Tuesday, September 29, 2009





Chapter One

The night sky over Tulsa was alight with a magical crescent moon. Its
brilliance made the ice that coated the city, and the Benedictine Abbey
where we’d just had our showdown with a fallen immortal and a
rogue High Priestess, shimmer so that everything around me seemed
touched by our Goddess. I looked at the moonlight-bathed circle
that stood in front of Mary’s Grotto, the place of power where not
long ago Spirit, Blood, Earth, Humanity, and Night had been personified
and then had joined to triumph over hatred and darkness.
The carved image of Mary, surrounded by stone roses and nestled
within a ledge high in the grotto, appeared to be a beacon for the silver
light. I stared at the statue. Mary’s expression was serene; her ice covered
cheeks glistened as if she wept in quiet joy.

My gaze lifted to the sky. Thank you. I sent a silent prayer up to the
beautiful crescent that symbolized my Goddess, Nyx. We’re alive.
Kalona and Neferet are gone.

“Thank you,” I whispered to the moon.

Listen within . . .

The words swept through me, subtle and sweet like leaves touched
by a summer breeze, brushing my consciousness so lightly that my
waking mind barely registered them, yet Nyx’s whispered command
imprinted itself into my soul.

I was vaguely aware that there were a lot of people (well, nuns,
fledglings, and a few vampyres) around me. I could hear the mixture
of shouting, talking, crying, and even laughing that filled the night,
but it all felt distant. At that moment the only things that were real to
me were the moon above and the scar that sliced from one shoulder
all the way across my chest to the other shoulder. It tingled in response
to my silent prayer, but it wasn’t a tingle of pain. Not really. It
was a familiar warm, prickling sensation that assured me Nyx had,
once again, Marked me as hers. I knew if I peeked under the neck of
my shirt I would find a new tattoo decorating that long, angrylooking
scar with an exotic filigree of sapphire—a sign that proved I
was following my Goddess’s path.

“Erik and Heath, find Stevie Rae, Johnny B, and Dallas—then
check the perimeter of the abbey to be certain all the Raven Mockers
fled with Kalona and Neferet!” Darius shouted the command, snapping
me out of my warm, fuzzy prayer mode, and once I’d been
shocked out, it was like an iPod had been cranked too high as sound
and confusion flooded my senses.

“But Heath’s a human. A Raven Mocker could kill him in a second.”
The words burst from my mouth before I could clamp it shut,
proving beyond all doubt that being moonstruck wasn’t my only
moronic skill.

Predictably, Heath puffed up like a cat-smacked toad.

“Zo, I’m not a damn pussy!”

Erik, looking very tall and full-grown, kick-your-butt vampyre-like,
snorted sarcastically and then said, “No, you’re a damn human.
Wait, that does make you a pussy!”

“So, we defeat the big baddies and inside five minutes Erik and
Heath are banging their chests at each other. How totally predictable,”
Aphrodite said with her patented sarcastic sneer as she joined
Darius, but her expression completely changed when she turned her
attention to the Son of Erebus Warrior. “Hey there, Hotness. You doing

“You need not worry about me,” Darius said. His eyes met hers,
and they practically telegraphed the chemistry between them, but
instead of going to her like he usually would and doing some very
gross kissing, he remained focused on Stark.

Aphrodite’s gaze went from Darius to Stark. “Okay, eew. Your
chest is totally crispy crittered.”

James Stark was standing between Darius and Erik. Okay, well,
standing wasn’t exactly what he was doing. Stark was swaying and
looking extremely unsteady.

Ignoring Aphrodite, Erik spoke up. “Darius, you should probably
get Stark inside. I’ll coordinate the reconnoitering with Stevie Rae
and make sure everything runs smoothly out here.” His words seemed
okay, but his tone was all I’m-the-big-guy-in-charge, and when he followed
up with a condescending “I’ll even let Heath help out,” he really
sounded like a pompous butt.

“You’ll let me help out?” Heath snapped. “Your mom will let me
help out.”

“Hey, which one of them is supposed to be your boyfriend?” Stark
asked me. Even in the terrible shape he was in, he caught my glance
with his. His voice was scratchy, and he sounded scarily weak, but
his eyes sparkled with humor.

“I am!” Heath and Erik said together.

“Oh, for crap’s sake, Zoey, they’re both idiots!” Aphrodite said.

Stark started to chuckle, which turned to a cough, which changed
again to a painful gasp. His eyes rolled back and, like a slinky, he collapsed.

Moving with the quickness that came naturally to a Son of Erebus
Warrior, Darius caught Stark before he hit the ground. “I need to get
him inside,” Darius said.

I felt like my head was going to explode. Sagging in Darius’s arms,
Stark looked well on his way to being dead. “I-I don’t even know
where the infirmary is,” I stuttered.

“Not a problem. I’ll get a penguin to show us,” Aphrodite said.
“Hey, you, nun!” she yelled at one of the nearby black-and-white–clad
sisters who had scurried out of the abbey after the night had gone from
battle chaos to aftermath chaos.

Darius hurried after the nun, with Aphrodite following him. The
warrior glanced over his shoulder at me. “Aren’t you coming with us,

“As soon as I can.” Before I could deal with Erik and Heath, from
behind me a familiar twang saved the day.

“Go on with Darius and Aphrodite, Z. I’ll take care of Dumb and
Dumber and be sure there’s no booger monsters left out here.”

“Stevie Rae, you are the Best Friend of All Best Friends.” I turned
and hugged her quickly, loving how reassuringly solid and normal
she felt. Actually, she seemed so normal that I got a weird twinge
when she stepped back and grinned at me and I saw, as if for the first
time, the scarlet tattoos that spread out from the filled-in crescent in
the middle of her forehead and down either side of her face. A sliver
of unease threaded through me.

Misunderstanding my hesitation, she said, “Don’t worry about these
two dorks. I’m gettin’ used to jerking them apart.” When I just stood
there staring at her, the bright smile she’d been wearing dimmed.
“Hey, you know your grandma’s okay, right? Kramisha got her back
inside right after Kalona was banished and Sister Mary Angela just
told me she was goin’ inside to check on her.”

“Yeah, I remember Kramisha helping her into the wheelchair. I’m
just . . .” My voice trailed off. I was just what? How could I put into
words that I was haunted by a feeling that everything wasn’t right
with my best friend and the group of kids she’d allied herself with,
and how do I say that to my best friend?

“You’re just tired and worried ’bout a bunch of stuff ,” Stevie Rae
said softly.

Was that understanding I saw flicker through her eyes? Or was it
something else, something darker?

“I get it, Z, and I’ll take care of things out here. You just be sure
Stark’s okay.” She hugged me again, and then gave me a little push in
the direction of the abbey.

“'Kay. Thanks,” I said lamely, starting toward the abbey and totally
ignoring the two dorks who were standing there staring at me.

Stevie Rae called after me, “Hey, remind Darius or someone to
keep an eye on the time. It’s only about an hour until sunrise, and
you know me and all the red fledglings gotta be inside out of the sun
by then.”

“Yeah, no problem. I’ll remember,” I said.

The problem was it was getting harder and harder for me to forget
Stevie Rae wasn’t what she used to be.


mean mom productions said...

Okay...now i definitely have to devour the rest of the series to get caught up to the tempted book.

Thanks for posting this..

xamandax said...

I'm so excited! I cant wait for Tempted! I read each of your books in a day! I couldn't put them down! They are by far my favorite series!

melissa10191 said...

lol love it already! cant wait for oct.27

Anonymous said...

im sooo excited for this book :)

iTessie said...

I love your books :)The're awesome, haha but I'm too lazy to read it in English, so I read them in Swedish, but still good :) <3

Ashley said...

I'm so excited! I can't wait for it to come out!

mbrewster said...

AWESOME! Thank you so much for the preview! I am sooooooo beyond excited for the new book!

Iserr said...

It was so juicy! I really cannot wait for Tempted to come out. You two do such great work, and I simply love your series!

RyRy said...

Hey PC!! Cant wait till the new book comes out. Took me a while to find your series but read them all in the last few weeks and now have alot of other people on them as well. Keep it up! Would love to see them made into a movie. Do you accept people sending you books to sign? Suppose it would cost me alot of money to get them over to you from Aussie though! :)

Manda'N@ said...

