Thursday, April 26, 2018

#RebelHeart #Futuristic #PostApocalyptic


HER REBEL SPIRIT DEFIED HIS OUTSIDERS SOUL...
She was velvet and silk, eyes the color of a summer storm. Victoria DeMontville, because of a promise and a codicil to her father's will, was forced to marry one man to protect her from another. She fought Cameron Savage with a fierce passion. But to hold on to her genetic research and find a cure for the deadly Signe virus, she must pretend to love the adversary at her door, who arrived with weapons of fire to melt her icy heart...

HIS OUTSIDERS TOUCH IGNITED RAGING PASSIONS...
He wore a mask, disguised as the Phantom, a true legend come to life. Even as war and debate over new genetic research engulfed them all, he would find his greatest adversary in the beauty who'd branded him an outsider and barbarian, the woman he was born to possess, his soul mate.

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EXCERPT: Rebel Heart

Early summer, 2585

Victoria


She loved to come to the lake. Nowhere else on earth was so beautiful and cool. Sunlight shimmered on the water and played chase with the golden ripples that dipped behind the shadows cast by stately redwood trees, only to emerge a heartbeat later and begin its game once again. The trees surrounding the lake were ancient now, born before the two thousand year wars.

Perhaps it was her father who made this place seem special, who created the magic. He was wonderful and good. He cared deeply for his family and his friends. But more than that, he worked hard to uphold the laws of the cities and to bring understanding between the City Dwellers and the outsiders.

He had promised her, had obtained the passes needed to go outside the perimeter of the virus-free bubble that protected them. She had been so proud when he handed her the permit. 

"Victoria, I'm giving you this for safe keeping," he'd told her. "Now, don't lose the pass. Without this little piece of paper both you and Vanessa will have to stay home and I'll be forced to swim alone." 

But her father was a busy and important man. Minutes before they meant to depart for the lake, he was called away on something vital, matters of state that had to be taken care of immediately. 

She and Vanessa watched him leave. Yet they had the treasured passes in hand. There was no reason Tori could think of that she and her twin should stay home. They left the sterile confines of the City to swim and play, just as they had planned. 

Oh, and it was such a beautiful day. Vanessa's giggle slipped across the deep blue surface and seemed to dive beneath, as if following her twin in a careless display of frivolity. Nessa's dark blond curls broke the surface of the water. She shook her head. Droplets flew into the air then shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. They caught rainbows of light and melded with their source. Laughter rippled again. 

Tori dove then quickly emerged from the mysterious depths; with strokes synchronized perfectly, they swam to the farthest point of land. Reaching shallow water, they waded ashore, oblivious to everything except the beauty of the day.

"I wish father had been here." Nessa's small breathy voice lost itself in the towering trees and thick foliage. 

"He had important business." Something was about to happen. Tori sensed it--some sudden stillness in the air, something that warned her.

Nessa DeMontville cast an exasperated glance at her twin who moved past her toward a huge granite rock that loomed almost ten feet above the earth. Another boulder soared higher. 

"He promised us, and it has been so long."

"Sometimes he doesn't have a choice." To Tori, the forest had suddenly turned quiet--too quiet. 

"Are you sure it was alright for us to come without him?"

"We have the passes," Tori said, scarcely able to breathe.

Nessa shook her head. "Yes, but..." 

"I rest my case." She crossed her arms in front of her.

"But father..." 

Tori patted the rock next to her. "I promise as soon as we dry off, we'll go home. Come on, join me." 

Nessa looked from her clothes to the sun-warmed rock. After a few seconds, her gaze drifted back to her sister. Nessa trembled, and Tori knew her sister was afraid. 

"I suppose we'll have to sneak in through the tower window," Nessa said.

"Only because it's so much fun," Tori replied.

The tower she spoke of stood guard over Tower City, an ancient reminder of a time long past. It looked over a larger arm of the lake they now enjoyed. A small, hidden door located at the tower's base enabled the girls to escape the stifling confines of the City. 

No one had the freedom to come and go from the City, as they pleased; no one except physicians. Since the last outbreak of the deadly signe virus, most travel was forbidden and permits were given only to a chosen few.

Tori lifted her face to the sun, intent on the precious moments she had left.

"I'm sorry Nessa, truly I am. If I'd realized you didn't want to go, I wouldn't have asked. Now that you're here, you have two choices; go up the ladder or walk through the gates. But then Father will know within minutes."

