Monday, December 23, 2013

Yuletide Youtube

One of my childhood favorites

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Story Time

From Shell Shocked.

NOT safe for work. Language and sex.

Yule crept up on them. Gabe hauled out his tiny table-top tree, a sad little fiber optic thing that was missing the base. He set it up on the table and they decorated it with the reindeer and ring ornaments.

Sean leaned over and kissed him. "So how do we manage presents when I can't get to the store without you?"

Gabe thought for a minute. "We go to the store but check out separately and meet outside." He looked up from the cards. "Sean, you don't have to get me anything."

Sean slid down to sit on one of the floor pillows. He stroked Gabe's hair. "But I want to. Nothing big, just a little something." He grinned. "I think you'll like what I have in mind."

"You already gave me a great present." Gabe leaned in and kissed him. "Several of them. You don't have to get me anything else."

Yuletide Youtube

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Books, lots of free books

But you have to get up early to get them

At 7 AM, Eastern Time, Jessewaves is opening up the grab-bag from dozens of authors.

I'm giving away 5 copies of Barbarossa's Bitch and 1 set of my whole backlist.

KZ Snow, Blaine D. Arden, Celia Tan, all your favorites.

Go here.
Read the rules.
Get books!


Yes, I shouted.

Now that I have your attention

Here is how this works.

1) I make a LiveJournal post, with screened comments. (this means only I can see them, which is why this is a Live Journal Only promotion)

2) You, the reader, go to my website.

3) You go to  and leave a comment with the title (a) and your email. If you are not an LJ user, include a name please?

4) I send you the book. All books are .pdf format.

Optional 5) You leave a review at Goodreads or Amazon

a) The following books are NOT available:
Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells
Howl at the Mistletoe
Dragons Composed
Dreams of Steam
Brass and Bolts: Dreams of Steam 2

Yuletide Youtube

Blessed Yule.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yuletide Youtibe, with Thursday Shops

Grammy Jan is a delightful lady with whom I spent a sweet hour crocheting at the laundromat.
She makes baby caps and booties. Her prices are quite reasonable.


So if there is a wee one coming, or already here, keep them warm with some love from West Memphis.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yuletide Youtube and Wednesday Noms

Joseph is a mildly neglected figure in most Nativities. He's Mary's husband, but not the father. Here is a man willing to take on a child who is not his on the basis of a dream. Some traditions paint him as very old, marrying this early teenage girl, which comes off very Old king with the New King in his arms.

Am in the process of making these

Salted Whiskey Caramels

barely adapted from Baked Bree via Betty Crocker
makes 64 thin caramels in a 9-inch square pan
per caramel: 44 calories, 2g fat, 6g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein


5 tbsp. butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 oz. (1/4 cup) whiskey (I used Jack Daniel's)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. kosher (coarse) salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
up to 1 tbsp. kosher (coarse) salt, for sprinkling (you may not need the entire tablespoon)


1. Line 9-inch square pan with parchment or wax paper, allowing the paper to drape over two sides; spray lightly with cooking spray.

2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat butter, heavy whipping cream, whiskey, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

3. In 3-quart saucepan, mix sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. DO NOT STIR. Boil until sugar turns a warm golden brown.

4. When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful -- it will bubble up violently. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Pour caramel into pan; cool 10 minutes. Sprinkle with up to 1 tablespoon salt; cool completely.

5. Cut into squares; wrap individually in parchment paper.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Yule Giveaway!

So, it's Yule again.

As always, on Yule, my readers and friends can request a book from me.

So, how this works:

You, the reader, go to my website.
You select the title you want.

I put up the Post on Yule at my live journal, with comments screened.
You leave a comment with your e-mail and the title.
I e-mail you your book.

Simple, no?

Yuletide Youtube and Monday Crafts

Monday Craft:
enough candy canes to circle your candle, hot glue together, and tie a ribbon around it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Story Time

This is a complete short story, set in the Eight Thrones universe. It was originally published in A Dark Roasted Christmas

One Gift at a Time

“Tanis?” Steven's voice rumbled through their apartment. He hoped Tanis wasn't
hiding from him again. She hadn't done that for a long time, though. He'd already had a
trying day. James had been out of temper and demanding. Any day the boss was difficult,
Steven had a difficult day. David being petulant all day hadn't helped either. Steven had
seen David's careful movements and half-hidden winces. James was not always careful of
the physical frailties of his body-slave, before demanding hard mental labor from him as
chief of staff.

