Vampire Dante Allegretti hates his sucky life. Born into a family of energy siphoners, he’s desperate to reinvent himself as a fun-loving normal guy rather than a crowdsourcing parasite. To stop the draining urges, Dante resorts to grinding alternative meds in an ancient Mortar & Pestle, not knowing it contains magical properties.
Enter wisecracking thirty-year-old Sophie Arley, who lives with her clingy parents. Working three jobs and craving independence, she’s come back strong after a breakdown crashed her cozy world. So when the weird, hot guy she just met-cute asks Sophie to the movies, she agrees.
Sophie won’t spoil their magical connection by mentioning her heartbreak. And Dante dreads telling Sophie about his dark side. Will the power from the Mortar & Pestle guide them to their happily ever after despite the secrets and lies?
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 2 – PG
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The idea for Revamped, my new book, came about one afternoon when I was socializing with six other author friends. Mind you, we weren’t at a happy hour.
We were all on Zoom, gathered around our computer screens discussing writing and marketing, when someone suggested we write a series together.
“What would make it a series?” someone else asked.
“How about a common element that travels through time? Like the movie about those traveling pants?”
“Like a hat?”
“A frying pan?”
“A Mortar & Pestle?”
We all came up with book proposals and chattered about them. It’s much easier to pop out ideas for a book than to write it.
Since my favorite books to read and write are women’s humorous romantic fiction, that’s what I said I’d write.
Until someone said, “Why don’t you throw in paranormal? Maybe a vampire?”
“I don’t know anything about paranormal.” Thinking Oh, no, dark, gaunt characters with big teeth. “I don’t like all that blood.”
“Your character can be an energy vampire,” a helpful voice said. “No blood.”
In the end, I took the bait and invented a new world, different from the world I usually wrote in. What fun I had cooking up trouble for Dante, my energy vampire, and Sophie, his honey.
And we all had a ball figuring out how the Mortar & Pestle would bring our two main characters together for a little serious smooching.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
In order to answer this question, I interviewed my main character. When I wrote the book, the idea of being different from other people was the theme I wanted to explore. Dante helped me work through that idea.
A Dialogue with the Vampire
Shirley: I have a few questions for our readers. They’re curious.
Dante: I suppose they want to know about my special powers.
Shirley: Not really. They want to know what it’s like to date a vampire.
Dante: [eyes widen] I don’t talk about being a vampire. Not openly.
Shirley: The thing is, I wrote a whole book about you so it’s no secret, not anymore. For instance, one reader would like to know if you would suck on her neck. You know, take a little taste.
Dante: That’s ridiculous. First of all, I’m not that kind of vampire. I’m an energy vampire. Meaning I get energy from people by depleting their resources. Bored people are especially easy targets, but angry men run a close second.
Shirley: Men in particular? Why is that?
Dante: Their negative energy and muscle mass make them vulnerable.
Shirley: Do you still drain people’s energy?
Dante: I’ve stopped living that life. I attend DE meetings––that stands for Dis-Energy––two or three times a week. It’s not easy, but my energy sobriety is important.
Shirley: Anyone who dated you would have to respect the work that went into your lifestyle change.
Dante: I don’t want to be thought of as a vampire. I’m a normal guy with issues like anyone else. With a few differences.
Shirley: So it’s a daily challenge, right?
Dante: Absolutely. I don’t hang around with other vampires. Very few people know I’m a vampire, only a few close friends.
Shirley: Are you still at odds with your family?
Dante: I don’t think that will ever be resolved. [Swipes a hand through his hair.] You want to know something?
Shirley: Of course.
Dante: Energy vampires don’t have much fun. You can’t hang out with regular people. It’s too tempting and how can you look yourself in the face if you’re draining your friends.
Shirley: That sounds gross, using your friends.
Dante. Yeah, that’s why I never had friends. Until I met Groucho, my best friend. But I knew the second I met him he was a vampire.
Shirley: What is it, a sixth sense?
Dante: Sort of. When it comes to friends, you’re limited to the few energy vampires around and no one wants friends who literally suck. That’s why I rejected the whole lifestyle. I’m over thirty and I’ve just begun living. I feel so lucky.
Shirley: So what advice do you have for women interested in dating vampires?
Dante: Don’t do it.
Shirley: Sort of a dead end, isn’t it?
Dante: Unless you’re with a man who promises to give up that way of life.
Shirley: Can you tell me more? What was the most difficult part of changing?
Dante: I’ll tell you that every little and big thing in my life changed. If I told you more, I’d be spoiling the read and besides, telling is boring.
Shirley: Well, thanks, Dante. Do you know if Groucho will be in the sequel?
Dante: Since you’re writing the books, you’ll have to answer that one, won’t you?
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