Today we have the Prolog and Full Chapter 1 for DEAD Memory by Lizzie T. Leaf! Make sure to enter to win 🙂
Title: DEAD Memory
Author: Lizzie T. Leaf
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Release Date: August 2012
Genre: Erotic, Paranormal, Romance
Length: 40k words
Source: I.O. Book Tours
Frustrated with her father’s demand she find a mate, Tawny does, but it’s not one that will receive her family’s blessing. Plus, her new love has no memory of his past…even his name.
Discovering an unconscious man who may be vampire, in the neighbor’s yard leads werewolf Tawny Howls down a love path that’s not going to make her father happy. She senses this man is different, but that doesn’t stop her attraction. Werewolves and vampires are traditional enemies, and it doesn’t help when he remembers nothing about his prior life.
Awakening to find a beautiful woman hovering over him, he remembers nothing of his past life. When Tawny decides to call him David, he’s fine with the name and the attention he receives from his nurse. But why does the scent of the prey she hunts excite him more than the food she cooks?
Can the strong attraction between a shifter and a vampire overcome years of distrust for each other’s species? Will the discovery of his true identity ensnare them in a battle that endangers their lives, in an effort to save mankind from Demon rule?
“Witch, protect the vampire. Get him to safety.”
Caught between human and wolf form, the werewolf barely avoided the talons that slashed out at him from a charging demon. Bobby knew he’d better get his head focused on the fight or his ass was grass. The safety of an undead being shouldn’t rank high on the list at the moment.
His sensitive ears picked up the murmur of a chant over the sounds of battle.
To a Place
That is vampire safe.”
The witch had heard his shout and taken care of the problem. Why was he so concerned about a vampire? There were only a few he could stand to be in the same room with, unless it was to rip off their heads. But from their first meeting this one seemed different. He appeared to have compassion and a soul, if such a thing was possible for a bloodsucker.
Seconds before shouting his plea to the witch, Bobby’s sharp ears picked up a gunshot. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of the lead demon — a
gigantic, hairy bastard — raising his sword to relieve the vampire of his head. What was special about the bullet to leave the vampire immobilized?
He’d have to deal with the vampire later. Jumping to the side, he brought the club in his left hand down on the skull of the fang-toothed creature that raced at him. The sword in his right hand pierced the demon’s throat. Right now, he had more pressing matters that required his attention.
Where in Hell had all these demons come from? If he didn’t watch his own ass, he’d be a headless werewolf when one of the sharp talons sliced it from his shoulders. At the very least, if one of the creatures managed to sink its row of razor sharp teeth into the flesh on any part of his body, it wouldn’t be a fun night for Bobby Wolferman.
Nope, he was fond of all his body pieces and no way would he let one of the ugly beasts take a bite out of him.
Bobby’s adrenaline surged and he laughed as he turned to face the next charge. Just another day in the battle of good versus evil in the great city of New Orleans.
Tawny Howls walked around the man that sprawled naked, except for a cross on a gold chain around his neck, spread-eagled in the shade of the huge oak tree that guarded Billie Joyce Nolan’s cabin. If he were conscious, he’d probably be griping about the sand in his crack. The Nolans had never believed in grass yards, and he sank into a sand bed. The thought gave a little lift to her spirits, pushing away the mood that had eaten at her the past few days.
Several sniffs of the air detected nothing unusual — that, to her way of thinking, could be a problem. She didn’t detect a human scent and he appeared human.
Puzzled, she knelt beside the unmoving body. She forced her stare away from his thick male appendage that created a rush of heat through her. Instead, she looked closely at the wet darkness that soaked his left temple, turning the dark blond hair into a glossy, almost black patch with streaks of red. Definitely congealed blood, but her keen sense of smell only picked up a faint metallic aroma.
Something didn’t feel right. She pushed the uneasiness aside and focused on determining how bad his injuries were. What bothered her about him would have to wait until later. She glanced toward the rough boards on the porch.
No, need to get him into a bed. Splinters to go with his other injuries aren’t a good thing.
Decision made, Tawny popped the lock on the cabin door and went back for the man, tossing him over her shoulder with ease.
To think, only a few minutes ago she’d been basking nude as she waited for the sun to rise. Starting her day with meditation had become her way of lifting the depression she’d battled this week. As the dawn broke, she’d spied the body.
A quick glance out the kitchen window as she searched for a cloth to go with the water now heating on the stove told her she’d missed her favorite part of the day. The explosion of rays when the sun peeked its head over the mountains always made her heart sing, no matter how depressed she felt at that moment.
Oh well, not the first disappointment in my life lately.
Her father’s demand that she return home to Appalachia to be with her own kind and give up the wild, crazy city ways had started a series of disappointments.
Wild hardly described her life in New Orleans. Overworked and underpaid was a more accurate description. Never a party animal, her job as a detective with the New Orleans Police Department left little time for wild and crazy, unless Daddy considered sleep to fall into the party girl category. Besides, given all the evil she saw in her chosen profession, spending time with her own company seemed safer.
Home less than a week, she realized her father’s real reason for wanting her back with “her kind” as he kept saying.
“Daughter, it’s time you picked a mate. In fact it’s past time.”
The males he invited to the farm for her to make a connection with were everything she’d left home to avoid. The one last weekend topped the list. Arrogant and demanding, he wore his “I’m in charge” attitude like a badge of honor. In less than five minutes she knew marriage to this stud would have the little woman at home with kids while he ran with the pack. No way did a life of barefoot and pregnant fit into her plans.
Besides, when and if I do decide to marry, it will be for love. This “mating for the good of the pack” made no sense. She didn’t need to be tied to some male just to satisfy animal lust. An occasional hook-up with a human male took care of that need.
The hiss of water bubbling over from the boiling bucket brought her back to the present. “Enough wool gathering,” Tawny muttered as she tossed the dishtowel, the only cloth she could find, over her arm and poured steaming water into a pan. On her way from the kitchen, she grabbed the bottle of rubbing alcohol she’d discovered in a cabinet. A soft moan caught her attention, and she hurried to the bedroom.
The blotch of blood that oozed from his temple made his face appear paler against the white pillowcase. She set the bowl on the table beside the bed and eased her behind onto the edge of the mattress. He didn’t move with the shift of the bed, so hopefully he’d passed out again. Cleaning up the gash on his temple wouldn’t be fun for him if he came around while she poured alcohol on the freshly cleaned wound.
Chewing on her bottom lip, Tawny studied the crease closer. With the blood cleaned away, it was obvious her patient had been grazed by a bullet.
What kind of trouble is this guy in? And what have I got myself into playing Good Samaritan?
Her cop instincts made it impossible to ignore the body in the yard, even if her tender heart, as her mother always called it when Tawny’s sympathy for someone kicked in, would have let her.
This wasn’t the time to worry about the situation. His other bruises, cuts, and scratches needed attention, and as she worked her glance kept going back to the bullet crease. She’d spent enough time at crime scenes to know a gunshot wound when she saw one.
“Oooh.” The soft moan and restless movement alerted her he was coming out of the coma.
Her patient reached a hand toward his head, and Tawny pulled it back. “I just got your head all cleaned up and would be most appreciative if you didn’t touch it and spread germs again.”
“What? Where…” His eyes fluttered open, then closed. “Where am I?”
“You’re in my neighbor’s bed. She’s not around at the moment, but I don’t think she’ll have any issues with my bringing you here. After all, I found you in her front yard.”
He forced his eyes open again and this time looked at Tawny.
Blue. Oh my goodness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man with such blue eyes. With that blond hair and all those muscles, he’s what Granny Ethel used to call a right handsome buck.
His lips curved upward in an attempted smile. “Who are you?”
“Tawny Howls. My family’s farm shares boundaries with the Nolan place, which is where we are.”
“And it appears you’re my guardian angel.” He attempted another smile that ended up in a grimace. “I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.”
“Well, I won’t make you feel any worse by telling you what you look like.” Tawny couldn’t stop the grin that spread across her full mouth. “All I can say is, it had to have been a heck of a big truck.”
“That good, huh?” He lifted his hand and she grabbed it again.
“I think we need to get your head bandaged. Hang on and let me see what I can find in the closet. I’m sure Billie Joyce has another set of pillowcases we can use if I can’t find anything else.” Tawny rummaged through drawers and the old wardrobe that stood in the corner taking up too much room in the cramped surroundings.
She had to settle for another white pillowcase, and after ripping it into strips, she bandaged the still-seeping head wound.
This guy better count his blessings. I’m amazed there’s not more blood.
Leaning back, Tawny admired her work. “You look like a regular Sultan waiting for your harem to arrive.”
“Nice. Every man’s dream.” He mustered a little chuckle. “Thank you… Tawny, isn’t it?”
