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Monday, October 14, 2013

Giveaway + Spotlight: The Murdoch Vampires


Title: The Hot Scot
Author: Kate Eden
Series: The Murdoch Vampires #1
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 11, 2013
Type: Paranormal Romance

Logan Murdoch hates complications. All he wants to do is work in his lab and create products to help vampires blend into mortal society. But when his mother begs him to get her painting back from the museum, he discovers a very attractive complication in the form of curator Sydney Worth. She buys his lie that he’s the descendant of the man in the three-hundred-year-old painting, but refuses to give it to him. What’s worse? She’s immune to his mind control.
Sydney couldn’t believe her eyes when the spitting image of the Hot Scot walked into the museum. But her attraction to Logan Murdoch suffers a huge blow when he demands the painting. Losing the piece could threaten her job and she senses Logan is hiding something from her. But this vampire who hates complications and the ambitious curator with trust issues are about to learn the fine art of love.

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Excerpt
CHAPTER ONE
A sadistic man must have invented high heels, Sydney Worth thought to herself as she climbed the ladder. Three-inch heels were never her first choice of footwear, but two weeks earlier her boss had made a snide comment about her sensible flats. She loathed giving the man any more ammunition against her—thus the pointy-toed torture devices which currently clung to the tenth rung.

After she steadied herself, she used her glove-encased hands to straighten the frame of the Gainsborough landscape.

Most curators relied on maintenance staff to handle routine tasks like this, but not Sydney. The European gallery was her domain. She felt responsible for making sure it looked its best. Besides, she liked getting out of her small office and spending time with the art. It calmed her. And with a boss like Marvin Stiggler, she needed all the calm she could get.

“Is it straight, Jorge?” she called out to her assistant, who was supposed to be helping her.

Nothing.

She sighed impatiently.

“Damn it, is it straight or not?”

“It looks pretty good from here,” a deep, very un-Jorge-like voice responded. Her female parts went on red alert.

Forgetting her precarious position, Syd swiveled her head to see the source of the compelling voice. But she only managed to make herself dizzy. She swayed, and her left heel slipped on the rung.

Balance gone, she fell fast.

“Ooooh shiiiiit!” she cried. A part of her brain registered the indignity of her words, likely her last.

Just when she thought she was a goner, she landed on something solid and warm.

“Oomph,” it said.

She slowly opened her eyes to catch her first glimpse of the hereafter. An amazing pair of indigo-blue eyes gazed back at her.

“An angel,” she breathed.

“Usually people call me something less complimentary,” he replied with a devilish grin.

Syd closed her eyes again and groaned. “Great, my mother was right—girls who don’t wait until they’re married do go to hell.”

“Did you hit your head on a rung?” he asked.

Something about the concern in his voice sounded decidedly undemonic to Syd, not that she’d ever met any demons, but still.

As it clicked she was not dead or in hell, she remembered the fall.

“Oh my God, don’t drop me!” She quickly shimmied, wrapping her legs about her savior’s waist and her arms around his head in a death grip. At once, his arms tightened around her.

“Mrph,” a muffled voice said from the vicinity of her breasts. She instantly leaned back.

“Sorry, delayed reaction,” she said, her cheeks flaming.

“Oh, it was my pleasure, I assure you,” Blue Eyes said with a chuckle.

Syd really focused on the face in front of her for the first time. She took in the mouth made for sin, the square chin, the bold nose that complemented the face instead of overpowering it, and of course those amazing eyes. She knew this face.

“You’re the Hot Scot,” she said in a breathless voice.

The man studied her for a moment as if trying to decide if the fall knocked her senseless. Syd stared back. Could it be true? She shook her head. Of course he wasn’t the Hot Scot. If he were, that would mean the man holding her was well over three hundred years old.

“Well, I am flattered, but how did you know I’m Scottish?”

“What? Oh . . . no,” Sydney shook her head to clear out the cobwebs. “I mean you look exactly like the man in our new painting. Besides, the brogue kind of gave it away, even though it’s subtle.”

Sydney still couldn’t believe the resemblance as she stared at him.

