She Kissed a Vampire
Werewolves of the West
Carol Van Atta
Print Length: 278 pages
Publisher: Cambridge Press US
December 16, 2013
Best selling author Melanie Larson’s relationship with her friend, Chloe Carpenter, is bleak. Falsely accused of murder, Chloe’s future rests in the hands of her mate, Zane Marshall, and the Pacific Pack’s purebred werewolves. In an effort to help, Melanie joins forces with the pack and soon discovers the monsters she writes about in her paranormal novels really do go bump in the night.
As Chloe struggles with legal troubles, an unwanted blood bond with a master vampire, and a reunion with her mate, Melanie untangles the attention of multiple supernatural suitors determined to claim her as their own. Strangely attracted to a brazen vampire, she must decide if the blurred line between passion and pain is worth crossing.
Werewolves, vampires, and fae royalty race to unearth an ancient artifact with the power to extend their existence. Can Chloe and Melanie restore their friendship in time to stop magical mayhem from ruining everything they’ve worked so hard to redeem?
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Unable to resist the command, my mind obeyed and turned on like a switch had been flipped. I made every effort to preserve my calm facade while consciousness replaced nothingness, invading darkness with light. Dreading the scene waiting to unfold, I kept my eyes closed a few seconds longer and conducted a quick scan of my body.
Wiggling my toes and fingers confirmed what I felt. I was all woman, and mortal, according to my latest captor. Part of me was pleased by the realization; in this limiting form I wouldn’t have access to my power of invisibility or any telekinetic abilities, but there were other alternatives. I reached with my mind hoping to determine the number and nature of supernatural creatures in the vicinity.
A knifing spike hammered into my mind putting an abrupt halt to my probing. “You will keep any special skills you wish to wield to yourself. Is that understood?”
Still on my back, scared to sit up, I settled for nodding and forced a mental barrier in place over my thoughts. If they, whoever they were, had any clue about my little mind protecting trick, they didn’t acknowledge it. Somehow I had a feeling they were strong enough to know, but didn’t care. Anything I might conjure would be small potatoes compared to whatever they had in their stockpile of paranormal party favors.
“You will rise,” my captor chimed with cruel intent that was unmasked by the musical quality of his voice.
Firm hands propelled me into an upright position. I was sitting on a grassy knoll inside a perfect circle of flowers. The alien flora bore no resemblance to anything I’d seen. Though a beautiful shade of purple with blood red petals, they weren’t something to pick for your favorite vase. Instead they stood more like sentinels guarding whatever or whoever was unlucky enough to be inside their colorful ring.
For the moment, that would be me.
“Though only a human, you are indeed pleasing to look at,” my captor said while his eyes glided over me, soaking in every detail.
Considering I was still without clothing, he was getting the complete Chloe picture. I quickly crossed my legs and covered my breasts. The no-clothing situation was something I hoped to rectify soon, if I survived long enough.
At first glance I believed he was somehow related to the fae prince I’d seen in the police station parking lot. I guessed they might even be brothers. As much as I wanted to ask, I refrained. Between the menacing flowers that reminded me of blood stained talons, and his personal guards glaring down at me, the atmosphere remained toxic. The wrong word would be more than enough reason to end my existence despite my so-called pleasing appearance. The creatures around me were no strangers to beauty. My own was diminished in comparison and wasn’t going to win me any favors in this place where colors were so shocking I wanted to shield my eyes.
“Now, if you’d be so kind as to return the ring.”
How I’d overlooked the glimmering band of gold, still snug on my finger, was more than strange, given my otherwise lack of accessories. Naked me sporting stolen magical ring was not an easy image to miss—especially now that the ring was singing.
My limited vocabulary couldn’t begin to articulate what I was hearing. The sound it emitted was utterly foreign and wholly divine, caressing my soul with the purest of harmonies. Song, music … none of the usual words came close to describing its unparalleled enchantment. No one moved or dared to interrupt its mystifying symphony.
The ring had captivated us all.
Again my mind flashed to Tolkien’s fantastical tale. Instead of the hideous beast Gollum facing off with Frodo the Hobbit, it was me against a fair fae prince and his army. Given my powers, I could have taken Gollum in a fight, the prince, not a chance. Unless …
Why was he asking for the ring if he had the power to take it?
The Werewolves of the West Series
Carol Van Atta
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Charles River Press
Number of pages: 446
Cover Artist: Ann Falcone
Chloe Carpenter isn't like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.
In her otherwise wacky life, she's finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he'd roar right back out.
