Ties of Blood : 9 -10 -11 (plus a sneak peek!)

Ties of Blood, the third in the Amaranthine Series, will be available for digital download on September 10, 2011

With Kateesha dead, it’s time to face the consequences – in both worlds.

When Katelina accepted her new life of night and vampires, she left behind a worried mother and an abandoned apartment. Instead of wrapping things up, a trip home starts a chain reaction. They meet Verchiel, a strange vampire who seems too eager to befriend them, then the police arrest Jorick for kidnapping. Even worse, The Guild may want to question them concerning Kateesha’s death.

Despite Jorick’s best efforts, he and Katelina go from being prisoners of one world to prisoners of another and must go before Malick, the head of The Guild. But they don’t know if he wants to punish Katelina, or if he’s after something else, or why Verchiel keeps popping up. Even more worrying, are they really being followed by an unnamed vampire, or is it just Katelina’s overwrought imagination?

In the third installment of the Amaranthine series, events are set into motion that could change both Jorick and Katelina’s lives, if not the whole world.

And now, a sneak peek:

Katelina stared into the darkness and let her mind wander. She thought about the epic movies she’d seen; the final battle always ended in a smear of blood. Then the hero swept up the girl and rode away into the sunset to their happily ever after. For Katelina, it was the day after the happily ever after, and it wasn’t like the movies. With the fighting over there were practical things for her to worry about: getting settled into her new home, taking out the trash, fixing the broken window, and trying to salvage some of the life she’d left behind.

She thought of her abandoned apartment, her mother that she hadn’t called for two months, and her best friend Sarah. Watery guilt settled in her stomach. It was her fault that Sarah had been taken by Claudius and murdered. Though, she didn’t know what she could have done differently to save her. It was one of a thousand regrets that she’d never be free of.

She rolled over in bed, seeking comfort, and noted the empty place. Jorick was already out, no doubt feeding. That was a word she still wasn’t used to. Vampire was another one, but the discomfort did nothing to change her reality.

She closed her eyes and pictured Jorick: tall, dark, and immortal. His hair was as black as the night and his eyes were dark fire. It was no wonder she’d fallen for him. The mental image brought a smile to her face. She reveled in it for a moment, then forced herself to get out of bed. The basement bedroom was chilly, so she dressed quickly. Her eyes strayed to a tatty suitcase. Now that they were home, they needed to unpack. It was another task that hid behind the words happily ever after, as if once the scene faded all your troubles went away. She couldn’t help but think that they were really just starting.

She dismissed the macabre thoughts. There would be time to discuss them with Jorick later. First, she might as well have something to eat. She hurried through the basement and up the stairs. As she passed the bathroom she could hear the shower running and thought she heard Jorick singing very quietly in a disturbingly foreign language. Odd, to think that vampires sang in the shower.

The kitchen was drafty, and outside the wind blew a bucket into the foundation. It was as if winter was knocking to remind them it was there. It needn’t have bothered. For once, she was aware of the date. It was already the fourth of December.

She switched the oven on to the standard convenience food temperature and moved towards the refrigerator. A folded piece of paper lay on the counter next to it with the words “Official Notice” printed on the front. As she picked it up, Jorick entered and stole her attention. His hair was wet and the scent of soap clung to him. He planted a kiss on the back of her neck and plucked the paper from her fingertips.

“Hey, I was looking at that.”

“The electric bill is late.” He crumpled it into a ball in his palm. “Loren wasn’t here to pay it while we were gone.”

“Oh.” A strange sense of relief swept through her. “You might think this is stupid, but I was afraid it was from The Guild or something.”

Jorick’s head snapped up and he stared at her. “The Guild? Why would they bother us?”

She shrugged. “Thomas said he was going to report us to The Guild, remember? Because he claimed you broke the deal you made with Oren’s stupid coven and ordered me to kill Kateesha and take her heart.” As the words left her mouth the memories made her cringe. It had only been a few days ago when she’d been cleared at a make-shift trial; only a few days ago when she’d thought Jorick was dead and in a screaming rage had killed Kateesha with her own hands. Secretly, she was proud of that, but what followed – ripping out her heart and drinking from it – left her more than a little embarrassed.

Jorick interrupted her thoughts. “It won’t do Thomas any good. There’s enough evidence in Kateesha’s records to prove he broke his oaths by spying for her. They’d punish him, not you. Especially if they knew about Kateesha’s ridiculous plan to wage war on humans.”

“Maybe,” Katelina muttered. She suspected The Guild would probably exonerate Thomas and find a way to punish her just because she was a human.

Jorick interrupted her thoughts. “It doesn’t matter.” He brushed the conversation away. “I imagine it’s cold in here. I’ll go start a fire.”

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