Get into Bed with Elisabeth Staab (Author Interview)

Elisabeth StaabKeira: Tell us a bit about the vampire mythology around the Chronicles of Yavn Series.

Elisabeth Staab: The vampires in the Chronicles of Yavn are alive rather than undead. They’re a sort of divergent species that also comes equipped with super powers. They have the standard weaknesses – can’t handle sunlight (unless they’re a half-breed), and they weaken without blood or if they overuse their powers. They can live for a long time, but they’re not immortal. There’s a lot that revolves around the vampires being an insular, remaining few, and even fewer who have pure vampire blood. As a species who has been hated and feared by humans, many vampires dislike them, especially the older vampires like Lee (the hero of Hunter by Night) who lived during the old times when humans knew about vampires, but they came after them with fire and pitchforks.

Keira: Lee Goram is not a fan of humans. How does he survive?

Elisabeth: Lee was mated for awhile to a succubus hybrid, but in the decades after their “divorce” he gorged himself on vampire blood. Until meeting Alexia, he’s never touched human blood. Vampire blood is stronger, thicker, and more powerful. He won’t touch human blood, because he views it as inferior. We find out in Hunter by Night, however, that his actions and his belief in the superiority of vampire blood, is about to be his downfall.

Keira: And now his food source is killing him?

Elisabeth: In a way, it’s not simply the food source but Lee’s arrogance, and the number of times he’s bellied up to the buffet. He’s turned into a bit of a lone wolf. No family, no mate, and the one thing he has is his power. Blood gives him power and his ability to protect. The more he consumes, the more powerful he becomes. There’s a tipping point, though, and Lee’s reached that point at the beginning of Hunter by Night.

Keira: Alexia might be the key to his cure… but she’s human… will he have to feed off of her?

Elisabeth: Probably so. ;-)

Keira: Best friend to the queen of vampires, how did Alexia get to be so close to royalty?

Elisabeth: They met in the Florida rave scene, pre-King of Darkness. Alexia had run there to escape her past, and Isabel (the destined queen) had moved there with her family, when her parents felt they weren’t accepted by the rest of the vampire population. The rave scene is a place where young people who don’t belong anywhere else can feel included. For an orphaned vampire and a human on her own, what better place to find each other?

Keira: Isn’t she worried about being in their compound? How does she keep safe?

Elisabeth: Sure. Alexia doesn’t do “caged” very well, and being on the compound, even though it’s supposed to be for her safety, kinda gives her the heebie-jeebies. It’s something she and Lee will need to work out by the end of Hunter by Night in order to be together.

Keira: What’s your favorite scene in Hunter by Night?

Elisabeth: That’s a tough call, because I love Lee and Alexia together from start to finish. But I think my favorite is when they’ve just gotten through a fight and Lee has to get Alexia cleaned up and give her blood to heal her. It’s the first time they’re close together in a way that’s sensual and intimate, and the sexual tension starts to build between them. I love the way Lee’s resolve cracks and the promise of what’s to come in that scene.

Keira: What’s your favorite part about paranormal romances? Vampire romances?

Elisabeth: I love the element of forbidden, and the added conflict. The sexiness of some possible hidden danger lurking right under our noses that we might feel but can’t see. For vampires especially, there’s a special bond between lovers. They’re not only falling in love, they’re bonding on a physical level through the exchange of blood, which is something that adds a heightened element of romance as a reader, and adds an extra layer of fun things to play with as an author. The primal, larger than life, animal factor that comes into play when your hero is part monster, and the idea that a special someone is the only one who can keep him or her in check? Yeah, that’s all hot stuff.

Keira: How do you define love?

Elisabeth: I would say anytime you feel deep affection for another creature, that’s love.

Keira: What makes a great Happily Ever After?

Elisabeth: That’s so nebulous. I just need to feel that a good story has been told, and I need to have a sense that things will be okay going forward. Sometimes as a reader I get greedy and wish I’d had more details about certain things, but really that just means I loved the story and I wanted to know more. Mostly though, I want to walk away feeling satisfied that the characters really will go forward and have good lives together.

Keira: What’s next for you?

Elisabeth: I’m not 100% sure. My kids are home for the summer and I’m looking forward to spending time with them. I also have some contemporary projects in the works (I hope to have the next book in my HaleStorm series out before too long.), but I’m looking forward to not having deadlines for awhile, and getting more time with my family, so I don’t want to commit to much just yet.

hunter by nightBook blurb:

She wants out

Party girl Alexia Blackburn is only hanging around the vampire compound until her best friend—the queen—has her baby. After that, nothing is going to stop Alexia from getting back to daylight, safety, and feeling like a normal human being. But leaving the vampire world has one big catch…

He needs her to stay

Head of vampire security Lee Goram has hated and distrusted humans for centuries. Feeding on vampire blood has kept him strong…but now it’s killing him—and he’s horrified to discover that Alexia may hold the key to his cure. He’d rather die defending his king than admit his weakness, but time is running out for the great vampire warrior…

Buy: Hunter by Night (Chronicles of Yavn)

Review: Prince of Power (Chronicles of Yavn, Book 2) by Elisabeth Staab

Chronicles of Yavn prince of powerReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Thad Morgan is King of the vampires and this is his sister Tyra’s story. Elisabeth starts the action right from the first page. Tyra bites Anton in the neck – she’s a vampire. Anton happens to be the vampire’s sworn enemy – he’s a wizard. But when it comes to falling in love, hormones can’t really tell the difference.

Elisabeth happens to write a scene where Anton is hiding out at Tyra’s place and like a light switch being turned on, he turns into a total alpha male – loved it! There are just two words to describe their first sex scene – hot and steamy. And then you have to laugh about what happens next – especially when it involves Tyra’s full name.

Anton’s father is back in this book and he appears to be as deranged as he did in the first book. Going back and reading book one will give you a better understanding who and what the Master is. It also gives you more insight into how Anton came to be where he is at the beginning of this book.

Another good part of the book is seeing other characters that were in the first book. They show the reader what a close-knit group they are. They watch each other’s backs and really care about each other. And then Elisabeth will have you trying to figure out who will be the main character in the next book of the series.

One thing that I loved about this book was that Elisabeth didn’t make Tyra and Anton’s story an easy one. If something is worth having, sometimes you just have to work for it. Plus sometimes family history can get in the way. But when love is involved, there are ways to overcome anything. Plus if things were easy, I don’t think this story would hold the reader’s attention. And you wouldn’t be looking forward to when book three will be coming out.

I went to Elisabeth’s web site and saw a twitter feed that stated that she has two more books scheduled but I couldn’t find out what the next title will be or when. So, we’ll just have to be patient. And again if you haven’t read book one yet, after you finish Tyra and Anton’s story go back and read the book that started the series.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Prince of Power (Chronicles of Yavn)

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Review: King of Darkness (Chronicles of Yavn, Book 1) by Elisabeth Staab

KingOfDarknessReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Thad Morgan is King of the vampires. We see him in a dance club looking for a female. Not just any female but his Queen. Then Thad finally finds the woman he’s searching for and her name is Isabel. Isabel Anthony is at Insomniac to satisfy a craving.

Anton has been given the task, by his father, to capture a young woman named Tyra Morgan. That task was not completed and his father is not pleased on hearing that. The Master has decided that Anton cannot follow orders and must be dealt with.

Thad takes Isabel out for a late night meal. They find out that they each share something. Isabel and Thad go back to her apartment and talk. He’s coming to respect the type of person she is. They also know how to ignite the sheets.

Tyra’s lover, Siddoh, shows up while she’s working out. We see him get angry over their conversation. He also appears to be quite the playboy. He seems to flirt with anyone that wears a skirt – human or vampire. He suggests to Lee Goram about using Tyra in their fight against their enemy.

Tyra has a gift for reading people and she uses her gift when checking in a new patient at the shelter she works at. She’s surprised by what her gift uncovers. You will have to keep reading what she finds out about her patient. Anton Smith feels he knows her but with no memory he’s just not sure.

