by Louise Cypress
Publication Date: May 14, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal Romance
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A nerdy high school senior transforms into a vampire vixen who’s unaware that her hunky date for prom is the slayer sent to destroy her.
Morgan Taylor-Jackson can’t wait for high school to end. In six months she leaves for UCLA and says goodbye to La Jolla, California and her parents’ messy divorce. But when Morgan is bitten by a four-year-old boy, she becomes infected with a mysterious condition. Fever, insomnia, and a new bustline are only the beginning; Morgan morphs from nerd to bombshell.
As far as Van Xander is concerned, all vampires are evil, even the ones who reject human sacrifice and call themselves Puritans. When Helsing Incorporated sends Van to La Jolla to investigate the local coven, Morgan is his prime target. Pretending to be interested in her, Van asks Morgan out and puts her through a series of tests to determine her killer nature.
Morgan is thrilled to be dating a hot guy like Van and falls for him hard. As Van strings Morgan along, he grows increasingly guilty. Morgan is kind, compassionate, and a gooey romantic. Just as Van’s mind begins to change, evil forces threaten everything. When prom night arrives, there are only two ways out of the ballroom: death or immortality.
Grandma Mimi tugged at the baby pink tank top I was trying on and tsk-tsked. “It’s like you developed overnight.”
There in the fluorescent light of the Nordstrom dressing room, I looked paler than milk. “Do we have to talk about this?”
“I blame all that soy your mother feeds you. It’s doing wacky things to your breast development. We need to get you properly fitted for new bras.” She poked her head out of the dressing room and called for an attendant. “My granddaughter needs her boobs measured.”
I winced. “Can’t we go to VS Pink instead?”
Grandma scoffed. “With your cup size? I doubt they stock that high.”
A tall woman in a French twist and a flowing blouse waltzed into the room and held up a tape measure. She measured my band and cup size with detached efficiency. “32 DD,” the woman said when she was finished. You’ll need a wide strap so your back doesn’t hurt.”
“She’ll take two in nude, a black, and a strapless,” said Grandma as the attendant left to find options.
“Can’t we get something prettier?” I asked. “Like lace or one in purple?”
Grandma narrowed her eyes at me. “And who do you need a pretty bra for? Is someone seeing you naked?”
“Then nude is the most practical option. You’ll thank me the next time you wear white.”
I sat down on the heap of clothes on the tiny bench in the dressing room and waited for the torture to be over. But when the woman came back I was pleasantly surprised. One of the white bras was definitely ugly, but the rest had embroidery and lacy details that met Grandma’s qualifications for modesty but still looked pretty.
And I couldn’t complain, either, especially when I saw how much better I looked in the tank top once I had a properly-fitting bra.
“So young. So beautiful.” Grandma Mimi sighed. Then she pulled down another hanger from the overstuffed dressing room hook.
“What should I wear tonight?” I asked. Grandma might have been in her sixties, but she could have been a cover model for In Style. If they put grandmothers on the cover, that is.
Grandma held up a strapless red dress with a long zipper down the back. “Wear this one if you want to make him suffer.”
She held up a yellow dress with a sweetheart neckline. “And this one if you only like him ‘as friends’ but still believe he’d make a decent date for prom.”
“I’m not going to prom.”
“You don’t know that.” Grandma held up the red dress again. “Wear this one, and you’ll go for sure.”
Question: Since BITE ME is a clean and wholesome YA vampire romance I have to ask—are you a fan of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers?
Louise: Absolutely! I’m a Twihard forever. I’ve even been to Forks, WA and taken pictures of Bella’s red truck. There are two of them in Forks, the movie version and the book version. As an adult I can recognize that there are some problematic things about the Twilight series, like Edward watching Bella when she sleeps and Bella thinking that she can’t live without Edward in her life, but on the other hand, it’s page-turning fiction. Stephenie Meyers helped put the YA genre on the map, and for that reason alone she deserves some credit.
Question: What makes BITE ME different from other paranormal vampire romance books?
Louise: BITE ME is romantic comedy, and hopefully includes lots of scenes that readers will find laugh-out-loud funny. It’s not hot and steamy, but it is entertaining. This is a book designed to take you on an instant book vacation to the beach.
Question: BITE ME is about a nerdy high school senior who transforms into a vampire vixen, unaware that her hunky date for prom is the slayer sent to destroy her. What inspired you to write about vampires?
Louise: As a reader, sometimes I just want to read a book for fun. It’s the same thing as an author. In my day job, I write a lot of technical things that can be boring, so at night when I sat down to write fiction, I wanted to entertain myself. Like many readers, I can’t get enough vampire romance in my life, and BITE ME has humor mixed in, so hopefully it will make people laugh too.
Question: You mentioned humor, is BITE ME intentionally funny?
Louise: Yes, hopefully you find BITE ME to be laugh out loud funny. One of my favorite scenes is right at the beginning when Morgan is bitten. She’s in the bathroom, drying her hands on a towel, and a four-year-old vampire enters the room without knocking. Eighteen-year-old Morgan thinks to herself, “Don’t preschoolers understand about privacy?” This is a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Question: In BITE ME, Morgan has a special relationship with her Grandma Mimi, who’s a real fashionista. Was that character dynamic inspired by your own grandmother?
Louise: Yes, in fact I dedicated the book to my Grandma Gerry, who always wore stockings, a silk dress, flashy jewelry, and a full face of makeup. She had her hair done once a week at the salon.
Question: In BITE ME, you describe Morgan as a “nerdy high school senior who transforms into a vampire vixen.” Would you describe yourself as a nerd in high school?
Louise: Yes, I was the girl who always had a book in my hand. I studied so hard for the SATs that I gave myself what I called “flash-card wrist” but which I now know is tendonitis. I didn’t go to my senior prom but I made up for it in college. I joined a sorority and went to so many dances that I had to borrow dresses from friends so I wouldn’t repeat outfits.
Question: Are there more books planned in the Puritan Coven Series?
Louise: Right now this is a three book series. BITE ME comes out May 14th, HUNT ME will come out a week later, and SLAY ME will be published in June of 2018. I want readers to be able to binge.
Question: What’s HUNT ME going to be about?
Louise: HUNT ME is a second-chance romance about Morgan’s friend Esma, and Esma’s ex-boyfriend Chase. Here’s the hook: “An all-girls vampire camping trip turns deadly when a sasquatch hunter is accidentally killed.” Be ready to get sucked into the Puritan Coven!
ABOUT LOUISE CYPRESS
Louise Cypress believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. She has never met a vampire, but she has been to a Love Sucks concert on Valentine’s Day. Like Morgan, Louise can often be found curled up with a romance novel on Saturday night, diet soda in hand, secretly wishing bustles were back in fashion. Louise lives in San Diego, California, where the beach is crowded and summer is immortal.