Friday, January 10, 2014

Out of Blood Tour ~ Excerpt & Interview


Welcome to the Out of Blood Blog Tour! See the rest of the stops on the tour schedule.


Count Dracula's Teenage Daughter (Book 1)

Published December 17th. 2012
Published by Create Space
Genres: YA/Paranormal

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

Goodreads Description: 
From R. Barri Flowers, the bestselling author of young adult novels, GHOST GIRL IN SHADOW BAY and DANGER IN TIME, comes the first book in an exciting new teen vampire series, COUNT DRACULA'S TEENAGE DAUGHTER: A Transylvanica High Novel.

Sixteen-year-old Kula Lockhart has been living in the town of Harbor Heights, Michigan for two months now, after moving there with her adopted mom from Cheyenne, Wyoming. She attends Transylvanica High School--one of several integrated pilot schools across the country where human and vampire students peacefully coexist.

Kula has no problem with the human-vampire bonding because she has always believed in equality among the living and the living dead. But she is caught completely off guard upon learning that she is the half human daughter of Count Dracula, leader of the oldest and most powerful vampire clan.

She soon discovers that there are some sworn to protect her and others out to get her.

Someone is killing vampires and Kula fears she may be on the hit list. Staying alive becomes a priority as she adjusts to her birthright. 

She also has a hot human boyfriend named Eriq. Will he accept her for who she is?

Fans of popular teen vampire, paranormal, and horror fiction series such as Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, and Vampire Kisses will love COUNT DRACULA'S TEENAGE DAUGHTER
 Out For Blood (Transylvanica High #2)

Published November 3rd, 2013
Published by R. Barri Flowers
Genres: YA/Paranormal



Goodreads Description: 
From R. Barri Flowers, the bestselling author of the young adult vampire novel, COUNT DRACULA'S TEENAGE DAUGHTER, comes the exciting book two in the Transylvanica High series, OUT FOR BLOOD.

Sixteen-year-old honor student Kula Lockhart is in her second year at Transylvanica High School in Harbor Heights, Michigan. It is one of several integrated pilot schools across the country where human and vampire students peacefully coexist.

Kula recently learned that she is the half human, half vampire daughter of Count Dracula. This has made her a target for those who hate her powerful Dad and vamps in general.

As she comes to terms with her heritage and newfound abilities, things begin to heat up between Kula and her mortal boyfriend, Eriq Pratt. She also has her vamp guardians Ivan and Amelia, as well as several human and vampire friends, to balance her evolving life and times.

When Kula suddenly finds herself being pursued by a new handsome half vamp at school, Sebastian LeBlanc, she is strangely drawn to him, even if her heart belongs to Eriq. Yet Kula can’t help but wonder if it is more than coincidence that Sebastian just happened to arrive in town at around the same time that a vampire or vampires began killing humans. Could Sebastian be behind these vicious attacks?

Another new vampire, Gabryela Roswell, befriends Kula, but has a hidden agenda.

In the meantime, Kula has competition from an attractive human girl, Yvonne Elwood, who has her eye on Eriq. She also has to deal with the gorgeous and mean-spirited cheerleader vamp, Jacquelyn Brossard, a member of the rival Doerzic clan.

As Kula grapples with these issues and the changes in her life, she tries to learn more about her mother, who died in childbirth, from the only person who can give her answers--her dad, Count Dracula.

Fans of popular teen vampire and paranormal fiction series such as Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and Vampire Academy will love OUT FOR BLOOD in this captivating series.

