My Life Without Garlic
Some things in life just might be worth giving up garlic for.
It was simple curiosity that led Augustin to the vampire dating site—he thought it must be a joke started up by a bunch of weirdos. Man, was he right—but it just so happens that those weirdos really are vampires, and when one shows up at his place, Augustin’s world is turned upside down.
First he’s got a psychotic vampire to deal with. Then he’s got one who is much more fun hanging around.
Except now that Augustin knows that vampires exist, he can’t be left alive. Or can he? When an alternative is offered up, Augustin doesn’t care for it, either. After all, he doesn’t want to be whisked off to some disgusting vampire den.
Tony’s the vampire next in line to lead the coven. He wants to be a fair man, and that means arguing against killing Augustin. If he’s also attracted to the sarcastic, adorable man, where’s the harm in that?
The attraction between Augustin and Tony is undeniable, but deny it is what they both try to do. Someone is going to have to bend or break.
Publisher's Note: This book was previously available on the author’s blog.
Don't Stake My Life on It
Stakes, kilts and holy water—Andrew Meyer is in for the time of his life!
Radney’s tired of being the coven oddball. He had his reasons for being the way he was, and he let those reasons rule his life for centuries. Another mistake—almost harming a human he’d been sent to keep an eye on—has sent Radney on a mission of self-improvement. He’s going to conquer his issues and be the best damned vamp ever!
Andrew Meyers has the term paper from hell to write. It needs to be original and intriguing. What could be more so than people with a vampire fetish?
But when that fetish turns out to be one he has, for a very sexy, kilt-wearing, neurotic vampire, the tables are turned. Andrew isn’t prepared to find out that vampires are real, but he learns it anyway. With help from his twin brother, Erin, he just might be able to find a happy ending—or an ecstatic beginning—for him and his hot as hell red-headed vamp. If he’s careful, and patient, he might even find the vamp for him.
General Release Date: 25th August 2015
Excerpt from My Life Without Garlic
Augustin Carmichael sat down at his computer desk. He set his plate, piled high with spaghetti and cheese, right in front of him. He went back to the kitchen and got the thick slices of garlic bread and a glass of red wine. The wine was a newer addition to his mealtime. Augustin didn’t really like the stuff, but he kept reading about how it was heart healthy and all. Since his dad had died at forty-three from a massive heart attack, Augustin was willing to try anything to avoid the same fate.
That had meant cutting down on the pasta and sugar and carbs and—well, too many of the good things in life, but then again, he wouldn’t have a life for much longer if he wasn’t careful. At thirty-five, he felt like he had a ticking time bomb in his chest instead of a heart.
His doctor chided him about it, too. Augustin was overweight, and his cholesterol was high. His blood pressure was borderline. It was scary shit, so he was making changes.
But he wasn’t giving up his pasta completely, and garlic was healthy as far as he knew. The marinara was home-made and sugar-free, so that had to count as a good thing to eat.
Augustin sat at the desk once he had everything together. He’d done his daily hour-long workout that morning. There was no need to feel guilty as he wound pasta around the fork.
He was not going to choke on that unnecessary guilt either, and waste a wonderful meal. The sauce hit his tongue and the strong flavor of the garlic overpowered the tomatoes and onions. It was perfect! Augustin moaned happily and promised himself another tasty reward in a week.
After he’d eaten a few more bites, forcing himself to do so slowly when he’d really rather have chowed down and shoveled the food in one bite after another, Augustin opened up his web browser. Surfing the ‘Net was as addictive as food was, so he tried to monitor that, too.
The news site he had as his home page came up. Augustin read a few headlines and muttered to himself. He was going to stop reading the news, damn it. It was all bad, and who needed that kind of downer?
Under the ‘Odd News’, though, he found some entertaining articles. By the time he’d read through most of them, he was munching on the last piece of garlic bread. He took a sip of the wine and fought against gagging. Maybe he’d get used to drinking the stuff warm, but he really, really wanted to add some ice and Sprite to it to make the drink palatable.
Obviously he was never going to be a wine connoisseur. He snorted. “Well, whatever. At least I’ll maybe not keel over any time soon.”