“Minx?” he called. He set down his handheld on his desk, took a deep breath and
smiled. The smell of roasting turkey and other good things filled the room. She'd hung
holly garland about the doors and set up a decorated tree. He wondered where she'd
requisitioned one. James was an observant Jew and the Confederated States of America
banned Christmas trees as pagan. “Where are you, girl?”

“Kitchen.” Tanis' voice sounded harried. “Dinner is at a difficult stage.”

Steven shed his jacket, frowning at the nativity set she had placed under the tree.
Mary was a blue-eyed redhead, Joseph was blond and the baby was as white as snow. He
knew the statues should look more like their Greek employer. But everyone used the
symbols they felt comfortable with, or what they could get. Although he'd grown up with
a set that looked like his family, he was sure all Confederated nativities were white. The
Mary of his childhood had been coffee-colored and Joseph's hair black and tightly curled
like his father's and his own.

Tanis beamed at him as he entered the kitchen, tendrils of her fiery hair escaping
the tight braid. “Merry Christmas, lover.”

“How can I help?” Steven rolled up his sleeves and looked around. He hadn't seen
a real Christmas dinner since he'd taken service with James Ligatos. “Girl, have you been
cooking all day?”

“Two days, actually.” Tanis stretched way up to kiss him.

She never initiated contact. Every touch, every kiss for the last year had been
Steven's doing. He smiled down and kissed her back, wrapping her in his massive arms.

“Oops!” she giggled. She squirmed out of his embrace and turned off the green
beans which had just boiled over. “Can you carve?” She gestured to a small turkey
resting on a platter. She bent to get a pan of rolls out of the oven.

Steven carved the turkey and watched her put sweet potatoes and green beans,
cranberries and rolls, dressing and gravy on the table. Tanis took off the green apron with
holly trim and stood in a simple red dress with a high neckline that covered the leather
collar on her throat. James had ordered Steven to rivet it there two years before. She still
had five years left on her indenture. Most proteges ended up in the collar. Steven had
escaped it, barely, during his own training period.

“I'm afraid I didn't dress for dinner,” Steven said. He reached out and ran a finger
down the side of her face. She'd found cosmetics somewhere and applied just enough to
enhance herself. He caught a whiff of a spicy sweet fragrance as well.

“It's all right.” She lit candles, poured out white wine into glasses and set water
goblets beside them. “David said this would be a good wine. When I told him what I was
planning, he made the arrangements.”

Steven nodded. Of course, David had seen to it all. The man doted on Tanis, for
all that he was strictly attracted to men. She had but to ask and the Best Mind of the
Twenty-First Century would make it happen for her. A tree, decorations, make-up,
perfume, wine...Steven wondered what other contraband David had acquired for her.

Steven served the turkey and seated himself. Tanis dimmed the lights. “Our first
Christmas together, lover,” she said. “The Master is a brute to keep you working on a
holiday. Don't see him working Saturdays.” She smiled at him, done with her grumbling.

“Say grace? God doesn't hear the prayers of women when they come from this benighted

Steven hesitated. She was still testing him. He'd been raised African Methodist
Episcopal in St. Louis, but after the crimes he'd committed in his youth, he'd found peace
through Zen Buddhism during his training. A multifaith blessing came back to him.

“Today may we appreciate this food and remember those who are hungry. May we
appreciate our family and friends and remember those who are alone. May we appreciate
our health and remember those who are sick. May we walk, ever mindful of the path at
our feet. Peace on earth and a light in this darkest of seasons.”

“Amen,” Tanis said, looking vaguely dissatisfied. She filled their plates and they
ate quietly.

Steven cleared up as Tanis put the leftovers away. It felt good to just work beside
her, with no strife or fear. She had been very sweet all evening.

Once the last pot was drying in the drainer, she took his hand. The lights were off
in the front room but she flipped on the Christmas tree lights.

“Presents and then pie,” she said. Steven smiled indulgently. She wasn't the only
one with surprises tonight. He had a doozy for her.

