Monday, June 13, 2011

#DarkTour with Erin Kellison & Laurie London!

#DarkTour brings on the mayhem!

Welcome to (or beware) the Shadow and Sweetblood Blog Tour, aka #DarkTour. Thank you for having us! Authors Erin Kellison and Laurie London are looking for trouble today while talking about our recently released novellas, Shadow Touch and Hidden by Blood.

We have a great prize package for one lucky commenter—Shadow Bound (book one in Erin’s Shadow series), Bonded By Blood (book one in Laurie’s Sweetblood series), Demon Keepers by Jessica Anderson, as well as bookmarks and romance trading cards. Now there’s a package to fight over!

Conflict is the muscle of a story. Without conflict, nothing can happen. Opposition in some form (internal, external, environmental, social, etc) is absolutely necessary to make a story interesting. Otherwise, it’s all daisies or gloom, nothing to fear or hope for, which is why authors most frequently begin stories with a problem.

Take Ellie Russo from Shadow Touch, for example. Her shadow ought to be attached to her, but instead it moves independently, acting on impulse and instinct. She’s a wild thing, willful and growing stronger by the day. The shadow is an extension of Ellie herself, but she can’t control her dark half. Ellie has had enough, so she travels to the Segue Institute, a paranormal research center, desperate for help.

But Dr. Cameron Kalamos is utterly unprepared for the havoc wreaked by a soul split in two. The shadow won’t listen to reason and is bent on seducing him. That, he thinks he can handle, but when she starts to make real trouble, deadly trouble, the stakes get higher. And it doesn’t help that Ellie has been concealing a secret that could change everything.

Here’s an excerpt:
“Is the shadow dangerous?” Dr. Kalamos asked.
Ellie had answered this earlier, and repeated her response. “I don’t think so.”
“Our first priority is the safety of the men and women working at Segue. Can you please clarify?”
Ellie had promised herself that she’d hold nothing back, but his sharp approach had her hesitating. “She plays tricks,” she said, though this was the lesser truth. “And, depending on her mood, she can try to scare, or disturb, or…or confront....” Another dodge.
Kalamos leaned forward. “Can she physically touch anything? Can she affect electricity or water or light or air? Can she do anything?”
“No.” The lie came out smoothly, with zero outward angst, but—oh thank God, there she is—the lie, or maybe the memory underneath, had brought her shadow. Her naked self emerged through the wall—a bare leg, arm, breast, and shoulder.
“Contact!” shouted a soldier. The two moved in tandem, taking new positions to face her shadow, guns aimed, ready, and utterly useless.

Check out Cam & Ellie’s story in Shadow Touch here:

And Find, Follow, and Friend Erin Kellison here:

And now, here’s Laurie to talk about the conflict in Hidden by Blood. I (Erin) think she did a fantastic job showing the tension not only between the humans and vampires of her world, but revealing the lure of that special, forbidden sweetblood as well.

Thanks, Erin! Boy, do we have trouble brewing today. And how ironic that in both of our novellas, the heroines are the ones fighting their dark natures, not the heroes, who are normal humans. We totally didn’t plan that!

Months before Hidden By Blood starts, Brenna Stewart broke things off with Finn McKentry because she worried about not being able to control herself. Because vampires live peacefully (for the most part) yet secretly among humans, Brenna couldn’t tell him the real reason she left, so she lied. A former Army Ranger, Finn is a sweetblood—his rare blood type, called Sweet, is so addictive to vampires that it’s sold on the vampire black market.

The story opens with Finn imprisoned as a blood slave, forced to submit to an enemy more powerful than any he’s encountered before.

Here’s an excerpt:
“This shouldn’t hurt. Well, maybe just a little.”
Finn McKentry clenched his fists and arched his back off the squalid mattress. The metal cuffs around his wrists and ankles dug painfully into his skin as heavy chains clanked against the cold stone floor. With a groan, he struggled, twisted and pulled against his restraints. As usual, nothing gave way, but that never stopped him from trying.
His captor arranged the supplies neatly on the metal tray and pulled on a pair of latex gloves. “Come now. You must relax, or you’ll create unnecessary bruising on the skin. And we don’t want that, do we?”
The man filled a syringe with a small amount of clear liquid, held it up to the light filtering into the room, and flicked it with one finger.
The alcohol-dipped cotton ball was cold on the inside of Finn’s arm and he turned his head away. He knew what was coming next but was powerless to stop it from happening. Frustrated by his helplessness, Finn tensed every muscle. Beads of sweat trickled down from his hair despite the cool air. He hadn’t entirely given up hope that he’d figure a way out of here, but with each passing day, that hope was quickly diminishing.
“Calm down, please. If this vein collapses like the other, I’ll be forced to use the one behind your knee, which I understand is a very tender area. Either that or your groin. And that wouldn’t be pleasant for either of us, I’m afraid.”

Finn and Brenna’s story, Hidden By Blood, is FREE for a limited time here: 

Find, follow and friend Laurie London here:

Now to be entered to win that fantastic prize package, think of a favorite story (books/TV/movies) and tell us what the conflict is and how you find it compelling. Don't forget to leave an e-mail address with your answer!
 Winner! Meagan (#23)


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