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Velvet Cataclysm Thursday Prize
Thursday, May 13th, 2010


I love to travel and I have some favorite cities—New York, Paris, London, Rome, Dublin and of course, my home town, Chicago. One of the first things that popped into my brain for the Princes of the Underground series was at least one of the settings, namely the vast undergrounds of these cities—mysterious labyrinths where most people never tread. In each of these cities, a prince rules, but he has a mission that has been placed into his blood: to keep his “˜dark half,’ his bloodthirsty clone under control.

City undergrounds have always fascinated me—whole worlds beneath the city streets. I wanted there to be another reason that my heroes and anti-heroes were drawn to undergrounds, however, and I gave that reason a little bit of an eco-bent. You see, the princes of the underground can sense and feed not off only human’s vitessence (their life-force), but also off the Earth’s energy itself. Yes, the Earth has a soul.

Here’s a small excerpt from Velvet Cataclysm which comes out next Tuesday from Samhain. This one includes Alison, a young woman who is difficult to characterize as a “˜good’ guy or “˜bad’ guy, but as you can see, Saint is definitely wary of her. I think it’s kind of a funny bit, because Saint is considered a ‘vampire’ but it’s Alison, who is not supernatural, that he considers to be an energy-sucker.


“You’ve got an awesome bike, but your twin’s got one up on you in regard to the transportation to hell department,” Alison said.

Saint didn’t reply, just walked over to the MinerMobile that would quickly take them to the first giant maintenance chamber five thousand feet away. Alison perched on the side of the vehicle and he steered them to the entrance of the thirty-foot-high limestone tunnel.

“It’s weird down here. I noticed it when I was with Teslar,” Alison murmured in a hushed voice after several minutes, glancing around the dark, circular tunnel. The flashing lights on the MinerMobile cast her pale face in crimson light. “Do you think I’m sensing some of those energies you were talking about back at Christina’s—the earth’s soul, or some shit like that?”

Saint shrugged. He doubted it. “What do you hear?”

“Hear? I hear this little car-thingy moving and nothing else. That’s what’s so weird. It’s like we’re insulated from every sound on earth down here. Why? What do you hear?”

“The earth singing,” Saint said simply. “What you’re experiencing is more than likely your imagination. Only the rarest of humans can sense such things.”

“Rare humans like Christina?”

He gave her a hard look when he heard her snide tone of voice. Alison swallowed heavily.

He noticed the rapid throb of her heartbeat. He instinctively set up an energy barrier when the girl leaned closer to him, her eyelids sinking heavily over her huge eyes.

“It’s possible I’m just as special as Christina,” she said huskily.

Her eyes fixed on his mouth. He leaned back deftly, avoiding her seeking lips.

“You know, if you weren’t so busy trying to fuck everyone before they fuck you, you might notice most people aren’t half bad,” Saint said.

“Oh, is that right? Such an angel, aren’t you, Saint? You don’t fool me, even if you have turned Christina into your number one cheerleader.”

Saint stared straight ahead and continued to drive. He knew the girl was taunting him. She existed by quickly gauging other people’s weak points, and Christina was certainly his. Good thing he possessed no vitessence, or a human like Alison could drain him to exhaustion in five minutes flat. As things stood, his admiration for Christina deepened for putting up with little energy-suckers like Alison around the clock.

Thursday’s Prize–is winner’s choice of the Ellora’s Cave print anthology, Naughty Nuptials, Behind Closed Doors by Shannon McKenna, Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks or The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries. To qualify for today’s prize, just comment on what you think of undergrounds. Ever been in a cave, or the subway, or the catacombs? Do feel uncomfortable underground, or do you like it?

46 comments to “Velvet Cataclysm Thursday Prize”

  1. Andrea Becraft
      · May 13th, 2010 at 9:00 am · Link

    I’ve been in a few caves and they don’t scare me as much as the critters living in them lol.

    I went to one that was so beautiful that I didn’t want to leave until I saw a whole bunch of bats in a group and wanted to high tail out of there quick!

  2. Maria D.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 8:44 am · Link

    I have been in caves and I found them to be fascinating. It’s like a different world inside a cave with all of the formations and even some plants. I found the temperature to be moderate and was comfortable in the cave with a long sleeved blouse, when I came out of the cave the temperature was warmer.I would love to visit the underground in Paris …..if I ever get to travel outside of the US.

  3. Paige Purnell
      · May 13th, 2010 at 8:57 am · Link

    I guess I have been sheltered lol. I have been to a cave once in my life and it was on a field trip for school. I loved it!! When they took us on the tour they thought it would be funny to turn out all the lights and make scary noises. While the other students were getting nervous I was laughing. I would love to see more caves and underground places.

    Paige 😆

  4. Cindy C.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 9:04 am · Link

    I love trains and underground caves. Especially since im a city girl, I tend to get tired of the hustle and bustle in the city. So caves in Tennessee or anywhere like that are attractive to me 🙂

  5. Cecile
      · May 13th, 2010 at 9:35 am · Link

    OH wow… I can honestly say that I have never been underground, in a train or anything. But I think I would love to do that… explore the world around me….

    Thanks for the great giveaway Beth!!!!
    Hope you have a great day!

    And fyi… I would take Saint with me when I went exploring… hee heeeeeee….

  6. kh
      · May 13th, 2010 at 10:16 am · Link

    i like subways have been on one in canada
    hot books 😎

  7. Nancy Gilliland
      · May 13th, 2010 at 10:16 am · Link

    When I was young, there was a tourist attraction here in our city. It was an underground series of caves, and in the summer my family would visit to escape the St. Louis heat. There was a chapel, a waterfal and even a natural pipe organ down there, plus other attrations. Unfortunately, progress took this wonderful attraction away for a superhighway, and sometimes I wonder if that was progress at all.

  8. Debra
      · May 13th, 2010 at 11:33 am · Link

    Hi Beth –

    I love to travel and wish I had more money and time to do so. The only experience I’ve had with underground is the DC metro and subways and tunnels. The only caves that I can think I’ve been to was Luray Caverns in VA which were amazing. I have to say your imagination of the underground city sounds fascinating. Thanks for the excerpt and congrats on your upcoming release of Velvet Cataclysm.

    deb ;0)

  9. Amy M
      · May 13th, 2010 at 10:54 am · Link

    I cannot think of a time that I have ever been underground. I am sort of scared of closed spaces, dark places, places where I could get trapped. So none of that for me. I am a little crazy in so many ways! 😮

    Amy M

  10. peggy
      · May 13th, 2010 at 10:54 am · Link

    I feel very uncomfortable underground.

  11. Scorpio M.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 11:02 am · Link

    I’m an NYC girl so my I cannot avoid subways. I love riding the metro/tube/subway whenever I travel to another city. Not sure how I feel about caves…haven’t had much exposure but I think I won’t like it too much.

  12. Anna Shah Hoque
      · May 13th, 2010 at 12:09 pm · Link

    I’ve always wanted to visit caves…I think that they’re fascinating…I once saw a documentary about the opal mines in Australia…omg…they were just unbelieveable and totally gorgeous…some people even had homes right in the opal cave areas…it was so magical.

  13. elaing8
      · May 13th, 2010 at 11:20 am · Link

    I haven’t been underground either.Caves,trains or catacombs.And I can’t see myself going there anytime soon,I think it would feel like being buried alive.

  14. Jeanette Juan
      · May 13th, 2010 at 11:42 am · Link

    I’ve been in catacombs in France before and they were so creepy!!! I definitely got freaked out and have decided that I very much dislike the underground!

  15. Elizabeth Jules Mason
      · May 13th, 2010 at 11:50 am · Link

    I went to an underground cave once when I was a kid and it was really fascinating.
    It had those weird shaped…things- lol what are they called? Stagmites or something! I don’t remember, but I do remember they were really neat to look at.



  16. Lisa Freeman
      · May 13th, 2010 at 11:52 am · Link

    My parents took us to some underground caves in North Georgia when I was very young but I don’t remember much except the coolness and something growing from the ceiling. Not sure where we were at or what was there. It was definitely a tourist attraction though.

    Also went to Underground Atlanta – does that count?

  17. Lyoness2009
      · May 13th, 2010 at 12:09 pm · Link

    Strangely enough, I don’t think I’ve EVER been underground. Just getting in an elevator is enough closeness for me, I’m ready to get out when its done. I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever been in a cave and the closest subway to me is several states away. 🙂 I’m much more of an above-ground kind of girl.

  18. RachieG
      · May 13th, 2010 at 12:27 pm · Link

    I’ve been underground in a cave one time. A bat flew at me at dusk near the cave (I live in Missouri, so I don’t think he was a vampire) and I ran like a crazy person. Never again, I’ll stay up top!

  19. Fedora
      · May 13th, 2010 at 12:43 pm · Link

    I don’t recall being in a cave or catacombs, but I have ridden the subway in several cities. I can’t say that I’d love being underground in small cramped spaces, but it is a pretty fascinating place to explore! I think that the uncertainty if the ground is unstable makes it a bit frightening though!

  20. Christine
      · May 13th, 2010 at 1:05 pm · Link

    I’ve always like caves and smaller enclosed places. Some people think its weird but it has an oddly comforting feeling for me (as long as their not too small) like when you were little and you used to build forts out of blankets and pillows. Quiet, dark, home and comforting.

    I also see your interest in the underworld of cities (I was obsessed with the show on this history channel). So much history is in them, lost to us, below the city.

  21. Gabrielle J.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 1:12 pm · Link

    I think the only time I was in a cave was when I went to an island with my family and we went on one of those cave tours. I was little nervous at first but once I was in and I got a good look around, being in there felt kind of natural.

    I’d like to do it again sometime, it was kind of neat! 😎

  22. Heather D
      · May 13th, 2010 at 1:19 pm · Link

    I have been in two caves, Ruby Falls in Tennessee and Cave Springs in Georgia. Don’t remember much about Cave Springs. Ruby Falls on the other hand was very memorable. I can’t say that I would want to be one the people who actually find the caves and make them tourist attractions though. I am claustrophobic and then I also watched a movie a few years ago, I believe it was Descent, that has me cringing anytime I think of caving. The idea of the underground world does fascinate me, I just don’t want to spend anytime there.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway Beth!!

  23. Cybercliper
      · May 13th, 2010 at 1:20 pm · Link

    I love reading about caverns and underground cities – but that’s the limit. I’ve been deep underground in a silver mine and won’t repeat the experience. Too close, too confined – dark and the groan of the earth is terrifying.

  24. CrystalGB
      · May 13th, 2010 at 1:40 pm · Link

    I don’t mind caves as long as I can see what is around me.

  25. Jody F.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 1:41 pm · Link

    I’ve been through a few caves while on vacation in South Dakota. I like the quietness and mystery of what might be there too. They’re the perfect temperature and I felt very safe there.

  26. Tracey D
      · May 13th, 2010 at 2:22 pm · Link

    When I was a kid (many eons ago), my CCD class visited some catacombs in Washington, D.C. I can’t recall what church we were in but I do recall being creeped out!

  27. Cathy M
      · May 13th, 2010 at 2:30 pm · Link

    Not too crazy about being underground. I can remember a family to trip Calavaras Caverns in CA when I was young, and the sense of power and weight on top of me made me feel like I couldn’t breathe.

  28. Mary G
      · May 13th, 2010 at 2:56 pm · Link

    Hi Beth
    Great question. I’d love to check out caves or catacombs. I thought I was stuck in an underground parking lot last week & I really panicked LOL. Ironically, the only time I love riding the subway in Toronto is when it’s above ground so I can look at the city. Otherwise it’s dark graffitti covered walls & tiled station walls (although some of the newer ones have wall art). Toronto has a population of “mole” people. They live & work downtown & can travel underground by for blocks through interconnected underground malls & walkways. Imagine never needing a coat?

