Cover & Excerpt Reveal
The Keeper Series Book Two
If the world you lived in was someday revealed to be nothing but a lie, would you really want the truth? Elizabeth McBeth did, and she's paid the price for it...
After almost 10 years since Liz's mother was taken from her, Liz finally found her mother, Mary. But Mary has been forever changed, something that Liz will have to accept. The beginning of happier times, one would think...
The conspiracy has been exposed; Liz, Vincent, Mary and Michael had all thought that the vampire plot had been destroyed. They should have never underestimated Klein.
Klein has reinforced his armies, splitting the entire vampire species with the question... is Klein the vampiric messiah? Unfortunately for the heroes and the world itself, Klein has set in motion a plan that will destroy the world and recreate it in his own image.
Will the group be able to defeat Klein and restore the balance to nature? Or are they already doomed?
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I watch Michael close his eyes. Over the telepathic link I can hear Michael calling out to Vincent.
“Yeah, I’m still here, what’s up, good buddy?” I hear Vincent’s thoughts echo in my mind.
“There’s a gigantic pit here, it’s laced with spikes made out of Hela poison,” Michael replies with his mind to all of us. “I tested it, and it’s very capable of injuring me. It negates my healing completely. I require someone who can fly to make it across. Liz does not fit that bill. Regardless, someone needs to watch over Mary so she doesn’t give into her bloodlust. Vincenzo, you’re the only one that can fly. We need you to come through that blood wall if you want Damarius to be brought to justice.”
There’s an awkward silence. What makes it really strange is the fact that I’m waiting on a thought to enter my head; it seems like such a stupid thing to be counting on.
“Mary is not doing too hot over here on this end,” Vincent finally answers. “All you’ve given me is terrible news, so I’m trading similar news. Damarius isn’t going to get away with this. You come protect Mary, and I’ll make sure this bastard is taken of good and proper.”
Michael nods silently to me and disappears in a blur, as if I understand everything.
And I do. To a certain point.
But now I’m alone, in front of a crazy pit and the only thing that stands behind me is a long walk and a wall of floating blood. Not exactly the most promising of situations.
Before I know it, there’s a figure running towards me. It’s Vincent, drenched in blood. His incredible physique is unbroken by the speed at which he travels. He stops suddenly next to me and smiles.
“It’s nice to see you came,” I confess. I was a little unsure whether he would make it or not.
“Are you kidding?” Vincent says as he brushes away the blood from his face and remains focused on my face. “For you, I would go through the fires of hell itself. There’s nothing that’s capable of keeping me away from you, apparently, not even death is strong enough to keep us apart.”
“Is that right?” I tease him, hoping to get a little more out of him. “What about all of that werewolf blood on you? Don’t you feel the temptation to succumb to the bloodlust? To forget all about how you feel and just feed?”
“I thought I would,” Vincent admits as he examines his clothing. “I really thought I would. I guess the blood of Cain has changed me more than I thought it did. I guess it made me immune to the lure of werewolf blood.”
“No Vincent,” I say as I wipe away the remaining blood from Vincent’s neck and look at him proudly. “This wasn’t the influence of Cain. This was the true spirit of Vincenzo Della Rosa coming out. He wants to be free. Let him be free. Let yourself take credit, for once.”
I turn as I see Vincent shudder hesitantly. I’m not sure what to make of it at first, but I trust him enough to give him my back completely. I feel a swift wind push up against me suddenly. It’s still Vincent in full control, and he has his hands on both sides of my waist.
“This is really disgusting,” I comment as I look at all of my clothing and Vincent’s hands on my body. “I hope you aren’t into this sort of debauchery, because I’m pretty sure this is a one-time thing. I doubt you’ll be able to ever talk me into something like this again. So if this is some sort of vampire fantasy, you better get it out of your system now.”
“Ah, I see,” Vincent replies sarcastically. “So just because I’m a blood sucker, I immediately get labeled as having a fetish for having you covered in blood, huh? That’s pretty close to profiling. Not all of us are blood addicts.”
