Sunday, September 11, 2016

Introducing Demon in Sight (Translucent #6) and a Shout out that Translucent is Now Free!

Hey readers,

Two updates today. First, I want to share with you information on Demon in Sight, the sixth and final book in the Translucent series. And second, I want to let you know that for the next two months, you can read Translucent, the first book in the series, for free.

Demon in Sight
Demon in Sight (Translucent #6) will be coming out on November 1, so mark your calendars! This book concludes the six-book series and ties up all the mysteries. Can Leona and Emory prevent the annihilation of all life on earth? We’ll see…

Oh, and you thought stuff couldn’t get any weirder? Guess again :-)

Below you’ll find the back flap description (Note: if you’re new to my Translucent series, skip ahead to the end of the post, where there’s a link to get the first book in the series for free).


Demon in Sight
It’s like somebody hit the pause button for the entire planet.
 
Earth’s streets are jammed with motionless cars, their still-warm occupants slumped over the steering wheels, bodies paused mid-breath. They have no pulse.
 
The sun has winked out, plunging the globe into permanent darkness. Fire no longer burns. Electronics sputter and die, inexplicably drained of charge. The whole world, and all seven billion inhabitants, are in suspended animation.
 
But three people are awake.


Read Translucent for Free
Haven't read Translucent yet? Now you can for FREE. For the next two months, I'm giving away Translucent, the first book in my YA science fiction series for free! One of the only requirements for receiving the download is that you join my newsletter, which you can unsubscribe from at any time. Click here to get a copy, and don't miss out on the epic conclusion, coming this fall!

***

Translucent

What if you had the power to become invisible for a price? Would you pay it?

I did ...


And I paid. Dearly. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Blood and Sin is Out Now!

Hi readers!

The title says it all! Blood and Sin is now out! You can find it here! I'm thrilled to share my newest series with you. It was a blast to write, and did I mention that I got to write it with my wife, Laura Thalassa?

For those of you who don't know, Blood and Sin is the first book in a NA paranormal romance trilogy that stars a demon (they prefer to be called Infernari), and a demon hunter bent on wiping them all out. There's dark magic and portals to hell (or Abyssos, as the natives call it). Oh, and I mentioned there was romance, didn't I? ;) 

I hope you enjoy reading Blood and Sin as much as Laura and I enjoyed writing it! And if you want to know more about Blood and Sin, read on for the description.







Blood and Sin

Hot-blooded, prideful, feral, Lana Malesuis is a demon. She has sworn an oath to heal her war-torn, dying species. Her method: drain human blood, use it to fuel her dark magic, reap human misfortune. She has come to the town of White Sulfur Springs to cull. 


Cold-blooded, ruthless, conniving, Jame Asher is a human. He has sworn to avenge his wife and baby girl, killed by demon magic. His plan: destroy demons’ portals, deprive them of their human blood supply, exterminate them one by one. He has come to White Sulfur Springs to kill. 



But when they meet, and he takes Lana as his prisoner, the last thing he expects to see in her wild violet eyes is the frightened innocence of a young girl. For her part, Lana never expects to feel anything but hate for the most feared demon hunter on Earth. 


Neither of them expected it to become something more. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dan Rix and Laura Thalassa Answer Questions on Blood and Sin


Hey readers!

Blood and Sin (Infernari #1), the NA paranormal romance novel I co-wrote with Laura Thalassa, comes out on July 15. In honor of its upcoming release, Laura and I created a video where we answer some questions concerning the book, ... and goof off. Without further ado, here it is:



For more info on Blood and Sin, you can check it out here on Goodreads. If you'd like to receive an email when the book releases, please consider signing up for my mailing list, located in the top right hand corner of this page.

Happy reading,
Dan

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Black Sun (Translucent #5) is Out Now!

Climb aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, we’re about to blast off into space! Not gonna lie, guys, I had a hell of a good time writing this one. I’m a closet sci-fi nerd, and this is where I’ve been angling to take the series since the beginning. Tons of good stuff coming up. You can download Black Sun (Translucent #5) from Amazon at this link.

If you’re new to my Translucent series, get started on the first book here.

Hope you enjoy it :-)
Dan Rix


PS. Here’s the cover and back flap:


Orbiting three hundred miles above an alien planet, Space ShuttleEndeavour desperately searches for signs of life following the mass abduction of all humanity. Its crew: an Air Force colonel, an astronaut, and two teenagers.
 
