Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shades of Pink Teaser - The Princess's Consort by J. Annas Walker

Every day until the end of September, I will post here the blurb for one of the stories from the Shades of Pink charity anthology, as well as a teaser, and a short bio for the author. The anthology will be available on October 1st, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research but you can donate today and get it 5 days early! I invite you to come back, share the links for these teasers, tell your friends about it... It's all for a good cause! And if you tweet about it, you can use the hashtag #shadesofpink :)

Today, a glimpse from The Princess's Consort by J. Annas Walker

With her sister Cassy, Princess and Scion of the House of Dracul, lost in Avalon and brother-in-law, David, in an enchanted sleep, Princess Elizabeta finds herself divorced, alone, and hunted. Can she find love and safety in the arms of a male witch?

Staring at the pink lemonade in front of her made her hungry. Blood replaced the usual berries responsible for the tint. Her fangs pressed against the inside of her lower lip painfully. The beverage may have made her hungry, but the room full of pounding hearts tempted her bloodlust.

Princess Elizabeta Dracul, Liz to her friends, sat at the wedding reception thirsty and completely bored. These people were virtual strangers. Her former father-in-law and now adoptive parent, High Prince Vlad Tepulus IV, insisted she stay with the Council of Covens while he culled a rebellion started by her former husband and his mistress. The elder witches and their covens went out of their way to include her in their activities. They had insisted she come to the wedding of a junior coven member and a local human.

“Your Highness seems uncomfortable. Is there something I can do?”

Mills, head of security and former officer of the New Atlanta police department, sat down beside her. Since leaving the force, he had grown out his dark blond hair. Tonight he wore it braided into a single plat that reached half-way down his back. As a witch, he wore the more traditional forest green robes tied with a corded white belt.

“I’m being a bad guest,” Liz admitted with a hint of guilt. Her fangs retracted. She looked down at her fluffy, spaghetti-strapped, pink dress in embarrassment. Although she thought the color looked dreadful with her auburn hair, it matched the rest of the d├ęcor. “I wish David and Cassy were here to keep me company. I feel like a fifth wheel.” She spun the glass in front of her idly around on its napkin. She had loved Cassy like a sister for over a century, and now, since the formal adoption by the High Prince, they actually were. And just when she needed her sister most, Cassy was nowhere on this plane of existence. Liz sighed heavily.

“Me, too. But cheer up. Cassy will find a way back from Avalon. She’s resourceful. David, along with most of the missing vampire women, is here, just in an enchanted sleep. The council members are working on it. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine,” Mills said confidently. He drank deeply from his mug of mead and watched as the string of dancers made their way past. When the bride and groom twirled by, Mills raised his mug and whistled.

“I know, you're right. I’m also feeling a little sorry for myself,” she added. Her long, straight, auburn hair braided around her head like a wreath kept escaping in strands and tickled her cheeks. She brushed them aside.

“Hey, Prince Vlad granted you a divorce, right? Like the first one in vampire history?” He still continued to watch the crowd more than look at her as they talked. His eyes scanned the entire room.

Working, as usual, she thought. “Yes and then formally adopted me as his daughter to prevent anyone else from marrying me without his permission. So, yippee for me,” she said and sipped her pink lemonade. The metallic tang came through the heavy citrus. She really wished she could tap one of the nearby thrumming pulses instead.

“Do you want to get out of here?” Mills looked her square in the eye for the first time that night. He gave her the same scrutiny as he used when scanning the room.

“And go where? Besides, we’ll be missed,” she pointed out.

“No, we won’t. We can go back to the estate. Most everyone is here. We can have the grounds to ourselves. What do you say? It’s better than sitting here having to fake being happy,” he said. He offered her his hand.

The estate lay tucked away in the western mountains on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina. Having been built by one of the wealthiest families in the country, the place was practically a museum. The Council of Covens bought it for a very low sum after the devastating, worldwide economic collapse referred to as The Fall. Fifty years later and the world still had not completely rebuilt, but the reclusive witches had gained a very comfortable and private setting for their home.

She tossed back the rest of her lemonade and took his hand, asking herself, why not?

J. Annas Walker started her love affair with vampires as a kid by reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was the only vampire book her little local library branch had back then. Then, she discovered mail order books and fell in love with the tortured characters in Interview with a Vampire. In the mid 80’s, the most amazing thing happened! Her family bought a VCR, and she was finally able to see movies! All the vampire flicks she could beg for flickered across the screen, making the love affair into a passionate, life-long relationship. Today, she writes fantasy and paranormal romance and never passes up a chance to pair up vampires with the less-than-usual characters. Witches and elves currently top her list. She loves weaving vampires into legends and myths where none exist. It’s her private world of the erotic, weird, and wonderful, and she invites every reader to go along for the ride.

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