Today I am so pleased to welcome Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne to Joyfully Jay. Jenna and Katey have come to talk to us about the re-release of Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers. They are sharing an exclusive excerpt form this book, as well as a cover reveal for book 2 in the series. Plus a great giveaway! Please join me in giving them a big welcome!
Hi, and thanks for having us here at Joyfully Jay! We’re celebrating the re-release of our romance/mystery, Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers, book 1 in the Kanaan & Tilney series. Lowell Kanaan and John Tilney inhabit a world of praeternatural humans that exists just under the surface of the everyday world–one full of psychics, shifters, and other magically powered folk. Lowell is a grumpy werewolf PI and John is an enthusiastic writer of mysteries–and pyrokinetic. I reckon we can let an excerpt do the talking about this particular adventure of theirs…
And coming soon, Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Man Eater, book 2 in their series! Here’s the very first peek at the cover, just for you all.
Wolf-Beast and ex-cop Lowell recently brought his boyfriend, Elementalist and mystery author John, into the PI business with him. They’ve been solving cases for Boston’s diverse praeternatural community ever since. When a young Terran feels that the brutal murder of his Beast boyfriend isn’t being treated seriously enough by the police, he brings the case to Kanaan & Tilney for a second opinion.
No one could say the Zombie Mafia don didn’t keep his guests waiting in comfort. There was good money in arms—and legs and eyes and God knew what else the average Necro might need replaced in their lifespan. All Necromorphs had the ability to draw energy from somewhere or other, sucking the source dry in the process, and use it to mend themselves. Which included reattaching their own limbs, if still viable, or—thanks to establishments like this one—partaking in the not-strictly-legal practice of attaching someone else’s limbs. Preferably after the original owner had no use for them anymore, but not always. Either way, knowing they had this ability tended to make Necros reckless with the bodies they’d been born with.
Not that it was a hard-and-fast rule with them, but as a general cultural more, it was definitely a thing. And most of them were proud of it. Meanwhile, the other factions were universally creeped out.
Nothing creepy about Costa’s setup, though, except that it looked like some kind of British Imperialist gentlemen’s club. The Diogenes, maybe, but instead of books and sleepy old curmudgeons, it had the mahogany paneling, Chippendale furniture, and priceless works of art. John looked right at home, long arms sprawled over the back of one of the couches, legs out in front of him and crossed at the ankles, like he was waiting for a happy reunion with an old friend.
Lowell, on the other hand, was on edge. He’d gotten himself into the middle of a lot of fucked-up situations, but this one was definitely high up on his top ten. He was in the living room of a man who, just last week, was believed to have dismembered a Necro and then left the body parts in various Dumpsters so that, unable to pull himself back together or heal, he died slowly and painfully. But this was the place to be. If anyone would know if Quintus had shady dealings, it would be Tony Costa. The don was notorious for knowing everyone in the praeternatural underworld.
“Oh.” John leaned forward in his seat, elbows on his knees, and lowered his voice. “Not that it’d come up, but I figure I should warn you: whatever you do, don’t say anything that seems like you’re remotely interested in Serafina’s powers. No one knows what her energy source is, and they say she’ll slit anyone who asks. If someone hadn’t warned me, I’d be talking through my neck.”
“You’re fu—” Lowell started, cutting himself off as the nearby door finally opened.
A petite blonde woman emerged, her hair in a loose French braid down her back, eyes hidden by sunglasses—inside, really? She wore fitted black slacks, six-inch spiky heels that still left her at barely five-four, and a sharp Italian leather jacket. It was expensive enough to be remarkable, but the embossed wings that covered the back—angel or demon, who could say?—made it even more so. She turned toward John. “You’re here.”
John shot Lowell one more look, then stood and bounded in her direction, huge, pale hand out before him. “Serafina! Thanks so much for working this out. This is the guy I told you about, Lowell Kanaan.”
Lowell followed, extending a hand as John stepped out of the way to make room for him. “Lowell Kanaan. Thank you for arranging this.” Her grip was strong and sure, and her gaze firmly held his from behind the shades. This was not someone who took shit from anybody.
“I do what Mr. Costa needs,” was all she said, voice clipped and level. She turned a critical eye on John after she shook Lowell’s hand. “He’ll be glad to see you.”
“Same.” John shot Lowell a See! kind of look.
Lowell wished there was a look that could convey: I never doubted you were friends with the guy—this is you we’re talking about—but he’s still a criminal, as in a murderer, so I feel there was some call to be concerned. Unfortunately, there wasn’t, so he just settled for a tried-and-true glare.
Serafina turned on her heel and led them into the don’s office without another word. John followed, hands in his pockets, smiling as if happy to see the old place.
A huge mahogany desk sat in the center of the octagonal chamber, heavy with the stale scent of Cuban cigars and ash. A figure nearly as huge rose from behind it. Tony Costa himself moved around the desk and toward them, both massive arms held out. “Johnny! How you been, boy?”
And goddamn, but Costa was huge. Slightly taller than John, which put him at six-three minimum, and roughly twice as broad. Some of that was, well, what would be called augmented at best, unnatural at worst; Costa wore a lot of bronzer on his face to cover the fact that it was naturally much paler than his gigantic, bare forearms and hands. As in, not the arms he’d been born with.
Not a point to raise suspicion, though. Hell, who’d trust a businessman who didn’t use his own product?
After a mutual kiss on each cheek, John laughingly told Costa, “Great, man, working on something new. This is Lowell Kanaan, the detective who’s helping me out. Serafina told you, yeah?”
“She told me. She told me.” Costa patted his left arm so hard it shook John’s entire body before he let him go. He held out one meaty hand to Lowell. “Hey, you’re not a cop, right? I mean, if Johnny says you’re not a cop, I believe it, but… You understand, right? We got a delicate situation here, and I’m guessing if Johnny’s friends with you, you don’t judge my people for doing what we were made to do.”
Lowell accepted the offered hand, and it nearly engulfed his own. “I’m not a cop, and it’s none of my business what your people do or do not do.”
Costa kept his hand and cocked his head slightly. “You’re a…?”
“Beast,” John supplied cheerfully.
Costa patted Lowell’s hand and then let it go to start around his desk again. “Good, good. Less uppity than those Elementalists! When you gonna come work for me, Johnny? I need you to help with those people of yours; they never wanna listen to my kind.” He gestured for them to take up seats.
The question made Lowell go tense. But John, already sprawling into the chair, just giggled quietly. “Too much work, Mr. Costa. I gotta have time to write.”
“Did you read that book?” Costa fixed his attention on Lowell. “My great-grandfather was a character! This boy”—he pointed at John—“knows what’s interesting.”
“Doesn’t explain what he’s doing following me, then,” Lowell joked and sat back in his chair, keeping his posture attentive but relaxed.
“Ha!” Costa coughed out a laugh, then cast a significant look in John’s direction. “I get it.”
“Right, so, what can I do for you two, then?” Costa asked, chair creaking as he settled deep into its cushions.
John was looking at Lowell with wide-eyed eagerness. Lowell nodded the go-ahead. “After you.” How could he say no? If John were the wolf, he’d be practically wriggling, he was so excited.
John scooted to the absolute edge of his seat and said, “Well, we’re looking into a potential missing-persons case. No one’s seen him in days, and he’s said to have…you know the type, fringe contacts in the organization.”
“Well, might be I can’t tell you much,” Costa admitted, making a “win some, lose some” face.
“I figured, but…” John shrugged. “I also figured, best to start at the top and work down, right?” It came with his usual guileless honesty. He clearly didn’t realize the weight of his words, just meant them.
“You flatter on accident.” Costa’s laugh echoed off the paneling. “That’s not my favorite thing about you, kid, but it’s a good perk. Gimme a name.”
Lowell sat forward now too, forearms on his thighs. “Eddie Quintus.”
“Don’t know it offhand.” Costa turned slightly to face his monitor. A few clicks of the mouse and some one-fingered typing later, he added, “I’ll put some people on it. But could you narrow things down?”
“He’s an insurance agent—or was until recently. Anyone involved in that kinda thing might be good to look at?” John looked to Lowell.
Lowell nodded a confirmation, then added, “He’s a Psychogenic.”
“Well, if anyone working for me has him, I’ll know soon enough.” Costa paused in his keyboard pecking long enough to look up at each of them in turn. “I assume I can trust everyone here not to leave a trail of garbage for the pigs.”
“You know me,” John said immediately.
Lowell met the steady gaze. “It’s my job to be discreet.”
“And Johnny here vouches for you.” Tony Costa’s white teeth shone in the ambient track lighting. Probably it was meant to be a friendly smile.
“Absolute stand-up guy, Tony,” John assured him. “Oh yeah, and if it’s not too much trouble, I do have another favor to ask. Same subject.”
“What about fingerprinting new inventory as it comes in?”
Lowell glanced over at John, impressed. He was picking up this stuff quick. Really quick. Maybe he shouldn’t have knocked that Private Investigation for Dummies book.
“We instituted that as standard last year.” Costa narrowed his eyes and pointed at each of them in turn. “Not a word, either of you, because no one will ever find it.”
John lit up—figuratively speaking. “Well, we have Quintus’s fingerprints. Just in case he comes through here. Or his arms or hands, anyhow.”
“Arms won’t be much good for fingerprints,” Lowell deadpanned.
John rolled his eyes. “You know what I mean.”
Costa looked between them, amusement flickering on his thick features for a moment. “And so do I, though your friend has a point.”
“I’d roll my eyes again,” John said, “but they just got finished with the last one.”
Costa burst out laughing. This time it was so loud it filled the room. “Sure you won’t come work for me? I can pay you better than this guy.”
“You’re not the literary hero your great-grandfather was, is the thing.” John actually smirked, a rare and playful indication that he was, if only for a moment, aware of his own absurdity in some way.
Costa roared with laughter again. “You’re lucky you flattered me before. All right, all right, gimme the prints. I’ll send ’em to my people.”
Lowell dug out the prints and offered them to Costa. “Poach from somebody else.” He almost growled.
“Yeah, I can see you’ve already invested a lot into this one.” One corner of Costa’s lips tugged upward in what threatened to become a knowing smile. He accepted the page.
Lowell didn’t know what to say to that, and he definitely didn’t know what to do about that smile, so he just took out his card and slid it across the desk. “In case you need to get in touch.”
Like she’d melted out of the shadows, the tiny, blonde, frightening Serafina appeared at John’s far elbow. “I know how to get in touch with this one.”
John smiled up at her. “Thanks, by the way.”
She cocked an already dangerously arched eyebrow, but the purse of her taut lips suggested more of the strict schoolteacher than the mafiosa hit woman.
Costa swiped up Lowell’s card. “You two want a drink, Serafina will show you to it. Otherwise, I got some very annoyed Terrans I gotta go get drunk.”
“Thanks, but we’ll have to pass,” Lowell said as he stood. He was ready to get out of here. “A lot of work to do.”
John followed his lead. “We should meet up, though. You still go to the Pit?”
“Nah. Here, check this place out.” Costa lifted himself off his chair to grab a wallet out of his back pocket, then passed a card out of it across the table. “Tell ’em I sent you.”
“Thanks, Tony.” John beamed.
“Be nice to have a real chat again, not just business.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Kanaan,” Costa said. It was pointed. Like, Yeah, I’m pointedly not pointing out your lack of a pack name. It’d be willfully stupid to think Costa’s people hadn’t researched just who and what he was before inviting him here.
“You too, Mr. Costa.”
Lowell and John stepped out together, and the tiny powerhouse Serafina exchanged a quick, satisfied glance with John before closing the door between her—and all the power in the room behind her—and them.
John, glowing with pride, turned to Lowell. “You know what we need now?”
“A drink?” Lowell supplied because he sure as hell needed one.
“Look at us, forming a deep bond of sympathy already.”
John Tilney—praeternatural pyrokinetic and mystery author—has noticed the bottom dropping out of the market for his usual gothic fare, so he goes to Lowell Kanaan, PI, for a crash course in noir. Lowell, a cranky wolf-shifter detective, isn’t sure why he agrees to let John shadow him, though it might have something to do with John’s weirdly endearing honesty…and pretty lips. John thinks he’s found the perfect detective novel hero in Lowell, but it isn’t long before he realizes he doesn’t want Lowell for his book, but for himself.
As they become entangled in a supernatural whodunnit involving the Zombie Mafia, black market body parts, and shady insurance deals, their partnership grows closer—and hotter. But when it comes down to the wire, Lowell’s wolfish protective side threatens to drive John around the bend, or at least out of the office. Good thing John’s as much sunshine as he is fire; hopefully it’s enough to help them catch a murderer before they end up in literal pieces, too.
Jenna Rose is an avid reader and writer, particularly when it comes to science-fiction and fantasy. Currently, she works as a receptionist, but her real love is writing. In her free time, she likes to read comic books, play video games, and waste time on the internet. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her dog, Harley.
Katey Hawthorne writes and reads superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media. She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she’s trying to prove it.
Jenna and Katey have brought a $10 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, January 22nd at 11:59 pm ET.
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