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Monday, May 22, 2017

Sneak Peek! Chapter 1 of Blood Vice #MondayBlogs

Blood Vice (Blood Vice Book One)
Coming June 27th, 2017
Pre-order today for only 99¢:


Detective Jenna Skye bombs her first week on the St. Louis County Police Department's Vice Squad when she's bitten by a vampire in a supernatural brothel. Her day only gets worse from there. She wakes up in the morgue and discovers that her partner is dead. Before the sun rises, she realizes she is too. Jenna vows to continue their investigation until justice is served, but a werewolf squatter, an unexpected visit from her estranged sister, and a nosy FBI agent stand in her way. Not to mention her fresh aversion to sunlight and a thirst for something a little stiffer than revenge.

Chapter One

    As I lay dying on the floor of an abandoned warehouse basement in the bowels of St. Louis, I couldn’t help but question every choice I’d ever made. Which one of them had led to this moment? Was it just one? Maybe my entire life had been one poor decision after another. That seemed the most likely answer as I stared into the vacant eyes of my partner sprawled out on the concrete not ten feet away.
Will Banks had definitely drawn the short straw when it came to being paired with me. At the time, it had seemed like divine intervention. His partner was transferring to a PD down in Florida, and I was finally getting the promotion I’d had my sights set on since day one. Will had been my mother’s partner ten years ago. Being paired with him felt like an omen from the universe. Like a sign from my mom even, that everything was unfolding as it should.
What a joke.
I thought of Will’s wife and daughter. He’d bragged about Serena to me just that morning, about the big scholarship she’d been awarded to go into the engineering program at MU. I could remember babysitting Serena the summer Will and Alicia had moved to St. Louis. I’d been sixteen, and she had just turned five. She was all bubblegum cheeks and beaded cornrows, full of exciting facts from her family’s recent trip to the Gateway Arch. That was twelve years ago. Had so much time really passed?
I was finally able to think of something worse than dying in a warehouse basement—facing Will’s family. I wondered who would be tasked with delivering the news that he was dead. And that it was my fault.
The suspect I’d chased down here was crouched over me, his face buried in the crook of my neck. Mewling, sucking noises filled my ears. Terror punched my heart until it felt like it would burst. My hand trembled around the 9mm pressed into the man’s stomach. I’d already squeezed off a dozen rounds, but I didn’t have the strength to empty the magazine. I’d lost too much blood.
I could hardly keep my eyes open, but every time they refocused, I found myself looking at Will. In the moonlight slipping through the dusty basement windows, I almost couldn’t tell that it was blood oozing from his lips and spreading in a puddle under his face. I tried to pretend that we were back at the precinct. That he’d fallen asleep at his desk again. Maybe it was just drool. I’d give him hell when he woke up, and he’d joke for the hundredth time that he needed all the beauty sleep he could get, and that a young punk like me would know what he was talking about soon enough…
But I’d never know, because I was dying. I’d been so eager to prove myself worthy of the vice squad, and now I would be nothing more than a cautionary tale to warn rookie detectives who got too big for their badges.
Humiliation overpowered my pain, and I found the strength to squeeze off one last round. The creep gnawing on me barely grunted at my effort. Meth? PCP? Bath salts? It was the only explanation my aching brain could come up with. Human trafficking and drugs. God, this could have been a career-making bust. A massive launch pad for me, and a grand finale for Will. That’s what had been on my mind when I saw a flash of movement through the basement window. And look where it had gotten me.
We’d been staking out the building all week. A lucky arrest had turned up a tip about a prostitution ring responsible for the recent surge of missing teens around the city. Will and I had parked our unmarked car in a dark alleyway between two buildings across the street. There was scarcely enough room to open our doors, but after four fruitless nights before this one, it seemed pretty clear that whoever was in charge had been tipped off and had abandoned the place.
It was almost five in the morning. We were arguing about where to have breakfast when movement caught my eye. It was a stray dog, sniffing around the building’s foundation. That’s when I saw something flicker through a window, something shiny, reflecting the moonlight as it moved around the basement.
I was out of the car with my gun in hand before I knew what I was doing. Will hissed at me to wait, to get back in the car. He said that we needed to call for backup. But my feet moved on their own. There were young girls being held captive, and we were going to find them. I was sure of it.
The only thing I was sure of now, with a drug-addicted cannibal at my throat, was that I was a reckless idiot.
A soft whimper drew my attention to a spot across the room, and for a moment, I could have sworn I saw a dog lurking in the corner. I was hallucinating. Great. At least that meant I wouldn’t have to endure this agony much longer. I was ready for my life to flash before my eyes and be done with this nightmare. I thought back as far as I could, trying to jumpstart the event.
One of my earliest memories took place under a kitchen table. A pink, plastic stethoscope dangling between my blond pigtails, the business end pressed to the chest of my mother’s first partner, a beautiful German Shepherd named Maggie.
My mother, Toni Skye, was what the department called a natural-born hero. She’d worked her way up from patrol to the K9 unit, and then she’d transferred to vice after we lost Maggie.
Maggie had been my favorite patient. Doctors are not supposed to have favorites, I’d tell her at every appointment, but I knew she wouldn’t report me to the medical board.
The memory pulled one corner of my mouth up in a lazy grin, even as the life drained from my body, and my skin grew cold and clammy. My muscles slowly unclenched. I couldn’t feel the gun in my hand anymore. I couldn’t even feel the teeth in my throat, though I could hear them working me over, a horrid gnashing sound that echoed in my skull.
And then I saw her—a flash of dark fur darting through the moonlight. Maggie? Had she come to deliver me from evil?
My vision warped, eyelids fluttering their last as I began to lose consciousness. I strained to keep them open, waiting to see if my mother would show next. She always arrived a moment behind Maggie. Why should it be any different in the afterlife?
As if answering my silent request, the silhouette of a woman rose up before me, towering over the brute at my neck. My eyes watered as they rolled back in my head, and my heart strummed out a hopeful staccato.
Then, it stopped.


  1. Very interesting! I can't wait to read the whole thing. <3

    1. Thanks! I'll be sharing chapter 2 in a couple weeks. : )