I will be here if you need anything.”

She nodded and he closed the door. The moment it clicked shut, his eyes changed to red and he looked at Kyran. Scarlet eyes stared right back at him.

Without a word, Kearn walked to the door of the apartment and opened it. Kyran stood, stalked across the room, and stopped toe to toe with him.

“That was uncalled for. I was merely making conversation.”

“I did not like the direction your apparently innocent conversation was heading.” Kearn’s red eyes locked with his brother’s ones.

“Do you really believe the lie you are telling yourself when you say she only needs to know as little as possible?”

Kearn frowned.

“It is a lie, brother, and a shallow one. You do not keep her in the dark about your true self because you believe she doesn’t need to know it in order to play the role you have assigned her.” Kyran stepped past him but remained facing him, his back to the hall. “You do so because you are afraid of what she would think of you if she found out what you are… a vampire no different to the one who attacked her… a fiend lusting for her precious blood.”

Kearn curled his fingers into a tight fist at his side and gripped the door hard with his other hand.

Kyran stepped back into the hall.

“She will find out, little brother.”

He was gone.

Kearn growled under his breath at the truth in his brother’s words.

It was only a matter of time before Amber saw past the façade.

For some reason, he didn’t want her to see him for what he was.

He didn’t want her to fear him.

Hate him.

Not even when it felt inevitable.

Kearn cursed and slammed the door.

Not long to wait now until the book is released! Final sneak preview chapter next week! Is everyone excited?

Posted in 2011 blog tour, 2011 releases, forbidden blood, paranormal romance, vampire romance, Vampire Venators, vampires | Comments Off on Forbidden Blood – Vampire Venators Series #1 – Chapter Four