The Sapphire Talisman Blog Tour- Excerpt

Today we are happy to bring you a special post. Once upon a Twilight is part of The Sapphire Talisman Blog Tour. The tour runs from November 1st thru November 30th. Make sure to check out Brenda's blog where you can see all the post for each blog. Today we will be featuring the Chapter 1 Excerpt from The Sapphire Talisman and Brenda was generous to also include copy of The Sapphire Talisman to giveaway. 

Chapter 1
I sat in the waiting room together with my older brother Luke, my dad, and Erin, my uncle’s sister in upholstered chairs with wooden arms, my internal experience vastly different from anyone else’s. Our scenery consisted of four white walls adorned with pastel flower paintings and a TV hung in the corner, playing a late night talk show. My eyes kept drifting to the large red “NO SMOKING” and “NO CELL PHONE USE” signs, reading them over and over, wishing I didn’t have the ability to read other people’s emotions, especially in a maternity ward. When another wave of pain would arrive, I’d close my eyes and place my hands under my legs to grip the edge of the chair where no one could see, desperately trying to ignore the stifling agony. Relief only came when invisible explosions of incredible elation burst forth, sweetly followed by Brahms lullaby tinkling throughout the corridors.
With each passing episode though, I hoped the last one would be for us.
Suddenly, my uncle John appeared in the hallway, filled with love.
“It’s a girl,” he exclaimed, dressed in a blue smock and booties. We all jumped to our feet simultaneously. The wait was finally over.
“A girl,” Dad said in jubilation while putting his arm around my shoulder.
“Yes.” John’s eyes were moist. “Our little Emma Mae is finally here. Come. Jo would like to see everyone.”
When John turned, motioning for everyone to follow, I nudged Luke in the ribs. We’d had a bet whether it was a boy or girl. Luke’s wrong guess meant he’d be doing dishes for a week.
Josephine, my aunt and somewhat adoptive mom, had invited me to be a part of the birth and initially I had agreed until I found out she was going to give birth in the hospital without drugs. There was no way, with that much pain, I’d be able to compose myself and not let everyone in the room know my talent – the secret ability I’d acquired at age five, right after my mother’s mysterious disappearance. Though I didn’t actually feel the pain itself, it seemed real enough to overwhelm me. Pain, of all the emotions was very distracting. Later, after watching a documentary of a real birth in Health class, I had to gently tell Jo I didn’t think I could handle it. She was disappointed, but understood.
I figured, if I ever had kids of my own in the future, I’d definitely get drugs just in case someone in the room next to me decided to go without like Jo did. I wanted to avoid that kind of pain at all costs. But with a half-vampire as a boyfriend, even if we did get married someday, I didn’t know if having children would be a possibility.
“Jo did so well… without any drugs… her nurse kept saying she was a natural at it,” John said as he padded down the hallway in his slippered feet.
Part of me was glad to hear everything went well, but another was annoyed he kept telling the details – her story. I just wanted him to lead us and keep his mouth shut.
We arrived at her door and walked in. Jo looked slightly tired but gushed a beautiful sea of love while holding a little pink bundle in her arms. Her eyes were glistening as she invited us to come in.
I got to Jo’s side first, wringing my hands awkwardly, unsure if she’d let me hold Emma. Without a word, Jo passed me the baby. I smiled down at my new cousin.
Emma’s peace surrounded me instantly while she slept, taking me to a utopia I’d craved all night sitting in the waiting room. Faintly, in the background I heard Jo fill her sister-in-law Erin and Dad in on what happened. Luke stood by John, slightly grossed out at the details.
A little tuft of black hair stuck out from under Emma’s hat, framing a wrinkled forehead. Tiny lashes rimmed closed eyes, rosy cheeks surrounded a button nose and little puckered lips – she looked like a cherub. I remembered back to the first time I’d felt Emma’s feelings. Sometime during Jo’s second trimester, Emma’s contentedness began to compete with Jo’s general motherly woes. Emma loved her sanctuary within the protection of Jo’s womb. Only yesterday did I sense something new – a growing disquiet. I wasn’t surprised to hear after I left, Jo’s water had broken.
“Five more minutes,” a heavy-set brunette nurse called through the open doorway. “Then you’ll all have to leave.”
Erin’s agitation increased and I sighed, gently passing Emma to her. She’d been anxiously awaiting her turn. Without Emma’s sweet aura to hide within, I suddenly wanted to go. Hospitals drained me.
As if sensing my discomfort, Jo’s hand caught mine and she pulled me into a hug. The embrace comforted my spirit.
“How are you?” she asked quietly.
“Me?” I laughed while shaking my head. “Uh, you just gave birth. How are you?”
Jo squeezed my hand a little tighter.
“If only I could share how wonderful I feel.”
