*Visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Deadly Destination tour of New Badlands from Mariah Lyander & a chance to win BLOODLANDS**
Our next Deadly Destination tour guide is Kendra Leigh Castle’s Lily Quinn. Lily Quinn, the heroine of Dark Awakening, always thought of herself as just an unfortunate human with some unusual problems. That was, until a sexy, cat-shifting vampire named Ty dragged her out of her old life and into a world where bloodlines are everything, and the favor of a vampire queen can make or break your existence. On the run from a determined assassin, desperate to discover the secret of the mark Lily bears before it’s too late, she and Ty found themselves in a vampire club in Chicago looking for answers. Since things have settled down, Lily herself is ready to give readers a tour of one of the more famous centers of vampire nightlife. The first book in Kendra’s Dark Dynasties series is DARK AWAKENING, followed by MIDNIGHT RECKONING. Thanks to Hachette/Forever, one of you who comment on this post will win a copy of the first book! See details below.
One Night in Chicago’s Mabon
A Tour with Lily Quinn
Hey, thanks for meeting me here! Ready for your first time in a vampire club? You look nervous. Don’t worry, you’re not going to get mugged or bitten or anything…I realize we’re in an alley, but this is just the way in. Door’s this way, down at the end. Yeah, the one that looks like it might have a serial killer on the other side of it. Don’t worry. Anura, the owner, just likes to keep the club as hidden as possible. Seems kind of silly to me. Having a Goth club down the street seems like excellent cover. Of course, Mabon has been here a lot longer than that. Those weren’t real vampires we passed just a minute ago, by the way. All that leather wandering around out there is just covering up a lot of wishful thinking. The real ones don’t flaunt what they are. They don’t need to. Yeah, that means what you think it means. Prepare to feel woefully inadequate…I know I did the first time I set foot in here.
Okay, through the serial killer door, down the creepy, poorly-lit stairs, and then through the door at the end of a barren hallway straight out of a Steven King novel. See the two big guys waiting there? Those are the bouncers. They’d usually want to check your mark, but you’re good for tonight. They’re still having some problems with a Ptolemy straggler here and there, determined to kick the world’s ass on their queen’s behalf. It’s died down a lot, though since…well, that’s another story. What’s a mark? Well, you see the one bouncer who’s showing a lot of skin? Nice, right? Up on his collarbone at the base of his neck is what looks like a tattoo. He’s got a tribal bat, with smoke curling around it, and some spikes, I think. A Dracul/Empusae mutt, probably with a few other things thrown in from the looks of it. A lowblood, like a lot of the vamps you’ll see in here. We’re probably going to catch a few highbloods slumming it too, though. They’re the ones you have to watch out for. And please try to. I know you’re cleared for the night—we don’t usually let mortals anywhere near here—but Anura is going to be really unhappy if anything else gets wrecked. This place is just re-opening, you know. She was lucky the whole building didn’t burn down.
In we go. Stay close. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? Like a Victorian manor turned into a 1920s speakeasy. Told you it didn’t look like a basement! Lots of dark wood, on the floors, on that big circular bar, and everything just gleams. That’s actually silk Anura’s got on the walls. You don’t want to see her when someone messes it up. The mirrors she’s got everywhere are serious antiques. You’re going to notice a lot of vampires admiring themselves. Actually, that’s a pretty good way to pick out the highbloods. The candlelight’s really flattering, though, I’ll give them that. The entire place is lit with nothing but candles. Still, there had never been a fire before Damien showed up to take me out. He’s the best at what he does. Just ask him. Actually, don’t. You’re very human, and he doesn’t have a lot of impulse control where some things are concerned.
Oh, you’re probably not going to want what they’re filling those crystal goblets with. You’re not a fainter, are you? Just checking.
So back this way is the dance floor. Watch those tall skinny tables, there’s always three times as many people crowded around them as can sit at them. What do you mean, everyone’s staring at me? That’s…okay, yes, there is some staring. It’s nothing. Well, okay, I’m sort of a VIP these days. It’s a long story, and I’m still trying to figure out where I fit into all this. Just know that you’re safe with me. Unless you attract the attention of a really drunk Dracul, that is. Damn, I can smell the vodka-spiked O-Negative from here. We’re going to want to move. Hang on, he just stumbled into those three vampires doing…oh. Well. He seems to have found something else to do. Um, you should probably know that when they’re out of human sight, some vampires take PDA to an entirely new level. Maybe they get too old to care. Personally, I think they’re just showing off. I’d quit staring, though, unless you want to be asked to join them.
And there’s Ty, waiting for us. The tall, lanky, silver-eyed vampire right there, see him? Sex personified? Not that I’m biased or anything. He still owes me a dance. We never quite got one the last time we were here. And speaking of, why don’t you talk to Jaden while I grab a minute with my guy? He’s like Ty, a cat-shifter. Their bloodline was enslaved until not very long ago, but things have changed. I’m so glad I had a part to play in that…but I’ll let him tell you what happened. Don’t let Jaden intimidate you, either. He may have a Goth-y Jared Leto thing going on, but he’s sweet. As long as you don’t tell him you think so, that is.
He’ll tell you what happened between two of the strongest dynasties, the Ptolemy and the Dracul, and how the three of us ended up in the middle of it, if you like. The world of night seems to be changing pretty quickly right now. But from what I understand, places like Mabon always stay the same. I guess that’s comforting, depending on how you feel about vampires. Enjoy the music, stay away from the red stuff, and seriously, do not look over there. There are some things you just can’t unsee, you know? It’s just another night in the vampire underworld. Enjoy Chicago, and welcome to Mabon.
Kendra Leigh Castle writes dark paranormal romance and lives in Southern Maryland with her husband, three kids, and menagerie of pets.
Want to read more from Kendra Leigh Castle?
This giveaway is provided by Hachette/Forever
One winner will receive a copy of Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle
Available on June 28, 2011 from Hachette/Forever
About the Book:
Enter the world of the Dark Dynasties . . .
For centuries, shapeshifting vampire Tynan MacGillivray has prowled the night as an outcast, valued only for his ferocious hunting skills. When a feud among the immortals escalates into all-out war, he is ordered by his ruthless queen to locate a Seer-a human woman with a special gift-who can secure victory for their clan. Ty’s search leads him to a quiet New England town, but once he has the Seer in his grasp, her touch awakens within him a hunger like he’s never known . . .
Lily Quinn has always been different. Since childhood, she’s had vivid nightmares and an eerie sixth sense. When a sexy, silver-eyed stranger demands her help, Lily plunges into a new world of danger and sensuality. With Ty, she discovers sizzling passions she cannot deny and powers she cannot control. Soon, it is clear that Lily is much more than a Seer-she holds the key to ancient secrets and unthinkable destruction. But will a vampire’s vow of eternal protection stop these evil forces . . . or unleash her dark destiny?
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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6. All Deadly Destinations winners will be announced on August 7th.
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