Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blood, Lust & Spawns by Catharina Shields: Guest Post & Excerpt

 


 

 
(18+) ~ The first of three in this new paranormal romance trilogy.

Chicago's ambidextrous artiste du jour, Helena Davis, has been suffering an inexplicable case of insomnia for the past few months, and it's driving her insane. So when she receives a call in the dead of night from Chicago P.D.'s chief of police, her friend, Don Tyler, to do a forensic sketch for a witness to a murder in the prestigious Eastern Brooke Heights, she jumps at the chance.

Helena is a temperamental, antisocial, but extremely talented young woman. She's able to create works of art of any type, from charcoal sketches to clay sculptures to oils. Her gift lies in her ability to "feel" what a client wants, and when the only witness to the murder of a prominent media mogul, his beautiful wife Penelope, has trouble recollecting what she saw that night, Chief Tyler knows only one person who can pull the face of the perpetrator out of the foggy recesses of her mind.

From that night forward, though, Helena's peaceful, somewhat reclusive existence dramatically changes when she discovers Detective Morris, one of her antagonists at the CPD, is at the crime scene, too. That night, she discovers nothing is what it appears to be, and handsome but—in her opinion—arrogant Detective Morris helps her see, neither is she.
 
 
 


         Having realized she’d gained an audience, Helena paused. The two, most annoying detectives she’d ever had the displeasure of meeting had joined their private little group, and they were smiling down at her. She felt her hackles immediately rise. She arched a cool eyebrow up at them before she nodded a greeting while she opened the lid of her charcoal tin. Choosing a piece, she adjusted her behind on her seat and she was armed and ready to get to work.
“Now Helena girl, wouldn’t it be a token of good manners if you’d take off that silly hat while sitting with the lady of the house?”
Yep! They just had to say something. This time it was the tall, dark-haired detective Bower who started the squabble. Usually, it was the blond. Bower chuckled as she calmly moved her hand, holding the charcoal piece above the pad without touching it, prepping her hand for sketching, and she lifted chilling green eyes to him. He responded with a wink.
“It’s a cap, and don’t you have detecting to do, Detective?” she asked coolly.
“It’s called investigating, Helena,” Detective Bower said with a chuckle.
“Good boy. Now you know what it’s called, how about doing the deed? You know? What my tax dollars are paying you so generously for?” she said with a snooty lift to her chin.
Bower’s amber eyes chilled along with his smile, but she’d already dismissed him. She turned her attention on the new widow, and she was about to say something when she saw her verbal model was distracted by something. Frowning, she followed the woman’s gaze to see that it was none other than the blond Detective who was distracting her with a smile.
Sighing, she rolled impatient green eyes. “Detective Morris?” she called sweetly.
Hearing her sweet tone he arched an eyebrow, smiling curiously. “What’s up, Helena?”
“I like doing my sketches with my verbal model’s mind fresh and unpolluted, but with you standing there, that’s not going to happen.” She smiled sugary-sweet, batting lashes for good measure. “Can you remove yourself, please?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Helena, but you mustn’t fault Detective Morris here. I mean he’s yummy gorgeous . . .”
Yummy gorgeous?
“. . . and he can’t help it that women can’t help but admire him,” she continued. “It’s impossible, really. Face it, he is pleasing to the eye,” Penelope Holtmeyer said with a wink at a wholly unamused Helena Davis although she was still smiling honey-sweetly.
“Hm, see what I mean?” Helena arched an eyebrow.
Realizing her mistake, Penelope Holtmeyer blushed. She’d just proven the woman’s point.
“However,” Helena continued, “I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it’s really, really important your mind is fresh and clear. You’re liable to give the wrong description and then I’ll sketch the wrong face, and we wouldn’t want me sketching the Mayor as the suspect do we?” Then Helena looked up at the blond detective. “So, if you don’t mind, Detective Yummy gorgeous—I’m sorry,” she shook her head with a brief, coquette laugh, “I mean, Detective Morris,” she said, “I’d like to take this opportunity to help you prove rumors wrong, and that you really did make detective on your own merit and not because you’re so pleasing to the eye.”
He grinned. “Wow, Helena. Never knew you thought I was “yummy gorgeous” or “pleasing to the eye”, for that matter. You could’ve said something all these years.” He winked and grinned.
She wasn’t amused. Her sugary smile vanished, and her green eyes glinted—yup!—like polished steel now. Yet she chose to ignore the challenge and turned her cool attention back on the beautiful widow.
“As I was saying, Mrs. Holtmeyer—”
“—Oh, and Helena?”
What?” Her tone was impatiently sharp.
“You really should take off your silly caps when you’re in other people’s homes. It’s just good manners,” he said with a smile, seeing her shoot daggers at him with her eyes. “I’m just tryin’ to help you prove rumors wrong, and that you really are an accomplished and famous artist based on your own talent rather than your . . . eccentricity.”
“It’s all right Detective Morris. Miss Davis here may do as she pleases. I have only the highest admiration for her work. She really is an artist the likes we haven’t seen in a long while. She’s more than earned the right to be as eccentric as she desires and if she wishes to wear her caps, she’s earned that right,” Penelope Holtmeyer sang her praises.
Hearing it, Helena sent Morris a smug smile.
“Yeah. That would explain why she’s such a brat.” He chuckled. “As they say, spare the rod, spoil the child—”
“—Brat?” She huffed.
“Yeah, Helena. Brat,” he said with a grin, fascinated by how the fire of her uppent rage lit tiny sparks in her green eyes. Made them actually glow, too.
“Surely only with you, Detective?” she purred, eyes blazing although she smiled.
“What?” Detective Morris popped eyebrows. “The spanking part or the being a brat part?” Then he flashed a grin that made Penelope nearly swoon, but only served to make Helena’s teeth gnash. “Or maybe,” he continued, “you’re acting up like a brat all this time as a way of telling me you want a spanking—”
“—Unless,” she cut him off, “you’ve got the suspect in your pocket,” she stressed with venom and barely contained temper, “I suggest you earn your taxpayer funded salaries and go do what the good citizens of Illinois are paying you to do instead of disrupting my volunteer work here. You’re boring me with your high school antics and you’re wasting my time,” she said, throwing all protocol into the wind as she admonished him with a hostile tone and glower before she lowered her fiery eyes to the blank sketchpad in her lap.
“Nah. What’s in our pocket is nothing more than our way of showin’ ya how happy we are to see you, Helena,” Detective Bower added his two cents, and even Mrs. Holtmeyer giggled behind a demure hand.
But Helena was seething.
Her words could easily be taken out of context and that horse’s ass didn’t waste a single second to do just that! She raised her mob-capped head with a honey-sweet smile for the belligerent detective, but despite her smile, her eyes were glinting dangerously. He should’ve gotten a clue, but he was feeling much too smug at that moment, elbowing his blond partner because of, what he perceived to be, a win from the difficult Helena Davis.
“Hm,” she honed, her cool felinesque gaze slowly traveling down his front, pausing briefly but meaningfully on his groin area. “Apparently I still have to learn to appreciate the little things in life since I hadn’t even noticed your . . . teensy bit of happiness, Detective.”
Her deliberate pause wiped the smug off Bower’s face as his amber eyes petrified.
“How about you and I look up a room and I’ll show you—”
“—Break it up, Detectives. Helena’s not here to quibble with you two.” Chief Tyler appeared by their group as Bower and Helena both held each other’s tight gazes.
Detective Morris laughed as he clapped his partner on the arm. “Come on, Gary. She won just like she always does,” he chuckled good-heartedly as he led his icy-eyed partner away.
With them gone, Helena’s cavity-inducing smile vanished. She continued to shoot green daggers after them for a few moments more before she finally turned her attention back to Holtmeyer, seeing her smiling knowingly at her.
She arched a quizzical eyebrow. “What?”
“You seriously don’t think either of those two Detectives is attractive?”
“Arrogance and conceit aren’t exactly appealing characteristics to me, and those two are made up of both,” she answered with a shrug. What was lost on her, but not her hostess, was the fact she was being every bit as arrogant and conceited as she accused the two detectives of being.

