I did it! I really did it! I finally got to interview the stars of J.D. Brown's new novel Dark Heirloom in my little corner of the Realm! I'm so excited about this book coming out that it feels like one of my own. Settle in and relax for the chat. I know it's kinda dark, but your eyes will adjust...a bit...maybe.
J.D. is offering a giveaway, too. So, watch for it below...
J.D. is offering a giveaway, too. So, watch for it below...
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Charlene sets her copy of Dark Heirloom beside her chair then leans to turn on the electric fire in the hearth. The heavy drapes swoosh as she pulls them to cover the picture window. The room plunges into darkness and she squeezes her eyes shut to make them adjust quicker. She opens them to a dim glow from the imitation flames. Deep shadows hide much of the living room but with a quick swipe, she dusts the top of the mantel, knowing everything will appear clear as day to her guests. Setting her hands on her hips, she nods with satisfaction.
As she places blue plastic cups, complete with lids and straws, on the coffee table, the doorbell rings.
Charlene: *Places a hand on her heart and breathes deep with a whisper* Oh my word. They actually came. Breathe, Charlene. Just breathe. *Opens the door to the evening sunset and flashes a star-struck smile* Ema, Jesu! *Her clumsy southern accent attempts to pronounce it yes-oo* Oh, please, please come in!
Jesu and Ema make their way into Charlene’s home and then remove their sunglasses. Ema glances around but avoids looking at the imitation fire. Her gaze lands on the cups and she clears her throat to dispel her nerves.
Ema: It’s great to see you again, Charlene. Thanks for inviting us to the Romance Realm.
Jesu: *nods in agreement* It has been much too long since we all got together for a chat.
Charlene: *Quickly closes the door* You are always welcome to my little corner of the Realm! Please, have a seat. I hoped you would come even if the sun wasn’t quite set yet. I can adjust the fire if it’s too bright for you. *Turns and runs into a table, nearly knocking over the potted plant. Fumbles to grab it in time*
Jesu quickly rights the fallen table and guides the plant down before Charlene can accidently drop it on the floor. He stifles a chuckle too soft for Charlene to hear anyway.
Charlene: Oh, sorry. It’s kind of dark in here for me. Lol. Eyes haven’t…adjusted yet.
Ema: *snickers* Charlene, you can turn on a few lamps. Jesu and I have our sunglasses.
Jesu: *nods* There is no reason for you to be blind.
Charlene: Oh, I’ll be fine. *Feels her way to her chair and settles in her seat* I hope you don’t mind that I put your drinks in plastic cups. Er, blood kinda makes me queezy to look at. *blushes* It’s *gags a little* pigs blood. Sorry. It’s the only kind I could get around here. We have a butchery down the way.
Ema: Aww, you really didn’t have to go through all that trouble. Trust me, I think blood is gross too and I’m a vampyre. But I’m glad you put lids on the cups. That makes it a teensy bit easier to resist.
Jesu: Honestly, Charlene, we are more than comfortable here. But I am happy to finish them off so you won’t have to deal with it later. *He takes a cup and starts sipping*
Charlene: *Feels around for her book and sets it in her lap* You guys must be so excited to have Dark Heirloom published. I know I am! I love, love your story. I’m not usually taken by vampire stories. But, yours is fantastic!
Ema: I’m very excited Dark Heirloom is published now. We’ve been waiting a long time and I know our author, J.D., hasn’t quite come back down to Earth yet. *LOL*
Jesu: Yes, everyone is very excited. We are all proud of J.D.
Charlene: Well, it makes for an amazing read. I never imagined the vampyre evolved alongside us humans and affected our history like that.
Ema: I never imagined it either. *Snort*
Jesu: Actually, Charlene, it was the nephilim that evolved along with humans. Vampyres are a hybrid of the two species.
Charlene: That’s right. The nephilim. Horrible sorts they were. So, tell me Ema, you had quite an experience when you first came in contact with this other part of our world. J.D. really put you through some traumatic stuff. How did you manage to handle it all?
Ema: You mean the part where I was kidnapped or the part where I mysteriously turned into a vampyre? *LOL* I was pretty floored by the whole thing. It was hard to swallow the fact that vampires/vampyres are real and that I wasn’t human anymore. I mean, you don’t really feel any different when it happens but you do get this really weird sense that something is way, way off and you suddenly have super powers. In fact, I still wouldn’t believe it was true if it wasn’t for the super powers.
Charlene: *Peers at Ema with gleam in her eye* What was your first impression of Jesu when you met him?
