5 November 2012

Please welcome Tamara Monteau

First, I would like to thank Sherry for hosting me on her blog today.

 I’m excited to announce that Secrets; Promises, the fifth in the Haven’s Realm saga, has been contracted by Secret Cravings Publishing and is scheduled for release in April, 2013! For months, I’ve been exploring the main character, Vincent, who has been featured in my previous works. I’ve asked him to step out of his habitually private world and answer a few questions, and he has graciously agreed.

So, welcome, Vincent. Let’s begin by telling our readers where you hail from.
I was born in the city of Constantinople in the year 973, the fourth of five sons of a Byzantine Lord. It was a barbaric time, full of battles for conquest by the Romans. My father wanted me to join the army in my turn, follow after my older brothers in the defense of our land. I was my mother’s son – she shared with me her love of poetry and music, and I found I preferred that life to the horrors of war. I ran away from home at the age of fifteen with a lute tucked under my arm and a knapsack slung from my shoulder.
How, why and when did you become a vampire?
This is a long and painful story. I had fallen under a gypsy curse in 999 that robbed me of sleep and sanity for five years. I wandered into the camp of a band of Hungarian nomads, and fell into the care of a beautiful vampiress named Antonia. I surrendered my mortality to her believing I’d found an end to my torment, but instead immortality perverted my curse, placing me in an unending cycle of love and torment.
How long have you been a member of the Community?
I stood among those who established the Community in the year 1412 and became a member of the Council of Elders. This Council is comprised of seven Members charged with upholding the seven human virtues and supporting our King.
Interesting. You stepped out of that honorable roll in the telling of your tale, and placed your existence in jeopardy. What would you like to share in explanation?
I had no choice. Promises I made centuries ago required me to step in and defend the woman who had made herself an enemy of the Community. Hers is a soul with which I have been long acquainted, and the death my friends were designing for her would have irreparably damaged her spiritual memories. Because I stood against my responsibilities and the Bargain itself, my only hope lies in the successful completion of a Reckoning, an involved ritual never before invoked. Chari and I will work diligently to satisfy the Council’s demands in hopes of redeeming both our lives.
Your assigned virtue is Charity, and you have a history of exercising your gift. Is there one defining moment in the Haven’s Realm saga you would like to share to help our readers understand you?
Yes. In the following excerpt you’ve written in Haven’s King, I’m called upon to provide a challenging service to Jason. It is for this reason I’ve been somewhat secretive and enigmatic throughout the series thus far…
The instant the sun set, Vincent took to the sky. He headed for the one place Jason would go to if he were in trouble, Gale’s house. But Jason wasn’t there, and no one there had heard from him. Max was sound asleep in one of the upstairs bedrooms, having searched night and day until exhaustion took him out of the equation.

He flew to Mirissa’s apartment to check on her. He pounded several times on her patio door before she opened it. He saw in an instant she was dying, but hard urgency sparked in her eyes. “Vincent!” She reached for him, caught him by the arm, and dragged him through the apartment. As he crossed the threshold, Tobias manifested himself. He watched with grave concern, but didn’t comment.

