Debbie: Morning all, today we are meeting with Catherine Peace.
LJ: (Shivers) What is the point of sitting here in this cold, eerie castle? I mean I know we’re supposed to be meeting Catherine Peace, but she’ll probably never show up.
Debbie: Why not?
LJ: Because some vampire had her for dinner. Duh!
Debbie: Oh for the love of…She’s friends with the vampires.
LJ: I’m telling you, she’s not coming. Here, I got you this stuff. (hands Deb a bag)
Debbie: A cross and…what is this? A vial of Holy water?
LJ: Well, we don’t want to end up being dessert, do we? You’re welcome. And hey, at least I know you’re okay, too…I mean, you did go after that hooded dude. What happened anyway?
Debbie: If you’d bothered to stick around, you’d know. Look, there’s Catherine now.
LJ: She’s alive? Wait, why don’t you show her your new cross…you know, to get her reaction to it?
Debbie: OMG! She’s not a vampire!
DEBBIE: Welcome to Garland & Gould, Catherine! We’re so glad you dropped by!
LJ: Yes, welcome!
CATHERINE: Thanks! I’m totally thrilled to be here!
LJ: Oops! (accidentally on purpose tosses a vial of water on Catherine)
DEBBIE: What are you doing? (Turns to Catherine) I’m so sorry, she’s a bit of a klutz.
LJ: Yeah, sorry, Catherine. (nudges, Deb) Not sure that proved anything. The guy on the corner who sold it to me looked shady. I’ll find another way to make sure we’re safe. Shhh….
DEBBIE: Stop it!
LJ: So, Catherine…did you just get back from the dentist? Your teeth are sooo white, and um, pointy.
DEBBIE: Pay no attention to LJ, she’s had way to much coffee today. So Catherine, What inspired you to become an author?
CATHERINE: It’s kind of a funny story (okay not really; I’m very boring). I read all the time as a kid, but I didn’t get the writing bug until our 4th grade portfolios came around and we had to write a short story. After that, I was hooked on writing. As I grew older and started taking solace in these fantastic fictional worlds populated by people I could identify with better than those in my own life, I realized that I wanted to be able to give back.
Also, I didn’t know authors don’t make a lot and I wanted to make a million bucks so I could write in my pjs all day. Still trying to get to that point. So please buy my book?
DEBBIE: Wow! 4th grade. That’s way sooner than I ever knew.
LJ: Hmm…writing in your pjs all day. Where is your favorite place to write, in a dark room perhaps?
DEBBIE: (kicks LJ) Uh, yes. Where are you most productive?
CATHERINE: Pretty much wherever I can. I write a lot on my couch because I’m not cool enough to have a desk—treadmill or otherwise.
DEBBIE: LOL, yeah I saw Jessica Subject’s treadmill desk. I’m afraid I’m not coordinated enough for something like that.
LJ: Cool idea though. So, tell us a little about This Time Next Year. What inspired you to write this story of love, fear, and guilt? Maybe something you’d like to share?
CATHERINE: I really wanted to write for Decadent’s 1Night Stand line, and my go-to is always vampires. And the dramatic. At one time I wanted to be an actress. Also, I watched a lot of soap operas. Don’t judge me.
DEBBIE: Hmmmm. (kicks LJ again) She wanted to be an actress. Seeee, not so different from you.
LJ: Sure she is...she doesn't have a bruised shin! Sheesh. We’ll see. I mean, the book she wrote is about vampires. Maybe she knows stuff firsthand??
DEBBIE: Really? Cuz we write about demons and witches and we know that stuff first hand, right??
LJ: We deal with paranormal stuff all the time….
LJ: That hooded dude has been chasing us for months! Just last interview you went running off after him in nothing but your jeans and bra! If that’s not paranormal, I don’t know what is. How did that turn out by the way?
DEBBIE: He pointed his bony finger at me and started chasing me. I lost him, though.
LJ: Well, I’m just glad you got away okay! So, back to the story at hand. Vampires….
DEBBIE: Ooohhhh Vampires. Tell us about Kiernan. I’ll bet he is just dreamy.
CATHERINE: If only you could see inside my brain. He’s…full of hot. Y’know, for a vamp. He’s also incredibly sweet and kind-hearted, though he won’t hesitate to hurt someone who’s threatening someone he cares about.
DEBBIE: I don’t think I’d want to cross a Vampire, sweet or not.
LJ: If this story was made into a movie what actor would play him?
CATHERINE: Matt Bomer. Mostly because Matt Bomer needs to do everything. Including me.
*Ahem* Did I say that out loud?
