No Reflections is the book that I am working on for NaNoWriMo (a month where authors are challenged to write 50k words) It is a Gothic vampire romance story set in the 1860s full of vampires, hunters, dark settings, and of course blood 😉
Reminder: This is a first draft, and is an exclusive look into the story prior to beta reading and editing!
Here is the beginning of Chapter 1
The squawking of the bat and the creaking of the wooden sign scratched at her ears.
Natalia had been staring at the winged mammal for nearly a minute. It was perched on the iron bar of a sign that swung below it. She was certain that the bat was staring directly at her. Do bats even stare at people?
The large, black eyes were unblinking. She found it unnerving, regardless if it was natural or not, and darted her eyes back to the Tudor estate ahead of her. She took in a deep breath of the cool air, exhaling quickly as she walked ahead, the brown leaves crunching underneath her feet. The breeze of autumn found a way up her dress, her hand pressing on the thick fabric as if to push the unwelcome air out.
Her heels clicked on the stone that led to the vast home. She walked up to the tall, wooden doors, a plaque adjacent to them reading Home, to the Order of The Van Jager Hunters. Est. 1593. She knew that this was the right place for her. The organization was nearly three hundred years old at this point, with the current year of 1868. Van Jager Hunters were the most renown vampire hunters in all of England, and arguably in the world.
A she needed their protection.
Her mouth opened, closed, then opened again, only to close again. She twiddled the fingers of her free hand while the other gripped the handle of her suitcase. Her heartbeat quickened as her nerves felt like they were on fire.
She turned her head over her shoulder to see that the horse and carriage she rode in on were riding off, the thick woods swallowing it whole.
Her imagination began to grow wild as she stared at the tall, almost barren trees. An unease began to erode at her composure, her eyes darting between the dark wood.
A chill gripped her at the nape of her neck as she feared that she would see him.
She turned back around and rapped on the door, the knock of her knuckles echoing through the wood. She leaned in as she could hear chatter, her lips gently crooking with comfort at the sound of company.
Vampire hunting company.
The door opened, and she felt the blood rush to her face as she nearly fell forward. She did her best to elegantly straighten her back as if nothing embarrassing had occurred.
The plain woman that answered the doors raised a brow as she looked Natalia up and down. “May I help you, madame?”
“I was looking to speak to someone of authority here,” Natalia said with her most proper speech.
She raised both of her brows, deepening the lines in her forehead. “In regards to?”
“A vampire has been stalking me.”
The woman stared for a moment with no expression, her watery brown eyes examining Natalia’s face until she finally said, “Well, come on in.”
When she walked through the door, the aroma of garlic permeated her nose. It was like visiting a farm and smelling the manure before seeing the barn. The home was exquisite with old, decorated wood in nearly corner. The grand staircase rose on both sides, a giant floor to ceiling window granting in an abundance of natural light on the first landing. Candle chandeliers hung in every room of the home and regal furniture from all the decades prior lined throughout it, walls covered in oil paintings. She recognized Monet immediately, staring at it as she followed the greeter.
Natalia grabbed the handle of her suitcase with both hands as her arm grew tired. She continued to look around in the great rooms as she noticed fires were rumbling in the hearths as people sat next to them. She immediately became fascinated with who they all were.
The woman guided her through the halls of the estate, and they seemed saturated with vampire hunting history from paintings, to maps, to bookshelves and even artifacts perched on display tables. If a door was left open, Natalia would peak into it. She saw skulls and bows in one, her mouth contorting into a larger smile.
She’d like to see her stalking vampire trying to get her while inside here.
As I said this is all still a WIP, but it is one that I am having an abundance of fun with!
Feel free to subscribe to receive more updates, as I plan to post excerpts from each chapter as I write them.