Now in print, eBook, and audio. Buy it today!
Read an excerpt from Out of Blood:
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PROLOGUE

The guardians, Ivan and Amelia, stood side by side on Lookout Hill enjoying the landscape below. The waning days of summer would soon give way to autumn. They took it all in for a moment before turning their focus to Kula, the half human daughter of Count Dracula, of whom they were assigned the task of keeping out of harm's way. It was not easy, but it had to be done.
"She's gotten so much stronger, so much more confident in the past ten months," Amelia said.
"I know," Ivan responded. "Wish we could take credit for it, but the truth is it was her destiny all along. We just helped guide her in the right direction."
"True, but she still faces many more challenges," noted Amelia. "The United Front Against Vampires will never stop going after her and the rest of us."
"Let them try," Ivan said. "We'll do whatever is necessary to protect our species—and, of course, Kula."
"That should definitely keep us on our toes."
He smiled at her. "Maybe not always."
She smiled back. "Perhaps not."
They both concentrated till their eyes reddened and fangs sprouted from their mouths. In an instant, they had turned into vampire bats, flapping their wings to stay afloat.
Leaving behind Lookout Hill, they flew over the valley, taking advantage of the freedom they were afforded as creatures of the day and night, before returning to earth and resuming their lives among the living.
* * *
Neither was aware of another vampire bat that had carefully remained hidden behind some bushes, watching and waiting for the creatures to reappear in human form and walk away.
Only when they were at a safe distance did the bat come out of hiding, flapping its wings effortlessly before rematerializing as a vampire. Fresh blood dripped from its fangs and its eyes burned red with a yearning for more. It took a deep breath and managed to hold the temptation in check for now. Violating the sacred oath against the new norms of society that outlawed taking what was needed from mortals was a dangerous path to go down. But some things couldn't be helped.
Yet the vampire was able to resist any such urges as its bloodsucker attributes began to change and the appearance of a human took shape. Even then, it still took a moment or two longer for the vampire to regain the equilibrium necessary to function as normal as possible. It would stay that way only until the overpowering urge to act upon one's natural instincts as a vampire once again took over.

