Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Creature Feature 2 by Rhys Ford and Poppy Dennison

Title: Creature Feature 2  
Authors: Rhys Ford and Poppy Dennison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal Anthology

First off, I want to thank Literary Nymphs Hotlist for allowing me and Poppy to have space here today. Much much thanks. When the time came to divide up blog posts—best part of a tour like this, dividing up the work— I got tagged for some interesting topics. In this case, I was asked about the source of building a creature profile.

This kind of stumped me. I’ll be honest. Totally stumped me because I don’t really think about it so much as it happens kind of organically. Especially in the instance of Creature Feature 2. Because Poppy and I were going to share monsters, they had to be something simplistic enough to have common features yet complicated enough for us to project a tinge of individuality on. Basically, we had to differentiate which creature was which because it just couldn’t be Monster 1a and 2b.

We chose vampires but not a traditional Stoker-inspired monster. That would be too human for our purposes and we didn’t want to go zombie—no one likes a monster dropping its bits off every which way. So we eventually hammered out the details of people who’d basically sold their souls to a blood mage. Or they were taken. He wasn’t a nice guy. He probably didn’t ask people to sign off on disclosure forms or any of that. But suddenly there was a blood mage named Mac Gerailt who really was the monster in the story not because of his presence but rather the aftermath of his actions. The creatures he created were stripped of their humanity and became tools for his thirst for power. Enter a good mage who battled to the death to stop him and suddenly, we had a time capsule of ravenous, soulless hunters itching to get out and feed on their own species.

Poppy and I both balanced our monstrosities with a bit of humor and a lot of sexual tensions as our hunters are called in to eradicate this threat. Her Taz goes one way and my Javi goes another—both with vital missions and perhaps neither looking for love and companionship.
Oddly enough, they each found both.
As well as a hell of a lot of horrific creatures and action along the way.
So we hope you enjoy our foray into the Creature side of things and wish you have as much fun reading the book as we did writing it.

A short excerpt
From what the construction guy said over the phone, Javi was prepared for a kill site like no other but nothing could have prepared him for what they walked in on. The stench of vampyre clung to the walls and beside him, Taz Cohen took everything in, drinking up the deconstructed walls. The man’s breadth was impressive, thick arms and thighs honed from hard work. A flood light dangling from a support beam swung slowly on its long cord, catching on the blond hunter’s shoulder as they went by.
“Shit, you can smell them. It’s like rotten death.” Taz whistled under his breath. “Damn. It’s like gross central. Where’s the kill spot? In the kitchen?”

“Nah, looked like this place used to have a back room during Prohibition. The owners wanted to make it this cool hip speakeasy thing,” Javi motioned to a bookcase swung away from a long wall. The gap let them see a peek of the dingy room hidden behind the hinged furniture. “Would have worked too—”

“If it wasn’t for those pesky meddling ticks,” Taz flashed him a smile, his young handsome face warming with humor. From the wrinkle on the guy’s nose, Javi guessed the hunter figured out where the smell was coming from. Pointing to the bookcase, he quirked up one eyebrow. “In there then?”
“Yeah, in there.” Javi took a deep breath. “Let’s gird our loins and all that shit.

The bookcase moved easily and the putrid rank grew stronger. They both gagged, choking on the roil of stench coming from a fissure in the floor. Barely a foot and a half wide, the steep of a vampyre lair was only tempered by one thing—the ocean of dried blood covering most of the speakeasy’s cracked floor.

“Holy crap,” Taz sounded as shocked as Javi felt. “How…do they know how many?”

“Haven’t gotten a clue. Someone’s going to over the tapes but—” Javi shrugged. “I’m more worried about how strong they are. And if we can take them out. More than one, that’s for sure. Hell, how many could have been down there?”

It took them a good fifteen minutes to break through the floor. Given the carnage and the cops’ reluctance to cross the threshold, they tried to be careful, not wanting to disturb the vampyres’ lair. Once the fissure was wide enough for both of them to look down into the cavern, Javi dropped in one of the crew’s shock-resistant lanterns and they poked their heads in, Javi’s shotgun at the ready in case of a surprise attack.

The room was empty of revenants but the dusky husks of extinguished vampyres littered the floor and a messy scatter of bones lay on top of the remains, their long shanks broken apart and gnawed on as if something sucked out the marrow from within.

“Hell,” Taz whispered, pointing at the skulls lying a few feet apart of each other. “Who the fuck do you suppose those guys were?”

“Mages,” Javi replied. “Look on the ground. Well, where you can see the floor. Those are casting runes—death magic. Holy shit, Detroit. A speakeasy. That’s what? A hundred years, maybe less?”

“Yeah,” Taz agreed. “About that. Why?”

“Two men.” It was a shock. Something Javi never thought someone would find in his lifetime much less be the one to have cracked through the floor and stare down into a historic event most hunters whispered about discovering over too many beers and longing. “Mages, probably both of them. Fuck, Cohen. Do you know what we’ve found?”

“No fucking clue, man. That’s why I asked you.” The hunter snorted. “I’m the werewolf guy. Vampyres and mages haven’t been on my radar much.”

“It’s like the Holy Grail and the Arc of the Covenant for hunters, man. Or maybe Amelia Earhart.” 

Javi exhaled hard, his heart pounding with excitement. “I think we’ve found their last battle. Shit, it all adds up. Two bodies, vampyres and look over there! That’s a staff and I bet you its rowan. Something a life mage would carry. Dude, this has got to be it.”

“You want to let me in on the joke here, Indy?” Taz poked at Javi’s side. “I’ve got no clue what you’re talking about.

Mijo, we have found the mother lode. The final battlegrounds of two of the most powerful mages of their generation—Pierce Chapman and The Mac Gerailt.”

Creature Feature 2 can be purchased at Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Sept 26, 2014
Two Men. One Apocalypse.

Rise of the Revenants by Poppy Dennison
Vampyres are on the loose in Detroit, and novice hunter Taz Cohen is on the job. The mission seems simple: stop the vamps. But Taz knows nothing about the mythical creatures, so he’s in for the fight of his life. Then he meets insanely attractive construction worker Darren Foster, who jumps into the battle with both feet. Sparks and bullets fly as they struggle against the vampyre horde and their attraction to each other. Avoiding gruesome death from the undead might be easier than shielding their hearts from each other.

Legacy of Blood and Death by Rhys Ford
For Javi Navarro, Detroit will become another blood-splattered city in his rearview mirror after he puts its dead back into the ground. Expecting an easy hunting job, Javi instead finds a kiss of ancient vampyres on the hunt for a descendant of their long-dead creator.
Reclusive Ciarnan Mac Gerailt abandoned his family legacy of blood and death magic after it nearly destroyed him. Unfortunately for Ciarnan, the Motor City can only be saved if he resumes his dark arts and joins forces with Javi Navarro, the hunter who brought the vampyre apocalypse—and hope for the future—straight to Ciarnan’s front door.

Poppy Dennison
A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.

You can find out more about Poppy’s books on her website

Rhys Ford
Rhys  admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

 She blogs regularly at
And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.

Her books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

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