Welcome, Ms. Sandlin!
Alpha Males, Beta Males, and Vampires
Women love bad boys. Romance books, from contemporary to paranormal, are full of alpha males being brought to their knees by finding the one woman who turns those knees (and hopefully nothing north of there) to jelly.
(Now, in real life, most of these dudes would either be some woman’s worst nightmare or a semi-permanent resident of a prison or anger-management class, but that’s another blog for another day.)
In creating the vampires for my Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, I wanted a mixture of alphas and betas—and just to be ornery (which I am sometimes), I wanted a beta male to be the leader of my vampire scathe, or community. Meet Aidan Murphy, vampire beta male. He’s faster, stronger, bigger, and has some fierce fighting skills than your average bear, but he won’t eat your mama for lunch.
Well, unless it’s in self-defense or she’s begging for it. Which she might. She might have to get in line.
In creating Aidan, I wanted a leader who could command other vampires’ respect by example, not by fear. Who could attract followers because he had a reputation for strength and fairness, not because he could kick butt better than anyone else. Who could defend himself with all the aggression and even brutality when it was called for, but who’d always choose violence as the last resort.
What better type of guy to put in a death-struggle against his own brother, with more than a hundred people depending on his willingness to play dirty. Redemption pits Aidan against his alpha-male brother Owen. It’s brother against brother, vampire against vampire, with one human woman stuck in the middle.
Aidan’s not a pushover, though, and he’s smart enough to surround himself with lieutenants who complement his strengths. That’s where Mirren Kincaid, the hero of the second book, Absolution, comes in. Mirren and Aidan are best buddies, in a vampire kind of way, but they’re very, very different.
Mirren snarls at people. Aidan listens.
Mirren’s nickname is The Slayer, and he earned it. Aidan kills when he has to.
Mirren doesn’t much like people. Aidan actually has decent social skills.
Mirren acts. Aidan thinks first, then acts. (Okay, sometimes he thinks too much.)
Mirren’s hobby: taking machines apart and putting them back together. Aidan’s? He grows night-blooming exotic plants.
Aidan is a very good leader. So is Mirren—they just take different routes. (Oh, and did I mention they’re both 400-year-old master vampires from Ireland and Scotland, now living in a small town in Alabama?)
Aidan is his own worst enemy, his own fiercest critic. He’s ready to fall on his sword to save those he’s taken an oath to protect.
So imagine his horror when, in order to save the people who look to him for protection, he’s forced to kidnap a young human doctor? Imagine his horror when it becomes clear he has to send humans in to do some of his fighting for him? Imagine his horror when young human woman forces him to face lies and secrets he’s been running from for four centuries?
It ain’t easy being beta.
Book One Penton Legacy series
By Susannah Sandlin
Back of the Book:
Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland. Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiarsTo protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago.Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.
Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18.
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