“Yes, well, my family came across the pond many years ago, so the accent has faded a bit,” he said. “As for the painting, your reaction is somewhat understandable. You see, I’m him—I mean I’m his descendant.”

After her muddled brain slowly absorbed that observation, Syd became aware of several things at once. First, she was not only straddling a complete stranger’s hips, she damn near had him in a death grip with her thighs.

Second, he was an extremely well-endowed descendant if the pressure against her pelvis was any indicator.

Third, as she stared into his eyes, a jolt of connection zapped through her midsection. She told herself it was just his resemblance to the man in the painting, but that didn’t explain the recognition she saw in his eyes, too.

She opened her mouth, hoping the right words would magically occur to her. Unfortunately, before inspiration could strike, a gasp sounded behind her.

“Miss Worth, what in the hell do you think you’re doing?” Marvin Stiggler’s outraged voice rang out in the cavernous gallery.

Syd closed her eyes and wished the floor would swallow her whole. Of course her boss would walk in just in time to witness the most outrageously embarrassing moment of her life. Somehow, she would find a way to pin the blame for the entire episode on the troublemaking, yet very compelling, man she currently straddled.

She slowly dismounted from the tall, hard frame supporting her and tried to avoid the amused blue gaze of its owner. With all the dignity she could muster, Sydney lowered her skirt, smoothed back her curly auburn hair, and turned to face the outraged countenance of her boss.

“Well? Care to explain yourself?” he sneered.

“Mr. Stiggler, I . . . um . . .” she floundered.

Before she could find the words to defend herself, the man behind her stepped closer and placed a balancing hand on her lower back. The warmth of his touch made her aware of her other parts, which still tingled from the intimate contact they’d just shared. She pushed those thoughts ruthlessly aside and tried to focus on the tenuous situation at hand.

“Mr. Stiggler, is it? Before you jump to conclusions, I must take responsibility for this incident. I distracted the lady when she was on top of the ladder.” He motioned to the ladder just to his left. “As a result, she lost her balance and fell. I was lucky to catch her before she seriously injured herself.”

Sydney nodded vigorously to add credence to the explanation.

“That fails to explain why she was straddling you, sir,” replied Stiggler, who looked both disgusted and pleased to have caught his least favorite employee in a compromising position.

“Nevertheless, she could have been seriously injured. An injury, I might add, which could have proved quite expensive for the museum. I am sure you are familiar with worker’s compensation,” the confusing man responded. As unsettling as he was, he seemed to be defending her.

Stiggler deflated a bit. But he wasn’t done. “And who, may I ask, are you?”

“I apologize for not introducing myself sooner. Logan Murdoch,” he said as he stepped forward to shake Stiggler’s hand.

The director hesitated a moment and then reluctantly shook the man’s hand, his own dwarfed by Logan’s large square palm. Sydney started to like the stranger. Anyone who could intimidate Stiggler was a friend of hers.

“Murdoch? Are you related to the Murdoch’s?” Stiggler’s voice rose with excitement.

“I wouldn’t say the Murdoch’s, but as my family is well known here in Raleigh, then, yes, I am one of those Murdoch’s.”

“Let me get this straight. My curator of European art was just saved from a near-fatal fall by a member of the family who owns Murdoch Biotechnology?”

“I am really not involved in the running of the company. I leave that to my brother, Callum.”

Sydney held back a grimace as she watched Stiggler nearly swoon at this newest development. The man was a bloodhound when it came to money. And if what Mr. Murdoch said was correct, he belonged to one of the wealthiest families in North Carolina. She could almost see the calculations going on in Stiggler’s head.

But she was more curious about what brought Mr. Murdoch to their museum. Her concerns about his ancestor comment earlier doubled at knowing he had the Murdoch name and bank account behind him.

She cleared her throat to get the men’s attention. Stiggler began to gush all over the man who recently had his head in her cleavage. Really, the whole thing was just embarrassing. Had she actually thrust her breasts in his face? She started to blush again, but she needed some answers.

“Gentlemen, excuse me. But Mr. Murdoch has not explained his reason for visiting this morning,” Sydney said.

“Please call me Logan, and I should call you . . . ?”

“Miss Worth would be fine,” she said in her primmest tone.

After all, just because a woman wraps her thighs around a man with enough force to crush a casaba melon, he couldn’t just presume to call her by her first name, could he? Absolutely not.

His lips twitched, but she ignored it and waited for an explanation.

“Miss Worth then.” He executed a slight mocking bow in her direction. “As I mentioned earlier, the portrait you acquired is of an ancestor of mine, Royce Murdoch. I want to know how the painting came to be in your possession.”

“As I am sure you heard from the press, the painting was donated to the museum by a benefactor who prefers to remain anonymous,” Syd explained.

Stiggler jumped in, “But if you are a descendant, we would love to have you involved in the exhibition. How much would you like to contribute?” he asked without any apparent concern over his lack of tact.

“I’m not interested in donating to the museum,” replied Logan.

“No? Why wouldn’t you want to contribute and promote your good family name?” Stiggler asked.

“Let me cut to the chase. Someone stole that painting from my family two hundred years ago. We gave up any hope of finding it until we saw the news coverage. We want it back.”

Sydney’s mouth dropped open. A sheen of sweat appeared on Stiggler’s pasty brow, and his eyes almost bugged out of his head as if a stroke was imminent. The gallery was silent as a tomb for a good minute before either gathered their wits enough to respond. Logan calmly met their stunned expressions, seeming content to wait out the silence.

“You want it back?” Sydney repeated, not quite believing her ears.

Stiggler regained his senses, but instead of addressing Murdoch, he turned on Syd.

“Miss Worth, this is just one more example of how your inexperience has hurt this museum,” he hissed.

Syd rounded on him, “Excuse me? How is this is my fault?”

“If you had done your job, this never would have happened.”

“We’ve only had the painting a week.” She tried to keep her voice calm to cover the acid churning in her stomach. “You’re the one who started a media blitz before anyone had a chance to authenticate the painting!”

A throat cleared, and Sydney suddenly remembered the man who started all of this. It brought her back to her senses enough to realize how unprofessional she must seem. But how dare Stiggler blame her for this? Really! She had put up with a lot since she accepted her position at the Raleigh Museum of Fine Art six months earlier. Because she was young by curator standards, only twenty-eight, it had been an uphill battle all the way to prove her talents.

“I told the museum board hiring an inexperienced woman for the role of curator would be a mistake. Fresh perspective, my foot,” Stiggler railed.

Honestly, thought Syd, the man thinks only stuffy middle-aged white men know anything about art. Her two master’s degrees, one in art history and another in European history, meant nothing to him. Nor did he care she was graduated from both programs with departmental distinction. Luckily, she’d proven herself to the museum board and landed her dream job. She had persevered through months of Stiggler’s crap only to have this gorgeous man come in and muck everything up for her.

“Mr. Stiggler, I fail to see how this development is relevant to the origins of my employment here,” she said. She would not let him bait her into losing her cool.

“You know the acquisition of this portrait comes at a time when the museum desperately needs attention. After all, attention means donors,” Stiggler continued with a significant look at Murdoch.

Syd knew the importance of the painting in terms of public relations, especially with a bad economy making donors less generous, but she also saw it as her opportunity to put her name on the map as a curator. And she desperately wanted to prove herself, and not only to Stiggler.

“Mr. Stiggler, perhaps we should take a moment to refocus our attention to the matter at hand, hmm?” Murdoch interrupted Stiggler’s rant.

Suddenly the anxiety she felt gave way to resolve. The man couldn’t just waltz in there and throw all of her hard work down the drain. And she knew if Stiggler could pin this on her, he would. She had to ensure that never happened. So she turned her attention away from her rodent boss and onto the man really responsible—Logan Murdoch.

“Mr. Murdoch, I apologize for our outburst, but your news has come to us as a bit of a shock. However, I assume you have some evidence to support your claim.” Murdoch Biotechnology or no, this man was not going to intimidate her.

“Well . . . no.” He seemed honestly baffled she would even suggest he needed proof. He stared at her intently for a second. She waited for him to say more, but he just continued to look into her eyes as if trying to read her mind.

Ok, that’s weird, thought Syd.

