Category Archives: Releases
Please welcome Magicstorm into the world, Heart of a Vampire, Book #4.
When a mortal cop must delve into the paranormal, only a Viking vampire can save her soul, and her heart.
Detective Celeste Wilder knows who she is, a damn fine cop. But when the recently dubbed ‘Cult Murders’ start back up, this time targeting city prostitutes she’s sworn to protect, she’s thrown into a world of paranormal creatures she never believed existed. And now, they’re out to keep her from uncovering even more secrets.
An immortal Viking vampire, Brandon Wulfgar knows something is strange the moment he sees Celeste valiantly fighting for her life against a group of rogue vampires. When he’s asked to work with her–solve the crime while keeping the mortal woman safe–he figures no problem.
But as the undeniable connection between them grows and danger appears from every side, they will have to trust one another not just for their lives, but for their very souls.
Brandon Wulfgar sat stiffly on the icy metal chair. He took a hefty gulp of his drink–a mix of blood and whiskey–never glancing away from his twin brother. Eric lay in the bed, facing the stone wall of the dungeon room. He mumbled in his dreams, the quiet mutterings occasionally punctuated by short, guttural screams. Was he reliving the painful past they’d shared, or that of Eric’s own more recent tortures?
The room stank of cold sweat, permeated by fear and agony.
Brandon’s hands clenched and the mug cracked. It crashed to the floor, shattering.
He stared at the white shards of ceramic covered in crimson. The sight mirrored how he felt, unable to help his brother pick up the pieces and leave the darkness he’d descended into.
With a sigh, he stood and headed for the hall. His king’s new wife was going to be pissed he’d broken yet another cup. He snorted, the sound lacking any amusement. Dalia would just have to deal with it.
He opened the door, then stopped short.
Dalia stood in the hall, arms crossed, tapping her foot. Her short pink-streaked blonde hair settled around her pointed chin and her green eyes flared, vampire-red circling the irises. “Again?” she demanded.
It didn’t matter he dwarfed her with his six-foot-four height, nor that he was ten times stronger. All she had to do was shoot that look of hers and even the strongest of the vampire warriors living in the castle crumbled as if facing a disappointed mother.
Brandon merely shrugged. “I’ll clean it up.”
“Yeah, right.” Her gaze softened as she looked past him to Eric. “No change?”
She straightened, rubbing her hands together. “Jordan wants to talk to you. I’ll sit with your brother. And I’ll clean up the poor cup. Again.” Shooting him an ironic look, she added, “We’re almost out of dishes.”
It wasn’t true, but she had a point. He’d gone through an awful lot of mugs lately. But it wasn’t on purpose.
As the older twin, albeit only by five minutes, he’d been raised to protect his brother. To fight the world, side-by-side. Yet he was failing miserably, unable to draw Eric from the cocoon of sleep where he’d escaped.
Dalia entered the dungeon room, and leaving the thick metal door open a bit, sat in the chair Brandon had vacated. She leaned back, hands folded in her lap and started humming. Her voice was soft and airy, a sound guaranteed to get soul-deep inside anyone listening and make them feel better.
As an Omega, she could calm people’s ragged emotions. More recently, with her magic growing, she no longer needed to look into their eyes to gain that connection. Her voice could suck anyone in when she tried.
Brandon’s shoulders tightened when her voice brought no reaction from Eric. It took most of his will to leave, but he forced himself to walk down the icy hallway, and upstairs to his king’s chamber.
Inside, Jordan reclined in a chair, facing the fireplace. The man held a glass of amber-colored liquid. A second full glass sat on the table beside him.
“Sit for a while,” Jordan stated, his Scottish brogue thicker than normal.
Brandon twitched at the tension in Jordan’s voice, and crossed the room to the waiting chair on the other side of the table.
“Any change with Eric?” Jordan lifted his drink and sipped, trying to act casual as he ran a hand through his short blond hair.
Taking his own glass, Brandon gulped it down. The smooth whiskey burned his throat, then settled warmly in his gut. “No.”
Jordan sighed, shifting to face Brandon fully.
Trepidation filled him. The man was normally direct.
“The ‘cult killings’ have started once more in the city,” Jordan said, his gaze dark with anger and confusion.
“But Connor killed the demon behind them just a few weeks ago,” Brandon protested.
“Aye. Yet, here we are.”
Brandon set his empty glass back on the table before he broke that one too. “So is Connor returning?”
“He’s busy with something else.”
“What? His refound family?”
“Nay. Something for the Magic Council.”
Considering the man was a Judge for the council, it shouldn’t be surprising. “So they’re not sending him back?”
A sinking suspicion crawled into his gut. “Then who are you sending to investigate?”
Jordan just stared at him.
Jumping to his feet, Brandon paced to the fireplace. “I can’t go. Eric needs me–”
Jordan’s voice broke through his agitation. “Needs you? He hasn’t said two words in the last month. He doesn’t respond to anything we try.” He stood, arms behind his back, as Brandon paced. “Someone has to take care of the problem. If it’s another demon, you’re the only one I can send.”
Anger turned his stomach, bile burned up his chest. “I can’t leave my brother.”
Jordan’s voice cracked like steel. “You’ll tell me no?”
Stopping short, Brandon slowly swung around and met his king’s blazing red gaze. He’d never told Jordan “no,” since the man had rescued both him and Eric from living agony. But to leave his brother…
The tension in his shoulders ached. His chest tightened and he gave his king the only answer he could. “When do I leave?”
In the lingering heat of the evening, Celeste Wilder strode from her unmarked car towards the flashing lights shining from the alley. Near the yellow police tape, cameras flashed as bystanders tried to capture anything interesting they could put online or sell to the news.
