The Novel Approach welcomes Jordan Castillo Price today to talk a bit about the Channeling Morpheus series. If you haven’t met Michael and Wild Bill yet, all I have to say is, trust me, you have to meet Michael and Wild Bill. ::nom::
Enjoy a little taste of vampires the JCP way, then be sure to enter the giveaway she’s offering just for you. Details are below.
Hi, Lisa! I was so thrilled to hear you were a fan of the Channeling Morpheus series back in the early days of M/M. This series always felt like a well-kept secret to me, so I’m putting together some box sets, audio and some new material in hopes of introducing the series to the many newer M/M readers out there.
I’ve been enamored with vampires ever since I was a little kid. Seriously, my love for vampires goes all the way back to The Count from Sesame Street and Count Chocula cereal. Universal Monsters were a big deal in the 70’s, and most Sunday afternoons you could catch an old Dracula, Wolfman or Mummy film on TV. Then as a teenager I read Interview with the Vampire, and I was hooked for life.
What components of the vampire lore are important, though, and what can be discarded? In other words, what makes a vampire a vampire?
Early vampires in literature and silent film were stinky, gross, animated corpses. Yet even after the vampire was romanticized, he still shared certain characteristics with the undead creature at his roots.
I’ve picked and chosen which typical vamp rules are in effect for Channeling Morpheus, and which merely unfounded rumor. One of the key vampire advantages I’ve opted to leave intact was the hypnotic vampire gaze.
In the series’ first scene, vampire hunter Michael finally meets a vampire he’s been stalking online, and in person, the vamp is a whole lot scarier than Michael bargained for.
The black-haired guy stared at me, looked into my eyes. He was handsome, of course, with startling golden-green eyes and cheekbones to die for. His hair was more done up than my just-below-the-chin-length bob, long in front and spiked in back. Vamps are always slick, always handsome. And he didn’t seem too concerned about what was tacky, or what was obvious, or what was awkward. I felt a queasy flutter as he did his thing—just looking and looking and looking—like my spine was reacting to him, sending weird signals to random spots in my nervous system.
Holy crap, after all this time I find him…and me with absolutely nothing interesting to say. I wet my suddenly-dry lips and forced my shoulders to relax, my spine to sag. A half smile that I’d practiced for hours found its way onto my face, a mask of sultry indifference.
His eyes found mine again. I hadn’t realized they’d ever looked away. But then I figured out why—he’d been watching me wet my lips. “I’m Michael,” I said. And I made a mental note to practice small talk. Something. Anything. The library probably had a great wealth of information about that, just like everything else you could find there, if you were patient enough to sift through a billion other words.
“Gray,” he said. “A pleasure.”
His mouth molded the word pleasure like it was something dirty.
Of course, every blessing can be seen as a curse if you try hard enough. Wild Bill claims to hate the ability to charm people. How can you tell how someone really feels about you, the real you inside, when the fact of your vampirism will override all their true feelings?
“Whatever you said still wouldn’t count as an actual agreement. I’d always vamp you, just by looking at you. I’d never know if you were into me for real.”
As much as he gives lip service to the unfairness of it all, though, Bill is happy to create his own kind of currency and use his hypnotic vampire gaze in lieu of money.
I turned around and looked for Bill. He was way across the lot in the gas station. I watched him through the plate glass window. He pointed at the cigarettes, and then the candy bars, and the clerk stacked them on the counter. Bill pointed at something else, and the attendant shook his head. Bill leaned in close. He looked pretty motivated. The guy behind the counter gave an “oh well” kind of shrug, unlocked a cabinet and handed him a small bottle from it. Bill walked out without paying.
It’s interesting to think about what could be achieved with the application of a little vampire charm. Once in a while I have one of those days when someone at the grocery checkout looks me in the eye, then swoops in front of me with a big, full cart of stuff. And it would feel good to quell those minor annoyances with a mere “don’t mess with me” look. But as for more serious stuff? I dunno, I guess working the eyeball mojo would take some getting used to for me. I’m more of a “don’t sweat the small stuff” person at heart!
What about you? If you could vamp someone’s head, would you do it? In what circumstances?
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED
To qualify in the drawing, comments must be time/date stamped by Midnight Pacific time on Sunday, March 29, 2015. One winner will be selected at random on Monday, the 30th, and notified by email for prize delivery.
Title: Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary Ebook Box Set
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Length: 72,000 words
ISBN: 978-1-935540- 74-8
Publisher: JCP Books
Cover Artist: Jordan Castillo Price
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Smashwords | Scribd
Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary Blurb: Michael is a waif in eyeliner who’s determined to wipe vampires off the face of the earth. Wild Bill’s got the hots for Michael, and will stop at nothing to go home with him.
Forget about moonlit castles and windswept moors. These bad boys haunt all-night diners and cheap motels, cut-rate department stores and long, lonely stretches of the Interstate. Ride along with Wild Bill and Michael as the twists and turns of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary unfold in America’s Heartland.
Ebook box set contains the following novelettes: Payback, Vertigo, Manikin, Tainted, Rebirth.
Teaser: I slid my tongue over his and caught it on his fang, and the taste of my blood mixed with the taste of Bill’s mouth. He made a small sound that could have been pleasure or pain.
He flicked his half-smoked cigarette out the window with stunning accuracy. His fingertips brushed my face, gentle touches I could hardly feel. I slipped my arms around him and pulled him closer. I was tough. He didn’t have to worry about breaking me.
He pressed his body against mine, and he kissed me. He threaded his fingers through my wet hair and explored my coppery mouth. My tongue bled.
We both gasped for air when he finally broke the kiss.
“Just a little taste,” he said. “That’s what I keep telling myself. I can stop any time.” He pressed his forehead into mine and breathed carefully. “Any time.”
“Drink,” I said. “I can spare it. She didn’t take much.”
He smiled, I think. He was hard to read in the near-dark, and so close. “I’m not talking about blood.”
Author Bio: Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to rural small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” and boys in eyeliner.
Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her new series, Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.