What I am working on: Veiled Heroine

Veiled from him.

There is something alluring yet mysterious about wearing a veil. In my first Blood-vine story, Bound By Deception, the heroine Anna has a veil on during the blood-rite ceremony. She hates the archaic practice and yanks the material from her head the first chance she gets.

Fast forward a few books to the current story that I am writing. This time, the heroine Nathalia has no choice but to be veiled. She wears a traditional covering for a while in the story. The customs of her people demand that she conform to the dictates of their culture.

It is also a contentious point for the hero, Sevastian, because the reason she is wearing it is a constant reminder of the circumstances that are keeping them apart.

I thought I would share with you a few snippets from the story that pertain to the veil.

So here we go:

Kholed and Covered

Vastian looked on as she stepped into the antechamber. Her eyes were heavily kholed, the eyelids dusted with a shimmering eye shadow. He grimaced at the sight of Thalia all covered up, completely hidden from his view. The garment cloaked her from head to toe with an embroidered cloth arranged like a heavy robe. One little push and the thing would slide off of her, revealing her to his gaze.

Fucking archaic practices, he seethed. She looked shrouded, like a Bedouin princess. His fingers itched to reach out and tear it off of her, to reveal the youthful bounce of her ringlets and show the sweet dimples on her freckled cheeks.

Then, later in the scene:

Nathalia

“Take the damned veil off.” His growled demand startled her.

“I’m not supposed to.” Could she sound anymore childish? Thalia groaned inwardly.

“You will for me.”

Even though he didn’t speak it out loud, Thalia heard the underlying statement of ownership in his tone. It said, you are mine now, and that didn’t settle well with her. So, she acted like any frustrated girl and shook her head in defiance.

She didn’t even see his hand snap out and take hold of the tie. In a blink of an eye, the  cloth covering her face swung loose. Next, the heavy shroud situated on her head was pushed off, the thick material of the hood draped across her shoulders.

“Shit, you’re pale as a ghost.” Vastian’s fingertip tracked across her tear-stained cheek and glanced along her lower lip. “You’ve tortured this spot here with your teeth.”

Thalia shrugged, defeated. “Your mother told me not to cry.”

***

The symbolism of Thalia being shrouded goes further than an actual covering of her body. Throughout the story there is much secrecy going on and she is in the center of it all. Sevastian and Thalia have a lot to overcome in order to find true love because they are both hiding behind more than the veil she wears.

What do you think about veiling practices? Do you think veiling can be beautiful and sexy? Or, do you think it takes some sort of freedom away? While Thalia is being covered for a religious-type ceremony, it is a religion wholly designed and created for the vampires of the Blood-Vine.

Christa

*All images posted are royalty-free and the rights for use purchased from Dreamstime.

Coming Soon: Bound By Obsession

My third paranormal romance in the Blood-Vine series is due to release very soon. I wanted to share the cover art, done by the most talented April Martinez, the blurb and an excerpt from Chapter One.

So, without further ado, here is your first taste of Traian Komar in Bound By Obsession.

In his long life, Traian Komar has managed to escape the mating noose. Being bound forever to a female isn’t anything he’s ready for. However, when he runs into Bethany, a woman from his past, every bonding instinct within him surges to life. Bethany’s the one who got away and he’s never forgotten her. Traian’s sudden obsession with her is all-consuming. But, he can’t do a damned thing about it. Dr. Bethany Miles is a mere mortal, and Kan Asma aristocrats are forbidden to mate with humans.

 For several long years, Bethany, a child psychologist, has devoted her life to her work. When a request for an appointment with an adult comes in, she’s ready to refer the case to her colleague … until she notices the patient’s name, Traian Komar. Beset by memories, Bethany agrees to see him. When he shows up, she doesn’t count on the passion he awakens within her.

The moment they’re face-to-face only intensifies the burning lust they’d always resisted. This time, Traian doesn’t hold back. His lack of restraint turns both their lives upside down and uncovers secrets that could jeopardize their growing bond. Because of his refusal to conform to his people’s traditions, Traian risks losing Bethany and any hope they have for love. He must conquer the threat to their mating and find a way to make her his … forever.

