No more teasing!!!! Here’s the gorgeous cover for my upcoming release, Blood and Rain from Dreamspinner Press cover artist Reese Dante. I absolutely love the it! Vampire hunter Adrien Gilbert in the foreground in modern dress, ancient vampire Nicolas Lambert in the background in period (1896) dress. The clock that hints at the sweeping timeframe of the story and the time travel element you’ll learn more about in the second book.
Adrien seems to have everything a man could want: money, power, sex, and immortality. The only thing Adrien really wants, though, is to find Nicolas, the vampire who stole his heart. But Nicolas is the pawn in a power play by a faction of vampire hunters who believe it’s time for a new world order. They want to get rid of the treaty between hunters and the ancient vampires who oversee the world of vampires, and their leader, Verel Pelletier, isn’t above using the vampires’ powerful blood against them.
There are three MM pairings in the Blood Series, but the main focus of the series is on Nicolas and Adrien. Adrien will chase through time to reclaim Nicolas’s freedom, and he will quite literally have to face a very personal demon. Given immortality by the vampire he loves, Adrien must learn to believe in his own strength, and he must discover the gifts of Nicolas’s blood.
December 15, 2014 is release day for Blood and Rain, the first book in the series. The second book, Blood and Ghosts will follow relatively soon afterward, so you won’t have to wait long for the continuation of the story. The Blood Series is a supernatural romance with both contemporary and historical romance elements. If you’ve enjoyed the Mermen of Ea Series, I think you’ll enjoy this sweeping romantic adventure. And speaking of mermen and book 3, Running with the Wind, I’m hoping for a Spring 2015 release, so stay tuned for more information about that.
The cover reveal contest ends tomorrow at midnight (October 11th). The Rafflecopter giveaway is here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba9496/ Or you can enter by clicking directly on the Rafflecopter widget below.
Below is another excerpt from the story, the end of Chapter Two. This follows the excerpt I shared last week which you can read here. Have a great weekend! -Shira
Blood Series: Book 1
Adrien Gilbert has spent several lifetimes searching for the love he lost. Born in the 1800s into a clan of fabled vampire hunters, Adrien once wanted nothing more than to tend his family’s vineyard in southern France or read a good book. But Adrien’s peaceful existence ends abruptly when his older brother, François, is murdered. Bound by his hunter’s oath, Adrien sets out on a path that will forever change his life when he agrees to execute his brother’s killer, the vampire Charles Duvalier.
After months chasing the elusive Charles, Adrien reluctantly makes a bargain with Nicolas Lambert, an ancient vampire. Adrien will escort Nicolas to Paris for his marriage to a rival clanswoman, and Nicolas will help Adrien find Charles. Nicolas’s quiet strength and gentle heart soon convince Adrien that Nicolas is nothing like the vampires he has sworn to destroy. As the wedding date draws nearer, a force intent on destroying the fragile peace between the vampire clans threatens to tear apart both the vampire realm and the world of the hunters. To secure both past and future for those he loves, Adrien must find a way to stop the looming war between hunters and vampires. But first he’ll have to let Nicolas go.
Note: This is the first in a series of three anticipated novels tentatively entitled Blood and Rain, Blood and Ghosts, Blood and Eternity. The series it set in France in 1895 and in the present, and features three MM pairings. Books in this series must be read in order.
Tentative Publication Date: December 15, 2014
Excerpt from Chapter Two:
Saint-Gervais, France – 1896
Now, as the driving rain slowed his progress, François prayed he was not too late. He knew what Charles Duvalier was, but he found Charles intriguing, captivating. Every day since they had read Tennyson beneath the tree had been spent at Charles’s side. And with each day, each sidelong glance, each accidental touch, François’s desire for Charles had grown. He wanted to give his body to such a man, to feel the strength of Charles’s spirit. The Council looked down upon vampires’ preference for their own sex, but François had never thought it particularly strange—he’d always preferred the company of men.
But he isn’t a man.
He urged his horse onward and rounded the corner past the small church on the outskirts of town. He saw Charles, cloaked and leading his horse toward the road, his face obscured beneath his hood. He drew closer, until Charles could no longer ignore him.
Charles stopped and turned to meet François, then drew his horse next to his. “Why do you follow me?”
François heard desperation in Charles’s voice and sensed his growing hunger. How long could a vampire survive without blood? How long could the bloodlust fester before its call became too powerful to resist?
“Take me with you.” François feared Charles’s response, but he was compelled to speak the words.
“Go home. You’ll find nothing but heartache at my side.”
“Then stay here. I sense your longing. You can make this your home.” François moved his horse closer, so that his thigh brushed Charles’s. His fear warred with his desire. He felt suddenly vulnerable. Afraid.
“I don’t want to hurt you, François,” Charles warned. This time, however, his voice sounded softer, less confident.
François shivered to hear his name on Charles’s lips—the first time Charles had ever called him by his given name. A strong gust of wind blew the hood of his cloak off of François’s head, but he ignored it. “I’m not afraid,” he lied.
Charles stared at François, unable to comprehend what it was about this human—this hunter—that drew him so. He took the reins of François’s horse and put his hand to François’s cheek. He touched François’s honeyed skin, then traced his lips with his fingers and thumb. François gasped but didn’t pull away. This close, Charles caught the scent of François’s blood, full of youth and enthusiasm. Sweeter than any he’d ever encountered. Others spoke of the lure of the blood of the hunters, but he’d never experienced is as acutely as he did now. It called to him, urging him onward. How ironic, that the blood of the only humans capable of destroying him was irresistible.
“Go home!” he shouted as he pulled his hands away.
“Take me with you.” François moved closer, pushed Charles’s hood from his head, then grasped his face with his warm, graceful hands and touched his lips to Charles’s. Barely a kiss.
Charles closed his eyes at the touch. It surprised him to realize the moan was his own. What did François know of the world outside this quiet village? Had he ever known a lover’s lips? He felt François’s passion burn, knew his hunger for more.
“François.” Charles meant it as a warning, but it sounded more like a lover’s moan.
François hesitated only a moment before kissing Charles again, this time with more conviction. A tender kiss. Innocent but full of promise.
His hunger now overpowering his reason, Charles pulled François roughly against him and the last bit of his self-control evaporated. He combed his fingers through François’s wet hair, kissed his lips, his cheek, and then his neck. François’s pulse pounded against the softest part of the skin beneath his ear—the place where Charles would satisfy his hunger, where he could drink deeply. He thought of nothing but François, of tasting him, devouring him. When he could hold back no longer, he sank his teeth into the sweet flesh of his neck, the taste of blood sweet upon his lips. God, but that blood tasted sweeter than he’d imagined!
For a moment time stopped. Charles no longer heard the sound of the rain. He heard only the roar of blood coursing through François’s veins.
You must stop this.
François’s heart skipped a beat, then another as Charles struggled for control. Each time he tried to withdraw, the pleasure overwhelmed him and he drank deeper. The heat of François’s blood coursed through Charles’s body like fire. He wanted François. He wanted to possess him, to feel the last drop of his life as it flowed out of his body. He had never tasted blood as sweet, as fulfilling.
Nothing existed but the two of them, their souls intermingled. Charles experienced François’s passion, his hunger, his physical need. His thoughts filled with François’s memories. He leaned over a bed and put a cool cloth to his brother’s feverish brow. He cried at his father’s side as his mother was laid to rest. He sparred against his father, their swords ringing as they touched. He saw Adrien as a boy, weak and confined to a bed. He felt François’s guilt in the knowledge that he hadn’t been there to help when his mother and Adrien were attacked. He felt François’s joy as he sat under the shade of the vines and the stories he read unfolded. He saw himself beneath the oak tree, handsome and mysterious, as François saw him.
François grew weaker. His arms dropped to his sides and his body slumped against Charles’s. Forced to release his purchase on François’s neck or risk him falling to the ground, Charles pulled him off his horse and gathered him into his arms. How light François felt, how fragile he seemed in that moment. For all its strength, François’s hunter heart weakened, its erratic beat slowing.
Do you want him to die?
“François,” he said, although his words were for himself alone, “please forgive me.”