Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Nancy Gideon’s Nica Fraser from Hunter of Shadows.
The fifth book in Nancy Gideon’s sizzling Moonlight paranormal romance series features a shape-shifting cop and a paid assassin from a rival shape-shifter tribe.
Detective Silas MacCreedy has a hidden agenda: to secure his shapeshifter clan’s place once again in the Shifter hierarchy. What he didn’t count on was stumbling upon a sassy assassin who could shred his best intentions and lead him into a dangerous dance that threatens to soften his heart. Monica Fraser knows just how to make a man beg – for his life. But she has no clue how to fight her attraction to the fiercely intense NOPD detective who seems determined to get in her way, both professionally – and intimately.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away two copies of Hunter of Shadows.
Black Friday in my By Moonlight world . . .
Nica Fraser stood in the shadowed entrance, as still as one of the mannequins behind glass on either side of her. Only her eyes moved, gaze cutting swiftly through the glare of bright lights, across the sea of bodies to note exits and other recesses that could hide potential danger. It wasn’t a good scenario—too much congestion, too much open space, and distraction. Too many niches and platforms up high where someone like her would have the advantage. The noise level from the cheery piped in music and cacophony of voices would muffle any approaching threat. Only a careless or naïve fool would walk into such a situation without due care.
A hand fit lightly to the curve of her back. All her acute senses prickled as words whispered warmly against her ear.
“I’d be up there between the elevators. Good vantage point, lots of loitering civilians so you wouldn’t look suspicious. The reflection off the glass provides some pretty decent cover.”
She nodded in agreement. “That’s what I was thinking, too.”
Her companion’s arm slipped about her waist for a squeeze. “Why would you be thinking that? You’re not here to kill anyone, are you?”
“Too soon to tell. I’ve seen things turn ugly over a clearance rack.” She glanced up to appreciate the way tolerant humor played over Silas MacCreedy’s face. Such a good face with its strong, noble lines softened by the glint of teasing in his intensely blue eyes. “Besides, you’re one to talk. At least I’m not packing heat.”
He grinned at her reference to the holstered pistol fitted to the flat of his spine. “I’m on the clock. It was your idea to use my lunch hour to take advantage of the sales. I’d have preferred to put the time to more pleasurable use.” His palm slipped with seeming innocence up and down her hip before risking a quick grab at the ass he found so nicely displaced by her short knit skirt. She slapped his hand away with a feigned scowl.
“Checking for weapons? You know I carry them taped on the inside of my thigh.”
His eyes grew as smoky as his tone. “Then maybe we should postpone the shopping for a more thorough search.”
“Tempting.” It was. Very. Now Nica could think of nothing else but a quick tussle upon the sheets they shared. “How ‘bout we divide the list and meet back here in an hour. That should leave us with ample opportunity to address any issues that come up.”
His lips brushed hers with a sultry whisper of, “Or undress them.” He leaned back, a man on a mission. “I’ll take the second level.”
She enjoyed watching him move through the Black Friday crowd of deal seekers. He was someone who immediately cleared a path with his bold stride and intent purpose. A man both Uprights and Shifters took seriously as he straddled their two worlds. A male who not so long ago had her measuring the space between his broad shoulders for the best placement of her blade.
Her lover. Her mate. An NOPD detective trying to suppress the explosive rivalry between their preternatural clans.
Why else would she have left her lucrative career as an assassin to hunt for bargains instead of targets?
Wondering where to start, Nica worked her way through the press of humanity clogging one of the wide beige and white corridors of the Shops at Canal Place. Buying gifts for friends and family—a foreign concept, for she’d had neither up until a few months ago, until Silas MacCreedy barged, uninvited, into her carefully laid plans. Such things were a part of who and what he was, and part of the reason she found him so irresistible. Placed on the outside of a new domestic learning curve, her options were catch up or let go. So she was holding on for all she was worth to the best thing she’d ever had.
Even if it meant wading through the rabid throng of shoppers on a sentimental quest she was ill-prepared for.
In her line of work, she’d always purchased things with a chameleon’s need to blend rather than from any preferences. Tools of the trade. She bought whatever camouflage necessary to help her become invisible, not to stand out. But her profession also made her a careful observer which made it easy to intuit what others liked. And she didn’t think she’d find anything on the expensive racks of Kenneth Cole or Brooks Brothers for her boss Jacques LaRoche.
Picturing the dock foreman/club owner’s massive torso straining the tailored lines of a designer dress shirt had her smiling as her gaze caught on the New Orleans Knots kiosk. The water fall of colorful neckties drew her, making her think of Silas with his cheap, conservative suit coats over butt-hugging jeans. She bypassed the safe solids and stripes to reach for a bold geometric that would be way outside his comfort zone. He’d spent his past under the wire, just as she had. Maybe it was time for both of them to get used to making personal statements.
