Sunday, December 18, 2011
Wysh 1: The Wysh
By L. Shannon
Genre: paranormal m/m romance
Released: December 18, 2011
Amber Quill Press
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Editor: Catherine Snodgrass
Buy it at Amber Quill Press http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Wysh.html
Lin struggles to raise his kid brother on a writer's fluctuating income and once more is over whelmed with unpaid bills. Just when he thinks he's out of options, that is when he gets a mysterious note offering him money for a little of his time. Despite knowing the guy will probably be a stalker pervert who thinks he's the woman shown on that back of his books, he still goes to the midnight meeting. What he finds is a ridiculously sexy demon asking for his blood in exchange for enough cash to fix Lin's lacking finances. Lin's just not sure how much of himself he can give up for money. The decisions could change his life forever.
(*WARNING* Potentially adult excerpt. Consider yourself warned.)
If this were a book of mine to plot out, the note writer would be some recluse of a hunk, desperate to connect with another human even if he had to buy their company with his blue blood inheritance. A perfect fit for a desperate heroine. In my case, maybe it would be glamorous beauty, driven to the brink of madness from her loneliness. Some pretty delicate girl, petite enough to make me feel big and strong.
A snort slipped out.
But of course not. I'm a cynic. Reality wasn't like that. The truth was more likely going to be either a hideous ugly guy who couldn't get laid or a sicko who couldn't find someone willing to do what he needed to get off.
And here was me walking into this situation. I focused on the fireflies and continued onward with my hands in my pockets. One hand wrapped around the only proof that my desperation hadn't completely eroded my sense of self-preservation. The stun gun was a good model capable of shocking the shit out of a large man. The weapon could even be used multiple times if the guy in need of voltage wasn't alone, or if he really pissed me off. Not that I was completely helpless, but time and experience had taught me that with my frame I was better off with more options.
The dark star-spangled surface of the small lake came into view. The note had ordered me to meet him between the lake and the north bend in the dirt road. Right about... Here.
A shadow of black on black moved ahead of me. Despite the darkness, I could make out someone sitting on one of the two overlook benches. That someone appeared to be alone, but also even sitting looked as big as a mountain.
"Ms. Hamilton, you came." The gravelly voice vibrated across the air to me.
"Are you alone?" Even if I hadn't seen anyone I still had to ask.
"Yes, I came alone. I'm glad you did also."
I expected him to move, stand or do something, but instead the man stayed on his bench, staring out over the lake. Trudging a few steps closer I waited for his appearance to take clearer shape. But no matter how much I squinted, he remained nothing but shadow, hidden inside a long trench coat and obscured by a wide hat reminiscent of Van Helsing.
"Why did you come alone?" His question was tinged with sadness or perhaps disappointment. "Didn't you consider the risks?"
"I don't need a safety lesson from the creepy bastard who lured me out here." And with the earlier use of Ms. I figured it was time to fess up. "Besides, I'm not a Ms. Hamilton. I'm a Mr."
"Mr.? No, she's not married."
"She isn't a she." I shook my head. This was going to take more explaining. "I'm the author. But I am a man, not a woman. The readers expected a female author so my editor decided it would--"
"Ahh, a pen name. I understand."
"It's also my name. I'm Lindsey Hamilton. Most just call me Lin."
"Lin. I see." His voice dripped with doubt. "You came alone."
"So what? You already know I need the money. You seemed to be a fan so the least I could do was hear you out. My words tumbled out in a rush. Better to put all the cards on the table right away. "But even if my gender isn't an issue for you, I won't agree to anything until I hear exactly what you want in exchange for that money."
"Are there things you won't do for a thousand dollars?"
"Yes, there are things I won't do for a million dollars." Although in the most honest part of my heart, I'd have to admit that there were probably damn few things I wouldn't do for a big enough payout. "So spill it. Are you a pervert? Into shit you just can't talk the girls into? Or are you ugly enough to make the girls barf and run away?"
Wind blew in off the lake, sending a shiver dancing over my skin.
And then he was behind me. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, the guy went from still as stone on the bench, across the dozen feet or so and around behind my back. Yet, I hadn't seen him stand or walk or anything. Just bam, there he was.
I jerked, tightening my grip on the stun gun in my pocket. His hands locked onto my arms before I could pull it out.
"Now, now, you asked for the details." His words whispered over the back of my neck, sending a tightening sensation down my body. With a twist to look over my shoulder at him, I saw only pale white skin and glowing amber eyes. His height was just as I'd expected, towering over me at probably six and a half feet. And he was broad at the shoulders. I could tell that much even with his physique hidden by the trench coat and the darkness. My gaze returned to his glowing eyes. So sad and...glinting with something dangerous.
I couldn't tear my gaze free. "What are you? What do you want?"
"Let's start with you not trying to electrocute me and work our way up from there." He blinked and loosened his grip on my arms. "I won't hurt you. I won't take anything you can't willingly offer."
I turned slowly. "What the hell does that mean? And how about we back up to the part where you answer me and explain just what the hell you are."
"So tough." From beneath the brim of his hat, one side of his lips quirked upward, revealing a neat line of teeth...except for one that was long enough to definitely be called a fang.
Icy fingers slid down my back. This guy was way out of my league. His brute strength alone would probably crush me if that was what he wanted. Yet, his huge grip remained gentle. "Answer my question or we're heading back down the 'shock the shit' road once more."
This time he chuckled. "I'm a..." His words faded to nothing.
"A what? I make my living studying people and I've seen enough to know you aren't one. Are you a..." This time it was my words that failed. After all, I could hardly ask him if he was a vampire. Who the hell could ask that straight out into the honest night? "You're not human. I don't even need you to answer that question. But I'm not a bigot or anything. So just say it in one word or less. What are you?"
His head tilted forward. The brim of his hat hiding all of his face.
I just knew it. He was going to actually say that word. He was going to say right out loud that he was a vampire.
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at 10:53 AM