This is my newest cover, for my novella Day of the Dead, coming March 28 from Ellora’s Cave. Nice, huh? (And blogger is still not letting me upload photos! The little upload window comes up but there’s no “Upload” button in the lower right, is anyone else having this problem?)
Here’s the blurb:
Seventy two years ago Santos Diaz’s fiancee died two weeks before their wedding–two weeks before he could turn her into a vampire like him. Now, on the Day of the Dead, Santos has a plan to bring her back. He’ll sacrifice his honor to Baron Samedi, the voudou guardian of the land of the dead, in exchange for his love’s return.
Yelina heads for the cemetery to honor her father’s memory and finds herself in a passionate clinch with her handsome boss, Santos, with whom she’s been in love for two years. She’s never experienced passion like this before, but when a few vampires threaten to turn the day of the dead into the last day of her life and it looks like Santos himself might be a vampire too–one who still carries a torch for a dead woman–she thinks her happy ending may vanish into the darkness of the grave.
And an excerpt, which is mostly worksafe but honestly, it’s hard to find an excerpt for this one that’s fully, um, clean:
The scent of rose petals hung heavy in the air as Santos lit the final black candle. The altar was ready. It was as perfect as he could make it.
From outside came the sounds of the neighborhood in celebration. Normally Santos would be there too. Dia de los Muertos wasn’t a big celebration in Miami, not like the Calle Ocho Festival or even Three Kings Day. Not too many people bothered to honor their dead in the old way.
Even fewer chose to do it the way Santos Diaz had planned.
He wasn’t simply going to honor his dead love. He was going to bring her back.
He hit “play” on the tape player behind the altar. The voudou Lwa would only appear if you played the correct drumbeats, had the correct sacrifices. Tonight he was going past the Lwa. He was going to the Baron Samedi himself. The god guarding the gate between life and death. The Baron could bring Esperanza back.
Naked, Santos knelt and picked up the bottle of peppered rum. The first sacrifice. He poured it carefully into the bowl.
“El baron,” he muttered. “El baron, acepte for favor mi sacrificio.” The words felt alien on his tongue. He hadn’t practiced his own religion in years, let alone tried a ritual as exotic as this one.
And yet…the two worlds were not so very different. They practiced Dia de los Muertos in Haiti too, just as they had in the Mexico of his youth. Wasn’t that how he’d met Jean-Baptiste? How he’d learned of the Baron and how willing he was to aid those whose sacrifices were worthy?
The cool stone floor made his knees ache a little, He shifted position, aware with every bit of tingling skin and vampire sense that the atmosphere in the room had already changed. The Lwa were listening, the Gede was listening.
He stared at the cross on the altar, at the dried flowers and the doll he made from straw and cloth. Skulls adorned the cross, their eyes shadowy hollows in the flickering candle light.
In the center was the Baron in his top hat and coat, his face stretched in a skeletal grin. Santos had pasted a photograph of Esperanza’s grave in his hand.
Don’t think about her grave. Think about her alive, about her body warm against yours, her smile, the spicy sweet taste of her lips. Think about her wet flesh, about her body made just for you. The scent of her skin.
His cock didn’t need more than that and neither did Santos. He lost himself in the memories, his mind calling her back with such clarity that he wondered if his prayer-spell wasn’t working already.
When he slips his fingers between her legs, he finds she is wet, ready for him, even though he’s just walked in the door. “I couldn’t wait for you, papucho,” she whispers against his lips, her hips lifting, encouraging him to delve deeper, to rub soft circles over her clit the way she likes. “I can’t wait now.”
“El Baron,” he said again. “Acepte por favor mi sacrificio.”
The handle of the blade was rough in his palm as he held his other wrist over the bowl, but he barely felt when the sharp blade slipped through his skin. Blood dripped from the wound, falling into the bowl, blossoming red in the pool of spicy rum. The air around him grew, shrank back. The Lwa were greedy tonight, the dead wanted their due.
Leaving the wound to heal on its own, Santos ran his hand down the flat muscles of his stomach, his heart already pounding. The air around him seemed to whisper and move as he found his cock, thick and hard, jutting out from its nest of soft black hair. A shot of pure electricity ran through him as he slid his fingertips over the top to the end, then back down the bottom. Air hissed between his teeth.
“El baron, acepto por favor mi sacrificio.” He gripped his cock in his fist, sealing the bargain.
Seventy-two years ago, Esperanza died. Santos had not touched himself, or allowed any other woman to touch him, since that day. It was his vow to her, his last gift. Now he broke it, broke it as an offering. To get her back, he would break any promise, commit any sin. He would turn to el Diablo himself if it would ease the ache in his heart.
1972 DOLPHINS RULE!!!!! 1972 DOLPHINS RULE!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!