Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn Continues Extraordinary Series


See Book 2 
Published Yesterday


Prologue: Dear Amanda San Francisco, September 
Marco Catalano sat down at his laptop and started to compose an email. For a man who had just gone toe-to-toe with a demon with as much worry as the average citizen might have against a mugger, the email terrified him out of all proportion. 

Dearest Amanda, I have a secret to tell you. Not too surprising, is it? My very smile must appear to be a mask at times. In fact, I have two secrets to tell you. Neither may surprise you. Or both will. Though which would surprise you, or surprise you more, I couldn’t begin to say, or guess. After all, if there’s anyone who knows me better than my father or my confessor, it would be you. I’ve told you before about the night I lost Lily for the first time. Yes, it was before I met you, but I think I told that story vividly enough. It was a mugging. The man held me at knifepoint, and I killed him. I told you the truth in that I did have to kill him. I made a mess of it. What could have been a quick disable or kill turned into a bloody mess in more ways than one. I hurt him. And I kept on hurting him until he stopped moving. What I didn’t tell you is that I liked hurting him. I liked making him suffer. I enjoyed making him bleed and die. In short, Amanda, I am a bit of a monster. 
You need blood to live, and you have only killed when you needed to, but I’m the one who enjoys it. I enjoy the stab, the slice, the twist of the knife. However, I’ve been made aware that I might not be quite so insidious and monstrous a human being as I thought. Apparently, my time in prayer and church and confession may not be 100% for naught. 
My second secret is at the same time both much more innocent, yet much creepier at the same time, given secret #1. 
I love you, Amanda. That is my big secret. It sounds stupid to say it, but I love everything about you. I really do. I love your accent. I love your hair. I love your smile. I love how smart you are. I love how you think. I love your eyes, and the way they sparkle. I like just being around you. And I like who I am when I’m around you. Do you remember what I said to you in the graveyard as we “pretended” to make out and profess our love to each other, so we could bait the other vampires? I wasn’t pretending. Everything I said to you was true. Everything I did, I meant. I honestly can’t imagine what your reaction is going to be to this. You could go either way. The best outcome is if you also meant what you said that night,
and we have both been too dense to identify what was said as truth. The worst case, I cannot begin to contemplate. No matter what, Amanda, I will always love you. Marco




Live and Let Bite


By Declan Finn

Merle was heading back to San Francisco and wanted Marco to go with him, offering him the opportunity to go on with his degree program to become a physician's assistant.

The main reason Marco was considering it was to try to separate himself from Amanda, as he was still unable to believe that he was worthy of her love...

And then, of course, Merle was facing an invasion of vampires with little backup and Marco knew his need was dire... Merle had a magic shop in San Francisco and had several employees there who he thought would probably help him, but that was it. The FBI wanted him to deal with the weird stuff that was happening, but they really didn't want to acknowledge that Merle was FBI...

Merle wanted Marco to slowly become involved, not wanting his staff to believe he was replacing one of their own, who had been killed. So he went on about his studies and met one of the team, who immediately hooked on to Marco. She was a caregiver and immediately tried to take Marco under her wing... And so, the merge began to happen and Marco took part in early battles...

While that was going on, Marco missed Amanda more than he had believed possible and on a lonely night, he wrote her an email, pouring out his heart to her, admitting his great love... and more about him... By then, Marco had been greatly affected by meeting a stranger in the last book, who explained much to him...about how God might be seeing what Marco was doing...

But even though email is very fast...if nobody reads that mail, the time it takes to send it matters little, except to the sender who does not even consider that his mail has not been delivered. Marco slowly began to come apart, thinking that Amanda could not accept what he'd shared with her. He wrote more often, never receiving any response.  And never even considering that Amanda had been too busy working to read any of her email... If you're a fan of Scorpion like me, you'll know how Walter O'Brien gets when he's jealous and depressed...


He sat at the bar of the club, and wondered if he shouldn't burn the place down. It wasn't a vampire haven, but it was a stalking ground. That wasn't the reason he wanted to burn the place down, but he thought it would be a good idea on general principles. Flashing lights and loudly deafening noises weren't his idea of a good time. He preferred some nice music in the background as he read a book.
Heck, had the music even been something good, like Nightwish or Dragonforce, he might not have minded the volume (okay,
 some Dragonforce songs at maximum volume, would probably lead to bleeding eardrums, but that would still have been preferable).
He chuckled. Not that I'm a snob or anything...
Someone touched him on the arm, and he turned. The blonde was utterly stunning. Marco's face didn't even shift a little, and he made certain to look at her lips. "Hi there."
She gave him a toothy grin. "You're cute."
He leaned into her, almost so that he could put his lips to her ear. "Could you repeat that?" he asked at normal volume.
Unseen by anyone else, his left hand drew out a syringe. The needle was thin enough to be barely felt by most people, but sharp enough to penetrate most clothing. As he spoke in her ear, he stuck her in the belly and injected the contents straight into her abdomen.
The woman stopped blinked, jerked, and tore off for the bathroom.
She never came out.
He sighed, and shook his head.
The bartender looked at him. "You scare off another one? What do you say to them, dude?"
Marco Catalano shrugged, his smile still amused. Fifty CCs of Holy Water into the guts of a vampire. "No idea."
~~~

But soon, all that Marco had been doing in New York had caught up with him in San Fran...and another assassin had been sent to rid the world of this extraordinary human who even vampires did not want to look into his eyes... But this time they'd sent an assassin that was sent to kill other vampires! They called her "The Slayer..." And this time, she had two targets: Marco...and...Amanda!


And Amanda had come to San Francisco! And, no, she hadn't read Marco's emails...but she came to him...


San Francisco Amanda and Marco were still embracing outside the club when they heard a voice in the dark say, “It’s about to get worse.” The two of them turned. Amanda blinked. “Merle?”
Merle Kraft came out of the shadows, his hair a mess and his jacket in tatters. “Listen, it’s not safe here. For either of you. I think there’s been a hit put out on you in the vampire underworld.” 

Marco blinked a moment, and then laughed, long and loud and hard. Merle raised a brow. “I was attacked outside of the UN building by a very tall redhead.” Amanda started. Her eyes narrowed. “Redhead? That sounds like the vampire who killed Mikhail the Bear in Brooklyn.” Marco and Amanda exchanged a look. Suddenly, she tensed, and then jumped onto him. “Down!” 
Amanda dragged Marco to the ground as a light metal spear sped through the air where they had stood. It impacted against a dumpster and went through, knocking it over. Amanda and Marco rolled apart, the vampire taking a stake from Marco’s jacket, the PA student slipping two from his sleeves. They came to their feet facing the same direction, feet apart, left arm outstretched as a shield, stakes ready to kill. Marco held his with the points toward the thumbs, and Amanda held hers upside down in her hand like a commando.
The next missile came right at Amanda through the shadows. Amanda grabbed it, spun, and used its momentum to toss it back at the attacker. A shape darted out, leaping out at Amanda over the spear. A mop of long red hair framed the face of the most hideous vampire she’d ever seen, and two glowing green viper’s eyes. 

Her first move was a swipe at Amanda’s hand. The strike made Amanda’s arm go numb and the stake fly into the wall, where it shattered on impact. Amanda ducked in time for the backhand to soar over her head and punched for her opponent’s stomach… 
And into the waiting hand. The vampire grabbed her hand, threw Amanda against the far wall of the alley, and was ready to leap atop Amanda to finish the job. 
Marco casually took aim and threw his blade as he dropped forward into a roll. With a blur, the vampire caught the knife and hurled it back at him with deadly accuracy, without looking. Marco would have been dead had he remained standing for even a split second longer. The splinters embedded themselves into the wall. 
Marco’s roll brought him to the vampire’s feet, and he jammed both stakes into her flesh, one in her thigh and one in her side. He had two impact-firecrackers taped to the sides, and they went off when they pressed against her flesh, igniting the stakes and setting the vamp aflame.
By that time, Marco had already bounced away, running for Amanda, leaving the vampire for dead… even as she rolled to put the fire out. Marco slid to his knees, stopping at Amanda’s side. He grabbed her shoulders and shook her firmly. Amanda’s eyes snapped open, and she leapt, grabbed him, rolled over him and threw one of his stakes into the vampire’s back.
Marco briefly wondered why she bothered if the other vampire was on fire… then he noticed that the vamp was no longer flaming. The vampire stopped moving and dropped to her staked knee. Both of her hands went for the stake protruding from her heart. Merle made his move, and led with a flying spin kick that knocked her head back and dropped her onto the ground. She blinked, as though she hadn’t even felt it. All of her concentration was focused on the stake as she slowly drew it out of her heart and rolled to her side. 
Marco and Amanda looked at each other. “That doesn’t happen, does it?”
“No,” she answered. 
“This is bad, then, right?”
“You betcha.” 
The vampire turned, ripping both stakes from her lower body. Marco dropped, dragging Amanda with him as the stakes flew overhead, shattering brick and mortar. Merle jumped in again and the vampire tossed him aside, slamming him against a brick wall. Marco reached for the small of his back and drew out a water pistol. The attacking vampire became a cloud of mist, and swooped in under the stream of water, and came up, ripping the pistol from Marco’s hand.
Without blinking, Amanda grabbed Marco, ripping two stakes from the inside of Marco’s jacket 
and threw one straight for the assassin.
The vampire smacked it aside and it shattered. The two women were only yards apart when Marco put himself between them, rosary wrapped around one hand, and cross held up in the other. The vampire smiled and stopped two feet away, leveling her glowing green eyes on Marco. “You think just holding those will hurt me?” she hissed in a brogue. 
“No.” Marco slammed the fist with the rosary wrapped around it into her nose, a hiss accompanying it, then slapping her with the flat side of the crucifix. “I expect that to hurt.”
The vampire staggered a little, shaken. The center of her face was smoking, and audibly sizzling, and so was the side of her face. It looked like she had been branded by both hits. “I’ll be seeing you,” she snapped before she ran so fast, she might as well have evaporated. 
Marco turned, saw Amanda was all right, then looked at Merle, slowly rising to his feet. "Thanks a lot."
Kraft shrugged. “I tried to warn you. I’ve been running from this creature for the last few days, and I’m tired. Besides, I would’ve brought a squirt gun, but those post-9/11 security dweebs at the airport confiscated it. They didn’t find my sharpened stakes, but they took my squirt gun.”
Marco nodded absently. “We need to find the others in case they’re in trouble.” 
~~~

Merle had been back doing his own work, since Marco had moved to San Francisco... Why Merle and other even took an exciting trip to Afghanistan--yes, vampires were there too! It was there that he'd discovered materials with the symbol of the United Nations and knew he had to get it out of the country and learn more!

But he hurried back, with his investigation leading toward the UN and he'd been attacked by The Slayer! Something big was going on and obviously extra help for the vampires had been called in... He got there just in time to warn Marco and Amanda, but not early enough for them to be able to prepare--any more than they always were, that is...

And with both attacking The Slayer (I thought you might enjoy one of the fight scenes from the book), was defeated and ran... But that was definitely not the end! Be prepared for escalation of the war waged by one woman and her minions, against those who battle for good! Wow, readers will begin to believe that nobody is going to come out alive in this war!

But... Well, you'll just have to read it to believe it! Sure would make an exciting, unbelievably fantastic movie to see the action described. In fact, I wonder whether the action could actually be done since it is sooo farrrr outttt! What a story! I know one thing...I'm not ready to give up on this series until I know exactly who and what Marco Catalano is! 

Thinking about the content, it is my opinion, that each book can stand alone as an exciting action novel. Read all three - they are highly recommended...


GABixlerReviews

Declan Finn is the NYC based author of books ranging from thrillers to urban fantasy to SciFi, including the 2016 Dragon Award Nominated Novel for Best horror, Honor at Stake. He is known for his strong fight scenes and his romance novels are sexy without being dirty, providing enough sexual tension to curl toes. He hosts the Catholic Geek Radio show, and can be found wherever someone is starting trouble. He also writes thrillers, video game reviews, and works for several blogs.
His ramblings can be found over at The Catholic Geeks, while his rantings on writing can be found at apiusman.blogspot.com. For him to really rant and rave, check out his interview show at The Catholic Geek, over at Blog Talk Radio.