I’ve had news and been neglecting to post to the blog here — oops! I hope y’all will forgive me, or at least not torture me too much. Just a little to the right, now, there. 😉
The Shadow Unveiled, direct sequel to The Twilight Deception starring Arielle and Jackson, is slated for release by Liquid Silver Books. And I now have the cover to share! 😀
Isn’t it purty? The artist is Christine Griffin, who did both the Cobblestone and Liquid Silver covers for the first book. I am in awe of her talent.
I bet y’all want a blurb and excerpt to go with this now, hmm? Well, then!
Blurb: Arielle Thompson never expected to fall in love, but now that Jackson is back in her life, she’s got to make room for him in more ways than one. Never mind sorting out living spaces, she has to convince her boss at Shadowguard, the FBI’s top-secret paranormal division, that an alien vampire would be a benefit to their team. But they get their chance to prove Jackson’s worth when reports of blood magic and demonic sacrifices deep in Louisiana surface. Investigation reveals the situation is far more serious than they previously suspected, and Jackson and Arielle must depend on each other once again for survival.
Rest didnâ€™t happen. I canâ€™t sleep worth shit the night before a mission. Iâ€™m too wound up and anxious. Thank God for caffeine pills and Red Bull.
Jackson, on the other hand, didnâ€™t share my insomniac streak. He passed out on the couch around midnight, leaving me alone with my apprehension. Instead of dwelling on what ifs, I busied myself packing the necessities: clothes, mp3 player and earbuds, a couple of books for the flight, and miscellaneous toiletries.
Arms wrapped around me and pulled me close, against a body muscled but not so much that it was uncomfortable. I gasped and jumped at first, starting to shift into a fighting stance, until I realized it was J. I forced myself to relax, letting my head fall back against him. â€œI thought you were asleep,â€ I grumbled.
â€œI was.â€ J nuzzled my hair and rubbed my belly. â€œBut I could feel your unease. I do not require sleep as humans do, and you need me.â€
I bristled. â€œI donâ€™t need anyone. Iâ€™ve been independent and supporting myself for years.â€
Jackson chuckled, the vibration passing through me. â€œI would not think otherwise. But there is no weakness in admitting desire for human comfort, my dear.â€
I turned around in his arms, slowly, until I faced him and looked up into his bronzed, aquiline face. â€œBut youâ€™re not human.â€
To his credit, he didnâ€™t even wince. â€œNo. Iâ€™m not. But that does not mean I have no desires of my own. We are not that different, you and I.â€
Too damn true. Sighing, I leaned my head against his chest. â€œIâ€™m scared, J. Iâ€™ve never been in a situation like this before. Iâ€™ve never lived with anyone but myself. Iâ€™ve had to take care of myself my entire life, and letting anyone else in–is hard.â€
â€œI know,â€ he murmured into my hair, his breath hot and soothing. â€œIt is difficult for me, as well. It has been many years since I have let anyone this close.â€
â€œWhat happened?â€ I glanced up at him, curious.
His jaw tightened, and his eyes turned both hard and sad all at once. â€œShe died.â€
â€œOh. Iâ€™m–sorry.â€ What else was there to say?
â€œIt is no matter now.â€ J drew in a deep breath. â€œIt was a very long time ago.â€
I thought about asking how long, then decided against. It would be tacky.
â€œI am glad to be here with you. Thank you for all you have done for me.â€ Before I could respond, he leaned down to kiss me. His lips caressed mine, softly, and his hands stroked up and down my back.
I moaned, heat surging through my body, desire raging. Growling, I clenched my hands in his shirt, nails digging in. It had been too long, and I wanted him. We hadnâ€™t had a chance to be together since heâ€™d returned–not like that, anyway.
Jacksonâ€™s tongue flicked against my lip, and I all but melted. Gooseflesh rose over my body, and I shuddered in his arms, pleasure overtaking me. â€œMaybe we should move to the bedroom,â€ I breathed.
â€œMaybe we should,â€ he said wickedly and lifted me into his arms, holding me tight.