Thursday, December 9, 2010

Guest paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton and giveaway

Please welcome author Felicity Heaton!

I’m Felicity Heaton and I’m here today to talk about the holidays and what they mean to me, why I love them so much, and my latest paranormal romance ebook, Vampire for Christmas.

It’s that time of year again. The trees and decorations are going up. The stores are full of seasonal madness. The weather is turning colder (if you’re up here in the chilly northern hemisphere) and winter is embracing us. I love this time of year. I love everything about it, from fairy lights to tacky decorations that crowd the gardens and exteriors of overzealous homeowners, from the prospect of a white Christmas to clear blue skies on a crisp day. I get excited when Starbucks change to the red cups with the winter scenes on them and bring in the holiday flavoured drinks. I smile when I see that Regent’s Street and Oxford Street in London, where I work, have put up the Christmas lights and they’re beautiful, sparkling away and brightening my day. And we all know that there’s nothing better in this world than curling up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and a silly seasonal movie... or a hot hero. The holidays are always a time when I try to put down my tools and relax. I’m planning to read lots this Christmas holidays to make up for my lack of reading throughout the year. It’s been busy for me as a writer.

I’m like a kid at this time of year, and I love it all so much that I put up the tree the moment we hit December!

It’s amazing how different I feel as I put up the tree and decorate it. Everything seems so much brighter. The new year is coming and it’s a chance to keep making positive changes to my life and to the world. The lights, the tree, the celebration, all feels like a grand farewell to the current year and a big welcome to the next. To me, the holidays are about more than the sparkle though. Everyone believes that Christmas is getting more commercial, and I’m not denying that because I don’t like seeing Christmas advertising and presents in the shops around September, but I think they miss the point of the holidays. For me, it’s not about religion. It’s bigger than that now. It has become a global celebration. For me, the holidays are about getting to spend time with my family and about putting smiles on their faces. I love to see the happiness that giving a gift can evoke and I think that’s why I wanted to write a Christmas story this year, so I could warm hearts and put smiles on the faces of my readers.

As a paranormal romance author, it’s often difficult to get Christmas into a story. Vampires don’t generally put much stock in God or anything about the season. I could have written a werewolf story and had more luck with the protagonists, or an angel story, but vampires are my biggest love, so I wanted to write a seasonal story involving one as the hero. The key to it was having a human heroine, someone who would celebrate the occasion, although she has some good reasons not to. There are also traditions around Christmas that you don’t need faith to enjoy. Such as mistletoe... and the hero definitely tries to take advantage of that one. I wanted to keep it light, warm and funny, to fit the season, even though there’s a more serious side to the story too. It became a balancing act and an exploration of how a vampire would handle the season, especially if the woman he loved was human. The story is about the hero endeavouring to bring a smile to the heroine’s face, to give her back the love she used to feel around Christmas, and to make her face her own feelings so she will accept his and so neither will be alone during the holidays ever again.

So, Christmas is all about the warmth and the happiness that sharing time with our loved ones brings us, even if you are a vampire. It’s all about the smiles you can put on your loved ones faces, and I hope this story gives readers something to smile about this coming holiday too.

Vampire for Christmas
Felicity Heaton

It was one last mission. Shannon, a demon hunter with the agency, is looking forward to leaving behind the small town and the vampire she’s been stuck with for the past two years. Things are getting complicated fast and she wants out. A fresh start, free of her vampire partner, awaits her if she can survive their final mission and the lonely Christmas holidays.

It was one last mission. Rafe, a vampire doing time with the agency, watches it approach with dread weighing heavily in his stomach. Two years of working with Shannon has been difficult, especially since he started falling for her, but he doesn’t want their partnership to end. He has barely a few days to make her face her feelings and stop her from leaving, and he intends to do just that.

When a slimy demon threatens the season of peace and goodwill, it’s the chance Rafe has been waiting for and the moment Shannon secretly fears. Rafe’s determination to prise open her heart and her own resolve to keep it closed clash as violently as they do with the demon, and threatens to end as messily.

Can Rafe make Shannon see that his love for her is real and that she feels something for him too? Can Shannon face her fears and her past, and stop herself from running away from both? Will a wish on a star bring her what her heart truly desires—a vampire for Christmas?