 

And now an excerpt:

Chapter One

Traian’s hunger propelled his long steps and brought him closer to his destination. Beside him, Tray’s brother, Mikhail, matched the quick pace, keeping up with his typical swagger. They rounded the corner and automatically slowed down. The floor-to-ceiling glass windowpanes of the storefront caught their reflections. Tray didn’t need the reminder that they stood out with their tall height and muscular builds. The differences between them were stark. Mikhail was the thick-necked, dark-haired one. Tray looked more lean and fair with shoulder length blond hair. Mikhail reached out to open the door. Tray entered first and came to stand in the back of the busy room. Mikhail followed him a second later.

“It’s a benefit to us that California has such early sunsets in winter,” Traian said as he turned to face Mikhail. Tray had been looking forward to this meal all afternoon. Sundown couldn’t come fast enough.

“True, it’s a fortunate advantage for a hungry vampire.” Mikhail smirked, showing the slightest hint of sharp fang tips.

“We’ve definitely come to the right place. I see plenty of options that’ll hit the spot.” Tray bit down into his lower lip, flashing Mikhail a bemused look.

“That particular one would be enough to satisfy even my cultured palate.” Mikhail lifted his finger and pointed across the space, indicating just what he wanted to dine on.

“Only you, kardes, would indulge in such a pig-out.” With a chuckle, Traian reached over and smacked his brother on the shoulder. “Better watch the calories; you might end up with a bit of pudge around your gut.”

Sniffing derisively, Mikhail quirked an eyebrow and cocked his head to the side. “Well, I already know what you’re pigging out on, and I’d like to warn you against such a mistake. All carb, no protein… Really, brother, how do you intend to keep that girlie shape you’re sporting?”

“By kicking your scrawny ass,” Tray flashed a wicked smile before stepping forward. He cocked his head over his shoulder and muttered jubilantly, “Looks like I’m going first.”

Mikhail only swore in Turkish and shoved his brother before saying, “Well, hurry your bony butt up, I’m starving here.”

Tray shrugged and ignored Mikhail. He turned his full attention frontward and met the bored look of a young, college-aged girl. Mousy features framed by multi-hued hair, in varying lengths, showed off the oval shape of her face. A silver barb, pierced through her upper lip, muted the sweet innocence of her youth, a bit. When she noticed him, her pale gray eyes widened and she moistened her lower lip with the tip of her tongue. Yup, another piercing there, too. Before he’d moved near, she was slouched over and tuned out. One earbud, from her IPod, hung over her shoulder and the other fit in her ear. She straightened and yanked the headphone out. Tray leaned closer, crossing his arms over his chest. He watched her stare flick down, roving across the outlines of his torso, tracking over his rounded biceps.

Clearing his throat, he effectively redirected her attention back to his face. Her dreamy expression deepened and Tray almost rolled his eyes. “Ma’am?” he said, just to seem polite.

“Yes,” she replied rather breathlessly.

A nudge in his ribs made Tray flinch, “Hold your horses, youngling. He forced into his brother’s thoughts.

“Stop flirting with the human, I’m famished,” Mikhail replied tersely.

Fine, his own stomach growled in protest at his stalling, as well. Tray blinked and pulled back a bit. Time to sate one of his most basic needs: food.

She followed as far as she could but the thick slab of granite separating them prevented her from all out touching him. Tray rocked on his heels and lifted his gaze to fix on the far wall. “I would like two clubs on rye, with all the fixings. Add a side of that famous apple coleslaw, and peach cobbler. Also, two passion fruit iced teas. My brother here wants an egg salad on whole wheat, a large order of fries and the fresh fruit salad. As you can see, he is just as boring as his food choices. No sense of adventure, the poor bastard.”

The cashier dutifully entered each item into the register. When Tray rambled off Mikhail’s order, she focused directly behind Tray. Her smile grew almost flirty and that tongue came out again. This time, it brushed across her teeth while she appraised Tray’s brother.

“Hello there, doll.” Mikhail sidled alongside Tray. Mikhail’s cultured Russian accent deepened as he continued, “Is Tray here giving you a hard time? I could break his face with my fist, be your champion extraordinaire.”

The poor thing was dumbstruck. Her lips parted but nothing came out. Now, Tray indulged his urge and rolled his eyes. “Oh yeah, if he’s Prince Charming, then I must be the Big Bad Wolf.” He fake growled, hiding his fangs behind taut lips.

A quick flash twinkled in her eye at his statement. She tried to smother a laugh but it didn’t work. Tray noticed she diverted herself by plunking at the register keys, totaling their order.

“That’s gonna be twenty-two dollars, sir.”

