Pamela Palmer graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and went to work for a major computer manufacturer. She devoured books (almost exclusively romances) and even tried writing one, but after the first exciting chapter had no idea what to do with her characters.
Pamela set aside the dream of writing for a few years, though she continued to create stories in her head. Then one night, one of those daydreams became too big to keep in her head. This time, thanks to the opening of a library down the street, she discovered a wealth of books on plotting and character development and realized she could learn how to turn scenes into books and craft entire stories. The process was neither fast nor easy, encompassing four manuscripts, half a dozen partials, and eleven years of hard work before she sold her first book. Her very first book finaled for Romance Writers of America’s most prestigious award for unpublished writers, the Golden Heart. Each of her subsequent books also became a Golden Heart finalist, the third winning the award outright. The fourth, through the Golden Heart, sold.
I love vampires. But, I have to admit, I didn’t always. For years, I steered cleared of anything that even hinted of ‘horror’. I loved time travels, sci-fi, and fantasy, but horror worried me. Strong imaginations can be a double-edged sword and scary movies sometimes kept me awake for days. I didn’t realize that horror didn’t have to mean Freddy Krueger. Then a good friend of mine started hounding me to try Buffy. I did, and absolutely fell in love with the horror side of paranormal. (And with Spike.) Now I can’t get enough.
When I started writing, I headed in a slightly different (though still paranormal) direction. My first published series, the Esri, is about evil elves and the humans who fight to keep them from enslaving the human race. From there I began writing shape-shifters and my bestselling Feral Warriors series was born. Book #6, ECSTASY UNTAMED, just came out last month. But I’d never written vampires…until now.
A Blood Seduction, book 1 in my Vamp City series, is still some months from hitting store shelves (it’ll be out the end of May), but I couldn’t resist Lori’s invitation to participate in her 30 Days of Vampires event. So I’m going to share an excerpt with you, a very early sneak peek. Ask a question or leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of the first book in my Feral Warriors shape-shifter series, Desire Untamed.
In the distance, another scream slashed the unnatural silence, this one female.
Zack flinched. “Lily.”
Quinn grabbed his arm. “No. The voice was too deep.” But it was clear there were dangers in this place they didn’t want to stumble upon. “I think we’d better find someplace to hide until we figure out what’s going on.”
She glanced at the crumbling White House. Was it stable enough to walk into if they dodged the puddles?
“Do you hear that?” Zack whispered.
Quinn stilled, stiffening at the sound of a horse and carriage. The one she’d seen from her apartment window? Perspiration broke out on the back of her neck. Maybe whoever was in that carriage would help them. But her gut instinct screamed hide. The decision was taken out of her hands as the carriage drove into sight on the cross street a block up and they were left standing squarely in the open. This conveyance was slightly larger than the one she’d seen in her vision and even in the low light she could tell the couple driving it were dressed as if they’d stepped off the sound stage of Gone with the Wind.
Did this mean they were in the past, or some post-apocalyptic version of it?
“Whoa.” The carriage pulled up in the middle of the street half a block away.
“Should we run?” Zack asked.
“One of them is a woman. Maybe they’ll help us.” As Quinn watched, the couple alighted from the carriage with a strange ease, even the woman, as if all that voluminous material weighed nothing at all. And then suddenly they were gone.
“What the…?” Zack exclaimed.
Quinn’s heart missed a beat, then took off in a crazy flight, nearly stopping altogether when, seconds later, the pair materialized directly in front of them, not ten feet away. No way in hell had a woman in a full Scarlett O’Hara skirt run faster than the eye could follow down a dirt road.
Her head pounded. Her instincts continued to scream, Run! even as her logical mind knew there would be no outrunning this pair. There would be no escape.
She faced them squarely, lifting her chin. Both were young and attractive, the woman as blonde as Quinn herself, but far more beautiful, her ringlets swept up beneath an elaborate hat, the bodice of her fancy dress cut dangerously low. A deep breath and she’d be showing nipple.
Her companion was a good fit for her—young and handsome and dressed like Abraham Lincoln. But his smile as he stared at them was as oily as a mechanic’s rag, setting off all Quinn’s creep alarms. What in the hell kind of world was this?
