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Andrea Speed interview–excerpt from *Infected: Lesser Evils*

Click on the cover image for the buy link at Dreamspinner Press online store.

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

Until recently, Roan was ahead of the curve when it came to reining in the lion that lives inside him. Now his control is slipping at the worst possible times. A new drug has hit the streets—one that triggers unscheduled changes in infected users. Street hustler Holden Krause gets attacked by one of his clients, then is surprised to find himself involved in an unwanted, unexpected relationship. And a serial killer begins targeting infecteds in their cat form—something that’s 100 percent legal.

To stop the murders, Roan has to work outside the law. But his newfound thirst for violence makes him worry he might be more like the killer than he thought, and his reluctance to talk about it with his husband, Dylan, puts an extra strain on their relationship. So Roan isn’t just fighting the killer and struggling with his mutating virus… he’s trying to save himself.

Andrea Speed writes way too much. She is the Editor In Chief of CxPulp.com, where she reviews comics as well as movies and occasionally interviews comic creators. She also has a serial fiction blog where she writes even more, and she occasionally reviews books for Joe Bob Briggs’s site. She might be willing to review you, if you ask nicely enough, but really she should knock it off while she’s ahead.


The Interview

Q: How important are character names, to you, and how do you go about naming them? What about titles?
A: Usually names come to me when I’m writing, and I’m glad, as they’re very vital in telling you about your character. For instance, everyone in the Infected series has a very telling name: Roan is named after a rough approximation of his haircolor, and has a Scottish surname that nearly everyone pronounces incorrectly, so you know right away you’re dealing with a stubborn Scotsman who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, yet must suffer them a lot. Paris had a slightly exotic name, pointing towards his exotic (tiger) nature and appeal. Dylan has actually changed his name to his mother’s surname to escape his younger, more troubled self and his violent childhood. And Holden’s real name is known to a select few, while he’s mostly known by his street nickname, Fox, giving him a complex identity all based on what name a person calls him. So names are super important, and everyone has their name for a specific reason.

As for titles … wow, do I struggle with those. I don’t know why, but that’s usually the last thing I come up with. I’m really bad with them. This is probably why nearly all the Infected chapter titles are song titles.

Q: In what locale is your most recent book set? How compelling was it to set a story there? Do you choose location the same way every time? How?
A: Since the latest book is Infected: Lesser Evils, that would be alternate universe Seattle, much like the real one, just with some places and street names swapped or invented, and cat virus infected people walking around. It seemed a natural to set Infected in Seattle (and Washington State as a whole) because I lived there, still live in Washington State, and I knew going in that the whole thing would have to be set in progressive city, where you got the good (an infected cop, for example) with the bad (a whole religious cult built around infecteds) of an open door policy. A city that was slow to embrace societal shifts would shut down about half of the plot points immediately, so the story had to be somewhere where people would try very hard to accomidate the different, but go overboard perhaps, in some circumstances, and trigger a backlash in other ways. Places where the different would have no choice but to go completely underground is a different story, and frankly, Roan wouldn’t stand for it. He’d have gotten the hell out of there first thing, and I would have to put the plot into pretzel like contortions to make him stay somewhere he didn’t want to be, because he’s an especially willful character.

And that speaks to locations in general. They can have a profound effect on a story and a character, depending on how close to reality you get with your tale. Now I enjoy writing science fiction – places that don’t exist, don’t exist now, or can’t exist – and horror – places that don’t exist, places that have taken a turn for the crazy – and those genres allow you to do whatever you want to whatever you want (same with fantasy). But if you want to try and stick to as much realism as possible, that’s hampering. Not in a bad way at all, though, because sometimes that forces you to be more deliberate in your choices, and to think through the repercussions. “If x happens, then y has to occur, and it’ll probably all become z”. That can spur new ideas.

Q: How much power do you give your characters in steering the story line?
A: They have a lot, whether I give it to them or not. So they might as well have it.

Q: What is the most satisfying element for you in writing gay relationships, and why?
A: That they’re relationships like any other relationship. No matter the genders involved, they all have rythyms, peaks and valleys, and some work, and some never can. No different from anyone else’s relationships.

Q: Are readers involved in making your fiction—do they suggest stories or say what they’d like to read?
A: Sometimes I do get suggestions from readers on what they might like to see characters do, but I’m not sure I’ve ever used one.

Q: Describe the ideal relationship between author and readers.
A: Friendly, cordial. But not so friendly restraining orders are involved.

Q: What do you find useful about reviews?
A: That they exist and can help spread word about your book. Sometimes there’s constructive criticism that works as well.

Q: I’m well known for demanding to know an author’s opinion about which of their characters is the sexiest, and I’m making no exception for this group. Who, how, and why?
A: Sexiest? Well, that depends on a lot of factors. Paris was pretty much made to be the most attractive guy on the planet, and holy hell, is he ever, but I suppose for me personally, I’d have to pick Roan, for his sense of humor and his general refusal to let people hold him down. Also our taste in noisy music is similar. Which is a super boring answer, but there it is.

Q: What are the fifty hottest words (approximate the word count) you’ve ever written, in your opinion. (Be sure to include citation).
A: Eeee … this might qualify as a spoiler, since its in the new book, Infected: Lesser Evils. So can I just say read it, and hopefully you’ll know it when you read it? (Really, Andrea? I think you cheated, here, bigtime. But okay, I’ll read it and let you know.)

Q: What are you doing now, what do plan to write next?
A: Right now I have some many irons in the fire I t’s crazy. I’m working on more Infected, of course, including a Paris prequel and a possible Holden solo story, and I have more coming up in my Josh of the Damned comedy-horror series. Oh, and there’s this fantasy novel in the works, and a science fiction one as well. So I hope I live long enough to write it all down.

Excerpt from Infected: Lesser Evils

Roan knew he should never have taken Nadia Rubin’s case the moment he took it.
She couldn’t afford him, she’d know he was taking pity on her and would probably resent it, and it wasn’t his usual thing anyways. She was asking him to be a bodyguard as much as a detective, and that really wasn’t his thing.

Still, how did you turn down a fellow infected? Especially when they were being threatened by another infected. It almost felt like a duty.

What she was, was a waitress who wasn’t wearing enough makeup to cover all the broken blood vessels beneath her eyes, indications of past beatings. She was a cougar strain, in the midst of a divorce from her abusive husband, Mike Oliver, who been threatening her. The problem was, the threats were obscure and personal—leaving dead flowers inside her car, leaving dead mice on her porch, flooding her e-mail with spam, putting dog shit in her mailbox, throwing red food coloring on her door—and to get him arrested she’d have to prove he did it. The cops had talked to him, but it had had no effect whatsoever, and she was sure he was going to ratchet things up, mainly because she’d finally got a restraining order. Right now she had no idea where he was living, as he’d been evicted from his last apartment, and all his family lived in Alabama or Virginia. What she wanted Roan to do was twofold: find where Mike was, and catch him in the act of vandalism. If she could prove something, she could get him arrested for harassment and violating the restraining order.

Oh, and he was cougar strain too. Apparently they’d met through the Church of the Divine Transformation. Sometimes Roan wondered if the universe took perverse pleasure in mocking him.


Filed under featured authors, M/M romance, Writers on writing

Feature Author Andrea Speed: *The Little Death* (Dreamspinner Press)

Welcome Andrea Speed as featured author this week. Farther down the page you’ll find excerpts and an interview a little more about her work. Enjoy, and leave a comment or question if you wish, for Andrea or for me, Lou Sylvre. Thanks!

Note: as is standard on this blog, all cover images are links to the book at the publisher’s site, in case you’ve decided to buy or just want to check it out some more.

Jake Falconer, a hard-boiled detective in Echo City, is struggling with his love of booze, a square ex (and a cop, no less) he can’t get over, and a murdered partner. In sashays Sloane, an homme fatal whose twin brother has gone missing. The search leads them to a sex club used for blackmailing the city’s most powerful, and soon Jake finds himself hip deep in sex and danger—it’s a good thing he’s no stranger to slogging through either.

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!) In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

Find Andrea at the following links:

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Andrea Speed: Lions and Monsters and Men—Oh My! (The interview)

Andrea, welcome. Thank you for allowing me to feature you and your work on Sylvre.com.