I laugh to myself at the absurdity of it all. Vincent just continues to hold me.
“So, is there any reason why you’re carrying me across this trap and not finishing off Damarius yourself?” I ask trying to evoke a response from Vincent. I can see what he intends to do. “After all, you could just leave me here, right? Michael has Mary covered on the other side.”
“Like I said, nothing will ever stop me from protecting you, not this time,” Vincent answers, almost as if he’s filled with remorse. “I trust Michael, just as we all should. I trust Mary as well, but I’m not a fool. Stuff happens. Should it so happen that Mary enters a bloodlust and surpasses Michael, you would stand no chance against her. That means you can’t be left alone, not if we want all of us to survive. I should be strong enough to take on Damarius myself, so we just gotta hope that I’m strong enough to protect you and defeat him, all at the same time.”
“I trust you entirely,” I say suggestively, locking my eyes on Vincent’s face.
“Maybe you shouldn’t trust me so completely,” Vincent advises as I feel his nose brush up against the left side of my face. I’m too terrified to say a word. “Then again, you probably just know me well enough to know that I’m harmless. As I promised, this time, we’ll take it slow. You let me know when you’re ready.”
I stop myself from smiling or laughing. I don’t want Vincent to have any idea of what I’m thinking or feeling. Vincent lifts me up, ’til I’m hovering over the ground we were just standing on, but it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s such a difference; and although I’m still terrified of my life being in the hands of someone else, it somehow feels safe. As long as it’s Vincent who is holding my life in his hands, I know I can be prepared for almost anything. At least, that’s the way I figure it.
“I’m trusting you more than you can imagine by allowing you to carry me over this pit,” I say, my feet swinging helplessly in midair. “I hope you can appreciate how much faith I have in you right now.”
“I can, most definitely I can,” I hear from Vincent as I feel his arm extend on my right side. “I hope you can appreciate how much I have to distract myself to avoid your temptation.”
“My temptation?” I ask, not really sure of what he means. “How exactly am I presenting temptation to you?”
Vincent smiles at me and licks his lips seductively. He always does this … and it always drives me wild.
“Oh, I imagine that you know exactly the temptation I’m talking about,” the elder vampire says as we land safely on the other side of the deathtrap. “Make sure to stay behind me. He won’t be expecting us to be here; that makes him unpredictable. He’s dangerous.”
“Make sure you keep your eyes on the goal there, champ,” I say playfully, turning Vincent’s head forward. “There’s no prize for you if you don’t finish the game, after all.”
Vincent laughs and shakes his head.
“This is exactly why I didn’t want to know about your decision, one way or the other,” he states, once again biting his lower lip. “I figured you would use it to manipulate me … it’s unfair, you know. And not only is it unfair, but it’s also counterproductive to our end goal. It’s … distracting.”
“It’s not like you’re the only one distracted,” I say, staring at him like a piece of meat. Let’s see how he likes it. “But like I said, to get to the prize, you gotta finish the game.”
“Since when have you turned into such a tiger?” Vincent says, lowering his head a little. “You used to be so reserved.”
“I guess it’s like you said when we first met,” I explain, hoping to jog his memory. “You said I was a caged tiger, remember? You ruffled me up when we first met, and now I’m just replaying the favor. Is it working?”
“A bit,” he answers with a sly smile. He places his left thumb up to the side of his mouth and licks his lips confidently. “Yeah, it’s working a bit, but don’t get too cocky. You might not be able to handle things at my speed.”
He pinches me seductively as he walks past by me. He turns to face me and motions for me to follow him.
“You know that saying about best laid plans?” Vincent asks, apparently unafraid of the threat ahead enough to make idle conversation. “We had so many ideas and contingencies, but this clown up ahead here, if he’s even there, has wrecked everything we thought. Only part we were right about were the stupid zombies and wights, and that’s kind of a given when you deal with death mages.”
