Penton Vampire Legacy, Book 3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date of Publication: February 5, 2013
Number of pages: 328
Word Count: approx. 88,000
About the Book
The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton’s humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal’s vicious leader, Will’s capture could doom the resistance.
Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will’s polished charm and Randa’s guarded heart finally give way to the warrior within.
Fans of Susannah Sandlin’s Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.
Excerpt: OMEGA (Penton Legacy, Book 3) by Susannah Sandlin
Will stopped and scented the air again. There were two vampires nearby; one belonged to the Penton scathe, and one didn’t.
He ignored both vampires and skirted to the back of the street where the burned shell of his house still smelled of smoke and ash after three days. Aligning his position with the oak tree twenty feet behind what was left of his chimney, he paced forty steps into the woods.
A thorny bramble that had been draped over a small, scrubby bush pricked his fingers when he pulled it back. Grasping the trunk of the bush, he eased it from its loose grasp in the soil, exposing the top of a metal box.
The loud click of a cocked pistol preceded the cold press of steel against the back of his head by less than a second.
He inhaled, annoyed. A rookie mistake. He’d gotten so engrossed in his task he’d let someone slip up on him.
Randa grinned, enjoying the disgusted look on Will’s face. “If I were your father, I’d already have the silver spoon back in your mouth, Willy. He’d have you trussed up like a rodeo calf by now, hauling you back to wherever it is he lives when he’s not terrorizing innocent people.”
Will Ludlam was the kind of guy Randa Thomas had hated as a human, and she didn’t like him a bit more as a vampire. Less, in fact. Not only was he a spoiled rich boy, he was now a virtually immortal spoiled rich boy. He had probably been a blue-chip jock in school with a 4.0 GPA and a string of girls trailing his every step.
Plus, he annoyed the hell out of her. The consummate smartass.
“No, if you were my father, you’d have slit my throat—not enough to kill me, but enough to make sure I couldn’t fight back.” His voice was soft, calm. “Then you’d hand me over to your sadistic, freakshow of a second-in-command Shelton, who would play with me until I couldn’t take it anymore. Only when I was good and broken would you return the silver spoon to my mouth.”
Good God, would any father really do that? Will didn’t sound as if he were joking. Randa relaxed her stance for only a split second before the world tilted and she hit the ground, landing on her back with Will stretched out on top of her in a full body press. And he had her gun.
“Damn it.” She pushed against him but it was like pressing on bedrock.
He propped on his elbows and grinned down at her. His hat had fallen off in the scuffle and the moonlight glinted off his hair, making it look silver instead of a naturally streaked blond. And he had dimples, as if God hadn’t already rewarded him with enough in the looks department.
“And if I were my father, you would be dead. Or worse. Believe me, with Matthias, there’s always much worse. Give up?”
She squirmed again, but froze when she realized he was getting turned on by her movements. There was definitely more of him pressing on her than there had been a few seconds earlier.
He laughed, a white glint of teeth in the moonlight. “Oh, don’t stop moving, sweetheart. This is getting more and more interesting.”
Yeah, she could feel exactly how interested he was getting. She felt a very un-vampirelike flush of heat as he wedged a knee between her legs. Damn it. She clenched her teeth at her body’s betrayal—which he’d be able to sense. She hated being a vampire; there was no sense of privacy. “Get. Off. Me. Now.”
Will lowered his head and, damn him, inhaled deeply, with his face pressed against the side of her neck. Her carotid artery also thumped in a very unvampire-like cadence. She waited for the smartass comments to start.
Instead, he lifted his head and looked her in the eye. She could swear his heartbeat sped up, although it was hard to tell over the pounding of her own. Well, this was awkward.
He blinked and opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again.
Well, that was one good thing. Will had been stricken dumb, at least for a moment. It wouldn’t last.
All over the place, but mostly the Southern U.S. I grew up in Alabama; moved to Champaign, Illinois, and worked in Chicago; moved to Houston, Texas; moved to San Diego, California; moved to New Orleans, Louisiana; and now am back in Alabama. My day job career is in university publishing, and there are usually only a handful of writers and editors at each school. So instead of moving up within a school, editors moving up the career ladder tend to change schools—and, thus, cities.
B2: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was living in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina, and began writing a novel a couple of years afterward as a way of getting rid of my post-traumatic stress—then I got the fiction-writing bug and kept writing! The Katrina story became the novel Royal Street, the first in an urban fantasy series I write under the name Suzanne Johnson.
B2: How do you come up with the titles for your stories?
With the Penton books, I wanted simple, one-word titles that reflected the hero’s journey. In Redemption, Aidan is trying to find forgiveness for some bad decisions he made that hurt people he loved—he believes he needs to find redemption. In Absolution, Mirren believes he must do penance for the horrible things he’s done in his past as a mercenary and executioner—he’s seeking absolution. In Omega, Will has the final endgame of the town of Penton resting on his shoulders. The war will end with him, one way or the other.
B2: What are your current projects?
I’m in the early stages of writing a serial novel that I call a “paranormal romantic thriller”—lots of action in addition to the romantic storyline. It’s still untitled but will be out in late spring or early summer. I’m also working on a novelette that ties into my urban fantasy series.
B2: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. I’m writing for publication, which I guess is the definition of writing as a career. It’s not a hobby or something I do just to entertain myself. I can’t see myself writing anything I didn’t have at least some realistic hope of publishing and finding an audience for.
B2: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Just finding time to write. Between the day job and the marketing and promotion for books when they are released, it’s hard to find hours to sit down and write. So I end up doing most of my writing late at night after working another job all day—it’s not my sharpest time of the day! I also hate writing the first draft. I love revisions and editing, but that first draft is downright painful.
B2: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t really have a single favorite. I have favorite authors for different things. JR Ward is brilliant at deep point of view and crafting beautiful, damaged heroes. Jim Butcher and Kim Harrison are great at combining humor with drama and magic. Rick Bragg, a memoirist, has an amazing voice in his work. Stephen King is a master at building tension and suspense.
B2: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
In this series, I tried my hand at multiple point of view characters for the first time (my urban fantasy series is written in first-person). The new book, Omega, has four or five POV characters. So I’ve learned how complicated it is to juggle that many POV characters—so the POV changes with each new chapter or scene, and each character gets enough “page time” yet still lets the hero and heroine carry the story. It’s quite a balancing act.
B2: Where can people find you on the web?
My website is at www.susannahsandlin.com; my daily book blog, Preternatura, is at Suzanne-johnson.blogspot.com. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads.
B2: Where can they buy your books?
The three-book Penton Legacy series (Redemption, Absolution, Omega) is available in Kindle, print and audio from Amazon; and in print and audio from B&N, Book Depository, and the usual spots.
Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.
Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781612183541