Authors: J B Stilwell
|Mountain State Vampire |
|J B Stilwell|
|CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012)|
Vampires are not only among us, they are proud, tax-paying citizens with equal rights.
Emma Burcham is a human scientist working on a project for the Federal Office for Human and Vampire Administration, a U.S. government office created to deal with paranormal crime that the regular correctional system just can't handle. She's paired with scientist Rick Allstedt who just happens to be of the fanged sort. Together they work to uncover the source of vampire mortality for crime prevention - and if they succeed they will be $50,000 richer.
Emma struggles to focus on the project while she develops feelings for Rick. Does he feel the same way or will government archivist Tucker Dutrieux win her heart? Will Emma allow her desire for love get in the way of the work she was hired to do?
Emma quickly realizes that she has a lot to learn - not only about vampires, but also about herself.
J.B. Stilwell is a paranormal romance/thriller novelist who recently finished her debut novel "The Source," the first book in an upcoming collection entitled The Mountain State Vampire Series.
She was born and raised in the foothills of Appalachia and currently resides in the Seattle metropolitan area with her husband and daughter. She is eclectic, having diverse interests that show in her writing. J.B. has a degree in Sociology in which her studies focused on crime/deviant behavior for undergrad and race/gender relations in post-grad. She loves to travel, particularly to India, and her varied experiences around the world are woven into her stories.
Aside from writing, J.B. loves to read, listen to music, watch good TV/movies, crochet and above all else, spend time with family and friends.
By J.B. Stilwell
“Star Wars” – Lucasfilm, production company;
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, distributor.
“Aliens” – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation,
production company and distributor.
“Spiderman” – Columbia Pictures Corporation,
production company and distributor.
Cover design - Holly Earl
Editing/Proofreading support - Lee Carter,
Shawn Scott, L. Milton Hankins
Feedback/Support - my husband, my daughter
Maya, Erick Pullen, Nathaniel DeLong and in particular, Tamara Brooke Trout for
answering all of my biology/medical questions.
This book is dedicated to my friends who have
given their love and support in the process of writing this book. There are way
too many of you to name, but you know who you are. Love you.
I wasn’t quite sure
what I was doing here. When I had answered the ad online, I really wasn’t
expecting to get the call, but then again I’ve become a pro at selling myself
short. Or maybe it was just because I didn’t think it was a legit posting.
Seems legit. They gave everyone a white coat and name badge before
seating us in this room. This stale, white room. No furniture except black
folding chairs and a whiteboard. Minimalist to say the least. It seems more
military than federal government. I had always thought the feds lavished themselves
with things like two thousand dollar ashtrays made of Italian marble. Well,
maybe not for their scientists.
There are fourteen of
us. Looking around the room, it’s hard to find anyone like me because we all
seem so different. Except that we were all hired for medical research by the
U.S. federal government. And we were all brought here, a secret government
research facility in Rowan, West Virginia. Tucked away in the Appalachian
Mountains, away from the skeptical eyes of the world. Men, women, thin,
fat, white, black, Asian…human…vampire. How did I know? Well, some
of that is obvious, but with vampires you just know. I have developed a radar
over the past ten years, since vampires were accepted into U.S. society and
given full rights. Still, sometimes I have been wrong. Nothing
worse than being publicly reminded of how foolish making assumptions can make
The door to the left
of the whiteboard opens, and a man in a black suit walks through to the center
of the room. Now he looks like a fed. Closely cut light brown hair,
styled in the most boring way possible. Cleanly shaven without a hint of
stubble. Suit completely wrinkle-free and shoes polished so brightly that
I could probably see my reflection in them. Yep, definitely a fed.
“Thank all of you for
being here today and accepting our offer to work on one of the most important
medical research projects of our lifetime. My name is Robert Caulfield.
I’m the director of the Federal Office of Human and Vampire
guessed another one right.
“As you may know, the
U.S. government has been looking for ways to address the criminal element
within the vampire community. There are those within the community who
continue to kill humans and are rousing a counter-movement to revoke the equal
status of vampires in the United States. What FOHVA proposes is to begin
research toward a medical solution to prevent any possibility of the counter-movement
earning any legitimacy or gaining political backing. If this small group
of extremists go mainstream, not only will we see the collapse of ten years of
social progress, but vampires will essentially have to go back into hiding.”
I can’t think.
It’s hard to process everything that Mr. Caulfield had said. Surely such
a lunatic fringe group could not become powerful enough that people would
actually support them. Why make vampires go back underground? It
just doesn’t make any sense to me.
“Each one of you has
been chosen out of thousands of applicants because of your areas of expertise.
You will be paired with someone with a complementary background to work
as a team to develop a solution to the anti-vampire element. Keep in mind
that what we are looking for is prevention. We need to remove the reason
why a counter-movement would need to exist by addressing the high rate of human
murders committed by vampires. The pair that succeeds in developing a
viable option to address our problem will receive a fifty thousand dollar bonus
in addition to the regular salary.”
I can literally feel
my eyebrows touch my hairline. I’m afraid to look around at the other
researchers as I didn’t want to confirm that I was the only one who was
reacting like the country bumpkin in the big city, eyes wide and full of wonder
A woman in a gray
business suit walks in and hands Mr. Caulfield a clipboard. “When I call
your name and the name of your partner,” he begins, “please pass through the
door to my right and you will be given further instructions as well as advised
as to which research suite you will be using in the coming months. Any
The room is dead
silent. Either we all understand, are too afraid to ask or haven’t heard
anything past “fifty thousand dollar bonus.”
“Very good,” Mr.
Caulfield continues, “ and welcome to FOHVA.”
I walk silently down
the hall to our research suite, trying not to look at the man that I would be
working with for the next several months. Rick Allstedt. Tall, dark
hair, eyes that I swear to God looked like lavender, and lips that could make
you forget your name. It’s going to be rough working in these conditions.
Talk about a distraction. Not to mention the fact that I never surround
myself with men who are prettier than me. It’s just insulting.
I walk into the suite
and set my purse on the table. Rick walks silently in and stands a few
feet to my side. I glance up and give him a brief smile. That is
his invitation to talk, and he takes it.
“I’m Rick. As
you heard from Mr. Caulfield. And you’re Emma?”
I nod, still not
trusting myself to speak.
“Well, Emma. I
think it would be good for us to get to know each other a bit before we dive
into how we are going to approach this project. Especially since we’re
going to be spending every evening for the next several months together.
It might make things a little more comfortable. Tell you what, I’ll
make us some coffee, and you think about what you would like to know.”
What I would like to
know? The nerve! To just assume that I would want to sit and hear
all about him. I don’t think I like this first impression. Either
he’s going to piss me off or bore me to death, neither of which I find
Trying not to roll my
eyes and fall into the angst-ridden prattle of a teenage brat, I sit at the
table and open my notebook. Maybe if I look ready to begin brainstorming
on possible hypotheses we could test, I won’t have to sit through the history
of Mr. Wonderful.
Rick calls over to
me, “Do you want any cream or sugar?”
“No, just black,” I
Rick returns to the
table with two steaming mugs of black coffee. Mmmmm. He scores a
few points for this, but not enough to make me less cranky.
“So,” he says, “what
would you like to know?”
I inhale deeply while
biting the tip of my tongue. I swear I taste blood.
“Actually, I was
hoping that we could start discussing any possible theories or angles that we
can come up with and work into a testable hypothesis.”
Rick nods with a
slightly amused look on his face. “Want to jump right in, eh? Don’t
even want to know about my credentials or curious as to my interest in this
I fold my hands on my
notebook and look straight at him. “We are pretty much in a competition
here with the prize being a lot of money. Maybe you don’t need the extra
cash, but I would like not having to worry about paying off my student loan,
much less my monthly bills. I think that the sooner we start and get
ahead of the others, the better off we’ll be.”
Rick continues to
look amused when he says, “You’re right, I don’t need the extra cash, and it’s
not bills that I have to worry about. Just my life. Whether I’m
here today and in hiding tomorrow. Or worse. Attacked in the
street. Or rounded up into some refugee camp because I’m no longer safe
around humans because some wing-nut bureaucrat thinks it’s in the public’s best
I suck in my breath,
staring deeply into his eyes, pulling my arms closer to my chest as the reality
of what he was saying sank in. He’s a vampire.
“Yes, I am. I
am a vampire. I didn’t choose this. I was chosen. But now I’m
making the best of it. And if I can use my talents to prevent going back
to where I was eleven years ago, then do not be mistaken. I take that
just as seriously as someone who needs extra cash to pay their bills.”
Ouch. I hug my
abdomen as my stomach does somersaults. I feel like a complete fool.
Again with the damn assumptions.