Don't Feedby Jennifer Martinez
Kenna is in a prison in Bora Bora. Arthur was presumably murdered in front of her. This is a short, fast paced story. I was liking this one better than the first book. I think the writing has improved and is more polished. Kenna was seriously out of control in the first book. She was power hungry, without mercy and without morality. Now she has to pay for her mistakes and be reformed. I liked reading about Kenna's transformation into a caring protector. There is a war brewing between sirens and vampires. The story has a lot of action and excitement. There are a lot of interesting side characters but I liked reading about Kenna. The story jumps from Kenna's plight to the side plot and side characters and vice versa. Sometimes the transition was a bit too abrupt. Since the books are getting better, the third book in the trilogy should be the best of all. I look forward to reading it. 4 stars.
What do you do when the man of your dreams is murdered right in front of you? For Kenna, vengeance is not an option. Trapped in a prison on a desolate island, she's forced to endure the promise of an eternity of pain, mourning the one person she could always count on.
And it gets worse.
The war is not over. With the threat of the Sirens looming over New Orleans, the coven is going to have to fight to keep what's theirs.
One day while slaving away at her monotonous day job, Jennifer Martinez found her true calling. Like a firefly in the night, the pages called to her. Once she caught the bug there was no stopping it. Her fingers flew furiously across the keyboard winding tales of love, mystery and anger. She snapped out of her reverie to find herself still behind the desk but at least she knew who she was… Author Jennifer Martinez.
I like to think of myself as a beautiful conundrum. When I am not writing, I can be found surrounded by my amazing family and 4 dogs or volunteering at a local animal rescue. I love who I am and don’t mind at all when I get strange looks from people. I am a tattoo covered, child and animal lover who looks forward to destroying peoples preconceived notions of what “someone like me” would be interested in. You only live life once… you may as well make it interesting.
I love to get lost in a good book and hope that everyone will get lost in mine.
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I curse the dingy ceiling and start to look around my prison when I hear the damn witch outside the door. I lay back down and wait for her to enter. When she enters she looks less maniacal and more somber.
“What did you do to me? Where is Arthur?”
“I be gettin de darkness outta you. Now hush your face we aren’t done.”
I close my mouth. She totally ignored my question about Arthur so I know something must be up. She bends over and reaches into a small mini fridge pulling out a mason jar filled with blood. My mouth starts to water as my fangs lower. I am finally going to get some food. She puts a straw in the jar and walks over to me bringing a bar stool with her.
“Imma give you dis on one condition. You hear me? You gotta talk. I ask, you answer you drink. Agree?”
She gives me one small sip of the coppery elixir and asks her next question. “Why?”
“Why you go takin de law in you own hands child?”
“Because no one else would. I love humans and I love my people and I saw horrible things happening to them. No one else would help them, so I did. I made my city safe.”
“At de expense of deir lives?” she asked giving me another sip.
“Their lives were a meaningless plague on a beautiful city. They had no respect for the lives of others so why should I respect theirs. They deserved to pay for the things they had done. Their lives gave me the power to save more people. To do more for those who deserved it.”
“You were righteous enough to kill but not to take the blame?”
“It was never about taking the blame, it was about preserving our anonymity. I had to stay hidden even from my own. I knew they wouldn’t understand. They wouldn’t see the shades of gray. I had to have the proof before I could come out and tell them the truth. It was horrible. I had to keep the secret. I didn’t want to but there was no other way.”
She closes her eyes and begins to tune out the world around her. This is a feat reserved only for the Sefs. No one else can do it. It is hard and disorienting. It takes years of practice and still some can never do it. She allows the darkness to take her and focuses on a hut in the middle of the forest.
It is easy to picture because she has been there before but it still takes time to come into focus. She sees Terea talking to a tree and shakes her head. A sound erupts from inside the hut and takes Ihrin’s attention away from the tree talking Terea and towards the red head running and shrieking into the clearing. Kenna looks frail, almost translucent and totally mortified.
“Snake!” she screams loudly. “Huge snake! Get it out! I want to go back to the house.”
Terea doubles over in a fit of giggles as Kenna bounces up and down adrenaline coursing through her veins. The priestess takes a few deep breaths before standing up and heading inside the hut. She enters the hut shaking her head and comes back out screaming hysterically with the snake wrapped around her neck. Ihrin almost feels bad for Kenna but stops the emotion before it can manifest. They may be rehabilitating her but she still killed a lot of people. Kenna goes into another freak out session and Terea starts laughing again. She uncoils the twelve foot python from around her body and walks towards Kenna.
“Terea, you keep that evil slimey thing away from me.”
“Oh you fool. Dis man ain’t slimey. He’s smooth. Maximillion here has been my best friend goin on thirteen years.” Terea holds out the gentle giant body to let Kenna get to know him.
“He’s a pet?! You really are crazy. He’s twice as big as you are.”
“And twice as nice, so watch who you talkin to girl. Come and touch him. He don’t bite, often.”