Tray reviewed the sum and peeked at the menu board. After a quick calculation of each item, he grimaced. It didn’t add up. “I think you might be missing something,” he offered courteously.

She shook her head and stared at Mikhail. “His is on the house.”

Before he could utter a thing, Mikhail slapped Tray’s back and whooped with hilarity.

“Serves you right, big bro, a bit of chivalry goes a long way.” Mikhail swaggered to the dining area where he ass-planted it in a back booth. His big, soldier-like body took up the space of one bench.

Tray paid the total, tossed the change in a glass tip dish, and leaned against the partition. When their order was up, he grabbed the tray with their plates and sauntered over to join his brother. He set the food down with a hard clank and one of Mikhail’s melon slices fell off with a wet plop. Sliding onto the opposite bench, he scowled at Mikhail and said, “Who do you think you are? Cujo?”

Mikhail’s lips twisted in a paltry attempt to keep his amusement at bay.

Tray drummed his fingers on the tabletop, waiting for a reply. He hated having his back to the room. Even with heightened senses, he preferred to see danger coming at him. It gave him time to calculate his responses, to determine what he would do to the person posing the threat. And, it spared him the heebie-jeebies feeling that was presently crawling along his skin, prickling with gooseflesh. Tray hated the infernal sensation and would never again be caught unawares in any situation.

When he’d fled their village in Abkhazia, some twenty-odd years ago, it was only after several horrible weeks of agony and torture. He hadn’t been spared the suffering. Luckily, while he was trapped, his brothers effectively found a way to evacuate the survivors.

Tray had found them nearly a month later. His physical injuries limited his ability to move speedily. Despite his wounds, his mind was his greatest weakness. The atrocities he witnessed in the scientist’s lab scarred his soul in ways he never thought possible.

Lured by the lovely, Sascha, he’d been blinded by his growing hunger and never noticed her duplicity. She was his blood host, his Adak; he required her vein to sate his need, and her body to give him release. It had been a fulfilling relationship for many, many years. Until the bitch had betrayed him.

Before dawn, on the day of the invasion, she’d convinced him to let her tie his hands behind his back in a mock attempt at seduction. What male wasn’t up for a little bondage now and then? Traian shuddered. The memories of being ambushed from behind made his gut roil. Sascha knew his Híbe, the special talent of manipulating nerve endings, was no good to him as long as they restrained him. He was utterly powerless, like that damned Samson who was deceived by his lover Delilah. Tray had fought with every ounce of his strength but he couldn’t battle the drugs pumped into him. The massive elephant tranquilizer had effectively shut him down. He’d been unconscious through the brunt of the incursion.

And when he finally woke up, he was in hell.

“Those bastard quacks,” Mikhail sneered with a low growl. “It’s been almost three damn decades and your head is still scrambled, Bro.”

Tray realized he’d zoned out, totally ignoring Mikhail and the food sitting there waiting for him to dig in. Lifting his chin, he met his brother’s concerned stare. With an indifferent shrug, he picked up the first half of one sandwich. “Next time, I’ll just toss you on your ass so I can sit where I’m comfortable. That way, I can spare you my little traipse through memory-fucking lane.” 

Christa

Happy Fourth of July

For a fun and sexy holiday read, check out my novel Kissin’ Cops 2: Star Spangled Kiss

Kissin’ Cops 2

                                                                                                                                                                                  

Detective Tyler Mason always gets what he wants, until he tries to seduce unattainable social worker, Sophie Perez. Suddenly, everything he thought about women is turned upside down. Now, he will do anything to make her his. Sophie resists her attraction to Tyler. She knows he only wants one thing. However, at a Fourth of July barbeque, she is given a glimpse of the man he truly is.

Amidst the fireworks of the holiday, their passion ignites. Tyler must win Sophie’s heart or risk losing the one woman who can teach him how to love.

I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July. Enjoy the food, fun and fireworks.

Christa

Thursday Thirteen: Unique Hero Names

Cross Posted at Liquid Silver Books, Silver Expression’s blog.

Every author has an important task set before him or her. The mission is in choosing the perfect name for their characters. There are popular names for heroes that seem to dominate romance novels. An avid reader can come across several of the same names, spelled in a variety of different ways. Off the top of my head, I can think of Kane, Kaine, and Kayne. There is also the big name shortened into a nickname, like Jackson to Jack. I did a quick search of heroes named Lucan, Luc or Lucien and there were pages of them in both regular and paranormal romances. But today, for my Thursday Thirteen post, I thought I would list 13 uniquely named heroes.

So, after a little bit of research, these are the thirteen distinctive names I dug up:

  1. Beckett from The Heat of the Knight by Scottie Barrett
  2. Shaz from Trina M. Lee’s Only Vampire’s Cry Blood.
  3. Amanda Steiger’s Dark Geist has a hero named Smoky Striggs.
  4. Slander Weldon is the hero of Stone Dead by J. Hali Steele.
  5. Lissa Matthews’s Vinter is one naughty Bassist in Simple Need.
  6. Lora Leigh could top off the next five or ten with most of her Breed novels, she has Callan, Taber, Styx, and Cabal, etc…
  7. J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood is right up there with the Breed novels in regard to interesting name. I’m sure fans of the books could pick out the most exceptional for them. Not only does she have interesting emotive names, but she spells them differently, as well like Zsadist, and Vishous.
  8. Lionello “Lion” Andreas is the enigmatic hero of Iris Johansen’s Wind Dancer.
  9. The pirate prince Lazar di Fiori in Gaelen Foley’s The Pirate Prince won’t rest until his kingdom is returned to him.
  10. In the same theme as Lazar, Christina Dodd’s latest release Taken by the Prince features the hero Saber, a king who is fighting to get his throne and country back.
  11. As a Pride and Prejudice fangirl, I can’t forget Jane Austen’s Fitzwilliam Darcy. That name’s sure a mouthful.
  12. In the Urban Fantasy department, Alexis Morgan’s Paladin series features an other worldly hero named Larem in her latest release Bound by Darkness.
  13. It’s only fair that I contribute my own interesting hero name from Bound by Obsession which is my newest novel due out really soon. It features a vampire hero named Traian.

 

So, what original and unique names have you come across or picked as a hero’s name for your book? I know there are so many out there that it is impossible to list them all.

Have a great Thursday,

Christa

Six Sentence Sunday Bound By Obsession

I’ll be out of town this weekend, hanging in our RV in the middle of the desert. It is supposed to be fun and relaxing but the Weather Channel predicts low temps in the 20-30’s (ok, for So Cal they are low) and 45 mile per hour winds. Hoping we don’t end up hiding in the RVs the whole time. When I get back, I’ll be sure to check out everyone’s www.sixsunday.blogspot.com posts.

Now, before we pack up the rest of the motorcycles, toss in a few extra blankets and zoom out of here, I’m thrilled to share with you another bit of Bound By Obsession, the third book in the Blood-Vine series. I’m so happy that I finished the novel this week.

Traian has reconnected with Bethany after a long time. She’s grown-up and he is lambasted by the way his body responds to her. This is what happens in the first few moments of their meeting:

Jaw clenched, his brow furrowed, he set his hands on the desktop until the tips of their fingers were just a mere inch apart.

“Mr. Komar,” Bethany murmured hoarsely. “What is it you want from me?”

For a brief moment he said nothing; time slowed as he bent close. Fleetingly, his lips brushed against her cheek and she jolted at the heated contact. His warm breath feathered out and she trembled.

“What I want Bethany, is you,” he whispered the words against the shell of her ear.

Thanks for stopping by for another Six Sentence Sunday. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Christa

Six Sentence Sunday November 21 Bound By Coercion

I have unique relationships with each of my novels. They all hold a special place in my heart. But, this story is one that goes a bit deeper than the rest. Sevastian and Nathalia have insurmountable odds keeping them apart. Their mating is not an easy one. Heartbreak, fear and many others things push them together but they have to overcome so very much, in order to find love in each other’s arms.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from the fourth Blood-Vine novel, Bound By Coercion:

Nathalia’s fingers threaded through his hair, gently sifting the loose length. The tender exploration directed him to the side where her straining nipple beckoned. She wanted more and he wasn’t about to disappoint. Pushing his desire to feed aside, he flicked his tongue around the dusky, hard tip and rasped. Her grip at the nape of his neck tightened. Sevastian reveled in the sweet agony of that fleeting pain.

More...

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you had a great time visiting all the Six Sunday blog posts.

Christa

LSB Halloween Blog Hop

Welcome to my site and Happy Halloween weekend. Your tour bus has brought you here today through www.booknibbles.com and I hope you have your goodie-bag handy.  Now that you’re here, you can enjoy some sweet eye-candy, share with me about your desires for tricks and treats, and enter to win a $10 gift card to Amazon as well as a free download of one of my Blood-Vine novels.

