Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour: Guest post, excerpt & GIVEAWAY

BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde
by Ash Krafton
Format: Paperback, 370 pages and ebook
Published March 15th 2012 by Pink Narcissus Press (first published March 12th 2012)
Blurb: Saving the world one damned person at a time—shy advice columnist-turned-oracle must find a way to save her dangerous demivampire lover from the fate that threatens each of his race: evolution and the destruction of his soul.

When advice columnist Sophie meets dark and alluring Marek, she learns life-changing secrets about them both—he’s a demivampire struggling to avoid evolution and she’s an empathic oracle destined to save him. Sophie possesses the rare ability to reduce the spiritual damage that causes a demivamp to Fall, making her the only thing that stands between a DV and evolution. However, as Marek's dangerous past propels him toward his desperate fate, his enemies make darker plans for him: once vampire, powerful Marek would be second only to the Master himself. The vamps want to cause Marek's Fall and they intend to use Sophie to do it....

Guest Post: Panic at the Demivamp Disco

I'm thrilled to be hosted by the Reader Girls today!

My debut urban fantasy BLEEDING HEARTS was released on March 15, 2012 and currently I'm on a virtual book tour. I appreciate the chance to introduce my book to the Reader Girls readers—and give everyone a chance to win something. (I like prizes as much as I like books!)

I've been thinking about which excerpt I'd share today and it wasn't an easy task. Should I offer a glimpse of my demivamps? Should I tease with a peek at Sophie and Marek's attraction to each other? Should I introduce the other players in my Demimonde?

Eventually, I took a step back and considered the great blog that offered to host me. This is a FAMILY blog—so what better excerpt than the scene that my own sister liked the best?

The excerpt: 
Circling wide around the seating level, I surveyed the scene. The ring of booths and tables sat four wide steps higher than the round dance floor. Smart, I thought, since part of going dancing was sitting and watching, scoping out likely prey. 

Eh, wrong choice of words. I swallowed against a dry spot in my throat.

A group of young women got up from a nearby booth and started down the steps. Flashes of colors glinted in more than one set of eyes as they glanced around. Spotting me, they waved at me to join them.

I didn’t really want to, but as far as I understood Marek’s intentions, I had to mingle with the DV. One of these girls might be his niece or cousin. I couldn’t risk insulting anyone by being standoffish. If my lack of grace embarrassed them, so be it.

Turned out, it wasn’t so bad. The sociable girls didn’t act like silly kids, which in turn didn’t make me feel like nursing home fodder. I discovered I could actually move despite the fantastic shoes I wore, and, even more surprisingly, I enjoyed myself.

Our little group expanded a little at a time and new people mingled through. As the songs changed, so did the crowd. By the third song, I realized one of the newcomers seemed intent on dancing with me. Alone.

He was roughly my height and had short dark blond hair ruffled up in tousled waves and soft spikes. A mischievous grin was framed by a devilish goatee, and he danced like a show-off. I brushed him off with a small shake of my head. I didn’t want a partner.

Instead of moving on, he changed tactics to keep my attention. He’d dance mockingly behind someone else’s back, smoothly switching moves if they’d turn around and spot him. The other girls caught on, giggling and pointing out suggestions for his next target. He’d stop just as they turned around to see the commotion behind them.

Eventually, his luck ran out and, needless to say, the victim wasn’t as amused as we were. Grabbing the imp by his collar and his belt, the offended man hoisted him easily over his head and threatened to toss him up over the booths. The girls rushed to the rogue’s aid, pleading for his release even as he laughed and dangled upside down over us.

“For a price,” he said. “Since you deprive me of sport.”

“Name it,” I said boldly.

“You’ll dance with me.” He stared right into my eyes.

His own eyes remained dark. Since they didn’t flash or glow, I agreed. I was “marked” and he kept his fangs hidden. What’s the harm? “I’ll dance. Just—set him down already. He’s looking down my friend’s shirt.”

“Damn!” The troublemaker’s voice was drowned out by the girl’s indignant shriek as she tried to jump up and club him. He didn’t look like he suffered too much, considering the jumping animated her cleavage.

“On second thought, maybe he’s safer up there...” I grinned up at him as he tried to fend off several well-aimed swats.

“Think so?” Mr. Muscles set the kid down as if he were a marshmallow. Still gripping him by the collar, he growled into the younger man’s face “Perhaps you’ll find a worse fate in her hands, terrifying little thing she is.”

“Thanks a bunch, Tanner!” The little demon yelped as he took off, Chesty Girl in hot pursuit. Her friends rolled their eyes as if they’d seen it all before.

I tried not to stare slack-jawed at Tanner. I couldn’t get over these muscles. Marek hadn’t lied when he said the DV had accelerated strength. It was obscene.

“Now we dance.” He drew me away from the rest of the girls. The beat picked up with the next song and, lights flashing above and below, the crowd bounced along.

Tanner must have been born to dance. He glided and rolled with a fluidity I’d never seen. At one point I tried to imagine Marek dancing but laughed and gave up.

Marek could move but not as serpentine-like as this guy. Tanner was a preternatural John Travolta a la Saturday Night Fever, right down to the dark wavy locks and hairy chest peeking out of his open collar.

