Last year I had the great good fortune of reading a paranormal thriller that, despite my usual sex-heavy reading appetite, I absolutely loved. As a general rule, vampires make me yawn, grumble, and/or laugh. (Seriously, once I read a vampire-werewolf romance in which the main vampire character – supposed to be mind-numbingly hot, right? – appeared wearing cerulean blue underwear, that matched his cerulean eyes, which also coordinated with his cerulean sheets… oh my god, I would turn around and leave that bedroom right away! And that was before the sparkly Twilight-vampire craze. Save me!) Anyhow… She Dies At The End, by the excellent A.M. Manay, converted me. This isn’t your typical vampire thriller. It’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever read – in the very best way! Vampires, werewolves, fairies, and humans are all portrayed with sensitivity, care, and individuality. The backstory is rich, drawing me in and making me wish for more.
Which is why I’m delighted to join Ms. Manay in announcing the arrival of the sequel. And not a minute too soon – we were all suffering from the cliffhanging ending of November’s first adventure! All I know is it’s bound to be good, with the diverse, thoughtful, and, yes, sexy cast of characters already in place.
The good news for new readers is you can go ahead and read She Dies At The End, which you should finish just in time to quickly follow up with the eagerly awaited She Lights Up the Dark. Go ahead and pre-order now. I guarantee you’ll want to know what happens next, right away!
Just to whet your palate, here is a short excerpt from Chapter 1:
She knew only one thing after she clawed her way out of the ground: she had to eat. Two sheep and a billy goat gave their lives for November’s first meal of her new one. She required no persuasion or instruction, falling upon them instinctively when she’d emerged from the earth, filthy and ravenous. She tore into them, a gleeful savage.
When she was full and they were empty, she knelt next to them, stunned, reaching up a tentative finger to touch the fangs protruding from her bloodstained mouth. The animals had tasted of grass and sunshine and milk. For a few moments, she had lived their bucolic lives, now over. She felt warm, fuzzy with pleasure. Her head spun.
November wasn’t quite sure where she was, or even who she was, but then it all came back in a rush.
As she walks among her friends, a sniper’s bullet finds her belly. She falls to the dirt as she takes the death meant for another. Ilyn carries her inside, eyes burning. She lies in front of a fireplace, her life bleeding away, but there is no pain on her face. Her friends surround her. She agrees to live to fight another day. He takes her blood and gives her his own. Now there is fear and struggle and rejection, but it is too late, far too late. They watch her die They watch her die because of them.
November returned to the present, the ground solid beneath her knees once again.
I died. I’m a vampire.
For a moment, she wasn’t certain if she would laugh or weep. The amazed cackle that escaped between her fingers settled that question. It was only after the glow of feeding had faded that she noticed the pandemonium that had erupted around her.
They were looking for something. Zinnia was on the ground. She looked completely undone. And Ilyn . . . Ilyn looked terrible. It took November a long, confused moment to realize that what they were looking for . . . was her.