Illuminated Darkness by Joanne Efendi
Published October 17th 2015 by Smashwords Edition (first published December 1st 2013).
Almost eighteen, Ashlyn Pierce is looking forward to a bright future—she’s escaped her cruel alcoholic mother and stepfather to live with her older sister, she has a job she enjoys and a man she loves—until everything abruptly falls apart when her boyfriend heartlessly dumps her for one of her best friends. Ash tries to keep the calm and controlled exterior she’s known for but, deep inside, she struggles with her heartache. As her world crumbles, a handsome stranger suddenly appears. While falling head over heels for Wren, Ash learns she’s descended from an ancient voodoo priestess and will soon wield great power. She also discovers that Wren is more than just your everyday handsome guy. He is a four-hundred-and-fifty-year-old vampire who has been assigned to protect her from the powerful voodoo priests sent to kill her… (Goodreads)
Silently, I crept up behind my prey. Hidden in the shadows of the night, my body was tense, crouched low, ready to attack. The smell of my intended victim triggered my acute senses, saliva formed in the back of my mouth as my muscles twitched in preparation. Guided only by the flame of his torch, my victim walked slowly ahead, treading his way through the rainforest maze of the jungle night, unaware he was being hunted.
A small hiss escaped my mouth, alerting my quarry to the danger. He spun around, his eyes widening in terror, waving the lit torch frantically in front of him in a futile attempt to scare away his unknown attacker. I remained hidden, for now, obscured by the dense forest foliage. The hunt was all part of the game.
Like an animal of prey, my eyes glowed in the darkness. The victim didn’t have time to flee my stealth attack. Crouched on all fours, I clawed at the earth with my hands, digging my long talon-like fingernails and toes into the floor of the soft forest bed, looking for purchase. I launched, leaping over ten feet in distance to land directly on my prey, knocking him to the ground. He swung wildly with his torch as went down, fighting to his death, making contact with my forehead. The fire from the torch burned my skin. But it wasn’t enough to save him. The fight only excited me more. With him pinned beneath me, unable to move, my dirt encrusted hands grabbed at his head, pulling it sideways, exposing his pulsating jugular vein. I growled, opening my mouth wide to reveal elongated incisors, saliva dripping from them onto his neck. My victim’s screams echoed through the forest night as he realized death was imminent, and I sank my teeth into his exposed neck.
About the Author
Joanne is a lover of books and the written word. It had been a life long dream of Joanne’s to write and publish a novel. A dream that she finally fulfilled in early 2014 after writing YA Paranormal Romance Illuminated Darkness for close to three years. In 2015, her NA Romance ‘Freefall’ was signed by Evernight Publishing.
Joanne grew up in sunny Queensland in Australia and currently resides on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and two sons. She has always had a passion for writing and is a former radio announcer and journalist. Currently she works in her other passion- teaching children the vital life saving skill of learning to swim. In her spare time she likes to drink coffee with her friends and train and compete in triathlons (very badly).
Joanne is currently writing a sequel to Freefall, and a YA Contemporary novel that may or may not take another three years to write. She also has plans to write a sequel to Illuminated Darkness, that will be titled Darkness Enveloped.