Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rhi Etzweiler Blog Tour Visit-- doing the happy dance

 Yes, I'm doing the happy dance because Rhi Etzweiler is visiting Bitch Factor 10 today. I really enjoyed a previous novel Rhi co-wrote with Aleksandr Voinov called Dark Edge of Honor. Today, Rhi has graciously given BF10 an exclusive excerpt of her new solo effort, Blacker than Black. BTB is a new take on vampires, and guess what? In Rhi's world, the word "vampire" is derogatory and the vamps don't sparkle!

And as if having the excerpt isn't amazing enough to make you wet 'em, Rhi is  celebrating this new release by  holding TWO giveaways (look for contest details  after the excerpt).  Join me in a "happy dance welcome" of Rhi Etzweiler.

If you haven’t read it yet, the previous excerpt is over here at Riptide Ripples

Chapter 11, continued:

The vamps begin drifting from the room, the activity moving elsewhere. By that point, Jhez is sporting a slight sheen of sweat on her forehead. Sometimes having twenty random nibbles ripped from your chi can cost you more than one quick john feeding on the street.
“I hope this is ending.” Her voice isn’t any steadier than her hand as she trails her fingers over my shoulder to give it a squeeze. I obligingly grab the back of the couch and leverage myself out of her lap to sit up. My vision immediately begins to tunnel into darkness and I lean forward to hang my head down between my knees.
If only it was as simple as a case of lightheadedness, but I know it’s not. There was one other time when my energy got this low. Desperation had driven me to entertain one too many johns, back to back. It’s the closest I ever want to come to pure insanity. Stupid, stupid, stupid. For as long as Jhez and I have worked the boulevard, I should know better. Should have shot up beforehand with an amplifier or something. Drawn the line a couple hours ago and put a stop to it.
But what choice did Garthelle give me? My life, or my freedom.
The vamp’s reactive alarm sings along my veins. His emotion pulses through the residue of his chi, thrums into the reservoir pooled in my stomach. That, despite the fact that he’s halfway across the room playing host. I don’t know how, but I hear him hasten his guests’ farewells. Each word, the tension of awareness, registers as if I’m standing next to him, can feel the urgency in his stride as he approaches. Nothing of this caliber has ever happened to me before. Chi residue doesn’t do this.
His hands are heavy on my shoulders despite his gentle grip as he squats in front of me. Like the penetrating warmth of the summer sun, his touch pierces to my bones, deeper. Energy-memories surge through me like a vivid dream. I quiver at the sudden flush of heat, shuddering beneath the brush of his chi against mine. When did the room become so cold?
“What’s wrong?” The vampire doesn’t try to veil the depth of his concern. For someone who wanted me dead for my crimes against the lyche, he seems very distraught. Or is it that I can feel the panic and tension in his voice along my skin? I clench my eyes shut, try to fight off the disorientation. Fisting my hands into the edge of the couch, I shake my head in wordless dismissal. Everything feels like it’s registering from two distinct sources.
Jhez makes no attempt to touch me. She’s been here; she knows better. I take that back. She’s never been here, but she’s been somewhere close. “Take a guess,” she says. Her curt words are evidence of her own spent energy.
“Give me five minutes,” Garthelle murmurs, pushing to his feet. My body screams at the withdrawal of his touch. He moves away across the room, and I groan at the tension burgeoning in my chest. Clamping my tongue between my molars keeps the traitorous organ from screaming out for him to get his ass back over here. Now.
“Jhez, oh . . . fuck.” She strokes my hair, knowing from past experience the caress won’t unbalance me further. And she starts to hum a lullaby. A wordless tune our mother once crooned while tucking us into bed at night. Oh, to know such carefree moments again. Even briefly.
It’s never been like this, ever. Not this level of sensitivity, of awareness, of raw need. So much like an addiction, it terrifies me. I should have let him kill me. Encouraged it. I would have accepted that eagerly had I known this would happen. The nature of the pain is familiar, though. While it’s been some time since I’ve been careless enough to experience it, a Nightwalker doesn’t swiftly forget the discomfort of dangerously exhausted energy reserves. It’s the warning sign. Push yourself past it—which takes conscious effort—and death results.
I need Blue. Need an amp, just something to get me through the worst, until my body can recover. Assimilate the last of Garthelle’s chi. Because it’s still floating in me, separate and distinct, echoing every flux in the man.
“Don’t even think about it.” His tone firm, he growls the words so close I feel the brush of his lips. His breath is cool against the hypersensitive skin of my cheek.
“Avoiding death was the reason for this bargain, as I recall.” My sister’s voice sounds disembodied, distant.
“I’m acutely aware of that.” Garthelle sounds as though his final thread of patience is quickly fraying.
I feel as if I’m floating, as though the world is rotating. Never mind that vampires, so far as I know, refrain from expressing emotion for the same reason they enjoy inciting it in their victims—or hosts, if you will. Emotions create energy for them to feed on. When one doesn’t have their own ready supply of fuel, it’s draining. It shouldn’t exhaust him though. Not after the way he gorged himself on me.
“Where are you going?” Jhez’s voice is sharp, hostile. And at the same time, I can hear the thread of panic begging Garthelle to do something.
“Somewhere quiet. Your twin needs rest,” comes the dry, withering response. “I’ve plenty of room.”
“I don’t trust you.”
I try to reach out to her. The energy in my stomach hums with the desire to calm her fears, but my aura lacks the strength to obey.
With a disapproving hiss, Garthelle tightens his arm around my shoulders. Tension radiates from his chest, though why he’s so close to me, I can’t determine. He makes such a great effort to keep his distance. Never mind that he hates me. I can feel his other arm around my legs. Why is he carrying me?
Jhez sighs, the sound resigned. Accepting. “Very well, Le Gross. Have it your way. Is there a driver to take me home? I’ll return this afternoon. It’s what Black wants.” She pauses, and I imagine she’s tilting her head to study him. “My twin doesn’t trust you either. In case you hadn’t taken notice. Provide a reason.” Jhez’s lips brush against my hair and then she retreats and is gone.
“Brazen words, don’t you think?” Garthelle’s whisper, and his footsteps, echo mutedly in my ears as if I’m submerged in water. “Though not surprising. Both of you are rather forward and outspoken.”
A door latch clicks. Opening my eyes accomplishes nothing; my surroundings appear as indistinguishable blurs of colors. Despite that, I can still recognize a bed for what it is, and I hum a random sound of relief when Garthelle lowers me onto its soft, welcoming surface. Fingertips graze my cheek, brushing the hair from my face, and I shudder at the vivid surge of energy-memories that swell up in response.
I hear his voice but can’t respond as I sink into unconsciousness, into the darkness where the energy throbs to life to serenade me with sensations and emotions, singing along my nerve endings with such force that pain and pleasure blend together.

 From Rhi:

Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address to enter the drawings! Thanks for following along on the blog tour and reading the excerpts. Hope you’ve enjoyed them, but this is the last one… if you want to know what happens to Black, you can get your copy of “Blacker Than Black” over here at Riptide.

For more info on Rhi’s writings:
Twitter: @musefodder
Facebook Profile: here
Goodreads Profile: here
Amazon Author Page: here
Google+ Profile: here
Get “Dark Edge of Honor” here

 Giveaway details:


Individual: One randomly selected commenter at each stop will receive a signed cover card and magnet. Open to all, regardless of location (winner selected from all comments posted to blog at 11:59pm EST).

Tour: Two winners to be selected at random from drawing of all comments on tour (entry ending Feb. 2nd, 11:59pm EST – comments with date/time stamps after this time will not be counted). Restricted to mainland US and Canada only, for shipping purposes. First winner will receive an autographed tote bag and pen, signed cover flat, and large magnet. Second winner will receive a t-shirt (size XL), pen, signed cover flat, and small magnet.

A big thanks for Rhi Etzweiler for including Bitch Factor 10 on her Riptide Publishing Virtual book tour. Good luck with Blacker than Black!


  1. YAY! Another excerpt! I have already won an individual prize so please skip me on that part here. Good luck to everyone!

  2. *waves* Thanks for having me, Emme. Your happy dance is much appreciated. :)

  3. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I recently put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:

    I'm also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you'd prefer.


  4. Hi there, just popping in from Goodreads... You have a great blog :)

    I'm also your newest follower!

    Here is my blog to check out: Book Enslaved

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Book Slave, and thanks for following! I will definitely drop by Book Enslaved.

      Have you read Blacker than Black, and if so, what did you think of it?


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