Friday, April 20, 2012

April A-Z R is for Really Blushing as I Interview Jalmari


 




R is for Really Blushing as I Interview Jalmari ta Korento


I don't know how long I've looked forward to sharing this interview.  Something I don't keep quite is how much I love J.D. Brown's novel, Dark Heirloom.  I'm solidly planted in the position of #1 fan.  So, when she agreed to an interview with her main male character, Jalmari, I really wanted to make it special.


If you're familiar with my character interviews, you know I use a bit of a script form to share them.  But, as we worked on this one, it became clear that with all the internal thoughts and feelings going on, I needed to shift the whole thing to third person, present.  I hope you enjoy it.  It was a hoot to put together. *smile*


*Brown print is my part in the writing, the red, J.D.'s.*  Oh, and Dark Heirloom is one of the books in Charlene Blogs' A-Z Hop giveaway!  (see below)

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Charlene clasps a strand of pearls around her neck then slips into her worn-once-in-a-blue-moon Stilettos.  She pauses a moment to gain her balance then turns to her vanity.  Applying lipstick, she pinches her lips together and gazes at the mirror.  She fluffs her hair.  As she dabs a bit of perfume to her wrists, a knock comes at the door.  Her nerves flush. 

Rushing through the house, she wobbles on the high heels, scuffing the hardwood floor.  She dims the lights and heads through the living room, trusting her memory of the layout so she doesn’t trip or knock anything over.  She flips the electric fire on in the hearth.  A soft glow spills onto the carpet and highlights the furniture and wide bouquet on the coffee table.

Charlene smoothes her skirt with a couple quick strokes and opens the door.  “Prince Jalmari.”  A star struck smile spreads across her face.  “Please, come in.”

Jalmari removes his sunglasses and nods in greeting.  “Charlene, it is a pleasure.”  He gently takes her hand then bends to press his lips to the top of her palm, despite the overwhelming scent of her perfume.  He always preferred the scent of clean flesh, especially on humans and especially on the females, but he would be a gentleman and take the artificial floral smell in stride.  He enters her small home and smiles to himself, amused that she would think to turn off the lights and give him the advantage. Her pearls and makeup did not go unnoticed and he couldn’t help but raise his chin a little higher at the knowledge of this human waif wanting to dress up for him.  She was one of his favorites, after all.

Charlene waves her hand and then hugs it to her chest, trying to calm her pulse.  “It’s so nice to have you here.”  She concentrates on keeping her ankles straight on the hardwood floor as she heads through the dining room to the refrigerator.  “Have a seat.  I’ll get you a drink.”

“Thank you, Love.”  He sits on a settee to the side of the hearth and angles himself so the light spills down his chest, knowing Charlene would be able to see him better.  Then he leans back and crosses his ankle over the knee of his other leg.

“I’ve looked forward to this interview.  I’ve wanted to visit with you since I first read Dark Heirloom.  Thank you for taking time away from running the clan.”

“Anything for you.”

Charlene hands him a silver goblet of blood.  “I hope you don’t mind drinking from a goblet.  I um…get kind of queasy looking at blood.”

“I don’t mind at all.”  Jalmari takes the goblet, brushing his fingertips against hers, then grins and takes a sip.

She grins and cups her fingers with her other hand as she takes her seat.  “How fares Finland?”

“The clan is well.  I don’t concern myself much with the human politics of Finland but she is a very proud country.”

“Tell me, what’s it like to run an entire clan of vampires in secret?  How do you manage to keep things to where humans don’t freak out?”

“Humans don’t ‘freak out’ because the public doesn’t know my kind exists.  Laws are in place that prohibit us from exposing what we are.  All the clans of the High Blood Council follow these laws so our people and yours can coexist in peace.  I have eyes all over my territory, a sort of police and government that keep the civilian vampires in line, though most are not against how we do things.  There is also the R.E.D., a human funded organization that helps us out, though they can be annoying at times.”

Charlene brushes the hair from the side of her face and smiles, eager to know the answer to at least part of her next question.  “How is Leena?  You two…still together?”  She looks at him sideways.  “I would have expected you to have married and become king and queen you’ve been together so long.

