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Weekly Excerpt -Eternity Waits

This is an excerpt from my very first release from The Wild Rose Press, a short vampire story set during the American Civil War, title Eternity Waits. The story is still available at the TWRP website as an e-book for $1.50. Hope you enjoy.

North of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
July 1, 1863

Caleb Weathers tensed at a rustle behind him. He swung his Enfield rifle in the general direction. A hoot, followed by the flutter of large wings left him staring into the wide-eyed gaze of a Barn owl. When the bird took flight, he breathed a sigh of relief. The scents of pine and fetid soil calmed him a bit.

The thickness of the forest made him all too aware of how vulnerable he was to attack despite the weight of his weapon. Caleb sensed a presence behind him. He broke into a sweat and the hairs on the nape of his neck rose. He whirled and aimed the barrel at the form that appeared out of nowhere.

“Who are you?” he asked. “Where’d ya come from?”

The woman smiled. Blood-red lips and luminous blue eyes captured his gaze. Her raven hair glinted in the moonlight.

“I am Alexandra.” Her low, throaty voice held a guttural accent.

What is a beautiful woman doing in camp alone in the dead of night? She couldn’t be up to any good. And yet, as he watched her, a thrill of anticipation raced through him. Something about her seemed familiar. A memory he couldn’t quite reach.

He swallowed. “You’d best skedaddle, ma’am. You can’t come through camp without a pass.”

“I came for you, my darling.” With one fluid motion, she moved closer.

He cocked his rifle. “Stop right there.”

Her exquisite lips drew into a pout. “I would never harm you, Dimitri.”

At the sound of the name an eerie sensation swept over him.

“Who the hell is Dimitri?” he asked. “My name’s Caleb.”

****

Alexanda Ivanov gazed with longing at the tall, manly soldier before her. His musky, masculine scent caused her to shiver with desire. Sandy-colored hair fell in waves on both sides of his tanned face. Alexandra had spied him on her forays through the outskirts of the army camp. Each time she’d seen him, he’d been alone, but she’d waited until tonight to approach him.

Since the war began, she’d not lacked for fresh blood. These lonely, young soldiers, so far from home, were all too willing to allow a strange, loose woman to wrap her arms around them. The army blamed the deaths on a vicious, nocturnal animal roaming the woods at night.

But this man carried the essence of her long-lost love. Alexandra felt drawn to him, like to no other. Centuries ago, she’d lost the one and only man she’d ever truly loved.

She moved closer to the soldier, his long, lean-muscled form not unlike Dimitri’s. He gulped, but lowered his rifle and didn’t back away.

“Why are you here?” He clawed absently at his collar while his gaze locked on hers.

Heat swept through her at the sight of his throbbing pulse. Although hungry, she wouldn’t take too much from him. She didn’t wish to kill him. Yet.

Available only from The Wild Rose Press

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=787&zenid=a42f860ccf816b24bff79203d10dd672

Weekly Excerpts – Sweet Redemption

Vampires during the American Civil War?  Here’s an excerpt from my stand-alone, paranormal novella, Sweet Redemption, available as an e-book.
 
Excerpt:
 She eyed him coldly. “Sir, I’m not in the habit of taking prisoners.”
     
“Sorry, ma’am.” He inspected himself under the blanket. Both his greatcoat and military coat had been removed as well as his belt and revolver. “My things–“
     
“Are hidden, Captain. It wouldn’t be wise to have them on your person if Confederate troops are hereabout.”
     
“I agree with your reasoning, ma’am, but where are they?”
     
“In a safe place.”
     
He struggled to sit, but his muscles protested, and he slumped back to the floor.
     
“Easy, Captain. You’re very pale. Have you been ill?”
     
“No, I…” He recalled Arnwolf and the barn. Had that really happened, or had it just been a dream?
     
“Now you’re awake, I’ll heat up some broth. You look like you could use some.”
     
“Thank you, ma’am.”
     
She hesitated, a blush coloring her ivory skin. “When I took off your coat, I noticed two raised bumps on your neck. I thought they might be bites.”
     
He fingered the bumps. So, it hadn’t been a dream.
     
“A wild dog attacked me. Out in the woods.”
     
“A wild dog?” She shuddered. “I didn’t know there were any around here.”
     
“It’s the truth, ma’am.” Even as he said it, he cringed inwardly at his lie.
     
Her gaze narrowed as she studied him. “But when I took off your coat, I didn’t see any blood.”
     
No blood? Come to think of it, he hadn’t noticed any when he woke in the barn. “I’m not real sure how that happened, ma’am.”
     
She rose, studied him once more, then left the room.
     
He lay back, reflecting on what had happened. If the man, Reverend Arnwolf was a minister, he must be a fallen one. Like me.
     
Was that why the creature had come to drag him to his doom? Was God angry that Jon had left the priesthood? This couldn’t be a coincidence. Hopefully, the man was gone, and he’d never come across him again. But he couldn’t get those glowing red eyes out of his mind.
     
Satan himself couldn’t have frightened him more. He fingered the crucifix.

For more info and to read review, visit my vampire romance page 

To purchase Sweet Redemption  http://thewildrosepress.com/sweet-redemption-p-3750.html?zenid=efc2f41ac353b198c6926be0514ff6ab 

 
 
 
 
 

 

Fact and Fiction

SweetRedemption_w3850_300My latest release from The Wild Rose Press is a vampire romance, but the story is based on a real Civil War battle that took place in Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862. It was a Confederate victory. Union soldiers were pinned down on a field below what the locals called, Marye’s Heights. Dead men froze and other men used the bodies to shield themselves, while the Confederates kept up their fire throughout the night.

One of the Union heroes of Gettysburg, Joshua Chamberlain, was among those lying out in the field all night. His story was chronicled in Jeff Shaara’s Civil War novel, Gods and Generals.

To quote a part of the scene where Chamberlain was pinned down on the battlefied: “He began to shiver, flexed his fingers, wrapped himself with his arms, and now shivered more. He raised his head just slightly and looked around him, saw a great field of black shapes. He began to move, slid along the hard ground, moved up alongside one of the shapes,  said in  a low, hoarse voice, “You there. Are you wounded?” He waited, then reached out a hand, touched the blue cloth, prodded harder, poked the man’s stiff body, and he understood.” Gods and Generals, Jeff Shaara.

So, this true life story inspired my fictional story of a fallen priest turned Union infantry captain, who finds himself on this same frozen battlefield. But my hero, Jonathan Hackett, is stalked, not my enemy soldiers, but by a vampire.

It’s fun to play around with possibilties. My latest release, Sweet Redemption is available now from The Wild Rose Press.

Civil War vampires, anyone?

It’s always fun coming up with a new twist on a romance genre. I did that with my short vampire story, Eternity Waits by setting my vampire tale in a Civil War camp. I’d always wanted to write a vampire story and that was my first.
So, what else to do, but set another vampire story during the Civil War. And I’m happy to say, I just returned the contract to The Wild Rose Press for my new story, Sweet Redemption. We’ll start edits on it shortly.
In the meantime, I thought I’d talk about how this story differs from Eternity Waits. For one thing, the vampire in this story is the villain. The hero is a Union infantry captain, who once was a Catholic priest, but left the Church years ago. He’s always felt guilt for deserting his vows. When the story opens, he’s attacked by a vampire. He manages to make it to the farm, where a Confederate widow takes him in. The problem is, the vampire is still stalking him to make him what he is, and he also takes interest in the widow, who our hero is falling in love with. As the hero starts to exhibit vampire tendencies, he’s afraid, instead of protecting her from the vampire, he’ll be more of a threat to her himself. What’s a hero do do?
Here’s the blurb and a short unedited excerpt.
On a cold December night, Union infantry captain, Jonathan Hackett, is pinned down on the Fredericksburg battlefield trying to escape Confederate fire. But a creature of the night, more dangerous than any enemy soldier, stalks him. Jon must fight for his life as well as his soul.
Maddie Emery has lost everything dear to her. Her husband and parents have passed on and her brothers are off fighting in the Confederate Army. She’s alone, trying single-handedly to hold onto her family’s farm, when a Yankee soldier collapses across her stoop.

Maddie and Jon form a bond of love and desire, but as Jon exhibits signs of becoming the creature he fears most, is their love enough to fight off the evil of a centuries old vampire bent on destroying them?

 

At first she held her lips firm, then opened allowing him to explore the velvety insides of her mouth. Encouraged, he leaned into her, and she yielded beneath him, sighing softly as she reclined on the settee. He pulled the pins, releasing her hair into a silken veil trailing over her bodice. He cupped one of her lush breasts through the fabric of her gown and she moaned in response. Encouraged, he adjusted his body over hers, his arousal growing.

She gazed up at him, eyes half-closed in passion. He focused on her throat and the steadily beating pulse. He pushed a strand of hair back and fixated on the soft, white skin, gaze drawn to the pulse point. His lips grazed the spot, the beat and scent driving him mad. He had the overwhelming urge to bite. His mouth distended.

An image of what Arnwolf had done to him in the barn, made him jerk back. His heart pounded as he traced his finger along his teeth. Two sharp, pointed fangs had taken the place of his canines. He rose from the settee and howled, backing away.

Mrs. Emery stared at him.

He turned away, so she wouldn’t see. What had he become?

 

 

 

 

 


Today’s the Day!


Release day! The day I’ve long been waiting for … The Wild Rose Press released my short vampire romance story, Eternity Waits.

Here’s an excerpt that I hope whets your appetite.

Alexandra Ivanov gazed with longing at the tall, manly soldier before her. His musky, masculine scent caused her to shiver with desire. Sandy-colored hair fell in waves on both sides of his tanned face. Alexandra had spied him on her forays through the outskirts of the army camp. Each time she’d seen him, he’d been alone, but she’d waited until tonight to approach him.

Since the war began, she’d not lacked for fresh blood. These lonely, young soldiers, so far from home, were all too willing to allow a strange, loose woman to wrap her arms around them. The army blamed the deaths on a vicious, nocturnal animal roaming the woods at night.

But this man carried the essence of her long lost love. Alexandra felt drawn to him, like to no other. Centuries ago, she’d lost the one and only man she’d ever truly loved.

She moved closer to the soldier, his long, lean-muscled form not unlike Dimitri’s. He gulped, but lowered his rifle and didn’t back away.

“Why are you here?” He clawed absently at his collar while his gaze locked on hers.

Heat swept through her at the sight of his throbbing pulse. Although hungry, she wouldn’t take too much from him. She didn’t want to kill him. Yet.

For more info on Eternity Waits click here.

Tuesday Ten: Victorians & Vampires


I’m completing research on a new short vampire story set during the Civil War and bought a book on the origins of vampire lore.

Although I knew Dracula was published during the Victorian era, I hadn’t realized how many novels and stories during the period revolved around vampires. Aside from Dracula, though, these vampires weren’t your classic blood-suckers. There were a lot of variations as there is in vampire legends and folklore around the world.

1) Edgar Allen Poe’s story “Ligeia” (1838) is the tale of a dead woman who brings back the corpse of her husband’s second wife.

2) Smyth Upton’s novel, The Last of the Vampires (1845) held that vampirism was a special form of magic.

3) G. M. W. Reynold’s Faust (1847) reflected the same theme where vampires used sacrifice to obtain life, pleasure and power.

4)W. Harrison Ainworth’s Auriol (1850) is a tale of immortality gained through human sacrifice.

5) In 1853, the first English language novel, Spiritual Vampirism was a story about energy draining vampires who could be men or women.

6) Two more novels in 1890 and two in 1897 also featured energy draining vampires.

7) Vampires by Julian Gordon (1891) used vampirism as a metaphor for the destructive relationship between the characters.

8) In 1892, in The Lost Stradavarius, a sorcerer drains energy from musicians who play a certain violin.

9) In a story by W. L. Alden in 1894, a teacher’s talents are absorbed by one of her students.

10) And of course, the king of all vampire novels, Dracula, by Bram Stoker came out in 1897.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters by Rosemary Ellen Guiley: Checkmark Books, 2005.

My Cover for Eternity Waits


I just got my cover art for my short vampire story, Eternity Waits, to be a future release from The Wild Rose Press.

I don’t have an official blurb yet, but the story is set in a Civil War Confederate camp. My vampire, Alexandra, goes after a Rebel soldier she thinks is the reincarnation of her lover who died on a battlefield in Siberia in the 16th century.

I don’t have a release date yet, but the cover is so gorgeous I just had to show it off to all my Victorian friends.

What do you think?

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