The past several days have been crazy, with Embrace’s release and my blog tour, a birthday party Friday night with 15 eleven-year olds going full force, a football party Saturday night, a family outing on Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park on Sunday, and now I have some wonderful news to add to my zany week. My agent just sold my paranormal relic hunter series to Amazon Publishing, a four book deal! No warriors this time, but lots of mystery, tension, and relics. Think Indiana Jones meets Stephanie Plum, with a National Treasure flavor thrown in for good measure. I’m really looking forward to this new series.
Embrace is doing very well. It’s on some of Amazon’s best seller lists and most importantly, I’m hearing from readers who love the book. Reviewers as well, and the wonderful thing is, almost all of them loved Awaken but think Embrace is even better. What more could an author ask for? That’s always a worry with a new series. What if the book was just a one hit wonder? So that’s a relief.
Here’s another excerpt to whet your whistle.
Cody gripped his sword and stepped lightly on the forest floor, ears tuned for any sound that didn’t belong. He sniffed, eyes searching the shadows. Something was there; he could feel it. A soft laugh whispered through the trees. He whirled. A man materialized a few yards away, watching him with red eyes. He smiled, and sharp teeth flashed in the dark. Fangs. A vampire! What the hell was it doing here? Before Cody could lift his sword, the man rushed at him like a streak, moving so fast Cody couldn’t track it.
He learned in the battle at Druan’s castle that the only sure way to kill a vampire was beheading or a direct stab through the heart. Talismans didn’t work on them. He swung his sword as the thing zoomed past, but he missed. Whirling, it came back. Just as it slammed Cody to the ground, it went solid again, with fangs an inch long, hitting Cody like a semitruck. He rolled to his feet, grabbed his fallen sword, and braced for the next attack. This time when it struck, he was ready. As he fell, he thrust his sword upward, into its heart. The creature turned to dust in mid-air, particles settling all around him.
Hisses filled the air as more creatures emerged from the trees. They stood out of sword’s reach, their fangs bared. Cody searched out where each one stood, identifying the leader, who stood a little apart from the others, his stance cockier, more sure. When one of the others came at Cody, he turned aside and drove his sword into the leader’s heart. The others hissed and looked at each other. They hadn’t expected him to take the offensive when he was so outnumbered, but he was used to fighting against the odds.
They came at him like bullets, nothing but a blur, until they slowed. He swung left and drove his sword into what he hoped was the thing’s heart, and dust rained down, covering his sword. Two of them hit him at once, flinging him in the air like a rag doll. His bones felt like they shattered, but he clung to his sword. They came at him again, and he rolled painfully to his feet, his blade catching another one in the neck. The swing wasn’t strong enough. The vampire screeched and kept going. If he could just see the bloody things. Cody ducked as another one attacked and then swung harder, finishing off the one he missed. He was tiring, but he had to kill them all before they discovered Shay.
Two were left, but they kept attacking so close together that he couldn’t strike them both. He waited for the first to attack. Using the side of a tree to spring clear, he flipped through the air, leveling his blade at what he thought was its neck. It disappeared, leaving only one.
“Come on, you bastard.”
The vampire stood fifty feet away in human form. He turned his head, looking at the path leading to the cabin, and Cody followed his gaze. Shay stood there, her face pale, eyes wide with shock.
“We’ve found you at last,” the vampire said.
Cody’s blood felt like shards of ice.
“We?” Shay asked, her voice strong. “You’re the only one left.”
The vampire grinned. “Too bad I can’t have a taste of you. The feisty ones are always better. I’ll have to settle for him.” Its fangs lengthened. “No one cares about him.”
Shay’s face darkened; her back straightened; her shoulders squared. “I care about him.”
The vampire turned and streaked toward Cody. Shay ran after the vampire, moving just as fast. She tackled it, and they both rolled into the trees, a mix of swirling colors. Cody stood rooted in place, his mouth hanging open. What the hell? Pushing away his shock, he ran after her. How was she doing that?
The vampire looked as stunned as Cody felt. It attacked again, catching Cody off guard, slamming him into a tree. Through the thick fog pushing at the edges of Cody’s brain, he registered several things at once. The vampire rushing at him, and Shay, farther away, scooping up a stick and running after the vampire. No, what she did was faster than running. She streaked after the vampire, driving the stick right into the middle of it. It went solid, its fangs elongated, red eyes wide with shock. The vampire disintegrated, but Shay kept coming, moving too fast to stop. She hit the ground and rolled, her stick driven deep into the earth, vibrating, four inches from Cody’s face.
Some of the M&M gals are leaving today for Crime Bake. I wish I was going with them, but maybe next year. I hope you all have a blast! In the meantime, I’m on my blog tour. Here’s a list of the places you can find me the rest of the month. There are giveaways at each.