“This is for you, lover,” she said, pulling out a very large, flat present from
between the tree and the wall.

Steven felt the edges of the frame through the wrapping paper. He eased the tape
open, teasing. Tanis nearly bounced with excitement. Steven gave her a wicked grin and
shredded the colorful paper away with a swipe of his massive hand.

A painting of him, dressed as Othello, seated and brooding, stared back. Tanis
chewed her lip, waiting. He smiled.

“It will look lovely right over there.” He gestured to the wall above his favorite
chair. He touched the portrait. It was actual paint applied to a canvas, not a print. “This is
magnificent, Tanis. Who did it?”

She shrugged. “I don't know. One of the in-house artists. David found him. But
I'm glad you like it.” She kissed his cheek. “My handsome Othello.”

It was time. Steven took the box out of his pocket. It looked tiny in his palm, the
blue box with it's white bow. “This is for you, Tanis.”

She opened the package, her fingers trembling. The Tiffany logo on the box made
her catch her breath. Tanis originally came from the California Conglomerate and Steven
knew she'd been part of a heist on the Los Angeles Tiffany and Company.

A single diamond solitaire winked in the lights of the tree. She looked up at him,
her pale face gone sheet-white. The very act of them living in the same building was
illegal, never mind the same apartment. Were they not under the protection of
Ambassador Ligatos, the gift would mean certain death for them both in this country.
Miscegenation laws in the Confederation were as strict as the sodomy laws and carried
the same penalty. Tanis stared at him, still shocked at his boldness.

Steven, feeling more bold still, said, “Tanis, I love you. I don't want to live
without you. Nor could I bear returning you to James when your training time with me is
finished. I've bought your indenture.” He laid a piece of parchment on the table. “Your
choice, Minx. A ring or a collar. Marry me and I'll free you from the indenture. If you
choose the collar, I will keep the ring, in hopes that you'll choose to stay after your time
is served.”

Tanis stared, breathing hard. Steven busied himself with hanging the painting,
giving her time to decide. When Othello stared down from over his chair, Steven turned
back to find Tanis still staring between the box and the parchment. One hand lay at the
collar on her throat.

She looked up and he saw the deep fear in her eyes. She'd been afraid from the
moment she'd come to Memphis, terrified of them all, but mostly of him. All his
gentleness had eased her fears but now she sat beside the tree, paralyzed.

Careful not to loom over her, he joined her there. He reached out one hand, nearly
as large as her whole head, and stroked her hair, loosening the braid. She pressed into his

“What does your heart tell you, Tanis?” He picked up her free hand and laid it on
his chest. “Mine tells me I love you more than life and will spend all my days making
you happy, if you allow it.”

She closed her eyes and shook her head, her lips pressed into a narrow line.

He caught his breath. She had never used his name, not once in the year she'd
been with him. “Yes?”

She nodded, her green eyes gleaming. “Yes.”

Steven took her in his arms, cradling her gently in the light of the tree. “Forever.
my dearest Tanis.” He heard the small gasp and felt her tense when she saw the silvery
blade. He sliced away the leather strap riveted around her delicate neck. Softly, he kissed
the pale skin where it had been.

Steven opened the box and picked up the ring. “My life I pledge to thee, Tanis.
Until death takes me or the world ends.” He slid the ring onto her finger, undermining the
laws of the land, but fulfilling the law of his heart.

She stared at the sparkling stone for a moment and then kissed him, opening to his
tongue. Then, for the first time, she thrust into his mouth, dominating and taking charge
of the kiss. When they parted, Steven saw the glint of mischief in her eye and it pleased
him mightily.

“Now about that pie, Minx,” he teased.

She flung her arms around his neck and kissed him again, bearing him to the
floor. Steven decided the pie could wait, no matter how good it was.

Yuletide Youtube

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Anthology calls extended

For the utterly ambitious, or those who have something lying around that might fit the call.
All anthology stories are 5000-10000 words.
Two deadlines have been extended to the end of the year:

(actual cover art)

Dominant Tendencies
What Master wants, Master gets. Perhaps your boys have decided to try this for the first time. They may have found each other in the lifestyle years ago. Whatever the circumstances, give us your finest examples of sexy men doing terrible things to each other for every good reason.
Pairing: M/M
Happy ending required.

