The Blog of Sid Love takes this opportunity to heartily welcome the authors Arionrhod and McKay, who are here today to talk about how their fantastic collaboration works while writing a story and also about their upcoming novel “Blood Bathory Like The Night” which releases on the 3rd of July, 2013! This guest post is tagged with a giveaway contest as well, which gives you a chance to win a copy of this book.

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First, we’d like to thank Sid for having us as guests and giving us an opportunity to promote our new novel, Blood Bathory: Like the Night. We both have a very soft spot for this novel and for the world it  inhabits, since it was the first original work we completed and served  as a bridge between our fandom and professional writing.

Let’s start off by explaining that the “we” isn’t used in the royal sense.  For those who aren’t familiar with our work, “Ari McKay” is the name we  decided on because we wanted to use our fandom names, Arionrhod and McKay, when we moved into original writing. We decided using a single  name was easier on everyone.

We’ve been writing together since August, 2004, and we like to joke that our  writing partnership has lasted longer than some celebrity marriages.  Although we moved in the same fandom circles, we hadn’t really  interacted much before we started writing together, but we’d read each other’s solo stories.

Once we did start writing together, we developed a smooth collaboration  process that still serves us well all these years later. Because we  don’t live near each other, we use Google Docs to write our drafts. The benefits of using a collaborative writing tool is that we can both access the documents at the same time and write  together in real time when we’re online together in the evenings, and we can access the draft and take our turn in the current scene when we  have time during the day. It saves drafts automatically, and the draft  can be downloaded as a Word document once we’re ready to start editing  and formatting in preparation to submit the story.

Recently, we’ve begun using Evernote to organize notes about our stories, clip webpages and photos we can  use for inspiration, write up character bios, and keep an on-going plot  bunny list (over 60 bunnies and counting!), among other things. We give  our novels their own notebook; the Recipe for Romance series has its own notebook, and our short stories all go in the same notebook. It’s been a very handy organizational tool, and the best thing is that we can both  access it from our computers, our smart phones, or our iPads.

Our writing process is pretty simple, and we’ve got it honed to an art form at this point. First we decide on the overall plot, which is determined based on whether we’re writing for a specific call for submissions or  we’ve been attacked by a giant, rabid plot bunny that’s sunk its teeth  into our ankles and refused to let go. Sometimes, it’s both!

Blood Bathory: Like the Night was a plot bunny that bit us several years ago when we were still in  fandom, although when we decided to turn it into a novel, the idea was,  by necessity, morphed from its original concept to make it workable as a stand-alone universe. We didn’t want to write just another  vampire/werewolf novel, so we did some major world building to explain  the origins of our supernatural races. Our vampires have a rather unique origin, while our shapeshifters are tied to the earth in a very  fundamental way. We don’t want to give away too much, but we believe we  have some very unique and surprising twists in our story that will set  it apart, and we hope will make it interesting for the readers.

This novel is the first in a trilogy, which will explain the entire history  of the supernatural war between life and death. It will show how good  people can be drawn into evil, and how forgiveness can be found even by  those thought beyond redemption. The protagonists must deal with loss,  betrayal, temptation, fear, and horrors beyond anything they’ve  imagined, while still clinging to the belief that love can conquer all.  It’s a journey we hope that everyone will want to join our characters in making, and if you enjoy yourselves along the way, then we’ll feel as  though our job has been well done.

Blood Bathory: Like the Night will be released by Torquere Press on July 3, 2013.

Blurb:

Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by  the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job  with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a  centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people.  To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children”.

Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best  friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, he has nursed an  unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who  might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s  condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs:  shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of  vampires. Caught in a ancient war between two powerful supernatural  forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides — because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth  Nadasdy before she destroys them.

Excerpt:

“I need help,” Evan said in a matter-of-fact way that belied the conversational bombshell.

“Help?” Surprised yet again, Will sank down on the opposite end of the sofa,  giving his friend another searching look. If he hadn’t known Evan as  well as he did, he might have thought it was a joke, but this didn’t  feel like a prank — especially not if Evan had come all the way from  Paris after three years just to ask for his help! If Evan was in  trouble, though, he’d come to the right person. “Do you need a place to  stay? Or do we need to go to the police?”

“No!” Evan shook his head vehemently. “We can’t involve the police. It  wouldn’t do any good even if they believed me.” With a sigh, he raked  one hand through his unkempt hair, his expression troubled. “I need a  safe place to stay.” He glanced up, his pale eyes fixing Will with a  searching look. “You have to promise you won’t open the door to anyone  you don’t know.”

Will blinked. “You’re safe here. Well, as safe as I am, I suppose.” The fact that Evan didn’t want to go to the police didn’t surprise him; he’d  learned there were many people who didn’t trust the authorities to help  them with their problems, even when their lives were at stake. Or  perhaps especially when their lives were at stake. “Fine, no police. And I’m the paranoid  type, you know that. I’m not going to invite someone I don’t know into  my home. But it might help to know if there’s anyone particular I should watch out for.”

“I can’t tell you that.” Evan raised one hand as if to ward off the  protest Will was about to make. “Not because I don’t trust you or  because I don’t want to, but because I can’t. I don’t know who she’ll send. She won’t come herself, that’s for sure. Not unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

“She? She who?” Will could well imagine his friend could have had his pick of the young women he photographed if he leaned that way — which he  didn’t. “Have you picked up a stalker? Just how much danger are we  talking about? I’d like to know how paranoid I need to be, and the more I know, the more I can help you fix this.”

“It’s a matter of life and death,” Evan replied, then he laughed, although  the sound was more manic than mirthful, and his eyes looked haunted.  “Although we’ve already had the death part, in a way. It’s life I’m  looking for now.” Evan wrapped his arms around himself and trained his  gaze on the floor. “It’s not a stalker. She wanted me, and she got me  already, so there’s no need for that kind of chase.” He looked at Will  again, his expression pleading. “I want to tell you everything, but I  don’t know if you’ll believe me.”

Will had always been protective of those he cared about, and Evan was no  exception, especially since Evan’s attractive face, slender build and  “out and proud” attitude had occasionally made him a target on campus.  It had been that way since their freshman year, and it was no different  now. It was ridiculous, perhaps, and no doubt part of that White Knight  thing Evan had always teased him about, but Will couldn’t help it; it  was just the way he was.

“You might as well ‘fess up now, because I’m going to get the story out of  you one way or another. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you if I can do anything about it. We stick together, right?” Will’s tone grew serious. “I mean it, Evan. You know you can count on me. You’re my best friend.” It was still true, even though they hadn’t been face-to- face in years. No one had ever taken Evan’s place in his life; no one ever could.

“Even if I tell you I’ve been working for a vampire?” Evan asked softly. “I  don’t mean that figuratively, either. I mean literally. She’s a monster. She’s killed her own models. She turns people into monsters like her.”

For a long moment, Will couldn’t do anything but stare at his friend,  wondering if this was a joke and he was somehow missing the punch line.  Evan’s blue eyes were haunted but guileless; the man was a lousy liar,  at least when it came to Will, and there was too much pain in Evan’s  gaze for it to be some elaborate trick. Whatever was really going on,  Evan, at least, believed what he was saying, and that was the most  horrifying part of it. Whatever had happened to Evan in the last few  months had damaged him in a way that Will was afraid he wasn’t going to  be able to fix.

It was painful to face the fact that his best friend had apparently  suffered some sort of mental breakdown, and Will cursed himself for not  having tried harder to get in contact when Evan’s communications had  grown infrequent. Obviously Evan had been going through something  terrible, and Will knew that he had to do whatever he could to get Evan  the help he needed. Which meant making sure that Evan remained here for  now, until Will could figure out how to get him to a doctor.

“Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying,” he replied, keeping his  voice quiet and reassuring. “Elizabeth Nadasdy, the famous fashion  designer, is a vampire who kills people. That makes sense, I suppose. Or at least it explains why the models all look as though they weigh five  pounds.” His attempt at humor sounded hollow, but it was the best he  could do at the moment. “And she’s after you?”

Evan leaned back away from Will. “You don’t believe me. You think I’m crazy.”

Will hated to see that look on Evan’s face, the question of sanity aside.  “Evan, it’s not that I don’t want to believe you, all right? But you  know how it sounds, don’t you?” He knew his tone was pleading. “Vampires don’t exist. I can tell you believe it, though, and that makes it hard, because I know you’d never lie to me. But how can I believe it? How can you believe it?” He reached out and touched Evan’s arm in mute appeal. “How?”

Evan met Will’s gaze, his expression steady and calm, no trace of madness  lurking in his gaze. “I don’t just believe it. I know it. I know it  because I’m one too.”

—– =============================================== —–

TO WIN A FREE COPY OF “BLOOD BATHORY LIKE THE NIGHT”, LEAVE A COMMENT TO THIS POST:

1) Follow the given format to enter yourself into the contest:

Name*:
Email ID*:
The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*:

Message to the authors:

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CONTEST WILL END ON 3rd July, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

So, hurry!!

Comments
  1. Jeanne says:

    Great cover and would love to win. I prefer a print copy if I win. jtagee@bham.rr.com

  2. Urb says:

    Urbanista
    brendurbanist@gmail.com
    ePub
    I love the excerpt! Good lookin out, being on Sid Love’s awesome blog! Good luck with the book!

  3. Toni Whitmire says:

    The excerpt was very good
    bibbiesparks@yahoo.com
    pdf or printed if available.

  4. Trix says:

    Trix
    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com
    Kindle format
    Sounds intense and intriguing!

  5. DebraG says:

    Debby
    debby236@gmail,.com
    PDF
    I always admire people who can collaborate so successfully. Keep up the good work!

  6. H.B. says:

    H.B.
    humhumbum@yahoo.com
    PDF
    Collaborations, esp. one involving storytelling always seemed a bit daunting to me and I still can’t wrap my mind around how two people can write so well and uniformly together and make sense. It’s just amazes me when it happens and it actually turns out well.

    • arionrhod says:

      I think it’s a partially a matter of finding a person whose style is compatible with your own. Plus McKay and I have literally MILLIONS of words of collaboration under our belts, so we’d better be able to make sense! 😀 Thanks so much, and good luck in the drawing!

  7. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. I’d love to read the rest of the story.

    Cynthia
    schan26.wisc@gmail(dot)com
    PDF

  8. Midia says:

    Mídia
    midiamuniz@yahoo.com
    PDF or Mobi
    Sounds really intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway

  9. Carolyn says:

    Carolyn
    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com
    epub, please
    That’s such a cool story about how you started writing together and how you continue to maintain a writing partnership. It sounds like the trilogy is going to be a harrowing journey, physically and mentally, for the characters. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing with us.

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