Dissension

Dissension

by Adrienne Monson

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Overview

Dissension by Adrienne Monson

Leisha used to be a loving mother with a perfect family, but that was more than 2,000 years ago. Though she holds the memory of that time dear to her heart, she must now focus on trying to escape the eternal and bloody war between her kind—the Vampires—and the Immortals, an undying race sworn to destroy her people. Leisha soon finds herself captured by the government, only to be saved by a young and mysterious human girl. What follows is the beginning of a long and tortuous journey as Leisha and her newfound friend run for their lives while searching for the one thing that can bring an end to the conflict—the prophecy child.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984880133
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication date: 02/23/2013
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Adrienne Monson is a past winner of the Oquirrh Writer’s Contest and the Utah chapter of the Romance Writer’s of America’s Great Beginnings contest. She lives in American Fork, Utah.

Read an Excerpt

Dissension

The Blood Inheritance Trilogy Book One


By Adrienne Monson

Jolly Fish Press

Copyright © 2013 Adrienne Monson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-939967-58-9


CHAPTER 1

The floor was filled to capacity. Hundreds of sweaty, young bodies pumped and gyrated rhythmically to the beat of the music blaring from oversized speakers placed throughout the room. There was no talking; no one could be heard even if they were to scream at the top of their lungs. Of course, none of them had come to talk; they were here to get drunk and rub up against each other. They came to get laid.

The bar overflowed with women wearing tops that left little to the imagination, and men openly ogled those assets to the point of drooling onto these women's cleavage — it was impossible not to bump into each other as they danced, and no one seemed to mind the invasion of personal space.

Kyle used that excuse to get as close as possible to the beautiful woman he was dancing with. They had only been dancing for fifteen minutes, and it was all he could do to resist from twisting his hands into her long, blond hair, and wrapping it around him. He couldn't wait to caress her plump lips with his own and make her scream like she'd never screamed before.

He wanted to see terror in her eyes — those emerald green eyes.

He had to have her. Tonight. Right this minute. Kyle took a deep breath to fortify himself, but it was ruined by the scent of roses emanating from her delicate skin.

The tension in what little air that separated them was palpable. That meant she must want him just as badly as he wanted her. The knowledge gave him reason to smile. He knew women couldn't resist his smile. He always got the girls he wanted.

His eyes nearly rolled back in his head when she returned his smile with an equally seductive one of her own. She was far too pretty — exotically so — and he had to do something about it very soon.

Kyle pressed his body even closer and stroked his hands down her back. She had a small waist that spanned into the most perfectly curved hips he had ever felt. She reciprocated by snuggling her face into the crook of his neck and creeping toward his jaw with provocative little kisses. He groaned and moved his hands lower, stroking every curve on his way to her thighs. She stayed relaxed in his arms, moving against him.

That was it. He couldn't last any longer.

Kyle pulled back and gestured to the backdoor with his head. She arched her brow in interest and nodded. He grabbed her hand and led her outside.

They both took deep breaths of fresh air as soon as they walked out and smiled to the bouncer as they passed him. The large bouncer kept his beefy arms folded, barely glancing at them as he watched a couple just a few feet in front of him. The woman, wearing a skirt short enough to see that she'd foregone underwear, was frantically kissing her date, pinning him to a sticky wall that smelled of urine and alcohol.

Kyle felt himself losing control as they walked down the alley. He had planned to take this lush piece back to his apartment for a long night of forbidden pleasures, but he wasn't sure if he could last that long.

The knife was with him, strapped inside his pants at his hip. He never went anywhere without his trusty bit of silver. It was named Sylvia, after the first girl he'd had.

With his weapon handy he could have her right now in the alley. His heart sped up at the thought of taking her on the filthy ground, making her dirty, making her his with so many people nearby. No one would hear her screams, and even if they did, nobody would come to investigate in this part of the city.

With his decision made, he paused to look around. They were in the darker part of the alley where the wall curved and no one was in sight. It was perfect.

Kyle turned to his date and pulled her in by the hair for a hard, urgent kiss. She tasted so sweet — he couldn't wait to taste more of her. And to see her blood strewn all over the ground — to look into her eyes and see her fear — he would be her master.

