Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The "morning after" with the Vampire Next Door

'Morning all! Sorry for the delay. This is my "first time" at a "morning after" blog and Blogger and I had a few technical issues this time around, but we worked them out eventually. Sounds just like a relationship between a guy and a gal, doesn't it? :)

I thought I'd post an excerpt from Help! I'm Falling for the Vampire Next Door to celebrate its release. Enjoy!

Help! I'm Falling for the Vampire Next Door
by Celine Chatillon http://www.celinechatillon.com
ISBN 1-59578-229-X

Short synopsis:
Valentine Drakul longs for a mate, someone to share eternity with who won’t be totally grossed out living on a diet of steak tartare. Could the sexy girl living upstairs fulfill his every fantasy?

Melynda Kerpanik got the heck out of Dodge, Kansas, and ended up in St. Louis working for her cousin as an interior decorator. But will her career plans take a backseat to her curiosity about things that “go bump in the night”?

A deadly foe ensnares Mel in his evil plot to rid the world of Kindred race... Can Val save the mortal woman he loves without transforming her into the eternally lonely being he's become?

Their first meeting...

Val Drakul had two choices. He could either sink his fangs deep into the flesh of this woman’s luscious, lithe neck--and dispose of her deliciously curvy body later--or he could ask his attractive, half-dressed, uninvited guest to sit down and stay awhile.
He chose the latter.

“I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced,” Val said, letting go of his prey and switching on the hall light. “I’m Val Drakul. You must be my new neighbor upstairs. Shelby’s cousin, right?”

Her face paled as he led her toward the living area. Her cat-green eyes widened with fear and surprise. “Y-yes. I’m M-Mel... Melynda Kerpanik.

She stuck out a unsteady hand to shake. Her skin felt velvet soft and warm to the touch. Val clenched his jaw, fighting back an almost insatiable urge to taste her.

“And it’s not what you think,” she continued. “I heard this awful noise so I came down to investigate and--”

“You just happened to notice my door was unlocked?” Val raised one dark eyebrow and chuckled. “So you entered my abode to make sure if everything was all right--is that correct?” She nodded. He motioned for her to sit down beside him on his leather couch. Slowly she bent her knees and relaxed against its cool, smooth surface.

“That was very neighborly of you, Ms. Kerpanik.”

“Uh, thanks. You can call me ‘Mel’ if you like.”

The blush on her high cheekbones enchanted him. The white streak in her part, dividing her waist-length black hair like a skunk’s stripe, he found sexy, too.

“I used to live next to a little old lady who had this awful tendency of falling and breaking her hip,” she continued. “So I tend to act first and ask permission later.”

“That’s an admirable trait, Mel.” He frowned, although his dark eyes continued to scan her curves. “‘Mel’ sounds like a man’s name, and you most definitely aren’t a man. I shall call you Melynda instead. Is that all right?”

She swallowed hard. “Please do.”

“I know I really shouldn’t say a word about your nickname when mine is ‘Val’. I get tons of junk mail addressed, ‘Valerie’. Very few men are named ‘Valentine’ these days. I suppose I should change it.”

“No, I wouldn’t. It’s a good, strong name. And I love the holiday.”

“Really?” He smiled and settled back in his seat. This Melynda person was definitely worth getting to know better even if she was a mere mortal. “Would you like something to drink?” he asked. She shook her head no. “That’s okay. I’m probably out of everything except beer any how.”

She grinned nervously. “Typical bachelor.”

“Yes, I am. And I do have an appalling habit of not locking my doors at times. I don’t expect too many night visitors, so when I go out on a shoot I forget to throw the bolt.”

“A shoot?”

“Photos. I’m a photographer.”

“Yes, so Shelby told me. I noticed some fantastic cityscapes in your darkroom.”

He lifted one curious eyebrow. “Why, thank you. Do you happen to have one of my calendars?”

“Calendar?” Her green eyes widened. “You posed for a calendar?”
“No, I don’t model.”

The endearing blush crept up her cheeks once again. She demurely pulled her robe tighter across her more-than-ample breasts. Val forced his hungry gaze away from his attractive guest’s obvious charms and returned to discussing the topic at hand.

