"I have completely fallen for these characters and story. Who doesn’t love a great vampire story, right? I did find it difficult to write about the story because I SO did not want to giveaway any spoilers to this insanely great plot! The story increases in excitement with the added witches and shifters. The human like qualities to the vampires’ personalities, priceless. This series is definitely worth the time for all vampire lovers." —Page Turners
Daturaby LM DeWalt
After nearly a century of wandering the globe alone, Lily finally has everything she never knew she wanted, family, friends, and most of all, their love. As Lily attempts to start her new life, in the lively streets of Lima, Peru, she feels she is constantly being followed. With Ian, her first love and maker, now gone, who is left to destroy the happiness she has
After nearly a century of wandering the globe alone, Lily finally has everything she never knew she wanted, family, friends, and most of all, their love. As Lily attempts to start her new life, in the lively streets of Lima, Peru, she feels she is constantly being followed. With Ian, her first love and maker, now gone, who is left to destroy the happiness she has finally found? Someone still longs for Lily’s destruction. Vengeance or jealousy threaten to destroy her, and Lily must summon all the strength she can find to protect everything she cherishes against vampires, hunters, and witches.
- Central Avenue Publishing
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- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.49(d)
Read an Excerpt
By LM Dewalt
Central Avenue Marketing Ltd.Copyright © 2012 LM DeWalt
All rights reserved.
The sweet scent of roses filled my lungs. Sunlight blinded me and the moisture from the grass seeped between my toes as I walked. I wasn't alone in the colorful garden surrounding me, I felt it, yet I saw no one. I turned my head, admiring the vivid colors splayed around me. White concrete benches surrounded a pond filled with lily pads. The benches were encircled by ivy-lined arches that blocked the tranquil scene until I walked into it. A rustling of clothing reached my ears and I turned to look.
"Ian." He leaned against one of the archways, looking at me with a smile on his perfect face. "What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for you." His hand reached for mine. "What took you so long?"
I looked around for any other sign of life. Besides the birds darting in and out of nearby trees, I saw none. His eyes called to me. His heart beat faster as he awaited my next move. I felt my heart speed up in response. I pressed my hand on my chest and felt the steady beating beneath the warmth of my skin.
"Am I dead too?"
His eyebrows raised in confusion. "Why would you say that?"
"My heart ... your heart ... they shouldn't be beating ... I killed you ..." My mind flooded with questions my lips could not form.
"What are you talking about?" He closed the distance between us and the warmth of his hand wrapped mine.
I stared at our entwined fingers and my fingers tightened around his, a sense of peace and safety filled the empty spot in my heart. It wasn't until then that I realized there had been an empty spot.
"Our hearts ... they shouldn't be ... beating." My eyes reached his and I was more confused to see green eyes instead of the usual violet. "What happened to your eyes?"
"What are you talking about? Nothing's wrong with my eyes. Nothing's wrong with our hearts. In fact, everything is perfect." He smiled at me. I tried to form a smile but my face felt frozen. My heart beat furiously. A splash in the pond made my head jerk as I tried to catch a glimpse of the cause. A ripple in the water was all that was left. Whatever it was had been too quick for me to catch and I worried that my instincts were slipping. My vampiric senses seemed slower, less intense, somehow.
"Where are we?" I asked, focusing on him once again.
"In the garden, my love." His eyes swept our surroundings.
"Whose garden?" Nothing looked familiar. Not even Ian. I knew it was him. I knew his face, his voice, the feel of his skin, except, it was ... the wrong temperature, too warm. His eyes were the wrong color. His heart was wrong ... all wrong. I killed him.
"Our garden. Remember your roses? You insisted on them so I filled it with as many colors as I could. It was a surprise ... for your thirtieth birthday." He pointed to the white roses. He wrapped his fingers around a white bud and plucked it from the stem. He placed it in my hand. "These are your favorite."
I'm thirty? I shook my head. I should be only nineteen. This made no sense. My hand jerked away from his and I stumbled backward. I looked at the barely-open white bud in my hand. My heart sped as the feeling of emptiness took control of me again. I felt it in my soul and searched my mind for the cause. Something was wrong ... very wrong. But what? Ian didn't move toward me. He stood and stared, as if waiting for me to come to my senses.
Dead. He should be dead. I tried to replay events in my mind. I knew I killed him; I was sure of it. This didn't make any sense.
"Vampire!" I stumbled back again and this time landed on the bench. It was warm from the sun. I jumped to my feet, wanting to run but not being able to move. "You're a vampire ... I'm ... a vampire."
He tilted his head and laughed. "Are you feeling alright? Did you hit your head when you fell, my love?"
"This is wrong. You should be dead, really dead!" I focused on the images my clouded mind was sending. "You're a vampire. I'm a vampire. You made me. I destroyed you."
His eyes softened as his face filled with concern.
"Why are you here ... with me?" I asked.
"We live here. Ever since we got married. I should get you to a doctor."
"We never married! You just used that notion to separate me from my parents. You had no intention of ever marrying me!"
He took a step in my direction and I turned and started running. I ran as hard as my legs allowed, feeling like my heart was going to jump out of my chest, pain shooting through my side. The scenery remained the same. The bench remained at my side. The emptiness in my soul turned black as my vision blurred and the colors faded. I pushed my legs harder, trying to get away from the laughter filling my ears. Blue eyes flashed in my mind ... sad, yet comforting eyes. Were they the cause of the emptiness?
The more I ran the closer Ian came to reaching out and touching me. Dead. I have to be dead. What other explanation could there be? Could we be in heaven? Human again? But death meant no heartbeat. A fact I knew all too well.
"Stop, Lily!" His voice was clear and demanding. "I can't reach you if you don't stop moving!"
My legs slowed but my mind told me to keep moving. Never let him catch you! My mind screamed at me.
"No! I can't be here! I have to go! I have to go back! I don't belong here with you!" I screamed as I tried to run faster. My side ached and threatened to double me over.
"I love you, Lily! Don't leave me! Don't go to him!" His voice was pained.
Him? Who? I desperately searched my memories. Blue eyes, warm lips, blood ... sweet, powerful, blood ...
"Him who?" I demanded.
"You don't love him. He was only a distraction. He could never make you happy ... truly happy. It's me you want. It's always been me. Stop fighting it. We have everything now. Our happiness. Our humanity. We got it all back. Don't you see?" His fingertips brushed my back as he stretched his arms to grab me and sent a pulse of electricity through my body. My vision cleared. I turned toward him. My legs stopped. My breathing struggled to slow. My hand clutched the burning pain in my side.
"I do see." I straightened so I could look into his green eyes; eyes that had once been violet and cold, filled with hatred and greed. Something suddenly clicked in my brain. "I see what this is. This is a dream. My dream. Not yours. I call the shots here."
His smile turned sinister, like I remembered, like it had always been.
I leaned forward toward his face and felt his hot breath on me. His eyes closed in anticipation, waiting for me to speak. "I loved you once. I will never make that mistake again," I whispered before my lips brushed his and then pulled away. All I could see was black again. Complete silence surrounded me. No birds, no Ian, no splashing, but best of all, no heartbeat.
"Come back, Lily. Don't leave me. You can't leave me. Please, not now." A familiar voice sounded like a melody in my ears. Christian. Christian was begging me to come back. From where? Where did I go? I struggled to open my eyes so I could see his angelic face and look into the deep blue eyes that held my future. Nothing but blackness surrounded me.
"Christian? Why is it so dark?" I felt the damp softness of the ground beneath my body.
"I can't stand this pain," he pleaded, his voice growing weaker. "Please help me through this. Stay with me. I need you."
"I'm trying but ... I can't see you. I don't know where you are."
"Shh ... it's okay. Everything is okay. You're safe." Another voice. A well-known, safe voice. "Relax."
I tried again to open my eyes, turn my head toward the sound, but couldn't. It was as if a weight sat on my chest, keeping me pinned.
"Is she hurt? Did you check her head?" A worried female voice asked.
"No ... I don't think so. She's just in shock. She'll be fine." Aaron? The name brought a small comfort to my screaming mind. The man who had taken me into his life, into his fatherly embrace, was near, comforting me, holding my head off the ground. I sifted through memories for some image of him but I could see nothing but a blur, a combination of faces, arms, hands reaching for me.
"I'll stay with you. Take my hand ... hurry." In my mind's eye, his blue eyes pleaded with me. His hand reached for me in a tangle of other hands, pushing his out of the way. I felt only his fingertips, couldn't stretch my arm enough to grasp. His back arched. His body writhed with pain but still he tried to keep a smile on his lips. His breathing was pained, in quick gasps through clenched teeth. I couldn't reach the security of his warm hand. But why would I be able to reach, to feel the warmth of his skin? Christian was gone. Ian had ended his life and I had been unable to stop it. The reality of it hit me like a ton of bricks. The pain passed through my body making me the one squirming. I had failed him.
With all my might, I hoped I was dead. I hoped I was in hell, where I belonged, for all the lives I had taken, for all the suffering I had caused. Coldness settled over me and I felt movement. Someone carried me now. Whoever it was took his time. My head dangled. The heaviness on my chest continued but it burned now. It felt like my heart was on fire but I knew I should not be able to feel it. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to run though I still couldn't move my limbs.
Christian was dead and I had caused it. I had to be dead if I was hearing and seeing him. I felt relief, if only for a brief moment, as the realization of what that meant hit me. If I was, indeed, dead, then what I was hearing and seeing really was Christian and that meant he was here with me. That also meant I couldn't possibly be in hell because he would not be there. Christian did not belong in hell with Ian and I. Nothing made sense. The blackness was driving me crazy. I needed to see. I needed to stop feeling the cold and the empty.
"This is good. Put her down here ... careful." A female voice directed whoever was carrying me. Kalia? Her sweet, motherly voice was unmistakable yet it made no sense. All of us dead?
"Lily, honey? Can you hear me? Aaron, hand me your shirt ... make a pillow." I felt my head being lifted and then placed gently back down onto something soft. "Her eyes are opening."
The orange light blinded me and I blinked against it. My head felt heavy and my eyes burned, my vision blurred. I struggled to focus my eyes on the faces around me.
"Christian, where are you?" I turned my head to the side as if it had a fifty-pound weight resting on it. "I can't feel you. I can't see you."
"Shh ... shh ... it's okay, Lily. You're safe. Lie still." Aaron's voice sounded so close, yet, I couldn't will my eyes to focus on his sweet face. Christian's face was the one I longed to see. My Christian. My human. My soul mate.
"Where are you? Come closer, please. I can't find you." My eyes moved as if of their own free will, my aching head staying still. I couldn't find him. I could make out two faces but I somehow sensed that neither was the one I wanted ... needed ... to see.
"Lily, please stay still. Don't over-exert yourself ... not until we're sure nothing's broken." Aaron was beside me on the ground, his cold hand holding mine.
"Where is Christian?" I demanded. I wasn't waiting anymore. "I can't see him. I don't hear him anymore. Please go get him."
I heard Kalia's slow gasp. A moment of silence and then ...
"Christian's gone ... don't you remember?" Aaron's voice was soft as a whisper. "He died, Lily."
A throbbing pain hit my head as I tried to force my body to sit up. It was no use.
"No! That's impossible. He can't be ... he was ... talking to me. I heard him, just now. I saw his face. Please go get him," I pleaded. How could they not have seen him? They were all here. I heard all their voices. Three of them. The only ones that mattered.
"I'm so sorry, honey. I wish we could tell you differently, but ... he is gone ... to a better place." Kalia held my other hand. Her fingers squeezed mine in her comforting way.
"That's not true! I heard him! I felt his hand. I saw his eyes. He's hurt but he's alive. Go get him!" I tried again to get up but failed.
"He's dead, Lily. Ian killed him and you tried to save him but it was too late. Please understand that. He was not talking to you." Aaron's voice sounded firm. "There was a battle. We lost Christian. You killed Ian. I wish I could tell you otherwise but unfortunately ..."
