Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest post (and free books) with Mayra Calvani

As a special Halloween treat and thank you to readers we have the prologue to Mayra Calvani's latest book AND if that wasn't cool enough, she is also offering free downloads for two of her previous books! All the details are at the end of this post. Enjoy!

Embraced by the Shadows

Istanbul, Twelve Years Ago

The Grand Bazaar was bustling with locals and tourists, as it had always been on warm summer
nights for the past few centuries. The glitter of gold and copper and brass, lavishly displayed
behind dozens of shop windows, could dazzle anybody's eyes. Heavy spices, Ottoman sweets of
grape and nut pastes with the promise of aphrodisiac qualities, sacks filled with Arab coffees and
the best teas from the northeastern little city of Rize, almond oils and musks, hennas, hundreds
of hand-made silk carpets, their bright colors and details blinding. And the leather…endless rows
of leather shops, filled with the soft yet pungent scent of animal skins. A very loud, wildly exotic
belly-dancing melody came out of one of the shops, and an oddly pleasing smell, that of cigarette
smoke mixed with incense and raki—the local alcoholic drink made from anise—hovered in the

The girl with long red curls stood in front of one of the many shops which swarmed this ancient
place. She gazed intently at an oil painting of angels displayed in the window. Dramatic and
disturbing, the painting depicted in painful detail an auburn-haired angel being cast out of

From afar, the vampire watched.

Same profile, same hair. Uncanny, the resemblance. Just like...

For a bitter second the vampire closed his eyes and commanded himself to forget. Then
everything was fine again, and his eyes opened and the ghost of a smile crossed his face.

Three centuries ago he would have drunk from her. No man, woman or child could be safe from
him during those first dark days. His hunger insatiable, he would have been lost in the rapture
of the draught. But that was three centuries ago. Nowadays he preferred men with cold murder
in their past, and he liked to take them completely, loving the gush of warm blood in his mouth,
until he ceased to hear the haunting, drum-like beat of the heart.

The girl seemed mesmerized by the painting of the fallen angel. The virulent clouds; the
agonizing faces of the good angels surrounding the “fallen” one; the almost palpable sadness and
rage, all stroke a deep cord within her.

The vampire could see through her artistic soul; unbeknown to herself, she had fallen in love
with the beauty of the colors, the purity of the lines, and the tragic fatalism of it.

She loved the painting. She wanted her mom to buy it for her, but she knew her mom wouldn’t.
It looked way too expensive…

And then something happened. She seemed to sense his presence, turned around, and stared right
into his direction.

She frowned, uncertain. Something about him had caught her attention. His tall frame dressed in
black, a flash of white teeth.

The vampire retreated into the shadows of the alley. He felt a twinge of guilt. He had not meant
to frighten her.

The girl’s mother and uncle, carrying bags of goods and souvenirs in their hands, stepped out
of the shop. The girl pointed to the painting and pleaded with her mother to get it for her. Her
mother took one look at it and shook her head. “That’s morbid!” she said, then went on to argue
that she had already bought her many gifts and her unreasonable requests would make them
bankrupt. Nevertheless, she went inside the shop to ask for the price. A moment later she came
back, looking incredulous and muttering in disbelief, “Ridiculous! A thousand dollars for that
thing. Sorry, mi amor, but I can’t afford it.”

As they headed toward the exit of the bazaar, the girl glanced over her shoulder to the alley. But
this time she didn’t see him.

After the girl was out of sight, the vampire walked into one of the many ill-reputed, dark narrow
streets near the bazaar and finished off a couple of shabby, despicable-looking mortals in two
intense short draughts.

Then he walked back to the shop to purchase the painting.

To celebrate the release of my novel Embraced by the Shadows, now available on Kindle for
$2.99, I’m giving away two of my other books for FREE. This offer will run until Halloween
night only. Of course, I hope you’ll consider supporting my work by purchasing a copy of
Embraced by the Shadows, but if for whatever reason you decide not to, the two free eBooks are
still yours to download. This is my Halloween gift to you!

The FREE eBooks I’m giving away are: Dark Lullaby and Cat Cellar and Other Stories and
they’re available in various formats on Smashwords:

The Cat Cellar and Other Stories


Romance Reader Enthusiast said...

Love the dark stories and the heros that come out of those stories. They fuel your imagination.

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Anna! I really appreciate it.

Happy Halloween!

Rain Maiden said...

Thanks for the free ebooks. I look forward to reading them.