Vampires are attempting to integrate into human society. When Alec MacCarthy first meets a ‘haemophile’ in the flesh, it’s not the obvious dangers that frighten him. Alec MacCarthy, Lord of Aviemore and largely-forgotten descendent of a once-proud family line, keeps the wolf from the door of the crumbling family mansion by restoring classic cars. He leaves the real world alone and wishes nothing more than for it to return the favor. But in a reality where haemophiles—still colloquially known as vampires, despite the publicity campaigns—have come out of hiding and are attempting to integrate into human society, the real world is rapidly becoming a disrupted and conflicted mess that threatens to trouble even Alec in his remote Scottish hideaway. When he unwittingly attends a Blood Party to please a friend, he has his first meeting with one of these mysterious and dangerous beings. Terje is like nothing he has ever encountered before…literally. His reactions are as troublesome as they are undeniable. Alec’s snap decision to help the haemophile rather than sample his sense-heightening and addictive blood sets them both on a path that will lead them into a tangled web of intrigue with consequences that will change their lives—and the world—forever. Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder, kidnapping, blood stealing, drug use, addiction and blood drinking.
S. J. COLES
Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.
Vampires are attempting to integrate into human society. When Alec MacCarthy first meets a ‘haemophile’ in the flesh, it’s not the obvious dangers that frighten him.
What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?
I’m very fond of both these books, it’s hard to for me to pick my favourite moment. If I had to choose, it would be the moment (I won’t tell you when it happens!) when Terje, the aloof vampire, finally admits his true feelings for Alec.
Does your hero prefer a real or artificial tree for Christmas?
I have two heroes, and the both love the outdoors and Scotland in particular, so it’s definitely a real tree for them. Douglas fir, to be precise.
What’s the one present your hero least wants to open Christmas morning?
Alec would be less than pleased with anything other than a god bottle of single malt, most likely
Would your hero hang mistletoe?
Oh yes, anything for a bit of attention from Terje
What scene did you adore writing in this book?
It might seem weird but the scene I enjoyed writing most was in the beginning of book 2, when Alec is starting to have real doubts about the longevity of his relationship with Terje, a vampire. They are wandering around Prince’s Gardens in Edinburgh in the middle of the night, talking about what is happening between them. The fantasy elements have all rubbed off by that point and all that’s left is his need and longing for Terje, but also the creeping reality of their differences. IT’s when both characters are at their most human and vulnerable, and sets the scene for everything else that follows.
What is your hero’s favorite Christmas tradition?
I’m going to go with Terje. As he is Norwegian and over a hundred years old, some traditional European Christmas traditions would be most important to him – including decorating the tree on 23rd Dec – Lille Julaften (or Little Christmas Eve). Christmas Eve is the big day for Norwegians, so this wholesome bit of preparation for the big day would mean a lot to him.
Does your hero love or hate snow?
Alec used to hate the snow, especially after the blood-chilling events of Blood Winter that almost ended in him and people he cared about meeting a sticky end. But after he got trapped in his derelict mansion for three days with Terje during a snowstorm, forcing him to get to know his lover as a real being and face his feelings for him, he definitely has more of a soft spot for it.
For Christmas, will you be having turkey, goose, ham, prime rib, or something else?
Oh definitely turkey. Cooked by my mum. She does the best Christmas dinner or all time.
What’s the strangest Christmas tradition your family does to celebrate?
My parents have a year-long pool tournament between themselves. After dinner, with much pomp and circumstance, we award the trophy to whoever won the most games that year. The loser comforts themselves with champagne.
The temperature changing made my skin tingle. I was lying on something soft. My wet clothes were stripped away, making my muscles convulse. My hands and feet pulsed painfully, my injured wrist screaming. I murmured protests and pushed at the hands on me, but they were strong, and I was weak and I could barely see or breathe.
“Alec, you must eat.”
A hot mug was being held close to my face. I smelled the savoriness of soup. The mug was held by a smooth, white hand. I knocked it away, hearing a crash, willing the blackness to return. Finally, I was allowed to collapse into the tangled bed clothes. The blackness rose, tempting me away, offering me an empty, quiet place where nothing hurt any more.
I was racing away from all feeling, then became aware of a smell—a rich, heavy smell. Autumn fruit and syrup, bonfires and the best, darkest wines threaded through with sharpness of hot metal. It sent threads of sensitivity shooting through me. When it touched my tongue, sensation flooded my body.
I couldn’t fight. I swallowed. Heat and pleasure rolled through my flesh like waves of a warm, tropical sea. My extremities throbbed just on the edge of pain. Every cell in my body seemed to be set alight. My nerves were wires sparking with electricity. My brain and groin pulsed with every beat of my suddenly-powerful heart.
I blinked, my eyes watering, the rich smell filling my senses. Through a dizzying mist, I watched Terje rise from the edge of my bed, holding an empty tumbler. Thick residue, a red so dark it was almost black, stained the glass. He pulled his sleeve down to cover a small cut in his wrist, which was already healing.
I searched for horror, for anger, for bitterness and fear. But my consciousness wavered and I faded into warmth and comfort and the feeling that every inch of my body was filled with light.
My eyes closed. I slept.
S. J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.
She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.
Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.