A warm welcome to author Vivean Dean joining us today here at Love Bytes , welcome 🙂
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE By Vivien Dean
Thank you for letting me stop by today! I’m so excited to be a part of the launch for Dreamspinner’s new line, Dreamspun Beyond, that I can’t seem to stop talking about it with everybody around me who stands still for two seconds—you here at Love Bytes (thank you!), my husband when he’s brushing his teeth in the morning, my dog Lucy when she’s parked at my feet waiting for me to feed her again five minutes after I already gave her breakfast. I write a lot of genres, but coming back to paranormal romance is like slipping into a hot bath. I never feel more at peace or happy than when I get to build other worlds and write about supernatural creatures.
In “The Charlatan’s Conquest,” those creatures happen to be ghosts. Not as one of the heroes, but as a mostly negative entity, creating torment for my guys. Brody, the skeptic, doesn’t want to believe they exist, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, while Cruz has a healthy appreciation for what ghosts can do to the living when they have the mind to. He’s the driving force in helping Brody confront the truth and do what needs to be done.
But what drives Cruz? That’s simple. Love and devotion. He takes the ghost hunting job only because it’s too much money to pass up, and he needs/wants to help his parents pay off his youngest sister’s extensive medical bills. He gets the offer from his best friend, another person he loves and would do just about anything for. So while the overlying plot of the story is “let’s get rid of the bad ghosts,” the blood running through its veins is the question of what do we do for family and those people we love.
Cruz is fortunate. He’s surrounded by love. He grew up the oldest child in a working-class family, with both parents determined to show their kids what love means both in and out of the home. That love permeates all of his interactions with them and vice versa, even when his teenaged sister is giving him a hard time. It’s there, too, in his relationship with Etienne, his best friend, as they argue about how to proceed and how each fights to protect the other.
Brody’s not quite as lucky. He feels estranged from his father, a feeling that’s been prevalent ever since his mother died. His relationship with her, however, has defined much of his life. He struggles to find a balance, but he’s the first to admit he’s not very good at it. All he knows is how to love his father, even if he doesn’t actually believe the feeling is mutual.
That force of love is even there in one of my ghosts. Not one of the bad ones. No, Etienne, Cruz’s best friend, lives with his sister, who died when he was very young. Rather than move on, Simone has stuck by Etienne throughout the years, fighting to protect him from everybody—sometimes, even Cruz—while she remains his constant.
This is the message I want readers to walk away from with “The Charlatan’s Conquest” and the stories that will come next in the series. Love has power. It doesn’t matter where you get it from. Romantic love is like nothing else in this world, but the love you get from your family has its own vitality. Embrace it. Take strength from it. That’s what it’s there for.
With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.
Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.
Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.
Dreamspinner Press ebook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-charlatans-conquest-by-vivien-dean-8592-b
Dreamspinner Press paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-charlatans-conquest-by-vivien-dean-8593-b (buy the paperback and get the ebook for FREE!)
VIVIEN DEAN is a firm believer that love doesn’t care about gender. That’s why her titles encompass both GLBT and het, erotic and sweet, as well as a wide variety of genres. After growing up in the snowy and isolated Midwest, she went off in search of her creative muse. She performed on stage, wrote and directed indie films in Orlando, then met her British soulmate online. One wedding, two children, and ten addresses later, she resides in the Bay Area where it’s easy to indulge in her favorite pastimes—good theater, great movies, and amazing food.
Vivien is a four-time EPIC eBook Award winner and collaborated with Pepper Espinoza to write as Jamie Craig for five years.