Dark Liaison by J.D. Brown
Good morning, readers. I know this event is about shifters and werewolves—not vampires—but what if they were all one in the same? What if vampires could shapeshift? That’s exactly what my characters are in the Ema Marx series. The following excerpt is from my second novel, Dark Liaison, and demonstrates a little bit of the dynamics of being a vampire-shifter. Enjoy.
Back Cover Blurb ~ Dark Heirloom by J.D. Brown
Ema Marx wishes her life would go back to normal, but there’s nothing normal about being a Romani-Vampyre with an ancestor who wants you dead. Apollyon is back, wreaking havoc on the lives of everyone she cares about while plotting her demise.
Ema thought she would find a new best friend in her trainer, Bridget, until the exotic vampire vies for Jesu’s attention. Jesu can date who he wants, right? Ema has more important things to worry about, like honing her powers. When Apollyon’s thugs appear out of the shadows to attack her, Ema knows it’s time to take action. But everyone else has other plans in mind.
One thing is for certain, being under house arrest in the German vampyre king’s castle was not part of her plan to save the day.
Excerpt from Dark Heirloom by J.D. Brown
“Jesu,” I gave him a side-long glance. The topic of ex-girlfriends balanced on the tip of my tongue, but I held back and forced myself to swallow it. Not my business. “I need as much help as I can get. It would be stupid not to take advantage of what Bridget can teach me.”
He held up both hands, palms forward. “I know; you are absolutely right.”
I blinked. “Well…of course I’m right.”
“You told her you are Neo-Draugrian?”
“Yes.” I nodded.
“She didn’t question you?”
“No, she didn’t ask me anything about myself. She didn’t even ask why I was with you instead of a sire.”
“Okay.” He sighed in relief. “Then you will only get half the training you need. We will practice your other powers here.”
A smile inched across my features. “Really?”
“Absolutely.” He nodded. “You still need to work on your bat form.”
I groaned. “A wolf can do more damage.”
He chuckled. “All right, wolf it is.”
“Don’t hold back,” I warned as I stood and took a few steps away to give myself space. Then I shifted. Cartilage and bone snapped as my limbs elongated and the joints bent in the opposite direction. My ears moved to the top of my head and grew to a point as my jaw extended into a snout. Thick tufts of gray fur sprouted from my skin, covering my whole body. I shimmied out of my clothes and kicked them into a corner with my back paws.
Wolves were color-blind and I blinked a few times to get used to the blue-green sight. My hearing and sense of smell, however, heightened further than that of a vampire’s and the muscle tone gave a sense of power even as it forced me onto all fours.
Jesu backed away several steps and then crouched. His gaze narrowed and he growled playfully. I growled back, signaling that I was ready for him. The nephilim blood in me clawed its way to the surface, begging to be released. I held it in check, not wanting to get carried away, but I listened to it; listened to my instincts. Go for the throat.
All four legs launched me forward. Jesu came at me at the same time. I aimed for his shoulder and jumped, certain I had him. He twisted around and dropped while wrapping his arms around my neck and pulling me onto my side as we both fell over. I tried to get loose, but he held me in a headlock.
“Yes, I see.” He chuckled. “Lots of damage in this form. A real attack dog.”
He let go. I backed away and then shook myself.
“Again,” he demanded and then charged.
My instincts screamed as I went for his right ankle. He sidestepped me, grabbed the scruff of my neck, and yanked me away. Frustration burned through me. I huffed and then lunged at him. This time I kept my head up and nipped at his fingers, but he was fast and dodged my teeth. I remembered Bridget saying how important speed was for vampires. Jesu would have aced that test. My imagination conjured an image of Jesu and Bridget running through the woods together. A knot suddenly twisted my stomach. I stopped what I was doing and my butt dropped to the floor in a sit.
Jesu quirked his brow in disbelief. “Tired already?”
I didn’t know what to say, not because I literally could not speak as an animal.
“Come,” he said, and then slid open my bedroom door so I could go inside and shift in privacy. “I will fix us a drink while you dress.”
I obeyed and as soon as he closed the door I transformed back to my two-legged self. The scent of blood ebbed its way from the kitchen into my nose and my mouth watered. I scrambled to redress, ripping open the plastic bag on my bed and pulling on the first top and pair of jeans. I paused for a moment to lavish in the comfort of denim around my legs before shoving my feet into socks and—hallelujah—black sneakers. Then I booked it to the kitchen.
“Sip it,” Jesu warned as he handed me a glass of thick red liquid.
I rolled my eyes and took a long swig, savoring the salty-metallic flavor and the buzz of energy that followed. “That exercise was fun.”
He nodded. “Maybe next time you will manage to bite me, or at least graze my skin.”
I scoffed. You’d like that. I stared at the glass for a moment while entertaining the idea, and then shook myself. Is the bloodlust in effect already?
“Is something wrong? You are not trying to inhale your drink as you normally do.”
“Oh…” I shrugged.
The urge to hunt for sexual gratification quickly took over my mind. I craved Jesu’s touch, for him to hold me close the way he had when we’d danced across the swimming pool’s surface, and in other more carnal ways. I gnashed my teeth together and fought the feelings. I thought of going to my room to put distance between us, but I worried that if I moved it would be to pounce on him, and this time it wouldn’t be as a wolf.
About the Author
J.D. Brown writes urban fantasy fiction for MuseItUp Publishing, as well as a monthly “how-to” newsletter column for PDMI Freelance Publishing. She graduated from The International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. She is a self-proclaimed expert in vampire and Greek mythology. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance. J.D. enjoys helping her fellow writers and interacting with her fans and leads an active life on the web.
J.D. Brown is giving aways 3 ebook copies of Dark Liaison