Friday, February 27, 2015
The Story Behind the Story
Hello, my name is Nadia Nader and my debut novel The Enchanted Rose is a paranormal story set in the fictional town of Misty Hills. The book starts with Vivian having to move to the mysterious town due to her mother’s sudden death. She’s distraught as she’s sent to the small town she’s never heard of to live with two aunts she didn’t know existed.
The seeds for The Enchanted Rose were planted during a family gathering several years ago. My parents and I were visiting our relatives. It was a small family gathering composed of my aunt, uncle, and two cousins. There was also a girl there, one that I had never met before. However my parents seemed to know her very well. They kept asking her detailed questions about her life. The more knowledge they showed about her life, the more curious I became about how they knew her. After we were done with lunch, I pulled aside my cousin and asked her who the girl was. With a surprised look at me, she replied, “My sister.”
I was shocked. How could I not have known of the existence of her sister? My world shifted slightly off its axis and rearranged itself. I began asking myself, “What else don’t I know?”
When telling my friends the story, we bounced ideas around asking each other what would be the strangest thing you could find out that would change the way you viewed your world. What event would have you questioning your life?
I knew then that I wanted to write a story about that and explore the emotional aspects of your whole life turning upside down and having to question every truth you’ve ever known. I liked the idea of Vivian having to return to a town her mother ran away from and discovering family secrets. Especially when those secrets turn out to be paranormal in nature.
Writing The Enchanted Rose was a wonderful experience and I am currently working on the second book in the series. Vivian has had an interesting start to life in Misty Hills but she has more secrets to uncover. Life is going to be a little rocky for her in the next couple of months but I know she can handle it!
The Enchanted Rose
Genre: YA Paranormal
Number of pages: 135
Word Count: Roughly 45,000
Cover Artist: Consuelo Parra
When Vivian’s mother dies in a tragic accident, Vivian’s world is turned upside down. Her life, as she knows it, is over. A new life, full of her mother’s secrets, begins…
Sent away by her father to live with two eccentric aunts on the mysterious Tremaine Estate, Vivian comes to learn that a powerful curse lurks over her family – one that only she may have the power to break. With each day she spends in Misty Hills, Vivian uncovers more unsettling discoveries about the town, her reclusive family, and herself.
Can Vivian let go of every truth she’s ever believed and discover who she really is, before the dark secrets hidden within the supernatural town threaten to consume her and those she loves?
Available at Amazon and Kobo
A couple of pots were bubbling atop the stove emitting delicious smells. My mouth watered, and I realized how long it had been since I'd had a home-cooked meal. My father and I had lived on ready-made meals since mother’s passing. I briefly wondered how my father would manage without me there to make sure he ate. I blinked back the tears that threatened to spill over.
“Have a seat at the table.” My aunt gestured to a cozy table along the wall. Two places had been set. With an efficient stride and swoop, she took a seat. “I’ve made beef stew with vegetables and rice.”
“It smells delicious.” Despite the lump in my throat and rock in my stomach, I salivated.
With a serving spoon, Aunt Agnes scooped rice onto my plate and added a healthy helping of stew alongside it. She did the same for her plate and then sat watching me as I raised a spoon to my mouth.
I took a bite and reveled in the taste. She smiled at my blissful reaction. The smile softened her face, making her appear kinder.
“This is amazing.”
“Thank you.” The smile disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared. Her face clouded over again. “We take turns cooking here. Beatrice actually made that. Of the three of us, she’s the better cook.”
“I can cook too, if you like. I used to cook for my parents sometimes. Mom taught me some family recipes.”
Aunt Agnes studied me for a few seconds. “That would be nice. It’s good to give Beatrice a break from time to time.”
We ate the rest of our meal in silence. The beef stew filled my stomach and warmth spread across my body. In the cozy atmosphere of the kitchen, with pots bubbling across the countertop, I almost felt content for the first time that week. Before I could enjoy it for too long, my aunt spoke.
“You won’t be expected to go to school tomorrow. I’ve told them that you’ll start on Friday, so no reason to go and mix them up.” She frowned at me. “I don’t normally encourage slothfulness, but I supposed you could take the day to recover from your travels. If you’d like, you can explore the grounds. You can also go down to town if you wish.”
I nodded gratefully.
“Is there anything you would like to ask me?” Aunt Agnes peered at me down her thin nose.
“Yes.” I hesitated, not sure it was the right time to ask. Then I decided to take the plunge and pose the question that had been bothering me since I'd found out I was being sent to live with them. “Why didn’t my mother ever mention she had sisters?”
If I hadn’t been intent on observing her reaction, I would have missed the fleeting expression of anger and grief that crossed her face. But I was watching closely.
That expression disappeared quickly, and she looked back at me in disapproval, her face becoming more pinched looking. Her lips thinned to a white line until they almost disappeared. The silence went on long enough for it to become awkward. Soon, all I could hear was the loud ticking of the grandfather clock.
When I thought I couldn’t bear the tension any longer, my aunt finally spoke. “Your mother never mentioned us because she was desperate to break free. Mentioning us would have made her escape futile.” She looked at me with an intensity that made me lightheaded. “As it is, you are back with us, so she never managed to truly escape.”
About the Author:
Nadia Nader lives in Kuwait with her family.
You can contact Nadia on her blog http://www.nadianader.com
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Hi there. My name is Thomas Briar and I write erotic romance stories. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to stop by and visit with me. I really appreciate it.
To date, I've garnered eleven publishing contracts with three different publishers and have published seven books. And I'm certain that doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment to most people, but to me, it's almost unbelievable. You see, in the beginning I didn't have any contacts in the publishing industry, no credentials of any note, and almost no hope of ever getting in. That's the honest truth.
However, despite the obstacles standing in my way, I refused to give up. And it boggles my mind at how times have changed for me over the last few years. Perhaps my writing has improved some also? Ahem…okay, I'll reluctantly admit that I know it has.
But then, that should be one of the goals in writing books, isn't it? For me it is. I want to keep getting better and better at this amazing job.
Anyway, my reason for actually being here today is not to babble about myself until the end of this post. Instead, I'm supposed to be trying to intrigue you into wanting to read one of my books. So let's get started in earnest, shall we?
Back on August 26, 2014, I published my sixth book, an M/F contemporary erotic romance short story of almost five thousand words titled A Lost Love Returns. It's about a young woman reconnecting with the former love of her life. You see, three years ago Jake abandoned Clarissa without giving any explanation. As the backstory goes, he'd received a mysterious phone call in the middle of the night, got really agitated before leaving their apartment, and didn't ever come back. Even worse, Jake never once contacted Clarissa to tell her where he went, what he was doing, or if he was alive and well. Now he's brazenly returned to their favorite sidewalk café in Key West, Florida.
Off the top of my head, that sounds like an unforgivable kind of offense. But, of course, in slanting the information I've provided thus far I've conveniently left out the part about how he abandoned Clarissa to protect her and how he's come back to keep a promise he'd once made to her. Now, your next thoughts are probably, 'Protect her from what?' and 'What did he promise her?'
Well, I really wish I could tell you in this post. But I just can't do it in good conscience. I mean, intrigue is the point of my being here isn't it? I'm pretty sure I stated a few paragraphs ago that it is.
So, if I've managed to pique your curiosity in A Lost Love Returns, then I encourage you to read the back cover blurb and excerpt or simply click on one of the buy links for more information. Also, if you feel inclined, please check out my website to peruse all the books I've published and to find out about the upcoming books I have releasing in 2015.
Thanks again for stopping by and visiting with me!
A Lost Love Returns
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: MuseItHOT Publishing
Date of Publication: August 28, 2014
Number of pages: 22
Word Count: 4793 words
Cover Artist: Celairen
Book Trailer: None
Three years after her boyfriend's mysterious disappearance, Clarissa has finally recovered enough to move on with her life. She's graduated from college, found a good job, and is engaged to someone else now. She is happy once again.
