Title: Pandora’s Box
Author: Katie Salidas
Series: Immortalis (Book #3)
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Rising Sign Books
Release Date: July 2011
After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she’d learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package – a Pandora’s Box.
Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?
When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.
Apparently powerless against the ancient evil, the clan flees Las Vegas for Boston, with only a slim hope for salvation. Could Lysander’s old journals hold the key? And what if they don’t?
And how welcome will they be in a city run by a whole different kind of supernatural being?
“Who is Thanatos?” I asked a bit louder this time.
“Death personified.” Nicholas’s voice warbled, hinting at his own worry.
A cold breeze blew through the den, making the curtains covering the large window dance. I looked up to see if the fan had been turned on, but it remained still.
“You mean Death, like the Grim Reaper?” I asked, my voice cracking as the eerie feeling of dread intensified to an overwhelming sensation.
“Exactly,” Nicholas said. He too watched the dancing curtains. “Though I doubt the person who sent this is the actual Thanatos of legend. But perhaps he is closer to the literal truth; something like we are, a vampire, a bringer of death.”
I screwed up my face, confused as always by Nicholas’s cryptic ways of explaining things. Did that mean he thought a vampire dropped it off, or that this box had something to do with vampires in general? “So did this belong to Thanatos?”
Nicholas suddenly looked more annoyed than worried. “Thanatos is the Greek god of death, Alyssa. That symbol is like a calling card.”
“Wait a second,” Fallon interrupted. “Hades is the god of the underworld.”
Nicholas smiled revealing his fangs. “Correct. Two points to the little human. Perhaps you could teach your friend here a thing or two.” He gave me a short sneer. “Hades is the ruler of the underworld, but Thanatos is the bringer of death. He is the one who sends the spirits to Hades.”
“So are you trying to tell me the gods are real? And sending us warnings?” I asked.
“In my day, we believed the gods were as real as your next door neighbor. I, of course, have never met one, but that does not negate the possibility that they might have some physical form. Remember, we were supposedly born of the Keres, grandchildren of the goddess Nyx.”
I nodded, remembering Lysander’s telling of our legend. Vampires were the offspring of the Keres, who were daughters of Nyx, Goddess of the night. The Keres were extremely bloodthirsty creatures that swarmed battlefields to drink the blood of fallen soldiers. They finished off the dying so their souls could pass on to the underworld. According to Lysander’s story, one of the Keres had mated with a dying man, and the first vampire had been born of that union. Immortal like its mother, the new creation carried an insatiable bloodlust, but took on the form and build of its human father. Nyx didn’t wish the new creation destroyed and tried to hide it from the world. She cursed it to only be able to roam at night, where she could watch over it.
The lights in the room flickered for a moment. Again, Fallon and I exchanged worried looks. Nicholas’s eyes narrowed. He glanced from me, to Fallon, then to the box in his hands.
“Whatever this thing represents”—Nicholas held up the box—“it’s very old. We’ll need to bring this to Lysander’s attention as soon as he returns.”
“We probably should have done that before we opened it.” I turned to Fallon.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t mean to open it. I don’t know what came over me.”
“There’s nothing we can do about that now.” A shiver ran down my spine as the words left my lips. Dread curdled in the pit of my stomach.
Fallon’s computer beeped. The twangy mechanical sound startled me from my thoughts. When I looked over, it was in the process of rebooting. The operating system splash screen flashed on the monitor.
Fallon scooted into the desk chair. “Why the heck did it do that?” She typed in the password as soon as the dialogue box came up on screen. “Something strange is going on here.”
Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkins off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons. She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, she still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.
And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…
Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.