It’s Release Day for author Jenna Barwin’s second book in her Hill Vampire Novel series. Jenna joins the blog today to talk about her research for this exciting series, set in California Wine Country.
Dark Wine At Sunrise, A Hill Vampire Novel, Book 2
What do regency novels and present-day vampire romances have in common? They both require historical research. (They also have hot, sexy male heroes in them, but you already knew that.)
Those hot, sexy vampires don’t just pop up out of nowhere. Vampires who have lived many centuries have deep back stories. When I started writing Dark Wine at Sunrise, I wanted a vampire hero who was old enough to have some gravitas, but not too old, and who was turned vampire in California.
California under Mexican Rule
California was under Mexican rule from 1821 to 1848. While some Europeans lived in California at the time, Mexico controlled land grants and used them to encourage settlement by citizens of Mexico. So it made sense that my hero comes from Mexico.
But European history also played a role in my view on vampires, and what the vampire represents in society. I think Dracula, published in 1897, highlighted the clash between modern science and old world superstition. But during one of our family dinners, I listened to my cousin argue that the 19th century vampire tale represented the Englishman’s fear of losing “his women” to Eastern European immigrants.
I enjoyed flipping that theme around. The vampire community in Dark Wine at Sunrise is located in the rural foothills above California’s central valley, where they grow grapes for winemaking. The community is multicultural, with residents from places like Mexico and Kenya. They are immigrants who came to California in the 1800s, made their home here, and now their way of life is under attack.
And while the vampire story can be a metaphor for culture clash, in some ways, I think the vampire story also parallels substance addiction—the vampire is addicted to drinking a substance that, by drinking it, hurts the one he/she loves. This is a theme that would have resonated in the 1800s as well as today.
While Dark Wine at Sunrise deals with some deep themes, it’s also an exciting romance, and is fairly steamy. Henry and Cerissa are a fun couple, and while I don’t want to give away spoilers, I think their play—both in and out of bed—will bring a smile to your face.
Buy it Today!
Amazon link for Dark Wine at Sunrise: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YF43VT/
“Sensual, sophisticated and sinfully addictive!” ~InD’tale Magazine
A seductive spy, a vampire winemaker, and their forbidden love…
Research scientist Cerissa Patel has only one desire: to feel her lover’s fangs slip into her neck for the very first time. Once they become blood mates, no one can keep them apart.
But it’s never that easy.
Cerissa’s relationship with vampire Henry Bautista violates a centuries-old law, and the town council wants her banned from their secret community. If they have their way, she’ll be separated from Henry forever.
As if that isn’t enough, Henry is still in danger. The would-be assassin lies in a coma, and Cerissa is no closer to knowing who targeted Henry—or why.
To make matters worse, her own people forbid her from becoming a vampire’s mate. They aren’t sure what Henry’s bite will do to her and want her focused on her original mission: tracking down the vampires behind a ruthless movement to enslave mortals.
Against these odds, Cerissa must find a way to bond with the man who holds her heart, and do so without paying the ultimate price – the loss of her wings forever…
Click here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YF43VT/ to escape into the mystery, romance, and political intrigue of the Hill Vampire vineyards. Dangerous and seductive, the suspense will grab you and not let go.
Cerissa watched Henry move slowly to the speaker’s podium in the center of the council chamber. He wore a dark suit with a royal-blue tie, his long obsidian-black hair tied back in a neat ponytail. Her fingers itched to unleash it.
His beautiful copper-brown skin looked paler than it should. He held one hand across his stomach, protecting the area where silver bullets had been removed from his abdomen. Why hadn’t he healed by now?
The crowd began murmuring again while Henry limped to the podium. The mayor banged his gavel to quiet the crowd.
“Enrique Bautista Vasquez,” the mayor said, “how do you plead?”
Henry leaned forward to speak into the gooseneck microphone.
“Guilty,” he said, his Castilian accent heavy in his one-word answer. He sounded resigned to his fate.
“Do you have anything to say in your defense?”
Henry shook his head.
“Speak up—for the record.”
The mayor looked to his left. Frédéric nodded. He looked to his right. Rolf did the same. Carolyn and Liza both frowned, clearly not part of whatever agreement the other council members had reached.
“We have given this matter great consideration. As you know, this council reinstituted the Rule of Two because members of our community have been attacked.” The mayor paused, steepling his fingers together. “Now, we have a founder who has ignored our rules. The council, after much debate, has decided to bring back a traditional punishment, one we abandoned in favor of more modern methods. It’s apparent those modern methods aren’t a sufficient deterrent.”
The mayor tapped his steepled fingers together, taking time to sweep his gaze across the crowded council chambers.
“We are reinstituting the whipping post,” he said.
Cerissa froze in place, her pulse thudding, her mind racing, her heart crawling up her throat.
They can’t. I have to stop this. They can’t humiliate him because of me—
The mayor unfolded a piece of paper. “Enrique Bautista Vasquez. You are hereby fined two hundred thousand dollars and sentenced to a hundred lashes. The sentence will be carried out in the community amphitheater.”
What the f—? One hundred?
Could even a vampire survive that severe a whipping? Cerissa’s fingernails curled into her palms, cutting the skin.
This can’t be happening.
About Jenna Barwin:
Jenna writes the Hill Vampire Vineyard novels, which blend mystery, wine, and romantic spice into a heady combination. When not writing, she enjoys underwater photography, and is known to occasionally attend a Victorian dance in full regalia right down to pantaloons and a hoop skirt.
Dark Wine at Midnight is the first book in her Hill Vampire series, and can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Wine-Midnight-Vampire-Novel-ebook/dp/B06XTKJRHZ/
Find her at:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Barwin/e/B06XV6TMG9/
Goodreads Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16632097.Jenna_Barwin
All images courtesy Jenna Barwin