Excerpt Sweet -
It was nearly midnight when Celia stepped out back.  Beside the bar was the server’s window to the kitchen.  Before the window, a short hallway led to the kitchen and Bobby’s office.   
Celia pushed through the swinging door and entered the kitchen.  She wasn’t at all surprised to find it empty.  Food service ended at eleven, which meant ten forty-five in the minds of the chefs.  They usually checked out at eleven-fifteen, eleven twenty-five at the latest. 
She crossed to the walk-in fridge for a bottle of water.  She stood there, taking a long gulp while enjoying the cold washing over her. 
She was making a semi-disgusted face at a pile of chicken wing packets when a crash on the other side of the door made her jump.  She peeked outside, assuming she would be helping one of the bar backs clean up spilled beer. 
The kitchen was small.  There were only four chefs and they didn’t need that much space.  Three men struggled beside the silver table that served as a prep station in the center of the room.  A rack was suspended from the ceiling above it, laden with silver pots and pans that quivered from the action below.
The men were grunting and panting.  A blonde one with a denim jacket and black pants was holding a short man with dark hair and black clothes across the chest.  The short man kicked the third one, who had fiery red hair and freckles and couldn’t have been more than twenty-years-old.  He hit the floor hard and kept sliding.  Celia was mystified.  The short man didn’t look that strong.
When he broke free of the blonde’s grasp, there was a cracking sound.  The blonde yelped and held his forearm to his stomach.  The short man punched him in the face.  He fell against the table.  Blood dripped from his nose like a leaky faucet.
Celia’s jaw dropped.  Vampire, she immediately thought.
The short man stood over him, looking triumphant.  “Nice try,” he said, being entirely too damn cocky for his own good.  Even from her distance, she saw his fangs were out.  He turned but the red head was quick.  He ran into him with a grunt then jumped aside in case he attacked.  A large, wooden stick was lodged in the vampire’s chest.
He looked down, surprised.  Blood spurted out around the stake, staining the table and floor and the red head’s boots.  A burning smell suddenly filled the space.  The scent was so strong, Celia thought she would gag, but she couldn’t look away.  The exposed skin of the vampire’s arms and face and neck turned black, like he was being charred by a fast moving, invisible flame.  He looked to the ceiling, his mouth opened to emit one final scream.  The sound never formed.  The man crumbled into a pile of black dust or ash or something that tarnished the white floor.
Celia jumped back into the fridge and placed a hand on her chest.  It felt like her heart was trying to shoot out and run from the room.  While she waited for her pulse to settle, she realized something about the two humans.  They looked so familiar yet, try as she might, she could not place them. 
After a moment, she leaned her ear toward the door.  She heard movement but couldn’t tell what they were doing.
Her curiosity was winning out over caution.  She pushed the door open slightly.  The two men were crouched on the floor, one with a broom and dustpan, the other with a handful of cloth napkins. 
“What’s that, two tonight?” the blonde asked with a shake of his head.  “They’re growing.”
They tossed the ashes into a black trash bag, along with the vampire’s clothes and the stained napkins.
The blonde snatched up a napkin to wipe his face.  He held his left hand to his chest, which must’ve been the cause of that snapping sound.  They then headed out the door that led to the alleyway behind the lounge, their sneakers sounding heavy and official on the floor. 
Celia stepped out of the fridge gingerly.  She was shivering now and not just from the cold.  She walked over to the side of the table where the fight had taken place.  Only traces of the black ash remained.  It could have been spilled pepper if you didn’t look too closely. 
Stooping down, she touched the smudges.  She jerked her hand away with a gasp.  The ash was hot.  She wiped the soot on her pants.
Footsteps sounded behind her.  She glanced over her shoulder.  Carson looked harassed. 
“Celia!” he sighed.  “There you are.  Bobby’s furious.”
“Okay, okay.  I’m coming.”

About Sweet:

Witnessing a brutal murder at work is only the beginning of Celia’s problems.  The fact that the victim is a vampire only proves to complicate her life even more.  The vampires of New England have always had an undetected existence among humans but with the unprovoked death of one of their own, the lust for revenge has begun.

Celia’s concerns are magnified once a hunter from Dallas arrives in town.  With Jay’s sexy smile and rugged ways, Celia finds herself wanting to spend time with him despite being mysteriously linked to the nest that is threatening to become extinct if Jay gets his way.

When four bodies are found drained of blood, Jay teams up with a local bunch to take out all the undead, which coincidentally, includes her boyfriend, Victor.  Celia won’t stand to see anything happen to Victor… but refuses to see Jay hurt either.  Confusion, lust, rage and violence intertwine as worlds collide. Celia will soon discover that her neat little existence is not what it seems as her cryptic past and present start to unravel.

About the Author Wilkerson's very first "publication" was a story about a man and his unicorns.  It was a chapter book, about seven pages long.  Her teacher laminated the story and displayed it in the elementary school's library.
Later, Uzuri would go on to write poems, short stories, and, eventually, novels.  She started her vampire series in 2009, the first volume about a turf war in Boston between vampires and hunters.  She signed on with Aziza Publishing and has continued work on her series.  She loves movies, reading, and discovering new cheeses.
Now Available in the Boston area at Brookline Booksmith (science fiction section) in Coolidge Corner, Harvest Co-op Market in Jamaica Plain, Wellesley Books in Wellesley, and very soon to Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury!

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