Sunday, January 31, 2016

Vampires and Rural Fantasy

For my 17th Amber Quill release on the Heat side (m/f) I tried my first an only--to date--vampire story. And it was far from the typical vampire tale. Well, Deirdre never was one to stick with the established paradigms and stay securely in the box!

The Chess Master's Queen was one of those tales that seemed to take a life of its own and it took off in ways I had no clue of when I began to write it. First off, I know that chess is not considered a sexy game but... I may be giving my age away but I harked back to the first Thomas Crown Affair with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen. There was a chess game and talk about subtle but flaming hot. Whew. A scarlet finger-nailed hand lasciviously stroking a pawn threatened to start a fire! So I knew there were possibilities. That was where I started on a story for a collection called Games People Play.

Then somehow the hero became a vampire, bored with his nonlife and a brilliant young woman of mixed ancestry who challenges the old champion to a match... Turned out there was much more to her than anyone suspected too. To say more would be a spoiler  so I will just go to the blurb and cover!!

Viktor Yabaczill has built himself a comfortable, if rather boring, existence, concealing the fact he is Vampara, a member of one ancient vampire kind. His hobby and passion is chess. When he receives a mysterious challenge to a match, he hopes it will provide some excitement and liven up his tedious life. Little does he know just how exciting things can get...
Ekatrina Kelleher has a secret...actually several secrets. The most precious is the formula to move beyond existence as one of the undead to true eternal life. Long ago, she was slighted by an ignorant peasant lad, but after waiting eons to get her revenge, she now intends to sample some lascivious thrills in the process...
When Viktor and Ekatrina go head-to-head over a chess board, sparks fly, and the stakes are eternal life versus erotic slavery. Will it be a "win-win" or a "lose-lose" situation? Neither knows until the final checkmate.

A bit later, I began what became a series about a future or alternate reality version of the US Border Patrol where a new division is focused on a very different type of alien invaders. No national boundaries involved here but mysterious gates that link a universe full of realities through which some very bad baddies come. The first tale, Beyond the Shadows, tells the story of two childhood buddies who find they are working together and delve into a shared past to find the power and methods to stop one of one very nasty character. In doing so they learn they once were  lovers and perhaps should become so again--but will their friendship survive such a change? This was the first of my Thin Green Line series. You'll be hearing more about the other stories soon.

Here is the blurb and the cover which I really like!

First-year Border Patrol officers Rhys Davis and Liam Malone have been friends since second grade.
When their new assignment puts them on the front line in tracking down a vicious and inhuman killer, an unearthly Soul-Eater, along the southern border, they must call on every resource at their disposal.
The most potent of these resources turns out to be memories they share from two thousand years ago, a time in the British Isles when they were partners in every way, forming an eternal bond that allowed them to defeat this same enemy in that lifetime.
Now, Rhys and Liam can't help but wonder...will crossing the line from friends to lovers in this lifetime destroy their friendship or build on it?

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