Hungry Hearts
Erotic horror. Make it sexy, make it scary. Inhuman lovers, kinky revenge, paranormal sexual encounters, bring it on. Explicit sexual situations required.
Pairing: (M/M, M/F, F/F, Trans* and Poly inclusive)
Happy ending not required.

See for more info.

Yuletide Youtube

My Sexy Saturday: That Sexy Thing

That Sexy Thing:
You’re one sexy character. Yes, you…that heroine or hero in the novel I just read. Sometimes you’re kick-ass, sometimes you’re demure but every time you are one sexy thing. Writers who tells a romantic story will have characters with a side that is all so sexy. All characters can have it as well…whether male or female…and it all depends upon your definition of sexy. Yes, sexy…that sexy look, that sexy talk, that sexy body. You sexy thing. You all know what I’m saying. That special moment, place and character. You’ve just had that sexy thing. You feel everything, it smells wonderful and you want to share those times with your readers. Wasn’t that a kick?

From Glad Hands

Chuck ducked into the bathroom and Seven stared at the shirt. It was really gorgeous. He knew Chuck had a little bit of a temper that he kept reined in very tightly, but evil? He couldn’t imagine it.

Chuck came out, his hair bundled in a towel, wearing only fresh jeans. Seven felt himself go hard right there at the sight of all of the gorgeous bronze skin, bare chest, bare feet. The intercom buzzed as Chuck shook out his wet hair. Seven’s mouth went dry with wanting and he swallowed hard.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Yuletide Youtube and Friday Decor

For my oldest, who called me from New York this morning


What you will need: 
Clear glass ornaments 
broken crayons
hair dryer

Take the top off of the ornament and drop in bits of crayon - not too many. Think about color mixing for best results (This is where I hope you listened to your art teacher and remember how colors mix!)

Put the top back on and hold by the top. Apply heat to the crayons until they begin to melt. 

Spin or twirl the ornament to allow the crayon to spread around the ornament. Careful! It does get hot!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yuletide Youtibe, with Thursday Shops

The Den of Debauchery's Gift Shoppe

Knitting, crocheting, pretty boxes, Tarot readings.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yuletide Youtube and Wednesday Noms

Rum Balls
2 c. vanilla wafer crumbs
2 c. sifted powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 c. dark rum or 1/4 c. rum and 1/4 c. water
3 Tbsp. white Karo syrup
1 c. chopped nuts

Sift sugar and cocoa. Mix with vanilla wafer crumbs. Mix rum and syrup; add to crumbs. Add chopped nuts. Mix together until blended. Pinch off small pieces of dough; form balls and roll in sifted powdered sugar until covered. Store in tin containers. Aging improves flavor.

Chocolate Truffles
1/4 c. whipping cream
2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier liqueur
6 oz. sweet chocolate, broken
4 Tbsp. sweet butter, softened
unsweetened cocoa
Boil cream until reduced to 2 Tbsp. Remove from heat, stir in liqueur and chocolate. Return to heat until chocolate melts. Whisk in softened butter. When smooth, pour into shallow bowl. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour. Scoop chocolate up with tsp. Shape into 1" balls. Roll in cocoa. Use cool working area, and store in refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Other liqueurs: Kahlua, Framboise or amaretto.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Yuletide Youtube and Tuesday shops

If you like photography, or have someone on the list who does, Elizabeth Donald has an awesome shop and reasonable prices:

(All images copyright Elizabeth Donald)

Both images link back to their pages.


Her Angel of Death is the splash page for the Literary Underworld, but she also has pretty flowers, fireworks and stunning landscapes.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Yuletide Youtube and Monday Crafts

For your geek who likes hair things:!prTwB

I want a Millennium Falcon barrette!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Yuletide Youtube

The Medaeval Babes perform "Adam Lay Y-bounden"


Adam lay ybounden,
   Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter
   Thought he not too long.
And all was for an apple,
   An apple that he took,
As clerk√ęs finden written
   In their book.
Nor had one apple taken been,
   The apple taken been,
Then had never Our Lady
  A-been heaven's queen.
Blessed be the time
   That apple taken was.
Therefore we may singen
   Deo gratias!

