Andrea Speed

on Aug 28, 2014 by Andrea Speed

City of Monsters

Hunter is a human turned animal shifter in Nightshade, a literal city of monsters in a near-Earth dimension called Dev. All sorts of beasts reside here, unable to return to Earth, yet still plagued by the same jealousies, rivalries, and needs of any human. Resolving them is Hunter’s job.
Hunter faces supernatural perils at every turn: vampire debt collectors who most decidedly don’t sparkle, werewolfs who literally piss on everything you love, and surprise shifters. And just like back on Earth, there are mundane struggles too. Like paying the rent—which isn’t easy for a guy with more vices than virtues—and keeping his haunted blender happy with pricey produce. So he takes a job from a foul-mouthed reverse tooth fairy to find her missing twin.
Just when things seem like they couldn’t get any worse, Hunter meets Sakari, a hot newcomer to Nightshade with a taste for danger. Will Sakari change Hunter’s bad luck, or will he only mean more trouble? Can Sakari help him solve his case? And how will Hunter explain the new man in his life to his blender?

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Excerpt

You know you’re in for a bad night when you wake up dangling ten stories above the ground. Somehow, the night gets worse when you realize an angry vampire is holding you by the ankle.
“Good, you’re awake,” Fang said as my eyes continued to adjust. My head ached, and I figured I’d been clobbered. Not that I could remember any of it, mind you, but that came with the territory of head injuries. “I was afraid you were gonna sleep through your death.”
“Fang, dude, let’s talk this out,” I said, hoping I didn’t sound as pathetic as I thought I did. The truth was, I bet I sounded a million times worse. “What is it you think I did?”
“You know what you did, you rat bastard.”
“Yeah . . . you’re gonna hafta narrow it down for me, Fang.”
He made a noise of disgust and shook his head, which I could feel in the slight tremor of his arm. “Mutt, even you can’t be this stupid.”
“I am not a mutt,” I protested, even though that was really just a guess on my part. You’d think after six months, I would have known what kind of were I was, but nope. I kind of didn’t want to know because with my luck, I was something ridiculous. A worm maybe, or a dung beetle.
He sighed; it wasn’t natural for vampires, so when they bothered to do it, they were being drama queens. “Did you forget about the wolf races?”
“No.” Although I quickly realized that, yes, I had. “Yes.” I’d really thought Silver Streak was a shoo-in to win the third race, but then he’d had to pull up lame. Just my luck.
“You now owe Mr. Deth two grand—interest added—’cause you didn’t show up Friday to pay off the fifteen hundred, and he figured you were trying to weasel out of your debt. Is that what you are? A weasel?”
“No. I genuinely forgot.” I had. It may have been related to a self-pitying, sorrow-fueled bender, but hell if I was gonna tell him that. He didn’t need to know about my personal life. Although the saddest thing was, I’d had so many interactions with Fang that he was kind of a frenemy. Personal life wasn’t exactly out of bounds. “I’ve kinda been . . . sick.”
“Ya mean drunk?” he asked, his voice dripping with contempt. “I can smell the booze coming through your pores.”
“Look, can you give me a break here? My head’s killin’ me, and if you keep dangling me, I’m gonna barf. Wanna find out what I ate last?”
He made a grumpy noise and roughly deposited me back on the roof, where I flopped down like a landed fish. The sky, a weird midnight blue with dark, flesh-pink tendrils at the very edges, spun as if it were on a broken turntable—too fast and a little wobbly. When my vision cleared, Fang was standing off to one side, arms crossed over his chest, looking vaguely disgusted. The fact that he’d given in so easily confirmed my long-held suspicion about him—that he felt sorry for me. And how sad was that? I’ve always depended on the kindness of enforcers.
His name, by the way, was actually Fang. He was an Asian American vampire. The Asian part was pretty obvious, but the American giveaway was his almost comically thick Minnesotan accent. The first time I heard him talk, I’d laughed, expecting him to ask me if I had a hot dish to pass, don’tcha know. He punched me into next week, and I’d never laughed at his accent anywhere near him again. It was still really funny, though, especially considering he made his living as a hired thug.
“Look, he’s extended all the credit he can,” Fang said.
“That’s bullshit, and you know it. He could do more if he wanted.”
“Yeah, but why would he for you?”
That was a damn good point. I would have agreed if I weren’t concentrating on not vomiting up my digestive track. Fang looked down at me, scowling with distaste, and finally rolled his gleaming copper eyes. “I’ll see if he’s willing to have you work off the debt. But how are you at shakin’ people down?”
“Depends. Actual humans?”
“Oh, hell no.”
“Not that good, then.” Finally the sky steadied, and I got brave enough to push myself up to my knees. Took a bit longer than it should have.
“Has anyone told you that even for a weird were, you’re kinda lame?”
“Don’t you start, Fang. I’m humiliated enough as it is.” I sat on the cool crystal roof and tried to mentally will myself into feeling better. It wasn’t working. Spirit wine was a fucking bitch. Brilliant when you had it, but later you understood why they gave it the name—it haunted you like a cursed graveyard. Also, it made you feel undead. In a bad way.

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In Absentia

About Andrea Speed

Andrea wonders if anyone bothers to read these. She’s not sure she does. But if you are, thank you. She’s sorry she’s not more interesting. She continues to await alien abduction, but so far it just ain’t happening.


City of Monsters

Hunter is a human turned animal shifter in Nightshade, a literal city of monsters in a near-Earth dimension called Dev. All sorts of beasts reside here, unable to return to Earth, yet still plagued by the same jealousies, rivalries, and needs of any human. Resolving them is Hunter’s job.
Hunter faces supernatural perils at every turn: vampire debt collectors who most decidedly don’t sparkle, werewolfs who literally piss on everything you love, and surprise shifters. And just like back on Earth, there are mundane struggles too. Like paying the rent—which isn’t easy for a guy with more vices than virtues—and keeping his haunted blender happy with pricey produce. So he takes a job from a foul-mouthed reverse tooth fairy to find her missing twin.
Just when things seem like they couldn’t get any worse, Hunter meets Sakari, a hot newcomer to Nightshade with a taste for danger. Will Sakari change Hunter’s bad luck, or will he only mean more trouble? Can Sakari help him solve his case? And how will Hunter explain the new man in his life to his blender?


Excerpt from City of Monsters:

You know you’re in for a bad night when you wake up dangling ten stories above the ground. Somehow, the night gets worse when you realize an angry vampire is holding you by the ankle.
“Good, you’re awake,” Fang said as my eyes continued to adjust. My head ached, and I figured I’d been clobbered. Not that I could remember any of it, mind you, but that came with the territory of head injuries. “I was afraid you were gonna sleep through your death.”
“Fang, dude, let’s talk this out,” I said, hoping I didn’t sound as pathetic as I thought I did. The truth was, I bet I sounded a million times worse. “What is it you think I did?”
“You know what you did, you rat bastard.”
“Yeah . . . you’re gonna hafta narrow it down for me, Fang.”
He made a noise of disgust and shook his head, which I could feel in the slight tremor of his arm. “Mutt, even you can’t be this stupid.”
“I am not a mutt,” I protested, even though that was really just a guess on my part. You’d think after six months, I would have known what kind of were I was, but nope. I kind of didn’t want to know because with my luck, I was something ridiculous. A worm maybe, or a dung beetle.
He sighed; it wasn’t natural for vampires, so when they bothered to do it, they were being drama queens. “Did you forget about the wolf races?”
“No.” Although I quickly realized that, yes, I had. “Yes.” I’d really thought Silver Streak was a shoo-in to win the third race, but then he’d had to pull up lame. Just my luck.
“You now owe Mr. Deth two grand—interest added—’cause you didn’t show up Friday to pay off the fifteen hundred, and he figured you were trying to weasel out of your debt. Is that what you are? A weasel?”
“No. I genuinely forgot.” I had. It may have been related to a self-pitying, sorrow-fueled bender, but hell if I was gonna tell him that. He didn’t need to know about my personal life. Although the saddest thing was, I’d had so many interactions with Fang that he was kind of a frenemy. Personal life wasn’t exactly out of bounds. “I’ve kinda been . . . sick.”
“Ya mean drunk?” he asked, his voice dripping with contempt. “I can smell the booze coming through your pores.”
“Look, can you give me a break here? My head’s killin’ me, and if you keep dangling me, I’m gonna barf. Wanna find out what I ate last?”
He made a grumpy noise and roughly deposited me back on the roof, where I flopped down like a landed fish. The sky, a weird midnight blue with dark, flesh-pink tendrils at the very edges, spun as if it were on a broken turntable—too fast and a little wobbly. When my vision cleared, Fang was standing off to one side, arms crossed over his chest, looking vaguely disgusted. The fact that he’d given in so easily confirmed my long-held suspicion about him—that he felt sorry for me. And how sad was that? I’ve always depended on the kindness of enforcers.
His name, by the way, was actually Fang. He was an Asian American vampire. The Asian part was pretty obvious, but the American giveaway was his almost comically thick Minnesotan accent. The first time I heard him talk, I’d laughed, expecting him to ask me if I had a hot dish to pass, don’tcha know. He punched me into next week, and I’d never laughed at his accent anywhere near him again. It was still really funny, though, especially considering he made his living as a hired thug.
“Look, he’s extended all the credit he can,” Fang said.
“That’s bullshit, and you know it. He could do more if he wanted.”
“Yeah, but why would he for you?”
That was a damn good point. I would have agreed if I weren’t concentrating on not vomiting up my digestive track. Fang looked down at me, scowling with distaste, and finally rolled his gleaming copper eyes. “I’ll see if he’s willing to have you work off the debt. But how are you at shakin’ people down?”
“Depends. Actual humans?”
“Oh, hell no.”
“Not that good, then.” Finally the sky steadied, and I got brave enough to push myself up to my knees. Took a bit longer than it should have.
“Has anyone told you that even for a weird were, you’re kinda lame?”
“Don’t you start, Fang. I’m humiliated enough as it is.” I sat on the cool crystal roof and tried to mentally will myself into feeling better. It wasn’t working. Spirit wine was a fucking bitch. Brilliant when you had it, but later you understood why they gave it the name—it haunted you like a cursed graveyard. Also, it made you feel undead. In a bad way.

Copyright © 2014 Andrea Speed. All rights reserved.


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About Andrea Speed

Andrea wonders if anyone bothers to read these. She’s not sure she does. But if you are, thank you. She’s sorry she’s not more interesting. She continues to await alien abduction, but so far it just ain’t happening.


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