Sunday, June 15, 2014

New Release & Chapter Excerpt: Birth of the Vampire (The Vanderlind Realm, Book 1) by Gayla Twist

Dorian is a vampire who doesn’t believe in love. Haley is a human who doesn’t believe in vampires.

At seventeen, Haley Scott’s life is pretty miserable. She lives with her uncle in a small town where she has absolutely no friends and barely any social life. Haley knows for a fact that there are very few people on the planet who care if she lives or dies.

Dorian Vanderlind is a vampire with a past he’s reluctant to face. He visits his cousin as a favor, only to find himself entangled in the enticements of the mortal world.

What happens when these two are thrown together in the most complicated of circumstances? 
Find out in Birth of the Vampire ~ Book 1 of the Vanderlind Realm.

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 442 KB
Print Length: 156 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Amazon Purchase Link:
Birth of the Vampire (The Vanderlind Realm)

Book Excerpt:

Birth of the Vampire
By Gayla Twist 
Chapter 19


When I woke up, I felt soil pressing on my face. Everything was pitch black. I instantly knew that I had been buried alive. Some serial killer must have attacked me and buried me alive. I started to scream, but that only got dirt in my mouth. I couldn’t breathe. I was going to suffocate. I started flailing my arms and legs, trying to get to the surface. If I was lucky, I’d only been stuck in a shallow grave.

I felt something move next to me. An arm gripped me across my chest and growled, “Stop moving. We’re not that deep.”

I screamed again and then started choking on the wad of dirt I’d inhaled. “I can’t breathe,” I said between coughs. “I can’t breathe.”

“You don’t need to breathe,” the voice informed me. “You just think you do out of habit. Now calm down.”

Funnily enough, I discovered the voice was right. I could breathe. Or I didn’t need to breathe. I wasn’t sure which, but I did realize I wasn’t about to suffocate. “Who are you?” I demanded, “What’s going on.” When he didn’t answer right away, I added, “Why are we down here? What did you do to me?”

“Calm down and breathe,” the voice said sternly.

“You just said I didn’t have to breathe,” I informed him, feeling panicked again. “Let me go. I’m getting the hell out of here.”

“Calm down!” the voice thundered, gripping me even more fiercely. “I was just using a figure of speech. The sun hasn’t set yet. If you try to leave now, you’ll fry both of us.”

I had no idea what he was talking about. How was I going to fry someone? It didn’t make any sense. I took a moment to fight down my panic and finally asked, “Who are you?”

“I am Dorian Vanderlind,” he told me. “I am your maker.”

Dorian Vanderlind? I tried to place the name. It was vaguely familiar. Did I know him somehow? That still didn’t explain why we were both huddled in some damn hole in the ground. And what the hell was a maker? I took a quick mental inventory and realized I still had on all my clothes. That was good. After my fiasco with Tommy, I really didn’t need another creep taking advantage of me while I was passed out or something.

The name Tommy jarred something loose in my head. I remembered that Tommy was a complete asshole who had used me and then humiliated me. That was something that was hard to forget. I’d been at a party, and he was there being a jerk. And there was the super hot but kind of creepy Dorian guy. I remembered him, too. Then I’d been driving. And trying to text Erika. And then there was the tree. I remembered the tree.

“Don’t text and drive,” I mumbled as all the memories came flooding back.

“Is that what you were doing?” he said, sounding slightly amused. “I couldn’t figure it out. I knew it had to be something incredibly stupid.”

I had a headache. In fact, I was starving, and my entire body hurt. It was no surprise. I had collided with a tree. I had to wonder why I was lying in the ground instead of some hospital bed in intensive care. Or on a slab in the morgue. I remembered going through the windshield. I remembered face planting into the tree. And it had been a sizeable tree. Like an oak or something. I really had to wonder why I wasn’t dead.

“So, why are we taking this dirt nap?” I asked him. “And when can we get up?”

“The sun will be setting soon,” he informed me. “Can’t you feel it?”

“Um … no,” I said. Dorian was obviously a weird dude.

“You will learn,” he said, as if there was no doubt in his mind. “Just give it a few more minutes, and it will be safe for us to rise.”

I actually didn’t want to lie in a hole in the ground with some creepy hot guy. I wanted to go home and get something to eat, then lie on my bed and not think about anything for as long as I could. My car was probably trashed, so there was no way that it was going to be able to take me to Chicago. I had to come up with a new plan to get the hell out of town.

It was probably past midnight. It was probably Christmas, and I was stuck in a hole in the ground. But then I thought about Dorian saying we were waiting for the sun to set. That didn’t make sense. The sun had already set before I went to Blossom’s party.

“What time is it?” I asked.

“A little after five,” was his reply.

That didn’t make a lot of sense either, so I had a follow-up question. “What day is it?”

“December 25th,” Dorian told me. “Happy Christmas.”

“Um ... Thanks?” I said. Had we seriously been lying in a hole for the last twenty hours or more?

“I think we can get up now,” Dorian said, releasing me and shifting his weight to sit up. “But be careful. You’re going to feel very different, and it takes some getting used to.”

As I sat up, my head emerged from the earth. I had this intense sensation that at first I couldn’t identify. It was as if I could feel all of my surroundings. Then I realized I could smell everything—the earth, the trees, the plants, the sunset. Yes, I actually felt like I could smell the last fading rays of the day. My head started throbbing, and my body felt like the time when I had fallen asleep on a towel at the public pool. I’d been burnt to a lobster red and was in horrible pain for days. “What the hell is happening?” I asked through clenched teeth.

“Don’t look at the final rays of the sun,” Dorian told me. He had gotten to his feet and was extending his hand to help me up. “It will be easier in just another minute or two.”

I turned my back to the west, and my throbbing headache lessened considerably. I was able to think a little more clearly and began to wonder how beat up I was after the crash. I began brushing clods of dirt off of Erika’s sweater. Then I noticed a big red stain that smelled like really good wine or something. “What is that?” I wondered aloud, scratching at the red. It was spread across most of the left sleeve and shoulder.

“It’s blood,” Dorian told me as he dusted the dirt from his own clothes.

“Blood!” I gasped. “That’s totally dried on there. It’ll never come out. This isn’t even my sweater.”

Dorian gave me a puzzled look. “I don’t think you’ve fully grasped what’s happened,” he told me.

“I know that I’ve crashed my car, ruined my only friend’s sweater, and spent the night cuddling with some weirdo in a ditch,” I informed him. “Isn’t that enough?”

“Yes, but Haley, the thing you don’t understand is …”

“Wait a minute,” I said. There was some small creature creeping through the underbrush not more than five feet away from where we stood. My stomach growled. Before I knew what I was doing, I had lunged for it. Snatching the chipmunk from the ground as it scrambled for its burrow, I plunged my teeth into its flesh and savored the warm redness that filled my mouth with unimagined delights.

I only came to my senses once the poor little creature stopped struggling. It was completely drained of its blood. “What am I doing?” I shrieked, flinging the lifeless carcass away from me in horror. “What’s happening to me?”

Dorian grabbed me by both shoulders and gave me a hard shake. “That’s what I’m trying to tell you,” he yelled into my face, forcing me to focus on his words. “You are a vampire.”

About the Author:

Gayla Twist is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and currently lives in San Francisco, California. Besides writing romance novels that have a bite, she creates dialog for video games. She loves drinking wine in foreign countries and trying unusual cuisine.

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