Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome author Teal Ceagh to the floor as we celebrate the release of her new novel, Eva’s Last Dance.
Nearly one hundred years after their last dance together, Eva’s long-lost love Edward makes contact again. Eva, now a lonely vampire, can’t resist falling into his arms and under his erotic spell. She’ll do anything he asks of her…
Until the spell is rudely interrupted by Ryan, a demon hunter on the trail of an incubus. He seduces Eva with a searing night of dance and passion—and attempts to avert the disaster that hovers over the delicate, beguiling creature.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away one of Teal’s Destiny’s Trinities novels – Beth’s Acceptance, Mia’s Return or Sera’s Gift – winners choice.
Meta-Vampire-Culture in the Real World.
Or do you feel paranoid today? Let me change that for you.
I have a Google Alert set up for “Vampires” and like clockwork, every day it reports back to me with a long list of links and news on what’s happening in the world to do with vampires. There is so much happening, in fact, that it’s quite bewildering just how popular and fascinating vampires seem to be in popular culture these days.
I write about vampires myself so I’m grateful for the spike in their rankings, which despite dire forecasts, don’t seem to show any signs of dying off quite yet.
But it got me thinking. What if there really were real vampires? Let’s just theorize. Play along with me for a moment. What if vampires were real, but hadn’t declared themselves yet? I’ve only just stepped out myself recently and shown my true identity, so I know all about keeping a true identity hidden (click here if you’re curious/clueless) and it’s entirely possible that vampires have been moving amongst us for years and have assimilated themselves into human society and are completely undetected.
We have spent a century or so writing about them, and in the last decade the pace has just picked up and turned into a frenzy. What on earth do they make of it? Do they laugh themselves sick? Worry about being caught?
What if they’ve been feeding and driving this frenzied obsession all along?
What if they wanted us to focus on vampire culture, popularize it, make it look — not pretty, but fascinating, in a dark, Gothic way that would allow real vampires, if they chose to step forward into the real world, to be accepted? Hollywood manipulates the media all the time. Why not use Hollywood? And the publishing industry? These creatures have been around forever, and know how the human psyche works. The right words in the right ear. A suggestion here, a seduction there, and they could ensure that the right book was written at the right time, and the right starter fire was lit just where it needed to be lit, when the wind was just right.
What if they’re just preparing the world for the real thing?
Ah…forget it. I’m just tossing out a theory. I write far too much vampire fiction and I’m getting far too paranoid after living a double life for far longer than I felt comfortable living it. And I love watching popular culture…I possibly should have been a sociologist in another lifetime.
But what if…?
There’s a reason I write urban fantasy. I do love it.
Contest Time! Today we are giving away one of Teal’s Destiny’s Trinities novels – Beth’s Acceptance, Mia’s Return or Sera’s Gift – winners choice, to a lucky reader. All you have to do is answer this question: What if there really were real vampires?
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 for being a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
- +1 for being a subscriber to Literary Escapism (new subscribers welcome!)
- +10 purchase any of print novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.
There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of whichever novel they win someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
Also, I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.
Excerpt for Eva’s Last Dance. Usual warning folks…This is not kiddie fare. Read at your own moral risk.
Eva brushed her gloved hand down the length of her gown nervously and stepped out onto the roof, her heart pounding. At the other end of the roof, he was standing there waiting for her and she thought she might die.
“Edward,” she whispered, coming to a halt.
“Yes, it’s me.” He came toward her, holding out a rose. “I know it’s a shock but I can explain all that.” He handed her the rose. “Just as I know you can explain how you came to be here. Now.” And he smiled, just like she remembered, his blue eyes dancing, his easy smile lighting up his face. His blond hair was slicked back as always and he wore a white suit, just as she remembered too.
“You don’t look any different,” she said and her voice was husky.
“Neither do you.” He picked up her hand and drew her toward the center of the roof. “It’s not the Waldorf, but would you care to dance?”
“I haven’t danced since…since then.” She looked around at the paper lanterns he had strung. “What about music?”
