Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Appearances: Magnolias and Mausoleums + ARC NOLA

I have SO many exciting things to share with you this week.  Today I'm sharing updates to my 2015 tour schedule.

E.J. Stevens at Magnolias + Mausoleums

I will be a featured author at Magnolias and Mausoleums, a paranormal/urban fantasy convention, at the Bourbon Orleans in New Orleans, LA.

Magnolias and Mausoleums is a mini-convention bringing together writers and readers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and straight romance.
magnolias and mausoleums new orleans 2015

July 22 - 26, 2015

I will have more scheduling details for the book signing and author panels in the future. 

E.J. Stevens at Author + Reader Con

I will also be attending ARC (Author and Reader Convention), a book convention for authors and readers, in New Orleans, LA.

“Our goal is to bring book lovers and writers together for a fun and educational event,” says Myra Nour, CEO of BTS eMag. “This convention promises to be even bigger and better than the 2014 Author & Reader Convention in Phoenix. We have a wonderful line-up of talented authors and a growing number of readers attending the 2015 convention.”

July 30 - August 1, 2015

I will have more details for the book signing and author events in the future.

Keep watching my blog, and follow my newsletter and Twitter, for updates.

Will you be attending Magnolias and Mausoleums
or Author Reader Con this year?

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blood and Mistletoe Urban Fantasy Black Friday Cyber Monday Kindle Deal

Looking for a paranormal holiday read?  You're in luck!  BLOOD AND MISTLETOE, an Ivy Granger urban fantasy novella, is on sale for a limited time.

This is one Black Friday deal that you can grab without ever hitting the stores.

For two weeks only, Blood and Mistletoe is reduced in price from $2.99 to 99 cents on Kindle.  At this price, you can grab a copy of Blood and Mistletoe for yourself and copies for all of the paranormal and urban fantasy lovers on your holiday shopping list!

Blood and Mistletoe Limited Time 99 Cents Urban Fantasy Holiday Kindle Deal

Blood and Mistletoe (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #1.5) by E.J. Stevens.

Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are bloodsucking vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly.

Ivy Granger, psychic private investigator, returns to the streets of Harborsmouth in this addition to the bestselling urban fantasy series.

Holidays are Hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed and every victim has one thing in common--they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they only leave one clue behind--a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim's blood.

The holidays just got interesting. Too bad this case may drive Ivy mad before the New Year. Heck, she'll be lucky to survive Christmas.

Blood and Mistletoe is an Ivy Granger series novella.

Release Date: November 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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Praise for Blood and Mistletoe

4.3 out of 5 stars

"Snag this for your e-reader, curl up with some eggnog or hot chocolate, and lose yourself in the world of Harborsmouth."
-Reading Lark

"Blood and Mistletoe is fast paced, full of action and mystery."
-My Urban Fantasies

"I highly suggest anyone who likes an entertaining paranormal mystery should check it out."
-The Reading Diaries

"The Ivy Granger series just keeps getting better!"
-Mad Hatter Reads

"I highly recommend anyone who enjoys an irreverent heroine with a spunky sidekick, a hunky fellow and a nice supernatural mystery, to pick up this series, you won't regret it."
-Paranormal Romance Guild

"I really enjoyed the novella and recommend it. The story is easy to read, fast paced and although short it keeps you captivated."
-The Life of a Book Junky

"Amazing novella!"
-Twilight Sleeps

"Paranormal fans rejoice, there's a new series in town. And it's here to stay."
-The Bawdy Book Blog

"This book is a novella, but Stevens puts in a lot of action...if you like urban fantasy, you really need to read E.J. Stevens' Ivy Granger series."
-Now Is Gone

"The plot is strong and all of our favorite characters are back... Another great addition to the Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective series."
-Sapphyria's Book Reviews

"I recommend treating yourself or a friend to a volume to celebrate the holidays!"
-Sofia Wren

"As always Ivy was a fantastic main character who is always able to keep me chuckling and always kicking butt everywhere she goes.
-Book Bite Reviews

"Stevens has done a fantastic job with bringing her world to us."
-Urban Fantasy Investigations

About the Ivy Granger Series

The Ivy Granger series is an urban fantasy series written by E.J. Stevens. The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Ivy Granger, a psychic detective with ties to the paranormal underworld of Harborsmouth--ties that ensnare Ivy and her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city's teeming population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries.

