Barbara: Hi, Michelle! It’s great to have you with us. Can you tell us a little something about your book?
Michelle: Carpathian Blood: A Carpathian Blood Novel follows Mackenzie into a Terranian vs. Vampyre War…Will Vlad be her salvation or her damnation?
Mackenzie travels to Romania to begin a new life with her younger brother, Alain. She doesn’t plan on being a meal for a vampire. When her rescuer reveals himself, she wants no part of his life or his war, but her traitorous heart has other ideas. The dark and dangerous Vlad wants her for himself and will stop at nothing to possess her heart and soul. However, after a brutal attack can their love conquer the challenges that face them?
Barbara: What was the inspiration for Carpathian Blood?
Michelle: I have always enjoyed reading paranormal romance novels and have been waiting for a book or series about an extraterrestrial race of beings that are very similar to humans, but have to ingest blood to survive. Lara Adrian (one my favourite authors) came close, but I envisioned a world totally different from her creations. When other popular authors did not come up with a book like I had envisioned, I created one myself. From there, the series was born.
Barbara: What characters were the most interesting to write?
Michelle: Vlad was the most interesting of the characters in the first book. The amount of research that I did to incorporate the history of Vlad Tepes was the reason he was so interesting. Of course I played with history for his role, but thoroughly enjoyed reading about the real “Vlad.”
Barbara: Which characters can you identify with?
Michelle: Mackenzie has to live through a series of bad events. First, losing her parents, then a vicious attack. I haven’t lived through anything quite like that, but I have definitely had my fair share of life altering events happen. So I identify with her the most, at least from the first book’s characters (you’ll have to continue reading the series to know which character mirrors me…hehehehe).
Barbara: If Carpathian Blood were made into a movie, which actor / actress would you want to play your main characters (Vlad and Mackenzie)?
Michelle: I definitely see Vlad’s character as being portrayed by someone who is devastatingly handsome, but rugged…Hugh Jackman. He’s well built (to say the least) and his accent fits the bill, not to mention he is one hell of an actor. Oh, and did I mention that he is dreamily sexy? “Purrrrrrrrrfectly so”
Mackenzie is young in the book, so her face should be fresh and young, but filled with life experience. Jordana Brewster would be a fresh face and a good choice I think. She has proven to be beautiful under fire so to speak in her action roles.
Barbara: What kind of challenges did you have, if any, writing this book?
Michelle: Carpathian Blood came very easily actually. My daughters are grown, so I have plenty of time to write. The difficulties did not come until I began book four. My muse took an extended vacation, so I ended up deleting more than half of what I wrote and had to rewrite it. I hate it when that happens, don’t you?
Barbara: I can relate to the frustration of a muse that takes a vacation. Tell us a little something about yourself that’s not in your biography.
Michelle: I was a fingernail biter until just a few years ago. Oh, and I love thunderstorms.
Barbara: What are some of your favorite reads about vampires and aliens?
Michelle: That would be Lara Adrian in her Breed Series. Hands down the best Alien Vampire novels to date. Okay, except mine (of course I have to say that, I am the author…hehehe)
Barbara: Describe the ultimate supernatural / paranormal man.
Michelle: At least six feet tall, broad shoulders, defined muscles, dark eyes, long black hair, and a libido that would put Casanova to shame! Oh, and did I mention that he had to be a vampire/werewolf hybrid?
Barbara: Will Carpathian Blood have a sequel? Any other projects in the works?
Michelle: Oh yes, the series will be at least seven books long, possibly more if the series is well received. I am working on book five now.
Barbara: Where can your readers find you on the Internet?
Michelle: I have a Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/michellehoefleauthor?ref=hl
My Amazon page is at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BAH9O90
Barbara: Any sage advice for aspiring authors out there?
Michelle: Write because you love it, not to get famous or rich. If you have a story to tell, tell it no matter how long it takes you to tell it. Do not listen to negativity and take constructive criticism to heart only to make your craft better. Never mourn the past. Leave it where it is, in the past. Last but not least, always…ALWAYS add the words “in bed” after every fortune cookie fortune.
I live in Lake Panasoffkee, FL with my mother, my brother, my two aunts, our four dogs, and three cats. I have two beautiful daughters that currently live in Michigan and are now on their own journeys in life. I am 45 years young and my hobbies include reading and woodcarving.
My inspiration for reading and writing comes from my mother. She used to read me bedtime stories when I was little, but she also read me works of Steven King and Dean Koontz when I got older. It was our special time together away from reality. So I have always enjoyed reading and thought about trying my hand at writing many times, but I just never sat down to do it. With my daughters now grown and my life a bit more settled, I revisited my love of writing with my brother’s encouragement. It is turning out to be an exciting and fun journey to write the books and now see them published.
