Fresh off the presses, today we bring you, in a bizarre coincidence, more supernatural DJ activity (see Erica Orloff roast from Tuesday!):
BAD TO THE BONE by Jeri Smith-Ready
(Pocket Books, May 19, 2009)
Book 2 in the WVMP RADIO urban fantasy series and sequel to WICKED GAME
In the sequel to 2008's WICKED GAME, former con artist Ciara Griffin and her vampire DJs face a new threat to their struggling station (WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll): their broadcast signal is pirated by a religious firebrand, and their lives threatened by the shadowy organization behind it all.
Now Ciara must protect the station while coping with her new boyfriend (vampire DJ Shane), her new best friend (vampire dog Dexter), and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year’s in one piece, she’ll need to learn a few new tricks...
“Smith-Ready pours plenty of fun into her charming, fang-in-cheek
urban fantasy” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
We stumble through a thick copse of trees—or more precisely, David and
I stumble. Shane and Jim have the coordination and night vision of
natural predators—not that their blood donors ever provide much of a
We come to a small clearing at the base of the cross, about fifteen
feet in diameter. It’s almost completely dark, since the patriotic
spotlight sits on the ground on the other side of the trees.
I sweep the flashlight beam across the clearing. “So where would a
Two glowing red eyes stare out of the darkness.
In front of me, Jim halts and holds out an arm. “Whoa.”
A hunched black shape slouches in front of the white structure. The
clank of a chain rises over the sound of the wind in the trees. A low
growl stops my breath.
Suddenly the creature roars and leaps forward. I jump back, squealing
like a little girl. The chain rattles, then jerks tight.
Shane grabs my arm. “It’s just a dog.”
Can’t be. The noise it makes sounds like a cross between a rabid
cougar and a locomotive.
“I’ve never seen a dog like that.” David looks just as scared as I am.
“Don’t worry.” Shane moves a little closer, stepping sideways. “It’s
I gesture for David to stay back, then follow Shane. The barking
grows louder but higher-pitched. Finally the flashlight fully
illuminates the dog, and I let myself relax.
It probably weighs twice as much as I do, and my head might fit inside
its mouth, but its tail is wagging, and it’s play-bowing and clawing
the ground at the end of the chain.
“It’s okay, buddy,” I murmur. “We’re here to help.”
The dog’s bark turns to a whimper as I approach. My light reveals
ribs and hip bones showing through patchy black fur. Its head is
square, but its legs are long, lending a mismatched, rangy look. Huge
eyes reflect the light with a green glow.
When I’m a few feet away, the dog drops to its belly, then rolls over,
pawing the air and rubbing its—wait, his—back on the gravelly dirt.
“Looks friendly enough,” Shane says.
“It could be a trick.” David’s voice gets fainter as he backs up
behind me. “It could be luring you in, looking all innocent.”
“Dogs are a lot of things, but they’re not con artists.” I kneel near
the animal, out of range of the chain. He stops groveling and gets to
his feet, then shakes off the dust with a horse-like shudder of his hide.
“You’re all right now.” I keep my voice low and even, my gaze on his
shoulder instead of his eyes as I extend my hand, palm down and
curled, for him to sniff. He licks my fingertips, his tail whipping
back and forth like a puppy’s. “What a good boy. You’re someone’s
pet, aren’t you?” I examine his huge black face, crisscrossed with
faded gray scars. “Or maybe bait for a pit bull trainer. You’re too
nice to be a fighter yourself.”
“You know what’s freaky?” Jim says. “He’s not barking at me.”
As if to prove the point, the dog wags his tail at the hippie vampire.
Jim laughs and sings the first line to Led Zeppelin’s “Black
Dog”—off-key, as usual. The pup wags harder.
“Whoever put him here doesn’t deserve him.” I stand and dust the dirt
off my knees. “So we should take custody.”
Shane comes up next to me. “You mean steal him?”
“Not steal, liberate.”
To win a copy of Bad to the Bone - tell us - what's the most exciting thing you've ever 'liberated'?
Click here for Jeri's web site and purchasing details!
And click here to read the first chapter!
And follow Jeri on Twitter here.