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Gabrielle Evans grew up in a small town in southern Oklahoma. We are talking one red light that may or may not work depending on the day of the week. She married her high school sweetheart and the rest is pretty much history. They have two very active boys and one high-strung wiener dog that keeps her constantly on the go. For now, she parks her car in central Indiana, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Gabrielle believes in love at first sight, falling hard and fast, taking chances, and grabbing your happy-ever-after with both hands. Most importantly, she believes that a great cup of coffee can cure anything.
When the Black Bird Calls
Haven started with an idea, just a simple wish to tell the stories of my group of vampires that didn’t quite fit with The Moonlight Breed. When I began, I knew some characters would stand out and make an impression more than others…such is the way of series. However, I never expected the overwhelming response I’ve received about one particular character.
Raven Whitmore isn’t your typical bad boy. He’s a little selfish, a lot egotistical, and he can’t seem to open his mouth without sticking his foot in it. Love doesn’t interest him, nor does the idea of finding that special person fate intends for him. He’s well aware of his reputation, and he’s more than happy to perpetuate the rumors.
With that said, however, there is another side to him, one rarely seen, that has a heart of gold and a fierce intolerance of injustice. He hurts when others hurt. Some may even say he cares too much. There have been plenty of wounded and broken who have passed through the gates of Haven, but Raven has yet to meet anyone the likes of Nuri Hayata.
When the most broken of all wanders into his life, will Raven push Nuri away in favor of his playboy life? Or will he finally take a chance and trust someone other than himself?
Excerpt from Haven 9: *Untitled*
“One adult and two children?”
Arching one pale eyebrow at the bored tone of the young lady behind the glass, Raven nodded. “Obviously.”
“Would you like to purchase a park membership?”
“No.” Things had been tense in Haven as of late, and he’d agreed to take the kiddos out for the night to give his friends some much needed downtime. While he really enjoyed being “Uncle Raven,” he didn’t see too many of these excursions in the foreseeable future.
“Your total is $67.00. Will that be cash, credit, or debit?”
“Are you shitting me?”
Quiet giggles erupted from his left, and Raven cringed when he heard Wren whisper to his cousin, “Uncle Raven said a bad word.”
Yeah, he really wasn’t cut out for this role model crap, but gods, he loved the pintsized brats. “Don’t tell your dads. Cool?”
Wren bobbed his little head and wrapped his arm around Kaito’s shoulders. “Cool. We won’t tell. Right?”
Kaito sucked his bottom lip between his teeth and tucked a strand of dark hair behind his ear, looking less enthusiastic about keeping the secret. “I won’t tell.”
For one so young, Kaito had an incredible sense of right and wrong. He was a sensitive boy, always sympathetic to other’s emotions, and he greatly disliked conflict of any kind. His deep brown eyes darkened with turbulence, and Raven felt another twinge of guilt for that. “Don’t worry, kid. I’ll tell on myself. How’s that?”
Kaito shrugged as he played with the zipper on his dark gray sweater jacket. “I really won’t tell.”
They could argue about it, or he could drop it and watch his stupid mouth for the rest of the evening. Deciding to drop it was a no brainer. “Okay, boyos, enough with the heavy. We’re supposed to be having fun.” Raven forked over his Visa to the toad behind the counter, signed the receipt, and tucked his wallet back into his pocket. “Now, where to first?”
The original plan had been to take the boys for a couple rounds of bowling. Raven hated everything about bowling from the dorky shoes that never quite fit him to the way the employees yelled at him for accidently breaking a few—or all—of the pins. Unfortunately, however, there weren’t many family friendly options that operated after sundown.
Hoping to entice the kids into spending the majority of their time in the attached arcade, he’d stopped at a nearby convenience store to pull money from an ATM and happened across a flier for this very special wildlife park. They’d had to drive an extra two hours into Green River, but he’d managed to keep the munchkins entertained during the ride with the built-in DVD player.
“I wanna see the elephants!” Wren exclaimed as he bounced along the paved path away from the front gates. “Oh, or maybe rhinos. Do they got tigers here?”
“Hmm,” Kaito mused as he traced the green lines of the map with his forefinger. “I think we should see the fishes first.” He pointed to a large stone building to their right. “It’s just right there.”
“Cool!” Wren agreed. “Are there any dolphins?”
Kaito shrugged as he meticulously folded the map into a neat rectangle and tucked it into the pocket of his jacket. “I don’t know. I can’t read.”
Check out the rest of the Haven Series