Today I’m happy to have fellow Ellora’s Cave author Jeffe Kennedy on my blog. She’s here to tell us about the newest book in her series and present you with a giveaway. Take it away, Jeffe!
Furry Boots and Yurt Sex
Hunting the Siren, the second book in my Blood Currency series, is a follow-up to Feeding the Vampire, which started with a dream. I was in something like a church basement, badly lit with flickering green fluorescent lights, and I know I’m there because the world is in chaos and there’s nowhere else for me to go. I sat in a circle of folding chairs with a bunch of other people I didn’t know, like a self-help group, and a vampire was sitting across from me. Someone says as how he needs to be fed and I volunteer.
I had to figure out the rest from there. Why the world had ended, why there were suddenly vampires. And so forth.
So, when the lovely and persistent Editor Grace bugged me about a sequel, I had to really think about the what next. I had no convenient dream to draw from this time. I did know about another story, about a woman dealing with this same post-apocalyptic world, but I wasn’t ready to write it yet. Instead, I scanned this world in my mind, which is kind of like being a superhero and flying over the broken and drowning earth, looking for life. I thought maybe people would have survived on the Russian Steppes, since it’s a relatively stable earthquake zone. And there I found my Vampire Queen and her band of Night Riders. I also spotted Kasar, an engineer in Moscow whose noble bloodline serves him well in surviving the fall of the city – and his hike to find his sister. Then one of my CPs got all revved up about furry boots and yurt sex and the story rolled along from there.
The Blood Currency series, because blood is now the major commodity for trade between the unevenly matched and struggling populations of vampires and humans, is a different one for me in that the heroines are not much like me at all. Misty, in Feeding the Vampire, wasn’t terribly well-educated, had no real skills and no confidence in herself. Imogen, my Vampire Queen, is ancient, ruthless and rule with an iron will. Both of them were really fun to write – for totally different reasons.
Will they all meet up someday?
Shock flashed across the vampire queen’s face. At least, that’s what it looked like, from Kasar’s peripheral vision. Perhaps a flash of something else. A bit of a wound there, like the death pain in that little goat’s eyes.
An absurd thought, since this woman—this vampire—was clearly all lithe predator, with nothing fragile in her.
Had he remembered her as beautiful? Now she seared him, all fire and skin, lounging on her throne, that extraordinary cape of hair spilling over the sides of it. A laced-up black leather vest left her tan, lean arms bare and pushed up the tempting upper curves of her breasts. The lovely line of her throat led to a pointed chin and full lips worthy of prima donna at the Bolshoi.
Dragging his eyes down from the memory of her compelling golden gaze, he tried to focus on her feet. The leather boots hugged her ankles and calves, showing every curve, then revealed her naked thighs. The short skirt she wore rode high, nearly revealing the shadowed recesses of her sex. Even as she toyed with him, he found himself looking again and yet again, hoping she’d spread her legs just a bit more.
When she’d lifted his chin with the toe of her boot, he hadn’t resisted, taking the opportunity to see another inch or two. He was lost.
“It seems, my lovely human man, that your plans are for naught.” Her rich voice poured over him. He couldn’t quite pin the accent. She had an almost European turn of phrase, but that cinnamon-gold skin looked as if she was born to the Steppes. “Now I have captured you.”
“Then kill me,” he told her for a second time. Truly he’d been surprised to wake up, not to be dead already, along with everyone else. His survival was a mistake. Soon to be rectified. “Drink me dry and have done.”
She turned the keriss in her hands, the precious blade catching the firelight, even sullied with blood.
“I don’t think so.”
“Shall I send him to join the—”
The queen cut off the big vampire with a flick of glossy red nails.
“No, Sandahr. I believe I shall keep this one for a bit.”
A murmur of surprise ran through the yurt.
The big vampire stepped forward, knelt down, close enough to Kasar for his cloak to brush his shoulder, and took her hand. This was the one who had pulled Mélanie off him. Seven feet tall, Kasar guessed, and yet he prostrated himself to this petite woman, leaning his forehead on her hand.
“My Queen—you’ll take him for your pet?” The vampire’s voice trembled with emotion.
She brushed a hand over the vampire’s shining thick braid of hair. “This pleases you, Sandahr?”
“You know it does, my Queen.” Sandahr stared up at her in fervent adoration. “I had been afraid that—”
“Shh.” The queen laid a crimson nail on the vampire’s lips. “We will talk later. Meanwhile,” she raised her voice, surveying the room, “take my new pet to my yurt. Clean him up, but keep him chained. No one is to speak to him, understood?”
Anger surged in him, but Kasar also saw opportunity. He might yet have the chance to kill her. Perhaps his resistance tempted her. The best hunters could rarely resist the trophy of the most elusive prey.
“I will not belong to you.”
“But you already do, my— What is your name?”
“Isn’t it customary to rename a new pet?” he taunted her.
“True.” She leaned over, her hair following in a silky slide, and cupped his face in her hands. “What shall I call you, my sweet kitty cat with such sharp tiny claws? I think…Lapushka. My little paw. We’ll just see if you can scratch me.”
Her breath feathered over his cheek, her proximity blocking the light. He closed his eyes and took a steadying breath. Instead of flowery perfume, or the chemically calculated musks modern women had worn, she smelled of leather and horses, and the salt of blood as she exhaled.
His cock, already hard for her, throbbed. The terror of imminent death, rage at his easy capture, the desperate hope that he might yet have the opportunity to succeed in his revenge—all of it faded at the hot brush of those lush lips against his cheek.
“What thoughts stir you so, Lapushka?” Her whiskey voice murmured in his ear and her nails scraped lightly down his chest. “I hear your heart pounding and smell your lust. Perhaps being mine sounds not so awful to you, hmm?”
Her tongue flicked into his ear, catlike, and he clenched down on the moan of raging desire. Her pleased chuckle rolled over him.
“Oh yes. I shall have fun breaking you to ride, my fine stallion.”
Hunting the Siren
Book two in the Blood Currency series.
A vampire queen grown powerful with age, Imogen has protected her band of nightriders through the centuries. When refugee vampires from earthquake-shattered Europe seek shelter and sustenance, she’s honor-bound to feed them, by any means necessary. When her lieutenants dump the vengeful human man Kasar at her feet, Imogen succumbs to his masculine vitality and her overwhelming hunger for his blood—and his body.
Kasar has survived the breaking of the world, only to discover the vampire queen has slaughtered his sister and her unborn child. With the last of his bloodline dead, only his desire for vengeance keeps Kasar alive. He imagines he can pretend to succumb to Imogen’s seduction—not that he has a choice, chained as he is to the foot of her bed—and bide his time until he has an opportunity to kill her. The passion he finds in her arms is unexpected and impossible to resist. But this haven of desire and satiation could easily destroy them both.
Jeffe Kennedy took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. A BDSM novella, Petals and Thorns, came out in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Since then, erotic shorts in the Blood Currency series—Feeding the Vampire and Hunting the Siren—have come out from Ellora’s Cave. Carina Press is publishing the Facet of Desire series, which includes Sapphire and Platinum. Her contemporary fantasy novel, Rogue’s Pawn, book one in A Covenant of Thorns, came out in July, 2012. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for a professional acupuncturist.
CONTEST ALERT: Please leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Hunting the Siren.
Open to all readers, 18 years or older, who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decision of the contest sponsor. One commenter will be selected using random.org. The winner’s name will be posted in the comments section of this blog after 9/15/2012 noon US Central time (so check back) with instructions on how to contact Jeffe. The winner must contact Jeffe Kennedy within two weeks to claim your prize.