Tuesday, February 27, 2018

INTERVIEW WITH LANA PECHERCZYK (Soul Thing)


 
 
It's always fun when we have an author in the house. Today Lana Pecherczyk stopped by to talk about a few SUPERNATURAL things:
 
 
SC:.Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
LP: Roo is a girl who’s got the powers of the dreaded enemy (witches). She has to keep these powers secret because she might get burned at the stake. She’s not sure where her own abilities come from, but when a devilishly handsome hunter comes to town with disaster in his wake, Roo learns there are darker things that go bump in the night, and she might be one of them. Roo would rather run from her responsibilities and live a normal life. She’s a little quirky, facetious and has trouble making her own decisions, but when her loved ones are at risk, she’ll do anything to protect them
SC:.Somedays I wish I had powers. Most days, actually. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
LP Absolutely! In fact, I’d say my scary paranormal experiences are what inspired me to make witches so evil in my story Soul Thing. I’ve had a few of those moments when you wake up in the middle of the night, can’t move, see the curtains blowing from the open window and feel a sinister presence in the room. Once I had a friend’s grandmother’s ghost yelling at me for not getting out of bed to help her sick granddaughter. I thought it was a dream, but woke in the morning and found out that my friend had indeed been sick, and the ghost I described looked exactly like her grandmother who I’d never seen!
SC: That's cool, in a bad sort of way, sort of. A moment of inspiration, I'm sure. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
LP:I’ve got the next 3 books in the Game of Gods series coming out by May this year. The next book is titled The Devil Inside, then there’s Playing God and the final in the series is called Game Over.
Thanks so much for having me!
All the best,
Lana Pecherczyk.
Don’t forget I have a giveaway at http://lanapecherczyk.com/giveaways/soulthing/ plus I’m giving bloggers free ARC of Soul Thing at https://www.instafreebie.com/free/lQdpz
SC: We won't! Thanks again for stopping by. Drop in anytime.

 
Soul Thing
The Game of Gods
Book One
Lana Pecherczyk

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Prism Press

Date of Publication: 20th February 2018

ASIN: B079FM8BF3

Number of pages: 379
Word Count: 101,989

Cover Artist: Lana Pecherczyk

Tagline: Evolution is the Game, Witches are the Glitch

Book Description:

After a decade long war, witches have been obliterated, or so the world thinks. A precarious peace settles and, for the small town of Margaret River, life returns to normal, but for Roo, the hard work is just beginning.

Roo works at the local bar, is a little facetious and can’t wait to high-tail it out of there to keep her powers secret. She’s not certain where they came from but the last thing she wants is to be burned at the stake. Hiding in plain sight seems to work until Cash, a darkly handsome hunter, arrives with disaster in his wake. Witches aren’t defeated, only hidden, and there’s one gunning for Roo and her family. The recent war only touched the surface of the preternatural world and with Cash’s help, Roo learns there are worse things that go bump in the night... and she might be one of them.

Soon she must make a choice—risk exposure to save her loved ones, or remain hidden and safe. But sometimes safe isn’t an option. Sometimes safe is a never-ending game.



