The Twice-Baked Vampire Series (Book Two)
Twice-baked vampire Gabriel Strickland may appear to be coping well with the responsibilities his life after double-death has dealt him, but it's only show. The struggle to earn his ticket through the Pearly Gates takes a toll when he's assigned to perform a Monkey Jump - a program designed to teach newly assigned management the skills required to do their job. To soften the blow, he takes Dori as his assistant. What he wants is peace and serenity to think things through, what he gets is startling temptation and a Soul Eater with his sidekick, Master Witch Neave Brittania Cook. One has a revenge agenda and the other, designs on Gabriel's soul. The Monkey Jump itinerary, scheduled for Phoenix and Seattle, takes a perilous detour to a north Alaskan community of the oldest, most evolved vampires on the planet. Secrets must be kept and Gabriel must protect Dori as well as his own path to paradise. Well, hell, this can't be good.
ISBN ebook: 978-1-926760-63-6
FICTION | Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 85,000
List Price: $4.99
Published: May 15, 2012
Praise For The Twice Baked Vampire Series
A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
"…where else can you read about vampires, shapeshifters, leprechauns, soul eaters, a muse, witches and dragons all in one book? The Twice Baked Vampire series is sure to reel you in and keep you wanting more!!" Were Vamps Romance
"Spend some time with twice-baked vampire, Gabriel and you will discover not only a new mythology, but a new world called COLD IN CALIFORNIA." Joe Wilson - Writer/Director of Vampire Mob
Monkey Jump,"...rolled with the punches and delivered spectacular, eyebrow raising scenarios." ... "Ms. Riley-Magnus once again leaves us wanting more and hoping for the next book soon." Airicka Phoenix for Stuck in Books
Don Carson ran a quick hand through his bleached yellow hair, raising the short spikes to attention as he trotted along a West Hollywood neighborhood street. It was just a little morning exercise, not for his health, just to pick up on the new day’s vibe. He’d jogged from Pico, doglegged to Santa Monica then up the hill past the posh hotels and trendy entertainment establishments along Sunset before checking his watch. Time to race back for his meeting. He’d just run fifteen miles and didn’t stop to breathe. What was the point? He was supernatural and had little need for things like breathing, bathing or being sociable. He was the minion of a god, a goddess to be exact, so those menial, mortal activities were wasted energy. He never sweat, never smelled and never required much in general upkeep. Every decade or so, he’d update his look, thus the California beach-bum hair that he sported now. Other than that, life just went on and on.
The small 1940’s bungalow on Stanley Avenue was nothing special, but merely nearing it gave him a euphoric sense of place and time. Not old Hollywood – a different place where he loved life, the job, even the people. Just before Spain sent black-robed men and soldiers to crush the Aztec culture, the boss lady took him and a hundred others like him with her to travel the planet. Culture be damned, she had smeared herself far and wide, making the right offers and dealing the right souls in order to secure eternal employment. So where did she choose to make her headquarters? Not magnificent Mexico City built on the dead bones of ancient Azteca, not exotic Fiji or beautiful Monaco. She chose dirty, ugly, soulless Los Angeles. Maybe she wanted to be one of those California girls. More the pity, because Carson had to work all the harder. In order for a Sin Eater like his boss to meet her goals, Soul Eaters like Carson had to find a conscience to tap into. His job was to push the envelope, force the choices and see how far a mortal would go to find salvation. His line of work was tough enough in western cultures, but L.A. had a distinct lack of scruples, worse than Vegas or Amsterdam by a mile.
He looked up at the tiny porch and blood red door then closed his eyes. The slapping of dusty old palm fronds overhead magically changed into the whisper of lapping water against a rough hewn wooden boat. Sunset, and in the near distance hovered beautiful Tenochtitlan, a city of light. Radiance reflected in the glass-smooth surface of Lake Texcoco as orange and fuchsia afterglow danced against purple mountain shadows. Wavering light twisted across the causeways making the city appear to be hovering precariously in the sky. Tenochtitlan glittered with torchlight, candlelight, the flicker of lanterns and mellow echoing flares dancing off the water. He breathed in the city, moved his eyes from side to side and observed mystical luminous banners floating on the warm nightfall. Intricate airy flags, all the colors of a lovely prostitute, brilliant from the interwoven feathers of cardinals, egrets, parakeets, blue jays and noble herons. And black, looming in the center of the city, the place of the Flowery Death. The pyramids of the gods.
Tenochtitlan was a city of light and darkness, twofold as was his life in the heart and center of The One World. Madness and salvation, much like his goddess, Tlazolteotl.
Suddenly, intrusively and without warning, the red door swung open and Carson snapped back to the present, composed himself and entered the house. No one had opened the door, the mere suck of a sigh from the goddess was enough. He walked across the entry room, the standard dining room crowded with a hundred glowing satin pillows and nothing else, through the useless kitchen and finally outside again, this time to stand in a small fenced-in back yard. The space was devoid of grass, greenery or anything living, and that included the figure of his goddess, lying casually on a cheap plastic lounge chair and sunning her too-thin body.
In her fingers, a burning Marlboro cigarette threatened to drop a full inch of perfect ash, dead matter like her … like Carson too. Her colorless hair trailed long and loose, waves of tangled variations of grey. Her flesh was not full or rounded, but appeared more like a rough skin coat to cover her bones. But her face? Ah, her face was beautiful. Her bone structure was classic, nose eloquent, complexion a web of fine wrinkles that did not distract from the brilliance of her visage. Tlazolteotl the goddess wore a yellow polka dot bikini.
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