Thank you so much for having me today.
I’d like to share the second installment of my series of short stories, entitled The Vampire Encounters. As I hop around the internet these next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a part of each story. The story has four parts, with each part broken into two—except the last, it’s broken up into three sections. So, come follow me, as I interview (Ann Rice style) the four vampires from A Hunter’s Angel...
Although all of them could be read separately, if you would like to read them all I will also be putting them on my website. Or, if you’d like to follow along, go to http://ceradubois.wordpress.com/a-hunters-angel-the-book-tour/ for the link to the other parts.
The Vampire Encounters—Ian McHenry
PART 2: Ian tells me about his turn…
The last place I wanted to be was home.
But I couldn’t go back into the field. I’d be a menace to myself and to my men in my state of mind.
I didn’t deserve to be alive. How could I have destroyed sweet, gentle Emily?
My betrothed was dead. Our infant son was dead. I’d ruined her and made an enemy of her father, my father’s cousin, the Duke of Graston.
And infuriated my father for my debauchery.
I avoided the earl as best as I could for three days, until my brother came to me with a way to escape Killkenny. Our father was due to attend Parliament in Dublin, but his gout prevented him from making the trip. As the heir to the title, Shane was to act as his proxy. I jumped at the chance to leave the manor.
Once we arrived in Dublin, drinking, women, and games of chance took precedence over anything going on in the house of government. For a week, we were barely sober enough to know which day it was.
Although Shane stood to inherit Father’s title and lands, I didn’t envy him. His wife was handpicked by Father and extremely Puritan in her thinking. When it was time to go back to Killkenny Manor, neither of us were looking forward to returning home. Especially Shane. He despised his wife and hated our father. I was due back on the front in a war about which I was becoming very despondent. I was tired of fighting my own people.
We delayed our return any way we could. Stopping at every tavern along the way and spending the night, drinking and womanizing.
In Leighlinbrige, we met two of the most exquisite women. They sat with us during our meal. Neither of them ate a bite, but drank red wine as we dined and spoke of their travels. They seemed so worldly, educated, and so unlike the women we were accustomed to, whether they were ladies or whores. We were totally under their spells. Maria was Italian, Vivian was Dutch, and they spoke of visiting China and Africa. I honestly believe Shane fell in love with Maria the moment he laid eyes on her. Vivian and I didn’t feel the connection Shane and Maria felt, but I was highly attracted to her.
That night they surprised us when they let us take them to our rented rooms. The sex was incredible, but now I know why. Vivian had bitten me during the height of passion. She drained me enough to form a blood connection—the first step in creating a new vampire. We spent the day in bed. That night she bit me the second time. She didn’t need to drain as much blood, however, the venom quickly went to work.
By morning, fever raked both Shane and I. The innkeeper forced us into the barn. He feared we were contagious. The day was dark and gloomy. Rainy. The burning pain increased as the day passed, until neither of us could do more than trash in the hay. Vivian and Maria returned to us in the hour before dawn.
Vivian seemed to be sorry she caused me such pain. Maria ordered her to finish the curse. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then I noticed her fangs before she bent over Shane. He welcomed her bite, though I screamed for him to fight her. I didn’t understand until later that they’d become mates, that he’d asked her to turn him.
I fought Vivian as she bit me and drained me of my poisoned blood, but she was too strong, and I was dying.
Oddly, in the face of death, I didn’t want it. I didn’t want my life to end. And I accepted Vivian’s bleeding wrist when she offered it. I drank her demon blood, and when I awakened with the setting sun, I was a monster.
I was a vampire.
To find out more about A Hunter’s Angel check out my website (http://ceradubois.wordpress.com/a-hunters-angel-the-book-tour/) for a schedule of my blog stops during the book tour. I will be presenting a series of short stories called The Vampire Encounters. Follow me as I interview Ian McHenry, Master Vampire Lucas Pomeroy, Vivian van Dyke Pomeroy, and have a scary run-in with Shane Chamberlain. Hope to see you along the way.
