Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blood Slave by Kathleen Collins

Blood Slave
Realm Walker Series
Book 3
Kathleen Collins

Can she find a killer in a town where the basest desires are allowed to run free?

There are zombies in the Dead Zone and Juliana Norris is sent to take care of the problem. And for there to be zombies, there had to be bodies. When vampires are found to be the culprits, Juliana is sent undercover in the red light district of Kansas City. Lying to her mate, Thomas Kendrick, isn’t something she wants to do, but she’s in another vampire’s territory and Thomas would not be pleased. Besides, she’s more than capable of doing the job and she needs to prove it to everyone. Most of all herself.

Charles Morgan is in control of the Kansas City area, making a rich living off his various enterprises. Juliana goes undercover at the strip club Lust and gets sucked into his dark, decadent world. More victims turn up and the Agency is positive they’ve got their man, but Juliana is not so sure. When the Agency refuses to listen, she reluctantly turns to Thomas for help. He intervenes but finds Juliana unaware of the danger she is in and discovers she may just be too deep for him to save.

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Excerpt 4:

Juliana Norris lay in the dirt at the top of a hill, tracking the necromancer through the scope of her rifle as rocks dug into her belly. Dry, dead grass scratched at her arms and a brisk breeze car-ried the scent of smoke from the herbs the death wrangler burned below her. Shifting her weight for the hundredth time in an effort to get comfortable, she watched the old man pace and place bundles of smoking herbs in a pattern she was certain wasn’t as random as it looked. An over-sized suit hung on his thin frame making him look emaciated. The tattered cuffs spoke to many long nights spent in cemeteries with the dead. But tonight they weren’t in a graveyard; they were in the Dead Zone.

The Dead Zone was the result of an accident at a germ research facility that some dumbass politicians decided should be relocated to America’s heartland about a decade ago. Less than five years after they opened the doors, the outbreak occurred. A quick response from the government kept the epidemic from becoming global, but every mammal within fifty miles succumbed to the plague, humans included. The Altered hadn’t been affected regardless of their species. All the reasons for this were unclear but the most obvious answer would be their magic made them im-mune. Affected or not, the Altered had cleared the area just like everyone else. Recently a few Altered stragglers had begun to move back into the area and with them came rumors of zombies rising in the night.

Every now and then, the Agency or local law enforcement would someone out to investigate the claims, but it usually led to nothing. Lately, the rumors had been more rampant than usual and a scouting group had been sent through the area. They had reported in the day before with an actual sighting. So here she was, playing guard duty to a necromancer. She’d tried to convince her boss it was a waste of time and resources to send the death wrangler. She could have just put them to sleep her way. One quick shot to the head and the zombies would cease to be a problem. Even the undead needed a brain to function. Apparently, however, it was bad PR to kill them for good without giving the mage a chance to put them down humanely.

As soon as the necromancer finished preparing, he would cast a spell to summon all the un-dead in the area. The zombies would come straight to them. She supposed that was one bonus of him being here, at least. They wouldn’t have to spend the whole night tracking down the undead. Once they’d gathered, he’d perform an incantation and lay them all to rest at once. That was the plan anyway. Unfortunately, things so very seldom went according to plan.

About the Author:

Kathleen Collins lives and works in Missouri. By day, she labors in the local prosecutor's office. At night she writes while surrounded by her husband, two boys and two loveable mutts. She is constantly thinking of her next project and loves to connect with her readers. You can fine her most often on Facebook or on her website.