Cate: Please welcome Belinda McBride. Belinda, will you please share a short bio with us?
Belinda: Hi Cate, and thank you for having me here today! Well, I’m based in Northern California, have two grown daughters and a whole bunch of Siberian Huskies. I write erotic (an occasionally non-erotic) romance generally starring shape-shifters, men and women in outer space, and the occasional vampire with insomnia.
Cate: Tell us about Blacque/Bleu and where it's available.
Belinda: Blacque/Bleu is a m/m paranormal romance that I wrote for Loose Id’s Coming Out Day celebration. It’s the story of Lucas Blacque, who is a closeted werewolf. He’s been aware of, and attracted to his neighbor Oliver Bleu, a vampire with a deadly case of insomnia. There’s a bit of action, adventure and star-crossed love in this story. I set it in a fictional town called ‘Arcada,’ where magic is the norm.
Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Belinda: Lukas Blacque is a deeply closeted werewolf, and almost more than anything in life, he desires his neighbor, Oliver Bleu. Oliver is a vampire who is slowly dying from insomnia. More than anything, he needs Lukas Blacque and the rich blood that flows through his veins.
On the day that Blacque makes an important commitment to his family and pack, he also succumbs to temptation and agrees to a passionate weekend with the alluring vampire. At sunset on Friday, it’s all about urgent lust and the drive to lose his virginity. When the sun rises on Monday, lust has shifted to love and devotion. He's not sure he can walk away, even for the commitment he's made. He's even less sure Bleu will let him go.
In Blacque’s world, vampires and werewolves make uneasy bedfellows, and a gay werewolf is an impossibility. In Bleu’s world, all living creatures are little more than vessels for food and sex. But in the mysterious and magical town of Arcada, the unexpected is always waiting right around the corner. Now Blacque and Bleu just need to survive long enough for Arcada’s magic to work for them.
Here's the blurb:
Lukas Blacque is a deeply closeted werewolf, and more than almost anything in life, he desires his neighbor, Oliver Bleu. Oliver is a vampire who is slowly dying from insomnia. More than anything, he needs Lukas Blacque and the rich blood that flows through his veins.
On the day that Blacque makes an important commitment to his family and pack, he succumbs to temptation and spends a passionate weekend with the alluring vampire. At sunset on Friday, it’s all about urgent lust and the drive to lose his virginity. When the sun rises on Monday, lust has shifted to love and devotion. Will he be able to walk away? Will Bleu let him go?
In Blacque’s world, vampires and werewolves make uneasy bedfellows, and a gay werewolf is an impossibility. In Bleu’s world, all living creatures are little more than vessels for food and sex. But in the mysterious and magical town of Arcada, rules are broken and the unexpected is always waiting right around the corner. Can Blacque and Bleu survive long enough for Arcada’s magic to work for them?
And an excerpt:
Oliver Bleu looked up from the bench seat he was measuring. He took few commissions these days, usually just enough to make his monthly bills and keep the rent paid. His work was declining in quantity, but the quality was still top of the line, as long as he didn’t push himself. He released the tape and noted the measurements on a pad, hiding the feral interest that rose at the presence of his neighbor. He took a moment, willing his fangs to recede.
“Hey, Blacque. What’s happening?”
He did his best to appear casual, but after the last conversation he’d eavesdropped on, Bleu was itching to know more about the big werewolf who was darkening his doorway. He could understand why Blacque’s sister might be reluctant to give in to the alpha’s demands to make babies. After all, she had a career on the line. She couldn’t just drop a pup and walk away.
But Blacque was a different story. He’d never met a shifter who didn’t think with his dick. Speaking of which, it was looking nice and snug there inside those faded denims. And it looked happy to see Bleu. He quickly looked away, wondering if maybe his suspicions about the wolf were correct. Blacque had showered and changed out of his work clothes. He smelled like steam and Lava soap.
“Just gettin’ ready to head on out for the night. Wanted to check, though. I’ve got an old Studebaker I’m working on. Wanted to see if you might be available to do the interior.”
He looked slightly uncomfortable, but they’d never really talked much before. Their hours didn’t exactly mesh, and the mechanic had always avoided Bleu. He watched Blacque’s face as the wolf scented the air slightly. He wouldn’t catch the smell of illness on Bleu, and hopefully not weakness either. But shifters’ senses were even more acute than those of vamps. Maybe he could smell fatigue and hunger. Maybe he could smell lust.
Bleu certainly scented something on the shifter. Hot, rich blood flowing inside his veins. The musk of a male, the sweat of a hardworking man. It was all like perfume to his libido. He was suddenly very glad the wolf had interrupted his work. His fangs ached to drop even as his cock began to rise. He took another breath and let the cool control of the hunter wash over him.
“Studebaker, eh? Let’s go look.” He followed Blacque from his little workshop to the garage next door, taking time to appreciate the ripped, muscular build of the were. His ass was tight, and his legs were sleek with muscle. Bleu’s mouth watered a bit in spite of the mug of lukewarm pig’s blood he’d downed earlier. All that shit did was ease the hunger pangs gnawing at his belly. It did nothing to nourish his flesh. A full-blooded werewolf was like nectar to a hungry vamp.
Blacque paused to unlock the shop door, and he entered, flipping on the overheads in the big auto bay once he did. In the cold fluorescent light, tattoos on his bare arms stood out in stark contrast to his lightly tanned skin. They twisted and climbed like vines on a trellis. His scalp gleamed through the thick black stubble that was growing in. He certainly wasn’t trying to hide any shortcomings by shaving his head. Bleu’s fingers itched to rub the wolf’s bristly scalp.
