A timeless seduction A unique temptation And a whole world of dark desires…
From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter
The Darkest Angel
Winged warrior Lysander has been alive for centuries, and yet he’s never known desire-until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of his enemy, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the untouched Lysander into temptation. He may try to evade her attempts, but even the most iron-willed demon assassin can resist for only so long….
And from debut author Kait Ballenger
Vampire hunter Damon Brock’s first assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York, a city crawling with the undead. But he isn’t the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. Tiffany Solow is fierce and ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family-and she works solo. But being alone is no longer so desirable when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf. As they work to massacre the local covens, the line between good and evil blurs when they are forced to decide between their lifelong beliefs… and their newfound hearts.
Please give a warm welcome to BOTH (squee!) GENA SHOWALTER & KAIT BALLENGER!! They were kind enough to grace my little corner of the blogging world with an excerpt from their shorts. I am going to switch it up, and let Miss Ballenger go first. 🙂
They jogged to the nearest alleyway, but stopped before moving forward. Tiffany’s eyes widened as she caught sight of the uniformed police officer on the ground. He slumped against the wall behind him. A trickle of blood ran from the crest of his hair. The man groaned.
Damon knelt beside him. “You the informant?”
The cop nodded. Man, the poor guy had taken a beating.
“Were you bitten?”
The officer coughed, blood spewing from his mouth. He spit out a tooth, and then shook his head.
Damon placed a hand on his shoulder. “Good. Are you alright?”
The cop gulped as if trying not to spit more blood, before he managed to say, “Yeah. Hurry. Called patrol, thought I’d lose consciousness. Fifteen minutes til they’re here.” His last several words came out in a slurred mess. Slowly, he lifted his hand and pointed toward the alleyway. “Go.”
Damon gave his shoulder a light, reassuring squeeze. “Thank you.”
Standing, Damon slipped into the alleyway and blended into the shadows at its mouth. Tiffany remained close at his heels. Moving at a slow, steady pace, she snaked around the corner right behind Damon. She followed each careful step he took with equal care.
Halfway through she bumped into his shoulders as he came to a sudden halt.
In the middle of the alley, half-hidden by shadows, lay a limp and bloodied body. A pool of dark blood,
black against the barely lit pavement, formed in the shape of a halo around…his head?
Tiffany covered her mouth. Her head spun, and she steadied herself on the brick wall of the building that formed one side of the alley. Most vampires preyed on the weak, on those they thought were the easiest targets—not because they couldn’t handle it, but because they liked an easy snack. The only exception was the most ancient bloodsuckers, whose strength was legendary. They barely had to lift a finger. Nausea hit her stomach. The last time she’d seen a young, strong, capable man killed by a vampire was when she and Mark found their father lifeless on their living room floor as their mother clawed uselessly at the monster’s arms. He’d sucked the life from her throat, deaf to Mark and Tiffany’s screams. Though she hadn’t yet found him, she would never forget his face.
“He’s not drained completely,” Damon said, his words barely above a whisper.
Tiffany shuddered. There was something not right about this.
Vamps didn’t leave leftovers, yet a puddle of blood surrounded the man’s head. A newborn vamp wasn’t capable of that kind of self-control, but an ancient vamp would lick his dinner plate clean and leave. Near invincible or not, vampires chowed down, drank every last drop of their victim, then they beat feet. They weren’t about to make themselves known to the human population. They were greedy, arrogant bastards, but they weren’t stupid. Modern man packed an arsenal of weapons, and an all-out attack from the human race would lead to their demise. Tiffany often wondered if the world would be better
off knowing what monsters crawled out after dark. But humanity couldn’t cope with the existence of anything “other,” anything different. They couldn’t handle the truth. They would panic.
Numb, Tiffany stepped out of the shadows and slowly walked over to stand near the corpse, a young guy of around thirty-five who looked as if he’d been healthy and fit before the vamp got him. Now the man’s arm was detached from his body, gnawed to shreds. Exactly the way the young girl’s face had been. His eyes were wide open, staring toward the night sky, the stars drowned by the lights of the city. Bending down, she carefully brushed her hand over his eyelids, closing them for the final time. She stood.
“Tiffany!” Damon roared.
And now, Miss Showalter’s excerpt!
“What are you wearing? Or better yet, not wearing?”
Heart skidding to a stop, Bianka whipped around. As if her thoughts had summoned him, the angel Lysander stood in the room’s doorway. Mist enveloped him and for a moment she feared he was nothing more than a fantasy.
“Well?” he demanded.
But in her fantasies, he would not be angry. He would be overcome with desire. So…he was here, and he was real. And he was peering at her breasts in open-mouthed astonishment. Astonishment was better than anger. She almost grinned.
“Don’t you like it?” she asked, smoothing her palms over her hips. Let the games begin.
Like it, she finished for him. With the amount of truth that always layered his voice, he probably couldn’t utter a single lie.
“Your skin…it’s different. I mean, I saw the pearlesque tones before, but now…it’s…”
“Amazing.” She twirled, her see-through gown dancing at her ankles. “I know.”
“You know?” His tongue traced his teeth as the anger she’d first suspected glazed his features. “Cover her,” he barked.
A moment later, a white robe draped her from shoulders to feet.
She scowled. “Return my teddy.” The robe disappeared, leaving her in the white lace. “Try that again,” she told him, “and I’ll just walk around naked. You know, like I am in the portraits.”
“Portraits?” Brow furrowing, he gazed about the room.
When he spotted one of the pictures of her, sans clothing, reclining against a giant silver boulder, he hissed in a breath. Exactly the reaction she’d been hoping for. “I hope you don’t mind, but I turned this quaint little cloud into a love
nest so I’d feel more at home. And again, if you remove anything, my redesign will be a thousand times worse.”
“What are you trying to do to me?” he growled, facing her.
Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, professional bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series about an international network of supernatural hunters who fight to protect humanity alongside the powerful women they seduce.
With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently a student in Spalding University’s M.F.A in Writing for Children and Young Adults program, where she studies dual-genre in screenwriting. She writes dark paranormal romance with drool-worthy heroes and kickass heroines as Kait Ballenger, and sassy YA urban fantasy under her maiden name, Kaitlyn Schulz.
Connect with Ballenger:
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of the White Rabbit Chronicles, Otherworld Assassins, Angels of the Dark, Lords of the Underworld, and several of other series. She has written over thirty novels and novellas. Her books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.
Connect with Showalter: