Cover & Excerpt
Siren Song Book Two
On the run…
It’s been four months since the head of the Institute of Supernatural Research was murdered. But that doesn’t mean June Coffin is out of hiding yet.
In a world where being different can get you killed, it’s best to keep a low profile. Especially for a Siren who can control other people with the call of her voice. That goes double if your powers might be inexplicably growing…
On the hunt…
But June isn’t the only one trying to clear her name. There’s Sam, the charismatic paranormal rights leader, and Micha, the first human on record to go paranormal. All of them must bargain with a mysterious vampire named Occam Reed if they want to stay alive.
Out of time…
As tensions increase between humans and paranormals, June must decide who to trust. If only she could hear the song inside her heart…
Genre: Urban FantasyPurchase link(s): Amazon ARe BAM Google iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Sirens, Magic, Vampires, Paranormal, Romantic elements, Contemporary
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington
Excerpt & More
Vampires made a badass gluten free blackened chicken dish; however, their interior decorating skills were woefully lacking. June Coffin didn’t need to be an artist to realize this. A colorblind hillbilly would attest the diner was the tackiest thing on the planet, and June had seen drag shows in San Francisco.
The diner, on Chicago’s North Cleveland Avenue, was called Zing’s and had a campy fifties feel crossed with Steampunk, which went together about as well as the concept sounded. The fixtures were bulbous and metal and the walls decorated to look like the interior of some retro spaceship that also served hamburgers and Coke. She sat in a black leather booth with a brass frame, the seat cracked and dingy from previous occupants. The scuffed black Formica table held her empty plate.
A sketchpad lay open in front of her. She drew in it with one of the few luxuries she’d been afforded in the past four months: a set of colored pencils. They weren’t quite a tattoo gun, but her fingers itched to make art. All the other things she’d lost she’d been able to get used to—a cell phone was useless when she couldn’t contact anybody, she’d forgotten how to put makeup on, and entertainment felt hollow and pointless. The outside world in general remained easy to access, though. They had laptops and cable at the house. Unfortunately, the news was always bad.
“How was everything?” a lilting female voice asked. A tall, curvy blond waitress stood over her. The woman had fangs.
“Great.” June slid the empty plate toward her. “Can I get a refill?” She tapped her pencil against her coffee cup.
If she had to sit around, she might as well work up a good caffeine buzz. The restaurant didn’t serve alcohol, though they should have, if they were going to torture patrons with the décor.
“Certainly.” The waitress smiled unnecessarily wide.
Yes, I’ve seen your friggin’ fangs. She wore a fifties style waitress outfit, but black—the only thing in the place not completely ridiculous.
June had learned a great deal about vampires. Sam Haain, erstwhile—if currently sequestered—leader of the Paranormal Alliance, had insisted she get a thorough education, and June didn’t argue. She needed to know what she was up against, after all.
Vampires didn’t naturally grow fangs. Those who had them either had veneers or had their natural teeth filed down. As Sam had explained, normal human teeth could bite through flesh. It was no more difficult than biting through an orange skin. He demonstrated this with an orange, which squirted her, prompting her to swear and throw a cup at him.
Biting proved much easier with fangs, though. Fangs were a sure sign of a militant vampire. The pussy ones went to the transfusion clinics to cleanse their blood.
She paused drawing and nibbled on the end of her pencil. She hadn’t smoked since a certain incident in which a bullet went into her lung, but the compulsion to stick something in her mouth remained. She’d already endured the jokes.
The diner wasn’t crowded—a few people sat at tables and several at the long curving black lunch counter. No one paid attention to her, though she was probably one of the few non-vampires in the place. Most of the other patrons were young and hip, with stylish haircuts and way too many vintage accessories. She didn’t understand why more vampires weren’t punks.
A girl sat a few booths away, alone, facing June. She had long dark hair and wore a halter top and a short jean skirt, her legs crossed beneath the table. She sipped from a coffee cup while reading a magazine, but occasionally, she glanced up at June.
The waitress returned with a silver carafe and refilled June’s coffee cup.
“Nice drawing. You an artist?”
June only had an outline at the moment, a skull with a cat winding luxuriously around it, the cat’s eyes narrowed viciously at the viewer.
“Yep,” June said.
“That’s a badass little kitty.”
“She certainly is.”
“Looks like a tattoo or something.” The waitress tilted her head to the side, exposing her neck. A faint pink scar traversed the tendon there.
“I’m a tattoo artist,” June said.
“Oh, yeah? Where do you work?”
Steam rolled off the black surface of June’s coffee cup. “Nowhere close.”
The waitress smirked. “Didn’t think you were from around here.”
June took a sip of the coffee as the waitress sauntered off. The liquid burned her tongue. Hot coffee was one of the best things on earth, right up there with a clean shot of whiskey, a smooth red wine, and getting finger-banged in a stolen Porsche.
As June set her cup down, someone at the counter turned on his stool: a young sinewy black man. A mass of red-tinted dreadlocks peeked out from under the slanted baseball cap he wore.
She pulled the menu over and eyed the dessert page. This was her first night outside the safety of the house in weeks. Vampires were alive and physiologically human and so had all the old human needs, including the need to consume food. The myths were wrong. They didn’t drink blood for sustenance, but to battle the bacteria that infected them.
While June pondered if there was anything on the dessert menu that wouldn’t give her hives or death, a shadow fell across the table. She looked up. The young black man stood over her. He had starter gauges in his ears and snakebite piercings in his lower lip. He was cute.
“This seat taken?” He gestured to the booth across from her.
“You’ve been sitting at that counter as long as I’ve been here,” she replied. “Do you think it’s taken?”
The guy grinned, showing brilliant white, slightly crooked teeth and fangs bigger than the waitress’s fangs, narrow and curving. How could he even eat with those things? He slid into the seat, dark eyes glittering. June closed the menu.
“I’m Zack.” He leaned on the table, arms folded. He had tattoos winding down both arms, black on his shiny brown skin. His nails were pale and manicured. A scent like patchouli wafted across the table.
“Hi, Zack.” June picked up her pencil. She started sketching again, adding detail to the cat’s fur. She would have a hell of a time tattooing an image of a Tortie, with all the different shades and patterns.
“You ain’t a vampire, are you?” Zack said.
“How’d you guess?”
“The clinic dogs don’t come around here much.” He leaned closer. “And you don’t have fangs. But it’s pretty obvious even without that.”
“Are you looking to bite me or pick me up? Just so I’m clear.”
He sat up, his fang-baring grin coming back. “Which are you hoping for?”
She put her pencil down. “Well, I’m not letting your mouth anywhere near my sensitive parts, that’s for sure.”
Zack laughed, a nice masculine soothing sound. June tilted her head. Vampires didn’t have any sort of glamour, but Zack seemed to glow with attractiveness. Maybe he was just naturally hot. He leaned forward again.
“You’re June, aren’t you?”
She reared back and arched her eyebrows. “Finally! Jesus.”
“Sorry to keep you waiting. You seemed to be enjoying your food. Didn’t want to interrupt.”
She slapped the sketchbook shut. “I haven’t been enjoying sitting around here while the waitress tries to figure out which part of me is the most tender.” She paused. “You said your name is Zack….”
“I’m not Occam. But I can take you to him.”
“Good.” June stuffed her pencils back in their pouch. “I’d like to get this over with.”
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Be on the lookout for Megan Morgan's future release(s): One Night In Cleveland coming November 2015, The Burning City coming July 2016, and Through the Darkness coming Fall/Winter 2016
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