Thursday, 12 June 2014

Guest post by Susannah Sandlin + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to Susannah Sandlin, who is here celebrating the release of Allegiance, the 4th book in her Penton Legacy series! Susannah chose to tell us about all the vampire rules and how they affected her stories (or rather how her stories affected those set in stone rules) and you could even win your book of choice as detailed below. :-)

Twisting the Rules
by Susannah Sandlin

When I began writing the first book in the Penton Legacy series back in 2010, the book that would eventually become Redemption, a little nagging voice in the back of my mind kept says things like “Vampires? They’re a dead genre” and “there’s nothing new under the sun in the vampire world.”

Because that little nagging voice likes puns.

But it was true, and still is, even as ALLEGIANCE, the fourth book in the series, makes its debut. It’s hard to find something new in the world of fangs and blood, so it’s up to today’s authors of paranormal fiction to put their own new spin on the old myth. Here are a few traditional vampire rules and how I decided to treat them.

* Vampires need human blood to stay alive. I decided to keep this rule. The twist? In the Penton world, the humans survived a recent worldwide pandemic by getting a new vaccine that made a very minor change in their blood chemistry. Good news for humans? The vaccine worked. Bad news for vampires? The blood of vaccinated human became poisonous to them. So vampires are starving, fighting over unvaccinated humans, and on the verge of civil war between the vampires like those of Penton, who want to find a peaceful solution, and the vampire leaders, who prefer things like operating a black market for “clean” humans. [My 6-foot-8 Scottish behemoth of a vampire, who really misses food, recently learned he can taste really rich food like sugar and butter if he feeds about a half hour after his Significant Human eats. They’ve been having WAY too much fun, but Glory is worried about her weight!]

* Vampires can’t go out in sunlight. Another rule I decided to keep. It creates a challenge to figure out how to get around that pesky need to find a safe, dark space by dawn, especially when one is under attack. My vampires won’t glitter if they go outside; they fry.

* Vampires are weakened by garlic. Nah, ditch this one. Plus the anti-vampire contingent would always reek. What I did decide to use was the magical properties of silver. It isn’t deadly, as it might be to a werewolf, but if injured with a pure silver blade, for example, the vampire would heal at only slightly faster than human rate. Or if bound with silver chain, his physical strength would be little more than human. Hey, you gotta slow them down some way!

* Vampires are sexy. Well, duh.

* Vampires are undead. I decided to not go down the old “sleeping with the dead guy” road, so my vampires aren’t dead but evolved. Their hearts beat, only more slowly. They bleed, but their blood would never pass for human—it’s more magenta than crimson. They don’t “die” and stop breathing when they go into their daysleep, as they call it, but they’re pretty much comatose. The really old ones can move around a little if in a light-tight space. They can’t eat food, but if they don’t feed, they will eventually get so weak they’ll kind of shrivel up and be in such a weakened state they can’t move. Which is why poisonous human blood is a Very Big Deal.

* Vampires can fly. Not in my world, unless they’re in an airplane. They wish they could, though.

* Vampires are arrogant and world-weary look down on humans. Some do, and consider them a species to be used. Others realize that it’s only humans that keep them alive, and they treat them with the respect and dignity they’d treat anyone else. And there is the yin and yang of the series, and the conflict at the heart of the looming civil war.

So, how about it, paranormal fans. Are you tired of vampires, or do you still find them the sexiest things in fangs?

Allegiance by Susannah Sandlin

Book #4 in the Penton legacy series

British vampire psychiatrist and former mercenary Cage Reynolds returns to Penton, Alabama, looking for a permanent home. The town has been ravaged by the ongoing vampire war and the shortage of untainted human blood, and now the vampires and humans that make up the Omega Force are trying to rebuild. Cage hopes to help the cause, put down roots in Penton, and resolve his relationship with Melissa Calvert. The last thing he expects is to find himself drawn to Robin Ashton, a trash-talking eagle shape-shifter and new Omega recruit.

Meanwhile, as a dangerous saboteur wreaks havoc in Penton, the ruthless Vampire Tribunal leader Matthias Ludlam has been freed on the eve of his scheduled execution. But by whom? And to what end? As war and chaos rage on, love isn’t something Cage is looking for, but will his attraction to Robin distract him from the danger living among them?

Susannah Sandlin is a native of Winfield, Alabama, and has worked as a writer/editor in educational publishing in Alabama, Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, with two rescue dogs named after professional wrestlers (it was a phase). She has a no-longer-secret passion for Cajun music, Canadian French pop music, and reality TV. She's single and is on the hunt for a longhaul Ice Road Trucker who also hunts gators.

Find Susannah at her website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


Susannah has generously offered winner's choice of book from her Penton Legacy series (Redemption, Absolution, Omega), the standalone paranormal romance Storm Force, or the romantic thriller Lovely, Dark, and Deep.

To be entered just leave a comment and answer Susannah's question: Are you tired of vampires, or do you still find them the sexiest things in fangs?

Giveaway is open worldwide (wherever the Book Depository ships) and ends on 27 June 2012!

Good luck!

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