Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sanguinary by Margo Bond Collins ♥ Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Paranormal Romance)

Only fifty years left before vampires rule the world.

When Dallas police detective Cami Davis joined the city's vampire unit, she planned to use the job as a stepping-stone to a better position in the department.

But she didn't know then what she knows now: there's a silent war raging between humans and vampires, and the vampires are winning.

So with the help of a disaffected vampire and an ex-cop addict, Cami is going undercover, determined to solve a series of recent murders, discover a way to overthrow the local Sanguinary government, and, in the process, help win the war for the human race.

But can she maintain her own humanity in the process? Or will Cami find herself, along with the rest of the world, pulled under a darkness she cannot oppose?
The title of today's post was originally "Things You Didn't Know about Sanguinary," but when I started thinking about what to include, I realized that almost all of the things I planned to include were about the setting of this urban fantasy. So today's post is now all about the way the Dallas setting influences the novel.

The Metroplex
I grew up in a small town in Texas; the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex was the closest urban area and where we went to do "city" things. I didn't know until I was an adult that the term "metroplex" (meaning two almost-equal cities forming one contiguous urban area) originated with Dallas/Fort Worth.

In Sanguinary, Cami Davis is a Dallas city police officer, but having to work with officers from Fort Worth or any of the smaller cities around the area always remains a possibility.

Most of the action of the novel, however, takes place in the Dallas Arts District.

Dallas



The Winspear Opera House

My husband and I have season tickets to the Dallas Opera, so it's perhaps no surprise that I would use this wonderful building as a setting. Its curving exterior walls are a deep red, and the tinted windows that make up the exterior walls turn that color to a blood red. When I started writing Sanguinary, the image of a murder outside the building and the matching reds of the blood and the walls stuck in my mind. So the novel opens with Cami examining the latest in a string of murders—this one on the flagstones leading into the Winspear.

winsopera06

The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe

This beautiful church serves the largest cathedral congregation in the United States, with more than 25,000 registered families in the congregation. It stands in the center of the Dallas Arts District, and is one of the most distinctive buildings in the area. And I couldn't imagine a novel about vampires that didn't include at least one cathedral.

Cathedral

The Adolphus Hotel

The beautiful beaux art Adolphus has been a Dallas landmark since it was built in 1921, and has hosted Queen Elizabeth II, the Vanderbilts, Oscar de la Renta, Donald Trump, U2 and Babe Ruth, among others. When I was deciding where the Sanguinary would hold their annual masquerade ball, I couldn't imagine a better setting than the Adolphus's glorious ballroom.

the-adolphus-beer-baron adolphus ballroom



The Blood House

This is the only part of the setting that is wholly fictional, though of course all of the other buildings are used fictionally. The Blood House is a local vampire hangout, and this is how Cami describes it the first time she sees it:

An enormous crystal chandelier hung down from the ceiling, casting a sharp, glittering light across the scene below. The balcony overlooked the central area, a marble-tiled room with white floors and burgundy velvet drapes covering the walls and windows. A black marble staircase curved up to the balcony on each side of the room.


At the very back of the room, a bartender manned a bar made of dark wood. As I watched, several people (or maybe vampires) slipped through the door that stood directly behind the bar, always sure to close the heavy wood behind them.


Dark niches lined the walls under the balcony, many with velvet drapes drawn across them. The ones that were open held couches, some of them with figures draped across them—sleeping or dead, I wasn't sure. People—humans? vampires? both?—stood in small groups on the balcony and on the ground floor.

Soft, baroque chamber music swayed through the room from a hidden sound system, notes from the flutes dancing across the deeper sound of stringed instruments.


And it smelled like blood. The coppery tang of it shivered on the back of my tongue.

I imagine it looking quite a bit like this image of the Hammerstein Ballroom in the Manhattan Center in New York City.

Blood House


Taken altogether, these buildings create a backdrop to Sanguinary's story of blood, lust, and power in Dallas. Check out the excerpt below for more about this first book in the Night Shift series!
It hit me, hard, that no matter how I twisted it around in my head, Reese was going to be more than just an informant to me. I didn't know if I could trust him, this cowboy-vampire I had been thrown together with. But something about him sang to me, like a tune just out of hearing, almost recognized—a song of protection and death. And I wanted to dance to it, almost as much as I wanted to escape it.
The department wouldn't force me to stick it out, wouldn't expect me to team up with a vampire for anything more than the most superficial of connections.
I could walk out at any time.
But I wouldn't. He'd help us find and stop whoever was killing these women.
That's why I'll stay in this.
"I'll tell you everything," I said to the vampire snarling at me. "But I'll need your help."
Reese's lip dropped back down, covering the fang.
I was glad—it was easier to contemplate joining forces with him when he wasn't reminding me that he was one of the monsters.
"Talk," he said.
I shook my head. "Not here," I said, speaking quietly. How good his hearing might be was only one of the many things I didn't know about vampires.
He slid up to the bar beside me.
"We can't leave," he said, equally softly. I had to lean close to hear him.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Mendoza all but dared me to Claim you, back there." He didn't look down at me. "If I don't bleed you at least a little before we go, he'll be suspicious."
At his words, the half-healed bite mark Reese had left on my shoulder throbbed once, sending a hot pulse throughout my entire body.
I wanted the response to be revulsion.
Almost everyone who went undercover with the vamps came out addicted to their bite. The ones who could still string two sentences together, like Garrett, stayed on the force.
The others . . .
The press portrayed us as bumbling and stupid—and maybe we were. Sending detectives in against humanity's worst nightmare? We were like little kids trying to hold back the dark with matches, bound to get our fingers burned, and worse, maybe burn the house down around us.
I paused and swallowed.
      
     
Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.
         
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