Her mind is racing, imagining all the amazing things Aurel could do to her. As if she isn’t worked up enough already, her passion now becomes a need, fueled by pure animal instinct. She needs Aurel and is going insane without him inside of her. His eyes zero in on her addiction and she knows he has something evil planned. His hand moves from her flat stomach down to her ankles. He grabs one moving it up and hiking her skirt along with it. His fingers leave trails of fire and ice as they forge a path from her ankle up to her inner thigh. Her mind no longer forms coherent thoughts and all she can see is her golden god driving her mad. She thanks the powers that be for giving her such a perfect mate in a second of lucidity before he plunges right back into a passion filled abyss. His fingers finally reach the heat of her core and skirt along her subject. The feather light touch of his fingers on her most intimate spot makes her growl in a mix of pleasure and pain. She can no longer stand to be the mere eight inches from him. She uses her planted foot to arch into his touch and is immediately rewarded with a growl from him. She bites her lip waiting for his control to finally break. Her breathing becomes deeper entrancing her lover in the rise and fall of her breasts. The moment comes like a clap of thunder and all control is lost.
“I told you what you wanted to know!” I screamed at
my captors. “Now kill me or let me go!” I took a deep
breath and debated my next sentence. Arthur was dead.
Life wasn’t worth living. Calmly I continued, “I would
suggest killing me because if you let me go and I find
out you killed Arthur, I will enjoy playing in your
The clicking of heels was the first inclination of
who I was dealing with. Now, I knew it was a woman.
Any woman in her right mind would side with me. “I
promise to leave New Orleans and never come back.
You know what I did was for the good of mankind.
Just let me disappear into the wind.”
A scratchy island voice graced my ears and said,
“Oh honey, dey got you good. You aren’t nowhere near
My whole body clenched. What had they done
to me, where was I? I was beginning to get nervous.
Ihrin would do anything to protect her coven. Who had
she given me to? “Awe dear girl, don’t you be frettin,”
the island woman responded. “You in Bora Bora. We
gonna get the dark outta your soul. You just wait.”
Bora Bora. Why am I in Bora Bora? Think Kenna. Do we have a colony here? Am I in some kind of vampire work camp? No, that wouldn't make sense. Arthur and I were supposed to go to Bora Bora. This was supposed to be our trip. FOCUS! Ok, my hands are bound with silver. Can't get out of that. I am in an oak wooden chair. My legs are tied to the chair and... yep, bolted to the ground. Damn, they really want me tied down. Ok, smells. Smells, what do I smell? Shellfish, salt, coconuts. AGH!
Incense. Oh, god, don’t they know we hate incense. What do I hear? I hear birds,good I’m near the ocean. I hear monkeys, ok not too close to the coast. Drums. Oh shit.
I’m going to be in some ritual sacrifice or some crap. I have got to get out of here.
“What dark? I’m not dark. Please just let me go!”
A snicker wafts through the air and hits my ears. She’s laughing at me, uhg.
Stay calm, you need to keep your wits. I focus on my breathing, slow and steady.
Hours pass before I finally hear any movement. I hear the shuffle behind me and the creaking of the door. No heartbeats but I smell someone. The anonymous someone throws a burlap bag over my head and I don’t even fight it. They can kill me if they want. Is life really worth living when there is no one to love? I did my due diligence. I saved New Orleans. Apparently that doesn’t matter. I feel the magic surround me and I embrace the accompanying darkness.
I wake up groggy. I can still hear the birds chirping and cawing, reveling in their freedom. I’m not in the chair any more. I am on a wooden table. The silver cuffs still bind my hands and feet and I welcome the searing pain they bring with them. I finally get a glimpse of the woman who talked to me. I feel short laying in front of her towering frame. She has wild hair littered with shells and feathers. Her dark coal eyeliner gives her a twisted look that reminds me of a wild version of Erista.
“Ah, so you finally awake Kenna.”
“Why am I here?”
“We gonna get da dark outta you girl. Der’s an evil in yah soul and I intend to burn it.”
“Who are you?”
She turns her back to me and heads towards a wall littered with jars and herbs.
She hums and sways side to side as she pulls items from all the jars and bowls against the wall. Her hands move meticulously across the surface. No matter how hard I try cannot get a glimpse of what she is doing. The incense burns all other smells from the room and I finally turn away to avoid frustration. She continues to hum and scrape away, stone on stone and metal on wood. She approaches the table again with black and white candles. Her face is stoic and almost sad as she places red and black candles all around my confined body. She moves back to the far wall and returns with two jars and some kind of burlap bagman that reminds me of Little Big Planet. She begins a low chant and lets the purple sand flow from the first jar creating a pentagram that spreads across my body and the table. She does one final walk around my supine body before raising her voice to a normal speaking tone.
“I am here tah help overcome a bad habit; tah give Kenna full control of her life and live it tah da fullest, wit peace, love and enjoyment.” She says beginning to light the white candles surrounding my body.