Order Now

Please note that this sale is scheduled to take place through December 9, 2014.  Retailers can change prices at any time, so be sure to check the price before purchasing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hunting in Bruges Release Party + Giveaway

My 13th book is out in the wild!  Today is the release of HUNTING IN BRUGES, the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series.  To celebrate, we are having a book and swag giveaway!

Keep reading for a chance to win a Hunting in Bruges signed book, t-shirt, and more!

Hunting in Bruges (Hunters' Guild #1) by E.J. Stevens.

The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vamps in Bruges.

Being shipped off to Belgium sucks. The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals.  With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions--but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger.

Release Date:  November 11, 2014
Genre:  Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.
Buy on Amazon.

Praise for Hunting in Bruges

"I could not put this book down. I flat out loved it! ...This book is full of action, deaths, supernatural creatures, and is perfect for the adult urban fantasy fan, and I for one, can’t wait for the next installment."
-Rabid Reads

"Hunting in Bruges has everything a great Urban Fantasy should, a kick ass heroine, a lovable hot guy, plenty of different supernatural beings and a fast paced story line. ...I absolutely loved this book!! ...From the superbly written characters to the fascinating setting, Hunting in Bruges is a must read."
-Book Lover's Life 

About the Hunters' Guild series
The Hunters' Guild series is an urban fantasy series written by E.J. Stevens and set in the world of Ivy Granger.  The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Jenna Lehane, a Hunter with a troubled past, a proficiency with weapons, and an intolerance for monsters who target the innocent.

About the Author
E.J. Stevens is the author of the Spirit Guide young adult series, the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series, and the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series.  When E.J. isn't at her writing desk she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles.  E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Connect with E.J. Stevens

Hunting in Bruges Release Day Giveaway

We are giving away a HUGE Hunting in Bruges prize pack.  One winner will receive a Hunting in Bruges *signed* Trade Paperback, t-shirt, sticker, *signed* postcard, and poster!

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Winner will be randomly drawn by Rafflecopter.  Giveaway ends November 25, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for partying with us and good luck with the giveaway!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hunting in Bruges Playlist

We asked author E.J. Stevens what songs best represent the characters and story of her new Urban Fantasy novel, Hunting in Bruges.  This is what she had to say.

Hey everyone!  I am so excited about the upcoming release of Hunting in Bruges, the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series.  This book is filled with quirky characters, bloodthirsty paranormal predators, and high octane fight scenes.  So, just a warning, some of this music is pretty intense.

Hunting in Bruges Playlist

The Razor's Edge by Digital Daggers
Trophy by Bat for Lashes
Heartbeats by The Knife
Vanished by Crystal Castles
Heads Will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
When Anger Shows by The Editors
Walking with a Ghost by Tegan and Sara
How by The Neighborhood
Bones by Ms Mr
The Dreaming Moon by The Magnetic Fields
Arsenal by Kidneythieves
Leaving Tonight by The Birthday Massacre
What Else Is There? by Royksopp
Scorch the Ground by Seabound
Approaching Light Speed by Wolfsheim
Dead Stars by Covenant
The Bomb by Neuroticfish
Let Me Be Your Armor by Assemblage 23
Bullet by Covenant
Ghost by VNV Nation
Wreath of Barbs by Wumpscut

What songs are on your Hunting in Bruges playlist?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Top 10 Spooky Places in Bruges

Hunting in Bruges, the first novel in the Hunters' Guild series, is set in Bruges, Belgium and author E.J. Stevens is taking us on a spooky trip to Bruges' Top 10 Spooky Places.  Let's see what terrifying places E.J. has planned for our tour.

Top 10 Spooky Places in Bruges

The charming medieval city of Bruges, Belgium may seem like an unusual setting for an urban fantasy novel.  The city is known for its tranquil canals, historic buildings, and romantic vistas.  But the moment I saw a picture of Bruges, my mind began populating its cobblestone streets with bloodthirsty vampires, flesh eating ghouls, monstrous fae, and wailing ghosts.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there really was something sinister in the city's bloody history.  My research into Bruges began in earnest, and last year I completed my book research with a trip to Belgium.  The pictures included with this post are from that research trip.  These photos are taken during daylight hours, but I can assure you that the atmosphere becomes decidedly spooky when the sun goes down over West Flanders.  Do ghosts walk the streets of Bruges?  I will let you decide.

The Canals
The canals play an important part in my novel, Hunting in Bruges.  Jenna Lehane, a Hunter with a troubled past, arrives in Bruges to discover that something is killing humans and disposing of their bodies in the canals.  Not only are the canals filling with corpses, but there are supernatural horrors that call the canals their home.  While I was visiting Bruges, the canals were the watery grave for more than one unfortunate creature.  Did these ducks, pigeons, and small mammals die from natural causes, or is there something deadly lurking within these dark waters?

Jerusalem Church (Jeruzalemkerk)
I have to admit that I was completely unprepared for the experience I had within the stone walls of Jerusalem Church.  The macabre altarpiece and tomb were ghoulish, but the truly terrifying part of this church lay in a crawlspace in the vaulted chapel in the back.  A cloth wrapped body is on display, and though I've read that this is a replica of Christ's tomb, there is something chilling about that small chamber.  My travel companion bolted out the door...and I wasn't far behind.  (Note: No pictures came out of the rear tomb.  The photos were completely black.) 

Beguinage (Begijnhof)
Beguines were lay sisters who lived and dressed as nuns, but did not take vows.  The Beguinage continues to be a place of silence within the bustling city--a silence that can seem downright eerie.  During my trip, the courtyard was filled with a field of wilting daffodils.  Beauty with an edge of decay seemed to be the common theme of this place.  One house has been preserved in its original rustic state and visitors can wander the maze of tiny rooms filled with antique furniture and aging lace to see the way in which the Beguines lived.  I swear that someone, or something, was watching me during my entire visit.  With every creak of the old wooden floors, my unease grew and I made a hasty retreat to Minnewater Park.

Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek)
12th century basilica located on Burg square in the heart of Bruges.  The church houses the relic of the Holy Blood.  The Holy Blood is venerated daily, and is paraded through the streets of Bruges during the Procession of the Holy Blood on Ascension Day.

Saint John's Hospital (Sint-Janshospitaal)
This place is not for the faint of heart.  The 11th century hospital is one of the oldest in Europe and contains the often grotesque artwork of Hans Memling, as well as many antique surgical implements.  The artwork and objects of torture are absolutely horrifying and the depictions of nuns in their traditional garb had me jumping at my shadow. 

Another five notable places to add to any ghost tour of Bruges are the Spookhuis, Retsin's Lucifernum, Belfort, Blind Donkey Alley, and a viewing of Heironymous Bosch's haunting triptych The Last Judgement at the Groeningemuseum.

To learn more about E.J. Stevens and her books, connect through Goodreads, Twitter, and sign-up for her newsletter.  There is an interesting article about Hunting in Bruges in the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.  Hunting in Bruges releases November 11th and is available for pre-order on Amazon.  You can add the Hunters' Guild series here on Goodreads.

Readers, was this your first visit to Bruges, Belgium?  Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around Bruges?

What did you think of E.J. Stevens' picks for spooky places?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Book Excerpt Sneak Peek: Hunting in Bruges

Today is the first day of November, which means that HUNTING IN BRUGES releases in 11 days.  Are you getting excited?  I know I am!

We have two Hunting in Bruges book excerpts for your reading enjoyment.  Enjoy the sneak peek!

Hunting in Bruges: Chapter 1

     I’ve been seeing ghosts for as long as I can remember.  Most ghosts are simply annoying; just clueless dead people who don’t realize that they’ve died.  The weakest of these manifest as flimsy apparitions, without the ability for speech or higher thought.  They’re like a recording of someone’s life projected not onto a screen, but onto the place where they died.  Most people can walk through one of these ghosts without so much as a goosebump.
     Poltergeists are more powerful, but just as single-minded.  These pesky spirits are like angry toddlers.  They stomp around, shaking their proverbial chains, moaning and wailing about how something (the accident, their murder, or the murder they committed) was someone else’s fault, and how everyone must pay for their misfortune.  Poltergeists are a nuisance; they’re noisy and can throw around objects for short periods of time, but it’s only the strong ones that are dangerous.
     Thankfully, there aren’t many ghosts out there strong enough to do more than knock a pen off your desk or cause a cold spot.  From what I’ve discovered while training with the Hunters’ Guild, ghosts get their power from two things—how long they’ve been haunting and strength of purpose.  If someone as obsessed with killing as Jack the Ripper manifests beside you on a London street, I recommend you run.  If someone as old and unhinged as Vlad the Impaler appears beside you in Targoviste Romania, you better hope you have a Hunter at your side, or a guardian angel.
     The dead get a bad rap, and for good reason, but some ghosts can be helpful.  There was a woman with a kind face who used to appear when I was in foster care.  Linda wasn’t just a loop of psychic recording stuck on repeat; this ghost had free will and independent thought—and thankfully, she wasn’t a sociopath consumed with bloodshed.  Linda manifested in faded jeans and dark turtleneck and smelled like home, which was the other thing that was unusual about her.  Most ghosts are tied to one spot, the place where they lived or died.  But Linda’s familiar face followed me from one foster home to another.  And it was a good thing that she did.  Linda the ghost saved my life more than once.
     Foster care was an excellent training ground for self defense, which is probably why the Hunters’ Guild uses it as a place for recruitment.  Being cast adrift in the child welfare system gave me plenty of opportunities to hone my survival instincts.  By the time the Hunters came along, I was a force to be reckoned with, or so I thought.
     The Hunters’ Guild provides exceptional training and I soon learned that my attempts at both offense and defense were child’s play when compared to our senior members.  I didn’t berate myself over that fact; I was only thirteen when the Hunters swooped in and welcomed me into their fold.  But learning my limitations did make me painfully aware of one thing.  If it hadn’t been for Linda the ghost, I probably wouldn’t have survived my childhood.
     The worst case of honing my survival skills had been at my last foster home, just before the Hunters’ Guild intervened.  I don’t remember the house mother.  She wasn’t around much.  She was just a small figure in a cheap, polyester fast food uniform with a stooped posture and downcast eyes.  But I remember her husband Frank.
     Frank was a bully who wore white, ketchup and mustard stained, wife-beater t-shirts.  He had perpetual French fry breath and a nasty grin.  It took me a few weeks to realize that Frank’s grin was more of a leer.  I’d caught his gaze in the bathroom mirror when I was changing and his eyes said it all; Frank was a perv.
     Linda slammed the door in his face, but that didn’t stop Frank.  Frank would brush up against me in the kitchen and Linda would set the faucet spraying across the tiles…and slide a knife into my hand.  My time in that house ended when Frank ended up in the hospital.
     I’d been creeping back to the bedroom I shared with three other kids, when I saw Frank waiting for me in the shadows.  I pulled the steak knife I kept hidden in the pocket of my robe, but I never got a chance to use it.  Now that I know a thing or two about fighting with a blade, I’m aware that Frank probably would have won that fight.
     I tried to run toward the stairs, but Frank met me at the top landing.  Frank reached for me while his bulk effectively blocked my escape.  That was when Linda the ghost pushed him down the stairs.  I remember him tumbling in slow motion, his eyes going wide and the leering grin sliding from his face.