He pulled a small remote control from his pocket and clicked it. “Modern living has some advantages,” he confessed and a Strauss waltz emerged from an MP3 player and speakers set up on a small table. Waltzes. She loved waltzes the best and he knew it. She melted into his arms and wished that she was able to cry, to give expression to the overwhelming joy of being nestled in Edward’s embrace once more. Soon she would have to find out how this miracle had happened. But not now. For now she would simply enjoy it.
And dance. It had been such a long time.
Once, long ago, she and Edward had danced every night, their bodies pressed against each other, their eyes locked, the knowledge of their future together written in each others’ gazes.
She turned her head now to look him in the eye. “Edward.”
He looked at her and she saw once again the gleam in his eyes. The dancing had often been their only way of expressing their physical needs for each other, that they would not be able to fulfill until their marriage. Now she saw and understood the lust in his eyes and welcomed it. There was no impediment and her heart raced. As their steps slowed to a gentle swaying, his big hand gathered up the skirt of her gown, lifting it and his mouth captured her lips.
She moaned as his tongue pushed into her mouth, rough and commanding. Fright tore through her. They would never have been this daring when they were first engaged. Their families would have been shocked and horrified at the public display. But the fright was edged with arousal that swiftly overcame the old barrier. She wanted more.
Edward bent her over his arm, his hand sliding under her gown, past her stocking tops, to the tops of her thighs. His hand was cool but nevertheless, she found his touch made her tremble with anticipation. This was Edward, the man she had loved and thought she had lost.
His lips trailed down her throat to kiss her breasts above the low décolletage of her gown and his hand pushed between her thighs. She was slick with moisture and bare of undergarments. She longed for him to thrust his hand—
Edward turned his head around toward the access doorway, questing like a wolf surveys the landscape.
Eva tried to stand up, for there was a man on the roof a few paces from the door, wearing a three-quarter length coat against the April chill, his legs spread in an aggressive stance. Black hair that was supposed to be short but needed cutting and glinting blue in the soft lights. Dark eyes surveying them with a world-weary expression and a sharp jaw set at a sardonic angle. Worse, there was a double-barrel shotgun over one shoulder.
Edward made a sound that was inhuman. A banshee howl. And he dropped her. She fell flat on her ass as he turned and strode toward the stranger, careless of the gun he had over his shoulder.
The man flipped the gun over and fired one barrel and Eva screamed as Edward clutched at his stomach with a shocked expression.
“Surprise,” the stranger said. “Think I’d use normal pellets on an asshole like you? Salt bound with holy water, with my compliments.” He walked up to Edward, put a boot on his shoulder and shoved and Edward fell on his back.
“What are you doing?” Eva cried, scrambling over to them.
“Saving your ass, honey. Don’t get in the way.” The man reached under his coat and pulled out a black knife with a flat, wide blade. Edward lay clutching his stomach and gasping with inhuman, whimpering sounds and the man leaned toward him and thrust the knife into his heart.
Eva screamed. She leapt on his back, reaching for the knife, moving as fast as she could but before she could pluck it from Edward’s heart, he disappeared. She stared at the black, smoking outline where his body had been, disbelief crowding all thoughts from her head.
That was when the man flipped her onto her back on the roof and straddled her, his black eyes glinting dangerously. “You’re a fucking vampire!” he railed.
Ryan watched the delicate little blonde’s crystal blue eyes get very large. “How do you know that?” she whispered. “No humans—”
“I just off’d an incubus. You think I don’t know about vampires?” he railed. “Question is, what did the thing want with you? They go after humans. Not your kind.”
“You’re a hunter,” she said breathlessly, fear blooming in her eyes.
“Relax,” he said, sitting back on his heels. “I took vampires off my hit list five years ago. But that still doesn’t answer my question.”
“Edward…was an incubus?” she asked. She looked like she was about to burst into tears and Ryan put it together with an almost audible click. “Jesus Christ, they duped you, didn’t they? Who was Edward to you? An old boyfriend?” He got to his feet. Normally, he would have let her get up on her own but something about her dress—the olde worlde quaintness of it, the long gloves and the way her golden curls were piled on top of her head…or maybe it was just the way her big blue eyes were gazing at him with such desperate need for help and information—whatever, okay, all right, he was a weak-minded idiot—he picked her up around the waist and put her on her feet. And damn but his hands nearly met around her middle.
And just for a second he flashed on a mental image of gripping her waist as he pounded his cock into her petite little package, making her scream his name.