My Sexy Saturday: I Just Had Sexy

This week's excerpt is from Forgotten Menagerie, an anthology of non-canine, non-feline shifters.

Dobson has a farm and works construction in town. When Bob's nephew Jim joins the crew, Dobson finds there might be more than work in his life.

Available in paperback and ebook from Storm Moon press

From "Burdens Lightened":
One of the college boys came over and helped him with the bedroom. A pretty kid, strong but smart looking. Dobson was willing to bet he played some sort of sport. He looked like he might be a runner.

"I'm Jim," he volunteered as they worked on a window frame.

"Dobson. The guys call me Hoss."

The kid looked blank. Probably too young to remember Bonanza or even Merle Haggard. Dobson didn't care. His mind was hours ahead, already thinking about getting home and doing evening chores. There were chores and preserving and a little mending where he'd caught his work-jeans on a nail at lunch time. Always too much work and never enough time to do it. He felt like dropping in harness some days.

The kid smiled for him. "Bob's my uncle. Dad thinks I need to toughen up. He doesn't like my major, my grades, my choice of sport or the color of my apartment. Like I can control the landlord putting up pink and purple zigzag wallpaper in the bathroom."

Dobson looked him over and asked the first most logical question, the one all the things on Dad's list led right up to. "Are you gay?"

Jim blanched, going the color of cottage cheese under his just-starting sunburn. That was all the answer Dobson needed. He shrugged. "Doesn't matter one way or another to me. But that's usually the only reason daddies send their boys out to bulk up. The kid is gay or Dad's afraid he is." He couldn't resist a smile and flexing. "Worked on me."

Friday, December 6, 2013

Yuletide Youtube and Friday Decor

We're going a little Victorian/steampunk

And our decoration is from the Seeing Things Blog, which is amazing

You'll have to go get the directions there.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Yuletide Youtube and Thursday Shopping

This is one of my favorite holiday pieces.

Shopping time:
(All pictures property of Wizard At Work)

Do you have that hard-to-buy-for person on your list? Of course you do, we all do.

Wizard at Work makes soap, bath bombs, candles, earrings, arts and crayons.


Spell a niece or nephew's name in crayons. Enter pretty earrings in a gift exchange. Send a one-of-a-kind card. Get a backpack.
bathcrayons bathearrings bathpack

The rubber duck soap is adorable, especially the zombies!

And the soaps are done in custom colors and scents. Order before Dec 15 to assure Christmas delivery.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yuletide Youtube, with Wednesday noms

Our first Cthluhu carol of the season, from the Arkham Carolers.

And I so should not give you this, but here is my grandmother's favorite candy recipe.

Rice-Krispies Balls

1 stick melted oleo
1 egg, well beaten
1 c. sugar
1 pkg. (8 oz) dates

Stir all together, bring to boil. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in 3 c. Rice Krispies, 1 c. finely chopped nuts. Stir. Wet hands, roll into small balls, roll in flaked coconut. Chill. Makes 24.done (about 10 minutes).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Yuletide Youtube, Tuesday Shopping

Let's kick the season off right with The Boar's Head Carol. It's sung at the opening of every madrigal dinner I've ever been to. (I know there are better version, but I like this guy's voice and the general enthusiasm of the kids)

This carol dates to 1521. The story goes that Capcot, a scholar at Queen's College, Oxford, was attacked by a wild boar on his way to Mass (as so often happens on college campuses). He grabbed the boar by the scruff of the neck and shoved a copy of Aristotle down its throat. As Aristotle was just as dry in the 1400s as he is to day, the boar promptly choked to death. Capcot took the head on his staff to Mass and later delivered it to dinner.

The fact of it is, Boar hunting season runs Christmas Day to Candlemas (Feb 1), and the boar's head may be a remnant of a Nordic sacrifice to Frejya at Yule.

Today for Shopping Suggestions:
The Literary Underworld.

Do you have readers on your list? Of course you do.
The Literary Underworld, a small press author consortium, offers fiction (and some nonfiction) for every taste.

Gamers can test out the Stars of Empire steampunk RPG

Fantasy and Horror readers have their choice of award winners from John Everson to Elizabeth Donald, Wrath James White and Sara Harvey.

