Hi, everyone! I want to thank I Smell Sheep for having me here today! I’m an Arizona author, having lived in the Sonoran desert for over twenty years. Here’s a desert-living fun-fact: scorpion mothers carry their babies on their backs. I know! And I’ve seen it since I’ve had scorpions in my house…yes, one big aaaaargh! (And you should hear me scream!)
|Image courtesy of Nuttapong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
My latest paranormal offering, THE DARKENING, is part of my Guardians of Ascension world and takes place one month after events in GATES OF RAPTURE, a St. Martin’s Press release of December, 2012. Guardians of Ascension is an epic world of multiple dimensions in which the ascending process between dimensions involves hot romance and an array of emerging powers. Second Earth sees the transformation of the ordinary human into a vampire, who eventually mount wings! Yep, you heard it straight -- vampires with wings. I know, it’s kind of off-the-rails, but it’s all in the writing!
The following is the opening to THE DARKENING:
Chapter OneNear dawn, Samuel Daman dragged air into his lungs, each breath like fire as he surveyed the Superstition battlefield. He’d been fighting death vampires for hours, like the rest of the Militia Warriors.
Sweat trickled from beneath his weapons harness and down his back. Blood seeped in a few places as well since one or two swords had caught skin.
He was a fucking mess.
But the death vampires kept coming, floating through the dimension on arctic air, fresh and ready to fight, dozens of them hour after hour.
He’d never seen so many pretty-boys at a Borderland before, which meant of course that the chaos left over from Darian Greaves’s defeat in recent weeks, had turned up the heat. Maybe it was a good thing to have the Commander out of the way, but his generals had hauled the remnants of his army into pre-planned hiding places before Thorne, in charge of the Allied Ascender Forces, had been able to run them to ground.
Chaos now ruled Second Earth.
The fucking war was still game on.
At the very least, the current engagement required another eight squads of Militia Warriors. Thirty-two trained men. But what the situation really needed was another Warrior of the Blood who could handle up to eight pretty-boys at a time. Eight, while a squad of four Militia Warriors struggled to slay just one.
He extended his vampire vision and in the distance saw that Warrior Santiago battled – holy shit – thirteen death vamps, way beyond capacity even for a powerful What-Bee. Santiago fought with his back to the immense monolith of the Superstition Mountains, a Latin God in the moonlight, his sword moving like a silver streak of lightning.
Samuel whipped his warrior phone from the slim pocket of his leather fighting kilt and thumbed over the surface. He kept his sword at the ready and turned in a slow circle keeping his eye sharp for more trouble.
“Central Command, Jeannie here. How can I help, Warrior Samuel?” He served as back-up to Section Leader Nathaniel. He didn’t like the job, but right now what anyone liked didn’t matter.
He explained the situation, that he needed another eight reserve squads called in and another Warrior of the Blood to the Superstitions on the double.
“Done.” He almost smiled as he thumbed his phone. The women at Central could handle anything. And no argument.
He took one last look at the field. The Militia squads were holding their own so he knew where he needed to go.
One problem remained: if he didn’t release his dark power on the battlefield right now, something he never did because of the unpredictable qualities of his power, how the hell was he supposed to support Santiago? In his current state, if even three death vamps turned on him, he’d be dead.
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I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from THE DARKENING. To learn more about Warrior Samuel go to:
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Caris Roane has published nine paranormal novels and novellas and writing as Valerie King, fifty Regency works. In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career Achievement award in Regency Romance. As Caris Roane, she currently writes paranormal romance for St. Martin’s Press and also self-publishes the continuing stories for her Guardians of Ascension series as well as stories set in other worlds.
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