Ema: Ah, *clears throat* you’re going to make me say this right in front of him? Oh, fine. I thought his accent was sexy. There.
Jesu: *Bites his lip and turns to the side, hoping the ladies don’t notice the growing smile. He chuckles to himself.*
Charlene: I know there’s a spark there. Lifts a brow expecting a confession or at least further info*
Ema: Oh sure, there are sparks. They just happen to be in the form of exploding fire balls. *Looks at the audience* Jesu can manipulate the elements. He does a few neat tricks with fire.
Charlene: Hmm. Not the answer I was getting at. *chuckes* But, I’ll let you off the hook. We can talk later. *winks* How about you Jesu? What was your first thought when you saw Ema? Fill us in.
Jesu: My first thought was something like ‘Holy ****, she exists?!?!’ But that makes no sense out of content, so I will attempt to explain. I had a premonition about Ema some two thousand years ago but I thought maybe it was a fluke. My psychic abilities are a bit sporadic and, well, after all those years with no sign of her I thought maybe it was just a dream.
Charlene: So, you knew she was out there. Did you try to find her?
Jesu: Oh yes, I tried. I shamefully joined a group of assassins who travel the world and hunt human-vampyre offspring. I was hoping I would find her before the others did, but like I said, the longer I went, the more I started to believe I goofed up. I quit the group in 1925 and returned home.
Charlene: All that time you had to have built up big expectations. *Leans forward with a gleam in her eye* Is she everything you dreamed she would be?
Jesu: *Chokes on his drink and coughs* I should have seen this question coming. *laughs* Well, to be honest, she is everything and more. I already knew what she would look like. I wasn’t prepared for her to be a vampyre, I thought she would be human, but even still I recognized her immediately. Her personality though… *Chews his lip in thought* …Her personality is the ‘more’ part.
Ema: *Glares a bit* More, huh?
Jesu: *Chuckles* Yes…more.
Charlene: This has to be all so foreign to you, Ema. What is the hardest thing you’ve found to adapt to? Why?
Ema: Uh, yes, it’s the bloodlust! I mean, it’s totally barbaric and gross for one thing. And as if that’s not bad enough, I can’t just drink it when I’m thirsty like a normal vampire, oh no, not me! I have to crave it all the time. I mean all the time. And it makes me drunk as skunk! Seriously, it’s embarrassing. I can deal with the rest, but having to live off a substance that makes you drunk is a pain the butt.
Jesu: *Places his empty cup on the table and then picks up the second one*
Charlene: *A sly grin spreads on her lips and she looks from one to the other* I understand things really heat up.
Ema: *Glares at Charlene and grumbles* In a totally hammered and crude impulse type of way.
Jesu: *Stifles another laugh*
Charlene: And what’s Jalmari’s weird fascination with you? I mean Prince Jalmari ta Korento, prince of the Neo-Draugrian running you down in a Chicago alley, intent on killing you for some reason, but brings you to his castle… Honestly, he seems to totally despise you.
Ema: Believe me, the feeling’s mutual. *Ema rolls her eyes* Jalmari is Jesu’s older brother, for those out there who don’t know yet, and heir to the Neo-Draugrian Clan’s throne. In a word, Jalmari is neurotic. He wants to sink a knife in my chest…literally.
Charlene: But why on earth would he?
Ema: He’s in that same group of human-vampyre assassins that Jesu was in. But he’s not calling all the shots. He’s possessed and that other essence inside him technically saved my life…for now. It has an agenda of its own.
Jesu: *Sighs* Yes, I’m afraid my brother is hell-bent on ending Ema’s life. Things are a bit messy right now and unfortunately my premonition seems to be coming to fruition.
Charlene: Okay, I’ll lighten up…just a bit. *winks* What powers have you discovered you have now, Ema?
Ema: *Laughs* This is going to sound weird but…I can shape shift into a wolf and a vampire bat (I know, original right?), I can walk up walls like Spider Man but with slightly different mechanics. I can levitate/fly, and I can disburse my elements from a solid to gas form which makes me look invisible. It’s pretty cool. Oh, and I also have acute senses now! I can hear and smell things from very far away and I can see in the dark. Of course the tradeoff is I’m practically blind in the light. I’m also stronger now. Like super strong…but that also has its little disadvantage…I can withstand pain but only because I’m practically numb.
