Read Chosen by Blood Online

Authors: Virna Depaul

Tags: #Literary, #Romance, #Science Fiction, #Fiction, #General, #Paranormal, #Man-Woman Relationships, #Vampires, #Paranormal Romance Stories, #Antidotes

Chosen by Blood

BOOK: Chosen by Blood
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Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR
CHOSEN BY BLOOD
“A gripping tale! In
Chosen by Blood
, Virna DePaul creates the perfect blend of danger, intrigue, and romance. You won’t be able to put this book down.”
—Brenda Novak,
New York Times
and
USA Today
bestselling author
 
“DePaul’s debut novel,
Chosen by Blood
, snap, crackles, and pops with action, adventure, and a heart-pounding romance. She builds an intriguing world populated by fascinating characters. You won’t want to miss this one!”
—Karin Tabke, author of
Blood Law
 
“Sexy, suspenseful, and very, very smart. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Eileen Rendahl, national bestselling author
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
CHOSEN BY BLOOD
 
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / May 2011
 
Copyright © 2011 by Virna DePaul.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-51433-7
 
BERKLEY
®
SENSATION
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY
®
SENSATION and the “B” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

To Craig, Joshua, Ethan, and Zachary,
You have been and always will be my true happy
ending, as well as my beginning and middle, too.
I love you, always and forever.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
There’s a saying that to be a writer, you might as well open a vein and bleed on the page—that’s how personal and often painful the process can be. Such is life. Sometimes, however, no matter how short an acquaintance, a seemingly minor connection can have a major, positive impact on a person’s dream. In the best of circumstances, lasting relationships are formed and strengthened.
To everyone who helped me achieve
this
dream (you know who you are), thank you. We struggle together, celebrate together, and even prop each other up and carry one another out of the darkness and into the sun. I think it’s made me a better writer and human being.
In particular, I want to thank:
My awesome agent, Holly Root, and my wonderful editor, Leis Pederson, for loving my stories, taking a chance, and making my work shine;
The copy editors, art department, and all the other behind-the-scenes people at the Berkley Publishing Group who helped get this book ready and in stores;
Susan Hatler, for being a wonderful critique partner, as well as a friend willing to e-mail, call, Skype, and fly across several states to stay in touch;
Brenda Novak and The Scarlets, for helping me get started;
Nia and Len Fishler, who, from the moment I saw them together, radiated “recognition”;
Lori Wilde, Nina Bruhns, Mary Buckham, Dianna Love, and the other RWA instructors and writers I’ve met, for teaching me and cheering me on;
Margo Lipschultz, Matrice Hussey, Kim Whalen, Karin Tabke, Hilary Sares, Lori Foster, Brenda Novak, Larissa Ione, and Eileen Rendahl, for believing in me and spending time/ effort on my behalf;
The F5 (Rachelle, Jeannie, Tiffany, and Julia) for walking “the darkness” alongside me and shining bright;
Vanessa Kier, Cyndi Faria, Karin Tabke, Poppy Reiffen, Tawny Weber, Tina Folsom, and Grace Chow, for being my comrades-in-arms, and helping me be a better writer while making the journey a blast;
My friends in BDRWA, SFARWA, SVRWA, Sac Valley Rose, and Calgary RWA for your support; ditto for those at
savvyauthors.com
and online elsewhere;
My very large family (DePaul; Meyers; my sister, Carol; brothers; nephews; nieces; aunts; cousins; in-laws; and variations thereof) for giving me a safe place in a crazy world to become who I’m meant to be, even if it sometimes confounds you. I love you all;
Cora and Vince DePaul (aka Mom and Dad), for sacrificing more than I wanted you to so your kids could be happy; and
My boys, Craig, Joshua, Ethan, and Zachary, for loving me no matter what.
They will be pulled from the darkness only to be placed in another kind. First, the dark red of blood unites them, a wall of strength against the tide. Then, the blackness of despair weakens them, ripping them apart. Six only shall remain, linked arm in arm. Love and hate. Pleasure and pain. Life and death. Greed and compassion. Blindness and clarity. Strength and weakness. Felt by all but then rejected, until the choice is made.
Only one shall survive.
—FROM THE MAGE’S ANCIENT TEXTS
Dear Readers,
 
Please sign up for my newsletter at
www.virnadepaul.com
to access free bonus material about the Para-Ops team, including a short story on Wraith’s “awakening.”
 
