November 12, 2014

BOOK BLITZ: Howl By, Brittney Dussault

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After an archeology expedition gone wrong, Lis Santiago is assigned a desk job at The Library, an underground archive dedicated to the history and study of supernatural creatures. Run by humans, the joke about The Library is that it’s operated by people who know everything about magic… except how to use it. Lis is no exception, and after three years, she’s finally accepted her new, albeit lackluster, career.
Then a request is made: Supernatural creatures in the area have gone missing, and the Alpha from the local werewolf pack wants a Librarian to aid in the investigation. But he doesn’t want just any Librarian, he wants Lis. Accepting means time away from her desk, but it also means having to be paired up with old partner Jonas Highet, who left her waiting for him in Italy five years ago. This isn’t the reunion she had in mind, but when the Alpha calls, it’s hard to say no.

Lis quickly wishes she had.

The Alpha already has a suspect, he just needs Lis to convict him… even if there’s no proof he’s guilty. But the Alpha’s sister thinks her brother’s scapegoat- a wolf named Mickey Kaiser- is innocent, and she wants Lis to prove it.

Caught between a pair of siblings known for their cunning ways, Lis is going to have to find out what’s so special about Mickey Kaiser, while simultaneously keeping Jonas from killing the man. And just when Lis starts dreaming about her desk job, the first body is found.

It’s unlike anything Lis has seen before.