Now, onto the treats….

Nothing like slowly unwrapping your candy, bit by bit, savoring the delicious sweet as it is opened before your eyes:

Super Hottie

 Yes, licking your candy is completely enjoyable and encouraged, especially when it’s hard and hot:

Mister Ab-licious

 Aye, imported treats are delicious and sweet:

Highland Delight

Don’t forget, Trick or Treating is all about the fun:

Jack O'Bum

Well, did you get your fill? Is your bag getting heavy? If you have more room for another treat, like a gift-card and digital book, leave me a comment and tell me who you want to Trick or Treat you and what you’d like for him to slip in your bag.

Thanks for stopping by. If you’re in the mood for vampires and sensual stories, check out my Blood-Vine series.

Now, onto your next stop. Hope you don’t get too much of a sugar rush. Unless, you want one.

Christa

T-minus 3 Days…Halloween Author Blog Tour

October 29th to 31st

Check back on Friday October 29th at booknibbles.com for another awesome Author blog-hop with great prize give-aways and delicious eye-candy.

Christa

Monday with Mikhail: Team Edward or Jacob…

Mikhail is back today, continuing his interview with the ever witty and always entertaining Vivien Jackson. If you missed any of his earlier installments, check here for week one, and this is week two and last week’s is here.

Last week he left off with an interesting question…

VJ: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

MK: *Rolling eyes*-Neither. Have you seen the way they dress? And what’s with the Volvo? Soccer moms, sparkly or not, drive in hatchbacks. I’ve got a Testarossa, wanna take a spin in it with me? I’ll go fast, or really slow. But, honestly, Jacob at least has balls and seems to use ‘em. I don’t support any male vampire who lets a woman lead him around by the dick. Gotta vamp up, take advantage of the superiority.

VJ: I will endeavor to stop visualizing you in a Ferrari. Or leading you around by genitalia.

*endeavoring* Ah, now I feel better. Do you ever worry about the Feds finding out about your cannibalistic practices?

MK: Don’t you know cannibalism is the new black? I believe you have been reading those horror novels, again. I’d be happy to show you what it means to have a vampire dine on you….

VJ: *endeavoring* Have you or your kind ever run afoul of governments because you, you know, eat people?

MK: *glowers* We do not eat people. America doesn’t even know we exist, so no afoul running there. We have had our dealings with Russia, but those are handled by the fang-squad internally on a need to know basis. Sorry, but you don’t need to know.

VJ: … about that. Check. Okay: Does virgin blood taste better?

Mikhail promises to come back next week to answer that most loaded, naughty question.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with another glimpse of what I think Mikhail looks like, enjoy!

Mikhail Komar

Thanks for stopping by.

Don’t forget, this weekend the huge author Halloween Blog Hop is happening, through booknibbles.com. Stop by starting Friday and enter for a chance to chat with authors, check out eye candy and win many cool prizes!
Christa

Labor Day 2010 Blog Tour

Welcome to my little piece of the internet! If you have arrived here through the www.booknibbles.com tour bus, you are in the right spot. Have a look around, enjoy the sights, and after perusing things, leave a comment to be entered into my giveaway contest.

The tool-bar you see above will remain on your browser until you close your tab.  If at any time the tour bar disappears, simply come back to Booknibbles and the tour will automatically continue from the next site. If you visited here today and want to start at the beginning of the tour, just head on over to www.booknibbles.com and start the ride!

I thought long and hard about this weekend’s tour. What images did I want to use? What inspiration should I offer. When I realized this weekend is all about taking the day off, I imagined a little scene playing out in my mind’s eye.

In order for Labor Day to begin, one must come home from work eager for the holiday.

The end of labor is to gain leisure.  ~Aristotle

After a long day at work...

Then after that, it is time to slip on something comfortable. A pair of beat-up, thigh-hugging jeans should do the trick!

Without labor nothing prospers. ~ Sophocles

Relaxing in the Sun

A bit of recreation is always a nice way to enjoy the holiday. Something like a long, hard ride.

Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.  ~Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

Ride and Relax

Finally, Labor Day must end. But you can still celebrate, Labor Night!

Sunset Celebration

 

Now, to be entered into my contest, leave me a comment and tell me how you like to celebrate Labor Day, or Night! One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card via email and a free download of Bound By Deception.

I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

Christa