*This is a finished series*
Struggling vampire romance novelist Ashley Hawn was living her dream. By day she worked as a clerk at a local grocery store, and by night she immersed herself in the imaginary world of sexy vampires, shirtless men, and endless parties. Between work, her writing, and her best friends- Chloe and Jordan- life was good. She was even dating a mysterious and sexy man (or so she thought) by the name of Isaac. Then in a flash, her whole world changed and she discovered herself turned.
Quickly she finds that life as a vampire is less sexy shirtless men, endless parties, and is more running for her life as she tries to dodge the attacks of every mythological creature in the area.
Targeted Age Group:: 15 and up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My husband and I were sitting on the porch and he ask: What if Stephenie Meyer became a vampire and realized she knew nothing about being a vampire. A while later, I had my first book.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters are a mixture of friends from real life and creations of my demented imagination.
…Audrey leaned forward, his intoxicating smell filling her lungs and making her head spin. She knew she should be afraid. But she couldn’t make herself feel what she didn’t feel, just as she couldn’t drive away the feeling of love that welled up inside her. Just like she knew she should be afraid, she knew she shouldn’t love him. After all, he was a vampire.
But it was too much!
He was too handsome, too brilliant, too talented for her to not love him. Any woman that knew him like she did would love him tobaca;aoivnakd;ahvna;shcOIenfw
“Muffler!” I shrieked as my ridiculous gray cat sauntered across my keyboard. Instead of scurrying away, he turned to look at me, planting his behind right on the D key. A sudden paragraph of Ds sprouted on my flickering screen. I rolled my eyes, lifted the cat off my desk, and stood up. Instantly, his chest began rumbling with a purr I was sure could be heard in the next apartment. With a sigh, I dropped him on the floor. I had been in the zone—which, of course, meant I needed to be interrupted.
I was right.
A recognizable ratta-tat-tat filled my apartment.
“Two bits,” I called out by way of acknowledgment, nudging a still rumbling Muffler from my legs where he was making intense circle-eights. Jordan, my best friend, entered.
“Writing?” he asked, glancing at the screen. His blond brows furrowed as he noticed Muffler’s contribution.
“Cat,” I explained.
“Ah.” Without asking, he moved into my closet of a kitchen and began rummaging through the ancient fridge. He pulled out a soda; it was still a little early for beer. I ignored him and walked back to my computer, which was tucked into the far corner of my studio apartment. Jordan dropped onto my bed, which often acted as a couch, and cracked open the can of Mountain Dew.
“So what are you up to?” I asked, as I stood in the small space between my computer desk and my bed. I was used to Jordan stopping by randomly, but this felt different.
“Well…” He hesitated. “I wanted to talk to you.”
“About what?” I asked, flopping into my desk chair and taking a decidedly relaxed pose.
Jordan was clearly upset and I wanted to make him feel at ease. He took a long swig of his soda in an effort to buy himself some time. I waited patiently. There weren’t many people for whom I would be patient, but he was one of them.
“Uh… I’m taking Chloe out on a date tonight.”
“On a date date?” I asked, unable to hide my shock and concern.
Chloe was a dear friend of ours. In fact, Jordan, Chloe, and I had been the three amigos for a number of years. I’d met Chloe at the nearby grocery store where I worked and had quickly introduced her to my best friend—never imagining they would become an item. It wasn’t a complete surprise, but if I was being honest with myself, I’d hoped any symptoms of romance I’d noticed were the result of my overactive imagination.
As much as I wanted them to be happy, I knew this would change things. We would no longer be the three amigos: We’d be a dating couple and the third wheel.
“Yeah,” Jordan said. It sounded more like a question, as though he were asking for my permission. I hated that he felt this way. I had known Jordan since high school; a decade now. We found out much later that we’d both had crushes on each other, but never had the guts to pursue it. Despite the revelation, we never did attempt to date. In some ways, I wondered what we might have missed out on, and yet I was happy to know I would never lose his friendship. Our love was unconditional. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to ask for my blessing to date another woman, even if she was my friend.
I schooled my features into a smile. “That’s awesome. I was wondering when you were going to ball up and ask her out.”
Jordan’s pale lips turned up into a smile as his face burned red. It was a stark contrast to his extremely blond hair. “Yeah… well…” he stuttered, rubbing the back of his neck, which was also turning red. It was a gesture he often used when feeling awkward or uncomfortable. “I wasn’t sure how you’d feel about it. I didn’t want to upset you.”
“Upset me? Why would it upset me? My two best friends together. What could be better?” I lied through my teeth. Thankfully, Jordan had never been able to see through my lies. Perhaps he simply wanted to trust that we were close enough that I would never stoop to a lie. I had thought so too, until today.
“So what are you up to?” he asked, changing the subject suddenly.
“I have the day off,” I began.
Though I had worked at the grocery store since before high school graduation, three months ago I cut my hours back to part time so I could spend more time writing. I’d sold my second book, and my publisher was becoming more demanding. My books weren’t hugely popular, but I did have a small mob of devoted readers. Between the part time job and the royalty checks, I managed to keep a roof over my head and food in my fridge—most of the time. It didn’t allow for much else, including socializing. Things like movies and dinner cost money.
“But I’m going out with Isaac tonight,” I added quickly.
Isaac didn’t seem to mind paying for our dates. He taught a few night classes at the local university and made decent money, so I didn’t mind letting him pick up the tab. We had gone out a handful of times over the past month, but so far we seemed to be stuck in a holding pattern.
I never felt like I knew him better at the end of our dates. He shared just enough to not seem distant, but not enough for the relationship to progress. I, on the other hand, shared everything. Jordan always teased me about talking too much, and I knew it was true, but didn’t put much energy into changing it.
Jordan glared in my general direction. Despite the fact we had never dated, he continued to be my staunch protector. Any guy I dated, or even ogled, he considered to be a psychopath. Overprotective he may be, but I knew—beyond a shadow of a doubt—that if I was ever in trouble Jordan would come to the ends of the earth to save me, cliché as it may be.
I waited until he got the glare out of his system.
“Yes, I know how you feel. I’ll be careful. It’s not like I’ve jumped into the sack with him or anything!”
“That’s just it! I’d almost feel better if you had. It’s not normal that he’s so careful with you. Normal guys try to kiss their girlfriends. Try to grope them.”
I stared at him.
“Wait! You want him to grope me?” I was completely lost. Everyone says women don’t make sense, but this conversation seemed to be pointing in the other direction.
“No! I just wish he was a little more normal. There’s something off about him. I know you see him as a gentleman, but it goes beyond that. And I—I just want you to be careful… on your guard.”
I nodded reluctantly, knowing full well my face showed my dissatisfaction. Jordan’s assessment of Isaac made me think he didn’t like me. It’s so easy to feel discouraged.
“Look,” sighed Jordan, clearly wanting to make me feel better. “He seems to really like you.”
“Yeah, maybe,” I half agreed. Between Jordan’s appraisal and Isaac’s general distance, I was beginning to wonder.
I didn’t want to end it. What I knew of Isaac I really liked; besides, he wasn’t too hard on the eyes either. But despite my inclination to continue the relationship, I knew I wasn’t in love with him. For that to happen, he would have to open up.
“You don’t think so?” Jordan’s tone turned into excitement, almost relief.
I was too upset to give him the dirty look he deserved. “He just seems cautious. Like something’s in the way of us—you know—becoming exclusive.”
“He’s probably married,” Jordan said flatly.
“He’s not married!” I snapped, annoyed with my friend’s willingness to think badly of Isaac. I threw a pencil at him and managed to bounce the eraser end off his shoulder.
Jordan shrugged, ignoring my missile.
“I don’t know what it is,” I said. “Maybe he’s just not that interested in me.”
“No, he’s interested in you. I’ve watched him. His eyes follow you as if in the midst of your friends, you might get snatched up by a monster. He looks ready to, at a moment’s notice, throw you over his shoulder and run.”
I know some part of me should have been disturbed by Jordan’s description, but instead I just felt like giggling. A hot guy was watching me? Score! Not the most intelligent response, I know. Evidently Jordan saw the first hint of laughter in my eyes. He gave me a look that said “you’re kidding me, right?”
“You shouldn’t be excited about that,” Jordan said, his voice was clear and deliberate, as if he were talking to a child. “Look, I know I tend to judge the men you date a little too harshly, but I’m serious. Isaac really gives me the willies. I’m not saying break up with him. I’m just saying be careful.”
I pursed my lips, trying to genuinely heed his words. Finally I nodded, figuring that was the best I could do.
Jordan sighed, knowing his message had only half sunk in. I just couldn’t take him seriously. This was Isaac, after all, a complete gentleman. When he kissed me goodnight, it was always short, with his hands in very safe locations. Sometimes I just wanted to grab him and show him what could be done with a tongue.
Before either of us could say anything else, Chloe burst into my apartment. I hadn’t heard her ascend the flight of stairs necessary to get to my door. She didn’t knock. I knew better than to expect such a courtesy. She still wore her black grocery-store apron, but that didn’t last long. She dropped her purse on the small table next to my door, nearly hitting the cat, yanked the apron off, and flung it onto her purse.
This was her usual ritual when entering my apartment after a long day of work. She went to my bathroom and immediately scrubbed her face; another ritual that allowed Chloe to keep her ebony skin clear and beautiful despite working in the deli department where the deep-fat fryer was king.
When she emerged, she retrieved her purse and apron. “Ready?” she asked, her eyes focused only on Jordan. I didn’t think it was due to any aversion, but more from the fact she was nervous and uncomfortable.
I felt like a fly on the wall of my own apartment until Jordan turned toward me. “You’ll remember what I said?”
I nodded. I’d do anything to get them out of my home.
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