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Friday, 13 October 2017

If you have an affinity with Los Angeles, Italy, seduction and vampires, then this read is for you! .@MJacksonBeverly

A Secret Muse

Mandy Jackson-Beverly

UCLA art professor Coco Rhodes knows little about her family’s association with the ancient clandestine organization The Allegiance and wants to keep it that way. She dislikes secrets—they’re a painful reminder of her childhood experiences that were erased as a result of her parents’ tragic deaths when she was four years old.

After a brutal attempt on her life, and the arrival of a birthday letter from her dead mother, Coco demands explanations from her brother, Christopher, a high-powered D.C. lawyer and member of the Allegiance.

Christopher guides Coco to her birthplace, Italy, insisting she’ll find her answers there. Enter the enigmatic Gabriel, a powerful warlock with a vampire father, and the ethereal Prudence, keeper of the Allegiance.

When a close friend is murdered, Coco’s life takes a dark turn. With only a faded portrait torn from a lost sketchbook, and one of her mother’s unfinished paintings, Coco unravels clues from her past, in the hope of saving those she loves.

A Secret Muse

Chapter 1

Professor Coco Rhodes contemplated the image before her: a female cloaked in a shadowed background, her eyes closed—and a man standing in the foreground poised in a defensive stance. Both were drenched in tones of deep crimson. Blood tones. Had one of her students painted this picture, Coco would have perceived that the artist was hiding something, holding back from her full potential, or afraid. But Coco had created this image and it signified her personal creative interrupta. She hadn’t painted anything in three months, since the headaches and visions of blood “had begun. That time also marked the initiation of the nightmares in which she searched continually for something she had lost.

Splatters of red paint, once bright in hue, had dried on the cement floor of her studio classroom and had become dulled beneath the heavy foot traffic. Coco became transfixed by the splatter marks, which seemed to pulse outward and then suddenly contract. She froze as the image of a woman’s bloodied face flashed in her mind.