 
 
 

The Allure of the Tall, Dark, and Paranormal

 

I’ve often wondered why women of all ages are attracted to romances involving vampires. From the fun Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to the ultra-romantic Twilight, to the gritty True Blood, there’s no doubt that the blood-sucking undead has captured our romantic imagination with no end in sight.

Personally, I believe it’s the allure of the tall, dark, and paranormal.

As far back as I can remember, even as a preteen, I’ve always been fascinated with vampires, first in child-like awe, and later, well, in a more mature way. The first time I discovered my fascination with those undead creatures was when I watched an episode of the original “Dark Shadows”, a daytime serial that aired between 1966 and 1971. I caught it in its final year and was immediately hooked, and although the last episode aired that year, thank god for reruns!

If you’ve ever seen the series, you’d know that Barnabas Collins, the two hundred year old vampire and star of the series, wasn’t the most attractive vampire by any stretch of the imagination. He’s definitely no Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise, that’s for sure. But to a young girl who fancied herself in love with pretty boy teen-idols, Donny Osmond and Tony DeFranco, Barnabas was downright ugly. Still, there was something about him that fascinated me although I couldn’t put my finger on it back then.

As I matured and left my “infatuation-of-teen-idol-boys” days behind me, I didn’t lose my love for vampires or Barnabas Collins. In fact, it grew stronger. His allure was that he was larger than life (tall), was a foreboding character (dark), and there was something otherworldly and powerful about it (paranormal). Voila! Tall, dark, and paranormal!