Some of my favorite authors include Steven King, Dean Koontz, J.R. Ward, Jeaniene Frost, Lynsay Sands, Lara Adrian, and Christine Feehan. They are my favorites, but I love reading just about anything. I generally try to stay in Romantic Paranormal Fiction, but of course there are some non-fiction works that I have read.
Chapter One: Carpathian Mountains, Romania Present day
Mackenzie and Alain Hilton hiked through the woods outside of the Romanian Village of Aninoasa. The hills here at the base of the Carpathian Mountains were extraordinarily beautiful. The trees and the meadows were different shades of bright green with the tall majestic pines and the birch and the oak. Here in late August, it was already chilly during the later part of the day. The terrain was rugged and completely natural, the villages were all widely spaced apart, and there was not a lot of technology to get in the way of Mother Nature. Mack looked to her brother knowing that they really needed this move. Romania was a world away from the flat, humid, sandiness of Florida.
They were crossing a meadow of tall grass that still held blooms of multi-colored wildflowers. They followed a path that looked to eventually lead higher into the hills and bluffs at the southern base of the central Carpathian Mountains. “Are you ready to go back to the inn yet? It’s getting late, almost four o’clock,” she asked her brother as she looked at her watch.
He smiled up at her, “No sis, not yet, k? I want to make it to those rocks up ahead.”
“I don’t know Alain, they are pretty far still and we have to make it back to the inn before dusk. I’ll compromise, we turn back now and tomorrow we’ll make a day out of hiking back up here to the bluffs. Have the cook make us a picnic with snacks and everything,” Mackenzie put her hand on his small shoulders and then tousled his spiky brown hair.
Alain was nine years old going on thirty. It was not his fault that life got in the way of his childhood. Mackenzie was twenty-three and had been raising Alain on her own since she was sixteen and he was two. Their parents died as a result of a drunk driver. Mack was able to get her GED at the age of sixteen and become an emancipated minor. She got a job as a bike courier and, after a short stay in the foster care system, was able to keep custody of Alain due to a good-hearted social worker.
The reason they were in Romania of all places? Mackenzie would start her new job as a travel consultant in Bucharest the following week. She had worked hard the last two years completing a hospitality management course at the community college in her home town of Sumterville, FL. She and Alain had spun their old globe, closed their eyes and blindly picked where to begin their new life together. Hands clasped, fingers pointed, they had landed on Bucharest, Romania. Now here they were with a new life, a new adventure, and a fresh start for them both.
A cold wind breezed through her, chilling her bones through her jean jacket. She looked around, suddenly becoming uneasy. “Okay bubby, let’s head back, I’ll race you,” she suggested, wanting to get out of the meadow now, right now.
Alain took up the challenge as she knew he would, “I’ll beat you Mack, I always beat you!”
They began jogging back down the path, making it to the border of woods. Headed back in the direction of the village inn, she thought the uneasy feeling would pass, but the inner chill increased sharply as they entered the forest. She had just opened her mouth to call out to Alain when out of the woods to her right, a large black shape came hurtling toward her, knocking her to the ground. Her breath exploded out of her lungs as she hit the ground hard. A heavy weight was pinning her down and she screamed as she felt a piercing pain in her neck. The pain was beyond anything she had felt before, the burning was intense. The creature’s weight was suddenly gone and sounds of grunts, cursing, and of fighting came to her. Alain was beside her crying and screaming her name, she tried to tell him that everything was ok, but her throat would not form the words. Why wouldn’t her throat work? She was cold, so cold…
Vlad stood over the shriveling corpse of the vampire, aware of the boy’s crying and screaming, he quickly turned his attention to the woman lying prone on the forest floor. She was bleeding profusely from the tear in her throat. He bent over her on the opposite side of the young male. Vlad took precious seconds to quickly read the boy’s mind, his name was Alain Hilton and the woman was Mackenzie, his older sister. They were here in the village on holiday before she was to begin a job in Bucharest the following week. He turned his attention to the woman lying sprawled on the ground, a thought foremost in his mind: Brousha! The thought came to him in his own language out of nowhere. It translated to roughly soul mate here on Earth.
Pushing that thought aside, he concentrated on healing the female. With only minutes available to him, he leaned over her throat, his tongue sealing her torn flesh. He then brought his wrist to his mouth and tore the skin away with his fangs. He pressed his bleeding wound to her still seeping throat, his healing purple blood mixing with her red cells. Her brother was in mild shock and lifted large, fearful blue eyes to his, “W-w-what are y-you doing to her?”
He replied very softly, very calmly, “I am saving her lad, I am saving her. My name is Vlad Romaninsky and you and I are going to great friends Alain Hilton.” He lifted his bleeding wrist to her mouth and began to massage her healing throat so that she would swallow his blood. Vlad knew that he was performing an unforgivable sin against this innocent woman. However, he could not let her die, especially knowing that she was the only relative of young Alain, reading the knowledge from the youth’s thoughts. With his free hand he brought his satellite phone out and pressed the number for the compound.