To Leona, the mind-numbing hours of radio silence mean everyone who loves her is dead. Onboard, the one boy she might confide in hates her guts. It’s all she can do to not give up.
 
But when an explosion knocks the shuttle out of orbit, forcing them to crash land on the dead planet, it seems all hope is lost.



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Black Sun (Translucent #5), Teaser 2

Tomorrow Black Sun (Translucent #5) comes out! I'm ridiculously excited to share this book with you! My wife says it's the best one yet, and I hope you all think so as well! For those of you that haven't started this series, you can check out the first book here. Those of you that are familiar with the series, for the few hours you're left waiting, I thought I'd share a final teaser with you!

Enjoy!

Black Sun, Teaser #2
“Emory, stop!” I screamed.

He slammed on his brakes, and his convertible skidded to a stop just in time. Shielding her eyes from the glare of his headlights, Megan stood in the middle of the road not five feet from his bumper, right at the blind curve where we hit Ashley.

In the twilight, dressed in dark jeans and a black hoodie, she was completely invisible.

I hopped out of the car. “Megan, you idiot, we almost hit you.”

She squinted in my direction, and her mouth fell open. “Leona? Holy crap, is that you?”

“Why didn’t you freaking move? When you see headlights barreling toward you, you move.

“Dude, this is so crazy. What are you doing here? Wait—” she raised her hand to her mouth, chewed her fingernails, “what am I doing here?”

“Okay, what’d you find?” I hurried over to her and glanced around.

“Whoa, I think I blacked out.” She looked around with equal bafflement. “Wait, is this…is this Foothill Road? Uh…Leona,” she clutched my arm, “why are we on Foothill Road?”

I stared at her, my heart sinking. “You forgot.”

“Forgot what?” She rubbed her temples. “Not going to lie, the last few days are a bit of a haze right now.”

“Megan,” I groaned, “you texted me, remember? Just now. Like, twenty minutes ago. You said you found something…” I searched her blank gaze. “Please tell me remember.”

She shook her head, eyes wide.

First Emory wouldn’t tell me what happened when he touched Ashley’s corpse, and now Megan had discovered a vital clue…and forgotten it. I wanted to scream.

Maybe the text message would jog her memory.

“Look, you sent me this.” I fished my phone out of my pocket and pushed it toward her face.

“Hmm…something crazy,” she muttered, reading from my screen. “I found something crazy?” She scrunched up her eyes, and her gaze slid to her own phone, still clasped in her fist.

“Yes, you texted me. You came here, you found something, and you texted me. Now try to remember what it was. Try really hard to remember, Megan. This is really important.”

She opened the text on her own phone, stared at it for a moment, then shook her head. “It’s…it’s all gone. I don’t even remember sending this.”

I cursed and scanned the dark street, hoping maybe whatever she’d found would jump out at me. But the sky had darkened to a deep, murky shade of blue, now twinkling with stars.

We couldn’t hope to find anything now.

“Check her pockets.” Emory stepped into the glare of his headlights, pulling on his backpack, and for an instant his blond hair glowed like a neon halo. “If she found something, she might have put it in her pocket.”

“Yeah, check your pockets,” I said. “Maybe you put it in your pocket.”

But Megan only gaped at Emory. “Leona,” she hissed, “what is he doing here? Are you crazy?”

“For the tenth time,” I groaned, “give it a rest. It’s fine.” I patted her hips and her butt, feeling for objects—

She swatted my hand away. “I can do it myself.” She grabbed my elbow. “Can I talk to you? Alone?

Megan seriously needed her memory back.

“Look, it’s a long story. I’ll tell you later.” I wondered if she could smell the sex on me, and my skin instantly heated. The reminder made me want Emory all over again. Suddenly, I felt his eyes on me, lighting my face like a spotlight, and knowing he could probably sense it only made me want it more. Oh my God, why was I so horny all of a sudden?

Hadn’t that need kind of been taken care of?

I caught his brooding gaze—a mistake—and only blushed hotter. I tucked my hair behind my ear, breathing faster.

“WAIT!” Megan staggered backward and jabbed an accusing finger between us. “I know what’s going on…you guys just had sex.”

What?” I glared at her, mortified. “No, we didn’t.”

“You totally have sex hair.”

