Highlight: The Vampire Cookbook

Hello all! I don't normally do this, but I wanted to highlight the new release by my dear editor, MJ Heiser. Not only is she a lovely person, but she is also one helluva writer!

Her newest novel is paranormal romance/urban fantasy and is titled The Vampire Cookbook.


Kelly Kerbey's life is like something straight out of a reality television show: She's dating a gorgeous Hollywood actor, her best friend is a supermodel, and she is the best-selling author of a series of supernatural romance novels that she secretly hates writing. Unfortunately she's attracted the attention of the wrong kind of fan, and that fan is going to make her an offer she literally can't refuse: He's going to force her to help him write a cookbook, and if she doesn't comply she could end up as an entree.

Part Tim Burton farce and part Jane Austen voyage of self-discovery, The Vampire Cookbook will make you laugh out loud and take a second look at the strangers lurking in the dark corners.

And now for a short excerpt:
The drive home from Toro Bravo didn’t take long, but it was a chilly ride. Brent’s solution to that was to pull me closer on the bench seat, right up against him. He opened his jacket to me and, after a moment of awkwardness, I snuggled up against him. He was warm and lean, and he smelled amazing. I tried not to get ahead of myself and wonder where this night was leading, but seriously, there was no math puzzle or baseball statistic that could overwhelm the potent mojo of Brent Cox. I tentatively put my right hand on his abs. I felt them flutter under his shirt, and a low rumbling noise, like a growl, resonated from his chest. That was a huge turn on.

Even after that, when he pulled his flashy red convertible into my driveway, I was scared to assume things were moving forward. Even when he asked if he could come in for a nightcap, I tried to focus on only pouring him a drink. I mean, sure, I tried to remember if I’d taken every single precaution earlier that day: Shaved legs? Check. Manicured ladybushes? Check. Scented powder on my sheets? Check. I moved like a zombie through my house to the sideboard in the dining room, careful not to assume—

I was seized from behind and turned. For a split second I was too disoriented to understand what was happening to me, but Brent’s smell was all around, warm and heady and intoxicating. He pressed me against the sideboard and kissed me. I was dizzy, and I hate to confess that my first thought was that I owed Celeste big time for the shopping trip. His hands slipped around my waist and pulled me closer by my hips.

“Kelly,” he said in my ear, his voice a low rumble.

“Mm, Brent,” I responded, my hands on his arms moving upwards to his shoulders.

“God, Kelly, what are you doing to me?” he asked as he pulled me up against him. I suppose it was an attempt to demonstrate exactly what I was doing to him, but all I had on the brain was endorphins, and they were making it pretty much impossible to think. He dipped his head down to that sensitive spot right behind my ear and I trembled like a junkie.

He slid his hands down my hips and around to my backside. His fingers dug deep as he lifted me in his arms and placed me on the sideboard. I squeaked, but I don’t think it was a protest. Again, I’m not at all sure what that noise was. Maybe it was surprise. Regardless, I was delighted to be at a different vantage point, to be able to look down on the splendor of him from a different place. Plus, I could now use my legs as hooks and drag him closer to me.

I looked down into his eyes and saw an expression on his face I’d never seen before. He looked overwhelmed and confused, helpless. I felt a surge of power as a result; I’d made him helpless, somehow. Dumpy, plain old me, simple little Kelly Kerbey The Nerd had made a man look like that, and not just any man, but this man, my physical and temperamental ideal. It was amazing. It was glorious.

It was batshit insane crazy.

Before I could make the mistake of overthinking it again, Brent crushed his mouth against mine and made it impossible to think. There was something more than just an exchange of saliva and breath at work here, more than pressure and friction and warmth and wetness. I felt energized, alive. I felt like I could do anything, absolutely anything.

Look, I’d kissed Brent Cox before. Several of those kisses had slid into second base without any problems. But never before had I felt this kind of abandon, this kind of freedom. He was responding to me in a different way. I didn’t understand it, and I was pretty sure I didn’t want to. Whatever was happening would probably complicate things, and my basic physiological urges didn’t want complicated.

I seized his shirt in my hands and yanked. The sound of ripping and of popping buttons was immensely satisfying. He grunted, his head dipping down to my collar bones. I could feel him inhaling deeply, then nuzzling deeper into my flesh. I thought I heard a whine, then he slammed his hips against mine, leaving no doubt about his intentions.

I came up for air and gasped, “God damn, Brent, is this about the blouse?”

His warm, wonderful hands skimmed up my skirt to that orange blouse, then up over my breasts to the drooping cowl neck. He gathered it carefully in his hands, then pulled it down, exposing way more of my cleavage than I would dare expose in any situation but this one. He pushed his face down into the space between my breasts. For a breathless, giddy moment I wondered if he was going to motorboat me, which, honestly, wouldn’t have surprised me, knowing his personality the way I did. He didn’t. He instead rained a dozen light kisses over my skin.

I was panting by the time he was done. I wondered when the last time was that I’d been this turned on, but the endorphins took over again and I realized that I had never been this turned on. I could feel his bare skin under my fingers, and that incredible feeling of invincibility swept through me again. He pulled my blouse up and off over my head, then unclipped my bra and slid it off my arms. The cold air made the stiffness of my nipples seem almost painful—and then he drew one into his mouth.

As I’ve said, we’d been to second base before. It had been confusing, just a makeout session in the back of his car that had gotten a bit steamy. It hadn’t felt like this. He sucked on my right nipple and I swear I felt him draw something out of me. I rolled my head back and tried not to swoon. I made a guttural noise in the back of my throat and wrapped my legs around his torso.

“Please don’t stop,” I moaned as he switched to the left nipple. “Oh, God, Brent, please don’t stop.”

For a moment I thought I was going to get my wish. He broke away from his oral worship of my breasts and pressed his body against mine. Flesh to flesh he kissed me, and I thought I heard a swell of music, something triumphant like an anthem. He breathed into my mouth, and his breath tasted spicy and a little wild. I breathed some of that into my lungs and felt my body grow even warmer, a flush blooming on my chest and my face. Suddenly I was certain that I would know exactly how to please him in bed. I knew that it didn’t matter how inexperienced I was, or how long it had been since I’d had sex. I could do this. I wanted to do this. And I only wanted to do this with him.

“Mine,” he growled, kissing me softly on each cheek in a display of tenderness that made my belly tremble. “You are mine, Kelly. You are mine, and I am yours.”

The words hinted at a permanence I couldn’t understand in my flustered state. Was he trying to complicate things? I would find it sweet if it didn’t hint at something far more significant. As it was I found the words sobering.

My body didn’t care. I was still grinding against him, still warm in my belly and flushed from my forehead to my navel. I thought of how he was with his friends, boisterous and outrageous, loud and silly and funny. I thought of how his fans saw him, a foul-mouthed cocky hothead. I thought even of how he’d been with me for the past year, respectful but reserved and always detached from me just a bit. Something had changed, and now I saw this new side of him, hot and sexy, yes, but also full of tenderness and compulsive passion.

I really, really wanted to get him to bed, but I knew full well I’d fuck him right here in the dining room, propped up on my sideboard. Didn’t matter. It was go time.


Available now for the Kindle and Nook.