Today, I’m sharing a new project that I just started. Since Riwenne & the God-Killing Machine is with my editor right now, it was time for me to start a new story, and it’s so exciting! I’ve been planning this one for years and just never got around to it before. But since I’ve been loving the new options to post serial stories on Kindle Vella, I decided this was the perfect time to share this.
Get ready to return to the world of Small Town Witch (Fae of Calaveras trilogy) and Santa Cruz Witch Academy with a new YA paranormal romance, all about Rosa’s friend Heather! You’ve seen Heather in Rosa’s story and she made a cameo in Brie’s, but she still has a lot of secrets that she’s never revealed, including how she fell in love with Glen, the heir to the Fae duke. Also, how does her vampire family work? And how did she know so much about the Unseelie? These questions will finally be answered in the Vampires of Calaveras trilogy, starting with book 1, The Vampires’ Daughter!
You can start reading it right now on Kindle Vella (and my Patreon) as new chapters are posted twice a week. If you don’t like reading serial stories, I will be publishing this as a regular ebook and paperback when it’s finished, near the end of the year. But if you want to get a taste right now, here is the opening scene:
The Vampires’ nest was in Detroit.
I’m not supposed to call it a nest because that’s a slur. Modern vampires call it a collective or a commune. My parents used the old name, coterie.
There were seven vampires: three married couples and one Elder. Over a dozen servants split between the day and night shifts. And three children, including me.
An enormous amount of power is used in the ritual that allows an undead vampire to carry a living child. The Elder vampire had successfully performed it three times. He was the reason our parents had come to America, chasing the dream of a family. Simon, Lalita, and I were all born within a few months of each other. I was the youngest. We grew up in the same mansion and went to the same private school together.
In August, I celebrated my seventeenth birthday. The coterie held the party at night when they were awake. Although it was dark outside, the heavy velvet curtains were still drawn tight, blocking out the world. Between the dark carved wooden furniture and the flickering candles, the inside felt even darker.
There were no party decorations or friends from school to celebrate. The seven vampires all dressed in their best formal clothes, which looked like they had stepped out of a painting from another time: velvet, lace, and silk. I looked out of place in my modern turquoise blue party dress, but Lalita and Simon had worn bright colors for my sake. She wore a bright red floral print sundress and he had green slacks with a tropical button-up shirt.
Everyone sang happy birthday as the household chef, a plump middle-aged woman we called Cookie, brought out my favorite marzipan princess cake.
“Make a wish, Heather,” Cookie said, smiling at me.
What did I have to wish for? Everything I could ever want was handed to me the moment I asked for it: toys, clothes, the latest cell phone. But I couldn’t tell anyone what I really wanted—freedom.
After I blew out the candles, I cut enormous slices for Simon, Lalita, and me. Then I cut a fourth for Cookie. “You should have some, too,” I said as I handed it to her. “You worked so hard.”
Cookie looked nervously at my parents and set the plate aside. “Thank you, dear. I’ll save it for later.”
The vampires sat stiffly around the table as we ate. They had all been undead for over a century, long enough that they’d forgotten the taste of human food. I knew the servants purchased animal blood from a slaughterhouse outside the city to sustain them, since they were forbidden to drink from humans. But I had never seen them feed. Not that I wanted to watch my parents drink blood, but it was weird to have them sit and stare at the three of us while we ate.
You could have cut the tension with a knife.
Suddenly, Simon reached over and dabbed a clump of white cream on my nose.