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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hump day with Dreamspinners Press: Lou Sylvre



Hello! Lou Sylvre here, touring the web for my newest release, Because of Jade (A Vasquez and James Novel). I’ve got a rafflecopter giveaway going on as part of the celebration—I’ll give you the details at the end of this post. First, a big thank you Guys Like Romance Too for hosting me. The theme, vampires, was a bit of a challenge, so I brought my MCs from the Vasquez and James series along for sort of a panel discussion. Luki looks really annoyed with me as usual, but Sonny is wearing a gentle smile. I’ve brought them coffee, wildly hoping that will cheer Luki up.

Luki: Ms. Sylvre, I don’t know why Sonny and I always have to come to your rescue when you don’t know what to write about.

Sonny: Give her a break, Luki..

Lou: Thanks, Sonny. Luki, I’m sorry if I’ve put you out, but I do appreciate it. The subject today is Vampires—

Luki: Vampires! How the hell...? As if I’ve ever met one.

Sonny: You have.

Luki: No I ha—

Lou: Guys, guys. Whoa. I’m just going to ask about your favorite fictional vampires. Sonny, you first.

Sonny: Well, I’m torn between a couple. There’s Henry Fitzroy, in those books by Tanya Huff. The bisexual one? The kind of vampire someone might like to meet in a dark alley—polite, educated, the bastard son of a king, and kind of hot, too!

Luki plunks down his coffee cup hard enough to slosh some over the side, then attempts to clean it up with his formerly pristine white handkerchief.

Luki: Hot! How can a vampire be—

Sonny: And then there’s that White Vampire in the Dresden Files stories by Jim Butcher. Dresden’s half-brother. A very flexible dude to say the least. But I think my real favorite is Leslie Nielsen’s Dracula in that Mel Brooks flick... Dracula, Dead and Loving It.

Lou: Oh! Me too. I love that movie—Dracula, Dead and Loving It. “Look at me, Renfield, I’m drrrrinkin’ vine, and eatin’ schicken.”

Lou and Sonny break into laughter, but Luki’s not feeling it.

Luki: Let’s get on with this, shall we? I’m kind of hoping that’s enough?

Lou: No. I need your favorites too, Luki.

Luki bites his lip, looks away, then mumbles into his coffee cup.

Luki: The Count.

Sonny’s jaw drops.

Lou: Luki, did I just hear you say, “The Count?”

Luki: Yeah! Yes you did, You know, Von, Two, Thrrree! The Count. You got a problem with that. And I also like that Dracula dude in that movie we watched with Jade the other day, Hotel Transylvania.

Sonny: Honey, you mean that cartoon?


Luki: Yeah, baby, that’s the one. What’s not to like? Loves his daughter, would do anything to keep her safe... Oh... that guy we met in New Zealand, I do remember! It was really strange.

Sonny: Strange is putting it mildly, husband.

Luki: And I’m quite sure we know who to blame for that, don’t we, Ms. Sylvre. You and that Kiwi author friend of yours, Ms. Barwell

Luki and Sonny get a far off look in their eyes, remembering... remembering....



***

There it is,” Sonny said, pointing with his chin as was his habit.

Luki followed his husband’s eyes, keeping a firm grip on his arm. Some strange anomaly had found them driving west on I-90 toward Ohio and in the blink of an eye plunked them down in a future Yellowknife, in the Yukon, in a post-apocalyptic world populated by demons, bureaucrats, and the Rugers—Todd and Nick from Elizabeth Noble’s Sentries books. Todd and Nick had some fictional event to get back to involving “hunters” or a “kelbit,” or maybe both, so they’d dropped Sonny and Luki as near the edge—edge of what Luki didn’t know—as they could, given them supplies, and wished them luck. A few hours later they’d stumbled into this foggy… foggy who-the-hell-knows-what… and the horses Todd had loaned them refused to go a step further. So he and Sonny had shouldered some supplies and moved forward. They hoped.

At last, it seemed to have paid off, because through wisps of thick, almost creamy fog, they could see Sonny’s yellow Mustang flashing as if in an isolated god-ray.

***
“Honey,” Sonny said, “my heart’s beating a mile a minute. This is scaring the hell out of me, for some reason.”

Luki said, “I know, baby. You and me both. But we’ve got to do this.”

Together they’d approached Sonny’s prize Mustang, his baby, and when they got within a stride, he’d reached out and touched her. As he did, he heard Luki say “Fuck!” The world spun and went black around him, completely black.

When it cleared, though, his hand was still in Luki’s, and his other hand was still on the Mustang, and four eighteen-wheelers zoomed past in short order, a blast of wind rocking the ‘Stang after each. He opened the passenger door, pulling Luki behind him and got in the car and awkwardly managed to climb across to the driver seat.

The key was still in the ignition, all their stuff still in the back seat. He could hear the engine’s “horses” cooling down with clicks and quiet groans under the hood.

“It’s been two days,” Luki said, stating the obvious, “and the coffee’s still hot?”

“Luki, I know you’re a detective and all, but let’s not even try to get to the bottom of this. Let’s just drive.” He turned the key.

Not even a click.

Again.

Same.

“Battery—maybe whatever that… event was, it caused a power surge and sucked the battery down. Maybe the charger’s not, since it wasn’t hooked into anything.” He got the charger from the trunk, opened the hood and made all the connections, and gave it a few minutes. The engine did turn over—Sonny would forever swear it. But the flash and roar that accompanied the sound was worse than anything he could have imagined. After his vision cleared, Luki had both arms around him in what he might have called a death grip if he didn’t know Luki loved him.

