Monday, January 6, 2014

Why Vampires? by Amy Lee Burgess - Guest Post - Book Review & Giveaway

When Claire became a vampire, she hoped she could forget her abusive past. But her mentor, the sexy, perfect Parker destroys her dreams of a new start. Soon, Claire devotes her new found psychic powers to helping abused women.

Drawn to the mysterious and handsome Andre, another master in the London Circle and Parker’s archrival, Claire enters into a passionate clandestine affair which causes her powers to ramp out of control. Wild, sensual sex morphs into something deeper and, for Claire, terrifying. Andre soon discovers her abilities and realizes he is her trigger–the one vampire in the world who can help her control her spiraling powers.

Bonding with him requires Claire to trust and accept his love, two things she cannot bring herself to do. The gift of love is something her past won’t allow her to accept. Even so, Andre will have to reach her in time to save her life or stake her when her powers drive her insane.

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Vampire Romance 
Release Date: December 10, 2013 
Published by: Loose Id

 Follow Along 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
WordWranglers {Guest Post}

Thursday, December 12, 2013
For Whom The Books Toll {Author Interview}

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
M.J. Schiller, Romance Author {Guest Post}

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Sonya Clark {Author Interview}
Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews {Review Only}

Friday, December 20, 2013
Tome Tender {Guest Post with Review}

Friday, December 27, 2013
Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews {Author Interview}
Jessica E. Subject, Author {Guest Post}

Friday, January 3 , 2014
Secret Southern Couture {Guest Post with Review}

Monday, January 6, 2014
Paranormal Dimensions {Guest Post with Review}

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Amberkatze’s Book Blog {Guest Post}

Monday, January 13, 2014
What Readers Want {Guest Post}

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Nicky Peacock Author {Author Interview with Review}

Monday, January 20, 2014
Blogging the Beloved {Author Interview with Review}

Monday, January 27, 2014
Paranormal Book Club {Guest Post}

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Paranormal Realms {Guest Post with Review}

Friday, January 31, 2014
As the Pages Turn {Guest Post}

Monday, February 3, 2014
Booklover Sue {Author Interview with Review}
Romancing the Dark Side {Guest Post with Review}

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Book Bliss {Author Interview with Review}

Thursday, February 6, 2014
You Gotta Read Reviews {Guest Post}

Friday, February 7, 2014
Authors’ Cafe {Author Interview with Review}

The Book Excerpt

“Claire.” Andre’s voice was heavy with desire. The way he said my name with his slight Irish accent was different from the way everyone else said it. I felt special. Different. As if I mattered.

I turned my head to look at him. He had me pinned to the grass, one hand on either side of my shoulders. I’d locked my ankles so my heels pressed into the small of his back. His eyes were smoldering dark, and my lips parted.

That was all the invitation he needed. The burning shock of his mouth against mine was electric, and I brought my hands up so I could bury my fingers in his soft hair. I had just enough presence of mind to weave a shield of privacy so that mortals didn’t register we were there and avoided walking near.

Andre and I connected like interlocking pieces of a vast puzzle. Our kiss went supernova hot in an instant. I curled my tongue around his, and the whole world froze. Mortals were nearby, but their thoughts abruptly cut out of my head. For all I was aware, Andre and I were the only two beings on earth .

The explosive taste of his blood made me moan. He’d deliberately nicked his tongue on his fang. My own fangs burst from my gums, and I scraped my tongue against one of them. Blood spurted, and it was Andre’s turn to groan. The cold grass beneath my body seemed to disappear as if I floated weightless with only Andre’s kiss to anchor me. Time sputtered and died, and nothing mattered but his hot mouth moving against mine.

“Claire,” Andre said again through the blood in his mouth.

Four golden weeks I’d waited for him to kiss me, and now he was, and it was glorious.

“I’m going to make love to you in the grass if we don’t stop.” He increased the pressure of his lips against the hollow of my throat. “Come home with me, angel.”

“Dre,” I whispered, shaking with fear and desire—I wasn’t sure which was stronger. On fire for him, I didn’t want him to stop touching me. While his body was pressed to mine, we had all the time in the world, but when he moved away, would everything crash? “I’m scared.”

“Of me?” He lifted his head so he could look into my eyes. The night around us was alive with the sound of crickets. Stars wheeled in the sky, and the earth pressed against my back. I was suspended in the universe. Nothing mattered but him.


I touched his cheek with the tip of my finger, traced a line to his sensual mouth. I wanted to kiss him and taste my blood mingled with his. “Of everything. Of this not being real. That this is all a lie like Parker says. That I don’t matter. That nothing matters. That this is a race to see who can hurt the other first.”

He winced as if in pain, and I buried my face in his shoulder. He pulled me tightly into his embrace and rested his forehead against my head. “I won’t hurt you. I swear I won’t.”

The Guest Post

Why Vampires? 

In a literary world glutted with creatures who drink blood and live in fear of the sun, why would anyone want to add one more book to the pile?

I can only answer for myself when I say that the vampire archetype has always whispered seductively to me. It started when I was fourteen years old and I found a paperback copy of Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire at a used book store. My mother was very protective of what I read back then and I was allowed Barbara Carttland romances and Agatha Christie murder mysteries. The YA genre was not as prevalent as it is now.

I snuck the copy of Interview between an Agatha Christie and a Barbara Cartland and hoped she wouldn’t notice. Vampires were not her favorite thing.

The cover more than anything intrigued me. Two handsome young men with slicked back hair and clothes from the 1800s standing behind a velvet upholstered chair where a beautiful child with golden spiral curls sat in a white dress with puffed sleeves.