Whipping back her long black hair, she muttered under her breath, “Mierda! Gotta start keeping a damn hair tie in the car.”
One of these days, she was actually going to remember, so when she was called into a crime scene unexpectedly, she didn’t have to deal with the looks she was getting now. It was difficult enough being a female detective without flaunting her femininity. More importantly, it got in the way.
Like usual in Arizona, the weather had bypassed spring entirely. Sweat dampened her neck, making her loose curls cling uncomfortably to her skin.
“Daily, let me in,” she growled at the nearest officer blocking the alley.
He hurried to pull back one of the sawhorses. “Yes, ma’am.”
She pushed past him, taking in the scene. Phoenix PD officers guarded the sight from the lookie-loos, while the coroner hunched over a body only partly hidden behind a rusty dumpster. Overlaying the scent of rotting garbage, she caught the distinct coppery odor of fresh blood.
“Who was first on scene?” she demanded from an obvious rookie as he nervously flicked his notepad open and shut.
“Um, I was, detective, um, ma’am.”
She read his name-tag. “All right, Portensky. Details.”
He fumbled open the notebook, nearly dropping it. “The call came in at 8:02 p.m. I was dispatched, and arrived at 8:09. I didn’t see anything at first.” The kid paled, swallowed hard, then continued. “Then I smelled it.”
“Any information on the caller?” She studied how the dumpster had been pulled away from the wall. Black and red lines of wax snaked from the brick to the center of the alley.
“No, ma’am. Distorted voice, barely clear. Dispatcher said she wasn’t sure she’d even heard the address right.”
“Make sure your report is on my desk by morning.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He hustled toward the street, as if trying to put as much distance between himself and the body.
Unfazed, Celeste headed right for it.
Hovering over the body, the coroner, Frankie, glanced up. Weariness dulled her dark eyes. “Hey, girl. Rough night?”
“About to get worse.”
Frankie sighed, pushing her long bangs from her eyes with the back of her hand, then waved at the body. “No name, no ID.”
“I assume that’s why I was called in. These are my streets,” she replied.
“Sad state this last month, with all these killings.”
Shrugging, Celeste stepped closer. The woman lay mostly exposed, tattered remains of her clothing spread back from her chest. A small piece of red cloth had been draped over her face. Bleach-blonde hair spread around her head, the tips soaked with blood. The killer had taken a knife to her throat and chest.
“Time of death?”
“Her temp is still high. I’d say in the last hour.”
Considering Portensky had been dispatched less than a half-hour ago, it was possible the rumors were true. This cabrón was calling it in before his victim was dead.
Frankie pulled off her gloves. “What kind of sicko mutilates young girls? That’s what I’d like to know.”
“Aren’t they all sickos?” Celeste replied, forcing her emotions away. The victim’s wounds were ragged, as if caused by a serrated weapon. They still hadn’t figured out what the killer was using.
“We’re ready,” Frankie said.
Nodding, she replied, “Go ahead.”
Frankie lifted the red cloth from the body to seal it in an evidence bag.
Celeste’s breath caught, hitching in her tightening throat. “La madre que te parió!” she cursed.
No woman, just a girl.
Baby had been fifteen, max. She’d worked the streets, saying it was better there than at home.
Trying to get these girls into shelters was a trial. Every time Celeste got one off the streets, five more took her place. But Baby had been sweet, mostly clean, not the hardened type Celeste was used to dealing with.
And next week, there was an opening at one of the shelters Celeste worked with that Baby had agreed to enter.
Three damn days.
Swallowing hard against the dark, useless emotions trying to choke her, Celeste forced herself to move, to get on with the job. She noted the wounds and the bruises covering the girl’s face and upper arms. A broken necklace of cheap, brightly colored glass lay discarded near her left hand.
A dark smudge against Baby’s pale skin caught her eye. “What’s that?”
Frankie bent closer, snapping some photos, then gently turned the girl’s hand over.
A black mark had been drawn on her wrist. A question mark with a bar crossing the center of the straight line. Celeste drew a replica in her notebook.
“Didn’t see anything like this on the other bodies,” Frankie said as she took more pictures.
“I didn’t either. They were only left on the walls.” She continued to note the details of the crime scene as the morgue techs wheeled away the body, along with the scattered trash on the ground. They took it all. Anything could hold a clue.
As the other officers dispersed, Celeste stood back and watched. Waited for the scene to clear so she could search for clues. See if she could find more of the strange markings, some sort of runes, like at the other scenes.
As she waited, tapping her foot impatiently, her anger burned hotter.
These “Cult Murders” as the press called them, were supposed to have been solved weeks ago. They had disbanded the taskforce on her captain’s orders.
The city began to breathe easier.
Until a few nights ago, when they’d started up again.
I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card, INT, Winner to be drawn next week on May 1st.
In the comments section, please tell me which of the Hero’s from the Heart of a Vampire series is your favorite so far : ) (Shane, Jordan or Connor)
Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
*Sings* Happy release day. Wow, the past few months have been a whirlwind, with kids going back to school and I don’t even know where September went. But October is here, and I’m excited to announce my newest release in the Heart of a Vampire Series.
After a millennia apart, can two vampires rekindle their love, or will the line between right and wrong keep them apart?
Hunted by the demon who imprisoned her for hundreds of years, Ashlyn MacDougal is fleeing with a secret which could destroy her soul. When she runs into her lost love, Connor Gregory, life twists upside down.
