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Tonight and Always
When the idea of penning vampire romances sprang to the fertile, versatile mind of Linda Lael Miller, at first the author balked. Readers around the world were gobbling up her historical romances like candy, and were hungry for more. Yet, the urge to tell stories of timeless, forbidden love bedeviled Miller's creativity. Finally, the Washington author poured her mortal heart into four vampire romances for Berkley, a series that concludes with the November release of TONIGHT AND ALWAYS.
Miller's mid-career embrace of vampire books has produced awards and bestseller credits that could be the envy of any author. Forever and the Night earned her another New York Times bestseller ranking, Romantic Times' 1993-94 Contemporary Fantasy Reviewers' Choice Award and the Talisman's 1993 Book of the Year. For All Eternity and Time Without End earned USA Today bestseller status. The Romance Writers of America nominated Time... for a RITA award.
In the same crowded hotel ballroom, vampires' leading lady, Anne Rice, will be signing her own latest release. Ironically, it was Rice who inspired Miller to pen her award-winning series.
"The series began because of my enormous admiration for Anne Rice's vampire books, but I didn't see how I could do that. Then it came to me that I could write vampire books if they were romances."
Miller added her personal touch to basic vampire lore plus romance, and that touch was time-travel. She also created her own creed: no babies' or little old ladies' blood for Miller's vampires. Her vampires would seek out only the truly evil.
In Tonight and Always, set mostly in Seattle, the heroine is Kristina, the daughter of vampire Maeve from Forever and the Night, and Maeve's once-mortal lover, Calder.
"She's not really a vampire but has magical powers," Miller explained. "She falls in love with Max, a high school football coach, a widower with two daughters, and she is forced to tell him there is something wildly weird about her."
So how do Miller's vampire stories differ from Anne Rice's?
"George Bush might say this is a softer, gentler vampire book than Rice's," Miller joked, with her trademark quick wit. "They're not quite as horrific, and they're more cheerful."
While her vampire romances have done well, Miller is now concentrating again on historical romance, which served as the foundation for her marvelously successful, 40-plus book career. First comes KNIGHTS, the December paperback release of April's time-travel hardcover; then in spring, MY OUTLAW, the finale in Miller's time-travel trilogy, and next a new medieval trilogy. Now she's at work on a Western. All the books are for Pocket.
The author hopes to walk away from the RT Booklovers' Convention with one of Anne Rice's signed copies, though. "And she with one of mine," Miller noted. "After all, vampire stories are in the romantic tradition. I have a feeling we have a lot in common."
You can write to Linda Lael Miller at P.O Box 699, Port Orchard, WA 98366.
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