About the Book
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Genre: Transgender Romance
Length: 80 Pages
Published By: Liv Rancourt
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Blurb: Preacher always said New Orleans was a den of sin, so of course Clarabelle had to see for herself…
Momma says a body reaps what they sow, and Clarabelle’s planted the seeds of trouble. The year is 1933, and not much else is growing in the Oklahoma dirt. Clarabelle’s gone and fallen in love with her best friend, so she figures it’s time to go out and see the world.
If she’s lucky, she’ll find the kind of girl who’ll kiss her back.
Clarabelle heads for New Orleans, and that’s where she meets Vaughn. Now, Vaughn’s as pretty as can be, but she’s hiding something. When she gets jumped by a pair of hoodlums, Clarabelle comes to her rescue and accidentally discovers her secret. She has to decide whether Vaughn is really the kind of girl for her, and though Clarabelle started out a dirt-farming Okie, Vaughn teaches her just what it means to be a lady.
Thanks so much, Lisa, for having me back on TNA and for sharing my pretty new cover! Although Change of Heart is an Hours of the Night story, it’s very different than Vespers and Bonfire, so the cover art has a much different, you could say girlier, look.
Change of Heart is set in the Hours of the Night world, but it takes place in 1933, well before either of the other books. The story is told from the point of view of Clara, a young woman who leaves her Oklahoma farm for the big, wicked city.
And if she’s lucky, she’ll find the kind of girl who’ll kiss her back.
So how did Clara’s story come about? I had committed to writing a novella for an anthology, and the only requirement was that it be set in New Orleans. Now, you might remember from Vespers that the vampire Thaddeus Dupont lived in the Garden District after he was turned in 1925, right? I wrote the novella in snatches of time while we were editing Vespers, and Thad just sorta walked right onto the page. He’s the link between Change of Heart and the other stories.
Thaddeus may have a role in Change of Heart, but he’s never identified as a vampire. Instead, I left a few clues for readers who connected with him in the other books. I don’t know how much cross-over there’ll be, but I thought it would be fun to see Mr. Dupont before the Church really got ahold of him.
And I don’t want to share any spoilers, so all I’ll say is the vampire’s not the only character keeping secrets.
I do hope readers give Change of Heart a chance. It’s a sweet and slightly spicy novella with a lot of heart, it gives the Hours of the Night a feminine touch. And it’s only $0.99 from now until March 7th!
Good thing she couldn’t see me blush, though the boldness of her stare gave me courage. “You know, I busted Lorraine necking with some lady when I got to work tonight.” Edging so close to what I really wanted made me giddy.
Vaughn laughed again. “Which one? She has more dames on her string than any fellow in the place.”
The gleam in her eye set my belly trembling. Maybe Lorraine wasn’t the only one with dames on a string. “All I saw was a pink dress.”
“Oh yeah. Millie Fitzgerald came in tonight with her sister. Couple of lookers, both of them.”
I dipped a fingertip into my gin and sucked it off, hoping a little taste wouldn’t burn as badly. Vaughn watched the whole thing, which heated my cheeks again. I might have thought about kissing a girl, but I didn’t know how I felt about knowing someone who’d actually done it. Who was I kidding? Excitement filled my belly like a gallon of fizzy soda.
“There are a few girls with girlfriends at the club.” Vaughn leaned in, bumping me with her shoulder. Her long hair tickled my skin and gave off a whiff of rosewater. “Boys with boyfriends, too.”
“What?” I took another fiery sip and burst out coughing. When she rubbed my shoulder, her hand stayed put, and I had to fight to keep from snuggling against her. A voice in my head tried to tell me necking with a woman in public was bad. That voice could shut right up.
“You know Ben who works the bar?” she asked when I calmed myself, her arm draped over my shoulders, her voice nuzzling my ear. “I’ve caught him more than once on his knees in front of Remo in the kitchen.”
“Really?” I squinted my eyes to try and picture the two men and what they might have been doing. “I knew a boy back home who was a pansy, but Ben and Remo aren’t that way.”
“Oh, you don’t have to be an Ethel to enjoy bending over for another man. You’d be surprised.” She scooted me in closer, sending up tiny sparks wherever we touched.
I must really have come to a place where everyone lived in sin. Vaughn said something, but I couldn’t hear her because the movement of her lips flustered me. She didn’t repeat herself, but her mouth curled into a sly little smile, and she took another sip of her gin.
A single strand of pearls glowed against the collar of her black uniform dress. They looked real, too. I reached out thoughtlessly, rolling one of the cool, lustrous beads between my fingers.
“Leo gave me that.” She took hold of my hand, drawing it into her lap.
“Your old friend Leo.” Who made me jealous, even though I’d never met the man.
“My old friend Leo.” She ran the tip of her tongue along her lower lip. “He’ll be here soon. Do you want a ride home?”
Disappointment trickled through the haze of my thoughts. The way we were snuggling together, I didn’t want to hear about going anywhere. “That’d be nice,” I lied.
“Finish your drink, then, and we’ll go find him.”
She wouldn’t let me pay, didn’t let go of my hand, and seemed to ignore my sulk. Outside the bar, the night was muggy, the streets dark. There were hookers around, and the men who went with them, and other men, the kind who looked for trouble and found it.
Standing next to Vaughn, though, I felt safe. She drew me into a shadowy doorway on the corner of Bourbon Street and Dumain, and all my fizzy excitement came whooshing back. She had her arm around me, holding me close, and I put my arm around her narrow waist and breathed in the warm smell of roses.
Was this wrong? My Momma would think so, and so would the preacher. I tipped my chin, trying to smile despite the shivers rattling me.
“You’re a peach, Clara Ryan,” she whispered, and then she kissed me. Her lips were soft and tasted of Max Factor lipstick and gin, and my breath caught in my throat. At first we pressed our lips together, sweetly, gently. I stood on tiptoe to get closer, and she wrapped a hand around my neck. This couldn’t be a sin. It couldn’t. Vaughn’s kiss felt way too much like heaven.
About the Author
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.