Loving the Vampire Hero
by Tes Hilaire and Elisabeth Staab
What is our generation’s obsession with the creatures of the night. Is it simply the night and the pulse of life energy? The spilling of life-giving fluid? Or maybe the intrigue goes further than that, balancing on that fine line of forbidden seduction and the murky line of death. Whatever the reason, there is no denying that there is a widespread love of vampires out there. I have it, you have it, and we know Elisabeth has it too. The thing is, all of us have our different reasons for loving them, and no two are exactly alike. So what is Elisabeth’s? What’s mine? And what is yours? Let us introduce you today to the vampire heroes that we love so much…
Elisabeth: For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the tortured bad boy.That kiss between Michael and Star in The Lost Boys movie brought me around to the idea that vampires could be sensual and romantic, not just pasty coffin-dwellers who killed for fun and games. How…different. How hawt! Fast-forward to my discovery of over a decade later of the gritty intensity of vampire romance with fangs and alpha males who needed not just love but a physical blood tie to their mates to survive. I was hooked. I also became a documentary addict, taking in tales about the pressures those who have to lead, and what the strain can do to them. Enter Thad, the king in KingofDarkness. I took a vampire leader and handed him crisis after crisis on the heels of a tragedy, and he had pull himself together for the good of his race. Oh yeah, and there’s this prophecy that says he won’t be able to lead properly until he finds just the right mate…
…Thad leaned in more, legs apart, elbows on his thighs. “Look,” he said. “I get that this sounds pretty insane, but believe me when I say I’ve got better things to do with my time than make up stuff like this. If I didn’t think there was something to it, I wouldn’t have been combing half the country looking for you.
“I thought it was all a crock of shit too, ya know?” He sat back up and studied her face for a second. Her expression was blank and her mouth was slack again, like she couldn’t quite process what he was saying. But his jaw was tight and his blood pounded in his ears with the urgency of what still remained to be said. So he kept going.
“The Oracle you asked about is long dead. My parents—both of them—are also dead. I am close to a century old, and I have no power whatsoever. When word gets out about that factoid, it’s gonna put a crack in the ice. My experience and training up to this point have been completely theoretical. I’m running out of time to officially announce my ascension, and our race needs to have faith in its leader.
“We are down to tens of thousands, Isabel. Thousands. On a planet of billions of humans. We work damn hard to keep the communities protected from wizard attacks, but if the folks get scared, they might scatter. And if they scatter…” He closed his eyes and shook his head slowly…
Tes: My love of vampires can be stripped down to one aspect: volatile passion. Or maybe I should say the control of it. Like Elisabeth, I’m a big sucker for the tortured hero. And the vampires who hold a special place in my heart are the ones who suffer all the violence and passion inherent to their species, the need and obsession with blood and sex…and then they control it. InDeliverMefromDarkness my hero, Roland, is such a hero. Once a Paladin warrior, he fell from grace on the night he was turned, and has been struggling ever since to rise above his volatile nature and reclaim his humanity.
…Roland tossed back the last of his scotch, then glared at the bottle sitting on the coffee table. Empty. There wasn’t enough liquor to burn away the taste of the blood he’d spilled.
Ninety-four years of bloodlust. Ninety-four years of trying to hold onto his humanity. The first few had been a lesson in abject failure, the bloodlust overriding everything else. Possibly if he’d been turned by a master who cared, one who would help him past the cravings and teach him how to temper his needs…but Christos was not that sort of master. He’d encouraged the mindless violence, egged Roland on, and Roland had been more than pleased to oblige.
Until Logan. Logan had brought him back and helped Roland to sever the master-slave bond that Christos had had over him. It had been eighty-nine years since Roland had killed. Yet he’d almost killed a man tonight. The blond had looked like Angeline. And in his mind it was Angeline, his sister, that Don Juan Tom had been planning to rape. Roland’s rage had been so great he’d kept drinking. Wanting to punish. Wanting to lose himself to his nature. When the bloodlust was over him there was no pain, no emotion. Empty. Void. Thoughtless creature of the night. God, the blood had tasted so good.
The phone rang.
Teeth sinking into flesh.
Another chiming burr.
Warm sweet liquid pooling on his tongue.
Coopery taste sliding across the back of his mouth and down his throat.
With an inhuman growl, Roland grabbed up the phone, punching the talk button. “What do you want?”
“It’s Karissa. She’s run away.”
Roland’s hand tightened around the tumbler, the cut glass leaving grooves in his palm. “Are you telling me she’s outside? Alone? Before dawn?”
There was an audible swallow on the other end. “They’ve sent Valin after her.”
Roland stood, carefully clicking the off button on the phone and he dropped it in the chair. He raised the tumbler—no scotch left. He started to lower it, then with an enraged roar, he threw the tumbler across the room where it smashed against the mantel.
About the Authors
Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in a fantasy world. Her bestselling paranormal romance novel,KingofDarkness, is available now. Her second book,PrinceofPower, releases in January. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com
Tes Hilaire’s idea of a perfect vacation would include her porch on a sultry summer night, a good glass of rich, red wine, and a book about darkness, passion, torture and love. Her first novel in the Paladin warriors series DeliverMefromDarkness is available now. The next, DeliverMefromTemptation, releases in December. For more, visit TesHilaire.com.
Tells us about your obsession with the most seductive creatures of the night. Why do you love them? Who is your favorite? And, gulp, would you actually want to meet one in real life? One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Tes Hilaire’s Deliver Me from Darkness, and another will win Elisabeth Staab’s King of Darkness. Thank you for joining us today!
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June 5 – Books n Kisses