When he saw Jason lying on the floor of the kitchenette, he dropped to his knees beside him. “By the gods!”
“He didn’t wake up when the sun set,” she explained, her voice raspy from the misuse of tears. “I tried to make him feed. He just…”
“Did he say anything? Anything at all?”
She nodded. “He said he was poisoned.”
“Did he say by whom?”
“No. He only spoke three words before he lost consciousness. The way he looked at me…”
Vincent pried Jason’s eyes open, took in the clouded orbs with a groan, and turned his eyes on her. “He needs blood. Without it, he’ll die.”
“I tried. He won’t take me. He won’t even respond.”
“Then we’ll just have to force it on him,” he said, grabbing her wrist.
“Wait! What are you doing?”
He lifted her wrist to his mouth. His gaze pinned her. She resisted. “Don’t fight me, Mirissa.”
She pulled her hand away. “No. I’ll do it myself.” She reached behind her into one of the drawers and pulled out a knife. She held it over her wrist and met his gaze. Dark determination gleamed in hers. “I’m going to let him take all he needs,” she declared through her clenched teeth.
“If he kills you…”
“You won’t let him. Stop him before I’m gone. I want you to finish the job.”
“You want me to kill you?”
“I want you to turn me.”
He stared at her for a few moments in silence. Tobias remained stoically observant. “I can’t do that.”
“You vowed your life to me, Vincent. You promised to protect me.”
“I didn’t think I’d have to protect you from yourself.”
“Jason could be down for a while. That’s if he lives at all. I don’t want to be an old woman or dead in my grave when he wakes up. Please. Promise me you’ll do this.”
“Are you sure this is what you want?” Tobias asked her, his voice thick and tight.
She lifted pleading eyes to her guardian. “I’m sorry, Tobias. I’m too deeply committed to just let him go. I want to be here to help him though this.”
Vincent shook his head. “This goes against my better judgment.”
“I’m asking you,” she whispered, desperation evident in her voice and in her eyes.
“Very well, Mirissa. I vow I will not let Jason end your life.”
She nodded, clenched her teeth, and drove the point of the blade deep into the underside of her wrist. Blood instantly spurted from the wound. She dropped the knife and applied pressure to the cut until it touched Jason’s lips. Vincent held his head up and back, allowing the blood to pour down his throat.
Jason woke with a start. His fangs drove deep into her flesh. She cried out in pain, but didn’t withdraw. He clenched her arm tightly and drew from her hard and fast. She lost consciousness very quickly.
Vincent wrestled her away from Jason’s grasp. He lay on the floor on his back, sweating profusely, his body convulsing. Vincent put a hand on his head and ordered him to sleep. Then he lifted her wounded wrist to his lips and prepared to drain her.
“No, Vincent,” a soft voice filled with power said from behind. He spun around in surprise and stared at the beautiful woman standing in the open space between the kitchen and living room. She was dressed in shimmering white silk. A gold crown rested among mountains of golden curls that tumbled down in front of one shoulder. “Her time has not yet come.”
“Who are you?”
“I am the one whom the Greeks named Athena.”
He felt himself shrinking back in awe. “Athena!”
“Mirissa has a destiny to fulfill. It is not yet time for her mortal life to end.”
“She’s bound to Jason,” he argued. “He will drain her life force if I don’t turn her.”
“You must bind yourself to her, Vincent. You vowed your life for her, now your life force must sustain her.” She extended her hand, and when he held his out, she dropped a golden pendant into it. He recognized the figure of an owl for its cultural significance. “This charm holds my favor. Warn her she must never be without it. It will protect her from supernatural forces.” She knelt to the floor and placed a kiss on Mirissa’s forehead. “You are to be his perfect mate,” she said to the unconscious Mirissa. “Remember this, if you remember nothing else.” With that, she vanished.
Vincent indulged in a relieved sigh, lifted Mirissa’s open wrist to his lips and drank only as much as he needed before sealing the wounds, then carried her to her bed. After securing the pendant to her neck, he sank his fangs into his own wrist. While his blood flowed down her throat, he felt the bond form. She drank weakly while he carefully kept her mind at rest.
Once he made it past her mental block, he issued the instructions required of him by the Bargain. “Vampires do not exist. Forget all you know about the Community, and anyone you know connected with them. Jason, your…your husband, had to leave suddenly to offer his talents to the aid of his homeland’s financial crisis. He…” He choked back a sob and swallowed hard. “He may be gone for quite a while, but he will return for you just as soon as he’s able. Hold on to that hope. For now, you must go on with your life as though everything is normal. You’ll keep the fact of your marriage secret until Jason returns.
“A trust will be opened for you at Freedom National Bank in case of emergency. Wear this pendant close to your heart. Never be without it. Think of it as a magic charm that will protect you from evil.” He stroked her cheek softly. “I will always be near, Miri. Though you cannot know it, I will support you to the end of my strength, and when the time is right, I’ll come for you.” He placed a soft kiss on her forehead and left her room.
He lifted Jason and cradled him in his arms. Once on the balcony, he paused, looked into the now empty living room, and said, “I charge you with her protection now, Tobias. The Community will have no contact with her from this moment on. She is your responsibility alone until Jason wakes.” A faint shimmer flashed for an instant across her threshold before the doors closed and the lock engaged, Tobias’ nonverbal way of acknowledging his control. With a nod, Vincent soared silently into the night and carried Haven’s King home.
Thank you, Vincent, for sharing with us.
Readers, below is a list of links to learn more about Haven’s Realm and where to buy. Thank you again, Sherry, for having us on your site!

Buy Haven’s Real

Thanks for coming by, Tamara, it's a pleasure to have you here.