CHAPTER ONE

Kula Lockhart picked up the pace while putting on her clothes and getting ready for the first day of school. She could hardly believe it had been nearly a year since she and her adoptive mom had moved to Harbor Heights, Michigan from Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was even more unbelievable to Kula that on her sixteenth birthday, nine months ago, she discovered that she was the half human, half vampire daughter of Count Dracula. Her real mom had died during childbirth. Both were a shock to the system, but Kula had begun to come to terms with her heritage. This included having heightened senses, more strength and speed than mere mortals, and the ability to turn into a bat.
It was the end of August, but the beginning of her junior year as an honor student at Transylvanica High, one of a growing number of integrated public schools across the nation where teenage humans and their teen vampire counterparts could coexist educationally without wanting to rip each other to pieces. Vamps had largely abandoned biting humans for blood, substituting this for bottled drinks consisting of water mixed with powdered human blood that had been donated voluntarily through blood drives and other means. The new world order had worked for the most part, even if there had been some tense moments here and there. This included a group that seemed intent on causing nothing but trouble for vampires who, in spite of their perceived immortality, could still be taken out with decapitation, wooden stakes to the heart, silver bullets, and a few other methods humans had perfected throughout the centuries.
After brushing her long brunette hair, Kula's brown eyes gazed at her reflection approvingly. As a half human, she was able to see herself in the mirror and do other things that most vampires were either unable to do or could only do with special effort. She was slender and tall, but not too tall—at least not for her human boyfriend Eriq Pratt.
She grabbed her backpack and ambled down the stairs to find her mother pouring cereal into a bowl for her. Next to it was some toast and a glass of blood.
Mary Lockhart smiled when she saw Kula. "Well, good morning, sleepyhead."
"Morning." Kula yawned, mostly for effect. In truth, she needed little sleep these days, but didn't let on about that. It was enough that her mother had fully accepted her bloodline without loving her any less. Considering that her birth mother was dead and her vampire dad was living somewhere in Eastern Europe, Kula couldn't imagine not having the only mom she'd ever known in her corner.
She gazed at the slender woman with stylishly short black hair, who was dressed for her job at the admissions office at the local college. "I love you," Kula told her genuinely.
"I love you more," her mother declared. "Now sit down and get some food and drink into your system before school."
"I wish I could sit, but I don't want to be late for the first day of school." Before her mother could respond, Kula picked up the bowl of cereal and sped through half of it, which still continued to agree with her taste buds in spite of her vampire half. She then grabbed the glass of blood and practically drank it in one gulp, relishing the effect it had on her body.
"Of course you don't want to be late," her mother said as she grabbed a piece of toast. "I understand first day jitters. The college kids have them, too."
Kula rolled her eyes playfully. "Then I guess that's another thing to look forward to when I graduate from high school." But since that was still two years away, any serious thoughts about college would have to wait a while longer. She kissed her mom on the cheek. "See you this afternoon."
"Bye, honey," Mary said.
Kula was out the door and in her car in no time flat. It was a Ford Fiesta that she'd gotten for her sixteenth birthday.
The sun shone brightly, causing her to squint before putting on sunglasses. Most full-blooded vamps used special contact lenses to deal with the sun and daylight, but Kula didn't have that problem. It was another fringe benefit of her human side and maybe even the genes she inherited from her powerful vamp dad. Though she had yet to meet him in person, from what she'd heard, he'd adapted over the centuries in a number of ways that vampires from other clans were still working on.
Kula stopped to pick up Sky Hedison, who was waiting by the side of the road in front of her house.
"Hey," Sky said spiritedly.
"Hey," Kula said back.
Sky, who had died her blonde hair dark over the summer, fastened her seatbelt routinely even though she was now a full-fledged vampire and therefore impervious to being seriously injured in a car accident.
"You ready for school again?" Sky asked before sipping on a bottle of blood, now readily available across the country for vampires.
Kula didn't have to think about it very hard. "Truthfully, it would have been nice to have a few more weeks of summer vacation." Or, she thought, spend more time with Eriq and my friends without having to worry about studying or trying to fit in.
Sky giggled. "I know, right?"
As Kula drove, she found it almost hard to believe that seven months ago Sky tried to kill her. At the time, Sky was human and part of the vampire hunter organization known as the United Front Against Vampires whose primary mission was to kill Count Dracula's daughter. But before Sky could drive a stake through her heart, Kula managed to stop her. Turning the tables, she had become Sky's sire, making her a vampire too and ending any desire on her part to kill other vampires.