"So he will be angry?" Nessa asked. 

"I don't know. Why did you agree to come with me?"

Nessa's head shot up. Her grey eyes clouded. "I couldn't let you go alone. What if something happened to you?" 

Tori smiled tenderly then just as suddenly sobered. "You worry too much. Remember, we have passes and Father did approve this outing."

"But that's because he planned to be here."

Out of the corner of one eye, Tori watched her sister slip out of her swimsuit and struggle into her clothes. Nessa pulled on the form-fitting black body suit, wriggling to get into it. After that, she tugged at the bodice until the material flattened all her newly blossomed curves. Her dark blue tunic slithered over her head and rested an inch above her knees. Nessa buckled the wide silver belt she always wore before she buttoned the two remaining buttons, fastening them securely below her chin. 

Nessa waited and tapped her foot impatiently. To Tori, it looked as if Nessa waited for her to climb from the rock and dress, but Tori didn't want to leave.

"Are you coming?" Nessa asked finally. 

"Another minute. The sun feels so warm and..."

"Tori." 

"What?" 

Thunder boomed in the mountains far to the east and instantly the sky sizzled, turning the air sultry. Clouds billowed over the mountains and formed huge dark figures. The noise from the burgeoning summer storm eclipsed all other sounds.

Something awful was about to happen. Suddenly anxious to be home, Tori rose.

She slid off her sunny perch and scrambled into her clothes. Loose fitting breeches and a lightweight cotton shirt slipped over clean fresh skin, a sharp contrast to her sister's attire. She quickly tugged on her boots, hobbling on one foot then the other. When she finished, she straightened, brushing dusty hands on her pants. 

"Race you to the cross roads." Tori started across the stream. One foot landed in the bubbling creek with a loud splash, the other landed squarely on the other side. The exhilaration left her breathless, and she gave no heed to the racket she caused, racing across the summer-dried forest.

A sharp cry pierced the woods. The scream was followed by the sharp report of a bullet. Both girls fell to the ground and froze. After several terrifying seconds passed without another shot, they raced for cover.

Lightning scorched across the sky. Rain threatened. Black clouds filled the horizon, blocking out the sun. 




Annie for Euro Reviews writes:

Rebel Heartis a well-written futuristic novel of a time that very possibly could come to pass, when viral plagues have laid the planet waste, and life is lived either in the sterile confines of domed habitats, or as pariahs in the outside wilderness. The world-building is excellent, vivid, and true-to-life. The characters will quickly catch and hold the reader's sympathies. The plot is quick, and takes time to examine many valid social, economic, class, and political issues as well. Christine Youngdelivers a winner which will capture the interest of futuristic/science fiction fans as well as the general reader.


Jasmina Vallombrosa for TCM Reviews writes:
Filled with drama and suspense, this book will draw you into the mysteries of science fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by Ms. Young’s storytelling talents as she wove not only a wonderful futuristic adventure, but also that of a passionate love story. I loved the main characters as they came to life on the pages. The plot was quite suspenseful and deliciously entertaining. As a result, I had no choice but to keep flipping the pages as I raced to the end. Bravo Ms.Young for such an extraordinary book from cover to cover!



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ravyn's Marriage of Inconvenience #HistoricalRomance


When the duchess decides to wed her to a wastrel and a fop, Ravyn Grahm takes matters into her own hands and declares her engagement to another man. Instead of fessing up and telling her great aunt what she has done, she goes through with the pretense. Aric Lakeland is the bastard son of an earl and has a dangerous reputation. But Ravyn is willing to do most anything to keep the duchess from discovering the lie.



He'd bought land in America, looking to put down roots and end his life of adventure, but Aric Lakeland got more than he bargained for when he encountered a beautiful heiress who made a promise she didn't want to keep. But the promise could not be undone and standing between them were more obstacles than either ever dreamed. Aric had made plans to spend the rest of his life in America and that was at odds with Ravyn's plan of living in England and running her father's estate. Now, he'll have to choose between his dreams and the woman he loves more than life.




Ravyn smiled, curtsied, and stepped into Ryder’s arms with a grace learned from the first tutors in her English castle.

At the sideboard, Aric watched with veiled eyes. He poured himself a stiff drink then another, cursing silently the whole time. He had wanted so much to have Ravyn in his arms, to feel her softness and warmth beneath his fingertips and against the hard angled planes of his body. He could smell her delicate perfume and see the intense clarity of her eyes.

And he had let another man do all those things.

The mug hit the sideboard with a muted thud that was lost in the music of the pipes. A few long strides brought him to the fireplace. He stood in the shadows, leaning against the mantle, gazing intensely at Ravyn with a hunger he could no longer hide. Her simple day dress of the palest lavender made her eyes a more vivid shade of violet. Her skin glowed like fragile porcelain lit from within. The simple chignon emphasized the delicate lines of her face. Tendrils of hair escaped to lie in soft curves at her temples, nape and ears.

Even as Aric felt anger sweeping through his body at the sight of his wife burning like a candle flame in another man’s arms, Aric reminded himself there was nothing improper about the dance. Though Ryder’s unusual size made an intense foil to Ravyn’s fragile femininity, Ryder was holding her properly, neither too close to his body nor too familiar in the placement of his hands. Nor was Ravyn clinging too much. They were just dancing and skimming gracefully around the parlor floor.

Then the darkly handsome Ryder grinned down at Ravyn and began singing in his fine voice about the rolling hills of Scotland and the brave lads and lassies. When a braw Scotsman spied a bonnie lass by a clear meadow stream. The Scotsman’s charms quickly seduced the pretty girl, who pleaded for his name in marriage.

Ryder’s dark eyes simmered with suppressed laughter as he watched Ravyn react to the wry lyrics. Her golden laugher bubbled up contagiously, bringing forth more laugher.

Aric was too furious to laugh. Seeing the change wrought by Ryder on Ravyn’s pallid appearance made Aric feel murderous. The only thing preventing him from retreating to another room was the thought of not being able to watch Ravyn. At the moment, he was simmering for a good fight, and Ryder was at the top of his list.

Ryder kept on, whirling her easily around the room until she was breathless with laughter.

Unnoticed, and unable to keep himself from watching, Aric leaned against the doorframe leading to his bedroom. He stood with his arms crossed over his chest, staring at Ravyn with an impassive face and thoughts that promised Hell to anyone who ventured too close.

Aric couldn’t help noticing Ravyn, who appeared stunningly feminine next to the massive bulk of Ryder. Barely five feet one inches tall, she was eleven inches shorter than Ryder, yet there was nothing childlike in the proportions of her body. The curves of breast and hip, waist and ankle showed clearly against the soft folds of her dress as the cloth swirled fluidly with her movements.

Finally, the dance ended in a fast and furious pace, Ryder lifting Ravyn high over his head. After Ravyn landed gracefully on the floor and the music stopped, Ryder smiled and lifted one of Ravyn’s hands to his lips kissing the back of it. She curtsied deeply, graceful as a flower. Though he didn’t speak his thought aloud, it was clear from his expression he was thoroughly enchanted by his dance partner.

"Again, Damian," Amorica murmured. "That’s one of my favorite songs."

The melancholy strains of the pipes flowed through the room. A reminder of an ancient heritage they would not forget. Soon Ryder and Ravyn were whirling around the room again. Ryder held his partner lightly, gazing down at her with approving eyes, singing in his fine voice. No one could hear Ryder’s words but Ravyn blushed and laughed with transparent pleasure. Ryder spun quickly, taking Ravyn with him, making her skirt billow like wind-blown flame. He stopped and dipped deeply, forcing her to depend upon his strength for her balance. When she accepted his lead without protest, his smile flashed, transforming his face, making his handsome enough to stop a woman’s heart.

A burning fury swept Aric.

When I touch her, she berates me as a bastard. Yet when Ryder holds her, she stares at him as though she’s been struck by a lightening bolt.

I don’t know who is the greater fool--me for caring or Ryder for falling for a dream--for someone who can steal his heart but give nothing in return. 

With a predatory grace, Aric crossed the parlor. It was only a moment, but it gave warning to Damian what was about to happen. Ryder didn’t notice Aric’s approach. His attention was on Ravyn’s smiling face and the firelight dancing in her hair. The hard masculine tap on his shoulder made him jerk.

"Patience, my friend," Ryder said. "It will be your dance soon."

"All the dances are mine."

The icy fury in Aric’s words made Ryder’s head snap around. One look at Aric and he released Ravyn without an argument. Ravyn’s lips parted in a half smile directed toward Aric, but her smile vanished just as suddenly as it started to appear. She tripped as he whirled her away from Ryder and into his arms.

"Aric," she breathed, inhaling a deep breath, while her fingers dug into his arms as if to steady herself. "You surprised me."

Arid didn’t bother to politely pretend it had been his error in the cadence rather than Ravyn’s that had caused her to trip.

"I will do more than surprise you if you continue to seduce every man you see."

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

#TellTaleTuesday #BehindTheMirror #FantasyRomance


Emma and Ehrich fight for their lives against a demon and its high priestess. They battle human trafficking, a political coup, and their own inner demons.



BLURB

What would you do if your favorite novel suddenly became a reality? What would you do if the handsome main character of that novel fell in love with you? During a trip to Paris with her friends, nineteen-year-old Emma King walks through an antique mirror and into the embrace of Ehrich de Natois, the mysterious main character of her favorite novel. Unfortunately, whether in books or real life, living happily ever after just doesn’t happen. Emma realizes this when she is pulled into the "in between;"a place between dimensions, a place much darker and more surreal than she could ever imagine.
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EXCERPT:  Behind the Mirror

PROLOGUE






The shadows of twilight danced across the lush meadows, stretching dark fingers out to the Mystic Pool of Aire in the garden of Shylah, the Celtic Seer. A tall, hooded figure shrouded in a black robe glided into view. It wore the hood pulled up around its face, leaving only the yellow glint of its eyes visible. Kneeling by the pool, Shylah disturbed the water when the dark shape overshadowed her.

Shylah cast her dark eyes upward to meet the eerily glowing orbs. Still kneeling, she gathered her robe around her, shivered, and offered the dark figure a seat by the pool.

"I know why you've come. You want to know your future," she said in a delicate English accent. Looking back at the pool, she continued to stir the water. When she stopped, the water swirled into a ghostly white mist reaching out its tendrils.

The image of a young woman in her late teens appeared in the center of the mist. She was dressed in clothes different from their time, a white top with writing and dark blue denim trousers. Her soft, brown hair gently framed her face, bringing out the sparkle in her dark, flashing eyes. She laughed and talked with two other young people about her age, a male and a female.

"How very strange," Shylah said. "For you, I see two separate, yet intertwining destinies running parallel to each other. This woman becomes a major part in both sides of your future." Shylah reached out to disturb the vision, but a skeletal hand stopped her. Its shockingly cold touch sent chills through her body, nearly frightening her to death.

"You want to see more of this woman?"

The dark figure nodded, so Shylah stirred until another image formed. "She comes from another time and space. At the moment, she abides in our future, yet she knows you and everything about you."

The vision in the pool showed the woman and her friends watching flickering shadows on a wall where two lovers kissed. The tender moment was interrupted by a dark-robed figure enveloping them.

"I'm not sure how, but this picture moves, telling your story."

A bony finger tapped the side of the pool. Shylah paused, trying to understand what the figure wanted. Again, it tapped then pointed to the vision.

"You want to know how to meet her?" The tapping continued. "I cannot tell. But without her, your second destiny will be final: one of intense hatred, unrequited love, and certain death." Shylah flinched at the icy, death-like touch of the skeletal hand.

"Do you want to see the second woman in your future?" The hooded head nodded. Shylah passed her hand over the pool. White vapors covered the image and dispersed, revealing a new one. A beautiful young woman in her late teens with dark, cascading curls stood on the stage of a grand theater. With a curtsey and a smile, she accepted the applause.

"They call her Cerise. She is the death you cannot escape. She will never love you." Shylah shivered again and reminded, "You cannot change history."

The shrouded figure stood abruptly.

Standing in the presence of a foreboding creature made Shylah turn cold, and knots of anxiety formed in her stomach. She wanted to jump up and flee into the night, screaming, but the creature's eyes gave her second thoughts.

The skeletal hand grabbed her arm. Its angry, vice-like grip brought excruciating pain, sending her to the ground screaming and pleading, reminding the creature that she only prophesied what came from God.

It released her arm. She fell to the ground gasping, clutching her discolored limb. Again, a skeletal finger tapped the edge of the pool.