God, he was butch enough to make Bleu want to grapple him to the floor right then and there! Thing was, the big guy might not appreciate it. Deep down, he might crave it, but he didn’t want to want it.
After dragging his hungry gaze from the wolf, he looked critically at the old car in the bay. She was a dirty gem, all right.
“Nineteen fifty-five Speedster. Nice.” He slowly walked around the car, peering into the windows to look at the tattered seats and headliner. “It’ll need everything. Panels, seats, headliner. You want it authentic or custom?”
“As close to stock as we can get. I’d like the seats done in leather, though.”
“Original colors?” He opened the door and ran a hand over the dark red steering wheel. Man, where’d the quality go in cars these days?
“I’ll keep the paint stock, so let’s keep the interior the same as well.”
He could picture the Speedster with a gleaming black-and-white paintjob, its chrome polished to a high sheen. He straightened up and gazed at Blacque, taking a moment to appreciate the artistry of his rugged face. As he looked, the wolf colored up slightly.
“Call when you’re ready for me.” Their gazes held for a breathless moment. Bleu finally exhaled. “I’ll work up an estimate. Damn nice vehicle. Can’t beat the fifties when it comes to cars. Especially Studebakers.” He gave the door a push, and it closed with a satisfying thump. He might have more fun with pimped-out cars and customized limos, but restoring a classic brought out the best in Bleu. He followed Blacque to the back door and paused, watching him lock up.
Blacque turned to face him. Excitement fluttered in Bleu’s belly. “Thanks, Bleu. I appreciate it.” Again the big man hovered, looking ill at ease. He reminded Bleu of a kid angling for his first kiss after a date. Well, that could be wishful thinking on his part. Clearly the mechanic had something to say.
“Well, good night.”
“Good night, Lukas. You have a good evening.”
“You too.” The wolf started out to the parking lot, where his big pickup truck waited. Blacque paused and then turned back to Bleu.
“See you around.”
He waited for a moment, gazing at Bleu, and then started back out to his truck, moving with swift, graceful strides.
Beautiful. From the top of his bristly head to the soles of his steel-toed feet, the wolf was beautiful. Bleu shifted, letting his cock find a more comfortable position in his work pants. Dickies. What a name for a pair of pants. When he threw back his head and laughed, the tips of his fangs glinted in the moonlight.
This was a bad idea all the way around. Such a bad idea. The were community here in Arcada had been tolerant of him so far. Vamps and wolves never got along particularly well, and he valued the uneasy peace that existed in this quaint little town. Blacque had been a temptation he’d long denied himself, and one that Bleu should continue to ignore.
He laughed again. Hell. What was life without a bit of risky self-indulgence now and then?
Cate: Wonderful. And I love that title. Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero?
Belinda: Which one? LOL! That’s the lovely thing about writing m/m romance; I have two heroes to choose from…
Well, let’s start with Lucas Blacque. He’s big, buff and more than a little butch.
Lucas is an auto mechanic and in many ways he’s my dream man. He can fix a car, do carpentry, his own laundry and he’s got a college degree. His tough exterior hides a lonely, vulnerable man.
Oliver Bleu was inspired by the poet Robert Graves, as well as my own courtly grandfather. Oliver is old world in many ways. He’s a bit too genteel to be an effective vampire, but he’s also damned seductive. In spite of his desperate need for Lucas, he lets the werewolf leave his life, knowing that Lucas must follow his own path. Plus, he has beautiful blue eyes!
Cate: Very cool! Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Belinda: Arcada came to me when I wrote a short story called ‘Snowfire: Chrysalis.’ It’s a magical town that acts as a sanctuary for paranormals, and oddly, the town is borderline sentient. If you happen to be passing through Arcada and it likes you, don’t expect to be leaving anytime soon.
Cate: Love that. What's next for you?
Belinda: I’m juggling a few projects. Next up is ‘Hunting Holly’ which is my next Truckee Wolves story. Its part of the second Doms of Dark Haven anthology with Sierra Cartwright and Cherise Sinclair. I’m just starting a book called ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ which is set in the Belle Starr universe, and I’m well into the follow-up to last year’s “An Uncommon Whore.”
Cate: What inspired you to draft your first story?
Belinda: Anger and frustration. Fear for my mental health! My formerly wonderful job had devolved into a grunt job with a hostile work environment and writing kept me centered and sane. I eventually decided to chuck the job and keep the writing. Someday I’ll go back to the story I was writing back then and finish it up for publication.
Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Belinda: No, I’m a full-time caregiver for my autistic niece so my day is pretty much dictated by what’s going on with her. Generally I do my email and marketing in the mornings, my edits and writing in the afternoon and evening. That can all go to hell if she’s having seizures or a particularly bad day.
Cate: She's lucky to have you as a caretaker. Where can readers find you on the web?
Belinda: My website is http://www.belindamcbride.com
You can find links to my social networks there, and also sign up for my newsletter. My blog is: http://www.belindam.blogspot.com
That’s where I post the newest information about releases, appearances and so forth.
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Belinda: If you’ve made a New Years resolution, what is it?
Cate: Readers, Belinda is giving away a copy of Blacque/Bleu to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Saturday, January 22, and announce the winner here.
Thanks so much for being my guest Belinda! Best of luck to you.