Ciao bella! (This is me, pretending to be Italian for no obvious reason.)

Q: Andrea, you live just a couple of towns and a large army base away from me here in the Pacific Northwest, and your facebook profile says you’re from Seattle. Have you lived anywhere else? What about our landscape, climate, and the peculiar fashion habits of some denizens (such as socks with sandals) do you like about the region? Anything you really don’t like? Does any of that influence your fiction, and if so, how?
Northwest Rainforest
A: I’ve pretty much just lived all over Washington all of my life, and I’d say I’m spoiled by it. We have mountains, forests (a rainforest even) and beaches, plus a desert if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s a beautiful state. And it’s an integral part of Infected, if only because Seattle, in this alternate universe, is one of the few cities where the cat church can exist, making it an unintentional magnet for the infected. Which opens up its own can of worms.

Q: Your Josh of the Damned series starter (to be released 10/30 by Riptide Publishing), “Pretty Monsters,” appears to be laugh-out-loud funny. Your more serious recent release, The Little Death, seems to have a humorous edge. Is humor a common theme or element in your fiction? Why write horror and crime with humor?
A: I like to think of myself as a failed comedian, because I love humor, and that seems to be my main coping mechanism. So I guess it’s not surprising that this has carried over to my characters. They all pretty much have a good sense of humor, and use it to get through. In the case of Roan (the lead in my Infected series), who’s had an exceedingly hard life, humor is what helped him hold it together in very hard times. It was a choice of laughing or crying, and he chose laughing. And occasionally punching things, but that’s as valid a coping mechanism as any.

Personally, I think you can find humor in many things. Knowing I’m completely screwed often makes me snicker, because it’s so silly. Completely screwed! Well, that’s life for you. You can find it in almost any situation, as long as you don’t mind getting a bit dark.

Q: Why did you choose to write the jaded PI in The Little Death? Will we be seeing more of Falconer (a series)? Did you have the character first, or the story concept, and which usually comes to you first?
A: I love the detective genre (again, I can point to the Infected series), especially those hard boiled detectives of old, and I always wanted to write what essentially was a gay Raymond Chandler detective. A snarky, somewhat functional alcoholic who always finds himself beaten up and double crossed and is forced to figure out what was going on before he got himself killed. Jake is not the most competent detective, but I like to think if he sobered up a bit, he’d be much better at his job. This story was unusual in the fact that I built it around the cover, as I took the cover in a writing challenge. (Note from LS: the cover for TLD was done by Dan Skinner of Cerberus, Ink. And wow, great cover!) But immediately I had Jake, the Raymond Chandler-esque detective. He was a given, as he’s someone I always wanted to write.

Q: You are, or have been involved with a publisher of comics. Can you talk about that a little—perhaps give us an idea what you do there? Have you been published in that arena?
A: I’m just a reviewer, although I’ve written the introductions to two graphic novels, Bomb Queen II: Dirty Bomb (an awesome if occasionally tasteless satire of “bad girl” comics) by Jimmie Robinson, available from Image Comics, and the upcoming Diary of A Catering Whore by Sean Seamus McWhinny, which should be out soon from Northwest Press. Comic writing is a lot like screenplay writing, which I’ve never mastered, but I admire those who can do it well.

Q: In The Little Death, we get an idea instantly of who Falconer is, his general characteristics, personality, approach to the world. But really, other than the reference to an “homme fatale,” there are few clues to Sloane. Is there anything you can share about him? This is a detective story, but also romance. Assuming Sloane is Falconer’s love interest, what initially stands in the way of their getting together? Of course there’s more I would ask, but I don’t want to do any spoiling, so I’ll move on to the next question….
A: Ooh, the femme fatale is never really a love interest in pulp detective stories, just a seducer, and the same is true of Sloane here. He’s a honey trap, so to speak. No, Jake’s real love interest is his ex, a square cop named Kyle Gomez. Jake has no idea how they ever got together in the first place, they’re so different, but there’s still some obvious lingering chemistry between them. They still care about one another, and Kyle eventually becomes entangled in the case, if only out of his desire to protect Jake.

