I want to thank Dawn for having me on today to share a bit about my All the King's Men (AKM) series, which has been a pleasant surprise for me in how many fans it has garnered in such a short span of time, as well as how rabid those fans are about the next book in the series, due out in January. When one of my fans told me that she had fallen into daydreams and fantasies for days on end after reading Rise of the Fallen, I was blown away. My book had done that to her? Seriously? But then more readers voiced similar sentiments and I realized that these weren't just characters to them. These were living, breathing people (well, vampires) who fans wanted to travel to
to meet (the series takes place primarily in Chicago).
I was blown away.
So, maybe instead of running down synopses of the books, which you can read on Amazon, I should introduce you to this cast of characters who has readers swooning and fantasizing about going a round or two with them in the bedroom or elsewhere:
Micah Black: He's really the star. I modeled him after Andrei Andrei and was fortunate enough for Andrei to give me permission to use his picture on the cover of Rise of the Fallen. But Andrei IS Micah. Nobody else would do for him. The entire series is ultimately about Micah. He's a vampire that's over a thousand years old, who has loved and lost…and loved again. We meet him in Rise of the Fallen as he's lost his second mate, who was really just a half-mate, but it doesn't matter. He still reacts powerfully and falls into the abyss of hell, ready to end his miserable life as painfully as possible until Samantha Garrett comes along. Unfortunately, he has already set evil into motion, and now both he and Samantha are in danger. If you haven't read the book, yet, I won't spoil it for you by saying more than that. But Micah is smexy and he is extremely powerful. Oh, and he's a former dom. Just sayin'.
Traceon Benyon: Trace plays a pivotal role in making sure Micah doesn't off himself, and he has extreme depravity at the heart of his reasons why he's so protective of Micah. Trace is tortured beyond belief, and he's a powerful mixed-blood vampire (half-human and half-vamp) with extraordinary gifts nobody can even comprehend. Trace has pretty much stolen Micah's thunder with the fans. Everyone wants to know more about Trace, who is an enigma and whose own story slowly unfolds through the first four novels (and one novella, Micah's Calling) until we get to his story, which is scheduled to be the fifth novel in the series. Let's just say that his bond to Micah is strong, as well as his bond to Samantha. Oh, and Trace is a hardcore submissive. Just sayin'. You connect the dots.
Arion Savakis: Arion is the most attractive of the group. He's not just handsome. He's frickin' hot, with a tattoo sleeve on his muscular, right arm to match the one his best friend, Io, has on his left arm. But Ari's also humble and deeply troubled. Arion (Ari) has lived a life of lies in order to make his family and friends happy, but all the while he has denied himself who he truly is. When he meets Severin, he finally realizes that he was never meant to court the fairer sex. What he wants is purely male, purely masculine, and purely Sev. But he'll lose everything if he follows his heart and goes against his family. And therein lies the conflict.
Severin Bannon: Sev has secrets of his own. Conceived through rape to a dreck (the vampires' sworn enemy) mother and a vampire father, Severin must hide his mixed bloodlines or risk being ostracized from both the dreck community and the vampire one. If anyone at AKM found out he was half dreck, it could jeopardize his career and his future. But Sev has a softer side, too: He is a talented painter, and he obsesses over Arion by painting his image over and over, feeling as though it's the only way he'll ever be with the male he is so smitten with. Only one problem, Sev is a hunted male. An assassin with a blood vengeance borne of a terrible misunderstanding wants to see him dead and will stop at nothing until he is.
Iobates Liatos (Io): Io is a dick when we first meet him. He is chauvinistic, prejudiced, and horribly unpleasant. In the dictionary, his picture sits next to the word homophobe. Oh, and goody for him, Ari is his best friend. So, yep, finding out Ari is hot for Sev is probably not going to go over well with Io. And isn't that just great? Io is hot, hot, hot. And he knows it, bedding females like they're a dime a dozen. He's reckless, rebellious, and a former cobalt addict (cobalt is the drecks' contribution to the recreational drug circuit). He lives life at two hundred miles per hour. But he meets his match, who ends up teaching him a thing or two about humility and forgiveness, as well as friendship and taking the time to enjoy the pleasures life can offer.
Malek (he hasn't given me his last name, yet): At one time, Malek was Micah's best friend. But that was long ago. The two look so much alike they could be brothers, and they both took mates around the same time, and lost them around the same time, but for two very different reasons. Malek lost his mate because she was human, and he had been forbidden by law to change her to an immortal so they could be together forever. Whereas Micah went into both an external and internal meltdown and withdrew from society as a result of the death of his mate, Malek reacted another way. He denied his mate's death, refusing to accept it, and he ended up becoming what Micah refers to as a whitewashed version of himself. Malek lost his identity and became hollow, empty of life and spirit. I'm writing his story now, and it's quite painful to relive what he's gone through as he reconnects with life.
Tristan: Tristan is the commander of Micah's team. His mate, Josie, is pregnant, and as of yet, nothing too exciting has happened with him, but I feel like he's just holding out for the right time. He has shown me that Malek resents him because Josie used to be human, and even though Tristan had never truly mated Josie by the vampire definition of the word, he changed her anyway once the laws surrounding changing humans became more relaxed where mates were concerned. Tristan does have a habit of throwing pens when he's pissed off, though, and he's known Micah and Malek since the beginning, having been trained under Micah's tutelage.
Those are the main characters, but others have joined along the way, most notably Maddox (who readers will be introduced to in the next book. His introduction could cause a few jaws to drop. I won't say more), Brak (again, ditto what I said for Maddox), and Cordray (Cordray is not a male. She's a very bad-ass female who is way awesome. One beta reader already told me they have a girl crush on her, and I can totally see why. She doesn't take shit from anyone, and she can throw down with the best. She's inked up all over, has super-long, black hair she wears in all manner of wicked braids and styles, and has a shoe fetish, of all things. Plus, she's the only person who can talk back to the king and live to tell about it).
If you're interested in reading the books, this is the order they were published in:
1. Rise of the Fallen (Micah's story)
2. Heart of the Warrior (Ari's and Sev's story. Make sure you have your Kleenex box by your side. I get a lot of comments about readers crying with this one.)
3. Micah's Calling (novella that explores what happened between Micah and Sam (and with Trace) right after Rise of the Fallen)
Coming in 2013:
4. Rebel Obsession (Io's story) is due out in January, and my editor tells me this is her favorite of the bunch so far.
5. Return of the Assassin (Malek's book) is in progress and due out in the second half of 2013.
Thank you for having me today. I hope you enjoyed meeting my AKM boys.