Excerpt # 1 (1126 Words) from Chapter 1

Sooner or later I had to stop feeling guilty about killing my mother. I had no memory of it, and I was a baby when it happened. As if I could control it. It was time I started thinking of myself.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, I thought as I curled my fingers into fists and punched the air. Now or never. I rounded the corner to the kitchen and planted my feet squarely in front of Aunt Lucy. “I’m moving out,” I blurted.
Aunt Lucy turned, eyes blinking. She wore colorless clothing to match her gray hair, and never used makeup. The only inspiring thing about her appearance was her glass bauble necklace. She pulled her arms out of the sudsy sink and tapped her gloved fingers on the porcelain bowl. The action sent baubles clinking and a tiny waft of lavender perfume floating my way. Deliberately, slowly, she removed her second skin, one finger at a time and then dabbed her hands with a tea towel. Despite her careful charade, thoughts collided behind her steely gaze.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said through gritted teeth.
I took a step back and darted a glance at my sister, Leila, as she sat at the grand table reading the newspaper. The ghost of a smile danced across her delicate features but she covered it with a sip of coffee, then turned the page, pointing to an article in an evasive gesture. “Oh, look at this one,” she said.
Ignoring her, I held up my key. “I’m not being ridiculous. Kitty’s leasing her apartment and I can move as soon as my probation is over. I’m half packed.”
Leila spat coffee everywhere and then grimaced at her accident. She slammed her mug down. “Now, look what you’ve made me do. I wish I had a normal sister.”
I snatched a towel from the rack and mopped up her mess. “Yeah, well I wish my sister didn’t hate my guts for something I can’t control—”
“Uh, uh. We’re not going there.” Aunt Lucy cut me off, raised a finger, and then turned her back on me to help Leila dry her precious clippings. “What did you find today, sweet-heart?”
My jaw dropped. I’d given her monumental news, and she’d turned her back on me.
“Look at this one.” Leila tapped an article. “The Church is recalling their latest safeguard against witch possession. Apparently, there was a faulty part in the device or something. It would be nice for them to get one invention right, don’t you think? And this one, see?” She held up another clipping. “The DNA test used to identify maleficent victims isn’t accurate because there haven’t been enough cases of possession over the last four years to benchmark—you know, since the Purge.”
“Tsk, tsk, such a shame.” Aunt Lucy rubbed Leila’s shoulder affectionately. “Never mind, sweet, it could be a good thing. Only a few possessions in four years isn’t bad. But just in case, we’ll continue to go to church like they told us. It’s worked so far, right? We’ve never seen a witch in town.”
Leila hummed in agreement.
I scowled at them. A woman moving out of home was not to be taken lightly. Witches attacked females—it had something to do with our higher estrogen levels—but like Leila said, since they’d burned half the female population in the Purge, there were few cases of possession. The world had relaxed and being a woman wasn’t so bad anymore.
I waved the key in the air. “Um hello? Did you hear what I said? I’m moving out.”
“You stubborn girl.” Aunt Lucy shook her head at me. “You’ll be labeled a whore, just like your friend. I should never let you have that job at that devil’s playground. It’s caused nothing but problems.” She pulled off her headband and threw it on the counter, releasing her gray hair from its captivity.
Did she just call Kitty a whore? Hang on—did she called me a whore?
“After all, I’ve done for you,” she continued. “I housed you when your father abandoned you, I put up with your criminal ways, I even let you get a job when there’s so much to do here at the vineyard. You’re going to throw it all in my face and leave a week before the food festival.” The tenacity of her words caused a coughing fit, she wheezed and spluttered into a quickly grasped tissue. The sour stench of smoker’s breath hit me moments before her pungent lavender perfume. I flinched and tried not to screw up my face. The bad-girl smoker habit was such a contrast to her drab, gray attire. Seriously, brush your teeth.
With shaky hands, she reached for a glass of water and took a sip. Aunt Lucy ran her boutique vineyard estate with an iron fist, but quit smoking? Impossible. She downed the water in gulps and held up a finger indicating the conversation wasn’t over. When she finished, she busied herself with drying the dishes. The muscles in her shoulders and neck grew rigid as she mulled over her next words. Finally, she picked up a spoon, and waved it at me. “That sin-bin you work at is just a lawsuit waiting to happen.” She opened the cutlery drawer and slammed the spoon in place. “I can’t believe it was allowed to open in the first place.”
Leila snorted in sympathy.
In an effort not to roll my eyes, I stared at the sparkling black and white checked floor. There she goes again, spouting her devil nonsense.
“The Cauldron,” I said, “is not a ‘sin-bin’ or a ‘devil’s playground.’ It’s a legitimate establishment where people can enjoy a drink or a meal, and learn about the history of witches.”
Leila laughed. “You can’t be serious, Roo. It’s a mockery; they poke fun at the myth, not teach the reality.” Her last words came through a clenched jaw and she shuddered.
It was true. The Cauldron was a clich├ęd, witch-themed bar. It resembled something from Halloween, and served cocktails like ‘The Holy Grail’ and ‘Brew to Forget.’ Taxidermy crows peered down at you as you ate, but it was harmless fun. And I felt at home there.

I shrugged. “If it makes people feel safe and confident they have one up on witches, who cares? I get paid, and all I have to do is serve drinks and look pretty with this thing hanging around my neck.” I flicked my slick UV-liquid filled probation collar. It made me special. “I’m accepted for who I am. Besides, it’s coming off in a few weeks and I’ll be free to do what I want. Everyone with opinions can bite me.”

About the Author:

Lana Pecherczyk is a freckle-faced writer from Perth, Western Australia. She’s a fan of 'pro-caffeinating' and writes in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Basically if it’s got sexy heroes, thrilling action and a kick-ass heroine, you know she’ll write it because she loves reading it.

When she’s not writing the next great novel, or wrangling the rug rats, or rescuing GI Joe from the jaws of her Kelpie, she fights evil by moonlight, wins love by daylight and never runs from a real fight.

You can find her books on Amazon and other good online retailers.






NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/dgd0pb

Enter Giveaway Here



INTERVIEW WITH SHARON ASHWOOD (Enchanter Redeemed)


Where I live, in Vancouver BC, we got hit last week with a day of snow. Which to most people is not a lot, but it's enough to shut our city down because we normally only deal with rain. A good chance to sit back, kick the feet up and do some reading. Or talking. Author Sharon Ashwood dropped by today to answer our three fave questions:

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
SA: Merlin is, yes, that Merlin. He’s the enchanter of King Arthur’s court in Camelot, which has come back to life in present day Washington State. Merlin is a warrior and a teacher and he’s searching for a solution to a terrible incident from his past. In the war against demonkind, he unleashed a battle spell that stripped the faery race of their souls. Besides the crushing guilt, the whole thing raised some questions about who he really is. Now everyone is out to get him—demons, fae, and other things that go bump in the night. Oh, and he has a demon ex-lover who is back on the scene and extremely annoyed. Merlin is having a very, very bad day.

SC: There are enemies and then there are paranormal enemies. Am I wrong? Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
SA: I’ve had some pretty odd experiences.  Once I was in the car with a friend at night and we’d just driven from an old hotel that has a history of ghosts. We both had a creepy feeling that there was something/someone in the back seat. When we finally admitted this to each other, a white blur flashed through the air between us. We thought it was a hand, maybe. It’s hard to say but whatever it was we both saw it at the same instant.

SC: Ah yes, the phantom  hitchhiker. Thanks for sharing that. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
SA:I’ve got a lot on the go right now, including a new ghost story for the next Corsair’s Cove novella collection. I’m also re-releasing my Dark Forgotten novels and getting ready for a new addition to the series this fall.

SC: Thanks for dropping by. Let's take a look at your novel now.


Enchanter Redeemed
Camelot Reborn
Book Four
Sharon Ashwood

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne

Date of Publication: February 1/6 2018

ISBN: 978-1335629487
ASIN: B073P5TL7J

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 80,000

Cover Artist: Brandon Allen

Tagline:  Ancient magic and new passion…

Book Description:

In the last battle for Camelot, Merlin had to make a terrible choice. Now he must pay the price. When a demon from his past reappears, she wants nothing more than to destroy the wizard. Now to reap her vengeance as a lover scorned, the demon occupies the body of Clary—the apprentice who is capturing his heart—and has the innocent behaving in uncharacteristic ways. Ways that push the forbidden desire Clary and Merlin share into heated play…


Harlequin       Amazon       BN      Kobo       iBooks



Other Books in the Series

Book 1 - Enchanted Warrior (RITA nominee)
Book 2 – Enchanted Guardian
Book 3 – Royal Enchantment

Excerpt:

Clary jolted awake. Power surged through her body, painful and suffocating. Her spine arched into it—or maybe away from it, she wasn’t sure. Merlin had one hand on her side and the other on her chest, using his magic like a defibrillator. The sensation hammered her from the inside while every hair on her body stood straight up. When he released her, she sagged in relief. A drifting sensation took over, as if she were a feather in an updraft.
Merlin’s fingers went to her neck, checking for a pulse. His hands were hot from working spells, the touch firm yet gentle. In her weakened state, Clary shivered slightly, wanting to bare her throat in surrender. She was a sucker for dark, broody masculinity and he projected it like a beacon. All the same, Clary sucked in a breath before he got any big ideas about mouth-to-mouth. If Merlin was going to kiss her, she wanted wine and soft music, not blood and the dirty workshop floor.
Another bolt of power, more pain, another pulse check. Clary managed a moan, and she heard the sharp intake of Merlin’s breath. His hand withdrew from her pulse point as she forced her eyes open. He was staring down at her with his peculiar amber eyes, dark brows furrowed in concern. She was used to him prickly, arrogant or sarcastic, but not this. She’d never seen that oddly vulnerable expression before—but it quickly fled as their gazes met.
“You’re alive.” He said it like a fact, any softness gone.
“Yup.” Clary pushed herself up on her elbows. She hurt all over. “What was that?”
“A demon.”
“I got that much.” Clary held up her arm, peering through the rents in her jacket where the demon’s claws had slashed. Merlin’s zap of power had stopped the bleeding, but the deep scratches were red, puffy and hurt like blazes.
“Demon claws are toxic.”
“Got that, too.”
“I can put a salve on the wound, but you’d be smart to have Tamsin look at it,” Merlin said. “Your sister is a better healer than I am.”
“She’s better than anybody.” Clary said it with the automatic loyalty of a little sister, but it was true. “She’s got a better bedside manner, too.”
Merlin raised a brow, his natural arrogance back in place. “Just be glad you’re alive.”
She studied Merlin, acutely aware of how much magic he’d used to shut the demon down. He looked like a man in his early thirties, but there was no telling how old he actually was. He was lean-faced with permanent stubble and dark hair that curled at his collar. At first glance, he looked like a radical arts professor or dot-com squillionaire contemplating his next disruptive innovation. It took a second look to notice the muscular physique hidden by the comfortable clothes. Merlin had a way of sliding under most radars, but Clary never underestimated the power he could pluck out of thin air. She was witch born, a member of the Shadowring Coven, but he was light years beyond their strongest warlocks.
That strength was like catnip to her—although she’d never, ever admit that out loud. “What were you doing?” she demanded, struggling the rest of the way to a sitting position.
“I was watching the demons through a scrying portal when you interrupted me.” His tone was precise and growing colder with every syllable. Now that the crisis was over, he was getting angry.
“The she-demon tried to kill me.” Clary’s insides hollowed as the words sank home. Dear goddess, she did kill me! And Merlin had brought her back before a second had passed—but it had happened. Her witch’s senses had felt it happen. The realization left her light-headed.
“She doesn’t get to have you,” he said in a low voice.
Their gazes locked, and something twisted in Clary’s chest. She’d been hurt on Merlin’s watch, and he was furious. No, what she saw in his eyes was more than icy anger. It was a heated, primal possessiveness that came from a far different Merlin than she knew. Clary’s breath stopped. Surely she was misreading the situation. Death and zapping had scrambled her thoughts.
“I shouldn’t have walked in on you.”
“No, you shouldn’t have,” he said in a voice filled with the same mix of ice and fire. “You’d be a better student of magic if you paid attention. You asked me to teach you proper magic and not the baby food the covens use. Real magic is deadly.”
Abruptly, he stood and crossed the room to kick a shard of agate against the wall. It bounced with a savage clatter. Clary got to her feet, her knees wobbling. He spun and stormed back to her in one motion, moving so fast she barely knew what was happening.
He took her by the shoulders, the grip rough. “Don’t ever do that again!”
And then his mouth crushed hers in a hard, angry kiss. Clary gasped in surprise, but there was no air, only him, and only his need. She rose slowly onto her toes, the gesture both surrender and a desire to hold her own. She’d been kissed many times before, but never consumed this way. His lips were greedy and hot with that same confusing array of emotions she’d seen a moment ago. Anger. Fear. Possession. Protectiveness.
Volatile. That was the word she’d so often used in her own head when thinking about him. Volatile, though he kept himself on a very short chain. Right now that chain had slipped.


For the first two chapters, click here:  http://www.rowanartistry.com/book/enchanter-redeemed/

About the Author:

Sharon Ashwood is a free-lance journalist, novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle fantasy would never work out, so she writes paranormal romances instead.

Sharon lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.







a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 22, 2018

RELEASE DAY! THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER: CRAVE (Deborah Wilde)



Sit back, Demon Hunter wanna-be's. We've got a new release to tell you about today. Plus, author Deborah Wilde dropped in for a chat!

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

DW: Nava Katz is a foul-mouthed, romance-impaired, hot mess who’s spent her entire life being thrilled that her twin brother is being trained to take his place among the–until now–all male demon hunters.
But when she drunkenly interrupts his induction ceremony, everyone finds out that whoops! The secret society has been training the wrong twin.

When I started writing The Unlikeable Demon Hunter, I was really frustrated with the double standard that I saw applied to even fictional females around sexuality and “likeability” and I wanted to explore that.
There is also a lot of Jewish history and mythology that comes into play (Brotherhood of David, go figure) and Nava was my way of dealing with misogyny I’d faced in my religion.

Basically, it’s sexytimes and kickass through a lens of gender politics wrapped in a lot of snark.
SC: There's nothing like a foul-mouthed hot mess to get your day going. Especially when they are demon hunters. Tell us, do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

DW: When I was three years old, I was hanging out in our neighbor’s swimming pool. I was only allowed in the shallow end and I had to hold on to the wall unless a family member was in there with me.
My friend, whose pool it was, was about 8, and she used to tell me there was a window in the pool. One day, I let go of the side and slipped under the water.

I saw a window. It had four panes of glass and on the other side was a Viking.  A war was being fought and there were cannons going off.
I told the Viking I wanted to come to his side and he said “You can’t, little girl, you have to go back.”

That’s when my uncle pulled me up. He says I was under for about two seconds. I remember describing these things because I didn’t have the vocabulary for them at the time. But it’s one of my earliest and most vivid memories.
SC: Well that's a pretty good encounter. Obviously glad someone was around to pull you out so you could go to great things like life and um…writing. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?

DW: I’m working on book 5 right now, and then book six which is the final book in the series. After that, I have some ideas I’m dumping in a giant word file so I’ll take some time and see what sticks.
Thanks so much for having me!

SC: No, thank YOU for dropping by. Stop by anytime. Let's look at your new release now.
The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Crave
Nava Katz
Book Four
Deborah Wilde

Genre: urban fantasy / romance

Publisher: Te Da Media

Date of Publication: February 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-988681-10-8
ASIN:  B0784674R3

Number of pages: 438
Word Count: 92,500

Cover Artist: Damonza

Tagline: Meet Nava Katz. Punches like a girl. Kicks demon butt.

Book Description:

What doesn’t kill you... seriously messes with your love life.

Nava is happily settling into her new relationship and life is all giddy joy and stolen kisses.

Except when it’s assassins. Talk about a mood killer.

She and Rohan are tracking the unlikely partnership between the Brotherhood and a witch who can bind demons, but every new piece of the puzzle is leaving them with more questions than answers.

And someone doesn’t appreciate them getting close to the truth.

Go figure.

On top of that, a demon known only as Candyman has unleashed a drug that’s harming users in extremely disturbing ways.

After a friend of Nava’s is hurt, she vows to take this demon down. But will life as she knows it survive this mission, or will this be the one time she should have looked before she leapt?

Happily-ever-after: barring death, she’s got a real shot at it.


On Sale up to 60% Until Midnight Feb 26

Excerpt:
“I love home delivery.” Malik lounged in his doorway, eyeing me the way the wolf must have with the three little pigs. His British accent was pure sin.
“I love your arrogance that you didn’t bother moving after I almost killed you.”
He laughed, flashing straight white teeth against his bronze skin. He was still the only being I’d ever met who could pull off a Caesar cut, and was still the stuff of billionaire romance cover fantasies in his soft gray trousers that were artfully tailored to the hard lines of his body and navy shirt, carelessly folded back at the cuffs. “Oh, petal. I’d say I missed you, but I didn’t. Now, unless you brought the more interesting twin?” He peered into the hallway. “No?”
He shut the door, but I stuffed my foot in to block it. Not like he politely stopped trying to close it. “Ow.” I pushed my shoulder into the door to keep my poor bones from breaking. “If you weren’t wondering why I was here, you wouldn’t have let security buzz me up or let my toes cross the wards I’m sure you’ve got strung across this door.”
“Ten seconds.”
“That’s not–”
“Five, four…”
“Demons are being bound.” I rushed my words as he made a buzzing noise.
Malik yanked me inside by my collar and slammed the door.
I wrenched free.
His penthouse apartment hadn’t changed. Still to-die-for sweeping views of the city, a massive glass wine storage unit in the open concept space, and a loft bedroom. He pointed at one of the leather sofas, custom made to hug the curved walls. “Sit and talk.”



About the Author:

A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. This award-winning author is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way.







Thursday, February 15, 2018

INTERVIEW WITH RAFAEL CHANDLER (Hexcommunicated)


 
Hexcommunicated? What type of danger are we in for today? Rafael Chandler stopped by to talk about the book with us, and answer our three fave questions:

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

RC: Nicolae Tepes is a federal agent with Hex Division. He's also a Force Amplified Entity (FAE). Tepes is what you might call a North Carolina vampire: he likes hot barbecue and cold beer. He also likes kicking down doors and taking zombies into custody. His partner's a werewolf, and they're working a case about some new national security threat.
Tepes doesn't know what's going on, but he knows that it's weird -- which is saying something, because his job requires him to throw down against Soultergeists, Nosferodents, and Ghostmortems. He's got a few hours to figure out what the deal is, but he already knows how it's going to end: when the sun comes up, he's going to die. Naturally, he's in a pretty rotten mood.

SC: It's good to recognize weird. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

RC: No, I don't, but I wish I did. I'd love to believe in (or even glimpse) the Mothman, or the Jersey Devil.
The closest thing I've ever had to a paranormal experience happened in 2000. I had just gotten out of college, and was working as an editor for Standard & Poor's (publishers of the S&P 500). It was a suit-and-tie job, and it paid well. After a few weeks, they offered me a promotion. The necktie coiled around my throat like a piano-wire garrote. I knew that I couldn't keep working there.

So I quit.
Unemployed, I pounded the pavement in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. No clue what I was going to do. I saw an ad in the paper: "Do you want to play video games for a living?"

I sure as hell did, so I sent in my resume. They called. I showed up for the job interview.
The minute I walked into the Electronic Arts office, I knew that I was home. I felt a sense of belonging, as though I'd always been there, surrounded by people who decorated their desks with Transformers.

I've been working in the video game industry ever since.
I can still remember how that office looked and smelled. I can still hear the music from the games that we played after work, can still taste the beers from the bars we used to hit every night.

I've been a devout gamer since the early eighties, so walking into a video game studio for the first time -- knowing that I would join them -- was practically a supernatural experience for me.

SC: We here in Vancouver know all about EA. We have some friends that have worked on gigs there. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
RC: I'm working on a horror novel about a superheroine who must defend her city against a nightmarish crime wave, and I'm also writing a new adventure for Lamentations of the Flame Princess (a tabletop role-playing game that I'm particularly fond of).

SC: Well, we'd better let you get back at it. Thanks so much for stopping in.
Hexcommunicated
Rafael Chandler

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Neoplastic Press

Date of Publication: July 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-1478196662
ASIN: B008IVFRCE

Number of pages: 302
Word Count: 94,400

Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Cover Model: Rose Ballentine

Tagline: When the sun comes up, the girl of his dreams will murder him.

Book Description:

The name is Tepes. Nicolae Tepes. I'm a federal agent with Hex Division.

When the sun comes up, the girl of my dreams is going to kill me.

My partner's a werewolf, but we get along okay. We were investigating this murder when we stumbled across a conspiracy unlike anything we've ever dealt with before. Ghostmortems, Scarevoyants, all kinds of freaks.

It started bad and got worse quick: a psychic on our team had a vision of the future. At sunrise, I'll die at the hands of the woman I love, and then a psychotic death cult will deploy a supernatural weapon of mass destruction.

We've got eight hours to prevent this prophecy from coming true, but the psychics of Hex Division are never wrong...

Excerpt One:

          Hands trembling, the cop chased the tip of his cigarette with a lighter for a couple of seconds. Then he saw me and stuffed it all back into his pocket.
            I badged him. "Agent Tepes, Hex Division."
            The cop straightened. His hands jerked up, then down. He was trying to figure out if he should salute me.
            While waiting for him to make up his mind, I pulled on a flak jacket. Partly, I was trying to stay warm, but mostly, I wanted to hide the dried blood on my arms and neck. The wounds had healed up, but I'd need to clean the blood off eventually.
            "Relax," I said. "Where's Agent Tambora?"
            "Inside." He looked me up and down, then swallowed. Guy probably heard all kinds of rumors about us. The freaks of nature who get deployed into hellholes around the globe. Force Amplified Entities, the army of cyborg monsters who operate in shadow. The FAE, constructed in billion-dollar labs, fighting terrorism with horror.
            His suspicions were grounded in fact. We were all of the above, and then some. My team had captured or neutralized dozens of terrorist leaders, drug lords, and war criminals. Everybody has a job to do; mine just involves fast-roping out of choppers with my fangs out and my eyes glowing red.
            Mindful of the yellow crime-scene tape, I headed up the driveway, the cop stumbling along behind me. The tiny house crouched on the edge of a patchy beige lawn. Flashlights cut through the dark as cops searched for footprints, bodily fluids, fibers. Peeping from behind torn and faded curtains, neighbors rehearsed their statements: they'd always had their doubts about the guy next door, and this only confirmed what they'd suspected all along: the guy just wasn't right. Feeling the unholy vibe this scene was giving off, they hovered on their porches but got no closer. Crimes like this were rare in the suburbs of North Raleigh.
            The cop cleared his throat and tried to man up; he didn't want to look like a sissy in front of the feds. I didn't care how he looked. One of my people was dead.
            "Agent Tepes, do you think there's a connection to terrorists? Like Al-Hazred or something?"
            "Sorry. Classified."
            No one knows what we do at Hermetic Extropy; all they know is, after the slaughter at Providence, we took the fight to the enemy. Like everyone else, the cop was hoping to learn a little more about our operation. Too bad.
            The front door swung open. A face-masked forensic tech in paper shoes and blue nitrile gloves was explaining something to my teammate, Adam Tambora. The tech nodded, then shuffled back inside. Adam strode towards me.
            He'd grown up in the hinterlands, one of those square states that I always pictured like a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel, but with pickup trucks and high school football. A muscular blonde guy with a recruitment-poster grin, he always got treated like the team leader, even though he's the lowest-ranking member of my unit. But there's a trade-off for those all-American good looks. When I deploy my FAE augmentations, my eyes turn red and my canine teeth extend about a half-inch. Other than that, I look pretty much the same. Adam, on the other hand, undergoes some truly grotesque changes when his Frankenstitch enhancements kick in. I figured the forensic technician wouldn't be so deferential if he could only see what Adam looks like in monster mode.
            My petty train of thought was derailed by Adam's firm handshake. "Glad you're here," he said, clapping me on the shoulder. Then he looked past me and frowned.
            A few police officers were waving at us from the driveway. We dodged scurrying forensic techs as we crossed the lawn towards them.
            Two cops, a male officer and a female detective, shivered next to the SUV in the driveway. I started to address the detective, but Adam cut me off and started talking to the officer.
            "What can we do for you, buddy?"
            The officer took a small step back, with an embarrassed look at the detective. He felt bad, but it wasn't his fault; Adam was the one who'd made the assumption.
            The detective cleared her throat. "We want to jack up this truck," she said. Her face reddened with irritation. She probably got that a lot: guys assuming that she was a subordinate. "We need to see the underside. Looks like it's been tampered with, and our techs want to get a better look. That okay with you?"
            Assuming that he was in charge, she addressed Adam. I gritted my teeth and let it go.
            "I can do you one better," Adam said with a grin. He shooed her back. Confused, but sharing his infectious smile, she stepped away.
            Adam squatted down by the truck, clutched the frame, and lifted. Mouths open and eyes wide, the cops and techs all backed away. The pickup rocked over on its side, glass shattering as the vehicle's weight crushed the passenger-side mirror.
            Stepping back, he wiped his hands on his pants. His perfectly even teeth gleamed in the harsh crime-scene floodlights. The audience broke into spontaneous applause.
            "How did you do that?" the detective asked. A second later, she caught herself and laughed. "Sorry, I know. Loyalty Act, classified information."
            "Can't tell you anything," Adam said. "Above your pay grade. And mine." They smiled. I managed not to roll my eyes. Adam shook a few hands, then he and I headed for the backyard.
            "Nick," he said. "I know you disapprove, but these officers worship us like rock stars or athletes. Giving them a little something to talk about is good for morale."

            "We're supposed to stay in the shadows." I tried to keep the irritation out of my voice. Sure, I fell off a castle and landed on an SUV in front of a bunch of slack-jawed civilians, and then I stabbed a monster in the neck. But that was all in the line of duty, not showboating.

About the Author:

Rafael Chandler writes novels (Mask Beneath Her Face, The Astounding Antagonists), video games (SOCOM 4, Rainbow Six: Lockdown), and tabletop role-playing games (Teratic Tome, Lusus Naturae). He's a metalhead, kaijuphile, and gorehound.







a Rafflecopter giveaway