We’re given a scene of good vs. evil – the wizards against the vampires. But will there be a clear winner or will this continue into the next book. We want to know if good is finally going to overcome evil. There is plenty of action right from the beginning and this is what makes this book a page turner.

Isabel is supposed to be Thad’s queen but is she queen material? There are certain expectations that come with being king. Does Thad fit that bill? Isabel has a human friend and her name is Alexia. She and Lee seem to be at odds with each other. I wonder if they will have their own story.

Toward the end, Elisabeth reveals who Anton really is. In leaving his true identity until the end, we see that there will be a second book. The title is “Prince of Power” and it is Anton and Tyra’s story. But you will have to wait until January 2013 to read it. In the meantime, I suggest you read “King of Darkness” so that you know who all the characters are. And if you love this book, you may want to read it again just before book two comes out.

Rating: ★★★★½

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Get into Bed with Elisabeth Staab (Author Interview)

Keira: A vampire without power? Tell us more!

Elisabeth Staab: In King of Darkness and in the Yavn series as a whole, you have a vampire race that has evolved with supernatural abilities. Those abilities were seen over time as something of a status symbol even though in modern-day society, living among humans, many vampires may not really need or use their powers. Like other physical traits, sometimes something goes wonky in the genetic code and for a few vampires of the species a power never develops. In the case of Isabel, the queen in King of Darkness, neither of her parents had a power—and neither did she—until she met Thad.

Keira: How does a vampire pass as human? Can it be done successfully?

Elisabeth: In Isabel’s case it was pretty easy to do. For one thing, she had an ally. Her friend Alexia was human and knew that Isabel was vampire, so acted protectively and helped look out for her. Also, part of the reason that Isabel had stayed enmeshed in the rave scene was not so much immaturity as self-preservation. She had discovered a place with dark corners, high human turnover, and nobody was going to pay close attention to her.

Keira: In 10 words or less describe the King of Vampires…

Elisabeth: Thad struggles to become a leader during war and uncertainty.

Keira: Fated mates – why do they work? How do you create tension with it?

Elisabeth: The thing about fated mates is the idea that there is one true love out there for us is such a beautiful and romantic fantasy. There is always free will though, and that is how you have tension. When Thad finds Isabel, the first thing she does is turn and run away. She isn’t impressed by the fact that he’s king. She doesn’t believe in the prophecy that says she’s his mate.

Keira: How do you define love?

Elisabeth: I think deep, abiding affection of any kind can be love. If I can’t imagine my world without someone, that’s love. Now for two vampires who are committing to each other for the next several centuries there must also be heat, and passion, and they probably also have to like the taste of each other’s blood. ;)

Keira: On your blog Rated ‘R’ for Risqué you have a section called How to Get Published – what’s your best piece of advice?

Elisabeth: I think the basics are to keep learning, and write every day. Or write as much as you can, if daily isn’t doable. I have 3 kids so even for me sometimes illnesses and whatnot make doing it daily an impossible task. Taking classes through the RWA or SavvyAuthors.com when I can has helped open me up to the VAST amount of “stuff I did not know,” and I applied that information to whatever I was working on at the time. Positive outlook is the other key. It’s tough sometimes, but always treat writing like a job if you truly want it to be one. You’re really working, you’re pre-published or a debut author, and you’re gonna get there if you keep at it. Attitude really does make a difference.

KingOfDarkness

About King of Darkness:

ETERNAL COMMITMENT IS NOT ON HER AGENDA…

Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human–although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons’ blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl’s life turns dark and dangerous.

BUT TIME’S RUNNING OUT FOR THE KING OF THE VAMPIRES…

Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong…

Buy: King of Darkness

 Author Bio: Elisabeth Staab lives in Northern Virginia with her hero and soul mate. She has been a telemarketer, a web page editor, a software developer, a reader for the blind, a technical trainer, a coffee shop barista, a tutor, a homemaker, a government project manager, a graphic designer, and a professional ebayer. Finally, she’s landed on being a writer – which is what her high school guidance counselor originally suggested anyway.

Elisabeth believes that all kinds of safe, sane, and consensual love should be celebrated–but she loves the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com.