Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It’s Christmas! Everyone get off the computer and go hug someone!

I have one more guest before the end of the year...I've saved the best for last!
Join me on December 29 for military romance author CAT JOHNSON!

Thanks so much for a wonderful year, and Happy Holidays.
Before you go, an excerpt from Dark Immortal:

Coming in February, 2009

Dark Immortal (Book 3, Immortal Series)

Evil lurks in the darkest of shadows, but a band of warriors stands ready to defend humanity against hell’s own monsters—Immortal men hand-picked by destiny and taken out of time hold the fate of the world in their hands.

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How do you know the woman of your dreams would still love you if all the circumstances which brought you together no longer existed? How do you know she would still want you if the memory of your love was wiped away and the only thing left was fear and pain? How could you ask her to stay if all she could see was the monster inside of you, the monster that gets harder and harder to contain?

After one hundred years of torture, trapped underground in darkness and isolation, Alric was visited by an angel. Diana. Beautiful. Strong. Brave. She released him from his prison and saved him from the insanity of his own mind, offering him the kind of love only a fool would ever deny.

When a vampire’s attack leaves Diana broken and comatose, locked deep inside of herself where Alric can’t reach her, he blames himself for failing to protect her. He can only hope that giving her time to heal will eventually bring her back to him...but it seems that time is not on their side.

Excerpt: © Dark Immortal, J.K. Coi

From here, by the light of her dying flashlight, she could see more than had been possible from the entrance to the cavern. More than she wanted to. Ever. She could see the chain links made of heavy black metal, tunneling out from the rock, the thick steel manacles wrapped around bony wrists attached to gnarled, claw-like hands. She could see through the veil of grimy hair to the protruding cheekbones of the face beneath, a face that was not a lifeless skeleton...yet.

He opened his eyes.

Diana shrieked, but she couldn’t move. She was caught by his eyes. Caught by those deep pockets of crystallized pain. Pain that she felt all the way to her soul.

Release me.

Had he spoken out loud? She shivered and tried to tear herself away from that stare, focusing instead on the chains that bound him to the wall.

Oh, lord. Who would do such a thing? How long had he been trapped here?

Long enough that he probably should be dead.

Most of his face was covered in a scraggly beard, and his matted, dirty hair fell well past his shoulders, though it couldn’t disguise the harsh angles of his face or the thin, white skin that stretched taut across his cheekbones. The sight reminded her of a statue she had seen once of the Emaciated Buddha during her one and only real vacation—a trip to Japan when her sister had been there teaching English. Looking on that Buddha, Diana had understood the significance of the image and tried to feel the kind of awe and reverence that she was sure it deserved, but she hadn’t been able to. She kept thinking Buddha must be insane. Such acute starvation, combined with the isolation of extreme meditation—or in this case, imprisonment—could very easily cause a person to go mad.

Mad. It was there in the eyes that were focused with such intensity on her. Eyes that shone with more than madness. They pleaded with her for help—no they demanded it of her. 

Diana knew such sorrow at the signs of his suffering—she understood now that the pain in her head was his, that she was somehow sharing it with him or he was projecting it onto her. Increasing, it acted on her with swift efficiency, causing her heart to pound and instilling a sense of desperate urgency. But even without the added impetus of his mental influence, Diana would have been just as anxious to find a way to free him. She couldn’t stand to see him like this. Had to get him out of here. Now.

He flinched and hissed at her when she reached to examine the cuffs around his wrist. She forced herself to go slow. No sudden movements. No loud noises.

“Shh,” she whispered, keeping her voice as even as she could manage. She reluctantly met his eyes once more. They tracked her relentlessly, fathomless pits that sent ice cold daggers shooting through her body. His growl was a constant rumble of mistrust.

“I won’t hurt you, I promise.” She tried to look on him like she would a wild animal in pain—a wolf with its foot caught in a trap—knowing that he was dangerous, that he could turn on her in an instant. Take it easy, take it slow.

Almost instinctively, she used her mind to send soothing reassurance, forced herself to pretend to be calm, to transmit thoughts of patience. She needed him to know that she only wanted to help him. Maybe then he wouldn’t try to take her arm off.

They faced off for long moments until he blinked. He didn’t lower his gaze, but he stopped growling at her, and Diana was relieved to find that his psychic barrage against her wasn’t so insistent. She could actually breathe again.

When she brought her hand to his wrist once more, he didn’t move, but he watched her with a guarded wariness. She got the distinct impression that even though he was the one confined, one false move and it would be her life at his mercy.

She kept up her mental mantra of reassurance as she tested the chains that bound him. They were secure. Tight on his wrists and wedged firmly into the rock.

“Damn,” she muttered. She would have to go up top to find some help. Diana tried to keep the fear and fatigue out of her voice. He wasn’t going to like this.

“I have to go for help—”

The pain in her brain ratcheted up again, igniting an inferno that was even worse than before. She was on her knees again, retching up foul green bile, and still the agony intensified. “Stop,” she whispered. Her nose was bleeding. She could feel the thick blood trickling down her face.

“Stop. STOP!” She raised her head and glared up at him, though the pain had rendered her vision to a filmy red haze. “If you...kill...me, then I really won’t be able to...help you.”

He seemed not to hear, or not to care, because the horrible assault continued.

I’m going to die.

Suddenly, she felt the pressure ease up slightly. Not much. Just enough for her to take in a deep breath. She was shaking all over, chills shuddering through her body as she knelt on the ground at his feet.

Release me.

“I will get you out of here.” She swiped at her mouth and nose with her sleeve, and groaned when it came away stained with her blood. “You have to trust me.”

It wasn’t going to work. He was too far gone to understand. But if he didn’t let her go, then he would kill her here in this dark place that already stank of death, and then surely die soon after as well. There had to be another way to do this. Diana tried to think what tools were in her box out in the tunnel. What she really wanted was a heavy-duty set of bolt cutters, but knew she didn’t have anything like that with her. “We need help,” she said again.

His eyes pierced her with their intensity, silver shards of glass glittering in the darkness.

“What if I promise to get what I need from my truck and come right back.” She hesitated. “Alone. I’ll come alone. I swear it.”


Utter silence. No demands, no more pressure inside her poor hemorrhaging brain. He was going to let her go.

Diana let out a sigh of relief and carefully pushed herself to her feet.

“I’ll come back. I promise.”

J.K. Coi
Immortals to Die For
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Maria Zannini said...

Merry Christmas, JK! I hope you and yours are well and happy. We'll cyber-see you next year.


Elyssa Papa said...

Oh wow, I can't believe Dark Immortal releases in February! That's sooo soon and totally awesomeness---just in time for Valentine's Day. *g*

Merry Christmas to you and your family, JK!!!

J.K. Coi said...

Thanks Maria and Ely!
A safe and happy holidays to you both as well.

Wylie Kinson said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours, JK!! May Santa leave a box of full of good ideas under your tree :)

J.K. Coi said...

Wylie, at first I thought you said "goodies", but then I re-read and realized you said "good ideas". Even better! Thanks!

Shelley Munro said...

Merry Christmas, JK! Have an awesome day. The new upcoming book sounds great. ;)

J.K. Coi said...

Thanks Shelley! I hope you enjoyed your Christmas, supersoakers and all!

Kelly Krysten said...

Oh, I can't wait to read this book!! I'm starting the first in the Immortal's series in the next couple of days and I'm super excited!
Great teaser! And happy Holidays.:)