"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tamara Rose Blodgett Reviews “Meant to Be” by Tiffany King

Meant To Be Book Description:
Krista Miller feels like she has lived her entire life in a glass box with her every emotion on display. She can’t help feeling like a defect as her sensitivities have made her socially inept and without any real friends; the one exception being the boy that visits her each night in her dreams.

Krista’s emotions are put to the test when a move to
California triggers a devastating change to her fantasy world. The nightly comfort that the boy provides has now become a recurring nightmare as he is taken from her by an unseen force.

Struggling to appear normal, Krista enrolls in a new school and finds it to be nothing like she thought. Her new life is sent spiraling out of control from a strange connection with a boy, Mark, who claims to know all her secrets.

As Krista begins to explore the emotions that Mark evokes in her, secrets about their mysterious past and their predestined purpose threatens to separate them just when they have found each other.
Meant To Be Review:
This is a book that keeps the mystery at a high fever pitch until the very end ( maybe too long). I loved the tension but the unveiling came a little too late [in the novel's progression] and felt "anti-climatic." I also never got a real "fix" on the mother-daughter relationship. I felt that the mom's behavior was inconsistent as the novel progressed. Those are my main gripe(s) that kept it from being a "5."

I really like King's writing style, I found myself emotionally involved with the story at the end; really unusual for me. There is a smoothness of transition and story-telling that reminded me of Karen McQuestion. That's what she'll be in a few more books. King drew me in to feeling for, rooting for, caring for the characters. I loved her premise and the roles the respective characters played. Finally, an "alpha" male lead in a YA paranormal romance I could "sink my teeth into!" Sometimes, the males are written to be "wimpy," and it doesn't resonate for me. Mark was a real dude and should feel that way to chicks that read it.

I *loved* the ending with the action and violence! I wish YA's were written with more of this contrary interaction. So many are too sappy and slow-paced to get a reader's blood pumping! The ending more-than-made up for the slow start!

I will definitely be purchasing any future installments. Keep writing, Tiffany!
Stars: 4.5 of 5
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Sub-genre: Urban Fantasy
Elements: Light profanity, Sexual inference, Moderate violence & Mild torture
Age: 13+
Noteworthy: This is currently ranked in the mid-2,000's on Amazon.com top sellers of any category!
Purchase Link:http://tinyurl.com/5txldoz
Publisher: Tiffany King.
Grammatical/formatting issues: Nothing significant.
eBook: Yes
Paperback: Yes

Reviewed By:
Author Name: Tamara Rose Blodgett

Author Info:
Tamara Rose Blodgett is a “thinking-out-of-the box” paranormal enthusiast who believes there's a 95% chance zombies do not exist; but loves to write as if they do... she's from Alaska and has worked as an online journalist in the past. Tamara's debut novel, Death Whispers is available now and book two in the Death Series, Death Speaks, will publish in August. Her YA paranormal romance, The Pearl Savage, will be available in June. In her spare time she's a [reluctant] serial-re-modeler, project-slave and big-time, in-her-pants reader (surprise!). She does a great deal of day-dreaming about impossible scenarios and events, writing books to capture them in stories for you~ Side note: Gnomes should be exterminated.

Current Release:
Death Whispers (Book One): Young Adult Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance

Purchase Link: http://tinyurl.com/3ggqekf

Almost fifteen-year-old Caleb Hart is a Cadaver-Manipulator in the year 2025.

When teens receive a government-sanctioned pharmaceutical cocktail during school, paranormal abilities begin manifesting... making the teens more powerful than the adults.

After Caleb discovers he has the rare, Affinity for the Dead, he must do whatever it takes to hide it from a super-secret government agency whose goal is exploitation.

Caleb seeks refuge in his new girlfriend, Jade, until he realizes that she needs as much protection from her family, as he does from the government.

Suddenly, Caleb finds that hiding his ability while protecting Jade and his friends is a full time job; can he escape the government, protect Jade and lose the bullies that are making him miserable?

Review Snippets:
"I was hooked by the end of the first page.."
"The whole relationship between Caleb and Jade seemed very genuine.."
"For me the best part by far was trying to connect the dots.."

-Aaron, thebloggergirlz.blogspot.com/

“...dialogue...as well as the action, was [also] very well done.”
“...events seamlessly build off each other, capturing the reader's attention until the very end.”
“... the technological aspect of this novel was amazing...”


“The issues surrounding the paranormal gifts these kids have is so fresh. I don't think I've ever heard of an idea like this....”
“I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a great read.”


“This series is definitely something new and different.”
“Blodgett does an amazing job with writing a futuristic paranormal.”
“She is very consistent in her technology and never slips up.”


Coming Soon from Tamara Rose Blodgett, Death Speaks (Book Two)!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Review of “Danvers Asylum” by Chrystian Marrero

Book Blurb:
Can you handle a stay at Danvers Asylum? Insanity is the only way out!

Welcome to Danvers State Insane Asylum, home to some of the most demented men and women in the country. Doctor Eugene Charles - head of the asylum and manager of its inner workings - has seen his share of insanity in the eyes of every patient residing behind the walls of his asylum. But the newest addition to his facility will redefine the meaning of insanity once and for all. John Stephenson, an American writer of horror/fiction, is about to publish his latest creation and the haunting, subliminal messages that go along with them. His books are the works of a madman and the hidden verses within them will change the lives of whoever reads them . . . including yours.
    Genre: Horror/Suspense
    Heat Level: 5+
    Pages: 121
    Release Date: July 01, 2011
    ISBN:  978-0-9876894-1-2

My Review:

Danvers Asylim is a dark and edgy horror story, a horrific tale of suspense with a touch of mystical mayhem and a whole lot of bloody domestic murders. Me, I can read anything, dark and shocking, fine with me. In fact, I enjoy a story like this one that is extremely unique and slightly bizarre because I don’t know what to expect next out of the creative mind of the author. And, in this story there was an order to the chaos, showing a plot line that was well thought out.

Of course, with a paranormal mystery to boot, I am a happy reader. Evil books and books inside books, I just love the concept. But, in this story, Chrystian Marrero went a step beyond that, making the voice of the book a character itself. Engaged in the story, I had to ask myself if I would be tempted to read such a book if it existed. And, I fear for the answer! LOL

A deeply psychological tale of a disturbed mind, one possessed by a sinister element, a voice directs the story, creates the setting, becomes a character in its own right and controls the other characters like puppets. I really appreciated the use of the text of the character's novels inside the story which were called into question in the murders, and the creative way the voice spoke in code through them. Yes, this probably makes no sense, but to say more would be to give away too much, and I wouldn’t want to kill the suspense, because this story didn’t exactly go as I was guessing it would – a good thing. As well, the literary tone used to the tell the tale lent itself to the haunting mental horror of this detailed plot.

Knowing I have a lot of different readers who read this blog, as far as recommendation goes, if words like dark, horror, suspense, bloody, demented, violent, etc don’t bother you, then I say go for it! Having said above that I read anything, and now having finished this story, let me admit that there were parts in this story that made even me squirm.

Author Info:

Author Page at Naughty Nights Press:

Author Bio:
Chrystian Marrero lives alongside his mother and two siblings in Coroza;, Puerto Rico. Chrystian is pursuing the goal of studying to practicing medicine at the University of Puerto Rico. With several posts on writing websites it was only a matter of time before someone wandered across the incredible writing of Chrystian Marrero!

NNP Owner, Gina Kincade did exactly that only a few short months ago and since then Chrystian has worked together with NNP to change his life forever and fulfill his life dream of a becoming published author with the release of his first book “Danvers Asylum.”

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Review of "The Cabin" by Nathanial Bosch

I won this book in a contest, Yeah Me!, and just couldn’t wait to read it. This story is one of the first releases from the wonderfully sexy new publisher, Naughty Nights Press set to release July 1st.  This week I actually read both of their first releases - my Danver's Asylum review is coming next week. And, I have to say that after reading these stories, I just can't wait to read more of their releases. Seriously, not sure if this will come out right, but a lot of good stories go unpublished because they are a little outside of the established 'lines' because the author took a risk. I like reading stories where I don't know where they will go plot wise, that aren't cookie cutter, where the authors voice can show...okay, you get the point right? On with the review!   

"The Cabin" Blurb:
In this hard-core BDSM novelette, Victor and his slave experience the thrill of finally being alone to do as they wish.

The happy couple is tired of having to put their Dom/slave relationship on hold to go about their daily lives.

For one glorious weekend, that is all about to change. 
Victor makes the necessary arrangements to take his slave to the family's quaint, isolated mountain cabin to train her to submit properly.  Helena could not be more thrilled!

    Genre: Erotic BDSM
    Heat Level: 5+
    Pages: 31
    Release Date: July 01, 2011

My Review:

A unique storyline, with little backstory or talk of the future, this BDSM tale give you a bold and daring moment in time in a dom/sub relationship. Each are venturing into new territory. I like when both minds are given in these type of stories, the complex nature of wanting to totally be a slave, getting excited by the fact that she can barely take the pain and yet being turned on by that same thing, being a completely willing participant in your own moments of pain and fear. On the other end, the story showed a dom, taking risks, trying new implements of punishment, while each moment insuring his sub's safety. I think this story was a very real, very detailed portrayal of what a BDSM weekend could be like, freed by being so far from civilization.

Many times I could literally feel his excitement and her fear in those build up moments, when he was preparing her for the new and unknown. This story was so rich in details, that my one tiny complaint in my head as I was reading it was that when they came together, those intimate moments when he had to be inside her, I wanted a little more... a symptom of not wanting the moment to be over, I'm sure. I was drawn into the story and wanted more, which I feel is a compliment.

Got a cabin out in this the middle of nowhere? This could story could also serve as a guidebook *giggles* Okay, so you don’t need the cabin, just the book and maybe a little imagination ;)  With plenty of shock factor, including the opening where the BDSM device seems a character in and of itself, I think this is a worthwhile book for any BDSM enthusiast.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Review of “Hunters & Prey (Immortalis #2)” by Katie Salidas


Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She’s still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she’s missed more than anything.

Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan.

Worse yet, her revelation entangles Fallon in the struggle between vampires and hunters and The Acta Sanctorum is ready to attack again, with a new army of hybrid creations: the Frenzy Soldiers.

If Alyssa hopes to survive and keep her mortal friend safe, she’ll have to be willing to make a deal with the enemy, and regain her clan’s support. It will take everyone working together in a precarious truce to fight against the Acta Sanctorum’s new threat.

My Review:
You know from my review of Book 1 in this series that I love the vampire world that Ms. Salidas has created. So let me tell you right off that it only got better in book two. First, there is the little details, like using words like “daymares”.  Second, for a second in a series, the author pulled off what I see as a writer, as a tough element to writing a series. She was able to catch up a new reader, giving them the information needed to understand Book 2 if they had not read Book 1, while making that info a brief reminder rather than a boring retelling for those who were already following the series.

In the beginning of Book 2, Alyssa is still struggling with her new life as a vampire in some ways, but then Ms. Salidas really amps everything up here. And, I do mean everything! Having loved the first story in this series already, this second story was even better. Don’t you just love when that happens!?! Everything was more intense, from the character’s struggles, to the dangers they face to the love story. This was a same good guys and same bad guys book with all new situations and complications and suspense - and I was one happy reader.  I loved this line “The enemy of my enemy is my friend…right?” That kind of sums up the constant twists and turns and surprises that the author keeps throwing at you. Plus, the mythology keeps evolving!

I simply cannot wait for the third in this series :) 

If you would like to read my review of Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Immortalis #1) go to http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-review-of-immortalis-carpe-noctem-by.html
Author Website: http://www.katiesalidas.com

To find links to more reviews and to enter more giveaways for this series go to any of the following:
 May 17 - Review & Giveaway with Amanda Allalunis at http://giveawayblogdom.blogspot.com 
June 7 - Review & Giveaway with Amanda at Giveaway Blogdom
May 20 - Review & Giveaway with Denise at Immortyl Revolution
May 31 - Review & Giveaway with Denise at Immortyl Revolution http://immortylrevolution.blogspot.com  
June 1 - Review & Giveaway with Krystal Larson at http://livetoread.blogspot.com 
June 5 - Review & Giveaway with Marion Sipe at http://marionsipe.blogspot.com 
June 15 - Review & Giveaway with Lillie Hill at http://AliseOnLife.blogspot.com 
June 17 - Review & Giveaway with Lillie at Alise On Life
June 15 or 16th - Review & Giveaway Alice Priday at http://bestbooks1.blogspot.com 
June 16 - Review & Giveaway with Alice
June 20 - Review & Giveaway with Coral Moore at http://www.chaosandinsanity.com 
June 22 - Review & Giveaway with Kiki at http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com 
June 24 - Review & Giveaway with Kiki (Hunters & Prey)
June 23 - Review & Giveaway with Lisa Green at http://www.lisasworldofbooks.blogspot.com 
June 30 - Review & Giveaway with Lisa (Hunters & Prey)

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe', no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Hunters & Prey

(Book 2 in the Immortalis Series)

Sample Chapter

I stormed into the master bedroom, slamming the door behind me. I needed some alone time, and a hot shower to help wash away the stress of the day.

The shower had always been a place where I could relax and be at peace with my thoughts—something I desperately needed at that moment. Between the near-death experience with Quentin and Lysander’s stubborn anger about Fallon, my nerves were on edge.

Why does he have to hate my best friend?

I walked into the bathroom and found my reflection in the vanity mirror. Mimicking

Lysander’s monotone voice I repeated, “Then accept that your friendship is over. Our two worlds cannot co-exist.”

I rolled my eyes and turned away to start the shower. A high-pressure cascade of water shot out of the showerhead as I twisted the brushed nickel knob.

“Just because it hasn’t happened, doesn’t mean that it can’t. Who’s to say we can’t remain good friends? I mean, she already knows about us.” I shrugged off my coat and unbuttoned my jeans.

“Thank goodness for Rozaline. At least she seems to be on my side.”

I slid the jeans down around my ankles and stepped out, and then made quick work of my top and bra.
“How do I get him to understand? We’re not that different, Fallon and I. We can remain friends when this mess is all over.”

Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, naked, I studied myself.

“Okay, maybe we are a little different.”

No sign of the previous fights marked my perfect, smooth skin. Amazed, I fingered the spots where I remembered the bullets tearing though me. I noticed how closely my skin matched the vanilla ice cream-colored walls. I almost blended in like camouflage. Only the pink of my nipples, the blue of my eyes, and the red of my hair made me stand out. It still surprised me, even after months of life as a vampire, how different I was. As a human, I should have been dead, or at the very least, scarred and mutilated from all of the action I had seen. But my immortal body always returned to its original state of perfection, healing with no trace of injuries.

“Well.” I turned away from my reflection. “Even if we are a little different, I’m not losing my best friend again.”

Steam flowed from the shower, telling me the water had reached the perfect scalding temperature. I loved the heat. My poor circulation and slow beating heart left me in a constant state of chill—especially in places like my toes and fingertips. I loved to be around any form of warmth.

I stepped into the shower, enjoying the momentary shock, the initial hot sting from the temperature change. It quickly turned into a sensual, full, heat that warmed my entire body. I felt some of my stress melt and slide away, disappearing down the drain. Facing the water, I let it hit my face and run down my neck and breasts, washing away whatever grime might be left from the day.

The door opened, and from the corner of my eye I saw the dark hair and athletic figure of Lysander. There went my relaxing shower.

“I don’t want to talk to you right now,” I shouted.

I turned around and let the water run down my back and busied myself by opening a bottle of citrus-scented shampoo. I didn’t feel like being lectured by him anymore and hoped he’d take the not-so-subtle hint to go away.

“I do not wish to fight with you. But you must understand my position.” His voice carried that annoying hit of authority he used when he wanted things done his way.

I ignored him, spreading the shampoo into my long hair, massaging it into my scalp, creating a foamy mountain of lather on top of my head.

“Alyssa, stop acting childish and listen to me.”

His choice of words were far from endearing and had the opposite effect on me. I turned my back, facing the water, letting it wash away the bubbles. The rushing cascade muffled Lysander’s words.

The shower door opened and Lysander stepped inside. His hand grasped mine, pulling it from my hair. 

With one twirling motion, he forced me around to look at him.

 “You will not ignore me,” he said, a note of frustration in his voice. He stood naked before me, holding me, crushing me against his hard body.

“I have nothing to say to you.”

I didn’t need another lecture. I had done what I thought best at the time, for better or worse. There was no way to go back and change those actions. Harping on me wasn’t going to solve anything. I tried wedging my hands between our bodies, but he wouldn’t allow it.

“You endangered us all. Don’t you see that?”

“No. I endangered myself,” I snapped at him. “Do you think I would have willingly done things to hurt the clan?” I pushed again at his body, trying to free myself from his grasp. “You think I’m so naive, that I have no sense at all, don’t you?”

He looked down, locking his eyes on mine. I felt the odd press of his mind, trying to delve into my own. I knew he was trying to use his power to subdue my anger, and I didn’t want that. I had every reason to be angry with him, and that anger helped me focus enough to break his stare. I turned my head away from him—the only real defense I had. I was no match to play mental games with a two-thousand year old vampire, and I knew it.

A low growl rumbled in his throat. I could feel the rage like an electric current, vibrating inside of him. A small voice in the back of my head told me to just be quiet and let him say his piece, but anger consumed my better judgment.

“I left you at the hotel. I went after Fallon, alone. I never once involved you or the clan in my attempt to save her. When we escaped, I brought Santino to a neutral spot. Never once did I contact you or give you or the clan’s location away. So you tell me, how the fuck I endangered anyone but myself?” I slammed my fist into his chest, punctuating the anger in my words.

He stood silent for a moment. Against my better judgment, I looked up, intending to demand his answers and apology. Our eyes met, but I didn’t see anger there. Pain was etched across his face. My rage faltered. The hypnotic pull of his twilight eyes caught me in my momentary weakness. His voice whispered in my mind. I thought I had lost you.

My head began to swim, feeling heavy as his power invaded. Fear crept into my mind—not a fear of Lysander or of death, but of the all-consuming emptiness of a broken heart.

I never want to lose you, Alyssa. He whispered in my head. I was so afraid for you. You are my reason to continue living. You ended my loneliness. Be angry with me for acting as a leader and reprimanding you, but please do not endanger yourself. I could not bear that loss. I need you at my side.

He wanted me to feel everything: the fear, the pain, the sadness, the loss. He wanted me to feel how hurt he had been when I left him there in the hotel. And I did. The crushing weight of those devastating emotions enveloped me. For a brief moment my own heart ached as if it were being slowly ripped from my chest. A lump formed in my throat, and tears welled in my eyes. It felt like my world had fallen apart.

He released me from his mental hold, and I collapsed into him.

“Please do not make me worry like that again.” His tone gave away the emotions he felt. He sounded so wounded. So lonely.

My head cleared and the tidal wave of heartache receded. I understood his anger and pain, and felt terrible for causing him to feel that way; but he needed to understand my motivations. “I’m sorry, but I had to. You wouldn’t have let me save my friend.”

“Alyssa, you will always bring trouble, won’t you?” He reached a hand up and stroked my hair.

I buried my head into his hard, muscular chest, unsure how to take his words. Did that mean he understood? It certainly didn’t refute the fact that he wouldn’t have saved her.

“I don’t know,” I whispered. “Probably. Trouble loves me, right?”

Lysander wrapped his arms around me. “It seems you live only to attract danger. You are my heart, Alyssa. You allowed me to feel for someone again. You could have been killed. I don’t know that I could survive that.”

“It was my life at risk, and it was a risk I was willing to take. I couldn’t let them harm my friend.”

“Your life is not something I want to risk. You are young, and though immortal, you are not invincible. I do not want to lose you.”

“But I brought her into this. I had to save her.” I felt like I would have to drill the point into his head to get him to understand.

“You did not have to bring her into this.”

“What’s done is done. I can’t change what’s already happened, and you have harped on me long enough for this.”

“You are right. I know your intentions were good. As the leader of this clan, I cannot condone your actions, but as your mate, I’m glad that you did what you felt you had to in order to survive, even if that meant bringing a mortal into this.”

I smiled, my face still buried in his chest.

He’s never called me his mate before. “You consider me your mate?”

His hand trailed up my back. Long soft fingers twisted into the hair at the base of my neck. I breathed a deep sigh, enjoying the gentle caress of his touch.

He slowly pulled me away from his chest, urging me to look up at him.

“Yes, Alyssa, how could you think we were anything less? I love you. I want us to share immortality as mates, like Crystal and Drew, or Nicholas and Rozaline. You are my heart.”

I melted as his words sunk in. He loved me. He cherished me. Underneath that hard, aloof exterior his heart beat for me.

“I love you too, Lysander,” my voice was barely a whisper, but I saw the acknowledgement in his eyes.

Links to buy:
Barnes & Noble

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Naughty Nights Press Halloween Themed Call For Submissions

You know how much I love all things Halloween! Got a story idea that is both scary and sexy? Here is the anthology for it :) Check it out! I dare you *evil laughter*

Halloween Theme: Call For Submissions

Got a unique, hair-raising, spine-chilling, bizarre or darkly haunted story laced with wicked, shameless, kinky, impassioned, earth shattering and mind numbing sex?

Ghosts, gobblins, witches, werewolves, vampires and other worldly creepy critters that like to go bump-de-hump in the night.

Short stories with a paranormal element, halloween party masquerade, haunted house or simply a spooky, ghoulish theme and loaded with sizzling sexual escapades and encounters of the other world kind.

Join Naughty Nights Press in their soon to be released "A Wicked & Wanton All Hallows Eve" ebook anthology!

Special preference given to: f/f, f/f/f, m/f/m, or other ménage combination or those with a fetish theme.

2500-7000 words, 12 point times new roman, single spaced, 1 in margins.
(no extra spaces or returns)

Save file as: YOURNAME_HalloweenTheme.doc

Send as a .doc attachment (not .docx or rtf) with "Halloween Theme" as the subject line to: submissions@naughtynightspress.com with the following information on the first page of the manuscript:
Legal Name, pseudonym (if applicable), title of the story, word count, and short synopsis.
Also include: A 50-75 word bio, written in the third person and link to your website or blog.

Royalties are 80% net to the contributors and one complimentary ebook copy.

Deadline: August 31, 2011
Acceptance Notification by September 30, 2011
Release Date: October 30th, 2011

Have or want to write a halloween themed Naughty Novelette, 7,500 to 17,500 or Novella, 17,500 to 40,000 words?? Send it in!!
We will be epublishing several of the most titillating books for Halloween release too!
Same criteria and deadline as above.
Royalties are 40% net.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Review of “Immortalis Carpe Noctem” by Katie Salidas


Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition... that's the hard part.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging, twenty-five year old Alyssa is rescued by the most unlikely hero: the handsome and aloof vampire, Lysander.

His gift of immortal blood initiates Alyssa into a frightening, eternally dark world filled with: bloodlust, religious fanaticism, and thousand-year old vendettas.

With Lysander as her guide, Alyssa will have to learn what it takes to survive in the immortal world. She'll have to find the strength to accept her new reality and carpe noctem; or give in, and submit to final death.

My Review:

I like the more gritty vampire tales like this one. There is a price, an internal conflict among other life changes, to have to live with. Ms. Salidas created this aspect of the vampire world very well. The heroine had no easy go of it.  She really had to struggle to adapt to her new life and let go of the old one.

The lore was well thought out, and I appreciated the old Catholic connection (quite inventive). Ms. Salidas creates a great mix of vampire mythology, a wonderful balance between the conventional lore and her own, making it very easy to follow and captivating as well.

What I wanted more of was the hero. He has such a dark, deep presence in the novel, an alpha who makes the heroine tremble from his power and tenderness. I fell in love with Lysander instantly, and his back story was amazing. I want to read that story. The series needs a prequel of Lysander's life before Alyssa - hint, hint ;)

Author Website: http://www.katiesalidas.com

To find links to more reviews and to enter more giveaways for this series go to any of the following:

 May 17 - Review & Giveaway with Amanda Allalunis at http://giveawayblogdom.blogspot.com 
June 7 - Review & Giveaway with Amanda at Giveaway Blogdom
May 20 - Review & Giveaway with Denise at Immortyl Revolution
May 31 - Review & Giveaway with Denise at Immortyl Revolution http://immortylrevolution.blogspot.com  
June 1 - Review & Giveaway with Krystal Larson at http://livetoread.blogspot.com 
June 5 - Review & Giveaway with Marion Sipe at http://marionsipe.blogspot.com 
June 15 - Review & Giveaway with Lillie Hill at http://AliseOnLife.blogspot.com 
June 17 - Review & Giveaway with Lillie at Alise On Life
June 15 or 16th - Review & Giveaway Alice Priday at http://bestbooks1.blogspot.com 
June 16 - Review & Giveaway with Alice
June 20 - Review & Giveaway with Coral Moore at http://www.chaosandinsanity.com 
June 22 - Review & Giveaway with Kiki at http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com 
June 24 - Review & Giveaway with Kiki (Hunters & Prey)
June 23 - Review & Giveaway with Lisa Green at http://www.lisasworldofbooks.blogspot.com 
June 30 - Review & Giveaway with Lisa (Hunters & Prey)

Immortalis Carpe Noctem
By Katie Salidas
Chapter Excerpt
Darkness surrounded me. A voice spoke softly in my head. Do not die, young one. Be strong. Do not die.
I became painfully aware of liquid pouring down on me, each drop like an icy hammer hitting my sore skin. Movement echoed in my ears, telling me that I wasn’t alone. Slowly, I opened my eyes. Harsh light blinded me. My mind was fuzzy. I struggled to recall any small detail that might clue me in to what had happened and where I was.
I reached up to wipe the splattering water from my face. I chanced opening my eyes again. As I looked up, I spotted the source of the water, a showerhead on the opposite wall. Confused by this odd location, I struggled to penetrate the blackness of my memory and figure out how I had ended up in a bathtub.
Where the hell am I?
I tried to focus on the bright, unfamiliar surroundings.
My vision, it seemed, had become remarkably sharp while I was unconscious. I couldn’t remember ever noting so many details in such simple surroundings as these before.
Cream-colored tiles covered the walls, each rippled with tiny imperfections. Each held an individual pattern, making them unique and special. Yellowing, porous grout, framing the tiles, appeared to be littered with dots from small air bubbles that had come to the surface, creating different patterns and shapes.
Even the plain white curtain that separated me from the rest of the room seemed unusually detailed and perfectly woven. I saw each tiny strand that had been tightly bound together to form this heavy, durable cloth.
Small specks of mold building up in the corners of the porcelain basin weren’t able to escape my new sight either.
 The amazing level of detail I experienced didn’t hold my attention for long. Freezing water still poured down on me. I needed to reach the handle and end the cold assault, but it seemed so far out of my reach. I eased myself up to a sitting position, my muscles aching with each small movement. Looking down, I saw my beaten body. The water had washed away some of the grime, but what was left of my shredded clothes was stained and clinging to my skin.
“Uggh!” I moaned.
“Oh, good, you’re alive,” said a male voice from behind the white curtain.
The voice seemed strange and yet somehow familiar. I searched my fuzzy memories to place the voice with a face. A wave of fear came over me as I remembered the attack.
Had I been kidnapped? Was I a hostage of some kind? I struggled to recall the events of the evening.
“You’ve been out for a few hours. I was worried I might have lost you,” continued the voice.
“What?” I called, still not sure who I was talking to.
“It doesn’t always work. Some people can’t be turned,” the voice said matter-of-factly.
“Turned?” What the hell is that supposed to mean?
I again tried to run through my memories of what had happened. I remembered blood, and the feeling of my body burning from the inside.
“I’ll explain it when you’re done in there. I’ve left some clothes on the toilet. I hope they fit.” The voice trailed out of the bathroom.
I tried to stand. My muscles ached. Gripping the edge of the tub, I moaned as I pushed myself up. My legs didn’t want to cooperate; they shook as they tried to support my weight. It was as if I was learning to stand for the first time.
I felt weak and a little dizzy. I leaned against the wall, using it as a crutch to help me to balance while I removed what remained of my shredded and bloodstained clothes. I shuddered, seeing more of the wounds that covered my body.
I remembered the two men. Flashes of memory showed me images of the struggle: the man on my stomach laughing, the knife waving in front of my face, teeth biting me, a stranger drinking my blood.
 Each bruise I saw invoked a terrible memory. I turned the shower handle to hot and let the water run down my back. The warmth soothed my sore skin. I rested my head against the wall and tried to rationalize what had happened. I blamed myself for walking alone. I knew better. I should have asked someone to walk with me or drive me. I cursed myself for relying on a stupid keychain of pepper spray as my protection.
Some of the events that flashed in my memory were so bizarre I could hardly believe they had happened. I saw myself lying on the ground, drinking blood from a strange man’s arm. 
What was his name? Was I really drinking blood? Why was I even alive? Did that man save me?
The thought of blood caused an ache in the pit of my stomach.
I pinched myself a few times.
Maybe this was all just a really bad dream and I just needed to wake up.
None of it made sense
Maybe someone had slipped something into my coffee at the café. I hadn’t really been drinking blood, had I?
My mind wouldn’t stop focusing on the blood I had drunk. A sweet, sticky taste crept up from the back of my throat. I gulped at the water pouring down from the showerhead, trying to smother the flavor. My stomach retched as I swallowed, causing me to sputter and spit the water to the ground. I tried to ignore the nagging ache in the pit of my stomach. I needed answers first. I needed to know why I was here and where here was. I needed to know what the hell had happened to me.
I finished rinsing, turned off the water, and slid open the shower curtain. The light seemed brighter in the rest of this room. I squinted, letting my eyes adjust a little. The rest of the bathroom was small and narrow. Nothing more than a simple toilet, shower, mirror, and vanity sink. The only real color in the room came from the red towels hanging on the towel bar and the bath mat on the floor.
I grabbed one towel and wrapped it around myself and then noticed the clothes left on the toilet seat. They appeared to be new and for a brief moment, I wondered where he had gotten them.
“I guess this will have to do,” I mumbled as I pulled on a simple green spaghetti strap tank top. I slid my legs into a pair of blue jeans and pulled them up. Fastening the button, I felt a small pinch in my back. I reached around, touched a hard scab, and winced, remembering the pain of the knife that had been stabbed into my back.
How was I even alive? I certainly shouldn’t have been after the ordeal I’d been through.
I checked myself out in the mirror. Most of my wounds were already healing. Bruises that weren’t covered by clothing had started turning yellow. The cuts on my back and face had scabbed over too. I noticed something on my neck. Brushing away the wet strands of my red hair, I saw a half ring of small bruises and two very deep looking holes.
Lysander, I thought, suddenly remembering the stranger’s name.
My memory flashed again. I remembered the pinch as his teeth sunk into my neck. I shuddered again as a chill danced down my spine.
What…who was this Lysander? He couldn’t be a…No. That’s silly; they aren’t real.
I gave the rest of my body a quick onceover in the mirror and suddenly I stopped in shock.
“My eyes,” I gasped. “Oh, my God!”
I couldn’t believe it.
How is this possible? Those are not my eyes.
All the color had disappeared. Large gray eyes stared back at me from the mirror. They were pale and cloudy with hints of blue, no longer the emerald green they used to be. These were the same eyes I looked into when I got my first glimpse of Lysander.
Wondering what else had changed, I surveyed the rest of my face: ears, hair, lips, all seemed the same. Thinking of the bite on my neck, I opened my mouth. Gone was the five thousand dollar, perfectly straight, smile —that had taken me four years to pay off. My eyeteeth appeared to have grown larger, crowding the surrounding ones. The new, slightly larger, canine like teeth poked down below the others, reminding me of fangs— the kind vampires from Hollywood movies were famous for. I playfully licked at them, noting how much sharper they felt as they scraped across the surface of my tongue.