Read the full excerpt or buy now:

Short Excerpt
There was a knock at the door. Shannon knew from the impatient clip it had who would be waiting on the porch, and she took her time because of it. It wouldn’t look good if she rushed to answer it. The last time she had opened the door within a minute, because she had been passing it at the time, Rafe had teased her the whole night about how she had been waiting for him on the other side, desperate to go out with him again, and how attracted to him she was.

Total crap of course.

She wouldn’t be attracted to him if he was the last man on Earth. Shannon smiled to herself. He wasn’t even a man. She would have to be down to the last vampire too before she would ever consider him in that way.

Shannon slipped a stake into the inside pocket of her thick black wool jacket and another into the back pocket of her dark jeans. It was always a good idea to be well armed when out on a hunt. She wasn’t about to let the holiday season lure her into a false sense of security. Wretched demonkind didn’t celebrate the occasion, and some of her busiest times had been over the Christmas period. Besides, the stakes weren’t just for use on the bad vampires. Sometimes she considered using them on the apparently good vampires too.

Shannon opened the door.

Rafe stood on the other side, six feet plus of dark handsome devil perfectly capable of pushing every right button in a woman.

At least, every woman except her.

The left side of his sensual mouth tugged into a half smile that revealed the tip of a canine and his deep brown eyes slid up towards the porch ceiling. Her eyes followed out of curiosity.


Her gaze snapped back to him. He had to be kidding. He stared at her, dark eyes locked on hers in a silent challenge, and rocked expectantly on his heels. He clasped his hands behind his bottom, the action dragging his long black coat back too, revealing the athletic physique that his dark shirt failed to hide.

Shannon stepped backwards into the safety of her house.

Rafe frowned.

She could almost hear what he was thinking, could read it in his eyes. She didn’t care if he thought she was rude because she had never invited him into her home. She had neglected to do so for good reason. It was handy at times like these when he was making her heart jitter and pulse race.

She was not going to kiss him.

There were a million reasons why, but she settled on the safety aspect because her heart couldn’t overrule that one.

If she abided by tradition and kissed him, she would be placing herself firmly within his grasp, and that was a place she didn’t want to be. What would start as a harmless festive kiss would end as a bloodbath with his fangs in her throat. Just the thought of it happening shook her deep inside, dredging up memories best left forgotten and pain she had fought to erase. She would never let anything like that happen again.


Rafe continued to stare, his dark gaze cool but demanding.

Sometimes, Shannon wished the agency hadn’t paired them together. She had never wanted to work with one of nature’s freaks. She just wanted to kill them and get revenge for what they had done to her and her family.

“Never going to happen.” Shannon pushed past him, slammed the door behind her, and locked it. She didn’t break her stride. Before he could respond, she was at the end of her garden path and walking towards the centre of town.

She didn’t hear him move. One moment he wasn’t there, and the next he was keeping pace beside her. Her heart leapt at his sudden appearance.

“I told you not to do that.” She drew her hand away from her back pocket. It had jumped to the stake on instinct. One of these days, he was going to surprise her and she was going to give him a nasty surprise of her own.

“No need for that.” He appeared on the other side of her, his hand slipping over hers and easing it away from the stake. He smiled at her, his cool fingers lingering against hers. “There is a no staking your partner policy at the agency, remember?”

Shannon snatched her hand back and wished she didn’t remember. It was the only thing stopping her from killing him. A quiet voice at the back of her mind whispered that it wasn’t the only reason she couldn’t bring herself to stake him. She shooed it away.

“So, where are we heading?” Rafe’s deep voice swept around her, bathing her in warmth she tried to deny, and she kept her gaze fixed ahead. If she pretended he wasn’t there, she might just make it through the next few hours, and then she was home free. It was one last mission.

For some reason, that caused a dull ache to settle inside her.

She had thought she would be happy. She should be happy. No more working with the enemy. They were reassigning her to warmer climes and a partner-free role. She had proven herself worthy of working alone, just as she had wanted from the start of her career with the agency, and she was finally getting that wish.

So why wasn’t she happy?

