The winner of the Jimmy Thomas calendar is named at the bottom of this post! Thanks, everyone, for playing! ~DD
One of my favorite openings was the easiest to write. Newscasts of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were so very detailed that I sank into these opening pages and pretty much wrote it in a day (with tons of revision, of course, later!). You meet the hero right up front. Then you meet the villain of the piece, and he’s murky and frightening, but you see him from poor Nic’s point of view and learn the horror of who the villain really is. The Dark Realm stories are among my own personal favorites. They were tough to write and I cursed my way through the whole experience, but in the end, I had a quartet of books of the sort I love to read. Not a bad legacy.
“…The electrifying follow-up to INTO THE DARKNESS is a breathless read. Devlin’s intricate vampire society is filled with compelling personalities. The chemistry between the characters is explosive, and the horrific villain will give you goosebumps…the ending will leave you begging for more.” 4 ½ Stars and TOP PICK!, RT BOOKreviews
“…This is a deliciously edgy series with mind-blowing sex scenes that sizzle…Ms. Devlin’s DARK REALM series is devastatingly erotic and pushes the boundaries in both premise and sexual explicitness. Ms. Devlin pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…” Paranormal Romance
For eight hundred years Nicolas Montfaucon has dedicated his life to preventing the rebirth of an immortal evil. But now a terrible storm has assaulted unsuspecting New Orleans—and the beast walks the earth once more. “The Devourer” has been awakened, and there is only one in the besieged city who can help Nicolas defeat the foul creature—a mysterious and beautiful enigma who haunts the handsome Revenant’s erotic waking dreams and enflames his passionate obsessions.
Chessa Tomas is not an ordinary policewoman. A vampire, she works only at night, patrolling a seamy and unseen underworld of roiling chaos. Though Nicolas is sensuality incarnate, Chessa wants no part of him or his kind—but she cannot close her eyes to the unholy malevolence that would consume their world. And Nicolas has uncovered the secret lust that rules her—a steaming, uncontrollable desire he intends to unleash, bending Chessa to his will by making her most forbidden fantasies real.
His brother had thought Hell a fiery abyss, but Nicolas Montfaucon knew better. It was wet, smelled like a sewer, and sounded like the rush of collective hopes draining toward the sea.
With a heartbeat as leaden as his footfalls, he followed the sound of flowing water. His rubber boots sank in the rain-soaked grass as he stepped off the cemetery’s entrance road to head toward the water’s edge. Bayou St. John’s previous sluggish ambience had given way to a torrent in the aftermath of the storm. Just as the security team had reported, the waters that breached the levee in the early morning hours spilled into the bayou, raising it well above any thousand-year flood plain.
They couldn’t have planned for a worse scenario. The mausoleum lay in the center of a newly etched basin.
A cold, tight knot of horror settled in his gut, numbing him to the elements, while a soft rain fell like God’s kiss of benediction before the coming battle. The prickling unease lifting the hair on the back of his neck was familiar, but one he hadn’t experienced to this degree since the searing heat and biting sand of Palestine over seven hundred years ago.
Quiet, muffled voices drew him deeper into the cemetery. He followed the blurred edges of a once pristine graveled path, now strewn with long tangled strands of Spanish moss and broken tree branches, around sturdy stone crypts—ones untouched by the raging storm that had drenched New Orleans and changed its landscape irrevocably.
He glanced toward the dark gray clouds giving his team cover for what they must do. At least God hadn’t added one more insurmountable burden to overcome this day.
“Erika, Pasqual?” he called softly as he approached.
They turned with dread tightening their pale faces.
He noted their quick sideways glances and knew their loyalties might be tested. Just the night before one quarry had escaped their net. Did they know his role in the deception that had allowed the newest Born female to flee?
“The crypt is submerged,” Pasqual said, nodding ahead toward the swollen bayou.
Nicolas followed his gaze and found the winged angel that graced the top of the Morel mausoleum, the bottom edge of her robe licked by foaming, lapping waves of dark water.
“We brought a pirogue,” Erika said, shivering despite the humid heat, “but the water’s so swift…”
Nicolas nodded. “I’ll go. We’ll have to tie off the boat on both sides of the bayou to keep it from being swept away.”
“The crypt was solid. The doors were chained,” Pasqual said, his voice strained. “Do you really think he could have escaped?”
Nicolas’s lips curved and tightened. “His sarcophagus was in the center of the cemetery. The bayou jumped its banks and carved a new path—straight through his prison. Do you think that’s coincidental?”
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