Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to talk about my newest novel, They Come By Night, Tempe! It’s always a pleasure to visit your blog.
I’d like to let you in on a little secret. I love putting something in one book that will turn up in another book, and my current novel is no exception. In They Come By Night, Ty and his friends go to a tuxedo shop to rent formal wear for a wedding they’ll be attending. The shop is called Putting on the Ritz, and anyone who’s read my Spy vs. Spook novels or Two Lips, Indifferent Red may remember shops of the same name turning up in those books as well. However, Jacques ran the one in Spy vs. Spook, while his brother Archie presided over the one in Two Lips. A third brother, unnamed at this time, is the proprietor of the one in They Come By Night.
Moving right along, a keepsake box similar to the one Ty refers to as Pandora’s box also appears in My Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, a short sequel to Two Lips.
And then there’s the help wanted ad Ty imagines the vampire community might well publish in local newspapers: Help Wanted. Housekeeper, male or female, to keep castle for a vampyr king who only partakes of bagged blood. Must have no objection to working nights. Perks consist of free days and an excellent benefit package including six weeks’ vacation, comprehensive health care, and a 401(k). References required. Send inquiries to Duke Adam Dasani, Equerry to Alexandru Mondragon, Rege. P.O. Box 52697.
The P.O. Box is actually the date Dracula was first published, May 26, 1897.
I hope you’ll come visit Ty’s world, and see what else is hidden there.
Birthdays sucked, for me at least. Each one meant another year where I didn’t grow any taller, didn’t look any older than the year before, and it had been like that since I was ten. Rather than sugarplums, visions of me still being carded when I was thirty danced in my head, and always at the worst of times.
Take today, for instance. It was my sixteenth birthday. All my friends were talking about going for their driver’s licenses, or going for their road tests, or going to choose their first car. Not to say I couldn’t do those things too, but would I even be able to reach the gas pedal or the brake? Without those blocks of wood taped to them so my feet could reach them?
On top of being such a runt, there was that birthmark on the side of my neck. Shaped like a tea stain but too dark for a strawberry mark, it looked like someone had cut my throat and I’d bled all over myself. Turtleneck shirts and sweaters had helped at first, but they were a bitch in hot weather. Cover-up worked better, but when I sweated, it ran, and the results were it looked as if I hadn’t bothered to wash my neck.
And if that wasn’t enough, there was the fact that since my tenth birthday I’d been unable to tolerate anyone touching me.
So here I was at sixteen, no sign of puberty in sight, no girlfriend, no boyfriend, or a desire for one, but at least the choir mistress of our church was happy because my voice was still in the soprano register.
I sighed and let myself into the house where I lived with my dad. It had been the two of us for as long as I could remember. Not that my mother was dead, or anything like that. The one time I’d got up the courage to ask about her, Dad had said it was because one day she’d just decided she didn’t want to be married to him, and she’d left with my four older siblings.
Dad was a good man, and plenty of the moms would watch him with interest when he showed up for parent-teacher conferences or any of those occasions at school that called for parental involvement. To tell the truth, so did some of the teachers, although I wasn’t supposed to know anything about that.
So I couldn’t see anyone not loving him. I thought maybe it was just that Mom didn’t want me, and since Dad did, she’d left us both.
There was nothing I could do about that, so… I just didn’t think about it.
I was real good about not thinking about some things.
Dad loved me, and that was all that mattered to me. He made sure I had a good lunch in my lunchbox or money when we were having pizza at school, a clean handkerchief in my pocket, and milk money until we realized I was lactose intolerant. Then he made sure I always carried lactase, the enzyme supplement, with me.
Sometimes, though, I’d looked up from my homework to ask him a question, and found him watching me with the saddest look.
He’d smiled and shaken his head. “You’re growing so fast, Ty. Before we know it, you’ll be in high school. Now, what did you want to know?”
I’d smiled back at him and asked my question, but inside I’d felt cold, because I hadn’t been growing.
What was Dad really worrying about?
“I’m home, Dad,” I called. Because of the time, I knew he’d already be home from the construction site where he worked.
“You’re late, Ty.” He appeared in the front foyer. A single glance, and our relationship was obvious to anyone who cared to look, from the cleft in both our chins, identical straight noses—although Dad had a bump in his from the time he’d broken it back in the day—and high cheekbones, down to the blue-black hair and midnight-blue eyes. The biggest difference was in our size, because while he was six feet tall, I was still four foot nothing. “I was starting to worry. It’s getting dark.”
“I know. I’m sorry. Coach kept me after practice.”
“Dunno. He gave me a note for you.”
“Ty, what have you been up to?”
“Nothing, Dad. Honest.” I wasn’t concerned, not really. I was a good runner, and I made good grades, unlike some of the jocks, so Coach wasn’t worried I’d be put on detention just before a big meet and ruin the team’s chances of rising up in our division.
Dad grinned at me, but he didn’t ruffle my hair like most dads would. “Give me the note.”