“I shoot a yearly cityscape calendar of St. Louis. Would you like one? I have several promotional copies in my study.”

“Oh, yes, I’d love one.”

Val rose and swiftly exited the living area before Mel could exhale her long-held breath.

What the hell am I doing chitchatting with my devastatingly handsome neighbor at three in the morning? She was certifiably mental. But she couldn’t seem to help herself. She was hooked.

The man couldn’t get any better looking if he tried. Even his name sounded sexy: Drah-kool. The way he said it sent orgasmic sparks zinging along her spine. She couldn’t quite place the accent, but wherever he was from originally the women there were mighty fortunate.

His muscular backside had intrigued her in the moonlight. But now that she could enjoy his face close up his aquiline profile fascinated her to no end. Dark, obsidian eyes glowed with an inner spark above chiseled cheekbones and a smooth, square jaw line. When he looked at her it was if he could see right through her and glimpse the throbbing pulse of her heart. His wavy, shoulder length, jet-black hair was to die for. His slightly olive skin tone denoted perhaps some Mediterranean or Eastern European ancestry? Either way, it was amazing Hollywood hadn’t scooped up a stud like him and put him in pictures.

Sex appeal--Val Drakul simply overflowed with it. His full lips looked like they were made to kiss and to be kissed--passionately and frequently. And his smile? Closed mouth yet quirky. Like he laughed with confidence at all life threw at him and then some. Like he knew his own mind. Like he enjoyed a good beer, a good smoke, a good woman...
Mel pulled her silk robe tighter across her peaking breasts. The mere thought of making love to Val Drakul made her knees turn to Jell-O. It had been too long--way too long--since she’d been with a man.

That damn cheating ex of hers gotten it from both her and his man-stealing girlfriend for a time, but she’d been living the life of a nun since their marriage broke up. Her luscious-buns neighbor probably didn’t suffer at all in that particular department. She didn’t want his pity.

There was no need for Val Drakul to learn that she was a lonely, undersexed, unemployed art teacher from Kansas. She had to get out of here. She’d take her free calendar, wish him goodnight and run the hell back upstairs before she wet his nice leather couch thinking how amazing he must look without his clothes on.

“Here you go.” Mel stood as Val returned to the living room and handed her a large, glossy calendar. “About half are in color and half in black and white. I prefer the black and white shots myself, but the publisher always insists on at least six of the twelve in color.”

Mel flipped through the pages, mesmerized by his talent and technique. In the thrill of discovering another artist’s work, she completely forgot about her desire to depart.

“How breathtaking! They’re simply beautiful. I love your black and white photos, too. Has Shelby talked to you about doing some art photography for the lofts upstairs?”

Val looked decidedly uncomfortable for a split second before his charming smile reasserted itself. “Yes, she has. But I declined. I have more than enough business with the calendar shots, my own gallery showings and the occasional freelance opportunity. Maybe some other time.”

“Too bad. I was thinking of doing at least one of the lofts up in a cool black, white and metallic gray scheme and your photos would be superb accents. You sure you won’t reconsider? They wouldn’t have to be new photos--they could be reprints.”

She turned back to October’s picture of a huge, blood-red harvest moon hanging over the Arch, illuminating it and the river beyond with an eerie orange glow. “I could really see this photo blown up to a good wall-picture size hanging over a dining table.”

Quick, like a cat, he stood beside her, glancing over her shoulder. Mel shivered slightly and felt the dampness between her legs growing.

“Ah, yes. That’s one of my favorites. I wouldn’t mind seeing my Halloween photo framed and hanging on a wall rather than in just a calendar. Let me talk to my publisher about the reprint rights.”

“Fantastic.” She beamed a smile in thanks at him. “It will make my decorating job that much easier.”

“No promises. But I will try,” he said softly.

Mel turned slightly, examining the handsome visage mere inches from her own. Those lips... those eyes. She could see herself taking Val’s strong chin in her hand and tilting his head just a little toward hers and then… Vivid images of her and her newly introduced neighbor moving together as one between satin sheets flooded her mind. It was as if it their joining had already happened—or would happen—and she had no control of how fate would bring them together for better or worse.

