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Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Robyn Carr

This week we are excited to bring you an interview with best-selling novelist, Robyn Carr who has just released the first book in a brand new Virgin River trilogy, Promise Canyon. The second book Wild Man's Creek is due out in February.

What got you interested in writing?

Many years ago, when my children were babies and my husband an air force pilot, we were moving around a lot. I was reading all the time, mostly historical romances. And one day I just wondered – can anyone do this? I tried – pen and notebook in hand – and the process of writing a story hooked me. I didn’t even have a typewriter and desk top computers were not yet in use.

How long have you been writing?

For 35 years or so. My first few manuscripts were created at the typewriter with the use of carbon copies! Cut and paste literally meant cut and paste! I bought one of the earliest word processors with a check for my third historical romance – and it cost more than my Vista Cruiser Station Wagon!

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Read all the time, write all the time, plan to give learning the craft years. Write the kind of book you most like to read and find a support system like romance writers of America or mystery writers of America.

Do you really, really want a dog?

I really really always HAVE a dog. Have always had a dog, always will have a dog and usually have a couple. Right now my best friend is Jessie, a chocolate lab, and she helps me write by lying in the chair behind my desk, belly up, snoring.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

“How long can I stay in my pajamas before I’m forced to dress and fluff and buff.”

Have you ever eaten a crayon?

No, but Jessie has eaten many.


Check back with us tomorrow for more of our interview with Robyn.

THERE’S AN OLD SAYING:
WHENEVER ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER ONE OPENS.

THAT’S TRUER OF VIRGIN RIVER THAN ALMOST ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH.

After years spent on ranches around Los Angeles, Clay Tahoma is delighted to be Virgin River’s new veterinary assistant. The secluded community’s wild beauty tugs at his Navajo roots, and he’s been welcomed with open arms by everyone in town—everyone excerpt Lilly Yazhi.

Lilly has encountered her share of strong, silent, traditional men within her own aboriginal community, and she’s not interested in coming back for more. In her eyes, Clay’s earthy, sexy appeal is just an act used to charm wealthy women like his ex-wife. She can’t deny his gift for gentling horses, but she’s not about to let him control her. There’s just one small problem—she can’t control her attraction to Clay.

But in Virgin River, faith in new beginnings and the power of love has doors opening everywhere...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Love Happens by Celia Yeary


The little house on Spring Street looked almost dark. One lamp shone through the front window curtains. Matt felt certain Lauren was home, because her finals were over and she said she would be wiped out. He sat in the truck, procrastinating, wiping his palms down his jeans legs, drying the dampness from them. The yearning to see her almost made him feel sick. His subconscious mind barely registered his actions and his true feelings. Instinct and desire propelled him forward without a clear thought in his head. He ran on gut feeling, and that was to see Lauren.

Laying his cap on the seat, he stepped out of the truck and walked up the flower-lined flagstone walkway. He knocked softly and waited. The porch light came on, he squinted, feeling exposed. Then it went off and the door opened.

Very softly, like a sigh, she said, “It’s you. Did I blind you?”

Shaking his head “no,” he slowly walked forward, backing her into the tiny, dim foyer.

“Lauren.” His voice came out, barely audible, almost pleading.

“Matt.” A whisper, a siren call.

Cupping her small face in his big hands, he leaned forward without touching her elsewhere and gently kissed her full, sweet lips. She leaned toward him with closed eyes and returned the kiss with a murmur in her throat.

Now, he slowly gathered her up, fully against his body, widened his stance, and pulled her between his legs. He poured every bit of passion and heat he felt into the next kiss. Lauren sounded short of breath, as if the emotion choked her.

He turned in a slow circle, a dance of seduction, keeping them molded to each other. His fullness bulged into her stomach and she pressed forward, letting him know she wanted his kisses and wanted...him. He moved her against the wall and began kissing anew.

After several heated minutes, he lifted his head and took a deep breath. “Hey,” he said. “How are you, darlin’?”

Tipping her head back, Lauren smiled and gazed at him. “Fine, just wonderful. Oh, by the way, would you like to come in?” She laughed softly.

She reached for his hand and turned toward the small living room, tugging him behind.

By the low light of the lamp, Matt had his first look at her home. Photographs. Photographs everywhere. He pulled away and stared at the dozen or so framed pictures, some snapshots, and some studio portraits. A young man in an Army uniform. Lauren and said man. More of the man in jeans, in shorts, with her, everywhere. Lovingly displayed.

