Close

Secrets in Blood – Cover reveal and more!

secrets_promoI’m bouncing in my chair as I write this. I’m so happy, proud, and excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming paranormal romance novel, Secrets in Blood!

Isn’t it amazing? My cover designer, Ravven, is a genius. She instinctively knows almost exactly what I’m thinking when I describe characters to her. I love this cover so much.

But a cover is pretty useless without a book to go behind it. So, there’s more news! Secrets in Blood is going to the formatter on Friday!

But Patricia, what’s the book about?

Well, here’s the blurb.

Vampires have been living in the open for centuries, but the laws prohibit them feeding directly from humans. A group of young American vampires wants those laws changed and will do anything to accomplish their goal.

A extremist religious group, believing vampires to be an abomination against God, works to develop a serum that will stay the vampires’ quick healing, effectively turning them mortal.

While visiting America, Italian vampire Nicola Angliatti tries to rescue a lost little girl, only to discover she is being used as bait. Captured by the extremists, restrained in silver, his body is used to develop the serum. Years later, near death, he’s discovered by that same little girl, now grown. The attraction between the two of them is instant and inexplicable. Can Evangeline free Nicola from his silver bonds? And if she does, what will happen between them?

Now, onto some details. The book will be another long one – approximately 430-450 pages (I’m still wrapping up the last few edits, so there’s some uncertainty in the final page count, but you will be getting your money’s worth with the words). There are some smoking hot sex scenes here, including one that edges into the erotica space. You’ll also find a cringe-worthy villain and some pretty tense life-and-death situations.

This is the first book in the In Blood series and I currently have two more books planned. However, I could see these characters going long term. I just love them so much and the supporting cast is so very interesting. The initial story arc is two books, and I have a separate story line planned for Book 3. Secrets in Blood does NOT end on a cliffhanger. I hope you’ll be chomping at the bit for more of these characters, but you won’t lose sleep over their fates. I hate it when authors leave me hanging and don’t warn me.

Salvation in Blood (Book 2) is estimated to be out sometime in May 2014.

A little teaser (the first half of Chapter 1)

“What are you doing out here, little one?” The soft, deep voice with the hint of an accent startled her. She screamed and scrambled back. The tall, golden-skinned man in front of her dropped to his knees and held out his hand. He was wearing a pair of denim jeans that hugged long, powerful legs. His green flannel shirt and brown leather jacket did little to hide his bulk. He had a pack slung over his shoulder.

“I will not harm you. Come here.”

Evangeline looked at him suspiciously. He had long black hair that flowed down over his shoulders. High, sculpted cheekbones, a sharp nose, and full lips that curved into a smile rounded out his looks. Her father had told her not to wander off. He would be upset if she didn’t return and when he was upset, he yelled and sometimes he would slap her. But he’d be upset to know she trusted an outsider too. Outsiders were dangerous. Outsiders could be vampires.

The stranger’s eyes sparkled in the starlight and as Evangeline took one step closer, and then another, she was drawn in by those brilliant purple eyes. Eventually she started to cry and launched herself into his arms. He was warm and strong and he smelled like tobacco and sandalwood.

“Shhh, little one. Everything will be all right now.” The man held Evangeline close, and he inhaled deeply, his nose nearly touching her neck. He quickly drew back and stroked her hair. “I will not let anything harm you. Nothing at all. Now what are you doing out here all by yourself?”

“Lost,” she sobbed into his flannel shirt.

“Who are you with?” the man asked, concerned.

She sniffled softly. “Daddy and his friends.”

The man withdrew a white handkerchief from the back pocket of his jeans and dabbed softly at her cheeks. Evangeline noticed him scenting the air, the way an animal does when it’s finding food or evaluating danger.

“I smell a campfire. Is that where you belong?” He nudged her chin up gently so she could see his luminescent violet eyes.  He stared at her as if he was trying to figure out if she was telling the truth. Her long brown hair brushed against his fingers.

She nodded, biting her lip. “Daddy told me . . . not to wander off.”

“And you did so anyway?” The man chuckled and she looked down, embarrassed.

“There were fireworks,” she said, petulantly.

The man frowned. He seemed genuinely concerned for her safety.  “I will bring you back to your father, little one.”

He lifted her in his arms and tucked her against his chest, striding between trees and over rocks with ease. He moved faster than Evangeline thought possible. “There are no houses around here. Can you tell me,” he asked her, his voice low and smooth, “where you and your father live?”

“Down below.”

“Below? Below what?”

“Underground.”

“How many of you are there?” The man shifted her slightly as he steadied himself with one hand climbing over a large boulder.

“There’s . . . uh . . . thirty-three of us.” Evangeline was proud she remembered the number.

“Why are you underground?”

“Daddy says it’s safer. He says the vampires won’t find us there. Or be able to stop him.”

The man tensed. His voice seemed calm, even though his body was not. “I cannot bring you all the way back to your fire. But I will ensure you are close.”

“Why not?” she asked him, her eyes wide.

“I am a vampire, sweet one.” Evangeline stiffened, but he stopped walking and shifted her so she could see his eyes. “I swear that I will not harm you. I have worked for many years to ensure the safety of humans. I was on my way to Seattle to meet with others like me who enforce the laws that protect your people. But the vampire who was driving me threw me out of his truck last night many miles from here. He is young and has a human in his control. Apparently I talk in my sleep.” He frowned and started walking again.

“Daddy says that all vampires want to hurt us.”

“A small number do. But not all. Not me.”

“Why not?”

The vampire smiled, but it was not the fanged grin of a monster. There was warmth in his eyes. “Because humans were not meant to be slaves. You have too much spirit, too much brilliance and intelligence. But most of all, because I used to be human. Do you believe me, little one?”

Evangeline was sleepy, but she nodded and laid her hand against the vampire’s chest. “You talk funny.”

“Oh really?” The vampire laughed. “I am from Italy. Have you ever met an Italian?”

“No. Daddy says only vampires live in Italy.”

“That is not true. There are many humans in Italy. The town I live in has many more humans than vampires. All free. La cooperazione e la sicurezza. Cooperation and safety. That is what we say.”

“It’s pretty,” Evangeline marveled. “Say something else!”

Un regalo per te,” the vampire murmured, dipping his hand into his pocket and withdrawing a small coin. “A gift, sweet one. This is a coin from my homeland. It is very old. I have carried it for luck for nearly three hundred years. May it bring you as much luck as it has brought me.”

Evangeline couldn’t see the pattern on the coin, but its edges were smooth and worn, and it felt warm in her hand. There was a hole in the center. She smiled as she tucked it in her pocket. “Can I come with you?” she asked, her voice small. “I don’t like it underground.”

“Your father would worry. And a human child with a vampire? No. You must go back where you belong. But can you tell me your name first?”

“Eva.”

“Is that short for something?” the vampire asked, dipping his head towards hers and inhaling deeply.

“Evangeline.”

“I like that better, little one. It suits you.”

Evangeline’s eyes closed. She started to doze off when the vampire whispered in her ear. “Almost there, my sweet one.” When she turned her head to look at him, he was smiling. He pointed at a stand of trees. “Your campfire is just through those pines. If you walk straight that way, you will find—”

A shot rang out and the vampire stumbled. He tried to right himself and fell to his knees, barely holding onto Evangeline’s small body. Blood seeped through his shirt just above his jeans and he sat back on his heels.

Evangeline screamed and threw her arms around the vampire’s neck. The scent of his blood frightened her.

“Get up!” she cried. “Please.”

He curled his body around her. “I can’t,” he managed, his breath labored. “Silver.”

“Let the girl go!” came a shout from off to the left.

Footsteps rustled in the underbrush and Henry Longo came around one of the taller pine trees to the vampire’s left. He held a pistol. “Drop her now, vampire, or I will end you.”

“If you want to end me, do it,” he spat.

Evangeline was shaking. Silver was one of the vampires’ greatest weaknesses. This vampire could die tonight, and there was nothing she could do to help him, after he had so kindly helped her.

“Hold on, little one,” he whispered in her ear, and pushed unsteadily to his feet.

“Let her go!” Henry yelled. Wire-framed glasses hid ice blue eyes and he had on camouflage pants and a muddy green sweater. He addressed his angry stare at Evangeline. “Let go of him.”

The vampire tightened his hold on Evangeline, as if preparing to run. But she had to show her father that this vampire was nice, not mean.

“Daddy, no. I got lost. He helped me!” She frowned as her gaze shifted to the pistol. “Daddy, did you hurt him? Why did you hurt him?”

“This is your father?” the vampire asked, his voice strained and weak.

Evangeline nodded. The vampire tried to take a step and fell to his knees once more. She held on tightly to his neck and her tears soaked into his shirt.

“A thing like that will never help a human. You can’t trust a vampire. All they want to do is control. Now get away from him.” Henry kept the pistol pointed at the vampire’s head as he approached and Evangeline saw the malice and anger in his eyes. She clung to the vampire even tighter. Evangeline looked up into his amethyst eyes.

The vampire was fighting not to pass out. “Do not worry . . . for me. You . . . are safe . . . now.” His arms loosened and he set her on her feet on the pine needles. She tried to wrap her arms around his neck again.

“I wanna stay with you.” She leaned in so her lips were next to his ear and she whispered. “He’s mean. You’re nice.”

Evangeline’s father grabbed her by the neck of her shirt, hauling her back. He spun her and shoved, sending her sprawling towards Jake. The vampire growled, but he was too weak to fight.

Evangeline screamed and sobbed as Jake squeezed her tighter. Henry stepped closer to the vampire. Evangeline clawed at Jake, kicking, finding his groin. He groaned and dropped her, but before she could run to the vampire, Jake slapped her and she crumpled on the ground. The vampire tried to get up, but Henry shoved him and pressed the pistol above the vampire’s heart. As Jake hauled her up again, Evangeline screamed for her father to stop, but he merely looked back at her and grinned as the vampire gasped for breath and tried weakly to push against the pistol.

“You are an abomination, vampire. But your kind is stupid and cocky. I trapped you. I baited you with an unsuspecting child. And you never had a chance.” Henry smiled. “‘I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth’. That’s the second book of Samuel, vampire. I have God on my side. You are an abomination. God wants your death and I am the instrument of your destruction.”

The shot rang out in the silence of the forest and Evangeline felt the percussive wave wash over her as she sobbed.

The silver tore through the vampire’s chest. Blood soaked into flannel and the pain marred his kind face. He fell back against the forest floor, trying desperately to claw his way away, but the Henry knelt next to him and grabbed him by the hair, twisting his head back painfully.

“You’re mine now, vampire.”

Evangeline cried as the vampire’s eyes closed. “You killed him!” she screamed. Henry turned back towards her. “He was never alive in the first place. Jake, take her below.”

As Jake dragged her back through the portal, Evangeline knew that she would never forgive her father.

……Insert suspenseful music here. Want more? Buy the book on September 16th. Add it on Goodreads now!

14 Comments

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *