Dear Reader,

I'm a former criminal prosecutor who has always been fascinated by the dark leanings of human nature and, more importantly, by the strength of the human spirit to overcome huge obstacles for love.  The past few years have been a wild ride of highs and lows, but I finally achieved my dream of becoming a published author.  This month, my debut paranormal romantic supsense novel, Chosen By Blood (Book 1 in the Para-Ops Novels) hits bookstore shelves!  Here's what it's about:

Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and Otherborn— humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA—still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.

From the story's conception, Chosen By Blood has always felt special to me—that feeling has merely intensified throughout the publishing process!  The cover is a dream come true, and I've been blessed with meeting so many wonderful people, including some of my all-time favorite authors, Larissa Ione and Lori Foster, who agreed to read the novel and, if they liked it, to give me a cover quote.  Along with the awesome Brenda Novak, whom I'd already had the fortune of meeting, this is what they had to say:

"Incredibly well-written, different, and hot." -NYT Bestselling Author Larissa Ione

“Virna DePaul is amazing! Chosen by Blood is a unique, hot, spellbinding treat for all paranormal romance fans. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!” --NYT Bestselling Author Lori Foster


"A gripping tale! In Chosen By Blood, Virna DePaul creates the perfect blend of danger, intrigue and romance. You won’t be able to put this book down." --NYT Bestselling Author Brenda Novak

Since selling Chosen By Blood (and the sequel, Chosen By Fate, which comes out in October 2011), I've also joined the Harlequin family.  My first Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Dangerous To Her, releases September of 2011.  And my new romantic suspense series for HQN launches in spring of 2012. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about me and my books!  Have a wonderful spring full of joy and rejuvenation, and I hope you'll give my books a try!

Take care,

Virna



Excerpt from Chosen By Blood

© Virna DePaul


Teleportation.

Felicia had just locked her office door when the word popped into her head.

It was followed swiftly by two other thoughts. She was a fool, and Knox had been in her office before.

She’d just registered the luscious smell when Knox materialized in front of her. She backed away until she hit the door.

He didn’t move. He didn’t crowd her.

He didn’t have to.

She felt him. All over.

“Running again?”

“Leave,” she croaked as panic flared.

“Not this time.”

The calm words infuriated her. “What game are you playing? I’m not at your beck and call. If you want to go off and play soldier—”

He kept his voice soft, but there was no denying the savage fury and desire that glittered in his eyes. “I don’t play. I subdue. I rescue. I fuck. I kill if I have to.”

It wasn’t bravado or threat, simply fact. It was easy to forget that Knox, for all his elegance and charm and sophisticated clothing, was a warrior. One that would fight with his bare teeth and hands to protect his own.

Despite the chemical warfare used against the vamps, they’d held their own during the War. Knox’s leadership had been a huge reason why the Otherborn clans had briefly joined to fight their common enemy—humans. Of course, most of those alliances had now fractured as each clan had once again focused on its own needs.

“They want you, Felicia.”

“And what your children want, they always get?” She’d meant to sound flippant, but was afraid it came out wistful instead.

Stepping back, he seemed to deliberately bank the fire in his eyes. “If I can’t have you, it’s only fair they should.”

“You didn’t want me. Not enough.”

The fire within him exploded, pulsing into the air and licking at her mercilessly. Shaking his head, nostrils flaring, his smile resembled a snarl. “Now that was an incredibly stupid thing to say.”

“I didn’t mean—”

Palms flattened on either side of her head, he caged her in with his arms. His eyes glowed, the irises expanding until she couldn’t look away.

Why had she said that? All these years, she’d never doubted his physical yearning for her. The only reason they hadn’t made love was because she’d refused him. Was that what she’d meant? That she’d wanted him to ignore her protests? To ignore the fact that he was married to her friend? And when Noella was gone, to ignore his unshakable sense of duty so he could leave procreating vampires to other vamps?

Yes, she realized. Some small part of her—some crazy, irrational, lust-crazed part of her—actually resented the fact that he’d done and continued to do the honorable thing, as if that somehow proved he couldn’t have wanted her as much as he’d claimed.

Her thoughts were so horrifying that she finally managed to look away. She pushed at his chest, trying to put some space between them. He refused to allow it. “Look at me,” he growled.

