Irene and I are so happy to be back here on Bonkers About Books! Last time we were here, it was the day before the release of our m/m paranormal romance, Vespers – Book 1 in the Hours of the Night. And coincidentally, tomorrow is the release of Bonfire – the Hours of the Night book 1.5.
So yay! Happy release day to us!
It might not seem quite logical to plunk a holiday story in the middle of a series about vampires and demons, but that’s what we did. We wanted to focus more on the relationship between Thaddeus and Sarasija, and the way they negotiate their Christmas celebration turned into a handy short-hand for how they work through other issues.
But because Thaddeus is a vampire, and he lives in the middle of the Louisiana bayou, there’s a definite spook-factor to the proceedings. Thad and Sara have a mystery to solve, although this story doesn’t have nearly as much bloodshed as Vespers did. Hardly any bloodshed at all, actually. Except, you know, when the vampire needs to feed…
In addition to the creepiness associated with a story set in the swamp, the setting gave us a whole lot of other stuff to work with. When we were brainstorming early story ideas, we spent time researching the folktales associated with the area. We read stories about the rougarou and the loup garou, about M’su Diable and the gris gris, and also, the feu follet, or fifolet.
The feu follet are swamp lights, which might not sound very threatening – until you’re following one alone in the dark. It didn’t take us long to decide the feu follet legend was a perfect choice for a vampire’s holiday story. I mean, most people put up lights in there house at this time of year, and there’s a special star, so why not weird flames in the swamp? Here’s a brief snippet from Bonfire, where Sara learns why the lights are bad news…
“Okay,” Sara said, “humor me, Bren. Tell me the legend.”
“Not just one legend,” Jeremiah said. “There are tons of them. The feu follet are guarding a treasure. The feu follet appear when there’s been a murder.”
“They’re the soul of a child who died before being baptized,” Thad added. “Although I do not think the Good Lord would consign a child to such torment.”
Jeremiah nodded. “Hadn’t heard that one. Can’t say I like it either. My mom’s cousin over in Grosse Tete used to talk about them like vampires. Ghosts that sucked blood.”
“Why would they suddenly appear, though?” Sara asked. “I mean, this is something new, right? What do the legends have in common?”
Thad and Jeremiah exchanged a troubled glance. Sara could tell they both had the same thought.
“Murder and treasure,” Jeremiah said. “There are a lot of legends, but the most common ones involve murder or treasure or both. Sometimes it was murder over money. Sometimes the spirit was bound to the treasure to protect it. Murder and treasure.”
Murder and treasure. Yeah, sounds kind of heavy for a holiday story, but I promise, everything works out in the end. We also pilfered liberally from Bayou holiday traditions, even going to far as to name the novella after the bonfires that burn on the levee on Christmas Eve. The fires are meant to light the way for Pere Noel, and the image of flames against the night sky captures what this book is about, the passion of two men for each other.
Bonfire’s a little bit lighter than Vespers, but it carries over some important elements, namely how our two heroes relate to each other and how their beliefs influence their behavior. There’s heat, and there’s humor, and there’s eight tiny alligators pulling Santa’s sleigh!
And you know, Thaddeus and Sara might have defeated the Big Bad in book 1, but Weyer’s Praestigiis Daemonum is still out there somewhere, and depending on who gets ahold of it, all hell could very well break loose. You’ll have to wait a few months for book 2, to see how that works out.
Keep reading for an excerpt, and make sure you enter our giveaway.
By Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Contact: Irene Preston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Liv Rancourt (email@example.com)
Silent night, holy hell.
Thaddeus and Sarasija are spending the holidays on the bayou, and while the vampire's idea of Christmas cheer doesn't quite match his assistant's, they're working on a compromise. Before they can get the tree trimmed, they're interrupted by the appearance of the feu follet. The ghostly lights appear in the swamp at random and lead even the locals astray.
When the townsfolk link the phenomenon to the return of their most reclusive neighbor, suspicion falls on Thaddeus. These lights aren't bringing glad tidings, and if Thad and Sara can't find their source, the feu follet might herald a holiday tragedy for the whole town.
This holiday novella can be enjoyed alone or as book 1.5 of the Hours of the Night Series. Bonfiretakes place the December after the events in Vespers.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
About Irene Preston
Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.
Where to find Irene
About Liv RancourtI write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.
Where to find Liv