April 17, 2016

Suped Feature: Second Life by Emily Reese + Character Chat & #Giveaway

Second Series 2
March 1, 2016
Young Adult | Paranormal

She thought her trials were over...

When she ended the Second Life of the serial killer turned vampire responsible for her own transformation, Claire assumed she’d be able to move on with her life. The “man” was a literal monster, and the world would be better off without him.

If only the rest of her world shared that opinion.

With the help of new allies Claire must race against the clock to prove her acts justifiable… or risk following her tormentor to the grave. And as for Mike, whose rescue was the catalyst for her current troubles, what kind of life will he awaken to? And will he ever forgive her for her actions that night?

In the thrilling sequel to Second Death, the story of Claire Wallace and Mike Monroe continues to unfold, immersing readers in the complex and often brutal world of the supernatural. A world that exists all around us.

Hi Everyone! I interviewed Mike over at T&L Book Reviews, and I hope you’ll visit us there to learn more about him, the book SECOND LIFE and how we end up here with me and Claire - Emily

Eventually Claire makes an appearance, perching on the edge of the chair across from me, hands on her knees.

Me: Hello, Claire.

Claire: Hello.

Me: You aren’t going to make this easy on me, are you? She shoots me some withering side-eye.

Claire: Should I?

Me: You know it wasn’t just me, right? You know that you all have a say in how your story goes. I created you, but you create your actions. I just record them.

In a flash, she stands and backhands the chair she was in, smashing it and sending splinters flying.

Claire: I see what you mean. Ask your questions. I need to get back.

Me: Back to where?

Claire: My preparations.

When she fails to elaborate, I decide to begin… as well as to skip the “how are you” question. There’s only one chair left and I’m sitting in it.

Me: Alright. So, what trait do you like least about yourself?

Claire: Lack of progression.

Me: What does that mean?

Claire: I’ve been alive for nearly a century. I’m not happy with how little I’ve changed, with my inertia.

Me: I don’t know. Surely, Ben wouldn’t –”

Claire: She slices a hand through the air and glares at me with contempt. Don’t. Move on to the next question.

Me: O-kay. What trait to you dislike most in others?

Claire: Indecision. Cowardice. They’re pointless emotions, and end up hurting people.

Me: I feel like you’re talking about yourself again.

Claire: Is that so? Her grin is icy. Maybe the old me. Not anymore.

Me: Then I’m interested to see where we go in the next book. What is your greatest extravagance?

Claire: My home.

Me: New Orleans, the hotel? Why?

Claire: Now that… now that I’m different, I have plans, actions to take. And nothing is going to get in my way. But when I’m at home, surrounded by my friends, my family, memories of… the past, it’s easy for me to get distracted, sidetracked.

Me: You’ve really become a woman on a mission now, haven’t you?

Claire: You put me here. I begin to wonder if all writers have characters who hate them this much. You get one more, and I’m leaving. I told you, I don’t have time for this.

Me: Okay, fine. She’s always been the hardest one to interview, I don’t know why I thought tonight would be any different. If you could go into another story and meet a fellow literary character, who would it be?

Claire: I’m surprised but pleased that she actually takes the time to think about this one. Danerys Targaryen.

Me: Really, I wouldn’t have you pegged as a Game of Thrones fan.

Claire: Her author is even more sadistic than you, she tells me with a humorless laugh. She had it all and lost it all many times over… and then she changed the world. I don’t know how her story is going to end, but I admire her perseverance.

Me: Fair enough. Now, I gave Mike the opportunity to ask me one question, anything goes. I’ll do the same for you.

She looks at me, hope and anguish filling her eyes with tears. I know what she’s going to ask, before the words ever leave her lips.

Claire: Do they… can they…

Me: No, I’m sorry honey. Once somebody is gone, they aren’t coming back.
Claire: But… with Elliot…

Me: He’s a fluke, not a standard. Claire nods and wipes her tears before they can migrate down her cheeks. She’s in so much pain right now, I have to give her something. But… vampires, well at least my vampires have an afterlife. A really damn good one.

Her head shoots up and her eyes widen in understanding. I know it isn’t what she wanted to hear, but hopefully it will be enough. The tight smile she throws me on her way out tells me it might just be…

