When One Demon Lover Just Isn’t Enough – Behind the Red Door by Alexandra Christian

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Just in time for lazing on the beach (or hiding your Kindle from the kiddies at the beach house), my baby sister, Alexandra Christian, is releasing all three novellas in her Behind the Red Door series from Mocha Memoirs Press in one hot and handy volume.  But here, I’ll let her tell you all about it:

Welcome to The Oubliette.

Cali Barrows has had it with love.  After wasting three years with the man she thought was the love of her life, she finds out that he’s been sleeping with his boss.  Broken-hearted and bored, Cali’s life had become a string of TV dinners and tawdry romance novels. She wondered where her life was going until she followed the mysterious stranger through the red door and enters a world that few would everknow existed.

The Oubliette is a safe haven for all those creatures that go bump in the night.  They cater to a very particular clientele and only those who seek it out may find the red door leading into a dark paradise of otherworldly delights.  Together with her vampire hosts, André and Leo, Cali becomes a matchmaker for the undead and unwittingly gets herself into all sorts of mischief, all the while slipping into a decadent world where every sensual desire is fulfilled.

One reviewer on Amazon wrote about “Three to Tango”:  “Two vampires, one human: many possibilities. I adored this story. It was shorter than I would like, to be honest. Just enough heat to spice things up without ruining the story.”

Get yer own here:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Alexandra%20Christian&search-alias=books#/ref=sr_nr_p_n_feature_browse-b_2?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3AAlexandra+Christian%2Cp_n_feature_browse-bin%3A618073011&bbn=283155&ie=UTF8&qid=1349328622&rnid=618072011

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strange-bedfellows-alexandra-christian/1113051106?ean=2940015623277

All Romance eBooks:  http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Alexandra+Christian

Bookstrand:  http://www.bookstrand.com/alexandra-christian

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/234701

Some end of the year housecleaning

tenderbitescoverHey kittens, guess what?  We survived the end of the world!  And with any luck, we’ll survive the end of 2012 altogether.  Just a few things before we do . . . .

First of all, thanks again SO MUCH to everybody who entered our Ho-Ho-Holiday Giveaway.  (Check out the text box to the right if you still don’t know who won.)  We had such a blast putting it together and such a good response, we’re already planning the sequel.  (Watch this space!)

Secondly, if you want to read my free-here-on-the-blog Christmas story, “Kissing Noel,” but you haven’t gotten around to it yet, hie thee hence, my darlings.  Come January 2, 2013, it’s gone . . . for-EV-AAAAAHHHHH.  Well, okay, gone until I put together another anthology at some point, but right now it’s free.  (Kindle & Nook & iPad lovers, if you really really really need a pdf, drop me a line at lucybluecastle@gmail.com before New Year’s Day, and I’ll see if I can hook you up.)

And finally, my vampire romance anthology, Tender Bites, is still very much available from Amazon for the shockingly low price of $2.49 – if you know somebody who got a Kindle for Christmas, my vamps will be more than happy to help them warm it up.

And unless there’s something somebody else wants to talk about, I think that’s it.  Thanks so much for reading this year; you guys know you all rock out.  I can’t wait to see what’s coming up for all of us in 2013!

The Artist

The penultimate preview peek at Tender Bites, my new vampire anthology – one more after today, then Saturday, it’s out.  Also, check back here on Saturday for details on a nifty new contest to go along with my first ever self-published e-book launch – it’s kind of like a wedding, something old, something new . . . .

As for this particular story, The Artist, I have a confession to make – I love’em all, but I think this one is the sexiest.  It’s my take on the classic vampire seduction with a slightly harder edge.  Want a taste?

The Artist

San Francisco, 1997

Dante wandered lonely as a cloud down the foggy San Francisco street, a black and brooding wisp of storm cloud that obscured and revealed each moonbeam pool of streetlight as he passed.  A subtle change had come over him lately, an ever-deepening malaise.  The vampire who had made him so many centuries before had warned him this would eventually happen, but he hadn’t believed it.  He had thought he would revel in his power for all eternity.  But lately, he hadn’t so much reveled as endured.  Nothing interested him; nothing excited him; even the taste of blood and the thrill of the kill had lost their spark. 

A happy cackle of feminine laughter danced out of an open doorway to rush to his defense.  Turning to the painted glass, he felt the cloud that surrounded him fading back into the fog . . .

The girl at the bar laughed again, one forearm resting lightly against her lover’s shoulder as he hovered by her stool.  Her clothes were as black and primitive cool as the vampire’s weary mood – black mesh shirt, black lace bra, black jeans so tight his eyes could trace the slit of her sex behind the denim.  But her black leather boots were nestled heel to terrifying heel on the bar at her elbow, leaving her little feet with their blue-polished nails bare to the scrutiny of the world.  And her red hair was as striking and utterly natural as her laugh.  A smile teased the corners of his mouth.  She was a darling, a cheeky little lamb tricked out in the black duds of the contemporary she-wolf.

In other words, just the ticket.

She leaned over to catch her mortal lover’s whisper and caught sight of the vampire watching from the window.  Her eyes widened as she made a droll face at him – waddya lookin’ at? the twist of her mouth demanded.  But her eyes weren’t nearly so tough or so funny.  When Dante continued to stare, unsmiling, unblinking, refusing to be moved, her eyes lost every defense.

“Francesca?” the man at her side asked, looking over his shoulder to see what had captured her attention so completely.  The vampire faded back from the glass, disappearing from their sight.  He watched the girl, Francesca’s expression cloud for a moment, vaguely confused and disappointed.  Then she turned back to her mortal beloved.  Francesca . . . don’t worry, he thought.  I won’t keep you waiting for long.

An hour later, he watched from a darkened doorway across the street as the happy little couple had a happy little argument on the sidewalk in front of the bar as their friends stood a discreet three or four yards away pretending to study the stars they couldn’t see through the San Francisco fog.  With a few well-chosen and deadly verbal assaults, Francesca and her lover negotiated a grudging peace as regards the rest of the evening, never dreaming a depressed and hungry vampire was hanging on every word.  They finally decided that he would go on with their friends and see another band while she took the car home and got some apparently pressing work done – a reasonable and sublimely convenient compromise, the vampire thought.  His smile would have made a strong man shudder had one been close enough to see it.

He closed his eyes and counted slowly, an ancient demon’s version of a mortal baby’s game.  Ninety-seven . . . ninety-eight . . . ninety-nine . . . one hundred.  He opened his eyes.  The sidewalk across the street was now empty except for a kid in an apron sweeping up cigarette butts.  Dante turned his face up to the moon’s caress and sniffed the air until he found her scent . . . crumbles of chocolate scattered amongst the crushed, wet petals of a rose . . .

He smiled again, fangs glittering in the dim, misty light.  Ready or not, sweetheart . . . .

Sanguine Kiss by Alexandra Christian – read it!

Today I’m turning over the crunchety, chocolatey blogness to somebody else – romantic erotica goddess Alexandra Christian.  Lex’s latest e-book, Sanguine Kiss, comes out today (September 12), and I trapped her in a small room and made her talk to me about it and her writing life in general. 

LB:  In 50 words or less, what’s your book about?

Sanguine Kiss is about a woman, Gillian, who is ditched by her lover in a most unsavory way.  Feeling rejected and replaced, she walks out on a bridge with the intention of jumping.  Before she can do it, she’s confronted by the sexy and arrogant Seth.  He offers her a better way of escaping the bonds of her mortal life.  He’s a vampire, bored with eternity and longing for a companion.  Gillian is all too keen on accepting his gift, but first she has some unfinished business.

 LB:  Is this your first vampire story?  What inspired you to write about vampires right now?

This is my first vampire story to be published.  I’ve always been a fan of the genre, both in literature and film.  Vampires are the ultimate sexy anti-hero, but in recent years, like many vampire enthusiasts, I’d become disillusioned with the whole genre.  Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and other books that are basically “My Big Fat Vampire Wedding” have been essentially de-fanging vampires by not letting them be the brutal predators they are.  It’s disappointing because you’re cutting off your hero’s testicles before the story even begins.  I became determined some years back to write a romance that had a ferocious vampire who likes blood and sex, yet still has a moral compass and isn’t afraid to rip your throat out.  Vampires should be scary, and there are several times in Sanguine Kiss where Seth is not only sexy but damned scary.

 LB:  Do you have a favorite vamp from literature or popculture? 

There are so many, it’s hard to choose.  Anyone who has ever met me is very much in touch with my love of the cheezy ’80s movie The Lost Boys.  The character of David in that movie is the epitome of the sexy vampire.  He likes girls, he’s fuckin’ scary, and he’s a killer.  He also has this joy about being immortal.  He doesn’t sit around whining about how miserable he is.

LB:  So why are we going to fall madly in lust with your vampire hero?

Seth is, at first glance, the ultimate romance novel hero.  He’s muscular, long dark hair and these incredible piercing eyes.  He commits his first heroic act by page five, but quickly dispenses with the boy scout routine.  He’s beautiful, arrogant, rich beyond our wildest dreams, and has this hyper-intelligence that is at first unnerving.  He has this inherent dominance that lets Gillian know he’s an Alpha from the first time they speak, but it isn’t something that he has to assert.  It’s simply a fact that we just accept. 

LB:  What’s your writing ritual?  What’s your favorite place and/or way to write?

I try to write every day, though sometimes it doesn’t work out.  My usual place is sitting on the couch with my dog, Murphy, sleeping at my side.  I have to have music in my ears, and I ALWAYS have a playlist to go along with each story.  In fact, any of my readers that subscribe to Spotify can listen to my “Dark Sexy” playlist, and they’ll be listening to the Sanguine Kiss playlist.  My favorite place to write, though, would be a coffeeshop with my writing buddies.  We have a weekly group that goes to our local Starbucks faithfully every Thursday night.  Those nights are usually my most productive times.  I don’t know if it has something to do with the pressure of knowing I have to be out by 10 pm or the unconscious competition with my peers or maybe just the double shot of espresso in the White Chocolate Mocha.

