Thanks to those of you who have put in a nomination to send one of my Penton couples to The Character Couch–we’re taking nominations through Saturday, so there’s still time! It’s running neck-and-neck between Will and Mirren right now, so nominate your favorite! You can read more about it here.
The Character Couch is the brilliant brainchild of today’s guest author, Tracy Tappan. Tracy is here to talk about her new paranormal romance, The Bloodline War, first in a new series called The Community. Tracy will be generously giving away five copies of The Bloodline War today to commenters, so read on!
Tracy is a multi-genre author of gritty romance. Her latest release is her dark paranormal series, THE BLOODLINE WAR, about an endangered breed of human who are kidnapping genetically enhanced women to save their race. Visit her website and join her Author Updates to keep abreast of other releases in her paranormal series, her upcoming medieval historical trilogy, and her new pulse-pounding military suspense series. Tracy also loves to connect with readers. Please follow her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find her putting her background in marriage and family counseling to work on fictional characters at The Character Couch.
ABOUT THE BLOODLINE WAR: A car accident changes everything for Dr. Toni Parthen. Her computer hacked hospital blood test confirms she’s the carrier of a gene that’s the key to salvation for a unique race of human beings. Abducted from her hospital room to a secret, underground community, Toni is asked to do the unthinkable: procreate with a man from a race called Varcolac—a species that must consume the blood of other humans to survive. Then bizarre turns dangerous, because a new, mysterious enemy also wants her special DNA, and Toni finds herself in the middle of an all-out war to possess her.
It’s the job of Jacken Brun, leader of the Warrior Class, to keep the captured women safe from a demonic race of humans who rule a neighboring part of their underground world. His challenges multiply when Toni inflames the women into mutiny, and then there’s his biggest problem…his growing desire for the infuriating woman herself. Afflicted with a dark genetic makeup, Jacken can never be with a woman. Until Toni uses her scientific ingenuity to find a way for her and Jacken to be together. But then the new enemy faction unearths Toni and drags her to their hidden lair, where they’ll inflict an unspeakable cruelty on her to gain access to her valuable genes.
It will take every warrior skill Jacken owns to save the woman he loves, but only if he can find her in time….
And now let’s put Tracy on the hot seat:
Q: Your debut launch, THE BLOODLINE WAR, first in The Community series, is a paranormal romance. What drew you to that genre?
Funny enough, I didn’t start out as a paranormal girl. I wrote (and still write) medieval historical romance. But at some point, I needed a break from the historical manuscript I was working on. On my quest for change, I never thought I’d be lured into the paranormal side of romance. I tend to like books that lean towards realism rather than fantasy. My perspective changed when I discovered JR Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood. Ho, I was hooked! She made her stories feel very real; her characters are so marvelously 3-dimensional. I realized that there’s room for all different stories out there, and my imagination started churning toward something really different.
Q: Oh yeah. We are MAJOR Black Dagger Brotherhood fans around here! How are your stories different?
Well, first off, much of my story doesn’t take place among the human population; rather I’ve created a hidden town beneath the streets of San Diego, a sanctuary, if you will, for a unique race of human being called Vârcolac. The Vârcolac have been slaughtered throughout history by people who feared they were vampires, and now they hover on the brink of extinction. They can only have viable offspring with woman in possession of a special genetic makeup. When they find one of these rare women, they kidnap her. So, unfortunately, desperation to survive has turned the good guys into the bad guys. Although such circumstances make for a wild, hard ride getting the hero and heroine together in a love match.
Dr. Toni Parthen, the heroine of the story, must overcome both her disbelief in the existence of a another breed of human, as well as the fact that she was brought into an underground community against her will, before she can fall in love with the hard and frightening Vârcolac head of security, Jaċken. Of course, I’ve also thrown in several enemy factions who are competing for these genetically superior women just to make the situation even more difficult. The story is definitely action-packed. And gritty. Remember how I said I like realism? In THE BLOODLINE WAR, I want readers to get the eerie sense that, “this could really be going on beneath my feet!”
Q: So are your Vârcolac breed vampires?
Argh, that question is more difficult to answer than you might think. Yes. And also, no. The Vârcolac have enough vampiric qualities to satisfy fans of the genre (they need to take in the blood of a host to live, for example), but they aren’t even a distant cousin to undead Dracula or anything even remotely ghoulish. As I said, they’re humans—just a different breed.
The paranormal genre has given me free license to create my own world. That’s the fun part! In the books that make up The Community Series, you’ll find that I consistently throw my characters into situations where they want or need—for their psychological or physical welfare—to break the parameters I’ve imposed on them. But, of course, they can’t. These are World Rules. It creates conflict and tension galore.
Q: So how many more books are on the horizon?
The Community is planned as an ongoing series—end date to be determined—with each book focusing on several of the Vârcolac soldiers who make up the Warrior Class. The next two novels in the series, THE PUREST OF THE BREED and DEEP IN THE HEART, are already in edits. I’m also preparing to launch my medieval historical trilogy, and some time in 2014, I’ll be debuting a new military suspense romance series about a hot brotherhood of helicopter pilots. Something for everyone, right?
Q: Wow, you’re busy.
LOL. Yes, and in addition to all of the books, I’ve recently founded a fun and engaging reader-focused website called The Character Couch, where romance’s favorite characters are brought into a mock therapy session to work out a light life challenge. It’s a great way for readers to keep in touch with the heroes and heroines they’re grown to love.
But, of course, you know that, Suzanne…even now your fans are nominating your books for a stint on The Couch. It’ll be a gas to see your characters in this new and captivating format. Your readers are obviously onto that!
Q: Yes, and I can’t wait to see who they pick! Let’s end with you sharing something personal about yourself.
Sheesh, really? Okay, how about one of my most embarrassing moments? When I was in 7th grade, my biology teacher asked me to read out my definition for organism. To which I answered, “An orgasm is a single-celled life form that—”
I couldn’t get any further. Everyone in the classroom (the teacher included) was laughing their butts off. While I, of course, sank beneath my desk. You know…now that I think on it, I should’ve seen that as a foreshadowing of things to come. With orgasms on the brain even at that young age, how could I not end up as a romance author?
Ha! Thanks, Tracy! You can enter to win one of five digital copies of The Bloodline War. Just leave a comment and tell us who your favorite vampire is (no, it doesn’t have to be one of mine!). I know we have a lot of Bones fans out there, but I’m going to cast my vote for Vishous. Although I am fond of Rhage…and Zsadist..and…