Kresniks and Vampires
It's fun writing paranormal. I get to create a mystical world with my own rules and crazy magical characters. There is so much to draw on -- mythology and ancient history, fables and fairy tales, ground-breaking books that were so influential they became the canon for all future fantasy/paranormal stories - Lord of the Rings and Dracula come to mind. It can be daunting and a little scary when I decide to break the canon. When I do, I bite my nails hoping the reader doesn't roll their eyes in complete disbelief!
Last Chance is about kresniks and vampires. I'd researched the myth behind the kresniks, and tweaked the information to created my new world of slayers - complete with Elders and ancient families. Kresnik folklore is found among Croatians and Slovenians. The root of the word is 'krat', meaning cross, or the forces of light. Every town or community had a kresnik, its own protector and light bearer. Mine protect the whole world from the undead and not just one city or town.
In the sequel, which I'm now writing, I expanded my imaginary world. My kresniks are from the House of Hawthorn. I've chosen this name because the hawthorn plant wards off vampires. The House is led by the Venerable Elder and four Elders that represent the four directions. My kresniks are also shape shifters - each individual having their own animal totem. Stuart Hamilton's totem is a lynx and his brother, Corbin Hamilton has a fox as his totem. Add in holy islands that can only be traveled by mysterious portals and a seriously smart molecular biologist that loves to play with blood in his lab, and well, it's just the beginning.
Here's an excerpt from Last Chance available at Loose Id.
Can a seriously smart almost-vampire find love with a seriously sexy jock bent on stripping him of his polo shirt and his secret? Born enemies, their need for each other fuels a heated attraction they can't ignore.
Aric Christian is the wildly smart PhD candidate specializing in Molecular Biology. With a willowy body bordering on thin, slight hips, and even slighter waist, Aric's hard muscles and steel strength bends but doesn't break. Long blackish hair dips in his hazel eyes when he's not wearing his rimless glasses. At times, he turns into quite a different creature, and is working desperately to seek a cure.
Stu Hamilton is the wildly popular college wide receiver, and big man on campus. He's tall, broad shouldered, finely tuned and has broad hands, perfect to jump and catch the ball. He's all muscle and grace and blue, blue eyes. Mussed blond hair layered and tapered down to his nape fuels his reputation as the guy who breezes through life. Hidden from his friends is his family's secret - he's from a long line of vampire-slayers. Turning away from that life, he wants nothing to do with blood feuds, men of the dark night and killing.
Then Aric bumps into Stu, or rather his football, and their lives are forever intertwined. Will these born enemies find a way toward love?
Excerpt: Last Chance, Viki Lyn, copyright 2010, Loose Id
“Hey, look out!”
Aric Christian looked up, but not fast enough.
A bullet of pain shot between his eyebrows, and his hands flew to his head. He didn’t catch his fall; instead his body crumpled, his vision blurring, white pages raining down on him. Grumbling under his breath, he found himself on the ground, his ears ringing and his sunglasses half twisted off his face.
As his vision cleared, a blond Apollo came into view holding a…football?
“Hey, are you okay?” A broad hand pressed against his forehead.
Aric looked up, ready to complain, but gaped instead, his mouth flapping like a fish tail. He leaned back on his elbows and groaned.
The god hovering over him pushed down on his shoulder. “Hey, you better lay there for a sec. You really got pinged.”
Pinged? What kind of word is that?
Yet the guy was even more good-looking up close, and he smelled nice. Blond bangs fringed china blue eyes, and his lashes were made even more golden by the sunlight. Concern was evident in the downturn of his well-shaped mouth, a kind expression that made him seem generous.
“Hey, do you know your name? Where you are?”
Aric forced himself to look away from those startling blue eyes. By the look of this guy’s powerfully built physique, he had to be a jock. And even with Aric’s limited experience, he knew jocks weren’t the sharpest pencils in the pack. He liked a guy who had some brains, and this one’s vocabulary told Aric he didn’t have too much going on upstairs. Aric swatted the dude’s hand away, then ripped off his damaged sunglasses and waved them in the guy’s face. Showing anger was better than showing any kind of attraction.
That would be too humiliating. “These cost a fortune.”
That generous mouth now quirked up into a smile, making him appear not the least bit regretful. “Sorry, but you walked right between us.”
“You hit me with your fucking football, and you say it’s my fault?” Aric snapped. Then he gasped, eyeing his lab notes sailing across the glade. His stomach plummeted at the sight of all his hard work flying into oblivion. All his sexual attraction hurtled from his mind as he scrambled to his knees. “My papers!”
Another powerful shove on his shoulder and Aric plopped back down onto the grass.
“Stay put; I’ll get them.”
Aric watched in fascination as the god dodged flying Frisbees and leaped around barking dogs and students reading on the lawn, scooping the papers into his hands. His graceful movements reminded Aric of someone; he’d seen those moves before… Oh fuck! That jock happened to be the big man on campus and a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Stu Hamilton, the university football team’s wide receiver, certainly could move.
Aric stared at the rounded ass flexing so deliciously in snug jeans. A faded black T-shirt barely held in straining biceps and a well-defined chest. All lean, mean, and muscular. His mouth watered at the sight, and a spasm rippled across his groin.
He had one hell of a hard-on.
Not good. No, not good at all.
It had been too long since he had a guy in his bed, and this was too damn embarrassing. Besides, he had enough on his mind without thinking about sex. He pulled out his half-rumpled shirt and covered his bulge.
Aric half crawled toward the grassy area shaded by the overhead palm fronds. He rose and, still wobbly, leaned against the trunk for support. He took in a few deep breaths and tugged down the hem of his shirt. Stu Hamilton would consider him to be on the lowest level of the food chain -- most likely a cockroach. The dude was straight and a magnet for every available bimbo on campus. His reputation with girls was as widespread as his sterling reputation as a football player.
Stu approached, all smiles, holding the pile of Aric’s hard-earned work. Once Stu got close, the heat radiating off that sculpted body enhanced his true scent. Aric’s acute sense of smell dissected the layers of crisp notes: musk and vanilla with undertones of aromatic spice, all hidden beneath a layer of pure male sweat. It bothered him how much detail he could discern with just his nose, something he wouldn’t have been able to do just a few months ago.
“Here you go. I think that’s all of them.”
Aric blinked back to reality.
Stu handed him the unruly pile with a blinding smile. “I’m really sorry. I hope you didn’t lose anything.”
“Just a few brain cells,” Aric grumbled, rubbing the swelling on his forehead, the lump growing bigger by the second.
Stu scratched his head and pointed to the papers. “From the looks of what’s written there, I’d say you can afford to lose a few.” Then he laughed, a clear rumble deep within his chest.
Aric’s cheeks flushed at the sight of that nice, solid chest.
Stu reached out to touch Aric’s forehead. “Wow, looks like you’re going to have one big goose egg.”
Aric flinched. “Don’t… I don’t like to be touched.”
Pulling his hand away, Stu narrowed his eyes but kept his winning smile plastered on his face. “Sorry.” He shrugged but didn’t move away. “I’m Stu, by the way.”
Aric lowered his lashes, avoiding that probing gaze. He tugged at the end of his braid, flipping the tail back and forth. Jocks made him nervous and jumpy and stupid. He’d been bullied enough in high school. The memories of being pinned against his locker by their large, hard bodies, his body reacting to all that muscle and heated anger, came rushing back to him.
“Yeah, I know who you are,” he replied, his voice tight.
Aric tried to sidestep away, but Stu stepped into his space, effectively blocking his way. He held his breath while staring into those too-blue eyes, willing his heart to slow down. But sparks of tension blew apart all thoughts in his head. This guy was standing too close, his size too imposing. Feeling trapped like an animal, he didn’t move a muscle.