“Dis is me, who ‘as strength to overcome all that tempts me. Let my spirit burn as surely as does dis flame; a symbol of de inner strength dat will prevail in all things,” she continues moving on to the black candles.
Her arms outstretch over the pentagram marking my chest tightly gripping the burlap doll, “I name this Poppet Kenna. It is her in every way. Anything I do to this Poppet I do to her.”
Finally, she takes the second jar filled with a nearly black liquid and comes toward my head while saying, “Here she is as I am now; bound by a force so strong. As time passes, the bonds will break away and she will be free.”
Her thumb and index finger force my mouth open and I can feel the dark liquid coursing down my throat. It nearly chokes me and I cough up a little. She uses the hem of her long white dress to dab away the extra liquid on my face while she repeats the last line.
“Here she is as I am now; bound by a force so strong. As time passes, the bonds will break away and she will be free.” The priestess pauses in a silent plea to the gods before looking into my eyes and saying, “Kenna, your journey begins. Hold onto what you love. The light will guide you through.”
I don’t understand what she means at first. I am just a hungry, pissed off vampire with no reason to live, until I feel it taking me over. A force comes from below wrapping its massive hands around my spine and pulls me into the Nether. I see the dingy mold covered ceiling of my prison fade away and I am plunged into darkness.
I can hear the drawl of Jimmy Buffett and a dog barking in the distance. I don’t know what happened but it sounds like I’m back home in Florida. The haze starts to clear and I can see the tall palm trees that surround my family home. A huge black lab comes running up to me and I know immediately who it is.
“Beast!” I yell running up to meet the black ball of fuzz in the middle of the yard. Beast tackles me and we roll around the soft grass for an eternity before he vanishes. I can hear my mothers laugh coming from the back yard. She looks good, healthy. She is sitting with my dad on the patio talking about her day. I try to say hi but she doesn’t see me. I stand directly in front of the two people who brought me into this world and they just ignore me. I feel the hot tears beginning to stream down my face when I realize I’m not really there. They aren’t real. I miss my family so much. I don’t even know how long its been since Arthur and I visited them in Florida. Arthur.
I’m going to find out who killed him and rip their heads off.
“Kenna don’t. You don’t have to be strong for me.”
A lump forms in my throat forcing me to choke on my thought. He is not real, Kenna. He’s dead. You watched him die. I think to myself.
“Kenna baby, open your eyes. I am here. We can stay here together. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
I shake my head violently, trying to get rid of the memories that shred my already broken heart. I feel a hand brush against my face and I am assaulted with the smell of strawberries and vanilla. My eyes snap open and there he is in front of me. His soft dark hair moving with the breeze, his sapphire eyes peering into my soul like only he can. My hot tears become full on sobs of pain and heartbreak as I stare at the man I loved.
“Kenna, my love. Why did you do those things? Why did you not trust me?
What you are doing, I would never have wanted. You are my life, my love, my everything. Please don’t stay like this forever. You can fight the urges. You’ve done it before. Fight it and make me proud.”
“ARTHUR!” I scream as his image fades away just like Beast. Everything is dark and I can hear the rain approaching. I look down and am suddenly walking on an old brick road. The buildings start to materialize as I walk and soon I recognize New Orleans but it’s not my New Orleans. It’s different, darker. There are no vendors on the streets, no tourists snapping pictures. Then, I see men walking towards me. The one in the middle is beyond hot. He is over six feet tall with shoulder length blonde hair and can I tell you about his shoulders, um yum. I can see his muscles quiver through his shirt with every step he takes. My body starts to heat up and I find myself entranced. He turns to talk to the brunette male on his right and acts as though he doesn’t even see me. I stop walking right before he hits me and he walks right through me. It’s like I’m a ghost.
Holy shit. I’m a ghost. I’m dead. That’s why I could see Arthur. He was there.
Where did he go? I turn around to head towards our old house and that’s when I see it.
The stunning blonde found someone. He grabs a scared girl with dark brown ringlet curls by the throat and his eyes go white. He opens his mouth and you can see the light leaving her body. She tries to fight but she is no match for his chiseled, glistening, perfect, smokin physique. That’s when I see the light. It looks like that scene from Harry Potter when the dementors are trying to take Sirius Black’s soul only it’s her eyes. I see the light exit her eyes and he consumes it. Her limp body falls to the hard cement and he just leaves her there and walks away. It takes me a second but finally something clicks. That is a siren. Damn, that is a siren. The last one hadn’t affected me but him, well lets just say I wouldn’t have minded an audience. But what is he doing in my afterlife? Why the hell is he in my city? Am I in hell? Did I really earn hell? I watch as he and his friends walk into the distance and fade away, then my world is once again consumed by darkness.
My eyes slowly flit open and I see the dingy mold covered ceiling of my horrid fate. I’m not dead it was just a nightmare. I breathe in the salty ocean air and catch a wiff of strawberries. I shoot up to look around but the restrains on my wrists and ankles keep me bound to the table. I look around but don’t see anything. I will never forget that smell though. I start screaming and I don’t stop.