Today we have delightful romance author Sandra Hill here on our blog. I’ve enjoyed her works in the past and I think you will too. She’s provided us with a little about her new book, EVEN VAMPIRES GET THE BLUES, and I hope you’ll find it interesting.
Even Vampires Get the Blues
A Deadly Angels Book
New York Times bestselling author Sandra Hill delivers a sizzling new entry in her Deadly Angels series, as a Viking vangel’s otherworldly mission teams him with a Navy SEAL who’s more than his match-she’s his predestined mate . . .
The fact that vampire angel Harek Sigurdsson was a Norseman in his mortal life doesn’t make thawing out after exile in Siberia any easier. But things heat up when his search for evil Lucipires connects him with Camille Dumaine, a human who thrums with sensual energy that can mean only one thing: she’s the mate Harek’s been seeking for centuries. . .
The SEALs call her “Camo” for her ability to blend into a crowd-yet Harek’s intense blue gaze singles Camille out like a white-hot spotlight. The security wiz was hired to help bring down a ruthless band of international kidnappers, but Camille senses an unspoken agenda-besides Harek’s bold declaration that she’s his “destiny”. Just Camille’s luck that the sexiest man she’s ever met may also be …a vampire!
Everything he touched turned to gold, or leastways a considerable profit, and thank the gods for that, because Harek Sigurdsson was a brilliant Viking with an insatiable hunger for wealth and all its trappings.
It didn’t matter that he had vast holdings in the Norselands, an estate in Northumbria, several hirds of warriors who served under him when called to battle by one grab-land king or another (Harek was a much-sought battle strategist), amber fields in the Baltics, trading stalls in the marketplaces of Hedeby, Kaupang, and the Coppergate section of Jorvik, a fleet of twelve longships and two knarrs, and numerous chests filled with coins, jewels, and rare spices. It was never enough! Not to mention three wives and six concubines … or was it seven?
Not that he wanted or needed any more wives or concubines. Like many Viking men (hah! men of all lands, truth to tell), he was betimes guided by a body rudder known for its lackwittedness when it fancied a woman. The Wise Ones had the right of it when they proclaimed: A cock has no brain. Well, at the ripe old age of twenty and nine, he had finally taken a sip from Odin’s famed well of knowledge. In future, when he came upon a comely
woman, he would bed her, not wed her, then send her on her merry way with a pat on the rump and a pouch of gold coins. Cheaper that way and lots less trouble!
Harek had just completed a meeting with Toriq Haraldsson, his agent here in Hedeby. Toriq had once been a hersir overseeing Harek’s Norse housecarls. Unfortunately, the fierce swordsman had lost an arm in battle. Harek had no qualms about hiring the handicapped man as his business representative. Loyalty and honesty were more important in that role than fighting skills. Besides, Toriq had once saved Harek’s life in battle at a time when Harek had been young and not yet so adept in fighting. A berserk Dane had been about to lop off Harek’s very head. Suffice it to say, the wergild for a highborn man’s head was enormous.
As they walked side by side on the raised plank walkways that crisscrossed the busy market center, men and women alike glanced their way, not just because of their impressive Norse height and finely sculpted features. Their attire—fur-lined cloaks, gold brooches fastening shoulder mantles, soft leather half boots—could support a tradesman’s family for years.
Unaware or uncaring of the attention, Toriq scowled and grumbled under his breath. Toriq was not happy with Harek today.
“Spit it out, man. What troubles you?”
“This latest venture of yours … it ill-suits a man of your stature,” Toriq said, but then he had to step aside to accommodate a crowd that had gathered to watch a craftsman blowing blue glass into a pitcher. Other artisans were hammering gold and silver into fine jewelry. In fact, Harek noticed an etched armband he might purchase later. In other stalls, workers could be seen carving wood and ivory, or firing clay pots in kilns behind the trading tables.
Hedeby was an exciting city, always something going on. To Harek, the bustle of commerce, the sounds of money being made, were like music to the ears. There wasn’t anything that couldn’t be purchased here, from the prized walrus rope that was cut in a single spiral strip from shoulder to tail, to—well—to his latest venture.
“Harek Sigurdsson!” a male voice yelled out of the mist, so loud that Harek jerked into a sitting position on the pallet in the alcove of his enclosed space and almost rolled off to the floor. He blinked and tried to see the hazy blur standing in the open doorway leading to the longship’s deck. The only light came from the full moon outside.
He stood, and at first he was disoriented. Who wouldn’t be with a head the size of a wagon wheel, with what felt like a battle-axe imbedded in his skull?
A man … He could swear it was a man he saw standing there, and yet at the same time, there was no one there. Just a swirling fog.
“Who goes there?” he yelled out, thinking it must be one of the crew stationed on board overnight.
Now he was starting to be annoyed. “Present yourself, man, or suffer the consequences.”
No one answered. Good thing, because he realized he had no weapon in hand. Should he grab a knife? What kind of weapon did one use with a ghost? Would a blade even suffice?
He shook his head to clear it, to no avail. He was still under the influence of ale. Or something.
He could see clearer now, and it was a tall, dark-haired man wearing a long gown in the Arab style who beckoned him outside. The gown in itself was not so unusual but the broadsword he held easily in one hand was, especially since it was his own pattern-welded blade. Then, there were the huge white wings spread out from his back.
What? Wings? Huh? It couldn’t be possible. He closed his eyes and looked again. Definitely wings.
Was it even a man? Or some kind of bird?
He had heard of shivering men suffering from wild dreams of writhing snakes or even fire-breathing dragons, but usually it was men trying to wean themselves away from years of the addictive brews or opium. Harek rarely drank to excess and never had an interest in the poppy seed.
But Harek had a more important issue at the moment. His bladder was so full he would be pissing from his ears if he didn’t soon relieve himself. Making his way through the now empty doorway, he staggered over to the rail. Undoing the laces on his braies, he released himself and let loose a long stream of urine. When he was done—shaking his cock clean, then tucking it back into his braies—he breathed a sigh of relief, then belched. Which was a mistake. His breath was enough to gag a maggot.
Which cleared his head enough to let him know he still had company. The man-bird stood there, scowling at him with contempt. The wings were folded so that he could scarce tell they were there.
“Who … what are you?”
“Michael. The Archangel.”