Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Unwrapping: Wacky Wednesday

It's November, the days are getting ever longer and a bit too cool for most of us, especially after the Tricksters of Halloween decided to bring a snowstorm to the Northeast.  Leading up to Halloween, we learned about the subgenre Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy as some refer to it. We met authors who use their imaginations to take us to realms of wonder that we didn't know existed but soon we'll be traveling back in history to a time when women were ladies and men were gentlemen - Regency England.

Before we delve feet first into the society of the ton, I thought we'd ease into with a little transitional fun. Jane Austen was, without a doubt, the leader in changing the way women thought, acted and eventually wrote in their world. She was a pioneer of her time writing novels when women were thought of as being beneath anything so scholarly. But what if she lived in an alternative world? How would she have behaved and reacted to a life with the Damned?

For Wacky Wednesday, I'm going to share with you an excerpt from the second of two novels that put our dear Jane into close contact with vampires, in fact she's drawn in so completely that she actually becomes one of the Damned.

Janet Mullany, with a great love and appreciation for Jane Austen, has taken the author to a new level in JANE AND THE DAMNED in which dear Jane meets the Damned and becomes enamored with their world. In JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION, she has pulled herself free of the Damned, or so she thought but soon finds it's not that simple to be rid of her old 'undead' friends. Banished from polite society, the Damned have appeared in her village and threaten to interrupt her work on what will surely be her greatest masterpiece. Not only that but her young niece, Anna, and another dear friend, have developed an infatuation with the Damned. What is she to do?

Enjoy the excerpt from JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION and perhaps you'll be inspired to read the complete novel yoursel. I hope so, it's a uniquely wonderful experience.

After dinner, Dorcas led her female guests upstairs to the parlor, where one of the handsome footmen assisted in pouring and handing out tea.

"How very polite we - you - have become," Jane said to her in a low voice, thinking of the activities in which the Damned indulged when she had last been among them.

Dorcas sighed. "I know. It is so very tedious. But tell me, Miss Jane" - in a slightly louder voice - "how long does your charming niece stary with you?"

"A month or so," Jane replied. Lay one finger, or one tooth upon her, you or any of your kind, and I shall rip out your throat.

"I am most saddened you trust us so little," Dorcas replied quietly. "But do you not see? It is your true nature as one of the Damned that makes you so very protective of your family."

"You are mistaken, ma'am. My family has always been my first loyalty."

A flicker of canine appeared at Dorcas's lip.  "William is of your family. By extension, so am I and Tom. We shall stand by you, whatever you feel, although your ingratitude pains me."

Jane bowed her head. She declined an invitation to perform at the pianoforte, a handsome instrument she envied, but encouraged Anna to do so, and was gratified at the warm applause that met the young woman's playing.

"Charming, quite charming," Tom announced, as he and William entered the drawing room. "You play exceedingly well, Miss Anna. Do you sing, too?"

Anna gazed at Tom with obvious admiration, making no effort to hide her attraction, and a small triumphant smile played over Tom's beautiful lips.

Jane clapped her hand to her mouth as pain surged through her canines. Horrified, she fought to regain control. William gave her a concerned look.

"Why, what is the matter, Jane?" Mrs. Austen asked.

"Toothache," Jane muttered from behind her hand. "Do not concern yourself, ma'am." Sure enough, her canines were aching and sensitive and sharp to her tongue. She was not quite en sanglant, but it was the nearest she had come so far.

"We really must take you to the dentist if things do not improve," Mrs. Austen said. "What do you think, Martha?"

"Dear Jane, allow me to look," Martha said, and touched Jane's hand with her own. They both wore lace mittens, and the effect of bare skin touching her own was too much. Martha's anxiety flooded her mind, overwhelmed her.

Jane leaped to her feet. "I beg of you -"

"Jane, you must drink this." William was at her side, a small glass of wine in his hand.

A drop of something dark coiled and spread in the wine, dissipating like smoke and releasing a rich scent. She reached for the glass and its precious liquid, a single drop of William's blood dissolved in wine, the first time he had ever allowed her this great privilege. A great sense of well-being and safety spread through her as she drank her Creator's gift.

"So. Do you feel better?" William took the glass from her and placed it on a tray held by a footman who lingered nearby. Jane suspected, from the gleam in his eye, that the footman might take the glass away and scoop out any last drops for himself.

"Much better, thank you." Her teeth were once more under control, and her anxiety and rage had ebbed away, leaving a peace and happiness in their wake.

"Let us repair to the Great Gallery, ladies!" Dorcas moved forward to take William's arm. "I believe I can hear our musicians tuning their instruments."

If you enjoyed this excerpt, I hope you'll find a copy of JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION and read it from the beginning - it's worth it.

Happy Reading Everyone!!

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