When Lexie Anderson’s mother suddenly announces she is marrying a Romanian immigrant, Lexie willingly leaves behind her busy life in Connecticut for her penance in “The Moose Capital of the World.” Small town living is strange enough, now Lexie must cope with her overbearing stepfamily monitoring her every move. They disappear into the woods at night and keep a strange secret locked in their shed. Her once calm mother is now having violent outbursts and Lexie’s little sister is hearing sinister sounds coming from the forest behind their new home. Lexie’s biggest surprise comes when she discovers the boy she has been dreaming about since her accident is living in Maine. Despite Torin’s questionable reputation, Lexie cannot resist the physical and emotional attraction pulsating between them. Animals and people in town are turning up dead and Lexie learns the strange new world she lives in has real life monsters. Just when she decides she wants to be with Torin forever, she must fight to protect her mother and sister from being harmed by a formidable evil.
Liz Sanders thought her best friend’s stepfamily was weird, but she never would have guessed they were werewolves.Now Liz must travel with a secretive half-vampire in search of a lycanthropy cure. Landing in a nest full of blood thirsty vampires wasn’t on the agenda, but neither was falling in love.
Braden is smoking hot, but Liz’s feelings for him are…complicated. She wishes he would open up about his past and give her a reason to trust him. Just when Liz thinks she can let her guard down, she’s forced to confront the evil that has been stalking Braden’s past for years.
Death is here and ready to destroy not only them, but everything they risked their lives for.
The release date for Blood Twist is officially September 1, 2012!
This is an excerpt from Blood Twist, a sequel to Fate Fixed. It's only a rough draft, but I thought I would share it with those who wonder what happens next for the Erris Coven. (:
The large house was empty. Liz peeked through each room carefully before unpacking her overflowing brown bag of groceries in the kitchen. Why she insisted on spending the afternoon in the old manor house was a mystery, even to her. After all, the two dead werewolves she found in the basement on the evening she arrived would have been a turnoff for anyone else.
Wisps of her black hair fell across her eyes as she rinsed a pile of Yukon gold potatoes under the faucet’s streaming cold water. She had never made potato salad for a coven of half-vampires before, but she was usually up for trying new things.
Glancing around the sizable room, it was pretty easy to guess where Lexie’s mom Ruby would have stored her pots and cutlery. After spending years practically growing up in Lexie’s childhood home, Liz had learned that Ruby was a creature of habit. Saucepans were always kept under the sink, just like knives and forks would be in the drawer closest to the stove.
The last forty-eight hours certainly created a new slant on the way she viewed her world.Liz thought things were tough enough when Lexie moved from Connecticut to live in Erris, Maine with her new stepfamily. But after two weeks of Lexie’s absence and only being able to contact her through snail mail, Liz climbed in her old Chevy Cavalier with the determination of making her best friend move back for her final year of high school. If that didn’t work, she had a backup plan in place – she would insist upon staying with Lexie in Erris until Christmas vacation.
When she arrived on Lexie’s doorstep the night before last, Liz expected a warm welcome from her best friend. But when she entered the gloomy house, she only heard a mournful wail coming from deep within the basement. Instantly, she was alarmed. Her mind went through a list of possible scenarios before assuming Maxim hogtied his family for laughing at his unibrow or something equally perturbing.
When she worked her way down the creaking steps, Liz found Ruby buck naked and shaking violently next to the crumpled form of her new husband Dragos. Ruby tried using her old flannel nightgown to stop the bleeding from her husband’s lethal wounds – but it was hopeless. The man was clearly dead. The nude body of his eldest son Maxim was sprawled out next to him. The lifeless boy’s chest was a gaping mess – a sterling silver cake knife, only a foot away, was the culprit.
Liz rolled the potato in her hand as it danced with the paring knife. The skin shards fell in a heap in the sink. She never was a fan of Lexie’s new stepfamily, but she never would have guessed in a million years that they weren’t human. Werewolves? Who da thunk it?
All of them were a bit off. It wasn’t just because they were built like linebackers and had the same steel gray eyes. They were intense, always surrounding Lexie and her sister Ella, not wanting either girl to have a life outside of the house. Every time Liz stopped over to visit during their month-long stay in Torrington, the brothers would be peering at them from around doorways and listening in on their conversations. They made weird look normal.
She licked at her dry lips before dropping the potato into the pot. If she had arrived just a tad bit earlier, she could have lost her life as well. Thank God Lexie got away, she’s the closest thing to family I have.
Lexie, Ruby and Ella were all alive and accounted for, but none of them would ever be the same. Of Dragos and his three sons, only the youngest Nicolai got away. None of them knew if the young werewolf would return or if he would even be a threat. Ella insisted Nicolai was nothing like the older ones, but she was thirteen and wasn’t there when her homicidal stepbrother, Alik decided to become alpha of the pack. As far as Liz was concerned, all bets were off when it came to the youngest Serov. Better to be safe than sorry…or dead.
It was right after Liz discovered a disoriented Ruby that Braden burst through what remained of the cellar’s hatchway. She wasn’t sure who was more shocked at that moment – her for seeing a six foot tall blond with mesmerizing white eye and fangs, or him discovering a black haired emo girl rocking a bloody and hysterical Ruby next to two dead werewolves.
Liz always believed vampires were out there. There were just too many legends about them for her to accept they weren’t real. But she was expecting more of the fictional brooding Salvatore brother – the kind of vampire that was a little dark and a whole lot mysterious. Instead, a clean cut preppy boy with arms and pecs like Tiger Woods was her first glimpse of the undead.
Although, she was quick to learn Braden resented being referred to as undead. He informed her that the technical word for his kind was damphyr and he had two pounding hearts in his chest to prove it.
Despite lacking the bad boy vibe, he had beautiful blue eyes once his vamp face returned to normal. He also had a body only a girl without a pulse would pass up. But, he wasn’t Liz’s type. She preferred an artistic guy with a musician’s build, lots of tattoos and jet black hair. Although Braden was only friend material, she wouldn’t mind using him for eye candy, his cousins, too.
She smiled thinking of Lexie’s new man. A half-vampire like his cousin Braden, Torin saved Lexie from being turned into a werewolf when Alik chased her to his mating den. She wasn’t entirely sure what was happening between her modest friend and the gorgeous dark haired damphyr, but ever since Liz arrived, the two lovebirds had been together. Something more than puppy love sparked between them and Liz could feel it the moment she checked in on them after Braden and Cian found her and Torin together out in the woods.
Braden told her that when he found Lexie, the petite brunette was out cold in Torin’s arms, in shock from suffering a severe beating and a broken ankle. Torin was in some kind of daze himself. He thought he drank human blood when he tore open the werewolf’s neck – forever being cursed to darkness. He sat in stunned amazement as the sunrise spilled light upon him without him disintegrating. Thank God for small favors.
Liz looked down at her potatoes. She had efficiently washed and chopped the entire bag while lost in her reverie. All she had to do now was boil them up with some eggs as she prepped the final ingredients. She could have used Torin’s mom’s kitchen to make the salad, but Liz needed some quiet time to process all that happened over the last two days.
It wasn’t every day that you took a road trip to Maine, just to discover your best friend hooked up with a half-vampire. Not to mention finding yourself working with the dude’s coven to locate a cure for lycanthropy. Besides, how do you boot a one hundred-seventy-year-old lady out of her own kitchen?
Endellion was very nice and insisted Liz stay at their house with Lexie and Ella until Ruby was well enough to return home. With flowing red hair and porcelain skin, the beautiful woman looked like she could be the face of Oil of Olay or one of the other big cosmetic companies. She was simply stunning and her Irish lilt made her more charming. Torin’s mother was doing her best to keep Ruby comfortable while the coven pinpointed an antidote for lycanthropy.
Lexie’s mom was seriously sick. When Liz found her, the woman had clawed out most her hair and was burning up with a fever. A thick pus-filled rash ran in spirals from her shoulders to her hips. In Endellion’s care, the fever was under control, but Ruby was in and out of consciousness as the illness wracked her body.
Alik told Lexie the virus was sexually transmitted. Ruby must have contracted it on her wedding night with Dragos. Alik also implied Ruby’s body was rejecting the virus and she just might die. Not the most thoughtful wedding gift a bride could receive from her groom.
So far, only Braden had a lead and he wasn’t the most forthcoming about it. She needed to convince the damphyr that he could use her help finding a cure for Ruby. After all, it was Lexie’s mom that brought Liz to the store to buy her first bra and to the mall for a prom gown. Only Ruby made a birthday cake for Liz every March and placed gifts for her under the Christmas tree each December. Liz’s Aunt Bev never did.
As the stovetop pot came to a rumbling boil, Liz resolved herself to chase down Braden with a bat if necessary. She couldn’t allow him to go find the antidote without her, just in case he got sidetracked once he was overseas. Ruby’s life depended on that medicine and if there was one thing Liz learned in her seventeen and a half years, you couldn’t trust a guy to follow through with anything.
Braden sat alone on his bed. His solitary existence was never easy, but lately, being lonesome was almost insufferable. As much as he craved the comfort of companionship, it would only make what he had to do even more difficult.
As he looked around his organized room, he questioned what it said about his life. He had possessions, but it was just “stuff.” He never truly created anything or made an impact on the world. His identity had been so preoccupied in preparing his cousins to protect the coven, that he missed out on going to college, getting his own place, or falling in love with an amazing girl. Now it was too late to do any of those things.
Dedicating his life to his coven wasn’t a mistake. As the oldest of his four cousins, it was only natural for him to step-up and guide them as they became loyal protectors of the family. They couldn’t let outsiders know of their existence. It required a balance of fitting in with the townspeople, without drawing attention to themselves or their abilities.
Torin just completed the final phase of the change. Because he resisted the temptation to drink human blood, his closest friend had become a formidable damphyr. If either of them had failed, they would have become full vampires like the draugr that inflicted their damage on his lineage centuries ago. Both would have found themselves cursed to an existence without the purification of sunlight.
I would rather die.
Torin never did embrace what they were. From the time he was a child, he wanted to escape his fate, until he found Lexie. Like their ancestors before him, he dreamed of the petite brunette first.He was happy for his cousin, Lexie was gentle and patient – two elements Torin desperately needed in his life. Braden didn’t begrudge Torin his happiness; his devotion to Lexie made him a stronger man.
Braden’s shoulders slumped with regret. He had hoped he could stay long enough to see Cian and Teagan through their final phase of the change, but his time was borrowed and it was running out.They were both so close to evolving. He could see their increase in speed and strength daily.
Cian was going to make a fierce opponent to anyone that threatened him or the ones he loved. Just wrestling on the lawn last weekend, his dark haired cousin surprised him. He could almost hold his own, despite Braden’s advantage. He regretted being so hard on him over the last year. He wouldn’t want his cousin to live an eternity, only to remember him as being a jerk.
Teagan, on the other hand, was probably the one he should have been toughest on. He was the baby of the family and had the luxury of using his natural charm to his advantage. Braden shook his head in disbelief. Teagan built himself quite a reputation with the ladies over the years. The ginger was almost eighteen but had the reputation of Hugh Heffner.
He just hoped Teagan would take the change seriously. When the stationary vampire heart awakens, blood thirst is all you can feel. It requires determination and discipline to fight the thirst off and gain control. Teagan had always been impulsive – Braden only hoped he wouldn’t be when it was his time to turn.
With his heightened senses he could smell an abundance of foods being set up on the patio. The families were preparing a shared meal, but he doubted he could eat. The scent of cooked food was unappealing – however, he normally enjoyed fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables. He needed living blood to survive, but raw foods were still enjoyable. Although he knew Teagan’s mom Aileen would see to it that all of his favorite snacks were a part of the spread, he had too much on his mind to even consider dining.
Floating in from outside, a delicate perfume smelling of brown sugar and vanilla mingled with the other familiar scents. Instantly, Braden knew it belonged to Lexie’s best friend Liz. It amazed him how close the two were, considering they were polar opposites. Where Lexie was soft spoken and delicate, Liz was direct and forceful.
He chuckled recalling how well Liz handled herself when he charged into the basement ready to take on the shifters.He had expected to find a pack of werewolves feasting on poor Lexie. Instead, he discovered some beautiful stranger with a loud mouth giving him hell for making her jump. If he had more time, he would have enjoyed getting to know the spitfire better. If Lexie loved her, she must have some remarkable qualities. I guess I’ll never know.
Braden stood and walked to his window. The view from his bedroom looked out on Teagan’s family home.He and his mother, Brigid, had lived on their property in a small guest house for years. She no longer ventured out to socialize with the others. It wasn’t that she didn’t love them, because she did. They all knew what his mother had been through and offered their timeless love and support.
After Braden’s father passed away twelve years ago, the magic that bound Brigid to Lachlan dissolved. Her once shiny flaxen hair had paled to an almost white. Delicate lines were beginning to appear across her brow and around her mouth, but Braden still considered her lovely.
The truth was, without the magic of the bond, Brigid was growing older. Seeing the others full of youthful energy with their fate-partners had become too painful for her to endure. So, as a matter of emotional survival, she lived a quiet existence in her rooms as she waited to eventually be reunited with Lachlan in the afterlife.
Braden hated leaving his mother like this, she needed him desperately. But, even she didn’t know the secret he kept tightly to himself for the last eight years. He could never have worried her with such a burden, especially in her fragile state. Besides, if he confided in her, Brigid would have begged the coven to intervene. More lives would be lost.
He had to face his death alone.
Coming Summer 2013
Soul Kissed: An Erris Coven Novel: Book 3
© 2012 Bonnie Erina Wheeler. All rights reserved.