Please join me in welcoming author Elisabeth Staab here today to Dark Faerie Tales. Elisabeth is here to talk about King of Darkness, which is the first book in her Chronicles of Yavn paranormal romance series. You can read an excerpt from the book below. We are also featuring this title in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012. Thanks to Elisabeth, you also have a chance to win a copy of the book. As always, details are listed at the end of the post. Make sure you follow the rules to be entered into the contest!
Elisabeth Staab lives in Northern Virginia with her hero and soul mate, Tom. She has been a telemarketer, a web page editor, a software developer, a reader for the blind, a technical trainer, a coffee shop barista, a teacher, a tutor, a homemaker, a government project manager, a graphic designer, and a professional ebayer. Finally, she’s landed on being a writer – which is what her high school guidance counselor originally suggested anyway.
Elisabeth believes that all kinds of safe, sane, and consensual love should be celebrated–but she loves the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best.
How It All Began by Elisabeth Staab
I get asked a lot about my path, as an author. What inspired me to write? How’d I get started? Why vampires? The story is extremely simple and at the same time a little crazy. Goes a little something like this:
Once a week or so, I have coffee with my best friend. Shortly after the birth of my second child, during one of our coffee talks, we had the following conversation:
Me: “So I think I’m going to write a romance novel.”
Me: “I really like vampires, and Tom says I’m spending too much money on e-books.”
Friend: “Well, good luck with that. I’ve tried writing a few books. I always stall out about a hundred pages in.”
Kinda can’t blame him for not being convinced.
There was a little more to it than that. I had written all my life just for fun, and had taken advanced literature classes in both high school and college. I was an avid reader. But there was a whole lot I didn’t know, and even more I would find out later that I hadn’t known I didn’t know.
It actually helped me, the fact that nobody in the world thought I’d follow through when I said I was going to start that book. It made me get serious and stubborn about it. I joined the Romance Writers of America, and decided that this was something I was going to pursue as a real career. I took tons of writing workshops, and searched far and wide for someone I could work with as a critique partner. Boy. Finding a reliable person to beta read your work, and who gives you constructive, useful criticism? OMG, it’s harder than dating, you guys!
For one thing, you have to be sober.
But all the hard work paid off. One of the writing workshops I took was on pitching, and it included a pitch to an editor. That editor asked me to send her King of Darkness, and what seems like an eternity later, here we are.
And why vampires? Well it may not work every time, but I really think you do have to write what excites you. Granted, I’ve gotten other story ideas since writing King of Darkness. Hopefully someday I’ll have the time to explore those ideas. Right now though, I’m busy with my vampires. And once that first book sold, there were real deadlines, and there was real pressure. There were real people I hoped like crazy I would please. The story was no longer just an idea I thought I’d put out there to see if anybody was interested in it.
If I didn’t love my vampires, if their world didn’t excite the hell out of me, I’d have thrown in the towel by now. Besides, how can you resist those sexy fangs? The forbidden element of a dark hero? The lure of immortality? The muscles? The growling? The biting? We mentioned the fangs, right?
What’s not to love?
This giveaway is provided by Elisabeth Stabb
One winner will receive a copy of King of Darkness by Elisabeth Stabb
Available on February 7, 2012 from Sourcebooks
About the Book:
ETERNAL COMMITMENT IS NOT ON HER AGENDA…
Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human–although, drifting among the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons’ blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the king of vampires this party girl’s life turns dark and dangerous.
BUT TIME’S RUNNING OUT FOR THE KING OF VAMPIRES…
Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate has gotten it seriously wrong…
“Jesus, T. What is this place?”
Thad Morgan scanned the sparse industrial interior of the massive warehouse turned dance club. From just inside the doorway, he passed his preternatural vision over the writhing crowd of humans. Most of the populace bounced in time to bass-heavy techno music, stopping only to grope their nearest neighbor. Some gazed upward in awe at a raised platform of fire-eaters, and still more worshipped at a DJ stand opposite the entrance as if it were an altar. A scrolling sign overhead announced something called the Crystal Method. The humans partied with abandon and apparently little regard for their eardrums.
“I think they call it a rave,” Thad murmured to his friend.
And apparently at 3:00 a.m., the night was still young for the party kids in Orlando.
Thad’s hands clenched and released. How were they going to do this? The club was friggin’ huge and packed to the gills, from the crowded floor full of scantily clad dancers with glow sticks to the teeming balconies where couples and even groups were involved in more intimate acts such as massage and… whatnot. It was hard to fathom how in the hell they were going to find the female they were looking for in this place.
Already overheated, Thad pushed up the sleeves of his leather jacket and fingered the scar on his forearm, tracing slowly over the two intersecting lines that flared into a Y at each end, like a crude Armenian cross. The small patch of skin was even hotter than the rest of him and throbbed in time with the pounding electronic music that was drilling a hole in his skull. He could almost swear the scar was glowing, but the haze of laser lights and cigarette smoke made it tough to be certain.
“She’s in here, Lee. I can feel it,” he said tightly.
But what would his queen be doing in this… den of iniquity?
They had been traveling for weeks now, searching for the female who would, according to the prophecy, help him lead the vampire race. Finally, his senses told him that they were closing in. They had to be. The whole of their kind needed him to find her. He continued to look over the crowd, hoping for a sign to jump out at him from amidst all the sweaty bump-and-grind.
Next to him, Lee Goram also studied the undulating club-goers, not bothering to hide his disgust at the near-orgy playing out in front of him. It didn’t seem to make sense: Thad had never been sure where their needle-in-a-haystack quest might lead them, but he hadn’t expected a place like this.
Maybe he just didn’t get out enough.
“I dunno, man,” Lee grumbled. “This doesn’t feel right. I smell at least four kinds of drugs. I see sweaty humans all but f**king on the dance floor. Doesn’t exactly seem like the kind of place you’d find your destiny in.”
Thad’s aggravation was piqued, and he turned on Lee so that they were almost nose to nose. “I know, but I’m telling you, Lee, this thing on my arm is like a hot coal. That’s gotta mean something.”
Lee slowly hiked his shoulders in a vague shrug. “Maybe those Oracles are all just wacko. I mean, who knows what’s up with that incense they burn, right? I’ve heard it’s some kind of hallucinogen.”
Thad leveled a glare at him. “You know, I realize it’s gonna take time to adjust to our roles being reversed, but my nerves are pretty fried and all your negativity is not helping. You know as well as I do what’s at stake here. So would you kindly stop the bullsh*t and help me look around?” A deep breath failed to untangle the giant knot in his stomach. The real bitch of it was that his father’s advice would have meant the world right about now, but he and Lee might not have even been here if his parents were still alive.
Lee growled and waved away a glassy-eyed, glittery young thing who seemed intent on climbing him to give him a back rub. He clapped Thad on the shoulder. “All right. I’ve got your back, you cranky bastard. No one in here is wearing much of anything anyway, so it should be easy to look around. Just keep an eye out. I don’t sense any danger but it’d be real easy to hide a wizard in here, and finding your queen doesn’t mean d**k if you get dead.”
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