Well, I officially have a release date for The Fool! December 28th marks the release of the paranormal romance novella, which is the prequel in the Games We Play serial. The King, first in the serial, will debut in 2016.
If you like vampires, masquerade balls, vampire hunters who suck a their jobs, and heroines who don’t put up with bullshit, this piece will be for you. While you wait for the serial itself to release, why not give the prequel a try?
The Fool will be free for the first month of its release, and will then be on sale for $0.99 on all major online retailers. ARCs are available. If you wan to participate in a review tour or a release day tour, I’m also working with my usual promo company to get something going.
But this is about a teaser, right?
Sorry I kept you waiting…
Harriswood sat in the dip of a valley, surrounded by tumbling hills on one side, pine forests on the other two, and a lake to the north that was always too cold for swimming, even in the balmy summer months. It was a painter’s dream, drawing hundreds of tourists in the warmer months for hillside camping and downtown partying.
Little did they know the city was home to a few old vamp clans always looking for their next meal or gang grudge to settle, along with two packed high schools full of surly, destructive human teens aching to escape to somewhere bigger and better.
Delia had come from bigger and better. She preferred Harriswood.
Midway through her examination of the penthouse suite pics posted on the Banesview Hotel’s website—something she could only dream about experiencing first-hand—her phone shrieked obnoxiously by her side. The damn thing was new, and she still wasn’t quite up to speed on how to change the volume or silence a call. After nearly dropping her laptop, she grabbed the phone and swiped her finger across it, too flustered to even check who was calling at four in the afternoon.
“What?” she demanded, assuming it was Hugh calling back to give her another piece of his mind for hanging up earlier. The voice on the line chuckled, and she immediately felt heat rise to her cheeks. It wasn’t Hugh—not even close.
“I’m sorry,” Kain said smoothly, his familiar deep rumble making her sit up a little straighter. She was a sucker for accents, and the Irish hunter always managed to get the better of her—professionally and privately. “Did I wake you up?”
“No,” she mumbled, slowly closing her laptop and setting it aside. Of course it’d be Kain calling her—gorgeous, brown-eyed, shaggy-haired Kain with abs that could break a man’s fist on impact. “I was just…I just got off the phone with Hugh. Thought he might be calling me back.”
“You really need to hire a better informant, Dels. Hugh’s shit.”
“I dunno,” she said as she stood, pacing between the couch and the window of her apartment. Down below, traffic had started to pile up as people fled the downtown business district, probably hoping to start their weekends early. “He usually gives me pretty good leads.”
“I’ll tell my guy to cut you a deal in the future.”
Delia could almost hear the smile in his voice, and she wished she couldn’t. He was probably only doing it because he’d snuck away without saying anything the last time he spent the night at her place. It was never fun to wake up to a raging hangover and an empty bed. While she’d been hurt at the time, the incident had been easy to brush off; Kain, like many of the hotshots in their league, male and female, wasn’t looking for anything serious.
“So what’s up?” she asked, perching on the wide set white window ledge, her knees bent up to her chest and an arm wrapped around them. “Anything I can do for you on this fine afternoon?”
“Me and the guys are headed to McKinney’s tonight,” he told her, and she practically melted hearing him say the bar’s name with that scrumptious Irish lilt of his. “Want to tag along? I can pick you up on the way.”
“Aren’t you on patrol tonight?”
“Switched shifts with Garret,” he said.
Down below, a woman’s purse seemed to have spontaneously combusted in the middle of the intersection, its innards scattered everywhere. While Delia felt bad for her, she couldn’t help but chuckle softly at the roar of horns that blared once the traffic light switched to green and the woman was still there collecting her things.
Kain cleared his throat on the other end. “What’s funny? Something I said?”
“Oh, no…” Delia rolled her eyes as the woman continued gathering her things, cars inching around her to make the light. If they stopped rushing her, maybe she’d stop dropping things. “Just watching the usual disaster outside my window.”
“Wish I had an apartment on Main Street. I’d never need a TV. Always a show over there, day or night.”
“Yeah, that’s totally why I don’t have cable,” she said with a sigh. That and all the local cable packages were ridiculously expensive—even more so than the bigger and better city she’d moved from once she turned eighteen. She’d always expected smaller towns to be less of a drain on her wallet, but she’d slowly learned that wasn’t the case, not in Harriswood anyway.
“So you comin’ or what?” Kain demanded, and she was pretty sure she heard him opening a can in the background.
“Was that a beer?”
“Stop changing the subject, Dels.”
She licked her lips, wanting nothing more than to climb into the front seat of Kain’s car and breathe him in. He was a catch, through and through, aside from his sheer unwillingness to commit to anyone.
Oh, and he couldn’t show up to any bar, pub, or club without a girl on his arm. Her buzz dampened a little when she wondered just how many other girls in his hunter social circle he’d tried to call before he dialed her.
“I know you’re not working,” he wheedled playfully, which brought a smile back to her lips. “I checked the schedule. Come on. We’ll drink, play darts…maybe I’ll feel you up in the parking lot again…”
She scoffed, her cheeks starting to hurt from grinning.
“Wow, how can a lady resist such a perfect evening?”
“Right, so I’ll pick you up then?”
“No,” she said, not sounding quite as assertive as she would have liked. “No, I’m…I’m okay. I’m not really feeling a bar night.”
The stunned silence on the other end made her bite her lip, knowing full-well that he’d probably see through her lie in ten seconds flat.
“But you love McKinney’s,” Kain insisted slowly, as if working through her excuse aloud. “And you like hanging out with the other hunters. Beer usually gets you anywhere…”
She replaced her lip with her pinky nail, staring out the window, wincing as he slowly poked through her lies.
“…Dels, are you—”
“I’m training tomorrow morning,” she said a little too quickly, gripping her hand in a fist to keep her from biting her nails. “I don’t want to be hungover.”
“Since the last time I barely made it through warm-ups,” she argued. That much was true, at least. “I’m just having dinner with a friend instead, then it’ll be an early night.”
Kain’s continued silence stumped her; either he’d swallowed the story and was annoyed he’d lost yet another female companion to escort to the bar, or he still wasn’t buying it.
“You don’t do dinner with friends—”
“I do so!” Her voice cracked, and she wrinkled her nose, knowing she’d given herself away.
“Chatting with Hugh…for… Oh Jesus, Dels.” He huffed noisily into the phone, and she slid off the wide white window ledge, pacing again. “Please tell me you didn’t fall for that masquerade bullshit the snitches have been trying to sell everyone all week.”
The heat that flooded her cheeks this time was no longer from that sexy accent. Instead, she felt every eye roll, annoyed glare, and pitying sigh the other hunters threw at her on a weekly basis. Squaring her shoulders, she tried to keep her voice even.
“Kain, I don’t want to go to the bar tonight—”
“Oh for fuck’s sake,” he said, groaning. “You are going, aren’t you? Delia, it’s a crock of shit.”
Oh. Shit. Wrapped up in the action already? You’ll just have to snag your free copy December 28th.