Cherry Cordial, vampire stripper extraordinaire, spectacularly messes up her life with a single act of kindness. How could she have known when she rescued gorgeous rogue Ian McDevitt that she would be implicated in the vampire queen’s murder?
Soon, she faces the wrath of the entire vampire community. To escape retribution, she joins a settlement program to colonize Mars. Her choices are grim: hurtle through space to the red planet to face the unknown and possible death, or stay on Earth and face certain annihilation.
To make things even more complicated, a certain gorgeous rogue seems to be shadowing her every move…
~ Bewitching BT
Suddenly, I wasn’t the biggest, baddest thing on the block.
They always traveled in packs. Enough of them could take me down. Revenants were cousins to vampires, undead beings with too much spirit. Essentially ghosts with physical reality.
I picked up the pace, steering toward the middle of the street and well away from dark corners. If I had a heart rate, it would have been pounding. My blood was rare and prized. One sip and the revenants would keep me alive to serve as a drink dispenser.
I fished through my bag. Where was my cell? Jonathan would come. Provided I could find the damn phone.
Meaty thwacks rang out in the alley as I passed by.
Do not look.
A soft oomph, followed by a clipped English accent, “Try that again, bastards.”
A lone and gorgeous male vampire had been captured. Three revenants had him pinned against the wall. Two held his arms and one pinned his legs. Three more surrounded him like a pack of knife-wielding hyenas.
The vampire snarled. Long fangs bared, presumably pissed off at his capture. With his sculptured physique, he could handle the situation. Right?
None of the baddies had noticed me yet. I could leave.
Another punch landed, connecting with the vamp’s mouth. The crack echoed in the alley. Liquid splattered, followed by cruel laughter.
The vampire hottie spat, his lip broken. Blood trickled down his jaw, seeping into the stark white collar of his button down shirt. “Think twice before you cut me, mate. I’ll smash all of your fucking heads in.”
“Shut up, meat.”
One added, “I’m so scared,” before swinging his knife and tearing a gash in the vampire’s chest. The pack laughed. A revenant approached the vampire with IV bags.
Crap-a-roni, now I had to get involved. They planned to bleed him out. That’s what revenants did. They took a vampire’s blood and drained him or her dry. The blood was then sold to the highest revenant bidder. They believed our blood could remove the excess spirit from their bodies, returning them to their true vampire form.
Problem is—it’s a myth. There’s no way for a revenant to become a vampire, any more than I could become a zebra if I wanted to. These guys were zealots. Deranged lunatics.
“This is your last warning, blokes,” Mr. Sexy English accent said. I tried not to shiver at the sound of his rich voice. Heady whiffs of his sweet scented blood drifted my way. Like a fine wine, the smell promised a delicious and satisfying taste. Saliva pooled in my mouth. My fangs dug into my bottom lip.
“Well lookee here!”
Damn. I should have run when I had the chance. The pack turned in my direction, their faces eager for more blood. I cringed under the gaze of the hollow-eyed, pale-skinned nightmares who all wanted a piece of me.
The nearest one licked his gray, rubbery lips. “Yum. Dessert.”
I was too stupid to live. Why didn’t I run? My feet were frozen to the spot. I did the lamest, girliest thing possible. I swung my purse. And connected. A solid hit to the nuts.
The revenant shrieked, clutching his junk. “Bitch!”
The male vampire bucked, tossing the revenant off his left arm. Partially free, he ripped the arm off the other revenant before the thing could even react. With balled fists, Mr. Hottie crushed the skull of the captor holding his feet.
“Don’t stand there like a daft pony!” the vampire scolded. He snapped the neck of the nearest revenant, then motioned. “Get out of my way!”
“What? Without my help, you’d still be trapped against a wall!” I ducked and stepped aside, narrowly avoiding the gray-lipped revenant who had thought I was dessert.
“The rubbish bin would be more help than you!” Mr. English silenced two more revenants with brutal, neck-twisting efficiency.
“Oh really?” What a prick.
