Thank you for joining me! And thank you, Lee, for letting me visit Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs again! I’m here today to celebrate the release of DARKNESS RISES, the fourth book in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series. If you like powerful preternatural heroes and strong heroines, danger mixed with humor, action and intensity interspersed with soft, tender moments, and — of course — steamy romance, then this book is for you. ;-) After barely surviving a vicious vampire attack, mortal Krysta Linz has dedicated her life to slaying every blood-sucking, psychotic vampire she can find. She does an excellent job of it, too . . . until Immortal Guardian Étienne d’Alençon sees her take on four vampires by herself and is instantly captivated. Sparks soon fly as he endeavors to learn more of her and Krysta discovers that not everyone with fangs and glowing eyes is the enemy.
I thought I would have a little fun and give readers a glimpse of some of DARKNESS RISES’ characters in a series of character interviews. Today the heroine’s brother, Sean, will be interviewed by Sheldon, a notoriously green Second, or human guard:
Sheldon: Hey, Sean. Thanks for doing this.
Sean: No problem. I’m actually not really sure why you’re interested in interviewing me.
Sheldon: You’re new to the the Immortal Guardians world, yet you’ve been hunting vampires for six years. Everyone wants to know more.
Sean: Then everyone should interview Krysta. She’s the one who risked her life night after night, hunting vampires and engaging them in hand-to-hand, or rather blade-to-blade combat.
Sheldon: Something she couldn’t have done without you.
Sheldon: I’ve seen you spar with her. You’re very skilled, both in martial arts and the use of a wide variety of weapons. Did it bother you that you couldn’t fight by her side?
Sheldon: But I don’t sense any bitterness or resentment.
Sean: Because there isn’t any. We each played a role. And we each risked our lives.
Sheldon: And you thought it worth the risk?
Sean: *muscle jumping in his cheek* Krysta barely survived a vampire attack seven years ago. Someone she loved didn’t. I saw what that did to her, knew the same was happening to other humans being preyed upon by those monsters, and shared her desire to do whatever we could to stop it.
Sheldon: So the two of you set out to—
Sean: Kill every maddened vampire we could find.
Sheldon: Well, congratulations. You did a damned fine job of it.
Sean: *shakes his head* We didn’t even make a dent.
Sheldon: Yes, you did. And you would have noticed it if all hell hadn’t broken loose around here and caused the vampire population to explode. What did you think of Étienne the first time you saw him?
Sean: I thought he was a vampire and wanted him dead.
Sheldon: That’s what I’d heard. What about after that? I think the second time you saw him was . . .
Sean: The night we saved his life. And I didn’t know WHAT to think. Every vampire my sister and I had encountered up to that point had been a psychotic killer. Suddenly one not only didn’t try to kill Krysta, but actually tried to protect her? It was . . . unfathomable. I thought he must be playing some kind of sick, twisted game.
Sheldon: But, once you learned he was an Immortal Guardian and not a vampire, you were okay with him?
Sean: Nnnno. Not really. I mean, I was intrigued by the whole vampirism-being-caused-by-a-virus notion. I was a med student at Duke and . . . I REALLY wanted to get a look at the advanced DNA that protects immortals from the brain damage and madness the virus causes in humans.
Sheldon: Did you?
Sean: Yes. Dr. Lipton showed me and explained everything in fascinating detail.
Sheldon: So what was the problem?
Sean: Étienne’s telepathic. I was afraid he was messing with Krysta’s head, making her believe what he wanted her to believe. I thought if he could READ her thoughts, then he could probably alter them as well.
Sheldon: I don’t think it works that way for younger immortals. And he’s only a couple of hundred years old.
Sean: *shrugs and offers a wry smile* What can I say? She’s my sister. I love her and want to keep her safe. And, seeing her fall so swiftly for Étienne . . . I was afraid it wasn’t real and didn’t want to see her get hurt again.
Sheldon: I hear ya. You’re okay with him now, though, right?
Sean: Yeah. He’s a good guy and makes her happy.
Sheldon: So what do you think of the werewolves?
Sean: *stares* The what?
Sheldon: The werewolves. Haven’t you met them yet?
Sean: Wait. Are you saying . . . ? Werewolves exist, too? There are werewolves?
Étienne: *calls from another room* No. He’s just messing with you, Sean.
Sean: *glares* So they DON’T exist?
Sheldon: *grins* No. I was just messing with you. But Seth and David can both shape-shift, so technically they CAN become wolves. I wouldn’t ask them to do it, though. They tend to not respond well when you do.
Étienne: *agains calls from another room* It isn’t a parlor trick, Sheldon.
Sheldon: *frowns in direction of Étienne’s voice* Shouldn’t you be ogling Krysta or copping a feel or something?
Étienne: I am. Some of us are multifunctional.
Sean: *mumbles* I didn’t need to hear that.
Krysta: *laughs in the other room* He isn’t copping a feel, Sean. Étienne’s messing with you, too. We’re just watching a movie.
Étienne: Sheldon, shouldn’t you be calling Marcus and landing him in an ambush?
Sheldon: Dude! That was ONE time! ONE mistake! When are you guys gonna to let it go?
Étienne and Krysta: *laugh*
Sean: *eyes Sheldon’s scowling face* Want to ditch the interview and go see what movie they’re watching?
Sheldon: *sighs* Sure.
Krysta: Bring snacks!
So what fictional character would you like to interview? Let me know for a chance to win a signed copy of DARKNESS RISES + Immortal Guardians swag.
Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her "special abilities" aren't much, but the plan is simple—she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it's bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He's a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it.
Étienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years—long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can't stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she's exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger too. He'll have to accept Krysta's help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher. . .
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Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series. Her debut novel, Darkness Dawns, was nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews and for Best Paranormal Romance—Vampire by The Romance Reviews. Ensuing books in the series — Night Reigns, Phantom Shadows, and Predatory — have all been deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Her latest release, Darkness Rises, has also been chosen as a Night Owl Reviews’ Top Pick.
Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and once even appeared onscreen as a machete-wielding maniac not unlike the vampires in her novels.
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