I am so pleased to welcome Ash Krafton as she shares with us, her new release, "Bleeding Hearts".
Author Ash Krafton leads a double life: when she's not writing about vampires and oracles, she's either busy saving the world at her day job or basking in the adoration of her family in her role of Domestic Goddess. Either way, she spends a lot of time, sitting around and making things up. BLEEDING HEARTS: BOOK ONE OF THE DEMIMONDE is her first novel-length fantasy.
Saving the world one damned person at a time—shy advice columnist-turned-oracle must find a way to save her dangerous demivampire lover from the fate that threatens each of his race: evolution and the destruction of his soul.
When advice columnist Sophie meets dark and alluring Marek, she learns life-changing secrets about them both—he’s a demivampire struggling to avoid evolution and she’s an empathic oracle destined to save him. Sophie possesses the rare ability to reduce the spiritual damage that causes a demivamp to Fall, making her the only thing that stands between a DV and evolution. However, as Marek's dangerous past propels him toward his desperate fate, his enemies make darker plans for him: once vampire, powerful Marek would be second only to the Master himself. The vamps want to cause Marek's Fall and they intend to use Sophie to do it....
BLEEDING HEARTS will be released March 15, 2012 through Pink Narcissus Press.
Let's dig in a little deeper to this story and see what we find:
“I don’t know if I can do this.” I bit my lip. Maybe one more deep breath would help.
Marek chortled, a deep muted sound. “Yes, you can.”
We stood in front of the main doors of the Federal Archives building downtown. Its outside was sheeted in bluish mirrored glass that reflected back traffic and building and sky. Inside was a courtroom full of DV councilors who waited to evaluate me and my Sophia-ness. Streams of busy people flowed past, paying no mind to the two of us standing in the middle of the sidewalk and talking to each other’s reflections in the glass.
Earlier Marek had announced that he’d met with members of the DV council. They were enthusiastic and wanted to meet me immediately. It didn’t leave me much time to prepare.
Prepare for what, anyway? It wasn’t like I could’ve bought a Sophia SAT prep course book and crammed. I had no idea what they expected from me.
On the car ride over, Marek had shared information. For once. “We haven’t had a Sophia here in over three centuries. There are rumors of one in Eastern Asia somewhere, and at least two in Europe. DV tend to guard them jealously.”
He glanced over at me, a grin almost tugging the corners of his mouth. Marek tended to guard me jealously so at least he acknowledged the coincidence.
“The trouble is that Sophias manifest where they are most needed. They can travel but they seem reluctant to do so.”
I could relate. I’ve lived in maybe three zip-codes my whole life. “So the only way the DV here in the States can get a Sophia is if they find a homegrown one?”
“So, today’s pretty important?”
“Pretty much,” he admitted.
Gah. More pressure please, I wasn’t quite split in twain by my nerves yet.
I took yet another a deep breath, while Marek slid the car into a spot that just somehow opened up right in front of our destination. He didn’t look smug but I bet he was, anyways.
Now we stood in front of the blue-mirrored building and I wished I could just stay out here on the sidewalk with my reflection. We were happy out here. “Okay, then.” I straightened my shoulders and tried to look confident. “We have to do this right now before I lose my nerve.”
“You have nothing to worry about. They’re just people. Why are you nervous?”
Truth? I didn’t want to let him down. Something had come over him since he got this big Sophia thing idea in his head. His power had changed in the slightest of ways. It had lost some of its desperation, its doomed oppressiveness.
In short, Marek had lightened up, just a bit. I loved him either way but, I have to admit, this way was easier. I didn’t want to burst his happy bubble.
“What if they’re scary? What if they call me a fake and flatten me with mean blasts of you suck? I’m not sure I can do this.”
He reached for my hand and squeezed, sending a sweet throb of encouragement. I loved the way he reached into my brain and tapped the endorphins. “We are going to talk. That’s all. They’ll see what makes you special. Just be yourself. Act naturally.”
“No way. If I’m going to do this, I need to act like a Sophia.”
“You already do.” He gave my hand another squeeze before letting go to open the door.
I wished the walls were mirrored so I could appraise my appearance one last time on the way down the hall. I rubbed a finger across my front teeth and Marek laughed. “Relax. You look fine.”
“I need to look wise.” We took a rear staircase up a floor to a mezzanine where he card-swiped the lock. The door opened into a short hallway that led to a large set of double doors. “So, how long has it been since the last American Sophia?”
“Seventeenth century. New England.” He hesitated. “She was a midwife from Massachusetts.”
Maybe he was nervous, too. “Babies are nice. And she was technically a medical professional. So, this Sophia was loved and respected and, after living happily ever after, she passed on without a successor and you’ve all been alone ever since?”
Marek squirmed. Okay, he flicked his eyes away. For him, that was squirming. “We can talk about this later.”
“No, we can talk about it now,” I said almost sweetly. My Sophia-senses, or whatever he’d call them, were tingling. “You’re hiding something, I can feel it. Spill.”
“Fine. Her abilities made some humans suspicious, even though she was an exemplary citizen who was greatly loved and respected by all who knew her. Humans don’t remember such things when hysteria strikes. She was persecuted during the Salem witch trials and executed in 1692. Oh, look, we’re here.”
At the word executed, my legs locked and I froze. He dragged me the last few steps to the massive doors and pushed me through the same way I often shoved my cat into the bedroom.
A moment later I forgot all about it because when the door closed behind us, I experienced what it must have been like for an early Christian to find herself in a Roman coliseum. The doors boomed shut with a sound not unlike the crack of doom.
If this was a courtroom, then I’m friggin’ Judge Judy.
This was an amphitheater.
Thanks for having me, Robin!
To show my appreciation, I'd like to give one of our readers a chance to win an ebook copy of BLEEDING HEARTS. Just leave a comment for us and you'll be entered to win.
I'd also like to let everyone know that the Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour will continue until April 14, 2012.
Be sure to check out the other stops along the tour for other posts about Bleeding Hearts and be sure to enter the huge end-of-tour prize package.
Good luck to everyone who enters and thanks for celebrating my new book with me!
Thanks so much for hanging out with us, Ash!!
Bleeding Hearts is an awesome read and we can't wait for you to share more of the series as they release. Come back anytime!
Ash Krafton can be found just about everywhere!!
Be sure to check out this review of Bleeding Hearts, too!!
Ash's first ARC review: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-9829913-6-7