Title: Blood Secrets
Author: Elizabeth Morgan
Series: Blood Series (Book #2)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 22 2016
Edition/Formats It Will Be Available In: eBook & Print
When your life is messed up to begin with, how much worse can it really get?
Heather Ryan's life has never been simple. The latest in a long line of descendants who have made it their mission to hunt down and slay the Ancient Vampire, Marko Pavel, she is also the first born Infected. Up until recently, the biggest downside to living with the Vampyrric Virus was simply that she craved blood, but after receiving a DVD from her deceased Grandmother Sofia and being kidnapped with friend and so called guardian Werewolf, Brendan Daniels, she quickly discovers that she is also the inspiration behind the Vampires’ attempt to create a whole new breed of super monsters—Hybrids.
The truth comes at a cost, but how much does one have to sacrifice to gain success?
Following the breadcrumbs left by her psychic Grandmother, Heather and Brendan find themselves in new territory. Venice is where Heather hopes to find Marie, the second Bloodling of Marko, along with Brendan's three taken Pack members. But an old Peace Pact between the Italian Pack and the Colony means they are left hunting blind, and due to the Italian Alpha's reluctance to believe their story of kidnap and experimentation on Loup-Garous, time is running out. So when help comes from an unlikely source, they have no choice but to accept.
All families have secrets, but blood can't lie.
Caught up in an intricate and complicated scheme spun by the one she trusts the most and the friend of her enemy, Heather soon discovers that she is the pawn in a plan she would never have been able to conceive. But how many of her new allies were in on the game, to begin with?
The walkway appeared desolate... Darkness almost shrouded the passage, but the streetlights of Venice, which stretched across the seemingly black water of the Grand Canal, cast slithers of light through the tall stone arches. A gust of wind ran past me and I shivered, the small tremble causing drops of water to fly from my soaked clothing and stain the grey slabs beneath me.
A howl pierced the night sky, then another and another; a unison of agonizing cries echoing around the maze of buildings that made Central Venice so unique.
To say that Ken doll was going to be pissed that I had took off was an understatement, but I couldn’t lose this chance. I wasn’t going to lose Marie.
Pulling my sword from its sheath, I made my way towards the intricate iron gates which were open, held in place by chains that locked into two hoops that protruded from the grey bricks.
Moving past the rough metal, I peered into the square, outer foyer to find the main double doors to the nest stood wide open in invitation, giving me the perfect view of the long, quiet hallway. I inhaled deeply. The stench of ancient earth polluted the air.
With a steadying breath, I stepped through the doorway and past the two round pillars. Three large iron lanterns hung from the ceiling. A mosaic of stained glass caging the bulbs inside, casting fragments of multi-coloured light across the cream walls. The glow from them curled around the sculptures lining the walls, the shadows of their perfect forms stretched across the blank canvas, disfiguring as I moved past them.
My heart thundered in my chest, so loud that I was pretty damn sure it was drowning out the squelch of water in my boots as I tread lightly and swiftly across the coral and ivory diamond tiles. Droplets of water continued to travel down my skin and beneath my clothes, which already clung to me like a second skin. My curls were a drenched mess. Stray strands had escaped the bun I had shoved my hair in earlier, the wet chunks sticking to my face and neck.
I walked past the two sets of closed double doors which sat across from each other. My focus strayed to the enclosed, dimly lit stairwell on my right.... It was now blocked off by an iron gate similar to the one protecting the front entrance. Another set of doors sat closed to my left, but it was the archway at the end of the hallway that I was drawn to—the only other doors that lay wide open in invitation, and despite the light in the chamber being dim, I knew she was in there, waiting for me.
Oxygen burned my lungs. A stitch had claimed my right side, and the scent of blood from my weeping wounds had my senses peaking. Only this task remains.
Tightening my grip on the hilt of my sword, I moved into the large chamber. No furniture filled the space. All the curtains were drawn. The dark, thick material ran the length of the wall, indicating that the windows stood from ceiling to floor. The walls were painted in panels of patterns so fine, but I couldn’t make out the details. Not that the particulars of the interior of a nest ever really mattered. Although, this was by far the fanciest I had been in. My feet faltered as my gaze landed on him.
