Happy New Year, friends! I don’t know about you, but I honestly can’t think of a better way to start the year than with a bit of…blood and wine! Yes, this is me, seriously missing my vampires. I think I’ve been lost in the land of contemporary fiction for way toooo long, and it’s time to sink my teeth back into my beloved blood suckers. Luckily for me, I’ve got a excerpt from a new novel from author Amber Belldene that sounds like it will instantly bring me back to the fangtastic world of fangbanging. Let’s see what we’ve got!
After a shower, she stood before the mirror on her closet door, wrapped in her towel, and looked closely at her face. Thirty-one, and it showed in the laugh lines at the edges of her eyes, from all the laughing she didn’t do, and the tiny creases around her mouth. She didn’t mind. They were a badge of honor.
I’ve survived. Four years alone, and no more visits to the hospital, to boot. If those signs of age and an ill-advised affair were the worst she had to show, then she was going to kick thirty-one’s ass.
In the apartment below, the radio played some dance music. Her toe tapped to the beat. She unwrapped her black wool skirt from its dry cleaner’s plastic and slipped it on. The lining felt cool against her thighs and she rubbed her legs together to enjoy the satin’s softness as she peered into the closet. Running her finger over blouses in various shades of white, ivory and gray, she picked one that looked crisp and professional, but comfortable enough for a car ride. As she pulled out the shirt, she stuck to her daily ritual, and squeezed her eyes shut. She was always careful not to look behind the curtain of hanging clothes, to where the skeletons hid in her closet.
Finally, she held up two pairs of shoes. The pumps were better for kicking ass. But she was going to a winery, so the kitten heels were probably more practical. Plus, they were red and it was her birthday. So what if she wasn’t having a party. Slipping them on, she clicked them together like Dorothy and headed for the door.
In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.
When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?
Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.
His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind?
Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.
With a B.A. in comparative religion and an M.A. in theology, Amber is a Christian minister and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to Amber. She believes the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that desire.
Amber is addicted to vampire stories, but loves to read all kinds of romance and literature. Her favorite books examine history and cultural origins, like Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, or Salmon Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. And, yes, she was named after that Amber, of the classic romance novel Forever Amber.
From the wine country of Sonoma County to the foggy neighborhoods of San Francisco, all of Amber’s fiction is set in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children.