Category Archives: Lupine Howl

Awake, The Heights, Lupine Howl and something beginning with the letter V

awakecover1I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but it’s pretty hot here. So hot, in fact, that the dog doesn’t want to go for long walks. He prefers sitting in the shade, eating ice cubes. I don’t blame him at all…

Moving on to books! First, Awake and The Heights have begun. Awake is a series about a girl who suffers a horrific accident and is left with a brain injury that means she can never sleep again. An implant helps to regulate her REM sleep patterns, but she starts seeing strange creatures. At first, she’s convinced that she’s hallucinating. Gradually, however, it becomes clear that she’s actually glimpsing a hidden world.

heightsvolume1coverThe Heights is a kind of horror romance series about a remote hotel in southern England. There aren’t really any supernatural elements in this one, except for a couple of moments that might or might not be all in one character’s fevered imagination. Instead, you’ve got people doing horrible and very nasty things to one another, while others fall in and out of love. I wanted to write a traditional, dramatic romance novel, but I seem to have an urge to introduce lots of blood into everything I write, so…

lupinehowlthirdThere’ll be more Grave Girl coming soon, and more Broken White, as well as another project that begins with the letter V. More news on that soon. Also, the third series of Lupine Howl finished recently and is now available as an omnibus edition. There’ll be a fourth series in 2014, and a fifth series a little later. Beyond that, I’m not certain. When I started Lupine Howl, I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. Now I know, but I’m not sure how long it’ll take to get there.

Oh, and I changed the look of this blog again, because I was never entirely happy with the recent makeover. Hopefully this time, it’ll stick.

New Lupine Howl, plus Smashwords Summer Sale!

Snowfall parts I & II (Lupine Howl 3.3 & 3.4) is out now at Amazon for the usual price of 99 cents. This time around, there are monks involved, and possibly a few Yeti. Jess is still looking for Duncan, but she soon realizes that the monster at the door has an awfully familiar growl. Balance of Power (Lupine Howl 3.5 & 3.6) will follow later this week, and the rest of July will see the remainder of Lupine Howl‘s third series plus some new Grave Girl and Broken White books.

Other than that, you should check out the Smashwords Summer Sale, which started on July 1st and runs to the end of the month. There are loads and loads of ebooks included in the sale, with price reductions ranging from 25% to 50% and even 100%. I’ve got a couple of books in the sale this year. Use the code SW100 to get Dark Season: The Complete Second Series and American Coven for free. The usual price is $2.99 each, but you’ll get the discount once you enter the codes for each book. (Sorry, the sale is now over!)

In related news, both Dark Season: The Complete Second Series and American Coven are currently filtering through to sites such as Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Dark Season: The Complete Third Series will follow soon, along with Ghosts, The Night Girl and the Lupine Howl books. I’m not sure about Asylum yet, but hopefully that’ll join the others soon.

New Lupine Howl, plus Grave Girl, Broken White and American Coven

werewolvesofindiacvrThe third series of Lupine Howl has begun, with Werewolves of India part I and II (Lupine Howl 3.1 and 3.2) available now from Amazon. There’ll be one double-bill each month, with Snowfall (3.3 and 3.4) coming toward the end of June. Also, spin-off series The Library will be coming to an end in the next couple of weeks.

The third series of Lupine Howl will be published in the usual serial format via Amazon. Once that’s finished, the omnibus edition will be released not only at Amazon but also at sites such as Barnes & Noble and Apple. I’m gradually pushing most of my older books out to these sites at the moment.

What else? There are new Grave Girl and Broken White books coming soon, while The Devil’s Photographer is taking a short break but will resume shortly. Meanwhile, there are two new serials coming: American C oven is a horror series, in the same kind of style as Asylum, while The Heights is a very different kind of horror series. Right, I think I need to go and take a nap…

Lupine Howl spin-off The Library, plus the end of The Night Girl

There’s good news and bad news about Lupine Howl. The bad news is that I’ve decided to delay the third series for a couple of months while I fix some plot holes. The good news is that this has allowed me to bring forward a new fantasy series called The Library, which is a kind of spin-off from last year’s Broken Spirits (Lupine Howl 2.4). The series is set inside the same huge library that Duncan and Jess visited, and while those two characters won’t be showing up (aside from a possible cameo appearance later on), The Library is definitely set in the same universe. The first two parts (1.1 and 1.2) are available together for 99 cents here!