Connor has spent the last thousand years as a Judge for the Magic Council, tracking and destroying demons. Especially the abominations–those part demon, part vampire. When he discovers his long ago lover is not only alive, but protecting a half-breed, his confusion knows no bounds.
Thrown together by circumstance, they must resolve their past. With demons after them, Ashlyn and Connor come to find their love still burns. Yet, the secrets she hides, and his duty to his job, might just keep them apart for another eternity.
Connor Gregory hunted along the city’s back streets. The scent of human blood, fresh on the air, made his senses hum. Hunger roared. It had been hours since he’d drank his last pint of blood, but his responsibilities as Judge for the Magic Council spurred him on, pushing his needs back.
A human cult was striking terror into the hearts of the mortals living in the city. A cult that seemed to know an awful lot about real demon magic, which meant there was most likely a creature from the depths of hell helping them out.
Connor grinned humorlessly at the inky shadows. His job was to hunt the demon down, and kill it.
All in a productive day’s work.
He followed the blood scent through the alleys of a business district. For the southwest, the buildings towering into the sky felt out of place. They also hindered his ability to track.
Connor despised big cities like Phoenix. He’d much rather have stayed up in the mountains, in his cousin’s sleepy little town of Moss Creek. But when duty called…
He rounded a corner, freezing for a split second. At another time, it could have cost him his head–and his life. In a flash, he pressed his back to the wall, easily blending with the shadows in his dark jeans, t-shirt and black duster.
Just down the alley, in front of an oversized dumpster, a group of teenagers knelt on the asphalt. All four took the Goth look to the extreme. One boy’s shaved head glinted from piercings. Black and red swirling tattoos covered the other boy’s skin. The two girls could have been twins with their pale skin, hair obviously dyed black. Encircling their eyes, they wore black make-up that matched their lipstick. And how anyone could walk in thigh-high boots with six-inch heels covered in spikes was beyond him.
He also didn’t get anyone who would wear spike-studded collars.
The kids shifted slightly, allowing him a glimpse at the encircled pentagram on the ground. Runes of destruction and death had been drawn inside each triangle arm. The tattooed boy leaned over the last empty opening, and continued drawing the symbols for a ritual designed to rip a soul from an innocent.
Connor sniffed the air. Blood. Rotting flesh. And the distinct smoky, sulfurous odor of demon.
He reached to the back of his neck and silently withdrew his katana, Akoukirito, from the sheath on his back. A Japanese sword master had crafted both hundreds of years ago. The blade, named for its use in striking down evil, was honed to an edge that rarely dulled.
Connor was as deadly with his hands, but if one of these seemingly innocent kids was a demon, he’d need the blade.
He held Akoukirito down along his leg as he slowly approached the group. He had to stop them from completing the ritual. It was like a nice, juicy steak for demons, full of magic and power they could corrupt.
He sure as hell didn’t want to deal with a demon pumped up on soul magic.
E drew closer. The kids remained oblivious to his presence. With a sigh, he resheathed his sword. They might be working with a demon, but it wasn’t here right now.
He shot a fist at the throat of the tattooed boy drawing the runes. The kid flew back, crashing against the brick wall of the building, choking and sputtering. The chalk clattered to the ground.
The other three jumped up, circling him as if they would actually have a chance to participate in this fight.
Perhaps even win.
Chuckling, Connor crouched and spun, sweeping his foot over the ground, knocking the three on their asses. He reached for the artist, then tossed him near the others.
“Who are you working for?” he demanded, allowing anger to deepen his voice into a menacing growl.
Tattoo still clutched his throat, but glared up at Connor with a hatred only the youth could attain.
“Fuck off,” he rasped.
The other three looked at each other, then inched away from their apparent leader.
Connor strode to the kid, towering over him, staring him down.
Tattoo swallowed, looking around the alley, anywhere but at Connor. As if realizing he’d shown fear, he jerked his chin back up.
“Who are you working for?” Connor repeated.
The boy glanced at his partners, then back. “Don’t know what you mean.”
Moving so fast there was no way these mortals could follow, he grabbed the kid’s neck, picked him up and slammed him against the wall. Tattoo’s feet kicked uselessly at the brick, high above the ground.
“I won’t ask again,” Connor growled.
The boy squeaked and the smell of urine soaked into the air. His chest rose and fell rapidly as he began to hyperventilate.
One of the girls shouted, “You’re gonna kill him.”
Connor slowly turned his head, staring at her.
She and her friends gasped, crab walking backwards until they hit the wall on the other side of the alley.
He knew what they saw. His anger at the stupidity of these children had fired his blood. His fangs, extended and showing clearly through his grim smile. His eyes, a blood red, blazing with fury.
They saw the monster inside, the monster he was.
He used it to his advantage, and lied. “I’ll snap his neck before you can blink, little girl, if you don’t answer my question.”
She sniffled as the other girl started to sob. The boy beside them inched farther away, heading in the direction of the alley’s entrance.
“I-I… we don’t know his name,” she replied.
“But he calls himself…” Connor prompted.
Connor chuckled, a raspy sound that made the girl flinch. “The devil, aye? Not quite.”
He let the boy slide to the ground and told the girl, “Tell me everything.”
After she’d listed off several addresses where he might find this ‘Diablo’, Connor pulled a bag from his duster and sprinkled the special sand over the pentagram, then ground it in beneath his boot. By the time he was done, the markings had nearly disappeared.
He glared at the kids. “Play with magic again, and I’ll be back. Next time won’t be as pleasant.” He strode out of the alley, not giving any of them another glance.
Out on one of the busy main streets, he scanned each direction. Trying to track any scent beneath the fumes of exhaust and people bustling about would be difficult, if not impossible.
