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New Release / Giveaway: Beside the Darker Shore – Patricia J. Esposito

Beside the Darker Shore - Patricia J. Esposito

Patricia J. Esposito has a new MM paranormal romance out: Beside the Darker Shore. And there’s a giveaway.

What might the ethical Governor David Gedden give up for one man’s exquisite beauty? It’s terrifying to consider when the man is a destructive blood prostitute and David is responsible for the state’s peaceful vampire community. Blood sales in Boston are up, blood taxes support a thriving new nightlife, neighborhoods have been refurbished, and deaths by vampires have plummeted. David is assured reelection.

However, the blood addict Stephen Salando has returned from exile with one unalterable plan: to turn the good governor into a vampire. Stephen is an immortal dhampir, whose beauty obliterates reason, who rouses in David a fierce desire he’s ignored his whole life. But for David to have Stephen, he must ally with an ancient vampire, the community’s seductive archnemesis. To have him, he must become a killer himself.

Will David hold on to his ethical public life? Or will he follow what he most desires, a kiss with a killer to become a vampire himself?

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MEME 2 - Beside the Darker Shore

Wetness enveloped him. It was exhilarating, this deep lake submersion. David hadn’t been told about the effects of water. Here, in this water, he wasn’t sure he even needed blood. He wasn’t sure he needed anything. He dove under and swam toward Stephen.

His body cleanly cut the surface, and he emerged before the bound liveblood. Blood streamed from a gash in Stephen’s chest. The vampires dipped white fingers in his blood, licking them. No one had bitten him, and his eyes held none of the ecstasy of bloodletting. They stared darkly at David.

“You’re an irresistible pleasure,” David said.

The black rock shone glassy, Stephen’s skin a warm contrast. David placed his hand flat on the bloody chest. He sniffed Stephen’s neck, up his cheek. His hair was cold satin. Water lapped at Stephen’s chest, drinking him. One of the two vampires bit into Stephen’s arm, making him gasp. But still he didn’t drink. They were waiting.

Cupping water, David raised it to Stephen’s face.

“You’re moonlight caught in darkness, but see how it slips away.” The water slid over his palm. “What are you sacrificing on these rocks?”

Placing both palms on Stephen’s chest again, David felt the hard cavern of chest bone, smoothed his hands over the satin skin to the round nipples shocked at the touch. He could take this body he desired, take it and leave it. This blood was promised to him. He heard Stephen’s heart beating warmly even in this cold water.

“David,” he whispered.

With that, David froze. His heart that had calmed in the water became erratic again. Stephen’s skin blurred like a warm brown sheath over David’s eyes. His throat closed, and the vampire laughter around him grew muffled, like he was underwater.

One word, one plea from Stephen and David couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t look at those eyes, couldn’t say what he needed to say. Fear clenched his stomach. Stephen’s breath burned David’s cheek.
Cold water slid between them.

And then Stephen lunged forward, and David felt the pain of blunt teeth on his neck. Stephen grabbed hold of him, biting hard, ripping David’s skin.

“No!” He shoved Stephen off. He didn’t have to do this. He wouldn’t be slave to this kind of need. The water had been healing; he’d felt at peace until seeing Stephen. David slammed Stephen back against the rock.

His legs quivered in the water. He backed away, letting water rush between them, and then Elena broke through, turning the water electric.

“Are you with me then?” she asked. “Can you see there is but one point to him?”

David scraped his leg against sharp rock as he backed away; seaweed twisted around his feet.

“No,” Stephen said. David couldn’t look at those eyes that pleaded with him. Stephen had propelled him to this point, whether deliberately or not. How much more could he make David do? He had to leave. He had to stay far from Stephen.

“David,” Stephen called, but his voice faltered. Pushing tendrils of wet hair from Stephen’s neck, Elena sunk her teeth into him. Then David did look up, as Stephen closed his eyes, as he succumbed to what he couldn’t resist.

David’s chest hurt, as if his ribs and chest bone had turned to iron mail. Clouds drifted across the moon, and Stephen’s face fell into shadows. He heard Stephen’s voice in his head, words he’d said three years ago, “Exile,” he’d said back then. “When did you go into this exile?”

Long ago.

David turned away, but Arturo was there, blocking his way. “You leave so soon?” Hate bruised his usually welcoming eyes. “When the festival has just begun?”

“Whatever you do to me, Arturo, I won’t let you live through me or love through me. I’ve found where my joy and peace are.”

“In water, like Alexandros?”

“Not like Alex. I need to kill, and the only way I can find peace with that is in solitary existence. I can’t be both mortal human and vampire. Maybe Alex can’t stand to be anything but what he was, a human. I think I can only be a vampire. I don’t want human connections. Consider your fledgling a success as a vampire. That’s all that’s left for you.”

Arturo’s hand slapped David’s chest in an icy brand. “No, that isn’t all. You think you need the kill, but you know nothing of need if you can’t love.”

Pain seared David’s chest, a raw burn that shuddered through him. Arturo had cut him. His hand slapped again, and another slice tore through to David’s ribs. The pain was silent in his throat, blocked by the rush of blood, his legs buckling. Blood poured.

“You bleed,” Arturo whispered. “You bleed into your healing water. Water loves blood. It will drain you.”

Around his waist, the water warmed and thickened. For a moment he thought how short-lived his vampire life had been, and then his body swayed with the pain.

Author Bio

Patricia J. Esposito

Patricia Esposito lives by the notion Luis Alberto Urrea once expressed: When the world is so dark and bloody, be brave enough to broadcast innocent joy. Dare to be naive. She has written edgy paranormal fiction for most of her life, but always finds beneath it a romantic heart. Her most recent fiction and poetry reflect that enduring quest for love and joy beneath the human struggle.

Patricia has received honorable mentions in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror collections, is a two-time winner of Rhino’s Reader=Writer award, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. With a Master’s degree in English, she edits law books and textbooks for income and tries to keep up with a retired husband and enjoy time with her two adult daughters—when she’s not off exploring the intoxicating realms of the imagination and chasing muses.

Beside the Darker Shore is her first full-length work of fiction. She welcomes the chance to meet other writers and readers through her website or Facebook page.

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