 LB:  What are you writing right now? 

I have several projects in the works right now.  I have another vampire story coming out this month with Mocha Memoirs Press that’s actually the beginning of a series about a nightclub that’s kind of like a singles’ bar for the paranormal.  I’m working on another series that involves different fetishes. I hope to be able to announce more about that one later this month.  I’ve also got two novels in their early stages:  a pirate adventure with mermaids and a voodoo retelling of the obscure French fairy tale, “The White Cat.”  I’m also collaborating  on a steampunk novel with the amazing Lucy Blue.  I’m really excited about that one!  At any rate, I’m a busy girl these days. 

LB:  It all sounds amazing – very best of luck with all of it.  And yeah, you have my sympathy about that co-writer of yours . . . .  

So there you go, kittens – new vampy delectable!  I can’t wait to read it.

And now for something much more fun – a WIP snippet!

Here’s an little unpolished gem from the story I’m typing up for a vampire erotica anthology – nothing too explicit, just a little sexy.  The name of the story is “The Artist.” 

* * * * * *

            Francesca twisted the chopsticks into her hair then jabbed the points into the knot to hold it in place.  Her eyes never left the still-damp painting on the easel before her, and any observer could have seen from her face she wasn’t pleased.  “That is a gimpy leg.”  She took a long slurp from the icy bottle of Jaegermeister she had just taken out of the freezer to help her burn the midnight oil.  “If I’m supposed to be so fucking talented, how did I paint that gimpy leg?”  She set the bottle aside and reached for her palette, poking the remaining gob of fleshtone there for viable moisture with a delicate, blue-nailed finger.  “Yech . . .”

            “Actually,” a voice said from behind her.  “I don’t think it looks so bad.”

            “Yeah, well, you’re crazy,” she retorted, unalarmed.  She picked up a brush and wiped it clean before attacking the offending limb with a fresh coat of background – another lost cause.  “And a liar.  Didn’t you say your dick would rot off if you didn’t get to see Heavyside with everybody else?”

            The laugh was friendly, even affectionate, but the sound made her scalp start to tingle – that was definitely not her guy.  “He didn’t actually say that, did he?”  She turned around to find the dark-haired stranger with the scary bedroom eyes standing right behind her.  “What is it I’m supposed to say?”  It was the guy from the window before – correction, the gorgeous guy from the window before, the one who had given her the willies in a thousand different interesting ways.  Only now he was smiling.  “Pardon me, miss, but you seem to have mistaken me for someone else.”

            “So I noticed.”  She backed way, suddenly painfully aware that she wasn’t wearing anything but underpants, socks, and a sweater.  “Who the hell are you?  How did you get in here?”

            “Don’t ask.”  He held a palm up in front of her face in a theatrical gesture that should have been ridiculous but somehow just wasn’t.  “I’m tired, Francesca.”  His voice slid around her like a slowly unfurling skein of silky spider’s web, making every word and every gesture seem not only reasonable but beautiful, a consummation devoutly to be wished.  His hand . . . the artist in her was fascinated by it, the perfect curve of the muscle below his thumb sweeping up to the shadowed center where every line crossed, fingers curled in ever so slightly, pale and delicate but strong, with a powerful man’s wrist, too thick for her to reach around with her fingers, should she ever work up the guts to try.  So that’s what a hand looks like, she thought with perfect clarity, but nothing else seemed quite real.  “Don’t ask me to explain.”  He reached slowly for the chopsticks in her hair and slid them out.  “Don’t send me away.”

            “Don’t worry.”  She laughed, and all her questions and anxieties fell away as easily as her long red hair fell down her back.  Slut, she scolded herself with a merry inner laugh as he took a step closer and her breath caught short. 

            His hands came down on her shoulders, holding her body fast a few scant inches from his own.  His face came closer and closer, those eyes crashing over her like a velvet-dark wave, drowning her perceptions until the lids suddenly fell shut, an angel’s lashes on his cheek, brushing her cheek as his lips brushed over her own, so cold and soft.  “What are you?” she asked as the cold, soft mouth slipped up over her cheek, her eyelids, thrilling flicker of tongue as he tasted her skin.

            “Do you care?”  He caught her nose ring between his teeth and gave it a gentle tug before he backed away and looked into her eyes.

            Why aren’t I afraid? she thought, reaching out slowly to lay her hands against his chest.  She needed to prove to herself he was solid, that he was really there.  I should be really, really afraid.  “Yeah.”  She looked up at his face again.  “I think I really do.”

            He kissed her mouth again, his hand closing gently over her wrist and guiding her hand to the opening at the throat of his shirt, sliding it inside.  His flesh was like living stone, the muscle cool to the touch with no heartbeat underneath.  She gasped against his mouth, flinching, and he broke the kiss.  “Don’t be scared.”  His eyes were serious . . . and changing . . the black was fading – no, dissolving – no, burning up in a green-gold glow.  “Are you sure you want to know?” 

* * * * * *

End of snippet – stay tuned for the rest!