Meanwhile, The Night Girl is coming to an end this month with the final two books, titled So Low (The Night Girl 1.7) and The Final Shift (The Night Girl 1.8). The Night Girl was never meant to run for more than one series, so there’s going to be a definite end to the story. After that, there’ll be the follow-up to Broken Blue, titled Broken White.

Finally, I’ve changed the way the books are released. Instead of releasing each one for 99 cents, I’m going to be releasing them as double-bills, with the price staying at 99 cents. This will work out much cheaper: instead of buying 8 books at 99 cents each, you’d only buy 4 books at 99 cents each. Also, they’ll still get bundled together at the end as a $2.99 collection, so it’s not a huge change. I made the change mainly because I realized that 8 books at 99 cents each came to a total of $7.92, which seemed a bit much compared to the $2.99 price of the omnibus editions. So, to sum up: 99 cents now gets you two books, instead of just one. And now I have to go and take the dog for a walk!

Preview for Underworld (Lupine Howl VI)

Underworld (Lupine Howl VI) is out next week, so here’s the preview. It follows directly on from the end of The Architect (Lupine Howl V) and tells the story of Jess and Darla’s journey to the city beneath London, where they hope to find Duncan:

I don’t know why they call London a city. It’s not. Never has been. It’s always been two cities, one on top of the other.

Listen.

There’s a story. I don’t know how true it is but I believe it. Apparently there was this guy a couple of hundred years ago, his name was Harrington Edwards and he was working construction on the first big sewers being built beneath the city of London. One day he got lost. Very lost. Probably more lost than any person in the history of humanity has ever got lost. He wandered around for days down there, trying to find his way back up to the surface, back up to his friends and family.

He never made it.

I don’t know if he was disorientated, or confused, or just plain stupid, but as Harrington Edwards tried to find a route back to the surface, he ended up going further and further down. Deeper and deeper and deeper. He ended up in tunnels that no-one knew existed, tunnels that were supposed to have been filled in many decades earlier. He must have realised, after a few days, that he was never going to get out alive.

But then he found himself in the other London. The one beneath the one we all know today. The one that was erased, the one that was deliberately destroyed and crushed. The one that was supposed to be empty and abandoned.

This other London was lit by the phosphorescent light of ancient moss. Huge buildings filled the caverns, reaching several storeys up to the roofs. It must have been an astonishing sight for poor Harrington Edwards as he first wandered through those ruins. Having longed to see his home, the surface world, again, he now found himself face to face with a nightmare ghost of his home, an ashen, doomed metropolis deep beneath his London. He was looking for his home, and instead he found someone else’s home. It must have seemed so empty, so lonely.

And then the creatures came. Antipedes, huge worms with a million legs that double as teeth. Loom People, whose only goal is to strip the human body into threads for their legendary looms, which they then pass on to their masters, the Flesh Weavers. Golvs, hideous creatures with teeth in their eyes. Even a few stray werewolves remained down there, or so I’m told. Such things that would drive any many insane. Poor Harrington Edwards must have run screaming to try to get away from this menageries of horrors.

But of course they caught him. He ran into the Bog Babies. And that’s how Harrington Edwards died. He drowned, and was sliced up, and was eaten, and was skinned alive, and suffered a massive heart attack, all at the same time. The only consolation is that there must have been so much pain, so much agony, that his body shut down and was unable to feel anything. But still he would have seen all those creatures watching him die. Loom People. Bog Babies. Loop Bandits. Criads. Tenderlings. Golvs. Why, some people say that even Black Annis herself came to watch.

And they all laughed.

