Angela: Today’s guest is Tara Fox Hall - tune in to hear the interview on Journal Jabber and check out her guest post today… Thanks Tara!
Everyone who has ever read a vampire romance novel knows there are only two probable ways the vampire-human romance is going to end: the human lover (male or female) is going to become a vampire, or they are going to die. Yes, once in a while the lovers part, but that is usually a plot twist mid-book or near the end of the novel, to “up the thrill” of a reuniting HEA in the final pages. I knew when I began writing the Promise Me series that I wanted something different for my heroine Sarelle. After all, that was the whole point of writing my own books, to go somewhere other authors hadn’t been able to take me. Drastic measures were needed. That was when I came up with my idea of resistant blood.
In the Promise Me series, a vampire’s bite alone will not turn a mortal; they must lose a fair amount of blood first, and then a vampire must give them some vampire blood. An agent in the blood, referred to in the novels as a “vampire virus,” then acts on the human to make them a vampire. This is nothing new, and variations are in almost all the vampire novels out there. But all viruses have those beings that are at least resistant to infection, if not immune, because of their own genetic makeup. A faerie or other werecreature in the Promise Me universe cannot be made a vampire under most circumstances (although they can be made a sort of vampiric golem with magical means, per the transformation of a wereeagle in Lash Book #4, Revenge). That “myth” is also in many shifter/vampire books: a magical creature of one type usually cannot be another at the same time. So if some beings are immune to the vampire virus naturally, why not create a human who is resistant to it?
Enter Promise Me series heroine Sarelle McGarran, whose summer blood—though extra sweet to vampiric taste—renders her very hard to turn into a vampire through normal means. That is not because she is magical herself: she is mortal, and her parents were mortal. She’s a capable woman not afraid to stand up for herself, but she has no superpowers, or innate magical ability. As the Promise Me series progresses, Sar does gain some powers, such as that of teleportation, via her exposure to demon blood. But that power is a practiced skill that takes her a long time to master, not something she was born with.
As in most vampire novels, a human-vampire romance in the Promise Me series spells death usually for the mortal involved…and a broken heart for the vampire. But resistant blood brings a plethora of possibilities…chief among them a HEA to a vampire human romance that keeps the vampire able to partake of his human lover’s blood…and have her remain human. The vampire Devlin recognizes this resistance in Sarelle’s blood the first time he tastes it, on the night they are first introduced by his brother, Danial. For Devlin had known a woman with similarly resistant blood close to two hundred years ago: his beloved Anna, whose visage has haunted him ever since the moment she died in his arms. Devlin’s path is clear from that moment on: he wants Sar for himself, to love him and fill the gaping hole Anna’s passing left in his heart.
It takes him much maneuvering over several books to get Sar in a position where he can take her for his own. But even then, Devlin is stymied, because it is he, not Sar, that falls in love in the hours that they spend together. When Sarelle begins to exhibit signs of turning months later with no vampiric attentions, it is Devlin that recognizes that her resistant blood has altered, leaving Sarelle dependent on regular infusions of the vampire virus to live. And it is Dev that races to save her life, arriving one cold bitter day just ahead of a blizzard.
Blurb: In a desperate effort to halt her transformation to vampire, and stop her longing for the sultry Devlin, Sarelle willingly takes a drug to kill her desire, even as Danial prepares for the introduction of their son Theoron at a Vampire Gathering on New Year’s Eve. Faced with Theo’s betrayal at the eleventh hour, Sarelle must either trust in Danial to save her, or join forces with Devlin, revealing her secret desire for him.
Excerpt: The clock chimed eleven. Worried, I glanced outside, wondering if Aran would call to cancel. He’d said he’d be going by on an errand for Cia, but the sky was dull white now. The impending storm forecasted for noon might begin at any moment. There was no sign of him.
We were supposed to get a foot or more, something that irritated me. We’d gotten three feet so far this season. With no warm days to melt any of it, the drifts were huge, surrounding the plowed driveway like tall mountains.
I let out a yawn, blinking my eyes. With the completion of the cookies, despite my eagerness earlier, my utmost desire was a long nap under a warm blanket. Grinning, I made a deal with myself that as soon as the snow flew, the couch was where I was headed. Until then, I needed to keep on track. I hurriedly did some light cleaning and laundry. I was just putting the vacuum cleaner away when the clock chimed twelve.
I cast a look outside. Snowflakes had begun to fall. Soon, they were falling fast and furiously, obscuring my view of the barn. “C’mon, Aran,” I said, scanning the drive. “You don’t get here shortly, I’m walking down those cookies to the mailbox and you can eat them frozen.”
All of a sudden, the snow-dampened roar of a motorcycle was heard in the silence. Aran drove down the driveway, his lone headlight catching the snowflakes in its circular light as they fell. He was dressed in his usual black leather.
“You’re crazy,” I muttered, throwing cookies into a plastic bag quickly. “Maybe werefoxes don’t get as cold as normal humans did, but you still have to be cold in that.” I closed the bag, then headed for the front door. “At least it’s something between you and the pavement.”
Aran pulled up in front of the deck and parked the bike, but didn’t turn it off. He faced the house for a moment. As I opened the door, he gestured around him, then pointed to my I opened the door and yelled to him, “Sure, you can stay ‘til it stops. I’m glad of the company. Go to the bottom garage, I’ll let you in!”
He nodded, the visor of his helmet and his shoulders already covered in snow. He drove on as I shut the front door and ran downstairs. Pressing the button, I raised the overhead door and he drove in.
Shivering in the cold blast from the door, I quickly shut it as he parked his Harley and shut off the engine. He began brushing the snow off himself. “Why’d you bring the bike today of all days?” I said, giving him a sarcastic smile. “I told you it was going to storm. Now you’re stuck here. Cia’s not going to be happy.”
Aran got off his bike and continued to brush him and it off, melting snow creating puddles on the concrete floor. “Why don’t you give me your coat, and I’ll put it near the fire. If you want, we can watch a movie or something. I was planning to head to the couch any—” Aran unbuckled his helmet and in one smooth motion pulled it off his head. Gold curls and waves fell almost to his shoulders. This was not Aran. This was Devlin.
He stepped off the bike, and came toward me. I was lost from the moment I looked into his golden eyes.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Secret-Promise-Tara-Hall-ebook/dp/
Melange Books (PDF, print-Lulu, and HTML): http://www.melange-books.com/authors/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-secret-tara-fox-hall/1118025878?
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tara-fox-hall
Melange Books: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/tarafoxhall/index.html