Satin and Steel
Blood & Fire, Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance (NC17)
They say love ruined her. It’s time to prove them wrong.
Half a century ago, Rhiannon lost the woman she loved. Since then, unlife has held little meaning for her, and she’s fallen from grace among the vampire nation. She once swore to throw herself into the sun the day Aijyn died…but it turns out she’s no good at keeping promises.
Sometimes the best cure for heartache is surrender. There’s a demon in London with new promises: darkness to run in, pleasures to hunt, rules to break. Sent to track down a dangerous traitor, Rhiannon is caught up in a game of murder and treachery between three warring races…and the sinful, seductive shadow-walker who could be her redemption, or her ultimate undoing.
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When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, American Horror Story or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.
In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has self-published erotic short stories available on Smashwords or Amazon. She’s also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on. She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com.
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In a blink, the demon disappeared into the silhouette of the smoke stack. Then, Rhiannon felt slender fingers brushing along her shoulder, slow and coy. She spun to find Vivienne lounging happily on her stomach atop another chimney, slipped there through the shadows without a sound.
“What we have heard about you,” she said, “is far from rumor.”
Rhiannon jerked away. “Don’t touch me.”
The corner of Vivienne’s smile twitched, for a moment becoming hard, an irritated scowl.
“Your kind is only the Fourth Blood of the Drogh Lord’s kingdom,” she hissed. “The werewolves and shadiil came long before vampires. We are older than even the oldest of your race, gravespawn, something you and your mother would do well to keep in mind.”
Rhiannon bristled at the insult. “Older than vampires, but still the spawn of beasts,” she spat. “Rife with a touch of madness because of it, I’d say.”
Vivienne fell silent, searching Rhiannon carefully. “They say you have been mad once.”
Rhiannon’s spine straightened. A wary prickle traveled through her shoulders and a low growl started deep in her throat.
“Drank the blood of another vampire, didn’t you?” the shadiil purred. “Drained a rival warrior to death, just as a rabid thrall does, and lost your pretty little mind.”
Rhiannon’s hand returned to the hilt of her blade.
“You haven’t exactly been the same since then, have you, Rhiannon Donovan?”
“It’s a lie,” she muttered. “I am not a thrall. I know my own mind and I am not rabid!”
Vivienne’s smirk returned, as if renewed by the anger she’d provoked. She slid her knees out from under her and dropped to the rooftop, backing Rhiannon down.
“You were expected to become the first Archon in the history of the Blood Circle Council to bear four fangs,” she said. “A vampire colder and crueler than any ever squirted out from between her dam’s thighs. Colder and crueler than most who were sired with a bite, perhaps. What happened to you, Rhiannon Donovan? Where did your strict, disciplined focus and cold-blooded dedication go? Where is the tigre méchant et sanguinaire, the malicious and bloodthirsty tiger?”
“Back away, shadiil,” the vampire spat. “I am still a Weapons master.”
Vivienne stopped, tilting her head, scanning Rhiannon up and down with giddy cruelty.
“They were wrong about you,” she said. “You are no Archon.”
“It no longer matters to me if I am.”
Green eyes glittered. “My race knows better, little Rhiannon. My queen knows better. You will throw off every expectation the bloodsuckers have of you. You will throw off every expectation everyone has of you. You are no Archon at heart.”
She stood close enough that her pretty, elfin nose almost touched Rhiannon’s. The vampire realized she’d stopped growling, caught off guard by those glowing, hypnotic eyes.
“Non, non, Rhiannon. At heart, you are nothing less than a Councilwoman herself.”
“You are the one who is mad, shadiil,” she muttered, turning to slip down the way she had come. “Run off. Let me hunt in peace.”
“I am not teasing you, ma chérie,” Vivienne said with a smile. “This is what the seers have told us: you will become the greatest vampire among all vampires.”
“Your seers are blind.”
With a cold rush of shadows, the other demon appeared out of the darkness before her, materialized in the silhouette of the window casement.
“Enough of grand talk then, since it bothers you so,” she murmured. “Reconsider hunting with me. We will find this beast and put it in the ground. You can go back to your race a hero and get back on the path you pursued so hungrily before you lost your mind.”
“I didn’t lose my mind!” Rhiannon insisted, pushing past her.
“The shadiil prides of London and our werewolf allies will be far more helpful to you than your own kind. We are not so busy prattling about the blame and covering up our blunders. You will find us to be far more pleasant company.”
“I don’t want company.”
“Arrêtez, ma cher…wait.”
Rhiannon paused, another growl escaping her.
Vivienne strolled up to her side. “May I see your teeth, ma beau chérie?”
Rhiannon sneered. “What?”
Vivienne lunged, putting her soft hands to Rhiannon’s face and nudging her lips away from her teeth. As the curious beast inspected the bracketed fangs in eyeteeth and canines, her smile quirked up at the corners even more. She started to purr, her tongue peeking out to run over her dark lips.
“Oh…they are most lovely, bastard child,” she murmured, stroking one hand along Rhiannon’s cheek. “So lovely, I could almost bite you myself, and send you home to your mother with my naughty teeth marks all over your tight little body.”
You please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
I’m currently working on the sequel to my fantasy fae book, Goblin Fires, and after that I’m planning on getting started with the third book in the Blood and Fire series, which will be called Winter Hearts.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day? Recently at Comic-Con, author Richard Kadrey was asked what he thought of the advice “Write what you know.” To this, he said, “That is the biggest crock of bull people can say to writers”. It’s important to research what you don’t know…but you can’t limit yourself only to your personal point of view and experience. It’s far too confining.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections? I love drawing, painting, and working with digital art. I’m also a bit of a part time gamer girl and a passionate cat mommy. I collect lots of things, but probably my coolest collection is my set of customized My Little Ponies, signed by celebrities. For example, I created a My Little Pony themed to look like Weird Al Yankovic, and had it signed by him at a convention.
What has been your biggest adventure to date? Once, after a really distressing breakup, I took a spur-of-the-moment trip across the country to be with my best friend, Rissa. I took off from work and school and spent an unexpected week in Arkansas with no plans except what we decided each day. We went on a nature walk in the woods near her home, had Waffle House in the middle of the night, sat in the snow on her back porch and watched the little critters wake up at dawn. We drove across the Mississippi into Memphis for an art show, then walked up and down Beale Street. It was the first time I’d ever been further east than Las Vegas.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why? Right this minute? I would love to be relaxing in a quiet hotel room in downtown Portland, Oregon, listening to rain and planning to take a lovely walk through the fog and trees in the morning.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes? I will usually try anything once, though I’m sure there are some things that might be a little outside my comfort zone. I wouldn’t mind trying things like haggis or even drunken shrimp, I don’t mind trying daringly spicy things, but I for sure draw the line at eating anything in the realm of animal testicles. I don’t care if they’re considered delicacies.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without? Email. Wow, do you remember actually writing letters? Like, with envelopes and stamps and stuff?
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”? Dressing up nice for a fancy dinner out, maybe a movie at a special Hollywood theatre, a sweet and decadent desert treat, then making love on freshly cleaned bedsheets by candlelight.
What is your favorite comfort food? Oddly? Taco Bell bean and cheese burritos.
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it? I love Autumn (perhaps that’s obvious, given my novel Goblin Fires. I love the whole feeling of change that comes with it, the warmth and magic of turning towards the end of the year, the holidays, and the rain (when we get rain here in SoCali, that is).
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next? I’ll be attending Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in LA on Halloween weekend, though this year it will only be as a guest. Still, SoCal conventions are always really fun!