- N. N. Light
Stake and Dust by @KMNbooks is a Trick or Treat Bonanza pick #paranormal #vampires #giveaway
Title: Stake and Dust
Author: Karen Michelle Nutt
Genre: Paranormal and Urban Fantasy / Vampires
A Lamia, a sea creature worthy of John Keats' prose, teams up with a vampire with serial tendencies. When young promising artists are found dead, the Preternatural Bureau sends Cassandra Hayes to the Hamptons to help a fellow hunter track down this lethal duo. She's only spoken to Mr. Green once on the phone and when she meets him in person, he is not what she expects. His hunting skills are spot on, but there is something the man is hiding, and she's determined to find out what it is despite the attraction developing between them. Tremayne Graystone, a vampire from one of the oldest septs, is not pleased when he finds a dead hunter left on the doorstep of his pub. He should have never answered the hunter's phone, but someone is trying to frame him, and he wants answers. Surely, he can masquerade as Mr. Green, the hunter Cassandra is supposed to meet before she figures out his true identity and stakes him. She's a Hayes, from a long line of vampire hunters, and fraternizing with the enemy is simply not done, but as they work together and follow the clues, the lines become blurred when he falls for the hunter's charms.
She brought the Hashasheen down with a clever sweep of the foot, tripping the demon onto his back.
Tremayne palmed his dagger just in case, but he doubted it would be needed.
"Who's behind the kidnappings and the murders?" she demanded to know. She pressed her boot into his chest.
The demon laughed and spit blood on the ground beside her.
"Tell me what I want to know, and I may let you live," she added.
Tremayne moved in closer. The demon met his gaze with a sneer. "Come to watch, have you, bartender?" Then he leveled his gaze on Cassandra. "Do you know who you're working with?" the demon asked Cassandra as he nodded toward Tremayne. "Odd company if you ask me, hunter."
Not good. The Hashasheen may not have spelled it out, but Tremayne had a hunch the demon knew he was a vampire.
"Don't worry who I'm working with," Cassandra said. "Worry about if you'll see another night." She didn't take her eyes off the demon.
"I'd answer the question if I were you," Tremayne said to the demon. "She doesn't care to ask twice. Trust me, I'm the nice one here."
The demon seemed to consider this for a moment then broke down. "I've heard things."
"What things?" Cassandra asked.
"A vamps involved, but he's working with someone else. It's like a scratch my back and I'll scratch yours kind of deal."
This bit of news made Tremayne frown. Mr. Green had his throat ripped out, but even he had thought it overkill for a vampire attack. Now he knew why. There was another preternatural being involved. "Pray tell, the suspense is killing us," he said and stepped closer. The demon harrumphed, obviously not appreciating his sarcasm.
"You're looking for a Lamia. She's a crazy bitch too. She runs the show and the vamp from the Draugr sept or maybe it's the Oiche Sith sept…" he said as he glanced at Tremayne with a sneer. "All vamps are the same to me. It's difficult to know which blood drinking being belongs to what sept."
"Get to the point," Cassandra demanded.
"Anyhow, the vamp follows the Lamia's orders."
Tremayne hadn't come across a Lamia since Lorelei Rivers. The creature did mimic traits of a vampire, blood being one of their primary substance, but they also fed off the person's essence, but only if they were experiencing the euphoria of success. Musicians, painters and writers were the creature's favorite prey.
He glanced at Cassandra with a question: "Have the killings had anything in common?" He hadn't personally checked out the bodies, but maybe Cassandra had. He wouldn't count Mr. Green's slaying as a piece of evidence. He most likely came too close to finding out who the killer was and had simply been eliminated.
Cassandra fished out her mobile phone and pulled up the file. "All three were male. All were about the same age about twenty-two to twenty-four. Hmm…" She read in silence then her gaze riveted to him. "The arts. One was a poet, one a writer, the other a small-time stage actor."
He nodded. "It fits a Lamia's MO. They tend to latch onto artists and promote them, even make them famous, all the while sucking the life out of them.
"Like Keats' poem," she said, thoughtfully.
"Aye, the poet did write about such a creature," he added, impressed she knew of Keats' work. He had often wondered if the poet's writing had been from firsthand knowledge.
"What's the Lamia's name and where can we find her?" Cassandra asked the demon as if she planned to ring her and make an appointment.
"How should I know?" the demon sneered. "I'm not privy to her social calendar."
"Then I guess you've outlived your usefulness." She raised her dagger and brought it down before the demon could protest.
She was good. He hadn't caught her readying her weapon for the kill. Note to self: never underestimate Cassandra Hayes.
The demon's body shriveled as it decayed at a rapid speed.
"I thought you were going to let him go?" He tore his gaze away from the demon sizzling into black goo and looked at her.
Cassandra straightened to her full height and brushed her hair away from her face with a quick sweep of her hand. He liked this look much better than her strands being tucked away into a bun.
"The demon?" she asked. "Why would I let him go? He picks up his victims from pubs and they never have a chance to kiss and tell?"
"And how would you know this?"
She stuck her hand in her pocket and withdrew a leather wallet and tossed it to him.
He opened it, revealing snapshots in the photo slips. Only photos of girls, but they weren't smiling for the camera. These women were dead. "Sick bastard."
"So glad you agree, Mr. Green." Her gaze slid over him. "Don't get soft with these creatures. They're not to be trusted."
His brows lifted. "None of the preternatural beings?" he asked out of curiosity.
"None I've come across." She strode by him as she headed for the back door. "Let's go inside and rethink our strategy. We have a vamp and a Lamia to catch. Changes things, don't you agree?"
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon US: https://tinyurl.com/yalshp5t
Amazon UK: https://tinyurl.com/y7ujkp5t
Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/ycyv6386
If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
I'd dress up as a fairy. I have these awesome wings I purchased from Etsy. They are pearlescent shimmery green and black fabric. Just beautiful! I've participated in a few events at the MUZEO, dressing up as a fairy. So much fun!
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
This supernatural fantasy with a good splash of romance, and quite a few laughs that will entertain the reader long into the night.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Canada account to win.
Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 1.
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband. Though her three children are grown and starting their own adventures, she still has a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she's not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover".
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.
Social Media Links:
Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”
Amazon Author Page: