In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a secret that his country hometown would never understand.
After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust.
Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty.
As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood’s decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.
Since the day he’d seen Wallace Reid in The House of Silence at the Prytania, all he could think of was going to Hollywood and becoming a star. Maybe one day he’d even meet his idol.
Jack checked his pocket watch, a birthday gift from his father. The train would leave at six thirty, and with the three-hour leeway they’d allowed, they’d get to New Orleans Depot with little time to spare.
Andrew, his unwitting accomplice, would make it easier to get past his parents and out of the house, before they forced him to damn himself to eternal hell with more lies.
Jack could barely button his Sunday shirt for his trembling fingers. He donned his waistcoat and trousers, already feeling hotter than he had just out of his bath. Before he slipped into his church coat, he applied pomade to his unruly hair, then raked a comb through. He’d always admired the shine of Wallace Reid’s hair and did his best to emulate it every Sunday for church.
He ticked off another box on his mental checklist. Dressed and ready to go. He’d already hidden his meagerly supplied valise behind the barn.
He cast a gaze around the dusty, cramped attic room he and his brother had always shared. His unmade bed made him wonder how easily he’d take to another one. On impulse, he fluffed up his pillow and put it back in place. Bad enough his mother would find his farewell note propped up against it, no need for her to see the impression of his head to make her even sadder.
He so wished he could have the life he wanted without hurting those he loved, but sadly, he saw no other way. Years of working in the cane fields was no life for a guy with his ambitions.
“Emery’s here,” Andrew shouted up the stairs.
His heart leapt. Just a few more moments, and he’d be in the clear. “Coming.”
He patted his waistcoat pockets. Pocket watch in one and his life savings in the other. He walked out the door without a second thought, and down the stairs.
His sickly father, Wilfred, sat in his favorite chair, reading the newspaper as he did most every day. He’d likely head back to the cane fields after the heat of the day dissipated somewhat.
His father glanced up over his glasses when Jack entered the room. “Where you headed?”
Jack decided he wouldn’t miss his father’s gruffness. “The picture show.”
Wilfred shook his head. “You spend entirely too much time with your head in the clouds, boy.”
Predictable response and nothing he hadn’t heard a million times before. “Yes, sir.”
“You are mighty dressed up for the picture show,” his mother said from across the room. “Andrew said you’re meeting Bessie.”
“Yes, Mama,” he said, his fingers firmly crossed behind his back.
“I’m so happy to hear that. She’s a nice Catholic girl. You know we’d like to see you married soon. You’re twenty, time you settled down.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Jack said, his eyes trained on the door, Emery, and freedom.
“We need more help in the fields. I ain’t gonna live forever.”
“Yes, Papa. I’ve got to go.”
His mother shouted after him as he leaped off the porch. “Dinner at six. Invite Bessie for some birthday cake.”
He waved, but didn’t answer. One less lie to cross his lips.
Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.
Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.
Musa Publishing publishes Brita’s heterosexual historical romances, including the rewritten and expanded, best-selling Sapphire Club series, each with new titles. Again, each of the titles have again hit the best-selling lists at various online vendors.
Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.
A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.
When journalist Iris Ellis visits a sleepy seaside town to interview recluse screenwriter Paul Archer, he offers her insights into never acted upon fantasies of dominance and submission. Too curious to deny herself a taste of them, Iris gives herself up to Paul’s gentle guidance, but when she realizes that a taste can never be enough, she must find the courage to ask for what she needs or risk losing it all.
Called a “gem for fans of BDSM romance and the perfect starting point for readers new to the genre” by RT Book Reviews, Driftwood Deeds is a novella of sexual awakening as well as consent and communication in bdsm.
After the dream-like quality of Iris’ visit at Paul’s sea-side home, she is back in the routine and drudgery of her city life. Struggling to put a label on what they have together, they phone and write letters, trying to sustain the flame, until they can make time to be in each other’s arms again. But once they are, how do you pull back into proportions a love so magnified it burns?
In this last installment in the Breaking in Waves series, Paul takes the helm and tells the story of how he and Iris move in together. Two decades of a bachelor’s lifestyle are not easy to merge into a life together, and Paul goes on a journey of embracing Iris in his seaside world. Without holding back and without fear.
Welcome Laila! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Hello Harlie, thank you so much for having me!
I’m Laila, born and raised in Germany and I’m just a few months south of thirty. I studied to be a translator because I always wanted to be a writer and in my less courageous days, I thought there wasn’t much chance to make it, and this was the best compromise. I still love translating, but I’ve found ways to be a writer, too. I’ve been published with a few different houses, and have short stories in several anthologies, but it’s in self-publishing with my friend L.C. Spoering that I think I’ve found the best and most fulfilling way for me to reach my readers. So, when I’m not at the office and working on my day job, that’s pretty much how I spend most of my time.
Is Saltwater Skin a single title, or part of a series?
It’s the final part of a series – the Breaking in Waves Series, which started with Driftwood Deeds and Trading Tides. It’s the story of Iris – a young media journalist, and Paul – a hermit screenwriter, who find themselves attracted to each other and then try to figure out how to bridge an age gap, expectations and distance to be together and make each other happy.
What were your inspirations for the story?
Driftwood Deeds started very much as a concept piece. It’s a complete rewrite of a novella I wrote when I was nineteen and that meant a lot to me at the time. It was the first piece I ever finished an it was an examination of female sexuality for me that taught me a lot of things.
So this Driftwood Deeds was supposed to do the same, except I was older when I wrote it again and I did have publication in mind. It wasn’t about the characters or even the story – it was supposed to be a novella about one sexual experience that set something in motion within the protagonists. An exploration of consent, kindness in bdsm. I wanted to write about normal people, with normal incomes, normal looks, who enjoy their sexuality – just like everybody else can.
Please share your setting for Breaking in Waves. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Driftwood Deeds and Saltwater Skin are set on the English coast. I borrowed heavily from a place I visited with an ex-boyfriend many years ago – the desolate beaches, dying fishing villages in a society that’s moved on. I’ve always felt really inspired by the ocean, and the mood and the saltwater definitely colored the series.
When did the writing bug first bite?
When I was a young kid. I always wrote – I remember that everything accelerated when we first got a computer. I started writing fantasy stories and showed them to my parents. I also wrote a lot of sad poems about the boys I liked in school and then as a teenager, I discovered lord of the rings fan fiction and spent some time in that arena until I got bored and wanted to write my own stuff again.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
In my spare time I mostly read mainstream and literary fiction. I especially love authors who blur the line between genre and literature like Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, Philip K. Dick and so many others. And I have a very special place in my heart for transformative middle grade fiction like Michael Ende, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S Lewis, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – books for children and teens that are also magical and rewarding for adults to read.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Michael Ende, Margaret Atwood, Nick Hornby, Isabel Allende and Kurt Vonnegut back from the dead.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
The is so much, actually, but ever since I’ve taken writing to this level, I’ve had so little time. I like stone carving and I play the guitar. I also really like photography. But these days I tend to spend my free time reading or relaxing with a tv-show :).
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
I like to go on youtube and watch talks or documentaries about strange things, novel ideas, fringe science and conspiracies. I find it really inspiriting to my writing and my imagination – among those are definitely the strangest things I’ve heard. Abductions, bigfoot, the Dyatlov pass incident, the Voynich manuscript… there are some wild ideas out there.
This was fun, thank you so much! 🙂
About the author:
Laila Blake (lailablake.com) is an author, linguist and translator. She writes character-driven love stories, co-hosts the podcast Lilt and blogs about writing, feminism and society.
Her work has been featured in numerous anthologies. Keeping a balance between her different interests, Laila Blake’s body of work encompasses literary erotica, romance, and various fields in speculative fiction (dystopian/post-apocalypse, fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy) and she adores finding ways to mix and match.
A self-proclaimed nerd, she lives in Cologne/Germany with her cat Nookie, harbors a deep fondness for obscure folk singers and plays the guitar. She loves photography, science documentaries and classic literature, as well as Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory.
You can find her across the web. To stay up to date with her most recent publications, please consider signing up for her spam-free newsletter.
If I was writing a film about us, my kitchen would be the central location. Good sex and good cooking are linked for me, inextricably together. They trigger the same areas of the brain– taste and smell and texture and pleasure. I think of sex when I eat good food, and I want good food when I lie there spent after an orgasm, something full of life and flavor and color to recuperate and start again.
We’ve always spent a lot of a time here. In varying states of undress.
She feels it too, I think. That’s why her breathing is a little shallow. That’s why she steals a slice of zucchini as I layer it piece by piece between the eggplant, the yellow squash and the bright tomatoes. She has that glint in her eyes, small and wicked, and even now, after all this time, she looks hesitant when she tries to push boundaries. She still stops short of actually pushing them.
Iris loves to be good, to be praised, to be my beautiful, precious girl. She hates displeasing me, even as a game. But neither can she come out and ask for it, tell me about the tingling between her legs, the longing, the ache that only the crack of my belt can mend. And so she steals bits of zucchini, or switches the radio away from my favorite station just as we drive into my street. She criticizes books she knows I love, or picks them up and leaves them on a different shelf– like I had any order in mind to begin with. They are little things, so minor I would miss them all the time, if it wasn’t for that look in her eyes.
It’s the look of guilt and desire, of fighting against her nature and fearing the consequences she’s trying to induce. It’s a look that makes my cock hard, that squeezes my chest almost painfully.
I listen to the zucchini crunch between her teeth. She eats it slowly, eyeing my profile as though wondering if I noticed anything at all. Sometimes I like to indulge her, I like to give her what she wants even though she can’t ask for it, even though she’s trying to manipulate the circumstances. It feels good sometimes, to let her out to play.
Today I don’t.
She picks the next slice out of the casserole, right out from between a slice of tomato and a slice of yellow squash, where they nestle in colorful stripes. She knows I can’t miss this one, and her hand hovers there a moment too long, just like she’s waiting for me to catch up and slap it away. But again, I don’t.
I watch her bring the slice to her mouth from the corner of my eyes. She places it on her tongue like a communion wafer, with intensity and slow purpose. She shudders; it’s a marvel to watch that change. A few seconds ago, she was my sweet girl, leaning next to me, relaxed and happy. Now, she’s strung tight, nervous and needy, like she exchanged her body for a different one.
“Are you bored?” I ask her. I look down at the pattern of vegetable slices, at the spot where she messed it up. When I drag my gaze up to her face, there are red spots on her neck, white teeth-marks on her lower lip.
So instead of reviewing the books separately, I’ll be doing an overall review of the series. So be patient with me.
First things first…this is Harlie from Harlie’s Books. Wondering why I’m not reviewing it for the review blog? Well, its complicated but I’ll make it brief. For some reason my followers have fallen out of favor with BDSM. I guess they got the FSOG hangover or the book ruined the genre for them. I will admit that I never read the series, nor will I ever. I don’t read bad books regardless of the genre and I was told by a fellow reviewer to save my Kindle and my sanity, don’t ever read them. Now that the movie has come out…nope, still not interested.
I love the genre when its written realistically and emotional. Plus, the plot has to make sense and the kink comes later. I need to feel the emotions from both the hero and heroine. Not just the “you’ll be screaming your orgasms” throughout the book. I’m not one for the dungeon scenes so that cuts out a lot of books for me, too. I think that sex is between the parties involved and should stay that way…no matter what you are doing and with whom.
What Ms. Blake has done with Paul and Iris’ story is breathtaking. It’s about two real people with real problems. It deals with an age difference, physical distance between them, their jobs, and Iris coming into her own as a sexual woman. I got into their heads when it came to it. I don’t live the lifestyle so when I read a book in the genre, I like to know how it felt. What it was like. Could I give up control like that? Ms. Blake does all that in the series and more.