“This can’t be possible.”
It was time to find this Lysander guy and get some answers.
I stepped out of the bathroom into a small, dark hallway, noting doors to my left and right. Peering through an arched opening in the wall in front of me, I saw light and dancing shadows.
Maybe I should look for Lysander there.
I limped slowly through the archway, my muscles aching with each step.
The living room was cavernous, with vaulted ceilings. Though only two small lamps provided light, the room appeared as bright as if it were daylight inside. I squinted, allowing my eyes some time to adjust as I searched for Lysander. The small lamps, on top of side tables, cast their glow on a U-shaped sitting space. A large, overstuffed black leather couch sat against a wall, flanked by two smaller matching loveseats.
Lysander sat on the couch, looking down at a book in his hands. He appeared not to notice me slowly making my way toward him.
I stopped long enough to get a good look at him. His skin was flawless, smooth as porcelain and just as pale, showing no signs of wrinkles or imperfections. He had a slightly pointed nose that hung over a pair of thin lips and his wide masculine jaw tapered down to a perfect crescent chin. 
I might have thought him a statue for the still and rigid way he sat on the couch. His broad shoulders hunched as he looked down, obviously engrossed in the book in his hands.
A glass coffee table sat in front of him, littered with papers and an antique looking book.
I quickly scanned the rest of the room, wondering if anyone else was here with us. I was barely ready to speak with Lysander, and the prospect of more people like him sent a shiver of fright down my spine.
The opposite wall housed a large set of bookshelves with a library’s worth of old looking books. A television was mounted to the wall between the bookshelves. Its light mingled with the glow of the table lamps, creating dancing images on the bare white walls. There was a stark, minimalist theme to the décor in this room. There was no warm, homey, lived-in feel. That, and the fact I didn’t see another person, gave me a small measure of comfort, confirming that we were alone.
Time to get some answers.
I steeled my courage and took a step forward. My ankle sagged. I let out a whimper as I lost balance and caught myself against the wall.
Lysander looked up. Wavy dark hair framed his oval face in a messy yet purposeful way. His dark hair emphasized the almost transparent nature of his eyes and forced me to look directly at them.
They were so beautiful.
I could get lost looking into those deep, swirling pools of gray. Small hints of blue sparkled at me like stars in the twilight sky. I was entranced. We stared silently at one another for a moment before he stood up.
“Good to see you up and moving,” he said in a smooth, velvety voice. He was at my side in a blurred flash, moving quicker than I’d ever seen anyone move before. I stifled a small gasp as Lysander enveloped me in his strong arms and helped me to stand.
I suddenly felt the brush of butterfly wings buzzing deep within my stomach. Heat flushed my face. I looked down, not wanting to meet his gaze again.
“I have no doubt you are a little confused. Here, let me help you.” He supported my weight, helping me walk.
 “Where am I?” I asked meekly.
My muscles gave out and I collapsed onto the soft leather of his couch.
“This is my home, Alyssa.”
“And… who… what are you?”
My memory flashed to the darkness and the sound of his voice commanding me to drink. I shuddered for a second as a wave of fear struck me.
“Do not worry, Alyssa. I will not hurt you.” He breathed a heavy sigh, taking a seat next to me. “I’ve done enough to you already.”
My hand moved instinctively to my neck. I touched the crusted scabs of two small puncture wounds. I recalled the small pinch of teeth and the pressure of his mouth against my neck.
“What exactly have you done to me?”
“I must apologize for what has happened this evening. You would have died if I had not turned you.”
“Turned? What have you turned me into?” I asked, my voice finding a small measure of strength.
“Well.” Lysander paused and took a slow, deep breath. “To put it simply—” He reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose. His eyebrows pulled together and small creases formed in between them.
I waited anxiously for what would come next.
“You are a vampire.”
“A what?” I shrieked.
“You are a vampire, Alyssa,” he said slowly. “An immortal.”
“No! That’s not possible.” I shook my head in disbelief. “Vampires aren’t real. They’re fiction; nothing but stories and myths.”
One of his dark eyebrows rose slightly. He cocked his head to the side. He smirked as his eyes trailed down from my face. “Did you not notice the mark on your neck? Do you not remember drinking my blood?” His fangs showed as he spoke: pure white, sharp little daggers, just a slight bit longer than the rest of his teeth. His voice carried that same arrogance I remembered from when he talked with my attackers.
My mouth hung open. No, this isn’t possible.
Things were still fuzzy in my head, but I did remember the blood, the liquid fire, I had been forced to drink. I’d hoped it had just been some drug induced dream.
Oh, my God, it was true. I drank his blood. “I’m…a … vampire?”
“Yes.” He smiled. “Our kind are very real. And now, Alyssa, you are one of us.”
I slumped backwards into the cushions of the couch. His words hit me like a punch to the gut. I stared wide-eyed at the distant wall. This was like some terrible nightmare. I didn’t want to believe what he was telling me, but I knew he was right. There was no other way to explain what had happened to me. No amount of hallucinogenic drugs could have explained how I had survived the attack, why I had these markings, or the sharpness of my own new set of fangs.
“Does that mean I’m… undead?”
“You are immortal,” Lysander said with a casual wave of his hand. “Undead is a silly term mortals use to explain the supernatural things they cannot possibly understand. You are no more dead than you were when you woke up this morning. You are just, for lack of a better word, changed.”
Lysander gave me another toothy grin. His fangs were frightening to look at. The memory of him biting me played over and over in my mind like a video stuck on repeat.
“But you drank my blood.” My hand shot back up to cover the wound on my neck.
“Only enough to allow the transformation.”
He reached out, grabbed my hand, and pulled it from my neck.
“Don’t touch me.” I flinched, annoyed and afraid at his sudden gesture. I tried to pull my hand out of his grip, but he was so much stronger than I was. He pushed my hand to my chest, forcing me to feel the erratic thumping of my heart.
“You see,” he said calmly. “Your heart still beats.”
I let out a breath I didn’t realize I had been holding. “But…how?” I relaxed my hand relaxed under his grip.
“Unlike some of your other organs, your heart is still necessary to keep blood flowing through your body.” Lysander let go of me. “For now, while your body is in transition, it will beat in an accelerated rhythm, but it will eventually slow itself to a more normal pace.”
I was speechless. My mind raced, recalling books and movies, everything I knew about vampire mythology. Bats, stakes, and garlic immediately popped into my mind.