Charlene: Well, those have got to come in handy when you go to the Under World to find Apollyon to… Wait. I’ll let you tell us a little about that. *smiles, expectantly*
Ema: Yeah, you would think all those powers would be useful against my enemies. I mean, I did! But I don’t have a good grasp on them yet. You have to be totally relaxed and “zen” in order to control them, so I pretty much draw blanks in high-stress situations. *Shakes her head and mumbles* Not useful at all.
Jesu: *Pats Ema’s hand* You will get the hang of it eventually…with practice.
Ema: Right, practice, that’s all I ever do and yet I still totally suck.
Charlene: I can’t say I’d ever want to face Apollyon or even be in the same country as he is much less in Hell with him.
Ema: You’re telling me! Have you ever seen the movie The Mummy? You know the scene when the mummy pops out of his crypt? *shudders* I won’t say exactly who Apollyon is; I’ll leave some mystery for the readers. *wink*
Charlene: Jesu, how does all of this make you feel? You have to be frantic over it all. Why would you put yourself on the line to protect a woman you barely met? I mean, *Glances at Ema* No offense, Ema. *Then back to Jesu* I know she’s pretty and spunky, but really…
Ema: None taken *LOL*
Jesu: *Shifts his weight in his seat* ‘Frantic’ is a good way to describe it, Charlene. Unfortunately, my family is in the center of it all. While I do not care for Apollyon, I hate having to be on the opposing side of my brother. I wish Jalmari would come to his senses and join us instead of living in constant fear. As far as choosing Ema over Jalmari… *Jesu glances at Ema then leans forward as his gaze returns to Charlene, his expression grave* …my brother knows and understands my devotion to her. If it comes to it, I will end my brother’s life to save Ema’s.
Ema: *Rolls her eyes* Don’t let him fool you with theatrics and words like ‘devotion’. He has to protect me. His will is bound. It’s an obligation.
Jesu: *Winces* I would choose to protect you if it was optional as well.
Ema: Yeah, right. You and I both know you wouldn’t willingly kill your brother. He’s your brother! *Whispers* Even if he is a jackass…
Jesu: *Narrows his gaze and sips his drink in silence*
Charlene: *Moves on to the next question to lighten the air* So what’s coming up next for the Ema Marx series? I understand Dark Liaison is underway.
Ema: *Happy to change the subject* Yep, J.D. is finishing up the draft of Book 2, Dark Liaison, and going to start revisions soon. She says she estimates that the complete series will have five to seven books. And she has tons more up her selves were that came from. Living in her head is kind of crazy with all those story ideas zipping around.
Charlene: You know I’m going to ask for a sneak peek of Dark Heirloom to share with the readers. *smiles*
Ema: Absolutely, take your pick and I’ll rip out the page for you.
Charlene: Oh, no, no. Don’t rip my book! *flushes* I mean, I’ll just pick something out. *Smiles and hugs the book to her chest, protectively* One last question. Is there any hope you two…you know…get together? Without the effects of the bloodlust that is. Lol.
Jesu and Ema: *Looks to opposite sides of the room and fidget while mumbling their responses too low for the humans to hear*
Charlene: Hmm. Well, you two will have to fess up sooner or later. *stands and hugs Ema* Thank you so much for coming all this way to visit with me. I know my little rural Arkansas community isn’t anything like Chicago, but I hope you enjoy a little bit of being home from our southern hospitality.
Ema: Oh, it’s nice being back on American soil. I can actually speak the language! Lapland is beautiful but they’re totally missing out on Starbucks and McDonalds up there. Too bad I don’t eat cooked beef anymore. *Hugs Charlene tight*
Jesu: I can make you a burger with raw meat when we get back.
Charlene: *Walks them to the door and peeks out to make sure the sun had gone down. Stars litter the night sky* It’s a beautiful night out tonight. *smiles back at them* Will you be flying back to Finland?
Jesu: *grins* We might run it.
Charlene: Of course. Right over the ocean, you element manipulating sort, you. *Looks up at Jesu and wishes she could hug his sweet self* Be safe. And I expect you to come back when Dark Liaison comes out.
Ema: *Waving god-bye* Absolutely!
Jesu: Thank you again, Charlene!
Charlene closes the door with a sigh. Flipping on the light switch, brightness glares from the ceiling fan’s globes. She squints with a grunt and turns it back off. Settling beside the illuminations in the hearth, she tilts her head and enjoys the comfort of the soft illusions. I wonder what the fires are like at Jalmari’s casle in Lapland, Finland.