He stood like a statue in the centre of the room, his unseeing eyes, like white, misted glass, vacant and icy, focused on me. He could see me. He could see right through me....
The air caught in my lungs as pain seared through my lower back. I lurched, a scream lodged in my throat.
“You should have run while you had the chance.”
His voice sent a chill sweeping across my already frozen flesh.
I spun, sword loose in my grip, swiping at air. A delayed reaction, which only caused pain to ripple up my spine. Heat pulsed at the base of my back, a seeping warmth drawing the material of my damp T-shirt. The scent of my blood hit me once more. Shit.
“Brave of you to come back,” a female chortled.
Wiping the back of my hand across my eyes, I looked round the room. There was nowhere for her to hide but the shadows which claimed the corners. But why was she even hiding?
“What’s the matter, Marie? Are you afraid to face me one-on-one?” I straightened, gritting my teeth at the splintering pain stretching from my head to my toes. “I expected more from a first generation Leech, more from Marko’s Bloodling than peak-a-boo-attack.”
“You flatter yourself,” he said calmly.
I did. There was no reason for her to hide from me. Perhaps she wasn’t. Perhaps, this was just a game of cat and mouse to her, and she wanted to draw it out for as long as possible. Despite the fact she should be running for her wretched immortal life, despite the fact that she was no longer safe in her own territory, she hadn’t run. She was either egotistical or foolish, or maybe just clueless. One way or another, she was going to die before the sun rose.
“Face me, Marie,” I growled, tightening the grip on my sword. “Your son at least had the balls to—”
The air left my lungs as a weight barrelled into me.
In the back of my mind, I registered my sword slipping from my hand. A fact that was confirmed as the sound of metal clattering against marble echoed throughout the room. My head made impact with the wall. Pain exploded at the back of my skull. Stars burst behind my eyelids in a rush of glittering colours. I crumpled to the floor.
“Never speak of my son, puttana disgustosa.”
The words were snarled, but seemed distant due to the pounding in my ears. My eyes snapped open as blood coated my tongue. I rolled onto my side, gagging, wanting so badly to throw up, and yet, I had the urge to gulp, to swallow; to drink, and it was so damn strong.
The word hammered at my temples, causing the pain that already cradled my head to stab sharper.
Pathetic. Perhaps I was pathetic. Perhaps I had been fooling myself all these years for clinging on to humanity when every primal instinct inside me hungered for blood, even my own. I was sick. I was no better than the monsters I killed, but I knew that already... Didn’t I?
“...you are not human, Heather. You have been lying to yourself. Thinking you can survive this way, lead a ‘normal life’ when you were born to be so much more...”
His words echoed in my mind, taunting me even though he stood quietly at the centre of the room.
“It is almost laughable, the idea that you thought you could stop us, destroy Marko after all those before you have failed.”
Breathing fast and hard, I twisted onto my knees. My arms trembled as I tried to push myself up.
“Where is he?” I bit the words out.
Marie’s foot connected with my abdomen. A crunch met my ears. Another scream lodged in my throat. Fists clenched, I curled myself into a ball, sucking in sharp breaths through my teeth as I tried to fight past the pain pulsing inside me.
“Where. Is. Marko?” The words were broken and strained as I tried to lift my head to look at her.
Marie grabbed me by my hair. A strangled cry burst from my lips as she dragged me up, sliding me against the wall. Nausea exploded in my stomach. Numbness claimed my cheeks and neck. I kicked helplessly. My legs were deadweight, but pins and needles shot through my calves each time my boots scuffed against the brick. I couldn’t feel my fingertips as I wrapped my hands round her wrist, feebly trying to break her iron grip.
She grabbed me by the throat with her free hand and pinned me high above her head. My hands dropped to the arm now holding me against the cold wall. My eyes widened as she stepped closer, into the soft stream of light coming through the doorway. If I could have breathed, I would have stopped at the sight of her angular, almost amphibian features.
Sweet Jesus, so this is what a first generation Vampire in full form looks like?
Like all transformed Vampires, her head was void of hair, but the bones beneath her face were moving. Her skin looked pasty and brittle as it stretched across the sharp and unnatural angles of her jaw and cheek bones. Her nose had caved into her skull, but her nostrils were large and wide, bat-like. And her eyes—deep crimson, so fucking inhuman, so lifeless I might have shivered if I had the strength to. The skin wriggled across her face... She was still shifting?
