Today we welcome Andrea Cooper, author of the paranormal romance, The Garnet Dagger. But first, the blurb from The Garnet Dagger:
Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human…but what if the victim is Elvin? [Tweet this!]
Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure.
Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and his world will die.
When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?
Like a sample? An excerpt from chapter 1 can be found after the author bio. And now, on to the interview!
Andrea: Thank you for having me here today.
PYN: Tell us about your latest book!
Andrea: The Garnet Dagger is my latest paranormal. Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human…but what if the victim is Elvin? This story is full of magical and mythical creatures some you’ve heard of and some new ones.
PYN: What prompted you to write this book or series?
Andrea: I watched the movie Underworld in the theaters and immediately started thinking about what if a different species was bitten by a vampire. Within months, Brock’s voice kept repeating over and over in my mind until I had to write his story down. Before I knew I not only had completed The Garnet Dagger, but shortly thereafter I finished book two, Son of Dragons, and book three, War of Darkness in this trilogy.
PYN: Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?
Andrea: I am more character-driven. To me, they run the story. After all, if you put Wolverine in Jurassic Park, you’d have a completely different novel.
PYN: What makes your book unique?
Andrea: I’ve taken the vampire scenario and molded into something different. I put to the question how would the dark gift of vampirism be altered in a creature of light and magic.
PYN: What genre does your book fall into – paranormal mystery, paranormal erotica, para-romance, urban fantasy, YA?
Andrea: Primarily, the setting, world, and much of the story are fantasy, but the romance between Brock, a vampire elvin, and Celeste, the witch of the prophecies, is paranormal romance.
PYN: Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
Andrea: I let the plot emerge as I write. When I first start writing, I know the beginning and the endish, but journey between the two is one I take along with the characters. So when they discover something, like why you shouldn’t kill a Bergone, I find out at the same time. It’s one of the many things that I love about writing.
PYN: What’s next?
Andrea: I am working on revisions of book two of The Garnet Dagger trilogy, Son of Dragons, and hope to have it published by the end of the year. Then to have book three, War of Darkness, published by summer 2014.
I also have an idea for a shifter story. Not sure yet if it will be one book or a series yet.
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.
What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).
Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.
Excerpt: Chapter 1 – The Garnet Dagger
I’ve known death. For over half a millennia, I escorted many to death at the end of my sword. In the eyes of the dying, I watched it shroud them. Foolishly, I thought many more eras would pass before death came for me. It came so swiftly that I could not run; I could not escape. At a village, dressed in human clothes, I took in everything. By observing for eons, I understood and spoke their language. The world of mankind fascinated me. Their hobbled homes burrowed into the ground.
Rocks crunched on top one another with thatched roofs woven from straw. Never had I seen a home or inn that was higher than three levels, as if they were afraid of the sky. I delayed my return to my people as I watched human jugglers bounce torches and knifes. It was autumn equinox and the festivities would continue well into the night. Children laughed as they chased each other. A trail of leaves from their costumes twirled after them. It was dark when I reached the forest. Since I was already late, I hiked uphill to a shortcut rather than take the long path back home. I didn’t need to alert any of my kind near the barrier at this hour. Liana would wonder why I was late.
Tonight was the two month anniversary of our hand twining ceremony. One more month as was custom, and then we’d be wed. A gasp rustled through the trees. The roots shot a warning through to me with stifled caution. Adjusting my pack, I continued on instead of changing back into my Elvin clothes. After I passed the border which kept humans from entering our land, then I’d change. In the distance, I heard a groan. Curious, I spun in the direction of the sound. The autumn wind breezed through my worn human clothes, chilling me. But someone needed help. I turned in the direction of the sounds. Whatever made the noise should be a few yards ahead.
I hiked slower than my normal speed, so as not to startle whatever human called out. My leather boots crunched upon dried, diseased leaves and bark. Horrified, I glanced up. Branches twisted around each other to suffocating. Lifeless limbs cracked in the wind. Flesh of the trees sloughed off in layers, exposing its bones. Gashes hollowed out chunks of warmth. Fragments of leaves clung to finger tips, marking sepulchers of the dying trees. Trees mourned with wails like splitting wood, and I brought my hands over my ears. I must flee before I became infected, they told me. Flee before the stain of this defilement creeps into you, they warned. Trees spoke to my kind, always had. Yet these trees were in such agony of death that I could not breathe. Felt as though my lungs had folded in on themselves, like a moth unable to break loose from its cocoon.
Nothing I could do for them, and if I lingered too long, whatever disease gnawed upon them may choke me. Where would I go if I carried something so foul as to devour trees from the inside out? I’d never return to Tamlon if I brought this infection with me. I drew away, but a movement at the base of a decaying tree to my right caught me. My night vision picked up the sight of a human. His sallow face seemed to glow in the moonlight. Poking out from rags lay his arms and legs, which resembled skin stretched over sticks. So cadaverous was his face, I’d have thought him dead if he hadn’t moved.
“Please,” he said and his voice sounded like cicada’s vibrations, “help me.”
“What ails you in this troubled place?” I wondered if my voice, foreign to my ears in speaking the human’s language, revealed my nature.
“I am lost.” His dark eyes crinkled around the corners. “Without strength to rise. If you would but assist me up, I’ll be on my way.”
I’d never touched a human on purpose before. Was it that that gave me pause, or dread that stilled my heart? My feet itched to flee. As soon as I helped him, then I’d leave. I gritted my teeth and reached a hand down.
His gnarled fingers snapped on my arm, making me wince. Jerking me forward, his face contorted. Surprised by his strength, I fell beside him. Blackness curled around me. Teeth, fangs, broke through the skin on my neck. Then I knew him for what he was, a vampyre.