Please help me welcome Jenna Barwin with a fun interview and her brand new release…plus, a giveaway!!
Thank you, Alicia, for hosting me today. I’m so excited to be here. Dark Wine at Dusk, the third book in the Hill Vampire series, and it was released yesterday.
How was the Hill Vampire series born?
I’ve been fascinated by the vampire myth my entire life. I read Dracula as a young teen, and something in me wanted the vampire, the tragic hero, to get the girl. That was my starting point.
What is the Hill Vampire series about?
It’s an urban fantasy romance, and combines mystery and political intrigue with a continuing love story. It’s set in an exclusive winemaking community of vampires.
Here’s the elevator pitch for the first book in the series, Dark Wine at Midnight: A research scientist is forced by her people to spy on the vampires she’s trying to help. One of those vampires is an expert winemaker who’s hiding his own deep secrets. In the end, he learns to love again, and she learns to embrace her own decisions, which includes choosing him.
Who is your favorite character, and why?
The hero, Enrique “Henry” Bautista Vasquez. I enjoy writing him. He’s the first character I created in the Hill Vampire series, and I just loved the process of discovery—peeling back the layers to find out who he is.
He’s originally from Mexico. He came to California in the early 1800s, where he was turned vampire, and founded the town of Sierra Escondida. So he has a deep backstory, entwined with California’s history, and I like weaving the two together.
He’s also an expert winemaker, with bourbon-brown eyes and long, ebony hair, but he’s a bit moody. Because of a dark secret he carries, he’s been unsuccessful at relationships. He’s also very protective of the town he founded. So when Dr. Cerissa Patel arrives in town, he’s suspicious of her, but also attracted to her, and his suspicion is fighting with the feelings she’s stirred up in him.
In Dark Wine at Dusk, we finally get to learn his secret. In many ways, Dusk is Henry’s book.
Does he get his happily ever after?
No spoilers! But I can safely say it wouldn’t be a romance if he didn’t ultimately get his happily ever after with Cerissa, the heroine. Still, he has to work for it over the series’ arc.
To put it another way, the Hill Vampire novels are a “same couple series.” I’m an avowed fan of same couple series, so I wrote what I love.
Please explain to readers, for those who may not know, what do you mean by same couple series?
It’s a series of novels following the same couple from their first hot glimpse of each other, all the way through to their marriage and beyond. As a reader, once I’ve fallen in love with a couple, I want to read more about them.
Faye Kellerman did a great job reeling me in with the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery series. Peter Decker is a police detective and his Orthodox Jewish wife Rina assists him in solving crimes. They have their ups and downs, but I fell in love with them when they fell in love with each other. I happily followed them through their engagement, marriage, kids and ultimately, into retirement.
In the world of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, I swoon over Jeaniene Frost’s Cat and Bones books. She kept the sizzle going through seven books, along with writing very satisfying adventures for her pair. To keep me entertained, the adventure or mystery has to be as strong as the romance, and Jeaniene Frost delivers on both.
It’s what I hope to achieve with the Hill Vampire series.
Thank you for joining me today. Please tell us more about your book.
Blurb for Dark Wine at Dusk:
A seductive spy. An alpha vampire. A hidden threat to their love…
When a rogue vampire group attacks again, Dr. Cerissa Patel’s happily ever after with the man of her dreams must take a back seat to her mission.
Her lover, vampire Henry Bautista, is quick to pick up the gauntlet. He’ll do anything to help his beautiful spy capture the conspirators who are determined to enslave mortals.
But as Henry’s secret past rears its ugly head, it not only threatens their mission, but risks their love–and their very lives.
“Passionate, breathtaking and beautifully written.” ~InD’tale Magazine
Henry accepted the shiny silver pouch Cerissa handed him. Usually, she used a blue bag to package blood from her human clones and a red one when she drew a higher concentration of red blood cells. What did the silver bag contain?
“If you don’t mind being my guinea pig,” Cerissa added.
“Guinea pig?” He started a pan of water heating on the stove. The pouch wasn’t wrapped in a self-warming bag. “What is different about this blood?”
“While I was away, I figured out how to induce the clones to produce a higher concentration of stress hormones—adrenaline, as well as cortisol and norepinephrine, if you want to be technical—to create the blood Rolf craves.”
“You think this will satisfy him?”
“We’ll have to experiment to find out. I don’t know what the cause is. It could be a substance addiction he can be weaned off, with support. If his problem is akin to a deficiency, more like a diabetic who needs insulin to survive, then I’ll have to determine the proper dosage. Just because the blood produces a mental high doesn’t mean it’s bad for him.”
Henry turned off the flame under the pot and slid the bag into the warm water, swishing it around so the contents would heat evenly without cooking. Cooked blood was disgusting.
“There is an exhilaration that comes from drinking adrenaline-spiked blood—”
“I’m calling it ‘adrenaline-enhanced’ for now,” she said. “The other term has baggage.”
“You could be right.” He fished the bag out of the water, cut the corner with scissors, and poured it into an insulated coffee mug. A quick sniff told him it smelled like the blood of a victim who’d been hunted.
Is this a good idea?
He sniffed again, and a thread of apprehension brushed his skin. He took a sip and closed his eyes. The sudden rush pounded through his veins, followed by an ice-cold chill. He dropped the mug on the kitchen island. It toppled, and the blood spread across the granite counter.
Cerissa rushed to his side. “Henry, are you all right?”
He stumbled back, fighting the surge, the power, the desire for more.
“Y-you made it too s-strong,” he stammered, and clutched the edge of the island’s granite top. The spilled blood flowed between his fingers, invoking images he’d rather forget.
“I’m sorry,” she said, clinging to his arm.
Her scent beckoned to him. He gripped the counter harder and fought the driving desire to plunge his fangs into her. “Please, cariña, step back.”
“Step back. I don’t need new sins to repent for.”
And great news—Dark Wine at Midnight, the first eBook in the series, is on sale for $0.99 through May 31, 2019 on Amazon. Click on the image to be taken to the series purchase link.
I’m sponsoring a giveaway to celebrate the launch of Dark Wine at Dusk and to thank my blog tour readers (giveaway begins 5/29/2019 and ends 6/25/2019)
The four prizes being given away are:
- $10 Amazon.com Gift card
- eBook copy of Dark Wine at Midnight
- eBook copy of Dark Wine at Sunrise
- eBook copy of Dark Wine at Dusk
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. One prize per entrant. See Giveaway page for full terms and conditions.
Bio & Social Media Links:
Jenna Barwin writes the Hill Vampire novels, which blend mystery, wine, and romantic spice into a heady (and steamy) combination.
When not writing, she enjoys underwater photography, and is known to occasionally attend a Victorian dance in full regalia right down to pantaloons and a hoop skirt.
If you’d like to stay up to date on her newest releases, join her VIP Readers: jennabarwin.com/jenna-barwins-newsletter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JennaBarwin (@JennaBarwin)
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jenna-barwin
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Barwin/e/B06XV6TMG9/
Goodreads Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16632097.Jenna_Barwin