Hi! Thank you for inviting me here today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your book, BREAK OUT.
I’m Nina Croft, I’m English though I now live on an almond farm in southern Spain. Once, in a long ago life, I was an accountant, now I’m a writer and loving it. I write mainly romance, but in a whole load of genres, contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, thrillers…
Break Out is book one in my Blood Hunter Series. It’s a combination of sci-fi and paranormal romance. The series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space cruiser, El Cazador de la Sangre (or The Blood Hunter). Book one, is the story of Ricardo Sanchez the pilot of El Cazador. He just also happens to be a vampire. Rico loves two things in life, beautiful women, and impossible jobs. He gets both these things in the shape of Skylar Rossario, who employs the crew to break her brother out of a maximum security prison. But Skylar is more than just a beautiful woman…
Did you have to do any research at all for BREAK OUT?
I actually spent a lot of time on the NASA site. I was supposed to be reading about black holes but it was all so fascinating (and actually made me realize why research is bad for me – I’m so easily side-tracked.)
Other than that, I watched Firefly for the third time—I love Firefly!
What Inspired you to write a futuristic sci/fi story with Vampires in it?
I really wanted to write a space opera—a romantic adventure in space. But at the time, I’d just finished writing a thriller and I was suffering from paranormal withdrawal symptoms. I really needed a vampire fix. So when Rico, the pilot of my space ship, turned out to be a vampire I didn’t object too much—in fact I welcomed him with open arms. And I think vampires and sci-fi actually fit together really well, because if there are vampires now (and of course there are) and they are immortal, then there are bound to be vampires in the future. And space is a great environment for them—no sunlight!
What did you find difficult while writing BREAK OUT?
Probably the fight scenes. I’ve never been in a fight. Though actually I’ve never been in space either (but then neither has anyone else so…)
What can we expect next?
Lots of things. I have a number of books coming out in 2013 with my fabulous publisher Entangled, including books 2 and 3 in the Blood Hunter series. But my next release is in December this year and is a paranormal romance (more vampires) called Bittersweet Blood, about a woman in search of the past and the super-hot vampire who helps her discover it.
Can you share a little teaser with our followers?
Break Out - Excerpt
Skylar was unsurprised when Rico appeared in the doorway. When he saw her, a satisfied smile curved his lips. He strolled into the room, came to a halt in front of her, and held up the pack of cards in his hand.
“How about I teach you everything I know about strip poker,” he said, placing the pack on the table between them.
Skylar looked beyond him, but there was no immediate help coming. He’d obviously snuck past Al, or whichever member of the crew was on ‘Rico watch’ tonight. She thought about getting up, leaving, but in the end she stayed put. She’d been feeling so flat, her old restlessness nagging at her mind. Or maybe a new restlessness. Whatever—it had vanished as soon as Rico entered the room. This might not be the most sensible course of action, but at least she wouldn’t be bored. And the door was still open—if all else failed she could make a run for it
Rico obviously took her silence as agreement and sank into the chair opposite her. “We’ll keep the rules simple. The loser of each round loses an item of clothing. Okay?”
Skylar glanced down at herself—she didn’t have many items to lose. Just boots, her weapons belt, and her jumpsuit. But then she had no intention of losing.
“Why not? I’m all for keeping things simple.”
Rico dealt them five cards each.
Skylar turned up the corner of her cards and tried to keep her expression blank as excitement filled her. She discarded two cards and couldn’t keep the grin from her face as she peeked at the new ones. Rico had his poker face on, and she could tell nothing from his expression. He placed his cards face up in front of him. “Three nines.”
Skylar slammed her cards on the table. “Four tens. I win.”
“So you do.”
Rico didn’t appear inordinately disturbed by losing. He stood up, and some of Skylar’s elation left her as his hand went to his waist and flicked open the fastener on his weapons belt. His hand moved to his thigh and he snapped the second, then he laid the belt on the table in front of him.
“I’m unarmed now, and at your mercy.”
Somehow, Skylar doubted that. She’d felt his almost inhuman strength when he’d held her. While she was stronger than a normal human, she had an inkling that the vampire was far stronger.
“So, tell me about vampires,” she said. “What are you? Where do you come from? Or is it some deep dark secret? Do you take a vow of silence—or maybe a blood oath—when you become a vampire?”
He sat back down, gathered the cards, and dealt another hand while he considered his answer.
“Actually, back on Earth, when I was changed, we did exactly that. They were very into rituals and ceremonies back in the Middle Ages. We took a vow of secrecy—they were very into secrecy as well—and consecrated it in blood. But it wasn’t my blood.”
“Whose was it?”
“The blood of a priest. Luckily, there were a few around that I didn’t mind donating to a good cause.”
Skylar picked up her cards, discarded three this time. “What happened to the one who changed you? Is he still around?”
“No,” he said and tossed her three cards.
“I killed him.”
She flashed a glance from her hand to his face. “Seems a little…ungrateful.”
“Well, you see, there’s a compulsion between a vampire and his maker, which means Stephano had the power to make me do things I sometimes didn’t want to do. He used it one too many times, so I got rid of the problem.” He gave her a slow smile. “I’m good at getting rid of problems.”
She kept her gaze on her cards. “Any problems you’re working on right now?”
She opened her mouth to ask what, but he tossed his cards on the table. “What have you got?” He smiled as she placed her cards face up in front of her. “Looks like you win again.”
She waited while he tugged off one long boot. “Now, I can’t even run.”
“Are you still bound by this vow of secrecy?”
“Not really. I’m guessing just about everyone who was around back then is long gone. Most vampires don’t take well to change and were unwilling to let go of the old ways. A few of us left Earth, but most stayed and chanced their luck. And everyone knows how well that ended.”
Skylar had heard the stories, though no one really knew what had happened to Earth. The ships that had left in search of a new home had lost contact with the planet after just twenty years. Everyone presumed the planet had been destroyed.
“So if you’re no longer bound by secrecy—where do vampires come from?”
He grinned with a flash of fang. “Straight from hell, sweetheart.”
She studied him, head cocked to one side. “Do you really believe that? Do you even believe in heaven and hell?”
“I believe in something, but not the crap spouted by the Church of fucking Everlasting Life. Now play cards—I have a lot of catching up to do.”
Half an hour later, and she won her fourth round. Rico was down to his shirt and pants now. And the shirt was just about to go. Maybe she should stop this, but instead she sat glued to her seat, cards clutched in her hand.
“Holy Meridian.” Skylar couldn’t look away as Rico slowly unbuttoned his shirt. She peeked at his face—a lazy smiled curled his lips as he shrugged out of the shirt and tossed it behind him.
The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.
Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Find me at:
Enter to win an e-copy of BREAK OUT. You must be 18 and over to enter. This giveaway is open international, as long as you have a way to read it.
Leave a meaningful comment below with a way for us to contact you if you should win.