Writing Contest + Giveaway

Back when I read Evernight by the lovely and talented Claudia Gray, I was floored by how much I loved it. The world was complex and real, the plot was surprising, and the characters. Especially Balthazar.

And now, he has his own book.

For hundreds of years, the vampire Balthazar has been alone—without allies, without love.

When Balthazar agrees to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, he has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s newfound psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel, seductive master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Now Redgrave plans to use Skye’s powers for his own evil purposes.

Balthazar will do whatever it takes to stop Redgrave and exact his long-awaited revenge against his killer. As Skye and Balthazar stand together to fight him, they grow closer—first unwillingly, then undeniably. Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by her. . . .

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

This is a must read for every Evernight fan of course, but this is definitely a book that people who haven't read Evernight can still read.

Anyway, enough gushing...


I'm giving away an ARC of Balthazar to one lucky person!

Here's what you've have to do.

Write a story, one hundred words or fewer, using these words:


Bonus Points if your story is not actually about vampires.

Contest open internationally. It starts NOW, and runs through midnight Friday March 3rd. Post your entry in the comments section. Enter as many times as you want.

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Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I stared at him. His blue eyes were filled with all sorts of inappropriate thoughts. He held me captivated like an evil, sexy vampire.

I knew this wasn’t some eternal love. It was pure lust, and I was okay with that.

My heart pounded, I couldn’t look away from him. Then, suddenly, the spell was broken. They cut to commercial.

“He is so fine!’ My best friend squealed.

“I know,” I said, and took another bite of the Death by Chocolate cake we were sharing. “Why can’t real men look like that?”

Nicole McLaughlin said...

The bus that drove us home was crowded and dank. How could everyone go about their day, giving no thought to what tomorrow would, or would not bring? That had been me two hours ago.

I felt like a vampire, staring at everyone’s neck, imagining their life source pumping beneath their skin. I knew it was evil to wish that one of these people were the ones with this terrible news. What did death even mean? Would I no longer be the love of Jack’s life, if his life ended? Were feelings not eternal? I squeezed his hand, he smiled.

DK Whisman said...

Joe kept coming back into Stacy’s life like some kind of vampire, popping up out of nowhere with his excuses and pleas for forgiveness. But she knew that his type of love was evil.

The first time he hurt her, he left scars on her heart. The second time, he left them on her face and stomach. The third time, he threatened to take their children away from her if she didn’t take him back. But Stacy had one way to end what felt like an eternal struggle.

Tomorrow, a small headline would read: The Accidental Death of Joe Anderson.

Jenny said...
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Jenny said...

The stories of the vampires that combed the valley after dusk didn’t scare me. I felt safe in his arms, safe enough that I would risk the possibility of death.
This is it, isn’t it? Eternal love?
His whispered words echoed in the night air. My eyes fluttered shut and I leaned further into his body.
His lips flit over my collarbone, softly at first, but becoming desperate with each inch of bare skin he grazed.
It’s evil, the way they keep us apart. I just want you.
I don’t need to answer for him know I feel the same.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

“She sucks the life out of you, man. A vampire feeding on fun.” George glares at me over his Coke.

“When was the last time we hung out?”

I glance away from the piercing stare. An eternal, awkward moment passes. “Is it so evil to think I might actually love the girl? She’s sure a better kisser than you.”

George squirms in his chair. “Did you have to say that?”

“Just trying to have a little ‘fun’.”

We sit in silence.

“You really think you love her?”

“I know. Love is a little death,” I say. “But yeah, I do.”

Lydia said...

Doodle jumped into my lap when the on-screen vampire bared his fangs. I scratched his ear and he responded by purring loudly.

Jamie glared at me. Whenever anyone got in the way of her vampire movies, she got pissy. As in, so pissy her screaming made death-by-vampire seem like the better option. “Can you shut that thing up? I’m trying to watch.”

"What is it about creepy, evil vampires that you find sexy?” I asked.

She ignored me. “If you’d keep your ugly cat quiet, I’d be eternally grateful.”

“She didn’t mean that,” I told Doodle. “She loves you.”


Adam Gaylord said...