She stepped back. “My fiancé, Matt. David.”

The sight stunned him. Jealousy and anger rose in his chest, burning from his gut up to his brain. And he had no right to feel any of those things.

“Don’t you have a girl, Matt? Isn’t that why you’re going back to Dallas? To see her?” She sounded a little angry.

He couldn’t speak but stood in the middle of the floor, staring at her, almost in a stupor.

She turned and walked to a love seat. “Let’s sit down, Matt, and talk. Shall we?”

All he could do was nod.

“Matt,” she began when they were seated on the small, worn sofa. “I’m not sorry. I am confused, though. I don’t know what we’re doing. Do you?” Lauren gazed into his eyes, sad and depressed. Her eyes glittered with unshed tears.

“No,” he said as he hung his head and ran his hand down his face. “I’ve wondered since the first time I met you. I told myself I was just looking for a friend. But now…Lauren, I don’t know.”

They sat in silence, listening to the air conditioner hum and send out its cool air in a whooshing sound, surrounding them with comfort.

He clasped his hands in his lap and stared at his thumbs. With great effort and a deep breath, he said, “It’s good, I guess, that I’m going back tomorrow, back to reality.” Turning slightly sideways, his gaze roamed over her beautiful, sweet face, so honest, yet…so secretive. “But I couldn’t leave until I found out.”

“Found out what?” she whispered, gazing at him.

“If I really felt what I thought or if it was a fantasy made up to fill lonely hours.”

“And?”

Matt couldn’t formulate his words, couldn’t say what was in his heart. The truth? He was afraid, damned near scared to death. Now, he feared he was making a big mistake and it waited for him in Dallas. On the other hand, Lauren had committed herself to another man, a soldier, no less. That made the situation even more difficult. He hated going against a fellow military man.

How did they become mired in this mess?

He said, “I guess, I think...maybe we each have our own lives. But we’ll see each other around for a few more weeks.”

“Yes, okay.” She agreed, as she looked down and twisted a loose thread on her sofa.

He asked, “Do you know there’s a big storm coming? A hurricane?”

Without looking up, she answered, “Yes, I know all about it.”

He lifted her chin with one finger, and looked directly into her eyes. “I’ll need to get back earlier than I planned to protect Gran.”

For several minutes, they stared into each other’s faces, scanning, studying, searching. Both sighed deeply.

Slowly, Lauren took his hand in both of hers and stroked it gently. “You take care, Matt. Be careful on the Interstate.”

He placed his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, leaned down and kissed her gently. “I will.”

“Matt? Are you coming back?”

“You bet, darlin’. Come hell or high water.”

About the Author: Celia Yeary, a former science teacher, writes Historical Western and Contemporary romance novels and short stories. She resides in Texas, her native state, and lives in the Hill Country with her husband, a retired university professor. Her family is the most important thing in her life, and she cherishes special friendships. http://www.celiayeary.com

Author Interview: Linda Kage


The Long and the Short of It is pleased to welcome Linda Kage, whose latest book Hot Commodity was released this past November.

Linda told me that she became interested in writing through the people at school.

"I had some wonderful teachers that always made me feel like I could actually write. You begin to believe something about yourself when teachers tell you you're good at it," she explained. "Plus...on the bus to school, I'd ALWAYS find myself sitting by people who read books. So, I decided if my seat buddy was going to read instead of talk to me, I was going to read too. But when I started reading, I became hooked. Stories grew so fascinating to me, I started coming up with 'what ifs' in my head. What if the character had done this instead of that, and soon, I was creating my own version of the story in my head. Then I started creating my own characters and their own stories. Writing turned into an obsession after that."

And characters are very important to Linda. Her favorite books to read are ones with really good, unique characters, so she considers this the most important element of good writing. Creating an interesting, round character can be accomplished by how the author makes the character react in certain situations, through the character's dialog, and from the relationships they form with others.

"I can handle a dry, tacky, or overused plot if the characters make the events interesting," she told me. "I can even overlook info dumping, head hopping, factual errors and bad prose as long as I'm feeling some kind of emotional connection to the character. It's all about the people for me."

"When did you first consider yourself a writer?" I asked her.

"I was leery about joining Romance Writers of America because I wasn't published. I was sure I wasn't worthy enough for such a prestigious group. But I read through their on-line website so many times, their membership section assured me aspiring writers were welcome too. So, I joined, still uncomfortable about my unpublished status...until I went to my first local meeting. After introducing myself, everyone was stunned I'd completed so many stories. I was stunned that they were stunned and blurted out, 'But none of them are good,' like that made a difference. It took almost a full year of being in the group when one member emphatically announced 'everyone here is an author' for the realization to kick in," she said. "To her, it didn't matter if you were aspiring for publication or not, you WERE a writer. That's when I started to believe maybe I was a writer after all. A couple of months later, I sold my first book, which made me think no one else was going to believe I was an author until I believed it first."

And she has written a lot of stories, having finished eighteen full-length (50,000 words or more) novels.

"Honestly, most of them are so horrible, I'm kind of embarrassed to claim them," she admitted.

She finds that the endings of her books are always the hardest part.

"Sometimes there are so many ways to resolve a conflict, I become terribly undecided on which path to take," she explained. "And once I make a decision, I can never come up with a good last line. Plus I always worry I didn't tie up all the loose ends."

On a personal note, she doesn't want a dog, not even a little. Although they are cute and fun to watch, she always feels like she has to go wash her hands after petting one.

"Then I get all guilty because that seems so demeaning to the poor creature, like I don't think it's clean enough for me," she said. "Plus doggy breath and face licking is totally not my thing."

I asked Linda if she had any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all her R's or dotting her I's with hearts. She had to check her handwriting and discovered, to her surprise, that she does capitalize her R's, but only if they are at the end of the word. Otherwise they are lower-case. She also switches between cursive and print a lot, but not on specific letters.

"In one word I can have a cursive e, l, and d but a print m, i. and s, but in the next word it can be just the opposite," she told me. "I don't understand it at all."

Her strangest habit? Apologizing.

"I just feel so sorry about every wrong I've ever done," she said. "I'll even apologize to a door after I run into it."

As a matter of fact, she's never even made a crank phone call—saying she was too much of a goody-two-shoes to do that.

"Depressing, huh?" she asked.

Linda has a little one at home who will be a year old next month. She would love to know what her daughter will be like when she's older: shy or outgoing? Will she like to curl up with a good book or always be out and about, getting into mischief?

"I love watching her grow and learn how to do new things, but I'm so freaking curious what's going to happen next."

"Do you like thunderstorms?" I wondered.

"Living in the Midwest, it gets annoying always having to be alert and ready for a tornado warning to pop up in a storm. But when there's no chance of bad weather, yeah, it's nice to cuddle up in bed and fall asleep to the sound of rain on the window."

Linda used to need total darkness to be able to sleep, but she has to get up and check on her daughter during the night, so she learned that by keeping a few nightlights here and then, she saves her toes.

Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Be patient, have fun, stay open to change, and never give up," she said. "No matter how fast you reach your writing goals, trust me, it will still feel like forever to get there, so if this is what you truly love to do, you might as well have some fun doing it by trying different ideas to see how they work, even if you feel positive they won't stay that way. Strangely enough, you might like something else better that you hadn't expected to like. Plus, when you start getting edits and critiques, it'll be mentally easier for you to revise. Your words can easily become your preciousssss; you don't want to let them go. But usually it's better for the story as a whole to change them. So, from the start, make sure you're prepared to delete, add, and alter text because at some point you WILL have to do just that."
You can keep up with Linda on her blog, http://lindakage.blogspot.com

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Kelley Heckart


The Dark Goddess

My trilogy revolves around an Irish king/his clan, an ancient curse and a vengeful dark goddess.

The first book, Cat’s Curse, introduces this dark goddess as Cat Anna, a frightening witch that likes to roam the highlands as a black cat. But she is more than that. Cat Anna is another name for the Cailleach, a winter goddess of death and destruction. She is complex—a destructive deity but also one of creation, as she is credited for making numerous mountains and Loch Awe.

'The Cailleach' is believed to be a pre-Celtic earth goddess. She is one of the oldest and most powerful goddesses who personifies the cutting winds and harshness of the northern winter. She was worshiped by the ancient Celts as a winter goddess and a goddess of sovereignty. Her name means ‘veiled one’ and she ruled the winter months. In some stories Cailleach is the Crone. I chose her because she is a Celtic goddess known in Ireland and Scotland, which corresponded with the settings of my story. She is usually an old hag, but there are Irish myths that show her as a beautiful young maiden. In legends, she appears to the hero as a hideous old woman in her aspect of Sovereignty to test his heart for kingship. The one who kisses or mates with the old hag is rewarded—she changes into a beautiful maiden and bestows sovereignty on him. Only a true king is not fooled by appearances and can see beyond into one’s heart.

