Author Name: Morgan Elektra
Book Name: A Single Heartbeat
Page/Word Count: 46 pages, 14K words
Categories: Bisexual Romance, Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi, Gay Romance
Release Date: December 29, 2016
Publisher: MLR Press
Nature made them adversaries, but one glance ignites a lust stronger than the need for blood.
After 200 years, the nightlife has lost its allure for Reese. A leader among his kind, owner of a nightclub that serves as a banquet of nubile flesh and hot blood, he is bored out of his mind.
His heart hasn’t stirred in over a century.
Born to a line of vampire hunters, Will ventures out every day after dark to track down those creatures who have crossed the line from feeding to murder, and destroy them.
All he wants is one night off to drink and dance and maybe get laid.
Too bad it’s not his lucky night. Or maybe it is?
Not even witnessing Will stake one of his brethren is enough to quell the lust that Reese feels from his first glimpse of the gorgeous hunter. And though Will knows how dangerous it could be to take the
sensual invitation in Reese’s dark eyes, he can’t resist.
Why fight when they could fuck instead?
Reese nodded his head at Joe, the bulky vamp Sebastián had left in charge of the VIP area. There were a couple of baby bloodsuckers in tonight, neophytes who still had that exuberance he’d lost over a century ago. Sometimes they had more passion than sense, and Reese didn’t want to risk his club becoming ground zero for a breach of secrecy.
“I’ll keep an eye on ‘em, boss.” Joe’s voice was pitched so low no one else would be able to hear it over the music.
At least, no one human.
He let his gaze drift over the crowd, the noise fading into the background of his consciousness. This was a trick honed as he’d grown more powerful, pulling apart layers of sensory perception and filtering through them as he saw fit.
Sight. Smell. Hearing. Even touch and taste. They were all heightened. Being able to compartmentalize when he chose kept it from driving him mad. It hadn’t bothered him in his first century as an immortal, but in the last hundred years his senses had become even more acute.
If he hadn’t been able to do what he did, Reese wouldn’t have been able to stand living in the city or running Sang.
The air in the club was warm with bodies. A melange of aromas. According to the state, the maximum capacity was 394 persons, and Reese was willing to bet he had at least that there tonight. Nearly four hundred people, most of them human. Different shampoos, hair products, cosmetics, deodorants, detergents, perfumes.
Cotton. Vinyl. Leather. Wood. Liquor. Sweat. Blood.
Reese pushed all that to the back of his mind. He was still aware of it, but it didn’t overwhelm him.
He watched the mass of bodies writhing and rubbing against each other on the dance floor, the music a low, sensual throb under his skin. People clung and groped and kissed, their passion for each other, their need for touch like another scent in the air.
As much as Sebastián encouraged him to treat the club as a buffet of both bed partners and meals-on-legs, like the rest of the upstairs residents, Reese didn’t feel even the smallest stirring at the sight.
Then, he saw *him*.
He stood out like a single candle in a dark room. And not just because of his damp, wavy, unnaturally white-blond hair.
His body was compellingly compact. Tight, toned muscle stood out on the arms raised above his head, and his damp t-shirt clung to the smooth planes of his chest and the ridges of his abdomen. From across the room, Reese’s sharp eyes picked out the small, peaked, pink nipples underneath the translucent cloth and the faint line of dark blond hair that disappeared into the low-slung black leather pants, visible where the shirt rode up his belly.
A trickle of sweat slid down the small strip of skin framed by his sharp hipbones. Reese followed it with his eyes, sudden saliva pooling in his mouth.
He dragged his gaze away before it strayed below those swaying hips and lifted it to the man’s face.
The sight that greeted him almost pulled an unwilling moan from his lips. Blondie’s head was thrown back, revealing a long, pale throat. His Adam’s apple bobbed, the motion a beacon for Reese’s eyes. The man’s pulse thrummed in the thick vein on the side of his neck.
Once again, he had to force his eyes away. He lifted them higher and let out a soft breath.The face beneath the shock of blond hair was as exquisite as a Roman statue.
High, cutting cheekbones. Smooth, angled jaw. Strong nose. Full, pink lips curled into a secret smile.
His eyes were closed as he moved his body to the music, each twist and shimmy highlighting some enticing line or angle. When he spun away, Reese’s eyes dropped to the curve of his high, tight ass, framed perfectly in those gleaming black leather pants, and he growled.
Reese’s feet moved instinctively, taking him on a slow, circular path around the dance floor. If Sebastián, or any of the other vampires in their colony, had witnessed his actions at that moment, they would have recognized them for what they were.
