This is going to be a great Monday. Yes I said a great Monday, no you did not read that wrong. Let me tell you why. Today is my stop on the Vampire Down Blog Tour and the awesome Steven Montano is sharing a never before seen scene from the series.
Blood Skies, Book 7
Who ever knew the end would come so soon?
In this final volume of the BLOOD SKIES series, Eric Cross and Danica Black find themselves facing impossible odds in the desolate ruins of the world they once knew. Hunted by the mercenary forces of the newly formed East Claw Coalition and desperate to find the elusive White Mother, the two refugees will be pushed to the limits of their abilities and sanity as they struggle to survive.
Meanwhile, in the near future, the undead hunter called Reaver searches for the lost city of Bloodhollow, the place where humankind will make its final stand, while the undead of New Koth and the rebellious White Children make their push to end the reign of the Ebon Kingdoms once and for all.
As timelines collide and the spider weaves her web, the battle for the fate of the riven world will come to its violent conclusion in the depths of a forgotten city, where unlikely heroes will emerge and hidden evils will finally be revealed...
I have never seen an author put a character through more than Steven Montano put Eric Cross and his team through. I used to message him about the crap he put them through, but then I saw the hope in his series and I stopped sending messages. Bet he's glad those messages stopped. Anyways, I asked Eric Cross and Danika Black about their favorite moments. You know trying to bring out the happy. And let me just say I am more than pleased with this little bit I got.
This next scene takes place before chapter 1 of Vampire Down.... enjoy.
They sat beneath an ocean of stars.
The firelight played off their faces and cast flickering shadows against the walls of night. Cross watched the flames with a sense of fear lodged in his chest. He sweated in spite of the cold, kept the rifle and the blades close by. The air was caged by walls of mist and heavy with the stench of gunpowder and rust. He tried not to look at the sky too much for fear of falling into it.
Danica sat on the other side of the fire, staring off into nothingness. The lights danced off her eyes, eyes he'd gotten lost in, and would get lost in again. Their charges, Ronan and Shiv, were wrapped tight in blankets close by, oblivious and concealed from the shadow-laden air. The wind was cold and sharp and the only thing to be heard for miles.
They'd made camp in the nook of a short hill next to an old oak tree that looked to have been dead for years; the bark had split and revealed a rotted and cold interior, and empty holes sat where creatures might have once hid. The branches swayed overhead, long renovated of any leaves.
“How's your soup?” Cross asked.
Danica hadn't touched her bowl in a while. The small pot they'd cooked with still hung over the flames, boiling what was left of the instant mix that had used up more of their water than Cross had intended.
“Not too hungry,” she said. “How's yours?”
“Tastes like...I don't know...not soup.” They kept quiet. They weren't sure what else was out there, what other creatures they might encounter in the ruins of the old world. It seemed as if everything was dead and gone. For all they knew, that was exactly the case, and they were all that was left.
“You know what I really miss,” Cross said. Danica looked up at him. He forced a smile. “Tacos.”
“Really?” she said, smiling in spite of their grim circumstance. “I took you for more of a cheeseburger kind of a guy.”
“There's nothing wrong with a good cheeseburger,” he said with a nod. “But if I was able to conjure some food right now, it would be a taco. There were a couple of street vendors in Thornn who actually put together some decent Mexican food.” He saw her eyes drift, locked on nothing. Worry had latched into them with claws. The surrounding night was far from safe. It seemed that after all they'd been through, this was their reward – to return to a land they'd failed.
Don't think like that, he told himself. Be strong, for her sake.
“You know what I miss?” she said. Her deep red hair lifted in the wind.
“Music,” she said. “It's been a long time since I got to listen to a tune. And I'm not talking about that shitty tribal crap Ronan listened to.” Her eyes caught on their unconscious ally for a moment, and Cross saw the fear return.
“What do you like?” he asked. “What sort of music?”
She thought for a moment.
“Classical,” she said. “It can...I don't know...take you away. Lift you from yourself.” She looked at him through the flames. “That would be nice right about now.”
Cross met her gaze. His heart pounded in his chest. Tension rang down his back like a bony hand.
“We're going to be okay,” he told her.
“You believe that?” she asked.
“I have to.”
Danica nodded again.
“I'm glad you're here,” she said. “I don't know what I would have done if something had happened to you.”
Cross felt warm inside. Even with as exhausted and worn down as he was, hearing those words filled him with a spark of life.
“You know, for as painful and shitty as this has all been,” he said, “I'd do it all again if it meant being here with you.”
She smiled, a real smile, and the glow inside him spread.
They didn't need to say anything more, so they sat there in silence, close to the fire and under the stars. Knew they the world would be no better come morning, but all they could do was carry on.
Wow! Love this. And that last line from Eric Cross, absolutely killed me! And hey did you know you can start this series for FREE!!! Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
About the Author~
Steven Montano was something terrifying in his previous life. Now he’s an accountant, so not much has changed.
An avid hiker, reader, San Antonio Spurs fan, goofball husband and father of two, Steven writes novels (the seven volume Blood Skies series, the Skullborn Trilogy, something black…, and the upcoming thrillers Blood Angel Rising and Colder) and drinks a lot of wine when he isn’t busy pulling his hair out over payroll or trying to balance the company books.
Visit the author’s website and check out the Vampire Down page on Goodreads!