I wanted to know these characters and I read their story in voracious gulps. Something awakened inside me after that novel. I wanted to know more about vampires and the paranormal characters. The closest I could get were ghost stories and horror, and while I loved both -- vampires were monsters in those tales.

I didn’t think vampires were monsters. I thought they were fascinating beings who could live forever and be young and beautiful. For a teen struggling with weight issues, acne, and terrible self-esteem, vampires seemed elegant and perfect. If I were a vampire, I thought, I would be beautiful and self-assured and live forever. I could read all the books in the world if I wanted. I could visit strange and gorgeous foreign cities (by moonlight) and never worry about day jobs and petty concerns.

Over the years I searched for vampires in literature that fulfilled my dreams. I found quite a few. Anne Rice’s vampires, Barbara Hambly’s, J.R. Ward’s. In that time I also grew up. I lost weight, the acne cleared up and when I danced in smoky goth clubs all alone, I *was* a vampire. A creature of the night. Beautiful and graceful and different.

Along the way, I wrote. I started writing when I was ten years old. Ghost stories mostly. I even wrote some Anne Rice fan fiction. While I put aside writing to get married, I never lost my fascination with vampires.

When the movie version of Interview was released, I was married to my first husband, but unhappy and while I still danced in clubs, I’d lost that sense of immortal invulnerability. I no longer pretended I was a vampire when I danced. I thought I should concentrate on reality.

But the movie awakened something dark and yearning inside me. Something gorgeous and beautiful. Hope. I could do anything if I put my mind to it. Why should I settle for being someone my husband thought I should be? Why couldn’t I be a vampire when I danced?

Instead of dancing, I wrote about vampires. I spent months and months writing about a coven of them and a beautiful mortal woman who was their captive.

Then I got divorced and started over. I met a man who wanted to live in New Orleans and I thought immediately of Claudia, Louis, and Lestat. I could walk the same French Quarters streets as they had.

I spent nine years in New Orleans and my vampires slumbered in my head while I lived the life I’d always yearned to live.

But things changed. They end. The vampire’s curse. Katrina wiped away my life in New Orleans and I found myself living in Houston, Texas – a good city, but one I never could connect with. Not after the decadent, vibrant jasmine-soaked streets of New Orleans.

I started writing again. My vampires came back to me. Changed. Some of them left, but two of them stayed to begin a new coven – I called it a Circle. New vampires joined it and I wrote and wrote and wrote.

My second marriage crumbled. I lost my New Orleans. I had to begin again and my vampire Circle made life not just bearable, but fantastic.

I loved my vampires. But something weird happened to them. They became less fascinating, perfect beings removed from the petty concerns of life. They became almost human. They struggled and lost. They persevered and won. They lived in ways unlike any of my vampires had before.

And still they weren’t ready for the world. I shared them on a blog with trusted friends. I put them aside three years ago to write about a wolf shifter named Constance Newcastle and my Wolf Within series was born. My Circle waited patiently. After all, they were immortal and had all the time in the world.

Last year I opened my heart to them again and rewrote their story. Claire, Blood Gift’s protagonist came into being. Some of the Circle went away. Some stayed. Oliver, Parker, Andre, Gareth. Neal, Ursula.

What you will read in Blood Gift is a story that spans decades of my life and expresses all that I feel about the vampire. Fascinating. Beautiful. Flawed. Searching. Wondering. Suffering. Loving.

And I can’t wait to continue the series. Vampires rock my world and I hope mine will brighten yours.

The Paranormal Review

I LOVED Amy's Wolf Within Series, so I was really looking forward to reading this new book - Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Once again, Amy Lee Burgess weaves a "can't put this book down" tale of the paranormal.

First and foremost, Amy Lee Burgess is a master world-builder. If you think you've read it all in vampire/paranormal fiction, think again. The Circle: Blood Gift is a very different kind of urban fantasty/vampire paranormal story, with characters that step out of book and somehow get into your head.

Yes, the writing is dark at times and yes the story is emotionally painful, but it's also moving and realistic. Claire's life, up to the point that she became a vampire, had been one of an awful childhood and, consequently, abusive adult relationships. This is a story of learning to trust again and healing from damaging past experiences. Once Claire is turned, she becomes something of a vigilante, using her new found powers to help other women she sees as being abused, which I think gives her a sense of purpose.

As promised in the book blurb, the sex is wild and sensual, only adding another layer to an already well-written story with fleshed out characters and a mesmerizing storyline. 

I'll be anxiously waiting to read the next book in this series - Well done Amy Lee Burgess!
About Amy Lee Burgess

Amy Lee Burgess lives and writes in Houston, Texas but her heart belongs to New England – especially in the autumn.

Ruled by two dachshunds and addicted to Irish breakfast tea and the Walking Dead, she loves to write about vampires, wolf shifters, gargoyles and other assorted paranormal creatures. Amy loves to travel to places like London England, Edinburgh, Scotland, Paris France and Providence, Rhode Island where she stalks the coziest Irish pubs she can find.

She writes to trance and house music by candlelight and welcomes email from her readers – especially if they want to talk about the supernatural.
The Giveaway
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My Girl Friday said...

Fabulous review - I'll definitely be reading this book!!!

Amy Lee Burgess said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today! :)

Michelle Willms said...

This book sounds divine. Any author who has such a long and intense love for the subject matter will have a deep and intense understanding of how best to create the world for her vampires. I cannot wait to read this book. I enjoyed the author interview, excerpt, and review. Thank you so much for introducing me to this author and book. :)

Amy Lee Burgess said...

Hi, Michelle! I really hope you enjoy the book. My vampires have been an important part of my world for such a long time. I'm so excited to share them with readers like you!

jmcgaugh said...

I find the whole background to you writing this book intriguing, and the premise sound great. I look forward to reading it.

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