Happy Halloween, dear readers!
Alas, it is the LAST DAY to enter the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challenge, but you have until midnight to submit you entry and win that iPad4 - or just jump into the fun of a literary Scavenger Hunt! - and at a special savings! Pulse and Prejudice is still available from Secret Cravings Store at a 25% off Discount! Just use Promo Code Paranormal25 when placing your orders by October 31st.
Now the discount is only available through the Secret Cravings Store, but of course Pulse and Prejudice is available in paperback, eBook, and even Audiobook through all the major outlets (just click here) or order from your favourite bookstore.
All throughout Pulse and Prejudice - the paranormal adaptation Jane Austen's classic, which retells the story from Mr. Darcy's point of view as a vampire - you will find references to film, music, and literature I have enjoyed over the years, all of which are listed on the Acknowledgements page. Even if you are not participating in the contest, you will have fun looking for these little tidbits strewn about the prose.
The Last Clue can be found on my special Halloween Post on Austen Authors, which I have posted below.
Happy Halloween - and happy hunting!
Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. As a child, I always loved deciding who I wanted to "be" (although I did have to try to explain who I was the year I dressed up as Mary Hartman - I was a strange kid). In college, the night to celebrate was always the Saturday before Halloween because, up until a few years ago, that night the clocks changed back and the bars all stayed open an hour longer, so everyone would dress up that night, and you would find me at a dance club as Madonna. Then we LSU students got to celebrate again on Halloween at the famous Carlotta Street Block Party, where you would find me dressed as Madonna.
My own children could come up with some rather creative costumes for me to sew for them, most of which - like the Statue of Liberty or the year my youngest wanted to be a turtle - I did without a pattern. Now on Halloween, my husband and I turn off the front porch light and hope that no one rings the bell and sends our dog into fits of barking. (If you read Pulse and Prejudice, I based the dog Amadeus on him, and his ear-splitting bark was no exaggeration.)
Having written a vampire adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, I thought I should offer a scary excerpt for my Halloween post, but I hate spoiling scenes for my readers - especially any intended to make you get goosebumps. So instead, I am sharing an excerpt from the sequel to Pulse and Prejudice, my current work in progress Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth.
Today is also the last day to submit your entry for the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challenge; hence, I am offering a final clue here on Austen Authors: The scene in the gaming hell when Darcy meets the dwarf is my tribute to TWO of David Lynch's creations. If you can figure them and the other pop culture references out, you have until midnight to submit your entry.
Now the dwarf plays a significant but small (no pun intended) role in Pulse and Prejudice, but you will see a lot more of him in the sequel.Oh, and I also decided to make him Lutheran. In this scene from Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth, after a day of shopping, the newlywed Mrs. Darcy returns home to find herself confronted by this strange man who knows far too much about Darcy's dark secret. Fortunately, our erudite Elizabeth can hold her own in a battle of words - and wills - when it comes to defending her vampire husband. Although perhaps not frightful, here is a little bite to give you a taste of what is to come...
A scene from Chapter XIV of Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth
Once they were alone, the dwarf nodded towards the settee, inviting her to sit as if he were the host.
She took her seat and smoothed her skirts and steadied herself sufficiently until she could speak with ease. “Would you like some coffee?” Her voice rang of the absurdity of such folderol in these circumstances. “Tea?” He waved off her suggestion. “You say you knew Wickham. Then you know he was killed in battle.”
The dwarf kept his hands tight on the arms of the chair, and his feet just touched the floor. He gave her a sidelong glance as if assessing her credulity. “Weekhaum…died years ago, but he walks with the leeving in New Orleenz.”
Her chest rose and held onto a sharp intake of air. “How would you know such a thing?”
“Aye…am…dhampir. Do you know what this is, dhampir?”
She tried to swallow but found her mouth too parched. She should have rung for tea. “Yes. Your father is…”
For a moment, her mind fixated on which, if either, of his parents had been a dwarf; and she almost laughed aloud at the irony of his parentage. He lacked only a fairy godmother and a leprechaun uncle to complete his Grimm tale.
He continued. “Dhampir have…special gifts for hunting vampire.”
“And you are hunting Wickham?”
He scrunched his face and shook his head. “Aye tell the man you call husband it is his duty to find Weekham. He must go.”
“To New Orleans?”
With a nod, he said, “He says he weel not go. He says he weel not leave you. That is why I come to you.”
“I do not wish my husband to leave. Neither do I desire Wickham’s return. He mistreated my sister. What am I to do on the occasion? It seems a hopeless business.”
“You know…you must leave heem. Go home, Miss Bennet. Go to your father.”
“You mean Mrs. Darcy.” Her temper pricked, her words came out in clipped syllables. “Pray, why would I leave my husband?”
“This man you call husband…is damned. He is the white devil…a glittering Satan.”
“I think you received these ideas in your pipe dreams. My husband does not glitter!”
“Vampire is against the weel of God. To live without life, to crave blood…this is eevel. Perverted tastes. This is from Satan.”
Cold fingers of truth gripped her heart and squeezed, pulling the blood from her face. The dwarf had confirmed her fear. I am wicked.
“In all he does, he is the very opposite of Christ… as befits a true Antichrist. Hees soul weel burn een hell for eternity.”
She ground her teeth and clenched her fists, disturbed by how much this strange man knew of her husband and what he purported to know. She refused to be intimidated, and her stubborn courage rose.
“Pray, how could an immortal burn in hell?”
“Even…the living dead can be destroyed. Come Judgment Day, hees soul weel be resurrected…returned to hees body in shame and everlasting torment. The day to judge the living and the dead, but they are not alive nor dead. Judgment has been passed on their souls.”
“Did Colonel Fitzwilliam send you? Do you mean to frighten me?”
He studied her with his squinty eyes, his lips receding into a firm frown. “No. In lying fashion, you ignore…what even children know. Aye see your life is too brief to have worth. Aye come to save the innocent – Weeckhaum’s prey.”
She released a humourless laugh. “You are one of those deceitful people who affect modesty but who meanwhile breathe out threats and blood. My life has no worth?”
“So long as you….remain weeth heem, you walk a razor’s edge with death; but I seee you are under his power.”
“As is any woman under the power and control of her husband. If you suppose anything more, you quite mistake the matter.”
“The vampire…he has powers of attraction.”
“Oh, indeed! For what else would a rich, intelligent, handsome man have to recommend him?” She stood and strode towards the door. “Say what you must and go, though you do nothing with all your profusion of words but fight a fire with dry straw. I will not leave my husband.”
He jumped down from the chair and followed her. “He is not your husband. Think! Think of your vows. Death do you part. So long as you both shall live. He does not live! He made a hollow vow.”
Near the door, she swerved around and stared down at the man and spoke with venom. “Now see here, you vicious little gnome!”
“Aye am…not a gnome; I am a dwarf.”
“But of course! You haven’t a hat! And I believe there are some height restrictions as well! You do nothing but shout, ‘Anathema, anathema, anathema!’ so that by your own voice you are judged mad.” She shook her head and coughed out a laugh. “You are not a gnome; he is not a husband; I am not his wife. Then pray, what am I?”
“You are the prostitute of heretics! Lucifer’s leman!” He fixed his eyes upon her with derision. “You are the devil’s concubine.”
At his confident pronouncement, her blood turned to ice then began to boil. “You, sir, have insulted me in every way imaginable – and unimaginable!” She jerked the door open and stormed out of the room. “Consider this your congé. Seward! Call for Rivens.”
“There is no need, madam. Aye bid you farewell.”
Again he offered her a deep bow and, upon straightening, said, “You may tell Darcee…you are not with child.” He held her with his stare. “May the Lord protect me and all devout souls from your contagion and your company.”Then he turned and hobbled through the front door and disappeared into the night.
There is no purchase necessary to enter or win, so feel free to borrow a copy from a friend or the library - although I'm sure you will want your own ;) . Just don't use a pirated copy, or you will be disqualified.
But time is running out! Submit your contest entry to: email@example.com by midnight October 31st, 2013.
I have already given away several hints, so be sure to Follow this blog or "Like" my Facebook Author Page. For complete contest rules and more information, please go to PulseandPrejudice.com. Good luck - and have fun!
Only open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 and older at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where otherwise prohibited by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING; HOWEVER, ANYONE USING A PIRATED COPY OF PULSE AND PREJUDICE WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. For complete contest rules and more information, please refer to the Contest Rules link on PulseandPrejudice.com.
Pulse and Prejudice – A tale of love, blood, and desire; the definitive vampire adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.
This compelling paranormal adaptation of Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. Darcy, vampire, as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.
Available Now in Print, eBook, and audiobook!