“Megan, just check your pockets,” I said, desperate to deflect the attention off me as I smoothed my hair back.

She reached into the pouch of her hoodie, and something jingled. “Hey, I think I found something—”

Bright high beams swept over us, blinding me. I shielded my eyes as a car rolled up next to us, window descending with an electric hum, and I tensed up. A middle-aged guy leaned out. “Everyone okay here?”

I relaxed. “Yeah, we’re fine. Thanks.”

He looked me up and down—yep, looking at the sex hair—gave me a knowing smile, and drove off.

I let out my breath and turned back to Megan.

“Sorry, just car keys.” She waggled them.

“Your car!” I snapped my fingers. “Megan, where’s your car? If we can find your car…”

“There—” Emory pointed across the street, where her Ford was parked in the shadows.

I glanced both ways and darted to the other side while he pulled his own car off the road.

“Come on, it’s got to be around here somewhere.” I dug through the sticks and dried leaves on the ground and felt around the back of her tires. Nothing.

“Maybe I put it in my car?” Megan opened the passenger door and peeked in. “Nope.”

I stood up, brushed the dirt off my knees. “No, we’re being idiots. You would have parked and then looked around. Where you parked doesn’t mean anything.”

“You’re right.” Emory knelt next to me, rubbing his jaw. “We found her in the middle of the street, not here.”

“Wait a minute…” I glanced back to where she’d been standing, but the manhole cover was sealed—and she’d been ten feet away. If she’d gone down into the sewer, it would’ve been open. “Do you remember why you were in the middle of the street?”

She scratched the back of her head. “I think…I think I was confused. It’s all kind of a blur.”

“So the first thing you remember, you woke up, and you were just standing in the middle of the street? That’s the first thing you remember?”

“No, there was something else before that, but…oh man, it’s right there…it’s right there.”

“Megan,” he said slowly, “where were you when you first started remembering? Where were you standing?”

She looked up. “I was over by that tree.” She pointed to the big, gnarled oak tree across the street.

Emory and I shared a glance.

We dashed back across the street, and I dug around the roots, my cell phone screen illuminating the sludge of damp leaves in the valleys while he shrugged off his backpack and pulled out a larger flashlight, which he panned in a wider perimeter.

“Dude, sweet glow stick,” Megan said.

I glanced back to see her sliding the vial of Agent Blue out of Emory’s backpack. In her hand, the substance squirmed around like it was trying to get out.

“Don’t touch that!” I stepped toward her, my heel sinking into the damp earth.

“What is it?” Her face glowed from its light.

“Just put it down. I’m serious.”

“It looks…alive.”

“Megan,” I warned.

“Fine. I’m putting it down, okay?” She laid it clumsily on the backpack, and it rolled off onto the curb. The glowing threads continue to thrash and wriggle against the glass, as if searching for cracks. I’d never seen the stuff act that way.

Reluctantly, I tore my gaze off the vial and went back to my search. My shoes squished in the mud.

I paused, and looked down.

Mine weren’t the only footprints. Around the base of the tree, another set of tracks formed a dense cluster—Megan’s, the ones she’d made before she lost her memory.

“Wait, bring the light over here.”

Emory shined the flashlight over my shoulder, and I followed her footprints to one of the big roots. A scuff of mud caked the top of the root, imprinted with the tread of her boots.

“She stepped up here,” I said. “Look, she stepped up onto the roots.”

Slowly, Emory raised his flashlight beam up the side of the oak tree. He stopped four feet up. “Found it.”

I stared at the circle of light, and my lungs suddenly felt too tight. Carved into the pale bark were four words.

Here I killed Dark

***

If you enjoyed that, click here to add Black Sun to your "To Read" list on Goodreads! If you'd like to get emails when my latest novels release, be sure to sign up for my email list in the top right hand corner of this page!

Happy reading,
Dan

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Black Sun (Translucent #5), Teaser #1

Hey readers! On June 15 Black Sun (Translucent #5) will hit shelves! This is the second to last book in my Translucent series (YA science fiction), and in my opinion, it's the most thrilling of the series so far! Here's the book's description:


Orbiting three hundred miles above an alien planet, Space Shuttle Endeavour desperately searches for signs of life following the mass abduction of all humanity. Its crew: an Air Force colonel, an astronaut, and two teenagers.

To Leona, the mind-numbing hours of radio silence mean everyone who loves her is dead. Onboard, the one boy she might confide in hates her guts. It’s all she can do to not give up.

