Janet Elizabeth Jones, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Revenant.
Genre: paranormal romance (vampire)
Publisher: Janet Elizabeth Jones
Cover artist: Janet Elizabeth Jones
Length: 95K words
Heat rating: sensual to mildly erotic
Sometimes things that begin on a moonlit night don't survive the sunrise unless someone brave and loving breaks the rules for someone powerful and timeless.
Talisen Rudyard is determined to honor her late grandmother's memory by finishing the unwritten chapter of the Rudyard family history. To do so, she must unravel the secret that has eluded generations of Benedikts and Rudyards alike: the fate of eighteenth-century sea captain Arthur Ellory Benedikt, who vanished on the night of his wedding to her distant ancestor, over two hundred years ago.
Having grown up with her grandmother's stories about heroic Captain Benedikt, Talisen has come to feel a passion for him no other man has ever inspired, in spite of the centuries that separate his lifetime from hers. But facing the truth about his alleged disappearance could break her heart. Eyewitness accounts claim Benedikt turned up in Europe only weeks after he vanished, that he was seen in the company of a mysterious noblewoman. Talisen can't bear the thought that the larger-than-life hero of her dreams could be so faithless.
From the moment Ellory meets Talisen, he aches to prove her love for him is deserved. He longs to be that man for her, the one and only man who holds her heart. But how can she love him once she learns the price she must pay for the truth she's seeking?
That her beloved Captain Benedikt is alive--and a vampire.
Release date is March 2013
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Talisen Rudyard is a twenty-five-year-old artist who paints portraits, seascapes and landscapes inspired by her beautiful hometown, Camden, Maine.
Ellory Benedikt is a 250-year-old vampire who composes music under the name of E.B. Arthur. He's also a single dad to two human children and five fledgling vampires who rely on him for protection.
Talisen's entire body shook as she locked the door of her hotel room. The hotel was an old motor lodge somewhere in New Hampshire. She hadn't noticed the name of the town. The bus stopped here, and she was too sleepy to go any further. A day of fighting her compulsion to return to Ellory had worn her down until she couldn't hold her head up anymore.
Switching the light on, she tossed her bag on the floor by the bed and hobbled toward the bathroom. A hot shower and a good night's sleep. That's all she needed. She peeled out of her grimy clothes, turned on the water and stepped into the warm cascade with a sigh.
No way could Ellory know where she was. He couldn't possibly wake up and automatically know. He'd have to discern it, or deduce it, or sense it, or whatever a vampire did to find someone.
She refused to think about that. No sense in making too much out of his power. She was safe for now. She shampooed and rinsed her hair, standing under the water for a few minutes to work the stiffness out of her muscles. It felt so good to wash the bus off of her. Too weary to do more, she turned the water off and pushed aside the curtain, eyes closed to keep the water out of them.
She felt for the towel on the wall rack outside the shower. It wasn't there.
How long did it take a vampire to find someone he was hunting?
She groped at the thin air. Her hand lit on the soft terry cloth of her towel--and a warm hand.
"Not that long, actually."
Talisen snatched up the towel, dragged the curtain half-closed to cover herself and dried her face. When she met Ellory's gaze, she saw only amusement and undeniable relief in his eyes.
More shocking than finding him there was the way the mere sight of him eased the separation anxiety she'd dealt with all day. Were her own heart and body betraying her?
His smile widened, and his gaze slipped over her. Talisen had the distinct impression the old shower curtain wasn't much cover.
She shook her head in exasperation. "We had a deal. One time. That's it. If I didn't like it, I could leave. Well, I didn't like it."
"You sure seemed to."
"Afterwards, I mean. I thought it over and decided I don't like it."
"You were delightful last night. You must be incredible when you do like it?"
"Well, I don't, so you can just turn right around and go home."
"I see. Well. I guess that's that, then."
Seriously? He was letting her go? Just like that?
He turned abruptly and opened the door, letting in a chilly draft. "Goodbye."
"Bye," she echoed as the bathroom door closed behind him.
The silence closed in around her. The distance she'd fought all day, one breath at a time, tore at her again.
She raised her voice. "You'd better be gone when I come out."
She stepped out of the tub and wiggled into her pajamas. "I mean it."
It was like the silence she'd struggled with when she knew he'd gone to sleep that day, the desolation of not feeling his presence. Talisen crept to the door and listened. Not a sound. She opened the door a crack and peeked out. The room looked empty.
She came out and looked around her, wary of the stillness in the room. It felt wrong to her, like it had all day. She was alone. Ellory was gone.
Just when she thought her world was undone again, a drop of liquid, warm and wet, hit the top of her head. What in the world? Leaky roof? It wasn't raining. She reached up and touched the top of her head, smeared the liquid and looked at her fingers.
Talisen's breath evaporated. She looked up. Above her, floating inches below the ceiling, was Ellory, eyes closed, bleeding from a gash in his throat and caught in the grasp of--
A young man? A human?
Ellory's attacker looked scarcely older than Sean. He fixed his murderous gaze on her and grinned. No fangs. He was human. How could he do this?
Her gaze caught on the boy's claws. He laughed, wiggled them at her, and then slowly ripped Ellory's jugular from ear to ear. He opened his arms, and Ellory hit the floor with a thud. His blood pooled on the orange carpet.
The boy floated to his feet. His sweaty hair clung to his face. His eyes burned red-black. He wiggled his claws at her again, laughing like a demon. What was he?
