Ashes of the Day

I'm so excited Ashes of the Day is finally seeing the light of day, so to speak! This book feels long overdue to me, mostly because several of the scenes that appear in this book were actually written for book two, Old Sins, Long Shadows.

You see, back in the day, I really thought this series was going to be a trilogy. Guess that shows how good I am at estimating things like book-length and word count. It also kind of explains how some of my Oberon books grew to such gargantuan lengths. Once the first book in this series (In the Dark) was written, I spent quite a few months struggling to fit the rest of the action into two volumes. And then into three volumes. Four volumes? Five volumes?

Screw it. Right now, I'm looking at a seven book series. Assuming I can keep my word count down to a reasonable number.

Anyway, to celebrate this release, I'm giving away cookies! If you read the book, you'll understand why this is an awesomely perfect prize.

And now, how about an excerpt? Here's one of those previously-missing scenes I mentioned above. Enjoy!

Night had fallen. The vampires were waking up. In the small efficiency apartment located over the estate’s garage, Julie Fischer’s eyes blinked open. She sucked in a quick breath and glanced around, surprised to find herself sprawled on the floor. Had there been an earthquake? Or had something else knocked her out of bed and startled her from sleep?
Whatever the cause, she was grateful for it. Her dreams had been so far from pleasant, she was glad for any excuse to escape them. An instant later, however, the dreams were all but forgotten. Somewhere close at hand, the anxious throbbing of a human heart begged for her attention.
Come and take me… Come and take me… Come and take me…
Fangs unsheathed, Julie went into a crouch and surveyed the room. The darkness aided her vision, which was always sharper by night, and she quickly oriented on the sound. There. Brennan stood just out of reach on the far side of the bed. Tousle-haired and naked, he had the look of a man who’d just had a good fright. Disappointment settled in Julie’s heart, fueled by an uneasy feeling of déjà vu. They’d been here and done this before. This was not the first time she’d seen that look on his face. This was not the first time she’d scared him.
It took her a moment to dial down her hunger the necessary notch or two, to keep it from showing too obviously on her face. While she waited, she licked her lips and peered at him curiously. He looked good—no surprise there—tall and dark with bright blue eyes and a day’s worth of stubble shadowing his jaw. He looked altogether scrumptious, except for the scowl. That scowl was all wrong. Julie cleared her throat. “Something bothering you, Bren?”
The scowl deepened. “Why don’t you tell me?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Julie asked as she picked herself up from the floor.
Brennan took a quick step back, his eyes never leaving her face, his expression shifting from annoyed back to fearful. “N-nothing. Never mind.”
“Nothing” it certainly was not. The telltale patter of his racing heart gave that away, but Julie decided to let the lie pass. She slid back into bed and waited for him to continue.
It took a moment. Finally, Brennan heaved a deep sigh and shoved his hands through his hair. “I guess, maybe… You musta been dreaming again or something, huh?”
Julie nodded. “Just one of my nightmares,” she lied. “I can never remember what they’re even about.” Oh, if only that were true! “But, never mind about that. Why don’t you come back over here now?” She shot Brennan an inviting smile and patted the bed beside her. “You still have some time before work, don’t you?” They both knew he did.
There was more than enough time for a quick snack or even a not-so-quick tumble between the sheets. The two urges were so closely aligned Julie occasionally found it hard to keep them separate, especially at times like these, with the scent of Brennan’s fear tingeing the atmosphere. It was an atavistic response, or so her uncle Damian had explained, a result of her combined human-vampire heritage.
Hunger and reproduction were no more than two sides of the same survival coin, inextricably intertwined. Both were thwarted when Brennan shook his head. “Nah, no sense in that. I’m up now, might as well get an early start to the day. I’m just gonna go grab a quick shower.”
But I’m hungry. Disappointed, Julie watched as he backed up another couple of steps, pausing only to snag his clothes from on top of his dresser before continuing his retreat. “Brennan…” Don’t make me force you to come back here. Don’t make me compel you to give me what I want.
She knew she could do it. She was pretty sure he knew it too. The real question was this: Would she ever? She’d never acted that way with him up until now and she certainly didn’t want to start. It was not who she was. It was not who they were. Or so she’d always thought. Until Brennan vanished into the bathroom and Julie heard the unmistakable snick of the lock.
Suddenly, she was a whole lot less sure. She let out an angry snarl. Still hungryThen she picked up Brennan’s pillow and hurled it at the bathroom door in a fit of hurt and frustration.
Maybe she’d only been fooling herself. Maybe “they” were already not who she thought they were. Maybe they never had been.

Children of Night, Book 4

New Year’s Eve, 1999. The world is braced for Y2K, but that’s not the only ticking time bomb in Conrad’s life. Damian wouldn’t be the first vampire to find a way to die, but Conrad is determined he will not be one of them.

Present day. Damian struggles to trust that fate could possibly be kind enough to give him a love as perfect as Conrad’s. Conrad balances on the keen edge of his own fear that one more slip of his formidable control could drive his lover away—permanently. 

Julie learns the hard way it’s not just interspecies relationships that seldom work out. Even between vampires, love is not a smooth course.

Meanwhile, intrigue and conflict within the nest continue to grow, fueled in no small part by Georgia’s slipping hold on a deadly secret. Marc works to consolidate his position as leader of the ferals—and discovers that being a walking anomaly has certain advantages. Including some that are totally unexpected.

Product Warnings
Contains more love triangles, more power struggles, more tears and teeth gnashing, and even more graphic scenes of manlove between moody, domestically inclined vampires than in previous editions. Definitely not recommended for anyone suffering from ALSSD (Auld Lang Syne Sensitivity Disorder) or with aversions to ballrooms, evening clothes, sarcasm, or close-quarter stiletto combat. 

1 comment:

Meghan said...

My very favorite are chocolate reese's pieces cookies! They are AMAZING!
mestith at gmail dot com