But in case you missed it: This book is dedicated to Naughty Nana (whose secret love of men in leather pants provides endless inspiration), the author Phoenix (cheerleader extraordinaire and master of the dreaded comma—don’t give up on me), my two pirates in training (Dudes! Stop hitting each other with swords, already!), and my alpha male supreme (words could never describe what a hotty you truly are!)
Without each of you, there’d be no dreams coming true in my life.
Dear Mortal Female,
Are you one of those unlucky women whose life has been bamboozled by a deceivingly hunky vampire? Are you looking for a way to fix that train wreck you now call your life?
If so, then I will savor your agony because everyone knows that playing smoochie fang with a vampire isn’t wise.
Yes, yes. I hear you…But I thought he’d eat caribou and sparkle. Or my personal favorite…Oh, but he was sooo hot, all brooding and bulging with muscles.
Well, you know what they say about excuses, don’t you? They’re like backsides. Everyone has one, and they all stink.
But fret nyet my little people-pets! Auntie Cimil, Goddess Delight of the Underworld, is here to help you out of your sour pickle. This little tale holds the secret to separating yourself from an unwanted vampire-mate. But be forewarned, “Until death do us part” has a whole other meaning when you’re talking vampires.
The Fabulous Miss Cimil
P.S. If you’ve read Book #1 and hope to discover what happens to our hunky, beloved Tommaso or to Emma’s grandmother, then I will also enjoy watching you suffer. The author, who I have every intention of smiting for revealing the gods’ secrets, has no plans to disclose their fates for several more novels (although you’ll get a hint in Book #3). Oh, but it’s going to be sooo good! In the meantime, here’s the next piece of the puzzle…
July 12, 1712. Bacalar, Southern Mexico
Delirious with hunger, the weary vampire sat hip-deep in mud, his broad back against a hollow tree as he glared at the crisp blue sky. The month-long summer rains had abruptly retreated. Now how much longer could he wait for her? Hours? Days? Sunshine was not Niccolo DiConti’s most cherished friend.
“Magnifico,” he grumbled.
His gaze shifted to the nearby pool. “Where the devil are you, woman?” he growled. Endless days had passed without as much as a ripple on the water’s surface. This ancient-Mayan ceremonial pool was the goddess’ favorite portal to the human world when she came scouting for souls—he’d paid a king’s ransom for that information—but she’d yet to materialize.
His shoulders slumped, and he sank deeper into the sticky jungle floor. Shards of painful sunlight pierced the tree canopy and danced across his face. A face gloriously referred to by many as that of a hardened warrior—dark features, a few character-building scars, and capable of producing a soul-chilling scowl when necessary. Today, however, he could not muster the strength to frighten a small child.
You are a pitiable mess, he thought for the hundredth time.
Struck hard by the irony of his situation, he let out a bitter chuckle. He was legendary for his raw power, intrepid leadership, and ruthless will to survive—no, not just survive, thrive. In any situation. Any century. But as soon as he saw her, he might actually beg like some lowly mortal serf.
Buon, anything it takes, he reminded himself. And, count your blessings that your men are not present to witness your mental shipwreck on the Island of Self Pity.
He closed his eyes, attempting to push away his bitter frustration, but his thoughts only swiveled toward his gnawing hunger. Hmmm, a rabbit or monkey...I must catch a little something to quell the hunger pangs—
“Well, well. What do we have here?” said a sultry feminine voice.
Niccolo’s eyes snapped open to find a dainty woman with long wet ropes of red hair snaking down her naked body. “Cristo sacro! It is about bloody time,” he barked.
The woman arched one coppery brow. “Oh my, aren’t we a cranky little thing. And dirty, too. Had a little mud bath, did we, Vampire?”
With her lean, almost boyish frame, the Goddess of the Underworld reminded him of a delicate fairy. But he knew better than to underestimate Cimil. Not only was she infamous for instigating mischief and being twelve cookies shy of a baker’s dozen, she also possessed powerful sight—thousands of years ahead, millions of possible outcomes. She was his last hope. Sad really.
“My sincerest apologies, Goddess,” he said. “It is my lack of nourishment speaking.” He pushed himself slowly from the muck and stretched. “I have been waiting weeks and, as you are aware, the sun weakens my kind.” He wiped his dirty hands on his black trousers and then ran them through the length of his damp hair, shaking out the leaves.