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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Half Breed Vampire - Theresa Meyers - Giveaway/Review/Interview

Format: Ebook provided by Bewitching Blog Tours for review

Ignorant of his true heritage, half-breed Slade Donovan is fated to feel like an outsider among his clan. Until a mysterious woman arrives with the ability to unlock his secrets—and make him crave a future he never believed he could have….As a game warden, Raina Ravenwing has only one mission in the Cascade Mountains: to hunt down a pack of rare wolves that is terrorizing her tribe. Her instant attraction to Slade is a distraction the beautiful wolf whisperer can't afford, unless she agrees to let him help her. Yet working so closely together only intensifies their passion…even as the unfolding truth of Slade's identity threatens everything Raina holds sacred.

Slade is a vampire, the best tracker on the security team.  He was found as a young boy by his clan, and they took him in.  When he became older they trained him to be part of the security team and eventually turned him into a full vampire.  His vampire clan is his family.  He doesn’t remember anything from before they found him.

Raina is a game warden, and she is hunting down some wolves.  She isn’t going to kill them, but rather study them.  There have been disappearances in her town, and it is being blamed on the wolves.  And she is also a Wolf Whisperer.  Yes, it’s kind of what you are thinking.

Raina comes to Slade’s vampire clan to ask for help tracking the wolves.  She doesn’t realize that they are indeed werewolves, but she does know Slade is a vampire.

Right away there is hot chemistry between Slade and Raina.  The sparks practically jump off the page.  And Slade, ahhh, he’s dreamy.  I really loved how he was a bit snarky, and I loved how he teases Raina.  You can tell it’s his defense mechanism.  Somehow it comes off as endearing.  You get to know him so well, so deeply, you feel for this man and everything he has been through in his life. 

Raina has this internal struggle she is dealing with.  On one hand she is incredibly attracted to this vampire that she is trekking through the Cascade Mountains with, and on the other hand she is put off that he is a vampire.  But the existence of vampires is common knowledge in common civilization; it’s just still relatively new.

And let’s not forget that these vampires have a few extra tricks up their sleeves.  This is something I thought was completely awesome and I loved every time it came into play.  They can materialize things out of thin air, they can transport themselves, and they can also become basically invisible!!  You might think this is a tad bit overboard, but trust me – it totally is not.  Theresa Meyers did such a wonderful job describing all of it, that it fits in naturally like it is just a part of regular life.  Which for them, it is. 

                “Slade inhaled sharply; about to give her a piece of his mind, then found breathing in around her was a mistake.  Amplified by the small confines of the room, her seductive strawberry scent spiked with gunpowder filled his senses.”

There is just so much beautiful imagery in this book.  The author really has a wonderful way with words that they just come alive before your eyes and you are instantly transported.  But it’s just not visual, suddenly you can smell everything, see everything, and touch everything.  And when it comes time for Slade to feed, because he is a vampire and they have to feed obviously, it is a completely sensual and sensory experience.  That vampire can feed on me any time he pleases!

Without giving too much away, Raina eventually discovers the rare wolves she has been after are even rarer than she suspected – they are werewolves.  And being a Wolf Whisperer is more than an honorary title from her tribe.  And Slade discovers some long hidden secrets about himself.  I really felt this is where the characters really began to shine and come into their own greatness. The discovery that history is bloody and secretive and so many people have lied to you to hide the truth… well, the way you handle that says so much about you.   And both of these characters really began to shine. 

This book is number three in the series, and I am definitely going to go backwards and read the rest of the Sons of Midnight series.  I really feel this is a fantastic addition to anyone’s vampire library.

Hi Theresa! Welcome to Fictional Candy, and thank you so much for interviewing with me!
Glad to be here. I appreciate the invite. I’m always up for talking about books.

