Hi guys, we have T.A. Moore stopping by today with her new release Dead Man Stalking, we have guest post from T.A., the fantastic 1st chapter from her blog story and a fantastic $10 Dreamspinner GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~
Dead Man Stalking
Agent Luke Bennett proved that humans could rise just as high in the ranks as their vampire colleagues—until a kidnapper held him captive for a year and turned him without his consent.
Now he’s Took: a reluctant monster afraid to bite anyone, broke, and about to be discharged from his elite BITERs unit.
When an old colleague suggests he consult on a BITERs case, Took has little to lose. The case is open and shut… but nothing is ever that easy. As he digs deeper, he discovers a lot more than one cold case is at stake, and if he wants to solve this one, he’ll need the help of the BITERs team. Even if that brings his old commander, Madoc, back into his life.
.•.•.**❣️ Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK ❣️**.•.•.
First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with my new urban fantasy Dead Man Stalking. This is the first book in the Blood and Bone series and I am thrilled to put it out there into the world. I was meant to be writing an entirely different book, but then Took and Madoc took up residence in my head and I had to give in and let them have their say.
I had a blast creating this world and these characters, and I hope you enjoy them too. I’ve included a chapter of a prequel short story that you can follow through the blog tour.
It wasn’t the first time that the statue of Tepes Stands Defiant at the College of Providence been vandalised. The mortal residents of Providence, Rhode Island resented the hark back to the bloody old days when the only law was the fanged whim of the Blood Empire. And the saner undead ones preferred not to think about the old monster over the sea. Just in case he heard them and finally stirred himself to discipline them for touting democracy.
Luke didn’t think any of the usual suspects was responsible for the current desecration.
He stood at the scabbed boundary of the blood puddle and shaded his eyes with one hand as he looked up into the sun at the carrion strung from the statue. The dead boy hung by his wrists from a rope lashed around Tepes upraised, clawed hand. He’d been opened up from clavicle to hipbone and his guts dangled below him like confetti. The third murder in the last month, although the previous two hadn’t been so…attention grabbing.
It didn’t reach the ground. The small intestine was foot long, unspooled, but the statue clocked in 25. It had been supposed to be 28, but the base piece of dismembered bodies trampled beneath Tepes spurred boots had been removed after the Accord was signed between the quick and the dead. It had been seen as a compromise at the time.
That was a long way to climb with a corpse for ballast. At least—Luke dropped his hand—it was for anything that breathed.
“Vamp attack, right?” the campus security guard–Officer Mark Clarke, he’d introduced himself as–asked with ghoulish eagerness over Luke’s shoulder. “Not had one around here for twenty years—local bloodsuckers stick to the bank—but we did a course. Had a profiler from VINE down to tell us what to look for, in case any of them forgot their place.”
It was the accent. Luke sounded Californian. He wasn’t—he’d been born west of here, and east of there—but he’d spent enough time there to pick up the cadence. It made assholes think he wanted to hear their wetmouth bigotry.
Vampires—shit, Anakim, Luke reminded himself irritably—didn’t exactly put him at ease, but he wanted to listen to beating heart propaganda he would have never left home.
That didn’t mean he wouldn’t use it if it was useful. He dropped his hand and turned around. His face fell into the sly, conspiratorial expression that Clarke was after, nothing overt just the approval of fellowship.
“Bet you make sure they don’t,” he said.
Clarke chuckled. He was a thin man run to fat, recently from the way he carried it and the pinch of his uniform around his neck and thighs. His ginger hair was cropped down close to his scalp, thin enough to show the freckles that dappled the pale skin, and a gold chain tucked something under his collar.
Not a cross. Back in California, sure. It was more of a statement there not to wear one. Around here only the hardcore Pentecoastal sects in drymouth towns would go that far. Clarke was a garden variety bigot–he had nothing against vampires, just made loud jokes about garlic and fence stakes. He probably had an ichthys or some other secondary Christian symbol, something to provide comfort and deniability in one.
“I do my best,” he said. “Used to be easier to chase ‘em off campus, but bleeding hearts don’t get it. I’ve got nothing against vampires, but this place has got to be like a meat market to them right? Like putting a whiskey in front of an alkie, you can’t be surprised when he drinks it.”
“What about when he doesn’t?” Luke said as he turned back to the dead boy. It was Charleston in mid-summer, and the meat had started to turn. The sickly sweet smell of it hung in the air. “What was the name of that VINE agent you worked with?”
Clarke stumbled over the agent. It wasn’t a lie, he’d just not kept up. “Eh, I don’t know. Wylie? West? I can check the files if you want. Why?”
The cop on duty at the barricade pulled it back and waved a black Viper through, followed by the coroner’s van. The black car pulled up the quad and stopped. Kit got out first, model-pretty except for the scars, and then he opened the back door for his passenger in one of the oddly antique courtesies that betrayed a vampire’s age.
Anakim, Luke reminded himself again.
Madoc got out the back, dark curls loose around his face and his body lean in black leather. The dead didn’t sweat. He grimaced as the sun hit him and reached into his jacket for a pair of smoked glass shades. Kit followed suit, and then headed across the grass.
Behind the coroner and his assistant scrambled out of the van and grabbed what they needed from the back.
“That’s the fucking Biters,” Clarke muttered under his breath. He took a step back and reached to fidget with the chain around his neck. “What the hell are they doing here?”
Biters. VINE’s elite tactical response team. The best of the best. Most of them were vampires, hand-picked by the legendary Blood Cardinal Madoc himself. Not that any of them would call him that now. No one got to be the best by being that stupid.
“You’ve had three murdered students, why wouldn’t we be here,” Luke said. Most of them were vampires, and then there was him. “And for your information, Officer Clarke, the one thing even a rogue values about humanity is our blood. A vampire crime scene can be horrific, but they don’t tend to be messy. Your VINE agent should have taught you that.”
Tomorrow’s installment on It’s About the Book! All the blog tour posts will also be linked here: http://tamoorewrites.com/deadmanstalking/
TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sectors before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.
Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.