Feb 8 2016
Hi, my name is Angelika Helsing, and I am thrilled to be here with my virtual sisters—women who, like me, adore all things love, sex, and romance. Here, we can let our hair down, kick our shoes off and untether the livestock—I mean, take off those medieval torture devices called bras. Add some coffee/tea/wine/libation-of-choice and we’ve got ourselves a party.
I’ve been writing since I was old enough to play hooky from school. It’s funny how you don’t choose writing; writing chooses you. It’s a strange, sick compulsion—and like all compulsions of its kind, I’ve done some weird things to indulge it: hiding in my car, skipping school for six weeks, or in my case, working as a cover girl and centerfold for men’s magazines. Hey, the pay was great and I had lots of time to write. I don’t know if I’d do it again, but no real regrets. It certainly gave me the time and the space to become a better writer. In fact, I discuss my adventures in the fast lane in STRIPPED DOWN: A Naked Memoir by Stacey Keith. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, so thank you!
But as Angelika Helsing, I write multiple-partner, no-holes-barred, straight-up erotic romance. In my latest book, CARNAL SACRIFICE, those darker impulses were inspired by vampires. Joss Whedon’s epic “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series (#TeamSpike) got me started on vampires waaaay back and now I’m as addicted to paranormal stories as vampires are addicted to soft, tender necks. I love that stuff, don’t you?
My publisher, Samhain, had to add a product warning to my book: “Contains the ultimate battle between sex and death. An orgy of pleasure so sinful, so forbidden, readers might need a week to recover. If you get lightheaded, remember to put your head between your knees.”
A girl’s just gotta love that.
And, of course, they did a great job with the blurb for CARNAL SACRIFICE:
Delaney Jones dedicates her life to the Peace Corps—up at dawn, work past dusk. On a mountain overlooking the Sacred Valley in Peru, she’s thousands of miles away from the real reason she fled her home. Her stepbrother, rock god Jaden Seavers.
But half a world isn’t far enough to outrun the strange, erotic visions of him that disturb her dreams. When she unexpectedly encounters Jaden on a desolate Peruvian road, their mutual hunger is stronger than ever.
In the uncontrollable rush of desire, Jaden can no longer hide the truth. He is a vampire—and he’s not alone. Many of his kind have come to Peru to take part in a ritual that will make them mortal.
All they need is a vessel strong enough to withstand the power of five vampires gone wild with an unholy craving. And when the eruption of lust is over, survive to fill the emptiness of the one man who loves her more than life itself…
Then there’s the excerpt:
All night, the winds roamed through the cathedral-like hallways of the Andes, restless angry ghosts. They teased the tasseled edges of the hand-loomed blanket that served as Delaney’s door and made the necklace of garlic knots next to it go tap-tap-tap against the wall.
When the winds were keening, villagers kept to their houses, crucifixes in hand. Mornings would always bring a grisly tribute: a half-dozen desiccated carcasses of smaller mammals, such as guinea pigs and chinchillas, which the Quechua depended on for food. Only these weren’t eaten; they were de-juiced, like small furry raisins.
The villagers would search until all the remains were found. Then they buried them. No one uttered a word, for fear of attracting the attention of the things that preyed upon the creatures. Unspoken, always, was a name the Quechua used to describe what Delaney had long thought to be the stuff of imagination: the Hungering Ones.
The wind went from a howl to a low wubber. She had grown accustomed to the wind and its moodiness. For two years, she had huddled here, listening. Alone.
My God, was she feeling sorry for herself? How disgusting. If only she hadn’t gotten that damned letter. It was the letter that had summoned those ghosts, had made her skittish and sleepless. Past midnight, and here she was shivering in her long johns and flannel robe, all because Valerie Seavers-Jones had decided to track her down and do… What? Browbeat her into joining the Junior League? Delaney was well acquainted with her stepmother’s opinion of her humanitarian work. But then, beneath the contempt, Val had always been rather indifferent to what she did.
No, Val had come to talk about Jaden.
The twin flames inside her ’70’s Coleman lantern dipped and then held steady, indicating that the fuel was running low. She didn’t relish the idea of extinguishing her only light source on this, of all nights, but told herself she was being ridiculous. Now the hut was pitch-black and full of night music. Delaney forced herself to breathe, but her thoughts proved harder to control.
Jaden, Val’s son by a previous marriage, was practically a household name. At least any household that had one or two teenagers. Delaney had put a lot of miles between her and Jaden. Thousands of them. So why had Val booked this tour? Peru wasn’t the type of vacation she liked. There wasn’t any shopping.
Maybe Jaden had another album go platinum, or he’d gotten a star on Hollywood Boulevard, or he’d been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Or he was getting married.
No. This was crazy. Even if Val’s tour bus made it anywhere close to the village, over half the tourists would surely be laid out with altitude sickness. Plus, the village was accessible only by foot, and Val never wore anything less than a three-inch heel. The day had come and gone, and still no Val, so why would anyone torture herself with this kind of idle speculation?
She clicked on the radio and spun the dial to the only station she could get clear reception on, one that played Peruvian rock. Maybe if she drowned out that incessant wind, she could drown her thoughts as well. Maybe tonight the dream wouldn’t come, and she wouldn’t awake again, trembling with need. Eyes shut. Brain off. Eyes shut. Brain off. Eyes shut…
She’s back in Seattle, lying naked on her bed after a midnight swim. The window beside her is open. Her nipples stiffen beneath a breath of August wind. On the pillow, her damp hair fans out in rivulets. She stretches her arms above her head and sighs in voluptuous pleasure. Even the ache of her breasts, made fuller by her monthly cycle, is delicious, and she allows herself a rare moment of enjoyment in the topography of her body, the flatness of her belly, the slight prominence of hip bones, the length and taper of her legs. With only a moment’s misgivings, she slides her hands around the curving half-moons of her breasts, testing their weight and ripeness. Something deep within her stirs, like an animal roused from sleep. She brushes sensitive fingertips over her nipples, which strain to meet them, and experiences the first hot ripples of need licking pathways to her sex. The breeze moves over her. It caresses with a lover’s touch her swelling labia and the rich coppery scent of her moon blood. She should find some way to contain it, but knows she won’t have to, knows that with exquisite enjoyment, he will come and lave her clean again.
With a shiver of anticipation, she turns on her side, facing the moonlight that spills over the coverlet, and draws her knees up. Her sex aches for him, is already slippery and engorged. She rolls one nipple between a thumb and index finger, then the other, until both stand at attention. Pleasure and need force a moan to her lips. She can’t wait much longer. Her body won’t let her.
Breath catching, she slides one finger over her clit and nearly tumbles off the bed. How is it possible for such a tiny organ to pack so much power? Every impulse is heightened. Brighter. Keener. Eyes closed, she arches her back and pushes two fingers inside herself, as her thumb continues to tease her clit. It’s so easy to pretend as though they’re his fingers, his tongue, his…
As always, she senses his presence in her room before she sees him. It’s as though the shadows coalesce into the strong beautiful planes of his face, the angular cheekbones and full lips, his dark hair, his deep-set eyes. She knows their color be to green, knows also where they’re focused right now, and feels her sex clench in hungering submission.