Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mary Hughes Trick or Treat Goodies #3 Spine-tingling excerpt

Halloween means Trick or Treat. And for both a treat and a scare, the sexy, dangerous vampire is top of the food chain. Here's a spine-tingling excerpt from Biting Nixie, featuring black-haired, blue-eyed vampire Julian Emerson who hides his beast under a lawyer's three-piece suit, and Nixie Schmeling, a five-foot-nothing punk rock musician with a dangerous mouth.
Bonus giveaway at the end of this post!

Warning: The following excerpt contains blood and violence. Feel free to skip to the giveaway if descriptions of vampire fights aren't for you.

   As the light died, Julian’s jaw kicked up. His eyes narrowed to slits. His nostrils flared like a beast scenting prey.
   Suddenly Julian Emerson looked nothing like a suit. He looked like—a hunter. A dangerous, deadly hunter.
   “Get behind me.” Not waiting for me to obey, he pushed me behind him with sure hands. My fingers wrapped automatically around his waist.
   Beyond him I caught the impression of movement. Blurs, three of them, coming in fast. I couldn’t see much, sequestered behind Julian. He was lean, yes. But big. His chest was solid and his shoulders broad. His waist was easily as big as my hips. That lean, flat waist.
   “Get him!” someone shouted.
   In front of me, Julian’s arms jerked. Cut through the air, hard. His hands almost whistled with the force he used. If he’d held knives, whatever he hit was now sliced, diced, and julienned. I smiled at the image. Until twin arcs of dark liquid sprayed out on either side of him.
   It all happened so fast. I couldn’t be sure what I really saw. But the sounds sent ice through my veins. The liquid spattered onto the sidewalk like unnaturally thick rain.
   With a sharp motion, Julian threw—something. I cringed, listening for a crunch, or a splat. A sound to tell me what he’d thrown. A sound to confirm he’d…killed…something. Or…someone.
   I found my voice. “What…what just happened?” The words were shaky. Under my hands, his belt felt fuzzy.
   Not only my voice was shaking, I realized. My vision was going wonky. Julian’s broad back blurred, almost as if I could see through him. I blinked.
   An instant later he was reassuringly solid. The belt felt fine in my hands, smooth and normal.
   He reached behind him, found my fingers. Gently he worked them open. I seized his hand. I must have squeezed his fingers white but he did not protest. Holding my hand securely, Julian turned.
   I expected to see dark spray on his shirt. But it was pristine. I looked beyond him, to the sidewalk on either side. Dark dots of thick liquid glistened like oily rain. Nope, I hadn’t imagined it. “Emerson. Why is there blood—”
   Julian seized me by the shoulders. Skewered me with a stare so intense, I could feel the hairs on my nape rise. “Nixie. I want you to promise not to go outside after dark. Not alone. It’s not safe any more.”
   I slewed another glance at the dark drops on the pavement. “Were those homies from a gang? Is that the gang you were talking about?”
   “You see the danger now? Nixie, you have to promise me.”
   Blood. But no bodies. “What happened to them? Where did they go? Will they be okay?”
   “Oh, for…they ran off. Dragging one, but he’ll be fine. And back before we know it.” Julian looked like he wanted to shake me. “So it’s important that you stay home at night. That you stay inside. Understand?”
   Maybe Julian was right. Maybe Meiers Corners had become dangerous. “I understand you think it’s important. But I can’t. I can’t stay home nights.”
   Julian’s eyes flared a bright violet. “Do you care so little about your life?”
   “No! I’m not my sister.” His eyebrows raised at that, but I only repeated, “I can’t stay home nights.”
   “Nixie, what does your sister—”
   Not going there. “I can’t!”
   His brows raised a notch at my tone. “You must. Whatever parties—”
   “Not parties. I earn my pay after dark.”
   His eyebrows shot up to his hairline.
   I winced. “I didn’t mean that like it sounded.”
   The eyebrows stayed up. “What did you mean, then?”
   “I’m a musician.”
   He closed his eyes, maybe searching for strength. “A musician.”
   “Guns and Polkas.” Digging in my pocket, I pulled out a card. “Bars, parties, weddings, you name it.” The small pasteboard in my fingers made me feel almost normal. “Reasonable prices,” I added hopefully as I gave it to him.
   Julian opened his eyes slowly, as if he were afraid of what he’d see. “Nixie…Schmeling? N. Schmeling?” He frowned, and his eyes scanned like he was reading an internal PDA. “Not Dietlinde N. Schmeling?”
   Dietlinde. My daggy first name. Symbol of everything I hated. My intro to the power of names, when my parents millstoned me with it. Trying to drag me down into the hell of Normal Life.
   I snapped, hearing him say it. Hearing Julian Emerson, Suitguy extra-stodginary, say Deet-fricking-linda. Any residual shakiness fled in the rush of mad. “Yeah. Wanna make something of it?”
   He was obviously surprised by my reaction. But he only held up his square hands. “Peace. We’re on the same side.”
   I wasn’t placated. “Oh, yeah?”
   “Yes. Nixie…I’m the lawyer who’s going to keep Meiers Corners free.”
   After I picked up my jaw from the sidewalk, I realized I should have known. A fricking HDTV-an-hour lawyer. It was all there. The suit, the money, the classic good looks. I should have recognized the name, Emerson, from Fogey, Stuffy, and Emerson.
   And I had responded to him! I thought he was sexy. Which, of course, only pissed me off more. Without another word I stalked off. He followed me.
   I stomped all the way to my flat. Like a lithe shadow, Julian glided along silently behind. He must have been freezing in only his suit coat but he didn’t complain once. Just followed, without a word. He waited silently on my stoop while I fumbled out my key and unlocked my door. He stood without comment when I slammed the door in his face.
   He waited, hands folded patiently behind his back, until I locked the damned door again.
   And then Julian Emerson, lawyer, suit, melted away into the night.

