Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Lynn Viehl’s Lucan from Nightbred.
Jamys Durand has survived being made an immortal Darkyn, horrific torture, and years of grueling warrior training. But he has no future to offer Chris, the mortal woman he loves, without his own territory. When he learns of a lost Templar treasure, Jamys vows to possess it and win his lady’s heart.
No one knows Chris Lang wants to be a tresora so she can live with Jamys, her secret love. Her superiors offer to make her dream come true, but only if she finds the lost treasure before Jamys can. Working together, Chris and Jamys track the jewels through a shadowy maze of priceless artifacts, decadent secrets, and one ruthless opponent who can possess an immortal’s mind…and will stop at nothing to have Chris.
Shopping with Lucan
“It took me twenty minutes to find this parking spot.” I yank open the passenger door of my pickup and glare at the big blonde ex-Templar knight who has been bitching at me since we left the house. “What is your problem?”
“Lest you forget, you ill-mannered harpy, I am a lord paramount,” Lucan says, his gray eyes turning to chrome. “My rule over Alenfar stronghold and hundreds of immortals is absolute. Should I ever send my garrison to war with humanity, every mortal within fifty miles would be a lifeless husk by dawn. And before I became suzerain, I was the deadliest assassin among the Darkyn, feared by immortals as well as humans. I can kill anything that breathes with–”
“–a single touch. I know. I created you.” My foot is tapping now. “But unless you’ve suddenly developed the ability to conjure Christmas gifts out of thin air, you still have to shop like the rest of us mortal slobs.” I point at the mall. “Move it.”
Lucan climbs out of the truck, looming over me as he scowls. “You should be attending to this for me.”
“I beg your pardon?” I fold my arms. “Who drove you to the mall because your Ferrari is in the shop?”
He adjusts his sleeve and gives me a dour look. “Laurell K. Hamilton shops for her characters.”
“She also raises the dead,” I remind him. “How about in the next novel I wake up a few of your former assignments? Better yet, why don’t I just wrap up the entire series?”
He narrows his eyes. “You wouldn’t dare destroy my universe.”
“Wouldn’t I? Read any new StarDoc novels lately?” That shuts him up. “Come on. We’ve got lines to stand in.”
Walking through the mall on Black Friday is like playing human bumper cars. If I’m not dodging a harassed mother henpecking her husband while he pushes a shrieking two-year old and a wailing newborn in a double stroller dribbling juice from a tipped sippy cup, I’m trying to get out of the way of a flock of senior power walkers or go around a clutch of bored-looking teen girls surreptitiously stalking (or being covertly stalked by) a gang of bored-looking teen boys.
Managing this with a six-foot-five vampire only I can see is a challenge, but trying to get said vampire to focus is the real nightmare.
“This mall has a court? Who rules here?” Lucan asks me as we pass a tired-eyed lady handing out samples on toothpicks, which he stops to examine. “Does this servant not see that her meat has gone to rot? It’s dripping orange slime and mold.”
“It’s sesame chicken,” I tell him. “It’s supposed to look that way.”
His jaw drops. “You condemn me for drinking blood, and then consume this swill?”
“I don’t eat mall food,” I lie as I drag him past the other sample hawkers. “Where do you want to look for Chris’s gift?”
“We need not take another step. That necklace will do for Christian.” Lucan nods at a strand of sparkling diamonds in the jewelry store’s display window. “Purchase it, have it gift-wrapped and return me to the stronghold.”
“Sorry.” I don’t even have to look. “Too expensive.”
He arches a brow. “I have been amassing wealth for seven centuries.”
“Your wealth, like you, is fictitious, pal.” I shoo him away from the jewelers and onto the bath products store. “Something from here might be nice.”
He breathes in and coughs. “What is that stench?”
“It’s called Candlelight Christmas Tree,” I read from the display poster, and stop to sniff the tester. “It’s not that bad.”
“If one appreciates being bludgeoned in the face by a burning pine bough, I imagine not.” He glances around. “Is there a gown maker’s shop?”
“Women don’t wear gowns; we wear normal clothes. We also have the vote, work outside the home and really dislike being called or treated like servants. You might remember that the next time you’re offered free sesame chicken.” I’m tempted to take him to the bookstore, but if his book isn’t on the shelf he’ll throw a huge tantrum. “She likes girly antique things, right? Why don’t we get her a pretty Victorian bag or something like that?”
Lucan eyes the front window of the purse store. “Perhaps the Queen’s stable boys used
something like these as feedbags, but I’d hardly name them after her majesty.” He leans forward to peer at the discreet little price tags. “God in Heaven. New tires for the Ferrari cost but half this.”
“Yeah. Maybe we’ll skip the shoe store, too.” I bite my lip and survey the crowds streaming around us. “This is ridiculous. Why do you need a gift for Chris anyway?”
He makes a negligent gesture. “I had nothing better to do tonight than follow you through a crush of mortals to gaze at rotted meat, foul-smelling salves and over-priced reticules.”
“Christian has had a difficult time of it of late,” Lucan says softly. “She has sacrificed everything to become a tresora, one of our most trusted mortal allies. She never thinks of herself, you know. If I’d ever had a daughter, I’d want her to be as sweet and determined and valiant as young Chris. I doubt she even realizes how inordinately fond of her I am.” His mouth twists. “I suspect because she thinks of no one but Jamys Durand.”
Lucan can be an immortal pain in my ass, but on the extremely rare occasions he shows his true feelings — and his startling insight as to matters of the heart — I fall a little head over heels myself. “Okay. Let’s go home.”
“Home?” He gestures around us. “What about finding a gift?”
“Chris has you in her life,” I tell him. “Which makes all this seem kind of unnecessary.”
He sniffs. “Naturally.” His eyes twinkle like razor-edged steel as he adds, “You could always make something for her. A bag will do, perhaps with some of your clever needlework.”
“Don’t push it.” I glance at him as we head for the exit. “To be honest, I was thinking about making a tote using Pearl Girl, Vander’s nickname for her in the story, as a theme.” I’m already designing it in my head. “I could do something very Victorian but wild, too, with lots of crystals and pearls and fancy trims.” Something occurs to me. “I can’t actually give it to Chris, though, so what would I do with it?”
Lucan smiles. “Oh, I’m certain you’ll think of something.”
Meet Lynn Viehl!
Since her debut in 2000 NY Times bestselling author Lynn Viehl has published 47 novels in 8 genres, and is the host of Paperback Writer, a popular publishing industry weblog featuring writing advice, market info and free resources for writers.
Want to purchase Lynn’s novels?
Lords of the Darkyn
Please help spread the word: Tweet: Celebrate the madness with 32 authors while #giveaways ensue during #BlackFriday (Nov23-Dec24) http://tinyurl.com/LEBlackFriday2012 #paranormal #fantasy
Thank you Lynn for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!
Lynn is giving away a “Pearl Girl” Victorian crazy quilt tote (which was hand beaded and quilted by Lynn and features fresh water pearls, Swarovski crystals, chandelier gems, glass beads galor and lots of fancy trims), signed copies of Nightborn and Nightbred, a limited edition BookLoop, a glass mug with hot cocoa mix in five different flavors and a package of Walkers shortbread. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Where do you want to look for Christian’s gift? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
All Black Friday contests will remain open until December 31st at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have. Have you checked out the other Black Friday contests yet? Check out the Master List to see all the Black Friday giveaways
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.