Shylah rolled over, holding her damaged arm, gasping and biting her lip. The tapping continued until she passed a shaky hand over the pool.

Visions of both young women appeared. The one entwined in a lover's embrace with a black-clad figure. The other wept softly within the walls of a building.

The golden orbs blazing within the hood resembled an artist's concept of the Grim Reaper. Shylah turned her face to the ground, sobbing and pleading, as she cradled her throbbing arm. No longer could she bear to look into its eyes. Her entire body trembled until her heart nearly failed. Suddenly, the hooded figure turned and swiftly melted into the night.



Sunday, April 22, 2018

#RomanceSunday #ShadowDancer #YA #Paranormal #Romance



BLURB:

Sunny has a gift that she has no idea how to use, until she meets Leif, a boy from the kingdom of Acadia, on the other side of the shadows.  Leif teaches Sunny about Shadow Walkers and how to use her new found gifts. As they grow closer and their gifts grow stronger, a threat arrives.  The Shadow Guard has been sent to bring Sunny back to Acadia, to determine if she is a threat to the king as the rightful ruler of Acadia. 

As Leif and Sunny prepare to defend themselves, Sunny finds that Leif has also been sent to bring Sunny back to the kingdom but for very different reasons.  As a battle for possession of Sunny wages, she is struggling to come to turns with her feelings of inadequacy regarding controlling her gifts as well as the hurt regarding the lies and deceit of everyone around her.

EXCERPT: Shadow Dancer

“My Lady? I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what else...I think we need to call for help.”

“Where is she? I can’t see her.”

“She’s fine, my Lady. She’s sleeping, right over there. Can you see her?” 

“Bring her to me. I want to hold her.”

“My Lady, you have lost too much blood. We need to get you to a hospital or something. Please.”

“Star, it’s already too late. You know it. We can’t call for help. We have to keep her safe. She’s all that’s left. She is worth that and so much more. God, I am so tired. Please bring her to me.”

“My Lady...“

“Even now Star, after all these years, can’t you just be my friend?”

“I will always be your friend, my Lady, but you will always be my Queen. Even now, even later, that will never change. Here she is. Do you have her?”

“I’ve got her. Please don’t hover over me, Star. I’m alright. Look how beautiful she is. Can you believe Malcolm and I made something so beautiful?”

“Yes, I can. She looks like you. She has your hair, all golden and soft. She has your mouth too. Don’t you think?”

“Yes. Oh God, I want to hold on to her forever. I never want to let her go. Star, you have to promise me that you will keep her safe. Whatever you have to do, you have to keep her safe. Promise me.”

“No, my Lady, we will keep her safe. You and I together.”

“No, Star, this burden will fall to you. You already see the truth of it, right here in front of your eyes. I’m just so tired. Here, you’d better take her. Bye, my baby girl. I love you so. 

Star, promise me. You’ve done all you can here. All that is left is her. Malcolm is gone, and I…”

“Stop it! You can’t just give up! Don’t laugh! Can’t you see that it’s tearing me apart? I can’t do this without you.” 

“Star, I’m not laughing. I promise you. There just isn’t anything I can do to stop it. You can do this. I believe in you. Star?”

“Yes. My Lady?”

“Promise.”

“All right. I promise I will do everything I can to keep her safe.”

“Do you think you will ever return?”

“I don’t know. Everything is changed now. Our whole world has changed.”

“Star?”

“Yes?”

“Stay safe. You have always been my very best friend. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Thank you, so much, for everything.”

“My Lady...“

“Keep her safe...“


Shadow Dancer is a fun, light read with some action, some romance and some kick-butt abilities. 
LunaMoth for Far from Reality Reviews

Saturday, April 21, 2018

#Sci/FantasySaturday #Banner'sBonus #Sci/FiRomance

INNOCENCE MEETS HEDONISM: He’s a father’s worst nightmare.  



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INNOCENCE MEETS HEDONISM:He’s a father’s worst nightmare.  Yet cargo pilot, Nick Banner, is Jonathan Loring’s onlyhope of getting his daughter, Tressa, safely off-planet and out of harm’s way. 

Within the tight confines of Banner’sship, Tressa battles a girlhoodcrush gone dangerous.  As a sheltered teen, she secretly worshipped the hotshot cargo pilot from afar. Even his carnal reputation seemed romantic. But, now, those old feelings are unsettling.

