Monday, November 6, 2017

Research Rabbit Hole Treasures #BloodVice #MondayBlogs


I've always had a love/hate relationship with research. On one hand, it takes time--an indefinite amount of time that makes my OCD side panic when I'm trying to outline every last minute of my 5-year plan. Which I redo every other week. We all have our vices. Don't judge me.

On the other hand, research is magical. I get lost in it (cue OCD-me having a panic attack when I realize my 6-hour writing window has been lost to a research rabbit hole on the history of bloodletting). Still, I love learning new things, and every book, even the most outlandish fiction, requires some degree of research.

Here are a few of my favorite research finds for Blood Vice and how I applied them in the series.

1) Every vampire world must operate by a set of rules. While some may not agree with the Twilight sparkle variety (not to be confused with the My Little Pony) those were the rules of that particular world, and they were, at the very least, original. I lean more heavily toward ancient mythology for my world rules, and when I dug around for the oldest vampire tales, I found a tragically romantic origin story from Greek mythology.

To make a long story short, this Italian fellow named Ambrogio went to see the Oracle of Delphi who gave him a creepy, cryptic message. After which, he fell in love with one of the temple maidens, Selene. They planned to run off together, which didn't bode well for Apollo, who was quite attached to his temple ladies. That's where the first curse comes in with Apollo causing the sun to burn Ambrogio's skin, preventing him from meeting with Selene the next morning. The story goes on to detail how Ambrogio lost his soul to Hades, was then cursed by Artemis so that silver burned him as well, then was finally blessed with immortality and fangs and an anti-climatic (pun totally intended) future with Selene. Read the full myth here: http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/vampire-origin.html 

I drew from this particular myth to get the basis of my vamps' weaknesses. There are other elements at play, but the primary bits come from this starting point. Sunlight and silver are no-nos. Blood is a necessity for immortality. But mirrors, garlic, crosses, stakes, needing an invitation to get into a home--none of that applies in Blood Vice. Beheading, burning, or extensive trauma to the head or heart are all viable ways to die though, which seems to hold true in most vamp tales I've read.

2) When I set the BATC facility in Denver, I hadn't done any research yet. It just seemed like a good central location. When I finally got around to asking the Google gods if there were any mysterious underground areas in Denver, I can't tell you how thrilled I was to find a heap of conspiracy theories about what's beneath the Denver airport. I swear, it was like fireworks went off in my head. Luckiest research find to date. https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/denver-airport-conspiracy-theories

3) And then Tom Petty passed away. T-T  I never got to see him and the Heartbreakers live, but my husband did. We were both big fans. Since Blood Vice is being released in "real time" I decided to pay homage to Mr. Petty with a mention of his passing in "Blood in the Water." The bit I included about the memorial vampire walk down Ventura Blvd. was not made up. That actually happened, and I so wish I could have flown out to L.A. to be a part of it. http://www.dailynews.com/2017/10/19/the-vampires-are-walkin-through-the-valley-as-tom-petty-tribute-gets-moving/

What kind of rabbit holes have you fallen into lately? Any inspiring research finds?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

"Dying Day" is out now! Don't miss the epic finale in Kory M. Shrum's Dying for a Living series!

I adore this series! And I'm so tickled to be one of Kory's critique partners who get early access to her books. The final installment of her Dying for a Living series did not disappoint. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. ♥

If you're new to Kory and her books, you can grab book 1 for FREE on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, & Kobo.

Dying for a Living
(Dying for a Living Book 1)

On the morning before her 67th death, it is business as usual for agent Jesse Sullivan: meet with the mortician, counsel soon-to-be-dead clients, and have coffee while reading the latest regeneration theory. Jesse dies for a living, literally. Because of a neurological disorder, she is one of the population's rare 2% who can serve as a death surrogate, dying so others don't have to. 

Although each death replacement is different, the result is the same: a life is saved, and Jesse resurrects days later with sore muscles, new scars, and another hole in her memory. But when Jesse is murdered and becomes the sole suspect in a federal investigation, more than her freedom and sanity are at stake. She must catch the killer herself—or die trying.

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Dying Day
(Dying for a Living Book 7)

She was the hero. Now she is the enemy. 

Jesse Sullivan has defeated her father and saved the world from his malevolence. But as the beloved face of The Unified Church, his death has made him a martyr, and now she is public enemy number one. 

Yet it isn't the countless government agencies and assassins hunting her that she should fear. It is the entity powerful enough to reclaim what she has stolen and make our world its own.  

Don't miss the epic finale! Get your copy today.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"Blood Vice" is on #Sale for just #99cents! #UrbanFantasy #Vampires

To celebrate the release of "Blood in the Water" (Blood Vice Book 3), "Blood Vice" (Blood Vice Book 1) is on sale for 99¢ for a limited time! "Blood Dolls" (Blood Vice Book 4) is available for pre-order now, too. Woot! This series is moving right along, and I have to tell you, I'm having a blast with Jenna and the gang. I hope you guys are, too. ♥

Blood Vice
(Blood Vice Book 1)

Detective Jenna Skye bombs her first week on the St. Louis Vice Squad when she's bitten by a vampire in a supernatural brothel. Her day only gets worse from there. She wakes up in the morgue and discovers that her partner is dead. Before the sun rises, she realizes she is too.

Jenna vows to continue their investigation until justice is served, but a werewolf squatter, an unexpected visit from her estranged sister, and a nosy FBI agent stand in her way. Not to mention her fresh aversion to sunlight and a thirst for something a little stiffer than revenge.


Blood & Thunder
(Blood Vice Book 2)

Being a vampire isn’t easy. Jenna Skye thought she could pull it off without giving up her old life, but the compromises are taking a toll—and not just on her. Jenna’s sister Laura is eager to return to her glamorous life in Hollywood, and Mandy, Jenna’s wolfy partner, is getting sick of playing her K9 sidekick to get around the police department’s red tape.

Jenna’s never been good with change, but with her human existence slipping further and further out of her reach, she has no choice but to accept FBI agent Roman Knight’s offer to help the supernatural police force ruled by House Lilith hunt down a serial killer targeting new vampires in St. Louis…like her. Playing bait isn’t exactly what Jenna had in mind, but it’s a rookie lump she’ll have to take if she wants a shot at joining Blood Vice—and if she wants to survive her new life as a vampire.


Blood in the Water
(Blood Vice Book 3)

Jenna Skye and her blood harem are off to boot camp in Denver. If she can survive the three long months at the bat cave (the Blood Authority Training Center), she’ll become an official Blood Vice agent. But not everyone is thrilled about the duke allowing a baby vampling to train with the big fangs, and the undead have some pretty rotten ideas when it comes to hazing.

The training program also opens Jenna’s eyes to House Lilith politics, and she’s soon swept away into the dark current of warring vampire families and an empire on the verge of collapse—an empire no one can know she’s an heir to.

Blood Dolls
 (Blood Vice Book 3)

Jenna thought becoming a Blood Vice agent would solve all her problems, but now she’s sworn to solve House Lilith’s problems, too. And there’s no shortage of trouble when dealing with the most regal vampire family in the United States.

The duke’s first assignment for Jenna and company is to locate Ursula, the estranged Duchess of House Lilith suspected of murdering her sire. It’s a tall order—a wild bat chase, some might say—and the long hours with half-sired agent Roman Knight soon drive Jenna to distraction, and possible destruction. Lusting after another vampire's pending scion is a dangerous game, one with legal ramifications in Jenna’s brave new underworld.

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