But when an explosion knocks the shuttle out of orbit, forcing them to crash land on the dead planet, it seems all hope is lost.

But no one expects the bizarre reality awaiting them on the surface.

***


I can't wait to share this book in the series with you, and I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it! And now, without further ado, here is the first teaser for Black Sun:

Black Sun, Teaser #1

Sleeping in zero gravity proved to be impossible.

The moment I closed my eyes, my body seemed to rush up with a nauseating inertia, reminding me I was still in freefall, and my eyelids sprang open. Pitch black swirled around me. I couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t relax my tensed muscles, and each time I brushed a wall of my coffin-like sleeping station, it felt like a ceiling and I would wriggle frantically to drift back down, needing something solid underneath me.

Giving up, I yanked my sleeping bag over my head and exhaled miserably into the humid fabric.

Around me, the shuttle hummed and clicked. Oxygen hissed from vents, cooling fans and hard drives spun on and off, instruments beeped up in the flight deck, each sound like a needle prick to my ears.

Beyond the walls of my sleeping compartment, space itself seemed to howl and moan. I huddled deeper in my cocoon, trying to shut it out.

Dark was out there, watching us.

A burst of static hissed from the radio, and I jolted back from the edge of sleep, hypersensitive to every tiny noise. But nothing else came in. Frustrated, I yanked myself around in space, trying and failing to get comfortable.

At one point, I could’ve sworn I heard a chewing sound…like rats, or cockroaches.

Did space shuttles have rats?

There aren’t rats in space, Leona.

Finally, I could bear it no longer, and I groped around for the panel and slid it open. Indicator lights blinked in the darkness, casting middeck in a ghostly glow. I pushed my way out and floated over the bloodstained autopsy table, letting out a shiver.

They’d put the lamprey back in the fridge, thank God.

An eerie blue light came from the open hatch. I drifted up through it, emerging on the flight deck. The sight made my breath catch.

Beyond the cockpit blazed a dazzling, soaring panorama of stars—the entire universe—pouring in through the windows in a silvery blue haze. The shuttle teetered on the edge of infinity. I could almost reach out and touch it.

I lowered myself into Connor’s seat and ran my fingers along the rows and rows of twinkling controls—

“Couldn’t sleep either?” said a low voice on my right.

I flinched and glanced sideways to see Emory slouching in the pilot’s seat. My heart sped up further.

He wore only pajama bottoms, no shirt, and the starlight glazed off a thin sheen of sweat on his abs. Even in zero gravity, he managed to lounge like a Calvin Klein model. I really didn’t need this right now.

I averted my eyes and smoothed my hair down the back of my neck, fighting a rising collar of heat. “Should I go?”

“I’m not going to hog the only good view on the Space Shuttle, Leona. You can be in the same room as me.” His silvery blue eyes gleamed in the darkness, assessing me for a nerve-racking moment before moving back to the sea of stars.

“Your eyes are the color of Agent Blue,” I said.

“Yeah, so what?”

“I don’t know, eyes are the windows into the soul, and your eyes are the color of souls…maybe because you have a pure soul.” What are you talking about, Leona? Just shut up.

He gave a weak smile, but said nothing.

The dark mass of Tartarus revolved slowly below the shuttle’s nose, continents crawling by in shadow. “God, I hope they’re doing okay down there,” I said.

“I think we’re missing something.”

“What do you mean?”

He chewed his lower lip. “This whole thing—Dark, this planet, the lampreys—it just feels like we’re missing something.”

“Like how to beat it?”

“No, like…like Dark’s messing with us. I don’t know, like it’s playing games, like it’s been playing games this whole time.”

I twisted in my seat, holding the harness tightly across my lap, fidgeting with it. My voice came out as a whisper. “What do you think it is?”

“We’re not going to be able to kill it with a nuclear bomb, or with anthrax, or with Ebola. I don’t even know why they’re trying.”

“You said they’re doing psychological warfare. You think that’ll work?”

“That’s the thing. Dark doesn’t strike me as a rational being that you can negotiate or manipulate or use scare tactics on, it strikes me as a psychotic being. I mean, look what it’s been doing to us. If it wanted our planet, it could vaporize us in the blink of an eye. It’s like it wants to make us suffer.”