"NO! I don't believe you. I can't ..." I managed to yank my hands away from them and roll to my side. Curling myself into a ball I felt the blood tears roll down my face. My eyes focused on a patch of dead grass at the base of the tree I had been placed beside. Blood made a puddle that seeped slowly into the ground. My head ached and my chest burned as if a match had been lit. I let the blackness reclaim my senses. I wanted to go back to that place I had been before, where Ian had been human, where I could take that humanity from him, the way he had taken mine, the way he had taken Christian's.
I felt something moist in my hand. It was clenched into a fist. I concentrated on moving my fingers, uncurling them. One by one they opened. I focused my eyes on that spot, on the crushed rose bud lying on the palm of my hand.CHAPTER 2
"Lily, can you hear me? Look at me, please." I turned my head toward the soothing voice and blinked a few times trying to clear my vision.
Kalia knelt next to me, her cold hand comforting on my shoulder. I could see Aaron's legs as he hovered next to her, waiting. "Can you sit up ... with my help maybe?" she asked. I thought about it a moment and nodded. She moved her hands behind my back and pushed me gently as I tried to lift my body from the ground. My head spun as soon as I reached a sitting position. Her hands never left my back.
"Where am I?" My voice came out in a whisper. I looked around but all I saw were trees.
This time it was Aaron kneeling and looking at me with a sad expression. "You're behind the cabin. We carried you here a little while ago. Can you see me?"
His face was a little blurry but I could see him well enough so I nodded. I blinked a few more times bringing his features into focus. I couldn't help but smile when I saw his gentle eyes, despite all the recent horror I remembered. He forced a smile back at me.
"We have to get to Christian." I tried to stand but Kalia kept her hands on my shoulders, pushing me down.
"Don't try to get up yet, Lily. You've been unconscious for a while. You need some time to recover." She loosened her grip but did not remove her hands.
"You don't understand! Christian needs me. He's in pain. He ..."
"Stop it, Lily!" Aaron's voice was demanding. "There is nothing we can do now. It's over. Please understand that."
I shook my head. I knew it wasn't true. It wasn't over. It couldn't be over and I refused to believe anything Aaron said. He didn't know. But I did. I knew Christian was looking for me.
"It's not over. He was just talking to me. I heard him!" It was Aaron's turn to be shocked at the harshness of my voice. Kalia's hand stroked my back, trying to calm me.
"Take me to the cabin. I'll show you ..." I tried again to stand but failed. My head was still spinning.
"I'm sorry, Lily. We did everything we could. We tried and ..." He hung his head in shame. I shook my head but he wasn't looking. "Christian is dead."
"It's true," Kalia's voice was shaky. "I wish we could tell you something different but ..."
What was the use in arguing with them? They weren't going to believe me. Yet, as hard as I tried to convince them, I wasn't sure I was convincing myself. How was I seeing him and hearing him when they couldn't? I felt emptiness in the pit of my stomach. I knew there had been losses in this battle. Exactly how many, I wasn't sure, but I knew I didn't want to ask yet.
"Okay. You win. Now take me to the cabin," I said trying to stand again and noticing Kalia wasn't trying to stop me this time. "If what you say is true, then we have work to do."
This time Aaron helped me up. His hands hovered around me in case I lost my balance. I didn't. I started walking as soon as I felt steady.
The closer we got to the cabin, the more anxious I felt and the harder it was to breathe. I tried to forget what had occurred inside what had last been our home, all the violence that had taken place, not to mention the love of my life ripped from this world. I tried to forget, at least for the moment, that we had not one, but two bodies waiting. One body, I knew, had to be completely dismembered before we could dispose of it. That part, I realized, I kind of looked forward to yet it made me shiver. But good things had also happened there. Fiore and I had truly become friends. It was also the place where Christian and I had made love for the first time.
Excerpted from Datura by LM Dewalt. Copyright © 2012 LM DeWalt. Excerpted by permission of Central Avenue Marketing Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
LM DeWalt is a Peruvian American working as a teacher, interpreter and translator. She has written for several Spanish language newspapers and her dream was always to write novels. Her love of vampires started when she was seven years old and saw Bela Lugosi's Dracula.
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It was the most interesting book i have ever read!!