There’s nothing like an old friend. No matter how much time has passed since the last time you saw them, the minute you reconnect it’s like it was just yesterday. This April, I’ve enjoyed two reunions – one in Arizona and one on my laptop.
I just got back from a much needed vacay in Tucson (it’s a dry heat!) with critique partner Elizabeth Fortin Hinds (who also writes awesome Egyptian mythology based adventure romance as Elizabeth Alsobrooks) sightseeing to get back in the mood for reissuing my Dana Ransom western series and soaking up the sun – only to return to snow in Michigan! I never knew a week could go by so fast – especially when you spend so much of it in four airports!
I also started proofreading the scans of the first book in my “Midnight” vampire romance series from back in the ‘90s, MIDNIGHT KISS, which will be reissued by BelleBooks’ ImaJinn imprint in July. How I loved that story! That whole series! I remembered how much when I began reading the first page. Just like yesterday. Here’s a taste to sink your teeth into:
Arabella heard the front door open. With a soft cry of relief, she tossed aside the book she’d been pretending to read for the past two hours and scrambled from the bed. Thin white nightgown fluttering about her, she ran out into the hall to the top of the stairs.
The first floor was dark. A strange phosphorescent light spilled in from the open door, and with it, a thick, roiling mist. A wintery chill seeped up through the house until her quick breaths plumed visibly. She hugged herself as a tremor of alarm swept through her along with that prickling cold. She was about to turn and call for Takeo when the mist began to churn and change, yielding up the shape of a man.
“Bella, my love.”
His words tingled within her. Truly afraid, yet compelled by his voice to move forward, Arabella eased down two of the steps.
He was standing at the foot of the stairs, face uplifted. His features were bathed in an odd blue-silver light that was not quite moonlight, not quite natural. It etched his cheekbones with bold, sharp strokes and his mouth with delicate sensual lines. And from out of that eerie, ethereal light, his eyes glowed hot and golden.
“Louis, I was so worried . . .” She clung to the railing for balance. Something about his stare dragged upon her consciousness with an insistent sleepiness. Her limbs were unresponsive, heavy, tired. But beneath that seeping weariness, panic flickered like a resistant flame.
“I told you not to worry, Bella. I told you I would never leave you.”
There was something in the quality of his voice—it was bigger, echoing, coming from all around and within her.
He started up the stairs, the mist rising with him, cloaking his feet so it seemed that he moved them not at all, but merely rose without effort. Confused by this trick of light, Arabella retreated, backing up the steps to the landing. Her heart pounded with an unexplained fright. Her eyes told her it was her husband coming up to her, but her senses decried it, warning with every frantic pulse that she was in dreadful danger.
He stood at the landing before her, his stillness mesmerizing. He was so—beautiful. She stared and lost herself in the looking. His magnetism surrounded and seduced her. His eyes were so deep they went on forever. Then he took a step and she took one away, her breath coming in soft little gasps.
“Don’t be afraid,” came that smooth, glassy voice, and terror surged within her only to be blanketed by his warm, stifling will. She couldn’t move, could barely breathe as he closed the distance between them. His hand reached out to her and she shrank back but couldn’t avoid it.
His fingers slid caressingly along her cheek and the solidity of that touch broke Arabella’s fearful trance. She exhaled in a rush.
“Oh, Louis, it is you!”
His neck was quickly circled by her arms and his curled lightly about her, drawing her up against him. She hugged him while desperate shivers drove out the last of her tension. She stroked her hand through his hair and kissed his neck, his cheek, and finally his mouth with a reassuring urgency. Then she simply clung.
“I did not mean to frighten you,” he whispered without inflection.
She gave a nervous little laugh. “It was silly—I don’t know what came over me. You seemed so strange, and I—it doesn’t matter now. You’re here, and that’s all that matters. Are you all right?”
“I am full of the night’s chill. I need your warmth to sustain me.”
ïïïïïI can’t wait to get to the next two books which have also been long out of print. ImaJinn is rereleasing the entire nine book series, one per month, all with new covers, beginning with MIDNIGHT KISS, MIDNIGHT TEMPTATION and MIDNIGHT SURRENDER (finally resurrected!) in July, August and September. I can’t WAIT to see the new packaging.
What kind of covers do you like on your vampire romances? Manscaped male torso? The clenching couple? Moody broody atmospheric? I need to get my art sheet done and would love some suggestions.
In the meantime, get back together with your old friends and enjoy the rediscovery!
Nancy Gideon on the Web