“Are you telling me you waltzed in here expecting us to just hand the painting over to you without verifying your story? Really, Mr. Murdoch, did you expect us to gift wrap it, too?”

Ha, take that! She gave herself a mental high five.

“Miss Worth, apologize to Mr. Murdoch! That kind of sarcasm is not appropriate when speaking to such an esteemed member of our community,” chastised Stiggler.

Syd rolled her eyes and then looked at Murdoch expectantly.

His eyebrows knitted together, and his jaw clenched as if he was trying to remain calm.

Well, tough, she thought. He’d better get used to being challenged. No one pushes this girl around.

He cleared his throat as if needing time to regroup. “I admit my family and I were in shock when we saw the news. In my rush to get here, I failed to consider the need for evidence. Perhaps we could come to an agreement.”

Stiggler’s eyes lit up. Syd could almost hear the cha-ching echoing in the man’s head. She, on the other hand, was insulted.

“Are you suggesting we would be open to bribery?” she demanded.

“Hush!” said Stiggler as he slithered closer to his prey.

“Please ignore her. She has no decision-making authority here. Now about that arrangement . . .”

Murdoch looked at the man with distaste.

“No, I am not offering a bribe. If we could go see the painting, I will explain what I have in mind.”

Looking a little baffled, Stiggler nodded his toupee-covered head and crossed his hands respectfully over his gut. Syd often thought, with the designer suits his outlandish salary afforded him, Stiggler appeared half-politician, half-used-car salesman. Lord knew why the museum board kept the man on. Most likely it was his ability to finagle credit for his employees’ hard work while doing almost no real work himself. He really was a rat. Unfortunately for Syd, the rat also had the power to make or break her career.

“If you’ll follow me, Logan,” said the rat.

“You may call me Mr. Murdoch,” said the man who confused her more by the minute. He sure seemed like the enemy, but she couldn’t shake the odd feeling he was on her side.

“Of course, Mr. Murdoch,” said Stiggler. “Miss Worth, please continue on with whatever it is you do all day. Besides throwing yourself off ladders that is.”

Syd opened her mouth to protest being cut out of the discussions, but Murdoch beat her to it.

“Actually, I insist Miss Worth be included.” Syd whirled to face him, her mouth hanging open with shock. Of course, she wanted to be included in negotiations, but she wondered why he insisted on her involvement. He calmly met her gaze. She took in his resolved expression but glimpsed a promise in his eyes. Syd tried not to focus on what the promise entailed because, given their interaction so far, she feared it would involve sticking her chest in his face again. Only this time it would not be an accident. She mentally fanned herself.

Get a grip, girl. This man is the enemy, she scolded herself and raised her chin, which only seemed to amuse him. She scowled at him. He grinned back. Stiggler was so beside himself he didn’t notice the exchange.

“Absolutely not. This is a museum administration issue, and she is only a curator,” the rat fink insisted, trying to assert some of his power. The grin immediately disappeared from Mr. Murdoch’s face.

Syd almost felt pity for Stiggler. Almost.

“Miss Worth is involved, or I call the lawyers.” From his tone, Syd suspected he was a man used to getting his way. Her suspicion became a conviction at the next words out of Stiggler’s mouth.

“After you, Miss Worth.”

Title: Rebel Child
Author: Kate Eden
Series: The Murdoch Vampires #2
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 11, 2013
Type: Paranormal Romance

Raven really doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. All she did was kidnap a mortal and try to sabotage one of the most important developments in the history of the vampire race. For some reason, though, her father, who is the leader of the vampire race, is seriously pissed. He gives her an ultimatum: Spend 200 years in exile or submit to a last ditch crash-course in vampire etiquette.

As the poster boy for upstanding, modern vampires, Callum Murdoch stands for
everything the rebellious Raven loathes. He’s also the brother of the man Raven recently
targeted. But this very odd couple is about to find out that opposites don’t just attract—
they smolder.

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Excerpt
CHAPTER ONE

You kidnap one lousy mortal and everyone freaks out.

That’s what I was thinking as my “escorts”—four muscle-bound guards—led me into the office. My boots sunk into the thick Persian rug underfoot. Cocking my hip—both for effect and to take the weight off one of my feet for a blessed second—I thanked the Goddess I’d worn my favorite boots.

Here’s the thing: Most women can’t pull off a red, stiletto-heeled boot.

I am not most women.

But boots like those required a certain presence—an elusive combination of confidence and a devil-may-care attitude. Oh, and a high tolerance for pain.

The damned things pinched in awful places and the pointy tips made my toes go numb. But I looked kick-ass, which counted for a lot. The confidence boost was necessary if I was going to get through the coming confrontation.

High Councilman Orpheus Coracino was the most powerful vampire in existence. As the head of the Brethren Sect, it was up to him to decide my punishment.

Oh, yeah, he also happened to be my father.

The room was as imposing as the man who had yet to acknowledge my presence. To mortal eyes it would probably look like the office of any high-powered CEO, with the exception of the lit display cases filled with wicked-looking, ancient weaponry. Each piece once used by my dear, very old dad in battle.

My father dismissed the goons with a wave of his hand, not bothering to look up from the document he was reading. The guards released my arms and left the room, closing the doors behind them. I almost missed the support of their firm grips. Aching feet, stress, hunger, and the impending sunrise wreaked havoc on my stamina as I struggled to look unaffected. My hands shook anyway.

“What, no hug for the prodigal daughter?” I said into the silence, extending my arms for a hug I knew would never come.

Orpheus slowly raised his piercing eyes to look at me. He said nothing, just stared at me the familiar mixture of disappointment and distaste.

I dropped my arms, not quite sure what to say next. It had been ten years since our last meeting. Back then, daddy dearest issued an ultimatum: Clean up my act or else. Well, of course I ignored him. But now, I was about to find out what “or else” really meant.

“Gabriella—” he began.

“Stop right there.” I held up my index finger with its black lacquered nail. “The name is Raven, you know that.”

“Young lady, your name is Gabriella. I should know, I named you myself.”

His baritone vibrated with authority. It matched his form perfectly. If he stood, he would have towered over me. With two black holes for eyes and a jaw so hard and sharp it could cut through metal, the man was a prime example of a civilized predator.

He looked like a high-paid executive in a pin-stripe suit, instead of an alpha vampire. But the civilized veneer couldn’t hide the ruthlessness in his eyes. No wonder he had been the leader of the Brethren Sect for more than one hundred years. Only a fool would dare challenge his authority.

“You also know I renamed myself a century ago. If you expect a response you will refer to me as Raven,” I shot back. I was probably one of the only vampires in existence with enough bravado to talk back to him. However, egging my father on was sort of a pastime for me.

He ignored the name issue, no doubt considering it not worth his time.

“Would you like to take this opportunity to explain your actions?”

I shrugged. “What’s there to explain?”

“You can start with trying to sabotage the most important development in vampire history and finish with kidnapping the mortal woman,” he said.

“I am not a member of your precious sect, I don’t owe you an explanation.”

“You have no excuse for your actions as usual. Nor do you exhibit one sign of remorse.” His voice was maddeningly calm, in complete opposition to my defensive tone.

“Why would I show remorse for standing up for what I believe?” I countered. This was an old argument, and I was trying not to let it get my hackles up.

“You could have launched a formal complaint through the proper channels. Instead, you wreaked havoc,” he said.

“Again, what good would a formal complaint have done when I am not in good standing with the Council?” I countered.

He steepled his fingers and pressed them lightly to his lips.

“Exactly. Which brings us back to the issue of why you are not in good standing,” he said.

Well, shit.

He reached behind the desk and I heard the sound of a drawer opening and closing. He sat back up and a large stack of folders thumped on the desk top.

“As you can see, your transgressions have been well-documented.”

He flipped open the top folder and started shuffling through pages.

“Here we have the report the fire drill you pulled during the Council meeting, causing mass panic. Hmmm. And let’s not forget the ‘Skunk Blood Incident of 1886,’” he paused to scowl at me when I snorted with laughter.

“Then there’s the time you replaced the beds of all the Council members with coffins. Shall I go on?” he said looking up from the foot-tall pile with fake courtesy.

