Friday, May 31, 2013

A Closer Look Cover Reveal

A Closer Look1

A Closer Look

By Karen DellaCava


     “…and there were these moments—when we laughed on the phone, or met for a kiss-and-run, when I noticed the sweet way he looked at me—well, I felt so good I could almost forget about my secret. But in the back of mind, it was like an invisible fist was lurking, one that followed me around, just waiting for the chance to rip out more hair.”

      High school freshman, Cassie Donavan, is a stand-out sprinter about to move up to varsity track. Mom, a former teen model and Robin Lakewood, a competitive teammate are more than enough to handle when Cassie discovers her body is turning against her. On New Year’s morning she awakens to her pillow covered with her long hair. Mom and Dad explain alopecia areata—a secret they’ve kept from Cassie since she was three. And now it’s happening again. Cassie is losing her hair.

      Life gets even more complicated when Cassie falls for jazz sax player, Tommy Sweeny.
Every day Cassie battles with her reflection, desperate to keep her hair loss a secret. Only her family and best friend, Tara Speziale, know the truth. With her rapidly changing appearance, relationships with Mom and Tommy are strained, damaged. And when Tara urges Cassie to race at a crowded track meet, Cassie is trapped in her worst nightmare. Shattered, she hides at home embarrassed and ashamed. Does she dare renew her trust in her family and friends? Will Cassie have the courage to take a closer look?


Author bio:
Karen DelleCava is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and her short stories have appeared in Highlights magazine. When Karen isn't reading, working on her next novel, or playing Scrabble, you can find her at the gym in step aerobics or Zumba classes. A Closer Look is her first young adult novel.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tremble-Jus Accardo

So I'm epically excited that today is my blog stop for Jus Accardo's Tremble, her newest release in the Denazen series. Which is a 5 book series and Tremble is technically the 3rd book. I say technically because she has been wonderful enough to write a couple novellas to accompany the series. Me being the voracious reader I am, totally LOVE authors who write novellas because I typically get pretty attached to a series and its characters. If you have not read Touch, the first book in her Denazen series I suggest you do so immediately!

Ooh I have a surprise included at the bottom and my computer-genius-evil-experimenter-minion programmed the post to KNOW if you read everything or just scrolled down (like those agreements for financial aid for school) and crazy things will happen if you try your luck *laughs manically* Clearly I've spent too much time in school and haven't blogged enough because even though that sounds crazy, I'm still keeping it.

Anyway, you want to be entertained. To read great books that transport you to another time or place. Be pulled to the edge of your seat while gripping the pages (or ereader devices). If paranormal is up your alley, then this series would be a great place to start!!!

**Yes, you are not alone if you believe he's starring at you. Those piercing blue eyes stop me every time as well. And again as I write this post**

Book Synopsis

Dez Cross has problems. She’s almost eighteen and on the verge of losing her mind thanks to the drug Denazen used to enhance her abilities. People close to her have turned their back on the underground and are now fighting for the wrong side. And then there’s Kale... Things couldn’t get any worse.

Until of course, they do. Denazen is about to start a new trial—this one called Domination—and it works. But that means out with the old and in with the new. The order has been given to terminate all remnants of the second trial—including Dez. The good news is that there’s a survivor from the original trial. A woman who’s blood may hold the cure for the second generation of Supremacy kid’s defect. But the underground Sixes aren’t the only ones who know about her….

Cross is willing to throw everything he has to keep Dez from getting the cure—including the one thing that might tear her apart from the inside out.

My Review

5 Stars

Diving into Tremble for me, was a planned event. I bought snacks and prepped bags with Fruit Loops, Reese Pieces and good ole M&M's. Who can sit down for an intense reading session without favorite treats? I even brewed coffee because coffee always makes reading that much more enjoyable for me. Lol *sigh of relief* I'm so glad I did. You'll need to as well. I mean by page 38, I was hooked and turning the pages with a burning need. Tremble brought back a lot more scenes with Alex (cue heart stopping moments and some swooning on my part. I do love me some Alex) and Brandt turns back up in Tremble as well! I missed him so much in her last installment and re-read the page when he showed back up in Dez's story. So far, as of this moment, Tremble is my favorite book in the Denazen series. The plot twists and emotions that filled the pages were unbelievable. My heart was crushed for Dez when she saw Kale (that was the first rug pulled out from under my feet) and for  while I was convinced that Jus Accardo decided she hated me and her characters. 


**What did you do to me!? Why? Why? Followed by some NO! NO! Please, I love you!**

I'm trying REALLY hard to write a spoiler free review but when I looked like Captain Jack Sparrow there the entire time, it becomes SO hard! 

I was sure that Jus had just introduced her climatic plot twist a little early and Tremble was going to follow a direction I just never saw coming. But that wasn't the case at all. Kale and Dez was only the first mind-blowing, heart stopping revelations of many. Every time I was wondering how we got so far down this road, convinced I read something wrong *BAM* she turned it around and I was cheering for Dez and the sixes (of course until I caught my breath and read into the next twist)! Tremble's plot is intricate and woven together beautifully, letting the character's shine and becoming more intense as the story progresses. 

Kale, Kale, Kale...what can I say about Kale...Ladies, prepare to fall in love again with him. His progression throughout the series has been awesome and only encourages my crush. In Tremble, we get to see Kale in a strong, confident and powerful demeanor. Even though he sheds some of his innocent traits and literally almost becomes someone unrecognizable, in the end, I was blown away by the transformation and wiping up drool. 

Dez is still a little pistol. I love her fiery attitude, witty remarks, confidence and determination. Throughout the series she's become one of my favorite female leads. I feel like Tremble showed us a deeper side of Dez and an even deeper insight on her line of thinking and how she feels. The poor girl is put through the ringer in this book. If I was her I would have fallen apart completely by page 25. Seriously, the moment with Dez, Alex and Jade at the club has been seared in my brain for a week. Killer. Her emotional turmoil throughout the book kept me up until the wee hours (I mean, I couldn't turn my back on her too).


Okay and another reason this book and series rocks my socks off is Jus Accardo's world building. The fact that this is the third book (not including the novellas) and we're still learning new things about their world is really cool. The Underground world and the Denazen just keep growing. The sizes and all their awesome abilities and talents are squeal worthy! You can't help but to get lost in their world and with the plethora of amazing characters Jus fills the stories with will only drag you deeper in and keep the pages turning. I like how all the concepts, facts and tidbits about their world and the rules are blended together seamlessly and never leave me wondering what's going on in a bad way. Because all the twists and turns Jus Accardo takes you on, will leave you freaking out and wondering what the hell is happening! 

Alas, I cannot praise this book enough without giving away some major spoilers. If you are a fan of books that are written in such a way that you feel so involved with the story that when the character you're reading gasps, so do you--this series is for you. You need to read the first two before reading Tremble, but don't worry, you'll read them in one sitting. Jus Accardo commands your attention and demands you keep reading. Finishing a chapter only means you're one step closer to figuring out what's going to happen but you will turn the page and read "just one more chapter" until the very end. Hence the snack pack, you won't want to get up. 

I'm so excited to see what book 4 could possibly have in store for us after everything that happened in Tremble. I was shattered, torn and enraged just like Dez throughout the entire read and I'm wishing I could read book 4 right now. Honestly when I started reading Tremble I was slightly nervous. If a series is going to fall apart, as a reader, book 3 is always the indicator. However Jus Accardo wrote the strongest book yet in the Denazen series that will definitely leave you with a book hangover. 

Stalk Jus Here

Pick up your copy of Tremble here

About The Author

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and is currently working on the first book in a new adult series due out summer 2013. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

My Super Awesome Surprise Is An Excerpt from Darker Days!

*I wanted to show the cover again because I like it*                                           Synopsis

Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...
When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin. 
Seven deadly ones, in fact. 
They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing... 
There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.


“So not your biggest fan at the moment,” I said, closing the office door behind me. The runofffrom my jeans had soaked my sneakers pretty good. With each step, I gave a slight squishing noise accompanied by an annoying squeak against the old tile floor.
From across the room, Mom stared. “What happened to you?”
            “It attacked me.” Tossing my bag on the couch, I sank into her chair and made sure to grind my butt into the cushion. Got it nice and wet. I was all about sharing the love—and right now, the love was soggy.
            She laughed, waving a folder in my direction. “Surely you’re overreacting. It was one little zombie. They don’t attack people.”
            “I’m serious, Ma. It tried to drown me. And the client assaulted me with ugly footwear. As far as punishments go, I’d say we’re probably square. I’ve learned my lesson.”
            “You’re serious?” Amused expression now replaced by concern, she crossed the room and leaned over her desk to get a better look at me.
            “As a coronary.” Once I was sure the chair had sponged up all it could, I stood and huffed past her. Pulling at my favorite T-shirt—the word Fate inside a blood red heart, is a four letter word on the back—I said, “Child welfare would not be happy to hear you tried to feed your only child to a walking corpse…”
“But why would it attack? Did you provoke it?” Folding her arms, she frowned. “Insult it, perhaps?”
            I winked at her. “Provoke it? Sure. I went and wiggled my ass in front of it yelling lunch just to see what’d happen.” I’d called it Stinky, but that didn’t count as an insult. Something couldn’t be considered an insult if it was true, right?
            Right eyebrow twitching, she fought against a smile. “But you’re okay, right? No bites, broken bones, head injuries, possessions…?”
I smiled and did a little twirl. “All in one piece and still me.”
Mom had a checklist she went through at the end of each job. I was known for taking almost as much damage as I inflicted.
“Oh, and you’re probably going to get a call from the client. I sorta smashed her fence in the process.”
            Mom groaned. “I told you to be more careful.”
            “It’s not like I tried to break anything.”
            “Something tells me you didn’t try hard enough not to break anything, either.”
            “In my defense, it wasn’t a simple trap and slap…”
            “We can’t afford this.” She reached down and pulled a white envelope out from under a stack of papers. “This is the bill for that Mercedes you smashed.”
            “Oh! So not my fault. How was I supposed to know that Spring Heel was gonna land on the car? If it makes you feel any better, I think he was aiming for my head…”
            “If you keep this up, we won’t even be able to afford the rent.”
            She was right, of course, and it made me feel horrible. “I’m sorry. I guess I’m a wrecking ball wrapped in blue jeans. Take my cut of this job and put it toward the repairs. Keep my paycheck for the next month, too.” A good start, but it didn’t feel like enough. Sure, it would cover the damages—I hoped—but I felt guilty about upsetting her. The bills that were piling up kept her awake at night. This was only going to make things worse. We got a fair amount of business, but the overhead in our line of work was sky high.
As much as I hated the idea, I knew what would cheer her up. “I’ll even throw in pet possessions for the next month.”     

