Tag Archives: nocturne bite

Wicked Wednesday – HONOR CALLS in print!

AWAKENING THE BEAST Collection of Nocturne BitesI know that some of you prefer a book in your hands to reading an e-book. I can totally understand. It’s tough to worry about getting suntan lotion or sand in your e-reader or computer.

So the good news is – HONOR CALLS – my novella for Nocturne Bites will be part of THE AWAKENING THE BEAST collection that will be out in October 2009 from Silhouette Nocturne.

I love the characters in this novella – Michaela and Jesus. They are opposites in so many ways and yet drawn to each other by their strength and honor. Their honor, however, is what one day may pull them apart.

I am so hoping I will get to further explore their relationship in the future in a full length novel, but for now, I hope you enjoy their very sexy and very conflicted time together in HONOR CALLS.

Today’s Wicked Wednesday is an excerpt giving you a hint as to Michaela’s troubled past. I hope you enjoy it. *Warning* It does contain violence.

New Jersey Shore
Twenty Years Earlier

Her mother was bleeding.

Michaela could feel the warmth and wet of it drip down onto her as her mother held her hand and dragged her through the tall marsh grasses along the edges of the dunes. The stalks, dry from a lack of summer rain, crackled, the noise overly loud in the silence of the night.

Too loud, she thought, recalling the creature that had attacked them. The creature who would surely hear them, pounding and crashing through the grasses as they tried to escape him.

Suddenly her mother stopped short and shoved Michaela away toward a larger patch of foliage.

She fell to the ground, the sharp edges of the grasses biting into the palms of her hands as the tall stalks swallowed her up. The saw edges of the plants cut her hands and arms, but she bit down on her lower lip to stifle her cry of pain, aware it would reveal where she was.

Aware that her mother was ready to sacrifice her life in order to hide her.

Holding her breath, she tried not to move and peered through the ever-shifting mass of dune grass stalks that had covered her.

Her mother stood there, her chin at a defiant tilt. Blood dripped down the side of her face from a large gash above her brow. The blood looked black thanks to the palette of the night. Her face was washed to a pale almost green ghostly hue by the light of the full moon.

“You didn’t think you could run from me again, did you?”

The tone of the creature’s voice was low, almost soothing except for the odd rolling sound beneath, like the purr of a cat.

Her mother said nothing for a moment, then picked up her chin another rebellious inch. “You will not take me again. I will not allow it.”

The odd rumble in the creature’s voice intensified as he laughed and said incredulously, “You will not allow it?”

Something flashed before her mother. A bright white blur so close to her . . .

A gush of dark liquid erupted from her mother’s throat and spilled down the front of her bright yellow sundress.

Her mother picked up her hand, brought it to her throat, but the creature yanked her hand away, laughing cruelly as he said, “I will have you now, as you die. I will have you after, as your body cools. But first . . .”

The creature wrapped an arm around her mother’s waist, holding her up as her knees did a slow motion buckle. Burying his head against her ravaged throat.

The horrible sounds of his sucking and her mother’s moaning carried across the still night.

Michaela covered her ears, but it was too late to avoid hearing him say, “But first I will have your blood.”

Curling up into a tight ball, she tucked her head against her knees, brought her arms up over her head and closed her eyes. Tried to escape from what was going on just a few feet before her. Imagined other places and times. Prayed for her mother to be safe. Thought about the yellow sundress her mother wore and how they had bought it at the thrift store just earlier that week.

The rough shake of the ground beneath her body pulled her back from where she had gone.

Only then did she realize the night was now almost quiet. The only sounds those of the stalks as the wind moved them and the far away susurrus of the waves washing up against the shore.

She was alone. Or at least she thought she was.

Peering through the brittle green stalks, she saw what had made the resounding thud that had snared her attention.

Her mother’s body lay less than an arm’s length away, staring sightlessly at the moonlit sky. Her dress torn, exposing her breasts and the bite marks on them. The cheery yellow of her dress bloodied from the hideous hole where her throat had once been.

She wanted to keen and cry, run to her mother, but instead she grabbed hold of her knees and forced herself to remain still, fearing that the creature lingered nearby. Knowing that her mother had given her life to save her. That she could not dishonor that sacrifice with her fear.

A second later the ground shook again and suddenly there were shafts of light piercing the night, moving back and forth across the dark sky. Another tremor of the earth came beneath her and she realized the tremors were footfalls. Coming closer and faster as the intensity of the lights increased until suddenly there were blue pants legs standing before her hiding place.

“Shit. Holy shit,” the man said and passed his flashlight over her mother. Across her still beautiful face and sightless eyes.

She cried then, a puny wheezing sound, but it was enough to snare the man’s attention.

He parted the grasses before her and the silver and gold badge on his chest gleamed brightly against the royal blue of his uniform.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” he said and reached for her.

Awakening the Beast
October 2009 – Silhouette Nocturne

A collection of sexy Nocturne Bites featuring:
Honor Calls, Return of the Beast, Mortal Enemy,
Immortal Lover, Claws of the Lynx and Wilderness
by Caridad Pineiro, Lisa Renee Jones,
Olivia Gates, Linda O. Johnston and Barbara J. Hancock

Pre-order your copy today!

