Today Joey W. Hill, author of the Vampire Queen series, is stopping by to chat about how she pictures vamps celebrating the holidays. Don’t miss her newest book, Bound by the Vampire Queen, which released earlier this month on December 6th.
Joey W. Hill writes about vampires, mermaids, boardroom executives, cops, witches, angels, simple housemaids… If there’s an erotic love story to be told, she’ll take the plunge. As a result, she’s proud and humbled to have four series and almost thirty award-winning and highly acclaimed titles, as well as the support and enthusiasm of a wonderful and widely diverse readership. In 2009, she was nominated for a Career Achievement award in Erotica by Romantic Times.
Christmas is one of those magical holidays that transcends all barriers. For instance, vampires probably get as warm and fuzzy about the holiday season as we mere humans. Yesterday, at Literary Escapism, I posted a vignette about Lyssa and Jacob, the main characters of my new release, Bound by the Vampire Queen. In the vignette, they were Christmas shopping with their son, Kane. Lyssa is a thousand-year-old vampire queen, and Jacob is her servant, a former vampire hunter and Ren Faire knight who finally found his heart’s desire in her service. As you might expect, there are some unusual variations to their shopping trip, but they were as affected as anyone else by the magical atmosphere of a mall decorated to the nth degree for Christmas, and the joy of seeing their son get dazzled by all of it.
I think that miracle is possible because Christmas has evolved into something more than an event attached to a specific religion. It is about faith and pure spirituality. In short, whatever church you attend or don’t attend, there is something about Christmas that makes our hearts and arms open a little wider, our sense of hope to rise, our intolerance to decrease… It’s as Bill Murray said so aptly in one of my favorite Christmas movies, Scrooged (paraphrased): for one day we’re the people we always hoped we could be. Everyone’s kinder, a little bit nicer… Lyssa even slipped some money into the Salvation Army bucket and donated toys to the homeless shelter.
So I can easily see my vampires exchanging Christmas cards, decorating Christmas trees, planning gifts. Since vampires can read their servant’s minds, it’s more difficult for the servants to surprise them, but Jacob has learned how to play distraction games in his head so he doesn’t think too directly about things he doesn’t want Lyssa to know. I expect he’ll do that to hide the fact he’s bought her a lovely fairy pendant, as well as a tiny silver knife she can slip into her bodice to surprise a potential opponent. (He’s equally mindful of her protection and her love of pretty things.)
Of course, holiday dinner gatherings would be a little different, because my vampires consider social occasions a chance to play some pretty risqué games with their servants. But they might put a holiday twist on it, like decorating their servants with the ornaments that clamp onto the tree branches or putting the wire hooks to creative use. Since vampires do have a macabre sense of playful fun, they might have their servants strip, run out into the courtyard and make snow angels, and then devise sensual ways to warm them up when they come back into the house. Maybe tying them up in Christmas lights while dropping a bit of frothy hot chocolate and melted marshmallows on tender body parts to be sampled (by the way, unlike movie action stunts, you are encouraged to try these ideas at home – laughter).
Though vampires don’t eat human food, Jacob would make sure Lyssa had bite-sized samples of all the holiday favorites. The house would smell like pumpkin spice, gingerbread or freshly baked sugar cookies, because she uses her nose the way most of us use taste. He’d probably insist on having the house staff make a gingerbread house so he could sit Kane on his lap to help him decorate it with icing and candies. Knowing Jacob’s sense of humor, he’ll probably try to coax Lyssa to sit on the other knee. He’d probably earn a baring of fangs before she’d perch there in a dignified manner, supervising and enjoying watching her boys.
She’s not often soft hearted, but Jacob is a traditional sort who has missed having Christmas these past few years. No matter how she has to act around the vampire world, she loves her knight to distraction (don’t tell anyone, though). She’ll probably even consent to having him read her and Kane The Night Before Christmas, and be privately enchanted by how enthusiastic her servant is about it, imitating the voices and doing sound effects. Christmas Eve she’d lie in his arms by the fire, their Irish wolfhounds surrounding them, Kane asleep on her breast, and listen to Christmas carols while watching the lights on the Christmas tree.
That type of moment is the true magic of Christmas. When the chaos and stress of cooking, wrapping, shopping and whatnot is done, that quiet blink of time reminds us why it’s all worth it. Christmas is an excuse to pause in time, to embrace those close to us, and be deeply thankful for a night that’s about that special stillness, full of what’s important. Even Lyssa would agree with that, and since she’s been around for a thousand Christmases, she should know.
