Saturday, July 13, 2013

Vampires in Kilts: What's Not to Love?

By Suz De Mello (Guest Blogger)

Friday marks the publication of my sixteenth novel, Desire in Tartan. It’s the sequel to my best-selling Temptation in Tartan, but works well as a stand-alone though it’s part of my multi-book series, Highland Vampires.

How did I come to write a series about Scottish vampires?

I sold a short story, Highland Vampire, to Harlequin Spice Briefs in 2009. Buoyed by this success, I decided to write a related novel. HV is a contemporary erotic romance, and I couldn’t see a sequel. Futuristic Scottish vampires are beyond my imagination! So my sequels are prequels, as J.R.R. Tolkien might say.

One related novel became three with another planned, as well as a couple more short stories that are available—a list of the Highland Vampire stories with links appears at the end of this blog.

Set in 1759, Desire in Tartan follows the romance of Dugald Kilburn and the woman he hires as a governess to Laird Kilburn’s children. Innocent Alice Derwent is unaware she has been hired by a vampire clan to tutor their children, and must struggle to adjust to life in the Highlands, as well as to Dugald’s rough loving—there’s more than a hint of BDSM in this book. Here’s a snippet:

“Ye closed yer eyes, didn’t ye?”

Alice awakened to find herself face down, stretched out on the bed next to her husband, who was idly playing with strands of her hair. Occasionally he’d slide cool fingertips down her spine and burrow into the crevice between her bottom-cheeks, which felt damp and sticky. His seed?

She wasn’t going to answer that question. ‘Twould be foolish. Instead she said, “You seem quite interested in my bum, sir.”

“Answer me question.” He slapped her lightly, which didn’t sting.

“I, er, I…”

He spanked her harder, which did sting. “Answer. Now.”

“Um, yes.”

“Well, well, well.” Each word was punctuated by a slap. “Ye do ken that you must obey yer husband, do ye not?”

She gasped. “Ye-es, I do.”

“And yet, ye closed yer eyes when I specifically told you ‘no.’” Another six slaps, delivered briskly, three on each cheek.

“Ow!” The spanks stung, and heat bloomed, sinking toward her quim.

He set both palms on her and squeezed. She moaned and wriggled. She shoved one hand beneath her, questing for her bump.

“That’s right, kylyrra. Play with yerself… This stirs ye, does it not?”

She nodded.

“Answer me.” He striped her thighs with a series of quick, harsh slaps.

“Yes! Yes!” She writhed beneath his hand, wishing he’d stop, wishing he’d play with her body forever.

“Good.” He stopped and rolled off the bed then went to the door.

“You’re going to leave me like this?” She was a ball of frustration. A stinging, sore ball of frustration.

He looked back at her and laughed. “It’s time to dress for dinner. I’m orderin’ us a bath.”

Alice scrambled to cover up.


One of the difficulties I encountered was that when I started the series, I had not visited Scotland for several decades. Though I was pretty sure that the Highlands hadn’t changed much, I initially refreshed my memories via the internet, but managed to get “across the pond” in October 2010, and that trip was really helpful. I bought the postcard of a painting by Alexander Nasmyth that looks exactly like the Kilburn Castle of my imagination—the real place is called Tantallon Castle. I saw a famous painting of a skater that inspired a skating scene in Desire. Walking around Glasgow, where the first scenes in the book were set, brought them to vivid reality as I imagined the lives of those who’d worked, loved, brawled and drank there 250 years ago.

And merely seeing the Highlands was inspirational. I’m deeply affected by the places I visit, and many end up as settings in my novels. I once wrote a book set in Alaska while on a cruise there—if you ever have an opportunity to see Alaska, go—it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, and I travel a lot.
Oddly, although I’ve spent substantial time in Asia, I’ve never written a novel set there. Britain inspires me more than any other place.

I hope that some of the love I have for that magical island shows up in some of my stories. Here’s the Highland Vampires series—just those that are currently available—more stories are in the works, including a medieval, a Regency and a steampunk.

Temptation in Tartan (1747)

Angel Laird, Vampire Wife (1766)
This story will be offered FREE at Amazon July 12-16!

Highland Vampire (contemporary)

And here’s a little about me:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written over sixteen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press, where she is currently Managing Editor. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

Find her books at
For editing services, email her at
Befriend her on Facebook:, and visit her group at
She tweets her reading picks @ReadThis4fun


Suz said...

Thanks for hosting me, Lisabet!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Suz,

Thanks for being my guest. Your cover is absolutely gorgeous - as are your photos of the highlands.

If you get back to Asia, let me know!

Emily said...

I loved reading Temptation in Tartan, it was amazing! Can't wait to read Desire!

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