Let’s start with the basics. Can you tell the readers a little something about The Half Breed Vampire that’s not in the synopsis?
You mean other than it was fun to write? LOL. Well I can tell you that Slade has no memories of his life before age 8. For two years he lived on the streets of Seattle as a homeless child before the Cascade Clan vampires found him and brought him in, letting him train as a Shyeld. Once he’d served as a Shyeld for a number of years, he was offered the opportunity to become a full vampire in the clan and he took it. They’re really the only family he’s ever known. So when his past starts to come back to him in bits and pieces as he and Raina work together to figure out what’s going on with the Wenatchee Were Pack, it threatens not only the fragile peace between vampires and werewolves in the Seattle area, but also could completely tear his life apart. As a writer, my job is to torture my characters to force them to grow. What’s the worst thing you can do to someone who’s been abandoned as a child? Take away every support structure he’s built as an adult and leave him totally alone facing an enemy with life and death in the balance.

I really enjoyed this book and getting to know the main characters, Raina and Slade. Was there any specific inspiration for these two?
Great question! Actually the idea for the hero’s name happened at an annual Christmas party a couple of years ago. My best friend’s sister was dating a man at the time named Slade and when he told me his name I said, “You know that would be a perfect hero name in a romance book.” He laughed and then asked what I did for a living and his grin got even bigger when I told him I wrote romances. “Are you really going to put me in a book?” I smiled. “I may just have to borrow your name, if you don’t mind.” He became one of the secondary characters in some of my earlier books in the Sons of Midnight series as a member of the Clan’s security team. I couldn’t resist giving him a story of his own. (That is really cool!  I love that there is a real Slade out there somewhere!)

The idea for the story itself came from the title. A bunch of us Nocturne writers were chatting on our loop with one another discussing titles and we started kidding around making up titles like the Cowboy Billionaire Vampire’s Virgin Mistress. One of the ones I spouted off was The Half-Breed Vampire, and then I thought later, huh, that actually could be interesting. If he’s half vampire, then what’s the other half? Surely not just mortal. The story started to kind of unfold from there.

Theresa, your vampires are fantastic – and they have a bit more power than the average vampire. Can you tell us something about phasing and fluxing, and maybe why you added this awesome aspect?
Thank you! I tried hard to make my vampires unique and not something people had already seen before. I wanted them to be more biologically based, but at the same time, powerful beings. I could tell from the beginning of this world that the vampires here were a little different. First they were a created from a virus. And that change modified their bodies in several ways, just as any virus will leave a mark on your system in real life. For them it amped up their senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch) and physical attributes (strength, power, endurance) but also made it possible, with effort and training, for them to rearrange molecules to create objects at will, pass through solid materials (phasing) or to become invisible to the human eye (fluxing). One of the reasons I added it was because it explained for me the historical concept they could seemingly appear out of thin air. It wasn’t that they were appearing, it’s that they can shift their form (which oddly enough makes them closer to the werewolves).

Now also this book, third in the series, has a bit of a Native American influence. Was that very difficult to incorporate?
Actually it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, because I’m use to writing vampires. Bringing in the Weres and a totally different cultural norm was challenging at times while writing. I ended up doing a lot of research and trying to incorporate only those elements I thought would be true to the formation of a Were pack.

And whats next in the Sons of Midnight series? Is there any chance we will see more of Slade and Raina?
Just a bit, yes. They become secondary characters in the next book, Her Big, Bad Wolf, which features Tyee as our next hero and is kind of a glimpse at what happened once Slade took over the were pack as alpha. It’s my first time trying out an all Were hero in the series, but there are still plenty of vampires in the story too.

Do you have any other projects or titles you are working on that you could give us the inside scoop on?
Oh, I’m always working on something! I’ve got a paranormal steampunk romance out next month, The Slayer, from Zebra which features a vampire countess as a heroine and a paranormal Hunter as the hero. Right now I’m working on a novella for the Holiday with a Vampire anthology out at the end of the year from Harlequin Nocturne, as well as the final steampunk book for 2013, three contemporary small town romances I hope to have out this summer with Entangled Publishing, and two dark fae books in the Shadow Sisters series out in 2013 for Entangled.

You’ve written books in a ton of different subgenres of paranormal: steampunk, vampires, fae, witches, werewolves, even historical. Do you have a favorite?
Much of what I write is a progression. I started out writing historical romances in the mid 90s, then moved to contemporaries and finally to paranormal which led to steampunk and the fae. I really like writing the steampunk because I get to incorporate both the historical elements and the paranormal elements in my stories. Plus, really, have you seen how cool some of the steampunk costumes are? It’s just so much fun to play in that world.