Gradually, the beat relented, winding its way down into a slow song. Not wanting to close-dance, I smiled a Thanks-and-So-Long smile. Tanner blinked lazily and grabbed my hand, tugging me off the floor.

“Let’s go shoot some pool.” His white teeth, straight and non-pointy, glinted strangely under the black lights. Climbing the steps out of the bowl, he tugged me toward the hall that led to other parts of the club.

I didn’t want to but I was here to mingle at Marek’s command. Reluctantly, I nodded my head and tried to look like I thought it was a great idea.

The hallway leading to the pool room was crowded with snoodling couples and laughing girls. Tanner draped his arm around my shoulders and squeezed us through. His hands were getting too nosy and I had to keep moving them out of forbidden territories. I hated grabby guys and he was definitely grabby. Wishing I had my cell phone, I began planning a polite escape.

Halfway through the hall Tanner drifted toward a corner. When he nuzzled my neck I put both hands on his chest and pushed him away. “Thanks, but I’m not interested.”

“Yes, you are. I can smell it.” He grabbed my arm and pushed me back against the wall, pressing against me and shoving his face close to mine “You aren’t going anywhere without me. What I want can happen right here.”

Apparently, I thought with disgust. I shoved him with effort. “Get off me, creep, or I’ll scream.”

Rubbing against me, he laughed. “Go ahead.”

I screamed. B-movie perfect every time.

Every girl around me screamed back, playful, mocking, echoing it and canceling it out. No one moved to stop him. My mouth hung open in dismay as I wildly scanned the disinterested crowd. No one looked. No one cared.

“I love vamp security.” Tanner growled, showing teeth. He darted his head down for a kiss, hard and rude.

Twisting my head away I slapped him, the snap of the impact hurting my hand.

“Do it again.” He slitted his eyes. “I’ll bite you so hard you’ll wish you woke up dead.”

“As if. You can’t turn me vamp. I’m not stupid.” I pushed my way past and he stood his ground, forcing me to slide against him.

He caught me around my waist and wrenched me back, thumping me into the wall.

"Neither am I.” He grabbed my jaw and twisted my head up, forcing me to look at his face. His eyes were wolfy, the color of burned oranges and Autumn rust. "I'm Were." 

When my sister Jenny told me this was her favorite part, I just had to find out why. I mean, Tanner was a sleaze. There weren't any Demivamp hotties to be found. Why this one? 

"Because," she said. "This was the part where I knew I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it." 

Thank God she told me this over the phone...I 'm glad she couldn't see me blush. How cool is that? My kid sister told me I'd hooked her with my book. It was a page-turner. It was consuming. I kinda teared up a little bit. 

Sure, it was my sister, but you should know my sister has always been a dead-on critic for me. Sisterly rivalry or whatever, she never sugar-coated anything. Growing up, we had our share of battles (including the time she locked herself in my car because she nailed me with a telephone receiver and figured I'd kill her as soon as I got up off the ground.) Ah, the thrills of sibling friction… 

However, we had more good days than bad and we've grown to care about and respect each other very much. To hear that my big-shot executive sister likes my book and is hoping to beta read the sequel…well, it's a proud moment. 

Part of me still hopes the world will fall in love with my story (hey, I'm a writer. I dream big!) but most of me is satisfied that the friends and family I hold nearest and dearest have enjoyed reading BLEEDING HEARTS. 

And yeah, my mom likes it, too…but she was a little bit more free with her "helpful suggestions". Her biggest one was: does Sophie have to be so sarcastic? I think my mom misses yelling at her mouthy teen-aged daughter J I better get her in on the beta reads, too! 

GIVEAWAY: Thanks for having me, Reader Girls! 

To show my appreciation, I'd like to give one of our readers a chance to win an autographed copy of BLEEDING HEARTS as well as a gorgeous "Bleeding Hearts" necklace from the Victorian Trading Company. Just leave a comment for us and you'll be entered to win. (Please make sure you leave your email address.)

I'd also like to let everyone know that the Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour will continue until April 14, 2012. The tour dates can be found here.  Be sure to check out the other stops along the tour for other posts about Bleeding Hearts and be sure to enter the huge end-of-tour prize package here

Good luck to everyone who enters and thanks for celebrating my new book with me. 

About the author: 
Ash Krafton's work has appeared in several journals, including the Absent Willow Review, Abandoned Towers, and Silver Blade. Ms. Krafton resides in the heart of the Pennsylvania coal region and is an active member of Pennwriters, a national writers group. She lurks near the Spec Fic Chick website and is looking forward to the release of her first novel, Bleeding Hearts.

Author links: 

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. Wow! Great and sexy excerpt! I agree with your sister - definitely has my interest in reading more! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I loved the excerpt!

    Thanks so much!

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  3. I can't wait to read this book!!!! Thank you for the fab giveaway.


  4. My younger brother is my biggest critique partner so I know when he praises me its worth something. This excerpt was great and she's right- totally has me hooked.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  5. I loved the excerpt! Your sister was right because I have to know what happens next! And I know exactly what you mean about little sisters, it's like an OMG moment when they praise you for anything but those are pretty rare. I actually just got done yelling at my little sister and her boyfriend for drinking all of the cold pop lol Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Sounds really good. Cant wait to read more.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  7. BLEEDING HEARTS does look very interesting & I loved the excerpt thank you.


  8. Looks great. I would love to read this.