Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Gillian St. Kevern joining us today on her blog tour on new upcoming release “Uprooted”.
Gillian shares an exclusive excerpt and there is also a giveaway to participate in!
Welcome Gillian 🙂
Author: Gillian St. Kevern
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: Dec. 26
Genre: Romance, paranormal, vampires, demons, mystery
Recovering vampire Ben is discovering that life after death is hard work. It will take more than a reflection to impress his boyfriend Nate’s religious mother. And Nate’s twin brother, Ethan, openly resents Ben’s presence at the family farm. Nate is confident they can build a normal life together, but Ben’s not even sure he knows what normal is. He can’t face his reflection, let alone his past, while Nate refuses to divulge his family’s supernatural secret. Can they build a future on such shaky foundations?
When a supernatural hunter is found dead on the family farm, Ethan becomes the main suspect in a murder investigation that puts Ben and Nate at odds. Nate wants to protect his family and stay silent about what he is, but Ben knows no one is safe until the demonic agent responsible for a string of murders is caught. Defying Nate to investigate alone, Ben can’t let the demon claim another victim. But as his investigation continues, he discovers links to a past he thought he’d buried—and a past Nate refuses to acknowledge. With a desperate killer on a deadline, Ben must face the literal demons in his past if he wants to have any chance of saving himself and Nate from a fate worse than death.
“You don’t remember the drive?” Nate relaxed, leaning back against the headboard.
“I remember a drive.” Ben stayed sitting. “That’s about it.” He looked around the room. He remembered peeling off his clothes as he fell onto the bed, but nothing else.
His location was a mystery, but his surroundings were definitely prosaic. The morning light gave the wooden walls and floor a pleasant warmth. An old-fashioned wardrobe with a mirror built into the door stood against the wall. On its far side was a table with a sewing machine and a basket of fabric scraps at its base. The bookshelf above it sagged beneath the weight of its paperback burden, and an armchair was positioned in front of the drawn curtains. The sunlight fell across the floor in a direct line. “Are we in your mother’s bedroom?”
“Spare room.” Nate’s fingers rested on Ben’s waist, playing with the sheet fabric. “Doubles as Ma’s sewing room.”
That explained the sewing machine and the quilt covering the bed, which was old, probably a family heirloom, with a solid carved headboard and footer. The mattress was just as old. It sagged in the middle, inviting Ben to roll against Nate. Tempting, but a sound from outside caught Ben’s attention. “Are we near the ocean?”
“I can hear waves.”
Nate snorted. “Look out the window.”
How late in the day is it? Without the vampire’s internal alarm, Ben felt lost. He slid out from under the quilt, discovering that the only thing he wore was his briefs. “Am I going to alarm your neighbors?”
“Nearest house is a five-minute walk.” Nate shifted so he lay on his side, supported by the pillow as he watched Ben. “You’re fine.”
The emphasis he put on that made Ben feel warm in a way that had nothing to do with the sunlight, warming the wooden floor beneath his feet. To counter his confusion, he lifted a hand, drawing back the curtain fully.
All he saw was green. The fresh green of the grass stretching all the way to the fence and the glossy dark green of the bushes there. Beyond that, willows, their long branches dragging on the ground. A breeze lifted them, and Ben heard the sound he’d mistaken for the sea. Beyond the willows, extending all the way up into hills, was a varied collection of deep greens. “Forest?”
“National reserve,” Nate explained. “Borders the farm. You’re allowed to gather fallen wood and hunt if you’ve got a license, but nothing else. Not without permission. We can go hiking later if you’re interested.”
Ben looked out the window again. If he looked away from the hills, following the line of the willows, he could see more trees, these spaced regularly, with the bright green of new leaves.
“It’s quiet, compared to New Camden. Nothing ever happens out here.” The bed shifted as Nate sat up. “I wasn’t kidding about the place being small.”
There was a large building, the faded red paint worn away in patches to reveal weathered board, and fences, but no other buildings in sight. Only trees.
“You could murder someone out here, and no one would ever know.”
“What the hell?”
Ben flushed, turning back to the bed. “Sorry. Was that weird?”
“Just a little.” Nate patted the bed next to him. “But considering that you used to be a vampire, I’ll give you a pass. This time.”
Ben took the invitation, curling up against Nate’s side. It wasn’t cold exactly, but separation gave the rush of warmth to their reunion. “I’m not used to so much…country.”
“You know we don’t actually marry our cousins out here, right?” Nate settled his arm around Ben’s shoulder automatically. “Or fuck goats or dismember people with an ax or whatever else you city people think we do to pass the time.”
“It’s the quiet,” Ben said. “Growing up in the city, you could always hear your neighbors, even if you couldn’t see them.” He settled his head on Nate’s shoulder. “This… I don’t know how to take this.”
Nate laughed. “You can take down any number of revenants without batting an eye, but peace and quiet have you beat? That’s… I don’t know what to say, Ben.”
After a moment, Ben smiled. “When you put it like that…” He settled his arms around Nate’s torso, enjoying the solidness of his body. This was real. “I have to get used to the idea that I’m not a vampire―not even an ARX employee anymore. From now on… I’m ordinary.”
Nate nodded. “You’re going to need new business cards. ‘Ben Hawick, Totally Normal Human’.”
Gillian St. Kevern writes anything from YA to contemporary comedies, but her first love is always the paranormal. Her stories feature quirky characters, twisty plots and often travel in unexpected directions.
Gillian has just returned to New Zealand after eleven years teaching English in rural Japan. From being entirely surrounded by rice paddies, she is now entirely surrounded by sheep. She is attempting to stave off reverse culture shock by finally learning to drive, playing with her adorable niece, and, of course, writing!
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