Problem: He's her new coworker and he's saved her life twice - in the past twenty-four hours.
Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do - figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.
With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected. Remarkably, she's the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.
Problem: She despises him.
Together, they're forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.
Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she'll do anything to keep him from Chloe.
About the Author:
Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie's Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she's an ex-80's chick.
Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.
She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.
Please welcome author, Carol Van Atta, who has stopped by to answer some questions and share some details about theWerewolves of the West Series.
How long did it take you to write I Kissed a Dog and/or She Kissed a Vampire?
I wish I could write faster! With a fulltime ‘day job,’ single parenthood, and caring for a mom with dementia, until just recently, I have had to work really hard to focus on writing. Many times I am up until 2:00 AM hunched over my laptop with my regular work day just a few hours away. For these reasons, and a slight addiction to hidden object games, both I Kissed a Dog and She Kissed a Vampire took me about a year each to complete from rough draft until final proof.
If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side?
Oh my! Difficult decision. I think I’ll take the sexy vampire behind door number three, Alcuin. Yep, he’s the man (vampire) for me. He is sexy (always important when you’re stranded on an island), a fantastic and creative lover (need something to do during those long tropical nights, right?), is loyal (won’t leave me behind when the rescuers arrive), and most importantly, we don’t actually need to wait around for someone to save us. We can leave whenever we want, because he has the power to teleport! Need I say more?
If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
If I could be BFF’s with one of my characters, it would be Melanie Larson, one of the heroines in She Kissed a Vampire. To start with, Melanie is an author―an author making a significant salary. I would hopefully learn some tantalizing tips for success from her wealth of experiences and generous advice. Maybe she’d even be willing to share all her incredible writing contacts. That would be fine with me. I am her BFF, after all. She would want to support my career, right? Just as important, she’s not a bombshell when it comes to appearance. Attractive, yes, but unlike Chloe Carpenter, she’s not all curvy and exotic, but more of a ‘girl next store’ type. I can relate! She’s also been furious with the male species. Once again, I can relate―a lot. And to top things off, she’s been tossed into a chaotic adventure overflowing with alpha males seeking her attention. There would surely be some extras for me…? Uh oh…I’m realizing this relationship is a bit one sided. Me taking what I want from her. Not true, though. I’d be able to provide wise council, sisterly support, and unlimited encouragement as she navigates the world of paranormal passions. I would do my good listening thing and help her with all the questions and concerns she’d surely have. Together we’d be a dynamic duo. Melanie, where are you? Let’s chat. Don’t I wish?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to! I write like I read, in several genres and more than one book at a time. I always have several stories in progress with a primary book I’m focusing on first. I’m finishing up book two in my Soul Defenders series and Bottle Banished: Dreaming of Genie, a new and exciting brand of paranormal romance featuring genies. And, of course, book three in the Werewolves of the West series, She Kissed a Prince, is on the table.
What book are you reading now?
The question should ask: What books (as in plural) are you reading now? Because I tend to read several books at once, well, not all in the same ‘reading session,’ but you know what I mean! One afternoon at lunch I’m reading a hot biker romance, and then that evening I’m reading a fantasy adventure, an hour later I have a taste for a dystopian young adult read. I just finished Six Brothers, Lili St Germain (can hardly wait for book three, Five Miles) I also completed Winter, Nikita Rae (Loved it!), and am now reading Unravel, Calia Read and The Bloodletter’s Daughter, Linda Lafferty; two totally different genres, but equally good. Lastly, I’ve been enjoying an eighties horror thriller featuring vicious, hungry werewolves by Ronald Kelly, Undertaker’s Moon. How is that for variety?
What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks?
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I ‘prefer’ all three! If it’s nonfiction I prefer paperback or hardcover, if it’s fiction Kindle is great, though the other formats work too. I love the smell of new books and can’t imagine not having the option to read book books even though I frequently depend on my Kindle. I truly appreciate having the various options. Now if a book has an awesome cover like Karen Moning’s Shadow Fever, hardback it is! Have you seen that cover? The hardback has this awesome translucent cover designed to add to the beauty of the actual hard cover. Gorgeous! Had to have that one on my shelf not in my Kindle library!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you everyone for taking time to read my interview. I’d like to invite you into a world of werewolves, vampires, faeries, and other bump-in-the-night creatures lurking on the pages of the Werewolves of the West series. If you enjoy fast-paced, supernatural thrill rides with risky (and risqué) romance, you just might enjoy my books. I hope you’ll take a taste and savor the story. Happy reading!