NEW RELEASE and EXCERPT
by Christine Amsden
Kaitlin's Tale, a stand-alone companion to Christine Amsden's Cassie Scot series, has just been released. Also available: Cassie Scot:
ParaNormal Detective, Secrets and Lies (read my blog post), Mind Games (read my blog post), Stolen Dreams (read my blog post), and Madison's Song (read my blog post).
This release day blitz is brought to you by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.
Kaitlin Mayer is on the run from the father of her baby – a vampire who wants her to join him in deadly eternity. Terrified for her young son, she seeks sanctuary with the Hunters Guild. Yet they have their own plans for her son, and her hopes of safety are soon shattered.
When she runs into Matthew Blair, an old nemesis with an agenda of his own, she dares to hope for a new escape. But Matthew is a telepath, and Kaitlin's past is full of dark secrets she never intended to reveal.
“It’s time, Kaitlin.”
Kaitlin rocked her one-year-old son back and forth, trying to convince him to go down for a nap, but Jay wasn’t having it. He was teething, and it seemed to hurt him worse when he lay in a horizontal position. He was so tired that Kaitlin swore she’d hold him upright for eight hours if he’d just fall asleep, but he seemed, paradoxically, too tired to sleep.
Jason’s intrusion wasn’t helping. Jay turned his head and reached his arms out for his father – or the vampire who had once been his father – instinctively begging for the love that should have been his by right. But Jason had never taken an interest in his son; he could barely stand to look at him. In fact, if anything had finally convinced Kaitlin that Jason was dead, it was the fact that the real Jason had died for his son. This thing now inhabiting his body didn’t even seem to care.
“Did you hear me?” Jason asked, his voice unusually sharp.
Jay cried harder. Kaitlin shushed him and rocked more furiously, pretending she hadn’t heard. Pretending she could delay the inevitable a few more days. But she’d known this day was coming for a while now. Had sensed it would be soon. It was why she had e-mailed her best friend in the world two days ago, begging for help, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of her son. But Cassie had not responded, and Sara, the nanny who had agreed to transport Jay, had disappeared.
“Answer me, Kaitlin,” Jason said in a voice that at one time would have compelled obedience. It no longer did, even though Jason continued to feed from her daily, simultaneously injecting her body with a venom that should have kept her in thrall. She wasn’t sure why the thrall had gradually dissipated over the past few months, but her new clarity of mind had bigger problems to work out – like the fact that Jason wanted to make her just like him.
Jason took another step into the nursery, his form now illuminated by the soft glow of the night light. He looked the same as he had in life – tall, broad, muscular and very, very large. He rarely ventured inside these hallowed walls, but Kaitlin had spent more and more time there of late, requiring him to come inside if he wanted her.
“Can’t you make him shut up?” Jason asked.
“I’m trying! Can’t we talk about this later?”
“Can we? You never leave this room.”
And he never came in. Would Kaitlin come in after she turned? Or would she forget Jay’s existence, the way Jason had? Her nightmare was that of Jay screaming for his mother, but she never came. Eventually, he would stop crying. Then after a few days, when no one came to feed him, he would stop doing everything else.
“Please, just let me get Jay down for his nap. Then we can talk.”
“There’s no need to wait.” Another man came to stand just inside the doorway, a man who made Kaitlin’s blood turn to ice whenever she saw him. Xavier looked so deceptively ordinary; it was part of his power. Brown hair, brown eyes, medium build, medium height… But she had seen him rip the throat out of men and face an entire heptade of vampire hunters without breaking a sweat.
He wasn’t superhuman, he was inhuman. She couldn’t fathom his purpose, but she suspected his goal was to create an entire new race of vampires under his control. At least, that’s what she assumed happened to the dozens of people who came into their lives for varying lengths of time, most of them nearly catatonic from the vampire’s thrall. She was not permitted to speak to them, and when they left, she never saw them again.
Xavier was over two hundred years old, but he didn’t look at Kaitlin as though she were a child. He looked at her as though she were food. Kaitlin had long sensed that he was no longer human, that he was somehow alien. She had sensed it in him before the thrall had worn off, though she hadn’t cared. The realization had taken much longer with Jason. Perhaps that sense of other increased over time.
Even Jay could sense the evil in Xavier. The boy started bucking and twisting, his tiny face turning red. He might have had his supernatural strength bound so he didn’t accidentally hurt someone, but even without it he was a marvel of physical strength. He had crawled at about two weeks old. Now, at a year old, he could run like a ten-year-old. According to stories Jason’s mom had told her, Jason had grown up the same way. Jason the vampire never talked about his childhood.
“Please, leave us alone!” Kaitlin cried, trying with all her might to cling to the wriggling child.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"This is one of the most anticipated stories to come out of the Casey Scott universe! For me personally, I have been awaiting this follow up tale since the conception of baby Jay. A mother who will do anything to protect her baby is a fierce and powerful read. Kaitlin's Tale is no exception. [...] Unlikely heroes and a heart-stopping race for safety will keep you on the edge of your seat. One of the best reads to come from Amsden to date. Smart, edgy and full of adrenaline! Oh! And on a side note... I LOVE this cover." ~ T from KT Book Reviews
"If you have not read Kaitlin’s Tale then I would highly recommend you do oh but even though Kaitlin’s Tale can be read as a standalone I would suggest that you read the Cassie Scot novels first that way you will know more about Kaitlin and the other characters and can get a better sense as to what is going on with a little more background on each character. I would recommend reading all of the Cassie Scot novels as well the companion stories too. They are all so aaammmazzzzzing!" ~ Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader)
"Kaitlin’s Tale is yet another enjoyable adventure/romance by Christine Amsden [...]. This book can be read as a stand-a-lone novel but is better read as a part of the series because the cast of characters overlap. I really enjoyed the cameo appearances of Evan and Cassie, but this story definitely centers squarely around Kaitlin. Kaitlin is in serious trouble as the book opens and I became immediately caught up in her difficulties; eagerly reading as more of her history gets revealed. Kaitlin is a likable heroine. I loved her musical, self-deprecating voice as she slowly discovers depths within herself as the full horror of her recent tribulations come back to her. This entertaining novel was easy to read and kept my interest all the way to the end." ~ Laurie
About the Author
Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.
Giveaways and More
Join the Facebook launch party on 16 May for a live reading, Q and A opportunities, games, and a chance to win some great prizes.