I wish you all special moments like those this holiday season. And to sweeten the event, fill out this FORM and leave a comment about what you like most about Christmas, or a question/comment for me if you have one, and you’ll be eligible to win a book-of-your-choice from my available titles (international or domestic entries are completely fine!). Also don’t forget to visit the JWH connection fan forum if you enjoy my work. You’ll find free vignettes there, revisiting characters from the full length works, graphics inspired by the books, character interviews, and way more. Click here to learn how to access the forum and more about it, and of course you can find free excerpts, blurbs and cover art for all my work on my website, www.storywitch.com.
If you’re not familiar with my vampires but want to try them, I suggest you read Books 1 & 2 of the Vampire Queen series before reading this latest release, because Books 1 & 2 tell you how Jacob and Lyssa met and he became her servant. Bound by the Vampire Queen is the eighth book in the series but the third where the two of them are the main protagonists. After you read 1 & 2 (Vampire Queen’s Servant and Mark of the Vampire Queen, you can read Bound by the Vampire Queen without reading books 3-7, but I hope you enjoy these enough to want to go back and do that!
Merry Christmas, everyone! Thanks for letting me be here with you today.
Winner’s pick from Joey’s titles. Leave a comment and fill out the form. Open internationally. Please read my Giveaway Policy before entering.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada
I love Hill’s Vampire Queen series. I’m reading and reviewing the two books before this one in Feb. I don’t have this one yet and would love to have. Fingers crossed.
Hi Joey, you already no how much I love your Vampire Queen series. LOL. How many books will be in this series?
@Jennifer@The Book Nympho – LOL you have your reading scheduled mapped out ’till Feb? You go girl! 😛 Good Luck in the giveaway! 🙂
@Dannyfiredragon – Great question! Joey? I’m curious about this too…
Jennifer, I’m glad you’re going to be reading Vampire Trinity and Vampire Instinct. Hope you enjoy part 2 of Daegan, Anwyn and Gideon’s story, as well as the introduction to Mal and Elisa’s world. I’ll look forward to your thoughts about the books. Your feedback will be helpful, as always!
Hey, Danny! The series is pretty open ended, so it will keep going as long as the muse has ideas and you all want more of my vampires. :> BBtVQ is Book 8, and I’ve contracted for two more to be delivered in 2012.
Carmel, good morning! Good to be here…
Oh, and good morning everyone!
@Joey W. Hill – Morning! 🙂
Gosh, another new to me author and what sounds to me like a fabulous set of books I could fall right into! I’m running right over to the form right now, hehe!
Thank you, Carmel – you’ve done it again…I am SO glad I found your blog =D
Gena, hope you enjoy whichever book you choose to introduce yourself to my work. Let me know if that’s not the case – as I noted to Jennifer, I value honest feedback, always!
I love spending more time with my family during the holidays. It feels so cozy and heatwarming 🙂 Sort of like how I feel when I read a good book.
@Gena – Thanks for the love! I noticed your comment on my Facebook page too. 🙂
@Na – Well said! Good luck!
I should receive my first book of you won from another constest and i’m very impatient to discover it ( and why not win another one)
thansk you for your generosity in making your giveaway international
Na, I get sort of divided between the “oh I love being with family at Christmas” and the “oh no, the dreaded family togetherness” requirement (grin). But a lot like camp, after we’ve done it, there are good memories to take forward.
Miki, I look forward to what you think of it – and you’re very welcome. I’ve been blessed with an international readership, so limiting contests to only domestic readers seems a bit unfair! (smile) I’m happy to throw it open to everyone.
I can’t wait to read Bound by the Vampire queen.
I enjoyed the vignette over at Literary Escapism yesterday.
Do you plan or ever thought of putting all the vignettes into a book?
Hi Joey! I am a new fan of yours. I have read and enjoyed the first book and look forward to reading more from you. Thank you so much for this giveaway! Hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Elaine, a lot of folks have suggested that to me, putting all the vignettes into one book. At this point I’d probably have to break them into Vignettes Vol 1, Vol 2, etc since at least three of them are the length of novellas. But I”m okay with that. :> With the many self-publishing options out there these days, that might be a great promotional/giveaway I could provide to readers going forward. We’ll give that some thought!
Hey, June – it’s great to see you here. Glad to hear you’re still discovering my work and enjoying the experience. I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season as well. And happy reading!
Hi Joey! It’s great to see you on Rabid Reads today!
Ever since I first read your work (Vampire Queen series #1/2), I have been blown away with each new addition to the series. My reviews are scheduled out through the end of February but I couldn’t resist diving into Bound By the Vampire Queen today. I love getting to spend time with Lyssa and Jacob again!
