Welcome to the book tour for Linda Nightingale’s audio book Love for Sale and A Vampyre Rhapsody. Today’s stop on the tour includes a deleted chapter! Those are always fun behind-the-scenes outtakes to read, kind of like what you find on DVDs. Please be sure to follow the tour for more fun guest posts, interviews, excerpts, and even more. Be sure to leave her a comment or a question, and then enter the giveaway at the end!
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Since you made the mistake of asking for a deleted chapter, Morgan wants to speak (he love to tell stories!). This isn’t actually a chapter deleted from Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody, as it’s a collection of stories with the common thread, of course, being Morgan.
This chapter was deleted from Sinners’ Opera, which is currently with my editor at The Wild Rose Press for review. In Sinners’, Morgan finally finds the love of his life. Her name is Isabeau. She is mentioned in some of the Rhapsody stories. Here goes:
I studied my reflection in a golden mirror. Long hair, blonde. Eyes blue. A handsome countenance, I’d been told. “’od’s Teeth, I’m pale as a vampire.” As I shrugged into a black sweater and jeans, a quiet knock at the door announced my manservant. I pulled on black boots of soft Italian leather. “Come.” Always the perfect gentleman in his black suit and bow tie, Avery stepped into the treasure chest of art and antiques that was my bedroom. “Good evening, Sir.” “Good evening, Avery. I’m going out.” Last week on the telly, a talk show, Vampires Among Us, had peaked my curiosity. Five attractive young mortals circled the show host and claimed to be vampires. These real vampires plunged hypodermic needles into their veins, extracted a thimble of blood and squirted cardinal sin into their mouths directly from the syringe. Not my idea of pleasure. “Imagine, instead,” I wanted to inform them, “pressing your lips to the throat. Open your mouth, run your tongue along the throbbing artery. Sink your teeth into that river of sheer delight. Your whole body vibrates with satisfaction more acute than sex. That's what it means to be a vampire.” The very prospect of telling these vampire children chased away the Hounds of Hell named Boredom nipping at my heels. “Excellent. I hope you’re going hunting.” He folded his hands in front of him. “Sir, you should have waited for my assistance.” I laughed. “Avery, in a few centuries, I think I’m old enough to dress myself.” It had been an easy matter to run the little coven to ground. The five TV vampires shared a three-room flat in Maida Vale near an Underground station. Several evenings, I’d stalked the children at play. Among them was a flower of a girl—wild auburn curls free as the spirit that flashed in her blue eyes. Her long legs drew my gaze each time she pranced out of the flat in very short skirts. I imagined those legs in all sorts of erotic postures. Jaime was tonight’s entertainment. Avery interrupted a vision of sinking my fangs into Jaime’s long neck and trenbled. “Shall I fetch your coat, Milord? It’s another rainy night in London Town.” I smiled at the old gentleman who’d served me for over twenty years. “Yes, I’m off on my vampire hunt. Don’t wait up.” “Vampire hunt?” He chuckled. “Shouldn’t you wear a cross?” My fingers formed a cross. I bared my fangs, hissing like a horror flick fiend. At quarter-past nine, I nosed my E-type Jag to the curb between an elderly Ford Escort and a new Mazda, switched off the headlamps then decided to park around the corner from prying eyes. After a short walk in a misty rain, I opened the etched glass door of the Rose and Crown and bit the bottom lip of a smile. The cheerful neighborhood pub in Maida Vale was an unlikely haunt for vampires! Unseen, I had observed them in their natural habitat, and the Rose and Crown it was on a nightly basis. When the door swooshed closed behind me, I found myself the object of lively scrutiny. Apparently, strangers rarely visited the pub. Everyone was looking at me, then as suddenly as I’d turned their heads, they lost interest and returned to the serious business of having a jolly old time. The babble of voices, clink of glassware and subtle throb of pulses blended into human noise. The aroma of strong ale and pub food overwhelmed me. An American called for more ice. Barware dangled upside down from the wooden racks on the ceiling. Flushed faces smiled at their reflections in the BASS ALE mirror. A spattering of university students decorated the working-class crowd. Instinctively, I shielded against the clutter of thoughts and emotions. I shed my topcoat, hung it on a tarnished brass coat rack and scanned the room for my quarry. Squat mushroom tables dotted the scuffed wooden floor. The chairs were an assortment of nobody-cares. To my left, a fire leapt in an arched brick fireplace, crowned by a picture of the Queen at her Silver Jubilee. As I gravitated toward the two brocade benches flanking the hearth, a familiar laugh chimed like a bell. At a far corner of the room, the vampires huddled in a forest of Guinness cans sprouting from their table. I softened my shields slightly to eavesdrop as they excitedly discussed their stellar TV debut. Like a fox scenting the hunt, Jaime’s head came up and bluebell eyes met mine. She tossed her copper curls, her smile an invitation any man would recognize. I acknowledged her with a slight nod. Another misguided child claimed her attention. She looked away, glanced back at me, then pretended to be intent on talking with her friend. As I walked slowly to their table, not one of the people watching me saw a vampire. Glamouring my brilliant blue eyes, with their elliptical pupils, and the delicate, deadly fangs was second nature. The revelers at the Rose and Crown saw a normal man in his late twenties. Immersed in whatever vampires discussed, my prey were unaware of my approach, giving me time to study them. Goths, I understood, dyed their hair raven wing, wore black clothes, lipstick and nail polish. These children looked normal except for the boy with bright purple hair, nose ring and a dozen silver earrings piercing each ear. He was intent on a fat paperback with Vampire emblazoned on the red cover. “Pardon me.” I clasped my hands behind my back and smiled a charming—no fangs on display—smile. “I caught your guest appearance on the talk show.” “Did you now?” The boy sitting to Jaime’s right shook his blonde curls and challenged me with a rude stare. Jaime fluttered ginger lashes, offered a coquettish smile and a thorough examination of