Monday, April 16, 2012

Excerpt Reveal: Taste by Kate Evangelista


At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew.
Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling
themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious,
alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both
irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of
flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she
becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient
civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late
that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into
a centuries old feud.



I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what
I was seeing at first. A statue? ­My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts. I
didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy
that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above
his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become
bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and
frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by
Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what
Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly
fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.

“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer
contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who
the boy was.

He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed
on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many
people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self­assuredness of
someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.

I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled.
My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the
stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch­black irises, like the other Night Students,
but blue ice stared back at me.

“Human,” he whispered.

He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I
stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face.
He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the
way my body shivered.

Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.

“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.

He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words
had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They
contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and

Footsteps retreated behind me.

Luka reached out again.

It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled.
I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform
soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way
his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he
helped me stand.

“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my
heart to the brim with comfort.

I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”

“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my
hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”

My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t
understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.

From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort
out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again.
Recognizing the blue­black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta
hadn’t come back to finish me off.

Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm
existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in
his tense muscles vibrated into me.

“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.

I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.


I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You
owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.

“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”

“I don’t think so.”

Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench
during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”

“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although,
she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”

There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night
Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant
to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t

“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.

Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”

Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.
Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him?
I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but
they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?

“Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic.

The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.

Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his
head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he
said formally.

Luka nodded once.

Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we
were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a
glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be
shared on a later date.


When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next
best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie
Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and
never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world
she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in
creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered.
What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her
computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Crescent Moon Press 

1 comment:

Flo said...

Sounds like a great read!

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