I bit back a smile. I was damned proud of everything he listed and more. A lot of work and preparation had gone into those feats. Everything he considered a stunt, I considered civil disobedience for a good cause. I hated everything to do with the Council’s goals to make us more like mortals.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think everything the Council did was bad, but give me a break.

Vampires are gods. Mortals are our food. You don’t see humans going around eating grass and mooing all the time. And why not? Because mortals understand their superiority over cows.

“Come on,” I said. “Nothing you mentioned there was all that bad. No one was hurt. Besides, last time I checked, the Council didn’t ban freedom of speech or expression. Or is that next on your totalitarian agenda?”

“As the leader of the Council, it is my goal to create a democratic life for all of my constituents. I even encourage debate on topics of import. However, your pranks have nothing to do with taking a stand and everything to do with getting attention.”

My mouth dropped open. Of all the freakin’ nerve! I forgot all about the throbbing in my feet and the hunger pains clenching my stomach as centuries-old resentment bubbled up in me like a volcano.

“You’re wrong. You just can’t stand the idea that your daughter hasn’t toed the line of your administration.”

“What I can’t stand is the idea that my daughter turned out to be nothing more than a spoiled brat who has not one ounce of self-respect.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“Look at yourself. You’re all tarted up like an extra from one of those horrible vampire movies,” he said raking me with a distasteful glare.

“Excuse me? These clothes are the height of fashion!” I said. No one, but no one insulted my clothes. The black leather miniskirt and red corset were two of my favorite pieces. He obviously was stuck in the Dark Ages when it came to fashion.

“Where? The Best Little Whorehouse in Transylvania?”

I opened my mouth to rebut, but his words cut so deep I couldn’t think of a response. My own father had just called me a whore. Nice.

I took a deep breath to calm the fire in my belly.

“My fashion choices have nothing to do with why I am here.”

He leaned back in his leather executive chair. “You’re right. Your behavior is the issue at hand. If I recall, the last time you were in this room I warned you that further disobedience would not be tolerated.”

“Disobedience?” I repeated, struggling to keep my voice level. “I am four-hundred-years old. I will not be treated like an ill-tempered child.”

“Then perhaps you should stop acting like one,” he said quietly, leaning forward with a clear warning in his cold eyes.

I bit my tongue, hating him for being right. And I was annoyed with myself for taking his bait.

He leaned back in his chair and regarded my silence for a moment.

“The Council is recommending banishment,” he said as if casually commenting on the weather.

My gasp sounded before I could stop myself. He took me completely off guard. My heartbeat kicked up about twenty notches.

“That’s insane!” I said.

“Is it?,” he asked, raising his eyebrows. “Time and again, you have demonstrated your lack of respect for the Council. We have threatened, we have cajoled, we have bribed. None of it has worked. You crossed over the line this time.”

I stood in sullen silence. My anger and resentment felt like a poison vine in my belly.

“What were you thinking?” he continued. “The Murdoch family is one of the oldest and most respected among the Brethren.”

He shook his head with disgust.

“I don’t have to remind you how important Logan Murdoch’s work is. The Lifeblood formula he’s creating will make all of our lives better.

“And how is he rewarded? My own daughter tries to cast a spell to gain control of his mind. And if that isn’t enough, you kidnapped the mortal woman who may be Logan’s soul mate. It’s unconscionable.”

“Are you more upset by my actions or by how they make you look?” I asked, keeping my voice calm.

“Both,” he said, his clipped tone felt like a slap.

“And for that you are ready to throw me to the wolves and let the Council use me as an example for all the other naughty vamps? You’re going to sacrifice your own daughter?”

“Your actions are a threat to our entire way of life. You bring dangerous attention to all of us with your antics. We, the Council, believe you must be rehabilitated by any means necessary.”

“So you’re going to ship me off to a remote area where you know I will have no source of food? Well, I guess death is the ultimate form of rehabilitation,” I said with a bitter laugh.

“Don’t be melodramatic. We would provide you with synthetic blood as sustenance. Logan is almost ready to release it to the public, despite your efforts to the contrary. You will be one of the first to use it.”

I narrowed my eyes and leaned forward. “A little poetic justice, huh? I tried to stop his efforts to develop Lifeblood, so now I am doomed to depend on it for survival.”

I laughed again, the sound hollow. “You know I won’t do that. You might as well stake me now.”

My words hung in the air for a second. I just knew I had him. He would have no choice but to come up with an alternate punishment.

He laughed instead.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Your tantrums don’t impress me,” he said between chuckles.

If anyone could spontaneously combust, it would be me.

“You’re an asshole!” I seethed. “I am sure you would love it if I was dead. Then you wouldn’t have that inconvenience of being embarrassed by my every word and action.”

“Grow up, Gabriella.”

“It’s Raven!” I yelled. I knew I sounded like a fledgling, but I couldn’t help myself. He had me cornered. Like a wild animal I struggled to think of a way, any way, to free myself from this trap of my own making.

“Calm down,” he commanded, his voice hard with warning. “I am sure if you look at this rationally you will see it is best for everyone. You get two hundred years to think about what you’ve done—”

“Two hundred years? Fuck that!”

“Charming language,” he admonished. “Yes, two hundred. You must pay for your crimes and have sufficient time to learn your lesson. At least you the banishment isn’t permanent like it is for some of our more notorious criminals. In fact, it’s not really banishment, so much as a period of exile.”

Yeah, that made me feel tons better.

“Vampires are banished for murdering other vamps or mortals in cold blood. I kidnapped one measly person and didn’t hurt a hair on her head!” I said, trying to make him see reason.

He continued as if I had not spoken. “Now, in addition to exile for the next two hundred years, you must also apologize to the Murdoch family. Since you will be leaving for Norway—”

“Norway? Norway! As in the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun?’”

“Yes, that Norway. As I was saying, since you ship out tomorrow, there is no time for you to go back to Raleigh to make a formal apology to the whole Murdoch family. Thus, I have decided an apology to Callum is sufficient until such time as you return from your exile.”

“And the hits keep on coming,” I grumbled.

Not only was I going to the fucking frozen tundra—where I’d have to deal with two solid months of sunlight a year for two hundred freakin’ years—but now I had to apologize to that arrogant asshole, Callum Murdoch, Logan’s younger brother.

When the family busted in on my lair to rescue the chick I kidnapped, Callum had volunteered to take me into custody and deliver me home to dear old dad. I couldn’t stand the guy. In addition to being the Brethren Golden Boy, Callum ran a company that produced all the products that helped vampires blend into mortal society.

“Do you have any questions?” my father asked.

“Were you born with out a heart or did it dissolve from lack of use?”

He ignored my comment as he pushed the intercom button. As he told Callum to come into the office, I tried to compose myself. I felt like my entire world had collapsed.

The thought of apologizing to Callum made me want to puke. I never, ever begged anyone for anything, least of all forgiveness. I felt more desperate in that moment than I had in my entire long life.

The doors opened and Callum strolled in as confident as you please. Seeing him with the bright light from the reception area framing him in a golden aura was overwhelming. I guess it had something to do with the fact he seemed so . . . capable, while I felt so trapped.

The thought of apologizing to this man made me feel dizzy and short of breath. I know it probably had more to do with my empty stomach than my pride, but it was there nonetheless.

Finally, I did something I have never done in my four-hundred-and eleven years on this earth.

I fainted.


About the Author: 
Kate Eden comes from a long line of mouthy broads who love to read, so it’s probably no surprise she caught the writing bug early. An avid romance fan since her early teens, Kate loves writing–and reading–stories about plucky heroines, sexy heros and the weird and wild journey people take on their way to love. She loves good food, cheap booze, and believes laughter is the cure for just about everything.

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Giveaway:
Kate is giving away one basic Kindle, a $25 gift card to EdenFantasys.com, and Kate Eden coffee mug. The Giveaway is for US/CAN residence only.  Must be 18 to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

  1. Another blog I follow just reviewed this, I love the premise of the series and despite its UF/PNR feel, it sounds chick-lit-y to me... and I still read chick lit, one of very few people who still does :S

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  2. I'm part of the blog tour too, just stopping by to say hello! :)

    http://nataliewestgate.com

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