Last year I read, reviewed and truly loved Jane Lovering's Vampire State Of Mind and the wait is over Falling Apart is the follow up novel and it is out now as an e-book with the paperback following shortly...
In the lead up to release I asked Jane if Dark Readers could get some exclusive content and this is what we have....what you are about to read follows the end of Vampire State Of Mind and is before Falling Apart.
Do let us know your thoughts???
The ghoul was hiding in the shadows. The overhanging eaves of the old buildings in the Shambles gave it excellent cover after dark, and the cobbles meant that I was seriously disadvantaged.
“High heels are not very suitable for this kind of work, Jessica,” Sil said, leaning against the wall of a precariously-angled building. History is all very well, but I prefer it not to look as though it’s going to make a personal attack at any moment. The building, I mean, not Sil, he may be over a hundred years old but he still looks about twenty nine. Bastard.
“I know. I just bought them. I was breaking them in when Liam called me out.” I loaded the tranq gun and bent down to try to see where the ghoul was hiding. “Can you see anything?”
“An immediate future of broken ankles and blisters?” Sil was lounging in that nineteenth-century way he’d obviously adopted when he’d been human and never quite lost, a stance that just screamed ‘streetwalker, typhoid and strange hats’. His snappy Hugo Boss outfit didn’t suit his louche attitude, it made him look like a shop-window dummy that’s been stolen by students and propped in a thoroughfare. “Jessica, you should have taken some moments to change.’
“The ghoul! Can you see the ghoul! I’m going cross-eyed here, honestly, I know there’s been budget cuts but would it kill them to put some street lights in down here? I’m this close to giving in and buying a head-torch, except that would make me look like a cut-price coal miner and Liam would tease the hell out of me. Plus it would ruin my hair.” I wielded the tranq gun and began a slow process down the street. The buildings crowded together, jagged against the skyline like teeth waiting for the orthodontist. “It’s down here somewhere, I can feel it.”
“Those shoes make you sound like a small pony approaching,” Sil remarked, still not moving from his wall-lean. “Perhaps the ghoul suspects you are conducting a mounted attack.”
“Still not helping.” I tried to move more quietly. “Look, you’re a vampire, you can see in the dark, can’t you?”
“Of course.” He inclined his head and his hair was swept by a breeze away from his face. He looked like a male model in an advert for wind tunnels. “However, it is much more entertaining to watch you fumble about.”
“Well, cheers for that.” One shoe slid off a damp cobblestone and sent me skittering sideways as I tried to keep up with my own foot, hopping until I could put a hand against a building and try to regain some dignity. As I grabbed hold of the wall, something moved against me, a cold brush of the dark as the ghoul tried to slip past me and back into the shadows. I kicked off the rubbish (but cheap, that sale had been unmissable) stilettos and ran after the fleeing shape, wincing and bobbing over the proud stones like a soft-footed city dweller trying to get within paddling range of the sea, brandishing the gun at arm’s length.
Sil sighed and moved with vampire speed into the path of the dashing ghoul, which rebounded off him and fell into a heap of writhing shadow at his feet. “Gun,” he said. I threw it overarm the length of the alleyway and Sil fired the tranq dart into the crumpled figure at his feet. “Well, that would appear to be that.”
“All right, Mister Bitey, no need to do that smug face at me.”
“It is dark, Jessica. You cannot see my expression.”
“I don’t need to see it. You’re a vampire, you’ve got ‘smug’ as a default setting. You and cats. Let’s phone this in to Enforcement and go home.”
As I pulled my phone out of my pocket, Sil coiled an arm around my waist and pulled me against him. “I find your annoyance most arousing, you know.”
I stared at him, my phone, and the shoes that now flopped unaccompanied further down the street where I’d kicked them off. It looked as though the Invisible Man was trying a bit of cross-dressing. “Well, since I appear to have broken another heel,” I said, trying to keep the irritation out of my voice, “you could be in for one hell of a night...”
Thank you Jane I cannot wait to read Falling Apart...and as soon as I have devoured this treat I shall be reviewing here at Dark Readers.