LJ: I don’t know. I’m still thinking bout Matt Bomer. Ohhh…yeah.
DEBBIE: Who’s Matt Bomer?
LJ: He’s a hottie on White Collar. Catherine, give us three words that describe him—Kiernan, not Matt Bomer (I can think of my own words for him)
CATHERINE: Sexy, loyal, eager-to-please (see? With the hyphens that’s totally one word)
DEBBIE: Hahaha, so it is!
LJ: So, let’s get to the root of your secre— um, story. If he feels guilty about what happened when Moira was little, does that mean he is a reluctant Vamp? Does he like being a Vampire?
CATHERINE: He likes some aspects of being a vampire, most notably the strength that comes along with it (there’s actually a whole big thing about that in the book), but on the whole, he’s not a fan. Of all the things he misses, he misses the sun the most. That whole bursting into flame thing isn’t on his agenda these days,
LJ: Yeah, I can see how that would suck. What about you, Catherine? You’re looking pretty pale there. Do you avoid the sun, too?
DEBBIE: (clears throat) Excuse us a moment, LJ and I have, uh, to get some coffee. Be right back. (grabs LJ’s arm and drags her out of the room.) What the hell are you doing?
LJ: What? I’m just interviewing Catherine.
DEBBIE: No you’re grilling her like she’s a vampire. She’s human! Get over it.
LJ: How do you know? A lot of vampires look human. Well, except for the ones that sparkle anyway.
DEBBIE: Oh enough already. Focus on the book and the writing. Come on.
LJ: Hey, Catherine. Sorry, Deb had some personal issues she needed to discuss. So like I said, Deb, just tell him next time you'll only do it with him if you get to wear your high heels. He'll be putty in your hands. (turns to Catherine) There, I think I got her straightened out.
DEBBIE: Wait a sec. What are you talking about?
LJ: Ballroom dancing. What did you think I was talking about?
DEBBIE: Ballroom dancing....
LJ: Anyway, Catherine…tell us, what was the first thing Kiernan noticed about the adult Moira?
CATHERINE: Her hair, actually. She has crazy, curly red hair.
DEBBIE: Watch out for those red heads. I hear they are a bit, shall we say, off?
LJ: I would’ve said brilliant, wonderful, and memorable. Each to his own, I suppose. Catherine, tell us more about Moira. What does she look like? What are her desires?
CATHERINE: She’s a hottie. And a ginger, so be careful; she could eat your soul. Moira’s biggest desire is to feel safe and secure. Since the attack, she’s never experienced that. Also, she needs. To. Get. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaid, which is why her best friend signed her up for 1Night Stand in the first place.
LJ: I sent Debbie to Madame Eve. Wasn’t’ easy because she thought it was all just stories. But now she knows it’s real. Well, just look. She met and married a fabulous guy!! Look at that smile on her face!
DEBBIE: Yes I did! I’m very happy! But I’m not sure Madame Eve had anything to do with that.
LJ: Suuure she did. Romance, magic, happily ever after…it’s all there! J Catherine, what are three words to describe her—Moira, not Debbie or Madame Eve. (I’ve come up with my own words for Debbie)
CATHERINE: Driven, headstrong, intelligent
LJ: I said Moira. And there were supposed to be three words.
DEBBIE: She did, and there were three words.
LJ: Really? All I heard was “headstrong”.
DEBBIE: What are you saying?
LJ: If the shoe fits….
DEBBIE: Grrrr. To the moon, Alice!
LJ: Um, it’s LJ… So Catherine, what is Moira’s favorite quality about Kiernan?
CATHERINE: His loyalty. It’s not something she’s had a lot of experience with, aside from with her BFF.
LJ: What? I don’t know if I’m your BFF or not (though I think I would’ve earned that title by now), but I am loyal to you. J Okay, let’s give our readers a taste. What are the first seven lines of This Time Next Year? Yep, just seven!
CATHERINE: Moira tried not to scream.
....But as usual, her voice cut through the otherwise silent house. Embarrassed and fighting
tears, she leaned back into the comfort of her pillows. She hated waking Tandy, but it just
seemed so . . . real. Shivering, she pulled her favorite blanket up to her neck—the one she’d kept
since that horrible night—as though the thin, tattered fabric would shield her from the fangs she
dreamed about every night, and waited for her best friend to knock on the door. Three, two . . .
....Two quick raps on the door signaled Tandy.
LJ: Definitely grabs you and drags you right in!
DEBBIE: Ever eaten a Twinkie?
CATHERINE: Twinkies are full of awesome.
LJ: So, what the heck does that have to do with vampires and scary dreams?