As would any human who had ever watched a nature documentary.
He was on the hunt.
4✨s – In the world of enemies to lovers, who better than a vampire and a vampire hunter? The give and take between two characters who want each other with as much intensity as they want to hate each other is a treat I can’t refuse and this book nearly hit the spot. Nearly, because like any good treat, it’s gone too soon and this short novella was like those single serve bag of chips-so good and over too fast. Reece is bored with himself—at 200 yo, it happens—and Will works too hard hunting down Reece’s kind. When they lay eyes on each other, it’s lust at first sight, and the question becomes: with they fight or fuck? Personally, I think they made the right choice. Anything else would spoil the story. I will say that for a novella, I was satisfied with the ending, however I wouldn’t say no to another installment of Will and Reece.
Born in the artists’ community of Woodstock, NY, Morgan Elektra discovered her passion for writing at a young age, penning stories of witches, vampires, and monsters at the dining room table. After years working day jobs and moonlighting as a reviewer for popular genre website Dread Central, Morgan left the comfort of an office to follow her dreams of writing fiction. She spent the early twenty-teens as a freelance ghostwriter of erotica, but has now put aside the masks to write under her own name. She currently lives near Savannah, GA with her husband, their cat Harlequin, and—if the rumours are to be believed (and she sincerely hopes they are)—an awful lot of ghosts.
5 Questions with an Author:
- As an author myself, I know inspiration is everywhere and can strike at the most inopportune moments (like in the shower, when you don’t have anything to write with!). So, what was the inspiration behind A Single Heartbeat? When I read books, or watch movies or TV, I often think, “How would I write this?” All the time. During one of my many rewatches of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one of my favorite shows), I was especially caught up in the Season 2 episode ‘School Hard’. This is the first introduction of the character Spike, who is my absolute favorite character in the series. So interesting & sexy! There’s a moment where he goes to the local club to check out the Slayer, and ends up watching her fight in the alley. I’ve seen the episode plenty of times before, and always enjoyed it… but this particular time, my brain played the ‘What if…?’ game. There’s a sexual undertone to the episode, but Buffy is a teenager (and still hung up on stupid Angel) so it’s not really explored. What if it had been? How would I write that? Of course, for me, I made both the vampire and the hunter grown-ups. And men. I created my own supernatural world. And then took the scene to what I felt was the proper conclusion! (But readers might recognize some of the original inspiration in the bleach blond locks that a certain hunter sports.)
- What is your writing process? (i.e. plotter or panster, explain) I don’t consider myself either, actually. I can and have plotted in the past, but once I figure out all the beats of the story, I tend to be done with it. I don’t consider myself a ‘pantser’ either though. That always sounds to me like I just wing it, which I don’t. I put a lot of time, effort, and thought into crafting a story. I just let it unfold the way it wants to. In the case of A Single Heartbeat, for instance, I knew the set-up going in. Vampire watches vampire hunter fight and kill a vampire, and is attracted/intrigued. Then I asked, ‘How did they get there?’ That’s the beginning of the story. Once I got them there, I asked, “Then what?” I let the characters tell me what happened.
- What is the hardest part of that process for you? I’m very rarely happy with my endings. They’re always the parts that I want to go back and tweak the most.
- There’s a big leap a writer takes from putting words down on paper for the love of it and actually publishing those words for public scrutiny. What was that journey like for you? I was only 7 the first time I declared that I was going to write books (like Stephen King) when I grew up. Even as a kid, I would write stories and make my friends and family read them. I was a member of my high school’s literary magazine. Any time anyone gave me an opportunity to tell them a story, I took it. After high school, I became friends with some people who ran a horror website (DreadCentral.com, if you like horror, check it out.) They asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing some novels, and I jumped at that chance as well. The first few times one of my reviews posted, I felt like I was going to throw up! Then, I started ghostwriting erotica. There was something very liberating about not having my name on the work. It meant I could just write without worrying. And I wrote a lot! The first year, I wrote a million words worth of erotica. But after a few years of writing for other people, I wanted to write for myself. A Single Heartbeat came out all in a rush, and once it was done, I Googled something like ‘gay erotic short story submissions’. I found MLR Press, and Heartbeat fit one of their open submission calls perfectly, so I took a chance and sent it in.
- What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writing considering that leap for themselves? Don’t give up. You never know when you’re about to get a break.
Where to find Morgan Elektra: