Long Winter Nights
These are the dark days of winter. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun rises at about 7:20 in the morning and sets at 4:55 in the afternoon. This gives us just over nine-and-a-half hours of daylight. Not much time for leisure activities.
For a person like me, who has SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) these short days do make me sad…and blue, and not wanting to get out of bed.
Last winter, though I found a way to make it through this time of dark. I hung around with the Kandesky vampires.
This is their favorite time of the year—their biggest holiday is winter solstice, the longest night of the year. There may only be nine-and-a-half daylight hours, but there are fourteen-and-a-half hours of dark.
During the weeks before and after winter solstice, the family gathers in Hungary from around Europe and North America. Most festivities are at Baron Stefan Kandesky’s castle but the family’s Budapest properties also host visitors. They give gifts, have parties, visit with friends and relatives they haven’t seen for a year.
And last year was even more special because they were having a death penalty trial for their worst enemy, Matthais. He headed up the Huszar vampire clan, the Kandesky’s neighbors and bitter rivals for several centuries.
Set against this festive season are the Huszar’s years of treachery, violence and deceit. These are highlighted when Maxie Gwenoch, the regular who heads up SNAP, the Kandesky’s mega-business, must take the stand and tell her story of kidnapping and rape.
Jean-Louis, second-in-command of the Kandeskys and Maxie’s lover, a stunning five hundred year old Hungarian vampire, is carrying a load of guilt because he didn’t keep her safe. Now, he’s with her—especially through these long winter nights.
And he wants to marry her and turn her. Can she give up the sun for the one she loves? Can she give up the glorious sex to stay a regular?
When I’m with Maxie and Jean-Louis, I’m in an altered state of consciousness. Their world is filled with luxury, glamour and mind-blowing sex. Of course, there’s also violence, fire fights, blood and death. With a combination like that, my “real” world of cooking, laundry and bill paying looks good…not!
I recently saw Janet Evanovich speak and she said she lives in the world of Stephanie Plum when she’s writing. Can’t wait to get back to it every morning.
These long winter nights are bearable now because I spend them with Jean-Louis, Maxie and the family.
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.
She writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries and the six-book Kandesky Vampire Chronicles paranormal romance series, and has just published her eighth book, SNAP: Happily Ever After? She’s working on the seventh book in the series, SNAP: White Nights, scheduled for publication in early 2014.