Monday, February 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Omega by Susannah Sandlin

Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I have Susannah Sandlin here talking about doing research for Omega. Welcome!


How Stuff Works—Research in the Vampire World

Research is a part of any writing process, but you’d think that in an imaginary small Southern town that’s eventually to become the axis of a vampire civil war, research would be minimal.

But not so fast. The great thing about urban fantasy and paranormal romance—and my Penton Legacy series straddles the line between the two—is that it lies at the crossroads of reality and fantasy. So the sexy vampires and the women who tame them have to deal with some real issues.

Here are some things I learned along the way in writing the Penton Legacy series, the most recent of which is Omega:

--Army Underwear. Randa, the heroine of Omega is a former US soldier turned vampire while on active duty. She doesn’t like being a vampire and hasn’t done much to update her wardrobe since being turned, so she has a huge supply of Army-appropriate underwear. Turns out, women have to fold their panties in tiny little squares, so conservative white or tan “granny panties” are often used. My hero, Will, gets a lot of mileage out of Randa’s underwear.

--Acid Pens. Mirren, the hero of Absolution, is heavily tattooed, and he does many of them himself. Since vampires have super-healing, what could he use to tattoo himself that would actually scar and not heal? I finally decided on an acid pen, which is used to etch steel. Ouch!

--Blood coagulants. I’m not a doctor; I just write one in Redemption, and Krys is faced early-on with a patient who’s bleeding from a serious abdominal wound. After doing some research, I came upon a product called Celox, which comes in pouches and is used by military medics in the field. Since Krys is working in a small clinic in a town run by vampires, I figure they’d know about such products and have them on hand.

--Carts. So, there are my poor vampires in Omega, stuck in an underground shelter a few miles from the entrance. They need supplies, so how can they get them from the parking lot where they’re hiding their vehicles, all the way to the underground facility? A golf cart wouldn’t be able to haul enough. Meet the John Deere Gator—you’ve probably seen them in football games when a player gets hurt and the Gator comes zipping onto the field to haul him away. It works for hauling vampire supplies too.

--Effects of food on blood. Who knew my big bad vampire Mirren (one reviewer called him, appropriately, “a big, moody bastard”) missed being able to eat food? So my heroine in Absolution, Glory, does some research on what foods she can eat that would hang around in her bloodstream so he might be able to taste them. Just as one would suspect: fat and sugar and alcohol.

--Portable torches. In my vampire world, silver reduces vampire strength to that of a human. So in Absolution, Will has to get creative to get Mirren out of a cell with silver bars. I knew silver wasn’t a particularly strong metal and could be melted. Question was, how could it be melted quickly and in secret? The answer—the Mapp gas torch, small enough that Will could slip inside his father’s compound with it, melt a big-enough hole in the cell bars for Mirren to get through, and haul butt before dawn.

These are just a few examples of how much research really can go into that quick vampire read!


About the Author
Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

Find the author:

Omega - Book 3

The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton's humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal's vicious leader, Will's capture could doom the resistance.

Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will's polished charm and Randa's guarded heart finally give way to the warrior within.

Fans of Susannah Sandlin's Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.

Absolution - Book 2

With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal.

A Scottish gallowglass warrior turned vampire in the early 17th century, Mirren Kincaid once served the Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the Tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the Tribunal wants him back on their side—or dead.

To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

It’s a town under siege, a powerful warrior in a battle with his past, and one woman who can make the earth move—literally—as the Penton Legacy continues.

Redemption - Book 1

Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.

Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.

But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland. Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars.

To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago.

Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.

Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18.

***Up for grabs on the tour is a Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Simple Touch (or US$100 gift card for Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository), plus 5 $10 to online bookseller of choice. Also up for grabs at THIS STOP is a print book, ebook, or audiobook of the winner's choice from the series: Redemption, Absolution, or Omega! Enter via the Rafflecopters below!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Susannah, Thanks for the info on your research. Very interesting. Will does like to tease Randa about her underwear. He could have gotten himself in deeper trouble than he wanted. LOL. I recommend this series to all the readers. I really enjoyed the books.

    1. Thanks, Roger! That hadn't been planned as part of the story, but a lot of times research will yield something just too good to not use. I knew Will would get some mileage out of these!

  2. If I win I would have to choose Redemption because it is book 1 and you have to read a series in order....
    thank you for the chance to win at a great giveaway!!

    1. Thanks, Angela! Hope you get a chance to read the book :-)

  3. When i've read the book everything was believable so the researh was really well done i think ^^

    It's really a wonderful series i recommend without a doubt!

    now i think i would pick a print copy of omega ( still hasn't arrived so i will check but better safe than sorry^^)

    1. Thanks, Miki--I enjoy the research end of things...even though I sometimes don't WELD a door shut when I need to (right, Roger?).

    2. LOL! I wasn't going to say a word.

  4. This series looks interesting! Definitely adding them to my list of books to read.

    Thanks for the chance!

  5. I like learning about authors and their research.Thanks for sharing.

    1. oops forgot the rafflecopter question.
      I would pick Omega.
      Thanks for the giveaway

  6. Interesting info. I'd pick Omega.


  7. The tour-wide giveaway is so awesome; thanks for this chance! :)

  8. Thanks for the comments, everyone...and good luck in the contests!

  9. That research sounds really interesting. I'd like Omega since I have the other two.

  10. cky15: I am looking forward to this last book. I read the Redemption but want to continue reading Absolution. I like reading the books in order so this would be great. Thanks for the tour loved it.