I have to say that having my release date moved up is pretty neat! If you go to the PA website and put my name in the search bar you get my book! So in the next few days I will be calling bookstores*which for me means ones in other cities because we lost our Walden Books* to try and generate some buzz about it! The only thing I hate to say is the price point they have set the book to. I know many people will not be able to afford it and I'm going to work on getting the price down. Please don't let the price detour you from reading the book! If you look below-there is a exerpt from the book!
However, when he tried to sift through her mind, it was blank; as if a wall was in place he could not breech. He could not even hear one whisper of a thought. Strange, he thought to himself as he kept trying. The more he tried the more he nearly gave himself a headache. She was still walking and if he didn’t figure out something she was going to be in trouble! Alexi thought for a moment of how to proceed. Alexi finally decided to engage the woman in casual conversation and escort her wherever she was headed. She was walking further ahead so he quickened his pace.
“Excuse me; Miss, could you help me? I am new to your city and I am-I mean I am looking for an eatery or somewhere to get a drink perhaps.” He felt moronic as the words fell out of his mouth.
Manners had been lost to him for so long; it felt weird forcing himself to be so polite. However since he couldn’t manipulate her mind and didn’t want to scare her off, it was necessary to gain her trust. After all knocking her unconscious while he flung her over his shoulder probably wasn’t the best way to proceed. It might draw attention and he didn’t want to hurt her. The woman stopped and turned to face him, and he could hear in the acceleration of her heart just the amount of mistrust and fear. The woman looked around nervously as if she was weighing her options of either talking to him or making a run for it. He almost really smiled at the latter because for a human she was small; not tiny but compared to him it would have been funny watching her run while he had just to pick up his pace to keep up.
“Well, um-there is a few fast food places across town and there’s Randy’s Bar and Grill just down the street next to the carwash.” She replied anxiously. It was good that she wasn’t running. Still she was nervous and frightened but she wasn’t running. Alexi took this as a token from heaven.
Alexi smiled to keep things light. He knew the renegade he was tracking was very close, perhaps even watching them now.
“Thank-You, but I am afraid I have been rude. My name is Alexi Tussier. Would you mind having something to eat or drink with me?” he used perfect etiquette.
Lainey was waiting for someone to jump out of the bushes or something and yell “punked!” but there was no Ashton or camera crew. Lainey took a good look at this man; he was gorgeous! He was so big though; broad shoulders, tall, and looked as if he lived in a gym. There was something about this tall stranger, something more than his dazzling good looks. His dark eyes were shadowed by his long lashes and hair. His hair was so black that it actually looked a little iridescent in the glow of the street light. His face was well defined and had a day’s worth of stubble on it. The man looked delicious; sinfully delicious and dangerous.
Alexi had to move the woman away from the street and get her somewhere public where there were people. Warren Langford had been apprehended more times than he could count. Always the council had given him numerous chances and now Warren’s luck had run out due to the fact the council was finally tired of his antics! Warren was dangerous because he was a renegade; a vampire that not only fed off humans but also killed them. Mordacai had given the order to all Guardians to find Warren and dispose of him. Warren’s views were that humans were nothing more than cattle. Alexi set his focus back on the young woman standing in front of him. Alexi wasn’t immune to that there was something about this woman; almost magnetic.
“We can go to Randy’s; it’s just down the street. If you’d like, that is.” The woman said with a slight polite smile.
She was still pretty tense. He was standing over six feet tall and dressed all in black. He was all but stranger to her yet somehow she knew he wouldn’t hurt her. Plus he was drop dead model gorgeous! She felt like a mouse next to his great height. His hair was as black as a raven’s wing and shone in the light. It was just past his shoulders, and Lainey found herself picturing what it would be like to have her fingers in it. She shook her head to get her mind back on track.
Warren cursed into the night as he saw Alexi Romanov, the council’s one man brute squad walk away with his midnight snack. Warren couldn’t help but feel just a teeny bit elated, after all the council had sent their very best when they sent Alexi. What a boon it was for his ego. It would make for an interesting game! Warren shrugged his shoulders the man walking his dog on the next block over never even knew what hit him, until it was too late.
As they walked to the bar and grill, Alexi scanned the dimly light room then settled back on the young woman.
“I have told you my name but I have not had the pleasure of knowing yours!” Alexi’s tone was polite and charming as he pulled a chair out from a table they’d stopped at.
His lips were full and masculine. He had strong facial structure. His eyes that were as green as emeralds seemed to sparkle and were framed with thick dark lashes. There was some sort of danger to this man, and she could feel it. He smiled, briefly but his gaze was still intense. It was so unlike her to just hang out in the dark let alone go out to eat with a total stranger. She had the oddest feeling in her chest that he was oddly familiar though and that was the only reason why she was here sitting across from him now. Lainey forced her eyes off his face and body and silently hoped she hadn’t looked oblivious.
She turned her face up towards him, and pushed through her nerves, “I’m sorry, my name is Lainey Thomas. I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself earlier. Are you new here to Aurora Falls or just passing through?” Lainey was nervous as hell, here was this total stranger and yet she was drooling over him and he could have been a mass murderer for all she knew.
There was something about the way he looked at her, as if he wanted to devour her. It was almost a magnetic connection. He smiled but there was something about those swirling pools of jeweled green; like he was battle scarred or something. She took note of how he constantly looked around the room and how he concentrated on every word he said. Alexi was up to bat at being uneasy. He didn’t quite know how to answer her question. So he blurted out the first thing that passed through his mind.
“Oh, I am here on business.” He uttered. Alexi was finding it hard to look into those depths of blue and violet. Something was stirring in his chest. Something he intended to fight. He kept telling himself that he was doing his job; this was all part of his job. Nothing more and nothing less he reminded himself.
Lainey loved the way his voice sounded. It was a rich deep baritone. It had a slight accent that she couldn’t quite place but it just added to her list of things that made her heart jump and take off running.
“Where are you from, if you don’t mind me asking? You have somewhat of an accent.” She asked innocently.
Then suddenly an image of Esther came to her mind. ‘God, please don’t let me sound like a nib nose!’ she lamented to herself.
“No, it’s okay. Yes, well Louisiana has been my home for quite some time now but I do travel a lot!” he said quickly but he didn’t sound from the south or Creole, Lainey thought. More like European or something.
They hadn’t been seated long until a waitress sat down two water glasses and set down two menus. Lainey wondered to herself, exactly how she was going to be able to eat much less make small talk with a real life GQ model across the table. There were other women at Randy’s; many of them more beautiful than she was and she could tell they knew it too because they kept giving her the evil eye! She focused on the menu.
A waitress came and took their order. Alexi ordered a glass of dry red wine. Lainey ordered something light, a Sea Breeze and the Island Chicken plate. Then the waitress took the menus and flitted away, nearly tripping as she had her neck craned to keep her eyes on Alexi. Lainey pretended to not notice. Alexi almost chuckled, because he did notice! The hint of blush on Lainey’s cheeks and the way she had slightly narrowed her eyes was almost his undoing.
Lainey suddenly became self conscious since he hadn’t ordered any food. Then she started to worry that perhaps he didn’t order because she might have ordered something he felt obligated to pay for. Alexi sensed her distress. This woman was quite interesting and he found himself oddly wanting to smile at her little bout of jealousy and distress. He couldn’t read her but he could sense it though. Something was bothering her and then he concluded that it was because he wasn’t eating. He sighed.
“I dined earlier. I was looking more for of a social spot; company you know.” He explained coolly.
Lainey didn’t know if she should have been a bit concerned about that or not. The waitress brought their drinks. Lainey sipped hers while she watched him hold the wine glass. It was funny how a man with such powerful and perfect hands could hold something as delicate as a thin stemmed wine glass, but he did. Lainey has not even half way through with her drink when the waitress brought another glass of wine and Lainey’s chicken. Lainey cut a piece of her chicken that was basically Caribbean jerk chicken and offered him a piece.
“It’s really good, and Randy marinates them all day. It’s one of the more popular items on the menu.”
Alexi held up a hand and took a drink of the wine. He didn’t want to tell her he’d dined on two bags of blood and could still taste it on his lips. That had more than satiated his hunger. She prattled on about various points of interest, and Alexi found himself intrigued with her. She had long pale gold blonde hair and violet-blue eyes framed with long lashes. Lainey had a small narrow nose, high cheekbones, and a heart shaped face. She had almost a regal look to her appearance. Lainey was a real beauty and no doubt would be a prize to some man. There was something in the way her eyes lit up when she would smile that warmed him. Something like a childlike innocence; or the way an angel would look and it threw him for a loop. He focused on her mouth, the two full lips that looked like a pink bow. Any man would be lucky to have those to brush up against their skin or to kiss.
