Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Charming the Darkness excerpt

 Charming the Darkness is the 4th book in my Darkness series. This is Danny Vega’s—Dante Vega’s brother—story. I love writing humorous dialogue and this one has plenty. My hubby and I have a humorous relationship in that we both love teasing and annoying each other. I put that in Danny and Starla.

Blurb:

Daniel Vega had never been comfortable as a human so when he was offered eternal life as a vampire, he turned his back on his family and welcomed the darkness. Then Chaos, the one man Danny thought he could always count on, goes missing. Now, shunned by his own kind, it seems that leaving Jacob’s Cove is his only option. Until he crashes into a high-spirited redhead.

Born from witches, Starla Raine has spent her entire life learning to control and manage her powers. Drawn to Jacob’s Cove, a city magically cloaked in darkness, Starla runs into Daniel, a man connected to the infamous spell, and she knows just what to do. Hold him hostage and, use any means possible to make him give her what she wants.

The two forge an unlikely partnership, with Danny agreeing to help Starla find the ritual, but only if she’ll work with him to locate Chaos. At first he doesn’t mind using her magical abilities, or her body, for his own gain. Sex is just sex, after all… until someone’s heart gets in the way.

 

Excerpt:

She bolted up and Danny had a moment to think damn before his body locked up. It was the best way to describe why he had no ability to move any of his limbs. “What the hell?” As hard as he tried to move he just couldn’t.

“You’re a vampire?” She backed away from him, her brown eyes wide as she glared at him.

“Well…yeah. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?” It was like his brain had lost communication with the rest of his body, yet he could feel everything. Weird.

 “I froze you. You were going to bite me.”

“Once again, yeah. Vampire here and what do you mean you froze me?” He was straining so hard to move that if he wasn't careful he was going to drop a load in his pants.

“I’m a witch.”

“A what?”

“A witch.” At least he could use his face and, frowning at her, said, “You’re a witch?”

She folded her arms over her chest and cocked her hip to the side. He corrected his earlier thought. She wasn't just hot. She was damn hot! “Yeah, what’s wrong with being a witch?”

“Nothing wrong with it. You just don’t look like a witch.”

“Why, because I don’t have a green face and a pointy nose?” She rolled her eyes.

“No, because…well, you’re hot.” There was no denying it, the woman had curves in all the right places and that tight black v-neck t[1]shirt she wore teased of ample breasts. Never mind the blue jean that looked painted on.

“Only children think witches look like that. I’m not that stupid.” She planted her fists on her hips and gave him an indignant look. “I don’t like your attitude.”

“No problem. Unfreeze me or whatever you need to do to give me back the power of my body and I can be on my merry way. Killer, hurry your ass in there already!” Where was that cat anyway?

“Killer? There are more of you in here?” She spun around, facing towards the entryway to the kitchen.

Oh, this was too perfect. “Oh yeah, there’s a whole bunch of us here and we are all going to take turns sucking the life right out of you.”

She narrowed her eyes as she turned to face him. Maybe he should have used less sarcasm. “I don’t believe you.”

“Suit yourself. Come on out, guys!” This was too much fun. Her face went white as snow. Then Killer walked in, meowed, and wound his body around Danny’s legs. How was he supposed to pretend to be mean when the cat was cuddling up to him?

“There’s no one else here, is there?”

“Sure there are.” He was losing her rapidly.

“I don’t think so.” Daringly, she inched towards the doorway, peering around the corner.

Danny just couldn’t resist. “Get her!” She jumped, spun around in some sort of karate kick, her fists raised and ready. It was the hottest thing he’d ever seen.

“I knew it. There is no one else here.” She spun back towards Danny. “You lied.”

“Can’t blame a guy for trying. All right already, Killer, go lay down on the sofa or something.” The cat was annoying him only because he was tickling Danny’s shins and there was nothing he could do to stop it, being frozen and all.

“Killer? That’s Killer?” she chuckled as she made her way to the cat, scooping him up into her arms. “You don’t look so fierce. Come here, pretty girl.”

“He’s a guy.” The nerve of her assuming Killer was a girl.

“Aren’t you a sweetie pie?” She nuzzled her face into the cat’s fur. “Yes, you are.”

Killer was loving every minute of it. “You wanna unfreeze me now?”

“Right, because I look stupid.” “Well—” “Don’t.”

“You walked into it, toots.” She narrowed those big, brown eyes at him. “Don’t call me that. If I let you go the first thing you’ll do is jump me and bite my neck.”

“Doesn’t have to be the neck and I’d probably do more than just bite you.”

Her eyes narrowed a little more. “What does that mean?”

“Just forget it. If I promise I won’t bite you, will you let me go?”

 “Sure. Not!” She laughed at him, then took a seat on the sofa with the cat. “What’s a pretty kitty like you doing with a big bad vampire?” Her head jerked up and her eyes went wide making them look even bigger than they already were. “Oh my Goddess! Please tell me you don't drink from him, do you?”

That was just the most appalling thing he’d ever heard. “What? No way. Killer and I are tight. We’re pals.”

“You’re pals?”

“Yeah, I saved him from a bunch of hungry dogs a few weeks ago and we’ve been roomies ever since.”

 “You’re roomies?” Her lips twitch with a grin.

He wasn't impressed. And this was why he preferred the cat’s company to humans. Killer didn’t mock him. “What’s wrong with that?”

 “Nothing. It’s sweet. You have a kitty as a pet.” Snuggling the cat to her face, she flashed a huge smile at him.

 “Wanna release me now?” He didn’t like the way she was looking at him or being called sweet. He was anything but.

She leaned back and Killer made himself right at home on her lap. “Not yet. So why were you leaving—I don’t even know your name.”

“Danny.”

“Cool. I’m Starla Raine. So why were you leaving?”

 “Starla Raine? What kind of name is that?”

“It’s a perfectly fine name. Starla was my grandmother’s name.”

“So Raine is your last name?” He’d thought it was one long name rather than two.

“Yes. Why were you leaving?” she repeated, gently stroking the cat’s head. Maybe if he played nice and gave her what she wanted she’d release him and then he and Killer could go on their merry way.

“I’m tired of this town.”

“I would think someone like you would love living here where there’s no sun to burn you up.”

“The sun doesn’t kill us. That’s just a myth. It does give us a nasty third degree burn. I’ve spent twenty years learning to live with the sun, doing so now won’t be any different.”

“Twenty years?” She frowned. “How old are you?”

“Thirty-three.”

 “Get out? Wow, how old were you when you were taken?”

“Thirteen. I answered your questions, so you wanna let me go now.” His body was starting to cramp up and it was not a good feeling, especially since he couldn’t rub the tightening muscles.

“The response you gave to my question was lame. Now tell me the real reason you and Killer,” she smiled down at the cat on her lap, “were leaving.”

“Why does it matter to you?” She was pissing him off now.

 “Just curious. What’s the real reason?”

She just wasn't giving up. “If I tell you the truth, will you please release me?”

“You bet.” She kicked her legs up onto the couch and Killer stretched out, placing his paws and his face on her knees.

https://www.amazon.com/Charming-Darkness-Shiela-Stewart-ebook/dp/B01IL1G4LS?ref_=ast_author_dp

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Embracing the Darkness excerpt

 Embracing the Darkness continues from the ending of Desiring the Darkness with the story about Jonah Moore. His life has been turned upside down after the accident.

Blurb:

One upon a time Jonah Moore had it all. Then his wife and unborn child were taken from him, leaving his life darker than when Chaos and his evil vampires stole the sun. Now, Jonah has lost the will to face another day, which could be a problem, considering he’s just been turned into a vampire and is now destined to live for eternity.
As a nurse, Raven Moony is used to tending to the needs of others. Until an accident changes everything. When she is abducted and forced to tend to Chaos’ needs, she is more than ready to give in and willingly accepts her role as his slave.

When Jonah enters the picture, she finds herself fighting for his safety and freedom as well as her own. Can she convince Jonah to go on despite her own doubts? And can they open their hearts to love and learn that there is indeed life after death?


 

Excerpt

Jacob’s Cove 2025 Two weeks since the darkness began

Jonah woke to complete silence, the darkness surrounding him. His life seemed to be consumed by the darkness now. His brain was foggy and he knew if he were to give in and close his eyes, he would drift right back to sleep. He didn’t want to sleep because in sleep, he dreamt, and in his dreams she called to him.

So, forcing his eyes open, he tried to sit up and found himself tied to the bed. Shaking his head clear, he tugged at his arms and felt the restraints around his wrists dig into his skin. Looking down, he saw the band securing his left arm to the side of the bed and an IV attached to his hand.

What the hell?

“You’re awake.”

He turned in the direction of a rustling sound and saw a woman at the foot of the bed with jet black hair cut in a sharp bob that ended at chin level. Her eyes were a soft blue and her face was delicate yet firm. And he had a vague memory of her holding him. Her name was Raven and she had helped him.

“I was hoping you’d sleep a little longer, but three hours is good. How do you feel?”

He blinked rapidly as she turned on the light. It stung his eyes and he wished she’d left it off. “Why am I tied to the bed, Raven?”

 “It’s a safely mechanism, for your own good. Are you hungry? Thirsty?”

She was always trying to feed him. When would she get it through her head that he didn’t want to be fed? He didn’t want to be alive. She’d been so gentle with him when he’d been chained up in Chaos’ basement, treating his wounds, then breaking him free. He’d told her then, and still meant it now, that he didn't want to be saved. Yet here he was, tied to a bed with Raven once again keeping him alive.

What did he have to live for anyway? His wife and unborn child were dead and he’d been made into a vampire. He didn’t have 8 anything left to live for.

“You drugged me?” He remembered the stab to his arm right before he’d been about to end his life. And now he was awake, and tied to the bed. That pissed him off.

“Yeah. I had to. It was a mild sedative, but I’d hoped because of your injuries you would sleep longer. I also washed you down and dressed you. I have a cup of O-negative here for you. The blood bank is fully stocked.”

They were in the hospital. She’d rescued him from Chaos’ place and had taken him to the hospital. It was all coming back to him now. She’d left him to make his phone call to Trinity and he’d seized the moment to end his miserable life.

Only she’d stopped him. Once again, she was trying to save him.

He clamped his lips shut when she put the cup to his mouth. He’d rather starve to death than drink someone’s blood.

“Being stubborn won’t deter me, Jonah. I’ve been a nurse for nearly ten years and I’ve done my fair share of intubations and IVs, not to mention feeding tubes. If need be, I will shove a tube down your throat to your stomach to get you to eat. Or…you could stop being a spineless wimp and drink what’s in the cup. You decide.”

He clenched his jaw and glared up at her.

“Fine, have it your way, but let me tell you, it won’t be a pleasant experience.” She turned away walked toward the door.

“Why do you care if I live or die?” he blurted out.

She stopped, then casually turned to him, her face softening as she responded. “I care because I’m a compassionate person who thinks all life is precious.”

 “Even the bastard that turned me into a blood sucking animal?”

“Chaos will get his comeuppance eventually, and you’re not an animal. Do you want to try this again and take the drink or do I go in search of a tube?”

“What I would like is for you to untie me.”

She took another step towards him and he thought she would actually do as he asked. Then she stopped short of the bed and folded her arms across her chest.

“Exactly how stupid do I look? I know without a shadow of a doubt that the instant I release you you’ll try to take your life again. Not going to happen, buddy. Drink?”

“No!” She was going to find out just how stubborn Jonah Moore could be.

“Have it your way.” She spun around and marched from the room.


https://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Darkness-Shiela-Stewart-ebook/dp/B01DSLYH60?ref_=ast_author_dp

Monday, August 28, 2023

Desiring the Darkness Excerpt

 Desiring the Darkness is the second book in my Darkness series. 

Even before Seducing the Darkness was finished, I had the idea for Desiring. I began writing it while editing Seducing the Darkness. I just knew Dante needed his story told.

Blurb: 

With the cloak of darkness surrounding Jacob’s Cove, Dante Vega must work to protect the humans from the blood-thirsty vampires trying to take over the human race. When a half-naked young woman races into his arms begging him to protect her, he is compelled to help despite the fact that she is a vampire.


Before all hell broke loose, Gypsy Dawn was an average woman carrying on with her ordinary life…until she’s turned into a vampire. With no family and no where to go, she clings to Dante. Aside from his dark, mysterious, good looks, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him. And when his life is threatened she discovers just how protective she has become.


Trying to bring back the sun is not easy, especially when the creature responsible, has gone into hiding. With Dante’s long lost brother working with the enemy, one friend is killed and another is taken hostage.

Will Dante be able to save him before it’s too late?

 

Excerpt: 

“Remind me again why I have to be the bait?”

Dante heard Jonah’s voice in his ear as he hid behind the dumpster. Lowering his voice, he replied, “Because I was bait last time.”

“Right. You’ll tell Ariel I love her if I don’t make it?”

“You’ll be just fine, Jonah. I’ve got you covered and Basil is lurking about, ready to jump in and snatch the bastards. Just stay calm.”

“Yeah, easy for you to say. Oh shit! Bloodsucker, eight o’clock.”

Dante swiveled in his spot behind the garbage bin, looking in the direction Jonah instructed. He saw the chubby guy heading Jonah’s way and prepared himself for the attack. The vampire’s ugly yellow eyes caught sight of Jonah and Dante could imagine what was going through his mind.

Fresh meat.

Not this time.

“Get ready.”

“I’m ready.” Pulling the tranquilizer gun from his belt, Dante aimed it at the vampire and waited. Because Jonah had the microphone pinned beneath his jacket, Dante could hear everything, including the vampire’s comments.

“Well, looky here. What have we got? Oh, and I smell lots of fear. Gonna be a nice snack for me.”

“You don’t want to drink me. I’m anemic. I won’t satisfy you much,” Jonah added with a great deal of quiver in his voice.

“Oh, I’m betting you’ll be just what I need.”

He heard the growl, heard Jonah scream, and took his shot. The dart hit the vamp right in his backside and as

Dante stood up, he saw the vamp pull back in shock. He didn’t waste any time and took another shot. This time he hit the vampire in the arm. The vamp looked up, searching for where the shot had come from as Dante raced towards him.

“Took your time. He was about to bite me.” Jonah took a couple steps away from the vamp.

“I had to make sure I got a good shot.” The vampire hissed as he approached, then his knees gave out and he went down. “Damn, I was hoping to knock him around a bit first.”

“You’ll get your chance later.”

“Jesus Christ, Basil! I hate when you do that.” His heart pounding, Dante aimed a steely glare at Basil. The guy loved to make an entrance, but did he have to appear out of nowhere without warning and scare the living shit out of him?

“Good shot,” Basil stated as he lowered down to the vampires body. “But next time, aim higher. If you can get the neck or near the heart, he’ll go down with one shot.”

“Yeah, thanks for the advice.” He’d only known Basil a few short days and was still on the fence about him. The guy was the last of the true vampires and had several advantages over the rest of the vamps. For one, he could materialize at the blink of an eye and transport himself anywhere. Two, he could transform into any creature and blend in everywhere. And anyone that didn’t know him personally would think he was your typical average human being. Until he bore his fangs and his icy blue eyes began to glow. Only the truest vampires had the icy blue eyes, all the others were yellow.

A sign of their impurity.

“He one of Chaos’ men?” Dante asked, looking down at the unconscious vampire.

“Won’t know until he wakes up and talks. Let’s call it a night for now and get some rest.” Basil hoisted the vamp over his shoulder. “You can ride with me, Jonah, and make sure this guy doesn’t wake up before we get to the castle.”

“Gee, thanks, boss.”

“You can follow us in your car, Dante.”

While the sun was nonexistent they had all agreed to stay at Basil’s castle. It was a smart idea, keeping them all under one roof, but Dante was feeling the crunch of hanging around the same people day and night. He needed a bit of a break now and then, and though Basil’s place was huge, he still managed to run into someone often enough. He was used to living on his own, having no one around but himself.

He missed his privacy.

But he climbed into his car, ready to follow them anyway. Glancing in his rear view mirror, he watched them pull away and saw what looked like a woman, running towards him. He turned around to get a better look, then hustled out of the car. It had been a woman running towards him, clad in only a bra and panties.

And two burly men were right behind her.

“You’ve got to help me. Please, help me,” she screamed as she ran.

Running towards her he pulled out his revolver. “Get behind me,” he ordered to her and took aim. It utterly shocked him when the two men halted then spun around and took off in the opposite direction. “Fuck!” He turned to the woman who was shivering in the cold air. “Get in the car and lock the doors. I’m going after them.”

“No, no, please, don’t leave me.”

She grabbed hold of his arm and pressed her body so tightly to his he could feel the curve of her breasts through the thickness of the suede jacket he wore. “I have to go after them.”

“No, please, just let them go. I don’t want to be alone.”

She clung to him even tighter.

What was he going to do, shake her off of him and drag her to his car? Not likely. So the only chance he had was to stick by her. “Okay. I won’t go after them. You can give a description of them to the cops—”

“NO! No police. Please, don’t take me to the cops.”

He didn’t know what her deal was but she sure was adamant about not involving the cops. And that worried him some. “You have to tell them you were attacked.”

“I don’t want to follow up on this. Please, don’t make me. I don’t trust the cops,” she sighed, still clinging to him.

He could feel her body tremble and he wasn't sure if it was entirely from the chill in the air, or from fear. “Okay, I won’t take you to the cops. You’re cold. Let me give you my jacket.” When she didn’t release him, he patted her arms. “I need you to let me go so I can take off my jacket.”

“Oh, okay.” She released him and wrapped her arms around her chest.

He striped from his jacket then held it out to her. “Here, put this on before you catch a cold.”

She took the jacket and hurriedly slipped into it.

“Thanks.”

“No problem. So why don’t you tell me where you live and I’ll give you a ride home.”

“I don’t have a home.” Dante’s brow lifted and she continued. “I was evicted a few days ago.”

He heard glass breaking in the distance and assumed someone was breaking into yet another building. “This isn’t the safest place to be right now. Why don’t I take you to my place and we can figure out what we’re going to do next.”

He held his hand out to his car then walked with her to it, holding the passenger side door for her. After she’d settled in, he hurried to his side and climbed behind the wheel. He got them rolling and was damn glad they were only three blocks from his office/apartment.

“My name is Dante, Dante Vega.”

“Gypsy Dawn.”

Friday, August 11, 2023

Seducing the Darkness excerpt.

 Trinity stood in the shadows and watched as a group of humans exited a local hangout called Buckeye’s Bar. It was a known pick-off for her kind. Most of the humans that came and went from the bar tended to leave through the back entrance which led to the alley. Then bam! You were vamp food.

 People were so stupid. Why did they think they had their faculties in order when they plied themselves with alcohol? The brain was sluggish after several drinks and thus impaired their thought process. So of course, stupid and drunk, they stumbled through the alley thinking themselves impervious to harm. 

 When would they learn? 

 Considering the past few weeks, it seemed as though the vampires were out in full force. Okay, so people didn’t want to believe there could actually be such a thing as a blood sucking half dead creature taking up residence in their city. But come on, one look in the newspapers and you had to at least be worried about all the dead bodies being found lately. 

 Still, people never believed it could happen to them. Until they end up dead. 

 She watched a group of young girls—and if they were of legal age, she would eat her shoes—stumble from the bar. They separated and two went off towards the street while the last wandered drunkenly down the dark alley. 

 Oh yeah, like this was going to end well. 

 “Five, four, three, two, one. Bam!” She shot her hand out just as a vampire jumped from out of the shadows and right beside the stupid young girl. Shaking her head, Trinity moved towards the screaming girl. Idiot. 

 “I don’t think you want to be doing that.” 

 The tall, gangly, greasy haired vampire jerked and spun around to face Trinity. His teeth were primed for the kill, his yellow eyes glaring at Trinity as if she were his next meal. The poor girl in his arms was wailing something awful. 

 Now you regret going through the dark alley. 

 “Yeah, says who?” 

 Trinity lifted a brow, cocked her body to one side and rested her hand on her hip. “Jesus, could you have said anything more lame? Let the girl go and no one has to get hurt.” Okay, so that wasn’t completely the truth. He would be more than hurt when this was over. He would be dust. 

 “How ‘bout I keep her and you wait against the wall until I’m done?” He jerked the girl towards him, yanking her head back to expose her neck. He was just about to bite down when Trinity placed a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and his face froze. 

 “How ‘bout I don’t.” Trinity bared her fanged teeth to show him she was not going to back off. “Beat it kid.” She clamped her hand on the vampires shoulder, her nails digging into his flesh as she jerked her head at the girl. As she’d suspected, the guy was a wimp. He released the girl who immediately ran off screaming. 

 “Now, you wanna take off, or am I going to have to mess up that pretty face of yours?” she asked sarcastically as she glared down at him. 

 “You couldn’t handle me, bitch.” He slapped her hand free, then curling his fingers in a fist, threw a punch at her face. 

 She was ready and ducked out of the way. Slicing her hand up, she chopped him in the neck, sending him crumbling on the ground. “You don’t want to mess with me, jerk,” she advised as she planted a booted foot on his jugular. The razor blades she had attached to the toe drew a small amount of dull gray, deoxygenated blood as she pressed it just below his chin. 

 “Go ahead and dust him, he’s useless.” 

 Trinity glared over her shoulder at the man she had once been destined for and felt her heart ache. She couldn’t stop herself from admiring the beauty of the man before her. His long dark hair floated in the light breeze sweeping away from a face sculpted of fine bone and delicate skin. He looked so dark and dangerous in that long, black leather coat he always wore. One look into his translucent blue eyes turned her heart to mush. 

 Then she reminded herself how much she detested him. 

 To show she wasn’t a push over, Trinity pressed her foot harder, the razor blades cutting into the vampire’s neck. His arms flailed out, trying to yank her foot away from his neck. His legs kicked wildly, but Trinity had a good ten pounds on the scrawny vamp. Tilting her toe downward, she sliced deep into his neck, finally cutting his head off. In a whoosh he disintegrated into a pile of dust, his last breaths used to scream his way to death. 

 She took a deep breath, shook the remnants of a useless life from her boot then turned. “Basil.” 

 “Trinity.” They stalked each other like the predators they were, neither taking their eyes off the other. “You’re looking good.”

 Her breath always caught in her throat when she looked into those icy blue eyes of his. Unlike the rest of her race that had yellow eyes, he had the color of his heritage. He was royal. “So are you, but you already know that.” She circled him, her eyes never leaving his.  She knew how quick he could be, and she was prepared. “Was he one of yours?” 

 “Would I have cared if you dusted him if he was one of mine?” His hand slid to his pocket and he pulled the pack of cigarettes from his pocket. “How have you been?” 

 She rolled her shoulders, the itch still irritating her. “Better now that I left you.” And wasn’t it odd how acrid a lie could taste?

 “I noticed you’ve had your belongings gathered from our home.” 

 “Your home,” she corrected, keeping her distance from him. She knew perfectly well being close to him would have dire repercussions. 

 “Have you settled into your apartment then?” 

 He was being so nice, so civil. She didn’t like it. “Why are you here, Basil?” 

 “I might ask the same of you, Trinity.” He lit the cigarette smoothly and the flame showed a devastatingly handsome face, with curves and lines and strength. 

 “I’m protecting the humans,” she remarked with an edge in her voice. “Always the warrior, my fiery princess.” He smiled sweetly as he drew long and hard on his cigarette then smartly blew a ring of circles in the air. All without taking his eyes from hers. 

 “Don’t call me that.” She hated when he called her that. Okay, once upon a time hearing him call her that made her hot, but that was then. This was now. 

 “It’s what you are and always will be to me.” 

 “Yeah, I was such a treasure, that’s why you decided to fuck another woman. Leave me alone, Basil.”

 In a quick shift that surprised her, he was in front of her, his hand clamped on her chin as he tilted her face to meet his. “Despite my indiscretion, I will always love you.” He dropped his cigarette and ground it out beneath his boot. 

 She jerked her chin free, snarling, “You have a funny way of showing it.” 

 Grabbing her chin again, this time he held a little tighter. “Love has many sides to it, my sweet.” He sealed his words with a sharp kiss, his teeth scraping her bottom lip right before he vanished into the night. 

 Cursing, Trinity spat on the ground, wanting to eliminate his flavor from her tongue. Bastard thought he could come back and act as if nothing had happened. Fuck him! She still remembered all too clearly what it had felt like to walk in on him and the woman crawling over his naked body. 

 Shaking herself free of him, Trinity walked away. The last thing she needed was the memory of Basil’s kiss or the feel of his touch on her skin. What she needed was a vicious kill. If only she could find one. 

One Way Out

 Blackmail, kidnapping, stalking, death threats…some days, you just can’t win! One Way Out Nick Seven Book 9 by Tim Smith Genre: T...