Monday, June 6, 2011

My Favorite Scene from Dark Heirloom

This week we're posting our favorite scene from our novels, which means today you all get a free peek at Dark Heirloom, which doesn't release until March of 2012. I don't want to sound egotistical here, but it was hard for me to pick just ONE scene. I really love the whole book. My beta readers wanted me to go with a make-out scene, but I didn't think that would be a good choice since the characters will be very new to you guys so the romance won't mean much yet. Instead, I decided to go with a scene that I had a lot of fun writing and that shows a bit of the world my vampires live in as well as what my vampires are like - because they are quite different from the average vampire, as you'll see.

In this scene, Ema (the heroine) and Jesu (the hero) are working together to rule out what kinds of powers Ema has inherited (since they don't know who her sire is, they don't know what kind of vampire she is). Ema's a brand new vampire, still getting used to the new sensations. Here, they are testing her ability to walk up walls... Keep in mind the manuscript has not been edited yet. I hope you enjoy it. :)

I gulped and faced the wall. It stood no more than ten feet tall. Not a big deal, except that I wasn’t Spider Man. “But how?”
            Jesu shrugged. “I am not sure. I am not Strigoian.” He stroked his chin. “Just try it. Either you can or you cannot, right?”
            “Yeah, sure, why not.” I stepped closer. The light of day obscured most of the stones’ detail even with the sunglasses on. I found two reachable spots extending out less than an inch. I took a deep breath and grasped the barely protruding stones as best I could. With one foot, I searched around for some place to wedge my toes into so I could push myself up. My nails nearly broke as I tried to dig my fingers into the cement filling. I might have been strong enough to punch a hole in stone, but I wasn’t cut out for rock-climbing.
            Jesu burst into laughter. I let go and rolled back on my left foot, which never left the ground. Crossing my arms over my chest, I faced him and huffed loudly. He was bent over, the tips of his ebony locks grazing the floor as he slapped his thigh and gasped for air.
            “Don’t laugh at me, I’m trying aren’t I?”
            He sucked in air only to bellow out more laughter as he clutched his waist. I rolled my eyes and sat on the bed with my lips pressed into a tight pout.
            “I am sorry.” He grasped the edge of the bed to balance himself while trying to regain his composure.
            “Really, my apologies. You just act so human. You should have seen yourself.”
            “Well that’s what I was for the first twenty-three years of my life, thank you!”
            “I’m sorry. Please, continue.”
            “But I already tried. I can’t climb sheer surfaces … or rocky surfaces, for that matter.”
            He bit his lip, trying to fight back another chuckle. “You were doing it like a human. You were trying too hard. Do it more like an insect.”
            “Oh, like an insect? Is that the idea? Oh yeah, sure, no problem. Let me just go change into my grasshopper legs.” I rolled my eyes.
            He sighed. “Have you no imagination? Do not try to climb the wall, do not think about it logically. Just go do it.”
            “Go.” He pointed. “Get up there.”
            “Ugh.” I stood and faced the wall.
            “Just let the powers come naturally.”
            God, I have no idea what he means. Climb the wall, but don’t try to climb the wall. I grumbled to myself. Frustrated, I slapped both palms flat against the black stone. Something sticky oozed beneath my hands.
            “Ew!” I jumped back. A dozen fine strings of a clear gel-like substance stretched like melted cheese connecting my hands to the wall. Walking backwards, the gel stretched over a foot before the strings finally snapped. “What is this?”
            Jesu examined my hands. “It looks like glue.”
            “Where did it come from?”
            He turned my hands this way and that way. “I think it came from the pours on your palm.”
            “Is this normal?” Who am I kidding, nothing within this castle is normal.
            “I don’t know. Wait.” He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled the huge list of vampyre clans onto his lap. His eyes scanned the page for several moments. “Yes, it is normal. It says here the Strigoi secrete a thick clear liquid on the palms of their hands and feet which allows them to scale any vertical surface with ease.”
            “You’ve got be kidding me. You mean you could have warned me about this, but didn’t?” I stood with my arms outstretched, being careful not to get any goop on anything.
            Jesu snickered. “Sorry, I did not read that far ahead.”
            “So this stuff will keep me anchored to any vertical surface, eh?” I kicked off my shoes and then peeled off my socks with my toes. “Here goes nothing.” Holding my breath, I leaped two feet into the air with the palms of my hands and toes facing forward. My body smacked hard against rock, causing little black pebbles to crumble to the floor. Thank goodness I was numb or I might have gone into another coma doing that.
            Panting, I realized my entire body laid flat against the surface of the wall. I wanted to push back a little so I could see, but I was terror stricken and worried I would fall if I moved. The left side of my face smashed up against stone. Jesu was silent somewhere behind me.
            “Am I ‘oing ith?” I tried to ask.
            “Well, you are not climbing, but you are sticking to the wall. At least both your feet are off the floor.”
            I looked up, scraping my cheek. The ceiling loomed three feet above my head. I was determined to spider my way up the damn wall even if it was only an inch or two.
            Grunting, I lifted my right hand. The squishy goop tried to resist. It felt like I had Velcro gloves on and was stuck to a sheet of felt. I pulled my hand above my head and slapped it down, feeling the ooze suction me to the wall as a new layer of glue seeped from my pours and gripped the stones for me. Not having to physically grab anything with my fingers felt odd.
            I repeated the motion with my left foot, lifting it up and feeling the goop squish out a new layer when I replanted my toes. My knee scraped against the wall as I tried to angle my leg to get my whole foot as flat as possible for better traction.
            After a minute of getting used to the odd Velcro sensation, I found a good reach-step-reach-step rhythm. The crown of my head bumped against the ceiling in no time.
            “This is amazing!”
            “I am glad you are enjoying it. Come down so you can try shape-shifting.”
            “Hold on, I just got an idea.” Arching my neck back so I faced the ceiling, I reached my left hand up and over, laying it flat on the ceiling.
            “Ema,” Jesu hesitated. “I do not think you should over do it.”
            “I got to try this,” I whispered while placing my right hand parallel to the left one. My back arched at an uncomfortable angle. I had to think a moment about how to move my legs. If I lifted them too high, my knees hit the ceiling and I got stuck. I resorted to inching my way up little by little.
            A single beads of sweat dripped from my head, but it didn’t roll down. Instead, it rolled sideways and dripped off my ear. I was on my hands and knees, hanging up-side down from the ceiling. And I’ve never been so scared in my life. The goo began to thin and I didn’t know how to make myself secrete more.
            “I think I’m freaking out.” My breath rasped as panic bubbled in my stomach. “I don’t know how to get down!”
            “Just crawl backward.”
            “I can’t! The glue is thinning and I’m scared.”
            “Then let go.”
            “What? No way.”
            “I will catch you, do not worry.”
            I squeezed my eyes shut. “I can’t.”
            My instincts kicked in and aggression replaced fear. Stop blubbering, stupid, and pay attention. Back up! There you go. Here comes the wall, one foot and then the other. But gravity decided to give me a reality check and I slid while trying to reach the wall with my right hand.
            I screamed and flailed my arms around like propellers. Unfortunately, that’s not how vampires fly. Jesu caught me in his arms, cradling me so that I was parallel to the floor, my feet still suctioned to the wall by the goop.
            His bright green eyes sparkled as he looked into mine. “See,” his lips stretched into a sideways smile. “I told you I would catch you.”


You can also watch the unofficial video trailer below:


  1. My blog Amish Stories is having its first ever contest this week. The First prize winner will win 2 tickets to tour the farm where the 1985 move "Witness" staring Harrison Ford and Kelly Mcgillis was made in Strasburg,Pa . This farm is now Amish owned, and the family has given permission for folks to tour their farm. This may be the last time anyone will be able to walk and see the same things that Harrison Ford and the other actors saw during the making of "Witness". The Witness tour should last about 2.5 hours. In addition to the Witness farm tour tickets, 1st prize winner will also receive 2 tickets for Jacobs choice. There will also be a 2nd place prize, which will be 2 tickets for the Amish Homestead. Please go to My blog for contest details, and more information on the prizes. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon county.

  2. Hmm, that was not the kind of comment I was expecting. Aside from the irony of advertising for a tour of an Amish farm by posting on the Internet, I'd like to say that I found "Dark Heirloom" kind of interesting.

    I thought it was something to do with aliens at first, until I reached the end.

    Nice twist, though I suspect that if I were to read from the beginning, I'd know that the characters are vampires.

    One can only hope that the rest of the book is just a tad shy of being a favorite. I'd hate to think of this passage as the acme of the book.

  3. LOL, Greg you obviously didn't read the intro. ;-) And I don't even know what to think about Richard's comment up there.