He gulped down the last of the liquid then set the wine glass down. An article he’d missed caught his eye and he chuckled. “Seriously?” Augustin clicked on the link. The page loaded and he laughed. “A vampire dating site? What the hell is wrong with people…?”
He chuckled some more as he read the hook, as he thought of it. “Blood-sucking singles, huh? Sounds dangerous to me.” It irked him when all he saw were pictures of women on the main page. “What about guys? Or gays? Are y’all excluding us?”
Then again, maybe the gays had more sense. Augustin thought of his friends Tommy and Georgie. “Okay, maybe not.” The rest of his friends, whatever their sexuality, were definitely above snooping around such sites.
Augustin moved the cursor over the ‘Sign Up’ button. It’d be a great prank to sign up Tommy and Georgie. No, that’d be a dick move, and he was trying to cut down on the number of those he made.
All the featured profile pictures were of women. Augustin pursed his lips. “Do you even do gay vampires?” He groaned. Not only was he talking to himself, he was going on like vampires were real.
He clicked on the ‘Sign Up’ button just out of curiosity. They didn’t really ask for much information. Was that all there was to a profile? What about the zillion questions real dating sites had?
“People really fall for this shit?” He opened a second page and went to a website that issued temporary email addresses. They were only good for ten minutes so he had to hurry.
It was curiosity that had him filling out the profile form. It was boredom, too. Mainly boredom. He had no idea what he’d do, or if he’d ever use the account for anything more than a comparison dating site. He’d been intending to sign up at GayLove4You.com since his love life had been abysmal for— Eh, he wasn’t going to count the months. At least it wasn’t down to years yet.
And, he could write about the whole comparison on his blog. Maybe he’d get a few more followers so he’d have a nice half-dozen. Apparently he just wasn’t that interesting.
“If I was, I wouldn’t be single, duh.”
So far the site didn’t ask for much, just a username, email, what gender he was and what gender he was seeking, birthday, password… He hit ‘Enter’. After a few seconds, he got an error message. “What do you mean something is wrong? I filled it out right, morons.”
He did it again and received a message that the website was over capacity. Mind boggled, Augustin leaned back and frowned. “You have got to be kidding me!” Paranoia prickled under his skin. “Is it because I said I was male seeking male?”
He bent back over the keyboard, typing in his information again, except altering his search from male to female.
Another error message came up, but he figured out his ten minute email address had expired. “Shit.” He set up another one and created another profile. It got an error message too. “Well, at least I know y’all aren’t bigots, but come on. There can’t be that many people on there!”
He could be a little obsessive. Augustin knew that about himself. An hour of creating false email accounts and trying to sign up at the vampire dating site and he began to question his own sanity. Why was he even bothering? He sure as hell didn’t want to date anyone from a site like that.
Excerpt from Don't Stake My Life on It
“I am not crazy!” Radney stomped his right foot for emphasis. “And if anyone should be in trouble, it should be Tony since he’s the one who sent me after that tubby human!” Stomp!
“Radney Darrow, if you stomp that foot one more time, I swear I’ll throw you over my knee and paddle your ass.” Unlike Radney, Claude spoke calmly, as if he were talking about the weather.
It was downright spooky. Radney shut his mouth but glared and folded his arms over his chest.
As coven leader, Claude could do whatever he wanted to Radney. A spanking sounded particularly humiliating.
“Vampires shouldn’t be punished like small human children would be,” he grumbled, irritation getting the better of him.
“Well,” Claude drawled, “if you insist on acting like a child, I won’t hesitate to treat you like one.”
Claude rolled his eyes. “Tony has been chastised for sending you after Augustin. What were you thinking, to terrify the human like that?”
Thrilled with a chance to explain, Radney enthusiastically answered, “I was thinking that I’d scare him into never, ever speaking of vampires again. And maybe that he’d taste sumptuous. He’s really plump, after all, like a nice, stuffed goose. I mean, yeah, I don’t like to bite people, but I was really, really hungry.” He smacked his lips together, his mouth watering. “I didn’t get to feed before Tony sent me, either.”
“You know where your blood supply is kept,” Claude said.
“But it was stale,” Radney complained. At least he refrained from whining. “Paulo brought me the stuff the blood donation place threw out. It was gross.”
Claude stood. “Was it? I’ll check it and if you’re not lying, I’ll have a word with Paulo. If you’d just drink regularly, you wouldn’t get in these predicaments.”
If by predicaments, Claude meant Radney wouldn’t starve until he nearly lost his shit from blood lust, he was probably right.
“I don’t like biting humans,” Radney repeated. The only way he managed it was if he was out of his mind with hunger. “They scream.”
“Not if you do it right.” Claude tugged at his shirt cuffs. Always immaculately dressed, Claude was never seen in anything other than one of his expensive, tailored suits.
“Maybe you should spank whoever decided it was a good idea to set up a vampire dating website to attract humans,” Radney suggested. “I mean, I get that you guys like to hook up all the time, but—”
“You guys?” Claude said in that calm, creepy voice again.
Radney knew he’d screwed up big-time. “Yeah, I mean gay men. Everyone knows they like to, um, play around a lot.” Gods knew Radney had seen how horny his sire, Beiste, had been. Though to be fair, Beiste fucked men and women, and probably things Radney didn’t want to know about, so he shouldn’t have stereotyped anyone. “That’s what I heard it’s like to be gay nowadays.”
“And tell me, Radney, do you see me bringing in a parade of hot young men to fuck on a nightly basis?” Claude narrowed his eyes. “No, you do not. I’ve had enough of your bigotry.”
“What?” Radney shook his head. “I’m not bigoted! I read that book in the library, the one Chelsea gave me on homosexuality in the twentieth century. If I was a bigot, why would I read that?” Plus, there’d been things in his past, albeit he’d had little control over them. But still.
“God,” Claude groaned. “Chelsea gave you a book on homosexuality? Why? And even more importantly, why did you take it from her and read it?”
Radney was beginning to suspect he’d been played the fool by Chelsea. “Uh. She told me if I didn’t read it, she’d stake me in my coffin while I slept?”
“Did she really?” Claude asked.
It sounded better than the truth, but Radney couldn’t hold out on a lie to Claude. “Er, no. But she did say I’d wake up bald if I didn’t educate myself, and she handed me that book.” She was also the one who’d insisted that it was okay for him to tell a certain joke that, in retrospect, he could clearly see was inappropriate. “Sometimes I’m gullible.”
“I am aware,” Claude acknowledged. “Describe the book cover to me.”
“It was the American flag with this ugly old guy on it,” Radney said. “Like boner-killingly ugly.”
“That book was written by a conservative talk show host who hates everyone and everything that isn’t an old, white, wealthy male,” Claude explained.
“Oh.” Radney considered that information for a moment. “Well, if it helps, I didn’t make it past the third chapter, but don’t tell Chelsea.”
“I’ll be telling Chelsea quite a few things,” Claude assured him. “It might be in your best interest to take a little vacation. I’ll have Paulo supply you with fresh blood shortly.”
“Am I being punished?” Because it didn’t sound like he was being punished, which was a relief.
“No, though the next time you do something as asinine as terrorize a human, I’ll bury you for a decade.” Claude crossed over to the door.
“What about Tony?” Radney dared to ask. Tony was Claude’s favorite vampire, the one he was training to take over the coven. Radney was more than a little jealous about that, though he shouldn’t have been. Claude wasn’t his sire, after all, just his leader.
“Tony has been dealt with. He gets to take care of the human, Augustin.” Claude opened the door and smiled slightly. “And by the way? I wouldn’t advise mocking Augustin over his weight, or quoting any of the ridiculous shit you read in that book. Augustin strikes me as the kind of man who will exact revenge for each insult.”
“Revenge?” Radney giggled. “What’s he going to do? He’s just a human.”
Claude’s disdainful expression almost crushed Radney. “Don’t be a bigger fool than you already were tonight, Radney. Being human doesn’t mean being weak.”
Radney hated disappointing Claude. “Yes, sir.” He bobbed his head, already working on ways to show Claude he wasn’t a total loser.
And he wasn’t a bigot! Radney had just been joking that one time, repeating something Chelsea had told him. He’d laughed with her, and she’d encouraged him to share the joke. He was really coming to hate her.
Gods, he wouldn’t want to live in the coven if he was bigoted! Was the joke really that bad? Or is the problem that everyone else lacked a sense of humor and education about comedy.