It had never been my intention to become a nighttime avenger for victims of sexual assault, but it certainly seemed to be turning out that way. I jumped down from the roof and landed behind Creepy Guy; the two men were so focused on each other, I had to speak to get their attention.
“Hey boys,” I said and cocked my hip out to the right. “Everything going okay?”
Creepy shot me a glare over his shoulder. “None of your business, bitch. Me and this queer are having some words. Leave, or your next.” He wasn’t even scared, just pissed that now I was going to cause him to rush things. I'm going enjoy my meal tonight.
“Actually, that’s exactly what I had in mind. You mind if I go first, kid?” I looked around my victim to the petrified boy; he was so scared he couldn’t even nod. All I was getting from him was: Help. Help. Help. Please help. I don’t want to die. I just want to go home. This isn’t happening. Oh, God, help me. “I’ll take that as a yes.” I opened my arms and said, “Okay, asshole. Show me what you’ve got.”
Turns out what said asshole had was a lot of rage. Rage at the boy for being beautiful and gay, rage at himself for being attracted to men, rage at me for being a woman, baiting him, challenging his precious manhood while doing nothing for his libido, making him feel even more wrong. All of it hit me in a wave, the seething hate so hot my skin warmed. If he hadn’t been such a psycho, I might’ve felt sorry for him.
“You’re gonna hurt, bitch. I don’t like interruptions.” He charged me, leading with his knife, sure his bulk would help him in this fight. I couldn’t wait for him to get close enough to prove him wrong.
With my speed, it was as if he moved in slow motion. I grabbed his arm and brought it down over my knee, forcing him to drop his knife. Still gripping his arm, I spun into him and sent an elbow into his ample gut, causing him to double over and wheeze. A knee to the groin, (which seemed appropriate given the context,) had him on the ground, coughing and whimpering. I put him in a headlock and lifted him up, though, given my height, his feet were dragging. I was about to let my teeth out, when I realized the boy hadn’t moved. He was still up against the car, his mouth hanging open. Between nearly being killed and watching me take down an armed guy nearly double my size, the kid was more or less in shock. Instead of the normal flow of emotions I picked up from humans, all I got from him was static. Total disconnect.
“You should go, kid. You’ve seen enough tonight — you’re not going to like what comes next.”
The poor kid nodded slowly and began stumbling back toward the lights and the crowds. Just before he walked into the light, he turned. He looked to me as if he wanted to say something, but his voice wasn’t cooperating.
I nodded, and returned my attention to a recovering Creepy Guy. He began to struggle and pull at my arms around his neck.
“What… the… hell… are you?” he managed to gasp.

“I used to be just like that boy, with some dickhead just like you making my life a living hell. I survived. Then I killed him. What do you think that means for you?”

Emily Reese graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Communication Studies, which makes it a little easier to write dialog… when her characters are cooperating. She lives out in the middle of nowhere with her husband, their two daughters, two cats, and a Pug. She loves smushed faced animals, the creative power of Junior Mints, the glory of naps, baking, video games (especially BioWare,) and the sound of her girls giggling together. Her works include Second Death, Second Life, and Servant of the Three coming September 2016.

Follow Emily
Website | Facebook | @writerrees | Goodreads

Signed paperback of The Second Series
& a Metal Bookmark!

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  1. You'd think there's no more room for vamp stories, but that's constantly proved to be incorrect as far as I can see. I haven't read this, though it doesn't sound had bad. But I am reading Justin Cronin at the moment and I've got to say I'm very impressed. Just when I thought there was no possible angle left to explore - bam! Here come Mr. Cronin's "virals" with a brand-new take on a really old and oh-so-over-done subject, and making it feel fresh, current, and irresistible. I guess vamps are here to stay :) More power to them!

  2. *waves*
    My brain is too tired to think

  3. I love vampire stories and the excerpt was really good. Thanks for this great post.

  4. Thanks for sharing! Fun interview. It's always interesting to see a character through an interview. I do love a good vamp story.


  5. thanks for the discovery and the nice interview!

  6. Great post, interesting series premise and wonderful character chat!

  7. Very interesting interview, it piqued my interest!

  8. What the what? UNT is like 20 min from me. I need to check out this author and support the local. Maybe get my book club to read it :)

  9. Oh this sounds interesting. I'm so sad for her as well, but at least the afterlife is good. Interesting interview!

  10. Claire sounds pretty complex - loved the interview.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  11. Hadn't heard of this one before, thanks Braine!!

  12. She does sound like quite the character

  13. Interesting! Thanks for sharing!!

  14. Ooooh, I LIKE this Claire. Definitely a character I want to read more of.

  15. Great interview..I am liking Claire and the New Orleans mention has me curious.

  16. Claire certainly has some spunk and some sass, which I like, and I also love NO. I will keep this on my radar.

  17. Love a good character chat. :D She is sassy!

  18. Thanks for the fun character interview (chat) and excerpt! This is new to me, but I love how feisty Claire seems :)

  19. Fun character chat and an intense excerpt! I like Claire!

  20. I love a new twist on vampires so my curiosity is definitely piqued. I just added this to my tbr. Thanks for sharing the interview - it was a nice little glimpse into Claire. And I enjoyed the excerpt as well!

  21. I hadn't heard of this series but I like the sound of it!!

  22. Ooooh... this sounds like an interesting series! I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for sharing!!


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