The revenant recovered from the nut bash and charged me again. His fingertips knocked off my ball cap. I kicked him in the stomach, grabbed the garbage barrel and slammed it over the revenant’s head as he honed in on me. The plastic bin wouldn’t kill the thing, but he couldn’t see either.
“Pathetic,” the vampire said.
Mr. English and I watched as the last revenant bounced against a brick wall before falling over, his legs scissoring.
“Time for this one to bugger off as well.” Mr. English yanked off the barrel and snuffed out the revenant with a bone-shattering blow to its head.
One by one the corpses disintegrated into dusty husks. A breeze blew through the alley and scattered the remains. Gray vaporous clouds floated around before dissipating into the air. To a passerby, the revenants’ final passage would look like dirty car exhaust.
“Well, I’m off then. Have good evening.” He brushed dirt off his tailored trousers. “Sod it, they scuffed my shoes. And this shirt is ruined.”
“Yeah. What a tragedy. You’re lucky. You could have been a revenant Slurpee.”
He sniffed at the suggestion. “I was never in any real danger.”
“You could have fooled me,” I retrieved my ball cap from the grimy sidewalk.
A late afternoon sunbeam penetrated the alley, illuminating the vampire’s blue-green eyes and highlighting the fine bone structure of his face. I tried not to gawk.
I gathered my tangled hair and mashed it under the hat. “Looks to me like they had you pinned against the ropes.” Did I mention he was gorgeous? Like a cover model. An underwear cover model. I cleared my throat. He was a total stranger, and while I bet he looked divine in only underwear, I needed to stop ogling him.
When he stared at me and didn’t reply, I lamely added, “You know? Down for the count.”
“I understood the reference, luv,” he said in his damn fine accent.
A man-shaped shadow shifted from across the street, forming a dark blot in the alley’s entrance. We weren’t alone.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?
Because, vampires on Mars! What’s not to love there? Really, it was because of Cherry Cordial. She is one of those characters that blossomed into life with a full blown personality (which is a gift!!) The idea of telling a story about an undead space colony living on Mars was too crazy to pass up. I had no idea if anyone would want to buy it, but I didn’t care. Consequently, it was the fastest and most fun book I ever wrote, to date.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?
I’m not a big believer in writer’s block as a thing. In my experience, if I’m not writing it’s because something in the plot isn’t sitting well with me. Or I’m just being lazy and I need to have more discipline. When I’m facing either situation, it’s best to just write something – anything really. I’ve adopted the strategy of fixing things in revision. It’s the old – you can’t fix a blank page chestnut. The other thing I do is take walks around my house or in the neighborhood. And then I don’t think about the story. I often find that letting my mind wander helps solve the plotting issue.
5. Your all time favorite book? ?
The Lord of the Rings
6. What made you pick that one above all others? ?
Because I can reread it over and over and never grow tired of it. It’s also the book that I have rebought the most times. I have at least seven editions of the book ranging from the battered old box set my cousin gave me when I was thirteen to the e-book version. I have the same obsession with the movies too. Usually, I re-watch the extended version once a year because I can!
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ?
I spent a year and a half writing a contemporary romance called Over Easy. I re-wrote it three times. And the last time, it went from 63,000 words to 90,000. It’s currently taking a chill after feedback from agents and editors.
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way? ?
It’s made me more confidant in my abilities but it’s also made me doubt myself more. I know it sounds strange but they are both true.
9. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?
At some point during each book, I feel like it’s utter crap – the worst book ever written. I change my mind because every time, it’s not true. It’s just the voice of insecurity talking. So, I tell it to shut up.
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?
I have a day job which I begin at 5:30 am every day. I’ve worked at home for twenty-three years so I am super organized and disciplined. I’m finished by 3:00 and then I can think about writing, which I do between dinner time and bedtime. I generally write 2,000-3,000 words a day until the book is done. I spend a lot of time plotting ahead of time so when I write, I just get it done (as I mentioned earlier). In addition to writing, I read, knit and crochet, and I love to spend time with my sons. My younger son and I are museum junkies too.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect? ?
No one likes to hear that a reader think your book sucks. My advice is to ignore reviews. Both good and bad. Good reviews can make you overconfident or create a pressure to excel that can mess with your head. Reviews are for readers not writers. If you need feedback, trust your critique partners and your own instincts.
12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
Dead Girls Don’t Cry is book 1 of The Undead Space Initiative series. The next book is Dead Girls Don’t Sing. Cherry is about to learn that some of the “facts” she believed about her human life aren’t as black and white as she thought. She’s also going to have to make some hard choices that may cost her in the long run.
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?
I do have another paranormal romance in mind and I may tackle another contemporary romance using the feedback I received from Over Easy.
1. What made you decide to go the self-pub way? ?
I’m considered to be a hybrid author – some books with a traditional publisher and others I’m putting out on my own. I’m self-pubbing Dead Girls Don’t Cry (and its sequels) because the rights reverted back to me this year.
2. What would you say was the toughest part? ?
I’ll let you know when I hit book 2. Dead Girls Don’t Cry was already professionally edited which is a huge plus in terms of saving time and money.
3. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting? ?
For the Dead Girls series, I hired Kim Killion Inc to do all three covers at once. She also did the formatting for Dead Girls Don’t Cry which saved me time. I will be doing the formatting myself for the other two books. I will also be hiring a copy editor for those books as well.
4. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros? ?
Kim came highly recommended by other writers I know personally, plus I really liked her sense of design and use of colors. She was great to work with too.
6. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with? ?
My books through my publisher are Amazon only because they are enrolled in KDP Select. Dead Girls Don’t Cry is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and bunch of other places (courtesy of Draft 2 Digital). I decided to release my books everywhere, just because I could. I don’t have that choice with my publisher so I figured I would give it a try.
Fun facts: :
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for? ? A TARDIS
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you? ? The Lord of the Rings. And its cruel to make me chose just one.
3. Name your favorite fruit. ? peaches
4. Coffee or tea? ? Both
5. Favorite season? ? Autumn
6. How about fav time of 24 hours? ? Dawn
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? ? girl scout
8. Favorite food for breakfast? ? eggs
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ? The Heroic Legend of Arslan (manga) and Grain Brain
10. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes? ? I just bought a rock collection. Does yarn count? Because I have loads of it and a bag of handmade socks and scarves too. And cats . . . I have six now.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ? purple
12. Drama or comedy? ? comedy
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto? ? You’ve Got This!
14. Cats or dogs? ? Cats (but I do like dogs too)
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? ? dinner by candlelight
16. What song have you listened to most recently? ? whatever my younger son forces me to listen to in the car.
17. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛 ? A TARDIS
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is… ? Martial arts movies
2. If you could choose to be someone else for just one day, it would be… ? Deadpool
3. Your oldest memory is… ? being scared by Star Trek on television. It was the episode where they all catch that bug on a planet and go nuts – Sulu is running down the hall with a fencing foil. Later, I figured out that I must have been 2 or 3 years old (this was in the late 60s before it was in syndication). So I like to claim I am a lifelong Star Trek fan.
4. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ? talking
5. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ? traveling for work or going in the office.
6. Your favorite part of a date is… ? I’ve been married for 25 years just getting out of the house is fun enough.
7. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book… ? Acheron and Simi (Sherilyn Kenyon).
8. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ? Kage Baker (if you haven’t read her, do it! Start with In the Garden of Iden)
9. You’d immediately fall for someone who… ? can clean my house with magic.
10. The one thing you could/can never get over is… ? racism and bigotry. They make me super pissed.
11. If you could have any one superpower, it would be… ? to read, speak, understand every language that ever existed.
12. The one thing that always brightens your day is… ? My kids.
13. The most awkward moment in your life happened when… ? I gave birth to my second child on the bathroom floor.
14. The awesomest thing in your life is… ? my sons.
About the Author & Links:
Casey Wyatt grew up in a mid-size Connecticut town where nothing exciting ever happened. To stem the boredom, she spent plenty of time reading fantasy and sci-fi novels and imagining her own adventures in her head. Not much has changed since she’s grown up, only now she shares those made up stories with her readers and earns a coin or two.