“Because it’s evil,” I murmured, hugging my knees to my chest. My long hair floated up again, the strands silky in the starlight. I sighed and gathered it to my chest—not a rubber band or hair tie in sight onboard this entire shuttle—and only then sensed him watching me.

My gaze snapped to his—and stayed there. As we stared at each other, a nervous pressure fluttered under my sternum. Were we finally going to talk about it? Why are we staring at each other?

“You’re beautiful,” he said, like it wasn’t a compliment, but a depressing fact he wished weren’t true.

My pulse thudded painfully, leaving a whisper of heartache. “You’re cruel,” I said quietly.

“I’m sorry you made that mistake, Leona,” he said. “I really am.”

That mistake…killing his sister.

I nodded and lowered my eyes, and got halfway through a swallow before my throat failed me. As the awkward silence stretched out, my fingers worked themselves into a knot.

In my periphery, he glanced around the cockpit. “You know, sex in zero gravity would be awesome.”

And of course, my mind went there—his arm rigid across my stomach, holding me in place, his lips burning the back of my neck, my fingernails digging into his thighs as I arched back into him. A hot blush worked its way up my face. “Uh…yeah…that.”

“Sex in space…” He gave a low whistle.

We could try it, offered my stupid brain. I refused to look at him, knowing my flaming cheeks would betray me. “I’m sure it would be fun, Emory.”

We lapsed into silence again, but now I couldn’t focus on the view with him right next to me. I hugged my knees tighter and hid myself behind a curtain of hair. The distorted smear of Erebus rose over Tartarus—caused by gravitational lensing, Sarah had told me—a kink in the sky just like the kink in my heart.

Neither of us spoke for a long time, until I idiotically blurted out, “What was it like dating me?”

He said nothing.

I squeezed my eyes shut, mortified. “Oh God, never mind, don’t answer that—“

“You really want to know?”

“It’s not fair,” I said. “You get to have that memory…of us dating…but I don’t. All I have is that one measly sushi night, but you remember everything. I want to know what it was like.”

“It’s torture,” he said.

“Okay, I wasn’t that bad,” I bit out.

“No, it’s torture having the memories. Remembering.”

I glanced at him, tucked my hair behind my ear. “Why?”

“Why are you asking me this?”

“You didn’t do anything bad to me, okay? I know you hate me, but it’s different for me. I’m still, like, into you.” The words barely came out, and I fidgeted some more, hardly capable of feeling shame anymore. “I want to know what it was like…because I didn’t get to have it.”

He dragged his hand down his face, and when he opened his eyes, they glistened. “It was like a dream,” he muttered. “You were like a dream. I remember thinking she can’t even be real, this can’t even be real, because it just doesn’t happen like that, where it’s perfect and you just know…you just know.”

“Know what?” I whispered.

He fixed his gaze on the stars outside. “That you’ve found the one.”

Listening to him, my heart felt sick. I choked on my next words. “And the only reason…that we can’t still…”

“No, Leona. We can’t.”

That tiny spark of hope died.

“Well, I still love you,” I murmured.

“I know. You’ve told me a billion times. Stop doing that to yourself, it hurts to watch.”

“But you’re not mad at me anymore?” I said. “You don’t sound mad at me.”

“I can’t…be mad at you,” he said through gritted teeth. “I understand the difference between an accident and murder, I don’t blame you for what happened. She committed suicide, you were scared, I get that…but it can’t ever go back to how it was before…and yes, of course I miss you sometimes—I’m human—but I fucking miss my baby sister more.” He swiveled away from me and angrily wiped his eyes.

An ache unfurled in my chest, seeing him break down like that. I let go of the harness and floated across the center console to hold on to him. My arms went around his shoulders and my head draped against his chest, my legs curled up in his lap—just a hug…I could hug him right?—but even as I tried to comfort him, I knew I was doing just the opposite.

His body tensed underneath me. But he didn’t push me off.

It was just a hug.

“Am I allowed to do this?” I peered up at him.

He nodded stiffly, his face stoic.

I stayed perfectly still, my nerves buzzing on a knife’s edge, all too aware of how close this was to crossing the line.

The heat of his torso seeped into mine, and when I opened my lungs, it was him I breathed…and his smell roused in me all sorts of cravings, not all of them mine, but some left over from the time my soul had been inside my doppelgänger, surfacing like an insatiable nostalgia.