He’d check out the addresses, but with the ritual not taking place, the demon would know something was wrong when he didn’t receive a nice bite of power. He’d be hightailing his cowardly ass out of his preferred hangouts.
Connor headed down the street toward a bar that catered to those like him. He could get a drink, then finish the night’s frustrating hunt.
Two blocks from the bar, the air filled with the stench of sulfurous smoke. He eased along the sidewalk, searching for the demon. Across the street, a man stood in front of a closed door. His black clothes, inky dark hair and pale face pegged him as another Goth. But the red encircling the green in his eyes told Connor another story.
He inhaled deeply, letting his heightened senses sift through the scents.
The guy wasn’t pure demon. Something else, most likely vampire, filled his blood.
Connor froze, staring at the man. As a Judge, one of his jobs was to kill any half-breed he came across.
Tonight was turning into a wild ride.
And just maybe he’d get lucky enough to catch the half-breed, dispose of him without too much damage to the city.
Half-breeds were well known for being crazed with bloodlust, the monsters inside them unable to coexist easily in any human body.
Between the vampire blood and the demon soul, this had to be the one responsible for the murders throughout the city. It would explain the extent of the depraved torture the victims had suffered.
Connor moved to the street, keeping an eye on the half-breed while watching for a break in the traffic. The man left the doorway and strode down the street. Exactly the way Connor had come. Probably going to search out the teenagers and find out why the ritual hadn’t been completed.
Connor stayed on his side of the street, matching the demon’s pace. Minutes passed. Then the demon stopped, pulling a cell phone out of his pocket and answering a call.
If he’d been closer, or the traffic–human and vehicle–lighter, Connor could have listened in as he wanted. Instead, he had to resort to trying to read the demon’s lips, something he’d never quite mastered. Saying to hell with it, he watched a small opening in the traffic draw closer.
Just as he was ready to make a dash for it, he saw her.
She stood just beyond the demon, her red hair up in a chignon. Strands curled down around her heart-shaped face, like he remembered. She glanced his way, though he could tell she didn’t see him.
His heart screamed she must be Ashlyn. From her high cheekbones, small nose, and wide, startling green eyes, to the lush body he’d once known intimately, unhidden by the sleeveless blouse or the slim ankle-length skirt, she looked exactly the same.
But she couldn’t be the woman of his memories.
The sounds of the city faded, replaced by the past.
Scottish war cries echoed in the dark of the night as coming ships roused the clan. They blocked off the cliff stairs that led down a hundred feet to the beach, confident they could repel the invaders. Until they looked down, only to see red-eyed beasts scaling the rock itself.
His last glance of Ashlyn had been her fear-laden eyes, watching him as she shepherded the children through the hidden door at the base of the clan’s castle.
All had died that night, but for Connor and two of his cousins. When they woke, it was as raving beasts.
Ashlyn had not survived.
Connor shook the memories away, staring at the woman whose image, after a thousand years, still haunted his dreams every night.
The demon approached her. She held out her hand, and the hell-spawn touched her soft, creamy skin, then bent closer to say something in her ear.
Connor dodged into the street, ignoring the blaring of horns as he raced for her. Ashlyn or not, she must be saved.
At the commotion, she looked up, and met his gaze. Her eyes widened. She gasped, bringing her free hand up to cover her heart.
Her lips began to curl in the shy smile he remembered so well.
Chills raced over his skin. His lungs emptied on an explosive breath. His stomach clenched as if a car had slammed into him.
Memories jerked him in a vortex of confusion.
It couldn’t be Ashlyn… could it?
His heart skipped a beat, then drummed into a gallop. Hot emotion thrummed through him.
She glanced at the demon by her side. The smile disappeared, replaced by haunting fear.
She grabbed the demon’s arm and together they raced down the street.
Hope you enjoyed
I was planning on doing a cover reveal & sneak peek a week ago, but things have been so busy.
Luckily, the book is ready to go
Release Date: July 13th, 2012
After centuries alone, can a vampire king trust the woman who’s woken his heart?
Jordan MacDougal, laird and King of his vampire clan, walks a thin line of civility between his clan and the local shifter pack. When his vampires began to disappear and the wolves accuse the intriguing woman who’s touched his heart of being evil, he discovers that the traitor in his midst may be closer than he thinks.
A newly turned vampire, Dalia Jensen wakes to an unusual and frightening new world with no memory of the past year of her life. Accused of working with the Master Vampire who held her prisoner, her inability to remember the truth leaves her reeling under the allegations of vicious past actions. Uncertain of her culpability, she’s unable to trust her own instincts as the reigning Vampire King turns her world upside down.
When the wolves call for her trial, demanding her life for those killed and tortured during that blank year, Jordan and Dalia must work together to find the truth, and save the love blooming between them.
The woman chained to the steel bed frame hadn’t stirred in days. Soon she’d wake.
Jordan MacDougal sat in the inky blackness of the basement, waiting. The darkness didn’t bother him. He could see as well at night as any mortal could in the sun.
He spun a wooden match between his fingers, turning it around and around, unable to tear his gaze from the bed. After three days, he still couldn’t figure out exactly what about Dalia Jensen had commanded his attention in the first place.
He should have let her die.
In the millennia he’d been a vampire, he’d only turned a handful of people. He regretted each and every one. Yet while watching this woman waste away in the large hospital bed, knowing she’d been put there by Thomas Montgomery, who’d been a vampire the epitome of evil, Jordan hadn’t been able to stop himself.
