Jenna writes the Hill Vampire series, which blends mystery, wine, and spicy romance into a heady paranormal combination. It follows the romance of Henry Bautista Vasquez, a 200 year old vampire, and his mate, Dr. Cerissa Patel, as they deal with mysteries and disasters that befall the exclusive vampire community of Sierra Escondida, also known as the Hill.
When not writing, Jenna enjoys photographing denizens of the sea, and is known to attend Victorian dances in full regalia right down to pantaloons and a hoop skirt.
About DARK WINE AT HALLOWEEN
At almost eighteen, the youth didn’t ask to be turned and hates being a vampire. As heart-wrenching as his situation is, the Hill can’t endlessly accept new residents.
Placed under house arrest until his fate is decided, the teen bites Cerissa while seeking her help to escape the community’s walls, and Henry’s jealousy flares. Then an ex-girlfriend of Henry’s suddenly appears in town, and Cerissa fights against her own green-eyed monster.
With dead bodies stacking up in a neighboring city, Henry and Cerissa must pull together to help the teen accept his situation and recover his memory, so they can identify and stop the crazed vampire who turned the teen—before he or she kills another mortal.
If they don’t, the killer’s actions might reveal to mortal police the wicked truth: vampires really do exist…
Rancho Bautista del Murciélago—Mid-October
Dr. Cerissa Patel clicked on the link. Zombies, Vampires, Serial Killers! headlined the webpage. As she scrolled down, animated ghosts flew across the screen, and in big orange letters, the page asked, Will you survive the haunted warehouse? Underneath the question, a smaller font read, Now through Halloween night at Mordida Mall.
Cerissa raised the phone back to her ear. “Oh, this looks like fun.”
Her bestie, Karen, who waited on the other end of the line, laughed. “And they have plenty of tickets available. What do you say to tomorrow night?”
“Do you think the guys will agree?”
Karen blew a juicy raspberry into the phone. “If they don’t, we can go without them. Maybe some of the other mates would like to join us.”
Mordida Shopping Mall—The next night
Henry groaned to himself as Rolf drove into the shopping center parking lot. A recently bankrupt chain store had left a warehouse-sized building empty, and the maze producers rented it for the Halloween season.
The exterior décor was just what one would expect, and he hated the fakery. Eerie lighting illuminated a metal framework built in front of the warehouse, creating a multilevel façade, and fog machines blew white clouds around the big arch through which the public entered, masking what lay behind it.
The elevated catwalk sported several hooded bodies hanging from nooses and featured a latticework that extended from the platform over the arched entrance. Actors roamed around the catwalk like mindless zombies, heavily made-up in blood and gore, and tried to reach through the latticework to touch the public as they entered.
Fortunately, there wasn’t much of a line out front. Maybe they could get through this falso horror quickly.
Once they parked, Henry opened the Escalade’s door for Cerissa and offered her his hand as she stepped down from the SUV. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
One corner of her mouth curled, and she pointed a finger in his direction. “No complaining. You promised.”
“Of course, mi amor,” he said with a slight bow. He’d given his word, so he would try to be a good sport. Besides, he’d extracted a promise from her to celebrate Día de los Muertos with him on the day after Halloween. The joyful celebration remembering the dead included ofrendas—offerings, particularly of favorite foods—placed near the graves of loved ones to entice those souls to visit. He planned on visiting Yacov’s grave, among others, that night.
He zipped closed his leather jacket—he wasn’t cold, but everyone around them dressed casually in blue jeans and fall coats, and he wanted to fit in. Besides, he went nowhere unarmed, and the jacket puffed around the shoulder harness, holding his Beretta, masking the bulge.
To the ugly scarecrow at the maze entrance, he presented his phone, the screen open to the foursome’s prepaid tickets. The scarecrow pointed a handheld scanner at the QR code, counted them off, and then hustled them inside with the parting words “Hope you come out alive.”
As they walked under the arch, Cerissa looked back over her shoulder, a big grin on her face, and the crystal flooded Henry with her fluttery excitement. If she was this happy, then he’d do his best to enjoy the experience.
Glancing in Rolf’s direction, he asked, “Do you want to go in first?”
“Absolutely not.” Rolf sniggered as he swept his fingers through his straight blonde hair, pushing it back, then waved his hand at the entrance. “You and Cerissa should take the lead, since it’s her first time.”
Henry rolled his eyes at his business partner and asked the heavens for patience. Placing a hand on Cerissa’s lower back, he guided her ahead of him. Once they were inside, a long, dark hallway took them deeper into the maze, with its walls painted all black, and only an occasional bare light bulb overhead to illuminate the dimly lit way. A deep bass thrummed the same note over and over, and the subwoofer’s sound vibrated his bones. The ambience created a claustrophobic sense of impending doom.
He slowed when she did, stopping right behind her. She pulled her long hair aside, exposing her neck to him. He would have believed it an unconscious movement if it weren’t for the zing of lust he felt through the crystal that connected them.
He slipped his arms around her and whispered into her ear as they continued to creep forward, “You are trying to tempt me.”
“I am only ensuring you are also entertained, Quique.”
“No, you are misbehaving.”
The Covenant strictly forbade biting in public, and he had no intention of violating the rules and finding himself answering to the council again.
He growled low in his throat, the scent of her blood enticing him despite his resolve. “Now behave yourself, or you will pay for it when we return home.”
“Yes.” He kissed the shell of her ear. “Now hush.”
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