This is a bit nontraditional for this blog, but today I’m going to write about an anthology in which I have a story, and include an excerpt from one of the other excellent stories within, and tell you why you should consider having your own copy.
I’ll start with an admission. I hated vampire stories for the longest time. I understood their mystique and their erotic link, but I really didn’t like what I felt were tired tropes and conventions. And then I came up with my own story, and my own take, and took another look around. There are original, (and sexy) stories out there to be had if one knows where to look. Here’s one place you can find immortality and death, danger and surrender, commanding and lust. Without sparkles.
From the editor:
Vampires are frequently portrayed as evil or at least amoral, viewing humanity from the jaded perspective of centuries. Now, though, vampires are doing their part to save the world.
Coming Together: In Vein is a brand new collection of vampire-themed erotica and erotic romance edited by Lisabet Sarai. All sales of this novel-length volume support Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). MSF works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Right now, despite being barred from the country, MSF doctors and nurses are in Syria, working with patients from both sides of the civil war. They’re performing surgery in caves and sneaking into refugee camps to distribute desperately needed medications.
You can help MSF in its life-saving mission, simply by indulging your passion for vampires. Buy a copy of Coming Together: In Vein in ebook, Kindle format, or print. Enjoy! Then help spread the word! Every copy we sell has the potential to save someone’s life.
The list of contributors includes many names you’ll recognize. Every one of these authors has provided his or her work free of charge, to support the charitable aims of the project. Furthermore, the editor is giving away a free copy of her short story collection Body Electric to everyone who buys a copy of Coming Together: In Vein. (For details of this offer, click here.)
You’ll find an excerpt below – just to whet your appetite.
Sink your teeth into Coming Together: In Vein. Help our vampires save the world.
My story in the collection, some of you readers will know is an edited-into-cohesive-story version of chapter 1 of Blood Tint. This does imply that I’m still working on the story. One of my writing goals for 2013 is to finish it.
However, the tease I’m going to give you is this:
From “The Curse” by M. Christian
She was almost late coming into work. Unheard of, though no one would have noticed. She’d stood and stared at the bare bed, looking for some kind of evidence, some kind of physicality to match her filling memory. They’d stood on the balcony, looking at the stars and the brilliant lights of the city. A natural position, Ellie’s hands on the cold metal of the balcony, the other woman’s hands around her waist, her breath on the nape of her neck. A cascade, Ellie remembered, of goose bumps, but not from the cooling night.
Hard daylight. Blinking, wrapped in a towel, she stepped out, looking for footprints, hand prints. Moisture, a sparkling flicker of dew, anything to prove it had really happened.
They’d kissed—yes, and she tasted her again in memory: the pressure of lips, the heat of her, the rhythm of their breathing. They’d come inside, kissed by the foot of the bed. The whisper of her black satin dress, the sudden too-tightness of Ellie’s jeans. The surprising laughter when the kiss broke, when the high of their excitement crested. The way, then, the giggles had faded as she had put her hands on Ellie’s face, traced the contours of her cheeks, her jaw, the way she’d tapped Ellie’s nose, whispering “button” in a rich, throaty voice.
In the warming room, Ellie stood at the foot of the bed, turning so she was facing the way she remembered standing. Yes. Eyes brown with flickers of amber. Lips too full, too red, too silken to be anything but a fantasy running around in the real world. Lithe, boyish. She remembered how she liked to watch her move, liked to watch her walk barefoot across the apartment. Graceful, as if every muscle were elegantly conducted to some lovely score.
Her shoes? Yes… She’d kicked them off, near the foot of the bed. Without really thinking of the woman walking the hard pavement on thin, bare feet, Ellie dropped down to look, hoping for the reality of a simple black pump. Nothing, of course. Memories, but nothing else.
A glance at the clock brought up more—her face, glowing as if from low embers, smiling up at her. There, in her eyes was the lust Ellie’d wanted, needed, but also something else, something finer, softer, kinder. There was something else there, in the dull red glow, something that had made Ellie’s heart melt as fast as her body. Liquid—yes, molten….
A glance at the clock also brought a slap of reality. 8:05. Half an hour on the bridge, fifteen minutes from the garage to the office. She was going to be late.
Still, hurrying, there was no escaping the growing number of ghosts from the past, that expired night: brushing her hair brought up a voice, rich and rumbling, and the feel of strong fingers stroking the top of her head; doing her teeth was those same fingers brushing her lips, feeling them before another kiss…
Finally, she had to stop, had to put both hands on the edge of the sink and breathe deep. In and out. Strong, steady breaths. She was late, she needed to get dressed and get going. She had work to do, lots of work to do. If it had happened… if it had happened then it was nice, and that was all. It didn’t change anything. If it hadn’t, then the world was as it was. Ellie, her little place, her little life, her job—the days falling down, one by one.
Tears, hot on her cheeks. How she wanted it to be real.
Eyes open, puffy and red. Her face in the mirror, looking broken and small. But then she saw it, as real as a shoe, as foot and hand prints in night dew. Evidence, reality. Purple and harsh, sore, yes, but evidence none the less. A scarf would hide it, but not for now. Lateness, the bridge traffic, the walk from the garage, the firm, everything was gone from her mind. For now, as she stood in the window, the bruise on the slope of her neck was too priceless to hide, too real not to be stared at.