Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranorma romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan
Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right? The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.
1.When did you start writing and what was the first thing you wrote?
The first thing I remember writing was bad (really, really bad) poetry in high school. But I’ve been a journalist a long time writing for newspapers and magazines. I began writing my first novel in late 2008/early 2009.
2.Where do you get your ideas on what you write?
For the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, and Absolution, I came up with the idea when I was sick with the H1N1 virus a few years ago—the CDC was slow getting vaccines out and it was spreading everywhere. So I wondered what would happen if a human vaccine made the blood of vaccinated humans poisonous to vampires. How would they survive? That’s the “what-if” behind this series.
3.What are some hobbies or things you are into that you do when not writing?
LOL. I have a full-time day job at a university, a daily book blog, and am writing two series, so I don’t have much time for hobbies anymore. Before my writing career took off, I used to do paper-pieced quilting. I also have a horrible, embarrassing penchant for reality television. *Hangs head in shame.*
4. Have you ever been so engrossed in writing a book that you have gone out in public in your pajamas or slippers without realizing it?
Ha! No, but I’ve worn my shirt inside-out. Okay, I might have done that two or three times. At some point during the day, I’d look down in horror, realize people had been too polite to say anything, and fix it.
5. Can you tell us about any challenges you met getting your first book published?
The publishing industry is in such flux right now that I think it’s hard for new authors to decide what route to take. I decided from the outset I wanted to try the traditional route, and was blessed to find a great agent. It’s not the fastest route to publication, but I don’t think shortcuts always pay off in the long run.
6.What has been the toughest criticism/best compliment given to you as an author?
I got an email last week from a reviewer fussing at me because my second urban fantasy book ended on what I thought was a very minor cliffhanger. That told me she’d gotten invested in these characters and that I’d succeeded in bringing them to life in a way that made someone care about them. I always fall in love with my characters, so hearing other people care about them is just awesome! Toughest criticism always comes from my alpha reader—she’s the only one I let read my first drafts because I know she’ll tell me what works and what’s crap. Sometimes in much more colorful language.
7. What is your favorite immortal?
Hm. Well, right now it’s Mirren from Absolution, of course. But if I have to choose one from another book or series, it’s probably Vishous from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Gotta love a man who can incinerate things with a touch, and he’s such a smartass.
8.Light or dark chocolate.
Dark, preferably with nuts.
10.Tea or coffee
11. What is your current project and when is your next release?
Absolution, the second in my Penton Legacy series (each book can stand alone), comes out on October 9; the third book in the series, Omega, comes out in early February.
12. Do you have any message to the readers?
I love hearing from readers. You can always reach me at email@example.com!
ABSOLUTION (The Penton Legacy, Book 2)
By Susannah Sandlin
Release date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Montlake Romance
What was Matthias thinking, throwing a human woman in the cell with a vampire who’d been locked up and starved for over a month?
Mirren waited on the bench, his back against the wall, his head down. Waited until Matthias climbed the steps, slammed the door, clicked the dead bolt home. Waited until he could get control of the hunger that had begun raging the second the woman stumbled down the stairway. She was unvaccinated, and he wanted nothing more than to take her, blood and body, until there was nothing left.
If he did that, he’d be no better than the version of Mirren Kincaid he’d tried so hard to leave behind. He’d be the Slayer again. His hands could too easily remember the mindless sweep of the sword, the heavy fall of the battle-ax, the controlled back-thrust of a heavy firearm. If the cold darkness ever fell over him again, he feared he’d embrace it.
“Mister, you awake?”
Shit. She would have to be a talker. Mirren hated a talky woman. They always expected you to talk back.
He raised his head slowly and caught his breath. She was young, maybe mid-twenties, and pretty in a rode-hard kind of way.
“Your eyes are silver—I’ve seen enough vampires since I was kidnapped to know when your eyes get lighter, it means you’re hungry. But I’ve never seen any like yours. How long has it been since you ate? Umm…Make that how long since you drank?”
If the stupid woman kept walking toward him, he wouldn’t be held responsible. “Stay where you are.” He narrowed his eyes at her, thinking. How could she help him without sending his need so far over the edge he lost control of it?
She eeked when he shifted on the bench and turned his back toward her. “Untie me.”
She stumbled a little when she reached the bench and sat hard. The woman was stoned out of her gourd. He could smell the drugs on her.
“Your wrists are all torn up. That has to hurt.” She sat on the bench behind him, and Mirren breathed in her scent with his eyes closed. Damn, but he wanted to feed so badly his muscles ached.
She muttered as she worked, her drug-addled fingers slipping off the rope. “You’re so big that I’m surprised this rope could hold you. I should be able to…Let’s see here, it’s too dark. Man, this is funky rope.”
“Stop yapping, start untying.” She had that broad, soft Southern accent he found sexy, but she used it way too much.
“Yeah, yeah, okay.” She tugged harder on the ropes, burning his sensitive wrists with each pull. “Sorry, sorry. Why is it burning your skin like that?”
Mirren growled and spoke through gritted teeth. “It’s laced with silver, and I’m a freaking vampire. Just untie me.” Damn, he had to get himself under control, or he’d scare the woman to death and she wouldn’t finish freeing his arms or feed him either one.
“Well, you’ve got the funny eyes, but I don’t see any fangs.”
God help him, he’d show her some fangs. “I said I was a vampire. Now finish untying me.”
Mirren twisted his wrists and felt the rope give way—the woman had gotten it loose enough that he didn’t need her help.
“But wait, how do I know you—”
She gasped as Mirren pulled his wrists apart, popped the rope onto the cell floor, and shifted around to face her.
“Can you…?” She paused and swallowed hard, edging away from him on the bench. Mirren’s gaze dropped to her mouth. “Can you feed without killing me?”Mirren nodded slowly. Maybe. Maybe not.
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