I really look forward to your next book! Now that you've teased us, I can't stand the wait! :)

RosyCheeks said...

OMG! I love the House of Night Series! They're amazing. I can't freaking wait till 'Tempted' comes out. Have the date on my calender :))Thanks for the first chapter.

Erin said...

I would like more, that was a tid bit. Now I can't wait for the main dish. :D 28 days to go and it is also my birthday on that day. I can't wait.


A_Lafont_Lurver said...

'“Not a problem. I’ll get a penguin to show us,” Aphrodite said.
“Hey, you, nun!” she yelled at one of the nearby black-and-white–clad
sisters who had scurried out of the abbey after the night had gone from
battle chaos to aftermath chaos.'

I've read that book already but that is my favorite line. I love aphrodite.

Meagan Elizabeth Hightower said...

This is epic win. I can't wait to read more of it when it comes out.

ronald said...

i just love the series!!!please post the seconde chapter!!!
stark is so cool!!

Unknown said...

wow this book wil be amazing. i cannot waot to read the whole thing. im reading teh goddess summoning series right now, and ive already read teh divine books. they were great! im soo excite! ^-^

Unknown said...

heeey pc.
when is tempted coming out in australia.
it says the 10.10.09
but someone said its still ages away.
i hope its only 10 days away.
i cannnt wait any longer.

oh and how many books are going to be in the series?

Sarah Redbird said...

I have recently started reading these (only read 1-3) and i am hooked! Ordered 4 & 5 and went to pre order 6 as i had read on here release date is 27th Oct 09 so not too long but its saying release date has been moved to 27th Oct 2010! Any idea if this is just a mistake or if not then how come its been moved back a year? :( thats a very long wait going to drive me crazy lol!

PC Cast said...

Hi Sarah,
Where did you see the release date of 2010? That's absolutely incorrect. TEMPTED will be out October 27th of this year in the US, and October 29th of this year in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore. I'm not 100% sure of release dates for other countries.

Jana Oliver said...

Fantastic Fiction lists the paperback release as Oct 2010. That might be the confusion.

Sarah Redbird said...

on play.com, link - http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/10333752/Tempted-House-of-Night-Book-6/Product.html

note where it actually says "This title will now be published in 2010"

PC Cast said...

Sarah, like Jana said in the prior post - these places are talking about the paperback edition. It will be out one year after the hardback release of TEMPTED. So the book is still out this month, but it's out in hardback.

Sarah Redbird said...

ahh thats okay then :D don't have to wait a year! Have pre-ordered it ready :) Thanks for your help and keep up the amazing work!!

Heather said...

I'm trying to resist the temptation to read this! It's very difficult. We'll see if I crack before the book is released.

Scoobster said...

lol, i like it. Awesome PC! cant wait till it comes out..umm when is it coming out it says November 9 on the back of Marked! Noo! i cant wait that much! So is it on october or november?
BTW, it's already funny, i like what Aphrodite says "I'll get a penguin to show us" :) I love it..take care now.

LiloF said...

Hi, P.C? I was just wondering, if you're not too busy, well, it was my friend's birthday last week and me and her LOVE your books so much. It would mean so much to her if you sent her an e-mail, you can send it to me and i'll give it to her, my e-mail's lilyisavampire@hotmail.co.uk, her name's Lina. Thanks again, xxxx

PC Cast said...

LiloF - my personal assistant is forwarding a birthday note to you from me for your friend.

Sunnie - in the states TEMPTED will be released on Oct 27th. In the UK it will be out Oct 29th. Don't know anything about Nov 7th.

HungryVampire said...

I cannot read your first chapter! I am so excited for your book to come out, I want to read it fresh when it arrives.

This is my first time to your blog. I just wanted you to know how desperate I am to read your next book... I was in the bookstore yesterday looking for another novel that just published mere weeks ago... the first place I went was to the shelves that house all your House of Night Novels. I spent perhaps ten minutes searching for your next book, at which point I realized yours doesn't arrive for 3 more weeks.


Anyway, I feel as if I am some squeeeing teenager with all my author's books coming due soon! I have a rather long list of authors that I read, two of which are you and Kristen.

Thank you

PC Cast said...

HungryVamp - you might want to check out the first book in my other YA series, ELPHAME'S CHOICE. It's out right now, and there are vampires in it - though it more straight fantasy than urban fantasy. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the series... this is really off subject but P.C I was wondering how you felt about animal testing I'm doing a school project and all... so I thought one way to relate to them would be to get someone known to them opion

BrittanyChel'e said...

AH! I need to know what on earth is up with Stevie Ray! It is driving me crazy, it's obvious something is going on with that girl. I shouldn't have read this chapter because now Tempted is all I am going to think about!!

I am still so ecstatic about meeting you and Kristin at Border's in Tulsa on November 7th.

I have a friend who is turning 32 this week, and she told me she was wanting to read the Twilight Saga. I am soooo not letting her. I bought her Marked today, and I think she will be pleasantly surprised when she opens it up on her birthday! She is also a fellow Tulsan, and once she reads it, I am sure she will spread the word on how amazing you two are!

Good Luck, and I hope you two are enjoying your pre-tour time.

niks said...

PC you are the BEST!!!
All the characters are so strong, realistic! Reading your series was like reliving all the adventures described along with Zoy and her friends! (though I am 25! not so young comparing to the heroes)))
I have read THe whole series in 3 days...eh.. days and nights actually))
Now I understand Napoleon`s words that a human needs only 4 hours sleep! All the other time I was reading!

Cant wait for Tempted
... and BURNED!!!
Because it is like an agony to part with the beloved House of Night characters!!!

THANK YOU for creating them!
p/c/ I think Stark is way more cool than Erik!))))
Haha)) LOVE this guy!

EllenWasHere said...

Omigod Omigod Omigod!!!!!!!

Couldn't bring myself to read the 1st chapter.

I'm confused what's the Uk release date for Tempted????

Ellen, HoN megafan

PC Cast said...

Lilly - I'm for humane animal testing. I'd rather have a bunny die than my daughter. But I don't advocate needless animal cruelty.

Ellen - TEMPTED will be released Oct 29th in hardback in the UK.

niks said...

Oh! Cant believe I have forgotten to thank you for posting the 1 chapter in advance! Because what bothered me THE MOST in the end of Hunted was how Stark would react to Erik and Heath))
I like this guy dearly and would hate to see him suffer. It`s a relief he has a nice sense of humour!!)))) Just like Heath!
Dont get me wrong,I like Erik too, and of cause it is pleasant that Zoy is loved by this hot and talented guy...but Hey! there must be smth wrong with him taking to consideration that Zoy feels passion for anyone (Heath, Loren, Kalona, Stark) but him))))
Haha) She even contemplated with the idea of dumping him for being so jealous and possessive.. Though she is perfectly fine with kissing Stark and Heath!)))))
Gee, THAT is SOME intrigue I tell you! Hope you won`t kill anyone in the end just to get rid of this triangle like some authors do.. Like in - hey, there`s no ideas left I don`t know what to do with these compiting characters and have to end the Series somhow. So, lets kill this one and the Heroine will have her HEA with THIS one (not because she CHOSE to stay with him) but because, well, he was the only one left.
Eww, that`s lame.

I seriously HAVE no idea how you are going to end this confused situation but I hope everyone will stay alive!)))
WEll, Heath shall die anyway in some..50-70 years from natural causes right? So-
SPARE Stark PLEASE!!! Love this Guy!))))))))
With Respect and Love , Maria (aka Niks) from Russia, St-Petersburg

TripleThreat123 said...

REALLY!?!?! Omg why do you have to torture us like that! I love this series! I am waiting for them to make a movie or SOMETHING out of this like they did with twilight. I think this would definitely do better than that did. Yes it is true I was obsessed with Twilight, but once I started reading Marked, I got caught in the drama and was totally intrigued. I even talk about the books with my friends all the time. We are soo excited for Tempted to come out!
Ok what are you trying to do with the love triangle or better yet the love square!?!?! I adore all of those guys! I also agree with niks that you can't let any of them die! That would be such a shame. Annnddd, can you let Erik come out of this "Im so hot and Zoey is MY girl" attitude? because he's better than that. We've also got to find out soon about what is going on with Stevie Ray because this is killing me!
I've got a countdown and everything on my computer waiting for it to come out!!!

TripleThreat123 said...

Hahah you know what would be an interesting twist to it?? If Heath became a vampire. I actually think him and Zoey work and could be for each other. Just a thought!
- TripleThreat123 :)

niks said...

Me again!))))
Hmm))) Seems like this site is my favorite for now)) I am still being obsessed with HON, I can`t concentrate on anything else! Keep thinking about the Series and all that happened with the characters and guess what might come next and whom Zoey should stay (I mean, HEY! Sure with Stark! He and Heath at least LOVE her undemanding, unlike some certain drama-lover)
So I would like to ask WHERE is the blog with fans-forums located??? I `ve been studying this site for hours (until my husband kicked my butt from the PC, `cause it`s LAATE and I am still here blissfuly watching PC and Kris`s funny interview and going through the other posts)but could n`t find it. I would like to hear what American fans think of the probable outcome (pff. that`s predictable - Zoey shall be the Highest Priestess and defeat Kalona..BUT her boys!!!))) Here we must relay on PC and Kris... Oh my!
Speaking of questions - now I see that we, fans, keep asking almost the same questions in every section and PC actually takes her time and Patience! to answer them!!
Thank you so much for it!!!
But it sure must take a lot of your time, right???
So, screw us then, and concentrate on ZOEY!!! In fact, write faster!))) LOL, no offense here, aaahhha I just SOO want to know what will happen in the End!!

P.S. - The phrase "Dumb and the Dumber" really got me! I was laughing so hard that my 4-year old daughter asked - what is it, mummy?

Thanks for sharing your brilliant stories with us! Their light, humour and kindness give us so much!

Keep writing, fans from Russia LOOOVE you!!!

DarkLadyVampireMistress said...

Hello Ms. Cast,

I love your series. I have all five books (paperback and hardcover!). I cannot wait for Tempted. The first chapter made me laugh when Erik and Heath are acting so dumb. Sigh. Boys...when will they ever learn. I wish you good luck on your trip. Bye!

Mistress and Lover of all Vampires

PC Cast said...

Nikes - if you go through the US HoN site, www.houseofnightseries.com, you should find a link to the US fan forum. I think they're linked to my facebook and myspace, too.

Faiza said...

Hi P.C I absolutley love your series my friend recommended Marked to me and I have finished the first 4 in the first week of the holidays.

By the way on the cover of Tempted who is on it??????

Erik and Zoey??????
Stark and Zoey?????
Heath and Zoey??????

Sophie x said...

Oh my goodness, I have finally found 1 person like me who thinks Heath should become a vampire and be with Zoey FOR LIFE!


Zoey should do what Aphrodite did and become a human and be with Heath FOR LIFE!


Erik should die for Zoey
For example: Kalona comes back to kill Zoey or make her is girl friend again and Erik saves her but dies :(in

Unknown said...

Hi there just wanted to let you know that i think your books are amazing!!!!! i read twilight and thought it was an okay book and then a read this series after watching you on rachel ray and fell in love with the series!!!!!!! can't wait for the rest of the series!! i already got 10 of my friends reading it, i love how it is not the normal sterotype of a vampire saga it makes it so much more enjoyable not being able to tell what comes next, anything can happen in this book unlike twilight, any of the fledlings could reject the change at any moment but not just any one can become a fledling by being bit. just a comment i don't think heath should turn into a vamp cause it is obvious that either eric or stark should be Zoey's mate and if he stays in the picture Heath should be her consort.

niks said...

Haha, guys, you are so bloodthirsty!!)))
Though I am sure that Erik IS selfish and loves to be in control and in the center of attention (meaning - he`s not very good for Zoey, with her constant rescue-the-world or likewise missions)I don`t want him dead! But again, it`s war, anything`s possible...
My guess is that actually, PC can easily rewrite his character and develop him in such a way in the future books that we all shall love him dearly!))))))
Honestly, people, who WAS impressed with Heath in the beginning of Marked? I never gave him a second thought - a common drunker and tin god) - but was glad he served a good decoration for the first real Erik-and-Zoey encounter and conversation. But what PC managed to do with him!
Now I love this loyal and (surprise, surprise!) WISE guy he`d turned into.
Though he can`t become a vamp as you suggest cause he wasn`t Marked by a tracker.

Here I have a question again.
If ALL of the Fledglings who seemed to die have turned into the red-tattooed ones does it mean that they never FAILED the Change actually, just undergo the different one? Or was it the First case in the history, (and the others - in other schools - Have died) smth only Neferet knew about? (I guess it was Kalona who taught her?)

Ms Cast I have found the forum, thank you! It`s here to be precise http://houseofnight.niceboard.net/hunted-f24/

Unknown said...

I looove ur series my friends keep asking me when tempted is going to come out plaese keep on writing these wonderfull books!!!!!

Unknown said...

heey pc.
i was wondering when tempting was going to be released in australia,
becuase i thought it was meant to be the 10th of october but i cant find your book anywhere i was at the shops first thing so i could buy a copy.

and im doing a project on greek mythology and we had to do two gods, and i chose nyx and erebus,
becuase im like inlove with your series
so i was wondering if you had any useful information about them.
if you do that would be great.

PC Cast said...

Shongiii - As far as I know TEMPTED will be out in Australia on Oct 29th. And regarding research for your school project - as an ex high school teacher I can say with authority YOU NEED TO DO THAT YOURSELF. Good luck. Oh, and use spell check, punctuation, and correct capitalization - especially on homework papers.

Unknown said...

hey pc.
aha yes you are definatley right.
we havent even gotten the assingment yet, but i LOVE greek mythology and automatically knew who you were refering to as Nyx when i read your books. Im almost finish my project on Myx already which i only started last night, but i love learning about greek mythology so i did it for like 6 hours, and ive almost finished it about Erebus (:

i was wondering whether you have heard about this passage before.

"There also stands the gloomy house of Night;
ghastly clouds shroud it in darkness.
Before it Atlas stands erect and on his head
and unwearying arms firmly supports the broad sky,
where Night and Day cross a bronze threshold
and then come close and great each other."

and thanks for telling me the date (:


PC Cast said...

Shongii - regarding Hesiod's poem to Nyx: I quote it inside the front cover of MARKED.

Unknown said...

hey pc.
ohh, i thought i saw it somewhere in one of your books i just couldnt remember where,

jenniferlynango said...

Okay.. for sure I'm buying this book. But, I have a question; Pc, are all of your books going to be hardcover from now on?

PC Cast said...

Hi Jenny - yes, for the initial release they'll all be hardback (the first 4 are now available in hardback now, too). They'll be out in paperback the year after release.

jenniferlynango said...

Oh, I live in Canada and i was also wondering, is TEMPTED coming to canada on October 27th as well?

PC Cast said...

Jenny - I would think so, but check with your local bookstore to be sure.

danielle said...

hi pc and kristin i know that you two are asked this question all the time but i need to know the truth lol from you two are the house of night books going to be made into movies and if so when? approximate date please send the answer to my email daniellehenry_13@yahoo.com thank you looking forward to hearing from you

PC Cast said...

I have a blog post in my archives devoted entirely to movie questions. Go there for your answers.

Unknown said...

Yay, it. Can't wait till I have Tempted. Hope the Waterstones in Holland get's it soon

Unknown said...

i FINALLY got tempted
took me ages to get, as they sold out super quick
but im almost finished it
annnnnnd im innnn love,
i cannot wait for Burned,
and im going to hibernate until it comes out C:
i loveeee your series, and they are definatley my favourite series
even over vampire academy, AND twilight, which dont seem so big anymore since ive read your books,

Unknown said...

Hey P.C.!

I'm a huge fan of your books! Even though Tempted is out I won't get to read it until December. My birthday's then and I'll get it then but I'm excited to know what happens next. I hope nothing happens to Stevie Rae! She's my favorite charracter and I'd have to say that it's easy to relate to her. I have the funny accent and crazy friends. I even have curly blonde hair!

How many books will there be in the series? I've heard nine and I was wondering when more titles will come out.

Thanks from a fan,

Makayla Ann Kessel