“I’m really tired, baby,” Luki said after a minute, relaxing his grip and sitting back. “And hungry. And I was just going to take a huge gulp of my coffee.”

Sonny said. “We’re on a log.”

“On a beach,” Luki specified.

“Looks to be about sunset.”

“There’s a building over that way.”

“Let’s go”

“Any idea where.”

“No. This isn’t Kansas, though, Toto.”

***

"Are you sure it's this way?" Ben Leyton took his eyes off the road for just a moment to glance at his partner.

"Yes, I'm sure." Simon Hawthorne peered through the window of the car Ben was driving, which was borrowed from their author, Anne Barwell. "That haze I saw wasn't caused by anything natural." He'd seen enough of what Ben termed 'weird shit' over the past hundred years to know the difference. "There! Pull over." Simon pulled off his dark glasses so he could see better, wound down the window, and listened. "I can hear voices." He opened the car door. "I'd say stay in the car but I'd be wasting my time, wouldn't I?"

"Yeah, you would." Ben grinned and followed him, only pausing long enough to lock the car. "Go ahead if you want. I'll catch up."

It didn't take long for Simon to walk across the sand to the two men standing there talking. They spoke in American accents, and as he approached they turned to look at him. It was the shorter one who looked the most dangerous, Simon decided. His eyes were icy blue, his hair dark and curly, and his skin tone suggested a Polynesian heritage. He had a long scar that ran from his eyebrow to his chin. His partner seemed the more approachable of the two.

"You look lost," Simon said pleasantly, addressing the taller man. "My apologies but I couldn't help but overhear some of your conversation. Perhaps I can help?"

"I doubt it," the shorter man replied. His partner shot him a look. He cleared his throat. "Okay, maybe you can."
The tall man held out his hand. "I'm Sonny, and this is my husband Luki."

Simon shook his hand politely. "Simon." He indicated Ben who had just arrived. "This is my partner, Ben."

Luki eyed them both up and down, and took a step forward, placing himself between them and Sonny. "Just tell us where we are and we'll be on our way."

"You're on Petone Beach," Ben said, taking over the conversation as he tended to do. "Wellington," he continued at their blank looks. "Umm… New Zealand." He shrugged. "Okay, so you guys don't know what country you're in. That's… different."

"Perhaps you can just tell us how to get out of here and we'll be on our way," Luki said. His eyes narrowed. "Wait. Let’s back up. You said you overheard our conversation before. You weren't even on the beach." He took another step forward.

"I have good hearing," Simon said. "Now, we have two options here. Either you can let us help you back to wherever you came from." He cleared his throat. "No, actually let me rephrase that. That is the only option."

Luki rolled his eyes. "I don't think so. We'll be on our way when we want to be on our way, and not a moment before."

Simon growled, a low sound in the base on his throat. He felt his fangs come down, and let a hint of the vampire show in his eyes, as they became fully brown for just an instant.

"Simon…" Ben placed a warning hand on Simon's arm.

Luki stood his ground, and the tension between him and Simon was tighter than Dick Tracy’s hatband.

After a long moment, Sonny said, “Luki, honey, don’t do this. I’m wet and cold and… just please.”

Ben spoke up too. “Simon? What that guy said, okay?”

Luki said, “What exactly are you, anyway, Simon? You act like some kind of predator!”

“I know. And you seem rather like a hunter yourself.”

“Sonny’s my husband.”

“Ben’s my partner.”

“I don’t want your partner.”

“And I don’t want your husband.”

“Okay, fine,” Luki said, “Like my husband, I could stand to get out of the wind—we’re wet and cold. Coffee would be heaven. Could that be arranged?”

Simon looked mildly contrite.

Ben spoke up, “Okay, that’s settled then. No one wants somebody else’s man. Excellent.” He took the keys out of his pocket. “Car’s over here.”

They drove up a long, mostly tree covered hill. Near the top they passed a sign welcoming them to a residential community, where Simon and Ben explained their author, Anne Barwell lived.

“Waiuinomata? Is that what the sign said?”

***.

"Oh good, you're back..." called Anne, greeting them at the door along with a ginger-and-white cat. Her voice trailed off and she sniffed the air. "Why can I smell the sea?" she asked. "What have you and Simon been up to…exactly?"

"Umm," said Ben. He saw her expression change. "The car's all right, really.”

"Uh huh," she said.

"We have visitors," Simon said, coming up behind him, Luki and Sonny in tow. "Luki, Sonny, this is our author Anne Barwell. Anne, this is…"

"I know who they are." Anne stared at them for a few minutes, unusually quiet.

Ben and Simon glanced at each other. "We're screwed," Ben said in a low voice.

"Of course you're not," Anne said cheerfully. A little too cheerfully, Ben thought. "Where are your manners? Make them some coffee, and show them into the living room. There's milo on the windowsill if they'd prefer that. Does Lou know you're here? Last I heard she'd lost you and you were trying to get home."

"How did you…" Sonny asked, frowning.

"She's an author," Ben whispered. "They know this stuff. Just go with the flow, it's usually easier and safer that way."

“What the hell’s milo?” Luki asked under his breath, sounding really grumpy.

Anne said, “Milo is like chocolate, Luki Vasquez. Now behave.” She was already sitting down at the table and booting up her laptop. "I'm going to contact Lou on chat. I’m sure you’d rather I didn’t tell her about your rude comments, so if you’re quite done, she and I can figure something out to get you home."

******

About that Rafflecopter. Three prizes, lots of ways to enter, and nothing to lose by trying!


Thanks once more to our gracious hosts, and thanks as well to readers for stopping by and spending a little time.  J

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