Saturday, October 13, 2012

Spotlight Feature on L.A. Freed and The Charleston Vampire Chronicles

Review of Blood Feud Book 3 in The Charleston Vampire Chronicles

Blood Feud is the third book in The Charleston Vampire Chronicles by author L.A. Freed.  This newest addition to the series picks up the story of Matthew and Ainjul Trenton, vampires that have evolved to something else.  They have powers that are not seen in a “normal” vampire.  I don’t want to spend too much time rehashing what happened in the first two novels, as I believe you need to read the entire series and get “bitten” by these books like I did. 
The first two were awesome, and if you want a more thorough review of them then make sure to check back with us during L.A. Freed’s blog tour in November. 
But I digress!  Book three introduces us to another character, Kate Delwen, and woman in her fifties who is hired to look after Ainjul so that Matthew can step out for a meeting.  One thing leads to another and Kate is turned into a vampire.  She joins Matthew in his search to find his precious Ainjul as she has been essentially kidnapped.
Just as I thoroughly enjoyed the first two novels, I was drawn again into this one.  I spent most of my time whirling from page to page, drawn into the action and drama that unfolds.  There is more at play than what you would expect from a typical vampire novel, and I love the fact that it is set in Charleston, SC which in not far from where I live.  I have visited the city many times, and love to see such a historic city featured in a novel.  The book is off the charts in my estimation, and I am anxious to sit down and reread it.  It really is that good to me.  I would recommend that you read it and you too just might be bitten by the Charleston Vampires.

R&M’s Interview with Author L.A. Freed

R&M:  Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all?  Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
L.A.:  There is always a little bit of me in my characters.  Some have more of my personality than others.  Even my male characters have traits that are mine.  The closest character to what I’m like so far is Kate Delwen in Blood Feud.  She’s probably a wee bit tougher than I am, but we are a lot alike, right down to the photography and watercolor painting.
R&M:  When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
L.A.:  Well, technically writing is not my career.  I’ve always loved writing and have hoped to sell, but realized quickly that very few authors can live off their work.  I work a full-time job in the I.T. department of our local newspaper.  I also teach dog obedience and agility on the side and paint watercolor pet portraits as well as do crafts (quilting, sewing, t-shirts) that I sell to earn extra income.
R&M:  When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
L.A.:  I let it flow.  It never works out to plan ahead.  There is ALWAYS a character that takes the reins and runs away with the plot.  Usually this is a good thing and I love the creative process when this happens.
R&M:  Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
L.A.:  Shh, don’t tell anyone but I write at work.  My job has a lot of down time (waiting on those frantic phone calls on deadline when the computers and servers fail).  So, I get to do a lot of web-surfing and writing and reading at work.
R&M:  Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing or something that you have to do before you start writing?
L.A.:  Not really a quirk, but I tend to eat junk when I write. I guess that’s better than smoking.  But I’ve put away a ton of sugar while writing.  I like really crap candy… like gummy bears, candy corn, spree, skittles.
R&M:  What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
L.A.:  I think it’s wonderful.  I love that so many people are able to get their stuff out there now.  I’m reading books that never would have been picked up by traditional publishers, their loss ;)  I’m not anti-traditional.  My first book, BLOOD THIRST, was done traditionally, but I think it’s just the wave of the future and it’s wonderful to have so many opportunities available to authors and readers as well.
R&M:  Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
L.A.:  I hear from them on Facebook mostly.  For the most part they like my work and are very supportive.
R&M:  What does your family think of your writing?
L.A.:  Can’t really say they think much of it.  I’ve been doing it a long time, so I guess they’re just used to it.  They all know I’m a jack-of-all-trades, so nothing I do surprises them.
R&M:  How has being published changed your life, if any way?
L.A.:  I don’t really think it has.  I still have to work a job and I still have to pay bills and scrape by on a budget like so  many starving artists.  If it’s changed at all, it’s enabled me to realize that I can do anything that I put my mind to.
R&M:  What are you currently working on?  We would love to know what is coming next from you.
L.A.:  Currently I am publishing for other authors.  SECOND SIGHT by T.C. Hart is the first release I’ve done and I have another story in the works that is a wonderful dog story.  I really like helping new authors realize their dreams.
R&M:  What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
L.A.:  Keep reading and writing.  Edit.  Edit.  Edit.  And get someone to edit and proof read for you.
R&M:  What was the hardest part of writing your book?
L.A.:  The first sentence.  It takes me forever to start a book.  That first sentence just kills me.  I don’t know why, but it does.  None of my first sentences are memorable or remarkable, but it still takes me forever to get that one sentence done.
R&M:  What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
L.A.:  Usually keeping plot points straight, especially when my characters run away with their own plot lines.  But I love it when that happens.  The twists and turns they put in the story surprise the hell out of me.  In BLOOD FEUD the character Marcus was particularly fond of grabbing the story and taking command.  He started off as a bit of an incidental character, but I fell in love with him and his ability to yank creative control right out of my head.  Undoubtedly, he will have his own story told in the future J
R&M:  What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
L.A.:  Without a doubt, Anne Rice.  I loved her original vampire trilogy.  After that, she lost me, but I loved those first books so much, I knew I had to write my own.  And of course Stephen King because I grew up reading his works.  And Dean Koontz.  And Robert McCammon.

Fun Questions:
1. Favorite flavor of ice cream:  Any flavor, love them all!
2. Favorite color: autumn colors, oranges, reds, golds.
3.Favorite animal: dogs and horses, I own several of both.
4.Favorite season of the year:  autumn.
5.Favorite Author: Robert McCammon
6. Favorite drink: Coke
7.Favorite food: I really love a good bowl of homemade soup, any kind.
8.            Favorite Halloween Candy: Candy Corn, it truly is the official vegetable of autumn.

Excerpt from Blood Thirst-Book 1 in The Charleston Vampire Chronicles

My heart slammed inside my chest as I fought him. My fear became anger; I knew I would die before I'd let him violate me. I squirmed beneath him and bucked violently, nearly knocking him off. He retaliated by driving his weight harder against me and shoving his knee into my belly. Vomit rose in my throat.
Cold pain pierced my neck, and I drew in a strangled gasp as I realized he must have a knife. Wet warmth slid across my throat. He pressed his face against me and locked his mouth over the source of my pain.
Warmth spread through me and grew into the heat of need. I found myself pushing into him as my fear dissolved. My heart slowed and matched each pull as he drew the very life out of me. Pounding. Pounding. Pounding. It was ecstasy, and I wanted it to go on forever. Then the sound of my heart grew faint, and he pulled away from me.
He lifted his head and turned to look at me. Blood colored his lips like the grease paint smile of a clown, and ran in a jagged line from the corner of his mouth to the tip of his chin where it hung in a small, clotted drip. He smiled. The sight of the small, sharp fangs shocked me back into fear. THIS IS DEATH.

Blurb from Blood Divided- Book 2 in The Charleston Vampire Chronicles

Overwhelmed with guilt at the sin that was his undoing and the monster he's become, the vampire, Matthew Trenton, stows away on a ship bound for the New World in an attempt to start over.
Through sheer perseverance, he survives the hardships and savagery of the untamed shores of Charles Town. Then, vampires begin to come to him to die, and he realizes what an enigma he is among them, but why? What makes him so different?
He needs mortals for blood, but also depends on them for companionship and verification that his existence has reason.  He has an overwhelming need to guide them, protect them, and sway them with his ideas for the future of his new country.
As his mortal companions die, and his country begins to tear itself apart in war, he faces despair so deep that he contemplates his own end … until he sees his sister's child on the docks.
Filled with a new reason to exist, he watches his family grow.  Time comes full circle when Angela Trenton is born. She not only carries his family name, but is the very image of his beloved sister. He falls hopelessly in love with her. And he knows in order to keep her with him forever he will need to discover why his blood is divided.

The Charleston Vampire Chronicles Trailer

L.A. Freed, author of The Charleston Vampire Chronicles, is a true renaissance woman and lives, works, and plays in Charleston, SC. She is employed full time and works nights at The Post and Courier. It's highly unlikely that she sleeps in a coffin during the day because she's too busy training dogs to compete in AKC, USDAA and CPE agility and obedience. She also dabbles in photography and art, and has won numerous awards for her work. In a past life she trained, showed and boarded horses. She is a life member of the AQHA and owns two Quarter Horse mares.

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Amazon Buy Links:  
Blood Feud Print Copy 

Smashwords Buy Links:  
Blood Thirst  
Blood Divided  
Blood Feud