I have been waiting so long to show you the fabulous cover for Jane and the Damned (October, 2010) and here it is! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Last week I announced a contest on Twitter for a giveaway of the ARC (Advanced Reading Copies) of the book. It was a massive failure. Twitter would not play nice with my hashtag and I know it was retweeted–my thanks to all who did so–so I’m inviting you to enter again. But this time I am not using Twitter. Twitter, you let me down. You are my Wickham, my Willoughby, my ruination. If you were my footman I’d fire you without a reference. If you were my relative I’d cut you off without a penny.

So go to the contact page on my website, fill out the form, put ARC in the subject line, and away we go. I’ll take entries until Sunday May 23 at midnight, EST, and I’m giving away three copies. Good luck!

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

“I am come here to take the cure,” she said, her resistance ebbing away.

“A cadaver can not take any sort of cure, my dear Miss Austen, and that is what you’ll be soon enough. It’s a delicate matter, the cure; you must be strong enough to withstand the poison of the waters—for such it is to us—yet the stronger you are the more difficult and painful the cure will become.”

“What is it to you? Why will you not leave me alone?” She hated herself for the whimper in her voice.

He pushed her into a chair. He stood over her, hands moving to the buttons of his coat. “My honor, as one of my kind, demands it, Miss Austen. This Mr. Smith abandoned you, a most dishonorable act, and it is my duty, honor, and privilege to do what he should have.” He shrugged the coat from his shoulders and let it fall.

“But what about me? My family fear me and rush me to take the cure. Your honor, frankly, is no business of mine. No one asks me what I want … I ….” Her voice faded away as Luke unbuttoned his shirt cuff. He raised his wrist to his mouth and breathed upon it, then showed her the blue veins against his pale skin.

“I cannot,” she said faintly. “Please, sir, do not…”

“My name is Luke.” He bent and held his wrist to her lips. “Your canines extend. We call it en sanglant. You cannot help yourself. You feel pain but that’s only because it is a new sensation. With time you’ll recognize the condition of en sanglant as a sign of desire, of need, of the pleasure you’ll anticipate—oh, I beg your pardon, you are the daughter of a clergyman; I doubt you’ll appreciate the—”

“Hold your tongue!” She grabbed his wrist and bit, hard.

“Ouch! A little more finesse, Jane, but no matter, you’ll learn.”

Through a mouthful of blood she growled—yes, Jane Austen, the cultured and respectable daughter of the Austen family growled, and then laughed messily.

And the taste—like lightning, like the way she felt once, in another life, when the words flowed and she laughed aloud at her own cleverness and the delicious interplay of her characters.

As for the confession… I wrote down to the wire last week on a book that I’d been telling myself was “almost finished” and which suddenly assumed a life of its own. It became fifteen thousand words longer than I anticipated (I write short usually) and I wrote that, and more, in the last week. It was terrifying, exhilarating, and exhausting and I shall never do it again.

When was the last time you played fast and loose with a deadline or other commitment? Do you have any confessions to make? Make them here!

There’s a new blog in town featuring HarperCollins paranormal authors, Supernatural Underground and a Facebook page. Check us out! We’re having our official launch June 1 with giveaways and fun stuff.