Q: I ask this of every author I interview and give the same rules. Fudge but don’t cheat (you can’t just say “both”), and no one word answers. This is an essay question: Who’s sexier—Falconer or Sloane? Josh or Hot Guy—assuming Hot Guy is the second in the romance?
A: Between Jake and Sloane? Well, Sloane has it on him in physical attraction, which even Jake would admit, but I think Jake has a slightly more attractive personality. At least he generally means well.

Hot Guy is the second in the romance, and come on, no contest – Hot Guy. (Whose name is Colin.) He’s also … well, it would spoil, but let’s say he’ll always have a leg up on all human competition, and leave it at that. The playing field is not fair; it’s rigged in his favor. He’s very hot and very seductive, and he’s got a kind of bad boy/mysterious allure, which it’s difficult not to like. In an overall contest, Hot Guy would take the crown. Unless you threw in Paris from the Infected series, because he’d win hands down. He’s probably the most attractive character I’ve ever written about.

Q: What would you like readers to know about your Infected series? It’s an interesting concept, that the ability to shift is caused by a virus. How did you get that idea? What can you tell us about the main characters?
A:The true inspiration came about a decade or so ago, when I was reading an article in a science magazine (n.b. – I love science magazines. It takes all kinds …) about gene therapy. You know they use “neutered” viruses to impart new DNA into the host? I always wondered what would happen if someone screwed up, or deliberately tried to rig that system, perhaps for a benefit. What happens next? I thought it would be awesome to fold that into a werewolf story, but werewolves have been done to death, so I thought werecats was the way forward. This was before the werecat explosion – I got in just ahead of the curve, I think.

I’d be completely disingenuous if I didn’t admit I kept HIV in mind as well, and certainly there are aspects to that in the story (blood and bodily fluid transmissions seem to be the only way to get infected, and there’s a social stigma attached to it, even though there shouldn’t be). But the odd aspect of the cat virus allowed me to go to stranger areas, such as the church and the worshipping of the virus by some very misguided people, and things like that.

As for the main characters, I keep expanding the universe, adding new characters (who come and go, as in life), but Roan is the constant. For those who don’t know, he’s a former cop turned private detective, and he’s perhaps the only know fully functioning “virus child”, meaning he was born infected. Most babies born with the virus who don’t die come out very deformed and have short, miserable lives, but for whatever reason, Roan came out as close to normal as you’d like. Still, he has some things that make him different (a bloodhound level sense of smell, for example), but even he’s in the dark about how different he truly is. As the series goes on, both he and we learn how different he truly is, not only from regular humans but from other infecteds as well. Roan has always struggled with the lion inside him (he’s lion strain), but that takes center stage as he comes to understand how unusual he really is. I’d say more, but I’d spoil.

Q: Can you talk a bit about your covers by Anne Cain for the Infected series? I don’t see the name of the artist for “Pretty Monsters.” Any information? Thoughts?
A: Jordan Taylor is responsible for putting together the “Pretty Monsters” cover, and she did a damn fine job of it.

As for Anne Cain, I got so lucky that she’s done my covers, and she’s done so beautifully on all of them. The only input I’ve ever really had on those covers is I’m responsible for the Paris tattoo on Roan’s arm (featured since Infected: Bloodlines), and the pier in the background of Infected: Bloodlines. That’s it. She’s a genius, and the best thing I can do is get out of her way, so I do.

Q: Andrea, what can your readers expect to see in the future? More in the series we’ve talked about? New things in the works? Aside from the October 30th release of “Pretty Monsters” (Josh of the Damned #1), any upcoming dates we should know about?
A: I don’t have an exact release date yet – or cover art – but the next in the Infected series, Infected: Freefall, should be out by early next year (late this year at the earliest, but I doubt it’ll come out of that fast). There’s also the next in the Josh of the Damned series coming out in January, “Peek-A-Boo (Josh of the Damned #2)”, and for Josh stories down the road, there’s one about a rampaging giant mustache (I am not kidding), and possibly one about Cthulhu’s ne’er-do-well half brother. I’m also writing a fantasy novel called Strange Angels, which should be out on Riptide in the near future, depending on whenever I finish the thing.

