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,