Saturday, November 18, 2017

Blog Tour: Vampire Claus by Robert Winter (Guest Post, Review + Giveaway)

Title:  Vampire Claus
Author: Robert Winter
Publisher:  Robert Winter Books
Release Date: November 15, 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 30,000 words
Genre: Romance, Christmas vampire novella

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’Twas the night before Christmas, but what’s stirring is a little more dangerous than a mouse.

Taviano is nearly two hundred years old and never wakes in the same place twice. Weary and jaded, the vampire still indulges in memories of childhood Christmases in Naples. He lingers in shadow, spying on mortals as they enjoy the holiday.

When Taviano spots a handsome young man in Boston loaded down with presents and about to be mugged, he can’t help but intervene. Soon he’s talking to joyous, naïve, strong-willed and funny Paul, a short-order cook who raised funds to buy Christmas presents for LGBTQ children. Before he knows what’s happened, Taviano is wrapped up in Paul’s arms and then in his schemes to get the presents delivered by Christmas morning.

A vampire turned into a Christmas elf… What could go wrong?  

Vampire Claus is a 30,000-word standalone gay romance about a lonely vampire and a fearless mortal with no instinct for self-preservation. A heartwarming ending, no cliffhanger, and a young man who discovers he has a thing for fangs. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?


Robert Winter Books | Amazon Universal | Amazon AU 

Thanks for hosting me today. I’m excited about the release of my Christmas novella Vampire Claus. I’m providing an exclusive excerpt from the novella, and also including an audio file of me reading the same segment. This comes from chapter 2, shortly after Taviano has rescued Paul from a mugging and used his blood to heal a cut the muggers gave to Paul. I hope you enjoy it!

Click to download (and listen to) VC Clip file

Exclusive Excerpt

[Paul] looked again at his shoulder, unblemished under its traces of drying blood, and gasped, “Dude! What the actual fuck?” Taviano opened his mouth to answer but Paul waved his hands frantically. “No, wait, don’t tell me. That’s the deal, right? Don’t ask, don’t kill.”
“What if I promise that you’ll forget all this soon, so it doesn’t matter if I explain?” It was out before Taviano thought to censor himself. Prior to that evening, he hadn’t even acknowledged how much he missed simply talking to someone. The temptation to reveal what he was startled him deeply. Internally, he echoed Paul’s crude words. What the actual fuck am I doing?
Seeming oblivious to Taviano’s panic, Paul asked, “Is that what you said to the asshole? I thought I heard you tell him to forget but I didn’t hear it all.”
“Yes. The three of them will have nightmares but no actual memories.” He worried that would scare Paul, so he hastened to add, “No nightmares for you, I promise. No memories at all.” He added a grin to reassure, big enough that it felt strange on his face.
“Oh.” The shining gaze dimmed slightly. “Can I be honest? I’m a little bummed about that.”
Taviano frowned. “Really? I would have thought you’d want to put this all behind you as soon as possible.”
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m kinda scared shitless. But I’ve never been around a ninja before and it’s blowing my mind.”
“A ninja?”
“Well, the black clothes. The awesome way you move. You’re all muscled up and shit. I just figured…”
This time Taviano’s huge smile felt wholly natural. “You worked it out, Paul. I’m a ninja on a special mission for the CIA.”
“No shit? An Italian ninja. How does that work?” Paul asked excitedly. “Were you, like, kidnapped to Japan as a child and raised in a secret temple?”
Taviano threw his head back and laughed. It had been sixty-seven years and nine months since he laughed like that. “Oh Paul. You’re delightful. Yes, I was taken as a baby to a monastery at the top of Mount Fuji. I had to battle for the respect of the monks.”
“Aw, you ruined it, dude.” Paul looked dejected and his expressive eyes darted around as his face grew red. “Now I can tell you’re making fun of me.”
Oh, that wouldn’t do. Taviano hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings or make him feel bad. Damn his ineptitude. Softly, he said, “I’m not making fun of you. I’m playing with you. There’s a difference.”
Paul still wouldn’t look at him so Taviano audaciously, unexpectedly, reached out to stroke his cheek. The slight stubble scritched as he curled his finger under Paul’s chin and tugged until their eyes met. “Seriously, ‘dude,’” he said, working to speak in Paul’s modern language. “I think you’re, uh, awesome.”
Paul smiled at him uncertainly as he assessed whether Taviano was serious. What he saw must have convinced him because his face lit again. He bobbed his head happily. “’Kay ’kay. We’re good.”

To stand that close and touch recalled long-forgotten delights from Taviano’s human life. A simple hug. A kiss. What would Paul feel like, enfolded in his arms? Would he be warm? His brazen hand, still on Paul’s chin, trembled slightly. Their eyes locked together, and Paul’s lips slackened. He tilted his head forward minutely. An invitation, and all Taviano had to do was lean in.

4 Stars

As Taviano is sitting near a church listening to midnight mass, he spots Paul walking down the street carrying donations to the local LGBT shelter. As three men approach Paul to rob him, Taviano intercepts them and scares them off.

This was a quick, easy and enjoyable Christmas Novella. Taviano and Paul were sweet and hot together, and although it’s very instalove, it sort of worked for them. They were both likable, although to be honest, Paul’s use of slang was way over the top and a bit annoying.

This was a well-written, delightful and perfect for reading while snuggled up on the sofa! Very recommendable!

*copy provided to me by the author/publisher*

Meet the Author

Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

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