Today, we’re fortunate to be part of the Love Bites Blog Tour. Author, Adrienne Barbeau, has provided an excerpt from her book for us to enjoy! If you’re interested in finding out more about the tour, please visit the tour page at CLP Blog Tours: http://www.clpblogtours.com/2014/02/loves-bites-by-adrienne-barbeau.html
Introducing Love Bites:
NOT YOUR MAMA’S POLICE PROCEDURAL! A COP STORY WITH BITE…
Not to mention sharp, cutting wit. Detective Peter King and movie star Ovsanna Moore are the sexiest tongue-in-cheek crime-solving duo since MOONLIGHTINGhit the air waves in the ‘80s. But they may remind you more of TRUE BLOOD’s Sookie and Eric than Maddie and David—because one of them’s a vampire. And like Sookie’s Bon Temps, their Los Angeles has its fair share of shapeshifting sometime-humans.
Ovsanna’s the successful owner of her own Hollywood film studio and the star of 17 blockbuster horror films, plus three, sadly, that went straight to video. But even vampires have bad days. Though never fat days or bad hair days—she looks pretty great for 450. And in those four and a half centuries she’s pretty much seen everything, formed an opinion about it, and developed the kind of worldly-wise wit Joan Rivers only dreams about.
Peter, on the other hand, is a Beverly Hills cop firmly rooted in human affairs, from the domestic issues of his lively Italian family to the romantic ones of his neighbor, snake dancer Suzie Q. Though Ovsanna’s had flings with everyone from Genghis Khan to Errol Flynn, Peter’s got what it takes to catch her eye and hold her interest. And he’s one hell of a detective. He’s also a consummate master of spin, concealing what he knows about the world of vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters while solving the crimes they commit.
Barbeau, a beloved actress much like Ovsanna herself, is a skilled satirist possessed of a sharp eye for the absurdity of Hollywood, with its petty jealousies, vain ambitions, over-the-top visuals, and twisted values. The result of all these delicious elements? An action-packed mystery, a sly satire, and a lush love story, spiced and seasoned with paranormal characters that the author manages to turn into metaphors for the monsters we all encounter on a daily basis.
Adrienne began her career in 1963 with the San Jose Civic Light Opera. After graduating high school, she traveled with a musical comedy revue, entertaining our servicemen on Army bases throughout Southeast Asia. In 1965, she moved to New York where she made her Broadway debut as Tevye’s second daughter, Hodel, in Fiddler on the Roof. A Tony nomination and a Theatre World Award for her creation of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of Grease led her back to California and the role of Bea Arthur’s daughter, Carol, in the hit series Maude.
Since then she has become a best selling author, a recording artist, and the star of numerous features, films
for television, concert performances, musicals and plays.
Movie fans know her best for her performances in The Fog, Escape From New York, Creepshow, Swamp Thing, Back to School, and Cannonball Run. Her recent films include Reach for Me, with Seymour Cassell and Alfre Woodard and the award winning “zombie film” Alice Jacobs is Dead. She can currently be seen in Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck.
Adrienne has a Golden Globe nomination and over 450 screen performances to her credit. Drew Carey fans know her as Oswald’s mom. She starred as Ruthie, the Snake Dancer, on HBO’s fascinating series, Carnivale. Her recent appearances include Son’s of Anarchy and Dexter and nine months on ABC’s General Hospital, her first foray into daytime television. She also portray’s Victoria Grayson’s (Madeline Stowe) mother on ABC’s hit series Revenge.
After appearing in over 25 musicals and plays, among them the West coast premieres of Women Behind Bars and Drop Dead; the Canadian premiere of Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers; and the world premiere of What the Rabbi Saw by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, in 2006 she returned to New York to garner standing ovations as Judy Garland in The Property Known As Garland. Summer of 2012 found her returning to her favorite musical Fiddler on the Roof, playing Golde this time, not Hodel.
Off camera, Adrienne is the voice of Catwoman in Batman, The Animated Series, Ms. Simone in Scooby-Do on Zombie Island, and Scooter’s Mom in the 3-D animated film Fly Me To The Moon. She can be heard in a myriad of video games: God of War and Halo 4 among them.
Adrienne is the author of three books: the best-selling memoir There Are Worse Things I Could Do; Vampyres of Hollywood; and the most recent Love Bites.
In March of 1997, Adrienne gave birth to identical twin boys, William and Walker Van Zandt, at age 51, “the only woman on the maternity ward who was a member of AARP”. She lives in Los Angeles, but travels to Japan whenever she can to visit her older son, Cody Carpenter.
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I am nearly 500 years old. My skin is flawless, my butt is tight, and my tits don’t need help staying up. Unless you impale me, dismember me, decapitate or drown me, you can’t do me much damage. I’ve been stabbed, scalded, and stretched on the rack, and I have survived. I’ve been burned, flayed, and shot, and I have survived. I’ve lived through the Thirty Years War, the French Revolution and the Spanish Inquisition. The Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion, two World Wars and a couple of scathing movie reviews from the L.A. Times. And two weeks ago, with a little help from my personal assistant and a hunky Beverly Hills cop, I managed to do away with the mother of all evil, leaving me the most powerful vampyre in North America. I’m not saying I’m invincible, but I’ve got a pretty good track record when it comes to dealing with danger.
So why was I so terrified to drive over the hill to Studio City to have Christmas Eve dinner with the parents of a man I barely know?
He looks like a cross between Springsteen and the model they use in all those paintings of Christ. Melt-in-your-mouth-attractive. Water-in-the-desert attractive. Good-looking enough to get me going just staring at him, and that doesn’t happen very often, believe me. The last time was Nureyev, in the sixties. It’s the cheekbones. I like the ones you can cut paper on.
His name is Peter King and he’s a detective with the Beverly Hills police. Early forties. Divorced. We met two weeks ago when he was assigned by his Captain to investigate the murders of my business partner, three of my stars, and an employee of my film company, Anticipation Studios. Yes, five murders, all connected to me. I am Ovsanna Moore, writer, producer, and star of seventeen blockbuster horror films, several less than successful ones, and a few that went straight to DVD. In the film business, I’m known as a Scream Queen. In my private life–my very private life–I’m known as Ovsanna Hovannes Garabedian, Chatelaine of the Clan Dakhanavar of the First Bloodline. A vampyre.
A fairly powerful vampyre, when you consider my clan includes most of the A-list Hollywood stars–past and present.
Peter King knows what I am. And he’d asked me out just hours after he’d discovered my secret. I found that intriguing. I like a man who’s not put off by an extra set of teeth. I was intrigued enough to accept his invitation.
So there I was, standing in my dressing room on Christmas Eve, throwing clothes on the floor as fast as I could try them on and get them off again. I’d already eliminated a Costume National suit and my Diesel jeans. What should I wear to meet the family of a man I’d already fed on, but barely knew? I was so nervous, if I’d had a gag reflex, I’d have been on my knees in front of the toilet.
Meeting his parents, for God’s sake? On Christmas Eve?
I’d just taken my Caroline Herrera smoke suede pants off the hanger when the fowl started honking.
Someone was in my yard.
I rely on a gaggle of geese to sound an alarm. It’s an idea I borrowed from Louis XVI and I swear it’s more effective than my high tech security system. Like Louis, geese are territorial, and when they’re upset, they’re loud.
This time they were making a hell of a racket.
I let my senses sharpen. I am of the Dakhanavar clan–vampyre elite–with extremely honed sight, smell, and hearing. When I choose to, I can hear conversations taking place a half mile away. I stood still and listened.
I heard the geese.
I heard the koi in the pond. The waterfall hitting the stream. The neighbor’s cat cleaning herself out on the street. And more fucking geese.
But I couldn’t hear the intruder.
Who was it, Marcel Marceau?
I couldn’t smell him either, which meant he wasn’t human. Humans give off a distinctive scent, specific to their tribe. What I did smell, over the goose shit and honeysuckle, was something pungent and feral.
I dropped the hanger and the pants on the floor, and moved through my bedroom into my office. Whoever it was had had to scale the two foot wide, twelve foot tall stucco wall that surrounds my property–he wasn’t there by accident. I unsheathed my fangs, but kept my claws in so I could use the computer to bring up the security cameras trained on the grounds.
I hit the keyboard and my 45” monitor split into eight screens, giving me a 360 degree view of my property. I could see the guest cottage, the pool, the squash court, the front drive–nothing there save honking fowl. They had spread all over the yard, which they didn’t usually do, and had completely abandoned their resting place by the waterfall. Which is where I finally saw movement; behind the thick bougainvillea on the far side of the stream.
You remember those scenes in Angel where David Boreanaz was standing on one side of the room and suddenly, without being seen, he was somewhere else? That’s what vampyres do. We transport ourselves so quickly that we become momentarily invisible. Something having to do with the speed of light. In the movies we call it space shifting. I don’t do it very often; I don’t have the need. My lack of practice was evident in the several seconds it took me to get to my yard. I’ve got to get back in shape.
The smell near the water was overpowering, like burning manure, and I knew for certain whatever was there wasn’t human. Or female. No bitch on earth gives off that kind of stench. I dropped my fangs, let my claws out, and studied the ground, as everything took on the glowing clarity of my vampyre vision.
The sound of his claws pushing off the cliff fifteen feet above me brought my head up, just in time to see him hurtling down on me from the waterfall. I threw my arms out to deflect him and my nails sunk into his fur. He was some sort of wolf, three times the size of a Grey, with rabid orange eyes and a coat so black it disappeared against the darkening sky. I could feel it, though. A coarse, grimy undercoat, thick enough to act like armour, and then the outer pelage, as sharp as porcupine quills with razor-like edges. His muzzle was wide and long, overfilled with an extra set of yellow fangs that peeled his lips into a Jack Nicholson rictus and sprayed me with white foam. A Tom Savini wet dream. With foul breath.
I met him in mid-launch and we went down in the water. He had me pinned beneath him with all four paws. The stream was only inches deep. I’d spent thousands of dollars lining it with broken tourmaline granite. If I’d known I’d be playing Little Red Riding Hood, I’d have bought moss. The fucking rocks were making mincemeat of my back. At least, I was nude; having to bleach my own blood out of my suede pants would have left me doubly pissed.
He shifted his weight to his front paws, pressing my shoulders deeper into the rocks, and tried going for my neck with his fangs. I couldn’t throw him off. He must have weighed 250 pounds. I held him back with both hands, my claws slicing through his pelt into his flesh. His muzzle was inches from my face, snarling and slashing from side to side. His breath was rancid, infected, like the stench of a sewer. I couldn’t get close enough to get my mouth on him. Feral saliva dripped like acid in my eyes. I wedged a leg under his belly and gashed it with my claws. I tried again for his bowels but he trapped my leg with his hind paw. Blood from his belly poured down on my breasts, pooling between them and slimeing down through my legs into the water.
We struggled like that for minutes, holding each other at bay in a thrashing embrace. I was snarling; he was growling; the geese were honking. He was stronger than I was, in that position anyway, and if I couldn’t do something to get out from under him soon, the only Peter I was going to be spending Christmas with was a guy in a robe with the key to a gate.