Please leave a comment and your email address to be eligible. (Sorry, only USA and Canada residents are eligible for any prize that needs to be mailed. Non-residents and residents of USA are eligible for free PDF copy.)
* Two Lucky Posters will get a PDF copy of Bloodwine. (for info on this short story check out my website)
*1st Stalker Prize: Every Poster will be entered into a drawing for a chance at a $5 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press (four to be given away)—drawing to happen on September 1.
*2nd Stalker Prize: Every Poster will also be entered into a drawing of a $25 gift card from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice)—drawing to happen on September 1.
Blurb for A Hunter’s Angel:
The serial killer stalking Clayton, Pennsylvania, isn’t all that has Chief of Police Grace Wallace worried. For a year, she’s tried to forget Special Agent Ian McHenry and now he’s the expert the FBI sent to catch the killer. She can’t stay away from him, but something primal is telling her to run to save much more than just her heart. Despite the strict code of ethics Ian vowed to follow as a vampire hunter, he craves Grace’s blood above all others. If he chooses to stay, Ian risks losing his chance at divine forgiveness. But if he leaves Grace unprotected from the evil he’s hunted for over a century, he loses more than just his soul…
Cera duBois has a strong belief in never giving up on your dreams…
Although Cera was unable to read due to dyslexia and a learning disability until she was in the fourth grade, she always had a story to tell. She wrote her first novel in eleventh grade when she had to keep a journal for her academic English class. Since her life was far from exciting growing up as a farm girl in West Central Pennsylvania, she decided to rely on her imagination to give her something to write about. Over the course of the school year, she wrote a tangled romance set in the Deep South during the Civil War. Becoming an author was her ultimate dream. Despite holding a BS in secondary social studies education from Penn State University, she currently works full-time as a medical secretary. A mother of a teenage son and pre-teen daughter, she lives near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with her husband of nearly 20 years. If she isn’t sitting in a quiet corner with her laptop, warm days will find her in the English garden surrounding her house. Cera loves to read and is interested in history, romance, science fiction and the paranormal. She also writes contemporary Westerns under her real name of Sara Walter Ellwood.
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“I’m in love with the man inside the vampire.” Grace moved her hand to thread through his silky hair. When she rested the other over his heart, a soft sigh escaped his lips. Underneath her palm, the slow beat was barely noticeable.
His thumb grazed her cheekbone and slowly trailed down to the hollow of her throat. Her breathing quickened at the zinging anticipation as he caressed the pulse point where he’d claimed to have taken blood from her. He glanced at the spot with eyes as haunted as he sounded. “I’m not a man.”
“But you were once.”
He met her gaze again. “Yes, once.”
His fingers lingered over her pulse. Her heart raced under his touch. She tilted her neck as if his touch awakened some base instinct to offer the sacrifice. “Do you still want my blood?”
Ian stepped away and locked his wide-eyed gaze onto hers. At last, he rasped, “No, I don’t want your blood. Oh, God, I still crave it. You have the sweetest I’ve ever had, but I will never hurt you again.”
She didn’t know what possessed her to do so, but she whispered, “You can take...some of it.”
He closed his eyes, and when he opened them, he acidly said, “No, Grace. I can never taste your blood again. It would kill you.”
Fear of what she’d wanted him to do tumbled through her. She stepped away, and for a moment, she considered telling him to leave. How did she know any of this was real? She couldn’t imagine she’d ever freely offer a vampire her blood. Did she really believe him? He was sucking her into his insanity. But if this was true and he could make people do things against their will, maybe he could control her feelings.
“Maybe I should go?” Ian backed away another step and headed toward the counter where he’d left his dagger. He turned back to her with the sheath in his hand. Her heart shattered with the knowledge that, if he walked out the front door, she’d never see him again. “Goodbye, my sweet angel.”
His jagged murmur ripped at her soul as his eyes took on a blazing intensity and snared hers. She felt a pressure in her mind, and she knew what he intended to do. He wanted to erase her memories of him.