Peter watched the sand pour steadily through the hourglass, each falling grain bringing him closer to death. He fought back the fear that clutched at him, constricting his throat like a vampire’s bite. The executioner would come soon and he would have to choose. He could let the fear overtake him or he could stand defiant. His love would be watching. She must know him incapable of the evil they accused; he must show her. He had to stand tall and meet her eye when they sent him to his eternal rest.

Unknown said...

It was the eternal stench of burnt pancakes that could raise even the most lax Waffle House cook from death that woke me up that Saturday morning. For the love of God, couldn’t I sleep in just this once? With midterms over with, spring break stretched before me with a fat promise of late nights and even later mornings---preferably stretching into the afternoons. Whatever evil had prompted Mom to manage breakfast this morning, he should’ve met Mr Pointy with a quick end through the heart, Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style. No, that would’ve been too polite.

Sra said...

“Don’t you people get it!”

Zeke leapt dramatically into his chair. I sunk lower in mine.

“Cell phones are evil! The death of this planet is practically imminent, and every single one of you is responsible.”

The rest of the class shuffled awkwardly.

“Vampire energy drain. That’s what it’s called. Phones. Laptops. Cameras. Constantly plugged in. Constantly sucking power in an eternal cycle of wasteful doom! And all because you love a little convenience.”

He ended his speech with a dramatic thinker-eque pose.

I tried to pretend I didn’t know him. What a way to start a new semester.

Matthew Masucci said...

I started with over 250 words and slowly cut this one down. The last ten words were the most painful.


She promised eternal love, and he called her an “emotional vampire.”

Mark hammered a single note repeatedly on the piano in the living room.

Voleta remained in the bedroom, scribbling out a letter. Having changed so much, it felt evil to beg. Voleta abandoned the note.

Mark stopped, turned to look at her.

A breeze flared her hair outward, her eyes lit up, and her body burst into a multitude of colors.

Mark’s expression remained unchanged.

She said, “I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.”

She was no vampire. Voleta was so much more. Now, she would show him.

Sarah G said...

"I totally love vampires! They're so…"


“Hot! Like-“

I cranked the volume on my IPod, praying for NPR to tune out the preteens occupying the back of the bus.

Dumb springs eternal, as Shannon would say.

If only she were here. We’d roll our eyes and laugh, remembering our own silly obsessions.

“The Spice Girls?” she’d say. “Teen Beat? Don’t judge.”

She’d hold my hand, her touch assuring me what I’m doing isn’t evil. It can’t be death. It’s not even alive yet.

But Shannon doesn’t believe that. So Shannon doesn’t know.

For this appointment, I’m on my own.


Bwyatt said...

“Stupid dress,” I muttered to myself. I swear this dance will be the death of me. A rap on the dressing room door startled me, and Ian appeared an evil grin on his faced.
“Don’t grin like that,” I snapped. “Why can’t I wear jeans?”
“Because it’s a dance, Love. And I want to see you all dressed up.”
“Don’t call me Love. All this black makes me look like a vampire.” I said pointing to the pile of discarded dresses and turning to Ian. His eyes had started to glow at the sight of me in my state of undress, and I felt color flush my cheeks.
“Trust me Love, you don’t look like vampire.” His voice was rough as his hands circled my waist pulling me closer. I stared into his glowing blue eyes. He leaned into and whispered into my ear. “Not even the Eternal Ones are as beautiful as you.”
My breath caught. “What are you?” Barely a whisper.
“I’ll never tell.” And his lips covered mine.

jaybird said...

He called again last night, all desperate and needy. Emotions as alien to him, as they are to me. Allowing myself to fall in love with a ridiculous tool like Brooks T. Powell, III, was criminal.

I watched as he sauntered into the party late, dressed like a vampire. How completely predictable. I already know he's a harbinger of eternal death and all things evil, no costume necessary. As he glided over to Missy, wrapping her up in his faux cape and charm, I wondered how long it will take before my best friend figured it out?

Christina Mercer said...

"Kiss me again," I ordered.

His mouth came down on my neck like a hungry vampire. Oooh...ahhhh...my body responded. Then his lips turned sloppy and I pulled away.
"Now I'm drenched to death. Thanks a lot."

All the love in eyes drained away. "Whatever. You're impossible." He jumped out my bedroom window and climbed down the fire escape.

