Adrian: Hey, thanks for asking me here to help celebrate the holidays with y’all! I’m looking forward to New Orleans in 2012 and meeting everyone at AAD! I thought it might be more fun if, instead of me answering holiday questions, if I asked Dante, Heather, Von, and Lucien from The Maker’s Song books how they celebrate the holidays—or if they even do!
All four of them are here at Club Hell, relaxing at the bar with various drinks of their choice. To start, I handed out description questionnaires to each to fill out for those of you who haven’t met them before. Once that’s done, we’ll go into a group holiday discussion. All right, guys. Hand ‘em over. (Looks over questionnaires. Rolls eyes). A bunch of comedians. I should’ve known. All right, I’m posting these just as you wrote them up. So there. Starting with Dante.
Name: Dante Baptiste
Height/Weight: 5’9 and, shit, dunno, chère. Never bothered to step on a scale. (shrugs)
Hair/Eye color: Black and brown.
Identifying physical marks: Got a small tat of a bat above my heart. Seven piercings in each ear (last time I counted, that is), black-painted fingernails.
Single or taken: Taken, for true. (smiles at Heather)
Anything else noteworthy: Aside from fangs and wings and bondage collar? Eyes go gold when using Fallen gifts. I was born vampire, so that makes me a True Blood, but I’m also Fallen on my father’s side, and a creawdwr. Oh. And I’m frontman for Inferno.
Name: Heather Wallace.
Height/Weight: 5’4, 110 lbs.
Hair/Eye color: Red and blue
Identifying physical marks: Um . . . none that I can think of. And I won’t put down what Dante just suggested. (laughs)
Single or taken: Taken. (winks at Dante)
Anything else noteworthy: Former FBI agent and profiler. Mortal, and definitely okay with that. Now I’m bonded—heart, mind, and soul—with Dante. An unsettling experience at times. I’ve always wanted to be a voice for the dead, a voice for justice, but after I met Dante, I learned that the living need a voice too.
Name: Von McGuinn
Age: I was 31 when I was turned 40 years ago, so I guess that makes me 71. Still jailbait, nightkind-wise.
Height/Weight: 6’2, 200 lbs. of pure nomad muscle. (flexes biceps.)
Hair/Eye color: Brown and green.
Identifying physical marks: Crescent moon tattoo underneath my right eye, mustache framing my mouth. Fangs. Clan tattoos all over my body. (winks)
Single or taken: Very single, darlin’ . . .
Anything else noteworthy: Besides being nomad and a llygad—nightkind warrior-bards and historians? (sweeps a hand up his body) Just all this, doll. The complete package.
Dante: And modest to boot.
Von: (nods) You bet your ass, little brother.
Heather (whispering to Dante): Does he even know what modest means?
Von: I heard that, woman.
Dante: (whispering back) I think that means no.
Von: I heard that too.
(Dante and Von exchange a friendly round of uplifted middle fingers.)
Name: Lucien De Noir.
Age: My little secret.
Height/Weight: 6’8 and, like my son, I haven’t bothered to step on a scale.
Hair/Eye color: Black and black.
Identifying physical marks: Wings, waist-length black hair. Eyes turn gold when manifesting Fallen nature.
Single or taken: Single.
Anything else noteworthy: Fallen. Known as the Nightbringer, I’m also Dante’s father and once ruled Gehenna until Lilith tricked her way onto the Black-Starred throne.
Adrian: Let’s get this interview rolling. First question, just out of curiosity, what are you all drinking?
Dante: (lifts bottle) Absinthe.
Von: Because nothing says Christmas like a bit of wormwood. (Another friendly round of uplifted middle fingers are exchanged.) Me, I prefer Jack Daniels.
Heather: I’ve got Bailey’s and coffee. With whipped cream and a bit of nutmeg. (Sighs happily.) Yum.
Adrian: Next question: Do any of you celebrate the holidays? I figure Heather does, but . . .
Heather: Yup, that I do.
Von: Being nomad, no. I mean, not the traditional Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza stuff. Nomad clans celebrate the winter solstice. Dances, candles in trees, a feast. All good stuff. A celebration of life and the long night and the promise of dawn and returning spring.
Dante: Wow. That sounded like a voice-over for some apocalyptic end-of-the-world-we-must-start-over flick. But a poetic voice-over.
(More uplifted middle fingers.)
Heather: Did you continue to celebrate the solstice after you were turned?
Von: Shit, yeah, doll. But since I’d left my clan to follow my chosen path as llygad, I was generally by myself, so celebrations became shorter and quieter, but no less booze-soaked. (laughs) Then I met Dante and roped him into celebrating with me since he didn’t have any traditions of his own.
Dante (shrugs): Still don’t.
Heather: (smiling at Dante from over the rim of her coffee mug): I think we’ll start a few traditions of our own.
Dante: As long as it doesn’t involve drunken nomads dancing in their boxers around a bonfire in the woods while screaming, “The Holly King is dead! Long live the motherfucking Oak King of Winter Solstice! The Holly King is dead!”, then I’m good, catin.
Von (indignantly): I wasn’t drunk and you were dancing too.
Dante: I was laughing too fucking hard to dance, mon ami. You in that antlered crown . . . (grins)
Von: The Oak King needs a crown. Now shut up and drink your holiday wormwood, you heathen.
(Laughing, Dante flips Von the double bird, a gesture he kindly returns.)
Heather: What about you, Lucien? I have a hard time imagining that the Fallen celebrate the holidays.
Lucien: You’re right, we don’t. But once I left Gehenna for the mortal world, I sometimes found myself participating in various celebrations out of curiosity or—sometimes —friendship.
Adrian: What is the worst gift you’ve ever received or gave to some other unfortunate soul?
Heather: One Christmas, when I was a kid, I received a bottle of hand lotion from an elderly aunt. Hand lotion—Jergen’s, I think. The worst present a ten-year old ever received. Did I mention that it was hand lotion?
Von: (winks) Up the age to twelve, and that hand lotion would be a gift most boys would appreciate.
Lucien (thoughtfully, in his deep bass rumble): I once gave a severed head on a silver platter to a vain queen. Given that the head belonged to her husband, I don’t think she appreciated it. One should always be careful of what one asks for . . . especially aloud.
(Von and Dante stare at Lucien. The sound of crickets fill the room for several long moments.)
Adrian: Oh-kaaaay, then. Moving on. What is your favorite holiday food? (I hope I don’t regret asking this one!) Let me clarify for you nightkind. Name a food that isn’t blood. Dante, I know that you’re curious and have tasted food from the plates of mortal friends, so think of a holiday fave. Von, from your mortal days . . . ?
Dante: Yeah, d’accord, chère. In that case, for me, it’s dark chocolate covered cherries.
Von: Pumpkin pie with cinnamon cream.
Heather: Mashed potatoes and gravy. Comfort food.
Lucien: The heart of my enemy grilled with rosemary and a bit of sage. (Everyone stares. More crickets. Lucien laughs, long and hard. Wipes at his eyes. Sighs.) I’m kidding. But honestly, if you could’ve see your faces. Turducken. Fried. Again, I kid. Your faces! (chuckles) I love hot buttered crescent rolls.
Adrian: What is your least favorite holiday song?
Dante, Heather, Lucien, & Von (in unison) : “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer!”
Adrian: What is your favorite holiday movie?
Heather: A Christmas Story. I watch it every Christmas. Love it!
Dante: Huh. I’d hafta say Edward Scissorhands or A Nightmare Before Christmas.
Heather (whispers to Dante) I think by holiday, she meant Christmas, not Halloween.
Dante (stubbornly) Still holiday flicks, yeah?
Von: Okay, little brother. If you’re going there, then I choose Gremlins or Bad Santa.
Dante: Both holiday classics.
Lucien: It’s a Wonderful Life. Quite amusing.
Adrian: Okay, we’re all done. Thanks so much to Dante, Heather, Von, and Lucien for dropping by. I’ll talk to y’all soon. Drink up. Relax. And Happy Holidays.
THE MAKER’S SONG SERIES
Book 1, A Rush of Wings, January 2008
Tracking a sadistic serial murderer has led FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace to New Orleans, Club Hell, and the man known as Dante. But the dangerously attractive musician not only resists her investigation, he claims to be “nightkind”: in other words, a vampire. Digging into his past reveals an extensive juvenile record, but no known birth date or social security number. In and out of foster homes for most of his life, he was eventually taken in by an equally mysterious man named Lucien De Noir, who tries to shield his ward from Heather’s investigation.
Heather is sure, however, that Dante is linked to the murderer–and could be the next target. Now, she must unravel the truth about this sensual, complicated, vulnerable young man–who, she begins to believe, truly is a vampire–in order to bring the killer to justice. But what Heather doesn’t know is that Dante’s past holds a shocking, dangerous secret, and once it is revealed not even she will be able to protect him from his destiny . . .
“Hard-charging action sequences, steamy sex scenes, and a surprising government conspiracy make this debut, the first in a series, engrossingly fun.” — Entertainment Weekly
Book 2, In the Blood, January 2009
Book 3, Beneath the Skin, January 2010
Book 5, On Midnight Wings is coming March 2012!
*minimal blurbs provided to prevent spoiling.
Adrian: I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why the delay in the release of the fifth Maker’s Song book, On Midnight Wings. It’ll be released the end of 2012 or the first of 2013 due to my difficulty in hitting the deadline.
Back when I was writing Beneath the Skin, I broke my ankle in Orlando at RT (and had to have surgery to repair it once I was home again), then suffered a double pulmonary embolism on the flight home. Ican’t tell you how fortunate I feel to have survived that! But I fell behind on my deadlines at that point as I was recovering. I also sold a second series shortly prior to this, so now I was behind in two series. I’ve been racing ever since mid-2009 to catch up. This will finally give me that opportunity. I’m hoping On Midnight Wings will be out the end of December 2012 and that the third Hoodoo book, Black Moon Mojo, will be out July of 2013 (if not sooner). I’m also working on a third series, Sons of Darkness, that I hope will be out in 2012. In the meantime, I’ll be posting short stories about the Maker’s Song characters and advance peeks from the peek to tide folks over.
My sincere apologies for the long delay! I appreciate your continued support. It means more to me than you’ll ever know! Y’all ROCK!
You can read a chapter from the book that opens The Maker’s Song series. Here the first chapter of A Rush of Wings.
Here’s the first chapter of Black Dust Mambo. (Hoodoo Book 1)
And the first two chapters of Black Heart Loa. (Hoodoo Book 2)
You can also find me at:
Thank you so much for joining us, Ms. Phoenix! We love both of your series to death, and cannot wait to meet you in New Orleans for Authors After Dark 2012!
As a writer, a person, and a mother, I’ve always believed in following your dreams, following your heart. It’s also important to keep your heart, so I also believe in being prepared for zombie attacks and can’t stress enough the importance of having regular family drills so every member of the household is zombie-ready. One never knows. Make sure the sofa is ready to push in front of the door. Be clear that if a member of the family is on the wrong side of the door when the zombie action goes down. They remain on the wrong side of the door. The greater good, etc.
I live in Springfield, Oregon in a zombie-free home (except when meeting deadlines) with three cats, Amiga, Diabla, and Ember and have two sons and three grandchildren and two granddogs. I’m the author of The Maker’s Song and Hoodoo series and short stories (the short stuff usually under Adrian Nikolas Phoenix).
I love to read and see movies, enjoy hiking with my granddog, Cielo, (immortalized in Black Dust Mambo and Black Heart Loa), and hanging out with friends.
I also love creepy things and yearns to go on a paranormal investigation. I also hope to do a haunted tour one day.
I also love, love, love music – and anything by Trent Reznor is high on the list. I also love to hear from my readers and fans, So please feel free to contact me via the CONTACT link or at email@example.com or via snail mail at PO Box 1468, Springfield, OR 97477.
Now that you’ve learned about The Makers Song series, please check out Adrian Phoenix’s other amazing series!
THE HOODOO SERIES
Book 1, Black Dust Mambo, July 2010
Kallie Riviere, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance’s annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching — the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju — a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.
Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie’s search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated — back home to Bayou Cypres Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie’s aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.
Book 2, Black Heart Loa, July 2011
“An eye for an eye is never enough.”
Kallie Riviere, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice.
The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as a storm–the deadliest in a century–is born.
As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself.
To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Valin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup-garou designed to steal her heart–literally.
To enter, please leave a comment telling us which option (1-3) you would like to receive, and *what appeals to you about this selection* you. If you select 3, please include which book!