Did you see the latest AAD Author visiting Larissa’s Bookish Life yesterday with her own After Dark on Bourbon Street story? You should totally go read it…like now.
After Dark on Bourbon Street
First off, I’d like to thank Literary Escapism and Larissa’s Bookish Life for featuring the Demons of Infernum series in the Authors After Dark on Bourbon Street event! I’m beyond excited to be attending the Authors After Dark Conference in NOLA this August, and I hope to see some of you there!
Today’s feature is an excerpt from Blood of the Demon (Book 1 in the series), which stars half-demon Keegan and his heroine, Brynn. To give a little introduction to this scene, Keegan is an interdimensional bounty hunter who has been given the task of keeping Brynn from the clutches of an evil demon named Mammon (who happens to be Keegan’s father, though Brynn doesn’t know it). Brynn has the ability to read an ancient spellbook which can be used to resurrect the dead. Mammon wants to capture Brynn and force her to create a zombie army, which he’ll use to take over the world. After Mammon’s men discover Brynn and Keegan in New York City, they are forced to flee. The two end up in New Orleans…and as they’ll soon discover, it’s Mardis Gras time.
Keegan was struck by the uncomfortable realization that this was the first time they’d been alone since he’d almost kissed her. How foolish he’d been.
Worse, he still wanted to kiss her. Very much.
Seeking to break the tension, he walked to the window and glanced out of it. Crowds of revelers swarmed the streets. It would be so easy to get lost in a crowd this size. So very easy.
He surprised himself by turning back to Brynn. “Want to go out for a bit?”
“Really? I mean, yeah, I’d love to.” She hesitated. “I hate to ask, because I really, really would like to go, but is it safe?”
“Should be safe enough in the crowd of people. The odds of Mammon finding us here are slim. It’s not as if he has a GPS tracker on you. Your apartment and your gallery, on the other hand, won’t be safe to return to until this mess is figured out.”
“My gallery.” Her face took on a pained expression that disappeared so swiftly he thought he might have imagined it. She grabbed her long, black coat and followed him to the door. “Why do I need to stay inside at all, if Mammon can’t track me?”
“I said the odds are slim. Not impossible. He’s got demons working for him everywhere. Given the consequences if he does find you, I’d say it’s better to err on the side of caution.”
Brynn appeared lost in thought as they hopped in the elevator and he pressed the button for the opulent lobby. When she turned to him, a vulnerable look haunted her gaze. “Are you going to be able to find him, Keegan? Do you think you’ll be able to stop him?”
The quiver in her voice just about killed him. Hoping to reassure her, he lifted his hand to caress her cheek. “Yes, Brynn, I do.”
Something hot and heavy blazed in her eyes, something that made it impossible to look away. His breath caught.
The elevator opened and three interested pairs of eyes peered at them.
For the first time he realized they’d edged closer together, until they stood mere inches apart. Clearing his throat, he hastily broke away.
Brynn hugged her coat to her as they stepped into the frigid cold. The smell of stale beer and piss stained the air around them. Drunken revelers wearing masks and beads careened past them, laughing riotously as they zoomed down the street carrying beer cups.
“I didn’t realize it was Mardis Gras until we got here,” she said.
“Mardis Gras?” He frowned, unfamiliar with the phrase. “What’s that?”
With an exasperated shake of her head, she said, “How is it that you seem so normal, yet you know nothing about popular culture?”
“We learn as much as we can before visiting other worlds, but our timelines are usually pretty short.”
“Sometimes you amaze me.”
She explained the history behind the celebration while he watched the throngs of people walking past, some barely dressed.
“I’m afraid some of these people are going to freeze to death,” he told her.
Brynn followed his gaze to a thin woman wearing nothing more than a mask, pasties, a thong, and what looked like her weight in beads. She laughed. “Most of them have probably had so much liquor they barely even notice.”
Surely, a dangerous state for beings as fragile as humans. He saw something ahead and grabbed her hand. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?”
Fighting to pull her through the crowd, he led her to a booth where a man sold masks and beads. Keegan picked an elaborate purple and gold full-face mask with feathers on one side. “This one suits you.”
“It’s pretty.” She put it on and he moved behind her to tie the strings in the back. “If I’m wearing one, you need one, too.”
Keegan shrugged, then chose a black and gold jester mask that he figured was masculine enough. He squatted, waiting impatiently while Brynn tied it behind his head. Her intoxicating scent closed in on him, overwhelming even the foul stench of the streets.
Too close. She stood far too close for comfort.
As soon as she finished tying the knot, he pulled away and turned to face her.
“That looks great on you,” she said.
Laughing, he paid the man at the booth. He led her away from the huge, swaying mass of people on one end of the street. When they approached another crowd pocket, he grabbed her hand, and this time he didn’t let go. He told himself it made sense, given the amount of people on the street. But he didn’t try to fool himself—touching her felt good. Her cool hand warmed in his, and he envisioned what it would feel like for her soft fingers to caress other parts of his body.
Cursing inwardly, he forced himself to think about something else. He scanned the crowd, searching for any signs of danger, but found nothing.
“Maybe Ronin was right about hiding out here.”
Her glance was curious. “Why do you say that?”
“The crowd—not to mention the masks—should provide more than enough safety.”
“Ooh, does that mean I actually get to leave the hotel room?”
Keegan laughed at her eager tone, squeezing her hand. “As long as one of us accompanies you, I don’t see why not.”
Thanks for reading this excerpt! There’s a lot more action that takes place between Brynn and Keegan in New Orleans, so if Mardis Gras *ahem* revelry is your thing, be sure to check out Blood of the Demon!
Meet Rosalie Lario!
Rosalie Lario practiced real estate law for several years before finally admitting to herself that negotiating contracts wasn’t nearly as fun as dreaming up stories. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son in their home state of Florida, as well as searching out things that go bump in the night.
Want to purchase Rosalie’s novels?
Demons of Infernum
- Blood of the Demon at Amazon | B&N | BAM! | Powell’s | Books on Board | Book Depository
- Mark of the Sylph at Amazon | B&N | BAM! | Powell’s | Books on Board | Book Depository
- Touch of the Angel at Amazon | B&N | Books on Board | Book Depository
- Heart of the Incubus at Amazon | B&N
The Fallen Warriors
Thank you Rosalie for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism for our Authors After Dark on Bourbon Street event!
Rosalie is giving away a signed copy (U.S. only) or an ecopy (INT) of Blood of the Demon. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Have you ever been to Mardis Gras, and if so, what did you think? While we’re at the AAD Conference, where should we hit up? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
In addition to the fabulous prize above, Larissa and I are giving away two $25 ARe gift certificates, so be sure to answer the question.
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.
The contest will stay open until February 28th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.