Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guest romance author Sara Curran-Ross

Please welcome Sara Curran-Ross!

Interview With Lord Nathan Valancourt, Knight Of Swords

It is a cold morning in January when I visit the human hybrid vampire, The Knight Of Swords at his ancestral home, Keeley Park in the Hertfordshire countryside.  Snow lies thickly around the large picturesque home built in the sixteenth century and across the vast beautiful Parkland containing a herd of wild deer.  Somewhere in the distance, the eerie call of peacocks can be heard coming from the grounds as we sit by a large roaring fire in the drawing room.  It crackles and hisses warmth as we talk about light topics.  I am quietly pacing myself before I ask the important questions about his past and the sudden increase in the female hybrid slave trade.

The Knight Of Swords or to refer to his human title, Lord Nathan Valancourt is not a man or more importantly, a vampire to be crossed.  He sits before me in a red leather armchair dressed immaculately in a black Armani business suit with a silk silver grey tie.  At 6”3 inches he owns a formidable sense of presence.  Nathan’s striking dark good looks and sleek black hair worn long at his neck frame his piercing blue eyes to perfection.  They easily captivate your attention holding you his willing prisoner.  And boy does he know the effect he is having on you.  Nathan Valancourt is very aware of his powerful affect on women and how he may exploit it to his advantage.  It is the type of arrogance that makes you want to slap him but adore him for it all at the same time.  It is no surprise that back in the nineteenth century before he made the change from human to hybrid Taleian vampire he was in his own words, a ‘womaniser’.

I raise an eyebrow him and ask him to tell me more.  He gives me a wide disarming smile that makes my heart beat just that little bit faster.  But he won’t talk of it anymore.  ‘Those days are gone.  I only have eyes for my Queen, Juliet.’  His voice is soft, smooth like velvet and I find myself mesmerised by its seductive quality.  I remark on his obvious handsome attributes and his tall athletically lean but muscled stature.  It must have been easy for him to easily charm a woman into his bed back then and now.  He laughs and informs me that all male and female hybrids possess beauty in their facial and physical appearance.  It’s part of their make-up.  Lucky them!

So first things first.  What is a Taleian human hybrid vampire?  ‘Well, in ancient Briton, around the time of the Druids, the Taleians owned a large section of land called Talus.  They possessed great magical gifts.’  I can’t help but gently smile at his quaint nineteenth century language.  Maddeningly, it only serves to make all the more attractive.

‘The men were valiant warriors with immense strength and psychic ability.  The women were blessed with a wealth of psychic ability that far surpassed the male’s.  But their physical strength was greatly reduced in comparison.  The female Taleian was able to shape shift into an animal or another human, male or female,’ he tells me with animation as I avidly listen, hanging on to his every word with wide eyes.  I dread to think what I look like but surely I can be excused.  It’s not everyday you get to interview a handsome vampire.

‘The Taleians were always ruled by a Queen whose psychic and mental power outweighed any other female Taleian.  She was chosen to rule because of her wisdom.’  So where does the Knight Of Swords come in?  He leans forward and rests his hands on his knees looking at me intently.  I find myself breathing hard not sure if it’s pleasure or fear causing my reaction.  Maybe it’s both?

‘He is her loving mate.  His power and strength as a warrior is greater than any other hybrid.  His duty or should I really say his vocation and purpose in life is to protect the Queen.  He provides her with counsel when needed and commands her army of knights.  As Knight Of Swords he wields tremendous power in his own right.’  I look at him curiously.  All of this talk of knights in 2011 sounds out of place but he assures me the Taleian traditions are maintained even now.  I let him continue.

‘The Druids were jealous of the Taleians and their powers.  They wanted Talus for themselves so they set a powerful curse upon the Taleians.  The curse turned them into vampires making them turn on each other in violence.  Forced to crave blood and kill others to satiate their ferocious hunger, those who were left were hunted by humans and run out of the land.  Many fled abroad and today Taleians and hybrids are scattered across the globe.’

Nathan pauses for a moment to stare into the fire as though lost in thought.  ‘Although, the queen’s magical advisor was unable to prevent the curse from taking hold, he managed to alter it to allow the Taleians to mate with a human.  Their children became hybrids.  The children are born human and do not age more than 25 years old in appearance but at some time in their life they die and are reborn as a hybrid vampire.’  I can’t help but shudder.  It sounds terrifying.  He shrugs and sits back in his chair.  ‘It’s just something you have to go through.  You can’t escape it.’

I want to know how he became the Queen of Talus’s mate.  ‘We were always fated to be with each other.  We share a psychic bond.’  It all sounds very easy, I venture.  He shakes his head and laughs.  ‘No it isn’t.  I wish that it was.  As the male mate I had to fight challenges posed by other males.  I had to fight them in a battle of swords to the death.  If I had failed, Juliet may have been claimed and taken from me.  Believe me when you share such a strong psychic bond, to be cast out of her mind by another is to suffer nothing short of madness at the loss.  Some of the challengers will not adhere to the rules of our people and even now they still attempt to take her from me in violence.  I will allow no one to hurt her even if it means my death.  No one will be allowed to take her from me,’ he delivers his small speech with passion.

I sit back when I notice the small streak of menace darken his eyes and reveal the predator inside.  Still I stare at him like a doe caught in headlights, fascinated and excited by his fierce possessive nature over his Queen, Juliet.  Somehow I feel jealous of this woman.

I decide to change the subject and talk about the recent increase of hybrid women being kidnapped for the slave trade.  ‘This has been going on for centuries.’  There is heavy distaste in his tone.  ‘Males and females are endowed with healing powers but the females have always been stronger in this department.  There are traitors among our kind who kidnap female hybrids for the humans.  They have discovered that if the humans consume female hybrid flesh any disease they suffer from his put in remission.  Sometimes the disease is cured if they maintain a diet of it.  The slavers cut the women open like pigs in a slaughter house and allow the humans to consume parts of their flesh for a price.  The women heal quickly and are used over and over again.  Some slavers have the women raped by human men so they can breed more.  The price of female hybrid flesh is high in the human world.  It is an abomination.  They are nothing short of cannibals.’

I have to agree with him.  ‘Of course the ultimate prize is the Queen’s flesh which has more powerful healing than any other Taleian’s.  Her flesh could cure any disease.  She is never safe from them,’ he tells me angrily.  ‘That’s why I have brought her here where I can protect her better and we can work on a strategy to deal with them.  We both prefer living in London but I can not take any more chances.  It will be a long time before we return there.’

He smiles again in an effort to calm his rising temper and it is a struggle he wins.  But I get the strong feeling that the interview is over.  I actually feel dismayed that I have to leave but he informs me that his Queen needs him and she must come first.  She is about to be reckless with her safety again by going out alone.  ‘She is a stubborn woman,’ he says abruptly. ‘She will not listen to reason and never does as she’s told when there is danger about.  It is my job to make her listen whether she likes it or not, even if I have to tie her to a chair.’

My eyebrows rise instinctively in shock.  He grins with mischief and stands to shake my hand.  ‘It’s been nice meeting you,’ he says.  ‘We should do it again sometime.  Perhaps, you would like to stay for lunch and meet my knights?  They could provide you with some more valuable insights into our world.’

How could I refuse meeting more handsome deadly vampires?  As long as I wasn’t lunch!

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