Sexy Vampires and Suspense!

Many years ago, Cardinal Desires won the Georgia Romance Writers' Magnolia Award in Mainstream, starring the hero of Sinners' Opera, Morgan D'Arcy.  Berkeley actually called me and asked if I had anything besides vampries.  Newbie that I was, I said, "No," instead of asking what they wanted.  Then I decided that Morgan couldn't have two forever true loves and Sterling Fox was born.  Sterling does a fine job of seducing Katy, the heroine.

Out of 5,000 entries, Cardinal Desires made the first cut in the initial Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

Finally, on October 15, 2013, Double Dragon Publishing released Cardinal Desires in print and ebook formats.  The book is also available on Amazon.

In short:     How can Katy McCaully resist Sterling Fox?  In her early teens, she fell in love with a thirteenth century warrior in a painting, and Sterling is the image of that Novgorodian knight.  He definitely has the keys to her chemistry set, but she mustn't succumb to his charms.  She's a forensic psychiatrist working with Scotland Yard.  He's a high-profile journalist who invades the underworld for a story or broadcasts live at the scene of the world's worst tragedies.  Police and media do not mix.  They are both trying to capture the animalistic killer the newspapers have dubbed the Vampire Slayer.  Modern London doesn't know that the Slayer has also killed four vampires.

Excerpt:  Scene, Present Day, London Hilton, Katy is attending a formal charity benefit:

“Trust Morgan to find the most beautiful woman in the room.”

The voice flowed as hot as molten silver.  Katy spun to see who’d spoken.  Dreams, past and present, fused.  Her mind reeled under an onslaught of impossibility.  Her soul did a double back flip.  On her thirteenth birthday, Katy had fallen hopelessly in love with a man in a painting.  On the canvas, medieval knights, armed with mace and sword, mounted on massive horses battled on a frozen lake.

The breathing replica of her warrior invaded her comfort zone.  “I swear he’s a divining rod.” A laugh, rich, magical.  “Where there are beautiful women, you'll find Morgan.”

Rarely did one see a face of such striking beauty, but there was nothing weak or effeminate about her warrior.  In white tie and tails, not armor, he was the epitome of svelte strength.  She itched to touch him, make sure he was real.

“I suppose I must introduce my friend.”  Morgan clapped her warrior on the shoulder.  “Sterling Fox.  Dr. Katy McCaully.”

“Good evening, Katy.”  His eyes were wicked, emerald green.

His name suited him perfectly.  Sterling was six-and-a-half feet of shimmering energy.  Silver blond hair fell in gentle waves to his collar. The tucked formal shirt enhanced a broad chest.  Powerful arms sculpted the sleeves of his jacket.  Struck dumb but not blind, her gaze traveled down his body, savoring the length of his legs to the tips of patent leather shoes.  The journey was a banquet for the senses.

Gentle laughter jerked her gaze back to his face.  The rhapsody of sound and light around them seemed unreal.  The touch of his hand was impossibly real.  Intelligence fell victim to awe.

Katy shook her head.  “You…you…”

Fate was having a good laugh at her expense.  She was never speechless, and here she was stammering, blushing like a wallflower at a high school dance.

“Me?”  He arched an eyebrow, dismissed his formal attire with a wave of his free hand.  “Tuxedos are totally out of character.  I'd rather be in jeans at a Rod Stewart concert.”

The pianist had fluttered her pulse, but this long, cool drink of water named Sterling Fox made her romantic heart thirst.  The man who’d shot her poise to hell was probably ten years younger.  He was handsome, fully aware of his effect on women and knew precisely how to play the game.  In two thudding heartbeats, Katy resolved never to dangle on his sterling chain of hearts.  As if she had no interest in him, she scanned the crowd.

Like a physical blow, a painful realization struck her.  “Sterling Fox, the Night Fox?”

This renowned journalist made her feel positively sexy and she loved his hands—custom-made for loving, not penning true-to-horrible life works.  “I’ve read your articles; wondered what kind of man would disappear into a Colombian cartel to profile the inner workings of a drug lord. You’re nothing like I pictured.”

“Disappointed?”  His voice was hot enough to endanger the ice sculpture on the hors d’oeuvre table—and to melt Katy.

Two tectonic plates collided deep inside.  Sparks?  The man was a bloody sparkler.  Hell, he was an arsenal of fireworks.  Her rabid hatred of the media suddenly seemed unjust.



  1. Mary Ricksen // November 8, 2013 at 3:33 PM  

    Scuse me I need a fan, after that terrific excerpt. Count me in!

  2. Mary Marvella // November 8, 2013 at 11:26 PM  

    How well I remember the romance between Katie and Sterling! Explosive!

  3. Nightingale // November 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM  

    Thanks Mary and Mary! Mary M knows how long this book was in the making. I think it was 1992 when it won the GA Romance Writers' Maggie.

  4. Josie // November 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM  

    Wow! That's amazing. Love the writing.

  5. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM  

    Linda, isn't it amazing the opportunities we let pass us by when we are newbies? All because we don't know the code words to look for and all we see is the rejection instead of the opportunities? Someone should write a blog on what it all means. It is obvious what a wonderful writer you are. You words are sensual and stirring. You great talent undeniable, yet because of missed signals, it has taken longer than it should for these awesome stories to come to the public. I am so glad they have found a home and your wonderful voice is available for readers to enjoy.