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Friday, February 28, 2014

Review & Excerpts from She Kissed a Vampire by Carol Van Atta! Plus Guest Post!

She Kissed a Vampire (Werewolves of the West, #2) by Carol Van Atta
Adult Fiction (Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance)
Date Published:  December 16, 2013
Publisher: Cambridge Press US

Best selling author Melanie Larson’s relationship with her friend, Chloe Carpenter, is bleak. Falsely accused of murder, Chloe’s future rests in the hands of her mate, Zane Marshall, and the Pacific Pack’s purebred werewolves. In an effort to help, Melanie joins forces with the pack and soon discovers the monsters she writes about in her paranormal novels really do go bump in the night. 

As Chloe struggles with legal troubles, an unwanted blood bond with a master vampire, and a reunion with her mate, Melanie untangles the attention of multiple supernatural suitors determined to claim her as their own. Strangely attracted to a brazen vampire, she must decide if the blurred line between passion and pain is worth crossing. 

Werewolves, vampires, and fae royalty race to unearth an ancient artifact with the power to extend their existence. Can Chloe and Melanie restore their friendship in time to stop magical mayhem from ruining everything they have worked so hard to redeem?

She Kissed a Vampire is the second book in the Werewolves of the West series by Carol Van Atta. I know this series is called Werewolves of the West, but there are so many other supernatural critters involved, it's craziness. Along with the Werewolves, we have Vampires, Fae, Witches, Angels, Fallen Angels... I think there was even mention of a Werelion? It was a supernatural smorgasbord, and had the action, suspense, and romance to match.

The story is told from both Chloe and Melanie's point of view. I enjoyed each perspective equally. Alucin is amazing! I'll leave it at that. Melanie was a fun addition. She's pretty much a supernatural man magnet. We are introduced to many new characters, both good and bad, and it's hard to know who to trust. Some of them want something from Chloe and some want something from Melanie. There were twists and turns, and I liked the surprises. The romantic anticipation is intoxicating, and this book is full of it.

She Kissed a Vampire by Carol Van Atta was kindly provided to me by the Bewitching Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.

Back in my motel room, I paced like one of the caged cats down at the Wildlife Park. I was eager for some action, Kellen action, and I understood that my crushing desire wasn’t normal. Ordinary attractions didn’t cause a person to forget all else, even to the point of not worrying about a best friend on the brink of complete ruin.

Typical romances didn’t lead to amnesia either. Not that I didn’t remember there was a supernatural world raging around me, but I just didn’t care. Knowing the truth seemed like something I’d always been aware of, not a day-old revelation. In fact, nothing about this attraction to the fae prince was normal.

As the time for our rendezvous drew closer, I could feel him in my mind, caressing my thoughts with an inhuman energy that sent jolts of erotic pleasure through me like an electrical current pulsing through a wire. I was somehow in tune to his presence; the feeling grew stronger as the minutes ticked by. It was as if he was signaling me, preparing me for his arrival. And like any good subject awaiting royalty, I was prepared to roll out the red carpet of my life for him to stroll down, and maybe, if I wasn’t careful, he’d stomp and wipe his muddy boots on it instead.

A teensy part of me warned how dangerous this magnificent male was to my health, and not just my heart health, but my overall wellbeing. His power unleashed would destroy me. Yet I was willing to risk everything to feel his hands on me.

I’d never been boy crazy growing up, or focused on sex as an adult. I’d been with one man, my former jerk of a husband. Our love life had been more than satisfying in the beginning, but as things went bad, so did our time in the bedroom. We stopped sharing a bed altogether, which only served to increase my insecurity. After all, he was finding fulfillment elsewhere. Fulfillment, he made clear in a multitude of ways, I could no longer provide. But now, with Kellen’s attention, I felt like a shy school girl who’d landed the big guy on campus’ attention, times a thousand. I was giddy with feelings and sensations I’d only written about in books, never once believing they could become a reality, especially for someone like me—plain old me.

The sudden sense of a door opening in my mind shocked my thoughts into submission.

You are beautiful, precious, worthy of love. There is no need for you to hide behind your human cosmetics, for your natural shine is what makes my heart beat for you, Melanie Larson.

I gasped as Kellen’s words found a home in my mind, soothing my fears, calming my anxious thoughts. How could I have doubted his intentions for even a moment? I was trying to sabotage an experience that would surely exceed any expectations.

Armed with renewed confidence, I silenced my inner critic and determined that I would enjoy the night, putting all notions of future love and long term relationships aside.

This was my one night to be brazen, brave, and to feel beyond beautiful. I intended to embrace every moment. Tomorrow would come soon enough with its harsh realities.

 It always did.

Blurred Lines … when faeries bite!

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Tinkerbell and other frilly fairies that waved their wands and made magic …good magic. Fairy Godmother turned Cinderella’s plain dress into a gorgeous gown worthy of a stroll down the red carpet on Oscar night. She took a pumpkin made for carving into a carriage fit for royalty. See what I mean? Good magic. But in today’s paranormal fantasy/urban fantasy adventures, there is a whole new breed of fairies, or as they’re sometimes called, Fey, Faery, Fae, … who have their own brand of magic, and it’s not necessarily the ‘good’ kind. 

In my Werewolves of the West series, not only do I feature vampires, werewolves, mutants, witches and warlocks, but also faeries (shifters, angels and demons, too). These faeries come from either one of two Fae courts: The Dark or Unseelie Court or The Light or Seelie Court. And I promise you, the line between light and dark is often blurred far more than Robin Thicke’s line between twerking and flirting. (Sorry, just couldn’t help myself!) Let me put it another way, this summer’s hit song didn’t invent the concept of blurred lines.

Somewhere between pleasure and pain, love and hate, dark and light, you just might find a shadowy, not so definitive line. One that’s blurred and easily crossed. The Fae, in my books, live in the shadows. 

Even the so-called light faeries are at times indistinguishable from their Dark Court brethren, making the character motives hard to pin down. You never know what mischief a faery might make in your life. 

Unfortunately for Melanie Larson, the faeries that cross her path end up crossing her in some big, bad, bone-chilling ways. 

Take a sneak-peek into a scene from Melanie’s point of view in Book Two, She Kissed a Vampire: 

“Ready to travel Ava Airlines?” the faery joked for my benefit before addressing David. “We should be able to cross over without a portal. Your abilities are as strong as most full-blooded faeries.”

I didn’t bother asking about portals. My curiosity had taken a backseat to the sense of doom now plaguing me. My breath caught in my chest and self-doubt bled through my thoughts like an erupted vein causing my head to throb every time my heart thudded. I wanted to scream at Ava. Flying to Faery was not what I wanted, not now, not ever. Alcuin, please come back. I’m so sorry. We’ll work things out. I sent the mental message as a last ditch effort to stop the inevitable. 

It was too late. 

Propelled through the darkness, my screams were silenced by a crushing pressure that wrapped around my throat like a noose. Unlike the times before, the journey stretched on and on, twisting and turning me in a vortex of swirling mists and shadowy figures. At some point I lost consciousness. 

Awareness was brought on by an annoying and somewhat painful series of jabs down the length my body. I cracked my eyes open just enough to glimpse the source. 

I yelped and scrambled to my feet, brushing off the winged creatures. Like insects, some fought to maintain their perches while others scattered into the air around me, not venturing too far. One chattered its disapproval as it hovered an inch from my nose. Its wings buzzed and it waved a tiny fisted hand, reminding me of an evil Tinker Bell. I could only assume I’d been ambushed by a mob of angry pixies. 

“I mean you no harm,” I stuttered while backing away. 

They tittered, the sound reminding me of maniacal laughter on a tiny scale. Unsettling, the noise sent me over the edge of my personal tolerance for all things creepy and downright bizarre. Surrounded by the flying fiends, terror clutched my midsection, sending my tummy into turmoil. I heaved, spewing the coffee I’d downed with such fervor all over the faery raging in my face. The liquid knocked it sideways. It tumbled away until one of its friends stopped it midair. They both raised their fists, their eyes shooting daggers. 

I realized then that except for the now retaliating pixies, poking at me and pulling my hair, I was alone. 

Even worse, I had no clue if I’d landed in the Dark Court or the Light Court. 

When one of my miniature attackers bared its fangs and dove for my neck, I decided it was the former. I was lost in the dark fae’s realm with no way out and no one to help me. 

(Skipping over Chloe’s scene…and, back to Melanie whose predicament has only gotten worse.)

My screams barely registered as I swung wildly with waning strength. I battled to stay on my feet. Once I hit the ground it would be over. The puny mouthed pixies, with their ice-pick-sharp teeth, would finish the job they’d started. I was already scratched and bleeding from the top of my head to my ankles. At this rate I couldn’t take much more abuse. Making my defense more impossible were the tears clouding my ability to gauge the enemies’ movements as they darted in to break not only my body, but also my spirit with their brutal brand of warfare. 

I’d managed to snap a few in half and at least two more were missing limbs, but even with those small victories I was losing ground. Their movements had become more coordinated where mine had become sluggish and sporadic. I suspected their bites did more than damage my skin. My increasing grogginess was proof enough of that observation. I guessed some type of fast-acting venom was the cause. Clearly in this case, size didn’t matter. The old “the bigger they are the harder they fall” adage was reaching mantra status in my mind.

I needed to get a grip, and fast. This was no time to ponder my predicament. I was fighting to stay alive … wasn’t I? A voice in my head hinted otherwise, suggesting I take a rest. Surely I deserved a nap. I’d defended myself valiantly. If I surrendered, the little beasts would go back to whatever faery hole they’d crawled from and leave me alone. Wouldn’t they?

“Get away from her! Shoo! Be gone! All of you!” a faraway voice commanded, before I drifted into to darkness.

If you’d like to see what happens to Melanie and her faery ‘friends’ you will want to continue with her adventure in She Kissed a Vampire. Oh, she does kiss a vampire as well. You might want to start with I Kissed a Dog and see how things became so blurred to begin with. 

Did you read all the way down to this sentence? Yay! That means you reached the part where I thank you for taking time out of your sure-to-be busy schedule to learn more about me and my crazy assortment of characters. Thank you! Hope I made you smile and that you enter my Giveaway, and befriend me on Goodreads and Facebook. I love comments and hope to hear from you.

Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included) and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper.

Devouring books from numerous genres, she developed a deep thirst for more reading materials, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.

CAROL has contributed to several popular anthologies and devotional books, her first novel, Slaying the Shadows, a spiritual thriller, was selected as one of Christian Women Today’s Top Summer Reads 2005.

She lives in the rainy wetlands of Oregon with her terrifying teens and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. It’s been rumored this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered two suspicious red marks on her neck.

As a result of this genre-jumping, she has completed, and is awaiting publication for I Kissed a Dog, Book One in the Werewolves of the West Series.

In summary: Carol is a cross genre author with a wide ranging style for a wide range of readers.

To learn more about Carol Van Atta and her books, visit her website & blog.You can also find her on Facebook.

3 prize packs each contain- 2 ebooks, 1 keychain, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card Open To US Shipping
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  1. Great review! Sounds like a really fun series! :)

  2. Thank you so much for hosting a spot on my book tour. I love your setup! And thank you everyone for commenting and and considering my books. I hope you take a 'bite.' Sorry! Just couldn't help myself. Happy Reading!


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