Author Guest Post: E.J. Stevens

Throwback Thursday! We revisit a author post from 2016.

Today’s Author shares information on her Holiday Urban Fantasy novella.

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Amazon

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Blurb:

Blood and Mistletoe (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #1.5) by E.J. Stevens.

Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are undead vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly.

Ivy Granger, psychic private investigator, returns to the streets of Harborsmouth in this addition to the bestselling urban fantasy series.

Holidays are Hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed and every victim has one thing in common—they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they only leave one clue behind—a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim’s blood.

The holidays just got interesting. Too bad this case may drive Ivy mad before the New Year. Heck, she’ll be lucky to survive Christmas.

Blood and Mistletoe is an Ivy Granger series novella.  The Ivy Granger series has won numerous awards, including the BTS Red Carpet Award for Best Novel, the PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy Novel, Best Urban Fantasy Novel, and finalist for Best Urban Fantasy Series.

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Review Snippets:

“Blood and Mistletoe is fast paced, full of action and mystery.”
-My Urban Fantasies

“The plot is strong and all of our favorite characters are back… Another great addition to the Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective series.”
-Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

“Snag this for your e-reader, curl up with some eggnog or hot chocolate, and lose yourself in the world of Harborsmouth.”
-Reading Lark

 

Excerpt:

The old brick buildings pressed together like whispering neighbors, creating a narrow alley that resembled a badger hole, effectively blocking out the night sky.  I strode forward and stopped beneath a rusty fire escape where Forneus claimed the merry dancer had met her demise.  I rubbed the back of my neck and kicked at a piece of soiled newspaper.  Not a pleasant place to die.

Wind whistled down the alley carrying the rotting tang of garbage and the copper scent of blood.  What if Marvin lay crumpled in an alley like this?  Was he alive, dead, or injured?  The kid had been through so much already in his short life.

I jumped as a hand settled on my shoulder.

“You shouldn’t let people sneak up on you,” Jinx said.

I gasped and stepped away, letting my friend’s hand drop to her side.  Crap, Jinx had a point.  Nobody should have been able to approach me unawares.  Not only had Jinx, a human, entered the alley without my knowing, she’d gotten close enough to touch me.  I shivered against the cold.  My worry over Marvin was a potentially fatal distraction.

“And you shouldn’t be here,” I said with a shrug.

“Someone has to keep you on your toes,” she said.  “You sounded like a crazy person when you called the office.  So I decided to close early and meet you here.  I know how much the troll kid means to you.”

“When I phoned to tell you I was coming here, it wasn’t an invitation,” I said.  “Anyway, I’m working the case.  If I find Marvin in the process, all the better.”

“Face it,” Jinx said.  “You have a soft spot for strays.”

“I do not,” I said.  I turned away from Jinx’s knowing gaze and examined the ground at my feet.  I had moved a nest of pookas into my old tree house and a family of gnomes into my parents’ garden, but that had been necessary.  Helping to relocate the homeless fae had been the practical thing to do, in both cases.  “I just don’t like seeing kids get hurt”

“Sure, you just keep telling yourself that,” she said.  Jinx moved closer, leaning forward to look over my shoulder.  “You find anything?”

“Looks like blood,” I said.  I grabbed one of the pencils from my belt and scraped at the ground.  A layer of red ice broke away from the dirty pavement and I swallowed hard.  “Kaye thinks our killer may be using blood magic.”

“Well that’s not disturbing or anything,” Jinx said, pointing at the red, ice covered slush.  “You’ve successfully ruined frozen strawberry margaritas for me.”

“I didn’t ask you to be here,” I said.  I let out a sigh and stood.  I turned in a circle, scanning the brick walls and shadowed doorways.  “Come on.  We might as well find out if anyone saw anything.”

“That could be a waste of time, especially since humans can’t see through glamour,” she said.  “Isn’t there a faster way to get clues?”

I ran a gloved hand through my hair and let out a shaky sigh.  My eyes cut to the frozen puddle of blood.  Sure, there was a faster way, but it could also turn me into a raving lunatic.  I usually put off touching the remains of dead things as a last resort.

