At Death It Begins
Genre: Paranormal romance
Number of pages: 418
Word Count: 98,184
Cover Artist: Krysa Designs
Lendyn Hughes' grandmother has kept a secret from her for over thirty-one years, who Lendyn's parents are. A devastating break-up following her grandmother's death leaves Lendyn alone, confused and determined to find answers. Armed with only a name Lendyn attempts to unfurl the branches of her family tree never guessing it would put her life in danger.
For over two hundred years Englishman Callum Scott lived a life surrounded by beauty. A life free from all those annoying human emotions. That is until the American showed up. Lendyn flipped his world upside down and put him in the worst sort of jeopardy. He's starting to feel things and a murderer can't afford to feel.
Excerpt: Chapter 1
My hand fumbled through the darkness reaching for Devin. I needed to feel him, know he was there. Something troubled me, but I couldn’t put a finger on what.
A morsel of his flesh beneath my fingers would pacify me. Assure me he was still there. I reached further until my fingers collided with the soft, peach under-flesh of his forearm. I ran a hand across his solid form pausing for a moment to trace a figure eight on the mound of muscle encompassing his shoulder. He had a body fit to be relished even in the troubling hour’s lack of sleep brought.
He purred for a moment before stretching an arm and rolling over to his stomach stifling his rhythmic snoring. I tucked the sheets over him and kissed his golden hair. It was a perfect evening; work failed to interrupt our plans which were a rarity. We went for a moonlit walk along Paradise Cove, an exclusive beach, you had to be a member of to stroll along. This meant no paparazzi to hassle us.
They were one of many drawbacks to dating a celebrity, but as I admired the contours of his body, there were benefits too. Though maybe tonight had been too perfect. That was silly thinking. We didn’t spend enough time alone for anything to be too perfect.
An eerie flash of red in my peripheral caught my attention. I sat up noticing for the first time the clock on the nightstand was flashing 11:41 over and over. One of the problems to living in an old hotel like the Beltmore … things tended to fizzle out all the time. Last month it was the air conditioning, before that, the hot water. Maybe Devin was right, and it was time to move out of this hotel and into an apartment. I shrugged, I’d debate that tomorrow.
I patted the nightstand for my cell; it wasn’t there. Then I remembered I dropped it on the dresser earlier this evening when Devin had pinned me there to deliver one of his toe curling kisses. Trying to keep quiet while navigating the dark became impossible when I stubbed my toe on one of Devin’s Sketchers and tripped headfirst into the dresser. My hand flew to my mouth muffling a scream that rushed to my lips. Devin stirred but didn’t wake.
Phew. The last thing I needed was to wake him. He was a bit of a grump and once he was awake, he’d have to leave. Work always came first.
Along the dresser, I felt the smooth outline of my phone. When the screen lit up the time was only 2:08 a.m. still early and plenty of time to crawl back into bed and snuggle up next to Devin. Halfway back to bed and my phone started vibrating. There were fourteen missed calls and one voicemail, all of which, came from one number—Emma. Now, I was a bit worried. It’d been a while since the last time I’d spoken with my best friend Emma.
Emma had this philosophy about calling once and not calling again until you called her back, hence my worry.
I dialed my voicemail, “Wednesday, 12:15 a.m—Lend, its Em call me as soon as you—BEEP.” Em was calling on the other line. Why was I so nervous to answer it?
“Em what’s going on—” I swallowed, “—is everything okay?”
Emma didn’t even get my name out before she broke into sobs. Maybe she and “Mister Perfect” broke up again.
“Hello,” I said a little louder, “you still there?” All I could hear was sniffling, maybe she accidentally pocket dialed me. I debated hanging up and calling her back when a familiar English accent came on the line—Mister Perfect. “Lendyn it’s Zach … I’m afraid I have bad news … there was an accident involving Gigi,” he paused to take a breath as I held mine, “I’m afraid she didn’t make it.”
The room began to spin, and gravity pulled at me. Was I dreaming? This had to be a dream.
Zach’s voice continued, but I didn’t hear anything except a loud buzzing as my legs gave out, and I collapsed to the floor.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 400
Cover Artist: Krysa Designs
Lendyn Hughes had everything she wanted. A family that welcomed her with open arms and a man who loved her as-is. So what if they were all vampires, love picked you not the other way round. Besides she was half vampire herself.
One brief encounter. One wrong decision took it all away.
Now Lendyn is trying to remember what in the world she’s exactly doing in London, why she’s back with her ex, where she got the bruises covering her ribs from and who the taunting voice in her head is.
I’m sorry. Two words Callum never hated more. They were the two words he’d found on the Dear John note in Lendyn’s room. With one breath she declared her love and in the next breath she left him. Now his future looks bleak without Lendyn to color the way.
Excerpt: Chapter 1 Book Two
It was a beautiful day for a wedding. The English countryside provided a glorious canvas of green, while butterflies dancing along flowers provided an array of color, and bees buzzing provided the summer tune making it a day cut from a fairy tale. Surrounding magnolia bushes were in bloom, their fragrance carried along the breeze. From Callum’s bedroom window was an excellent view of the gazebo where Zach, his cousin, the brother his vampire life prevented him from having, was about to marry a loud obnoxious American named Emma. Emma wore on his nerves but she made Zach happy so he would learn to suffer her disagreeable ways.
Decorated in garlands of ice blue roses and white gardenia buds, the gazebo was as lovely as a painting.
Callum’s gaze, however, focused on the gardener pruning evergreens around the gazebo. Every squeeze of the shears flexed the gardener’s biceps. His skin dewed, veins bulging with the exertion wetted Callum’s appetite. Since Lendyn’s release from the hospital, he, along with the rest of his family, had been quenching their hunger from a supply of blood kept in a repository down in the wine cellars within the dungeons below Scott manor.
Sinking your teeth into a plastic IV bag did not bring the same thrill, or relief, sinking into the supple flesh of a neck, or thigh, did.
The gardener put his shears down and leaned against a marble column pressing a hand to his forehead shading his eyes as he looked up towards sky.
Up towards Callum.
Though with his human eyes there was no way the gardener could see this far. Callum watched the gardener’s jugular strain in a thick line along his neck.
Curse his vow not to spill a drop of human blood in honor of today’s wedding. The gardener started to rub at his neck and shoulder beckoning Callum to take a taste.
His blood called to him, sang of it’s sweetness. Callum couldn’t stop his fangs from poking through his bottom lip as he bit down hard. He slammed the window shut, locked it, and pulled the curtains closed. He took another second to get his breathing back to normal.
He tapped his fingers on the doorknob of his wardrobe, his gaze straying back to the window.
He pulled open the doors and gagged at the sickening scent of cinnamon. Marco’s scent. Marco. His cousin and the man responsible for killing Emery, Callum's mother, he was also the man responsible for putting Lendyn in the hospital in the first place. Originally, Callum believed Marco attacked Lendyn out of spite. A means to punish Callum for all eternity, but that wasn’t the case. As ludicrous as it was, Marco was on a mission to destroy everything. Callum’s unhappiness was just an added benefit.
Marco’s wretched scent continued to hang around attached to the tailored suit he made for Callum. Callum yanked the suit from the depths of his closet and hung it on the door.
Yes, he claimed he’d disposed of it as he’d been ordered to do. Marco’s coup d’état severed all ties to their coven, their family, and in accordance with tradition everything he handled was burned. Callum had never seen Emma smile wider than when she watched every last evidence of Marco’s existence burn to ash, her wedding dress being the last item thrown onto the flaming pyre.
After that she’d become more flippant and rude to everyone, but especially him. Emma’s last injection had been that night and her vampire side was quick in taking over.
He rubbed the suit’s lapel between his fingers which he did every day, every time he examined the suit. He touched every button, rubbed every seam and squeezed every pocket. And, like every other time, he found nothing. Callum steepled his hands together and tapped his fingers on his chin.
Whether it was the way Marco glared at the jacket each time Callum came for a fitting, the cold stare down with Marco right before getting the suit, or the shiver that played down his spine when his fingers brushed Marco’s as he took the suit, he couldn’t say. Whatever instance it was though, made it a compulsion to keep the suit. Callum knew he couldn’t get rid of it because a vital clue hid within the stitching. He just hadn’t found that bloody clue yet.
He sneered at the suit before tucking it back into the depths of his wardrobe. He laid down on his bed rolling over to inhale the scent still lingering on his sheets—lilac.
It gave him chills.
He let go of the sheets and slid from the bed. Better to forget almost moments than try to repeat them. Lendyn consumed his thoughts, his fantasies. If not for continual interruptions from family, one of their almost moments was certain to turn dangerous. Every time her skin touched his he was willing to throw every rule away to never break contact. Worse was that these almost moments could end in blood being spilled; and not his.
He walked over to the wall separating his room from Lendyn’s and ran his hands along it. He couldn't say what he feared more, giving it all, or withdrawing completely. They’d danced along this knife blade so long he wasn’t sure he could do anything without being cut completely.
As much as he yearned for Lendyn, he feared her too. Logic leapt out a window whenever he was in her company. His emotions, which were lacking before, were a torrent now that buoyed to her, rising and falling with her changing moods.
It was disconcerting to be so attached to another. To worry as he did about Lendyn. He’d vowed to never let another person corrupt him, yet here he was utterly at her mercy. He hoped she was incapable of cruelty in sport or else his heart would be crushed.
About the Author:
Elle Jefferson lives up in northern Arizona with her two beautiful sons, wonderful husband and her German Shepard Dorrie. When she's not reading or writing she's painting or enjoying the great outdoors.
She is currently working on her follow-up to At Death it Begins, In Death's Shadow, and hopes to have it released in early December.