That was it. That was the world you asked me about. That was the Underworld.

The Architect (Lupine Howl V) is out, here’s a preview!

The Architect (Lupine Howl V) is out today. It’s the story of Jess and Darla arriving in London to look for Duncan, but they quickly become caught up in the story of a mysterious new building that hides a dark secret. Meanwhile, they also have a race against time to find Duncan before his death becomes permanent.

I posted this preview on Facebook a couple of days ago, but here it is again. Meanwhile, I’ve almost finished editing Underworld (Lupine Howl VI) so that will be out soon. If you’re wondering how I’m getting them out so fast, don’t worry, I’ve been working on them for months. Anyway, here’s the preview for The Architect (Lupine Howl V), hope you like it:

When I retired from the church, I believed my days of service to the community were over. For nearly half a century, I served St. Mary’s Church dutifully. I officiated at weddings, funerals and christenings, and I gave sermons to packed congregations. But then, shortly before my 60th birthday, my eyesight began to fail. I struggled on for some time, hoping that God would spare my vision. But finally, as I turned 62, I found that even simple tasks such as reading were beyond me. I was forced to resign my position. By the time I turned 63, I had become completely blind. I do not know why God chose to let this happen to me, but I have accepted my blindness with humility.

Then, a couple of days ago, I received a phone call from someone I had not heard from in many years. It was Thomas Lumic, an intermittent parishioner who wanted to know if I would be able to officiate at a funeral. I told him that I am blind now, that I am retired from the priesthood. But he was most insistent. He said that it was very important to him that I should be the one who should take charge of the funeral. No-one else, he said, would be right for the task. It had to be me. I protested, but eventually I was persuaded to come out of retirement for one final funeral.

So here we are, in the cemetery of St. Mary’s Church. I cannot see anything, of course, but I can hear a small gathering of people who have come to bid farewell to their loved one. And Thomas Lumic is here, holding my arm and guiding me through the gravestones until we reach the freshly-dug grave.

“And what is the name of the deceased?” I ask him quietly.

“Duncan,” Lumic replies in his usual dark, hoarse voice. “He had no surname”.

Now that I am blind, I find that my hearing has improved a little. And standing at the graveside, I can hear whispered voices nearby, but also other sounds: strange, unearthly, ghostly sounds. I suppose I must be imagining things.

“Dear friends,” I say. “We are gathered here today to pay our last respects to Duncan. I am afraid that I know very little about Duncan, about his life, about the kind of man that he was. But the fact that we are here today to bid him farewell, is a sign that he touched our lives in some way. To have inspired us to come and bid him farewell, he must have done great things for each of us, and for that may we be thankful to the Lord, that he allowed us to know Duncan for as long as we did”. I pause, not sure what to say next. Thomas Lumic has given me no information about Duncan, which really leaves me in a difficult position. Nevertheless, I must keep going. There are people here who mourn Duncan, and who are saddened by his passing. “We must each remember,” I say, “and keep in our hearts, that which made Duncan special to us. I will now invite any of you gathered here today, to step forward and say a little about this man”.

I wait. No-one speaks up. Instead, I just hear the same strange sounds as before. One of the sounds is snakelike, hissing with a faint rattle. Another sound is heavy and hard-breathing, and seems to be coming from many metres up in the air. If I didn’t know better, I would say that an assortment of monsters had gathered around this grave. If only I could see…

“We must all,” I say finally, a little put off by the sounds around me, “remember Duncan in our own private way. Though his body is gone, his spirit remains with us, and we are all, I am sure, enriched by the time that we spent with him. Amen”.

“Amen,” says Thomas Lumic from behind me, but his is still the only voice. Why do the others remain so silent?

“I will now ask,” I say, glad to be coming to the end of this unusual situation, “that the coffin be lowered into the grave”.

I hear some feet shuffle towards the grave, and then there is a sudden loud thud as something heavy lands in the grave. It doesn’t sound like a coffin at all. It sounds like someone just tipped a body straight into the ground. And then, just as suddenly, there is a second thud, as if the body has been thrown down into the grave in two pieces.

