Saturday, July 21, 2012

Laurie London's Seduced by Blood Blog Tour! - Real Settings as Inspiration

Please welcome the magnificent Laurie London to The Qwillery as part of (and the last stop on) the Seduced by Blood Blog Tour.

Real Settings as Inspiration
By Laurie London

Settings play an important role in the Sweetblood world, probably because as a reader, when I get a clear picture of where the action is happening, I feel more grounded and part of the story. Like it’s real, not fiction. And likewise, if I can see, hear, and smell a location as if it’s playing out like a movie in my head, then it’s easier for me to write.

Sometimes, I have no idea what is going to happen, but a setting is so perfect that I’m inspired to use it. And during my research, if I notice any signs linking me or my story to a particular location, then I take it to mean I’m meant to write about it.

While looking for the perfect location to set the Darkblood headquarters, I read this article in the New York Times.

East of Prague, in a town called Kutna Hora, is “a below-ground chapel on the town’s outskirts decorated with thousands of human bones, exhumed, according to legend, by a half-blind medieval monk who collected the skeletons of 40,000 Black Plague victims.”

The pictures of the Bone House are stunning and macabre. Google images of “Kutna Hora” to see what I mean. I could totally imagine Darkbloods making bone sculptures like that from their victims.

And you know that sign I was talking about?

Well, in the Sweetblood world, the Black Plague changed how vampires and humans interacted. Prior to this time, vampires preyed on humans, killing them when they fed off their blood. However, when their food source became tainted, vampires suffered. Just like others whose diets changed over the years, so did the vampire. Out of necessity, they forced themselves to go for longer periods of time without blood and energy, and they added food to their diet.

How could I not write about it?

Here’s an excerpt from Seduced By Blood that takes place in an old Gothic mansion that the villain, Ventra, is restoring. Her dream is to recreate what she saw in Prague, but instead of using just any human bones, she’s using only the bones of sweetblood humans.

Santiago and Roxy have just broken in…
Torn wallpaper hung from the two-story walls, exposing the lathe and plaster underneath. Either someone had tried to remove it and abandoned the project or moisture had deteriorated the paper to the point where it was coming off in sheets. Some of the doors of the built-in cabinets lining parallel sides of the room were gone, making the small room look like a gaping smile with a few missing teeth. In the center, under a candle chandelier that had recently been lit, was a long table covered in plastic with a dozen high-backed chairs tucked in around it.

“Smell it now?” Roxy whispered.

Santiago nodded. The sweetblood scent was strong. Bloodletting or a feeding must’ve happened here recently.


She nodded somberly.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist or an expert tracker to figure out that many humans had died in this room. The blood scent was thick in the air. Roxy had to be as sickened by that knowledge as he was.

But unlike him, she hadn’t been out in the field to see this sort of thing on an almost daily basis as he had. Having run across his fair share of debauchery over the years, he’d gotten used to it, his heart numbed to the inhumanity of it all, whereas Roxy had been stuck in a classroom. This sort of thing had to be disturbing for her.

The Sweetblood Series

Seduced by Blood
Sweetblood 4
HQN, July 24, 2012 (MMP), August 1, 2012 (eBook)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the battle for supremacy rages on between two vampire coalitions:

Guardian enforcers sworn to protect humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors...

Hot-blooded and hard-edged, Tristan Santiago has an uncanny ability to see beneath the surface-a power that serves him well as the Guardians' region commander. But when a deadly plot against his fellow vampires is uncovered, he must turn to the one woman he can't read: the beautiful yet mysterious Roxanne Reynolds, whose sensual presence soothes his tormented memories.

Roxy had put love before duty once before, with devastating results. But to root out a dangerous traitor in their midst, she must put her faith in Santiago, the one man skilled enough to break through her defenses. Posing as lovers, Santiago and Roxy work side by side-and discover a powerful craving that threatens to consume them both.

Tempted by Blood
Sweetblood 3
HQN, February 21, 2012 (MMP), March 1, 2012 (eBook)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the battle for supremacy rages on between two Vampire coalitions: Guardian enforcers sworn to protect humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors….

He might be known for his effortless charm, but Guardian Jackson Foss is hiding a terrible secret. For months, he has battled the emergence of his dark nature—deadly urges that threaten to consume him. And those cravings only intensify when he meets Arianna Wells, the human he's been assigned to protect.

Smart and perceptive, Arianna doesn't seem like a dangerous temptress. Yet she awakens in Jackson an unstoppable need that, if left unchecked, will brand him a traitor…a crime punishable by death.

But soon their bond may be Arianna's only hope. For stalking her in the shadows is a merciless enemy—one who will stop at nothing to claim her completely….

"Enchanted by Blood"
Sweetblood 2.5
in A Vampire for Christmas
HQN, October 18, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

All they want for Christmas is you…

It's the time of year for twinkling lights on trees and kisses under the mistletoe. Yet the passing of another year means nothing to the stunning immortals who lurk in the shadows of the new-fallen snow.

And they don't care if you've been naughty or nice.

Let four fanged lovers open your eyes to a passion you never dared to imagine. After all, there's no place like home for the holidays—and these dazzling vampires can't wait for an invitation.

Embraced by Blood
Sweetblood 2
HQN, June 21, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he's managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won't rest until he's dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he'll risk anything to protect.

Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet--a rare blood type that's addictive to vampires--makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed...then left her in despair. Danger aside, Lily won't let Alfonso near her heart again--until an irresistible hunger threatens to draw them back together... and into an assassin's snare.

Hidden by Blood
Sweetblood 1.5
HQN, June 1, 2011

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy--Guardians who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who will stop at nothing to satisfy their craving for the sweetest of human blood.

Now, former Army Ranger Finn McKentry finds himself imprisoned as a blood slave, forced to submit to an enemy more powerful than any he's encountered before. Only Brenna Stewart, the woman he'd loved and lost, can set him free--but the secret she harbors might lead them down the most dangerous path of all...

Bonded by Blood
Sweetblood 1
HQN, January 18. 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 378 pages

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she's cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her....

About Laurie

A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London now writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

Her debut book, BONDED BY BLOOD, A Sweetblood Novel, came out February 2011 from HQN Books. It was followed by HIDDEN BY BLOOD, an e-novella (June 2011); EMBRACED BY BLOOD (July 2011); “Enchanted By Blood,” a novella in the anthology A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS (October 2011); TEMPTED BY BLOOD (March 2012;) and SEDUCED BY BLOOD (July 2012).

Her writing has won and been a finalist in several prestigious contests including the Beacon, the Emerald City Opener, the Marlene, and the Orange Rose.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.

Find Laurie here

The Giveaways

To Enter to Win a Copy of Seduced by Blood

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Seduced by Blood (Sweetblood 4) by Laurie London and a set of Trading Cards (US/CANADA ONLY).

How:  Leave a comment. Please remember - if you don't leave a comment your entry will not be counted.  You must also leave a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will not be counted.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, July 28, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


One winner of the whole tour will get a complete set of the SweetBlood Series, along with a set of Trading Cards and a custom made book thong by Mandy from Shiny Stupid Designs. (US/CANADA ONLY).

*The Grand Prize will be chosen by the organizer of the Seduced by Blood Blog Tour. The wording of the giveaway is provided by the tour organizer.

Each stop will be giving away a signed copy of Seduced by Blood.

July 10th  Hanging with Bells

July 19th  Books-n-Kisses

July 20th  United by Books

July 21st  The Qwillery


  1. Roxy's getting a crash course in the "real world". She's been sheltered by academia. Three more days!

    riverinaromantic AT aol DOT com

  2. Hey Megan, you early bird! Yes, that's totally right! Thanks for stopping in. :-)

    Thank you, Qwillery, for hosting me today! And thanks, everyone, for coming. I'll be popping in throughout the day to chat and to answer questions if you have them.

  3. Congrats on the new release. How intriguing and creepy that Ventra want to restore the mansion to recreate what she saw in Prague but with the bones of sweetblood humans. How evil.
    This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it to learn more about Santiago and Roxy.


  4. Thank you, Joanne! Did you happen to google Kutna Hora? When one of my book club friends told me she was going to visit the Czech Republic, I told her about Kutna Hora and insisted that they go. They did, and she said it was utterly amazing. Her photos are incredible.

  5. Hi Laurie,
    Love those covers. Excited to read about Santiago and Roxy.
    Thanks for this opportunity.Congrats as well on the newest release.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  6. It is kind of creepy wanting to restore the mansion with sweetblood bones - eeek.
    One of my friends from HS moved to Prague 20+ yrs ago. I must ask him about Kunta Hora. His wife is a native of Prague so I'm sure they've been there.
    Thank you.

  7. Great series and I can't wait for Seduced by Blood. Laurie's a wonderful writer and I know she will always have something good.


  8. I love thIs series! I have them all. I can't wait to read Santiago's story! Thanks!

  9. Hehe Victoria, that's exactly what I thought too. Yes, ask him! I'm sure they at least know about it. I guess the countryside there is beautiful. Rolling hills, vineyards, etc. What a contrast compared to the macabre Bone House.

    Aw, thank you Sheryl and Shelley! I'm so thrilled you're enjoying the books!

  10. This sounds like a good series. Nice covers.


  11. Congratulations on the tour! I am looking forward to the next installment in this fun series. I am eager to read Tristan's and Roxanne's story :)

  12. I love this series and I can't wait to see all of the cool places you take us next.


  13. I would love to read this series. It sounds very good. I love vampires. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  14. Hi Laurie! I've had a great time following you on the tour! I love the series and can't wait to read the new book. Thanks for the awesome giveaway and congrats on the new release.

  15. Laurie, I read an anthology a while back… A Vampire for Christmas, I really enjoyed reading you! I just love paranorms and this newest Sweetblood book takes place in my backyard, the PNW. Super fun! Thanks for the giveaway Qwill & Laurie!
    - lavendersbluegreen(at)yahoo(dot)com

  16. I can never get enough vampire series to read. I love the way each author is able to create their own worlds and make their books unique. I can't wait to read this book. It looks great.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  17. Enjoyed reading the post.Looking forward to starting this series.

  18. I love those covers and I can't wait to read this series!

  19. The covers are sexy and I just love this series. What a great event! sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. This is a great series. I cant wait to read Seduced by Blood

    bacchus76 at myself dot com