Available tomorrow from Wild Child Publishing:>>
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DARK TALES 1: VAMPYRESS>>
Author: Shannon Leigh>>
ISBN-13: 978-1-935013-10-5>>
Genre: Horror>>
Length: Short Story>>
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing>>
Purchase URL: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/content/view/452/135
Pg: 39>>
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BLURB:>>
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Cursed to harbor the beast that drove the Prince of Walachia to perform unspeakable acts of cruelty upon her loved ones, Ivona Knight has spent the last five hundred years eliminating all descendants of the Dracula line. Trapped within a remote tavern by a hammering storm, she engages in a storytelling game with her fellow patrons. But as she conveys her tale, she senses a familiar presence emanating from one of the others that stirs emotions deep within her which only one other has ever evoked. Has she found her next target? Or has she become the hunted?
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EXCERPT:>>
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“What do you propose we do for the next several hours?” The deep voice had a strong southern drawl, the rich baritone filling the cold room with the warmth of vibrant sunshine on a lazy summer day.>>
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Ivona vaguely remembered the sun. Centuries had passed since she’d felt its welcoming rays. It boggled her mind how the sound of this man’s voice brought forth such an ancient and precious memory.>>
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Though he posed the question to the bartender, Ivona had the distinct feeling it held a silent proposition for her. She glanced toward the bar. Sure enough, her inquisitive gaze met a pair of striking blue eyes, overshadowed with thick, but neat, black brows.>>
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The man’s firm, sensual mouth pulled into an appealing grin, his straight white teeth a stark contrast in the weak light. He lifted his shot glass in mock salute before downing the amber colored contents in one gulp. Before either acknowledged the other’s attraction, someone posed another question.>>
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“And what about food?” a mature gentleman called. “I don’t know about the rest of ya, but I’m starving!”>>
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Several others nodded their head.>>
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The bartender stroked his stubbled chin between a thick thumb and forefinger. “Well, I’ve got a sandwich and chips in the back. But it’s not enough to feed all of ya.”>>
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Ivona couldn’t believe how quickly the others dismissed the roaring wind and thunderous blasts outside as the paltry meal became the center of everyone’s attention. Everyone excluding her and the blue jean-clad man propped at the bar. Voices once again rose in excitement as the patrons argued over how to divide the bartender’s offering.>>
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Propping her chin in her palm, she silently watched while the chaos grew, males and females forming sides against each other. It seemed the men favored purchasing a share, but the women disagreed, claiming they should be chivalrous and donate their portion to them. Ivona snickered when one poor soul was threatened with being tossed outside to the tempest after suggesting drawing straws. No matter how much they fussed and argued, no one agreed on how to partition the food.>>
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“I have an idea,” a slight feminine voice butted into the midst of the maelstrom.>>
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Ivona glanced about the room, noticing that no one paid the woman any heed. “I said, I have an idea,” she repeated louder.>>
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Everyone ceased bickering, turning all eyes toward the middle-aged womanseated in the far left-hand corner.>>
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“We’re listening,” the man in the expensive suit sneered.>>
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“I propose we play a game. The winner will get the entire sandwich and the chips. Everyone has an equal opportunity of winning, and since we’re obviously stuck here a while, it will also pass the time.”>>
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Intrigued by the suggestion, the others settled back into their seats. A look of triumph pasted on her otherwise plain features, the woman stood up next to her chair. “Each participant will have a chance to tell a story—real or fictional— without interruption by any of the others. Once everyone is finished, the bartender will judge who gave the best anecdote. The winner takes the spoils.”>>
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Ivona couldn’t believe the ridiculousness of the rules. She had no desire to sit for hours and listen to any of their silly tales. Besides, what qualified the bartender as judge?>>
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***
Shannon Leigh
"Giving readers the O in their erOtica."
Website: http://www.shannonleigh.org
Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Shannon_Leigh_Newsletter
My Space: www.myspace.com/author_shannon_leigh
Blog: http://authorshannonleigh.blogspot.com

*Chasing Booty--the payoff is too good to pass up.*