The third and final book in this trilogy, Winter’s Requiem, belongs to Cailleach. Winter’s Requiem will be out in 2011, but here is a sneak peek. In this excerpt, a spell has rendered Cailleach weak and trapped in enemy lands.

Blurb: An ancient curse is revealed, leading Domelch, Brigit and Cailleach into certain danger amid a web of deceit. Can they break the curse and put the shattered pieces of their lives back together?

Excerpt:
Cailleach looked down at the large tunic she wore and realized it belonged to her captor. It still smelled of his manly scent of wood smoke and leather, sending a tingle through her lower regions. She recalled their kiss, her cheeks warming at the pleasant thought of how his hard male lips caressed her with force and tenderness, coaxing such exhilarating sensations. She shook the thoughts from her head. Her body’s reactions to the man sickened her. If she ever felt anything for a man, she had no memories of it. Brigit was the weak one who felt love.
A shadow moved in the doorway. “You are awake.”
His deep voice and strange, captivating accent tugged at her heart, filling her with unwelcome warmth. “I have rested quite enough. I must be leaving now.” She acted indifferent as if his presence did not make her heart thunder inside her chest with the force of pounding hooves.
“I wish you would reconsider and stay a few more days,” he said, stepping inside the room.  
“Why?” His request startled her and she looked up at him in surprise. She could recall no man ever catching her off her guard.
“Because I feel we have unfinished business.” Aethelfrith strode across the room to the bed. He stood before her and took hold of her hands in a confident manner that left her in awe.
A thrilling spark rode through her body at his touch and his nearness. She recalled again his bold kiss. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t rid it from her thoughts. It angered her how her strength of will dissolved in his presence. Cailleach brushed the feelings away and gave him a hard look.
“You are clearly mistaken.” Yet she could not pull her hands out of his grasp.
“Your decision disappoints.” He let go of her hands. “You are free to go if you wish. I know I cannot keep you here against your will.”
Her gaze rested on the wall hanging of Thunor, the great thunderbolt he wielded gleaming in the dimness. The war god emitted an aura of power. A flicker of light reflected off the god’s fearsome weapons. She turned to her tall, golden-haired host. Bronze axe and hammer amulets hung on gold rings from a leather choker around Aethelfrith’s neck. The amulets glittered with might. “Perhaps I have spoken with haste. I will stay a few more days,” she said, glancing back at the wall hanging. Aethelfrith’s likeness to the war god, the flickering light…a compelling urge to know more about the young noble overpowered her decision to leave.
He smiled, looking pleased. “I will leave you to rest some more. Tomorrow I will take you for a ride if you feel strong enough,” he said, backing out of the room and shutting the door behind him.
She couldn’t help feeling a sense of disappointment that he would not be staying in the room with her. Listening to the muffled sounds down below, she fell into a dreamless sleep, an expectant smile tugging at her lips.
Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Spotlight: Kelley Heckart


A Warrior’s Heart

What puts the warrior into one’s heart? This is one of the themes in my latest release, Beltaine’s Song. In the second book of my Dark Goddess trilogy, I explore the reason why one becomes a warrior.

My female warriors seem more complex to me. It is not as natural for a woman to choose the life of a warrior. Men are usually more aggressive and taught these things, but I wondered why my female warriors would choose that kind of life. My heroine has been killing for a long time. The first time, she killed to protect herself and her temple. She has been killing so long that it does not even faze her anymore. For another, she was forced to kill at a young age and she still carries rage for that experience. For another, it is the freedom she has as a warrior.

Since she has only known the life of a warrior, my heroine questions her daughter’s choice not to be a warrior. This issue also causes conflict between my hero and heroine.

