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Beast was insulting me so I ignored her. It continued to rain, though the water didn’t penetrate Beast’s double-layered pelt. We had worked in Beast form in the rain before—rain being the normal for New Orleans at any season—but not in such cold weather. Her breath blew twin plumes of vapor into the night. Her paws splashed through puddles and runnels of water. Rain made the city smell fresh, releasing ozone and ions on the air. The scent of blood and vamp faded and I thought we had lost it, but we found it around the next corner, a puddle of blood and rainwater that had no outlet except across the concrete. The scent faded again, to reappear further on. Beast trotted around corners, doubling back, searching, nose to ground, keeping to the shadows. Melting into the dark when a car came past. She was smarter than any mountain lion. Adaptable. Reactive. Going on two hundred years of life would give any animal excellent survival instincts.
The rain stopped. Started again. We passed restaurants almost empty of tourists. Bars full of drunk tourists. We passed churches next to Creole cottages, and we chased off a small pack of junkyard dogs with a single growl. Which made Beast chuff with laughter and victory. We passed cemeteries, the smell of old, old death and limestone and fresh white paint. We trotted beneath the I-10 interstate and were halfway to Highway 90 in what felt like a long way from home, though Beast wasn’t tired, just wet and grouchy. Mountain lions aren’t long-distance cats like jaguars or cheetahs, but in the cold, with the air decreasing the effect of heat buildup, we could travel a long way. A female Puma concolor’s hunting territory might cover a hundred fifty square miles.
Beast stopped. Looked both ways. Shoulders hunched. What? I thought at her, flooding back into her forebrain. I/ we slunk close to a parked car and waited for two motorcycles to pass.
Beast trotted out from the protection of the car and down a narrow alley between two houses. The ground and walls stank of feral male cats, territory spray, strong musky stinks.
Stupid cats, think they are lions. But smell Edmund. He was here. With cats.
Where? Inside the house? I looked around, through Beast’s eyes, seeing the world in silvers and greens and blacks and grays of Beast’s night vision. I/we sniffed the air. Edmund’s scent was everywhere and nowhere.
Smell of Edmund on top of house. Smell of vampires and blood-servants inside house.
He was spying on the house. They came out and found Edmund.
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most.
Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official Enforcer to Leo Pellissier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.
And there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.
Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…
Release date: May 2, 2017
About Faith Hunter:
New York Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter writes three series: the Jane Yellowrock series, dark urban fantasy novels featuring Jane, a Cherokee Skinwalker; the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy / post apocalyptic series and role playing game featuring Thorn St. Croix; and the Soulwood Series featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram.
Visit Faith online at www.faithhunter.net, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
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