Lot’s voice answered, “Hello my fearless leader!”
“I have a wounded civilian, human, and her younger brother with me. She was attacked. I am giving her blood now, but we will need a pick up ASAP. Get my GPS from the phone, I am outside the Village of Aninoasa, the Northeast sector. Tell Heltra to hurry Lotris, there was another with the vampire that I dusted, he is still out here,” he rambled off the orders.
“You got it boss man. Heltra is leaving now with your coordinates and will be at your location in twenty minutes. Meet her on the lane due west of your location. Hey, is the human pretty by the way? I only ask because now that you have given her your blood she’s a keeper.” Lotris’ humor knew no bounds.
Vlad growled menacingly into the phone, Brousha! The thought slid through his mind again. “Whoa there good buddy, only joking,” Lotris could be a real comedian at times. He was also a good friend and brother in arms, as well as a genius with Earth’s technology so Vlad could not kill him, not really.
Mackenzie came back to awareness with a wonderful, rich flavor in her mouth. She thought perhaps a rich Porte? Where was she and why was she so cold? She moved her fingers feeling the ground with one hand. Well that explained the cold, after all one does not lie on the ground in the woods of the Carpathian Mountains in late August and not expect to be cold. She remembers being in the woods…the creature…Alain!
Her eyes flew open looking around wildly, spotting Alain, she breathed out in relief, he looked to be alright. She then noticed the man bending over her. Her eyes widened, wow, Fabian had nothing on this guy. His hair was a rich dark brown and was pulled back from his strong features with a leather thong. His black brows slashed over cold black obsidian eyes, framed by long eyelashes. His cheekbones were high and pronounced. His nose was straight and proud, his jaw was squared and strong, with a five o’clock shadow. But his lips…his lips were full, sensual. He had very broad shoulders encased in a leather trench coat and black tee-shirt.
All of this took only seconds to sink in as she became aware that this stranger’s wrist was pressed to her mouth. Blood? Blood! That wonderful taste was blood! Her stomach heaved and she brought her hands up weakly to try to fend him away. What kind of sicko was he? Thinking that she had just entered the Twilight Zone or a Dracula role playing game that had gone terribly wrong, she looked again at Alain. Fear and adrenaline making her strong, she pushed the stranger’s arm away and sat up clutching Alain to her. The man brought his wrist to his mouth and licked the wound. Curiously that action made her insides clench.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Her voice croaked out, her throat was very sore. While scooting backwards along the ground, she tried to drag Alain away from the man. She knew some self-defense, but this guy was huge and could break her like a twig. Crouched on the ground as he was, he reminded her of a large jungle cat, a deadly predator.
“I know that you are scared, Mackenzie. I am Vlad Romaninsky and I mean you no harm.” His voice was velvety soft, a low base.
“Yeah riiiight, is that why you almost tore out my throat?!” She tried to yell, it came out hoarse whisper.
“Umm, Mack?” she looked at Alain, “Vlad didn’t hurt you. That man over there did, Vlad saved you, he saved us.”
Mack looked in the direction that Alain had pointed, there on the ground was a mummified body that lay in black clothes. She started to tremble, her hand going to her neck, feeling the roughened, raised scars, “What the hell!” she croaked out.
“I know that you are frightened, however, as this one was not alone when I was hunting him,” Vlad nodded back towards the body, “I want to get you and young Alain out of these woods as soon as possible.” Vlad stood and offered her his hand.
She stared at his hand then met his eyes, “You swear that you aren’t going to hurt us?” She thought, stupid Mack, stupid, like he would admit it if he was planning on committing harry carry all over her ass?
“I swear on my life, that no harm will come to you or young Alain from me or my people,” Vlad placed his right fist over his heart and bowed slightly.
It was an old world courtly gesture, how odd. He held out his hand to her again and she slowly took it. He helped her to stand, then held her by the arm to steady her when she swayed. After making sure she would stay upright he turned his attention to the body. He pulled a pack of matches from his pocket, lit the packet and dropped it on the body. The flames roared to life and almost immediately turned the remains to grayish ash. He turned back to Mackenzie, scooping her into his arms he started into the woods heading west. “Stay close by me Alain,” he ordered the boy. Alain jogged beside his longed legged gait.
“What do you think you are doing?! Put me down this instant,” Mack’s throat was still raw and sore so her demands came out as whispers. “I can walk you know, besides we are going the wrong way. The village inn is back that way!”
“We are meeting one of my people to the west of here, she will have a vehicle for us.” Vlad explained, “Besides if I put you down you may try to run, and Mackenzie, I will catch you if you try. We have many things to discuss you and I,” his dark eyes glittered ominously.