I’d like to welcome Devon Marshall to the blog today. She is promoting her new book, Dante’s Awakening. Be sure to check out my review after the awesome excerpt.
Vampires of Hollywood #1
Genre: LGBT Paranormal/ Lesbian Vampire
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Number of pages: 194
Word Count: 65,898
Cover Artist: Ginny Glass & Untreed Reads
Dante Sonnier is a successful Hollywood agent. She is also a friend to the secret community of vampires living in Los Angeles, and occasionally she assists them when they have a problem that requires a human to handle it. The vampires are led by Voshki Kevorkian, a gorgeous, sexy female vampire, who has made it clear that she would like Dante to be her human. Dante, although attracted to Voshki, is wary of the possessiveness and jealousy involved in being a vampire’s chosen human lover and resists.
When the Children of Judas, a two-thousand-year-old sect of murderous, rebel vampires shunned by the main community, rise up under a new leader and threaten to topple Voshki’s leadership and expose the whole community, the vampires turn to Dante for help. Dante travels to a small town in upstate California where the Children seem to be active, in the company of Ellis Kovacs, another vampire sired by Voshki, and Voshki’s “right-hand woman.”
There, whilst investigating the Children and their leader Robin Shepherd, Dante succumbs to being seduced by the alluring Ellis. When Dante is kidnapped by the Children, Voshki decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands.
Hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.
My name is Dante Sonnier and I am not a movie star. I’m an agent. I’m not paranoid, I don’t think the entire world revolves around me, and I know my clients are too savvy to their own careers to even think about stalking me. Therefore I don’t live behind high fences and locked gates. Most of the time I don’t even bother to close the gates to my Hollywood Hills property. There are, however, certain events that could make me rethink this open-living policy, such as being dragged out of bed by a vampire at six o’clock in the morning. Don’t get me wrong—waking up to Ellis Kovacs is not entirely unpleasant either, since she is rather attractive. For the Undead, I mean. I’m just so not a morning person that having anyone—even the gorgeous vampire Ellis—drag me out of my bed at six a.m. is annoying. The reason for the disruption of my (much needed) beauty sleep was Voshki Kevorkian. Voshki is the vampire community leader. She wanted a meeting with me.
“At six a.m.?” I demanded.
Ellis shrugged. “It’s important.”
It had better be. There I was, attired in boxer shorts and a scruffy NYU t-shirt that some ex or other had left in my closet maybe a million years ago, my hair going every which way to Sunday, trying to claw the sleep from my brain and make sense of what was going on, and what wisdom does Ellis impart to me?
That my t-shirt has seen better days.
Well, shit, hold the front page. I shook my head at her crap and wandered off toward the bathroom. Over my shoulder I yelled, “I’m taking a shower! I don’t care if Vosh has to wait an extra fucking five minutes! Am I making myself clear?”
“Crystal,” Ellis replied dryly.
I stood under the hot jets of water, letting them massage my body and brain into wakefulness, and rested my forehead against the cool wall tiles, all the while trying to ignore the fact there were two vampires making themselves at home in my house. Ellis had brought Samson with her, Voshki’s driver and occasional enforcer. Or something. There are vampire affairs into which even a curious person like me just will not poke her nose. Slowly I felt myself come to resemble something actually belonging to the human race and not the Undead, and at that point I turned the water cold on and let that shock the last dregs of nighttime from my system. A cup of extremely strong black coffee and I’d be good to go.
As I stepped out of the shower, eyes closed because my hair was running rivulets of water down my face, I put out my hand to grab my towel only to have it thrust into my groping fingers. My eyelids flew open. Water blurred my vision and I swiped the towel across my face. Then remembered I was naked. I hastily wrapped the towel around me, fumbling because my fingers had become as useful as bananas.
“For Chrissakes, haven’t you guys heard of knocking?” I demanded.
Ellis gave me a devastatingly sexy smile that also somehow contrived to be innocent. It made me want to run away and throw myself at her feet, both at the same time. I’ve known Ellis for a while, and the whole time I have noticed that her smile can make my knees turn to water. And I hate her for that. Vampires confuse me much of the time. “Sorry,” she said, sounding like she really wasn’t. She jerked her chin toward the open bathroom door and the upstairs hallway beyond. “Samson is in the kitchen. He’s making up some juice for you. And there’s a pot ofcoffee on.”
I raised an eyebrow. “No bagels?”
“Get dressed, Dante. We don’t want to keep Vosh waiting that long,” Ellis told me.
No. That would never do.
