First Sight Saturday is a feature I host every week to showcase the first meeting between two characters.
Today I welcome E.R. Davis with her paranormal romance/gothic urban fantasy serial novel Chalice Blood: Hidden. (To clarify, a serial novel is a story that is told in parts. Hidden is part 1 of 5 of the novel called Chalice Blood.) To all those descriptors, I will add that the product description includes the word “steamy,” but the excerpt is completely PG. Take it away, E.R!
SETUP OF SCENE: Twelve years ago, fifteen-year-old Dessa Collier met the vampire who would change her life forever.
“I have a feeling.” Dessa lowered her head and focused on putting one bare foot in front of the other. Shiny black polish tipped her toes. She and Waiva continued in silence until they reached the gnarled, walking-stick stump of a long-dead tree. The stump marked a mile to the Collier farmhouse.
“Race you!” Waiva took off in a sprint.
Dessa didn’t follow. Instead, she looked over her shoulder. The bottom dropped from her stomach, and her muscles went slack. A dense, squirming mass of shadow obscured her view of the road. Someone else’s memory rippled between her ears, filled her head, and gave the black cloud a name. Hungry.
She couldn’t make her legs move. The blob came upon her quickly, so fast she didn’t have time to scream before fingers of darkness shoved into her mouth. Midnight bands wrapped around her biceps and dragged her to the ground. Dessa lashed out, punching the air. An inhuman cry reached her ears just before the dark filled those openings. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, couldn’t shriek when the first bite tore at her forearm.
Burning pricks of pain dotted her exposed skin and sapped her strength. Weightless phantoms took the shape of greedy, clawed hands. Heavy bodies crushed her chest. They savaged her, teeth tearing and ripping. Hungry.
After an eternity of pain, a man’s voice cut through the sounds of feeding.
“Get them off her,” he commanded. “Destroy the new ones here and don’t take any back.”
“Better death than a cell,” another man replied.
The instructions didn’t make sense and they weren’t for her, but Dessa tried to focus anyway. Running footsteps and quiet curses filtered through the noise of strange, hissing pops. The scent of blood clogged her air passages and made her gag. Blood. Hers. Oh, that was bad.
Awareness of her arms and legs, her burning skin, returned. Dessa started to shake. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to roll onto her side, but she couldn’t move. Paralyzed.
Large, strong hands cupped the back of her head and lifted it from the ground. The authoritative voice came again. “Can you hear me?”
Masculine scents of leather and tea tree oil penetrated the reek of blood. She wasn’t completely paralyzed. She could move her head and she did, turning her face, pressing her nose and mouth to his forearm. She breathed through the odor of blood. Gradually, sensations beyond pain and fear filtered through her brain. Waiva’s voice. Vampires.
She shuddered and opened her eyes to stare at the man above her. Broad shoulders blocked the darkening violet sky. He was layers of brown against the bruised backdrop. Coffee skin, walnut hair twisted in thick dreadlocks, amber eyes.
Long fingers pushed purple tangles of hair from her face. He tilted her head at an uncomfortable angle, pressed his fingertips beneath her jaw, and muttered a foul word.
Dessa’s eyelids drooped heavily. He wasn’t supposed to use that word around her. She was too young, and she was female. Clearly he wasn’t from the South.
“You’re here to kill me,” she whispered. However many times she’d thought the words, she’d never spoken them aloud.
“Yes. I am.” He tilted her head, golden gaze intent on her face. “Do you know why?”
“My mother knew why.” She swallowed and closed her eyes. “How are you going to do it? With your fangs?”
“No fangs, baby. Never fangs.” He slid his arms beneath her shoulders and knees and lifted her off the ground. She should have resisted his hold. The notion of good sense lurked in the back of her head, struggling to penetrate the fog that divided her rational brain from her feeling brain. Feeling rose to the top and floated like sea foam.
She felt safe. Sure, he was going to kill her, but death was going to happen eventually anyway. She didn’t have the energy to delay it by struggling. Flopping limp in his arms required no effort at all.
END OF EXCERPT
Intriguing. I don’t think this not-from-the-south stranger will be able to kill Dessa when he is supposed to. Below is the blurb for the Chalice Blood: Hidden and direct links to sites where you can buy it!
**Steamy 18+** Paranormal Romance Serial Novel | 16,000 Words | Part 1 of 5
There’s only one substance on earth that can create a new vampire–the blood of a Chalice, a rare individual with magic in her veins. Atlanta’s human-vampire Civility Laws demand that if a Chalice is found, she must be destroyed.
Heiress to a family tradition of ward-working, house painter Dessa Collier has spent the past twelve years pretending vampires don’t exist. When a friend-enemy walks back into Dessa’s life after a decade-long absence, everything Dessa has been hiding from comes crashing down on top of her.
Don’t miss the rest of this exciting, darkly erotic paranormal tale. BITTEN (Part 2) will be available April 30 2013. To find out as soon as BITTEN releases, “Like” the author on Facebook at tinyurl.com/erdavis or sign up for her newsletter at tinyurl.com/css6292.