Heather, welcome to Reviews and Interviews!
Please tell us about your current release.
Malevolent Dead is the sequel to Fade to Black and the second book in the Sarah Vargas series. It was released by Eternal Press yesterday. Malevolent picks up six months after the end of Fade.
Synopsis: To save everyone, she’ll have to do the unthinkable. Werewolf Sarah Vargas thought all she had to worry about was the Blood Moon Corporation’s retaliation. She never dreamed that another vampire would arrive, disputing Damian’s claim over the throne to Charleston, SC. To make matters worse, he is no ordinary vamp; he’s a vampire necromancer. Exceptionally hard to kill, Sarah will have do what ever she can to keep those that she loves safe… Even if it means doing the unthinkable.
What inspired you to write this book?
Writing Fade to Black was the inspiration for the events in Malevolent Dead. I knew that Sarah’s story wasn’t finished and I wanted to know more about her and the world she lived in, so I sat down and got to work.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently writing the sequel to Malevolent Dead, entitled Blood Moon. It will be the third, and possibly final, book in the Sarah Vargas Series. I won’t say it’s the last because I am sure I will write about Sarah again. She’s just so interesting! I am also working on a book about my favorite witch T.D. Drake. She has a small role in both Promises to Keep (a fantasy title that was released by Eternal Press in March 2010) and Malevolent Dead.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After Fade to Black was accepted for publication. I had published almost forty short stories by then, but to me a writer was someone who had books published. Now that I have three books published, I feel that I can say with pride that I am a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I did! I am a stay-at-home mom for a beautiful little boy and a wife to a wonderful man. I struggle to find the time to get anything written, since I’m usually playing catch-up with the chores while the kiddo is taking a nap. But somehow I manage it.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Whenever I’m working on a book, I keep all of my notes, rough drafts, and final draft in a 4-inch binder. If I get the book contracted with a publisher I also keep a copy of the contract in that binder as well. I like to be able to look back and see my writing process and how it’s changed.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to want to be a whale trainer at Sea World or a zookeeper, but the dream that has lasted the longest is wanting to be a published author. I knew back in sixth grade that one day I wanted to see my title on the shelf in a bookstore and every day I get closer to that goal.
Anything additional you’d like to share with the readers?
I’d like to share my contact information as well as an excerpt from my latest release, Malevolent Dead. You can visit me online at www.heatherkuehl.com, www.heatherkuehl.blogspot.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Interested in my books? All three of my books are published with Eternal Press, which is where readers can buy the eBook edition if they so choose. However, if readers prefer print, please visit Amazon.com.
Excerpt from Chapter One:
(NOTE: This excerpt may contain spoilers for Fade to Black.)
From the outside, Malevolent Dead didn’t look like much. There wasn’t even a sign out front, just tinted windows and a heavy bass pounding from the inside. Humans who came here to dance slowly left as I walked through the coffin encased foyer and upstairs. I heard them grumbling about it closing early. I didn’t blame them. Most nights, Malevolent Dead stayed open until 5am.
I crossed the dance floor and opened the door marked, “Employees Only.” Everyone in the room looked up as I entered.
Damian leaned against the wall, his arms crossed over his bare chest. He wore a pair of dark-washed jeans tucked into black leather boots. A Celtic knot necklace hung around his neck. When his eyes caught sight of me, he smiled and held out a hand.
“Phaedra, my love. Look who’s come to visit us.”
I was careful not to let my confusion show as I took his hand. He guided me into his arms. I looked up into his plum colored eyes, waiting for some kind of explanation.
He said nothing. Instead Damian turned me to face his guests. A man sat on the couch across from us, backed by five Necrovamps. Icky, disgusting Necrovamps. They were the product of a vampire transformation gone wrong. Their bodies slowly rotted, exposing muscle and bone. Gore leaked from them, creating a kind of snail trail on the ground behind them. The worst part of all were their fangs. Super long, the Necrovamps couldn’t even close their mouths because of them. They were mindless killers and took orders from only one type of creature.
“Marcellus, you remember my wife.”
The man in the chair nodded. “Of course. How could I forget such beauty? But as I heard it, she died.”
Damian laughed. “Does she look dead to you?”
Marcellus shook his head. “Not at all. How is it that she’s still alive?”
“I changed her.”
Marcellus laughed. “I can hear her heart beat, old friend. I’d say she’s human, but she reeks of Were.”
I huffed. There was something important about Marcellus thinking that Damian’s wife still lived. I decided to just go with it and hoped to God that Damian explained it to me later. “Shows what little you know, Marcellus.” I turned to Damian. “How much longer will you be, baby? I’m ready to go home and the bed is so cold without you.”
I stood on tiptoe to place a light kiss on his lips. Damian smiled as he rubbed noses with me, his hand sliding down to cup my ass.
“Not much, my pet. Marcellus was just about to tell me the reason for his visit.”
Marcellus grinned. “I know you killed the Skyner twins, Damian. Only a fool would believe the lies floating around. Only a fool would believe that two Weres from that dreadful corporation did the deed. You know that it’s against our laws to kill another vampire. I’m here for that reason.”
Our laws? I took a deep breath through my nose and finally picked up the scent I hadn’t noticed earlier; vampire. Marcellus wasn’t only a necromancer, but he was a vampire to boot. This didn’t bode well.
Damien’s voice turned to ice. “Excuse me?”
Marcellus stood and slowly walked over to us. “Since you murdered the twins, I’ve been sent here to be the new lord of Charleston. Your position is forfeit.” He drew a sword out of a sheath on his back. “As is your life.”
Damian laughed. I felt his power flowing out, wrapping itself around Marcellus. Damian’s hand cupping my ass moved up and unholstered my Walther P22. He held the gun up, aiming at Marcellus’s face. The gun wasn’t loaded with wooden rounds, but the shot would still hurt Marcellus. It would slow him down enough for Damian to get the upper hand.
“You are no longer welcome here, old friend. Leave and take your rotting scum with you.”
Marcellus hissed as he backed away. I narrowed my eyes as they left, realizing something important. Marcellus had no intention of killing Damian today. He wanted to draw it out. After all, it wasn’t every day that a vampire was allowed to kill one of their own.
Damian sagged against the wall once they left, dropping my gun onto the polished marble floor. “Dammit,” he growled as he raked a hand through his ebony hair.
I sat in the chair Marcellus had just vacated, waiting for Damian to collect himself. “What the hell?” I asked when he finally did. I didn’t need to go further than that. Damian could read my mind like a book. He knew everything I felt curious about. Damian shook his head.
“Not here. I don’t trust it.” He stood up and walked over to a large black door that led away from the club. I stood and followed him, hoping he wasn’t going to keep me in the dark about all of this. I mean, he was the one that dragged me into this.
“I’m not,” Damian said. “We’re going to my study to speak about this.”
Damian’s study was a small room with a bookcase and desk tucked in the corner. A large decorative curtain hung on the wall, and I assumed it covered a window.
The moment we entered Damian’s study I tore into him. “What’s going on? I thought you were safe? Why is Marcellus after you? How can he be both a necromancer and a vampire? And who the hell is Phaedra? And why did he think I was her?”
Damian sighed. “I hope this will answer your last question.” Damian walked over to the far left wall and pulled the decorative curtain aside.
Heather, thank you so much for stopping by today. Best wishes with all your writing endeavors!