Thank you, Andrea! I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you a bit and learn more about your work. I hope you’ll come back and visit again sometime.

I’d love to! If you’d have me, and if I haven’t been committed yet. (I understand mental institutions have spotty internet connections.)

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Excerpt from Andrea Speed’s *The Little Death*

I slumped back in my seat and pulled the flask out of the drawer. I had to fulfill the cliché, so it was a silver flask filled with cheap rotgut, which I swigged with abandon even while wincing at the taste.

So yeah, I’m the cliché, a private dick with a cheap office and a dead partner and more debt than I could possibly pay off in a month of Sundays. Not that you could tell from my door. Used to be there was a name painted on the window, but that wasn’t true anymore. The hail of bullets that killed Spencer, my partner in snooping, destroyed the original door, so this was the replacement. I was supposed to hire painters to replace the name, but what was I going to replace it with? Was I really gonna go from Spencer & Falconer, Private Detectives to Falconer, Private Detective? I had no choice, I’d hafta, or I’d hafta find a new partner. Yeah, right.

Maybe I’d just hafta retire, find a real job, one that didn’t cut your life span in half and leave you with more trouble than a nun with a grudge in hell’s half acre. The problem was I couldn’t do much else, and frankly I didn’t want to. As much
as I hated it sometimes, I was born to be a private dick. I couldn’t change that any more than a zebra could change its stripes.

Sloane had left me his brother’s e-mail and the header of the threatening mail, so I got out my laptop and had a look for myself. Phone calls might taper off, but spam was eternal, sure to continue on long after the world had imploded and was a scarred, barren shell.

The e-mail was a dead end. There was no name, and the e-mail address was one of those that hid your IP address and was just a random series of letters and numbers that ended with a domain name that seemed to indicate the e-mail was sent from somewhere in Eastern Europe, from one of those former Soviet countries that ended in -ia. There was no way I could track that, and while I was sure I could eventually find someone to ask about tracing the e-mail, I’d be an old man with a prostate the size of a grapefruit by the time they got back to me. That wasn’t worth pursuing.

I looked through Sander’s e-mail, though, but that was the funny thing. There was nothing in any of the files save the inbox and the junk mail folder. Even the trash had been emptied. Not that that meant anything—some people just never bothered to save e-mails—but it made me wonder if Sloane had gone through it, sweeping away anything that his brother might have gotten into that was the least bit hinkey. It was something to chew on.

I drained my flask and then realized there was only one thing left to do. Well, two things: the first was refill my flask. The second was go to Heat, see if I could retrace Sander’s steps the night he disappeared. I downloaded a hot picture of Sander from his Facebook page, although it could have been Sloane instead, since they were both hot in the same way.

I didn’t do the gay club scene, or any club scene, mainly because I wasn’t the type. Even if it wasn’t a cliché, I don’t care for people much. It seems like all they do is betray you, either in the form of a venereal disease or in the form of a
sexy guy who lets you take him home and then comes back later and fills your business partner full of lead. Even a misanthrope like me can think with his dick, but I paid for it. Or should I say Spencer paid for it—I lived to fuck again. Except I haven’t gotten laid since then. If you’re thinking it’s guilt, you’re giving me too much credit. It’s having to find a way to pay all the bills that’s been keeping me from seeing anything besides my own surly mug in the morning.

As it was, the city’s club scene, gay and straight, was dying. Everything in this city was dying, some of it slower than others, but in the end it was all bones and ashes. The gay clubs were doing slightly better, but only because some of the guys needed the scene—they hadn’t quite mastered Manhunt or Craigslist or didn’t want to—or were younger guys tired of Internet trolls. But I had the vague conception that they were sad places if you were over twenty-five, and at thirty-four I was entering “circling the drain” territory.

Maybe I should have changed clothes, looked less like me, but I wasn’t fishing for a trick, I had a job to do. So I stayed in my slightly baggy black suit and blue shirt, with my black duster on top of it all, and my tie so thin and black it looked like someone had erased a vertical line into my chest. I liked dressing black and blue, ’cause most of the time I was matching my bruises.

