The Importance of Being Prudence Prudence McDaniel Series Book 1 by Elizabeth Anne Porter with Charles Porter Genre: Paranormal Romance
Massachusetts. It pops up in the history books every now and then. You know, Salem, Witches, and all that. Funny how there aren’t any Salem vampires mentioned. If there were, Prudence McDaniel might not have been so shocked when several particularly fine-looking members of the species decide to visit her New Age store, the Celtic Moon. Come to think of it, Greece’s history doesn’t mention much about vampires either, but that’s where Prudence ultimately ends up, after being abruptly turned and then almost simultaneously declared the savior of the disappearing race. Wildly sexy men and fabulous castles aside, Prudence isn’t so sure she wants to carry the burden of an entire people on her shoulders, but it seems she doesn’t have much of a choice. The heavy load is eased by the ultra-hot vampires who introduce her to the new world she now inhabits and all the pleasures of an undead lifestyle. Unfortunately, as soon as she becomes attached to almost-immortality, her own life suddenly hangs in the balance. It will take every inch of Prudence’s stubborn streak to pull her through. And even if she does survive, it might be at the expense of the man she has fallen for, fangs-over-heels. Can anything be worth that?
I was pulled from my thoughts by the little bells that hung from my entrance door; those beautiful, lyrical bells.
“Pru, just look at him, sweetie. That right there is a perfect example of a sexy man. Now get your overworked, under-loved ass over there and ask if you can help him. If not for you, then do it for me. Eye candy is eye candy, after all,” Joshua whined as he leaned into me with much enthusiasm.
My best friend was a handsome man. He was a little taller than me and worked out obsessively (when there wasn’t a new man in his life). So he was compact but muscular. He had a head of tight brown ringlets that were various pastel colors at the end. His eyes changed colors as often as he changed contacts. He wasn’t a clothes horse, but his wardrobe was fabulous.
After rolling my eyes, I took a longer look at the man Joshua was gushing about. Before focusing on our latest customer, I believed that my best friend was acting a tad overdramatic.
The man in question was tall, dark, and sexy. He wore his hair in a ponytail. His face was sculptured and strong. I had to admit the man was swoon-inducing, but in my line of work, I ran into handsome men quite often. That was one of the added bonuses I really enjoyed; okay, maybe over-enjoyed. Be that as it may, I quickly learned that handsome did not necessarily mean dateable. And yet, there I stood, hoping he would be different while doubting the possibility in the same thought.
“Pru! Sweet tater! Are you paying attention?! If I thought for a second that Mr. Sex-on-a-stick was gay, I would knock a bitch down getting to him,” he purred into my ear.
“Stop it,” I demanded lightly as I pushed him away.
As soon as my hands made contact with his chest, he fell in an ungraceful heap to the floor. My completely understandable, mortified expression only garnered a sly smile from my friend. “Bet that’ll get his attention.”
“Joshua, I swear to the Gods ….”
Before I could finish what was quickly becoming a tirade, I was interrupted by the aforementioned sex-oozing man. He even smelled good. No, good was not an adequate word. He smelled like the forest on a brisk day. It was brilliant.
“Is there anything I can do to be of help?” the sex-oozing man asked as he neared my downed friend.
His voice was mesmerizing. It was deep and a bit raspy. I could hear a faint accent but had no idea where to place it. And I found myself fighting to quell the goosebumps that threatened to break out all over my body.
Watching Joshua’s reactions to the man's closeness forced me to shift my position so that I could enjoy the view. Even if he turned out to be the kind of wildly sexy man you couldn’t date, I had to take the opportunity to look at him up close and personal. I quit trying to help my fallen friend and turned slowly to take the interruption in.
For the first time in my life, I was struck speechless, literally speechless. Open mouth, no words coming out - speechless. I desperately wanted to say anything but my brain seemed to have shut down. He smiled a smile that literally made my knees buckle.
“Good God, Prudence, get ahold of yourself,” the annoying internal voice that always tried valiantly not to make me look like an idiot, screamed.
My inner voice could form words but not me. At least I didn’t say that out loud. What was taking place at that very moment was enough embarrassment for a while.
Realizing that I wasn’t able to speak, I quickly turned back to Joshua, who was still resting on the floor, the helplessness in my face glowing.
“You will have to forgive our Ms. Pru. She sometimes has trouble making big people words,” Joshua explained as he stood up and extended his hand to the only customer in the store who was getting any attention.
Mr. Ubersexy smiled at Joshua’s comment but watched me with the kind of interest that made me feel both a little turned on and a little nervous. Luckily, I could always count on Joshua to break through the awkwardness of any given situation.