DEBBIE: Not a thing, but I hear Vampires don’t like Twinkies.
LJ: Seriously? Where did you hear that?
DEBBIE: Can’t reveal my sources.
Lobster or Steak - Steak
Milkshake or Cone – Peanut butter milkshake
Waterside or Mountains – Even though I live in the mountains, I’m going waterside.
Green or Yellow – Green
Dress and heels or jeans and bare feet – Haha bare feet! Mountains, remember? Down here we don’t wear shoes.
Eyes or the smile – Eyes have it.
Horse or Llama – Horse! They don’t try to eat you. As often.
You’re an ace spaceship fighter pilot…however, today isn’t your lucky day. The Droid Nation just sucked your ship via tractor-beam into the bowels of their Mastership. You’re stripped, sanitized (damn, that’s cold sanitizer spray!), and dropped into a holding cell. On the floor you find an exercise bra and a thong. Oh, no! Are these the Droids version 69.69? You shiver and pray you’re wrong.
Without warning, the room you’re in shifts. Your stomach has that “freefall” sensation and you realize the whole cell is moving. Where are they taking you in your little box? Will they turn you into some type of sex slave to serve the Nation or maybe brainwash you into betraying the Commonwealth Galactic Union by assassinating Viceroy Willu Pheel-mee-hup? Okay, so the assassination is one of the top three on your Bucket List—he’s a schmuck for ditching you at the Royal Intergalactic Dance Marathon, leaving you under a spotlight on the dance floor. Alone. And totally embarrassed. When that Smurfendorf ran up on stage to offer to be your partner, you pulled your laser pistol and nearly blew off his…er, head. Yeah, close enough. After all, Smurfendorfs weren’t nicknamed “Mr. Handsy” for no reason—they’ve got eight arms. By gosh, how many fingers is that with six on each hand? Hmmm….
Your cell slams down and you tumble to the floor. “Hey! Where’d you get your crane license, WalMarticus?”
“The prisoner is here for Droid Nation entertainment,” announces a metallic voice. “Video feed will be available on Gelatinus Cube for all druids who wish to enjoy the systematic dismemberment of a human. Thank you and have a nice day.”
You gulp. “Holy bagels and cheese. Do they mean me?”
“Yes,” the metallic voice snaps.
There’s sharp clank and the four walls around you lift upward, leaving you standing on a platform in a spherical metal arena. In a spotlight. Great! A trip down memory lane. You ease over to the edge of the platform and look down. Below there’s water and some freaky looking reptile creature. Lots of teeth. And something about it looks familiar…reminds you of Smurendorf. Must be all those tentacles. You spin around and spot two other platforms. One holds another horrible abomination of reptilian eyes and sharp teeth. The other holds… A backpack?
“Good evening, Droid Nation,” the metallic announcer screeches. “And welcome to the 700th Bi-Lunar Survivor Games. Tonight we have Dinocroc versus Sharktopus vying for a tasty Human treat. Let the Games begin and may the PowerSource be forever in your favor.”
“What?” You shake your fist at the hovering videofeed zipping around you. “You have no idea who you’re dealing with. I’m making my goal to destroy the PowerSource number one on my Bucket List.” With a deep-seated will to live, you step back and take a running leap to the other platform. Ripping open the backpack you find nail clippers, a package of dehydrated sea monkeys, and a tube of half a dozen double stuff Oreos. How are you going to survive this contest?
CATHERINE: I use the nail clips to open the package of dehydrated sea monkeys and pour them into the water. As they come to life, I name myself their queen and they are forced to bend to my every whim. With my army of sea monkeys, I take out Sharktopus first, because thanks to all those Syfy channel movies, I know that Sharktopi (?) are deathly afraid of sea monkeys. That leaves me to deal with Dinocroc.
I grab the pack of Double Stuf Oreos and eat several out of sheer panic. Face covered in cookie crumbs and armed with the nail clippers, I approach Dinocroc, totally ready to pull some Crocodile Dundee stunts. Dinocroc and I eyeball each other like in those kung-fu films, complete with close-ups of our intense stares. The crowd around us goes wild while Sharktopus flails in the water, cries drowned out by the crowd’s cheers and the angry war cries of the sea monkeys. Who knew they came with spears?