“Am I allowed to do…this?” I took one hand from around his neck and placed it on his chest, drawing my fingers down his pecs. No, Leona…you’re not.

His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down in a swallow.

Despite the weightlessness, my body could have been made of lead…because this was so, so wrong.

“You can tell me to stop,” I breathed against him.

He squeezed his eyes shut, shook his head, his expression pained. “I’m trying to forget what you are…and I can’t.”

He shuffled out from underneath me, leaving cold all down my side and a lump in my throat, and veered toward the hatch. “Go to bed, Leona.”

Down in middeck, I heard him kick the bulkhead and curse at himself before he clambered back into his sleep station and yanked the panel shut.


I stayed in that chair a long time after that, huddled in a fetal position, too heartbroken to move.

***

If you enjoyed that, click here to add Black Sun (Translucent #5) to your "To Read" list on Goodreads. If you'd like to receive an email when the book releases, please consider joining my newsletter in the top right hand corner of my website.

Happy reading,
Dan

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blood and Sin, Teaser #1


This is an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Blood and Sin (The Infernari #1), a NA paranormal novel (the first of three books), that's about demons--or Infernari, as they call themselves--and the human hunter that wants to eradicate their kind. I'm co-authoring it with my wife, author Laura Thalassa, and I hope you'll enjoy what the two of us cooked up.

I'll post the description below, but you can also read about it here. It comes out July 15, and for those of you newsletter subscribers, you'll be getting the first three chapters of it in my upcoming newsletter! If you haven't subscribed and would like to receive a sneak peek of Blood and Sin, I have a signup form on the top right hand of my website.

By the way, I always forget to mention this but the following excerpt is unedited and subject to change. Without further ado, here's the second teaser:


Blood and Sin, Teaser #2

No one even gave me a second glance.

But oh, they gave Lana second glances. Plenty of them.
Sashaying next to me in her skintight jumpsuit, her eyes a luminous blue-violet and her long hair breezing unnaturally behind her, she had the attention of every guy on Bourbon Street. A whole crowd of douchebags parted around us, eyeing her up and down and whistling.

Their catcalls grated my nerves. But unlike the guy I glared at earlier, they were too drunk to heed my stare telling them to back the fuck off.

“Let’s see some titties!” one of them hollered, dancing in front of her, a dozen necklaces of glittery beads clanking around his neck.

Lana had halted, momentarily mesmerized by the rainbow colors.

“I’ll give you my best beads…” he continued, “this one right here if you show us your tits…” He fumbled to get one off.

Nuh-uh. I was not in the mood for this crap.

All night, I’d kept it on lockdown. But seeing this little twerp, seeing his crap plastic beads jingling over his fraternity hoodie, seeing him yelling and shaking his beads in Lana’s face, I cracked.

I tried to keep my cool, but I couldn’t.

Rage flared under my skin, and my fingers clamped into fists.

I tossed the bottle aside, grabbed the guy by the collar, and shoved him up against a nearby arch.

“Mardi Gras is in February,” I growled. “So take your beads and get the fuck out of my way.”

He shoved me back. “It’s always Mardi Gras where I go.” His breath reeked of beer. “That your girl? ’Cause she was eyeing my beads like she wanted some.”

My eyes fell to his clinking jewelry. I lifted up the strands of his cheap plastic beads. “You think a girl like that—” I jerked my head towards Lana, “is going to show her tits to a little shit like you for crap beads like this?” I flung them in his face. “You know what, give them to me. All of them. You’re done.” I pried them over his head and stumbled away with a fistful of plastic necklaces.

Smirking, I turned around, and one of his frat brothers punched me in the face and laid me out on the curb. The blow rang in my ears.

The other douchebags danced away, shouting, “Dude, you beaned him!”

Yep, had to get drunk and pick a fight with six frat boys, huh, Asher?

Not my proudest moment.

Rubbing my jaw, I rose slowly, seeing red. “You shouldn’t have done that.”

I tackled the guy into a nearby oyster shack, bowling over a table and scattering the screaming patrons. Already cocked back, my fist slammed into his face. His nose sprayed blood. Nice.

I was going to go to jail for this.

For defending Lana.

Fuck.

I landed one more punch before his friend dragged me off, arm clamped around my neck.

Tonight was just not my night.