“Pru, honey, we have other customers. Are you all right now?” Joshua asked, putting his arms around me protectively.
I thought for a moment that he might be getting the same vibes from the new customer as me and then realized he was just using me to get closer to the mysterious man.
“Yes, I’m good now, thank you. Must of had a frog in my throat,” I managed to speak finally.
In answering my overdramatic friend, I sent him a “don’t say a word” look. Even though I was fully aware that what I was asking was bordering on more than my best friend could promise.
“Holler if you need any little thing. Oh, and I really hope we see you in the store again,” Joshua sang as he made a speedy exit.
“Sorry. He gets a little overexcited sometimes,” I said apologetically.
“No. It is quite all right. My name is Marcus,” he said, extending his hand to me.
Elizabeth Anne Porter was born in Ruislip, in the London borough of Hillingdon. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her pedantic husband and two literary cats.
What inspired you to write this book?
In a word, Ghost Fox. Oh, that looks like two words. Well, ok, two. Ghost Fox is a romance written in 1978 by James Houston. As a young girl just learning of love, it blew me away and started me down the author trail. Sure, like most girls, I’d written stories with a childhood friend (kindergarten – 4th grade??) but they were mostly cutouts from entertainment mags and a few sentences about how cute the boys were. But, as a teenager, I read Ghost Fox and it changed my life. I know this sounds a little like a promo for Mr. Houston but, I owe any success of my own to his story telling.
Fast forward to today, my pedantic husband sat with me side by side on the computer for many (many, many!) hours, doing our best to give the story of Prudence the time and effort it deserved. We believe this story is ready to step out on its own now and truly hope everyone can put the book down only after reading ‘fin.’
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Importance of Being Prudence?
Sure. This is one of my favorite things to talk about. I’m certain most authors feel the same about it but, when I write, I see the people and the events play out in my head. The characters do such a complete job of rooting there that when I’m not actually at the keyboard, they stand in a corner of my brain, doing what they can to show their displeasure. Some will cross their arms and tap one foot (Mordecai, aka Jason Momoa), others, like Raphael (aka a young Travis Fimmel), would walk in circles until I acknowledged them. As for the oldest of vampires in the story, Victor and Gaston, they are based on a couple of real-life Greek Orthodox priests my sister befriended many years ago. I’m sure they have passed but they commanded any room they graced. Am I a little crazy? Maybe. Did they all come through in the story? Yes, a thousand times, yes.
What are you currently reading?
Well, this question might be a little unfair as I can go through a few books in a rather short time. However, at this moment, I’m doing a little research for a fellow author and working on the next Prudence book (The Virtue of Prudence). My co-author and husband of thirty-seven years (yup, we married very young) is reading A Fatal Thing Happened on the way to The Forum.
We both read incessantly and, because of it, were at one time buried in books. When we moved from that particular house, we gave away well over fifteen hundred pounds of books (I actually heard the foundation of the house sigh).
After getting our fill of the American dream (house, picket fence, two cars, kids, etc.), we woke one morning to a mirror with wrinkles in it. We scrubbed and scrubbed but, as we found out later, the mirror was just fine. The wrinkles were on us! As the story goes for so many, we did some soul searching which led to the sale of almost everything we owned and then, a move. A move to a house we can drive. We settled into a small Class-C motorhome. No, it’s not a multi-million-dollar palace-on-wheels but it allows us to do and see things we could never do from our sticks-and-bricks home. If you get those feelings and can find a way to enjoy being nomadic for a few months, you should give it some serious thought. We don’t plan to revert until forced (too old, medical, whatever).
What are some of your pet peeves?
People top that list. I know it sounds terrible especially since I count on people to read my books. But, I strive to be honest so I’ll have to stand by that answer. Shall we look into this a little further? Extreme introversion is at the heart of this issue for me. Yes, I have those around me that I love dearly and would die for (most, however, are anthropomorphized animals). But, when out and about (shopping, banking, buying something for my cat, etc.), all I can focus on is getting back to my little motorhome and back into my stories.
My other pet peeves seem a little too insignificant for me to list here. But, I can’t resist so here they are: non-stick pans that are not, holes in my legs from a cat that wants my attention, bras (in general), cat hair in/on everything, dust, dirty car windows, weather forecasters, leveling the camper… The list is long and I could go on forever but, as I said, kinda insignificant. All in all, my life is not nearly as bad as I make it sound. Besides, the cat assured me last night that everything will be alright.
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