  29. Amelia
      · May 13th, 2010 at 3:13 pm · Link

    I grew up very close to Mammoth Cave and I have taken several cave tours. Whenever I’ve been to Paris I always use the metro. Neither bother me.

  30. Jane
      · May 13th, 2010 at 3:20 pm · Link

    I ride the subway often, so I don’t have trouble being underground. I’ve also visited caverns in Virginia. I would love to visit the catacombs of Rome one day.

  31. Chelsea B.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 3:44 pm · Link

    I’ve never been underground for anything, but I can definitely see how it would be a fun and interesting setting to write about! I enjoyed the excerpt. I’m loving the little looks inside your book :~)

  32. Tracy
      · May 13th, 2010 at 5:21 pm · Link

    I’m a native New Yorker, so I’m well used to being underground via the subway! I have no qualms about going underground. I have visited caves, and underground tunnels as well. Thanks for the quick peek into Saint’s world.

  33. Estella
      · May 13th, 2010 at 5:28 pm · Link

    I have been in caves and I don’t like them.
    Even something as big as The Oregon Caves gave me the creeps.

  34. Robin S.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 6:31 pm · Link

    To my knowledge and faulty memory I have never been underground. I live in a little mountain known for coal and have seen “coke ovens” but not caves. And I don’t believe we have an underground tunnel system beneath the town’s surface. But I do remember watching Beauty and The Beast starring Linda Hamilton can’t remember who played Vincent but I use to marvel over those tunnels beneath I believe New York.


  35. desiree
      · May 13th, 2010 at 6:29 pm · Link

    I have been in a cave but that is it. I now live in Missouri and I have been told there are some really cool caves here. I want to go in I think it would be cool.

  36. Little Lamb Lost
      · May 13th, 2010 at 6:45 pm · Link

    I have been in caves and in subways. Being underground in such situations really doesn’t bother me.

  37. Lisa F.
      · May 13th, 2010 at 8:15 pm · Link

    Underground doesn’t bother me unless it is in a really tight space. I’ve been in caves, tunnels, and subways.

  38. Pamk
      · May 13th, 2010 at 8:42 pm · Link

    I’ve been in caves and tunnels and while I don’t get unconfortable i’m not real happy about it either lol. But it’s better than being up high. Grand canyon was a trip with the whole height thing.

  39. Larena Wirum
      · May 13th, 2010 at 8:53 pm · Link

    I have been caves before and I enjoyed that as long as they were pretty open. Not crazy about enclosed spaces. :mrgreen:

  40. Larena Wirum
      · May 13th, 2010 at 8:54 pm · Link

    I find it interesting when an author will come up with a word to fit their world. Always makes me wonder how they came about the word/s that they end up using. :mrgreen:

  41. becky4444
      · May 13th, 2010 at 9:34 pm · Link

    I lived in London for a year and had to take the underground (subway) to get anywhere. I usually didn’t mind it unless it was really crowded and hot.

    Never been in a cave :/

  42. Stacey Smith
      · May 14th, 2010 at 1:09 am · Link

    I love Caves and under ground places.when young i had a under ground fort.


  43. Fran
      · May 14th, 2010 at 3:23 am · Link

    I don’t like underground places – don’t know why but I feel uncomfortable while there – maybe because I know something is lurking 😉

  44. Lindsey Ekland
      · May 14th, 2010 at 3:29 am · Link

    I have been in caves and they are too cold. Prefer tunnels and subways. There is an underground tour of parts of old Seattle that is very popular and full of historical tidbits.

  45. Beth Kery
      · May 14th, 2010 at 8:44 am · Link

    End Thursday Prize

  46. Stacey Smith
      · May 16th, 2010 at 11:08 pm · Link

    I wish i could travel.Sounds like a good book. 🙂

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