He was caught up in the violet-blue depths of her eyes and almost imagined what it would be like to move his lips against hers while looking into them. Then Cosette came to his mind. Alexi had a job to do and he needed to get his head back in the game! This was no time for fanciful thoughts! He’d play his part and then he’d move on to his next assignment. That was how it was with him! In all the years he had been with Cosette, he’d never give women a second glance. He’d gotten sick at his stomach in the old days when he’d fed directly from the source. Alexi had cringed every time he’d have to glamour a woman feeding her false fantasies and empty promises. Lainey didn’t make him sick but he pushed those thoughts of attraction right out of his mind! Trouble was, they seemed to push right back in!
“So, Lainey tell me what do you do for a living?” he asked wryly to try and get his head clear.
Lainey suddenly became embarrassed. Here was a traveled and educated not to mention devilishly handsome man and here she was a lowly librarian.
“Umm, I work at the library here in Aurora Falls. I’m just working there until I can get something better!” she stammered.
“Do you live close by?” he asked, not knowing himself why he wanted to know.
Lainey gave him a peculiar look; after all it was a little odd he’d want to know where she lived unless he was stalker or serial killer. She banished the latter when she noticed he was waiting for her answer.
“Yes, well I live about 8 blocks from the library in an apartment complex on the west end of town. That is about as interesting as my life seems to be, I don’t even own a cat!” she answered lowering her eyes.
He leaned back casually back in the chair. “You don’t look like a librarian?” he asked nonchalantly; while thinking, you are much too beautiful to be stuck in a library.
Lainey shifted in her chair and took a drink of her dinner cocktail. “Well, I have a Bachelors’ in English Literature and Liberal Arts. I am hoping one day to get a job working at a publishing house as an agent and work my way up. What is it that you do?”
Now he was in the hot seat for sure and it was turned on incinerate!
“I am well you could say I am in to acquisitions.” He answered a bit qualmish. Alexi didn’t want her to catch on to his anxiety so he kept the conversation going.
“Why would you want to work at a publishing house? Are you a writer?” he asked using a much lighter tone.
Lainey finished chewing her food and then took a drink before answering. “I write but that is just for leisure. I want to be a publisher; you know work my way up from an agent and learn the ropes. Take more school if I need to.”
That impressed him, that she was ambitious. Suddenly he caught the sensation, the warning- it was Warren!
“Would you please excuse me for a moment?” he didn’t wait for her answer as he stood and strode toward the back of the bar.
He had to get outside to look around. Lainey was appealing more to him than he liked and it was irritating the hell out of him. For over two hundred years no woman other than his beloved Cosette had appealed to him! Unlike his fellow vampires, he had shunned love and sex. Dash Babtiste his usual partner, enjoyed human women-well actually any woman was worth Dash’s time. He found all women beautiful, ‘different flavors’ he had put it, and when he wasn’t doing his job he felt no shame in bedding women sometimes more than one at a time. Peter, another Guardian, had even married a human female and later turned her. It wasn’t uncommon. As for Alexi, he couldn’t let Cosette go! Alexi walked out the back door and cleared his mind so he could pick up Warren’s scent so to speak. He could sense him close by but he could be anywhere! As he scaled the adjacent building he heard a muffled scream about ten miles south.
Alexi took off streaking through the darkness. In an alleyway Warren was bent over what looked to be a homeless man drinking his life’s blood. Warren raised his head abruptly and hissed at Alexi with blood running from his mouth down his chin. Alexi reached into his coat and drew out his tiger head silver Kukri dagger. Warren dropped the man who was now dead and leaned into a crouch to defend. Alexi was cool; he’d fought stronger opponents than Warren and knew exactly what Warren’s first move of attack would be. He could read Warren without effort but unlike Alexi; Warren couldn’t get a read on him because Alexi was blocking Warren from his mind. Warren spit a curse at Alexi. Alexi stood ready with his dagger tightly gripped in his hand.
“So you are eager for my head tracker?” Warren growled.