Hello everyone! I’ve got some more cool stuff for you today! It’s just a lil sumtin LOL So lemme just show you….
Blood and Guitars, Book one
I was living a rock star’s dream and, from the outside looking in, I had everything a guy could wish for. But there was something missing. I had never imagined there was anything better than having thousands of devoted fans scream out my name. That all changed the night I looked into her poison green eyes. – Trey
He shouldn’t have been able to make me feel anything, least of all alive. I would be risking everything to be with him. He was human and that was dangerous enough, but for all my moon-given talents, I was powerless against him. – Aurora
When Aurora meets Trey, a famous singer and musician, she’s only hoping to get her fill of human blood for the week. The last thing Aurora expects is for Trey to make her feel alive for the first time since she was, well, alive. It begins with a casual painting lesson at her art studio, The Waking Moon, and quickly turns into a forbidden romance. Aurora is forced to hide her true identity from Trey, while keeping her relationship with the human a secret from other vampires in her Brood. Trey’s band is recording a new album and with Aurora as his muse, Trey is writing songs like never before. After being hired by their record label to paint the cover of the new album, Aurora has a legitimate reason for spending so much time with Trey and his band mates. Aurora can’t deny the unexpected connection she has with Trey, which is fueled by glimpses into his emotions every time they share a kiss. Caught between two worlds, Aurora must attend celebrity award shows and vampire rituals, find time to feed, and protect Trey from the dangers of the night, all while preserving her secrets.
The clock on the wall in the loft of The Waking Moon read ten after midnight. I was standing at the easel, a brush in my hand, while Trey worked out a new song on his acoustic guitar. He sat on the floor with his back against the half-wall while his voice echoed around the loft.
“I lie awake
These sleepless nights can last forever
I try to take you in.
“I can’t believe …
You’re in my arms- and here with me
I pinch myself again.
“Cause I know … it’s worth it
You’re worth- whatever it takes
To make you stay.
“And I’ll show … you over and over
Every day- as long as you’ll stay
I’d been painting him for half an hour, although of course, he had no idea that’s what I was doing. He just looked so incredible sitting there barefoot in his jeans and t-shirt, cradling his guitar, that I couldn’t help myself. The song was getting to me, too. It was poetic, the way words flowed from him effortlessly. Who knew I was a sucker for musicians? I’d already finished painting Trey, capturing every aspect of him from the carefree spirit in his azure eyes to the fashionably worn holes in his jeans. As I switched to a silver metallic paint to work on the details of Trey’s instrument, I struggled to shake off memories of the night before.
After hours of playing Guitar Hero two nights ago, I’d spent all day yesterday sleeping and had gone hunting after dark. Finding someone to feed from had been the easy part, but when I got close enough to get a good look at his face, I’d been surprised to discover that he had a remarkable resemblance to Trey. It wasn’t as if I’d thought it was Trey at any point. I could definitely tell the difference. But the similarities were shocking. He’d had hair just like Trey’s, and his eyes … they were the same crystal clear blue. Instead of using whatever lie of a story I had in my mind to distract him like I’d planned, I’d found myself staring at him in astonishment until he was asking if I was okay. In the end I’d mumbled something about how he might consider a career as a celebrity impersonator as I walked away.
Not exactly the ending I’d had in mind. I’d gone out for drinks with Mark afterward, trying to forget about the incident. He’d known something was bothering me, but I hadn’t explained myself and he’d been smart enough not to push the issue.
Even if Mark had been clued in to just how much time I’d been spending with Trey, which he wasn’t, I could never have explained what was running through my mind. It wasn’t the lack of feeding that was bothering me. It was the fact that I’d been so repulsed by the idea of feeding from someone who could have been Trey’s double. I’d clearly been in denial about my feelings for Trey. I just hadn’t expected those feelings to manifest in a way that would literally stop me in my tracks and cost me a meal.
The vampire in me could point out with ease all of the logical reasons why I should never see Trey again. He was only human, after all. What did he really have to offer me? The answer to that was simple, if I looked deep enough.