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Michael Clark a.k.a. Michael the Ironskin
Hair - Black
Eyes – Jade Green
Height – 6’8”
Weight – 308 lbs while in human form
Age – Approximately 535 years old
Traits: Michael is a man from a different era. As a man who was originally born in Italy, he maintains the values of his upbringing. Honesty, honor, fair play and an emphasis on strategy; all of these are held in the highest of regards for the decorated werewolf. His nature and the role he plays in conserving nature’s balance make him very careful in choosing his friends. Michael is truly one of the most selfless beings ever to walk the Earth, but his role forces him to keep his existence a secret.
Michael is a mystery to Liz, who is just tugging away layers from his handsome facade, desperately trying to uncover his secret. But what Liz doesn’t know, what she couldn’t possibly even suspect is that Michael is a werewolf. But unlike fictional werewolves, Michael is responsible for the order and balance of nature. It is Michael’s sole responsibility to make sure that the world of man and the world behind the veil, where the true world lies, never cause chaos to one another. But chaos follows Michael’s closest friend, Vincenzo Della Rosa, wherever he goes…
Questions (in no particular order)
1. What's the biggest challenge you have with your height?
It’s really hard to find clothing that fits. I’m also confined to only driving big trucks, or older style sedans. Beds don’t really fit me… I never really noticed it before, but it is a hassle being so tall…
2. What is the one thing that has been passed down to you that you want to pass on to your children?
My father always emphasized honor and honesty; in all things, always be honorable and honest. If I am ever blessed with children, I would hope they would inherit these values. They are important qualities that I believe everyone should possess. Perhaps if more of us were honest with one another, the world wouldn’t be in the state it is now.
3. What was your first thought when you knew that you were a werewolf?
It was very hard to come to terms with at first. My phasing was particularly hard to get under control. I was changing my form with the slightest change in mood. Even while just watching things on television, like football games. It was… inconvenient.
4. What's your favorite food?
I have a very serious love for steak and potatoes. Perhaps that is boring, but there is nothing tastier than that. A nice, rare filet with some baby red mashed potatoes… some cheddar cheese and bacon. I’m hungry just thinking about it. Although, if I’m being completely open, I usually am hungry.
5. In all the years that you have traveled the earth, what is the most beautiful place that you have seen?
There are many places that come to mind, all for different reasons. Mexico has some beautiful white beaches, Japan has a beautiful horizon… this is a question I could go on and on about. Truly, our world is a marvel.
6. What is the one quality in a woman that you find irresistible?
To echo my previous statement, I love a woman with a good heart. As an empath, I can always feel motives in others… picking up on the intentions of a good woman is a very satisfying feeling. A good woman who you can talk to, that keeps you laughing… what could be better?
7. You are usually a very serious kind of guy, what makes you laugh?
Children and young animals make me smile uncontrollably… There is something about that level of innocence that is just awe-inspiring.
8. What's the hardest part to keeping the balance and the Veil hidden?
Ah yes… the never-ending battle. In this past century, the population of humans has increased exponentially. The supers aren’t really slowing either, it’s a powder key. A very dangerous one. Constantly keeping these two populations away from one another is extremely difficult. Keeping the humans ignorant of the existence of the supernatural community… that is nearing impossible.
9. Who has been your favorite famous person that you have met over the years?
Edison was a seriously funny man, although he did have a side of him that tended to be very pensive. My favorite though?... Most likely Jimi Hendrix. He was a very nice man, the music was always great and he was the life of the party when he got himself going.
10. Give me one piece of advice that you would give to mankind to survive?
No matter what happens, never panic. A person who panics is completely incapable of rational thought. It is during crisis that we must have our minds clearest. That is the only way out of these situations. The current problem is currently being addressed and will be resolved soon. This is not the first time the world has been in peril, and I doubt it will be the last. The world will survive, it always has.
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