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As she peeled off her clothes and left them puddled on the floor, a movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She kept calm, her brain having played tricks on her before, but still wandered over to her desk and picked up the silver letter opener she always left lying out. Sharpened like every other knife in her house, Lis’ letter opener wasn’t used so much for opening letters as it was for threatening unruly intruders.
        Another shadow moved across the wall and she turned, taking an instinctive step back at the sight of an unknown man in her apartment. But then he stepped backwards until he was bathed in the light of the bathroom, hands held up in a nonthreatening gesture, and she felt some of the breath she’d been holding eek out of her.
        Mickey Kaiser was standing in her apartment. It took a moment for her to register this fact, because the Mickey Kaiser on paper was different from the Mickey Kaiser before her. The Mickey Kaiser on paper looked more like a badass wolf, while the one before her was more like a wet dog. Lis found it nearly impossible to be intimidated by someone who resembled a drowned rat, but that didn’t mean she was letting go of the letter opener just yet.
        “Mickey Kaiser,” she said and watched his jaw clench.
        “Mick,” he said, his voice gruff and low, as if he didn’t want anyone to accidentally overhear them. Which was impossible, unless he was being followed, which, when Lis thought about it, wasn’t too unlikely.
        “Only my mother calls me Mickey,” he said.
        So does everyone else, Lis thought, but the tightening of Mick’s jaw suggested the pack only did that to annoy him. Shame. She understood pack hierarchy and could accept most of the torment Omegas and mutts had to endure, but using someone’s own name against them seemed especially cruel and childish.
        “Mick,” she said and then smiled in a way she hoped was disarming, but his eyes seemed fixed everywhere but at her face. Risking a glance down, she felt her entire upper body flush as she realized she was wearing nothing but her bra and underwear. Which didn’t match. Which were a little worse for wear. Not that she was trying to impress Mick, nor did she care what the wolf’s opinion of her undergarments was, but a woman has her pride and at that moment, Lis felt hers take a swan dive off the nearest cliff.
        Mick stepped forward and she moved back, colliding with the desk behind her. Her fight or flight instinct flared up, no matter how hard she tamped it down. Being cornered was a position Lis had never been fond of and after being caught there once, she’d vowed to never let it happen again.
        She knew the second Mick registered her panic, because his nostrils flared and his eyes widened ever so slightly. He stepped back, back into the light of the bathroom and while he busied himself with his jacket, Lis reached over and flicked on the overhead lights.
        Everything was bathed in a rather unflattering light, but her ego was already done for and she’d much rather see Mick’s next move instead of fuss over what she looked like in her underwear.
        Mick blinked at the sudden brightness, but his eyes adjusted quickly and he peeled of his jacket, drops of water falling to the floor before he dropped the leather garment beside his feet.
Lis swore her observation was professional, but it was hard to sound convincing when the only observation she was making was how Mick’s steel gray shirt brought out the blue in his eyes. Blue eyes that were shadowed by dripping locks of black hair that stuck to his forehead, making her hands itch as she resisted the urge to touch.
        Mick unbuttoned his shirt and slipped it off, revealing the black t-shirt he was wearing underneath. Lis considered it unfair that he looked good both dressed up and dressed down, but stopped thinking about things like that when he tossed his shirt to her from across the room.
If she tried something like that, the shirt never would have reached its destination, but Mick’s aim and just a little extra bit of werewolf strength sent the shirt sailing across the room where she deftly caught it. She couldn’t aim to save her life, but she could at least catch.
        “Thank you,” she said, because she hadn’t been raised by wolves. She slipped the shirt on and hastily buttoned it, thankful to see it at least covered her rear end. Mick’s scent- a combination of rain, woods, and tobacco- wrapped itself around her and she mentally groaned.
Here was a scent she didn’t want to wash off, but knew she’d have to if she wanted to see hide or hair of Kit tomorrow.
        “Are you going to put the knife down?”
        Lis looked down to see she was still holding the letter opener. She weighed her options for a moment, wondering if she should put down what was only a meager defense. But still, a lame defense was better than no defense, so she tightened her grip on the letter opener and shook her head. Mick shrugged.
        “Fair enough,” he said.
        They were silent for a moment, as if they’d reached some sort of impasse. The silence was beginning to grate on Lis’ nerves when Mick finally broke it.
        “I hear you’re looking for me,” he said, and Lis had a sudden rush of embarrassment. Shaz and Jonas had been right; if Mickey found out she was looking for him, he’d come for her. She silently prayed he wasn’t there to kill her.
        “You typically interrogate the suspect when you’re investigating a crime,” Lis said.
        Mick growled at her out of instinct, but quickly stopped himself and ducked his head.
        Was he… embarrassed? He kept his eyes low and averted and Lis realized it wasn’t embarrassment, but submission.
        “You do realize I’m not a wolf, right?” she said, even though it was obvious she wasn’t. Mick would’ve picked up her scent long before now, but she figured it needed saying if he was still bowing to her.
        “You’re acting under the Alpha’s authority,” Mick explained. “It’s only proper.”
        “Screw proper,” Lis said. “We passed proper the second you saw me in my skivvies.”
        Mick’s eyes snapped up to meet hers and she caught sight of something hot and dangerous. She felt her body flush again as he smirked, the kind of smirk that said he knew what effect he was having on her. But he lacked the usual attitude of a wolf who knew they were good looking and planned to use that to their advantage. Something about Mick was less manipulative, less seductive, less… okay, less manipulatively seductive because there was no denying Mick Kaiser was one attractive wolf.
        “Back on topic,” Lis said in a desperate attempt to salvage the situation. “I’ve heard from just about everyone who matters and they’re all saying the same thing- you’re guilty and I should just turn you in. Problem is, there’s no evidence to support the guilty theory and I’m not about to create some bogus evidence to condemn an innocent man.”
        “What are you asking for?” Mick said.
        Lis felt her grip on the letter opener ease.
        “Your side of the story. I know you’re a mutt who has managed to survive almost thirty years in the pack, which is impressive, by the way. But what I don’t know is why you’d kidnap a fox, a vampire, and a couple werewolves.”
        “I wouldn’t,” Mick said, his voice disgusted as he looked at Lis. “I’m less than an Omega, but I wouldn’t turn on my pack like that. The pack is life.”
        Lis could feel herself staring a little too intently, but felt it was justified. Here was a wolf treated worse than even the Omegas of the pack and yet he was still loyal to a fault. Just how deep was pack loyalty ingrained in a werewolf’s DNA?
        “I’d kinda understand if you did.”
        “I didn’t,” he snapped and Lis held up her hands reassuringly.
        “Fine,” she said. “If you didn’t, do you have any idea who would? Any enemies that would try to frame you?”
        Mick gave her a look that had so much snark in it, she had to bite her tongue. Okay, so maybe that was a stupid question, but she wasn’t about to waste her opportunity to interrogate him.
        “Surely you’ve pissed of some people more than others. I’ve read your file.”
        Mick’s eyes narrowed.
        “Where did you get that?”
        Lis felt her grip on her makeshift dagger tighten once more.
        “Inez Kazarian,” she said and watched Mick bristle. “Hey wait, I thought Inez and your mom were good friends?”
        Mick scoffed, or at least tried to, but because he was more of a wolf than a man, it came out somewhere between a bark and a snort.
        “Inez Kazarian might think she was friends with my mother, but my mother was nothing more than a pet project to her.”
        “Was?” Lis prodded, even if her brain was telling her to shut up.
        Mick’s eyes darkened.
        “My mother is dead,” he said, and then quickly cut Lis off when it looked as though she was going to offer condolences. “It was a long time ago.”
        Lis shut her mouth and looked down at the floor for a beat. When she looked back up, Mick was standing close enough she could feel the heat radiating off his body. It was overwhelming, but something about it made her want to step closer. Only a tight grip on her self-control kept her firmly rooted in place.
        “I’ve heard stories about you,” Mick said, and if possible, his voice dropped another octave. “It’s not often the Alpha calls in a human to help. You’re quite the rarity.”
        Lis opened her mouth to fire back a witty response, but nothing came to mind.
Mick took another step forward and she backed up, having to slide up onto her desk to keep some semblance of a professional distance between them. Unable to go anywhere else, Mick took advantage of her position and butted up against her. Her knees pressed into his thighs that flexed as he leaned forward, his hands bracing themselves on either side of her hips as he loomed closer.

        “They say you’re not like the other Librarians,” he said, the sneer evident in his voice as he mentioned the humans who thought themselves superior to those born supernatural. “They say you have the power to see the truth, just by touching someone.” His voice lowered even further, but Lis could still hear the challenge in what he was saying. “Go on, touch me.”

Brittney Dussault is the author of over a dozen titles, including Howl and The Banewood Chronicles. When she’s not churning out a new book every 2-3 months, she’s helping others realize their dreams of being published authors. Cupcakes keep her going and she’s determined to put herself on a Best Sellers list one day.

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