The hairs on the back of my neck stand up. What have I got myself into? What kind of… I take a deep breath. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to bring this service to a close and then perhaps bid good-day to the mourners. Whatever is going on here, I would rather not be a part of it. It feels… strange and inhuman, and ungodly.

“Lord our God,” I say, raising my head as if to look heavenward. “We commend the body of Duncan to your service, and we ask that you bless him with your kind understanding of the difficulties of life on this Earth. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”.

I wait. All around me, there are strange sounds: hissing, rattling, shuffling, growls, like a menagerie of the world’s most fearsome creatures.

“Thank you, father,” says Thomas Lumic. He takes my arm and leads me away.

“I must say,” I whisper as we depart, “that was one of the more unusual funeral services that I have attended”.

Lumic laughs a little. “Be glad, father,” he says eventually, “that you are blind”.

Teaser for Carnival of Wolves (Lupine Howl IV)

The image is a teaser for Carnival of Wolves (Lupine Howl IV), which should be out on Sunday. The words will make sense once you’ve read the book, but for now, here’s a preview from one of the early chapters:

I spend a couple of hours sitting on the grass near the werewolf tent, watching as the workers erect what looks like a small stage. One of the workers is Joe, who seems totally oblivious to the fact that he betrayed me. He glances over and smiles once or twice, as if he genuinely believes he did me a favour by bringing me back here.

Darla wanders over and sits next to me.

“We’ve all tried to escape from time to time,” she says. “Never works. They’re always one step ahead”.

“So you stopped trying?” I ask, staring straight ahead.

“Oh, darling,” she says, sighing. “Look, I’ve been here for years. Maybe five years or more. Can you imagine how fucking exhausting that would’ve been if I’d been trying to escape every day? It’s better to just relax”.

“Relax and be a prisoner,” I say, turning to her.

She smiles. “We’re all prisoners, darling. Wherever we are, whoever we’re with, we’re all prisoners of someone. At least here we get fed and looked after”.

“Sounds like a good deal,” I say. “All you have to do is give up any thought of ever being free again”.

“That’s not true,” Darla says. “If you win the support of the audience, you’re free to go”.

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“The audience,” she replies. “If the audience chooses for you to be released, you’ll be released. It’s the only way”.

I think about this for a moment. “So it’s like a popularity contest? Or a vote? If you please the audience, they say you have to be released”.

Darla nods. “The audience has ultimate power around here. Without the audience, there’d be no money to keep the show on the road. Grinde knows he has to please the audience”. She points at the workers as they continue to build the stage. “Why do you think he’s got ’em all working so hard? The audience reaction has been disappointing over the last couple of days, and Grinde knows he has to buck his ideas up and find something more… spectacular”.

“So we’re going to be the stars of the show, huh?” I say, sighing.

“Oh no, darling,” says Darla. “We’re the support act. Just the support act. Always have been, always will be. The main act’s in there”.

She indicates the large tent on the other side of the clearing, the one where that worker was killed earlier today.

“What’s in there?” I ask.

“You’ll see tonight,” Darla says.

“I want to see now”.

“You can’t,” Darla continues. “You just have to be patient”.

I sulk for a moment, staring at the ‘forbidden’ tent. “The fuck I do,” I say finally, getting to my feet.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” says Darla. “Not again”.

“Don’t worry about me,” I say. “I can take care of myself”.

Without waiting for Darla’s next attempt to stop me, I march across the clearing.

“Hey, Jess,” says Joe as I walk past him.

“Drop dead,” I say, keeping my eyes focused on the tent ahead. As I reach it, I glance back and see that the only person watching me is Darla. She looks concerned and a little frightened. But there’s no point living in fear, is there? Taking a deep breath, I walk into the tent.

At first, it’s hard to see anything. This tent is much darker than the others, and noticeably emptier. Gradually my eyes adjust to the low light level. It also seems to be colder in here, and I make my way carefully into the main section, which is large under the domed roof. There’s a strange sound, a kind of mechanical hissing, and in the centre of the tent there’s what seems to be a large raised water tank which casts rippling dark blue light all around.

