Hello all, Please join me in welcoming romance author, RE Mullins. She’s here today with an excerpt from her recent release, A VAMPIRE TO BE RECKONED WITH. But first, she’s going to tell us WHY she writes romance.
Thank you, Charlotte, for allowing me to post on your blog today. (GLAD TO HAVE YOU!)
Before we get to me shamelessly plugging my new release, I’d like to get something off my chest. I write romances because I like to read them. Occasionally, however, I found myself in the position of defending my genre.
Yes, it has happened repeatedly. After admitting that I write romance/vampire/paranormal novels, it no longer surprises me to see a hint of censure in their eyes. It makes me feel as if I’ve suddenly disclosed something sordid about myself. Although most try to be polite, their expressions reveal their distaste as they ask the inevitable question. “Romance? Really?” (BEEN THERE, TOO)
It makes me wonder when vampire/romance became the most dismissed of the book genres.
Yet even those who know and love me have cornered me to demand, “Why do you waste your talents on fluffy romance books about vampires?” or “You’re too smart and talented to be writing what you do. I just know you’ve got the next ‘Great American Novel’ somewhere inside you.”
When faced with such condemnation, I get this mental image. One where I’m sitting in a crowded support-style meeting, surrounded by other romance authors. (SAVE ME A SEAT)
We open our session with the pledge which, I believe, our moderator’s, Wreck It Ralph-loving, daughter must have composed. “I write romance and that is good. It provides a service that’s not understood. Contemporary, Western, historical, paranormal, et al. Love is universal, it touches us all.”
When they get to me, I stand, and say, “Hello. My name is Robin and I write vampire romance.”
“Hello Robin,” the group solemnly intones as I sit back down.
“Robin, why don’t you share something with us?” The moderator smiles encouragingly as she motions for me to join her at the front. “Tell us why you write in the romance genre.”
This is unexpected and does not make me happy. Feeling trapped, I slowly rise and reluctantly move to the podium.
I hesitate, for a long drawn out minute, and then start by saying, “I write because…well, it’s a like a food craving. You know what I mean? There are stories bubbling around inside me, and I can’t stop until I get them out.” With that admission, I look up. I’m hopeful that I’ll see someone amongst the sea of faces that can relate. There are several nods of encouragement, and it helps me to continue in a stronger voice, “Sure I’ve had my share of hardships, and I’ve overcome a lot of them. I’ve dealt with being broke, body image problems, psycho co-workers, divorce, and being a single mother. But I don’t want to write about my life. I’ve lived my life. Instead, I want the fantasy.” I stop for a moment and try to gather my thoughts. “So what if I never receive critical acclaim for writing about falling in love or vampires or witches…I’m okay with that. All I want is for my books to give both me and the reader a fun-filled avenue of escape. I consider fluffy romance books like the weekly sitcoms. They give me, and hopefully the reader, the opportunity to temporarily forget reality and to be diverted from our daily woes.”
My heart feels lodged in my throat, and I swallow, “So I guess what I’m really trying to say is—I write what I like to read. I want to chuckle, be taken away like Calgon, and made to feel good. And if that happens for one of my readers? Then I’ve succeeded, I’ve achieved my goal, and I’m happy.”
So write on fellow romance writers. Write on.
So true, Robin. So many of my friends and family haven’t even read my books because its not their genre? Seriously?? I wrote a book and you can’t even bend yourself a little to read it. (And I do mean a little…all my books are novella length!)
For those of you that ARE interested in romance and vampires, read on for a blurb and an excerpt from A VAMPIRE TO BE RECKONED WITH…
Vampire Metta Blautsauger is known as the family airhead and she works hard to keep up the façade. It’s the perfect cover as she goes from dispensing her own brand of justice as a vigilante to an agent for Orcus, the Nosferatu shadow agency.
Captured, tortured, and left for dead, she is forced to leave both the agency and Lucas O’Cuinn, the mentor she’s grown to love.
For the last century she’s struggled with regret and boredom. Then her life is given new meaning when four mortal ministers ask her help in stopping a human trafficking ring. If Orcus discovers her unsanctioned involvement, they will brand her as a rogue. The penalty is death. It’s only a matter of time before Lucas arrives—stake in hand.
Lucas O’Cuinn has waited ninety-eight years for Metta’s return and he’s run out of patience. It’s time she remembers she belongs to him.
It was him. After a hiatus of ninety-eight years and giving up hope, he now stood a few feet behind her, having apparently appeared out of nowhere. Her heart stalled, she wheezed from shock, and stared into a face she’d never thought to see again.
The wretched witch had been right and her blast from the past had arrived.
The sight of her old field master set off a myriad of emotions, brutally ripping through her defenses. She stumbled through the mental minefield and each misstep sent more explosions surging through her. Hell, she’d rather face Mateo Osvaldo and his entire Toltec army than her former Orcus Master, Lucas O’Cuinn.
One errant thought kept circling back through the jumble. Why couldn’t this meeting have happened when she wasn’t looking like a drowned rat—make that a frozen, drowned rat.
“Metta,” he said her name softly, almost caressingly.
She refused to acknowledge the split second of elation the sight of him gave her. Instead she took refuge in anger as it chased at the heels of joy, clinging to the bitter resentment the long years had taught her. Of course, where he was concerned such conflicted feelings were nothing new. Their relationship had been a constant push-pull series of emotional knots.
In his larger-than-life way, he’d been both her hero and enemy.
Damn him. What was he doing there?
“Lucas O’Cuinn,” any effort to sound tough was ruined by her chattering teeth. She hoped he didn’t see the wave of hurt, guilt, and fear crushing in on her with all the raw energy and destructive force of a collapsing dam.
His eyes flashed when she’d said his name, and the sound of it hung in the air between them. When he finally spoke, however, he sounded maddeningly calm—his nod so genial they might have been nothing more than chance acquaintances passing in the park.
“I go by Luke Quinn now.” He shrugged off her questioning look, “it’s simpler. More in keeping with the times.”
Run, her mind shouted when his gaze narrowed, his expression shifting into one that didn’t bode well for her. But it was too late to flee. The little bit of good sense she had left was extinguished by emotional flood waters, and the rampaging waves ruthlessly obliterated each coherent thought in its path.
Maybe that’s why she suddenly dropped her hands to her sides in a defeated manner. Pure instinct took over when he got within striking range, and she drove her fist into his gut, surprising them both. He grunted as air shot out of his lungs, doubling his body over as he tried to catch his breath.
Her natural predisposition rushed into play, insisting she take advantage of his forward momentum and bent over posture. Almost by rote, she thrust her shoulder into his chest, at the same time grabbing his extended arm. Her knees bent forward as she seamlessly rolled him up and off her hip.
Much like that first time, his feet left the ground, and he went flying.
Her self-congratulatory sneer slackened into shock when he landed on his feet…
This is the third installment in the Blautsaugers of Amber Heights series. It can be read as a standalone but starting from the beginning might increase your enjoyment.