Thank you for having me on your blog today. I’m excited to announce the release of my fifth novel in the Haven’s Realm series – Secrets & Promises! To celebrate this event, I’m giving away two e-copies of this latest release. I will select a winner via drawing from among the comments to this post. Because this is a special event, I have sister posts on other blog sites. Each one contains different information, so you’ll want to visit them all! Their links are listed below. Comment on them as well to increase your chances to win!
Secrets & Promises – Haven’s Realm 5
Vincent is the primary focus of this story, which reveals the very Heart of the Community. He is not, however, the only who has a secret promise to fulfill. Among the Council of Elders sits Rudolph “Rudy” Graumann, a vampire from Lower Germania with the physical age of fifty-six, who, thirty years ago, made a promise to a young mortal named Lindsey. Just as the Council sits with King Jason to deliberate the fate of Vincent and their hunter, Chari, Rudy receives the summons he’d been waiting for.
Excused from his duties in the Reckoning, Rudy flies to Lindsey’s side, but they’re not fated to return at once to the security of Haven. The Savant, a vampire clan involved in the abduction of Ronan’s bride in Dragon Lord, captures Rudy and his chosen mate. While they are held hostage within Blackhawk, the Savant headquarters, they make a startling discovery.
In the following excerpt, Lindsey anxiously awaits the return of the older man she fell in love with so many years ago. She has just swallowed the potion Rudy left for her, a magic elixir he had prepared to form a blood bond between them.
A lightning bolt could not have rocked her more profoundly. The potion absorbed into her bloodstream in less than a second. An elemental shift in the core of her being left her with a complete lack of equilibrium. She dropped backward into the waiting chair, her head spinning out of control. The vial slipped from her fingers and shattered on the linoleum, making her want to laugh at the horror movie cliché. Should she grasp her throat and gag? No, that would be too dramatic.
Warmth filled her in the aftermath of the shock. Calm followed. Then, without acknowledgment, Rudy accepted the bond. She sensed him grasping and securing the newborn connection. His accompanying joy exacerbated her doubts at her own suitability. The small, pessimistic pest inside her mind repeated, Will he still want me?
She paced her home in those early hours before dawn with growing unease. Something seemed off, like the sensation one feels in the atmosphere before a violent outburst from Mother Nature—the foreboding calm before a deadly storm. Danger loomed. She didn’t understand how or why she knew, but was almost certain Rudy knew too.
An hour short of dawn, she put on her heavy coat and walked her property, hoping to find some trace, some reason for her rising anxiety. Ahead of her, sitting in the tan sedan at the end of her long driveway, was the guard she’d been warned about. She wondered if he was using binoculars. Just how closely was she being watched?
Closer than you think.
She blinked. For a flash, an instant, she thought she sensed a presence, a creature of intense power and malice, but the sensation was gone as quickly, leaving her doubting the reality. As the darkness of night faded and morning twilight crept across her lawn, the looming danger eased. She clutched her coat closer and wiped the tear dripping down her cheek. Rudy wouldn’t arrive in time. She turned for the warmth of her soon-to-be non-home.
Do not react. You are observed.
She startled. Her breath caught in her throat, but she accepted the warning and kept from raising her head. She reached along their newborn mental connection. Rudy?
I’m here, geliebte. The sun rises. Can you shelter me?
I think so, but…
Go quietly inside. Turn off all the lights.
Lindsey shivered and tugged her collar closer to hide the nervous nod she gave him before turning for her front porch. After closing the door, she tossed her coat at the rack, not caring if it caught, and flew into motion. She assured herself that every door and window was locked except for the backdoor to the kitchen, turned off everything in sight, and closed all the draperies. Then she waited in the living room, staring at the darkness, waiting for a sign of him. Her heart skipped on its programmed beat the moment his silhouette appeared against the pale light growing in the kitchen. A deep shaft of pain drove through her chest, cramping her stomach. She drew her hands to her breast and pressed against the growing pressure.
Oh, the softness in his voice, the memories it stirred. She wanted to laugh. She needed to cry. She released her breath in a quick rush and retrieved it in a vain attempt to quell the anxiety. “Rudy.” Her voice was a whisper and carried her doubts. “It’s been a long time.”
“Yes, and we’ve precious little at the moment. The sun rises.”
She nodded. “There are no windows in the cellar. I-I could bring you a pillow and…?”
“Your care for my comfort is touching, but unnecessary. Please do not concern yourself.”
She nodded again and drew a shaky breath. “The entrance is off the kitchen, at the head of the rear hallway.”
She grew more uncertain. This first meeting was awkward and her rising anxiety was painful. He broke the tension between them by stepping forward, his hand lifting to caress her face. She turned away with a quiet sob.
“Do you fear me now, Lindsey?”
The sorrow in his voice weighed on the back of her neck like an anvil. A storm was brewing in her chest, causing erratic hitches in her breathing. “The years haven’t been kind. I’m not the woman you knew.”
“No.” He put his hands on her shoulders and urged her to return. With the cool tip of one finger under her chin, he lifted her face upward. Her heart lurched at the gentle kindness glowing in his eyes. “The young woman you were all those years ago no longer exists. You were then a promising rosebud, inexperienced and fresh. Now…” He traced her lips with his thumb, shooting an unexpected thrill through her body to her core. “Now you are a woman in the fullness of her maturity, one who has given life and love. Do not doubt what I find before me pleases my eyes,” a soft smile lifted his lips, “and my heart.”
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