SHE'D LIKE HER BLOOD BOTTLED, PLEASE!
The sassiest vampire in all of Manhattan, Lil Marchette, is the owner of Dead End Dating-a matchmaking service for hip, intelligent singles like herself. After only three months, business is booming, and she can finally pay her bills (or, more important, feed a hungry cosmetics addiction). But when one of her clients turns up dead (as in never coming back), Lil is named as the prime suspect.
Sure, she's a vampire, but she can't even work up her nerve when it comes to blood-sucking. Hacking somebody to pieces is so out of the question.
To make matters worse, Lil must also contend with a pack of werewolves who ask-no, demand-that she find each one a tall, dark, and handsome mate before the next full moon. Plus, the to-die-for-if-I wasn't-already-dead Ty Bonner, a lusciously sexy lover but totally unsuitable eternity mate, is never far from her midnight fantasies. But Lil has no time for such thoughts. She must prove her innocence and focus on pairing off the dead and the furry-and maybe stake a claim to her own tasty true love.
"Kimberly Raye is hot, hot, hot!"
-Vicki Lewis Thompson, author of Nerds Like It Hot
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January 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Dead and Dateless by Kimberly Raye
"I need a man." The attractive woman sitting across the desk from me leaned forward.
Her name was Viola Hamilton and she was the latest client to come walking into the small but well-furnished office that housed my latest business venture--Dead End Dating, Manhattan's first and only hook-up service for vampires. And humans. And any other creature who could fork over my pricey (but well worth every red cent) fee.
I'm the Countess Lilliana Arrabella Guinevere du Marchette. Lil for short. The latest and greatest when it comes to matchmakers, and a five-hundred-year-old born vampire with an ever-expanding wardrobe and a serious cosmetics addiction.
Okay, okay. I'm a five-hundred-year-old born vampire with an ever-expanding wardrobe, a serious cosmetics addiction, and enough outstanding Visa charges to fund a small third-world country.
But enough about the ever-fantabulous me.
"Actually," Viola went on, "I need twenty-seven men, to be exact. Tall, dark, handsome, smart. Preferably human. But with only two weeks until the full moon, I'm willing to negotiate on that last point."
Viola had long, dark hair, jet black eyes, and lips slicked with Chanel's Crimson Dream. She wore a black Gucci jacket and matching slacks. A Cartier watch with a diamond band glittered from her slender wrist. She was president of the Connecticut chapter of the Naked and Unashamed Nudist Sisterhood, aka the NUNS, aka a group of female werewolves who met weekly at her Fairfield estate.
She was also the reason my father had nearly decapitated himself with a pair of hedge clippers last weekend. My old man detested thick, overgrown bushes almost as much as he did female werewolves, and so he religiously trimmed the azaleas that separated the two estates. Viola, on the other hand, detested short, puny vegetation and snobby, pretentious born vampires, and so she religiously put up a fight.
I, on the other hand, welcomed any and everyone with my arms wide, my mind open, and my deposit slip ready.
A smile spread across my face as I mentally calculated what twenty-seven men (preferably human) meant in terms of outstanding credit card payments.
"So can you help me?"
"That depends," I heard myself say. Wait a second. I knew Viola could fork over the cash. I should be shouting "Yes!" After all, I'm a born vampire: the PC term for unconscionable, pompous, money-hungry, bloodsucking aristocrat.
"On what you're going to do with twenty-seven men." Okay, so I'm not exactly PC. Sure, I can be as pompous as any ancient born vampere. I am most certainly money-hungry. I'd also recently fallen off the wagon on the bloodsucking part (I'd been going for the bottled stuff up until a few weeks ago when I'd been staked in the shoulder and nursed back to health by a megalicious made vampire named Ty Bonner). And I am also an aristocrat (French royalty and all that). It was the unconscionable part that I had trouble with. "I'm a matchmaker, not a personal chef."
Viola smiled, revealing a row of straight, white teeth. "We're not going to eat them, dear. We're going to have sex with them." She stubbed out her cigarette in the small crystal ashtray on the corner of my desk. "And procreate. Female werewolves only ovulate during a lunar eclipse, which means we get one, maybe two shots a year to actually conceive, if any at all. Last year, we got nada. Since we females carry the actual were-gene, we can mate with any creature and still produce a were-baby. We NUNS feel a social responsibility to keep our race as pure as possible and so we prefer humans. That way we don't have to worry about any otherworldly genes mixing in with our own."
Okay, so I already knew this. Not firsthand, mind you. While I am now a hot, hip, happening vampire, I was raised in a very sheltered environment. Most of my friends were born vamps and so I'd never actually talked (for more than a few minutes) to a real werewolf.