Theresa, we’ve all been flooded with social media. Any way you want to keep contact with other people, there is a social media outlet to do it for you. How do you feel about social media?
I think combined with our phones, ipads and whatnot, it’s really hard for people to unplug and just be themselves these days. We’re expected to be connected 24/7, which just isn’t the human norm. We aren’t machines. That’s why I love books. They allow the brain to engage, but in a restful way so they give you a boost rather than drain you. That said, am I on social media? Of course. As a Gemini I find the rapid exchange of information and all those nifty instant links fascinating. I just have to be very disciplined about how much time I allow myself to socialize online if I want to get all those books written!

And in the same vein, how can our readers follow/contact you?
I’m on both Twitter and Facebook, although I tend to Twitter more. Usually I’m on there first thing in the morning for me during the week, along with my cup of tea. The best way to contact me directly is either to write to me via the contact page on my website or to tweet me @Theresa_Meyers

On your website you say you’ve been into scuba diving for over 15 years. That must be an amazing adventure. Do you have any shocking sights or something wild that has happened while diving that you could share with us?
The scariest thing that ever happened was when I was in training. We had to go down to about 35 feet in this lake in Oregon that had the worst visibility ever. Really, it was even a challenge to see your own feet, it was that murky with mud and silt. At some point, my regulator fell apart, the metal rebreather detaching from the plastic mouthpiece. I went to suck in a breath and got a great mouthful of water. Thankfully my instructor was right there and did buddy breathing with me up to the surface. I got props for not panicking.

The coolest diving I’ve done had to be off the California coast near Monterey. There’s these great kelp forests and they really do look just like skinny, leafy trees from under the water with their foliage all spread out in a great canopy on the surface of the water. But the cool thing is the whole forest seems to dance as it sways in the current. There were playful seals darting in between the trunks and they started playing with my husband and me.

Ok, time for some “you must pick one!” type questions… Chocolate or Vanilla? CHOCOLATE! (ok, that wasn’t too hard)
Country or City? Country
Vampires or Werewolves? Now you hit the hard one. I love my vampires, but then I watch Taylor Launter as Jacob, and really who wouldn’t like the Weres better? Oooo. Ummm. Vampires.
Summer or Winter? Summer baby, got to go with summer.
Salty or Sweet? Sweet. No contest. And since this is Fictional Candy, shouldn’t you ask me what my favorite candy is? Haha, yes, you are right!
Favorite candy: The handmade fudge from The Candy Shoppe in Port Orchard, WA. Amaretto chocolate is best, but the salt caramel fudge or divinity caramel are equally awesome. So is their eggnog fudge during the holidays and don’t get me started on the orange creamsicle or key lime fudge. (And, yes you can get it online…so addictive.) Thanks, I will definitely have to check that out!

Ok, that should do for now. Thank you again for letting me interview you today, Theresa! Your book, The Half Breed Vampire just released on February 21, 2012 – best of luck with that! I will be sure to put the word out there myself about how much I enjoyed this story! Have a wonderful day!

About Theresa Meyers:
Raised by a bibliophile who made the dining room into a library, Theresa has always been a lover of books and stories. First a writer for newspapers, then for national magazines, she started her first novel in high school, eventually enrolling in a Writer's Digest course and putting the book under the bed until she joined Romance Writers of America in 1993.
In 2005 she was selected as one of eleven finalists for the American Title II contest, the American Idol of books. She is married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her brother sit between them in the backseat of the car. They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their two children, three cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd puppy, several rabbits, a dozen chickens and an out-of-control herb garden.
You can find her online on Twitter, Facebook, at her Web site or blogging with the other Lolitas of STEAMED!

Please note that this giveaway is tourwide.  Fictional Candy will not pick or announce the winner, and is not responsible for getting to the prize to the winner.  However, I do want to wish you all good luck!  It looks like an awesome prize!!

Enter for your chance to win a copy (print or electronic) of the latest book in Theresa Meyers' Sons of Midnight mini-series, The Half-Breed Vampire, a Love Bites mug for your hot beverage of choice along with a bag full of decadent Bliss chocolate. US and Canada only. (5 winners will be chosen) 

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