I got my feet under me and thrust us backward. Through sheer dumb luck, I managed to ram him into the same archway, earning a grunt. Bits of plaster flaked off above us. Grabbing his arm, I heaved him over my shoulder and slammed him onto his back, knocking the wind out of him. Wheezing, he raised his palms at my cocked fist, and I backed off.

Breathing heavily, I turned back to the other four and wiped my bloody lip. “Anyone else think it’s Mardi Gras?”

They looked drunk enough to attack me, too. Probably thought they could take me six versus one. I’d survived worse odds, and my opponents hadn’t been idiot college boys.

“Bro, bro, he’s got a gun!” Catching sight of my holster, the guys grabbed their buddies and stumbled backward, tripping on their heels.

I called after them, “Come at me, bros! I want some more beads!”

But they were gone.

Idiots. I wasn’t even carrying concealed, and it took them that long to notice.

I looked around at the rest of the onlookers—half the street had paused to watch—and they ducked their heads and continued on their way, like I was going to shoot them or something.

“Humans are weird.” Lana frowned, clearly still trying to figure out what had happened. “What was that even about?”

I picked up the beads, and led her away by the elbow. “Told you you’d get into trouble.”

“That was you who got into trouble,” she said. “He was just being nice and trying to give me some beads…and can I at least have one? Or do I have to beat you up and steal them from you now? Is that how the bead game works?”

Her naivety made me smile. “Stop. Look at me.”

We paused on a street corner out of the way, those strangely beautiful eyes of hers fixed on me. God, she was innocent. Something protective reared up in me.

I draped all the beads around her neck. “There. Now they’re yours.”

The way her eyes lit up, you’d think she’d just learned Santa Claus was real. She ran her fingers reverently over the molded plastic balls, her expression wondrous.

I stared at her, unable to look away, suddenly bewitched by her. Like a moth being pulled towards a flame. Her allure was toxic. And I needed to get away from her before I did something I would regret.

But I didn’t edge away. Neither did she.

“Wait,” she said, “you won them, you should get some too.” She lifted off half the necklaces and stepped in close as she reached up to put them over my own head, so close I could smell her ashy scent, a scent I’d come to hate. A scent I was now reconsidering.

Her fingers brushed my chest, and my pulse spiked before her hand flinched back.

She’d felt it too, whatever that was.

Whatever this was.

I felt a tickle on my lip, still bleeding, and her eyes darted to it. I licked it away.

She wanted that blood.

Her gaze lifted shyly to mine. “Was that fight about me, Jame Asher?”

She was calling me out, and I had no answer. I shook my head, my heart thumping at the base of my throat.

“About how he was talking to me?”

And looking at you.

“Nah,” I said, running a hand through my hair, “I just didn’t like his punk attitude. Wasn’t about you.”

She knew I was lying, she could read it on my face.

I knew I should break the moment, snap out of it, ignore her and keep walking like I didn’t want to be here, but I couldn’t budge. In that instant, everything else faded away—the drunks swimming around us like fish, the chaos of Bourbon Street, the rhythm and blues thumping from nearby clubs. Maybe it was the adrenaline still pumping through my veins, maybe it was the odor of sex and desire in the air, maybe it was the way her eyes seemed to glow like blue-violet flames, but all I saw right then was her.

And for the barest of moments, it didn’t matter that I’d sworn to kill her kind, or that they were hunting me. All that mattered was that for the first time in a very long time, I felt something beyond grief and anger. Something light and good. And even though a part of me knew it was reckless, knew that I was that idiot moth about to get burned, for once I didn’t fucking care.

I cupped the side of Lana’s neck and I kissed her.

***

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Blood and Sin
July 15, 2016

Hot-blooded, prideful, feral, Lana Malesuis is a demon. She has sworn an oath to heal her war-torn, dying species. Her method: drain human blood, use it to fuel her dark magic, reap human misfortune. She has come to the town of White Sulfur Springs to cull.

Cold-blooded, ruthless, conniving, Jame Asher is a human. He has sworn to avenge his wife and baby girl, killed by demon magic. His plan: destroy demons’ portals, deprive them of their human blood supply, exterminate them one by one. He has come to White Sulfur Springs to kill.

But when they meet, and he takes Lana as his prisoner, the last thing he expects to see in her wild violet eyes is the frightened innocence of a young girl. For her part, Lana never expects to feel anything but hate for the most feared demon hunter on Earth. 

Neither of them expected it to become something more.


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Happy reading,
Dan