Banner misses nothing, particularly hercoy glances.  Yeah, he’s noticed, and sexual tension smolders. Danger stalks them across the galaxy and when Tressa is captured by pirates, Banner finds himself willing to sell his soul to free her.    



EXCERPT: Banner's Bonus


"I have not been taking lengthy showers. For your information, I’ve been very conservative."

Nick smiled. "Yeah, well we’ve got a flashing indicator here that says differently."

Tressa cast a glance at the pulsing light on the console, then made her way to her seat. "I can assure you that’s not myfault."

"No of course it’s not. It’s TiMar’s." Reaching overhead, he flipped a series of switches and waited for a cluster of lights to turn green.

"It appears to me," Tressa said as she settled into her chair, "that once again your immaturity is at fault."

"Is that right." He continued monitoring the controls.

"Yes. Did you ever stop to think that the cause of the low water supply might be all those cold showers you keep taking?" The instant the words were out Tressa regretted them.

His head came around with a slow grin, and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was about to be had for lunch.

"You think that’swhat I’ve been doing in there?"

With heat scorching her cheeks, Tressa looked away, refusing to respond. 

Taking a cold shower is probably the least of your busy little activities behind a closed door. A silent voice added.

"Tressa? I asked if that’s what you--"

"I really don’t care what you do, Banner." Glancing down, she feigned sudden interest in her fingernails.

"Ah, but you’ve wondered, haven’t you?"

She ignored him.

There’s nothing to wonder about, flyboy.

"Haven’t you, Tressa?" he taunted. "You had it all figured out."

She slid him a retiring look.

He grinned. "Besides, why the devil would I be taking cold showers?"

Refusing to rise to the bait, Tressa began examining one particular fingernail with avid interest. "I couldn’t care less why," she mumbled beneath her breath.

"What was that? You say something?"

Without looking up she replied, "The low water supply is just another classic example."

"Of what?"

"Your lack of self-control, of course."

Silence.

You just can’t leave well enough alone, can you?

Tressa didn’t dare look at him. He was spoiling for a fight and she had just delivered the first punch.

And if you don’t stop, you’re going to find yourself out-gunned on a subject you’ll wish to stars you hadn’t opened.

"Ya wanna know what I was reallydoin’, Irish?"

Feigning boredom, she turned her sights to the small port window. "No thanks, Banner, you can keep the details to yourself."

"Allow me to satisfy your curiosity by enlightening you on several ways in which-"

"I’m not interested."

"But I’d be happy to educate you on some of the--"

"How much longer before we get there, do you think?" she asked, releasing a heavy sigh.

Satisfied and grinning, Nick turned back to the control panel. "Never challenge me, Irish--either directly or by insinuation--and particularly on a subject you know so precious little about." With a wink he added, "You’ll lose every time. I guarantee it."

Tressa didn’t respond, at last heeding the silent voice of reason.


5 Stars--Naomi of Fallen Angel Reviews
Banner's Bonustotally blew me away! I absolutely loved every page.


Linnea Sinclair--Award Winning Science Fiction Romance Author  
What a wild ride! Futuristic romance fans will love the passion and adventure in Lee's Banner's Bonus. Nick Banner can swagger through the stars with the best of them! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

#Friday'sFeaturedBook #BloodOath #Paranormal #Vampires

Book Two in The Seeker Chronicles. Blood Oath is a sequel to Blood Scent. We discover more about the Rogue, Seeker world in Australia. This is the story of Cassie and Matt, based in Tasmania. Matt kills a rogue vampire who wanted Cassie. This sets up a course of events where the rogue’s twin has sworn in a blood oath to avenge his brother’s death. Throw in a bunch of vampire hunters as well and you have trouble. Things become even more complicated when Cassie’s sister is kidnapped as bait. The only option may be that Cassie will have to give up her own life to save them all.



EXCERPT: Blood Oath

The dark haired vampire came at her attacker and had him in the same position he had been himself a moment ago. "You'll not do that to any female under my protection, Rogue."
What the heck did he mean by that? She didn't know these guys, let alone know she was under someone's protection.
The blonde vampire sneered, "Kill me if you dare, but your problems will only just start at that moment. Look at my hand. I've a scar that won't heal. It's from a blood oath. My twin has drunk from me. He'll come and kill you and make her death slow and painful. He doesn't want a mate, he just likes to kill. She'd be better off with me, so why don't you go and leave us alone?"
Cassie wasn't going to stay around and listen to any more talk of people or vampires killing her, or trading her for the less nasty one. She grabbed her bag and tried to stand, but her leg gave out as the pain shot up into her hip, causing her to almost black out. Using the wall to support her, she hobbled pass the vampires as the one underneath brought up his talon into the chest of the dark haired one. She kept shaking her head as if that action would make this whole experience disappear. It didn't work.
The dark haired one on top brought his hand down so quickly she didn't see his arm move, but he had sliced across the other one's throat. There was a tiny trickle of blood along the incision and then a drip flowed from the corner of the blonde vampire's mouth. His eyes opened wide in realization, he was dead if vampires could die. Then his head rolled to the side, perfectly separated from the body as if a guillotine had done the work. At that point, the only thing holding her upright was the wall behind her. Cassie didn't want to see any of this anymore. She shuffled along till she got through the front door and out of the shack.
Cassie made it as far as the bottom of the porch steps before she turned and threw up on the nearest bush. The smell of the regurgitated wine and the sight she had just seen were too much, even for a hardened theatre nurse. They might be vampires, but this was someone being killed before her eyes. She grabbed the railing on the steps to steady herself. Her head cleared as she breathed in the cold night air. Then the pain in her leg hit again as if it was on fire. She stumbled to her car. Her hands shook as she tried to put the keys in the door. She stopped before she opened the car and leaned forward, resting her forehead against the car roof. The dark haired vampire had saved her life, and the other one said there was another bad guy coming after her. If that was true, the only person who had a chance of stopping him was lying on the floor bleeding to death in Nan's shack. He wasn't a person, she told herself; he was a fucking vampire. This was insane, but she knew she was going back.
Each step sent fresh pain shooting up her leg as she hobbled back into the shack. Her hand went to her mouth to stop any more vomit as she saw the decapitated vampire with his grimacing face and fangs. The dark haired one had dragged himself over and was leaning against the wall. She limped to the kitchen and grabbed a t towel. She hesitated for an moment then made her way across and pressed it against his chest. The front of his shirt was soaked in blood, and his neck had a gash from his ear to his collarbone. She was used to blood working in the operating room, but what the hell could she do here? She grabbed her scarf from her bag and held it against his neck, but the blood soaked through and covered her hands. There was no phone coverage out here and by the time she would have gotten to the nearest town, he would be dead. It seemed a strange thing for a vampire to die of blood loss, but she was watching it happen as he became paler in front of her. She reached for his wrist and felt his pulse. He had a beating heart, so he definitely wasn't the undead. He opened his eyes and took her hand in his. His touch was so cold and his fingers almost blue. She should be pulling away, but something stopped her. He gazed at her with beautiful green eyes and smiled. A smile that showed no trace of the fangs she had seen earlier.
"You should leave. He's gone now. Go and get help for yourself," he pleaded with her. His voice raspy as if every word was a struggle.
She looked to the door and then back at the injured man before her. As she pressed against his wounds and his blood continued to soak through, she knew what she needed to do.
"Are you dying?" She didn't know if this guy was the same as any other human. He nodded in reply.
Every part of her knew this was ridiculous, but as far as she was concerned, it was her only course of action. He had saved her and she had the ability to do the same for him. Rolling up her sleeve, she took a deep breath and swallowed as she showed him her forearm.
"Why are you doing this?" He went to lift his hand and touch her cheek, but stopped.
"From what your friend here said, he has a brother who wants me dead. You look like you could save me. If I give you blood, will it heal you?" She wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer.
He nodded again. That settled it.
"Take it before I change my mind." She kept telling herself it was just like donating blood and he wouldn't kill her if he had just saved her.
The thought changed to panic as her stomach turned over. His hands took hold of her arm and moved it closer to his face. She glanced away, but was drawn back to see what was really happening. Was she really offering a vampire her blood? His lips drew back and there was a popping sound as his incisors lengthened. Her whole body stiffened, but, fascinated, she didn't draw away. His lips were cool against her skin as she waited. He moved his lips gently back and forth across her forearm in an almost sensuous way that made her breath catch. There was a slight sting, but nothing worse than when someone took blood with a needle. Closing her eyes, her mind drifted as the room faded from existence for her.