Sure this is a series that features BDSM but its much more than that. It’s about two very different people who fall in love with each other, AS PEOPLE, and the sex part comes later. Again, real people with real problems. They have to work it out separately and then together. Which makes for a much richer and deeper story. The book is sexy and hot but it’s not sex scene after sex scene just for the sake of the scenes. Every word, scene and even the setting are woven together for the whole story.
Please read the books in order. It makes better sense and you will really understand the characters better. They are not long, drawn out books but once you get started it will be hard to put down. Also, the last book in the series, Saltwater Skin is told from Paul’s POV and its the perfect ending to the series. Don’t let the theme of the book put you off. I have a new author to read after reading this series.
I fell in love with Ms. Blake’s voice, writing and most of all her characters. There is so much to be said about a “character” book and getting to know Iris and Paul was a dream come true for me.
Title: Under His Boss
Release Date: Feb 19th, 2015
Genre: MM, Contemporary, Erotic
~Love is a precious thing~
When James Dyllon finds an explicit card on his desk he doesn’t know what to think. His hot as Hades boss has never given him the slightest indication that he returns James’ affections, so this card can’t be from him. Two male lovers entwined—someone is having a laugh at his expense.
George MacKenzie is done lusting after James from afar. A New Year brings with it the opportunity for change and George is tired of hiding. Since taking over the company after his father fell ill, he is finally in a position to act on his feelings, and he wants James. The card might be a feeble attempt, but at least James does not seem disinterested.
Together they will be able to weather anything, as long as he can convince James that he really does want forever. Excerpt: (Explicit)
“Happy New Year, boss.”
He put the tray on the night stand, and offered George two aspirin and the glass of water. George swallowed them and winced anew at the sandpapery quality of his throat. James grinned again—in sympathy George assumed—though it was difficult to determine through his blurry eyed vision and the brass band which seemed to have taken up residence in his head.
“Happy New Year.” George managed to croak those few words out and collapsed back on the bed with a groan. “I’m never drinking again.”
“Of course you won’t. Here, sit up, get your caffeine hit, and have a shower. You’ll feel better afterward, I promise.”
George glared at the other man through hooded lids, and decided there and then that James had to be some sort of sadist. No one was this happy first thing in the morning, and took this much delight in torturing another human being into sitting up. The clanging cymbals in his head all decided to bash together in discord and George groaned and held his head in his hands.
James’s amused snort joined in with the percussion instruments crashing against his skull and George screwed his eyes shut and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Sadly we haven’t yet. I don’t think jerking off to images of you passed out in my bed counts as fucking you, and I do find myself most impatient to do so, so be a good boy, drink this coffee, and then for the love of God, shower, man.”
Amusement tinged those words, but there was an underlying edge that registered over the fuzz for brains in George’s head, and he cracked one eye open to look at James. The intensity of his gaze made him swallow, and all conscious thought fled out of his brain as James grasped his hands and wrapped them round the steaming cup of coffee.
“Coffee, shower, fuck, in that order.”
James winked at him, and George did as he was told. The slap to his ass as he stumbled off the bed and James pointed him to the bathroom, stung, and made his cock jerk. James noticed, of course and wrapped his hand around George’s shaft and pumped it a few times. Exquisite pleasure shot through George’s system, and he braced a hand on the wall to steady himself.
“Fuck, James, stop doing that, or I’ll never make it into the shower.”
James laughed, bit his shoulder lightly, released his cock, and swatted his ass again.
“Don’t be too long in there, or I’ll be forced to join you.”
George groaned and shook his head.
“Is that supposed to be a deterrent or a promise?” He didn’t catch James’s laughing reply, as he stumbled into the bathroom. By the time he managed to eventually relieve himself, wash his hands, and brush his teeth with the spare toothbrush he’d found propped up against the sink, he felt almost human. The warm stream of the power shower further revived him, and he stood and let the hot spray cascade over him. He wasn’t entirely surprised to hear the shower enclosure open and shut and he sucked in a breath when he opened his eyes. James stood with his back to him, and George got his first good look at James’s dragon. It covered his back, wings flapping wildly, and the art work was supreme. Over James’s broad shoulders, down his muscular back and into his delectable ass, George’s gaze followed the trail of ink, and giving into the need to touch the other man, he let his hands follow the trail of his visual inspection.