As I approach the tank, I hear what sounds like something moving in the water. I stop at the bottom of the steps, wondering whether it’s safe to go up.

“Who’s there?” calls out a voice, a female voice. I look around, but then I realise that the voice is coming from inside the water tank. “I know there’s someone there,” the voice continues. “I can hear you breathing”.

I turn, thinking I should go. But something keeps me rooted to the ground. I look back up at the top of the tank, unable to stop wondering what exactly is in there. It’s so dark and cold in this tent, why would anyone be kept here?

“It’s okay,” the voice says. She sounds young, maybe my age, and sad. “I understand why you don’t want to come up. Don’t worry, I’m not offended”.

I pause, wondering what to do. I still have time to get out of here, to just turn and leave the tent. But whatever’s up in that water tank, it’s something that seems to strike fear into the hearts of all the men around here, even Vigrous Grinde himself. If I want to get out of here, I need to find out what’s really going on.

“Hi,” I call out. “My name’s Jess”.

There’s a pause, and I hear something splashing gently in the tank. “Hi, Jess,” says the female voice eventually. “Are you new here?”

“Yeah,” I say. I look around, making sure that there’s no-one else in the tent. “But I won’t be here for long”.

“That’s good,” says the female voice. “You shouldn’t be here. No-one should”.

I walk back towards the steps, but as I get there I notice a patch of blood on the ground. Great, someone obviously didn’t clean up properly after the little incident earlier. I take a deep breath and look at a small sign fixed to the side of the tank:

CAUTION
Do not enter the water
Do not speak to the creature
Do not obey the creature
Do not touch the creature
Do not believe the creature

Well, I’ve already ignored the rule about not speaking to the creature, and I have no intention of entering the water or obeying anyone. I guess I might as well go up and at least see this thing face to face. She sounds nice enough, although I’ve learnt not to judge a book by its cover. I’ll stay smart, and I’ll keep my guard up.

I climb the steps and soon I’m near the top of the tank. Taking one more deep breath, I go all the way up. At first it’s hard to make out exactly what I’m looking at. The water tank itself is about ten metres by ten metres, and there are eerie green and blue lights shining under the water. There’s a railing all the way around the edge, though it doesn’t look very strong. Near the top of the steps, there’s a box with the word ‘Feed’ written on the top.

“Hello, Jess,” says the female voice from behind me. I turn around.

Carnival of Wolves (Lupine Howl IV) is released on Sunday April 1st 2012.

Carnival of Wolves (Lupine Howl IV) preview published on Facebook

The publication of Carnival of Wolves (Lupine Howl IV) is just a few days away, so I decided to put up the whole prologue as a free sample. But instead of posting it on this website, I put it on Facebook as a status update. You can read it here.

As you might be able to tell from the prologue, Carnival of Wolves takes the Lupine Howl series forwards in a new direction. Jess is now separated from Duncan, with no idea whether he’s alive or dead. And as she struggles to cope with her new abilities, Jess is captured by a travelling freak show, where she is put on display alongside various other creatures including other werewolves and a particularly vicious… well, that’s a surprise!

Carnival of Wolves also introduces a new character who’s going to be sticking around for a while. And if you’ve finished reading A Spotter’s Guide to Werewolves (Lupine Howl III) and you’re assuming that Duncan will be back soon, think again: Lupine Howl has a new werewolf, and Duncan’s disappearance might be harder to resolve than anyone imagines. Where is he? Why hasn’t he come to find Jess? And will he be found alive?

Carnival of Wolves (Lupine Howl IV) will be published on Monday 2nd April 2012.