So, obviously, by tall, I don’t mean physical height. By “dark” I don’t mean hair or skin coloring (and with vampires it can never be skin color since they’re pale), and by paranormal . . . well, yes. I do mean supernatural. Ladies and Gents, if you’re a fan of the vampire paranormal romance genre, you know what I mean. Deep inside we’re all attracted to the dark, brooding, irresistible sort; the bad boys/girls of the paranormal world; the guys or gals we could never bring home to mother in the real world.

It’s with this mindset I began writing the trilogy and my latest vampire paranormal romance novel (the first of three) entitled, “Blood, Lust & Spawns”. The two main male characters, Alexander and Xavier, are admittedly tall, are broody vampires, and they are definitely paranormal. They have all the ingredients that pull women to them like moths to flame, and they do. They’re irresistible and, much like the bad boys we know or have known in our personal lives, they’re not the types we’d bring home to mother yet are the kind we can’t help but fantasize about.

After all, isn’t the allure of the dark side irresistible and isn’t the forbidden fruit always the sweetest? What do you think? Agree or disagree?

Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a print copy of Blood, Lust & Spawns I am giving away two signed paperbacks with matching bookmarkers. If you would like to see them, there is a pic of them at my Catharina Shields’ Romantica Blog, and while there, why not join my blog for future giveaways? I’ll be having one soon.
At any rate, remember to leave an e-mail address in your comment so we can contact you should you win! Now it’s your turn - share a favorite vampire character and how they appealed to you or why they left a bad taste with you. Good luck! 

 

 
 
At the age of eleven, and as eldest daughter in a family of five children, Catharina was expected to take the place of an absent mother. As second of five children born to Dutch-Indo immigrants, she took to storytelling to paint a happier world for them and for herself.

 

Catharina has always enjoyed storytelling. Her storytelling evolved from hand-drawn comic strips, to creating hand-puppets, "Meemies and Fluffies", for their morning puppet show, to writing stories in longhand in spirals armed with only a pen while dreaming of a day when she'd own a typewriter.
 

Today she can't live without her computer, and she now enjoys storytelling via her stories and e-books.
 
 
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Comment on this post (be sure to include your email addy) for a chance to win a signed Print copy of  Blood, Lust & Spawns.  There will be two winners.
  The winners will be selected by the author.
Giveaway ends November 3rd 11:59 PM Central time.
 
 

18 comments:

Catharina said...

All's I gotta say, Laurie is WOW. Yes, I'm all giddy and writing like a twelve-year-old. but dang . . .very nice. I love the color scheme!

Thank you so much!

<3 <3 <3
Catharina Shields

Heather said...

this looks like a really good book. As far as my favorite charcter its still Gregori. Thanks for the chance!

jaynep140 @ gmail.com

Sabryy said...

I love the excerpt!

sabrina8_dulcik@yahoo.com

Sabryy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda Ray said...

I love the cover! The synopsis and excerpt are wonderful and I have definitely added this to my TBR list. I don't really have a favorite vampire as my vampire stories are quite limited

Anonymous said...

Thanks too! Those lok do pretty its intriguing.
sudhsmalee@hotmail.com

ChrissieB said...

Thank you! It looks like a great read BraddockC (at) gmail dot com

Michele said...

Sweeet!! thanks for the post!!

jmluker at vhtmail dot net

Book Chatter Cath said...

Ohh I love a good vampire story - this one sounds great!

I love the bad boy vamps that have a secret softer side that isn't always seen by everyone. Spike from Buffy is a great example of that and so is Damon on TVD (Yummy to look at too <3)

Thanks for the great interview
bookschatter@gmail.com

nurmawati djuhawan said...

the book sounds great...thx u for the chance of winning the book :)

=nurma=

chikojubilee at gmail dot com

Miss Bohemia said...

Can't wait to read this book. One of my favourite Vampire characters is Anne Rice's Lestat also known as the 'brat prince'because he is so complicated and does as he pleases. thealexion at hotmail dot com.

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman said...

book looks like a fun read! Thanks for the chance!
Jesse
jesse.kimmelfreeman@gmail.com

HaveBook WillSurvive said...

Sounds like a fun read. Thanks for a chance. havebookwillsurvive at gmail.com

Diana said...

Amazing cover! The story is very very interesting, thank you for the chance!

artgiote at gmail dot com

Natasha said...

Sounds really good!! Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

kaya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kaya said...

This book seems awesome! *_*
The excerpt totally made me wanna read it (and the cover is beautiful >ç<)
xD Thanks for the amazing giveaway.

kaya_kuro.neko@yahoo.it

Catharina said...

Awesome response! It's nearly that time when the two winners will be chosen, and I hope all participants have included their e-mail addy in their posts.

I will be e-mailing the two winners of this giveaway Monday, November 5th.

My new novella, a paranormal romantica fairy tale will be released soon as well.

For information, please go here http://catharinashieldsromantica.blogspot.com/

Thanks to all the participants, and a very special thank you to the incomparable Laurie for offering me this opportunity.

Warmest regards,
Catharina Shields