Wicked Wednesday – HONOR CALLS

HONOR CALLSThe countdown is on for FURY CALLS, the next full length book in THE CALLING Vampire novels, but if you need a fix in the meantime, check out HONOR CALLS, my e-novella Nocturne Bite that’s available now at eharlequin.com.

In HONOR CALLS I’ve brought back a character who may be familiar to some readers – FBI Assistant Director in Charge Jesus Hernandez.

Since DARKNESS CALLS, Jesus has been in the periphery of the stories, advising Diana and her partner during their assignments. Always calm and reserved and functioning by the letter of the law. Honorably discharging his duties until the day he runs into Michaela, a vampire slayer who’s now challenging what Jesus knows to be the right thing to do. What will win out — honor or Michaela’s need for vengeance against the vampires who killed her mother and forever changed Michaela’s existence?

I loved writing about these two and hope to write a full length book in the future. In the meantime, here’s a snippet from HONOR CALLS. This scene happens shortly after Jesus has run into Michaela while she is slaying a vampire.

His physical presence was difficult to ignore. As he shot a glance at her, his dark brown eyes seeming fathomless in the dim light, she hoped he would not prove to be as fascinating as he appeared and tried to dampen her initial interest.

“So you expect me to believe the bouncer was a vampire and that there are other ones here as well?” he said, returning to their earlier conversation. He leaned toward her as he said it and examined the interior of the club.

There were definitely vampires present, she thought, sensing the push of their undead force, but before she got into proving it, she wanted him to buy her a drink. She was low on cash and most men disappeared once they discovered the truth around them.

The truth about her.

Raising her hand, she signaled to a waitress.

As the young woman arrived, Michaela said, “Cuervo shooter.”

Slipping a glance at her companion, she realized he was checking out the waitress, but not in that way. In a vamp way, not that she expected him to pick up on the signs so quickly. She shook her head and he understood, ordered a shooter as well.

The waitress hesitated and Michaela explained. ”You’re new. You’ve got to pay up front.”

He snorted in disbelief, but quickly dug into his pocket, peeled off a twenty from a moderate wad of cash, and tossed the bill on the scarred top of the table, which had obviously seen a great deal of abuse judging from the gouges and scratches in its cheap black formica surface. The waitress immediately scooped up the money and walked away to place their orders.

“Must get nice clientele in here,” he said as he tucked his money away into his pocket. The motion pulled his suit jacket back, exposing the butt of his gun. At an adjacent table, one of the patrons noticed the weapon also and quickly scurried away.

Jesus followed his flight and wondered why the man felt compelled to run. In his line of business, it was an obvious sign of guilt, but in here . . .

He once again peered through the dim interior of the club, checking out the various patrons within and found it amusing that for all their Goth rebelliousness, they were quite uniform in their manner of dress. Lots of black, from the leather and jeans to their hair. Pale faces which made him turn his attention back to his companion.

“You said you’d make me believe,” he reminded just as the waitress came to the table with their drinks.

He watched as the waitress placed the lime, salt shaker and shot of Cuervo on the table. His companion bit into the lime, skipped the salt and then downed the tequila in one gulp before ordering another.

“Thirsty?” he asked as he paid in advance once again.

“Once guys see how things are, most of my dates don’t last beyond the first drink,” she admitted, a self-deprecating tone in her voice as she fidgeted with the empty shot glass, twirling and spinning it on the table top.

“Didn’t realize that buying you a drink made this a date,” he said, perplexed by the self-assurance on the surface that seemed to hide a well of vulnerability beneath.

“Not your usual type, I suspect,” she said and fully faced him.

Not his type? He wondered about that as he sipped at his shot of tequila and studied her. Her dark, nearly black hair fell in choppy layers against her roundish face. Cerulean blue eyes bore an exotic slant and hinted at extreme intelligence while pale, creamy skin appeared to be as soft as satin sheets.

The black leather jacket she wore fit tight against her body, accentuating both her slimness and slightness of stature, but the tank top beneath the jacket exposed the lushness of her curves.

He imagined exploring those curves. Raising that lean strong body up against his and slipping within.

Maybe his type, he thought, fighting back his body’s response especially since now that they were up close, he guessed her to be over a decade younger than his thirty-eight years of age.

“Don’t have a type and I’m not the kind to drink and run,” he offered, taking another sip of the Cuervo to quell the desire awakening within him.

She laughed, the tone of her merriment rich and uninhibited. It occurred to him that it had been a long time since he had allowed himself that kind of freedom, but she clearly was not one to hold back.

It only intrigued him even more, especially as she challenged with, “You may be the kind to run after you see what goes on in here.”

Elegantly raising her hand, she gestured in the direction of the farthest edges of the club close to where they sat. He could make out the shadows of people engaged in various activities in those nearly dark areas.

Leaning close to him, she said in hushed tones, “Look carefully if you dare.”

Her warm breath against the skin at the base of his neck was sweet. He imagined the kiss of that breath elsewhere and decided that it warranted the risk just so she would continue talking to him.

So that he might experience that sweetness elsewhere.

“I dare.”