Purchase in hand, she elbowed her way toward the three storied anchor store of Saks, thinking her co-worker at Cheveau du Chien might enjoy discovering a flashy bit of jewelry inside one of its showy boxes. A sudden warm ripple of awareness had her glancing upward to see Silas on the open walkway above heading to World’s Best Toys where he planned to get something educational for his nephew. He instantly felt her attention and made a point of leaning over the rail to tap his wrist watch meaningfully. Rethinking her strategy, Nica beelined for the elevator. Instead of fighting the jewelry counter mobs, she’d pick up a spa coupon for Amber then join Silas in the toy store to get something fluffy and nice for Amber’s daughter. And then the two of them would adjourn the shopping excursion in favor of more selfish entertainments.
The elevator was already packed with bag carrying, stroller pushing women who glared at her when she slipped in and inhaled so the doors would close. As the glass tube slowly rose to the second level, the hairs on the back of Nica’s neck began to tickle. She took a casual look over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of a man at the rear of the car, but she couldn’t see his face clearly. She didn’t need to see him to know what he was . . . or rather what he was not. He wasn’t human.
The presence of another Shifter was nothing alarming in and of itself. But Nica had spent her entire life depending on instinct and the ability to discern threat in any of its forms. That innate warning buzzed through her as the elevator stopped. She moved aside with seeming politeness to let the others exit ahead of her, breathing in slowly, deeply, trying to separate his scent from the mélange of strong perfumes and wet diapers. Just a whiff, just a hint of something not quite right reached her.
Anxious perspiration. Someone with adrenaline pumping. A dangerous combination.
He was coming forward. She almost had a clear view when a trio of varsity jacketed young men entered the car, shuffling between them. Then he was gone.
Out in the wide corridor, Nica craned her neck to scan the shoppers moving up and down the hall in a hurried, unorganized manner. She saw nothing unusual to justify the way her system still thrummed in high alert. Trying to shake off her uneasiness, she turned into the Salon & Spa and quickly purchased a gift certificate for the hard working single mother who would appreciate a touch of luxury in her life. Then all her attention was on finding Silas, even if he only laughed at her caution.
Except Silas respected her abilities too much to take them lightly.
He was coming out of the clever little glass-sided kiddy pergola toting two bulky shopping bags. He had eyes only for her and nearly missed a swift peripheral approach through a group of senior citizens.
Silas responded to her shout, dropping one bag to reach for his own police issue—a move he couldn’t complete as a pair of teenage girls unwittingly walked into the gunman’s path. Shoving the girls to floor, he swung the other bag to deflect the shot harmlessly upward, and as the discharge echoed, pandemonium ensued. Shoppers screamed and scrambled in all directions, stampeding between him and Nica as she struggled to reach him.
As Silas tried to grab for the gun, his attacker stumbled on the abandoned packages, stepping across one of the girls crouching on the floor. Shrieking in panic, she leapt up from beneath him. His leg caught about her shoulders as she surged to her feet and, already off balance, the assailant tumbled backward over the rail. As he fell, his hand flashed out, closing about Silas’s tie to break his descent.
As the penduluming weight threatening to drag Silas over after the shooter, Nica gripped him about the waist. She watched in horror as the would-be assassin twisted to bring his pistol around to take another shot. That’s when she freed one hand to reach beneath the hem of her skirt, and with a quick slash of the knife she carried, sliced Silas’s tie in two. With nothing to support him, the attacker plummeted to the floor far below.
With his arm about Nica to steady himself, Silas panted, “You weren’t kidding about shopping being dangerous. If I’d known it was the last astronomy set, I would have let him have it.”
Her kiss silenced him for a long moment, then she glanced over the rail to see mall security pushing through the crowd of curious gathering around the motionless figure. “Someone you know?”
“I’ve seen him. One of the Guedrys. Probably looking for my sister and out for evens.” His hand stroked over her thick black braid before taking out his shield to display to the security guards that were directed his way. “Looks like I’m going to be busy here for a while. Sorry to cut our lunch date short.”
She smiled and tugged on the end of his ruined tie. “That’s okay. I had time to get you the perfect gift.”
Meet Nancy Gideon!
Under her own name, she’s a bestseller for Silhouette Romantic Suspense, has written an award-winning vampire romance series, and has a six book shape-shifter series coming out with Pocket Books. Also listed on the International Movie Database (IMDB), she collaborated on Indie horror films In the Woods and Savage with screenwriting and ADR script credits, and even played a small role.
A prolific writer, Gideon attributes her creative output, which once peaked at seven novels in one year, to her love of history and a gift for storytelling. She also credits the discipline learned through a background in journalism and OCD. The due date for her third book and her second son were on the same day . . . and both were early! When on deadline, she turns on the laptop between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to get a chapter in before work.
Want to purchase Nancy’s novel?
- Masked by Moonlight at Amazon | Book Depository
- Chased by Moonlight at Amazon | Book Depository
- Captured by Moonlight at Amazon | Book Depository
- Bound By Moonlight at Amazon | Book Depository
- Hunter of Shadows at Amazon | Book Depository
- Seeker of Shadows at Amazon | Book Depository
Thank you Nancy for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!
Contest Time! Nancy is giving away two copies of Hunter of Shadows. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Have you been involved in any close encounters while shopping? Did you have to fight for a particular item? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered. (US/Canada only)
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
All Black Friday contests will remain open until December 31st at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have. Have you checked out the other Black Friday contests yet? Check out the Master List to see all the Black Friday giveaways
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.