Blessed Nightside…

Interview With A Different Vampire…

by Holly Hannon

 

Doctor Raimond Banitierre, thank you for joining us today. Might you tell us a little bit about your story?

Bonjour Holly, it’s a pleasure to meet you…and please, just call me Raimond.

Not Commander Banitierre?

I see you’ve done some impressive research! Yes, I held that title once…in a different lifetime. But, it’s much too formal for today.

Is there anything you would want changed if your Author asked you?

I wish Anne Marie wouldn’t tell people about all my slip-ups. I admit, I ripped people’s heads off and put them back on the wrong bodies…one time, in a moment of regrettable revenge. I may have been born in the 1700’s, but even I’ve heard of accident forgiveness.

How would you describe Anne Marie?

Private, quietly emotional and passionate about the dignity of elderly people and their treasure trove of memories. We have that in common.

Do you feel like she portrayed you correctly?

Most vampires don’t aspire to be doctors…there are much easier choices of profession. Anne Marie gives me credit for that sacrifice every chance she gets, though calling me a saint in spite of all my missteps may be…more than I deserve.

How about others in the story. Do you feel she did well with them?

Anne Marie portrayed my heiress Julia, and my children Lily and Steven perfectly…especially Steven. He’s like the son I never had, with talents far beyond what outsiders see.

If we’re being totally honest though, she needs to reveal my friend Prince Draven Norman as a more compassionate man, vampire…whatever. He may act like an arrogant and flawed jerk…often…but underneath all of that is an incredible soul.

Oh, and one more person—Ivori Journé has taken her knack for blending into the background and elevated it to an art form. The truth is, she’s a New Orleans voodoo starlet and powerhouse in the making. Never underestimate her. Never

You might be wondering why I’m wearing this scarf so tight. It’s not that I don’t trust you…

No worries, I’m on my best gentleman’s behavior today.

Okay, I feel better now. So, in the saga of Monsters & Angels, who created you?

The villain Faison, as a slave to bring him victims.

Are you still connected?

I killed him. So, hell no.

Was there a reason for your creation?

It was a trick and power grab. Faison wanted to rule Paris. It backfired on him, badly.

Where are you from initially?

I was born in the French Alps. I’ve since discovered that I’m descended from one of the few gladiators to earn Roman citizenship.

Were you happy or angry about the transition from human to bloodsuc—I mean vampire?

I was furious for decades. Finally, I fought back and won independence for myself and my family. But freedom is rarely free. It was a bitter lesson in reality.

I like to think I’ve made the most of my second chance at…existence.

Favorite blood type?

AB-negative, but when I’m hungry, I’m not picky.

Favorite place to dine? Just in case some of us might want to avoid any late-night forays there in the future.

In New Orleans, the Rex Room at Antoine’s Restaurant. But please, don’t skip Antoine’s on my account…it’s a New Orleans must-visit. Especially if you enjoy Oysters Rockefeller.

Have you seen any more stories in the recesses of Anne Marie’s mind?

That girl has way too many stories in her head. A murder mystery at the Jersey Shore, a tale set in a mysterious Rhode Island mansion and a few more books in the Monsters & Angels Series.

Do you get to play a part in any of them?

I’ve never been to New Jersey…not yet anyway. But in Monsters & Angels, of course. I’m as much a part of New Orleans as the city is a part of me.

You’re no stranger to darkness, but what’s Anne Marie’s darkest secret?

She shows a very tough exterior, downright icy and intimidating at times…that is, until you get to know her. Don’t get me wrong, Anne Marie is no wimp, but she’s much more sensitive that she reveals.

If she makes you mad, you could just bite her when she’s sleeping, you know.

What makes you think I haven’t? Besides, she may be a bit annoyed with me for spilling that particular secret. I’d better text her before this goes to print.

I’ve heard that you go all-out celebrating the holidays.

Christmas is my favorite season, but tonight’s festival is incredibly special too—the longest night of the year. You’re welcome to join our celebration of night’s glory. I’m sure Anne Marie would love to meet you. Who knows, you could be the inspiration for her next main character.

Thank you so much for your time, Doctor Raimond, and I think I’ll take you up on that offer!

Bienvenue, Mademoiselle Holly.

Joyeux Noel!

Read Raimond’s story!

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Continue with Monsters & Angels!

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Read the original interview at JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder! A special thank you to JB’s for inspiring these questions/answers and for participating in Raimond’s blog tour!

AnneMarieAndrus.com

The Night Waltz

On this night, the longest night, darkness waltzed in her own glory through deserted Jackson Square.

The vintage apartment on Rue Ste. Anne looked festive and, aside from a bit of shimmer on the hardwood floor, immaculate.

“What the—” Steven turned in a slow circle. He was standing in a sea of glitter. “Bloody hell! The staff will throw a fit.”

Coordinating the brush and dustpan was an awkward struggle until a trail of pine needles caught his eye. He dropped the tools and followed the track through a hidden wall panel and down into Lock’s private chambers to find a barefoot man, standing on a ladder.

“What took you so long?”

“You’re decorating another tree?” Steven giggled out loud. “You have two in the parlor already.”

“This is my personal tree.” Lock pointed to a table overflowing with velvet bags and colored ornaments. “All local antiques. I’ve been collecting.”

“Lots of sparkle.”

“I knew you would approve.” Lock pushed Steven into a formal chair and lit the sea of candles arranged around him. “A drink for my honored guest?”

Steven pointed at the cognac decanter.

“Perfect choice.” Lock sauntered to the bar and returned with a snifter. He knelt down, unlaced Steven’s shoes and tossed them away. “Now, relax while I work.”

“You’re seducing me?”

“Between my charm and the twinkling lights.” Lock unbuttoned his white shirt. “I certainly hope so.”

Steven’s eyes grew wide as he watched Lock float across the room and drop his shirt to the floor. “You know, you need to clean each crystal teardrop before you hang it.”

Lock’s glowing skin rippled over his warrior muscles as he fluffed branches. “Always in charge, aren’t you?” He breathed on each ornament and polished.

Wicked mercy. Steven pointed to the other side of the massive tree. “You might need to move the ladder. Lift things.”

“Yes, sir.” Lock climbed down one rung at a time and dropped his jeans to the floor before he repositioned the ladder.

Steven caught his breath and hid it with a healthy sip of cognac. He grinned and nodded vigorously when Lock looked in his direction. “Lovely…big blank space over there. Keep working.” He waited until Lock turned his back before unzipping his trousers and settling deeper into the chair.

Lock ran his hands under the waistband of his satin boxer shorts and slipped them lower on his narrow hips. He leaned across the tree, adjusting each jewel until they twirled flawlessly.

He loves watching me watch him. Steven melted into the romantic room. His eyes wandered across Lock’s sculpted physique. How did I get so lucky?

Lock flashed across the chamber, leaned on the arms of Steven’s chair and whispered in his ear. “Any more instructions?”

“Explain to me, how you’re so tan.” Steven unbuttoned his cuffs and ran his hands up Lock’s chest. “I’m a ghost next to you.”

“I was a surfer in Australia.” Lock brushed his lips across Steven’s mouth. “This is pale for me.”

“Don’t you miss it?”

“I used to.” Lock shifted back and locked gazes with Steven. “Then I stepped into New Orleans and laid eyes on you.”

“Tell me, again, when did you first see me?”

“At the Masquerade Ball—in your tuxedo and black mask, ordering everyone around.” Lock slid his thumb across Steven’s lower lip. “The past vanished that night. Now, I cherish the moments…every moment with you.”

“You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” Steven rubbed his nose against Lock’s. “Out of all that tragedy…it’s unbelievable.”

Lock dove into Steven’s lips, lifted him out of the chair and tossed him on the bed. “Believe it.”

“Wait!” Steven seized Lock’s hands just as he grabbed fistfuls of silk. “Custom tailored shirt.”

Lock flashed a smile and bared his fangs. “Take it off or I’ll rip it off.”

 

To all the Children of the Darkness…

A Very Blessed Nightside!

Just in case you missed how Steven arrived at Lock’s private decorating party…

Click here!

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Juggling Egos

 

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 Monsters & Angels

 

Hear My Prayer…

 

In the dead of night, on the year’s longest night.

Decades ago I saw this castle for the first time, spires soaring into the jeweled winter sky.

 On this night, when drums of darkness triumph over the sun, our coven is still celebrating Nightside Mass around the corner.

A decadent party for them…pure torture for me.

A festive crowd, with a dismal vacancy.

My footsteps on these checkered tiles should be the miracle of a lifetime.  

Forbidden spells have been cast.

Instead it’s my desperate cry for help.

Obscene ransoms paid.

My fingers squeeze the offerings jammed in my pockets.

Hallowed doors click shut.

No turning back now.

Stone cherubs flash impossible smiles and flags flutter in dead-still air.

Candles spark to pale, blue life as I pass.

No thunder claps.

Flames flare to a sapphire burn when I kneel in front of the altar.

No bolts of lightning. Yet.

In my left hand, a crimson rose. In my right, a string of flawless diamonds.

Black wisps of smoke flash across stained glass.

I offer my prayer, to anyone willing to listen.

Silence, broken only by rustling in empty pews.

The love of my life is missing.

The eternal, binding ceremony is mere weeks away.

Gone, in search of answers to ancient puzzles.

In the dead of night, on this sacred night,

I beg you, my ancestors…help me bring him home.