His cock reared back into life with a speed and force that left him lightheaded as James’s lust filled groan trembled through the confined space of their shower enclosure, and his lover’s muscles tensed under George’s fingertips.
“That’s fucking awesome, baby.” George ran his knuckles down James’s spine until he reached the globes of his ass. Squeezing the firm flesh he kneaded his lover’s butt cheeks and kissed down James’s back. It took a bit of awkward maneuvering in their confined space, but he managed to drop to his knees, and continue his path downward. James swore under his breath and slapped his hands on the tiled wall for support when George spread his lover’s ass cheeks and licked from James’s heavy balls upward to his anus.
James tensed and panted, when George tunneled his tongue through James’s ring of muscle while bringing one hand round to grasp his thick shaft.
“Fuck, George, you don’t have to… Jesus.”
James’s cock jerked and pulsed in George’s firm grasp, and those tight muscles guarding James’s rear entrance tightened around his tongue in involuntary clenches that told George in no uncertain terms how close James was getting. Anal play was something George had always enjoyed. The mere intimacy of the act showed how much you trusted the other person, and he withdrew slowly and growled his next words into James’s hairy thighs, while he fondled the man’s heavy balls.
“Turn round, baby. I want to taste you.”
OMG, OMG! For someone who doesn’t read straight M/M, I loved this book. It was sexy, funny and had a message in the end. Yes, a message. Funny thing about the message though, I didn’t see it coming. Yep, normally I can figure out a book but in this case I didn’t. I just figured it would be a book about two men that have danced around each other for a while.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. James was “out” and was comfortable in his skin. Too bad that he had the hots for his boss, George. I mean James’ family knew about George and was beyond belief that they hadn’t hooked up yet. I really liked James. Sure, he worked for George but I could definitely see the more dominant side of him in the bedroom. 😉 Oh yes, that was mentioned in the book.
George was more a mystery when it came to his sexuality. I felt bad for him that he felt he had to put on the act of marrying a woman that he didn’t even like to save his family’s company. And another thing, George’s dad. I pretty much figured that one out but it was sad. George knew what he had to do but in the end it wasn’t what he wanted to do. When George gave James the card, that scene set up the relationship that these two would have in the end. Very cute and a bit awkward, but in a good way.
Between the drunken New Year’s Party at James’ sister’s house and meeting her and Alex, I was in giggles. That whole section of the book was funny and at the same time, poignant. George didn’t know what it was like to feel accepted for who and what he was and it was a bit of shock when he meet the family. Again, giggles but heartfelt.
I won’t spoil the ending because the epilogue is just beautiful. If I had one thing to say bad about the book, it was too short. I would have liked to have read more about James and George’s relationship after that weekend. I really liked them and would love to have a pint or three with them.
Glutton for punishment would be a good description for Doris…at least that’s what she hears on an almost daily basis when people find out that she has a brood of nine children, ranging from adult to toddler, and lives happily in a far-too-small house, cluttered with children, pets, dust bunnies, and one very understanding and supportive husband. Domestic goddess she is not.
There is always something better to do, after all, like working on the latest manuscript and trying not to scare the locals even more than usual by talking out loud to the voices in her head. Her characters tend to be pretty insistent to get their stories told, and you will find Doris burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. Only time to get any peace and quiet, and besides, sleep is for wimps.
She likes to spin sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, BDSM to F/F and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.
As the personal assistant to the owner of one of the top engineering firms in Denver, Tiffany Brooks has worked hard at maintaining a professional façade, intent on ridding herself of terrible habits—like her attraction to bad boys.
But when the owner of DC Construction rides his chopper into her world two years after their one-time anonymous sexual encounter, everything turns upside down.Declan Cage is the type of guy who makes a lasting impression, especially with women, yet the gorgeous assistant at Stoub Engineering never remembers his name—or does she?
Intrigued by her game, her sexier than sin body, and an
infuriating prissy attitude, Ms. Brooks is begging to be taken into hand, and he’s the man to do it.Armed with the knowledge Declan doesn’t recognize her, will Tiffany give in to her desire for him yet again, or will her past come back to haunt them both and ruin their chance at something real?
The path that lead me to record erotic literature would make a pretty good story in itself. I may write it someday. It involves a cyber-relationship with a virginal gal whose secret goal in life was to become a full time sex slave. True Story. Her family would have NEVER guessed! I’d been recording regular “vanilla” type books prior to that, as
a hobby, with an eye toward becoming a “real” voice actor. This gal pointed me to a specific book and in so doing introduced me to the world of BDSM literature (this, by the way, was right BEFORE “50 Shades of Grey” broke
huge). Rather than just read the book, I recorded it. I shared it with her and with some other gals I’d met online. The response was startling to me. For the sake of modesty, I’ll spare the specific accolades. The one book led to the recording of another and then others. The feedback continued to be really, REALLY positive. So much so, that it occurred to me that this ‘erotic genre’ may be a niche I should pursue. So here I am pursuing it. I still record other books as well… but these books are the most fun *sly grin*. My background started in radio in college. I toyed with theater, did some plays – even did a short stint in Chicago’s famed Second City training program. LIFE intervened
however and I got ‘a real job’ supporting computer networks in Chicago. Eventually that career ran its course and I decided it was time to do what I really WANTED to do – Voice Act. I enjoy it and I hope to help you enjoy your listening experience too.
Author Bio & Links:
London Saint James has lived in many places, but never felt “at home” until she met the real-life man of her dreams and settled down in the beautiful Smoky
Mountains of Tennessee. London lives with her husband and their fat cat who
thinks he owns them.
As an award-winning, bestselling, multi-published author, London is living her childhood dream. She knew all the scribbling she did, that big imagination of hers, and all those clamoring characters running around in her head would pay off someday.
A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.
Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.
But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire draining the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs–not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.
As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.
A Top-10 Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel
The worst thing about vampires is that they’re dead. That whole wanting to suck your blood business runs a close second, but for sheer creepiness, it’s the dead bit that gets me every time. They’re up and walking around and talking and sucking blood, but they’re dead. And then there’s the whole terminology problem–how can you kill something that’s already dead? It’s just wrong.
I was twenty-four the first time I . . . destroyed? dispatched? . . . a vampire. That’s when I found out that all the books and movies are wrong. When you stick a wooden stake into their hearts, vampires don’t disintegrate into dust. They don’t explode. They don’t spew blood everywhere. They just look surprised, groan, and collapse into a pile of corpse. But at least they lie still then, like corpses are supposed to.
Since that first kill (I might as well use the word–there really isn’t a better one), I’ve discovered that only if you’re lucky do vampires look surprised before they groan and fall down. If you’re unlucky and miss the heart, they look angry. And then they fight.
There are the other usual ways to kill vampires, of course, but these other ways can get a bit complicated. Vampires are notoriously difficult to trick into sunlight. They have an uncanny ability to sense when there’s any sunlight within miles of them, and they’re awfully good at hiding from it. Holy water doesn’t kill them; it just distracts them for a while, and then they get that angry look again. And it takes a pretty big blade to cut off someone’s head–even an already dead someone–and carrying a great big knife around New York City, even the Bronx, is a sure way to get arrested. Nope, pointy sticks are the best way to go, all the way around.
My own pointy stick is actually more of a little knife with wood inlay on the blade–the metal makes it slide in easier. I had the knife specially made by an old Italian guy in just about the only ratty part of Westchester, north of the city. I tried to order one off the internet, but it turns out that while it’s easy to find wood-inlay handles, the blades themselves tend to be metal. Fat lot those people know.
But I wasn’t thinking any of this when I pulled the knife out of the body on the ground. I was thinking something more along the lines of “Oh, bloody hell. Not again.”
Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.