She was so young. Only twenty-one according to her driver’s license tucked in his back pocket. And even in a coma-like state, she exuded a vibrancy which drew him.
He forced himself to stand and stretch, to look away from the woman. His hands fisted and the match stick cracked. Sighing, he dropped the two pieces next to the candle on the table.
Like a magnet, the woman drew him once more.
Large chunks of bright pink streaked through her white-blonde hair curling to just below her pixie chin. The startling color was amazing to one as old as he.
In his time, women hadn’t painted their faces with make-up, or dyed their hair unnatural colors.
It was sometimes disconcerting to be faced with how things changed as time passed.
A thick quilt disguised the generous curves of her body. Though the dungeon rooms were kept warm, the newly turned needed the extra heat until they learned control.
Screams from a friend of his who’d been recently changed echoed through the walls, piercing the soundproofing. Jordan ran his hands through his hair, frustration snaking through him. Chase had been created by the same vampire responsible for Dalia’s near death.
And like all new vampires, Chase was crazed with his bloodlust, even three weeks after his awakening.
Staring at Dalia’s face, Jordan memorized the lines and curves. She would wake soon, only to face a huge change. Hunger would make her, like Chase, a ravenous creature needing to kill, to drink. Jordan’s powerful blood would hopefully help the new vampire calm. And his duty was to be here every night, to feed her while trying to break through to the remnants of her humanity.
If she survived the final change.
Once she became lucid, they’d have ‘the talk’, one of the duties of being clan King he despised.
Horror and disappointment would fill her eyes as he explained what she was–and how her old life was forever lost.
This time, he’d have to add how it was his fault.
A knock pounded on the cell’s thick metal door.
Jordan strode across the room and slipped out into the hall. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust from pitch black to bright light. He looked into a feminine version of his own face.
“Fionah? I’m busy,” he said cautiously, unable to read which mood she was in this hour.
His little sister grinned. “Aye, brothair. When are you not?” She swept her long, silk skirts to the side and stepped for the door at his back.
He held his arm out, blocking her. “What do you want?”
She raised one blonde eyebrow, her eyes widening. She giggled and Jordan realized today she was the child, rather than the thousand-year-old vampire.
“To see your new pet,” she replied with a smile.
He sighed. “You know well she’s not a pet.”
“What else then?” She twirled her long skirts around her ankles. “You’ve not brought over a human in hundreds of years. Why now?”
If he had an answer, he might have spoken. Instead, he merely crossed his arms over his chest and stared at his sister.
At the other end of the hall, Eric, one of his Viking guards, rushed down the steps and hurried their way. The man stopped abruptly when he caught sight of Fionah.
Jordan’s guards never knew what to make of his sister, either. She could switch from child-like to screaming fury in a blink, without cause. Her mind was a strange thing, had been since they were children growing up on clan lands in Scotland. A thousand years had only increased her strangeness.
A whisper of movement broke the silence from the room at his back. He scowled, the urge to rejoin Dalia pressing. “It there a party going on down here I wasn’t informed of?”
Eric’s eyes, usually full of laughter, were instead filled with worry. “Luci is missing.”
Jordan straightened as heat fired his veins. Not again. “Where?”
“She was on the blood run to the hospital.”
Jordan barely refrained from slamming his fist into the stone wall. Who in the hell was still taking his people? He’d thought the problem solved when the rogue vampire responsible for Dalia’s condition had been killed. “Did she make it to the hospital?”
Eric shook his head.
Fionah stepped forward, brushing long curls over her shoulder. Her eyes held intelligence and her child-like grin was gone. “How do you know she didn’t make it?”
Eric shot her a glare. “’Tis my duty.”
Jordan rubbed the hilt of the dagger at his belt. “Get some men together. We’ll–” The sound of stirring inside the cell stopped him. He glanced from Eric to the door, torn. He couldn’t leave Dalia, not during her wakening.
Eric’s eyes flashed. “I’ll get a group together. We’ll find Luci.”
Jordan nodded. “Report to me on your return.”
Eric glanced at Fionah before heading to the stairs.
She stared at Jordan, her blue eyes flushing with red. Waving at the door, she demanded, “You put this woman before the clan?”
“I turned her. It is my duty to help her.”
“Why?” She shook her head. “What’s so special about this girl?”
“I don’t know.”
Fionah studied him, then shrugged and glided down the long hall. Jordan sighed, relieved she hadn’t continued her questions. He didn’t have any answers.
He slipped back inside the room. The woman was slowly walking. It wouldn’t be long now.
She woke with a start. Agony seared through her, bringing a scream to her throat. Her heart beat a deafening rhythm and her stomach clenched with fiery hunger. She jerked upright, staring into the darkness, her thoughts scattered like petals on the wind.
She reached up to rub her pounding temples but cold metal weighed heavily on her wrists. Chains rattled.
The shadows whispered a soothing, “Hush.”
Only then did she realize she was keening sharp cries from a need she couldn’t name. She hurt. Oh how she hurt. Her body ached, her stomach roiled. And she was so damn hungry.
A match flared. Candlelight spread a flickering pool over a man sitting near the bed. His features were harsh, yet his blue eyes held kindness.
The pulse beating at his throat drew her attention. She could hear his calm heartbeat over the erratic thumping of her own. The fire consuming her flared and she lunged.
The chains yanked her back to the mattress, keeping her from reaching the man.
Sharp canines pierced her tongue. The coppery taste of blood welled in her mouth. Startled, she stopped pulling at the chains, trying to think as the sweet taste brought her a bit of clarity.
The man left the chair to crouch beside the bed. She couldn’t stop from jumping at him again, but he stayed just out of reach.
