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Vacation with a Vampire...and Other Immortals : Vampires in Paradise\Immortal
Let's face it--vacation is great! We could all use a warm summer night on a beach, the sand still hot from the sun, with the moon rising on the horizon. If it could be paired with a handsome, sexy man--an immortal man--wouldn't that be the icing on the cake? Nothing says holiday quite like a walk in paradise with a gorgeous vampire...or spending a twilight eve with a charismatic Highlander. And the best part? While you may get a sexy bite or two, it's guaranteed that you won't get a sunburn!
Don't be afraid to dip your toes into these two seductive and enthralling stories from Maggie Shayne and Maureen Child.
Come on in and leave your cares behind....
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June 30, 2011
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Excerpt from Vacation with a Vampire...and Other Immortals by Maggie Shayne
From the book...
I'm sorry, Anna, but there is no cure."
Anna Seville sat in a chair facing her doctor and friend, Mary St. Augustine, and waited for the punch line. But there wasn't one. Mary was known for her stoic disposition. In fact, since high school, Anna had never seen Mary cry. But her eyes were welling with tears now, and that only added credence to the impossible pronouncement. But all Anna's brain kept repeating was that this just couldn't be right.
"There's a mistake somewhere, Mary, there has to be. I'm not...I can't be...dying." Saying the word, though it had emerged only as a whisper, seemed to make it more real. Dying. Ending. Leaving. Her life was over.
Suddenly Anna felt cold, and her focus seemed to turn inward, searching for logic or reason somewhere. Anywhere. But Mary's words had just taken it all away.
So she sought for rational reasons why it couldn't possibly be true. "I haven't even been all that sick. Just...you know, tired. Worn out. Lethargic."
"I know. That's one of the main symptoms of this condition."
"But I don't have a condition. I've been fine my whole life, and now you're telling I was born with some sort of flaw that--"
"If you'd come to me sooner, I'd have told you sooner. But you've spent your whole adult life dodging health care at every possible opportunity."
"Yeah, and look what happens the first time I give in to the nagging and come in for a checkup. A death sentence."
Mary lowered her head. "Maybe on some level you knew."
Anna sighed. "My mom did, I think. Probably why she was always running me to doctors and being so overprotective when I was a kid. God, why didn't she tell me?"
"I imagine she intended to, when she thought you were old enough. It's not as if she planned to have a heart attack at thirty-nine."
And now it didn't look as if her eldest daughter would outlive her by much, Anna thought sadly.
"What is it, Mary? What's killing me?" she asked, ready, she thought, to hear the truth.
Mary shook her head. "You were born with a rare blood antigen known as Belladonna. It was never detected until now because you've never been a donor or needed a transfusion, or had any major surgeries."
"And if I had been?" Anna asked, instantly ready to blame herself for not being generous and donating blood like any decent citizen would do. She'd always meant to, she'd just been so busy with other things. Her job and all her causes, and her sister's, Lauren's, kids--until they'd turned on her, anyway.
After their mother had died unexpectedly, Anna had become Lauren's caretaker. Her enabler, actually. Lauren had drifted into addiction--prescription drugs, mostly, at the beginning, but that soon degenerated into anything she could get her hands on. She'd had two babies in a row, Nate and Cindi, with no father in sight for either of them. And hell, someone had to make sure the kids had a roof over their heads.
Anna realized that Mary had been talking and she'd been oblivious. She fixed her eyes on her friend and said, "Sorry, I drifted. Would you start over?"
Mary nodded. "The Belladonna antigen is rare. Few people have it. Those who do tend to bleed very easily. Almost like a hemophiliac would. Your mother probably knew this, and that's why she was so worried about every little cut and scrape you got as a kid."
"Makes sense. Okay, what else? Has anyone ever...beaten this?"
Mary shook her head. "Everyone with this condition experiences the same symptoms you've been describing. Onset occurs in the mid-thirties, on average."
She was speaking in sound bites, Anna realized. Uttering a fact or two, then pausing to be sure Anna had heard and understood before moving on. She was watching...