Jalmari’s muscles tense but he tempers himself and relaxes again.  He did agree to this interview and didn’t think to have any subjects withheld from discussion.  He twirls his drink and clears his throat. “Unfortunately, it is unlawful for me to marry my beloved.  I am Leena’s sire and so the clan views her as my servant.  Her will is bound to obey my every command.  Only free vampyres are allowed to become royalty or councilmen.”

“Oh.  Well…”  Charlene rushes to the next question, realizing what bad choice the last one was.  “I understand you have a new, er, guest at the castle.” 

He sighs.  “I assume you mean that little rat, Ema?  She’s such a nuisance.”

Charlene nods as she gathers her nerve to continue the topic.  She watches as he brings the goblet to his lips.  “I understand you first meant to…dispose of her.  Why?”

Jalmari lowers the goblet after taking a swallow.  “Her kind is not supposed to live.  Vampires are a nephilim-human hybrid.  Which makes traditional reproduction…difficult.  Those of us who are fertile sometimes have human offspring who carry the nephilim genes but not enough to be considered a vampire.  They’re destroyed to make sure they cannot grow up and reproduce and spread the gene.  It would cause havoc if the humans learned about us this way.  But many vampires have hidden their children, turning them into vampires through bite or simply sending them away as human orphans to grown up ignorant of their heritage.  It’s illegal but some do it anyway.  Ema is one such creature.  Her entire family shouldn’t have survived this long.”

“What made her so special that you spared her and welcomed her to your home?”

“It wasn’t by choice.”  He pauses to take another sip.  “I was ordered against my wishes to let her live…for now…”

She scrunches her cheek.  “I know you didn’t sire her.  How in the world did she turn into one of you?”

“That is something I am still trying to figure out.  She carries a small trace of the nephilim gene, of course, but she was most definitely human.  She shouldn’t have changed the way she did.”

“Well, Prince Jesu seems to be taking a strong interest in her.”

“Indeed.  My brother had a premonition long ago concerning Ema.  I can only imagine he would be quite curious and taken by her existence coming to light.  He’d nearly given up hope of ever meeting her.”

Charlene picks up her copy of Dark Heirloom and sets it on her lap.  “There seems to be so much more to her showing up than anyone realizes.  What were your thoughts when you discovered her powers?”

Jalmari shifts his weight in the settee.  “Shock is the first word that comes to mind.  I am very old, as you know, and have seen vampires do a great number of magnificent and horrifying things, but…  Ema seems to have more talents at her disposal than most vampires do.  The clans all have their special talents, but Ema has talents from across the board.  She could be a very threatening weapon if she had any minuscule amount of self-control.  Fortunately for me, she doesn’t.  So taking her out should be easy.”

“Well, then what makes you want to take part in her training?  What’s it like to train such a unique vampire?”

He scowls.  “Another instruction ordered of me.  I am to play the role of her teacher for a time.  An idiotic thing to do since making her self-aware will surely cost me.  But I must admit her lessons have been…entertaining, to say the least.”

“Obviously, you two still don’t get along too well.  So why continue to seek her out?”

“She has amazing potential that is difficult to look past.  Even I understand the allure of keeping her with her level of talents, after all.  But she does not have a sire so her will is her own and I fear the risk of letting her live is too great.”

Charlene leans toward him with a grin.  “I hear you even took her to club Korento.”  Leans back, waiting for some fun information.  “Tell us about it.”

“Oh, yes.  Club Korento is a night club I own in Helsinki that serves both humans and vampires.  It’s a little experiment of sorts.  There is blood in the drinks for the vampire guests.  So far, it’s been a success and hopefully will help convince the lesser clans that co-existence is possible.  Of course, Ema didn’t enjoy it.  Her human fear keeps her from seeing us as little more than monsters.”

Charlene braces herself by setting her hands on top of the volume.  “Okay.  Apollyon.  Fill us in.”

Jalmari scowls and ponders for a bit.  “Apollyon is my father.”