     Linda the ghost had once again saved me, but it seemed that this visit was her last.  I don’t know if she used up her quota of psychic power, or if she just felt like her job here was finally done.  It wasn’t until years later that I realized she was my mother.
     I guess I should have realized sooner that I was related to the ghost who followed me around.  We both have hair the same shade of shocking red.  But where mine is straight and cropped into a short bob, Linda’s was wavy and curled down around her shoulders.  We also share a dimple in our left cheek and a propensity for protecting the weak and innocent from evil.
     Linda the ghost disappeared, a wailing ambulance drove Frank to the hospital, police arrived at my foster house, and the Hunters swooped in and cleaned up the aftermath.  It was from my first Guild master that I learned of my parents’ fate and put two and two together about my ghostly protector.
     As a kid I often wondered why Linda the ghost always wore a dark turtleneck; now I knew.  Young, rogue vamps had torn out her neck and proceeded to rip my father to pieces like meat confetti.  My parents were on vacation in Belize, celebrating their wedding anniversary when it happened.  I’d been staying with a friend of my mother’s, otherwise I’d be dead too.
     I don’t remember my parents, I’d only been three when I was put into the foster care system, but I do find some peace in knowing that doing my duty as a Hunter gives me the power to police and destroy rogue vamps like the ones who killed my mother and father.  When I become exhausted by my work, I think of Linda’s sad face and push myself to train harder.  And when I find creeps who are abusive to women and children, I think of Frank.
     That’s how I ended up here, standing in a Brussels airport, trying to decipher the Dutch and French signs with eyes that were gritty from the twelve hour flight.  It all started when my friend Ivy called to inform me that a fellow Hunter had hit our mutual friend Jinx.  Ivy didn’t know how that information would push all my buttons, she didn’t know about Frank or my time in the     foster system, but we both agreed that striking a girl was unacceptable.  She was letting me, and the Hunters’ Guild, deal with it, for now.
     I went to master Janus, the head of the Harborsmouth Hunters’ Guild, and reported Hans’ transgressions.  It didn’t help his case that he had a reputation as a berserker in battle.  The fact that he’d hit a human, the very people we were sworn to defend against the monsters, was the nail in the coffin of Hans’ career.
     I was assured that Hans would be shipped off to the equivalent of a desk job in Siberia.  I should have left it at that, and let my superiors take care of the problem.  But Jinx was my friend.  Ivy’s rockabilly business partner may have had bad luck and even worse taste in men, but that didn’t mean she deserved to spend her life fending off the attacks of the Franks in the world.
     Hans continued his Guild duties while the higher ups shuffled papers and prepared to send him away.  Hans should have skipped our training sessions, but then again, he didn’t know who had ratted him out—and the guy had a lot of rage to vent.  I stormed onto the practice mat and saluted Hans with my sword.  It wasn’t long before the man started to bleed.
     We were supposed to be using practice swords, but I’d accidentally grabbed the sharp blade I used on hunting runs.  I didn’t leave any lasting injuries, but the shallow cuts made a mess of his precious tattoos.  I just hoped the scars were a constant reminder of what happens when you attack the innocent.
     One week later, I received a plane ticket and orders to meet with one of our contacts in Belgium.  I wasn’t sure if this assignment was intended as a punishment or a promotion, but I was eager to prove myself to the Guild leadership.  Master Janus’ parting words whispered in my head, distracting me from the voice on the overhead intercom echoing throughout the cavernous airport.
     “Do your duty, Jenna,” he said.  Master Janus placed a large, sword-calloused hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye.  I swallowed hard, but I managed to keep my hands from shaking.  “Make us proud.”
    “I will, sir,” I said.
     “Good hunting.”

