Hi guys! I am super excited to welcome author Lou Harper to the blog. Lou has brought us a great excerpt from her new book, Spirit Sanguine (which I just loved and am reviewing here tomorrow). The excerpt is from early in the book when slayer Gabe meets vampire Harvey.
Lou has also brought a copy to give away to one lucky winner. So please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Gabe awoke with a start. The first thing he saw was a pair of brown-green eyes. Harvey sat on the sofa, observing him intently. They glared at each other for a few tense seconds before the vampire lowered his gaze—all the way to Gabe’s crotch. Gabe followed it to see a large wet spot there. Sometime during the night, his grip had loosened on the plastic bag, and the melted ice had soaked into his pants, creating the most embarrassing wet patch ever.
“I have a dryer you can use,” Harvey said, snickering.
“It was ice. You have sharp knees.”
“And you have sharp sticks.”
Gabe didn’t know what he was supposed to say, so he shrugged.
Harvey made a dismissive gesture. “Good thing you’re a lousy shot.”
“Ah! My bad. Is that how hunters do it? Ask the deer to hold still?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure—” Gabe caught himself. “Are you always this mouthy?”
“Why? Anything wrong with my mouth?”
“Aside from always flapping?”
Gabe’s gaze was drawn to Harvey’s pursed lips. No, there was nothing wrong with them. They were exceptionally fine. And it wasn’t just those lips. For someone covered in dried blood, Harvey looked…nice. Gabe remembered the stake he’d been holding when he’d fallen asleep—it was gone. He patted his cargo pockets, but they were empty as well.
“I put them away,” Harvey explained. “In case you woke up in a homicidal mood. You seem very impulsive.”
“They’re safe, don’t worry. May I suggest an official ceasefire? No slaying each other for a while. What do you say?”
Gabe screwed up his brows. “It’s highly unorthodox. Why would I trust you?”
“Why would I trust you? I’ve abstained from killing you or even feeding on you twice so far. You, on the other hand, have shown far less self-control. You really don’t have the moral high ground here.”
“But you are—”
“Don’t start with that whole bloodsucker bit. It’s getting old. You could try to be a little less dogmatic.”
“Okay, fine,” Gabe replied gruffly.
He didn’t like being told off on an empty stomach. Having a regular conversation with a vampire—one that didn’t even involve threats of vivisection—was weird enough. Uncle Miklos was probably spinning in his grave.
A cautious smile spread across Harvey’s face. It was a remarkably nice smile. Harvey pushed himself off the couch. “I’m gonna take a shower. Feel free to use the dryer, and if you don’t mind, throw the cushion covers in the washer while you’re at it.”
He tottered off. Gabe shed his pants and put them into the dryer. Next he peeled the covers off the cushions. The blood had dried into them, and he doubted it would come out, but he dutifully put them into the washer anyway. He found the detergent in a cupboard after some searching. He also found his confiscated stakes in a drawer but left them there for the time being. He sat back on the chair, self-conscious about being in his underwear.
Harvey, the friendly vampire, took his time. When he came back, he wore clean jeans and shirt, and smelled of soap and shampoo. He moved with the slow, cautious motions of a convalescent, but his voice was cheerful.
“I’d offer you something to wear, but nothing I have would fit you. Would you put this over the couch?” He handed Gabe a batik throw of some Indian design in yellows and greens.
Gabe did as asked, but while bent over, adjusting the thing, something made him glance up. He caught Harvey’s eyes on him, possibly checking out his ass. What the hell?
Harvey snatched his gaze away and started opening cupboards. “Would you like some coffee? I think I have a jar of instant around here somewhere. Ah, here it is. I’m afraid I have no milk. Or sugar.”
“That’s fine. I prefer it black, anyway.”
While the water boiled, Gabe retrieved his pants. They were mostly dry.
Harvey handed him a cup of coffee and a handful of power bars. “I found these in your bag.”
Shit. Gabe completely forgot about leaving it behind the Dumpster. Harvey must have searched his hiding spot.
“What did you do with it?”
“It’s under the bed. I figured better to have it out of sight.”
Harvey parked himself at the other end of the couch, folding his legs under him. He was certainly limber. Pointedly not thinking of Harvey’s flexible limbs, Gabe quickly devoured three power bars. He was hungry.
Harvey eyed him with a glare of disapproval. “I know I gave them to you, but you really shouldn’t eat those things; they’re full of high fructose corn syrup.”
Gabe washed down the last of his corn-syrup-and-granola with the coffee. It had the flat flavor of instant, but he’d had worse. He was glad for the familiarity of the caffeine in his unconventional situation.
“You’re the strangest vampire I’ve ever met,” he admitted.
“Killed them all?” The edge of a razor glinted just below the teasing tone.
“Every single one,” Gabe duly admitted.
After five years in eastern Europe using his unique, inborn skills to slay bloodsuckers, Gabe is back in his hometown Chicago and feeling adrift. Until he’s kidnapped by a young, sexy vampire who seems more interested in getting into his pants than biting into his neck.
Harvey Feng is one-half Chinese, one-hundred-percent vampire. He warns Gabe to stay out of the Windy City, but somehow he isn’t surprised when the young slayer winds up on his doorstep. And why shouldn’t Gabe be curious? A vegetarian vampire isn’t something one sees every day.
Against their better judgment, slayer and vampire succumb to temptation. But their affair attracts unexpected attention.
When Chicago’s Vampire Boss makes Gabe an offer he can’t refuse, the unlikely lovers are thrust into peril and mystery in the dark heart of the Windy City. Together they hunt for kidnappers, a killer preying on young humans, and vicious vampire junkies.
However, dealing with murderous humans and vampires alike is easy compared to figuring out if there’s more to their relationship than hot, kinky sex.
Warning: Fangalicious man-on-man action, a troublesome twink, cross-dressing vampiress, and role-playing involving a fedora.
Lou has brought a copy of Spirit Sanguine to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the post to enter. The contest closes on Thursday, May 2 at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the contest, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.