“Oookay.”  Let down, by the short answer, Charlene bites her lips together, looking for the right way to phrase a question to get a real, more in-depth answer.  “It must really be hell to have the epitome of Satan hanging over you.”  She leans her head and charges forth with determination, feeling much like the paparazzi.  “How much of what you do is really you?  I mean, you love Leena.  Really love her, I can tell.  Yet, you take a personal interest in Ema?” 

Jalmari chuckles to himself, seeing how Charlene is not going to drop the subject as easily as he’d hoped. He sets down the empty chalice and moves with fluid motions to stand behind her.  His hands glide over her shoulders and he gently massages her neck, feeling her pulse.  His breath hums in rhythm to her heartbeat as dangerous fantasies fill his thoughts.  “You’re killing with these questions, Love.”

Charlene’s eyes open wide and color drains from her face.  “Oh.  Heh.”  She swallows hard and silently swears off paparazzi moves in her future interviews.  “Well, Dark Heirloom is just amazing.”  Her hands slide over the book.  “I never would have imagined such a world existed right alongside mine.”  She glances up to find his lips beside her ear.  Her heart hammers and her fingers tingle.  Her breath hitches.  “Did…did J.D. do it justice?”

“Oh, yes.” He pushes a strand of Charlene’s golden blonde hair behind her ear and lowers his voice.  “I wouldn’t choose an inadequate woman.”

Heat flushes her cheeks so fast it burns.  “Would you…”  She chokes out her words.  “…share an excerpt with us?”

He gestures to the tome so lovingly caressed in Charlene’s lap.  “You have the whole book there in your hands, Love.  Why don’t you show me your favorite scene?  Whatever it is, I’m sure J.D. won’t mind.”

Charlene looks down at the book and realized she had been stroking the cover with her tingly hands.  “Oh.”  She smiles.  “Wonderful.  Please tell me there’s more to come.”

“Of course.  Vampires don’t lack stamina.”  He winks.

Her throat dries and her voice comes out in a tiny squeak.  “Oh, God.  Um…”  She takes a deep breath to clear her thoughts.  “I meant more books.”

“There will be an entire series with me in it.”

“Wonderful!  I’ve just fallen in love with…”  Her gaze darts up to his emerald eyes and she flushes all over again.  “…you guys.”

Jalmari grins to himself.  “As have I…with my number one fan.”

Charlene pushes herself to stand and her feet wobble on the carpet.  She curses herself for wearing the dagger thin heals when she knew that she melted around Jalmari every time they met.  She slides the book on the coffee table and forces herself to move forward in a dignified manner.  “Jalmari, I can’t tell you what a pleasure it’s been to have you here.  I understand J.D. has a long month lined up to introduce Dark Heirloom to the world.” 

“Indeed she does.  I’ll leave you with a copy of her schedule.  But Charlene…” his gaze travels up and down her body, taking her in as he backs slowly toward the door, “you may call on me some time.”

The air rushes from of her lungs.  “Tra..”  She takes a deep breath and plants a congenial smile on her lips.  “Travel back to Finland safely.  I hope you’ll come back when book two, Dark Liaison, releases.”

“Of course.  Now turn on the lights, Love, before anymore vampires try to seduce you.”  He winks then shimmies and thins into a black mist passing through the closed door.


Uh, yeah.  I’m not finishing that scene.  Just know the lights promptly came on and the Stilettos went in the trash bin.  *mumbles to self as she hobbles away on her crutches*  "Why can't I heal as fast a vampires do?"


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"You're a vampire" is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland.  Unfortunately, it explains a lot.  Like why she's able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects.  What she doesn't understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers.  It's their fault she turned into one of them...right?
Jalmari's hatred for his old-man intensifies when he's ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run; there's no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture.  But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst, Ema Marx.  Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan's only savior.
The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on.  And maybe she'll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way...


Excerpt
  
I lounged on my bed with a history journal propped on the pillow and read one man’s—or rather—one vampire’s account of the Spanish Inquisition. Who would have thought the church’s conviction of vampirism held any truth? The fact that my education was a total waste wasn’t getting any easier to accept.

A soft rap on the door startled me. I stood to answer it. My skin boiled when I saw Jalmari standing on the other side.

“What do you want?” He looked better, more himself. A fresh pair of starched clothes dressed his body, his hair perfectly combed. Yet bags still puffed out from under his swollen, bloodshot eyes. Something else about his eyes was…off. I couldn’t figure out what.

“I would like to speak with you, please.” He bowed his head.

“So speak.”

He glanced at the ceiling and bit his lip. I realized then that not only were the whites of his eyes bloodshot, but flecks of crimson-red also spotted his green irises.

“Not here,” he was saying. “I’d like to take you some place more suitable.”

I couldn’t tear away from his uncomfortable gaze. The way the red bled through brought images of demons to mind. I didn’t trust him for a second. “What’s wrong with speaking here?”

Jalmari hesitated. “It was going to be a surprise. I want to take you to Club Korento, in the city.”

“Why?”

“I wanted to apologize. I promised you would be treated like a guest during your stay and thus far I have been a dreadful host. Please, allow me to make it up to you and take you out.”

Part of me wanted to go so badly. The insane part. The part that wanted to hunt and kill and rampage like a wild beast.

“I can’t go out. I’ll probably try to kill someone. Sorry, but no.” I closed the door. Jalmari walked through it, into my room. “I tried to be nice, but the truth is I’m not giving you a choice. We are going out. Here.” He tossed a piece of black satin on the bed. “I got you something to wear. You have five minutes to change.”

I growled. “Did you hear me? I’ll kill someone. I guess no one told you, but I’m extremely unruly around blood. Jesu thinks I might be part Upioran.”

A sly grin curled his pallid lips. “Then this shall be fun. Now get dressed.” He used the door to exit the room and slammed it behind him.

Fuming, I paced around, not knowing what to do. The nephilim inside bounced with excitement, wanting to be free from the limits of the island. The human part of me, whatever small trace remained, knew what a horrible idea this was. I didn’t want to screw up and hurt someone.

Yet Jalmari would probably drag me out, kicking and screaming, no matter what. I sighed. Might as well cooperate and get it over with. As I picked up the satin sheet of fabric and held it out, I realized it was a dress. A tiny little number on thin straps. My jaw fell open at the lack of length. I was a petite woman, but there was no way I could fit into this.

The tag read Gucci €1,530.00. I gasped and sank against the edge of the bed. I’ve never worn anything so unnecessary before. My body ached to feel the silky threads against it but my skin was still too numb.

I stripped and gently pulled the delicate material over my head. I tugged the zipper up and was shocked to see that it fit me perfectly, so long as I didn’t sit down. The satin hugged my slight curves and showed off my lean upper back. My heart melted between the luscious fabrics. I might never take it off.

I phased and flew into the bathroom and reappeared before the mirror. I pulled the rubber band out of my pony tail and combed my hair with my fingers until the shoulder-length black locks fell in loose waves. The darkness of my hair and the dress contrasted against my pale vampyre skin. From the backpack, I pulled out coal-black eyeliner and mascara and outlined my eyes to create a smoky cat’s-eyed look. My reflection stunned me.

My feet were the only problem. The only shoes I owned were a pair of scuffed moccasins. I felt silly but saw no other choice than to go out barefoot.

Taking a deep breath, I opened the door and stepped into the living room. Jalmari and Jesu sat opposite each other. As I entered, both men glanced up. Jesu’s jaw went slack. Jalmari grinned as though he approved. He stood and dangled a pair of black high-heels on the tip of his finger.

I looked at my feet, feeling sheepish and uncomfortable. I tried to tug the hem of the dress down an inch, but then the top lowered, showing enough cleavage to make everyone in the room blush.

“This dress is too small,” I whispered while avoiding Jalmari’s gaze.

“Nonsense.” His grin widened. “You look spectacular.”

Jesu swallowed hard and stood, his eyes wide and lingering.

“Are you coming with us?” I asked him. He shook his head. I breathed a sigh of disappointment, not wanting to be alone with Jalmari. I almost begged him to come.

“Your shoes.” Jalmari held them out impatiently.

I winced. “I can’t. I’m afraid to bend over.”

Jalmari snickered while bending on one knee. “Not to worry, my lady.”