She shook her head, then gasped as she felt the slight tingling that preceded persuasion. “No,” she whispered, even as part of her cried, Yes. Make me come to you. Don’t give me any choice.

But then the tingling stopped. Breathing hard, he lowered his forehead and pressed it against hers. At the same time, he pressed his hips into her, grinding his iron-hard length into the vee of her legs. “You didn’t mean what, Felicia? To challenge me? To dare me to do what you’ve wanted me to do? What I’ve been dying to do since I first saw you?”

Eyes widening, Felicia stopped pushing and instead gripped his sides underneath his coat. She wasn’t aware how desperately she clung to him, or that her nails pinched into him, until he growled, “Yes, hang on to me. Pull me closer, baby.”

And she was pulling him closer.

Oh God, she thought, biting her lip to stifle a whimper. The combination of his dark voice and the press of his body was exquisite, and she couldn’t stop her hips from arching up toward him. Their clothes separated them, however, and she moaned out her frustration, wanting to feel his thick cock against her. Inside her. Filling her hand. Her body. Her mouth.

Noella had once told her how much Knox loved oral sex.

“No,” she gasped, trying to fight off the desire that was coursing through her body like a drug.

“Yes,” he snarled. He lowered his head and sipped at her neck with a gentle kiss, then raked his fangs against her ear. He shuddered, reminding her that when aroused, a vamp’s fangs were almost as sensitive as his cock. At the thought, Felicia felt herself cream her panties again, the wetness that had never disappeared forcing her body to prepare for his penetration.

Dizzy with need, she choked out, “When you first saw me, I was with your wife. My best friend. Noella. Do you remember her?”

He stiffened, but didn’t raise his head. Blasts of heat hit her throat as he struggled to breathe. “Noella’s dead.”

She shook her head, not in denial since her friend’s death couldn’t be denied, but in hopelessness. Apparently, he felt it, too.

“Damn you.” He straightened and backed off, just a bit, until their bodies no longer touched. “Why you?” he whispered. “Why is it I can only feel this way with you?”

His pained question pierced her like a dagger. She shoved him away and he let her.

Somehow, with her body still empty and aching for him, that inexplicably angered her even more.

“I guess it’s your curse. But hey, you should have ‘doing without me’ down to a science by now. All you need to do is find a female with vampire blood and hope she lasts a little longer than the last one.”

As soon as the words left her mouth, Felicia wished she could take them back.

It was a weird twist in the otherwise immortal vamp race that even as a female vamp gave life, she risked losing her own. Then the FBI had invented the vaccine, which had all but turned  vamps into a dying race.

Loyalty to Noella had been a factor, but it was vampire frailty that had and always would keep them apart. His father’s betrayal fueled Knox’s loyalty to his vampire ancestry. It focused his duty to mate with a female of vampire blood and do his part in populating their clan. In despising his father’s weakness, Knox also despised the part of himself that shared his father’s blood. The human part. Whether he knew it or not, that meant some part of him would always despise her. Sometimes that hurt so bad she wanted to rail at the injustice of it all.

But as much as his nearness sometimes hurt her, her words shamed her. “I’m so sorry. That was a horrible thing . . .”

Her voice trailed off and she stared at Knox. He was looking at her unflinchingly, not with disappointment or recrimination as she’d expected. In fact, his expression had seemed to go deliberately blank—blank but for the faintest edge of guilt in their dark depths.

Unbidden, her eyes filled with tears. “You’ve already found her. Haven’t you?”

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Contest!


Virna's got a special contest for NewsWire readers! Just visit her website at www.virnadepaul.com and find the answer to the following question -

What's the name of the heroine in Book 2 of the Para-Ops Novels, Chosen By Fate, and what happens when another person touches her?


Then email us at staff@authorsoundrelations.com with the answer and be sure to include your full name and mailing address in the email.   Please also remember to mark the subject heading as 'ChosenByBlood'.

Do make sure you email your answers only to staff@authorsoundrelations.com or your entry will not be counted!

Three winners will be contacted shortly after May 11th.  Each will receive copies of Virna's  e-books, A Vampire's Salvation and This Magic Moment, as well as a basket with various goodies, including chocolate and a $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 

Good luck!

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