Talisen scarcely felt her feet move. She didn't think. She didn't plan. She just acted. Leaping over the bed, she grabbed her tote bag and rolled onto her feet. The creature bounded after her. She dodged him, fumbling inside her tote. Where was it? She always kept it there. Just as the boy rounded and lunged again, her hands closed over the cold can. She rolled onto her back, lifted the can of mace, covered her eyes and sprayed it at him.
The creature screamed. When she looked again, he was clawing at his eyes and bumping along the wall about a half-foot above the floor. He toppled over the lamp table and the lamp went out. In the darkness, Talisen listened, clutching the can of mace. She glanced in the direction of Ellory's still form. The silence from him tortured her.
The creature's moans turned to angry growls. It was still blinded, but her eyes had adjusted to the darkness. She could make him out well enough to know where he was. His breath came in quick, thick snorts, like an animal's.
Hadn't anyone heard all this noise? Someone would come to see what was happening. Someone would come, and they'd help her.
The creature took a step or two toward her. She didn't wait for him to get close, but crept around the bed as quietly as she could. She watched him turn his head, following her movement like a robot with radar. She dashed past him in the darkness, spraying the mace into his face again. He bellowed and slung his arms out at her. Talisen backed away, eyes watering. She'd forgotten to cover them this time. She dropped to the floor and crept closer to Ellory.
The creature stumbled after her, feeling its way to get to her. She let it get closer, then sprayed the mace at it again.
But the creature was close enough not to need his eyes.
She swallowed another scream when his hands closed over her throat and squeezed. Blotches of red, black, and gray exploded in her eyes, and she clutched at his hands, clawed at them, struggled for breath, while her lungs neared the bursting point.
Suddenly the creature's eyes widened in surprise, and though it growled and spat, it eased her down onto the floor as gently as if she were made of glass. With her vision dimming and her head spinning, she watched in horror as he turned and headed for Ellory's still form.
Rolling onto her hands and knees, Talisen tried to crawl after the creature, coughing for air and rubbing her swelling throat. The scent of blood filled the room. But not Ellory's blood. The creature had sliced his own throat. With every muscle rigid with rebellion, he held himself poised over Ellory, letting his own blood spill into Ellory's mouth. Talisen's head spun again, and nausea pushed her toward oblivion. The last thing she saw before passing out was Ellory grasping the creature and dragging him closer.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I remind myself that writing and publishing are two separate processes. One is who I am; the other is how I can share what I love. I've learned -- finally -- not to let those lines blur.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The escape. The romance. The hero. Preferably naked. With chocolate.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Make the choice every day to trust yourself, love yourself and be yourself. If you don't know yourself right now, don't worry. You will. If you don't like yourself right now, don't worry about that either. You will. You're going to change; it's called growing. You want it to happen. And you want it to happen from the inside out, because no one has the right to hand you their guide to good living and tell you to define yourself accordingly. You have your own, and it needs to change and grow with you. And always, always be kind to others. Everyone is doing the best they can, and just as your best is good enough, so is theirs.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
My characters have to be people who are genuine, deep and touchable, and if I can't make them come across that way, I haven't done my job. I'll try for memorable, but that's a truly precious achievement, and some writers manage it brilliantly. At the very least, I need to make that barrier of fiction go away, so my characters seem so real and lovable they could belong in my reader's life, and she'd welcome them there. I can't think of a better way to repay her for spending her emotion, time and money on my book.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I binge on Guild Wars 2, make frequent visits to ICanHazCheezburger.com, and continue my blatant disregard for wearing matching socks. (It's not like my sneakers care.) I could do without the added stress of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome in both elbows, but every occupation has its hazards.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
I think the last change they make will be to let go of forest-eating print runs in favor of POD. Traditional publishing wouldn't exist at that point, and their investors wouldn't like that much. So, they'll keep a death-grip on their aging business model, simply because they can't do anything else, and perhaps they'll one day merge into a colossal conglomerate and become the anti-Amazon they want to be. Meanwhile they'll wait to see if Amazon drops the ball, hoping all the while the shiny will wear off Amazon's plan to conquer the publishing industry. Amazon is surely realizing what a huge responsibility that is, and judging by experiences of some writers in the KDP community, Amazon is not carrying that burden gracefully. But I think the important thing to remember is that the more choices we have, as authors and readers, the better.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving Day, for two reasons. It's good for me to be grateful. I try to be grateful every day, but this is one special day set aside to focus on being glad for my loved ones, glad that I'm alive, glad that I have one more day to get up and be here and be now and love life. The other reason is my mother's sweet potato casserole. With marshmallows. Slurp.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I don't find myself feeling bored very often, but when I can't write, I fill every spare moment I can playing Guild Wars 2.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Red :D That's Ellory's favorite color. Understandably.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with Beck's Light Beer.
I'm always ready for more Guild Wars 2!!!!
When I'm alone, I write.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm really, really shy.
If I had a halo it would be handed to the closest child I can find.
If I could become rich overnight, I'd be able to pay doctor bills for everyone in my family.
I can never perform in front of a live audience because I'd be so scared I'd throw up.
Incubus (Harlequin Nocturne, Jan 2011)
Books Coming Soon
Revenant (March 2013)
If you leave a comment, I'll put your name in the hat for a free copy of Revenant and Incubus.
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