When will we get to see more of Gideon/Daegan/Anwyn? Both book #2 and #6 in the VQ series were GraveTells Book of the Months this year and I can’t wait for more! Hehe. Thanks so much for your comments. <3 authors who are so friendly and open.
Hope you and you family have a very happy holidays!
DVK, this is awesome! Loved reading your reviews of VM/VT. Your question, about when we’ll see more of Daegan, Anwyn and Gideon, has been the most popular question I’ve received this year. As a result, I’m really hoping the muse will give me another full length storyline for them in the future. Right now there are other books on the front burner, and She has a tendency to stay pretty quiet until I get a little more creative breathing space in my head. But don’t worry – I love these three as well, so I expect something will eventually develop.
In the meantime, I’ve had several requests for vignettes on them. If you’ve visited the jwhconnection fan forum, you know there’s already a novella-length free vignette out there – Daegan and Gideon’s One-on-One story. If you haven’t seen that or have any problem finding it, don’t hesitate to let me know. Don’t know how far you’ve gotten in BBtVQ, but they also make a key appearance there. The two books I plan to write for the series this coming year may also include a glimpse of them – we’ll see.
It’s very easy to be open and friendly when I have such great readers (beaming). Thanks for that compliment and for posting. I’ll look forward to your thoughts on BBtVQ. Hope you enjoy it as much as the others. Merry Christmas!
I’m dying to start this series, thanks so much for the chance to win
Hi Joey, I love this time of year because of all the family get togethers. Always lots of laughter whenever my sister’s are around, plus both my boy’s will be home to spend the weekend with us, so I get to give out some quality spoiling this weekend too.
Wishing you all the blessings of the season.
Jolene, you’re very welcome – when you do get a chance to read it, hope you enjoy my vampires!
Cathy, that sounds like a lovely Christmas. Many blessings to you and yours as well.
What I love most about christmas is getting together with all the family. Four generations of us from age 93 to 2.
I have A Vampire Queen’s servant on my christmas wish list. I’ve got Gideon’s 2 books and now i’m starting the rest from the beginning.
Irene, starting the series with Gideon is not a bad way to go (wink). Your family celebration sounds lovely. Hope you enjoy your time with them!
I love Lady Lyssa and Jacob! This is a great series, I highly recommend this as well as any other Joey W. Hill books you can find!
This is a great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to enter!
Definitely what I like most about Christmas is spending time with family. Throughout the year it’s hard to spend quality time with them but every year I try to take two weeks off work to make up for it. Thanks for the great giveaway and happy holidays!!!!
Pyper, thank you for that! Glad to have you as a reader, girl! And yadkny and Chrystal, you’re very welcome. The best part of writing them is sharing them.
WOW! A book titled after my name!! That’s pretty cool since I, Katie, call myself “the vampire queen. 🙂 I’d love to give one of these a read. Thanks for the giveaway.
I haven’t read your books yet but they are on my wishlist.
Oh, man, just look at that cover! Hooot! 🙂
I haven’t read anything by this author, but would love to.
Chuckle – Katie, I’m sure Lyssa would enjoy meeting you and comparing notes. She mentioned she finds a shopping excursion to be the best way for queens to enjoy one another’s company (lol).
Spav and Kah, I hope you enjoy them and appreciate you adding them to your TBR list. And that cover is definitely eye catching! Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve.
What I like most about Christmas is spending time with family!
Thanks for the giveaway!
darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com
I’ve never read a book by this author yet… it would be good to try 🙂
Oh my…I cannot wait to sink into her books! There is nothing I love more than discovering a new author I just can’t wait to read!!
I can not wait either
Hey, Joey! I just found this and enjoyed your comments. My favorite part of Christmas is a (brief) trip to visit family. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that I enjoyed the Christmas vignette and my favorite part was ‘Gideon’s Gift’ (Lyssa is such a faker! She loves him – you know she does. Not as much as Jacob of course, but still… *smile*) Happy Holidays, Joey!
OK my last comment (#36) about it “coming as no surprise” made no sense if you didn’t know that jgm2079 was AKA Sister Christian from your fan forum, Joey!
Laughter – Sister Christian, you’re right about that. Lyssa has a soft spot for Gideon, even if she doesn’t show soft spots too often. And of course since she’s had the pleasure of sharing the two brothers, well, that’s bound to make an impression on her heart (wink).
Cici, Teri and Cherry – glad you’re willing to take a chance on them. Hope you enjoy! And you’re very welcome, Darlene. Good luck in the drawing!
I just love the spirit of the Christmas holidays- the general kindness that people show each other. I think the paraphrased quote from Scrooge states it best!
Happy New Year!