Trey was all of the things I liked to pretend I was, but could never be again. Admittedly I was getting good at going through the motions of being free spirited and adventurous but in my moonlit reality I felt trapped. A spirit like Trey’s was something I’d admired as a human, envied even. I’d tried to live like that myself, never quite managing to do it. Aden had been the free spirited one. I’d loved that about him, too. As an immortal creature, I’d hoped to finally grasp the independence I’d always strived for. I’d made the age-old mistake many of my kind make, assuming that being free from age and free of death would give me freedom in life. I’d since learned that things didn’t exactly work out that way.
The only taste of that freedom I experienced was with Trey. It was as if his innate ability to live so carefree was contagious and rubbed off on me more and more with each second we spent together. It was a powerful feeling, and not one I was ready to give up.
The blood-laced drinks Mark and I consumed had curbed my appetite but only temporarily. I’d gone out tonight and managed to feed from someone who in no way resembled Trey, or anyone else I know for that matter. One thing was certain; I seriously needed to get a grip.
Trey set his guitar down on the ground and gave an exaggerated old man groan as he got to his feet, stretching his limbs. With a few tiny strokes of a brush I finished adding the metallic paint to the likeness of Trey’s guitar on my canvas. I stepped back to admire my work as Trey sauntered over and stood next to me. I watched his face out of the corner of my eye, anxious to see his reaction.
“Wow,” he said in astonishment. “This is incredible. I didn’t realize what you were – that I was the subject.”
“It was your idea,” I responded.
He stared, open-mouthed at the painting. “Yeah, but I had no idea you would come up with something like this. You even used the metallic paints. It’s insane!”
“I’m glad you like it,” I said.
“Like it? I can’t wait to show it to the guys,” he professed. “Do you have any others, you know, from the studio?”
I gestured with a hand to my giant sketchpad. Trey picked it up and flipped through the first few pages, taking a few seconds to admire the random drawings I’d done there, including the sketch I’d done of him and O’Shea playing their guitars in the studio. I might have started to worry that he didn’t like it, but the lopsided grin on his face when he glanced up at me was answer enough.
“Let’s show the rest of the guys tomorrow,” he suggested. “Then if they’re on board we can get Wes to take your sketches to the label.”
“If you say so.”
“Definitely,” he added. “Then, I’ll help you sell this on eBay so it doesn’t waste space in here,” he joked.
“And deprive some loyal, pubescent fan of the joy that would come from winning this through your fan club?” I said incredulously. “I don’t think so.”
He took a step forward and smiled again, that half-smile that was so full of boyish charm and sincerity. With all my inhuman advantages, I was still powerless against it. His calloused fingers gently gripped my hand as he pulled my palm to his chest where I felt every beat of his heart. It was a bold move on Trey’s part in ways he couldn’t even understand. I recognized the gesture as one of openness without needing to search his mind. Even though I was aware of the delicious blood pumping through his veins, my mouth didn’t so much as water. I gazed back at him, his blue eyes blazing, and I had to resist the intense urge not to look away for the ridiculous fear that he’d see right through me. See the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Then his lips were on mine and I lost myself, overwhelmed by the surge of Trey’s emotions as they flooded through me. I kissed him back wanting to forget my fear of being discovered, of putting him in danger, and focus only on how good it felt being in his arms. After all, relinquishing some control was a sacrifice worth making if it meant I could continue to live in this fantasy with Trey. But the dreaded tingling in my teeth started up again and I reluctantly pulled away. Trey closed his eyes and let out a slow breath, resting his forehead against mine. It was obvious he was trying to be patient with me.
“Trey, I…” I wanted to apologize but what could I say? I’m sorry but I’m afraid my fangs might freak you out. Oh, and by the way, my eyes sort of glow in the dark when I get excited. I hope you’re cool with that?
“It’s okay,” he breathed, resting his hand on mine over his heart. I wondered how long he would put up with me pulling away like this. It was selfish of me and dangerous for us both, but I wasn’t willing to give him up. I didn’t want to lose him, or the effect he had on my spirit. It was time to accept the truth. I was falling in love with Trey.