A Spotter’s Guide to Werewolves (Lupine Howl III) released today

Lupine Howl IIIA Spotter’s Guide to Werewolves (Lupine Howl III) is out and available to buy from Amazon. It’s the usual price of 99 cents, which is the lowest price I can set. The next Lupine Howl book, Carnival of Wolves, is coming in a week or so. Anyway, to set the scene, here’s the first chapter (hope you like it!):

Another Thursday night. But this one starts slightly differently. As I pull the bolt and open the front door of the strip club to paying customers, I hear a loud bang in the distance. Peering out the door into the dark Soho night, I see what looks like smoke rising in the distance. What the hell was that?

“Terrorists,” says Tom Rossiter, my boss, who is sitting at the front desk, reading a paper. The man is so fat, even hsi double chin has a double chin. “Hopefully”.

I use a fire extinguisher to prop the door open. “You want terrorists to attack?” I ask.

He shrugs, not looking up from his paper. “Good for business. Don’t ask me why, I’m not a fucking mind-reader”.

I head down to the bowels of the club, where tonight’s DJ is preparing to start his sound-check. It’s weird being down here when the customers aren’t here yet. In a few hours, the club will be heaving with sweaty men leering at topless dancers, but for now it’s a sad, dull space that smells of last night’s lager.

There’s another boom in the distance. I look up and exchange a worried glance with Davide, the hot French bartender.

“Probably just the end of the world,” he says, smiling nervously. “Relax, Jess. We’ll survive like cockroaches”.

I nod and head over to the cash register to add the float. What is it with people who work in the sex industry in London? Fatalists and pessimists, all of them. Still, two loud explosions within a couple of minutes, that can’t be good.

I look up as I hear the stairs start to creak. Tom Rossiter is heading down, his obese weight almost too much for the club to handle.

“Electricity sub-station malfunctioned,” he says with an air of dis-interest. “It was just on the news. Half of Battersea’s out of power”.

“What about the second one?” I ask.

Tom sniffs as he reaches the bar. “I don’t fucking know,” he says. “Davide, usual”.

As Davide fixes Tom a drink, I finish setting up the float and then I grab the trash bags, carrying them out to the dumpsters behind the club. Of course, the damn dumpsters are packed already and I have to really force the latest bag inside. Fuck, this is glamorous work.

“We need to talk,” says a voice behind me.

I spin around to find Duncan watching me from across the little courtyard. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last saw him, but he’s barely left my thoughts. After all, when you meet a genuine, honest-to-God werewolf, you kind of remember.

“I’m at work,” I say cautiously. “You want to come in and grab a drink?”

Although he clearly doesn’t want to come inside, I leave him no choice once I turn and go back in. Reluctantly, he follows me, looking completely out of place with his long black coat and his intense, intelligent eyes.

“You like beer?” I ask as I reach the bar. I grab a beer glass and pour Duncan a pint, passing it over to him. “You like it, right?”

“Yeah,” he says, and he takes a big gulp. There’s a pause, and then he spews it out all over the floor. “God,” he says. “No. I don’t like it. Damn it, I could’ve sworn I’d tried bear before”. He wipes his mouth. “No, wait, that was something else”. He puts the rest of the pint on the bar as Davide comes around and thrusts a towel into Duncan’s arms.

“Clean it up,” Davide says, going back around the bar.

Duncan looks at the towel, as if he’s not sure what to do, so I grab it from him, get on my knees and soak up the beer from the linoleum floor.

Somewhere in the distance, there’s a third loud boom.

“Three,” says Duncan. “Then it’s confirmed”.

I stand up. “What’s confirmed?” I ask.

Duncan looks suspiciously at Davide, who is wiping down part of the bar.

“It’s okay,” I say.

“Wait,” Duncan says. He walks behind the bar, puts a hand on Davide’s neck and squeezes. Davide drops to the floor.

“What the fuck?” I shout, rushing around.

“Relax,” says Duncan. “He’s just unconscious, he’ll wait up in ten minutes. What I have to tell you can’t wait”.

“What?” I ask, casting a glance down at Davide.

Duncan looks at me, and it’s clear from his expression that he’s worried. “There are three Greystone bases in London. One to the north, one to the south, and one to the west. It’s not a coincidence that that’s exactly where those three explosions just happened”.

I’m not sure I understand what he means, at least not at first. “Why would they be blowing stuff up?” I ask.

They wouldn’t,” Duncan says. “Do you have a mobile phone?”

I nod, pulling it from my pocket.

Check the news,” Duncan says.

I pull up the BBC homepage and look at the top story. “Early reports say a power surge,” I say, reading from the screen. “Transformers at three power stations had small explosions. Nothing to worry about, apparently. That’s what my boss said”. I look up at Duncan. “Do you think that’s true?”

No,” he replies. “Someone just took out Greystone. And there’s only one organisation with the power and will to carry out a strike like that”.

I wait for him to tell me. “Who?” I ask eventually.

There’s silence for a moment. “I could be wrong,” he says. “And hopefully I am. But if I’m not, you need to be very careful, do you understand? If they think you know anything at all about Greystone, they’ll…” His voice trails off.

“What?” I ask.

“Just be careful,” he continues. “If there’s anything suspicious, you run, got it? Anything at all”.

“Why would they give a shit about me?” I ask.

“Because you know about Greystone,” he says. “You’ve been to one of their bases, you know what they do, you’ve met some of them. And if they’re setting out to eradicate all traces of Greystone, then that’s going to include anyone who knows anything about the organisation at all. Do you understand now?”

I nod. “So you’re in danger too?”

“I can look after myself,” he says. “So can you, but you have to take the threat seriously”.

“I will,” I say. “I do”.

He turns to leave.

“What about you?” I ask.

He stops at the door and looks back at me. “It’s best if we stay apart for now,” he says. “They certainly know that I’ve encountered Greystone, but you might be safe. There’s no point both of us being in the firing line”.

And with that, he’s gone. I’m left standing in the bar, just as there’s a groan from the floor and Davide starts to wake up. I go over and help him to his feet.

“What the fuck happened?” he asks.

“I think you fainted,” I say, keeping one eye on the door. “Listen, I just have to go and speak to someone. Back in a second”.

I rush out, trying to catch Duncan, but he’s already long gone when I get out into the back courtyard. Once he’s in his wolf form, he’s fast and agile; he’s probably far away by now. I look up at the night sky. There’s still some smoke coming from a couple of spots on the horizon. The news channels are all reporting a fault at a series of power stations, but things look more serious than that.

There’s a noise behind me. I turn. It sounded like someone kicking a can. I step towards the door, but a figure looms out of the darkness and pushes his hand towards me. It takes a moment before I realise he’s holding a large knife, and by then it’s too late: the blade slices straight into my belly, and then he pulls it out and stabs me again in the chest. I try to hold onto him, but he pushes me away and I slam to the ground. As I try to get up, he kicks me to the ground, rolls me over and stabs me five or six more times in the chest.

I feel the blade pierce my heart, and everything goes black.

Death of Claire publishes, Lupine Howl III coming soon!

Okay! Got to try to remember everything here… First, Death of Claire has been published. You can get it at Amazon, and also at Smashwords. I should warn you: it’s dark. It’s a dark erotic short novel. And it’s dark. Did I mention that it’s dark? If you’re offended by sexually explicit scenes, by BDSM stuff, or by swearing and horrible ideas, then keep away from this book. Seriously. I guess I was working out some ideas (hell, maybe even some issues!) with this one…

Death of Claire costs $2.99 at Amazon and (for reasons I don’t quite understand) $3.99 at Smashwords. I’m looking into that difference. In the meantime, if you want to read it from Smashwords you can get it for free for the next 24 hours only with the coupon code VB69R. I hope you like it, and if you do, please feel free to review it either on Amazon or Smashwords! Reviews are always useful! Unless you hate it, in which case… er… don’t you have other things to be doing?

Meanwhile, A Spotter’s Guide to Werewolves (Lupine Howl III) is almost finished. I’ve really got into the groove with Lupine Howl now and the whole series is mapped out. I hope you like it. The book should be out in a few days, I’ll let you know!