06-29-2011 04:22 PM
Please enjoy this excerpt from my paranormal romance novel Breathless. Go to www.scottprussing.com to see reviews, reader comments and more. Or just go to B&N and purchase the eBook for just $2.99.
Leesa lifted the old cushioned chair she’d sat on the last time she was here and set it in front of the desk, next to the professor’s. Sitting down, she was astonished to see what looked to be a very real human skull resting on a velvet cloth in the middle of his desk. The skull glowed a dull yellow in the candlelight, like a leftover Halloween decoration.
“Is that thing real?” she asked.
“Oh, yes. Very real. And very special.” Dr. Clerval carefully lifted the skull in both hands and turned it so it faced Leesa. “Take a look.”
It took a few seconds for Leesa to realize what she was looking at. The skull appeared normal in all respects except one, but that one was enough to pull a sharp gasp from her throat. Jutting down from the upper teeth were two sharp, curved fangs!
“Oh my god!” she exclaimed, her eyes fixed on the pointed teeth. “Is that what I think it is?”
Professor Clerval smiled. “Yes, it is. I believe this is a genuine vampire skull.”
“How did you…Where did you…?”
“A few years ago, I found an old manuscript describing the beheading of a supposed vampire here in Connecticut. As was customary, the body and head were buried separately.” Professor Clerval ran his hand over the top of the skull. “Of course, most of the time, the person who was beheaded was just that—an ordinary person accused of being a vampire. But something about this account rang true, so I decided to see if I could locate the place. I found this.”
He carefully prodded one of the fangs with his fingertip. “I’ve checked very thoroughly. The fangs are real. This is not a hoax.”
“Why haven’t you put this on display somewhere?” Leesa asked, her eyes wide. “This proves vampires really exist.”
Professor Clerval picked up his pipe and took a long puff. Leesa noticed he held the pipe well away from the skull.
“I don’t think that would be wise,” he said. “I’m not sure people need to know that vampires are real, especially with all the misinformation out there. Besides, it turns out vampire bone is even more sensitive to light than vampire skin. That’s the reason for the candles. Daylight would disintegrate the skull. Even normal room lighting damages it.”
He pointed to a small, darkened area on the right side of the skull’s dome. “That came from sitting too close to my little table lamp here. So now I only study this by candlelight.”
Leesa stared at the skull, fascinated. It looked so solid. She found it hard to believe it could disintegrate just from light. “Can I touch it?” she asked.
The professor nodded. “Sure. Go ahead.”
She gently placed her palm atop the skull. The smooth bone felt strangely cool. She couldn’t believe it—she was actually touching a vampire skull! “It’s amazing,” she said. “Is this why you wanted to see me? To show me the skull?”
“Actually, no,” Dr. Clerval said as he wrapped his treasure back inside the velvet cloth. “In fact, if you hadn’t been early, I wouldn’t have shown it to you at all. But since it was out when you arrived, I decided to let you see it. With your family’s connection to the creatures, I’m certain I can trust you to keep my secret.”
“I won’t tell a soul,” Leesa promised. “But if it wasn’t about the skull, why did you want to see me?”
“It’s about your mother,” the professor said. “Just a moment.” He lifted the wrapped skull and carried it across the room, placing it gently inside an old-fashioned metal safe. He pushed the heavy door closed and spun the combination lock. When he sat back down, he switched on the desk lamp and blew out the candles.
“I found something very interesting,” he said, picking up a thick leather-bound manuscript from the corner of his desk. “In here.” He opened the book and thumbed carefully through the pages. “This is one of the most comprehensive volumes about vampires I’ve ever found. It has a large chapter on grafhym.”
Leesa watched him anxiously, wondering what he’d found that concerned her mom. They had already decided her mom’s story might be true—she might actually have been bitten by a one-fanged vampire. Perhaps Professor Clerval had discovered something that proved it. But what she heard next was even better. Much, much better.
“There may be a way to help your mother,” the professor said. “At least, if what’s written here is true.”
Leesa leaned forward, scarcely believing her ears. A way to help her mom? Wow. Was there really a chance she could have a normal mom, after all these years?
“What does it say?” she asked.
Author of Breathless
07-04-2011 08:50 PM
Good for you!
The best thing an author can do is to let people sample their work.
I love to sample books and see if they can suck me into the story, if they don't then I know they aren't for me. I like yours, I could see and feel what you wrote and I become part of the story. Good luck, and lots of sales!