Heat rushed to my cheeks as he gently wrapped a hand around my ankle and lifted my bare leg while placing the shoe over my foot. I glanced at Jesu whose jaw and fists were clenched tight. He pulled one fist back, slowly, as though he was thinking about punching something.

“Why don’t you invite Leena? We could make it a double date.”

“No,” Jalmari snapped as he fastened the last shoe over my foot. He glowered, warning me not to argue.

“It was just a suggestion.” Well, I tried. I wasn’t getting out of this one. Maybe, with any luck, I could get Jalmari drunk enough to answer my questions. “How will we get there?”

He grinned. “We’ll fly, of course. It’s the fastest way to get to Helsinki. Are you ready?”

I glanced at Jesu one last time, pleading with my eyes. Please save me. Jalmari was the last person I wanted to go to a nightclub with.

Jesu hesitated. He placed a hand on his brother’s arm. “Jalmari, I swear, if you—”

“Not to worry, brother, I’ll have her home and safe before sunrise.”

Jesu backed away. The corners of his mouth fell and he didn’t say anything else.

“Shall we?” Jalmari held out his arm. Sighing, I took it. Before I knew what happened, we phased and flew at top speed. Reflexively, I tried to gasp, but breathing was impossible as a phantom. I reminded myself not to panic. We were just flying very, very fast. I relaxed and concentrated on propelling myself forward.

Something wasn’t right. Some invisible force gripped tightly to my molecules and pulled me through space at the speed of light. Jalmari’s energy suffocated me in overwhelming heat. I realized it was him holding on to me while we phased. 

Jalmari let go of my molecules, became solid, and landed on his feet. I did the same, faltering a bit from the dizzying speed. I leaned against a brick wall to steady myself. Two buildings stretched several stories tall stood on both sides of us, creating a narrow alley blanketed in dark shadows.

I snickered. “Isn’t this where we met?”





Dark Heirloom Tour Schedule:
(Details can be also be found on J.D. Brown’s website at http://authorjdbrown.com/events)

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Visit the other A-Z blogs!  You can find the entire list of participating blogs by clicking  HERE or you can click on the A to Z images to go to the official A to Z blog site. 

And now...

I’m running a contest through the A-Z blog hop! 




~ Giveaway ~

I have 14 fantastic books, all by talented authors.  Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance, and Contemporary are among the genres that can be won.  I created a special page to display them.  You can check them out here:



You can enter by using the Rafflecopter below.  The form not only allows you to enter the drawing, it gives you several ways to earn more than one entry.  Enter each day if you wish.

All entrants must be 18 years or older.  

Three winners will be chosen at random, using Random.com.  
  • First place will receive 6 titles
  • Second and Third places receive 4 titles   



**Note**  Some of the books contain graphic adult situations.  If you do NOT want to receive Erotic Romance books, please note so with your entry.   
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once the winners are chosen, I will notify them and contact the respective authors.  Your email will only be shared with the authors to allow them to send you your prize.  Each author generously provided their work for you to enjoy.  I do not own these books.


On that note, I'd like to thank each of the authors that donated titles for this contest.  Without you, I couldn't have offered such a wonderful giveaway!











Until next time, may your dreams be magical.  
      Charlene




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6 comments:

J. D. Brown said...

Charlene, Jalmari and I wanted to thank you for having us on your lovely blog today. Thanks so much for the fun interview. I'm excited to see who wins Dark Heirloom and hope the lucky reader enjoys it.

~ J.D. Brown

Charlene A. Wilson said...

It's great to have you both here. *wink* I know the winner will love it. :)

Sharon Hamilton said...

Charlene, you sly fox. This is a proper R post!!
Thanks for the afternoon delight, J.D. Talented beyond measure - both of you!

J. D. Brown said...

Sharon, thanks so much. :)

Charlene A. Wilson said...

Aww, thanks Sharon. I know I've been stretching the A-Z's letter meanings. Lol but, you know...

Thanks for stopping by. :) We had fun.

Imagination Station said...

AWESOME!!
I hope I win
imagination_station@aol.com
And
lively_muzna@hotmail.com