by Zoe Allison
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Vampires are real, existing alongside regular humans as a secret subspecies. The malevolent of their kind exploit their powers and immortality at the expense of their human counterparts. The Organization, a league of benevolent vampires headed up by the anonymous Mr. X, works covertly to keep this threat in check. Amber Ridley is the company’s top agent, unique to the team as the only human working alongside her vampire allies. She is an ‘Impervious’, a rare human with powers that can be used against the malevolent.
When Amber’s latest mission takes her back to the UK to work with her close companion Valentino, she meets his old colleague Hayden Knight. Hayden is infamous to Amber as the man who betrayed their organization and abandoned her friend Valentino in the past. She dislikes Hayden instantly, and his arrogant, cold demeanour does nothing to aid this.
Amber and Hayden are forced to work together on The Organization’s most important mission to date, and they must put aside their differences to take down the menace that threatens the very existence of their group. Amber must put her trust in Hayden, but is she impervious to love?
Victoria smiled, tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder. She lifted her hand, turned her palm upward and brought her fingers toward herself in an invitation to the fight. Her insolent gesture had the desired effect. He growled, and in a blind rage ran in her direction. She had already pulled back her arm and, as he reached her, she smashed her fist into his face, sending him hurtling away toward the tree line, where he crashed into a thick trunk, cracking it in the process. Within a split second Victoria was upon him, pinning him in place. She glanced over at Amber, who was still hidden a few feet away, and nodded.
Amber was by Victoria’s side quickly, even though, unlike her partner, she wasn’t capable of vampire speed. The man’s black, dead-looking eyes met hers, and registered her human form. A sneer appeared on his face as he started to thrash in an attempt to escape Victoria’s grip and get at Amber. Before he could gain any purchase, Amber closed in, grabbing hold of the man’s head. He screamed in agony, and Victoria stepped away while Amber did her work.
A few seconds later, silence fell. Moonlight shone on the fir-lined clearing, devoid of any presence except a mound of ash sitting beside a cracked tree trunk.
AN INTERVIEW WITH ZOE
-What inspired you to become a writer?
In the past I never thought of myself as a creative. I’m a doctor and I was always into science rather than the arts when younger, though I always enjoyed writing. A few years ago I wrote some opinion pieces for a medical newsletter. I really enjoyed the process and sense of achievement when they were accepted to be published. After that I decided to pursue creative writing because I felt it would be a good outlet and antidote to the pressures of my career. I completed an online creative writing course for children’s books, mainly because that was my core reading material at the time due to having two small children! I then wrote a few texts for children’s picture books but never published them. A while later I managed to get some time to start reading again and discovered a romance author I really enjoyed. After that I was inspired to transform all the ideas that I had for stories into romances. I find that this genre, with its happy endings, is a welcome contrast to what we can witness real life.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
I would like to say that I’d be brave enough to join The Organization but in reality, I think I would go into hiding to avoid all the malevolent vampires! I would like to find a way to have a nosy around The Organization’s headquarters though, because they are privy to all sorts of covert information that would be interesting to find out….
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
She would probably reveal that she finds it hard to bond with people. She is very self-sufficient and reluctant to rely on anybody because she thinks that everyone will let her down in the end. She also views herself as being deficient in terms of emotion and impervious to love, and so feels unable to form meaningful relationships.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
I think Valentino. He is very worldly wise and would enjoy in depth conversation regarding all sorts of intellectual matters. He is also very old and has had many interesting experiences and so he would have lots of exciting stories to tell.
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
I’m definitely not a fighter. I would tell him/her that I would fight them after a drink and then I’d buy them some mead. I’d keep refilling their drink and ask them to tell detailed stories about themselves until they eventually would forget that they had wanted to duel in the first place, then hopefully they would fall asleep from the alcohol and I could sneak away!
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I don’t think I could ever write crime, because I can’t resist the pull of happy endings. I like matters to reconcile in the end and for any discord to resolve. I would also struggle to write anything very hard hitting because I would find it traumatic to create upsetting scenes.
Zoe lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband and two children. A medic by day, she started writing in her spare time as a means to counter burn out and found that this was a balm for the soul.
She is a fan of the romantic genre and its ‘happy ever after’ ethos. A sharp contrast to what she can, at times, see in her day job. Zoe is keen for the female lead in romantic fiction to disabuse stereotypes and walk on an equal footing with her male counterparts. She prefers male leads who do not display signs of toxic masculinity and believes that positive masculinity is much more attractive to women and healthier for men.
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Zoe Allison will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway