It’s great to be here today discussing ALL THAT BLEEDS, the first novel in my Etherlin series. The new series is paranormal romantic suspense and features archangels, human-vampire half-breeds, and descendants of the ancient muses.
Here’s the ALL THAT BLEEDS book blurb to introduce you to the story:
ALL THAT BLEEDS (Etherlin #1) – January 3, 2012
He’s the darkness she can’t resist…
In a glittering community in the Colorado Rockies called the Etherlin, the descendants of the ancient muses live behind a wall that separates them from the world and the dangerous creatures who crave them.
Alissa North is inspiration made flesh, so she should never have met Merrick, a deadly half-vampire enforcer, but when they do meet, the connection is instantaneous, and an illicit flirtation is born. He sends her secret gifts. She writes him secret letters.
The long-distance friendship was never supposed to go any farther. But when she is kidnapped and thrown briefly into his world, everything changes. Now Alissa realizes he’s the only person she can trust, and Merrick finds he’ll do anything to protect her, even risk his life by crossing the wall.
As both worlds close in on them, Alissa knows that getting caught with Merrick could cost her everything she’s ever cared about, but giving him up proves harder than she ever imagined…
In a recent interview, I was asked about the research I did for the novel. While I researched a number of different areas such as Greek mythology and post WW2 American history (for the series’s back story because there’s an event in the 1950s—a vampire “plague”—that changes the course of human history), one of my favorite areas of research involved cocktails.
Merrick, the love interest in ALL THAT BLEEDS is a syndicate enforcer who kills a demon when he meets the book’s heroine, Alissa. Part of Merrick’s backstory is that his first job was as a bartender and when the story opens he’s living in a penthouse apartment in the same building that houses his club, Crimson. I wanted his world to be very stylized and cool. And because he’s smooth, I pictured him mixing Alissa a distinctive drink when she’s with him.
In doing the research, I ended up on the website of a popular men’s magazine. It had a ton of colorful descriptions and historical anecdotes about various cocktails. The drink I had Merrick make Alissa is called a Maiden’s Prayer. The site also hypothesized that Hemingway invented the Scotch Lime, which is what I have Merrick drink.
Here’s an excerpt from that ALL THAT BLEEDS scene:
“Mr. Merrick, I don’t have any real experience getting out of trouble because I don’t normally get into it. May I hire you?” Alissa asked. “I need your advice and expertise.”
The corner of his mouth curved up. “There’s only one kind of work-for-hire that I do.”
She frowned. “I understand.”
“No, I don’t think you do. I said you can’t hire me. I didn’t say I wouldn’t help you.”
She raised her eyebrows. “What would you hope for in return?”
She laughed softly, surprised and charmed. “I don’t believe for a minute that that’s the only thing you hope to gain.”
“I’m going to have a drink. I’ll make you one, too. Then you can tell me what illegal or immoral activities you’ve been involved in.”
“What?” she exclaimed. “Why would you say that?”
“Cato Jacobi came here to get you back, effectively announcing that he’d had you kidnapped. He wouldn’t have done that if he expected repercussions from your side of the wall. What could he know that would make your family and friends refuse to come after you?”
“Nothing . . .” She trailed off, thinking of her father. Even if someone had found out about that, she couldn’t imagine anyone helping a ventala to kidnap her. That was effectively being an accomplice to murder, since most ventala would have bled her to death—as Jacobi almost had. She clenched her teeth. Had she really been betrayed by someone she knew? If so, that person couldn’t be allowed to get away with it. Alissa would have to find out who had done it and why.
Merrick stood at the bar, his back to her. The sound of ice sliding along the walls of a cocktail shaker filled the air. “We don’t have a lot of time.”
“Mr. Merrick, if you give your word, do you honor it?” she asked.
“I’ve heard that you do . . . keep your word, despite the way you make your living.” She paused, sitting up straighter. “Will you give me your word that you’ll keep what I tell you a secret? And that if you’re not inclined to help me, you won’t prevent me from leaving?”
“I will be inclined to help you, and I will let you leave,” he said, his voice as smooth as the polished steel of the shaker.
He strained a mixture that looked like hazy sunlight into a chilled cocktail glass.
She took a deep breath and exhaled, rubbing her forehead.
This subject makes her weary, Merrick thought.
“I’ve been secretly using my influence to help someone. I’ve lied about it. If anyone from the Etherlin found out what I’ve been doing, I would get into a great deal of trouble.”
He walked over to her and held out the glass. “Who have you been helping?”
She tilted her head, her pale blue eyes widening slightly in an innocent expression that made Merrick both hungry and wary.
As she took the drink, she said, “I’d rather not say.”
For any readers who want free materials and more information about my books, please visit my website at http://frostfiction.com/ (Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you want to be informed of new releases.)
One of the great things about visiting blogs is being able to do a giveaway to celebrate the release. To be entered for a chance to win a copy of ALL THAT BLEEDS, please visit the comments section and tell me either (a) your favorite cocktail or (b) your favorite night out. Three winners will be chosen.
Thanks so much for reading!
So you read Maidens! We have three (3) copies of All That Bleeds up for grabs, open internationally. All you have to do is:
1. Be a follower of this blog
2. Answer Kimberly’s question in the comments below.
Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you!