Dinocroc rushes me, but I see that he has something stuck in his paw…thing… and remembering the story of the lion with the thorn in its paw, I tell him to slow his roll and then roll over. He does neither because he’s a lizard and all lizards want to do is eat/kill/eat some more. So I put him into a headlock, thinking that if I can get him worn down enough to get the thing out of his paw, he’ll love me forever. Unfortunately, I can’t find his neck. But he’s also sniffing out the Oreos. Fantastic! I let him gorge on Oreos, even though that’s probably the only thing I’ll have to eat since I’m stuck in a place populated by crazy robot ancient Roman things, and while he’s distracted, I pull the thing out of his paw. He roars, but then he and I have that moment where things are cool between us. And then we unleash holy hell on Droid Nation. I name my Dinocroc Mr. Fuzzy Boots, but he hates it, so I call him Soul Eater Steel Hide to his face, but in my heart he’s still my Mr. Fuzzy Boots.
LJ: OMG! That is AWESOME! You so survived that!
LJ: Of course, now I want Oreos.
DEBBIE: Oh, that’s odd.
LJ: Thanks for sharing with us today! And, girl, you need to get out in the sun more! Just sayin’.
DEBBIE: Yes!! Thank you Catherine.
Debbie: (turns to LJ) OMG!!!! Time to go. You are terrible today!
LJ: What? She was in that arena, stuffing her face with Oreos while wrestling Dinocroc. Here I am with my coffee. What is so odd about my wanting a snack?
Debbie: Nothing, nothing at all.
LJ: Well, Oreos and coffee are smashing together. I’ll get you a bottle of water and….??
Debbie: Cheeseburger. Smashing? Are we suddenly across the pond?
LJ: No, that was literal. You smash up the Oreos and stir them in a little coffee…oh, never mind. But a cheeseburger does sound good. Bet the vampires in here like them still on the hoof!
Debbie: Okay, lets go!
By Catherine Peace
....Vampire Kiernan Shaw has never forgotten the night twenty years ago when he’d been forced to stand by while another vampire killed a six-year-old girl’s parents in front of her. He’s spent the better part of the last two decades watching over her, protecting her and hoping for an opportunity to make amends one day.....Ever since surviving the vampire attack that killed her parents, Moira Curran has dealt with the resulting nightmares and abandonment issues the only way she could—by throwing herself into her biochemistry career, preferring a life of a hermit in her lab to facing the reality of her lonely life.
....Madame Eve brings them back together for one fateful night. An immediate bond of sizzling chemistry and respect forms, but can it heal her fears and his guilt?
Genre: Contemporary, paranormal, erotic romance, urban fantasy, vampires
Heat level: 3
Word count: 13k
Cover art by Tibbs Designs
Word count: 13k
Cover art by Tibbs Designs
EXCERPT:....She was the girl, his girl, not some random hookup he could use and toss aside. When she pulled away, he couldn’t speak, couldn’t react; his lips tingling from her heat. For a moment, he’d known completion.
....“What’s your name?” she asked.
....He thought back to Madame Eve’s email. If she trusts you, she will tell you her name. He understood the power of names, and so did Madame Eve. Something insignificant to a mortal meant everything to a vampire, in whose world names were both salvation and control. Remind a vampire of his humanity, or steal it away by forcing him to do something horrific, like watching a little girl’s parents be eviscerated right in front of her.
....“Kiernan Shaw.” Swallowing hard, he found his way back onto the coffee table. “And yours?”
....Would she tell him her name? Would she allow him that kind of power?
....She took a deep breath, as though considering the same questions. “Moira Curran.”
....He rolled the name on his tongue and loved the way it felt. “Beautiful.” He reached to stroke her cheek, but she flinched. “Moira, I won’t hurt you. I could never hurt you.”
....“I’m sorry,” she muttered. “Old habits, I guess.”
....He nodded, unable to speak for a moment. The cloying lilac scent of her fear almost strangled him. “Why did you ask me to stay?”
....“I don’t know.”
....Neither did he, but he wouldn’t leave until she asked him to.
....“I don’t want to be alone, Kiernan. Isn’t that pathetic?”
....You’ve never been alone. Not really.
....He warmed at the sound of his name on her lips. “Not in the slightest.” His mouth watered at the thought of kissing her, exploring her, making his name come out of that gorgeous mouth again and again. He tamped down his desire. Nothing good would happen if he moved too fast. Willem had all but guaranteed him a life alone. Like he approached a scared animal, he moved next to her on the couch. She uncoiled, but didn’t relax. “Talk, Moira. Please.”
....The silence hurt his ears as much as any scream.
....She shook her head. “It’s too hard.” Tears spilled but she didn’t move to wipe them away.
....Time to be bold, I guess. He brushed a hand against her cheek again. Instead of flinching, she eased into his touch. “I want to lessen your hurt, however I can,” he said. “Will you let me?”
Blog: The Pen Punks
Reviewer for Indie Books R Us