From the time I can remember, I've been fascinated with vampires, not monsters under the bed, not zombies, not Frankenstein--just vampires.
It started when I was a very little girl and my family moved into a friend's house. It was summer and the mom let her kids watch scary movies at night, so of course I watched them too. The movies that scared me the most were the vampire movies.
I think more than zombies, more than Frankenstein or the monster from the black lagoon, vampires seemed real to me. Worse, there was something darkly attractive to them that made them appealing. The combination of fear and attraction, to me, is addictive.
It came to no surprise to me that, over time, vampires went from subtly sexy to downright hot! Authors such as Anne Rice to JR Ward have perfected the sexy, if dangerous, vampire. I love to read authors' different takes on vampires. One of my favorite vampire depictions is found in Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniel's series. While not at all sexy, these vampires are the most realistic in my opinion. I like my fantasy to be believable. I don't like to suspend disbelief too much. Let's face it, vampires are dead, so live sperm? Not so likely.
The idea of creating a vampire-like creature that needed blood to survive, one that might really exist in our world, took hold of my imagination. So I started to research. I mean there are animals that survive, at least in part, on blood—Mosquitoes, certain bats, ticks, etc. How do they metabolize the blood into nutrients? What I came up with were the Svistra, a group of humans that, due to an apocalyptic event in the distant past, are unable to produce necessary amino acids to survive. They must consume mammalian blood or weaken and die.
What would happen to this group that is now no longer human? What kind of world would they live in? How would they interact with the humans? From these questions, the world, and ultimately plot, of ALTERED DESTINY was created.
Blurb: Selia has run her family's tavern since she was fifteen and can hunt and fight the equal of any man. When she rescues a badly wounded man and nurses him back to health, she has no idea she's about to change not only her life, but also the destinies of two peoples...
The battered warrior is Svistra—a race of bloodthirsty savages determined to destroy her homeland. Or so the stories claim. Jaden reveals a different truth: how his ancestors were driven into the barren northern mountains. Now they are strong and war parties are pushing south wanting their land back.
The son of a Svistra Commander, Jaden is looking for a way to bring peace to both humans and Svistrans. He tries to ignore his growing passion for Selia, but when she is captured he has to decide what he would be willing to sacrifice to save the woman he loves...