Poison in the Blood comes out on Tuesday. As part of the new release celebration, I'm giving away a signed copy of Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered over at Goodreads.
As Poison in the Blood is an Emily novel, here is an Emily-centered excerpt from Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered.
In this scene, Cat has called Emily in for help with an investigation. Hunters have murdered a magician couple and kidnapped their children, and Cat is desperate for any leads, even if that means calling on Team Vampire.
Emily arrived with her husband Michael in tow. As I understood it, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Black had been married for over a century. (If fifty was the golden anniversary, I wondered what one hundred was? Mithril?) They were both dressed impeccably in what I’d consider formal attire—though I’m the sort who wears “good” jeans to holiday events—and I wondered if they were perfect all the time. An eternity of being neatly pressed and freshly washed.
“I feel I must warn you that I’m not certain how much I will be able to find. My abilities can be very fickle,” Emily apologized.
“That’s fine. We’re grateful for your help,” I assured her. Well, I was grateful. I assumed Lex and Marie were as well. Marie seemed to play well with others, so I was fairly certain she wouldn’t go all territorial on us and start spouting things about “chain of command” or “jurisdiction”.
“It’s cold in here,” she whispered. Emily shivered, and Michael tried to touch her shoulder, but she shied away.
“Not yet… There was someone else here.”
“The husband?” Marie asked.
“Yes, he slept, but this presence is wrong. It’s not human nor magician.”
“Where was it?” I asked.
Emily crossed to the foot of the king-sized bed and pointed at a spot on the hardwood floor. I followed and sniffed the air. Blood was still the strongest scent, though there wasn’t any visible in the room. The bedding was disheveled, but that was the extent of the damage. I caught the papery smell of librarian that saturated the house, and I knelt and sniffed the floor.
“Brimstone,” I announced with a wrinkled nose.
“I don’t smell anything,” Marie said skeptically.
“You wouldn’t. It’s not actual brimstone. It’s magical residue,” I replied.
“You can smell magic?” Michael asked, quirking a brow. “That’s remarkable.”
Oops. If I hadn’t been so frazzled I wouldn’t have let that slip, but considering that Lex and Zach both knew of my special power, it wasn’t exactly a big secret anymore.
“We’d appreciate if you didn’t share that with anyone,” Lex said. “Was it a demon or a summoner?”
“A demon,” Emily confirmed. “It subdued the father, and the humans took him away.”
There had been demons involved when we rescued Anthony from the hunters, but we weren’t sure what their role was. They just seemed to pop up out of nowhere to keep us from escaping. Maybe the Prometheans flipped a summoner who was supplying them with demon reinforcements. It wouldn’t take much for a summoner to sell out the rest of us. They weren’t nice people.
We followed Emily through the other bedrooms as she related the story of what had happened. Much to everyone’s dismay, she couldn’t see where the family had been taken. I was impressed by what she’d managed to uncover, and the bit about the fact that the hunters were specifically interested in children was very important. And terrifying.