Call me evil, but I didn't care about his feelings. After watching my parents annihilate each other every night for years, I considered love a slow death. I planned to survive, even if it meant eternal ice-queen status.

Su Kopil said...

I pull my hand from my neck and stare at the blood.

“You bit me, you evil child. No more vampire shows for you. To bed!”

“No!” Edward’s scream could wake the dead.

“You’ll be the death of me, do you know that?”

He smiles and runs outside.

I drop back on the sofa, exhausted. I nod off and wake to a squeal of tires. My heart pumps. I race outside.

Edward cries. His ball is squashed.

Eternally grateful it’s not his head, I open my arms and my love wraps around him.

Michel Lee King said...

“Evil little demons! Vampires from Hell. Leave me alone!”

Amanda rolled across the ground clutching her stomach laughing meniaclly. “They’re just mosquitoes. What did you expect in the woods?”

She shot her sister a venomous glare. “Shut up. Camping sucks. We will catch our deaths out here.” Sophia stomped across their site heading for the bathroom flailing and cursing.

Amanda chuckled as she watched Sophia’s retreating back. “I love you!”

“I love you more!” she shot back with an aggrivated flail. The arm never came forward. A cougar claimed its shrieking owner, dragging her to a den of eternal savagery.

Nitish Raina said...
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Nitish Raina said...
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Nitish Raina said...

It was Halloween again.

My love for costumes made it impossible for me to stay indoors. That, and the eternal boredom that hounded me incessantly.

So there I was at a party, dressed as Robin Hood. My friend, a ‘Knight’ armored in tin cans, had accompanied me as well.

We spotted a guy who had comically powdered his face, AND was adorned in women’s clothing.

“What are you?”

“An ebil bampire.”

“Evil vampire, you mean?” I asked him incredulously.

“Yes,” he said, miffed. “A bampire that spreads death and plague.”

“And that,” I told my friend, “is a Mexican.”

Randi said...

I know what you think of me—all your books and shows about vampires. You fear me—the evil undead hiding in the darkness—but you thirst for me as much as I thirst for you. In your forbidden dreams, you want to be my prey. You want me to trail my fingers along your skin, to feel your pulse beneath my tongue, and you want me to choose love over death.

For one breath, I will play the man who merely craves companionship—an illusion to be shattered by eternal truth: I am, and will always be, the predator.

kbradley67 said...

On the park bench, the couple cuddles close, fingers entwined. They vow eternal love with the setting sun.

Famished, unseen enemies swarm the humans. The evil ones circle the lovers, inhale the succulent scent of warm blood. A fountain gurgles nearby. The sound hides their hum of excitement.

Unable to wait any longer, an impatient one plunge it's fang into the woman's luscious flesh.


"Die you little vampire!"

The humans did not hear the death scream made by the mosquito as it fell to the ground, thousands waiting to take its place.

G.M. said...

I have no short story to post, but enjoyed reading the short stories. I was surprised how quickly posters here can write a very short story using the required words .. and came out with nice stories. Best wishes to all.

Unknown said...
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Nitish Raina said...

Frank stared at the ceiling of the hospital.

His life had been like an evil dream of eternal struggle.

He had come to love many women. And he had lost them just as easily.

"Tomorrow will be better," he would tell himself each time.

He had attempted to finish his book for many years, spending so many sleepless nights that his friends would call him a vampire.

"Tomorrow will be better."

He had approached myriad publishers, and been rejected by each one.

"Tomorrow will be better."

And now, he lay on his death-bed.

"Will I ever see another tomorrow?"

Nitish Raina said...

A heavy, almost eternal silence blanketed the forest.

“I have no love for darkness,” muttered Trahl.

“Me neither,” said an apprehensive Rigor.

“Y-you men are evil!” shrieked the bound girl.

“Shut the bitch up,” hissed Trahl, and Rigor abruptly slapped her.

They had barely travelled another league when a flicker of motion caught his eye.

“What was-”

Trahl gasped, surprised to find blood escaping his throat as he fell.

A heavy thud beside him, and death claimed Rigor as well.

The girl remained unmoving as her savior untied her.

“Greetings, damsel,” said the Vampire, bowing. “Count Vyrius at your service.”

Unknown said...

“Jethro?” Billy Bob asked, tucked into bed. “Are there really vampires?”