YA readers will enjoy Jackie Gamber's dragon series or the Katana series

For the aspiring writer, we have copies of Nick Mamatas' Starve Better

For the romantic, there are all flavors of romance. from my lesbian Adventuresses to Sara Harvey's tale of a Kitsune and a Dragon, Seven Times a Woman, Elizabeth Donald's vampire series, Nocturnal Urges, to the dark future gay Pygmalion, Nikolai.

Check out the Underworld!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Yuletide Youtube, with Monday Craft

We're still on Hanukkah, so:

Craft/gift idea


Chenille stems, eyes, and tiny red pompoms make a six-pack of The Black Stuff extra festive

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Update and Yuletide Youtube begins!

So sorry about November. I've spent it on the backside of nowhere, taking care of my mother after she had brain surgery.

The Sunday before Halloween, I picked up a woman who couldn't even eat well. She pocketed food in her left cheek and dropped anything in her left hand.

Friday, I left a woman capable of looking after herself and driving.

I'm home again. And we'll resume My Sexy Saturdays, and pick up Yuletide Youtube.

So this year, instead of JUST Yuletide Youtube, I figured on Monday Wednesday and Friday, I would post recipes, crafts and gift ideas. Tuesday and Thursday would be shop spotlights. If you would like your shop spotlighted, let me know.

So, before we're all Rumpapummeled into Scrooginess, let me share my favorite version of The Little Drummer Boy. because Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Dueting.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Winding up Vampire Week Early.

Sorry about yesterday.
The weekend may be slim as well. I'm headed out of town for about three weeks. The My Sexy Saturday is on hiatus.

So, I give you the giveaway today!

In honor of Vampire Week, I'll send out five ebook copies of Power in the Blood. Leave your email in the screened comments.



Oren Stolt understands the natural order better than most people. Vampires prey on humans and Undying keep the vampires' numbers in check.

Until now.

Now, across the United States, vampire numbers are exploding, thanks to a new church. The Tabernacle of the Firstfruits preaches a Risen Lord and invites believers to follow Him in death and resurrection... quite literally.

In Memphis, the church is about to host its first conference, with an eye to converting the whole world to the vampiric gospel.

And all that stands between humanity and eternal night is Oren, his kids, and a thin line of insane immortals.


They met the Kid outside. He was leaning against a corner of the building, smoking a hand-rolled cigarette. Oren sniffed suspiciously, but only the rich odor of tobacco rewarded him.

"Roll me one, kiddo," Anne said. The Kid obliged, and she nodded her thanks. "It's going to be a long night, and I'm out of whiskey." She leaned into the light he offered.

"We could torch the place during late services tomorrow," the Kid suggested. 

"You can't kill any of them," Oren said, urging Anne toward the van. "They aren't attacking humans. Law in Memphis says that if the donors are willing, it's not a crime. Neither is turning a willing person. Now, the local vampire families frown on
bringing in unvetted people. They have a merit and reward system they use for their human groupies."

Anne rolled her eyes and took a drag on her cigarette.

The Kid finished his and crushed out the end against the heel of his boot. He flipped the butt into a nearby ditch.
"Same story as every major city. Most of the population doesn't believe in vampires to start with—not really. They know vamps are out there, but they aren't real as long as they keep their fangs to themselves." The Kid gave a lopsided grin. "Kinda like North Dakota or atheists. The vamps get all the usual rights, like jobs, a vote, and not being staked on sight, and don't abuse them most of the time. When they do step out of line, we have a nice, neat, licensed special force that handles them. All very fucking civilized," he said. He swung onto his bike. "Preaching talk makes me want to kill something. I'll meet you tomorrow. I'm going hunting."

"Come to my motel about eight," Anne said. "I'm down on Lamar in the seediest one you can find. We'll have dinner and plan."

"You ain't my type, carrot-top."

She gave him a disgusted look. "And I don't do pipsqueaks. Give me a card and I'll text you the address."

He settled his helmet on his head, which made Anne laugh. He gave her the bird, and then dug his card out of a jacket pocket. "Just because I ain't gonna die from it don't mean having my face smeared over a half mile of blacktop is much fun at all. Takes about two days to grow it back, and I ain't real pretty till I do." He took off, leaving them watching the rest of the congregation leaving the church.

Sounds of the Season:

Know your Vampires!