I shoved my hands into my coat pockets and hunched against the wind.  Something small and hard hit the tips of my gloved fingers, and with a crinkle of cellophane, I pulled the item from my pocket.  A honey flavored candy sat on my gloved palm.

Damn.  I wiped at my face with my sleeve as the chill air tried to freeze the tears that soaked my eyelashes.  I should have been buying candy with Marvin.  Instead, I was considering touching a frozen puddle of blood in a dirty alley, and Marvin was missing.

Happy freaking holidays.

“Yes, there is a faster way,” I said, shuffling forward.  “But I’ll need your help.”

“Sure, what do you need?” she asked.

I unwound my scarf and handed it to Jinx.

“If I start screaming, shove that in my mouth,” I said.  Her eyes widened, but Jinx nodded.  “And if I don’t stop screaming, pull me away from the blood…and wash it off my hands.”

“Got it,” she said.

Jinx forced a brave smile to her lips, but I could see the fear in her eyes.  She knew what I wasn’t saying.  This method may be faster than pounding the pavement and rattling some cages, but it was much more dangerous.  There was no guarantee that removing the blood would break the connection.

I looked down at the candy in my hand.  The decision was a no brainer.  If the vision got its hooks in me deep enough, I wouldn’t be coming back.  But if we didn’t find Marvin soon, neither would he.

I knelt in the filthy slush of the alley, ignoring the ice cold water that seeped through my pants.  It was time to find our killer, and bring Marvin home.

I took a deep breath and pulled my gloves off, one finger at a time.  I felt naked and was glad for Jinx’s steady presence at my back.  If anyone had to see me like this, at least it was the one person I knew I could trust.

I stared at my bare hands and the frozen red liquid just inches away.  What was about to come next wouldn’t be pretty.  Hopefully Jinx would keep me quiet enough to avoid any curious cops or passerby.  If we were up on Joysen Hill, where vamps and other beasties routinely hunt, screams from a dark alley would be commonplace.  Too bad we were on the edge of the Old Port.  The last thing we needed was a tourist stumbling in and witnessing my bizarre investigation methods.  I shook my head, banishing thoughts of screaming bystanders and police interrogations.  I’d just have to put my faith in Jinx.

I plunged my right hand into the ice and gasped at the cold as it burned against my skin.  I closed my eyes against the image of frozen blood touching my hand.  Seconds later, the black of my eyelids was replaced with the image of a dying faerie.  I had shifted from reality to a vision and the images were coming in full bloody Technicolor.

And the vision was coming from the perspective of the killer—oh goodie.

Warm liquid ran over my hands from the slashed neck of a merry dancer.  I held a ceremonial knife to the faerie’s throat and whispered guttural words in a foreign tongue.  Scarlet threads of power rose from the body in radiant tendrils to twine up my legs and arms.  I felt drunk on the rush of power as I drank the faerie’s remaining life essence.

I staggered to my left, leaning against the brick wall of the alley.  I steadied my hold on the faerie and the ritual blade in my blood slick hand.  My eyes flicked down to the skeleton bundled in my cloak, resting in the shadows.

“Soon my beloved,” I whispered.

 

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E.J. STEVENS is the award-winning, bestselling author of IVY GRANGER urban fantasy series, the HUNTERS’ GUILD urban fantasy series, the SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, and the upcoming WHITECHAPEL PARANORMAL SOCIETY Victorian Gothic horror series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

Follow E.J. Stevens at:

Blog: http://www.fromtheshadows.info/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EJStevensAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/E.J.Stevens.Author

Newsletter: http://twitter.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=42b4adf04824905d48f807daa&id=f5a09447b7

 

MORE buy links:

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hounds-bite-ej-stevens/1124057821?ean=2940156766635
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hounds-bite/id1071362496?mt=11

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Blood-and-Mistletoe-Ivy-Granger-Audiobook/B00YQGNCMC/

 

The German translation, Blut und Misteln, available in ebook and trade paperback:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Blut-Misteln-German-E-J-Stevens-ebook/dp/B01KFXSHTM/