“It’s all right, Dalia. You’ll feel better soon.”
Dalia? That was her name. Yes. Her thoughts grew clearer, though the pain rushing through her body was only getting worse.
He raised his wrist to his mouth. An urgent scent of salty copper bit into the air, making her stomach clench. He lowered his arm and her gaze locked on the blood welling over his tanned skin.
“Drink.” He held his hand in front of her face.
A red haze covered her vision and she sank her teeth into his skin. Blood, warm and comforting, filled her mouth. Mindless with a hunger she couldn’t place, unable to even feel disgust at what she was doing, she drank greedily.
The fire in her belly roared and she drank more, wanting to pull him closer, to wrap her hands around his arm and hold him tight to her lips. The chains rattled loudly, still keeping her from grabbing him. She growled in frustration at the cold metal.
Slowly, the flames in her stomach dampened.
Voices, silently screaming inside her head, broke through the fog. She jerked back, pressing against the headboard, as she realized exactly what she’d just done. Her breathing sped up as panic teased at her senses.
Shadow’s filled the man’s eyes. His lips curled into a fierce frown and she shivered at the anger blazing across his face.
With a cry, she scrambled as far as she could across the small bed and pressed into the ice cold wall in the corner.
“It’s all right,” he said gently.
She shook her head, trying to straighten out her thinking. Nothing made sense and she couldn’t even remember why.
“Dalia.” His voice rumbled, his accent thickening. “Come to me.”
Heat flared in the room as his voice tugged on her. Warmth slid over her, prickling her skin, and burrowing deep inside her mind. She shook her head as the buzzing of his command grew and the urge to do as he said increased. Calling for her to go to his side, his voice echoed and repeated in her mind.
She concentrated on listening to the crazed screaming and jabbering of her own internal voice. Curling into a ball, she fisted her hands over her ears. The chains rattled but she barely heard them over his insistent call.
Release Day Giveaway
Leave me a note in the comments with which character you like the most from the excerpt
I’ll pick 2 winners by the end of the weekend to win a $5 amazon gift card!!
Good Luck and thanks for stopping by,
First, I have to say a huge
to everyone for your support during my Bloodstorm release & blog tour. Wow, it was amazing.
I had over 20 stops, with some bumps along the way, LOL. But everyone was great, and so many people not only showed up, but followed the tour
My final prizes are for the blog hostess with the most comments, and the blog commenter who left the most comments.
Urban Girl Reader won the $20 hostess prize, WOOT!!
Now, for the $20 most commenter winner.
Here’s where it got complicated. You see, remember the ‘over 20 blog stops’?
There were 2 lovely ladies who hit nearly every single post.
I couldn’t choose between them (using random.org).
So, I’ve decided to give both ladies a gift card, as a tie
Sarah & Tina, you’ll get the certificates through email.
Thank you all for your support. Two weeks after release day, Bloodstorm hit Amazon Bestseller lists, Woot!
I love my readers, they’re the Very Best!!! <3 <3
Cover Art by the amazingly talented Dawné Dominique
Available at Amazon
When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites.
For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him only to face more than she bargained for in a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman. With duties as Keeper of the peace and Sheriff, Shane Spencer must protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war.
When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between them might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.
Available at Amazon
Release Day Party and Giveaway
I want your opinions!
Here’s my Q4U: What do you like the best about Vampires?
I’ll be checking in all weekend, today through Sunday night. Let’s talk about vampires and what we like most about them. Make sure to come back each day, because more news & awesome prizes will be announced each day!
Every so often, through the day, I’ll be picking random winners for prize packs:
- 5 gift certificates to Ana Banana’s Bath and Body Treats
- 3 gift certificates to Amazon.com
- Amber Kallyn book bags
- Autographed Posters of the cover art
- Autographed postcards of the cover art
In addition to the above prizes, I have 20 mini-stakes to give away today and tomorrow.
They’re hand made, hand engraved, custom keychain Vampire stakes, LOL. They were so cute, I couldn’t resist. Each stake measures about 2 inches long.
As a gift, I will send these in mini-swag packs, which includes a custom stake key chain and an autographed cover of the book to the first 20 people who email me at amberkallyn (at) gmail (dot) com with an amazon reciept for purchasing Bloodstorm.
(This does not preclude you from winning one of the other prizes)
More Prizes will be announced Sunday, so check back, and join in the discussion.
Extra Entries to Friday’s prizes
I’ve never done this before, but I’m willing to try, LOL.
You can earn extra entries in the contest by doing any of the following:
- If you Tweet the following (copy & paste):
Check out @AmberKallyn ‘s Super Duper Par-tay for the release of her Bloodstorm #vampires http://wp.me/p10Tqd-en
- If you Facebook and share the link in the comments
If you comment on any of my Release Day Bash blog hosts sites:
Romancing the Darkside http://romancingthedarkside.blogspot.com/2012/04/bloodstorm-release-day-blitz-giveaway.html
Beverly @ The Wormhole http://wormyhole.blogspot.com/2012/04/release-day-blitz-bloodstorm-by-amber.html
Saph’s Book Blog saphsbookblog.blogspot.com
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom http://www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com/2012/04/bloodstorm-release-day-blitz.html
But most of all
I want to have fun
I love vampire stories. So share what you love best about vamps, and we can debate it, LOL.
Love ya’ll very much. Thanks for stopping by and if you participate, thanks so many bunches I can’t even count them all.
*If Peter piper picked a bunch of peppers, how many pecks of pickled peppers did peter piper pick?*
Yes, I love ya’ll more than one bunch
Release date (squee!!!) is this Friday the 13th. I love those days.
