Our guest today is author Laura Kaye. The first book in her Vampire Warrior Kings series, In the Service of the King, was recently released on February 1, 2012. Please join me in welcoming Laura here today to Dark Faerie Tales. Laura has written a wonderful guest post about the history used in her series.
Thanks to Laura, you will have a chance to win some pretty cool prizes. As always, giveaway details are listed at the end of the post.
USING REAL PLACES & HISTORY IN FICTION
by Laura Kaye
I’m very excited to be at Dark Faerie Tales today celebrating the release of my dark paranormal romance, In the Service of the King, the first in the Vampire Warrior Kings series. The story is about a vampire king and his human offering at the feeding ceremony the king loathes but requires to maintain his immortality and humaneness.
One of the things that excites me about this series is that each will be located in a new, different, exotic location and set in a real historic house or castle. I’m an historian by training, and I love to travel, so add in vampires and you have a trifecta of my favorites! *grins* This story is set at Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, on the coast of County Antrim overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Today, Dunluce is a national historic site in Northern Ireland and open to the public to tour the ruins [see this cool interactive map]. In my story, I’ve woven the true history of Dunluce into hero Kael McQuillan’s backstory.
In the true history of the site, the first Dunluce Castle was built in the 1200s. By 1513, documents place the castle in the hands of the McQuillans, who lost possession of the estate in a 1565 battle. In 1639, the cliffs under the castle’s kitchen collapsed, sending a section of Dunluce smashing onto the rocks below (and, yes, seven cooks went down with it). Irish armies laid siege to the castle in the Catholic uprisings of 1641-42, destroying the surrounding village and further damaging the building. In 1690, the descendants of the clan that had ousted the McQuillans back in 1565 found themselves in dire straits and forced to abandon the hulking manse.
I wanted to incorporate some of the real history of Dunluce into my story, though I made some alterations to it. In In the Service of the King, the McQuillans are the earliest documented owners and presumably builders of Dunluce—it is Kael’s ancestral estate. And they are attacked repeatedly, but not by competing clans and Catholic rebels. Instead, they’re attacked by Soul Eaters, evil vampires addicted to blood who steal human souls by draining their victims and eating their hearts. [Nice, huh? *grins*] In the 1642 battle, Kael’s first wife Meara is killed, opening up a major scar he still hasn’t recovered from when he meets the heroine, Shayla McKinnon. After the 17th century battles, the vampires moved underground in a series of bunkers built into the basalt cliffs beneath the castle, and that’s the specific setting in which In the Service of the King takes place.
Have you ever been to Ireland? It’s on my bucket list! Oh, and next stop on the Vampire Warrior Kings journey?: Moscow, Russia.
Thanks for reading,
Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of a half-dozen books. Hearts in Darkness is a finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for Best Novella, Forever Freed won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives inMaryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of theChesapeake Bay every day.
This giveaway is provided by Laura Kaye
To celebrate her new release, Laura is giving away one e-copy of In the Service of the King at each stop on her New Release Tour, 1/30 – 2/15! In addition, all commenters from across the tour will be entered to win a prize bag filled with swag and various vampire items, perfect for the vampire lover! Ebook prizes open to international; prize bag to U.S. only (please indicate in comment which you are!).
Available on February 1, 2012 from Harlequin/Nocturne Cravings
About the Book:
Kael, Warrior King of the Vampires, loathes the Night of the Proffering. He needs the blood of either his mate or a human virgin to maintain his strength, but hasn’t enjoyed the ritual since he lost his mate centuries ago. Kael doesn’t want a new companion, yet his resolve is tested when he lays eyes on his new offering, Shayla McKinnon. He is drawn to Shayla’s beauty and poise…and the submission she offers. She is eager to give him anything he wishes, including her innocence, to please him. Will Kael give in to their overwhelming desire—even if it means risking Shayla’s life?
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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