Dec 29 2014 12:00pm

All About that Bite: Kerrelyn Sparks on the Love at Stake Series

Kerrelyn Sparks

Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire by Kerrelyn SparksToday we're thrilled to welcome Kerrelyn Sparks to the site. Kerrelyn's much-loved Love at Stake series will see its final book, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Vampire, published today. In her first book in the series,  How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, Kerrelyn got curious about what would happen if suddenly a vampire lost one of his fangs. Well, he'd turn to a dentist, of course! She's here to discuss how the Love at Stake series came about and introduce you to Roman and his female-mortal-dentist-turned-lady-love, Shanna. Thanks, Kerrelyn!

Way back in 2004, when I still considered myself a historical romance writer, I came down with the flu.  While high on Nyquil, I wrote three zany chapters about a vampire who lost one of his fangs, biting something he shouldn’t have. Oh, the shame!  Would he spend the rest of eternity as a lopsided eater?  I had no idea what would happen to that vampire or the female mortal dentist he kidnaps, but I soon had to figure that out, for an editor at Avon Books read those three chapters and offered me a two-book contract! That first book became How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, and to my shock and amazement, it flew right out of the bat cave and onto a bestseller list.  So Avon wanted more vampire books, and the Love at Stake series was born.  I would have never believed the series would go on for sixteen books!

If it’s not apparent by now, I write romantic comedy.  Yes, my vampires and shifters have a sense of humor.  How could you manage to live 500 years without a sense of humor?  And my heroines also have a sense of humor.  It helps them cope when a werewolf husband sheds on the furniture or a vampire husband drops his glass of blood on the carpet.  I should point out that there are some positive things about having a vampire husband.  They never snore.  You never have to cook for them.  And while they’re dead during the day, you have free access to their credit cards.

The scene I chose from How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire is one of my favorites.  The night Roman Draganesti loses a fang, he and his vamp buddies end up kidnapping a female mortal dentist and hypnotizing her into fixing his fang.  It’s a race against the clock since they will all fall dead at sunrise.  And of course, they must never fall dead in the sunlight, or they will fry.  With his fang successfully treated, Roman teleports the dentist, Shanna, back to his townhouse.  She’s deep asleep in a post-hypnotic trance, so Roman puts her to bed.  But the sun is rising, and he collapses beside her.  Late that afternoon, Shanna wakes up in a dark room and discovers Roman in bed beside her... apparently dead!

I had so much fun with that scene!  You’ll probably notice (right off the bat!) where I drew inspiration.  One of my favorite Monty Python sketches is the one about the dead parrot.  It’s dead, deceased, gone on to meet its maker!!  No, no, it’s just pining for the fjords!  Lovely plumage!  That whole question—is it dead or not?—is so fitting for a vampire.  After all, what exactly is “undead?” 

I adore Shanna, for she reacts much the same way that I would.  And Roman—not only is he gorgeous, but he’s a genius!  As a scientist, he invented the synthetic blood and Vampire Fusion Cuisine that all my vamp heroes enjoy for the next fifteen books.  I love the fact that he’s brilliant, cause for me, super intelligence is very sexy!  Also seen in this excerpt are the two daytime guards: Phil Jones and Howard Barr. 

Four books later, during The Undead Next Door, readers discover that Phil is a werewolf.  Five books later, in All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire, readers learn that Howard Barr is actually a were-bear!  No wonder he played defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears!  Phil gets to be the hero of book seven, Forbidden Nights with a Vampire, where he falls for a female vamp.  Howard has to wait a long time before he can get his bear hugs.  The poor guys eats about seven thousand donuts and bear claws before finally meeting his match in book thirteen, Wild About You.  You can find out more about all of these books, including the newest one, Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire, at my website,

Kerrelyn Sparks's Love at Stake Series:

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire  
Vamps and the City  
A Very Vampy Christmas (novella)  
Be Still My Vampire Heart  
The Undead Next Door  
All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire  
Secret Life of a Vampire  
Forbidden Nights with a Vampire  
The Vampire and the Virgin  
Eat, Prey, Love  
Vampire Mine  
Sexiest Vampire Alive  
Wanted: Undead or Alive  
Wild About You  
Vampires Gone Wild (novella)  
The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo  
How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying)  
Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire  


















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How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

So what if he's a bit older and usually regards a human female as dinner, not a dinner date? Yes, Roman Draganesti is a vampire, but a vampire who lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn't have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop–sided eater for all eternity.

Things aren't going well for Shanna Whelan either...After witnessing a gruesome murder by the Russian mafia, she's next on their hit list. And her career as a dentist appears to be on a downward spiral because she's afraid of blood. When Roman rescues her from an assassination attempt, she wonders if she's found the one man who can keep her alive. Though the attraction between them is immediate and hot, can Shanna conquer her fear of blood to fix Roman's fang? And if she does, what will prevent Roman from using his fangs on her...

And now, try a bite of Kerrelyn Sparks's Love at Stake series with an excerpt of a selected scene from book 1, How to Marry a Vampire.

She screamed again.

The door slammed open. She jumped and turned all at once.

“What’s wrong?” The man she had seen earlier in the hallway was now standing outside the door, a pistol in his hand.

Shanna pointed at the bed. “Roman Draganesti is...dead.”

“What?” The man slid his gun back into its holster.

“He’s dead!” Shanna pointed once more at the bed. “I woke up and found him in my bed. Dead.”

With a worried look, the man approached the bed. “Oh.” His frown vanished. “No problem, Miss. He’s not dead.”

“I’m sure he’s dead.”

“No, no. He’s just asleep.” The guard placed two fingers on Roman’s neck. “Pulse is fine. Not to worry. I’m a trained security specialist. I would know a dead person.”

“Well, I’m a trained medical professional, and I know a dead body when I see one.” Shanna’s knees trembled, and she looked around for a chair. None. There was only the bed. And poor Roman.

“He’s not dead,” the guard insisted. “He’s just sleeping.”

God, this man was dense. “Look—-what’s your name?”

“Phil. I’m one of the daytime guards.”

“Phil.” Shanna leaned against one of the four posters for support. “I know you don’t what to admit this. After all, you’re a guard, and you’re supposed to keep people alive.”

“He is alive.”

“He is not!” Shanna’s voice rose higher and higher. “He’s dead! Deceased. Snuffed out. The Roman Empire has fallen!”

Phil’s eyes widened and he stepped back. “Okay, okay. Calm down.” He tugged a walkie-talkie from his pocket. “I need help on the fourth floor. The guest is totally losing it.”

“I am not!” Shanna strode toward the window. “Maybe if we open these shutters, it’ll shed some light on the matter.”

No!” Phil sounded so frantic, Shanna stopped.

Static crackled on the walkie-talkie, then a voice came through. “What’s the problem, Phil?” Beep.

“We have a situation here,” Phil answered. “Miss Whelan woke up to find Mr. Draganesti in her bed, and she thinks he’s dead.”

Laughter erupted on the other end of the walkie-talkie. Shanna’s mouth dropped open. Jeez, these people were cold. She headed back toward Phil and his communication device. “Could I speak with your supervisor, please?”

Phil gave her a sheepish look. “That was my supervisor.” He punched a button. “Howard, could you come up here, please?”

“Oh, yeah,” Howard replied. “I wouldn’t miss this.” Beep.

Phil slipped the walkie-talkie into his pocket. “He’ll be right up.”

“Fine.” Shanna scanned the room, but couldn’t see a phone. “Would you please call 911?”

“I...I can’t. Mr. Draganesti wouldn’t like that at all.”

“Mr. Draganesti is beyond liking or disliking.”

“Please! Trust me, everything will be all right.” Phil glanced at his watch. “Just wait about two hours.”

Wait? Would he be any less dead in two hours?


Copyright © 2005 by Kerrelyn Sparks.
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Kerrelyn Sparks is the bestselling author of the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list. Kerrelyn is honored that her band of merry vampires and shifters is spreading love and laughter worldwide in fourteen different languages.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
That was a fun excerpt. I haven't read any of the Love at Stake series, but now I'm intrigued!
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
@Kareni, It was one of my first romances/first paranormals and I loved the series...if you're a fan of Shelly Laurenston, you might like it!
3. Bluidsue
I didn't realize the series was coming to an end. I just finished re-reading all of them and I'll start the final book this weekend. This has been a totally awesome series. As I re-read them I would finish a book and think "no, that the best one" and repeat each book I finished. No kidding I love each and every single book. I don't want this extended family of mine to end. Ian, Carlos, Howard, Roman, the harem, on and on. Thank you Kerrilyn for giving me such a fun read, I'm sure I'll read the again and again.
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