Yepper, that’s right. My first vampire romance was published in 2002. Ten years! Can you believe it? Anyway, today I thought I’d celebrate. When I created the Deep Is The Night trilogy I didn’t have another idea for a series featuring vampires. I did write one novella which has a vampire hero. But after that the inspiration never moved me to write another. For those of you who haven’t read my vampire trilogy, I invite you to check them out. These aren’t the vampires you’ve read about before. And they can do things many other vampires can’t. 🙂 Enjoy an excerpt from Deep Is The Night: Dark Fire. Beware, a bit of spicy language ahead.
The DEEP IS THE NIGHT Series by Denise A. Agnew
Three suspense filled novels of spine-tingling romance, sex, and danger.
Some towns are quaint…
Some towns are old…
Pine Forest is quaint, old, and the most haunted place on earth. But now more than ghosts prowl the night. Someone or something is attacking women and draining their blood. Three sexy, special couples will encounter dark, dangerous love and discover that sometimes there are more things in heaven and earth….
Whispers, secrets, and tales of ghosts abound in Pine Forest, but new librarian Erin Greenway doesn’t believe in goblins. Yet the Victorian monstrosity she works in creaks and groans and speaks of horrible secrets she cannot deny. When Scot Lachlan Tavish claims to be chasing a thousand year old vampire, his dark, dangerous looks make her wonder if he’s the hunter…or the hunted.
“In the still of the night….”
Erin Greenway sang the last notes of the song as she pulled her Subaru Forester into the library parking lot. She surveyed the misty October evening and the empty area.
No sign of Gilda’s red Jag. Lights shown from the bottom floor windows and one solitary light illuminated a window on the second floor, so Gilda must be here. Erin glanced at the clock on the dash and the digital readout showed five thirty.
She glanced out the windshield at the tall, imposing building. Tendrils of fog drifted over the face of the Gothic Revival house now used as the public library. Soon the moon’s silver illumination would give way to inky blackness and the old structure would look sinister.
Three stories of one hundred year-old stone bristling with old west history.
It sounded appealing on the local tourist brochure, but at night the structure became an eerie presence that made even Erin’s steel nerves prickle with apprehension.
She shivered, grateful for her fleece hat pulled down over her ears, long coat, and thick mittens. At a frosty nine thousand feet altitude, the mountain town suffered under winter weather on a regular basis. A snowstorm should be here in another day or two and then she’d struggle through flurries. For now, though, the town appeared appropriately scary for the time of the year.
Clicking off the oldies radio station, and then shutting off the ignition, she stared at the library. Her best friend, Elaine Panzer, grew up in Pine Forest, Colorado and warned Erin before she left Arizona that the town held an unusual sway over unsuspecting residents. Elaine claimed Pine Forest was chalk-full-o’-specters. Erin figured she could blame Elaine’s ghost tales for making her feel as jumpy as a frog in a frying pan. Yet even if Elaine didn’t talk about ghostly phenomena three fourths of the time, Erin would have heard about them from the rest of the people living here. Everyone in town believed in ghosts, or so it seemed.
Yeah. Right. Ghosts and goblins don’t exist. A whole town couldn’t be rife with bogie men.
“Pfft!” Erin reached for her tote bag and unlocked the door. “As grandma would say…hogwash.”
As she stepped into the night, the icy evening wrapped around her and she smiled. She could almost sense Halloween coming. The kids would love the spooky story time kickoff tonight. She hoped Gilda started on the decorations earlier in the day.
Just as she headed down the sidewalk, she heard the rustling in the bushes toward the back of the parking lot. Something big and heavy. Erin stopped, all her senses on alert. She sniffed. A musty, intrusive smell filled the air. Yesterday’s headlines in the Pine Forest Sentinel sprang into her mind.
Young Woman Attacked In Park.
Person or persons unknown had assailed a young woman jogging at four in the morning in a secluded park and had bitten her on the neck.
The woman survived, but she now owned the biggest hickey this side of Texas.
While the article disturbed Erin, she believed the woman should have used common sense. Jogging alone at four in the morning before light touched the horizon didn’t seem prudent to Erin.
She heard the sound again, this time closer. The huge Ponderosa pines hovering near the library rustled, their needles moved by a soft wind. Everything within her came to attention, captured in an inertia that wouldn’t allow her to twitch a muscle. Fear, primal and stark, slid through her like a serpent’s touch. Utter dread, the kind that makes humans afraid of the dark, made her body tense. Her heart picked up a pounding pace. Suddenly Halloween loomed out of the darkness like a monster, ready to swallow her with one enormous gulp.
A whisper touched her ears, shadowy and hot.
Want me. Need me. Erin.
A wave of dizziness filled her body and made her stagger. She put one hand out and found no support. As her vision started to go dark she wavered, her knees threatening total collapse. Her temples started to throb.
A picture formed, immediate and lucid. A bed, draped with blood-red satin sheets. A man lay in the center of the bed, his arms tied to the bedposts and his legs spread wide. Incredible musculature graced his tall, strong body. Her mouth opened in awe as she scanned from his tumble of black hair, over his angel-of- darkness face, past a hairy and muscled chest. A stomach hard with strength next caught her gaze. She licked her lips and felt warmth intrude in her gut. Drawn exorability downward, her attention landed on his hips. His erection thrust upward, bold and without shame. Hard, long, and ready to service.
A new voice, deeper and tinged with heated seduction, filled her mind. A voice heavy with desperation. Erin. Don’t listen to the darkness.
She snapped out of the visualization with a jolt.
Nausea filled her center and her vision blurred again. “What’s happening?”
With both hands she reached out, her sense of reality boggled by this weird event. As her sight cleared she glanced around at the menacing night. Nothing moved, not even the wind. All around her the silent neighborhood seemed unearthly quiet. Tall trees lined the wide avenue. Their pine needles seemed to whisper messages even though there was no breeze to speak. Darkness pressed close like a mantle, a blanket of evil she’d never experienced before. Shivers rippled through her body as she scanned the illuminated windows of houses across the street. A little piece of evidence that something lived gave her some comfort.
Why had she seen a naked man in her mind’s eye? She’d never experienced a vision much less an intuition about anything in her life. At least she didn’t think so. Sure, she’d fantasized about a handsome, well-hung lover on cold nights when it felt like she’d never have a date again. She even recalled inventing a scenario one night about a man with dark hair and haunting eyes. But imagination wasn’t reality, and she doubted a man that devastatingly attractive would be interested in her anyway.
She put both hands to her cheeks and felt heat blazing under the skin.
I am going insane.
Once again the menacing voice spoke, as much in her mind as on the air. You are mine, Erin. There is no escape.
Fright jumped on the bandwagon as she stood in shocked silence. She shivered as new apprehension rolled up her spine in a wave. Move, Erin. Move! Now! Now! Now!
She didn’t question instinct. She broke into a run and covered the few yards of concrete in swift strides. Erin hadn’t won races in high school and college for nothing. She might be short, but her legs didn’t care.
She scrambled up the few steps and reached for the right doorknob on the huge mahogany double doors. She twisted the knob. Nothing.
Erin heard the ruffling of the wind behind her like a voice. A whisper that called to her in strange tongues. Whirling, she peered across the street again to the other quiet old homes. She didn’t see anything or anyone, but the urge to get inside the building came at her like a relentless chant.
Erin. Erin. Get inside the building. Now. The inky voice, rumbling and exotic with Scottish accent, overran the earlier voice that told her she couldn’t escape. Two voices taunted her in the night, and if a psychiatrist had been there right now, they would have declared her insane on the spot.
Hope you enjoyed that tiny tidbit of Dark Fire. You can find Dark Fire and the rest of the trilogy (paperback and ebook) at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other outlets.