“Yep,” Jethro answered. His little brother’s lips trembled. “Evil creatures, they love blood. They’re everywhere.” The eternal stench of manure clung to the humid summer air.

“I’m afraid,” Billy Bob cried.

“Shhh. I hear one. In this room.”

“Jeepers! No!” Billy Bob hunkered under the covers and began to pray. “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”

“Hold still,” Jethro ordered. “I’m going to kill it.” Using his hand, he smashed the mosquito against the headboard, turning it into gooey pulp.

Marsha Sigman said...

His white flesh glistened with sweat and his cold, pale eyes promised only death and destruction. It was then I finally understood the unspeakable evil of the words falling from his cracked lips.

“Ma, am? Did you hear me? We’re all out of orange soda.” The kid nervously adjusted his plastic nametag.

My hands gripped the faded counter, “Eternal damnation be yours, Messenger from Hell.”

“Not hell, ma’am. Just Taco Bell.”

Stomping out, I felt only slightly better for managing not to scream ‘Vampire!’, like I had last week in the local McDonalds. All for the love of orange soda.

DK Whisman said...

My grandmother once told me that love and death go together like eggs and grits. They are both inevitable combinations, only the latter is a lot easier to swallow.

She thinks love can’t last. Yesterday, she rolled right up to Jess and me and interrupted a very important conversation. She spat on the ground and, to my eternal embarrassment, said, “Love is evil and foolish! It sucks worse than a starved vampire with an under bite.”

Everyone stared at me, waiting for my reaction. But really, I was just surprised she even bothered to show up for the wedding.

Shanon said...

Love ambled along the beach, shuffling her bare feet in the sand, and thinking increasing evil thoughts about her sister, Hate.

Hate had placed a death kiss upon Greed’s lips, but Greed was supposed to save all of his kisses for Love. Love had shown eternal compassion towards Greed’s lame foot.

Now, Greed lay in his over-sized bed, agony twisting his handsome face. Life had drained from his body, feeding into Hate’s energy in her vampire embrace.

The sand slid between Love's toes. Somewhere, she lost Desire.

Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...

“We call ourselves vampires,” Shadow answered dryly. “Keeps authorities away. Except when a deluded Hunter raids my apartment in the middle of the night.”

Jared’s gaze dipped to the rope around his wrists, Shadow’s to the garlic wreath around his neck. “Nice touch.”

“Why?” Jared asked, still processing the fact that Shadow was a woman. He stopped trying to untie his hands.

“I have no love for this city, or the eternal lords you work for.”

Realization hit him. “You were behind the castle fires.”

“Death and I aren’t strangers. Does it make me evil, when your lords took everything?”

Unknown said...

“You want permission to haunt your brother?”

Lila shrugged. “Not like an eternal thing. Just for awhile.”

“And I would allow this, why?”

“My whole life he’s jumped out of every freaking shadow I passed. Once he convinced me my best friend was a vampire bent on making me her evil minion. I carried around a bottle of “blessed” Dr. Pepper for months.”

“So, you seek revenge?”

“No. I love the jackass. I want him to know I’m all right.” Lila paused. “Okay, yeah, and maybe a little revenge, too.”

Death laughed. “I’ll grant you a week.”

kmz said...
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kmz said...
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kmz said...
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kmz said...
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kmz said...

EDIT: I think this is a record number of edits.
Martha loved her name. She loved her wayward looks. She loved her castaway clothes.

Martha liked vampire romances well enough, but she preferred Dracula and Frankenstein and The Metamorphosis. Martha loved English almost as much as she loved math.

Martha loved to dance by herself in great big twirling circles. Martha was a little evil like that. She laughed at all possible deaths. Martha ambled outside at night; dared to tell teachers they didn’t teach; ran alongside highways and train tracks.

Martha once reached for me and gave me a smile. A bit of her eternal brilliance—

I detested her.

Aik said...

I hate my master, who has an evil heart that is void of love. He is worse than a blood-sucking Vampire. Every day, he would lock me up in a cage which only allows the tiniest movements.

A few years ago, he inserted a tube into my body and has never taken it out since. The endless, excruciating pain I feel in every inch of my body makes me wish God would put an end the inhumane torture I am forced to endure.

I long for eternal peace. If souls do reincarnate, I refuse to be reborn as a bear.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Tobi Summers said...

“So you’re like… a vampire now?”

“No! No. I’m just eternal. And dead.”

“Dead. Right. That pesky death thing.”

“There’s no need for sarcasm.”

“Of course not. I mean, everyday people are finding out that the woman they love has turned into an evil, undead, immortal bloodsucker.”

“I’m not a vampire! I don’t drink blood. I can be in sunlight. I’m not a monster.”

“...you didn’t say anything about not being evil.”

“Yes, well, I’ve never lied to you before. Why would I start now?”

Maria R said...

Her eyes shifted towards the black box vibrating on the table, with the words eternal etched in red.

The salesman standing over it, wore his human skin well, but when he smiled, rows of sharp black teeth filled his mouth, as if he had one too many vampire fangs.

She knew from the stench of death surrounding him, something evil stood before her, but at this point, she had nothing to lose. She closed her eyes and pictured Greg. “How much?”

“The memory of your first love.”

Eyes wide, she fell to her knees and wept, knowing her answer.

Anami said...
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Anami said...
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Anami said...

Death sent a bouquet of dried red poppies. Death courted her with white-as-diamond bones set in smooth marble gravestones. Then one day, unable to bear the evil distance any longer, Death left his ash castle. He was too fragile to exist anywhere but the eternal world--yet Death dared to venture out. He touched lightly, and balanced on, each ever-sinking life.

He would walk just once to where she lived, to see her with his own eyes.

Death cut a swath to where she waited, blood on her lips.

"Ah," said the Vampire. "Finally, you have found my love offerings."

Phantom of Hearts said...

She will not sleep tonight. The evil she has done will hold her in an eternal grasp. Like one in death, she will never be free. She said it was because of her love for him, yet I do not believe her face- so much like a vampire it scares me. I can see through her lies. She killed him- not to save him from his pain, just to see it would be fun. Soon she’ll say it was.

Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
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Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
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Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
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Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
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Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
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Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...

Breath freezes inside my hood, forming little crystals. So strange to wear this fraying garment where a crown used to be.

Mist fills my footsteps in, hides the frost-bitten city where I faked my death. You can ask me why I did this; perhaps some day I’ll tell you.

So strange to be returning.

Guards don’t recognize me; a vampire could wear this sleep-deprived face. Their spears cast evil shadows on it, but they don’t stop me.

I still have a face. See?

Frost crawls down my chest, cold enough to freeze love. Here cold is eternal, like the memory.

Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
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Abrielle Sarah Fuerst said...
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SheilaD said...

She throws open the door in anticipation.

“Trick or Treat!” The little vampire and ghost thrust their candy bags forward.

She tries to hide her disappointment while quickly filling the bags with candy. Her eyes look beyond the circle cast by the porch light, seeking for her love returning tonight from the evil, never-ending war.

Lights swing into the driveway. Her heart pounds as she rushes to the car.

Suddenly, she stops. A chill courses through her body. No! On all Hallows Eve, this night of Death, two men in uniform arrive, bringing news of eternal loneliness.

Susan Francino said...

Ronan felt the scream build in his chest. “Julia, wait!” he yelled, running to her side. “We don’t have to be tragic love—not this time.”

Coughing quietly, Julia lifted an empty vial out of her skirts. “Would our love be eternal if it wasn’t tragic?”

She collapsed against his chest.

Shit. How had he ever believed he could break the pattern? He felt like a vampire as he leaned down to kiss her limp face.

The death mask smiled. “It wasn’t poison,” she whispered.

“You are evil!” Ronan kissed her laughing lips. A happy ending—this time, at least.

Nikki Egerton said...

‘I Wanna be the Only One’ by Eternal was playing, completely at odds with Amy’s gothic themed bedroom and Death Cab for Cutie posters.

‘I love your tattoo,’ David said, eyeing the white snake that curled around her waist and disappeared below her waistband. His heart was racing. ‘I can’t believe I’m here. What are you going to do with me?’

Amy laughed. ‘What do you think? I’m not some evil vampire David. It’s not your blood I want.’ David closed his eyes and tried to relax, so he didn’t see Amy’s eyes flash green as she leant over him.