Thank you for your support!
Virna DePaul
PROLOGUE
VAMP DOME
PORTLAND, OREGON
O
ne downside to being a vampire’s best friend was knowing she could read your mind.
Not that Noella ever would, at least not without good reason, but still . . . Something about the way Noella looked at her tonight put Felicia on edge. There was a certain knowledge in her eyes that hinted at questions to come. Questions that Felicia had to avoid at all costs.
Now, as the two of them strolled the perimeter of the grand ballroom’s dance floor, Felicia turned to her friend. “Every vamp in the nation must be here,” she marveled. “Maybe every vamp in the world.”
Noella St. Claire Devereaux laughed and hooked her arm through Felicia’s. “Just about. Those well enough to travel, anyway.” As they continued to walk, she peered at Felicia from beneath her eyelashes.
“What?” Felicia groaned good-naturedly.
Noella patted her hand. “You’ve certainly made an effort to greet them all. All except a certain dharmire, that is. Has Knox upset you?”
Felicia stumbled slightly. Inwardly cringing, she stopped walking and forced herself to smile. “Of course not. He’s been busy playing host, that’s all. With magnificent results. It’s been a wonderful party,” she said truthfully. The food had been delicious, the grounds beautifully appointed, and the guests charming; the fact that Felicia was miserable was beside the point. “The perfect way to celebrate your ninth wedding anniversary.”
After a slight pause during which Felicia held her breath, Noella said, “Acknowledging I’ve been married that long makes me feel old. It also reminds me how long it’s been since I last saw you. You really must try to visit more often, Felicia.”
“The Bureau’s struggling right now. Federal crime is at an all-time high with the recent insurgents. Every agent is working overtime.”
“I don’t care. I miss you.” Noella pouted. “Don’t make me sic Knox on you.”
Flushing despite herself, Felicia covered with a mock shudder. “Okay, okay. I’ll visit more often. Believe me, I know how ruthless you can be when you want something.”
“Dear Goddess, Felicia, whatever do you mean?”
Felicia snorted, both at Noella’s innocent act and her invocation of the Earth Goddess Essenia. Many Otherborns had changed religion over the years, but most of them, especially vamps, still worshipped the Goddess. She was thought to be only one of several deities, but she was the most revered because of her allegedly steadfast devotion to all living creatures. “Dear Goddess nothing. Your ability to take down the clan’s most sought-after bachelor is rivaled only by your ability to wrap your husband around your finger. Annette Bening could have taken lessons from you when she was courting Warren Beatty.”
For a moment, a furrow marred Noella’s perfect skin and her mouth twisted ruefully. “Take him down, huh? Sure, it was a piece of cake. It just took a hundred years or so for him to give up his odd notions about soul mates, and I’d already waited almost two decades before even trying to convince him to. He was over three hundred years old when we finally married. That’s practically unheard of for a vamp’s first marriage, full vampire or not.”
“Who knew Knox would play so hard to get?” Felicia said the words lightly, almost tauntingly, knowing that Noella would take the bait and rise to Knox’s defense. “He should thank the Goddess Essenia every day that you didn’t turn your sights on someone else.”
“He wasn’t playing hard to get, Felicia. He just views marriage more seriously than most vamps. When Knox loves, he loves fiercely. He couldn’t imagine marrying more than once, so he wanted to be sure. Sure he married the woman he could love for eternity.”
For eternity, Felicia mentally echoed. Because he needed to marry another immortal. She took Noella’s hand. “And he did.” Felicia swallowed hard and forced out the words. “You are his soul mate, Noella.”
BOOK: Chosen by Blood
13.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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