by Terrance V. Mc Arthur
& Gerry Bartlett
This week we have a review of a vampire/mystery crossover book by Gerry Bartlett, Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans, a guest post on how Gerry came to write this series, & a chance to win a copy of the book–details at the end of this post.
Gloriana St. Clair (known as Glory) is a not-so-skinny vampire in Austin, Texas. She has a successful retro-clothing business and several men who adore her, but she also has some problems in Gerry Bartlett’s Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans, the eighth in her series (KRL fantasy reviews) following the exploits of the full-figured bloodsucker with a conscience (she usually dines on synthetic blood…often with an added kick of alcohol).
A demon with a baby bump shows up at Glory’s door, claiming she became pregnant when she possessed the vampire and made love with Glory’s shapeshifter-friend-bodyguard. A mad-scientist vampire claims her blood isn’t human and has magical powers, which sets off a visit from the only vampire Glory ever made, a mob princess with attitude issues and some scary-big bodyguards, who turned the rock musician who slighted her (one of Glory’s favorites) into a vampire.
Bartlett’s Real Vampires series is filled with wild humor, strange situations, and sex. Glory has not let being undead curb her lust for life (or unlife), and she has more than enough willing partners, which worries her. She is afraid that her unremembered non-human heritage is responsible for the way she attracts men and the vampire she loves thinks he was lured to her, so he hides from Glory where her travel and money limitations can’t take her.
It’s a wild romp filled with dead rock stars, Olympian gods, Sirens, vendettas, flying, accursed thighs, sisterhood, an uprising of the oppressed, swimming, bad singing, free will, trickery, and rolls in the everything-but-the-hay. As usual in the Real Vampires books, there are a lot of storylines to keep the reader busy, although some of them prove to be red herrings laid by characters that have their own agendas that seem to revolve around complicating Glory’s existence.
One of the charms of Glory’s character is that she does get frustrated, does get confused, and does make mistakes. In this book, she has to question what she thinks she knows about herself and her relationships. Of course, things get terribly complicated and dangerous before everything is sorted out, leading to the promise of reconciliation…in the next book, Real Vampires Know Hips Happen.
The Glory of the Paranormal
By Gerry Bartlett
I used to write straight romantic suspense, contemporaries. Then I had a historical romance published–I love the Regency time period. But both genres have restrictions, either because of the time period or because of the story structure. Then I discovered paranormals. Wow. When you can create your own world and set up your own rules for that world, it’s a powerful thing. I decided that my Real Vampires series would be based on the idea that vampires were regular people before they became vampires. So when my heroine, Glory St Clair was turned, the fact that she had figure flaws and vulnerabilities would stick with her despite her new liquid diet and set of fangs.
Luckily for me, readers have connected with Glory and her issues. I put myself in Glory’s place and tried to imagine looking forward to living forever. Yes, forever. Would I really want to tie myself down to one partner, no matter how hunky? I don’t think so. It has made Glory’s journey interesting. She hasn’t been able to make that permanent commitment. So I’m on book nine of the Real Vampires series and Glory is still single. Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans, book eight of the set, just came out this April and Glory’s struggling with feelings for three men. Hmm. Maybe this is my fantasy and not Glory’s after all. But it’s fun for readers and they have their own favorites in the “Who is Glory going to be with?” game.
I also love to explore the powers that a paranormal creature can have. Glory started out reluctant to use her powers and had a shapeshifter for a bodyguard. I do love throwing in the different paranormal creatures. I’ve also used ghosts, Sirens and werecats to keep things moving. The fact that only my imagination is the limit when I sit down to write my stories is what keeps me hooked on this genre. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the days of straight contemporaries or historicals. I’d miss the freedom.
To enter to win a copy of Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans, simply email KRL at kingsriverlife[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line “Vampires”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 12, 2012. U.S. residents only.