Mortals and Melodies, Book Two
I’m no stranger to chaos, but even the life of a rock star couldn’t prepare me for the consequences of loving a vampire. I’m risking more than my career to be with Aurora. My life is in danger, threatened by the very group I must join to stay alive. –Trey
I have to keep Trey alive until I can make him a vampire, but my own kind will stop at nothing to prevent it. The Emissary is having me followed, and if I can’t figure out who is behind the violent attacks Trey won’t make it to the full moon. Am I even powerful enough to carry Trey through the change, or will he be left floating in the wake of destruction? –Aurora
I always assumed my high-tech home security system would come in handy if an obsessed fan-turned-stalker crossed a line, or if the overzealous paparazzi tried to get too close, but I was fairly certain it didn’t guarantee protection from the supernatural. If only I had known that photogs and obsessed fans would be the least of my worries.
The night started off like any other. We were at Karatz’s place for rehearsal. We were done recording the album, but he’d offered to let us use his live room as a rehearsal space. Of course, we couldn’t refuse an offer like that. We’d been there for three hours and midnight was fast approaching as we ran through the dozen songs that made the cut for the record. That included a new song called “You Only Live Twice,” which we’d added last minute and decided to make the first single. We hadn’t played most of the tunes since we’d finished recording them, so there were a few kinks to work out. Our tour manager, Roger, was there, too. He was with us for the last tour, which made things easier since he already knew what we liked. He sat nearby and made a list of all the equipment we’d need for the live show. I was just glad I didn’t have to figure all of it out.
The record’s release date was set for the day before Halloween, which meant we had less than three weeks before it would hit record stores and iTunes. It felt great to have the album ready to show the world. My only regret was that Wes would never hear it in its entirety.
“Let’s take five,” I suggested after the last run through of Midnight Poison. I set my guitar down and made my way over to Aurora who was hanging out in the lounge. She’d spent the earlier part of the night on her phone and her computer while she talked to some Web designer about doing a website for her art. Since she was going to be coming on the road with me and the guys, I suggested she consider getting her paintings on the Web so she’d have greater exposure. She’d been trying to find the right person to design a website for a few days now. She handed me a bottle of water and I downed half of it. That was when I noticed she was looking a little out of sorts. “Come on,” I said, offering my hand to her. “Let’s get some fresh air.” She took my hand and let me pull her down the hallway and out the studio doors. Once outside, I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the crisp night air. Then I turned to look at Aurora. She forced a smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “Are you okay?” I finally asked.
“I’m fine,” she said. “It’s just been kind of crazy lately. That’s all.”
I pulled her hand to my chest and wrapped my arms around her. She squeezed me back and let me hold her in silence for a moment before she pulled away.
“You smell so good,” she moaned pitifully, staring up at me from under those thick dark lashes.
I chuckled, taking that as a compliment and bent down to her. Aurora’s lips met mine in a hungry kiss. Her hand went to the back of my neck, pulling me closer. I ran my fingers through her hair and lost myself entirely in the kiss.
When she pulled away, the movement was sudden. I looked up to find her staring at me through luminescent, green eyes. She gaped in surprise, probably because her fangs had unsheathed in the heat of the moment.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“It’s okay,” I said, taking her hand. “Besides, you know I think it’s hot when I get to see you like this.” I expected that comment to earn a smile, at least, but she just turned away from me to compose herself again. She wasn’t acting like herself and I thought I might know why. “When was the last time you … you know … fed?”
She opened her mouth to answer when O’Shea’s voice rang out from behind her. She stepped into my arms again and buried her face in my shoulder to keep from being seen.
“You coming back in or what?” O’Shea hollered at me.
“Be there in a minute,” I called out. He shrugged and disappeared through the studio doors, leaving us alone again. I sighed, and Aurora looked up at me with questioning eyes that were no longer glowing in the dark. “He’s gone,” I assured her. “But I’m serious about you feeding. When was the last time?”
“It’s been a few days,” she admitted. “But I’m fine. Really.”
“Unless you’re sneaking out while I’m asleep, it’s been more than a few days.” She hadn’t been sneaking out. I already knew that. She insisted it wasn’t safe for us to be apart. I hadn’t argued and not just because I knew there were vampires out there who wanted me dead. We’d spent every minute together since Wes’s death. Every minute except the night before she’d made lasagna for me and the guys. She’d gone out to feed then. “It’s been more than a week,” I blurted out, shocked by the realization that so much time had passed since that night. “No wonder you find me so irresistible.”
She sighed and reached for my hands. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll feed tomorrow night.”
“I’m safe here,” I said to her. “Nobody’s going to come after me while I’m with the guys. There are too many witnesses. Go. Find someone yummy.”
She let out a disbelieving laugh and shook her head at me, but her smile was genuine now. “You’re such a dork.” Then she bit her bottom lip and gazed at me seriously. “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. The last thing this rock star needs is to be eaten by his hungry girlfriend in the middle of the night.”
She relaxed a little at my joke. “I’ll only be gone a little while,” she promised.
“Stop worrying. We’re almost done here anyway. I’ll just catch a ride home with O’Shea and meet you at the house. I just have one condition,” I said. “No biting some guy who’s hotter than me.”
“I’d be hard-pressed to manage that,” she said, grinning.
“Take your time. I’ll be fine,” I insisted. “See you back at the house.”
“I won’t be long,” she added. “Now get back in there before my mouth starts watering.”
I kissed her cheek and headed back inside, wondering when it had become so normal to send my girlfriend out to hunt for someone to drink. The guys and I wrapped up rehearsal just twenty minutes later. I caught a ride with O’Shea back to my place, finding that I’d beaten Aurora back to the house. It wasn’t until O’Shea was pulling away and I was letting myself in the front door that a sick feeling arose in my stomach. I pulled out my keys and reminded myself not to forget to set the security alarm as the lock clicked and I opened the door. I had only taken one step inside when, in a rush of air, I was shoved forward and slammed into the wall in my entryway. Something, or rather someone, had pinned me to the wall with strength I couldn’t define. The wind was forced from my lungs and I fought to draw in breath as my ribs tried to expand against the pressure of the wall at my back.
“Where is she?” The vampire’s voice rasped.
“Who?” I coughed.
“Don’t play stupid, human. The proditor. The betrayer … where is she now? Don’t tell me she’s just left you alone for the curious to sample?”
“She’ll be here any minute,” I choked out, hoping it were true. “If I were you, I wouldn’t stick around to find out what happens next.”
“Is that a threat?”
“Not at all,” I insisted, my voice stronger now. “It’s a promise.”
Then came a weightless sensation followed by the shocking realization that I was flying across the room.
My Review of Blood and Guitars:
so I know you’re gunna laugh at me, but with and aversion to the vampers, I sure do seem to read a lot of them! HA! And I almost didn’t sign up to read this one because of the vampire aspect but I’m really glad I did. At first, I was thinking the whole vampire loves a human story was done already, BUT I really enjoyed that fact that the vampire is an ARTISTIC WOMAN vampire and a MUSIC GENIUS male human. I think this is my first turning point on a positive note.
My second positive turning point is that vampires aren’t like the “typical” vampires in this story. Sunlight is not lethal. The moon cycles control their powers. And it’s very selective, you don’t just get to be all powerful just because you’re a vamper. They do still drink blood but not everyday. Alcohol doesn’t do the same things like to humans but they can drink it. Such an interesting way to get some fresh new ways for the vampire world.
My one small disappointment is I expected more from the characters. I’m not saying I didn’t like them, on the contrary I really like them. But I think they just fell a little short of my expectations. And I also think part of it is meeting new characters in a new series of a debut. No worries I’m not giving up, I plan on continuing the story with book two and maybe I’ll learn something that will change my mind 🙂 but on a positive side, I should say that I loved when Aurora would paint. I’m not a creative person, so reading from that perspective was a great thing for me. And being that I love music so much, it was very cool to see that side of it. I always love the finished product but I have a new respect for the people who give it to me 🙂
I will say that almost anyone who picks up this book will enjoy it. It is just fine for almost any age group and it can be classified in multiple genres. I would put it more in the paranormal romance box. I would also like to say I really really enjoyed the writing style. It’s a first person POV and it’s pretty fun being in Aurora’s mind. I enjoy her rebel without a cause attitude. 🙂
So all in all, I enjoyed this as an easy light read. My vote is for you to get your hands on it. 🙂 3.5 PAWS!! And I’ll be going off to read book two now LOL
My Review of Immortals and Melodies:
My review will be coming soon. I apologize, but I have been a mess and haven’t finished the book yet, and I can’t post a review of something I am not finished. That wouldn’t be fair. So, I hope for it to be sooner rather than later. 🙂
First, tell me a little about your book ….