* * *
I should explain. First of all, yes, vampires do exist. Secondly, no, I don’t know whether this means other supernatural creatures also exist. I certainly never have met anything remotely resembling a werewolf or a fairy or a troll, although how would I know, right? The vampires don’t look like vampires, and they have been living amongst humans undetected for millennia, so there should be no reason a werewolf or a fairy or a troll ought not be able to do the same. If the vampires know about any supernatural cousins, they are keeping it under their collective hats. And thirdly, I don’t really care if the world is teeming with werewolves, fairies and trolls—I had a hard enough time just wrapping my head around the fact that vampires are real when I found that out. Occasionally I still have trouble with it.
Vampires are very little like their media portrayals. Sorry, but the fiction-mongers have been way off for decades. All of that not being able to go out in sunlight, being allergic to garlic and crosses and running water, being able to turn into bats—it’s all moonshine. Most of it perpetrated by the vampires themselves. The very reason they have been able to coexist with humans unnoticed for thousands of years has been a fortuitous mix of their own ability to adapt and blend in, and the limitless capacity of we humans to be deluded. Of course, there have always been some humans in the know, since the vampires do need us for things beyond the obvious feeding requirements. A vampire’s genetic makeup is somewhat different to that of a human—shocker, huh? Having people in strategic places to keep things like this from coming to light is a necessary evil for them. They are choosy about who they let in on their existence. I suppose I am honored then—not that it often feels much like an honor.
As for feeding, they drink human blood from willing human donors. Not victims, donors. Vampires can also go out in daylight just fine—they would hardly have lasted as a race if they could not go out in daylight—although they must take certain precautions if they are going to be in direct sunlight for a prolonged time. A very strong sun block and very dark sunglasses will suffice. In fact, once you really start to think about most of the “vampire legends,” you also start to realize that they, like most legends, just don’t stand up to close scrutiny. I know about vampires because I belong to a family made up of the kind of people whom they have always found helpful. I mentioned before that I’m an agent. An entertainment agent. I reside in LA, in Hollywood.
I’m very successful. Why be falsely modest about it? I can get my A-list clients an audience with Stephen Spielberg just by lifting the phone. My father is a criminal lawyer who switched to entertainment law, and I’ll leave it to your imagination the ways in which he has often found himself mixing those two disciplines on behalf of both his actors and vampire clients. My mother was a movie producer. I say “was” because she retired from doing much of anything some years ago. Her heyday was during the 1970s and 1980s. Throughout those decades, trying to avoid drugs in Hollywood was a bit like trying not to get sunstroke walking naked across the Sahara, and my mother was spectacularly unsuccessful at avoiding anything she could swallow, inhale, or smoke. The years of drug and alcohol abuse have fried her brain. Before that, however, she was a close friend and respected colleague of many top movie people, including Spielberg. Which is how I can command a personal audience with the man so easily.
So that’s how I got involved with the vampires.
This was my first foray into reading F/F fiction. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I was impressed. It was a very good story with an ending leading you to believe there will be more coming. The love triangle between Dante, Ellis and Voshki was portrayed very well. The incorporation of vampires into Hollywood was done as easy as if it were true. The characters and the story were very well done, but I do wish that there had been a bit more to it. I kinda felt it was a bit rushed and a few of the questions could have been answered in this story if it had been a bit longer. Overall, I enjoyed my first F/F paranormal romance was a good story and highly enjoyable.
I’d like to thank Devon Marshall for stopping by today and promoting Dante’s Awakening. I would also like to thank Bewitching Book tours for letting me host a stop on this tour. For more information about Devon Marshall click on her links below. For more information about Dante’s Awakening you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.
Devon discovered at an early age that she had a fertile imagination and a profound love for words which together led to her writing stories. She has published numerous short stories and articles in the LGBT and mainstream small presses.
Dante’s Awakening is her first published full-length novel and spent a week in the Amazon Top 100 in Lesbian Fiction #58
Her second novel, ‘Voodoo Woman’ is available in PB and on Kindle, and the novella ‘The Lives and Loves of The Modern Goddess’ is also available on Kindle.
Devon lives on a windswept and remote Scottish island where the ‘rat race’ is an event at the annual County Fair and the daily view includes boats, birds, and the occasional bottlenose dolphin. When she isn’t writing, Devon enjoys reading, watching TV, and spending as much time as possible with her dog. She is currently working on the next book in the Vampires of Hollywood saga and a stand-alone horror novel.
2 thoughts on “Promo and Review: Dante’s Awakening by Devon Marshall”
Thank you, Book Maven, for your sweet review!
Thank you for letting me review it. 🙂