In spite of that close call, Kula had gotten past it for the most part and had forgiven Sky. Only a few other vampires knew that she had sired Sky and Kula was fine with that. She had no desire to control Sky's every movement. And had no desire to put the spotlight on herself as Dracula's daughter, any more than was already there.
She glanced at Sky, who looked a little nervous.
"Guess I'm about to find out if Roger and I are still together," she said.
Kula cocked a brow as she thought about Roger Friedman, another recently turned vampire whom Sky had hooked up with over the summer. "I didn't know you guys were having any problems."
"We're not," Sky said. "Not really—other than the fact that he can't seem to make up his mind if he really wants to be with me or someone else."
"You don't need him," Kula told her.
"Just like you don't need Eriq?" Sky countered.
"I don't," Kula said. "Not if he isn't as crazy about me as I am about him." Fortunately, she was sure he was.
"You don't have to rub it in my face," Sky said, pouting.
"I don't mean to. We just click, that's all. Maybe you and Roger just need time to get there."
"I hope so," Sky said. "He's like the first vamp I've been with, and that makes him kind of special to me."
Kula knew the feeling, considering the vampire bond they shared. She drove into the school parking lot.
* * *
Kula stepped inside the main building and immediately began to look for Eriq, as he had texted her this morning. Her eyes latched onto a tall and well-built guy with slightly long blonde hair. She hadn't seen him before and figured he was a new to the school. As if sensing she was staring, he turned her way and locked eyes with her.
Coloring, Kula looked away, only to see the gorgeous and often irritating cheerleader vamp, Jacquelyn Brossard, and her minions—two other tall and equally attractive vampires, Bailey Parquet and McKenzie Hawthorne, strutting by as if they owned the place. Belonging to the rival Doerzic clan, they each gave her the evil eye and flashed their fangs while seeming to dare her to want to do something about it.
She didn't bite the bait, having no quarrel with them, other than the fact that they didn't like her. But that was their problem, not hers.
Kula saw another tall, beautiful girl with long black hair looking at her, apparently amused by what she had just witnessed. Or was that contempt she saw in the girl's eyes? She walked away without saying a word.
"Hey," Kula heard a deep voice say.
She turned around and saw Ivan and Amelia standing there. They had been assigned by her father as protectors, swearing an allegiance to him and her as members of the Dracula clan.
"Hi," she said, looking from one to the other.
Ivan, who was tall with dark hair parted on one side, frowned. "Was Jacquelyn or her vamps bothering you?"
"No, not really." Kula didn't want to add fuel to the fire by starting a war with Jacquelyn, who some referred to as the Queen V of Transylvanica High.
"Tell me if any of them step over the line," he said.
"I will," Kula promised, though she sometimes wondered about his loyalties, since he was hooking up with Jacquelyn. But, at the end of the day, he really did seem to have her back just as Amelia did. Right now, she preferred to fight her own battles or at least those where she stood a fighting chance.
"Welcome back to a new school year," Amelia told her.
Kula grinned at Amelia, who was an inch shorter with red hair and blue eyes. "Same to you."
"Rarely a dull moment around here," Amelia said.
"Is that good or bad?" Kula asked.
Amelia smiled. "Sometimes both. We just deal with whatever comes our way."
Kula nodded, while wondering what she could expect over the next school year. "Well, I better get to my locker."
"Before you go," Ivan said, pulling his cell phone out of his pocket, "there's someone who wants to speak to you..."
Kula's eyes lit as she knew that could only be her father, Count Dracula. So far, she had only had phone and video chats with him on Ivan's phone, stating it was for her own protection. She knew he was well traveled, and well protected from his enemies, which supposedly were many, including mortals and the undead.
She took the phone and stepped off a little to the side. "Hi, Dad," she said, feeling a little intimidated as always when talking to the vampire she had only known since turning sixteen.
"Good morning, Kula," he said in his usual authoritative voice with a distinct deep accent.
"How are you?" she asked.
"I am good, my dear, thank you for asking." He paused. "I understand this is the first day of school."
"Yeah, I'm kind of excited about it—junior year and all."
"I am very proud of you," he said, "just as I know your mother would be."
Kula blushed, while wishing with all her heart that her birth mom had not died, depriving them of the chance to bond, too. "Thanks," she told him.
"Well, I shall not keep you," Dracula said. "I only wanted to wish you well as you progress in your education and let you know that I shall always keep you close to my heart."
"Same here," Kula promised, while hoping they would have a face to face conversation someday.
She handed the phone back to Ivan, who said a few quick words to her dad, before hanging up.