He stepped back, dropping his hands from her waist like she was a hot potato and picked up the shotgun and reloaded it, giving his suddenly shaking hands something to do.
“Edward…was my fiancé,” she said softly. “We were supposed to have married, May 1, 1912. I was to join him in New York and booked passage on the Titanic.” She looked up at Ryan with a small smile. “I was not one of the women who found an early seat on the lifeboats. But a man who found me as I was dying offered me an alternative and I took it. He made me into a vampire, which allowed me to survive the cold that night and pass as human until we arrived in New York on the Carpathia. I could not go to Edward after that. It was part of the price of becoming a vampire.”
Ryan expected her blue eyes to swim with tears, until he remembered that vampires could not cry. He cleared his own throat. “What happened to him?” he asked.
“He died in the great war,” she said softly. “A hero, they said.” She looked over at the still smoking outline of the incubus. “So when I got his note today, saying that he had returned and wanted to see me, I thought that perhaps he had found a way to live on, just as I had.”
Ryan recalled the image he’d seen as he’d first stepped onto the roof—the demon’s lips on her breasts, his hands between her thighs, the gown hiked up around her hips and realized that his cock was straining against his pants, beating a steady tattoo that echoed in his temples. He was lusting after a vampire. Shit. Who’d have thought?
He waved toward the blue satin dress she was wearing. It made her waist look tiny and her breasts look like they might spill out at any moment. The sleeves looked like they would fall from her arms if he gave them the slightest encouragement, further exposing her breasts. He already knew that beneath the long panels of the dress she wore delicate stockings that stopped just above her knees and nothing else.
“Is this what you used to wear, then?”
“Almost,” she said, with a small smile. “My momma would have spanked me for not wearing a corset, or…other items. But yes, this is what we wore then.” And she blushed.
Ryan knew he was lost then. The blush did it. That and the dress that covered up far more than women exposed these days, yet did more to say “fuck me” than most porn. He was gone. Hook, line and sinker. He wanted to wrap himself around her delicate beauty and at the same time pin her to the wall and fuck her until those blue eyes hazed over with sensual repletion.
“So the fucking bastard gives you one dance and you’re putty in his hands,” he ground out. “Didn’t you even stop to ask for his credentials?”
“It was Edward. Why would I ask? And he danced with me. We always danced. We…” Her blush deepened and she dropped her gaze. “We danced instead of…” Then she lifted her head and looked him squarely in the eye. “We danced instead of sex. It was the way of it in those days, Mr.…”
“Ryan,” he said stiffly, as ideas exploded in his mind. “Jesus Christ, you’re a virgin,” he said softly.
“I most certainly am not,” she said stiffly. “I’ve been a vampire for nearly a century, Mr. Ryan. I assure you, virginity is a technicality I left behind a long time ago.”
“Just Ryan.” He held up a hand, frowning. “Technically speaking, you might still be. These things count in the demon world, let me tell you. I’m not talking about toys, or other vampires, or the loss of a hymen, if that’s what you mean.”
Her chin remained up but her blush deepened and he knew he’d hit the mark. He put the shotgun down again, to make himself less threatening and dropped his hands to his sides. “Have you ever had sex with a human male?” he asked softly.
She took a breath. “No,” she admitted.
He nodded. “That’s what the incubus wanted—your virginity. They prey upon humans because they’re easy marks but finding virgins is becoming more and more difficult for them. But when they do, they get all the power that comes with that virgin’s blood. But a virgin vampire’s powers? Sex with you would give them power beyond belief. No wonder they went to such effort to fool you.”
She backed up and sat quickly in the fold up chair next to the table, like the strength had suddenly run out of her legs. “I had no idea,” she said.
“There’s a war on,” he said dryly. “Didn’t they warn you about this stuff?”
“I’ve never… I didn’t tell anyone,” she said.
Ryan knew he had to give her the rest of it. “They’re going to keep coming at you, you know.”
Her blue eyes looked up at him helplessly.
“They’re going to keep coming at you until you do something about it,” he finished harshly.
“What do I do?” she whispered.
His cock throbbed. “Have sex with a human,” he said. He fought for a casual, offhand tone. “I’m willing to help out, if you want.”