Heat was just what I expected: noisy, hot, filled with wannabes and never-weres, posers who thought all they needed were designer jeans and too-tight shirts to make up for their fatal lack of personality. I should have asked if it worked, ’cause I could use all the help I could get.

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Josh of the Damned: Pretty Monsters (an excerpt)

Josh knew the night shift at the Quik-Mart would be full of freaks and geeks—and that was before the hell portal opened in the parking lot. Still, he likes to think he can roll with things. Sure, the zombies make a mess sometimes, but at least they never reach for anything more threatening than frozen burritos.

Besides, it’s not all lizard-monsters and the walking dead. There’s also the mysterious hottie with the sly red lips and a taste for sweets.

Josh has had the hots for Hot Guy since the moment he laid eyes on him, and it seems Hot Guy might be sweet on Josh too. Now if only Josh could figure out whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between. After all, with a hell vortex just a stone’s throw away, Josh has learned to take nothing at face value—even if it’s a very, very pretty face.


The first time the hell vortex opened in the Quick-Mart parking lot, Josh very seriously considered quitting his job. But all that came out of it was a lizard guy, and all it did was amble inside, buy a bag of chips, and leave. All the monsters, while ugly, seemed nicer than his late-night human customers, and Mr. Kwon offered him hazard pay, so he stayed on.

Besides, it wasn’t all bad on the night shift. For instance, right now he was looking forward to the return of Hot Guy.
Of course it was a super hot night, still eighty degrees around midnight, and the air conditioner had to pick now to die. Josh peeled off his polyester work smock and put his nametag on his t-shirt, hoping Mr. Kwon wouldn’t suddenly show up and demand he put it back on. It breathed like a trash bag.

His latest customer was an obviously stoned guy buying a wheelbarrow full of snacks. Not only were his eyes glassy and red, but he reeked of pot smoke, making Josh wonder if he’d spilled the bong water. Pot Guy left and someone else came in. Josh leaned over the checkout counter, hopeful, but it wasn’t Hot Guy, just a lizard guy.

“Guy” in a generic, gender free sense of the word, of course, because Josh had no idea how to tell if they were male or female. Maybe they didn’t even have genders. He didn’t know how to ask without being a rude bastard, and there was a chance he wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.

The lizard guys were all tall, and this one was no exception, at least six foot five and so broad across the shoulders it could barely fit in the aisle. They had all your basic equipment—two arms, two legs, a recognizable face—but their mouths were huge, they had no nose, and their scaled skin ranged in color from moss green to primer gray. This one was a kind of greenish-gray, like his roommate that time he got food poisoning.

Like all lizard guys, this one had a weird gait because its feet were huge, with six long toes that almost looked like fingers . . . which was extra weird because their hands were always small and had just four stubby fingers. They looked like they’d been put together by a five year old with a bad sense of proportion.

They also made such a racket you could hear them all the way from the back room. It reminded him of his first Craigslist roommate, Barry, who couldn’t do anything, even open the damn curtains, without making several decibels of needless noise. For the brief time they’d shared a place, Josh had been convinced Barry was hiding a megaphone to fart into just for effect.

Thwak-thwak-thwak echoed in the shop as Lizard Guy waddle-stomped down the aisle, making a beeline for the Fritos display. It grabbed two bags and turned back, waddle-stomping to the register.

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More from Andrea Speed: *Infected*

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

But when your heart is gone, it’s easy to fall into a black hole and never crawl out. Roan has been lost and alone for more than a year, and his best friends think a new case might be just the motivation he needs. Roan forces himself back into the game and discovers a dead man who might not be all that dead, a street hustler that wants to hustle him, and a dominatrix who is well prepared to take Roan’s orders. As Roan claws his way out of the darkness by diving back into his work, he finds himself in a race against time in the adrenaline-pumping realization that nothing helps a person want to live like helping someone else survive.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

The newly married Roan is struggling to balance his work with his home life as he grows increasingly distracted by his husband Paris’s declining health. One case with strong emotions attached takes up most of his time: finding the murderer of a missing little rich girl. It’s a family with secrets so toxic they’d rather no one investigate, and there’s no shortage of suspects. But despite the dangers and obstructions involved, Roan won’t stop… until he loses something infinitely precious as well.

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