Today I'm sharing a chapter that was in the original drafts of Beautiful Death up until the very last moment. I took it out because I felt it was mostly filler, but it had some moments it in I still wanted so share. That means free reads for you! So here it is, Chapter 17.5: Not Meant For Me.
Okay, I'm going to give up the last of the Bete Noire cover because I'm impatient. So, here it is, the final reveal of Book Two of the Uruwashi Series, Bete Noire. To see it without the marketing bit on the front, just click the image.
Revenge is a fire that burns everything down.
Tristan Blum may be the last Uruwashi, but neither he nor his ambiguous vampire companion, Ash, knows exactly what that means. One thing is clear though, that he’s responsible for keeping the living safe from the dead. So when ancient Master vampire Yukihime comes to Tristan with news of a rogue vampire developing the dangerous gift of fire, he can’t ignore it. To complicate things, the vampire they hunt is one Ash has a very intimate past with, leaving Tristan questioning her true feelings.
The tempestuous couple track their target to France where they encounter faerie, kitsune, and a vampire even older than self-proclaimed “oldest of them all” Yukihime. Not all of the new contacts are willing to help or on the side of good. Just when he needs Ash the most, Tristan fears that she’s pulling away. At his darkest hour, trapped in an abandoned dungeon and close to death, Tristan wonders who he can trust in his new obscure world and if the flames of a single vampire’s wrath will destroy everything.
Preview #4 of the cover for Bete Noire with one more to come! Granted, there's not much more to see, but I like to make you sweat a little even if I'm impatient to get on with it. ^^ I'll post the blurb sometime this week too, so keep an eye out for that.
Monday's another Bete Noire cover reveal (eh, maybe even a day early again... we'll see). And then later in the week I'll post Chapter 17.5, Beautiful Death's Lost Chapter--the first of many "lost chapters" of the Uruwashi Series.
Hey, look at that, a reveal a day early. Wonder who that handsome fellow could be? Give you a hint, you met him in Beautiful Death--somewhere in the middle. ^^
More goodies later in the week.
Here's another (super tiny) excerpt from Chapter 4: Hands Around my Throat from book two of the Uruwashi Series, Bete Noire. Another cover sneak peek on Monday!
“Everythin’ es ready fur yew an’ Asta,” Desmond said in his thick accent. He was so damn hard to comprehend sometimes. Did he think anyone could actually understand him? It was like he had goldfish in there, fighting each other to the death and his tongue was their arena. Thankfully, he was done and now he could leave.
“Yeah, it’s just me, mate,” Tristan said mocking the Scotsman’s accent terribly.
“Oh aye? A wee tiff wit our lass, then?”
Tristan only stared at the big guy. Desmond was tall, only an inch or two shorter than Tristan’s six-three, and big, at least twice as bulky as the American. He was the Hulk, less the green. But Tristan wasn’t afraid of the vampire. Stupid? Sure, but he couldn’t be afraid of someone who didn’t take anything seriously.
Desmond gave a little sneer around his smile, stepping into Tristan. Tristan refused to give ground. “Dinnae ken, mate… we’d be ‘specially ‘fraid of someone like that. Never ken when they micht go aff their heid.”
“Yeah, like what, make a piñata out of my bed she—”
Tristan couldn’t remember how it happened, but he was airborne, flying across the apartment. He didn’t have far to travel before slamming into the front door. His head smacked against the metal, sending spots across his vision. He slipped to the floor, disorientated and half blind.
His vision cleared enough that he got a glimpse of pale flesh and crystal green eyes. He had only a moment to try to stand before the vampire was on him again. Tristan was too slow as a laugh rank with blood, wafted across his face. Unbidden, Tristan’s stomach clenched at the scent, telling him he was hungry. A huge fist balled into the front of his shirt and he was yanked to his feet.
His head swam and he groaned, pushing at the immoveable force of Desmond’s tree trunk arms. The vampire grinned and pulled back his arm, hand balled up. Tristan gasped and jerked his head to the side only just missing taking a fist to his face that put a big dent in his metal apartment door. He swallowed hard, thankful that he avoided the blow. If that had hit him it’d have been lights out. Maybe for good.
Another sneak peek on Monday at the cover. For now, here's an excerpt from Chapter 1. Yuki's just told Ash and Tristan the exact words of his foretelling...
The room was unnervingly silent as the others processed the words. To Tristan, they just sounded foreboding and ominous. For Ash however, she knew enough about the pythia to not jump to any one conclusion as their words could be taken in multitude of understandings. Ash wanted to believe the foretelling wasn’t as dark as it sounded. She could ask the girl and of anyone, Lilith would speak to Ash, she knew this without a doubt. But if Lilith was no longer speaking and no longer allowing others into her mind, what words could be had?
Tristan let out a long, shaky breath and whispered, “What the shit does that mean?”
“That, I don’t know.” Yuki smiled even as she shrugged lightly. “I don’t speak pythia.”
“Is this why you came, Yukihime?” Ash asked in a tiny voice.
The old vampire made a flippant gesture with her hand. “No. I thought perhaps that Lilith here could do with a change of scenery.”
Tristan frowned. Change of scenery? The girl couldn’t even see. And she did that to herself.
“You’re being cruel,” Ash whispered in Greek, sounding as if she might cry.
“Am I?” Yuki answered in her own language with a high lit to her tiny voice and shrugged again. “If you really want to know, why don’t you address her yourself, Asta-chan? She is still of her mind and such.”
Ash’s eyes flicked to Lilith and Tristan looked down to her. She was shaking against him, ever so slightly.
“Dammit, Yuki,” he snapped harsh enough to make Ash flinch. He didn’t understand what was going on or what they were saying without including him, just that he didn’t like. “Quit fucking around. Tell us what you want and then get the hell out. You're not welcome here.”
He gave up long ago on being overly polite with the Snow Princess. The night he and Ash killed Malik, Tristan flicked off the old vamp and said more than a few rude things to her and she never retaliated. Yuki didn’t want him dead. Besides if she did, well, there wasn’t a hell of a lot either him or Ash could do about it then, was there? He accepted whatever was going to happen to him and he wasn’t going to put up with Yuki’s bullshit. He wasn’t afraid of her.
Yuki tossed her head back and laughed. “Ryōshi-san… brave brave Ryōshi-san. So you don’t fear me any longer?”
Feeling confident again and able to let Yuki distract him completely from the blind pythia, Tristan took his hand back from Ash and crossed his arms over his still bare chest, looking defiant. “No,” he answered plainly and honestly. She only creped him out, that was a very different emotion from fear.
There was a whirl of motion around him seconds before something solid made contact with his upper body. His middle lit with cold burning energy, warning him that a very powerful vampire was way, way too close. Tristan took in a deep breath, feeling the air fill every inch of his lungs, and blinked up into a face he never liked seeing so close. Yuki grimaced all fang at him, hot fingers pinching around his Adam’s apple, choking him. His eyes widened as he started to gag for air.
Next to him, Ash made a small, strangled sound. Tristan flinched and tried to look towards her, but the pressure on his windpipe kept him in place. Out of the corner of his vision he could see her pinned to the floor at his side, Yuki’s steel grasp immobilizing her. They were both at the mercy of the fickle, ancient vampire.
“What about now? Brave, brave, Uruwashi. Mattaku, you smell so... totemo oishii.” Yuki licked her lips, wetting them completely. Her expression shift from hungry to put off again. She harrumphed, tightening her fingers so that she cut off his air completely. “Do you fear this mad, old vampire now? Is the Uruwashi frightened yet?”
Check back for more soon!