Hi everyone! Today I am happy to welcome the author team, Ari McKay, here to talk about their latest release, Blood Bathory: Like the Night. They have brought a great excerpt from the book and are also giving a copy away to one lucky reader. So please join me in giving them a big welcome!
Hi, Ari McKay here. Thank you, Jay for allowing us to sponsor a giveaway and present a bit from our latest novel to your readers! Please comment to the post for a chance to win an eBook of Blood Bathory: Like the Night, the first story in the Blood Bathory series!
Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children”.
Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides — because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.
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Will was obviously preoccupied and on edge, since he paid for the uneaten pizza and accepted the box without even smiling at the waitress. They stepped back outside, and they had barely moved away from the restaurant before Will blurted out what was troubling him, his voice low and urgent. “Look, Evan, I know you don’t want to hear this any more than I want to say it, but… have you thought about whether all this has anything to do with you being reminded of Eleanor somehow?”
Evan stopped and whirled to face Will, cold with anger at the mere suggestion. “No. This has nothing to do with her.”
Will winced at the hard inflection in Evan’s tone, but he didn’t drop the subject. There was fear and worry in his eyes, and he rested his hand on Evan’s arm. “I’m not trying to hurt you, you know that. I care about you too much. But I can’t help but think about it and wonder if there’s a connection. There are no such things as vampires and ghouls, Evan, but I’m scared to death that my best friend’s inner monsters might have returned. Please don’t do this to yourself again!”
Evan clenched his hands into fists, anger and hurt at war within him in the face of Will’s disbelief, made all the worse by the accusation that this had any connection, however slight, to Eleanor. The rational part of his mind understood why it was so difficult for Will to believe him, but to him, bringing up Eleanor was a low blow.
“Fine!” he retorted sharply. “If that’s what you really think is going on, then I’ll handle this myself! Keep your head in the sand about the monsters if you want to, but don’t you dare drag her into this. I’m not crazy, and this has nothing to do with my sister!”
Startled, Will took a step back, holding up his hand in a placating gesture. “You’re too close; you can’t see it, but I can. I know what you went through after she died. I know how much it hurt you, and I don’t want it to happen again. I won’t let it! You mean too much to me, and– “
There was a blur of motion, as someone ran toward them and barreled Will over into the darkness of the alley. Will grunted in surprise and pain, the pizza box falling as he lifted his hands to try to ward off his attacker.
Anger quickly gave way to alarm — and alarm escalated into outright fear as the familiar scent of ghoul hit Evan’s nose, a scent that wasn’t strong enough for a human nose to detect it unless they got up close and personal, but it reminded Evan of rotting things in open graves. It waswrong. It was also impossible to mistake for anything else, and he knew without a doubt that whether by chance or design, a ghoul had found them. Without thinking twice, he darted into the alley, his vision unhindered by the darkness; he no longer cared about staying out of sight, only about protecting Will. Ghouls weren’t as powerful as vampires, but they were more powerful than humans, and Will didn’t stand a chance against that thing, especially not after being taken by surprise.
Will was big and strong, and Evan knew he’d been trained to fight, but the ghoul had Will pinned down, his hands around Will’s neck. Evan had never been taught to fight, but time was of the essence; the creature could choke Will to death in seconds. He moved instinctively, using the speed granted by his curse to rush at the monster. The man probably outweighed him by more than fifty pounds, but it didn’t matter; Evan grabbed him by the neck, putting every bit of his strength into ripping the ghoul off of Will.
The beefy man snarled in rage, managing to keep his feet and trying to dislodge Evan’s arms from around his throat. Strong as the ghoul was, however, he was no match for a furious vampire. Evan felt his fangs popping, felt the pounding of the ghoul’s pulse as they struggled, and he had to fight down the almost overwhelming desire to bite down on the back of the man’s neck.
“Evan! Let go!”
A glance to the side showed that Will had managed to regain his feet, and he had his gun drawn and pointed toward the ghoul. Yet he didn’t shoot; obviously he was afraid of hitting Evan, and he thought that if Evan let go, he’d be able to get a clean shot. But Will didn’t know that it would take more bullets than he had in that gun to kill an enraged ghoul. There was only one thing that would stop the ghoul, and stopping him was the only option.
Summoning all his strength, Evan grabbed the ghoul’s jaw and yanked hard, wrenching the ghoul’s head around. Vertebrae cracked like gunshots as they snapped, and the body beneath him arched as the ghoul let out a sickening gurgle. Evan released him and watched as the massive body toppled to the pavement, twitched a few times, then went still.
Evan breathed in a deep breath and released it slowly as he forced down the bloodlust that the fight had evoked, and when he felt calmer, he looked up from the ghoul’s body and fixed Will with a sardonic look.
“Now do you believe me?”
The authors are offering up a copy of Blood Bathory: Like the Night as a giveaway for one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below to enter. The contest will close on Sunday, July 28th at 11:59 pm.
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