So why has Jake, her long lost first love, suddenly turned back up in Key West, Florida at their favorite sidewalk café? Where had he been and what had he been doing during his absence?
But most important of all, what could he possibly want from her after all this time?
Available at Amazon
Clarissa looked up from her espresso to suffer a shock of disbelief. She blinked several times, thinking her eyes must be deceiving her. It couldn't be him. It just couldn't be.
Yet, there he sat three tables away from her—the lost love of her life—having returned to Key West and their favorite sidewalk café from…? She honestly couldn’t say because she didn't know where he'd disappeared to or the reason behind his sudden abandonment of her three years ago.
She trembled in the warm morning air as a plethora of emotions assaulted her beleaguered mind in quick succession: anxiety, intrigue, longing, regret, anguish, love, sorrow, and finally…indignation.
With every passing second that she resisted the tremendous urge to get up from her seat and walk over to make her presence known, the more equilibrium she regained. She could not, would not, go to him. At twenty-five years of age, with more life experience than most women her age, she knew all about the virtues of having patience.
To help sustain her resolve, she looked up at the clear blue sky, the other patrons enjoying their morning coffee, a lone car coming down the street, the group of retirees huffing along the sidewalk for exercise, everywhere except at him.
When she couldn't take the suspense any longer, her gaze returned to her former lover. He remained sitting there all alone, head tilted down as he texted on his cellphone. He looked pretty much the same as she remembered.
In fact, he still parted his dark, wavy hair on the left side, although it was now cut short. He was very tan and his clean shaven, angular face still matched his lean muscular body perfectly. The board shorts, T-shirt, and sneakers he wore lent an impression of youthful vitality. Yeah, his early thirties looked really good on him.
In comparison, she hadn't changed much either, although she now colored her curly blond hair a soft light brown. She'd also grown it out to mid-way her back but still kept it cut around her oval face. She thought this hairdo best suited her voluptuous, hourglass figure. And the pants suit with heels she wore today fit her better than the tank tops, cut-off shorts, and flip-flops ever had.
As she continued staring at him and obsessing over his reappearance, she couldn’t help remembering how safe she'd felt within his strong embrace…how lucky she'd believed she had been at finally having met a man to share her whole heart with…how well their bodies had fit together…and lastly, of how much soul-connecting lovemaking they'd indulged in. What had gone so wrong for him to abandon her without an explanation? And why had he suddenly turned up again?
Under her patient gaze, it became inevitable that he would eventually look up and see her. The moment it happened, his blue eyes widened, his face went slack, and then he mouthed her name in silent recognition. She only stared back at his stunned expression, trying her best to hide her own inner turmoil.
He promptly got up and came over. In a deeply masculine voice, he said, "Hello, Clarissa. I was hoping I'd run into you here. May I sit with you?"
She stared up into his pale blue eyes, melting a little on inside. But still, she somehow held onto enough of her composure to say, "I don't know, Jake. You'll probably disappear on me if I turn my back for a second. So maybe you shouldn't."
"I have a very good explanation for my disappearance." He pulled out the patio chair across from her and sat without permission.
"Men always do, don't they?" She'd looked across the street at an elderly couple walking along holding hands. An old scar burst open inside her heart. She'd once envisioned Jake and her growing old together.
"I went away because—"
"Don't care to hear it." She cut him off, wanting to hurt him like he'd hurt her. She kept looking at the old couple while absently twisting her coffee cup around and around. "Besides, I'm getting along just fine without you. In fact, have you heard the news? I'm getting married in three weeks."
"Yeah, I read about it in the paper a few weeks ago."
"So you get the paper delivered to wherever you've been." She smiled at the old woman giggling at something the old man had said. Underneath the terrible pain searing her heart, she added, "And I saw you with a cellphone. You were texting, I believe. So you're obvious up to date with the modern technology of our times."
"I read the local paper online. And yes, I have a cellphone. I get it—you think I should have already contacted you."
"Yes, I do."
"I always thought I'd get back to you and Key West sooner."
"Oh yeah?" She shrugged her shoulders, keeping her gaze on the old couple. "I thought that too, right up until I decided you were either dead, or wasn't ever coming back."
"I almost did die, several times," he stated. Then, in exasperation, "Won't you at least look at me? I can explain what happened."
"Why should I let you? As I remember it, you received a mysterious phone call in the middle of the night, and then you got really agitated before leaving without a word of explanation."
"Not your turn to talk, Jake!" Clarissa cut him off again, still refusing to look at him. "I think it's time we play a little game of who-knows-what. I'll start it off. You can jump in whenever I ask a question."
About the Author:
Edgy and provocative in his writings, Thomas Briar strives to exalt the virtues of love and lust in every erotic story he creates. To date, he's garnered eleven publishing contracts with three different publishers and has seven published books in the marketplace.
When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, spending time with his wife, taking long walks, and people watching. Yeah, he's always wondering what makes people do the things they do. He knows it's usually something hidden in plain sight. He just has to figure out what it is, much like the motivations of the characters in his stories.
Amazon Author Page
Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
Thanks so much for having me stop by to chat. It’s my pleasure to share some details of my writing life as well as my latest releases. I’m Kate Deveaux and I write toe-curling romance. Most often my books are categorized as contemporary erotic romance.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
I have two recent releases, PLATINUM PLEASURES and BRIDE UNDONE. Both are unconventional romances that challenge the boundaries of both love and passion. I’m very excited to share news with you of my upcoming release, due out July 3rd. A VIXEN IN VENICE. Not only is it set in one my most favorite places on earth, Venice, but also it’s a red-hot romance about an art thief on the run with the heroine’s heart. Art, intrigue and passion comingle to make this Vixen take the ultimate risk.
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
I don’t write per se about actual events or people, but more a combination of events, places and personalities mixed with pure fiction.
Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?
Often the themes in my books are about trust and letting go. Trust is a key element in any characters development, whether in erotic romance or not. Trusting themselves, knowing themselves, that is what makes a character evolve and in turn able to trust others. Also, I often love for my characters to do things uncharacteristic, push the envelope so to speak. That makes for riveting storyline and in the case of erotic romance, a very racy read.
When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?
I play tennis and I love — and I mean love — to cook and entertain. As well, arm chair traveling is my guilty pleasure, dreaming of all the places I’d love to visit and putting them on my travel “to do” list.
Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?
I’d love to be able to write a good thriller. I admire the authors that craft spine tingling thrillers that are original in their plot lines.
Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?
I think I am always going to be a romance writer, and a hot romance writer at that. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of writing about the dynamics of relationships and the endless ways those stories can be told.
What is in your to read pile?
Anything by Opal Carew, Jasmine Haynes, Tracy Garvis-Graves, Meagn Hart, Lily Harlem and Lucy Felthouse and many, many others J
Thanks so much for having me as your guest.
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Date of Publication: June 1, 2014
Number of pages: 100
Word Count: 25,815
One night…one fantasy for hire…one sizzling case of mistaken identity.
Ainsley Simmons can hardly believe she’s ordered a fantasy lover online — a man to fulfill her deepest sexual desires for the entire evening. She’s in for a surprise when sexy young Mr. R shows up at her door in a classic case of mistaken identity.
Ainsley has the night of her life being pleasured by the much younger and demanding multi-millionaire — until she discovers he’s not her fantasy lover after all.
He’s even better than that.
“I worked up an appetite,” Mr R said after he’d polished off the wide array of canapés she had set out for them. She’d watched with amusement as he’d devoured everything. Even the extra frozen flatbread pizza she’d pulled out and quickly microwaved when he’d cleaned his plate. Now he was on to the caviar. He must have been starving after fucking her like she longed to be fucked.