First of all I want to say thank you so much for having me here! Blood And Guitars is the first book in a new series by the same name. The book is told from two points of view, one from each of the main characters. The short elevator pitch is this: a vampire conceals her true nature when a famous rock star makes her feel alive again.
I began writing the book when I was in high school, long before the vampire craze began. I’m often asked how I made my vampires so original, considering how many vampire books are in the YA and NA market these days. The best answer I can give is that I began writing the books when there were very few vampire novels in the mainstream. There was no temptation to borrow ideas, so everything was fresh and new. Blood And Guitars was originally just going to be a standalone novel, but I always knew the characters had more of a story than just that first book. It was ten years and several projects later that I began working on it again, and that’s when I drafted an outline for the series.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I’ve always been someone who writes stories. My best friend of twenty-six years can attest to that. I enjoy creating in almost any form, but writing has always been my go-to form of it. I also find it very therapeutic.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
I visited Europe during high school, and on the plane ride home I began writing my first novel. Being surrounded by the historic castles and culture inspired me to write a medieval fantasy story called The Rift. I was sixteen, so it wasn’t my best work by any means, but after finishing one novel, I knew that writing books was something I wanted to do over and over again.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Based on my wildest dreams is probably a more accurate description. I was a teenager when I began writing Blood And Guitars. I was in high school during that period in time when it wasn’t at all unusual for a band to spend over a million dollar filming a music video. I’m grateful to have experienced that part of the late 90’s, mostly because I don’t believe there will ever be another time for music like that again. The part of Blood And Guitars that involves meeting a famous rock star and having him sweep you off your feet is definitely something that stemmed from listening to my favorite bands all day long and spending my money on the latest teen magazine.
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
That’s a hard question. It’s a fine line between walking the balance of choosing someone who is important enough to be missed, but not so crucial to the plot that it can’t continue without them. I hate the process of killing characters off, but I love the strength and resilience it brings out in the other characters in the story.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m a big fan of Thomas Winship, author of Vaempires, and I’ve recently just finished Pyxis by K.C. Neal. I love them both and look forward to reading more of their work.
YES!!! I love Mr Thomas too! 🙂 Who do you look up to as a writer?
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has always been a huge inspiration to me. She was published at sixteen, and her shapeshifter series is still one of my favorite series to read.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I don’t regret anything in the books to the point of wishing I could change them. I put my heart and soul into the story and the characters, and it’s hard to regret something like that.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I like happy endings with all of the loose-ends tied up nicely. The problem with that is that easy, happy-going lives don’t do anything to carry a plot forward. I have to pay extra attention to throwing rocks at my characters. I actually enjoy doing it most of the time, but a lot of it happens after the first draft when I realize things are too nice and easy-going.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre?
I’m reading the second book in the Mazerunner series, The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. I really enjoyed the first book, and I’m eager to see how this one ends and the next story starts.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Ronnel K. Porter is my cover designer for the Blood And Guitars series. Like any great designer, he insists on having all the details about the story that are necessary to make a cover that will best represent it in the market. He does a fantastic job, and I pretty much just let him design away. He’s amazing to work with and I’ve never been disappointed.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
As a self-published author, I’ve learned that sometimes writing the book is the easy part. Lol. I’m only partly joking when I saw that. Formatting and marketing a book is a very tedious and sometimes slow process. I’ve also learned that I have to write every day, even if the inspiration is not there. That’s the only way to get it back.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
I think Aurora is a fascinating character. I’ve dabbled in oil painting, but I’d love to be an amazing artist like she is. Blood makes me squeamish, so I’m not sure how I’d handle the whole vampire part of her life, but she does live out my teenage dreams of dating a rock star, so that would definitely make up for it.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
Anything by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. As I said before, her shapeshifter series, which begins with Hawksong, is just amazing. There’s nothing in the market quite like it. I loved the books so much that I even named my son Zane, like the male lead.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I still find it shocking and humbling that anyone cares to read something that I’ve written. Also, the best thing that you can do for your favorite authors is to spread the word about their books. Word-of-mouth is the number one way for a book to gain momentum, so if you love a book, spread the word. Thanks again!
I wanna say thank you to the author so much for that wonderful interview! And I wanna say thank you to all of you who follow and stop by! I wish you all happy reading and later gators!! 🙂