I thought I’d let my characters handle the interview themselves, so Sebastien Newcombe and Dr. Melanie Lipton, the hero and heroine of PHANTOM SHADOWS, will be interviewed by Todd, a member of the human network that aids immortals:
Todd: Hi, Doc.
Melanie: Hi, Todd.
Todd: *more reserved* Bastien.
Todd: Am I interrupting anything?
Melanie: No. I was actually thinking of calling it a night. What’s with the camera?
Todd: Oh. Well, I interviewed Cliff the other night–
Melanie: *smiles* You did? Great!
Todd: *nods* Most of the employees haven’t liked having vampires living on the premises–
Bastien: You know they can hear you, right? These walls aren’t soundproofed.
Todd: *swears* I keep forgetting their hearing is as sensitive as yours. Sorry, guys.
Bastien: They said no problem.
Todd: Anyway, Chris and I thought it would be a good idea to interview Cliff and let everyone get to know him better.
Bastien: And Cliff suggested you interview ME.
Todd: *grumbles something under his breath*
Bastien: I can hear you.
Todd: Damn it! I keep forgetting!
Melanie: *laughs* Stop giving him a hard time. Todd, Sheldon already interviewed us.
Todd: I know. But everyone thought he was full of crap.
Bastien: *face fills with menace* What did he say? Did he malign Mel – Dr. Lipton in some way?
Todd: *rolls his eyes* You can stop pretending. The cat is out of the bag. Everyone knows she’s in love with you. And Sheldon told me to tell you that he didn’t squeal.
Bastien: *casts Melanie a concerned look*
Melanie: *shrugs* I haven’t exactly been hiding my feelings for you.
Todd: Sheldon said Melanie had only good things to say about you. No one bought it, so I brought the camera for this interview.
Melanie: Okay. I’m game.
Todd: *starts recording, takes out a small tablet, and opens it*
Bastien: What’s that?
Todd: I asked around to see what questions everyone would like me to ask you. First question. Dr. Lipton, are you a vampire?
Melanie: *eyebrows fly up* What? No, of course not.
Todd: One of the vamps couldn’t have inadvertently infected you?
Todd: *looks at page* Do you suffer from some other form of mental illness?
Bastien: What the hell kind of interview IS this?
Todd: I can’t help it. The general consensus is that no one in their right mind would want to be with you.
Melanie: That’s ridiculous.
Todd: Bastien raised an army of psychotic vampires and waged war with the Immortal Guardians.
Melanie: How many times do I have to say that was a misunderstanding?
Todd: He tried to kill Roland.
Melanie: Again, a misunderstanding.
Todd: He gave Sarah a concussion.
Bastien: That was an accident. I lost my grip on her when she stabbed me in the ass.
Todd: Come on. You have to admit it’s funny.
Bastien: As funny as a fencing foil and a feathered hat?
Todd: *loses smile*
Melanie: *laughs* A what?
Todd: Dude, don’t tell her. The whole reason I decided to interview you and give you the benefit of the doubt is because Cliff told me you knew about that and didn’t tell anyone.
Bastien: Perhaps you should have thought of that before you accused Melanie of being insane.
Melanie: I missed something, didn’t I?
Bastien: *evil smile* Yes, you did.
Todd: *hastens to turn off the camera*
Bastien: Todd decided to spice things up in the bedroom with his wife with a little role playing.
Bastien: Not really. He dressed like a Musketeer, wide brimmed hat, squeaky boots, and all.
Melanie: Oh. I, uh, I’m sure you were very handsome.
Todd: She likes historical romance novels.
Bastien: He thought it would be dashing.
Melanie: I’m sure it was.
Bastien: He nearly skewered her.
Todd: *red faced* The damned feather obscured my vision! I tripped and . . . Look could we just change the subject?
Melanie: Yes, please.
Todd: Dr. Lipton, you’re working on finding a cure for the virus that infects vampires or at least a way to prevent the brain damage and madness it causes in humans.
Melanie: Yes. Having two vampires here at the network has been a tremendous help.
Todd: You’re also working on something else.
Melanie: *nods* The Immortal Guardians’ enemy has acquired a tranquilizer that can sedate them. It’s the only drug in existence – as far as we know – that affects them.
Bastien: It’s a hell of a vulnerability. A couple of darts and we’re knocked unconscious.
Melanie: I’m trying to find something that will counter it, but haven’t had much time to work with it.
Bastien: *takes her hand* If anyone can do it, you can.
Todd: Wow. Sheldon was right. You’re crazy about her.
Bastien: *says nothing*
Todd: Moving on. Dr. Lipton, are the rumors true? Can you really kick ass?
Melanie: Yes, and I wish people would stop talking about it. It isn’t that big a deal.
Bastien: She’s mortal and can hold her own in hand-to-hand combat with vampires.
Todd: *whistles* That’s a pretty damned big deal. And a good thing, too.
Melanie: Because I work with vampires who could have psychotic breaks at any
moment and attack me?
Todd: No, because it looks like you’re going to be spending a lot of time with THIS guy and everyone is hoping you’ll kick his ass. Or, better yet, stab him in it. It worked for Sarah.
Bastien: *stares balefully*
Melanie: *laughs* I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Todd: Well, I’m sure our viewers will be disappointed – ah crap! I forgot to turn the camera back on.
Bastien: Too late. Interview’s over. Melanie and I have plans.
Melanie: We do?
Bastien: I thought we would try a little role playing of our own.
Melanie: Ooh. I like the sound of that. Wait. You aren’t going to borrow Todd’s Musketeer costume, are you?
Bastien: *laughs* No.
Todd: That’s it. I’m out.
Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it's not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire. . .
Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can't remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different--and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question--he can't put her in danger. But she isn't asking him . .
Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series. Her debut novel DARKNESS DAWNS was nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews and for Best Paranormal Romance - Vampire by The Romance Reviews. NIGHT REIGNS, the second book, was declared an "utterly addictive" Top Pick by RT Book Reviews. And PHANTOM SHADOWS, the third book in the series, was deemed a Top Pick by The Romance Reviews. In addition to being a writer and an avid reader, Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't burying her nose in a book or weaving stories of her own, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and once even appeared onscreen as a machete-wielding maniac not unlike the vampires she so loves to create in her novels.
Dianne's Website: http://www.dianneduvall.com
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