Charlie and Sebastian discover a stunning surprise in our RISEN sneak peek!
If you love vampires and paranormal romance, Cole Gibsen has a new thriller for you!
Risen follows Charlie, a teen being raised by her Aunt Rachel in a remote cabin in the woods. Charlie knows that her life is a bit strange and her aunt is a bit paranoid, but until the day the vampires come to kidnap Rachel, she didn’t realize that vampires and vampire hunters actually existed. The vampire Sebastian is meant to kill Charlie, but instead he offers her mercy– for a while– and the two begin a wild adventure as they try to save Rachel and survive.
In an exclusive look at the romantic thriller, our heroine Charlie tries to make a run from the vampire Sebastian. She finds herself quickly overpowered, but then discovers something wildly surprising about herself in the process: She may not be just your average human.
A force slams into me from behind. I cry out as I’m thrown to the ground, face pressed against soft mud and slimy leaves. Before I can scream, a hand clamps over my mouth, fingers digging into my flesh.
“Don’t yell.” It’s Sebastian’s voice, or at least I think it is. The words are more growl than human. He flings me onto my back, kneeling over me on bended knee.
Despite his warning, the moment I see his face, a scream bubbles up, only to be smothered by his fingers.
Sebastian’s pupils have dilated, giving his eyes the hollow appearance of empty sockets. His lips are curled in a snarl. It could be my imagination, but his fangs appear larger and sharper, the points gleaming under the moon.
He swallows hard. “I’m trying really hard not to kill you right now. But when you run and, even worse, scream, I lose a bit of control. Can’t be helped.” His voice is a strange mix of gravel and nails.
His hand moves from my mouth to the back of my head. He hoists me up by my hair and jerks my head to the side, exposing my neck. He brings his nose to my throat and inhales deeply. His breath is hot on my neck. “She made you wear that disgusting oil,” he growls. “Even it can’t help you if you don’t stop making those noises. It’s taking every ounce of strength I have not to eat you.”
“No,” I whisper. I don’t want to die among the rotting leaves and decaying logs. I don’t want to be another dead thing disappearing into the forest floor. “No.” I place my palm against his cheek to push him away. The second my skin connects with his, a series of sparks leap from my fingertips.
I cry out at the same time Sebastian grunts. He releases me, both of us falling apart onto the soft earth.
“What did you do?” he asks, blinking. The black bleeds from his eyes, returning them to their previous silver.
“What did you do?” I say, panting.
“That wasn’t me.” He stands and takes several steps away, as if I’m the one to be feared. His watches me with wide eyes, chest heaving. “So I’m going to ask again, what did you do?”
I stand as well. “Nothing.”
“Not nothing.” His voice carries the edge of panic. “First the song, and now this. I saw things—flashes—memories?” He runs his fingers through his hair. “I don’t know.”
I take a step backward.
“Don’t do that.” His head snaps up. “If you run, it triggers the bloodlust. Besides, you’re not going anywhere until you tell me what the hell is going on.”
“I don’t know.”
He’s quiet for a moment before saying, “You have to do it again.” He doesn’t wait for me to answer before striding toward me.
“What?” Trembling, I clamber away until my spine bumps into a tree. I dig my fingers into the bark, hoping to somehow anchor myself back into the real world instead of this nightmare I’ve fallen into.
“Who are you?” He rakes his fingers through his tangled hair. “How do you know these things?”
“I’ve already told you, I don’t know anything.”
“Do it again.” He grabs my hand and places it against his face. His skin is soft and warm beneath my fingers. “I’m sorry for scaring you earlier.” There is a hint of desperation in his voice. “I mean, it’s actually your fault because you ran. But none of that matters, because you did something just now, and I need you to do it again.”
“I’m sorry,” I say, my hand resting on his face. “I don’t know what I did or how I did it.”
He grabs my wrist with his other hand. “Maybe if you just concentrate.” He hesitates, face softening. “Please.”
There’s that humanity again, that subtle glimmer in his eyes that the others didn’t have. I have to wonder, is he really different? Or is he just playing me to get what he wants? “Let go of me.” I jerk my hand out of his grip. “I can’t do—whatever it is you want me to do.”
He stares at me for several long heartbeats. “What are you?”
“Not a monster like you,” I snap.
He’s quiet. The silence itches along my skin like a wool blanket. “I’m not a monster—I’m a vampire. And I wasn’t always,” he says finally. “I think—I almost remembered—” His gaze drifts and he bites off the rest of his words.
Vampire. The word floats through my brain, unable to take root. How could it, when the very idea of a vampire is insane. And yet, the proof stands in front of me. “Are you—are you going to eat me?”
“Honestly?” Folding his arms, he leans against a tree beside me. “I have no idea what to do with you. I don’t even know what you are.”
“Stop saying that. I’m human.”
He laughs. It’s a wonderful sound, like warm honey on my skin. “If you’re human, then I’m Santa Claus.”
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ABOUT THE BOOK
Fans of Vampire Diaries and Twilight will be thirsting for this latest vampire addiction…
My aunt has been kidnapped by vampires, and it’s up to me to save her. Only…I had no idea vampires existed. None. Nada. I’m more of a reader than a fighter, and even though I’d been wishing to escape my boring existence in the middle of nowhere, I’d give anything to have it back now if it meant my aunt was safe.
Then there’s the vampire Sebastian, who seems slightly nicer than most of the bloodsuckers I’ve run into so far. Yes, he’s the hottest being I’ve ever come across, but there’s no way I can trust him. He swears he’s helping me get answers, but there’s more to his story. Now I’m a key pawn in a raging vampire war, and I need to pick the right ally.
But my chances of surviving this war are slim at best, when the side I choose might be the one that wants me dead the most.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Growing up, Cole Gibsen couldn’t decide what she loved more—dogs or books. Rather than choose, she decided to devote her life to both! Dog trainer (wrangler) by day and author by night, she’s the author of more than ten books with more on the way.