I glanced away and grinned. I already knew.
“—but I want you to remember, while Emma is my real child, she’s not going to replace you or your brother to me. I still consider you both my children too, you know.”
“I know,” I whispered, leaning into her shoulder.
She’d become our mother when Dad moved us from L.A. to Scotts Valley after our real Mom disappeared, shortly before my sixth birthday. But, unknown to any of us at the time, she hadn’t disappeared; she was murdered. I’d just learned the truth a few months ago, when Nicholas saved me a second time from an unseen stalker – a vampire. The first time, I was lucky while my mother was not. Nicholas, too late to help her, prevented the bloodsucking vampire from taking my life as well. In his guilt, he vowed to secretly protect me ever since.
But with my second encounter, Nicholas was no longer able to keep his presence or his identity a secret and after I learned the truth, we’d been dating ever since.
Jo kissed the top of my head. Her loving tenderness covered a multitude of longing sadness for my mother.
“So proud of you, Jo,” Dad called across the room. “Emma is beautiful.”
A general murmur of consensus rang through the group. Being between two ecstatic parents and a contented baby put me in the perfect Bermuda triangle of love. Everything seemed perfect until Attila the Hun came back.
“Visiting hours are now over,” Atilla said in a gruff voice. “My patients need their rest.”
I rolled my eyes, said a quick good-bye, and waited for my family in the hall. I wanted to text Nicholas and tell him the good news anyway. I’d been keeping our relationship a secret from my family. Nicholas believed, even though I wore a vampire-warding talisman, anyone I loved could still be in danger of retribution since Nicholas was a hated vampire slayer. Luckily, and completely puzzling to us, none of the leaches had returned after the last attack. Whether Nicholas’ reputation preceded him or they were off wreaking havoc on easier targets, we didn’t know. Even still, he wanted to be extra careful.
Within two seconds his reply text came back.
- Congrats. Leaving soon? <
- Yes. 30 mins. 3.
- Great. Sleep tight.
I bit my lip to stop the huge grin from forming upon my lips. Sleep tight didn’t mean good night; it was code for us to meet outside my bedroom window on the roof ledge later, something we did almost every night. The < from his text and the 3 from mine represented a heart when put together, reminding us of the one I’d carved into a piece of symbolic wood that brought us together, but broke when I carved it, both of us keeping a half. For sometime, I’d suspected my dad frequently checked my text messages online, so we’d resorted to code.
I read his messages several times before deleting them– another precaution I decided to do after the last attack. If another vampire ever stole my phone again, they’d never know who I consorted with.
I rested my head on the back of the seat during the drive home, relieved to finally be free from the birthing tormentors. Dad and Luke wordlessly sat in the front, all of us exuding a tired peace. I held the talisman that hung around my neck, anxious to get home for my good-night kiss.  Our nightly rendezvous’ were risky, but I would feel if someone had woken up, and were close enough to catch us.
Dad parked in the garage and I feigned needing something out of my car so I could see if Nicholas was here yet. The crisp night air refreshed my tired senses as I walked across the dewy grass. Once I rounded the corner, I felt a tiny bit disappointed when I discovered he hadn’t arrived. I wondered what might be taking him so long when my phone vibrated.
-Give me 20. <
I grinned as my heart beat a little faster, knowing the wait was only 20 minutes more. Maybe he had a surprise for me.
Just before I opened the front door to go inside, I noticed movement in the shrubs next to the porch swing. I knew it had to be an animal, since I couldn’t sense any human emotion.
“Aladdin, is that you?” I whispered, keeping my distance, worried to get too close in case it was a raccoon.
I squinted to see evidence of our tuxedo cat, Aladdin, when another cat appeared– pure black with icy blue eyes. One I knew. One that wasn’t really a cat.
I froze.
“She’s back.”

Thank you Brenda for providing us with this excerpt. If you want more go to The Teen {Book} Scene for more tour information. The next stop in the tour will be at Mindful Musings and will feature a Author Interview.

For more information on Brenda Pandos check out the links below:

One Lucky winner will have the chance to win a Signed copy of The Sapphire Talisman from Brenda herself. 

To Enter:
  • Must fill out this FORM
  • giveaway will run from November 5th - November 19th. (Im extending the date till 11/28)
  • Giveaway will end at midnight November 19th.
  • Giveaway is only US/Canada
Good Luck! 


  1. Thanks Yara for hosting my contest and excerpt!

  2. Your books look very good!! I have added both to my TBR pile!!


  3. This looks good! Thanks for the contest.

  4. Thanks for the chance to win!



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