An air of humor passes her lips. I never thought I’d dream of wanting to be in a vampyre’s castle. She looks down at her copy of Dark Heirloom. Wow. I had Ema and Jesu here in my living room. The stars of the only vampire book that ever kept me awake reading nonstop until I was finished. She scoffs. And the heroine wanted to rip out an excerpt. She hugs it back to her chest. Not a chance.
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J.D.’s books are available in e-book formats from Muse It Up Publishing Inc. and major e-book retailers. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her via email to DarkHeirloom@gmail.com or visit her website at http://authorjdbrown.com
Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.
The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…
I placed the book on the nightstand and stretched my arms over my head, being careful not to wake the cat. My fingers drummed on the mattress, craving motion. I was also thirsty. I stretched out my legs and then made my way to the kitchen Jesu and I shared. I opened the mini- fridge sitting on the counter. Just as I suspected, medical bags of blood filled the inside.
My mouth watered from the scarlet sight as the urge to hunt ignited deep inside. Part of me, the sane part, was disgusted by the idea of drinking blood. Another part said not to fight the urge. Closing the refrigerator, I forced myself to listen to the sane part of my brain.
I found the glasses and filled one with tap water. I gulped down the water. A bitter ash taste coated my mouth. I coughed the liquid into the sink like vomit. My throat thickened. A scratchy lump swelled in the center. I couldn’t swallow. Panic prickled under my skin like static shock as a dull ache coiled in my gut.
My hands trembled as I opened the mini-fridge and grabbed two bags of the slushy liquid. Viciously grinding my teeth together to keep from savagely tearing into the bags, I reached for another glass. I was determined to drink the stuff like a civilized being.
I sucked in a deep breath and held it as I tried to steady my hands enough to pour the contents of the first bag into the cup. A drop spilled over the edge of the glass. A groan escaped my lips as I refrained from licking the counter. My chest heaved in gulps of air by the time I had steadied my hands enough to bring the cup to my lips.
I chugged the entire glass. My body instantly relaxed. Euphoria expanded my lungs and filled every muscle with a buzzing energy. While pouring the second bag, the urge to hunt thickened in my gut, but it felt different this time. I no longer wanted to hunt to feed. I had all the blood I needed right next to me. No, I craved something else. The thrill of the chase. Hunting for sport.
A flash of green in the corner of my eyes alerted me to Jesu’s presence. He watched me from just behind the corner. Again, I wondered how I hadn’t heard his approach, but my nostrils flared, filling with the scent of spring rain, and a switch flipped in my mind. My lips curled as I stepped in his direction, instinctively hooking my fingers around the glass. I sipped it as I slowly circled him.
The little remaining sanity I had left fought for control, but the animalistic urges were stronger and crushed any attempt at logic. I slithered next to Jesu’s right side, his left braced against the wall. My heart raced as the scent of his essence drove my inner passions to the edge. My left hand brushed against his fingers. Just the thought of our hands mingling together electrified my body. My pulse sped as I traced the top of his palm with my index finger and thumb. My being screamed out for him, all the while never taking my eyes off his. I had to have him. He would be mine.
Jesu hesitated. His lips parted as desire flashed across his face. I was so close to him! So close and yet my skin couldn’t feel him, couldn’t really feel the flesh on his hand, couldn’t feel the heat radiating from his body, couldn’t feel the sweet breath from his lips as it caught in his throat. Damn my numb skin. Why couldn’t I feel anything?
Frustrated, I reached up and brushed his jet black hair, letting my fingers tangle in the wispy layers while running my thumb gently along his cheekbone. Nothing.
Would I feel it if I pressed myself against him? What if I kissed him, would either of us feel it?
His heart raced in tempo with mine as I pressed my chest against his. His breath came in short, quick gasps. I tilted my head and lifted onto my toes, my lips less than an inch from his. I leaned in, eager for the kill, but he turned away.
“I think you have had enough blood.” He pushed me a step back and reached for my drink.
An unnatural growl emanated from deep in my throat as I bore my fangs. “Mine!”
“Fine.” He withdrew his hand and receded into his bedroom. “But leave me out of your bloodlust.”
Get your copy at MuseItUpPublishing.com
~ Giveaway ~
Ema and Jesu are near by to answer any questions you might have. So, don't be shy. Ema's eager to talk about her new life and where ever she goes, Jesu will be there for her. He'll join in and answer too. *leans head to the blog readers* Did you know he's a prince too? *nods* Prince Jesu ta Korento. And has emerald green eyes? And smells like a spring day after it rained? *big sigh*
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Posted by Charlene A. Wilson, paranormal romance author.
Cornerstone Deep Echoes