Monday, November 18, 2019

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The Underground by Roxanne Bland - Book Tour + Giveaway





The Underground

Roxanne Bland

Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy/
Romance/Science Fiction Hybrid

Publisher: Blackrose Press

Date of Publication: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 9780996731621 (print)
ISBN: 9780996731638 (electronic)
ASIN: B07X6RRL5B

Number of pages: 376
Word Count: 100,261

Cover Artist: Zelena

Tagline: There’s no room for morals when survival is at stake.

Book Description:


In an alternate Seattle,
communities of “exotics”—shapeshifters, witches, elves and vampires—live among
the murderous human population and are ruled over by the cruel vampire Master,
Kurt.


The powerful alpha male of the
werewolf pack, Parker Berenson, is one of the Master’s enslaved servants and he
would like nothing more than to hasten the downfall of the vampire overlord who
stole his love, the beautiful mage Garrett Larkin.


But in a night city already on
the razor’s edge—in the midst of a spate of bloody murders—Parker’s passionate
encounter with a stunning interstellar assassin could upset the very delicate
balance and ignite a war neither exotics nor humans can survive

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1    


“Stay
human. Stay human. Stay human.”

Parker
Berenson, alpha of Seattle’s werewolf pack, slammed the door to his aging brown
Chevrolet Caprice. “Stay human. Stay human.” Hands clenched into fists, his
feet pounded the icy pavement leading from the driveway to his blue-gray stucco
house. Though the February fourth night was unusually bitter and he wore
neither overcoat nor jacket, he didn’t feel cold. Sweat streamed down his face
and neck. His white dress shirt was soaked, as were his trousers. Tiny tendrils
of steam rising from his muscular shoulders made him look as if he were
smoldering.

His
wolf’s hard push against the mental bonds that held him inside their shared
body and mind made Parker stumble. Fuck staying human. I want out! he roared.

Regaining
his balance, he ignored his beast as best he could and kept walking. “Stay
human. Just stay human.”
I’m—

“At
least wait until we get inside,” he said through his teeth.

The
porch light was out again, but Parker could see by the streetlamps’ ambient
glow. He shoved his key into the front door lock and gave it a savage twist.
The bolt didn’t move. Using more pressure, he tried again and nearly snapped
the key in two. “Open, you sonofa…” he muttered, jiggling the key in its slot.

That’s
it, his wolf snarled and gave another hard mental shove. Tear the sucker off—
“No!”

The
key finally turned. Parker threw the door open, stormed over the threshold,
then banged the door shut.

One
day, I swear-to-God, I’m gonna kill that—

“You
and me both.” He leaned against the door, panting. “Now calm down, will you?
Calm—”

Calm
down? After what he did to us tonight? Again? Calm down my—

“Shut
up. We need a drink.”

I
don’t need a drink. I need—

“Shut
up, I said.”

His
wolf didn’t reply. That was a good sign.

Parker
strode away from the small patch of faux-slate tiles that served as a tiny
foyer. The room he marched across comprised nearly all of the main level. White
walls supported glass and metal sculptures with jagged edges sharp enough to
carve a holiday roast. These stood in stark contrast to the rest of the sparse
furnishings—the clean, straight lines and ninety-degree angles formed by industrial-grade
steel pipe. The black leather cushions on the sofa and chairs did little to
soften the interior’s threatening appearance.

The
decor wasn’t pretty but it had its uses. The lack of furniture allowed enough
space for all of his wolves to sit when the pack met at his place. And in case
his neighbors discovered what he was and decided to do something about it, the
wall hangings and furniture could be broken into makeshift but lethal weapons.

Parker
headed for the freestanding bar about twenty feet away. He grabbed the
jumbo-sized Jack Daniel’s bottle from the counter and then snatched a double
shot glass from a nearby rack. Pouring the glass full, he drank it in one gulp,
ignoring the liquid fire searing his throat. He tossed down two more shots.

After
his fourth drink, he felt at least some of the tension leave his shoulders.
Holding the glass in two large, strong, and trembling—but very human—hands, he
set it down on the upper counter. Leaning against the marble, he closed his
eyes. “Okay. We’re okay now. Right?”

His
wolf remained silent. Another good sign. The last thing he wanted was to morph
into his other, a gargantuan man-wolf eight feet tall. A forced morph was
triggered in werewolves by the full moon and sometimes, like now, by powerful
emotions. And the greater the size differences between the human and were
selves, the more agonizing the change. Parker-the-human stood six feet, six
inches tall in his stocking feet. Morphing into his eight-foot were hurt like a
knife-wielding bitch.

Parker
had been just about to let out a sigh of relief when he caught a whiff of
cologne clinging to his shirt. It wasn’t his. He ripped the still-wet shirt off
and threw it across the room. His broad, hairy chest heaving with anger, he
watched the discarded garment land in a crumpled heap about ten feet away.

No,
we’re not okay, his wolf growled. Human, when are you going to wake up and
smell the blood? That bastard is driving us insane.

“That
bastard” was Kurt, the vampire Master. Old and extremely formidable, Kurt
extended preternatural protection from Seattle’s human horde to just about
every exotic—zot—that lived there. The smell Parker had picked up was the
vampire’s favorite scent.

He
poured a fifth shot of whiskey into the glass. “Quit calling me ‘human.’ Besides,
what do you suggest we do about it? We’re Kurt’s servant. Bound to him by
blood. Day or night, he calls, we come, and then we do whatever he wants.” He
downed his drink and grimaced. “Like we’re his damned dog or something.”

His
wolf’s anger surged. Guess you like it, huh? Like this, maybe? A mental picture
flashed in their shared mind’s eye, one Parker would rather not have seen.
Kurt’s grinning face was poised above him. He heard the seductive whispering in
his ear and felt the sweet ecstasy of fangs piercing his flesh.

Parker’s
face reddened. “You think I wanted to go down to Kurt’s nightclub tonight?” he
shouted. “You think I wanted his hands on me? No. You know what he does. Takes
over my mind and twists my head around until I’m practically begging for it.”
He tossed down a sixth shot. “And while he’s doing it I sure don’t feel you
trying to stop him.”

That’s
bull and you know it.

“Shut
up.” He poured himself an seventh shot and drained it, which was followed by an
eighth. But Jack wasn’t doing the job. The humiliating images of what had
happened to him and his wolf in Kurt’s office beneath the vampire’s Last Chance
nightclub refused to fade.

Parker
gripped the shot glass harder. His blood pressure skyrocketed. Rivers of sweat
burst from his pores and ran down his face and chest. His wolf’s snarling
inside their shared mind swelled into a howl. He started grinding his teeth, a
sure sign he was going into a forced morph.

“Oh,
shrrit!”






About the Author:


Award-winning author Roxanne
Bland was born in the shadows of the rubber factory smokestacks in Akron, Ohio
but grew up in Washington, D.C. As a child, she spent an inordinate amount of
time prowling the museums of the Smithsonian Institution and also spent an
inordinate amount of time reading whatever books she could get her hands on,
including the dictionary. A self-described “fugitive from reality,” she has
always colored outside the lines and in her early years of writing, saw no
reason why a story couldn’t be written combining the genres she loved and did
so despite being told it wasn’t possible. Today, she writes stories that are
hybrids of paranormal urban fantasy, romance, and science fiction. Enamored of
Great Danes, she has been owned by several and lives in Maryland with her
current owner, Daisy Mae.







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