Biting Nixie © 2009 Mary Hughes

Nitro? Meet glycerin...

     Punk musician Nixie Schmeling is a hundred pounds of Attitude who spells authority a-n-c-h-o-r and thinks buying insurance is just one more step toward death. So she really feels played when she’s “volunteered” to run the town’s first annual fundraising festival. Especially when she finds out it’s to pay for a heavy-hitting, suit-wearing lawyer—who’s six-feet-plus of black-haired, blue-eyed sex on a stick.
     Attorney Julian Emerson learned centuries ago that the only way to contain his dangerous nature is to stay buttoned up. He’s come from Boston to defend the town from a shady group of suits...and an even shadier gang of vampires. But his biggest problem is Nixie, who shreds his self-control.
     Nixie doesn’t get why the faphead shyster doesn’t understand her. Julian wishes Nixie would speak a known Sanskrit. Even if they manage to foil the bloodthirsty gang, what future is there for a tiny punk rocker and a blue-blooded skyscraper?
     And that’s before Nixie finds out Julian’s a vampire...

Warning: Contains more eye-popping sex, ear-popping language and gut-popping laughs than can possibly be good for you. And vampires. Not sippy-neck wimps, but burning beacons of raw sexuality—this means passionate blood-heating, violent bloodletting, and fangy bloodsucking. Oh, and cheese balls. Those things are just scary. (This title contains explicit sexual language.)

And here's the giveaway! What's your favorite Halloween monster? Vampires, ghosts, zombies? Comment on this post to be entered for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist! These books are red-hot romances with explicit language and situations, so ADULTS ONLY, PLEASE. Comment through 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. I'll pick a winner by random number.

Remember to check out my treats #1: Trick or Treat Goodies and #2: Free Reads on the Whipped Cream Blog!



Na said...

Julian can protect me anytime! I like how his instincts kicks in and have no qualms about facing danger. He sounds like danger himself.

Jean P said...

Nixie sounds like quite the character and Julian is going to have his hands keeping her out of trouble.

Stormy said...

I'm with Na and Jean on this one! Julian has totally gotten a handful in the form of Nixie. I'm betting she will keep him constantly on his toes and never far from him mind. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Hughes said...

Julian's one of my favorite vampires. And when he finally peels off that suit...well, yeah, it's a red-hot romance :) And Nixie is a hoot to write. She's definitely what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

Thanks for your awesome comments! It's thrilling for me to see readers really get my characters!

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

favorite in what way? like the most i'd like to meet, vampire, the least, demon. one can be super sexy while the other terrifying.

Mary Hughes said...

Hi Larion! Absolutely, it depends on the creature for me too. Julian's protectiveness, his caring, his sharp mind that he uses for good all speak to me.

BTW, I love the cover for your book Evil Reflection!

Debby said...

My favorite today is werewolves. Tomorrow that could change. The post was not that bad. I enjoyed it.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Mary Hughes said...

Bears a popular too. I'm actually halfway done with a wolf shifter / witch story that I love. Hope werewolves are still your fave when it's done :) Thanks for your kind words!

Mary Hughes said...

Thanks again to everyone for reading and commenting! The winner of this giveaway, chosen by random number, is Na! Na, congratulations! Please email me at for your prize!