Monday, August 30, 2021

An Excerpt from Forever Kiss

Dear Reader – It's been 17 years since Red Sage published the first book I ever wrote, Forever Kiss. Now Changeling Press is publishing a print and box set version of the book and its novella sequel, "Beth's Kiss." I've updated and rewritten both books to set them in the present day – they were originally set in the early 2000s. I've also added a new cover. The book is out now, including the print version.

Here's the blurb and excerpt:

Forever Kiss: Valerie is haunted by dreams of a man she knows only as Cowboy, her seductive lover. But Cowboy is real. And he’s a vampire. Cade is the only one who can protect Valerie from Ridgemont, his Sire, and he’s determined to do just that -- even if he must kidnap her to keep her safe.

Caught in a web of fear and passion, Valerie and Cade must learn to trust one another, even as Ridgemont stalks their every move. Their only hope of survival is the Forever Kiss.

Beth’s Kiss: Beth’s world comes crashing down when she’s kidnapped by Joaquin, a deadly immortal who means to use her in a plot to kill a pair of handsome vamps. Morgan and Garret are determined to avenge themselves against Joaquin, who murdered the woman they loved.

When they rescue Beth, Morgan and Garret must complete her transformation, saving her from the vampire virus raging through her system. But if Beth is to have a future with her two vampires, they must settle accounts with the ancient, powerful killer and his army of mercenaries.

Buy Links:

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In this excerpt, McKinnon picks Val up at the airport, hoping to protect her from his murderous sire. She believes she's been hired to write a human billionaire's memoirs. She has no idea the ancient intends to transform her into his vampire slave.

As they walked between the rows of parked cars, Val frowned, studying McKinnon intently.

The strap of her laptop was hooked over his broad shoulder, and he’d tucked one suitcase under his left arm while carrying the other in his left hand. Somehow, he managed all three with such easy strength they might as well be empty cardboard boxes.

“I’m curious,” she said. “Just who are you expecting to jump us?”

She thought she glimpsed startled guilt in McKinnon’s eyes before his face went politely blank. “What? What are you talking about?”

Val nodded at his free hand, held loose and empty at his side. “You look like you’re ready to draw down on somebody.”

“Come on, Ms. Chase, you really don’t think I carried a gun into a New York airport?” He gave her that charming grin she was beginning to suspect was a con.

“Did you?”

“Why would I do that?

Val lifted a brow at him. “You’re Ridgemont’s bodyguard, aren’t you?”

He barked out a laugh. “The exact opposite, actually.”

She grinned. “I don’t think so.” When he lifted a brow in question, she explained, “The exact opposite of a bodyguard would be an assassin, right?”

All the humor fled his eyes as his warmly handsome face took on an executioner’s chill. “Sounds that way, doesn’t it?”

Val felt a shiver skate her spine as she remembered her last dream of Cowboy: his eyes glowing red as he buried his fangs in his victim’s throat. “What do you mean?”

He shrugged his impressive shoulders. “Take my word for it, Edward Ridgemont does not need a bodyguard.”

Her instincts began to clamor so loudly, she was tempted to tell him she’d catch a cab. Somehow, she didn’t want to see his reaction to that idea.

What the hell is going on?

They took an elevator up to the third level and got out. Skin crawling, she scanned the garage, lit by the harsh overhead lighting that cast pools of deep shadow. He led her between the rows of cars until he finally pointed an electronic key fob at a black Lexus. The trunk lid popped open obediently, and he began stowing her luggage inside with that same quick, effortless strength she’d noticed before. There were more suitcases in there than just her own, and Val wondered if Ridgemont habitually kept his luggage packed in case he was called out of town.

Finally, McKinnon closed the trunk and moved to open the front passenger door. She hesitated, her stomach jittery, her mouth dry. Imagination, she told herself. Get in the car, you idiot.

“Ms. Chase?” McKinnon turned to loom, his uniformed chest a solid wall of black.

Val licked her lips and stared up into his dark eyes. When she realized she was searching for a scarlet glow, she swore silently at herself and got into the Lexus, impatient with her own neuroses.

A nagging thought struck her as she settled into the butter-soft leather seat. Didn’t people who rode with chauffeurs normally sit in the back of the car?

Glancing behind her, she saw the back seat was full. A battered blue canvas gym bag sat

on the seat, along with… Was that a sheathed sword? And the kite-shaped metal thing standing in the floorboard looked just like a shield. “Does Mr. Ridgemont collect medieval weaponry?”

McKinnon hadn’t yet closed the door. As she watched, frowning, he crouched on the pavement beside her and took her right hand in his, reaching into a back pocket with the other. The glare of the garage security lights cast a harsh glow over the sharp planes of his face, making him appear white and gaunt.

A seventeen-year-old memory rose in her mind.

He hunched on his knees on her bedroom floor, his black eyes burning, empty and feral. He was big, almost as big as the German who’d attacked Mama, but the bones of his face stood out as if hadn’t eaten in weeks. His clothing hung on his body, and he shook in racking quivers. In a voice that barely sounded human, he rasped, “Get out. Run before he makes me kill you.”

He had fangs like a wolf.

She felt a weird plummeting sensation, as if the ground had suddenly dropped out from under her feet. “You’re the third vampire. You’re the one he sent to kill us. You were with them when they murdered my parents.”

He flinched and tensed. As he lifted his head, the shadow of the cap’s brim fell across his nose -- just the way the Stetson’s always had.

“Cowboy, you son of a bitch!” She drove her fist toward his elegant nose with every ounce of her strength.