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A pick 'n' mix genre author. "I'm not greedy. I just like variety."

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

My World Guest Author: Tony-Paul de Vissage


Vampire Tricks in the Kitchen…

And now for something a little different…

Finally, I’ve gotten another book published.  Whew, that’s a relief!  For a while there, I felt like the one-trick pony…make that two-tricks, for I’ve had two novels published already,  and then this loooong, dry spell.  Now, however, I’m back in the running with The Last Vampire Standing.

Long ago, I tired of those “paranormal romances’ in which the vampire-hero renounces his Undead state and wishes to be human again, where the story revolves on how many times he can maneuver the heroine into bed rather than going about his Undead business.  So, I decided to write a novel which portrayed the vampire as he used to be…unrepentant, Undead, and loving every century of it, with emphasis on the “sin”.  My “hero” may still retain a few human characteristics.  He’s rolled with the punches and is in tune with the times, but he never sways from his purpose—in this case, freeing his fellow nosferatu from their leader’s tyranny—though he does stop off at a Taco Bell on the way.

Meet Vlad Chemare, a blast from the past who isn’t to be denied. He’s up-to-date, traveling by jet, and seeking revenge against the master who buried him alive in punishment for daring to lead a revolt back in the 15th century.  Armed with American Express and a Kevlar vest, Vlad’s out for blood—specifically Baslo Rigla’s—and he isn’t about to let his feelings for mortal Meredith Swanson stand in his way.  After all, a woman’s just a woman, but revenge is a dish enjoyed cold, and six hundred years makes for some chilly morsels.

And thus the South is once more invaded…this time by vampires, but in this case, it isn’t not New Orleans, but Savannah, Georgia, coming under the nosferatu spell.  The Big Easy’s full, so Rigla chose some place a little less crowded, and with a lower paranormal profile.

Being relatively young (he’s only six hundred and fifty) Vlad has some new ideas about how to fight.  Rallying the vampires of Savannah around him, he relies on their American defiance of tyranny to make himself a new army, and while his lieutenants enlist a Society of Creative Anachronisms blacksmith to fashion their armor, the local werewolf population volunteers to become his K-9 Corps.

It’s only when Vlad learns that Meredith wants to make him a father that his rush toward vengeance falters…but only for a moment.  If he can survive being buried under six feet of frozen earth, Vlad figures he can handle killing Rigla, and being a baby-Daddy, too.  And then the fight begins…with the city of Savannah as the battleground, and the rest of the world as the prize…after Vlad and Meredith leave Taco Bell, that is.

~ * ~

EXCERPT: 

I leaned against a counter while Meredith searched the refrigerator. It was a fairly small room, holding a pair of chairs and an 18-inch square table, with a window set in the opposite wall. She probably sat there with her morning coffee, watching the sun shine over the rooftops. Perhaps, on occasion, someone sat with her.
For some reason, I didn’t like that idea. Not at all. And I couldn’t figure out why. What did I care who monopolized her time, unless he tried to do it when I was around?
The refrigerator was next to the stove but I didn’t see a dishwasher anywhere. The counters were bare of dishes and clutter. Hanging from the curtain rod above the window was a chain of peppers, several bunches of herbs, and…
My gasp made her look up. “What is it?”
“Are those real?” I turned my back, one hand going over my nose as I gestured at the rope of garlic hanging next to the oregano.
“Plastic.” She pulled them from the hook and banged them against the counter. They made a soft, hollow sound.
“They’re very realistic.” I took the rope from her, examining each bulb, then returned them to the hook. Meredith concentrated on the food before her, picking up the knife to slice a tomato.
“Careful,” I cautioned. “Don’t cut your fingers.”
“You needn’t worry. I know better than to shed blood around a vampire,” came her retort.
“More’s the pity,” I said before I thought. “I imagine you’d be delicious.”
Abruptly, both knife and tomato slipped from her fingers. The tomato rolled to the edge of the table and plummeted to the floor.
“Smart-ass.” She retrieved the knife and scooped the tomato off the floor, leaving a smear of seeds.
“Sorry,” I apologized. Not that I really was.
“I don’t think you are.” Her eyes met mine and I swear there was a challenge in them.
“Meredith, I think you could give me a charge in other more enjoyable ways.” I said it slowly and deliberately so she wouldn’t doubt my meaning. I expected her to become angry, act insulted. To my surprise, she laughed and shook her head.
“Men! You’re all alike, living or Undead.” She sliced the tomato, then cut it into quarters. I was standing behind her before I realized it. She was wearing a tank top. I pressed my forefinger to a spot just below her earlobe and trailed it down her neck to the curve of her collarbone. She shrugged off my touch. “Okay, hold it right there, fang-boy.”
Fang-boy? Did I hear correctly? She called me fang-boy?
“Let’s get one thing straight here and now.” The sudden set of her mouth told me she was serious. “None of that.”
“By all means.” Hands held high, I stepped back, nodding, and went on before she could speak again. “I should’ve waited. You like a little romance before we jump into bed.”
She made a slight strangling sound and pointed the knife at me. “We aren’t jumping anywhere.”
I took another step backward.

~ * ~ 

Apparently, Vlad has a lot to learn about women, especially when they have knives in their hands.  He may not be able to eat but he does spend a lot of time in the kitchen with Meredith, as well in various Savannah restaurants.  Here’s a recipe he might’ve been served back when he could still enjoy cuisine…beet borscht, or as Vlad might say, borş sfeclă.  Like his revenge, it’s also good served cold.


2 c. chicken stock
2 c. finely diced beets
4 med. carrots, diced
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. shredded cabbage
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. thick sour cream

Cook beets, carrots and onion in 2 cups boiling salted water. Add butter, chicken stock and cabbage. Cook 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir until combined. Serve in soup bowls, topped with a spoonful of sour cream or unflavored yoghurt, or, if you haven’t either in your fridge, garnish with ranch dressing, as I often do. Serves 4-6.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this excerpt and the receipe and love the color of this book
    Have a nice week
    Cheers
    Mannouchka

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Tony-Paul! :-) And thanks for sharing an excerpt from you new book. It sounds fab, and the recipe sounds yummy. I will definitely be attempting to make this dish.

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