I pulled it out of my backpack and handed it to him, then went into the kitchen to pour myself one of the protein shakes Dad kept in the fridge for me. I was hoping they’d help me grow, but so far no luck.
I’d almost finished chugging it when I heard, “Ah, damn!”
“Dad?” Before I could bolt to the front part of the house, he came into the kitchen. His face was pale, and the muscle in his right eyelid twitched rhythmically. I set down the glass. “Dad, what is it?”
“Your coach saw you while you were in the shower.”
“You’re not saying Coach is perving on me, are you?” I tried to smile at my little joke, but my stomach felt as if I were on a roller coaster going down a 456 foot drop at 128 mph.
“Of course not.”
Of course, “of course not.” Coach was a great guy, after all. But why had he felt the need to send a note to my father?
“Tyrell, you’re not stupid. You’ve seen the other boys.”
“Today’s your birthday. Happy birthday, by the way.”
I blinked, totally confused. “Oh, thanks, Dad.”
“Your gift is in the living room.”
Probably another pair of Nikes. That was what he always got me for my birthday. I didn’t outgrow them, but they wore out from all the running I did.
“Anyway, didn’t you ever wonder about it? You’re sixteen now and yet your voice hasn’t changed, you haven’t had that growth spurt, and your chin and chest and… and groin are still hairless.”
I was relieved he didn’t say anything about my dick not growing, either. “I… I never stopped to think about it.” To tell the truth, I’d been afraid to think about it, afraid I was some kind of freak.
I’d hoped if I ignored it, it would go away.
“Your coach wants me to take you to see an endocrinologist.”
“Yeah, Dad?” I swallowed hard. I didn’t want to see a doctor, any more than I wanted to know what was wrong with me, certain it was incurable and that I wasn’t going to live to see sixteen. Well, seventeen, now I’d actually reached that momentous birthday.
“And a dermatologist.”
He came to me and raised his hand. In spite of myself, I flinched. He’d never struck me before, and I couldn’t see him striking me now, but for the past six years I hadn’t liked being touched. More than that, it could be downright painful.
Dad knew that. If he thought it was necessary… The shake I’d downed felt like it was going to make a return appearance.
He settled his fingers just under my right ear, then lightly ran them down the side of my throat over the mark I’d had since the day I was born.
“Oh. That.” I shivered and backed away a step. No one ever touched that mark—it kind of freaked them out.
“I’m not going to take you to see anyone.” He stared down at his fingers, then closed them in a tight fist.
“It’s time for me to explain the facts of life to you.”
I could feel my face going up in flames. “I know them, Dad,” I mumbled.
He didn’t pat my shoulder, even though he might have wanted to. “You may, for the average person.”
I was too embarrassed to question his emphasis of average. Much as I loved him, the idea of talking about sex with him—blowjobs, hand jobs, fucking—just skeeved me.
“First off, there’s nothing wrong with you. And I’m not saying that because I’m your dad and it’s my job to tell you things like that. You are normal. You’ll go into puberty when your body recognizes the time is right.”
“Y’see… The thing of it is….” He didn’t seem to know where to begin, and I felt my gut clench and my sphincter tighten. “You’re just not a normal.”
I stood there frozen. Oh God, this was going to be bad. I knew it. I was a freak. I was a—
“You’re a sabor, Ty.”
I’d opened my mouth to scream a protest, but that stopped me dead. “Huh?” I blinked and swallowed again. “A what?”
They Come By Night
Paranormal, Vampire, M/M Romance
Cover by AngstyG
Release Date: January 16th, 2015
Imagine an Earth just a bit different from ours. It may be 2014, but in this world, normals unknowingly share the planet with vampyrs. Most vampyrs rely on bagged blood, supplemented by the blood of sabors—valued individuals whose blood contains an element needed for the survival of the species.
Tyrell Small has always felt different. He doesn’t know he is a sabor, but he has the birthmark to prove it. When his father reveals that he’ll be required to feed vampyrs, Ty decides to run away. Slipping out of his bedroom window, he finds the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen sitting on his roof. Adam Dasani is a vampyr, equerry to the vampyr king, who has given Adam the task of guarding Ty. The blood of the two most powerful saborese families in the shared history of vampyrs and sabors runs through Ty’s veins. And some vampyrs intend to use him to gain power, something Adam isn’t about to allow. Adam insists that Ty can’t escape his destiny, but they both find that destiny can take unexpected turns… and following those turns may put those Ty loves—including Adam—in danger.
Tinnean has been writing since the third grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn’t survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.
It was with the advent of the family’s second computer—the first intimidated everyone—that her writing took off, enhanced in part by fanfiction, but mostly by the wonder that is copy and paste.
While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters, and has had novels receive honorable mention in the 2013 and 2014 Rainbow Awards.
A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband and two computers.
Ernest Hemingway’s words reflect Tinnean’s devotion to her craft: “Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.”