my physique that made my pulse race. I wasn’t in trouble yet but, since her gaze lingered on my zipper, I suspected that getting into trouble would be easy. Beneath her rose perfume, I smelled the intoxicating scent of human pheromones. “Do you really drink human blood?” So innocently, I asked! In unison, they nodded. I swallowed a fit of laughter along with a dose of regret. These mortal children flaunted a secret I was obliged to keep—at penalty of death. Sometimes, like any guilty man, I merely wished to confess, tell someone what I was. “I was,” I paused, “intrigued.” “Is that right, mate?” The blonde boy arched his brows. “You’re into vampires?” The boy with the paperback stroked the cover. “You don’t look the type.” I don’t look the type! I bit my lip to keep from laughing. “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” “Join us.” Jaime stared at me as if she knew what I was. “My name’s Jaime.” “I’m Anne.” The girl to Jaime’s right stood, smiled shyly and moved to the opposite side of the table. Anne was a bit of a mouse, straight brown hair, brown eyes, round British face. Spicy Jaime bit the bottom lip of a sexy smile. Her flamboyant beauty emphasized her friend’s lack. As I slid into the booth beside Jaime, my knee brushed hers. Tonight’s short skirt was a soft nut-brown suede. The hem had ridden up to the juncture of leg to hip, displaying a sleek thigh. Dark brown leather boots hugged shapely calves. “What’s your name?” Jaime interrupted the boy launching into an instant replay of the TV show for my benefit. “Morgan.” That tidbit could be erased from their minds later. Jaime leaned near, pressing her hip against mine. A rebellious curl tickled my cheek. “I know where I’ve seen you now. You’re Morgan D’Arcy, the concert pianist.” I smiled what I hoped was a modest smile. “I play piano.” The curly-haired boy leaned his elbows amidst the beer cans. “There’s a piano here. Why don’t you play for us?” I’d seen the bedraggled, beer-stained upright forgotten in a corner. The abuse her chipped ivories had suffered played a chord of pity in my heart. Being something of a piano snob, I had to refuse. “I’ve never seen him before.” Michael’s voice grated surly. Jaime slapped the blond boy’s hand. “Don’t you know anything, Michael? Morgan is an Earl.” Has she visited my website? Sometimes, the best course of action is to do and say nothing. She stretched taller, running her fingers through her hair. Her small breasts peaked beneath a skintight caramel sweater. She aimed a sultry smile at me. “You’ll have to forgive my friends. Some people can’t even spell class.” A hiss of dissent swept around the table. Michael glared at me for being famous but not famous enough for him to recognize. As my gaze trailed from one rosy face to the other, I smiled at the thoughts I snatched from each mind. No doubt, I was trespassing on Michael’s territory. Jaime was his girl. But his girl’s big, round eyes were devouring me. Blood lust thundered in my veins. The other kind throbbed in my loins. Purple Hair licked wafer thin lips. “Blue blood.” His ravenous expression shocked me. Who is the vampire here?
March Morgan still believes in true love, but her faith in finding her soul mate is slowly vanishing. She’s been married but never in love. So, it is a miracle to find that fantasy exists on the last page of a glossy women’s journal. Mayfair Electronics, Ltd., in black and white, offers Love for Sale. The London firm has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from humans. She flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life.
Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight. He’s handsome, cultured…absolutely perfect…and a little different from the other androids. He has an unexpected independent streak. March signs on the dotted line, buying her dream man. They return to Houston, but soon her past and his future threaten their Happily Ever After—indeed their lives.
BLURB – Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody
The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D’Arcy to fear nothing and no one. Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless… you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand?
Read an excerpt from Love for Sale:
Motionless, she watched the parade of beauty, but none of them struck the special chord that would make her heart sing. These men—androids—can be customized, March reminded herself. Still, it took more than looks to make her fall in love. Then he strode through the door, and her heart did a double back flip. She inhaled a soft gasp. He was perfect, no customization needed. The only programming required was a sense of humor and an intense libido. Lord, she wanted to touch him, run her fingers through his hair and kiss that luscious mouth. “Sorry to keep you waiting.” His voice defined musical and played that special chord she’d dreamed of. “I was on the phone.” The Special Editions had gathered around her. The auburn haired woman whispered a laugh. “Is there any need for more than one introduction, Ms. Morgan?” That someone was speaking barely registered. March didn’t respond. She was speechless and couldn’t peel her gaze off the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. His eyes were crystalline blue, his hair wheat colored. She’d wanted sparks. She’d gotten fireworks! No way in hell was she leaving London without him. Spellbound, March was drawn one step toward perfection, her willful eyes traveling over his body, pausing at his zipper, sliding down his long legs. The wasted years looped through her memory, regret stinging her eyes. Melissa squeezed her hand. “Ah, you like our blond.” She beckoned. “Come, Christian.” In tight jeans and a tux jacket with plaid cummerbund and bow tie, her dream man paused in the light of a crystal and gold chandelier. His shoulder-length hair shone like silk. Mischief sparkled in his eyes. Full lips parted on a smile, his teeth white and even. March loved a beautiful smile, and everything inside her melted.
Listen to samples from the audio books:
Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.
Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt. She retired from a career as a retired legal assistant, just joined the Houston BMW Club, and the stars in her crown—two wonderful sons. In a former life, she must have had to walk everywhere because today she is into transportation with fine taste in expensive horses and hot cars! She likes to dress up and host formal dinner parties.
Linda Nightingale will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.