Blurb: For some, spring’s song is the sound of a harsh battle horn, for others, new love, for all—certain danger.
Buy link:

Excerpt:
Reaching into her quiver with the quickness of lightning, Domelch fired arrows in rapid succession, sending the arrows into the vulnerable necks of her targets. She aimed at her targets, imagining they were the Levite priests who destroyed her Goddess's temple and cursed her back in Canaan centuries ago. Vengeance roared in her heart, an ever-burning ember. She was Domelch now, but she still possessed memories of Cardea. Only she had a new face for some of her targets now—Riderch's leering face.
It made it easy for her to kill.
All of the warriors had something in their past, something to make them want to kill. She wondered what face Mordag saw as she loosed her arrows, her face a mask of rage. In Domelch's mind, she saw Gemma, sweet, innocent Gemma who knew nothing of darkness. She thought of her argument with Aedan about Gemma's future.
Three short bursts from the battle horn signaled for the archers to stop. Domelch raised her hand. “Archers, halt,” she ordered, her heart still pounding from the exertion of battle. She looked down on the battlefield, her heart flickering with relief and warmth. Aedan's banner fluttered in the sea breeze, victorious. He stood among his companions, his golden crown glimmering with the power of the sun.
Bodies littered the battlefield in a grotesque display. The moans of the dying quieted, an eerie silence cloaked the valley. Camp followers tended those left alive, lifting them into wagons. Loud caws filled the air. Ravens and hooded crows gathered in dark swarms, descending on the fallen warriors. The sound of beaks tearing flesh and hitting bone created a macabre rhythm, a death song. She half expected to see the dead bodies rise and perform a grisly dance. A vulture and raven engaged in a battle of their own, fighting over a piece of flesh that used to belong to a brave warrior.
Aedan's warriors gathered the prisoners, rounding them up like cattle.
“The ravens will be well-fed today,” Mordag commented, her face reflecting no emotion.
“Some of those feeding the ravens are our men.” She stared at Mordag, wondering how Mordag's heart could be blacker than her own heart.
“The smells and sights of death still sicken me,” commented one of the male archers.
“Ye are a weakling,” Mordag snickered, slapping the small man playfully on his shoulder.
Domelch's heart had long ago hardened to death. She had been killing far too long. She thought back to her daughter. Do I want the same for her?

Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Kelley Heckart


Brigit/Brigid, An Enduring Goddess

Gods and goddesses make appearances in most of my stories usually interfering in human lives and causing trouble. In the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy, Beltaine’s Song, the goddess Brigit plays an important part.

Brigit is a Celtic sun goddess and a member of the Tuatha de Danaan. In some Irish tales she is the daughter of the Dagda (leader of the De’Danaans). Her associations with metalworking (fire) and light are appropriate for rituals welcoming back the sun, healing and inspiration. To the ancient Celts, she was a triple-aspect goddess of poetry, smith-craft and medicine. In pre-Celtic beliefs, she represents the Maiden—new beginnings. In her earliest incarnation, she was called Breo-Saighit (Fiery Arrow). She is known in Ireland, Scotland and Britain with variations of her name: Brigid, Bride, Brigantia. There are many stories about her as she is an enduring goddess and is still worshiped today as St. Brigit (Brigid). Her festival is held on Imbolc (Feb. 1st).

Brigit makes her first appearance in my story in Beltaine’s Song. In my trilogy I drew on a myth about two goddesses, one that rules from Beltaine (May 1st) to Samhain (Nov. 1st) and one that rules from Samhain to Beltaine. As a Sun goddess, Brigit ruled the lighter half of the year. In Beltaine’s Song there is a theme about spring—while spring is a joyful time of rebirth, it is also a time when the clans battled so there is also a darkness that comes with spring. Brigit is the center of all of this. Below I have posted an excerpt from Beltaine’s Song. Only Gartnait, Aedan’s son, can see her.

Blurb: For some, spring’s song is the sound of a harsh battle horn, for others, new love, for all—certain danger.
Buy link:

Excerpt:
She watched the sun win the battle, breaking through the fog, sending it crawling back out to sea. The sun greeted them and showered them with warmth. Cheerful birdsong filled the sun-kissed day. “You should be wary of everyone, even your closest friends and even blood relations. A king must never let his guard down.”
Gartnait smiled at her, his innocent grin filling her heart with joy. “Why do you know so much about kings?”
“I have seen many kings rise and fall with the seasons.” Her eyes filled with a wistful light. “Many of them were great kings until their weakness overpowered them.” When she first awakened from her deep sleep, she remembered nothing and slowly parts of the past would come back to her, but she could not remember her own past, only muddled images making no sense to her.
“Do you think that will happen to me?” He looked at her, his black hair falling across his forehead wild and carefree.
“It is unfortunate that eventually all must fall. Everyone has a weakness.” She wondered what weakness would make him fall.
“Oh. Being king does not sound so grand.” He looked off in the distance. “Columcille told me that if I always follow the Christian god, I would never fail.”
The colorful world returned, their secret world gone, leaving them exposed to unwanted eyes and now the boy would be seen talking to himself. She turned solemn eyes toward the church and huts. Monks and students went about their morning chores, clanging bells resounding into the air. A feeling of relief filled her when she failed to see Fingal's telltale red hair among them. “This Columcille, how does he know this?”
Gartnait shrugged. “Some say he is touched by the Lord and can see the future at the Lord's will.”
“Even those who can see the future cannot be certain that the future they see will not change. One small ripple can change the future.” She gazed at him, realizing how her advice put a solemn look on his face. “Do not look so grave. I think you will be a great king someday.”
“Can you see the future?”
“No. I feel it in here.” She placed her hand over her heart. Their eyes locked and she knew she could not let any harm come to this boy, but would she have a choice? She had a thought, recalling her own revelation about changing the future. “But I would like you to reflect on this. Do you think it wise to follow a foreign god and risk angering the gods of the land?”
“Gartnait!”
Brigit jumped up, startled.
“It is only Lugaid, and he cannot see you.”
“Still, I think it is time for me to leave you.”
“I look forward to our next meeting.”
Lugaid strolled over to the boy. “Have ye finished yer chores yet?” His stern voice rocked the silence of the morning like the clanging bells.
“No, I was on my way to finish them now.” Gartnait glanced back at her, smiling with mischief.
His smile tugged at her heart. He would break many female hearts in a few years. She knew that to keep him safe she had to leave him before Fingal discovered Gartnait could see her. Brigit’s heart could not lie. Gartnait had to be safe and a new fear arose that she might even harm him if the voices inside her head overpowered her with her sister's powerful influence. With few places to hide, the island couldn't keep their secret for long. Fingal would be upset that they had to leave the island, but he would not fight her command. “Farewell, Gartnait,” she whispered, her heart already stinging from the pain of loss.

Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Kelley Heckart


A Different Vampire

My idea for the first book in my Dark Goddess trilogy, Cat’s Curse, was to have a female vampire that helps the cursed hero break the curse. I wanted a different vampire though, not the usual European type. My first thought was to use a Baobhan Sith, an evil Scottish faerie vampire, but I decided to go with a Greek vampire, a Lamia, which is half-woman, half-serpent. I can’t remember why I wanted to use a Lamia. I think because a Lamia is an ancient vampire and my story is set in the sixth century so I wanted something exotic and ancient. This type of vampire ended up working well with my story.

Cardea is a thousand year old vampire. She was a high priestess for the Great Goddess Astarte and was cursed by the Levite priests. My vampire rules: Since she was cursed she can’t make any vampires. Her bloodlust is fueled by lust. She has bat-like wings and can fly. She can be out in daylight but not direct sunlight. Fire will destroy her. She is a beautiful woman from the waist up and a serpent below her waist, but she appears as a beautiful woman to seduce a man. She can feel the thoughts of her victims.

Below is an excerpt from Cat’s Curse that shows Cardea seducing and feeding off of a victim. At this point in the story a spell has restored her beauty.

Blurb: A Celtic prince, an ancient vampire and two curses…
Buy link:

Excerpt:
He lumbered straight toward her. Cardea jumped back behind a tree before he could see her, becoming one with the shadows. Malcolm turned toward the direction of a small roundhouse located a short distance from the other roundhouses. Cardea crept up behind him, reaching up and covering his mouth with her hand, imprisoning his muscular arms with her other arm. She had to rise up to match the man’s great height. He struggled, but her preternatural strength left him helpless.

“Relax now, you cannot escape me,” she purred softly into his ear. The musky scent of fear emanated from him along with the scent of warm blood. The scent of fear always excited her more. She whispered ancient words of submission into his ear and felt him relax under her spell. He turned around and gazed into her eyes with a languid stare.

Cardea caressed his rough cheek with her long fingernails. “I will only take what I need, Malcolm.” The bloodlust overpowered her. Malcolm stood still as she sank her sharp fangs into his pulsating neck vein. A rush of memories surged through her mind as she drank of Malcolm’s blood. The feeling excited her, sending tingles throughout her body. Her sex throbbed with need, the bloodlust peaking. For now, the blood would have to do. The mysterious raven-haired warrior filled her thoughts and no other would satisfy her carnal lust tonight.
 
Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'