How much uglier can she get?
I jolted as something razor-sharp punched into my gut. Blood flooded my mouth, leaking from the corners as I fought to breathe. Tears filled my eyes as I glanced down, noting her free hand had pushed against my abdomen, her fingers embedded deep inside me.
“In the last place you, or any of your pathetic family, would ever think to look for him.”
Reality slowed down, or perhaps it was my heartbeat. Perhaps I was blacking out, but despite the pins and needles that tingled from my fingers straight down to my toes, the numbness that claimed every part of my body, despite the only feelings I had left being pain as she squeezed every breath of air from me, despite that, at this very moment, the only thing I should have been thinking about was that I was about to die, that I had failed my family, my grandmother... Brendan... a bulb pinged in my mind, and I had never seen the light so fucking clearly.
Her tongue slithered towards me, flicking across the blood staining my lips. She shuddered. “You should not have murdered my son.”
A howl echoed throughout the building. Hope fluttered in my struggling heart.
“It is time to leave.”
His voice jolted me, so innocent and calm, completely un-fazed by the scene playing out before him.
I lurched as she pulled her hand from inside me. Through my blurred gaze, I caught sight of the length of her now blood-stained talons as she brought her fingers to my face.
“Die knowing that you have failed, like the rest of your feeble family.”
Bones cracked and her jaw dislocated, her mouth widened, as her fangs extended—
A mountain of black fur barrelled into her.
I landed on the floor. My body screamed in protest, but no sound left me. I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes. Hell, I couldn’t feel my body. Just the pain that resided in every point she had struck.
Dark shadows moved around the room, accompanied by growls and ear-splintering wails.
Another thundering howl rang through the building. I moved my focus to the doorway and found a copper-blond Werewolf standing in the frame. His golden gaze landed on me, widening.
My eyes fluttered, and the next thing I knew, he was beside me.
“I know where he is,” I rasped as Brendan’s flushed, sweat-slicked face filled my vision.
“Shit. Heather?” Brendan’s hands fell to my stomach.
Searing pain exploded outward, stretching to my head and toes. An inhuman cry gurgled in my throat, the action causing more blood to ooze from my mouth.
“Christ.” Tears threatened to emerge in his emerald gaze. His hands moved to my face. “Why—What?” His jaw was tense. A growl vibrated in his throat. “God damn it, Heather. Why couldn’t you have fucking waited?”
A smile touched my lips. “Because, silly Wolf—” I closed my eyes. My brain felt as though it were churning in my skull, “—I now know where Marko is.”
Darkness took me.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I enjoyed writing stories in school, which developed in me trying to write books when I was a teenager, but I never thought they were any good. When I was sixteen I have a fan fiction site dedicated to my favorite band at the time, Busted, but it wasn’t until I attended college that I really wanted to peruse writing professionally.
Sometimes we would get assignments to write scripts, and I enjoyed the task so much that I started writing my own scripts, which I did send off to various theatre groups and competitions. Sadly, nothing ever came of those submissions. One day a friend of mine contacted me and told me she had finished reading a fantasy script I had written, and she told me I should turn it into a book instead as there was far too much detail in the script and it would be lost.
I took her advice. Although, I have yet to turn that particular scipt into a book - it is on my backburner, though - but I started planning my first book, which a couple years later would become, Cranberry Blood (Blood Series: Book One).
What is your most interesting or craziest writing quirk?
I don’t really have a quirk, which I guess makes me super dull. L
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Honestly, that I could actually write decent stories and people actually enjoy them lol
What has been your favorite book to write?
I don’t have a favorite. Cranberry Blood will always be the closest to my heart because it was the first book I wrote - although the version available to purchase is very different, and better, from the original. But I have honestly loved writing all my books, because they have all been fun and challenging in their own ways.
Which character has been your favorite?
I can’t pick. It would be like asking me to pick my favorite child - not that I have children lol - but it would be unfair. Some of my characters are sarcastic, sadistic, funny, sweet… Regardless of their traits, or whether they are the “good guy/gal” or “bad guy/gal,” I love them for being funny, or sarcastic, sadistic or sweet.
What advice would you give new/up and coming writers?
Writing a book isn’t easy. It is a torturous type of pleasure. Your brain will feel bloated. You will have sleepless nights. You won't eat at the correct time slots. You will shuffle around trying to do everyday tasks, while talking to your characters out loud, or reminding yourself about the things you decided needed to change in that scene etc. You will constantly wonder if anyone will like the story, understand it. You will get frustrated when words aren’t flowing. You will get mad when words are flowing, but you have to leave the house in ten minutes or you will miss your dentist appointment… but when you finish that book, oh the relief. When that book has been edited, polished, formatted, packaged, and promoted… when you release your story that you have spent so much time with, put your blood, sweat and tears into; spent countless hours wondering if it is any good…. And you see a review where the reader says they loved it… Well, it is worth it. Just for one person to love that book as much as you do. All the time, the work, the stress; it's so, so worth it.
Which writers inspire you?
When I began toying the with idea of writing a book I was reading the Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs. Patricia is an amazing writer and I just remember thinking to myself, “god, I hope my books are as good as this.” A friend introduced me to Mrs Briggs and also Ilona Andrews, another amazing author team whose books I have devoured. I then discover Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas Series… My god!
The details of the worlds, their characters, the ideas and fantasy elements, and their individual voices… all so inspiring. Every time I read their books it is a small reminder of why I love to write my own.
What genre are your books? Your Moto is that you are (A pick 'n' mix genre author. "I'm not greedy. I just like variety.")
I mainly write Erotic Romance, but my subgenres are; Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, Suspense, but I have story ideas on the back burner that fall under Fantasy, Dystopian, and Superhero.
Although I have always had a leaning toward UF and Paranormal, I don’t like to limit myself to a particular genre. If I have a story idea and it is a different genre than anything else I have ever written I don’t like to say no just because it’s new and different. As a reader I love to read different genres. So why should it be different for me as a writer. I think it is best to give a variety of stories set in different worlds so that readers have a selection to choose from.
What draws you to this genre?
I love anything to do with the paranormal. I have done since I was a child. I come from a family who are very open-minded and believe in the supernatural, and therefore I grew up watching television programs and films, and reading books to do with the supernatural, or fairytales, mythology etc.
I just love the idea that there is more to the world then there seems. A magical under layer that we can’t always see, but is there regardless. Believing in the supernatural makes life more interesting.
Anything else you would like to say about writing? Encouraging words for potential writers?
I love writing. I love seeing my imagination come to life on paper, and being able to share such a gift with others… it’s awesome. I’m just so thankful that I have the chance to write and share my stories, and I’m thankful to all of you who have purchased a copy of any of my books. Thank you so much for taking a chance on my work. I do hope you enjoy the story you have read. J
And my last bit of advice for you potential writers; keep going, never give in, never give up. If you have a story to tell, if you have a billion stories to tell; write them and share them with the world.
Elizabeth Morgan is a multi-published author of urban fantasy, paranormal, erotic horror, f/f, and contemporary; all with a degree of romance, a dose of action and a hit of sarcasm, sizzle or blood, but you can be sure that no matter what the genre, Elizabeth always manages to give a unique and often humorous spin to her stories.
Like her tagline says; A pick ‘n’ mix genre author. “I’m not greedy. I just like variety.”
And that she does, author of erotic ménage horror, Creak, paranormal erotic horror and UK, US & Australian Amazon best seller (Gay/Lesbian, Fiction), On the Rocks, erotic romance, US, UK & Spanish Amazon bestseller (Erotica Short Story) Truth or Dare? And sweet contemporary romance, UK & US Amazon bestseller (British/Drama & Plays) Stepping Stones.
She also has her hand in self-publishing. Look out for more information on her upcoming releases at her website: www.e-morgan.com
Away from the computer, Elizabeth can be found in the garden trying hard not to kill her plants, dancing around her little cottage with the radio on while she cleans, watching movies or good television programmes – Dr Who? Atlantis? The Musketeers? Heck, yes! – Or curled up with her two cats reading a book.
For more information on Elizabeth's work, published and upcoming, head on over to her site:
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She-Wolf (Prequel) Free Download
(On Hold until 2017)
The Collector #1
The Keeper #2
The Guardian #3
The Deliverer #4
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