Brush Your Fangs, and Other Vampire Mom Advice
Okay, maybe my vampires don’t really tell their children to go brush their fangs (well, Jessica from I’m the Vampire, That’s Why does, because she thinks it’s funny). But they do have to deal with the day to day parental hassles of raising their offspring with a little twist … they’re undead. Um, the moms and dads, that is. The kids are mortal, alive and breathing, and learning to live with parents who can lift a couch one-handed and vacuum underneath it.
Sticking to a night schedule is something of a pain in the neck (har, vampire humor). Not to mention the blood diet, the potential danger of large, sharp objects, and oh yeah, people generally don’t like vampires. Not even mom vampires. I think it’s the whole “you can drink my blood and mesmerize me into doing the chicken dance.” It’s too easy to post that crap on YouTube, you know.
Writing about single parents turned into bloodsucking fiends is a lot of fun. It’s an interesting take on the world of vampires, mixing the mundane with the fantastical. Can you imagine having the ability to bash through walls, or wield an awesome power like tossing fireballs, but at the end of the night, you’re still the one loading the dishwasher?
I guess the (un)life of the immortal undead isn’t always as fun as one might think, especially when you’re a parent. Of course, baring your fangs and letting your eyes go red while telling your children to clean their rooms now certainly can motivate far better than a timeout. Just sayin’.
EXCERPT FROM CROSS YOUR HEART
The rain dampened my senses, but I could still hear something big moving in the woods.
Most large animals in Broken Heart were shifters. A security lycan wouldn’t try to hide its
presence from me. Another series of cat yowls interrupted my ruminations.
I didn’t know what was going on, all that my instincts were screaming at me to get going.
I hurried to the path, but my foot caught on debris, and I tripped.
Oh, perfect. I landed on my side, splashing into an icy puddle. I spit out the nasty water
as the skull rolled out of my grasp. I really was the heroine in a horror movie, waiting for the
axe-wielding maniac to cut me down. What kind of moron left the safety of her home to follow a ghostly voice to a grave? At night? In a bloody storm?
So long as I was making idiotic choices, I decided I wouldn’t leave the woods without the
skull. I needed something to show for my efforts, and by God, the woman deserved whatever
closure I could give her. I saw my ghoulish prize at the edge of the path, lodged into a scraggly
bush. I crawled to it and yanked it out. Then I rose unsteadily to my feet, triumphant.
A cat, and my goodness was that an understatement, crouched on the path four or five feet away from me. He, and I could help but think of it as “he,” was massive. He had sleek black fur and green-gold eyes. He growled; a warning to me to stay put, or so I assumed. It wasn’t as if I could move. Be calm, Elizabeth. A shifter, I hoped. Otherwise, I would have to believe a jaguar had been living in Broken Heart without anyone noticing. His muscles rippled under that glorious coat as he moved into a pouncing stance.
His unstaring gaze looked beyond me, his nostrils flaring.
Fear pulsed through me, but I couldn’t get my legs to move. Even if I could, I knew I could run faster than him, but not in the woods. There were too many obstacles. I took an
unsteady step back, and he yowled.
The rain pounded me. My nightgown was plastered against me, offering no shield, no warmth. My toes sunk into the slick, cold mud. My hair lashed my face and neck.
Seconds ticked by.
The dawn was coming—I could feel it in my waning strength and rising panic. I had to either risk the jag’s attack or risk roasting in the sunlight.
The cat roared: a terrible, fierce sound that sliced right through me.
Something hard smacked me on the back of the head.
Pain spiked all the way down my spine, and I went down to my knees, my gaze on the beautiful, angry jag.
He tore down the path toward me.
My vision grayed as I fell forward.
The cat launched over me, and I marveled at his grace, at the power he so wonderfully
exhibited. He knocked something, no, someone, over, and I heard sounds of struggle.
Then I passed out.
“Lady? Aw, hell. C’mon, sweetheart. Wake up.”
As I assimilated the unfamiliar male voice, I felt the sting of a light slap on my cheek. My eyes flew open.
“Stop that immediately!” I demanded.
His hazel eyes widened, and then he grinned. “No problem, princess. You wanna get up now?”
“Certainly.” I took his proffered hand and struggled to my feet. I felt dizzy and lightheaded.
It had stopped raining, although the sky rumbled ominously. “Where’s my skull?”
“Attached to your neck.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I snapped. “I mean the one I dropped.”
One brown eyebrow winged upward. I realized several important things right then. One, I
didn’t know this man. Two, he was quite handsome, with skin the color of caramel, and three, he was unaccountably naked and very, very well built.
And endowed by the gods.
Did I just look at his … his … package? Embarrassment shot through me, and I averted my gaze. Ah. I spotted the skull grinning up at me from a shallow puddle. I scooped it up, and turned to the gorgeous nude man. For a moment, I couldn’t get my throat to work. Finally, I managed a crisp: “Thank you for your assistance.”
I marched away.
“You’re welcome,” he said lazily. “Anything else I can … assist you with?”
His sensually charged question nearly made me trip again. What the—really? Sexual
innuendoes now? And why did I feel like my cheeks had been dipped in lava? Vampires didn’t
I stopped, and turned to glare at him. “Are you a nudist?” I asked in a frosty tone.
“With the right person.”
His gaze let me know that I could be the right person. Was he insane? I was muddy, my hair was a mess, and my clothing … oh! I looked down and it was exactly as I feared. My satin
nightgown was plastered to my body, outlining every curve and showcasing my turgid nipples.
Oh, sweet heaven. If I waited long enough, maybe lightning would strike me.
I felt suddenly woozy, and for a moment, I wondered if the man had rendered me nigh
unconscious with his virility. Then I realized that was not the case at all. Sunrise.
Michele is generously offering a $25 Amazon certificate to one lucky winner who answers the question: If you were undead, what advice (or command!) would you give your children? Or who comments in some other way on her post. The contest will close at midnight tonight and the winner will be announced tomorrow on this thread.