“Town,” Shannon said distractedly, frowning at the pavement and trying to piece together an answer to her own question. There had to be a reason and it couldn’t be the vampire walking beside her. She had grown used to him. That’s all it was. He had become a sort of friend. The only person she actually spoke to apart from her handler and a few people at the agency, and she had never told them a thing about herself. She had never talked them, not as she had to Rafe. Shannon cursed herself. She should have kept her distance and not gotten involved, just as she had planned, but two years was too long to work with someone without saying anything to them.

Rafe had slipped in unnoticed, had passed the first of her defences and somehow got her talking one night, and since then, she couldn’t stop her mouth sometimes. Sometimes it all became too much and she had to speak to someone, and he was always there, willing to listen to her silly troubles and doubts about her ability to hunt, her skill, and her future with the agency.

And he always reassured her, and made her feel better.

“Anywhere particular in town?” Rafe said and her attention snapped back to him. She stared up at him, still half lost in her thoughts, and found herself looking straight into his eyes. Windows to the soul. Rafe’s hid nothing from her. They betrayed everything that he was feeling, and sometimes it frightened her.

Not when he was showing his vampire side. His pale eyes didn’t scare her or the malice that she saw in them, the hunger for violence and bloodshed. It was this side of him that scared her. The gentle side. The one who looked at her with warmth and undeniable affection.

“Are you feeling alright?” He cocked his head to one side, his gaze holding hers, sparkling with tender concern.

Shannon forced her eyes down to the pavement and studied the cracks as she walked, unable to bring her voice above a whisper.

“I’m fine.”

There was a long pause, full of expectation and unspoken things.

Sometimes, when this feeling washed over her, she had a sense that he wanted to say something to her. He never had though, and she often found herself wondering what it was he couldn’t put a voice to.

“So, where are we going? Into town, or beyond town... perhaps you called me all the way out here on a freezing cold night just to make me go gift shopping with you. If that is the case, I have to say it is in poor taste, as I am a vampire... I do not celebrate Christmas as you do.”

“I don’t.” Shannon wished she could take those two words back. They were going to cause questions that she didn’t want to answer. She glanced at Rafe, briefly making eye contact, and then looked away to her right, her gaze eating the streetlamp lit grass and shrubs that she walked past. He sighed but said nothing. She waited a moment longer, afraid that he might just be building up to it, and then released the breath she had been holding. “The report states that there was a demon sighting in the local cemetery just outside the town centre.”

“Cemetery?” Rafe sounded positively disgusted.

She glanced at him again. He looked it too. He seemed to take it as a personal affront whenever they had to hunt demons in places like old churches, cemeteries and disused factories.

“Some demons have no taste.”

Shannon smiled. “Speak for yourself.”

He frowned at her but it didn’t stick. It melted into a smile that threatened to steal her breath and she averted her gaze again. What was she doing? Her heart skittered about in her throat and she knew he would be listening to it, and he would know that he was affecting her. She could do this.

It was just one more mission.

And then she would be able to escape these feelings.

She was not going to fall for him.

He was a vampire. She was a hunter.

Her gaze snuck back to him, studying his noble profile, and her heart thudded hard against her chest.

There was no love more forbidden than this.

Read the full excerpt or buy now:

Felicity Heaton is a romance author writing as both Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. She is passionate about penning paranormal tales full of vampires, witches, werewolves, angels and shape-shifters, and has been interested in all things preternatural and fantastical since she was just a child. Her other passion is science-fiction and she likes nothing more than to immerse herself in a whole new universe and the amazing species therein. She used to while away days at school and college dreaming of vampires, werewolves and witches, or being lost in space, and used to while away evenings watching movies about them or reading gothic horror stories, science-fiction and romances.

Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.

Thanks for having me here today and if any readers have any comments or questions, please feel free to voice them and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about me, or want to get in touch, you can find me at the following places:

My website:
My blog:

Felicity Heaton

Now for the giveaway. Felicity very kind enough to give one lucky some one a PDF copy of Vampire for Christmas. Please leave a comment or question for Felicity along with your email, so I know your entering. I will leave this giveaway open over the weekend. Ends Sunday 12th at midnight.

Thanks again Felicity!!

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