"Thanks for the surprise," she told him.
"Can't take credit for that," Ivan said. "It was your father's idea."
"Figures." Kula was glad anyway. "It's a great way to get the school year started."
"I agree," Amelia said, smiling.
"Now we just have to get through it and hope the new teachers don't suck," Ivan told her with a chuckle.
"Yeah," Kula said, knowing some teachers were better than others and not out to get them. Amelia and Ivan headed off in the opposite direction. Kula couldn't help but glance in the direction of that hot new guy she'd seen. Only he had moved on, not too surprisingly. She expected she would see him again sooner or later. Not that it mattered as far as any romantic interest, as she was already spoken for and liked it that way.
* * *
"What do you think?" Ivan Livingston asked as he and Amelia Murray, his vampire-linked sister and fellow protector, turned to glance at Kula.
"I think she's becoming her father's daughter," Amelia said.
"Yeah," he agreed. "But what about her mother?"
Amelia paused. "That's a place neither of us wants to go."
"Maybe you're right," Ivan said. "But sooner or later it's something she may have to deal with."
"When she does, we'll help her any way we can," Amelia said. "Until such time, we can only abide by her father's wishes."
Ivan nodded in agreement. "Beyond that, there's still school, dating, fun, and continuing to be part of this community."
"So many challenges," she said dryly. "Guess we'll just have to make it work—for Kula and ourselves."
His eyes crinkled at the corners. "Let's get to class."
* * *
"There you are..." The recognizable voice said at the same time a long arm wrapped around Kula's shoulders.
She turned away from her locker to look at her boyfriend, Eriq. He was tall and handsome with short black hair and dark eyes. "Hey," she told him, flashing her teeth.
He moved his face forward and kissed her on the lips. "Hey."
She tasted the mint from his mouth. "You ready for junior year?"
"Yeah. You?"
"Yes," she said. "Hopefully it won't be as crazy as last year."
Eriq smiled. "It won't be."
Kula knew he was just being kind and understanding, which she appreciated. Not to mention he didn't remember his own brush with death last winter when former teacher and vampire hunter, Ms. Oxford, used him as bait to lure Kula, nearly killing them both. Ivan had erased his memory of the scary situation, believing it was better for everyone, especially her.
But Eriq had retained his knowledge of her as half human, half vampire and had seemingly overcome any initial jitters he had about wanting to date her. Kula felt the same way, seeing no reason why they couldn't make it work. At least while they were still in high school. She hoped it would be much longer, even if her aging would slow down some because of her vampire genes.
Unfortunately, they only had one common class—third period Computer Science—meaning they couldn't communicate much in person during the school day.
"So Sam was all shook up after you left last night," Eriq told her of his dog.
"Yeah, right." Kula rolled her eyes while closing the locker. In truth, she and the German Shepherd had never gotten along. It was clear to her that it had a problem with her vampire side. Eriq seemed to take it in stride, but she wasn't as comfortable with it, especially since there was nothing she could do about who she was. "I'll believe that when I see it."
Eriq chuckled. "Well, I missed you anyway. Guess that's all that counts."
She smiled. "It is in my book," she told him. "Speaking of books, I better get to class."
"You and me both," he said. "I'll catch you in Computer Science class."
It was something to look forward to for Kula as she walked in the opposite direction.
Her first period was Eastern European History. It was an elective that she decided was important to broaden her knowledge of a place where she had roots.
The teacher was a thirty-something woman named Mrs. Quinlan.
Kula sat opposite they cute guy she'd seen in the hall. He gazed at her with deep gray-sable eyes for a moment or two before grinning sideways. It made him look even hotter and compelled her to grin back.
During the roll call, she learned that his name was Sebastian LeBlanc and that he had transferred from a school in Grand Rapids. She wondered if he was mortal or a vampire. Though her senses were getting more and more acute, especially her sense of smell, she couldn't always distinguish between humans and the undead, as the latter were somehow able to mask their scent as vampires.
Maybe he's wondering the same thing about me, Kula thought. Only she had the unique role of being human and vampire, something she was still adjusting to and trying to make the most of. He couldn't possibly relate, even if he could potentially become a friend.
When class ended, Kula filed out like everyone else. But between taking too long to put her notebook in her backpack and having to go back to her desk where she left her cell phone, by the time she entered the hallway, Sebastian was nowhere to be found.
So maybe he wasn't interested in getting to know her after all.
Kula took it as a sign that she needed to focus on school and those she already had in her life, starting with Eriq.
She headed for her next class.
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(I added a few responses to her answers in purple.)

Hi Barri!

First of all, how are you? Have you been reading anything interesting?

I am terrific, thank you.

In fact, I have been reading a very interesting book. It is entitled, The Fatal Shore, and is the incredible story of Australia's founding and colonization, early struggles, English convicts and the Aborigines. Quite educational.

What inspired you to write the Transylvanica High series?
I was inspired to write the Transylvanica High series by a longtime interest in Count Dracula. When growing up, I loved watching such great actors as Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney playing Dracula. I thought that it would be a nice twist to the legend of Count Dracula by updating to the 21st century and giving him a teenage daughter in America.

Transylvanica High is a play on Transylvania, where Dracula originated. My story mixes the vampire mythology with typical teen life in a small town.

Can you tell me a little more about Kula? What kind of character is she?

Kula is a sixteen year old, who learned in the first book of series that she was the half vampire daughter of Count Dracula. Up until that point she had been an honor student and typical teen. With her new knowledge of her lineage, Kula tries to come to terms with, while living as normal a life as possible. That includes dating a human, Eriq and having both mortal and vampire friends.

Kula is a great protagonist, whose character will continue to grow as she faces new challenges and coming of age as the series progress.

Can you tell me a little bit about the other characters in the series?
There are some great characters in this series, which teens will be able to relate to.

Eriq Pratt is Kula’s mortal boyfriend, who feels under pressure to fend off interest in her from other male vampires.

Jacquelyn Brossard is a cheerleader vamp and a member of the rival Doerzic clan, who causes Kula nothing but trouble.

Ivan Livingston and Amelia Murray are student vampires and Kula’s sworn protectors, while also trying to live their own lives.

Yvonne Elwood is a human teen who has her eye on Eriq.

Gabryela Roswell is a teen vamp who befriends Kula, but has a hidden agenda.

Sebastian LeBlanc is a newbie teen vamp, whom Kula is strangely drawn to.

If you were to write a YA book featuring a paranormal creature that you haven’t written about before, what would that creature be?

That’s a great question.

I would love to write a YA novel that feature a Loch Ness Monster character. I think it would be fascinating to take on this paranormal creature in a teen novel. Maybe someday.

What is one of your favorite vampire books?

At the top of the list would have to be Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel, Dracula. It really set the tone for vampire themed books to follow.

Other favorite vampire novels include Lara Parker’s Dark Shadows: Angelique's Descent and Laurell Hamilton’s Blood Noir.

What are your writing habits like?

I write daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As an author, I believe it is important to be consistent with my writing schedule. Hence, I never waver on making sure I reach my writing quota with each day, allowing me to keep my eye on the ball in meeting my targets and deadlines.

I have never gotten writer’s block, meaning that I am always full of ideas and able to make them count in getting out a steady stream of books.

That said, I also recognize the importance of stepping away from the world of writing and keeping things in a proper perspective. As such, I always find time for family and friends in my busy life.

Lastly, why write YA?

Having enjoyed YA fiction during my own childhood and teen years and being a natural storyteller, I wanted to lend my voice to the young adult readership.

With a number of bestselling YA novels under my belt, including TEEN GHOST AT DEAD LAKE, DANGER IN TIMEGHOST GIRL IN SHADOW BAY, and CHRISTMAS WISHES: Laura’s Story, I am happy to be able to contribute to YA literature.

The third book in the Transylvanica High series, KULA’S REVENGE, will be out in the summer of 2014; along with the first novel in a new YA series, SUMMER AT PARADISE RANCH.

Thank you, Barri, for answering my questions!

It is my pleasure. Thanks for the interview.

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6 comments:

  1. Love the interview. Sounds like a great series!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for being on the tour, Kaitlin!

    -Nichole

    ReplyDelete
  3. Enjoyed the interview and am delighted to receive such a positive response during the Blog Tour for OUT FOR BLOOD and COUNT DRACULA'S TEENAGE DAUGHTER.

    The third book in series, KULA'S REVENGE, due out this summer, is sure to please fans as Kula and others attending Transylvanica High deal with new challenges and danger to their lives as teen mortals and vampires!

    Spread the word on series and who knows, maybe someday it can make it to the big or small screen and reach a whole new audience!

    Best,

    R. Barri Flowers

    ReplyDelete

Hello potential commenter! Thank you for visiting my blog! Comments always brighten my day. :) I'll try to reply as soon as I can.