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to Reading

I finished my homework. Studied for my practical and final exam. Plotted my own book a bit and decided I wanted to blog. I've been wanting to blog about these books and my procrastination (and busy schedule) has finally paid off, because I'm going to throw them all together into my wonderful post!!! Be excited. I'm excited. Some of these reads however are not available until later this Summer. But if you click on the authors name, I'll link it to their other books. *holds out hand* Deal? *shakes* Best deal of your life.

So without further ado here are my most anticipated ten reads coming our way (yours and mine. See some of these, I've read but you have not and NEED too). Seriously, one book nerd to another...these are going to be epic reads.

1. Embracing the Flames by Candace Knoebel

This is the highly anticipated sequel to Born in Flames. I need to know more about Aurora and Finn. Born in Flames was sooooo good and Candace is from Florida which gives her bonus points because I also reside in the Sunshine State. Actually I won an ecopy of Embracing the Flames when it's formatted and I'm dying in anticipation. OMG and she's going to be doing a signing that hopefully I'm going to make it too because it's around my birthday and that's a great excuse. Then I can buy Born in Flames again and get it signed!!!

2. Casted by Sonya Loveday

I participated in Sonya Loveday's cover reveal for Casted and since then, I've been patiently tapping my foot in excitement. The cover is gorgeous and I'm a cover whore. Please read this little excerpt from Goodreads because it's not released yet but you can add it to your TBR list on goodreads here Click me! Add me!

“My mind absorbed everything in the spell book I clutched tightly to me. Pages ruffled inside of my head, urging me to remember things and then to forget them. Voices chanted with tempo rising at the breaking points of pain until the book vanished and words to an ancient spell scribed across my arms. Each stroke brought blood to the surface, imprinting words I could not read; words that would forever change who I was.”
***See, *points up* sounds just up my alley***

3. The Prophecy by Desiree DeOrto

Once again, I'm a lucky duck because I'm beta reading this book! You need to check this book out. I love when paranormal books have so much suspense that your heart feels like it's going to burst from your chest. No one will pry this book from my hands now that homework is done for the week. Oh and the Cover slut in me, is also a big fan of The Prophecy's cover art. Desiree is known to throw pixie dust so watch your eyes if you meet her. I mean it. Now go look at the cover and read the full synopsis! Follow me to The Prophecy


**Shaking with excitement yet from my triple threat above? Candace, Sonya and Desiree have woven some incredible stories!**

4. Never Let You Fall by Michele G. Miller

I'm waiting for my blog tour date to boast my review. Imagine that you can finally eat your favorite ice cream with every fattening topping you hold close in your heart and not gain an ounce...I'm dying to spill more but alas I can not. Michele has read and reviewed so many books and now finally has her own spellbinding tale for sale. It's a great book. You'll read it in one sitting and be falling off the edge of your seat. Yeah, you'll be turning the pages that fast. Zander is so swoon worthy that I still sigh thinking about him. Read this book. Read Never Let You Fall and be enchanted. 

5. Beautiful Strangers by Glenna Maynard 

One thing I love about book blogging, is all the new reads I'm introduced to. Otherwise it may have taken me even longer to discover Beautiful Strangers. I personally haven't read it yet but I've chatted with a couple girlfriends who have and read the synopsis myself and wham bam in seconds was downloaded on my kindle. Ooh and Glenna included me in revealing her new cover for Beautiful Strangers and there's purple in it. I love purple and the masquerade theme is one of my personal favorites. This is a Romance book and not young adult but that makes it awesome in its own right. I don't venture to far out of my realm but I cannot wait to delve between these pages. Read Me. Love Me. Click Me

6. Vitality by M.A. George 

Book nerd freak out. This is the third book in M.A. George's Proximity series and I'm sure it's going to be wonderful! I absolutely adored Proximity the first book in this series. There's a little sci-fi and some romance working it's way through those pages and M.A. George has a refreshing writing style. Palta and all her characters for that matter are written beautifully. Plus the witty banter and freah perspective on things makes the series really fun and serious page turners. You will disconnect from the world when you read these books. For real. Check them out. I should warn you that although they are sci-fi, they're not so sci-fi that you haven't a clue what's going on. Personally I can't handle those books but Proximity was truly a great read. I'm so glad I read the books. Come and read Proximity


7. Call of the Raven by Shawn Reilly

I am not a hundred percent sure how I first came across this book. Thank God for Facebook because I'm almost positive that's where I discovered her. Yay social media. The synopsis is really, really intriguing. Plus I like showing my indie authors love. Once again, I'm a lover of covers and Call of the Raven has an awesome cover. I like how the art definitely fits the feeling that the synopsis gives me when I read it (which gets me even more giddy and excited thinking about it). Bonus points is that this was released in January and the next book has already been released! *cheers* I like not having to wait. I have a feeling her lead, Asher Lake is going to be one of my new book boyfriends soon.

8. Sanguis City by Morgan Jane

Yeah, that Morgan Jane. The one I featured on my previous post. She's that kind of awesome. The cover of My Name is Noir, a prequel to Saguis City was selected for Romance Cover of the week and I agree. It's gorgeous and very creative. I like that her covers for both My Name is Noir and Sanguis City are exceptionally creative. They would look awesome on my shelf. Oh but seriously there's a chapter on my previous post from Sanguis City and you need to read it right now. Now. I mean it. It'll entice you immediately. Now I'm waiting for when Sanguis City is released. One thing about books is that the waiting game kills me. I want them instantly. Anywho go check out the two prequels for Sanguis City while you wait!! Look Right Here.


**Run for these titles. Look for these books. When you see them-->GO and read them! Be excited about the books! I promise they're some really great reads**

9. Mangled Hearts by Felicia Tatum

I have been lucky enough to read this in pieces as she writes it and provide feedback. Yes, I died. I fangirled and I feaked out. When authors let me pre-read their work and ask my opinion and run ideas past me like a sound board, I feel like I'm in heaven. It's surreal. Mangled Hearts is such a great story and I have to applaud Felicia for the way she has approached a certain situation in the book. It's done so tastefully and from a different side of the spectrum. One that may hit closer to home for most and so far my heart has been clenched and I've found myself shouting in caps at her while demanding more. However, I'm also in love with Cade and Francesca. Who am I kidding, everyone in the book I've been introduced to so far have rocked. His boss though is so totally my favorite and when you get to read this epic tale, you'll know why! Really I'm sorry I can't spill more but you can check out her other series The White Aura (which The White Aura has one of my favorite covers-I bought it for my shelf along with The Vessel). So read those awesome stories while you wait patiently for Mangled Hearts a gut wrenching Romance. The White Aura

10. Beyond Bridalveil Fall by Sheryl Seal

This book was released about a month ago and I just came across it during my endless book stalking tendencies. Especially during class when my A&P lecture has just been going on for far too long. I really like the cover because it reminds me of the Penguin classics but it has a completely modern and different spin. Seriously if you check it out, you'll see what I mean. Its beautiful, classic and clean. I'm copying and pasting in the synopsis because it's a short one and because I want you to know that when I tell you I'm going camping at Yosemite and swimming in a pool or water, you'll know where I've disappeared too. 
"Oria is celebrating her eighteenth birthday in Yosemite Naltional Park when she goes into the pool at the bottom of Bridaleveil Fall, only to come out beyond it.In another world she learns she is The Golden Queen fairy of the Ahwahneechee tribe, and that she is a shapeshifter. Here the Dwellers of Ahwahnee fight the Evil that tries to get into the world of man. Will she find her soul mate in Grey Wolf or is he more than he appears to be? One thing is for sure, with all the magic and shape shifting happening, only the all knowing grandfather can guide her through the Evil Beyond Bridalveil Fall." 
See, now I've read the synopsis again and it reminds me why I was intrigued in the first place. Consider me intrigued and this is Sheryl's debut novel! We should show her some indie author love.

If I could do that. I'm sure I would be.

Are you excited about these books yet? You should be!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you take a peek at some of my top tens here and enjoy them as much as I have! They are some wonderful books and all the ladies are just as wonderful and amazing. After all, every one of them has dealt with me.

Morgan Jane Featured Author

So today, on this wonderful Tuesday I have a sneak peek at Morgan Jane's upcoming series Sanguis City. You heard me right. There's an entire chapter to read if you keep scrolling!!! I know, it's okay to be excited!

Sanguis City

Book Blurb

Ever wonder what happens after the world ends?
Lilanoir Rue did. A mere by product of the destruction, she never knew what happened before hand either. Banished from the only place she called home, the Human Reservation, she wipes her tears and never looks back.
In a world gone dead, life has never been so good, for some. While others live in chaos, the chosen call Sanguis City home. The rich and powerful found a way to survive The End and to enjoy every minute of it, for eternity. On the brink of a gruesome death from starvation, disease or a hungry mutant, humans flock to sell their blood for peace.
The city of blood, made for and by vampires welcomes Noir, her kind are in high demand. Neither Human nor Vampire, Bleeders take care of the city in the daylight. Draining humans by day and dating Vampires at night leaves Noir little time to think about her past, or much else, until it finds her.
After three years in the city, Noir's life is finally on the right track. But when she falls for her new Professor, an Authentic Vampire, she also falls into a web of nightmares. Unable to escape painful memories, she uncovers more than her own secrets. Some secrets just won't stay dead and others are bound to kill her before finals week.


**subject to change upon release**

I dated a few bleeders and a few vampires in the last three years. All complete mistakes. They weren't much different than the boys on the human reservation, after they got the prize, it was all down hill from there. Aubrey was the first vampire I didn't have sex with immediately. I thought about the Aubrey I had fell for, he hadn't been cold at all. Being in this city had changed him. I remember seeing him the first day of General Human Studies class. He was new to the University, I heard that he transferred from up North. It was if he scanned the whole class for my eyes and locked on them for the whole lecture. I kept a constant close lipped smile on my face, obedient and listening. The girl next to me smacked her gum and rocked her feet checking her nails but I was being watched. After class I tried to file out of the building in the crowd but I kept hearing my name.
Noir, hey, isn't that you?” A random student asked me and I turned around to see the new Professor calling my name. I halted, nearly causing a dozen others to trip over me. Embarrassment spread through my face and my cheeks felt hot.
Noir, is it?” I nodded smiling. “This is a Senior class, and you are a Junior. Can you explain to me how you made it onto my roster?” He was calling me out. I gave myself a mental slap. I had imagined he was attracted to me, he was at least overly friendly during the lecture.
Keanton, the professor of this class last year gave me a special permission.” I looked down at my feet briefly and back up to his pale blue eyes. He wasn't too much taller than me, but I felt like I needed to look up. “Because he thought I would have something to add,” I shrugged uncomfortably. I knew I already stuck out like a weed in a rosebush. Of course, this new professor would know something was different.
Meaning?” He prompted as he searched me up and down, pausing at the neck and the hips and back up. I had seen it a thousand times, it meant he was checking me out.
I fought the urge to cover myself, not that I wasn't used to it by now. “Didn't he leave a note or something? We applied for schedules last year, I really don't want to change,” I almost whined.
That won't be necessary, I am merely curious,” Aubrey said quickly as he urged me to walk along with him toward the doors.
Curiosity, one of a vampires biggest faults, I thought. “I grew up on the reserve with humans. The one in North Carolina, the old Cherokee one,” I explained. “But I don't see why it matters, every Bleeder here in the city grew up around humans too, they're all over the place.”
Yes, but humans here pay the price, they eat what they are told, work were they are told, you take their blood once a month, a vampire says jump and they say how high,” he spoke over his shoulder as he escorted the final students out of the huge auditorium. The door closed.
Yes, I know, the humans that raised me didn't take shit from anyone. And they really, really don't want to take orders from vampires,” I said waiting to see his reaction. Some of the vampire Professors didn't want this spoken of at all, they would dismiss me right away and I would get a note in my box saying I need to think before I speak or something.
Aubrey laughed, “I know now why Keanton wanted your company. Meet me in an hour for drinks?” He stepped in close with his hands on his hips and looked around like he didn't have time for this.
My back touched the door. I put my books between my chest and him. “Sure. Where?”
Dante's just off Main, on Fourth Street. Do you know the place?”
Yeah, an hour.” Nerves made me, of all people weak, but I found the strength to push the heavy door open and almost stumbled into the night.
What the hell was I thinking? Clair dolled me up in one of her skin tight black dresses, she was two sizes smaller than me. My breasts were spilling out. “I look like a whore,” I told her as I fixed my hair. It was a ginger red and recently layered. I curled it under but one strand kept poking out.
That's the point, everyone at Dante's looks the part,” she giggled.
I knew and I hated it, the vampires loved a theme. I applied my makeup one shade darker so I wouldn't be turned away. You couldn't go from place to place at night in this town in the same outfit. Dante's, of course, was Hell and I had never been. My mama told me about Hell and the thought of going there to party was not something I fancied. Plus, there was a strict dress code. I hated dressing up unless it was my idea.
The heels!” Clair reminded me and I stepped in. Clair was bubbly and happy all the time. It gave me a head ache.
Off to high class Hell,” I said under my breath as I grabbed the small clutch Clair lent me.
You have to go, Noir, a professor asked you and you said yes. If you didn't want to, you should have said no and switched your schedule,” Clair beamed with the ability to say anything cheerfully.
I took a deep breath, “Of course I am going,” I gave Clair my best effort and smiled.
It was January and cold, I pulled my black trench coat around me tight as I made my way down the street. The bus had taken forever, it was Friday and this part of downtown was packed. I was late. It was Vampire rush hour, or happy hour by the number of bars. Industrial music thumped as I showed the bouncer my hand. I watched it glow as he waved his scanner over it. He was a vampire, probably an ex wrestler because all the Accidents, people turned by the cure, stayed as thin and frail as they were on their death beds, forever. “Take it off, sweetheart,” he demanded and I slipped my coat off and twirled.
Inside Dante's was dark, darker than normal which meant it was a Vampire favorite. My eyes would adjust a little but I almost walked right by him. I shook from a shiver, I wondered what he was doing to me. What was his special vampire trait? We all had something that made us unique but an Authentic like Aubrey would have a power ten times better than mine. I filed away the fact that, as much as I tried, I couldn't get any straight answers about the Real Vampires.
Aubrey stood as I took my seat. He was dressed in a straight cut leather jacket over more black. I looked around at the crowd and was thankful he wasn't wearing spikes and chains. “Noir, is it?” He asked in my ear before I sat opposite of him at a small bistro table. This bar didn't serve food of any kind, even if it was advertised as a take-out place. The flame in the oil candle in the middle of our table danced and illuminated him in a spooky way. Aubrey lit a cigarette. Yes, vampires could smoke, drink and do drugs, even if those things didn't affect them like it affected us.
I smiled without showing my fangs, because showing fangs would be a sure sign I wanted more. Then I spoke loud enough to hear myself over the music, “Yeah, unofficially Lilanoir Rue,” I put out my hand and brought it back. “I know, people don't do that anymore. Germs.”
And what does a Vampire have to fear from, Germs?” Aubrey shouted back.
I know, right?” I said casually before I straightened.
Aubrey smiled briefly then his face returned to politely waiting.
Yes, it is Noir,” I finally gave in.
Aubrey,” he said reaching for my hand and I gave him an awkward finger shake. It was customary to tell a vampire your name, your official name before starting any private conversation. Weird, but I should have been used to it by now. It essentially meant we were speaking as equals, unlike our words in class. He scooted his seat close to mine. “So Noir, what brought you to Sanguis City?”
I could finally hear him, I didn't have to shout. Maybe that's why he closed the gap? I tried to act natural when his arm went around my back. I expected this was going to be the normal interrogation all the teachers put me through until his thumb brushed my bare shoulder. Something in me shifted and I found myself even more attracted to him. “You first,” I said full of confidence, I could play the game. If I was to give into him and answer, without anything first, I would be treated just like Jef treated poor Savy. A vampire only treated you as well as you demanded.
Aubrey's face had the character I associated with an old Vampire but he didn't look a day over twenty-five. You would never know he was undead, nothing stood out. Pale but no more than your average white man. Imperfect white teeth, no fangs like mine. His would only come out when he needed them too. Neither long, nor short for a guy, his dark hair covered his eyes for a moment when he moved. Aubrey hesitated and drew his eyebrows together, his blue eyes studied me. They were beautiful but wouldn't break me. I didn't waver but waited. He leaned back in his chair and gestured, a waitress appeared. She was a Bleeder dressed as a devil, complete with horns and a tail. “What do you drink?” Aubrey asked me while returning her smile.
Mascato, please,” I told the barmaid, not him, thinking that wine was a good choice.
Morgan, on the rocks,” Aubrey told her and suddenly I was craving Rum. “New York isn't what it used to be.”
“Oh,” he had answered my question. “I heard... Zombies.” The elixir that turned humans into Vampires had once sold to the highest bidder until the Authentic Vampires put a stop to it. Now people were producing copy cat drugs trying to become immortal.
Aubrey laughed, “They're not zombies, there is no such thing. These things are way too fast.” I almost choked, I had heard that line before. He laughed again. “Unless you count that drug,” I nodded and laughed a little too, I knew all about that. I shook my head trying to forget.
Aubrey told me that New York has taken the longest to fall and will eventually be built back up like Sanguis City. In the three years I have been here, I learned that the New Vampires had taken over the world. But what else do you expect when the wealthiest, most powerful people could buy immortality, strength, lethality? The Authentic Vampires had opened up Pandora's box giving human scientists a supposedly dormant virus to save them. The vampires had no idea that it was their vampire DNA that humans were really after.
The brunette in red leather strutted back over to sit down our drinks on napkins. Aubrey pressed real money into her bosom. I didn't know anyone still used cash, but he had just come from outside the city. Aubrey immediately held his drink to his nose and sniffed. “Ah, this is why I am here, you can't get a good drink anywhere but here anymore.” He held it up swirling the glass.
We didn't have much to drink on the reservation, only what we could grow, herbal tea and honey, milk,” I started.
Real milk, that's something you just can't get anymore.” Aubrey finished his drink as I started sipping my wine. “But what about you, the world is falling apart and you leave one of the most heavily armed, healthiest, purest places?” He shook his head.
Where else could I have gone,” I pointed at my fangs. “They didn't want me anymore.” I looked away toward the crowd dancing.
So you never met a vampire until when, when did you leave?” Aubrey rested his chin on his fist truly fascinated.
When I was Eighteen.” Leaving out the part about Jack, of course and Sander, I had too many secrets. “My mother said it was where I should go. The city the vampires built,” I lied while imagining my mother saying it.
And your father, did he approve of sending you to the the City of Blood?”
Dead,” I answered simply. I had no feelings about it one way or the other, he had died from the plague before I was born, like a lot of people.
And you never saw a vampire until you got here? Amazing.”
I let him answer his own question, then added, “If you don't count the movies. But I have had fangs all my life, it is not like I didn't know Vampires existed.” I lit one of his cigarettes, if you can't beat them and all. Yes, Sanguis City was just like an old movie to me.
So, you didn't grow up in the dark? It's dark upstate now, real dire conditions.”
I looked around at the neon illuminating the bar at the edges. “No, I am lucky, we had electricity for a few hours every night. Off the grid, of course,” I said a little too proud. My mother had only been invited to the town, pregnant and widowed because she was an Engineer. Then it hit me, a feeling of guilt. Charmed by a handsome man stroking my back, I wasn't being careful. Telling vampires about the reserve was something I did willingly all the time but never the specifics. Life at the reservation was all about survival. We were walled off from the world, by actual wall or by mountain. 56,000 acres of the Qualla Boundary was protected by armed guards, tanks, helicopters, you name it! Even after what happened, I was not about to betray them by giving out too much information.
Before he could ask me another question, I smiled at him showing my fangs. That usually shut Vampires up. Besides I felt comfortable, he was laughing, no one seemed to laugh anymore. No man I had gone out with had ever put his arm around me, like they were just happy to be with me. Aubrey's eyes shifted from my fangs to my cleavage and back to my eyes. He motioned for more drinks and his hand went lower down my back. I arched my back a smidgen in response to his cool touch. I placed my hand on his leg in response and he moved into to me, lightly kissing my lips. It was instant, I wanted him. The moment he locked eyes with me in class, I imagined him kissing me. His cool lips gave way for his forceful tongue to explore my mouth and I melted into his hold. The hand that had been stroking my back moved up to steady my head as he assaulted my mouth. And my hands ran up under his jacket. I could feel his firm body under his cotton tee. Aubrey's other hand went to my hair and placed it behind my ear, his finger ran down my neck and down the curve of my bosom. I literally fought for air, he didn't need to breath but he pulled back. His fangs were out and he looked at my neck longing.
Not here,” I responded in a whisper. I had never done it in public before, let someone bite me. Yes, Dante's did take out, meaning Aubrey could drink from me at the table. My legs were trembling as he pulled me to stand. He grabbed my coat and purse and quickly but carefully maneuvered us through the crowd.
The cold air hit me and brought me back to reality. Boy, was I easy. I was hot and bothered and he could just be wanting some lunch. “Wait, where are we going?” I stopped just outside the club.
Aubrey's hand was on my elbow. “You said you wanted, privacy.” He motioned toward the street, a black car.
No one drove anymore, only the very well off, or very powerful. No one had access to the gasoline and the solar powered things that passed for cars in this town were rarer than diamonds. We were lucky we had the bus. “You drive?” I asked still astonished.
How do you think I got here from New York?” He answered as he put me inside. He shut the door to go to the other side. I was suddenly nervous, all the men I had dated had lived at the dorms, except Jack. Here I was getting in a car with my Professor going somewhere so he could bite me, and that was just the beginning of it.
Aubrey got in the car and reached around me to buckle my seat belt. I grabbed the belt from him and clicked it. “I've been in a car before,” I mumbled.
Yeah, I can even drive stick,” I said seductively, knowing he would get the reference and appreciate the innuendo.
He laughed and I burst out laughing as well. Not one Bleeder would have laughed at that. He grabbed my knee with his hand, “You are rare, Noir, a breath of fresh air.”
We drove further into the city, to the parking garage of a tall tower. Aubrey took my hand and led me to the elevator. “I just moved in,” he said simply as he threw off his jacket onto the couch and I didn't have time to look around before he kissed me again, backing me into his bedroom. My hands found his shoulders and I realized that Aubrey wasn't Jack, a spoiled horny teenager. He wasn't all the others I had dated either, the Bleeders and New Vampires at my dorm. Aubrey was old, ancient for all knew. This was a man, my stomach started to flip.
My nerves, he could hear it in my heartbeat, he pulled back and whispered, “You have done this before?”
I looked around briefly, the walls were bright white and all the furniture silvers and blues.Can't you tell?” I said coyly, using humor to calm myself as usual. I sat on the bed and slipped off my horrible heels. My feet felt the ice cold floor of stainless steel. I knew he couldn't tell if I was a virgin but I had asked a few vampires in the beginning to their amusement.
Aubrey slipped off his shoes as well. “No, I can tell a lot about you but not that, not this far away at least,” he came closer and knelt in front of me. “How rude of me, would you like something to drink, a tour perhaps?”
I shook my head to answer and to clear all my lingering fears. Aubrey was my Professor, that didn't matter, Clair had told me. His hands ran up my crossed legs to my waist. I touched his face and felt strange. This was getting too intimate, not a casual romp in the hay, at all. Aubrey inhaled, “No, you aren't a virgin, a vampire can dream though.”
Aubrey started kissing my bare legs, there was a lot of them sticking out of this dress. I automatically started petting his hair. His hands inched up my dress and moved my legs open. I was no longer nervous but totally in the moment. I was being worshiped as he kissed higher and higher up my thighs. Suddenly he laid me back, looming over me. I felt his hand enter my panties, his fingers softly exploring my smooth skin. They removed all our hair except for on our head at the hospital every week when we went through decontamination. Aubrey looked down at me incredibly hungry as he slid off my small black thong. His head dipped between my legs and his tongue flicked my sweet spot. I convulsed then tried to relax as he licked me back and forth. I felt little stings as he nicked my skin here and there, tasting my blood as well. I couldn't help but make noises of appreciation, he was very talented. I suppose at one time he would have to be discrete about drinking blood.
He looked almost wild when he leaned over me again, face and fangs glistening. I pushed him over and rolled on top. I sat on top of his very hard lap and wiggled as he caught my hips. He was fully dressed so I started pulling his shirt over his head. He was hard and tone but not bulky. Hairless he wasn't, like my boyfriends that worked at the hospital. Aubrey had enough contrasting hair to develop a five o' clock shadow if he could still grow a beard. A thick ugly scar ran down his middle beside the delicious happy trail into his jeans. I touched the bumpy scar wondering how he got it, then felt the hair so he wouldn't think I noticed. I was slipping my fingertips along the waist of his jeans when he pulled me down on top of him for another kiss. As our tongues danced his hands fumbled with the zipper down the back of my dress and then my strapless bra. He pulled my chest closer to his mouth as he pushed me harder down on his trapped erection. His fangs scraped against my nipple before he pulled me back into a kiss.
Aubrey rolled on top of me. My head spun, my chest fluttered, I ached for him. I had never felt this way about any man, human, Bleeder or Vampire, before. Well, maybe one but I quickly banned him from my mind. Aubrey continued licking my breasts, taking his time. He was taking his time. There had been no penetration yet and it was the best sex I had in a long time.
I started to panic, recalling that all my previous relationships had gone down hill based on the fact we didn't know each other before we had sex. I had promised myself I wouldn't let my passion get the better of me again. To be told by a man that seduces you that your relationship is failing because it is all based on sex is the biggest slap in the face. Especially, when you know that the real problem was that they the man got what they wanted too easy. I looked down at Aubrey's beautiful hair and wrapped my legs around him as he was pressing hard against me. His hand made its way to my wet center and he slipped a finger inside as he breathed on my neck. I had an idea. “Aubrey, bite me now,” I moaned as I moved on his hand. He struck and it hurt, it was a powerful bite unlike the sips I had endured during sex before. Aubrey pressed harder with his hand and began causing me immense pleasure rubbing all the right places as he continued to suck. I stretched my arms out to find his stiff length to stroke. I fumbled with his belt and my fingers wrapped around him pulling and sliding as he drew more blood than I thought I could give. His talented hand was enough to push me to the edge and my body quivered as I a climaxed. Just as suddenly, he jerked, convulsing above me.
Aubrey collapsed beside me and pulled me to rest my head under his neck. He kissed my forehead, “Ah, that was brilliant.”
Speechless, I was still panting and still hurting from the bite. I would heal, quicker than a human anyway but there would definitely be a mark to cover up tomorrow. “Aubrey,” I breathed, then catching my mistake, I opened and shut my mouth. I had almost asked him if he marked me, but I wasn't suppose to know about such things. Instead, I rested my hand on his chest where his heart should have beat but didn't. I would ask Tombs to check for me. “Yes, I enjoyed it too,” I finally said.
All that and I still have my pants on,” he joked. “They know how to raise Bleeders on that reservation of yours.”
Bleeders, huh, there was only me,” I said suddenly very sleepy.
Are you saying you were the only Bleeder there out of 14,000 people?” He sounded oddly astonished.
I barely registered his question, I was half asleep. After a moment of processing and suppressing feelings, I formulated a response. “Yes, the only stinking one, I don't know why they didn't just drown me like a kitten.” I was on the verge of passing out but knew all too well they had tried. “The damn bastards drown kittens all the time.” I wondered what Aubrey would ask me next, I was about to ask him how he knew how many people lived there. But I couldn't, I had fallen asleep.

**Coming July 29, 2013

Covers of her released prequels

About Morgan Jane

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Pioneer Blogger and ex-political wingnut gone fan fiction writer, I am working on my upcoming Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy Series. I love graphic design, painting, knitting, quilting, gardening, cooking, writing, taking beautiful photos but have never taken my creative side seriously until now

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