Becoming unhinged, he broke the kiss, pulling away just a little, giving her an intent look. He pushed her back into the cement wall behind her, making her glorious hair stick to its dirt. She'd make a lovely picture by the time he was finished with her. He licked his lips as he eased his hand up to his hip. Slowly, he unsheathed Sylvia as his eyes perused her body. He usually liked to start at the stomach and move out from there, but maybe tonight he would start with her flawless face. Yes, he wanted to see this angel's skin pouring red.

He raised his hand high for the first slice, the gleaming silver of the knife barely reflecting in the dim streetlight. He brought the blade down slowly, watching her eyes intently, anticipating the fright he would see there. But to his surprise, she smiled at him.

Before he could register her rapacious look, her hand struck out in a blur, squeezing his wrist and forcing him to drop the knife as his bones made a distinct grinding noise. He screamed. Her arm moved at that same unimaginable speed and impacted with his neck, crushing his windpipe.

Kyle struggled as she pulled his head down toward her. His feeble attempts to strike out at her were no match for the steel grip she had on him. When she could reach his neck with her mouth, she bit down and sucked.

There wasn't much pain from her bite; he tried to scream past his broken throat, but nothing came out. He was helpless. There was nothing he could do while this woman, half his size, sucked the life right out of him.

He felt himself grow weaker and tried once again to struggle, but it was no use.

Memories of his life flooded his vision, and suddenly, he was a little boy, leaving gutted rats under his sister's pillow. He grew older and saw his first kill with that whore, Sylvia. It had been unplanned. She had led him on and teased him, but wouldn't put out. It had enraged him so much that he had forced himself on her and then sliced her pretty face and delicate neck until she was unrecognizable. Then, he was a man of twenty-eight, experienced in his kills, thinking of himself as a master hunter. His last kill had been so beautifully brutal. He had managed to drag it out for the entire day, just slicing her up here and there to make her wondrous screams last as long as possible. It was one of the most fulfilling days of his life ...


HOLDING HIS NECK TO HER mouth, Leisha was in her own mind again, the screams of his latest victim echoing in her head. The poor man was nearing his death and she was able to control the visions emanating from him and focus on the ambrosia of liquid pouring down her throat. She couldn't think beyond the rapture as his blood slid into her stomach, settling it. She gulped without spilling a drop.

Within just a few seconds, her body was already feeling energized. The aching in her head subsided and she felt elated. She closed her eyes in relief as The Hunger retreated from her mind, leaving her to herself again. She adjusted her hold on her victim and continued feeding on him — there was still a little more blood left in his body.

Feeling more than satisfied, Leisha opened her eyes and looked directly into a pair of silvery-blue eyes framed by an ebony face. She knew those eyes well; she had stared into their depths in endless fascination in a time long past.

The rapture of her feast vanished quickly as she stood frozen by his penetrating gaze — her temporary paralysis vanished with the thought of why Tafari was here. She let go of her victim, allowing the still-warm body to slide down her legs onto the filthy ground.

Leisha crouched in a defensive position, wishing she had worn pants instead of her sleazy skirt. Her black heels would make fighting a little more difficult, but she had done it before. She stayed where she was, allowing Tafari to make the first move.

She'd wanted to avoid this moment, and had successfully done so for well over a thousand years. But now it seemed Tafari had finally sought her out. They would be evenly matched in combat, and Leisha truly had no desire to kill him. Of course, she did not want to be killed by him either; she would do what she must to survive.

"Hello, Leisha," he said, his voice hollow. That was his whole demeanor; his expression was flat, withdrawn. His arms were folded over his expansive chest with a leg cocked to give a pretense of being casual. But being of large stature and still able to carry himself with lethal grace, he was never simply casual.

He glanced down at the body lying on the ground by her feet. "I see you have not changed much." Then he smiled, cold.

Showing no reaction to the insult, she kept herself steeled both physically and mentally for the altercation she knew would ensue. "Tafari," she said, surprised at the sound of her affection. She quickly cleared her throat and attempted to sound more nonchalant. "So what do we do now? Fight each other to the death? Seems so clich é, don't you think?"

"I did not come here to fight you."

That was not what Leisha was expecting to hear. She studied him for a moment, trying to decide whether or not he was toying with her.

His firm, square jaw was freshly shaved, and a sudden memory of brushing her cheek against his smooth skin intruded her mind. She shook her head to keep those thoughts at bay, but Tafari had always had that effect on her. She could never think straight around him, and after two thousand years of being separated, she would have expected her emotions to have dried up.

She straightened and schooled her expression into one of indifference. It was offset by the fact that she was having a hard time looking directly at him. She didn't want to be distracted by those captivating eyes; she focused on his chest instead. "So, why are you here?"

He took several steps forward and cupped her face, his fingers digging into her cheeks, forcing her to meet his gaze.

"I will tell you that I certainly did not come here so you could avoid looking at me as if I were beneath you," he said firmly, a British accent lightly threading his tone. His voice was flat, but it seemed to have a little quiver to it.

Her breath caught at his touch. It was electric and made her feel alive in a way she hadn't felt since she was human. She had not even bothered to defend herself from his outstretched hand, a realization that jolted her.

At five-foot-six, her neck was at an awkward angle compared to his six-foot stature. He let his hand drop but didn't take any steps back, apparently oblivious to the corpse at their feet.

They were close enough to kiss, the energy that flowed between their bodies was of a charged violence with an undertone of undeniable chemistry. They stared into each other's eyes.

"That is better," Tafari said after a few minutes.

Leisha blinked, then scoffed, and would have taken a step back if the wall had not been directly behind her. "Oh, please, Tafari. You say I'm acting like you're beneath me? I think that's the pot calling the kettle black."

Tafari crossed his arms and smirked. "Seeing as how I am black, would you call me the pot or the kettle?"

She rolled her eyes, but she could feel herself relaxing a little.

"I think I should be allowed one paltry pun considering that is the second cliché you have used thus far," he said.

Leisha's lips twitched.

Tafari cleared his throat. "I have not seen you make any reports to Ptah for some time. Is it possible that he has allowed you to go out on your own?"

Whatever warmth she had felt quickly shriveled within her. "How would you know that? You've been following me? Watching me?" She was agitated with herself as much as with him — not having had the slightest inkling that someone had been following her. She didn't like the thought of Tafari being near without her knowing.

"I needed to talk to you," he said, "but I did not want to walk into an ambush of twenty bloody vampires just to do that. I did what I had to do to protect myself." He stared hard. "It is likely you have forgotten I serve a higher purpose than most people could fathom."

Leisha felt like sputtering. "Right. A higher purpose? So, murdering me is a higher purpose." He opened his mouth, but Leisha kept on. "I didn't realize your duty was so glorified. Should I bow down to you now, or after you've elevated yourself in my presence? It would certainly make it easier for you to cut my head off!"

"There will be no need for that. I am sure there will be plenty of time to kill you later. I did come to speak with you. So, either you can be civil with me as I am attempting to be with you, or we can just end the conversation now."

She studied him. "Tell me what it is you came to say so we can both be on our way. That is, if you really meant it when you said you weren't here to kill me."

With an edge to his voice he explained, "I came here to warn you."

"You came here to warn me? About your superiority or your higher purpose in life?"

Tafari's eyes flashed violence, then he took a deep, calming breath. "The planets are beginning to align as it has been foretold." Leisha felt a chill run down her spine. "The prophecy child is coming."

"Thanks for the information," she said. "But that still doesn't answer the question of why you're telling me."

For a second, Tafari looked as confused as she felt, but then his face went back to its passive state so quickly that Leisha thought she must have imagined it. "I have come to inform you so that I might make a request of you in return."

"What could you possibly want from me?"

"I know Ptah is going to seek you out to rejoin him for the war that may be approaching. I ask that you stay away from the other vampires until this is all over."

Leisha's brain was trying to process several things, especially why Tafari would want her to stay away from the vampires, but she focused on the important one. "Who says there's going to be a war? There's nothing in the prophecies about any war."

"You know the prophecies as well as anyone else. Both immortals and vampires have prophesied of his coming. Most believe that he will have the ability to control both of our kinds; he is connected to us all in some way, yet none of us know exactly what he is supposed to do."

Comprehension trickled in. "If he can control us, then both the immortals and vampires would want to find him and exploit his powers to gain the upper hand. They will go to war with each other over the child."

Tafari nodded.

Leisha folded her arms beneath her breasts. "Doesn't anyone remember that we tried that five hundred years ago? It didn't work. Both of our people had almost the same losses. This is a foolish idea, especially since neither side has found this prophecy child yet. The prophecies about him are too vague to make any kind of plans. What makes you think we can control him?"

Tafari actually grinned, and it looked genuine. "If only you were an immortal." His smile faded into sadness as he spoke.

Leisha mirrored his sorrow and bowed her head. "I can't tell you how many times I have wished that."

Tafari didn't bother to hide his confusion, and maybe there was some curiosity in his face as well. "Are you still the same Leisha that I married? Why else would you wish to be an immortal instead of the monster that you are?"

Leisha took a deep breath. This was not going to be a pleasant conversation, but if she could only get him to understand what had happened to her. She lifted her face. "I'm the same. My soul hasn't left me; it is only my body that is different."

Tafari shook his head and took a step back. "No, it cannot be. The Leisha I married would never have become a vampire. I know that a person has to agree to become a vampire or the metamorphosis will not work. And I saw" — his voice broke — "I saw what you did."

How could Leisha explain the truth? How could she make him understand? The memory of her first kill flooded her mind. She had fought off The Hunger long enough to run away from her daughter and father so they would not fall victim to her. But she'd had nowhere to run —


LEISHA FELL TO HER KNEES, panting more from mental strain than physical exertion. She didn't know what to do or where to go. The thought of going back to Ptah made her stomach reel even more.

She began to sway. The Hunger was crippling.

She couldn't begin to describe or understand the pain it caused. Her head was splitting to the point that she could hardly think. She was shaking and weak. Too weak.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Dissension by Adrienne Monson. Copyright © 2013 Adrienne Monson. Excerpted by permission of Jolly Fish Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Jody Joy

From the first paragraph of this book, Leisha drew me into her world...once you pick this book up you will not want to put it down...I cannot wait to read more. —Jody Joy, Jody's Book Reviews

Annabelle Lovell

Wow! Really enjoyed this one. —Annabelle Lovell, Sparkles-and-Lightning

Rebekah Grow

From the very first pages of this novel I was drawn into the world Adrienne Monson created. I wanted to keep reading until the end...I for one cannot wait until the second book comes out. —Rebekah Grow, RKG The Author

Alicia Cunningham

...Dissension will make you forget about every other vampire book as you lose yourself in its pages. —Alicia Cunningham, Blogging on Books

Alice Anderson

....fun, easy read, full of adventure and daring...I look forward to reading more from this author. —Alice Anderson, editor, BellaOnline

Rebecca Rode

I couldn't help but compare Dissension to Stephanie Meyer's take on vampires, and I've decided that Dissension is a better read for five reasons: #1: Leisha could beat up Bella any day. And probably Edward, too. . . #2: A rich, fascinating vampire history...#3: Immortals vs. Vampires...#4: Dissension has better action...#5: The underlying theme of Dissension is more meaningful...Dissension has more of the human story in its themes of sacrifice and betrayal. It is the heart-wrenching, down-to-earth and gritty tale of a woman who fights for what she believes is right—even if it means fighting against herself. —Rebecca Rode, RodeWayOfLife

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Dissension 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
E-Park More than 1 year ago
Dissension by Adrienne Monson, book one in The Blood Inheritance trilogy. Though not for those squeamish about blood, Dissension takes the reader on a journey unlike any other vampire story I've heard of. This is an interesting and fast-paced telling of an age-old war between vampires and immortals which commenced from the day of their origin thousands of years before. A difficult romance between two main characters who hope for unification accompanies the story as an underlying dilemma to overcome. Prophecy is told of a child who will affect the war as each division races to find the child first, each hoping to utilize him for their own purposes. Monson executes her scenes with an effective hand, allowing the reader to picture exactly what needs to be seen and experienced. Dissension introduces an interesting take on vampire and immortal origins that no other book or movie have touched as far as I know (though I’m no authority on vampire lore). Monson establishes an interesting and intricate romance between her main characters, adding an intriguing twist at the end concerning a particular association. Monson also integrates multicultural characters throughout the book, appealing to readers of all ethnicities. There’s no harsh language in her story (though I think “hell” or “damn” might have appeared once or twice). There are, however, quite a few violent images, including plenty of blood, breaking bones and fighting with knives and guns, as the aggressive and even sadistic lives of the vampires influence the content. Overall, the story is fast-paced and keeps the reader interested to the end. Monson wraps up many events in the first book, while others remain open, leaving the reader curious about how the next two books will continue the war between vampires and immortals. How will the prophecy child appear and what role will he play in the entire event? NOTE: This book is not for young readers or adults sensitive to brutal imagery as there is a violent overtone about the book (similar to what one might see and hear on CSI shows). Though Monson doesn't describe explicitly, she insinuates about sadistic sex, torture, murder and even the disturbing implication of vampires feeding on a mother and her newborn babe, all of which make this a read one for a strong and mature mind.
LehuaParker More than 1 year ago
What do you do when your very existence is an anathema to you, the love of your life has wanted to kill you for 2,000 years, your stalker ex is back, and you’ve a teenage girl dumped into your lap that can’t go home? When you’re Leisha, one of the original vampires, you do the most logical thing—foment dissention in the ranks of vampire-dom in the hope of getting your mundane life back. Dissension, written by debut author Adrienne Monson, takes the reader on a thrill ride spanning kidnapping, torture, murder, blood lust, slavery, government conspiracy, psychic abilities, and hints about a mysterious child—all in Book One of The Blood Inheritance Trilogy. Fans of vampire lit will find much to like here from an origin mythology to hints of a final destiny. Most interesting is the developing relationships between the characters as they uncover miscommunications and misconceptions about each other that have ruled their actions for 2000 years. With all the conspiracies and chess pieces swirling around, what I really want to know is can Leisha ever get back to being a wife and mother and what’s going to happen to teenage Samantha, Leisha’s thinly veiled substitute for the family she lost? Guess I’ll have to read book 2 to find out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the good read! I'm really interested in learning more about Samantha and what makes her so appealing to others.
Stancrow More than 1 year ago
I suppose it's my fault I stayed up too late reading this book, but these days, it's common practice to blame someone else for all our mistakes. So I'll blame Ms. Monson for writing something that I had to force myself to set down. I'll avoid the obvious comparison to Twilight--since I'm sure plenty of other reviewers will provide that--and just go with what I read. This made for easy reading, and had a light, NA feel while still being gritty in its own way. What I found most compelling about the book was its primary protagonist, Leisha, a woman who became a vampire almost against her will. Her struggle to maintain what shreds of her ancient humanity she can endeared her to me. Heaven only knows how much I've struggled against the darker side of things. Tafari was a solid, stable character with his own past. I look forward to seeing how he plays out in the next two books. I wish I could have gotten to know Samantha a bit better. She sometimes seemed almost more like an accessory to Leisha, though I caught glimpses of why so many characters liked her. The foundations for a deep, rich world are there--I'm anxious to see where Ms. Monson goes with them in future books. If I had to offer a "dissenting" voice, I'd mention only that it could use a better editing job, and maybe a few more contractions in the dialogue; so many characters seemed so formal, even though I would have expected otherwise on many occasions. I picked up a copy of this book at one of Ms. Monson's signings, and I'm glad I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE this book!!! I read it and then I let my 12 year old daughter read it, it is now her all-time favorite book! Dissension is an excitingly scary and fun ride the entire way through. It's hard to find entertaining literature that is also "clean", so I really appreciate it when I do! Thank you Adrienne for writing a book that my daughter and I can both enjoy! We can hardly wait for book 2 to come out!!!
The_reading_wolf More than 1 year ago
The synopsis The story follows Leisha who over 2,000 years ago used to be a loving mother and have the perfect family. But that was long ago. She now focuses on escaping the ever growing war between her fellow Vampires and The Immortals. Soon she is captured by the government. When a young woman rescues her, they both go on the run in search of the prophecy child whom can save them all. The review For a vampire book, this was great! I'm a lover of the dark and mythological creatures (i.e vampires, shifters, etc) and this was well done! A lot of twists were thrown in and the book kept me captivated by Adrienne's writing. Characters were well developed and the central plot idea played out well. Adrienne's imagination was well played out for all characters and the plot. However i did find the book moved a little slow in the first half, it picked up later and I could not put it down. The only other thing I found were grammatical errors in the passive voice and ambiguous sentences. However I felt this could be placed more on the editor than Adrienne herself. Still a 4 star read and i think everyone should give it a chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever! You have to buy it, you will not regret it! I swear!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard about this book through a friend and thought it might be an interesting read. I really struggled getting through the book because the grammar was atrocious. I have read my share of vampire novels and I am aware of the sexual content in that genre. I have children myself and I would not let them read this book because of its racy descriptiveness. The premise of the story is alright, but the characters are not fleshed out in any way and it is very choppy. It does not flow well. I would not recommend this book.