 “I must mention that your generation’s ideas of vampires are a bit off.” Lysander spoke with a hint of amusement in his voice. “Many of the popular books and movies about our kind are no more real than children’s fairytales.”
Is he reading my mind? I wondered how he seemed to say just the right thing as I was thinking it. “So, none of the stories are true?”
“Most of the new stories you are probably familiar with are filled with complete nonsense.”
“What about the old ones, like Dracula?”
Lysander sighed. His shoulders slumped. “Dracula is not what I would consider an old story, but yes, a few are based on some truth, however little it may be. There is much that is added to make us seem easier to deal with.” His lip curled into a crooked grin. “Mortals like to think they can hurt us. It helps them sleep at night.”
“So, you’re not afraid of crosses, then?”
Lysander shook his head. “Crosses and other holy relics are nothing more than symbols and decorations. I hardly see why an ornamental cross would stop me from doing anything. Furthermore, I think it’s time for the Christians to come up with a better symbol. One that is a little less… gloomy.”
I chuckled. “Okay, what about garlic?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “What about it?”
“Isn’t garlic bad for vampires?”
“No.” He shook his head. “Why would it be? We don’t eat, so how would it harm us?”
I nodded. “Okay… umm… stakes?”
His head tilted to the side as the corner of his lip rose up into a teasing grin. “You can try to stab me with a piece of wood, but I doubt it will do much more than aggravate me. We heal quite fast. Perhaps a blade would work better.”
I shuddered, seeing his teeth again as he spoke. Is that how I look now?
“So, knives and swords are bad?”
“Yes. It is much harder to regenerate a severed limb. And if we are separated from our heads, it would be safe to say we would cease to exist.”
I smiled, noting the sarcasm in Lysander’s voice. I could tell he’d had this conversation before. He seemed to be enjoying my round of silly questions.
“Holy water?” I blurted out.
Lysander let out a hearty laugh. “No, you won’t melt into a pile of goo. You can throw most of that nonsense out of the window, Alyssa.”
I giggled, realizing how silly it sounded: melting into a pile of goo after being splashed with water. Maybe this won’t be so bad.
“You see, we immortals are not as ridiculous as Hollywood likes to portray us. Though one thing is true... we do survive off the blood of the living.”
The smile faded from my face. Blood; of course. That was the one true thing in all the myths.
Lysander sat quietly as if waiting for me to do or say something. After a moment of silence, the casual smile disappeared from his lips.
He had to know this revelation would be a shock to me, but I couldn’t read his now expressionless face. The silence in the room quickly turned awkward. I guessed that he was waiting for me to respond or acknowledge my understanding or acceptance of what he’d just told me.
But how do you respond to someone who tells you that you will now survive on blood? For that matter, how the hell was I going to survive on blood?
Am I going to have to bite someone? No! There’s just no way I can do that.
I sat there half dazed. As the thought of blood entered my mind, my stomach ached. Pangs of hunger nagged at me. I tried my best to ignore them. According to Lysander, hunger now meant blood; and if that was the case, I didn’t want any.
 “How, why... ” I didn’t have the ability at that moment to articulate all the thoughts swimming through my head. Words spilled out of their own accord, faster than I could form sentences. “I just… blood… no.”
“It’s a lot to take in, especially since you were thrown into this,” Lysander said in his soothing, velvety voice. “It is not a common practice to turn someone who is completely oblivious to our kind. Please understand, I had to do this. You would have died if I hadn’t turned you.”
How am I going to drink someone’s blood? I can’t do it. No! I won’t do it. That’s disgusting.
Shock from this revelation tied my tongue.
“We can go into more detail about all of this after you have had a little time to accept it. There is more to know.”
More? There’s more? What else, do I have to eat brains, too? I don’t think I can handle any more.
I sat, wringing my hands as I tried to ignore the ache building in my stomach. Was it hunger? Thirst, perhaps?
Lysander’s brow furrowed as he watched me. I wondered if he understood what I was thinking or how I was feeling.
“Immortality, you might be happy to know,” he said softly, “does have a few pleasant benefits. You should already notice that your wounds are healing quite nicely. By tomorrow evening you will have completely healed, leaving almost no trace of tonight’s… unfortunate events.”
I took a deep breath, attempting to calm my nerves, and then nodded at Lysander, thankful for the change in subject. I didn’t want to hear anything more about blood.
“As you get stronger, your body will regenerate itself faster.”
I gave him a halfhearted smile.
 “Also, you will no longer age. Your body is now essentially frozen in time. The way you look today is the way you will continue to look forever.”
That, I had to admit, was a pleasant revelation; to be twenty-five forever, to never have to worry about wrinkles or gray hairs. I could enjoy the idea that I would stay young forever. At least there were some perks to this.
Lysander returned my smile.
“However,” he continued, almost cautiously, “the transformation causes you to lose the natural pigment in your skin. Without the melanin to protect you from ultraviolet light, you will sunburn … almost instantly.”
I looked down at my hands. They did seem to be lighter. Blue veins showed more prominently under my pale skin.
“The same goes for your eyes. They too, are also going to be extremely sensitive to light. Even with sunglasses, the sun’s light will be quite blinding.”
Great, another truth to the old myths; real vampires aren’t allowed out in the daylight. It saddened me to think I would never be able to go outside during the day again. I had not even been given a proper chance to say goodbye to sunlight.
Guess that means tanning booths are out, too.
I wondered how hard it would be to live a nocturnal life. It seemed that now I would have no choice.
Lost in my depressed thoughts, I was vaguely aware that Lysander was still talking. “We are creatures of the night, so to speak, and you will get used to this lifestyle soon enough.”
His mention of being a creature definitely caught my attention.
“Does that mean we have to sleep in coffins?”
“Not unless you want to.” I detected a bit of sarcasm in his voice.
He sat back into the couch; a slight smirk turned the corner of his mouth up. “They are quite confining and uncomfortable. Personally, I prefer a large bed. But, if you wish, we can find you one.”
“What about the sunlight?” I asked. “Doesn’t a coffin protect us from it?”
Lysander shook his head. “We sunburn easily, but we do not burst into flames, Alyssa,” he scoffed. “Proper window coverings are enough to keep us protected during the day. Sunlight is a danger and not particularly pleasant, but not immediately deadly.”
 I was silent, taking in all this new information. I desperately tried to remember the last sunrise I had seen, so I could burn the beautiful hues of orange and pink into my memory.
Why did this have to happen to me? This sucks. No more daylight. I’ll never feel the warmth of the desert sun again!
Lysander’s eyes locked on me. I felt an odd warmth radiating from him. The strange sensation broke me from my thoughts of daylight.
Did he enjoy being a vampire? Did he ever have problems with this lifestyle?