 Hunting in Bruges: Fight Scene

     A woman’s scream pierced the night and all thoughts of sleep fled as adrenaline pumped through my body.  I sprinted down the street in the direction of the woman’s cry, scanning the sidewalks and alleyways, and listening for any sign of trouble.
     “Please, somebody help me!”
     The voice was weaker now, but I nodded to myself, suddenly sure of where the attack was taking place.  I put on more speed, vaulted over a metal railing, and raced down the embankment toward the canal.  The woman’s scream had come from beneath the bridge—the same bridge that hid the mouth of the sewer tunnel with the bloody grate and magically warded door.
     I palmed a silver combat knife and a wooden stake as I ran, a fierce snarl curling my lips.  I was not going to allow another vampire kill.  Not on my watch.
     Heart pounding, I eyed the narrow ledge leading into the dancing shadows beneath the bridge.  There was no way I could make my way across that expanse of moss slick stone without discarding my weapons.
     “Damn,” I muttered.
     I shoved the wooden stake into a loop in my battle skirt and bit down on the silver knife, holding it between my teeth.  I’d need both hands free to make the climb to the bridge.  If I was dealing with vamps, I’d rather lead with the stake, but there was a chance that this was a mugging or rape.  Vampires weren’t the only monsters that preyed on the weak.
It would be foolish to bring a stake to a knife fight.  Everyone knows that.
     Shoulders tight, I shimmied across the ledge.  I was exposed, vulnerable, but the whimpering sound ahead of me kept me going.  As my foot hit the wet platform with a splash, a clawed hand grabbed my leg in an iron grip.
     My attacker wasn’t human.
     I slashed out with the silver knife and the hand retreated, leaving behind a searing pain in my calf where the creature’s talons had punctured flesh.  Working fast, I retrieved the wooden stake and, with a flick of the wrist, turned on my flashlight and tossed it into the shadows.  The flashlight spun, illuminating a crumpled heap near the iron grate and three vampires: one to my left, one to my right, and one scuttling along the ceiling like a cockroach.
     It was a goddamned ambush.
     I didn’t know if the woman crumpled on the ground was still alive or not.  Her cries had ceased, but there was nothing I could do for her at the moment.  I was too busy trying to stay alive.
     I spun to the left, slashing upward with the silver knife.  The vamp on the ceiling hissed and scuttled to the right, giving me some breathing room.  I shivered, my subconscious mind reeling in horror.  These vamps weren’t even bothering to maintain a glamour.  Instead of being drop dead gorgeous, these guys were just dead—as in mummified.
     Skin the color and texture of dried parchment was stretched tightly over skeletal bodies that moved with an insectile, alien grace, but their grinning faces were the worst.  I’ve seen a lot of monsters during my time as a Hunter, but there’s something about the fanged, rictus grin of a vampire that gives a girl chills—and not the romantic kind.
     As soon as a vampire dies its first death, their body begins to dehydrate.  It’s part of what makes them appear so monstrous in their true form.  There’s just something nauseating about seeing such a grotesque caricature of a human moving around animated with life.
     These vamps with their empty eye sockets and gaping sinus cavities were a prime example.  As a vampire’s body deteriorates, the soft tissue is the first to go, which makes for some butt ugly vampires.  Drinking blood helps, but nothing can fully restore life, not even necromancy.  Vamps are nothing more than dried up, walking corpses.
     Too bad their desiccated bodies don’t slow them down.
     If I was going to survive this, I’d have to out think my opponents.  I feigned a minor stumble, and the vamp on my left didn’t hesitate.  The monster lunged in, fangs bared, the hollow pits of his eyes intent on my jugular.  One, two, three…
     He closed the distance and I thrust the wooden stake up beneath his ribcage and into his chest cavity.  The vamp froze, completely paralyzed, and I knew I’d staked him through the heart.  It wouldn’t kill him, but it would keep him out of the fight until I had the time to finish him off—and add his fangs to my necklace.
     I grinned, showing my own small, white teeth.
     “Okay, boys,” I said.  “Who’s next?”
     I drew my sword, now glad I’d worn my hunting gear to my visit with the rusalka.  I’d had a feeling I might need my favorite blade.  I guess I was right.
     Lightning fast, the vamp struck.  One second he was circling to my right trying to flank me, and the next he was tearing away a chunk of my flesh.  The iron and silver coated steel boning of my corset deflected the worst of the attack, but one of his talons managed to slash through the space between.
     I heard the sizzle of his claws, knowing the silver was eating away at the tips of the talons that scored across my abdomen and flank.  I let out a satisfied grunt, but the zing of pleasure was premature.
     Hot blood leaked from my side and the two vampires shrieked in hunger.  Shit.  The blood was stirring them into a feeding frenzy.  I had to end this now, or I’d be the body they’d find in the canal tomorrow.
     I drove my sword through the air, separating the vampire’s head from his body.  The creature continued to cling to the ceiling for a moment, but when the head hit the cement with a meaty thud, both pieces of the beast burst into ash.
     The sound of the vamp’s falling head still echoed throughout the chamber beneath the bridge as ash fell like grisly snow.  The remaining vamp and I warily circled each other, searching for a weakness.  Vampires like to play with their food, but I didn’t kid myself.  Saliva was dripping from his elongated fangs and a leathery tongue darted out to lick dry, papery lips.
     If I gave this one the opportunity, he’d go straight for the kill.
     I struggled to keep my sword up and shifted my weight to allow for the wounds in my leg and side.  I swallowed hard and grit my teeth.  Every move tugged at the edges of the gash in my side, making it burn and bleed.
     My knuckles whitened as I increased the grip on my sword, readying for the kill.
     “Jenna!” a familiar voice cried out.  “Behind you!”
     I dropped to the ground and rolled, never hesitating.  As I came to my feet, I faced not one vamp, but two.  A female, judging from the sagging breasts, had joined the party.  I flicked my eyes to the ground where the “victim” had been curled up just moments before.
     The woman was gone.
     “You smell delicious, ma chérie,” said the female vampire.
     Oh yeah, this had been a trap from the very beginning.

Did you like the book excerpts?

Need more?  You can pre-order Hunting in Bruges now.  Hunting in Bruges, the first novel in the Hunters' Guild series by E.J. Stevens, releases into the wild November 11, 2014.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hunting in Bruges Goodreads Giveaway

Score a signed copy of Hunting in Bruges, the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series, on Goodreads!

Visit Goodreads to enter.  Giveaway ends November 11, 2014.