It was so much fun being someone else, the mysterious Mrs M, having anonymous sex while knowing her lover was there just for her enjoyment. For her sheer ecstasy. And what a turn on when he’d tied her legs together with his tie. Things she’d never dreamed of doing with any of the men she’d dated, and certainly not Charles. Hiring this man to fulfil her fantasies had allowed her to reach new, orgasmic heights. Ones she’d merely imagined were possible before tonight. Ones her girlfriends had bragged about, but she’d only ever offered a polite nod, not wanting to reveal that she’d never reached the mind and body experience they seemed to deem a regular occurrence.
Thank goodness for Tara and that business card. This was a whole new world for her with this Mr R. And she sure hoped there was more where that came from, as long as her credit card held out. She was a beginner, but so willing to learn at the hands of this young hottie who made her body melt with just a stroke of his fingers—or his impressive cock.
Looking at the clock, she saw it was past midnight. Probably the cut off time for how late her Mr R was supposed to stay, but there was no way she was going to say boo about him leaving. Besides, he seemed to be genuinely enjoying himself, even if he were paid to do this. No one could fake that kind of ardour, could they?
He caught her gaze as he noted the time on the clock, but he didn’t say anything as she passed him the caviar, nested in a bowl of crushed ice. It was his second serving. She was surprised he even liked the caviar, men his age seldom did. Not that she had much experience with younger men, and not that she wouldn’t like to—especially if they were all as surprising, demanding and capable in the sack as this one. But then of course, she knew he must have acquired these refined tastes in his line of work. Pleasuring rich older women. Maybe even younger women—there was no age barrier on wealth, was there?
Not that she was wealthy any more, Charles had seen to that. Her saving grace was her home, the penthouse her mother had left her, the one she hoped to save from Charles’ clutches. Hopefully she could count on her experience in the commercial interior design world to land her a job, and fast. But all those worries could wait, if just for one night. Tonight she was just Mrs M...wild, wanton and savouring what were possibly her last few thousand dollars on her dream Valentine.
Straightening her posture, she sipped her champagne and sat slightly angled across from him on the settee. No point in him seeing her little stomach roll that refused to go away and looked worse when she was seated. She leaned towards him, a trick she’d learned from Tara for making the body appear thinner and the neck firmer. She swore it took years off.
“Aren’t you hungry?” her delectable playmate inquired. He grinned and handed her a toast point piled with caviar, along with the egg and onion condiments he had carefully adorned on it.
“Famished,” she said, playing the game, opening her mouth wide.
He moved towards her and popped the morsel into her waiting mouth. “You have a beautiful mouth.” His thumb lingered on her bottom lip for a moment as he ran his other hand suggestively along her thigh. His touch thrilled her through the thin silk of her robe. “I’d like to see just what you can do with it.”
Delighted by his attentions and feeling the intoxication of both Mr R and the bottle of champagne they’d just polished off, she teased his thumb on her bottom lip. With the tip of her tongue, she flicked at it suggestively, watching his eyes turn hungry as he pushed his thumb between her lips.
Looked like he wasn’t going home anytime soon.
About the Author:
Kate Deveaux is a contemporary, erotic romance writer and die-hard romantic. It was after reading Jane Eyre in high school, that she became hooked on the idea of writing about romance, excitement and drama. Kate has been penning stories, from the sensual to the sinfully sexy, ever since!
A former wedding planner, Kate has always been "in love" with love! She was inspired to transition from writing racy short stories to full length manuscripts after meeting other authors in the romance world at industry workshops, conferences and events. Originally from England, now resides in the U.S. with her husband.
When she’s not writing or reading, Kate can be found on the tennis court—yes, there’s even "love" in that game too!
Author website: http://www.katedeveaux.com
Join the Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1561963064047158/
The Curse Servant
The Dark Choir
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: February 26, 2015
ISBN (eBook): 9781620078228
ISBN (Paperback): 9781620078235
ISBN (Hardcover): 9781620078242
ISBN (Smashwords): 9781620078259
Number of pages: 346
Word Count: 99,400
Cover Artist: Conzpiracy Digital Arts
The one person standing between Hell… and an innocent girl… is a man without a soul.
A regular life isn’t in the cards for Dorian Lake, but with his charm-crafting business invigorated, and the prospect of a serious relationship within his grasp, life is closer to normal than Dorian could ever expect. In the heat of the Baltimore mayoral campaign, Dorian has managed to balance his arrangements with Deputy Mayor Julian Bright with his search to find his lost soul. Dorian soon learns of a Netherworker, the head of a dangerous West Coast cabal, who might be able to find and return his soul. The price? Just one curse.
Sounds easy… but nothing ever is for Dorian. A dark presence arrives in the city, hell-bent on finding Dorian’s soul first. Innocents are caught in the crossfire, and Dorian finds it harder to keep his commitments to Bright. When the fight gets personal, and the entity hits too close to home, Dorian must rely on those he trusts the least to save the ones he loves. As he tests the limits of his hermetic skills to defeat this new enemy, will Dorian lose his one chance to avoid damnation?
Available at Amazon
I knew this wasn't going to be the typical meeting with Julian Bright when, instead of the usual political organ-grinders at the campaign headquarters, I found a soccer mom duct taped to a chair, foaming at the mouth. Her grunting and growling echoed off the bare sheetrock walls of Julian's office, vacant except for the three of us.
I peeked through the blinds covering the locked storefront to make sure none of volunteers were back from the morning rounds. Satisfied we were alone, I turned to Julian.
He waved his arm at the woman in a lazy circle. "So, this is why I called."
"Who is she?"
"Her name is Amy Mancuso. You know her?"
I shook my head.
"She's a volunteer. Her team was working Cold Spring by Loyola when she started swearing and spitting at the residents. By the time her team captain called me, she'd kicked someone's dog. Terrier, I think. Or one of those purse dogs."
I winced. "Remind me not to hand out yard signs for you. Jesus."
"It's not like we do background checks on volunteers. I figured she probably missed some meds or something."
"But you called me instead of the paramedics."
"Why?" I asked as I took a step toward her.
Amy's grunting halted as she straightened in her chair. Her head swiveled slowly in my direction, and her eyes sent the creeping chills up my neck.
With a nerve-rattling tone she growled, "Is that Dorian Lake I smell?"
I'd never enjoyed the sound of my own name less.
Julian turned a shoulder to me and whispered, "That's why."
I slowly approached Amy, pulling my pendulum from my jacket pocket in a slow, non-threatening motion. Last thing I needed at that moment was to send a crazy person into a panic. I assumed she was crazy. My pendulum would determine whether she was unnaturally energized or the usual cat-shaving flavor of lunatic.
Her eyes were dilated; her mouth twisted into the most unsettling smile one could imagine on the face of an otherwise average woman.
"Have we met?"
"Poor little Dorian lost his soul."
Okay, this was probably a legitimate problem.
I dangled the pendulum in front of Amy. The little nugget of copper spun from the end of its chain in a perfectly Newtonian fashion. Nothing pulled it contrary to the laws of Nature. I couldn't even feel a tug on the chain.
She continued, "Lost his soul, he lost his soul. Dropped it down a rabbit hole."
"I suppose you think you're being clever?"
"Is he doomed or is he dead? Will he damn your soul instead?"
This conversation had lost all of its charm.
"Who am I talking to?"
She sucked in a huge gulp of air and craned her neck at a painful angle toward the ceiling. A sick squealing noise leaked from her lips as her arms trembled. When she finally released her breath and sank back down into her chair, she simply chuckled.
"We're going to find it, you know. And when we do, we're going to eat it."
I leaned in as close as I dared and whispered, "If you think I'm afraid of you, then you need to know something. I'm not impressed."
"It won't be long now."
"Did someone send you, or is this just a courtesy call?"
She smirked. "We're going to enjoy this."
I was knitting together a clever response when a loud rip of tape crackled through the room. Her hand slammed up underneath my jaw, fingers clamping around my throat. My head filled with blood, and I tried to cough through the gag reflex. The harder I beat on her hand to let go, the wider that creepy smile got.
About the Author:
J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author ... primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed.
A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.
In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a certified beer judge.
Web page: www.jp-sloan.com
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
To introduce you to my book, Infected: Prey, I thought I’d interview my main character, Roan McKichan. Although sometimes his attitude leaves something to be desired.
Andrea: Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Roan: Well, I’m Roan McKichan, ex-cop, and I work as a private detective. I like books, dark haired men, and old Simpsons episodes. Turn offs include long walks on the beach, ranch dressing, and people who use the word “bro” way more than is ever necessary.
Andrea: I think you’re getting sidetracked. So, you’re not a cop anymore, but you still work for the police, yes?
Roan: In an advisory role.
Andrea: Come on. You know I'm going to ask questions until you tell me everything.
Roan: *sighs* Fine. Because I’m infected, I’m their main guy in infected cases. I help the cat squad wrangle loose cats.
Andrea: Can you explain the cat virus to those who don’t know what it is?
Roan: There exist a blood born pathogen that can cause people who are infected with it to morph into big cats in the high point of the viral cycle. It sounds cool, but it is far from it. It’s really painful, it carves about fifty years off your life span, and if you have a kid born with the virus, it will be too damaged and mutated to live for long.
Andrea: Except you.
Roan: I was the one in a million non-mutation. One in a billion? Either way, I won the crappiest lottery imaginable.
Andrea: There are different strains, right?
Roan: Right. Cougar, panther, lion, leopard, tiger. Tiger is the rarest, because fifty percent of the people infected with it die during the first change. If you do survive it, you will die sooner than every other strain. Tiger burns you out fast.
Roan: I don’t know. Because it’s the biggest cat? No idea. All we have are guesses for all of it.
Andrea: But you do have an unusually beneficial side-effect from your infection, don’t you?
Roan: Are you talking about my sense of smell? Oh yeah, that’s a great benefit. I’m the first legal human bloodhound. It’s fantastic smelling every single bit of sweat and chemical on every person in the vicinity. Do you know how bad most people smell? Perfumes and colognes make it worse. Some of them might as well be pepper spray, that’s how bad they are. And don’t even ask me how it is to pass a public toilet.
Andrea: I can imagine.
Roan: No, you really can’t.
Andrea: Fair enough. You work with your partner, Paris Lehane. What can you tell me about him?
Roan: He’s my guy Friday, which I must call him, because he told me if I ever called him a secretary he’d rip my heart out of my chest and put it through the shedder. He’s also the sexiest man alive, and could charm the pants off a statue. It’s possible he has. He’s also a tiger strain.
Andrea; Oh. Um …
Roan: Yeah, I know.
Andrea: You’re not a tiger strain?
Roan: No, I’m a lion. No jokes, please.
Andrea: What jokes?
Roan: If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.
Andrea: Did you think I was going to make some joke about the two of you having cat fights, or –
Roan: Yeah, okay, we’re done.
In spite of that, I hope you’ll think about giving my book a try. Roan grows on you, really.
Genre: Gay mystery/urban fantasy
Publisher: DSP Publications
Number of pages: 376
Word Count: 152,000
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.
Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.
Available at DSP Publications Amazon
HE was on his third beer of the evening when he thought he heard a noise in the backyard.
Hank DeSilvo scowled and looked out the window over the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes. He could see nothing but darkness, and maybe a bit of reflected light from the television. This was probably a bad time to remember the back porch light had blown out two days ago, and he’d forgotten to replace it.
Not that it mattered. The only light currently in the house was coming from the television, and as long as he ignored it, he developed enough night vision to make out a shape moving in the back garden. Or was it the wind moving a shrub? Kind of hard to say.
He slammed his can down with an annoyed grunt. It was probably the Hindles’ stupid ass dog again, shitting all over the place and tearing through his garbage. He hated that fucking thing, some ugly Rottweiler mix they insisted was a “friendly” dog, and yet it always had a look in its flat, black eyes that was just this side of rabid. They never leashed the damn thing either, and apparently his yard destruction was “cute.” He was just about out of this fucking place and that damn thing had to make a final appearance. And it was final all right; he was going to make damn sure of that.
He went back to the living room, glancing at the game as he walked past—it was a fucking damn boring game anyway—and got his shotgun from the cabinet. It was illegal as all hell, a sawed-off thirty ought six with the barrels cut so short you could have stowed it under a jacket, but the barrels had been filed down expertly; it wasn’t just the rough work of a desperate amateur but the sign of a pro. Which was why, when they’d searched the drug mule’s truck and he’d found it wedged under the front seat, he hid it in his trunk and didn’t report finding it. It wouldn’t have added that much to the mule’s sentence; he already had enough rock in his glove compartment to put him away for the rest of his pointless life, especially if it was his “third strike” (and it was, no surprise there), and he doubted the guy was so stupid that he’d actually ask why he wasn’t charged with owning an illegally modified weapon. Yeah, he was dumb; you had to be dumb if you were speeding and had a few thousand in rock in the car, as well as being obviously stoned yourself. But asking after that was a special kind of stupid, the kind only politicians and people on reality television ever seemed to crest.
He cracked open the gun and made sure he had some shells loaded in it before snapping it shut again with a sharp flick of his wrist. Man that felt good. This was a real man’s weapon, made him feel a foot taller and made of pure muscle, and he knew why that meth fuckhead was carrying it around with him. A weapon like this was a real god-killer; it made you feel invincible.
It was pure overkill, of course. The Hindles’ dog was fairly big, and yet one shot from this gun would rip it in half clean down the middle, as well as make a boom loud enough to set off every car alarm on the block. But what the fuck did he care? He was an ex-cop; he’d say the dog charged him, and on his property he could shoot the fucking thing if he wanted. He’d swap out the sawed-off for his Remington before they arrived. Ballistics wouldn’t match, but by the time they proved that, he’d be long gone. Good-bye, shit-hole city; hello, tropical paradise. It was just a shame that it took him this long to collect.
He stood at the back door for a moment, cradling the shotgun gently, and let his eyes get adjusted to the dark before going out onto the concrete patio. He had a mini Maglite with him with a red lens over the bulb, so if there was something he needed to see he could twist it on without losing his night vision. Not that he needed to make a direct hit; even if he just winged the dog, he’d probably rip half its face off, maybe a leg.
First step off the patio his foot squelched in something; it felt too liquid to be shit, but the smell that hit him was meaty, redolent of shit and offal and God knew what else. Had that fucking dog already strewn his garbage about? Goddamn it.
Holding the shotgun in one arm, he turned on the flashlight and looked down at what he’d stepped in.
At first it looked like a puddle, which didn’t make sense since it hadn’t rained in a week, and the thought that it was dog piss was dismissed since it was dark, and dog piss wasn’t usually black. Or was that red-black? Swinging the light outwards, he saw greasy, ropey strands that couldn’t have come from his garbage can, and then a big hunk of raw, bloody meat like a lamb shank… only it was too long and thin to be a shank, too dark, and ended in a paw.
It was a Rottweiler leg.
Someone—something—had dismembered the Hindles’ psychotic dog and spread about a third of it all over his backyard. He saw the leg, which was the biggest piece, an assortment of internal organs, loops of intestines laid out like fallen party streamers, and lots of blood. But where was the other two thirds of the dog?
The hair stood up on the back of his neck, and he knew he had to get the fuck inside now. But as he turned, shotgun at the ready and braced against his hip, he saw the flash of white teeth in the dim moonlight, and his brain sent out the impulse to pull the trigger.
He didn’t have time to wonder why it never happened as the teeth ripped open his throat.
About the Author:
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you - framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Andreaspeedwriter