Also, don’t forget to come back on Friday for my Super-Duper Release Day Par-tay
When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites.
For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him in a small Arizona town, only to face more than she bargained for. Amid an imperious vampire King, a shaky truce between the local clan and shifter pack, and a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman, Niki’s single-minded purpose is threatened for the first time since her turning.
Between his duties as Keeper of the peace for the Magic Council and heir to his tribe’s shamanistic magic, Sheriff Shane Spencer’s job is to protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war. To make matters worse, there’s an irresistible rouge vampire in town enflaming his senses.
When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the paranormal races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must find a way to stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between Niki and Shane might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.
The pitch black tunnel, complete with crumbling dirt walls and cobwebs, didn’t frighten Nicola DeVeraux. The dark held nothing to fear. She’d seen too many real monsters in the years since her death.
Besides, her night vision was as good as any human’s in the bright light of day.
She stepped over a skeleton, then around the grisly remains of a wild boar.
At the far end of the tunnel, candlelight flared to life, as if welcoming her into the witch’s den. Her boots stirred up dust as she entered the small cave.
The walls glinted with a mix of crystalline dirt and flecked stone. The scent of a nearby spring layered heavy moisture in the air. In the center of the cavern stood a long rectangular table, covered by a black velvet cloth. Strange items, some unrecognizable at first–or even second–glance, littered the top.
Spinning at the gravelly, androgynous voice, Niki grabbed for the dagger at her waist.
The old crone cackled as she entered, her grin nearly toothless. Stringy gray hair straggled around her plump, wrinkled, face. Jezamine glided to the table. “I didn’t think ye’d answer my summons.”
“You asked me to come, old woman. I assume there’s a reason.” Though the dark tunnel hadn’t scared her, the witch did. Niki forced herself to take another step, though she kept a tense grip on the hilt of her still-sheathed dagger.
“What question do ye ask the gods?”
Ignoring the tension roiling in her stomach, she moved to the woman’s side. “They’re finally ready to answer me?”
Jezamine laughed again, the sound sending skitters down Niki’s spine. “Ye know they take their time, girl.”
“Fine. I want to know if I’ll finally find the man who murdered my family.”
The old woman reached for a silver cup etched with strange markings. She shook it three times before dumping the contents into a circle made from small, round crystals. Human finger bones clattered against one another. She bent over the table.
Jezamine had looked as ancient a hundred years ago as she did now. “Hmm. Yes. Mmm.” The old woman poked at one bone sticking above the others. “But what ‘bout…”
Niki eased onto one of the dark wooden stools at the far end of the table.
The priestess sprung upright, staring at Niki with her fathomless dark eyes. Her inky black lips stretched in a grimacing smile. “It’s yer birthday. Samhain be a good day for birthin’.”
Niki clenched her fists in her lap. “Not really.”
Halloween was a cursed day to be born. It had brought her nothing but pain, brought her family nothing but death.
The old woman poked at the bones again. “Maybe. Maybe ye be finding the monster ye seek, maybe be getting some other kind of lucky.” Jezamine’s screeching laugh echoed from the cavern walls.
Shivers inched along Niki’s spine and flooded into her legs. Thankfully she was sitting down. “What do you mean, some other kind of lucky?”
Jezamine’s dark eyes glittered. “Girl, I don’t think ye want me telling. Don’t think the Fates want me telling.”
“Then what about Thomas?” Her nails poked painfully into her palms.
“Lil’ girl. Why ye wanna spend all yer time tracking down pure evil?”
Memories flashed. The Halloween ball, celebrating not just her seventeenth birthday, but her engagement as well. The plantation in the bayou, ringing with music and laughter. At least until dawn arrived, the sun shining down on nothing but death.
Niki shook the old pain away. “Duty,” she repeated. “He owes me vengeance.”
“’Tis a fine line ye walk between revenge and justice.” Jezamine shook her head, the corners of her lips drooping in a frown. “Revenge make yer soul dark as his.”
“I don’t care.” In the far corner of the cave, wisps of white fog crept up the walls. Soon they would form into the shapes of those long dead.
She jumped to her feet, turning away. “Can you tell me anything else?”
Jezamine walked around the table to face her. “’Ware child. He who turned ye may also be the cause of yer downfall.”
Niki lifted her chin, facing down the old woman’s words, the Fates themselves. “Not until after I’ve killed him.”
As Shane Spencer finished the last of his beer, his deputy, Chase Campton, strode by, slapping him on the back.
“Another re-election year well done, Sheriff.”
The small crowd in the bar cheered and the waitress, Rae, slipped another bottle onto his corner table.
Shane tipped his cowboy hat politely and plastered on a fake smile, unable to join in the spirit. All day, something dark had been hanging over the town. Not that anyone else sensed it. He needed to go to his childhood home. On the edge of town, the house sat at the borderline of the Apache reservation and Moss Creek.
His father, head shaman and seer, would know what the signs meant. Once again, doubt crept up inside Shane. How did the Fates pass over the eldest in their family and choose him as their father’s successor? It had never before happened in their tribe’s history.
He nursed the beer, deep in thought.
The door banged open, a cold autumn breeze swirled the smoky air. A woman followed it in, stopping just inside the bar. The air vibrated with unseen power. Even the deepest shadows shivered. Everyone in the bar fell silent, turning as one to look her way.
She held her head high, long black hair curling over her shoulders like silk. Her bright green gaze scanned the tables. She passed over Shane without pause, only to snap back to him.
