Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cover Reveal and Teasers ~ Undercity by Christine James

Cover Reveal, and some teasers for you. Check it out. Due out in March.
Published (first published March 2013)
Jerrick's job as a member of the Guard is to protect the humans that live in New York City from supernatural creatures that pose a threat, like the mindless vampires or the mangy werewolves. However, when he is appointed, by his father, to simply watch over the girl without knowing any facts or reasoning behind it, he gets a little irate. He is not supposed to have any contact with her. His only mission is to observe and protect from a distance. The girl is beautiful but has a temper that rivals his own. There is something off about her, but he doesn't know what. She seems normal, so why is he being put on babysitting duty of a human?
Kyra has always had an issue with her temper, this is not new news to her or anyone who knows her. When a blue eyed-silver haired stranger, along with his sister and best friend, saunter into the bar where she works, her interest is immediately piqued. Until she meets the rude -condescending- smart ass. He infuriates her like no other person on the planet, but damn, he's beautiful, in a slacker-leather wearing-rock band wanna be, way.
She discovers that he may hold the secrets to her sudden black outs, and when he does finally reveal what he knows, she finds herself wishing like hell she'd have never asked. Because her life had just been changed forever.
Christine James Links 
Undercity by Christine James
Teasers (these can change as they are from a unfinished draft)

The alley was dark but she didn’t care.  She leaned heavily against the cold brick wall and tried to control her shaking.  There had only been a few instances she’d ever been so mad in her life, and this was one of them.  The nerve of a near stranger talking to her like she was a common whore was beyond maddening.  She closed her eyes and tilted her head back against the wall.  Slowly she began to count, and with each number, her body began to relax and her fury begin to recede.
. . . She’d lost track of how long she had been in the alley, but when she opened her eyes something felt off.  The tiny hairs on the back of her neck began to stand on end.
. . . At the end of the alley, a large form stepped into view, launching her heart into her throat. Her hand fumbled behind her for the door knob, but to her dismay it was locked.  She bit down on her lip to keep from crying out in frustration.  Her eyes darted around, trying to find a quick escape.  There was only one other way out of the alley, and that was the way the stranger was coming from.  She was trapped and the only thing left for her to do was fight. 

*   *   *

            When Jerrick looked up, Kyra’s friend was staring accusingly down at him from the side of the table.  He assumed she was the one appointed to take his order.  He looked over her shoulder searching for Kyra but didn’t see her.  Tiny alarm bells sounded in his head.
            “Where’s Kyra?” he asked, trying to keep his voice calm.  His eyes began to search the room. 
            “What in the hell did you say to her,” Alexa demanded.
            “Nothing.  Where is she?” he pressed.
            “She’s on break out back.  What did you say?” she snapped.
            “Out back?”
            “Yeah, she probably went outside to take a beather because apparently you really pissed her the hell off.”
            Jerrick pushed away from his seat and moved past Alexa, bumping into her on his way.
            “Excuse you,” she muttered.
            Casually but quickly, he made his way to the front entrance.  It took every ounce of strength he possessed not to use his speed and run from the room.  As he reached the front door and walked into the chilly night, he prayed that nothing had happened to her.  He would never forgive himself.
            As he made his way down the sidewalk toward the corner of the building, an ear splitting scream tore through the night.  His heart plummeted as he bolted, full speed, toward the alley.  At this point he didn’t care if the humans saw him.  His only concern was to get to Kyra, and if she made it out alive, he would apologize until the end of time.

*   *   *

            Kyra didn’t know where her strength came from but she used it.  The man lunged for her, but she side-stepped him easily and bolted down the alley.  She didn’t make it three steps before a strong arm surrounded her waist and dragged her back.  How in the hell had he moved so quickly? 
            As he pulled her back, she dug her heels into the pavement, trying to make it as difficult as she could on him.  He was easily three times her size, so she stood little or no chance of beating him.  That thought made her fight harder, but he moved her as if she weighed no more than a bag of flour.
            “Andreas wants to see you,” he whispered harshly in her ear.  The overwhelming stench of rotting flesh made bile rise in her throat. 
            “Andreas?”  A feeling of déjà vu settled over her.  Where had she heard that before?  It didn’t matter.  She didn’t have time to ponder the weirdness.  She needed to get free from this goon and whatever “Andreas” had planned for her.
            Leaning forward and then throwing her head back as hard as she could, she smashed the guy’s nose.  He cursed violently and loosened his grip enough for her to twist away.  The toe of her boot caught on a pothole and she pitched forward, landing hard on her hands and knees, sending bone jarring pain through her body.  As she tried to regain her footing, a large hand closed around her ankle.  She cried out as the bones crunched beneath his grasp.
            Pain threatened to envelope her, but she refused to let it.  Instead, she got mad, allowing the anger to burn through her and the pain vanished.  She rolled onto her back and planted a foot in his midsection.  He released a loud grunt and lost his balance long enough for Kyra to climb to her feet.  When he rushed her again, she was ready for him.
The first punch she landed between his eyes hurt her hand, but the surge of adrenaline made her quickly forget it as she leaped up on the dumpster with an agility that surprised even her.  She felt alive and so . . . strong!  The man grabbed at her ankle again, but she stepped back.
            “I don’t think so,” she said, stomping in his face with the bottom of her foot.  The loud crunching of his cheek bone should have made her sick, but it didn’t.  It made her want to hurt him more. 
            “You little bitch,” he howled.
            She flipped over his head and landed easily on the ground behind him.  The urge to kill surged through her like hot lava.  She leapt onto his back and wrapped her arm around his neck, and her legs around his thick waist.  She was crushing his windpipe beneath her forearm, but it didn’t seem to phase him as he kept flailing and trying to get her off his back.
            Throwing himself backward, he rammed her into a wall, knocking the wind from her lungs.  She lost her grip and slid from his back.  He turned and clasped her by the throat, lifting her completely from the ground.
            “Andreas wants you alive, but he didn’t say you had to be in one piece.”  The moon shifted from behind the clouds and she watched in horror as his lips curled back and his incisors elongated into fangs.
            “Vampire?” she hissed.  Somehow this didn’t surprise her.  It was like it was something she already knew.
            He lunged for her neck but she jabbed him in the eye.  She pushed her thumb as deep as it would go and felt it give with a slight pop.  Then a breeze shifted and the smell of blood reached her.  She lost her grip on his face and looked down at her other hand.            His dark blood dripped onto her shirt.  The smell alone was enticing.  Her mouth began to water and she felt something sharp press against her lip.
She traced the sharp point with her tongue, but had little time to think about what was happening.  As the scent of blood grew stronger, her head grew lighter.  She let out a feral scream and launched herself at the man.  Everything went black.

            When Jerrick rounded the corner to the alley, he skidded to a stop.  Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw.  Kyra was crouched low, tearing away part of the man’s neck with her teeth.  She sensed him watching and her head snapped up; she let loose a low growl and crouched lower over her kill.
            He felt as if he’d been punched in the gut.  Kyra was a vampire?  He watched, never taking his eyes off her as he reached for his phone.  He pressed the speed dial and Ren answered after the second ring.
            “Yo, yo, yo. What’s up dog?”
            “We have a problem,” he said quietly. “I need you and Ericka down at the bar.  Now!”
            “What’s wrong?”
            Jerrick heard him tell Ericka and then sounds of moving around.  Seconds later a door closed.  “Just get to the alley beside the bar.  Bring your weapons and whatever you do, be quiet.”


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