“Melynda? Are you all right?” Concern etched itself across his features. He reached out to touch her shoulder.

“Me? I’m fine.” She shook her head and rubbed her temples, inching away from him. The disturbing feeling of déjà vu quickly passed. She’d only been in the Twilight Zone for a few seconds this time. Why she hadn’t outgrown these occasional psychic daytrips was beyond her. “It’s late, and I’m not thinking too clearly. I’d better go now.”

“Yes, you’d better. Unless...”


She looked deep into his eyes and then she knew--she could never leave him.

“Unless you’d feel safer staying here tonight.” His rich baritone enveloped her like a cloud, drawing her further into its mists; his intense, dark eyes plumbed the depths of her soul.

“I mean, this is an old building and there are lots of strange noises. The vast majority of them are innocuous, but...” He shrugged.

She swallowed hard, licking suddenly dry lips. “You mean there’s something in the building that isn’t harmless?”

“Yes. Me.”

Help! I'm Falling for the Vampire Next Door
by Celine Chatillon (http://www.celinechatillon.com)

P.S. If you've read this far, I want to thank you. Now, here's my "prize": Everyone who signs up for my Celine's Dreams yahoogroup newsletter today will be entered into a drawing for a download of Help! I'm Falling for the Vampire Next Door . Everyone else will receive a free prize as well. Sounds like a "win-win" situation, doesn't it? Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celinesdreams and join now!


Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Nice excerpt! I love the cover too! I am already a member of Celine's Dreams.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Oh and I forgot to say that I LOVE the title of the book!!!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Celine Chatillon said...

Thanks twice over Jennifer! :) Give me an email at celinechatillon @ hotmail.com and I'll email you a "prize" for commenting here today. :)

I think Mike over at LSB thinks I'm crazy with giving a book that long of a title. I'm giving him carpal tunnel syndrome problems whenever he has to create a web page for it, etc. He's going to love my next title idea in the series then... "Hey! I'm Hangin' with a Time Surfer"

1:36 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

LOL...you have some great titles!

3:05 PM  
Blogger Estella said...

Just signed up for your Yahoo group
Book is a must read!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous annalisa said...

Loved the title and the great cover art of your book! Very eye catching! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt. Sounds like my type of book! :)

4:01 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

Sounds great.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Cherie J said...

Great Excerpt! I just joined your yahoo group

4:26 PM  
Blogger Emma Sinclair said...

Love the excerpt Celine! Can't wait to read it!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Celine Chatillon said...


Thanks everyone for your kind words. I may start believing I can actually write! :)

4:50 PM  
Blogger blackroze37 -tami said...

ive signed up for your newsletter and been seeing the title places, and think would make a wonderufl read! love the exceprt!!!!
and lol i love the title !

5:40 PM  
Blogger LadyVampire2u said...

I am already a member of Celine's Dreams but am glad I came on the blog today and got to read your excerpt. I thought it was fabulous!!! You certainly can write and I hope to see you write many more books. Also, I really like the title. Its better to have a title that gives some character to the book then to have a two word title sometimes. Congrats on this newest release!


6:35 PM  
Blogger Jeanette J said...

sounds great...I'm in

8:00 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Interesting last line. Now should she stay or should she go? Hmmmmm....

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Joy said...

wow! Now I have to print his out to read!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous celine chatillon said...

I'm glad to know that the consensus is that a long title isn't a detriment to a book's success. Thanks for all the wonderful feedback.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Oh and I sent my e-mail...hope you got it!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

Hi Celine, I just "friended" you at MySpace. I love the cover, title and excerpt of this book and I'd love to read it! I get your newsletter. :-)

12:03 PM  
Anonymous celine chatillon said...

Thanks Mel! Anyone who wants to be my friend at myspace.com/celinechatillon is welcomed to do so.

The winner of the VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR book drawing is Mary S. of Missouri. Congrats Mary!

9:34 PM  

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