Brian and Juliet will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn host.
Character Interview: Thelma
Why did you become a barista? It was either that or be a supermodel.
Really? No, not really. I was joking.
It’s hard to tell sometimes. I’m dry. What was the question again?
Why’d you become a barista? I don’t know. I guess I love people. How they talk, how they act, their goals and dreams. Sounds corny, doesn’t it? But it’s true. I started working at the African Queen when I was younger, and when I left the force I went back to it. A couple of years ago the owner came to me and asked if I wanted to buy the place, and that was that.
What’s your favorite drink? The holidays are the best time of the year. There’s a certain… mystery when September rolls around, you know? The days get colder, and the rain comes in, and you begin making plans with friends and relatives. It’s a magical time.
My grandmother used to make this apple cider that would last all the way from October to New Years. She’d always have a batch on hand whenever someone came to visit. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, all with us sitting around the fireplace drinking the cider. I don’t know if I’ve ever tasted anything better.
What type of books do you read? I’m not a big reader, but if I had to pick a type, I guess I’d say True Crime. Is that a genre? I don’t know.
Why True Crime? There’s a lot of evil in the word. It’s not like I really enjoy reading them, but it’s good to know what’s out there. Nick and I have fought some nasty things over the last few months, but you know what I found out? People can be so much worse.
What’s your biggest fear? High heels.
Really? You ever trying running from a demon in those things? Ok, ok. My biggest fear. That’s a tough one. Up until three months ago my biggest fear was the Friday coffee rush. Then Nick came along with the demons and the fallen angels… not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’d help him again in a heartbeat, but it’s just… there’s so much more out there that we don’t know about. Makes me scared sometimes to walk at night. You never know what’s out there… hunting.
Why aren’t you a police officer anymore? That’s not something I like to talk about. If you read the papers, you know I was pushed out… but yeah, not something I want to talk about.
Ok. So when did you start practicing Voodoo? That was my gran-gran. My dad left when I was little, and my mom died soon after that, so I went to live with my grandmother. She had a little house in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and I remember that it always smelled a little like pumpkin pie. She taught me all she could. How to respect our ancestors and how to respect the spirits. It was just our normal way of life.
Why do you keep helping Nick? It’s not the paycheck, that’s for sure. But you can’t really get by in this world without helping others. We’re friends. That’s what friends do.
How would you describe Nick? Now, don’t tell him I told you, but he’s one of the most selfless people I know. Oh he’ll grumble and moan, but he has this need to help people. It’s in his blood, as my gran-gran used to say. He’s one of the good guys, although he’d never admit it. And he makes me laugh. Even in the face of death, he can make me laugh.
So… is there anything going on between you two? What? No. Of course not. We’re just friends, that’s all. Just friends.
What do you think of the supernatural creatures that live in your town? Now that’s a loaded question, isn’t it? I really didn’t think too much about them until the whole senator thing happened. Then Nick negotiated and made my coffee shop Neutral Ground. You know what that means, right?
Sounds like a boy band to me. I’m still a little fuzzy on the whole thing. The best I can tell you is that it means none of the critters out there can fight each other in my shop. I have no clue what would happen if they did, but no one wants to find out. But it also means that all these myths and gods and what-not can hang out and have a latte in peace. So, guess what? I’m seeing a lot more of them now. Some are ruder than others. I mean, have you ever read the old stories? My gran would wash their mouth out with a bar of soap if she heard what they said.
But me? I’m just grateful I’m alive. And you know what? Loki’s money is as good as yours, so I’m not complaining.
Mind of the Beast (a Sundancer Novel, Book 2)
by Brian & Juliet Freyermuth
When a vampire asks Nick St. James to investigate his friend’s murder, the answer should have been easy, right? NO. Okay, not so easy. How do you say no to a friend like Felix?
Besides, with Thelma by his side, what could go wrong? She’s got that, umm … cute pink backpack of Voodoo magic. Of course it hurts that she manages to look good even when she accidentally conjures and gets possessed by a drunk loa. No, it won’t be at all distracting to have her along.
Since no good deed goes unpunished, a crazy man with starry eyes jumps out of the shadows at the victim’s apartment and pummels them. Their attacker doesn’t just beat them up but also infects them with some bad mojo that’s killing Thelma and making Nick angry … angrier.
If the trail to the suspect—the Green Man—is any indication, they’ll be killed before the poison finishes the job. The old gods are more dangerous than helpful. The Watchers—even the one who seems to have a brain—are always a hazard. And what’s with the all the minions? Who has minions anymore? Not to mention the rapid progression of the infection that quickly upgrades Nick’s condition to ‘blind-rage-filled.’
Why couldn’t Felix have just asked Nick to help him move?
“How about a beer?” Felix asked.
“Beer? I didn’t know you could drink that.” A beer actually does sound good, I thought as I put away the coffee beans and grabbed a couple bottles from the fridge.
“We can drink or eat anything as long as it doesn’t have garlic in it,” Felix said as I handed him a bottle. “That shit burns, man. I once saw a couple of vamps have a garlic eating contest.”
He shrugged. “They were bored.”
“Who won?” I asked as I sat down in my old black recliner.
“Their heads caught on fire.”
“Seriously, it was like chomp-chomp-poof.” A ghost of a smile played across his lips. “Our bodies burn out most food. High metabolism or something. Does nothing for the hunger, though. I know a few that don’t eat at all,” he said before chugging the amber liquid.
“Did you know,” he continued, “there’s a dude who actually wrote a book called The Anatomy of a Vampire? He wrote it like fiction so the Watchers wouldn’t get him, but I’ve had a couple of my peeps on the slab over the years. He was right on the money. Talked about how our cells don’t work with food anymore, man. Just blood. How we can eat and eat and eat, but the blood just sends the food packing. Talk about having something go right through you.” He chuckled, although the humor didn’t reach his eyes. “Another reason most vamps don’t eat or drink.”
After 18 years of marriage, Brian and Juliet Freyermuth decided to try something crazy; write a book together.
Brian’s writing is not limited to print. For twenty years he wrote and designed games such as Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2 and Lichdom: Battlemage.
Juliet’s love for writing began with a fourth grade assignment. She has been writing ever since. Her writing took a new direction when she enrolled in journalism and met amazing people. Whether it is an article about anthropology or a hero’s journey in a magical world, she hopes to inspire readers to new possibilities.
When Brian and Juliet aren’t writing, they enjoy reading, watching shows like Persons of Interest and going on road trips with their son, Kyle.
Demon Dance (Sundancer, Book 1): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CA9IAOW
Mind of the Beast (Sundancer, Book 2): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MQ38D2Q