Zack sucked in a breath. “This isn’t good.”
The rev of an engine broke the ominous silence. She glanced behind her, praying her own world had decided to make a reappearance, but no. Nothing had changed.
“And where did you come from?” the woman asked, her tone more delighted than curious.
Quinn took a step forward, placing herself between them and her brother. Zack’s hands gripped her shoulders from behind as if he meant to pull her behind him at the first sign of trouble. As if he was too much of a man to let his big sister protect him any longer.
“What is this place?” she demanded.
The man’s smile widened. “You don’t know?”
“They must have entered through the last sunbeam.” The woman stepped away from her companion, eyeing Zack hungrily.
It had been years since Quinn had practiced martial arts, but she still remembered a thing or two. Which might be helpful against opponents who weren’t so damned fast. “Stay back,” Quinn warned shrugging away Zack’s hands as she went into her fighting stance, her right leg back, her hands forming fists in front of her.
“And why would I step back, sweet one?” The man smiled, his incisors looking more like fangs than teeth. “I’ve just found dinner.”
Quinn gaped. Those fangs were growing.
“No effing way.” Zack’s tone sounded more awestruck than horrified. “Vampires.”
Quinn scowled. “That’s ridiculous.”
The man chuckled, his eyes changing, the black pupils turning a milky, startling white as those fangs lengthened, thickened. Sharpened. “Is it?”
The woman lunged first, though lunged wasn’t the right word. She flew at Zack. By the time Quinn could move, they were on the sidewalk six feet away, the woman straddling him as she struck, burying her own fangs deep into Zack’s neck. She’d kill him!
Quinn roared. But before she could even take a full step toward them, the man was on her, whirling her around as if she weighed nothing, slamming her back against him, his arms pinning her to him like bands of steel. She fought against his hold, kicking back, slamming her head back, but he avoided every blow.
And suddenly she felt the stab in the side of her neck. Fangs. Pain. This was not happening! There was no such thing as vampires, no such thing as alternate universes.
She tried to fight, but couldn’t budge. He was drinking from her. Drinking! She could feel the rush of blood through her veins and into his mouth and it felt…nice. God. This was all so wrong!
Movement caught her eye and she watched as Zack’s attacker lifted her head, staring at Zack, then rose gracefully to her feet.
Zack followed, his eyes unfocused, clearly stunned. The kid was in shock.
“Zack,” she cried out.
A strange lassitude began to flow through her body, leeching the fight out of her. Making her sleepy.
A car engine penetrated her deepening lethargy and she wondered briefly if the yellow Jeep she’d seen in her vision lived in this world, too.
“Frederick? We need to go.” The woman wiped her bloody mouth on a black handkerchief. “You’re going to drain her, sugar.”
The man only made a sound of enjoyment against Quinn’s throat.
Quinn’s eyes drifted closed.
“Let her go,” a man’s voice said. Not the oily one’s. “You do not wish to kill her.”
But the vampire continued to drink.
“You wish to let her go,” the man said, his voice calm, almost hypnotic.
And suddenly she was free, sinking to the ground, crumpling onto the hard sidewalk.
“She’s mine!” said the oily one. “I found her.”
She heard the sound of a scuffle, a shout of pain, then the clink of horse tackle and the fast clip-clop of a retreating carriage.
Arms scooped her up, lifting her as if she weighed nothing. Her mind screamed fight, but her body refused to answer. With effort, she forced her eyelids open and stared up at the man who held her. Not the one who’d attacked her. A little older, maybe. Not oily. A nice face.
“Zack?” The name barely formed on her lips.
“Your companion is gone.”
“Dead?” She stopped breathing, her vision narrowing dangerously.
A flash of yellow caught in her peripheral vision and then she felt herself dropped bonelessly into the front passenger seat of a vehicle. The Jeep. She struggled without success to sit up. She couldn’t even find the energy to reach for the door latch. “Have…to find him. Have to…escape.”
“There’s no escaping V.C., cara.”
She tried to look at him, but couldn’t manage to turn her head. “V…C.?”
“Washington, V.C.,” he replied. “Vamp City. Your new home.”
Web site: http://www.pamelapalmer.net/