He broke the silence. “You’re undoubtedly very weak and in quite a bit of pain at the moment. I promise this will not last too long. It may take a day or so for your mortal body to completely change. Blood will help this.”
I winced at the mention of blood.
“You will need blood regularly,” Lysander said.
“Please, no.” I waved my hands in front of my face. “I don’t want to talk about this. I can’t.”
“I’m sorry, but it is unavoidable. The living energy it provides is what keeps your immortal body functioning properly. You will have to have blood … and soon.”
I looked away, turning from Lysander to the bookshelf, letting my eyes blur out of focus. I did not want to deal with this reality. My mind teeter tottered between fear and confusion. I ran my tongue over my newly sharpened teeth. 
How am I going to live off blood? Does he really expect me to bite someone?
 I wanted all of this to be a dream. Lysander’s words reverberated in my head. Your body will need blood regularly.
How could I be this thing? I couldn’t do this. Why the hell did this happen to me?
 I realized I’d been sitting silent for a while. I turned back toward Lysander, meeting his hypnotic blue gray eyes. His stare questioned me, as if looking for some sign of acceptance. I wanted to speak, to say something profound, but all I could come up with was, “Why me?”
“Fate, perhaps,” Lysander said with a casual wave of his hand. “Those two men were meant to be my victims.”
A pained look crossed his face, his brow furrowed as if the mention of those men caused him some unknown suffering. “Regrettably, they attacked you first, and I couldn’t allow you to die by their hands.”
I nodded to myself as he spoke and again ran my tongue back and forth across my teeth, enjoying the new feeling of the sharp, pointed ones. I tried to grasp everything he’d explained to me. It all sounded crazy, but this was reality now.
“You’ll do best not to bring much attention to those,” Lysander said catching me lick the tip of one of my teeth.
I snapped out of my daze. “Sorry, I just can’t help it, it’s all so... so... ” I was at a loss for words. How could I describe how I felt about all of this? It was new and frightening.
 He shot me a stern look. “I know this is very different for you, but you will have to learn to be discreet about your new self. The world is not that accepting of us, and we must be vigilant for fear of discovery.”
“But who would we need to fear? Didn’t you just tell me we are immortal?”
He lowered his head and pinched the bridge of his nose before letting out an impatient sigh. “Immortality does not mean invincibility, Alyssa.” Annoyance tainted his voice. “Ours is a life of secrecy. The better we blend in and the less attention we draw to ourselves, the better. There are people out there who hunt us.”
“What do you mean, like actual vampire hunters?”
Lysander glanced up at the ceiling as if looking for guidance. “Yes. There are hunters out there, Alyssa. They call themselves the Acta Sanctorum—the Saints. Their church promotes the hysteria that all supernatural beings, and anyone else who might be considered different, are unnatural. They see us as nothing more than monsters. They use fear to allow them free rein to kill whomever they please, to rid the world of what they deem evil.”
“Wait, so you mean there are more than just vampires out there? What else is unnatural? Werewolves, wizards, witches?”
“Yes, there are many other supernatural beings in our world. But…” His face became serious, as if contemplating something important. “Not all of us are evil, and sometimes the hunter should be destroyed rather than its prey.”
This was way too much to handle. I didn’t want to hear anymore. I was overwhelmed. Vampires, werewolves, religious crusaders… there were too many new things to process. I tried to get up, but my muscles protested, refusing to move more than an inch. I sank back down into the couch cushions.
“Alyssa, let us try to concentrate on one thing at a time, for now. I know this is all new for you. Just try to focus on vampires, our kind, now. The Acta Sanctorum hunts—”
“Maybe we should be put down,” I snapped. My hand balled into a fist at my side.
“Sounds to me like the Acting Sanctum people—”
Lysander’s eyes narrowed. “The Acta Sanctorum,” he said slowly, enunciating each word.
“Whatever. It sounds to me like they are trying to be the good guys. They hunt down murderers.”
“Being a vampire does not make you a murderer.”
“But didn’t you just tell me we have to kill and drink blood to survive? Doesn’t that make us evil?” I was freaking out. The words came out before I could stop myself.
Lysander sighed and shook his head. “It must be nice to live in such a simple world, where everything is black and white.” There was a menacing growl to his voice. He stood up and paced the length of the room, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
“Yes, we do survive on blood, as most people survive eating cattle, chickens, pigs, and other animals. Those animals are slaughtered for human consumption, but I don’t see you so quick to shame that carnivorous act.”
He threw a stern look at me and instantly, I felt ashamed. I knew I should have chosen my words better. Scared or not, I shouldn’t have insulted Lysander or his lifestyle. After all, he did save me, even if by doing so he condemned me in the process.
Lysander sucked in a breath before speaking again. “Being an immortal does not make you evil. You are what you are. You must survive on blood. You cannot eat food or drink anything except blood from now on. Remember this: it is how and when you feed that makes you a monster, or just another being trying to survive in this world.”
“I didn’t mean to say… ” I tried to interrupt, but I stopped myself. Annoyance showed on Lysander’s face. He glared at me coldly. I winced, remembering what he had done to my attackers. I didn’t want to further incite his anger.
After a long pause, he spoke again, his voice monotonic and controlled. “Being immortal does not deny you any of the same basic needs as anyone else. We need shelter to keep us from the elements, clothing to cover us, and food to keep our bodies running. The only difference is our food. We must drink blood.”
I nodded. There was nothing I could say to him at that moment.
“You are going to have to throw out many of your beliefs about what is right and wrong, or you won’t survive the infancy of your vampirism.”
I never wanted this vampirism.
I slouched into the couch cushions, pondering this for a moment. Lysander sat down next to me; his eyes locked with mine. It was obvious he wanted some acknowledgement from me that I understood and accepted everything he’d told me. I just didn’t know what to say.
As far as I was concerned, killing was evil, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that human beings were now in the same category as a cheeseburger. I was repulsed by the thought of drinking blood, especially from a living being.
How was I going to survive this infancy, as Lysander put it? If I didn’t kill, I wouldn’t live; but if I did kill, I would deserve the Acta Sanctorum coming and destroying me like a rabid dog.
I couldn’t avoid Lysander’s quiet stare any longer. “I’m sorry.” It was the only thing I could think to say at the moment.
His expression softened. I could tell Lysander understood, at least on some level, what I was feeling.
“Becoming a vampire is easy,” he said calmly. “Living with the condition, that is the hard part. It’s your choice if you wish to survive now. I saved you from mortal death; now, it is up to you to live with this knowledge of what you are.”

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