Tag Archives: Joseph Morgan

Vampire Diaries Kindle Worlds and a Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway!

Congratulations to Mary A. Daniels! Her name was drawn as the winner for the Kindle Paperwhite. Thank you so much to everyone who participated. I enjoyed chatting with you and seeing the answers you came up with for the Quiz.

The correct answers are:

From WHAT THE HEART WANTS

1)      DAMON

2)      ELENA

3)      KLAUS

4)      STEFAN

From DIVINE ENEMY

5)      DAMON

6)      ELENA

7)      CAROLINE

8)      STEFAN

Here is a reminder of the lines with the speaker added to each one:

WHAT THE HEART WANTS

1) “So how long do you think you’ll make it in this town if you go about willy-nilly draining people?” DAMON

2)  “I’m a vampire. It’s what we do. It’s not like you haven’t killed.” ELENA

3) “What I want is for you to tell me where your boyfriend is hiding. Save us both a lot of headaches. I can stop this incessant search, and you could quit worrying about his death and start to accept it, start the grieving process. I’ll be here for a shoulder to cry on.” KLAUS

4) “Why don’t we work together to make Klaus human? Then you won’t have to run from him anymore. Elena can remain a vampire and you and I—” STEFAN

DIVINE ENEMY

5) “Chaos. Kind of has a nice ring to it.” DAMON

6) “He wants me to go back to Mystic Falls. Try to talk Damon off the ledge.” ELENA

7) “You know, as much as I hate to defend Damon, he did it because he was afraid your grief would destroy you.” CAROLINE

8) “Sorority girls, Damon? Really? I thought you’d outgrown that.” STEFAN

Welcome Vampire Diaries fans and non-Vampire Diaries fans alike (and if you are in the ‘non’ category, I’d like to extend my sympathy :))

For TVD fans…

Remember in Season 4, episode 15, ‘Stand by Me,’ when Elena turned off her humanity and burned her house down? My Vampire Diaries Kindle Worlds story takes up where that episode left off.

 Have you ever wondered…

What if the events that unfolded had happened differently? What if Katherine wasn’t the one who took the cure? What if Elena no longer got her choice between the Salvatore Brothers? What if Klaus hadn’t gone to New Orleans, and was still in Mystic Falls tormenting Caroline?

The opportunity to write and publish Vampire Diaries books for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds was the biggest thrill of my career. I had a blast entering the world of Mystic Falls and inventing plots for the characters I love. I hope Vampire Diaries fans enjoy reading them half as much as I enjoyed writing them.

!!! – I am running a contest from now through midnight, December 16, 2013 for the chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite. If you already have one, and you win the drawing, you can give the extra one for a gift. How’s that for perfect timing? I LOVE my Kindle. It’s a fantastic prize. See the bottom of this post for ways to enter. – !!!

Both Kindle ebooks, What the Heart Wants and Divine Enemy are available on Amazon for $1.99. Click on the covers to be taken to the Amazon buy link. Below I’ve shared the entire first chapter of What the Heart Wants. I hope you enjoy!

(I love comments, so feel free to leave me one in the comment section, even if it’s to tell me you ‘didn’t’ enjoy the chapter :))

TVD_WhatTheHeartWants_FinalTVD_DivineEnemy_Final
GIVEAWAY!!! One lucky winner will win a Kindle Paperwhite. Contest runs through December 16 at 11:59 p.m. Several ways to enter. Click on the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of the post to be taken to the entry widget.

Chapter One

“Jeremy?”

Elena sat up in bed. Her frantic gaze darted around the bedroom. Morning sun glinted from between the shades. Where was she . . .? What was she doing . . .? Then she remembered. The Salvatore mansion. She lifted a hand to her cheek and pulled it away, staring at her damp fingers. Tears. Her shoulders slumped.

She shook the last vestiges of sleep from her mind. The only time her dead brother entered her thoughts was when she slept. There would be no more sleeping today. She flung off the covers and climbed from the bed. Not bothering to dress, she hurried down the stairs in her pajamas.

“Going somewhere?”

Stefan’s voice reached her just as she grabbed hold of the doorknob. She turned. He didn’t look like he’d been in bed. Maybe he had trouble sleeping with her and Damon under the same roof. Even though she had her own room, she had to admit, it was a little odd for the three of them to be living together considering their history. But it didn’t bother her. These days, nothing bothered her.

“Hunting,” she told him.

Stefan’s dark brows rose. “We have plenty of blood bags.”

She lifted a shoulder and smiled. “I feel like hunting.”

“Shouldn’t we talk about planning Jeremy’s memorial service?”

“Not interested.” She wouldn’t stand in the midst of a crowd and pretend to care. Pretend to remember anything about him.

He crossed his arms and shook his head. “People will wonder why you aren’t giving your brother a service.”

“Tell them whatever you want. I don’t care.” She put her hand on the doorknob.

“So I noticed.”

She rolled her eyes and tugged the door open.

“Elena?” Delbert, one of Liz’s deputies, stood on the stoop. “The sheriff sent me to talk to you about the fire at your house. You have a minute?”

“Hmmmm.” She licked her lips, then looked at Stefan over her shoulder and smiled. “I had no idea they delivered.”

“Elena!” Stefan reached out a hand, but before he could move, Elena snatched the deputy into her grip.

That familiar rush filled her. Excitement and hunger, and need and thrill, all rolled into one. She protracted her fangs and gouged the struggling deputy’s neck. Warm sweet blood pulsed into her mouth. She moaned in delight.

Stefan was at her shoulder, tugging, yelling for her to let go, but he couldn’t physically force her. If he did, he’d risk ripping Delbert’s throat out.

So she drank.

•  •  •

“What’s all the . . .?” Damon halted when he saw Elena in the doorway feasting on the deputy.

Stefan whirled on him. “You did this. You turned off her humanity. Are you happy?”

Damon shrugged. “Rarely.”

“Stop her. Use the sire bond, whatever you have to do. She’s going to kill him.”

Damon glanced back to Elena and her dinner. The man was limp in her arms. Stefan was right. A few more seconds, and the guy would be nothing but a mound of dead flesh.

Shooting to her side, Damon said, “Elena, stop! Let him go!”

She ignored him. Her eyes were closed, and little sounds of ecstasy emitted from her throat. There was a time in the not too distant past when she’d made that noise for him. Since he’d convinced her to shut off her humanity, she felt nothing. For anything. Or anyone. Including him. But if she killed the guy, there would be a lot of questions. And one of these days, if she ever got her humanity back, she’d fall to pieces.

“Elena! As your sire, I command you to stop!”

Her shoulders stiffened. With obvious reluctance, she lifted her head, looking up at him. Her eyes were glazed, her mouth dripping blood. She released the deputy, and he slumped lifelessly to the porch.

Damon looked at Stefan. “You’re up little brother. Revive him, then make him forget.”

Stefan glared at him, but dropped to his knees beside the deputy and used his fangs to open a vein in his own wrist. He held the blood to the deputy’s mouth, waiting while he drank.

Elena didn’t bother wiping the blood from her mouth. She stood, breathing heavily, staring down at her victim like a starving person stares at a feast.

•  •  •

Caroline held the phone to her ear, her heart lifting at the sound of Tyler’s voice. “Oh my God, Tyler. You finally called me back. I’m sorry I had to tell you about Jeremy in a voice mail.” His calling her was risky, but she was so glad to hear from him. She didn’t know how much longer she could go on not hearing his voice, not knowing if he was okay.

“Yeah.” The words were thick with tears. She gave him time to compose himself. After a few seconds, he said, “I can’t believe he’s really gone.”

“Me either.” They were both silent. Caroline’s heart ached for Jeremy, but at the same time reveled in the knowledge that, though she didn’t know where Tyler was, right now, he was just at the other end of the phone line.

“I miss you,” Tyler said softly.

“Miss you too.” She sucked in a sob. Losing Jeremy was unbearable. Being here at his memorial service was one of the hardest things she’d ever done. But losing Tyler on top of it was excruciating. Before she’d turned, she’d been self-centered and shallow. It was crazy that becoming a vampire had made her a better person.

“I want to come back.”

“No,” she cried. “No, you can’t. He’ll kill you.”

“This is no way to live. I might as well be dead.”

“Don’t say that. As long as you’re alive, there’s hope. Hope for us.” She looked back to where the mourners were gathered. “I wish you could be here for the service.”

“Yeah. Thanks to that asshole, I can’t.”

“Caroline, they’re about to start.” She turned to find Stefan at her elbow.

“Thanks, Stefan. I’ll be right there.” Into the phone, she said, “I’ve got to go. Call me again?”

“Soon. I promise.”

She hung up and said to Stefan, “I can’t believe Jeremy’s really gone.” She sniffed back tears.

“I know. I can’t either.”

Her gaze fell on Klaus. He was staring directly at her, and her heart thumped erratically. How could a man who terrified her, a man she hated, make her pulse give the slightest skip when he looked at her?

Because she was twisted and pathetic, that’s why. The man had shown a hint of compassion for a few fleeting seconds; first when he’d drawn her portrait, and then when he’d saved her by giving her his blood, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t an evil monster. After all, she wouldn’t have needed his blood if he hadn’t bitten her and injected his fatal wolf venom into her system. Asshole.

What the hell was he even doing here? He had a lot of nerve showing his face after the pain he’d caused everyone in this town. But then Klaus was never one to care about others’ feelings.

“Where’s Bonnie?” Stefan’s gaze searched the sea of people.

Caroline shook her head. “She’s not coming. She won’t accept that he’s gone. She’s gone nuts trying to find a way to bring him back.”

“I’m afraid he’s not coming back. We all have to accept that.”

“Yeah. Tell that to Bonnie.”

She and Stefan headed toward the crowd. Elena stood on the fringe, dry-eyed, looking . . . bored.

Caroline frowned. “Elena isn’t crying. She doesn’t seem upset at all.” She drew in a shaky breath. “I guess she’s in shock.”

“No,” Stefan said with a heavy sigh. “Damon told her to turn off her humanity.”

Caroline stopped walking. “What?” she squeaked. She shot a look around the crowd, then lowered her voice. “He might as well have killed her.”

Stefan grimaced. “Maybe he did.”

•  •  •

Hayley crossed her arms and rested her foot against the tree trunk.

“I don’t understand what we’re doing here.” Howie looked around warily. “After what you did, Tyler will kill you if he finds you.”

“I told you. Shane promised my parents would come back. He lied. Now he has released a centuries old witch, vampire, whatever. Endangered humans, wolves, and vampires. He’s caused the death of dozens to get his wife back. We’re here to find him. And to kill him.”

“If we don’t get killed first,” he muttered.

“Tyler isn’t even in town. He’s hiding from Klaus.”

Howie nodded. “Smart move. We should be hiding too.”

Hayley rolled her eyes and pushed off the tree. “No, Shane should be hiding.”

She glanced up. The sunlight had faded. Smoky darkness filled the sky. The full moon was a glowing platter against the black night. It wouldn’t be long now. Fear pounded through her blood, prickled goose bumps over her flesh. She hated turning, dreaded the pain. But it was her nature. Her destiny. And it made her a deadly force. Professor Shane would wet himself if she found him in wolf form. She rested a hand on the knife in her jacket pocket. Little did he know, if she found him in human form, he would be just as dead.

“You’re in love with Tyler,” Howie accused. His thick brows hooded his eyes. His thin body quaked. “That’s why you’re doing this. You’re hoping he’ll forgive you.”

Hayley swallowed the knot of tears rising to her throat. Wolves didn’t cry. And she wasn’t in love with Tyler. She liked him, hated what she’d done to him, but love? That was for schoolgirls and romance novels.

“You’re way off. I have to finish this with Shane. And I’m not scared. Katherine Pierce owes me. I helped her find the cure. She’ll back us up.”

“You’re working with a psychotic she-vamp?” His voice quivered. Chicken.

“I’m playing it smart. It’s called survival.” After Katherine had saved her ass, she’d had no choice but to go along with her plan to obtain the cure. Besides, it was the last thing Professor Shane wanted. That made it all the sweeter.

Howie tightened his lips and didn’t reply.

Hayley unbuttoned her blouse, slipped it off her shoulders, and then shed the rest of her clothing. Turning was hell on the wardrobe.

“I don’t care if—” Her breath left her lungs in a rush as intense pain shot through her body. She screamed and dropped to the ground. Heat sizzled the backs of her eyeballs. The cracking sound of bones breaking, of limbs twisting, pierced the night. Excruciating pain shot through her hands. She stared at them, watched as they morphed into paws.

Distantly, she was aware of Howie screaming too. But the awareness soon faded, and all that remained was the agony.

•  •  •

Damon leaned a hand on the mantle and stared into the fire. “Where the hell are you, Katherine?” he muttered under his breath.

“Good question,” Stefan said from behind him. Damon hadn’t known he’d come in the room. Didn’t say much for his vampire hearing. His instincts.

“Yeah, we have plenty of questions.” Damon let out a heavy sigh. “Now we need answers.”

“We’ll turn this entire town upside down until we find her. She can’t be far. She’ll want to be near Klaus so she can offer him a deal.”

“Her freedom for the cure.”

“Then Klaus has control.”

Damon nodded, squinting at his brother. “Is that so bad? Klaus wants Elena to have the cure. Isn’t that what you want?”

Stefan shook his head. “Not anymore. Not since Jeremy died. She won’t survive the grief.”

“Her life has gone to hell since she became a vampire. Eventually, she needs to become human again. Then she can move on. Deal with her grief.” He gave a humorless grin. “Find someone to share a life with. Someone human who can give her babies and white picket fences.” He tensed against the pain the words caused. The thing she wanted most was something he could never give her. That and her brother back.

“Come on, Damon. You don’t want her to become human again. You’re in love with her. You have her just like you want her; a vampire with no humanity left.”

“I made her turn and shut it off so she wouldn’t fall apart over Jeremy’s death. I still want what’s best for her. If she wants to be human, that’s what I want.”

“I don’t want to be human.”

They turned. Elena stood in the doorway, looking from one to another with cold, dead eyes. Damon grimaced and turned away. Seeing her like that was hard. The old spark, the essence that made her Elena, was gone, and he’d killed it.

Stefan frowned. “What do you mean you don’t want to be human? You’ve hated every second of being a vampire.”

“Not anymore. Why would I want to go back to being human?” Her gaze rested on Damon. “How did you say it? Being human sounds like the most miserable thing on Earth? I agree. This way I can do whatever I want whenever I want. No one expects anything from me.”

“You’re losing all your friends.” Stefan reminded her.

“I don’t need friends.” A smile lifted the corners of her mouth. “I have the two of you. Let’s see . . .” She sauntered into the room and ran a finger along the back of the sofa, her gaze taking in the two of them. “My lover and my former lover. Two brothers who would do anything for me. Have done anything for me.” She stopped in front of Damon and slid her fingernails along his cheek. Her chocolate eyes narrowed on him. “What more could I want, right?”

Damon’s jaw clenched, and he lost his breath at her touch. He still wanted her. Still loved her, even though she was no longer the old Elena. She definitely wasn’t the girl he fell in love with. But she wasn’t in agony either. That was good enough.

Moving to Stefan, she placed a hand over his heart. “You say you don’t love me anymore, but you would still do anything for me.”

Stefan gripped her wrist and removed it from his chest. “I care about you, Elena, but I won’t be played.” He stared down at her. “If you pass up this opportunity to take the cure, one day, you’ll regret it.”

She slowly shook her head. “No more regrets. For eternity.” She smiled. “And thanks to the two of you, eternity is what I now have.”

“If you really don’t want to be human,” Damon said. “We need to keep Klaus from getting the cure. If he gets it, he’ll find a way to force you to take it.” He looked at Stefan. “Are you okay with this, little brother? I know you wanted her to be human again.”

“I meant it when I said I’m no longer in love with her.” He kept his gaze on Elena. She held his stare. Jealousy twisted in Damon’s gut. No matter what either of them said, there was still something there. A love like theirs didn’t die completely. He clenched his jaw, waiting for Stefan’s response.

Finally, he looked away from Elena and said, “If she doesn’t want it, I don’t want her to have it.”

“Then we need a plan. We know Hayley has been working with Katherine. If we find the devious little werewolf chick, she’ll likely lead us to Katherine.”

Stefan nodded. “In the meantime, the two of you need to disappear. Go into hiding. Start over somewhere. The new Elena can’t have any kind of life here in Mystic Falls. And as long as she’s in town, Klaus will be after her, trying to feed her the cure.”

The two of them, finally alone. No one to worry about, no one to save. Damon tried not to show how much the idea excited him. He looked at Elena. “So how about it? We take off together?” He held his breath while he waited for her to answer.

She smiled and shook her head. “No. Don’t think so. Why leave Mystic Falls when I can finally be free of all my old hang-ups? Finally have some real fun?”

Damon stalked across the room and took hold of her arms. He needed to get through to her. This was their chance. “Because, we could start over. Be together.”

He looked back at Stefan. His words were going to hurt his brother, but Stefan would have to get used to the idea of Elena and him together. He brushed her hair back from her face with his thumb and searched her eyes for some sign that she still cared about him. “I believed you when you said you don’t love me because of the sire bond. I know you really love me. For me.” He had to believe it. After all they’d been through, all they’d been to each other, their love was stronger than any sire bond.

Elena pursed her lips and looked down at the ground. She was quiet for so long, Damon’s heart started to hurt. When she looked back up at him, he knew why he’d felt such dread. There was no love for him in her eyes. Not even a smidgen. He tightened his jaw.

“I’m sorry Damon. That was the old me. I’m not that girl anymore.” She flung her hair over her shoulder and lifted her chin. “I don’t love you anymore. I don’t feel anything for you now.”

Before he could prevent it, a burst of air left his throat. It felt like he’d been punched in the gut. No torture he’d ever endured could hurt like her words. He closed his eyes. “When I made you turn off your humanity, I killed your love for me.”

She shrugged and nodded. “I guess so.”

“If it means you’re not grieving anymore, not in pain. Then it was worth it.” He gave her a smile that didn’t reach his heart. “But the thought of never having you is tearing me up.”

“Then maybe you should take a page from your own book. Turn off your humanity. You’ve done it before. It’s not like you don’t know how. Just turn it off.”

He gritted his teeth. She was right. He had done it before. But he was alone then. Despised by everyone. Now he had his brother back. He had friends, and he had Elena. At least for a short time. He narrowed his eyes on her for a moment, then turned back to Stefan who’d stood quietly by, listening but not speaking. Damon was sure if he could read his thoughts, there would be at least a little bit of satisfaction in them.

Thankfully, his brother didn’t comment on the fact that Elena had ripped out his heart and stomped on it. “So I guess we make a plan. One that will keep Elena safe from Klaus, and one that will help us find Hayley.”

“Where would you hang out if you were a she-wolf, running in fear for your life, but desperate to help a she-vamp deliver a cure to a psychotic original vampire?”

Stefan grinned. “Good question.”

“The Lockwood dungeon,” Elena said.

They turned to look at her.

“That’s where Tyler always went to turn,” she said. “It’s deep in the woods. A good place for a werewolf to run free, stay out of sight. Tonight’s a full moon, though. I don’t think we want to find Hayley tonight.”

•  •  •

Katherine paced in front of her band of devoted wolves. The morning sun peeked through the trees. The wolves’ eyes were glassy, their faces pale. They looked like the wrong end of a bad night. She was close to having what she wanted. Close to finally being free of Klaus’s threats. As pitiful as they all looked, they were her ticket to safety. God, power felt good. Best of all they were here to serve her.

“I hope you all enjoyed yourselves last night. Now that we’ve gotten the nasty full moon business behind us for a month, I expect full cooperation with my plan.”

“What plan?” Hayley asked. “You never said what you want us to do.”

Katherine rested her gaze on the girl. She was young, pretty. Tough, with a youthful fervor Katherine had lost centuries ago. She’d been invaluable in helping Katherine get hold of the cure. But she might prove to be more trouble than she was worth. “It’s on a need-to-know basis.”

“We have a right to know what you have in store for us,” Hayley persisted.

Katherine tightened her lips and turned her glare on Hayley. “I saved your asses from the vampires in New Orleans. If you feel the need to question me, maybe I should rip your head off right now.”

Fear flashed in the girl’s eyes, but she lifted her chin and returned Katherine’s glare. Hmm. The girl had balls. More so than most of the guys in the pack.

“I helped you find the cure,” Hayley said. “Now you have a bargaining chip with Klaus. I’d say that’s an even trade.”

Katherine moved closer, until they were nearly nose to nose. “Don’t forget who the superior species here is. You don’t want to screw with me. Trust me on that one.”

Hayley audibly swallowed. After a few more seconds of holding the stare, her gaze dropped away. She nodded and stepped away like a good little puppy.

The wolves, in addition to the cure, would be her peace offerings to Klaus. The thought of negotiating with him made her gut clench. He terrified her. And she’d never been afraid of anything. She had the cure. She had the bonus. Now she needed to get them to Klaus, but make sure she did it in a way to save her hide.

The best way to get to Klaus was through Rebekah. Rebekah might want the cure for herself, but she hated her brother. She wouldn’t want him to get what he wanted. If Katherine could make her think she planned to use the cure to lure Klaus in and kill him . . . would she go for it?

Katherine turned to the wolves, “Don’t leave town. I’ll be back in a few days. And if I find you gone, I’ll find you. And you won’t like what happens when I do.”

 ################################

Quiz: Who said it?

Below are lines from What the Heart Wants and Divine Enemy. Win THREE extra entries by guessing who said each line. Instructions can be found when you click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway link. A few might be painfully obvious, the others not so much. You don’t have to get the answers correct to get the extra entry, but it might be fun to guess:

WHAT THE HEART WANTS

1) “So how long do you think you’ll make it in this town if you go about willy-nilly draining people?”

2)  “I’m a vampire. It’s what we do. It’s not like you haven’t killed.”

3) “What I want is for you to tell me where your boyfriend is hiding. Save us both a lot of headaches. I can stop this incessant search, and you could quit worrying about his death and start to accept it, start the grieving process. I’ll be here for a shoulder to cry on.”

4) “Why don’t we work together to make Klaus human? Then you won’t have to run from him anymore. Elena can remain a vampire and you and I—”

DIVINE ENEMY

5) “Chaos. Kind of has a nice ring to it.”

6) “He wants me to go back to Mystic Falls. Try to talk Damon off the ledge.”

7) “You know, as much as I hate to defend Damon, he did it because he was afraid your grief would destroy you.”

8) “Sorority girls, Damon? Really? I thought you’d outgrown that.”

FIND ALL THE WAYS TO ENTER TO WIN A KINDLE PAPERWHITE BY CLICKING HERE: Rafflecopter giveaway

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Exclusive Sneak Peek: Chapter One – Liberty Divided Isle of Fangs Book 2

Available September, 2013:

LibertyDivided-400

Chapter One

Sang Croc Island – French Polynesia

The night breeze blowing in from the ocean brought with it the intoxicating aromas of suntan oil and blood. Although there weren’t a lot of humans on the beach now that dusk had fallen, the heady scent of the rich, red fluid was strong enough that the vampire could still smell it just beneath the surface of their flesh. He drew in a breath and slowly exhaled. Delicious.

The moon drifted in the black sky and shone on the white sand, providing enough light so that, even if he weren’t a vampire, he could still see clearly. He strolled along the beach, blending in with the handful of human tourists hanging about. He’d been itching for the sun to go down, had barely slept all day. He was hungry. Jonesing for a feed. Mostly, though, he was anxious to put the next phase of his plan in motion. Slow and steady. Wasn’t that how the tortoise had won the race?

He strode across the soft sand, looking out at the glassy surface of the ocean. A sight he would never see the way it was mean to be seen, in sunlight. The cruel irony of being a vampire on a tropical island wasn’t lost on him.

Ah well, he might not be able to enjoy the daytime, but fortunately, beautiful, tasty women were always out in abundance, even after darkness fell.

As if to prove his point, he spotted two girls in barely-there bikinis at the edge of the ocean. They kicked water on one another, giggling and squealing in oblivious delight.

Girls. They were the easiest.

They passed a bottle of Lambrusco back and forth, chugging straight from the neck. He grinned. How fitting. In a matter of moments, he would be chugging straight from the neck.

He approached silently, not speaking until he was within a foot of where they frolicked. “Ladies? Enjoying yourselves?”

They turned startled eyes on him. The expression on the tall brunette’s face became a flirty smile when she saw him. The shorter of the two still looked wary.

“Tons,” the brunette said. She held out the bottle. “Want a sip?”

His lips spread into a grin. “More than you can imagine.”

She laughed and released the Lambrusco into his grip. He put it to his mouth and drank. The wine was a cheap, sweet red. The taste couldn’t compare to the sweet red of the blood flowing through the girls’ veins. Veins he would tap into shortly.

“Skyler, we’d better be heading back to the hotel,” Miss Blond, Short, and Skeptical said to her friend.

He moved closer to the blonde, walked into the ocean, ignoring the unpleasant feel of water-soaked shoes. He stared down, letting his eyes capture hers. “Why is that? The party’s only just begun.”

She swallowed audibly, and the pulse in her neck jumped with the movement. Excitement bloomed in his chest. He hadn’t been sure which one would die, but now he knew. This one had spunk. She would not only taste delicious, conquering her would be more exciting.

She started to look away, but he gripped her chin in his fingers. “What’s your name?” he asked softly.

“Mine’s Skyler,” her friend said from behind him, as if he hadn’t just heard the blonde call her by name. “She can go back to the hotel if she wants and—“

“Silence!” He whirled on the brunette. She blinked at him in hurt confusion. Sensitive little thing. For God’s sake. It wasn’t like he said her bikini made her look fat.

Still holding the blonde’s chin, he focused on the brunette’s eyes. “Look at me and listen carefully.” He kept his voice low, commanding. “Stand there quietly and don’t move. Don’t make a sound until I tell you it’s okay. Understand?”

“Hey,” her blond friend said. “You can’t tell her what to do.”

He let out a frustrated breath. Mesmerizing two chicks at once was not an easy feat.

He turned back to the blonde and made sure they were eye to eye. Made sure he had her complete attention. “You will also be quiet. Do exactly as I say. Understand?”

A frown marred her brows, but she gave a quick, jerky nod. Barely under. Good. He didn’t want her too docile when the time came.

Back to the brunette, he said, “No matter what happens, no matter what you see, you won’t make a sound. You won’t move. Got it?”

She nodded slowly and immediately quieted. The only sounds were those of crashing waves and distant conversations of other humans.

“Your name?” he demanded again.

“Patrice,” she finally muttered.

“Well, Patrice, because you’re so enticing, so remarkable, you will have to be sacrificed. But take solace in the fact that your friend will be spared.”

She blinked rapidly. Her mouth dropped open, and little mewling sounds came out. “What? I…you’re going to…?”

He released her chin and gripped a handful of hair at the back of her head. “Not a sound, I said.” She fell silent, and he reveled at the terror in her eyes. So easy.

He yanked her to him, tugged her head back. With a growl, he protracted his fangs and drove them deep into her flesh. Hot sweet blood with just a hint of wine flowed into his mouth. He nearly moaned in satisfaction. The feeding was good…great, but being another step closer to exacting revenge…well, that was about as good as it got.

She struggled silently, clawing at his shoulders, trying to shove him away. Nice. He liked a little fight. But the fight soon fled. Her body went limp. The flow of blood slowed. Her heart no longer pumped it to him. He released her, and her body hit the water with a splash.

He turned back to her friend, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Silent tears coursed down her cheeks. Her body trembled violently, but she remained silent, standing where he’d left her.

He ignored the flicker of sympathy crowding its way into his soul. He was a vampire, after all. It was in his nature to feed…to kill. No room for a conscience. No room for weakness.

He stalked to the brunette and grabbed her shoulders, looking down into her eyes. “Listen carefully, he said. “I want you to wait ten minutes, then run up the beach, screaming. Report this to the police. You understand?”

She nodded.

“Good. And this is what you’ll tell them…”

****

Liberty Van Helsing could almost believe last night had been a dream—that she hadn’t hunted vampires, hadn’t actually killed vampires—had it not been for the aches in every muscle of her body and the bandage on her arm that covered a bullet wound.

Business was slow tonight at the tiki bar. But of course her boss, Jerome, wouldn’t let her off early. The Perfect Getaway had to be fully manned at all times, with the bright smiling faces of a staff eager to serve. All she felt like doing was going home and pulling the covers over her head, sleeping for a week.

“How are you making it?” Ryan Kelly spoke at her shoulder as she loaded plates from the warmer onto a tray.

Her pulse quickened at the sound of his voice. She glanced up to find his dark eyes roaming over her from head to toe, worry evident in their black depths. “I’m fine.”

He frowned. “I don’t think so. Tell me how you’re really doing.”

She swallowed back a lump of tears. There’s no crying in vampire hunting…

She’d learned less than a month ago that she was a descendant of the vampire hunter, Van Helsing. She’d traveled from her small Oklahoma hometown to this strange island to meet the father she’d never known existed. And gotten so much more than she bargained for. Her father passed away before she really got to know him. And here she was, destined to take up where he left off. Hunting and killing vampires when she was barely out of high school, had never even had a fist fight, and the sight of blood made her hurl. Some hunter she was.

“Well, how I’m really doing is that I’m a little freaked about what I did last night. My arm hurts like hell, and I’ve barely slept. Better?”

He shrugged. “More honest, at least.” He covered her hand with his. “I’ll do whatever I can to help you through this. You know that, right?”

She nodded. “I’ll be fine. Really.”

“Let me take that. You don’t need to be lifting with that arm.” He took hold of the tray and scowled at her. “You should have called in.”

“I’m fine. I can get this.” She tugged on the tray, but he didn’t release it. “Ryan, you can’t coddle me. And you can’t do my job. You’re tending bar tonight, and I’ll just have to suck it up. Jerome would murder me if I’d called in.”

“Bloody dingo,” he muttered.

Liberty smiled. Although she didn’t understand all of his Australian idioms, she was sure the insult fit their boss perfectly. “Come on, get behind the bar, and let me do my job. I appreciate your concern, but if I’m going to be a hunter, I need to suck it up, get tougher.”

He winked and flashed his adorable grin, making the laugh lines around his eyes more pronounced. “I like you soft, just like you are.”

Warmth spread through her lower belly. She liked Ryan. Maybe not as much as he liked her, but he was ten times better than the cheating boyfriend she’d left behind in Oklahoma.

She lifted the tray and instantly regretted not taking Ryan up on his offer. The wound on her arm screamed with the weight, even though she was using her good arm to bear most of it.

Gritting her teeth against the pain, she headed to the table. Female laughter shrieked through the room, and Liberty knew exactly where it came from. She smiled at her customers, but inside she seethed. Eli was here with two girls. How dare he show his face after what had happened last night? It wasn’t like the Getaway was the only bar on the island.

“Jerk,” she mumbled under her breath. “Can I get you anything else?” she asked the two couples she was serving.

“We’ll have another round.”

“Coming right up.” She put the empty tray on the rack and started toward the bar to order the drinks, glancing at her other tables to make sure they didn’t need anything as she tried to ignore Eli Barkley.

But in spite of her determination, her eyes strayed to his table. He was leaned back in his seat, arms draped on the backs of the bamboo chairs on either side of him. Each chair held a female—one blonde and one with flaming red hair—both with envy-inducing curves.

Eli’s dark blond hair was in its usual disarray, his silvery eyes glinting as he laughed. His pose was relaxed, like nothing had happened. Like she wasn’t in the room. Like he didn’t give a damn.

Fine. She didn’t give a damn either.

Lips compressed, she stalked to the bar. “Two margaritas, a hurricane, and a Bloody Mary.”

Ryan peered at her, eyes narrowed. “You okay?”

She nodded. “Yeah, I’m okay. It’s just that Eli is getting under my skin.”

“Did he say something to you?”

“No,” she admitted reluctantly. “I just think he could have picked a different place to drink and whore around after what happened last night.”

“You know, it’s really not his fault. It was kind of a dick move for me to tell you he used to be one of the Evil Ones.”

She compressed her lips.  “No, it was a dick move that you didn’t tell me in the beginning. I had a right to know who would be training me. Who I’d be spending hours alone with.”

“Yeah, but he’s different now. He’s on our side.”

Her gaze went back to the table. Irritation tightened in her throat. “I think Eli is only on Eli’s side.”

Ryan slid the drinks onto her tray. “He’s not a bad sort, really.”

The friendship between Ryan and Eli baffled her. A thoughtful, sensitive human and a lying, heartless, jerkwad vampire. Go figure. She stole another glance at Eli and his companions. “Who are those girls?”

“I don’t know the blonde, but the redhead is Grace. She’s a…friend…from Eli’s past. They met during the Civil War.”

The Civil War? Even though she knew of the existence of vampires, she couldn’t help but be stunned at the reality of it all.

“How old is Eli?” She’d never asked the question. It hadn’t really occurred to her that he could possibly be centuries old.

“Twenty-one in human years. In vampire years, he’s about two-hundred and fifty. He was turned in the 1700’s.”

She shook her head. Unbelievable. He’d been around in the Revolutionary War. It seemed implausible, but she knew it was true. The last month had taught her that nothing was beyond the realm of possibility.

“I know.” Ryan grinned. “Hard to accept, right? It took me a while. I would say you’ll get used to it, but I still haven’t.”

“I totally get that.” She took the tray of drinks to her table and dropped the check. “I’ll take care of that whenever you’re ready.” Maybe they would get the hint. It was closing time, and there were only a few customers left, Eli and his friends included. At least they weren’t in her section. She could go as soon as her last table left.

“Here, we’ll take care of it now.”

Relief flooded her when one of the men handed her a credit card. She could finish up her closing duties and take off. Finally.

After clearing her section and settling her money for the evening, she headed to the parking lot. Her first several weeks on the island, she’d had to depend on rides from others. But Antoine—the manservant she’d inherited from her dead father—had insisted she have her own transportation, and they’d purchased a nearly-new red cobalt for her use. She was still nervous driving in a strange country, but it was damn convenient to have her own wheels.

The Perfect Getaway sat on the beach, and the parking lot was lined with palm trees and red and pink hibiscus plants. The scent of vanilla orchids hung in the air. Such a paradise, yet it held such darkness and evil. She shivered.

“Rough night?”

She jumped at the sound of Eli’s voice. Speaking of darkness and evil

She turned a glare on him. He stood directly behind her, hands shoved in his pockets, yet he’d been chilling in the bar only seconds ago.

“Don’t do that,” she snapped. She looked back at the tiki bar. “How the hell did you…?” She shook her head.  “Never mind. You’re a vampire. You move with the speed of light.”

He grinned and slanted his upper body toward her. “Yeah, but we’ve got all that darkness brewing inside. Ironic, isn’t it?”

She swung away from him and lifted the handle to open the door. “Whatever. I’m tired, so you’ll understand if I don’t feel like hanging out and bantering with you. Besides, your dates are waiting for you.”

“Jealous?”

She snorted a laugh. “No. Sympathetic. Better them than me.”

“Why is it I don’t believe you?”

“Maybe because you’re delusional?” She gave him an overly sweet smile before turning away to jerk the car door open.

“I see you’re still pouting because I didn’t tell you I was once a big, bad vampire.”

“It doesn’t matter. You warned me early on not to trust you. I should have listened.”

“And now you should put on your big girl panties and get over it. You’re a hunter, Liberty. You need to toughen up.”

Toughen up? Was he kidding? She’d risked her life last night, had worked her ass off training, and he was calling her a wimp. To hell with him. She started to slide into the car, but his voice stopped her.

“You can be mad at me all you want, but you can’t completely shut me out.”

“Watch me,” she bit out, not turning around. “Let me ask you something. What difference would it have made if you’d known in the beginning?”

She slammed the door and whirled on him. “At least I’d have known who—what—I was dealing with.”

“Would you still have let me train you?”

She shrugged.  “I’m not sure. But I had the right to know. To have all the facts before making that decision.”

“If you had chosen not to let me train you, how do you think you would have fared last night? Not knowing the truth was for your own good.”

She gave a bitter laugh. “Yeah, and I’m sure you’re all about what’s best for me.”

“Look, you’re going to have to put all that behind you. Like it or not, you still need me.”

“No, I don’t. I’ll keep practicing. I’ll be fine.”

“You can’t take that chance. If I hadn’t saved your ass last night, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Just like him to throw that in her face. She huffed out a sigh of irritation. “Thanks for that, but from here on out, I can take care of myself.”

He stepped closer, backing her up to the door. The only way she could get away from him was to climb into the car. But she didn’t.

“What’s wrong?” He raised his eyebrows, amusement lifting the corners of his mouth. “Are you afraid of me now?”

She tilted her chin up and met his eyes. Eyes that looked like molten silver in the semi-darkness. “Not afraid. Pissed off. There’s a difference.”

He chuckled. “Well, it’s nice to know I have an effect on you.” His gaze dropped to her throat. “Your pulse is beating like crazy. Right here.” He stroked a finger down her neck, sending heat skittering over her flesh. Damn him. She sucked in a breath and clenched her teeth.

“I can see it.” He dropped his hand, and his gaze locked onto hers. “No matter how much you’d like to be, you’re not immune to me, Liberty Van Helsing.”

She swallowed hard, trying to slow her racing pulse. “I need to get home. Let me go.”

His lips curved in a grin, and his voice lowered to a near whisper. “I’m not touching you.”

=========================================================================================================

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt, please feel free to leave comments if you would like…thanks for dropping by!

CHANCE TO WIN A FREE COPY OF BOOK 1 in the Isle of Fang Series – The first 5 people to email me at Aliciamdean@aol.com with the subject line: ‘Liberty Awakened’ will receive a free Kindle version of  Liberty Awakened, Isle of Fangs Book 1.

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Blurb for Liberty Awakened:

Evil lurks beneath the surface in the beauty of the tropics…

After graduation from her small, Oklahoma high school, Liberty Delacort is looking forward to a fun-filled summer before college. But when the people she trusts the most betray her, and a letter arrives claiming her deceased father is still alive, she jumps at the chance to travel to an exotic island to meet him.

But her excitement is short-lived. Her father is dying, and he doesn’t want her around. And, in spite of its outward tranquility, the island is filled with danger and ominous secrets. The secrets soon begin to unravel, and she discovers she is a descendant of Van Helsing, the vampire hunter.

The one up side is her budding romance with the sweet and sexy Ryan Kelly. But even that is threatened when—in spite of her fear of him—she finds herself attracted to an insolent, formidable vampire. Her plan to stay away from him fails when she learns he is the only one with the ability to train her to fulfill her destiny—to save humans from a faction of vicious vampires.

Will her inexperience lead to her death—and the death of others—or will she rise to the challenge and realize her full potential as a Hunter?

Buy Link:  Amazon

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Weekend Warrior – 8 Sentences of Liberty Divided

 

The Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop is a weekly event in which writers are invited to share eight sentences from one of their works and invite comments.

Check out the other Weekend Writer 8 Sentence Blasts here: http://www.wewriwa.com/

I have chosen to share eight sentences of my latest Work in Progress, Liberty Divided, Isle of Fangs Book 2:

Liberty turned a glare on him. He stood directly behind her, hands shoved in his pockets, yet he’d been chilling in the bar only seconds ago.

“How the hell…?” She shook her head. “Never mind, you’re a vampire. You move with the speed of light.”

He grinned and slanted his upper body toward her. “Yeah, but we’ve got all that darkness brewing inside–ironic, isn’t it?”

I am hoping Liberty Divided will be available by the end of this month. In the meantime, here is my lovely cover:

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Check out Liberty Awakened, Isle of Fangs Book 1 available on the Kindle at:  Liberty Awakened on Amazon

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Please feel free to comment/criticize. And don’t forget to visit the other Weekend Warriors! (I might not answer comments right away. I am currently attending The Vampire Diaries Conference in Dallas. Woohoo!)

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Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl Ebooks – Now Available!

It has been one week since Kindle Worlds launched their new platform. Having two Vampire Diaries and one Gossip Girl story in the launch has been such a thrill! I enjoyed writing about my favorite characters and visiting their worlds. Another very cool thing…one of the Vampire Diaries sites is following me and they are RT’ing some of my tweets. Woohoo!

Want more Vampire Diaries? WHAT THE HEART WANTS – Damon&Stefan try to control Elena’s dark side http://www.amazon.com/The-Vampire-Diaries-Novella-ebook/dp/B00COUQXNW/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372715994&sr=1-2&keywords=alicia+dean+kindle+worlds …@Vamp_Diaries

                                  Retweeted by The Vampire Diaries

       
          View summary          

 

If you get a chance to check out my ebooks, I would love to know what you think. You can find them all here: Alicia Dean’s Kindle Worlds Books

Or click on each cover to be taken to the individual books on Amazon. (LOVE the covers! Amazon did a great job)

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