Magic filled the room and the hair on his forearms rose. The other people in the bar were forgotten. Only the two of them existed.
His heartbeat slowed, skipped a beat, sped up like a race horse barreling down the track.
The doorframe towered over her slight form. Yet her body was ripe, lush with curves. The tight blue jeans emphasized her hips, the narrowness of her waist. And the sleeveless white tank showed her breasts off to perfection.
He swallowed, though his mouth was dry.
Her eyes widened and even over the distance of the room, he heard her soft, feminine gasp. Palms slick, he shakily set the bottle back on the table.
His blood screamed primitive urges… demanding he drag her off to his cave.
It wasn’t like him.
Women, even the most beautiful, had never affected him this way. He’d met with the rich and beautiful, models and actresses galore during his time in the city. Gathering the remaining shreds of his willpower, he closed his eyes calling on the magic of his ancestors. The spirits of the earth responded and power surged through him. Magic raised the hairs on his arms and the back of his neck as the whispers of the spirits of the nearby forest filled him. Ignoring it to concentrate on what was here and now, he reopened his eyes. Colorful hues surrounded everyone in the bar.
Her aura struck him like a punch to the gut. A deep maroon, with flecks of black, revealed exactly what she was.
And not local.
He blinked again, letting the sight fade.
The woman finally looked away and took another step into the bar. As quickly as it had hit, the power surging through the room dissipated. People once more talked and laughed, raising their glasses in toasts.
What the hell kind of vampire was she, to cause such a raging lust?
The woman strode to the bar, her glare shouting ‘Don’t mess with me’. Though she didn’t look old enough to drink, let alone be in a bar in the first place, the bartender immediately poured her a shot of whiskey.
Shane would be talking to Henry about it later.
First, he needed to figure out what this vampire was doing in Moss Creek. Sure, the small mountain town was a hub of paranormal activity, with the local vampire clan and the shifter pack taking advantage of the surrounding nature. But rogues generally tended to stay out of places dominated by orderly clans, knowing the structure and politics were handed down by the Magic Council.
And the Council didn’t like Rogues.
Cupping the shot glass in her hands, the woman leaned towards Henry before the older man could move away.
Shane tensed in his seat. If she was looking for a meal…
Henry murmured something. The woman nodded, downed her shot and laid some money on the bar before turning and striding out.
Shane tried to relax, but he still yearned for the stranger, to touch her, smell her, nearly as badly as when she’d been staring at him, as if she could see down to his very soul.
Niki kept to the shadows of the forest as she skirted the parking lot. The only light came from a blue neon sign on the building’s roof, claiming someone called Henry owned the Spitfire bar.
She stopped near a clump of three trees opposite the bar. The center one was marked with a red X. How original. Yet this was where her contact wanted to meet, so who was she to complain?
It was nearly a half-hour later than their appointed time and she wasn’t quite sure why she was still here. Her stomach grumbled lightly. She needed to eat, the blood she’d consumed earlier hadn’t been enough. Without both food and blood her strength would wane. She couldn’t afford that, not now when she was so close to her prey.
She’d give this snitch five more minutes.
Only three passed before the air whispered through the forest at her back. Niki turned, knife in hand, holding it hidden down by her thigh.
“Looking for me?” a husky whisper drifted out of the darkness.
“You Baal?” She tried not to snort. Sometimes vampires tried on grandioseness, as if eternal life made them superman. Which, she guessed, in some ways it did.
“Maybe. Depends. You got the money?”
“Sure. If you have the information you promised.”
“Lemme see the cash first, lady.”
Niki reached slowly into her front pocket and pulled out two one-hundred dollar bills. The snitch tried to grab it, but she held tight. “Information first.”
He stepped into a bit of moonlight and grinned, eyes flushed with red. His thin lips drew back, revealing long fangs as he chuckled. “I got something else for you.”
She sighed. “Let me guess. You’re not going to give me the information, assuming a creep like you even knows anything.”
“Got that right.” Confusion twisted his pale features, as if he didn’t quite follow. Then he grinned again. “But you sure gonna give me something. Ain’t just money.”
Never trust a snitch. “Let’s get on with it then.” She tucked the bills back in her pocket.
His grin twitched, eyes flickered, following the money. He shook himself, confidence coming back.
She tightened her grip on the dagger. He lunged.
Niki used his momentum to fling him against the trunk of the tree. His head slammed in to the painted red X.
“Damn it,” he yelled, quickly recovering and charging her again.
She waited until he was close, then rammed her knee into his groin. Not even vampires were immune to that pain.
Hope you enjoyed
Thank you to all who commented and participated in the giveaway.
The winner drawn from my Phoenix Sun’s ballcap is Duan Ann K.
I’ll be sending you an email.
My beautiful new baby is here.
from Changeling Press WET: Ocean Music
Two selkies, one woman, hot island nights.
Erotic Paranormal Romance (M/M/F) Gay, bisexual and menage romance
Renowned African-American violinist Lilly is swept to sea during a freakish storm, only to be rescued by two playful seals. She wakes on an island with two handsome men she’s drawn to in ways she’s never felt before. Slowly, she comes to realize the island holds many secrets, including the fact her two lovers are, by night, creatures of the sea. And though the island seems a refuge, an old evil lurks in the shadows, waiting to snatch the trio’s happiness away. Lilly, Chris and Brian must protect each other and overcome the evil not just to survive, but to claim the love they’ve found together.
As a goodie for Release day, I’m giving away a free e-copy to one winner, chosen on Tuesday, 8/30. Just answer one question in the comments and you’ll be entered into the drawing.
(As always, my drawings work by me putting names in a hat