“That’s my name. Which leads me to the big question, what’s yours?”
His silence stopped her efforts to pick up the remnants left over from her bandage creation. The puzzled look on his face pulled her back to the bed.
His skin had taken on a pasty sheen.
He’s going to pass out.
“Is your name so bad that you don’t want to share it with me?” A little humor might get him through this rough spot.
“No.” He stared quietly at his hands folded across his chest like a dead an,
refusing to meet her stare. “I don’t know who I am.”
“You have no idea where you sent him?” Bobby paced back and forth in front of the giant stone fireplace in his New Orleans mansion. “Cate, I asked you to send the vampire someplace safe, not somewhere unknown.” He stopped and raised his eyes to the heavens. There were times werewolves needed the aid of prayer, especially when they prayed for control.
“Look, Mister Bossy, if you recall things were a little hectic. I think it’s called the ‘heat of battle’ and I did the best I could to save Fang’s ass.”
If the glare she shot in his direction held the daggers it was meant to convey, he’d be a dead Were. And she had the power to accomplish the feat if she chose.
“You should be grateful, shifter, that I had the sense of mind to conjure a spell that quickly.”
“Right.” Bobby dropped in the closest chair and attempted to focus his mind on a calm place. “Can you recall exactly what you said?”
Cate shook her head in frustration and shot Bobby another nasty glare. “The same thing I told you five minutes ago. I asked the universe to take him to a place that is vampire safe.” She tucked her legs under her and crossed her arms. “I’m not going to repeat it again, so don’t bother asking.”
She had repeated her chant to him at least a dozen times since their return to his house, and he couldn’t blame her being annoyed. Yes, he could understand the heat of battle. They’d been outnumbered, and the vampire being taken out of action hadn’t helped. Still, between the two of them, they’d left a lot of dead demons, or at the very least, a bunch of badly wounded ones. Too bad they healed quickly.
His problem now, in addition to the finding the vampire, was to figure out the identity of the demon leader. He had more power than any demon Bobby had come up against previously — a giant, ugly creature, who appeared to take delight in inflicting pain, and some of the demons had called him boss. Bobby wished they’d used the big guy’s actual name so he would have a starting base on where to find out more.
Life these days had become a battleground for Bobby and his allies, and the situation kept ramping up. Lately, it seemed as if someone had booked a demon convention in the city and forgot to inform him. Even his contact on the police force acknowledged there was some bad shit going down.
“Why don’t you contact that vampire friend of yours up north? My high priestess said he’s in tight with the blood sucker king.” Cate tugged on her short skirt in an attempt to cover more of her never-ending legs.
It will take a strong spell to make that piece of fabric longer.
For a brief moment, Bobby regretted his interest wasn’t in the opposite sex. The witch would make some lucky male a good mate.
Turning from the appealing view of shapely female legs, Bobby stared into the flickering flames of the fireplace and considered Cate’s suggestion. The last time Aaron Lowell came to New Orleans to check on his investments, he brought a friend with him. The man had only been introduced as Daniel to Bobby and the rest of their little investment group, when they met to discuss their various business issues.
Always one to keep a sharp ear to the grapevine, Bobby heard the rumor that Daniel was the new vampire king. From Cate’s suggestion to contact Aaron, it must be a known fact, not just a rumor.
Hairs along his spine prickled and then receded — a sure indication to Bobby that his decision had just been made.
The only question that needs answering is the how? Shall I call Aaron, or imply show up in New York City at his bar?
Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, continued her growing in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado. She has numerous e-books in varying lengths and her first print book, Struck by Lightning, won dual 2007 Beacon awards, in addition to being a finalist in two other contests.
In addition, Making Christmas, a Christmas Historical novella set during the Civil War won Love Romances Café Best Historical for 2011 and is a finalist in the Aspen Gold for Best Novella.
Beyond Magic, the first book in the Magical Love series won the 2012 Award of Excellence Best Paranormal/Fantasy/Sy-Fi, and is a finalist for Best Paranormal in the Aspen Gold. Winners are announced in mid to late October.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. Her current focus is the DEAD series. Musa Publishing has re-released the first four novellas in the series and DEAD Hot, a new novella, is scheduled to release in October. Emerging Magic, the second novel in the Magical Love series will also release in late October or early November with Passion in Print Press.
When not creating mischief for paranormal beings, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She also serves as the 2012 President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband during her free time, on which most of friends ask…“what free time?”
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