Hi Lexi and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Sleeper!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Kelsey Owens is at a crossroads. Her connection to her mentor is frayed and her lover, Gray, hasn’t been heard from in months. Her only peace is found in a new relationship. One she’d only dreamed of before. But Kelsey’s love life has to take a backseat while she investigates a series of murders. Powerful halflings are being killed, threatening the fragile truce between the Council and demonkind. Caught between her past and her future, can Kelsey find a way to save her world? Or will it all turn to ash when the true killer is revealed, someone closer to Kelsey than she’d ever imagined…
Please share the opening lines of this book:
I knew the minute the world around me cracked and that horrible stench of brimstone and BO hit my nose that I’d fucked up yet again. Eight months and I still couldn’t get it right. It was frustrating as hell, but the good news was I would probably get to kill something real soon.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Kelsey’s love life changes in big ways in this book. She realizes the vision she had in Addict might be possible.
- A prophecy is revealed that will play out through the next few books in the Hunter cycle. Read closely and you’ll get some fun hints about what’s to come!
- Little Lee plays a big part in this book. An event from Steal the Night is revealed to the whole family and chaos ensues.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
I think the real revelation in this book is about a character named Trent. He’s been around the series since Steal the Night, but he’s always been in the background. Trent takes his place as one of the men (or werewolves, if you please) competing for Kelsey’s affection. Trent’s real willingness to give Kelsey what she needs is fascinating.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
I’d use this scene so I could see the chemistry between Kelsey and Trent.
I followed Trent outside, happy that I had a lead, but somewhat terrified by where it might take me. I had a nasty idea in my head of where that light had come from and if I was right, we might all be in trouble.
But I wasn’t going to put it out there until I could talk to our witness. I walked out the door and immediately felt better.
“Didn’t like being confined, huh?” Trent took a deep breath and stretched his arms out. “That’s the wolf in you. That was tight and the smells were all old and dank. Too many of ’em. So much nicer to be outside.”
It was. I could feel that part of me ease as I let the breeze caress my skin. I was definitely leaving the windows down while we drove back to Ether. Not that I would hang my head out like Trent would. He didn’t even pretend to not like it.
“You did good in there, Owens.” He stopped at the edge of the street.
I should have known sending Trent with me was something of a test. “Good. Tell Donovan I don’t need a keeper.”
He looked back at me. “What fun would that be? Oh, and as to the question you asked me earlier, is it mere curiosity or something else?”
“I asked a question?”
“About wolves and condoms. You should know that some wolves are out to mate with anyone,” he said, reaching for his sunglasses. “But there are some who know that their children will be strongest from a true mating. You can call us romantic or whatever, but I personally don’t want a child who doesn’t come from my fated mate.”
Again that well of sorrow seemed to bubble up. I might need a doctor to check my hormone levels. “So you won’t ever have a kid?”
He frowned and his hand came out to scratch against his neck, a distinctly wolfy gesture. “Didn’t say that. Just said I would wear a condom until the right one lets me in.”
“But you were married.”
“I was married, sweetheart,” he said, starting across the street. “I wasn’t mated. Not all the rumors you’ve heard are true. When I call for my mate, I’m going to make sure she’s ready to howl back. It’s okay. I can be patient.”
I watched him stride away and couldn’t help but stare. The man had a great butt. Someday some she-wolf was going to get her hands on that.
I hurried after him, wishing I hadn’t opened up the subject at all.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
Strength comes in many forms and love is not a weakness.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?
I’m currently working on At Your Service, the fourth book in my Masters and Mercenaries spinoff Topped. The series is set in Sean Taggart’s restaurant, Top, where he employs mostly veterans. At Your Service features Javier Leones, Top’s resident manwhore, and Juliana O’Neil, whose life was changed forever when she was injured while in the service.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Signed copy of Steal the light (Hunter: A Thieves Series #1) by Lexi Blake
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Fall is here and it’s time for cool weather and pumpkin everything. In North Texas, fall means the State Fair of Texas, with fun rides, livestock, and fried foods. I can’t wait to have a funnel cake and to try one of this year’s Big Tex Choice Award finalists – deep fried Fruit Loops! What are you looking forward to this fall?
Excerpt from Sleeper:
“I can explain.”
Marcus frowned. “Were you or were you not calling a demon? I received a warning from a local coven two hours ago that a powerful incantation was being worked in the mid-cities area. They were able to use a spell to find the location of the magic. Would you like to guess where it was? Or are you going to give me the same story Mr. Wilcox gave me?”
Trent had told them something other than the truth? Trent was like Captain America.
He turned in his chair. “I explained that I’d driven you out to your old place because you had a neighbor complain about the fire alarm beeping. It can be hard to remember you need to change those batteries. A simple mistake. You don’t actually live there anymore. It might be time for you to find some tenants.”
He was good, but I feared Marcus would prove better. I looked to the king, who Trent kind of owed an oath of fealty to. He took the king’s blood. I didn’t want to be the reason he lost his position.
“I asked Trent to take me out there and then I called the demon when I sent him to Home Depot. You know he can get lost in there. I thought I would have enough time.”
Trent’s eyes rolled. “Damn it, Kelsey.”
The king slapped a hand on his desk, the sound jarring. “Stop it, both of you. Trent, I know you’re lying, and Kelsey, you couldn’t call that demon on your own if you tried. Liv was involved and I would bet Jamie was, too. I won’t even fucking mention that little academic’s name because if I had proof he was there I would have to punish him severely, and I don’t want to do that.”
My stomach turned at the thought of getting Casey in serious trouble. If Donovan knew, then Marcus had already talked to Henri and Hugo about the incident. Henri was Casey’s mentor. He would have to do something about it because Casey’s behavior could blow back on him.
Why didn’t I ever think?
Trent sat forward. “Your Highness, you know why she’s doing this. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do if this were your father involved. Tell me you wouldn’t have killed the fucker yourself if you’d gotten a hand on him after he murdered Lee Owens?”
“Technically, the demon Nemcox did not murder Mr. Owens,” Marcus said in an altogether too reasonable voice. “He did nothing at all to the wolf. He sold a bit of information and took Neil Roberts as payment for tipping off the Council as to the whereabouts of the renegade king.”
My heart twisted at his words. There was a reason we hadn’t discussed this. I think I knew deep down that Marcus wouldn’t see things the way I did. Marcus could be quite the politician at times. I was incapable of being reasonable about this subject. “Nemcox is the reason my father is dead.”
“No, Louis Marini is the reason your father is dead,” Marcus shot back, irritation flavoring his every word. I could tell he was pissed off because his Italian accent had deepened. “He is the one who fired the shot. He is dead. The queen herself killed him. You should thank her and move on with your life.”
This was what we fought about. He couldn’t understand why I blamed the demon I’d known as Matthew for my father’s death. Apparently, since I’d never actually met my biological dad, I was supposed to shrug off the fact that Stewart/Nemcox had sold out my father to the old Council, and it had led directly to his death. It also didn’t matter to my mentor that the same demonic fucker had nearly killed the king several months before. I was supposed to understand that it was all about politics and keeping the peace.
I didn’t give a fuck about peace.
That twitch I felt lately was rumbling through my gut. It made me antsy. It made me remember that Marcus and I had slept in separate rooms the last few months. Oh, he claimed it was because I needed my rest, but I could feel him pulling away from me.
Yeah, that made me antsy, too.
“I think I’ll keep my appreciation to myself,” I replied. “And you know if you’re not happy with me, you should feel free to walk out the door. Italy’s that way.”
I couldn’t help it. Lashing out is what I do. Months of therapy had made me aware enough that I felt bad about saying it, but not bad enough to take it back. This is what I do when the beast inside me starts to hate her cage. I get mean and nasty, and if I let it go too long I get violent.
Marcus’s jaw firmed and he stared at me. “What do you intend to do if you actually manage to call Nemcox to your hand? He is immortal.”
“Everything dies if you cut it up enough, baby,” I shot back, well aware of the nasty tone to my voice.
Marcus shook his head as if he couldn’t quite believe what I was saying. “And when his family comes for you? Do you expect Lieutenant Sloane to protect you from them? I do not see him here. You are attempting to start a war you cannot win, and you’re determined to bring your friends down with you. I will be the one who has to discipline Mr. Lane. I’ve already reached out to the head of Ms. Carey’s coven and she will be dealt with as well.”
“I told you they weren’t with me,” I lied, feeling a bit savage. Marcus was supposed to be my lover, but more and more we found ourselves on opposite sides, our tempers sparking against each other. Simply being with Marcus at one point soothed me, but I couldn’t feel it now. What I could feel was something nasty building inside me. The she-wolf who lived in my soul was restless and angry.
“It was just me and Owens.” Trent stood beside me.
It was nice to have one person on my side, even though I didn’t completely understand why he was doing it. Trent put a hand on my shoulder and I immediately could breathe again. I could feel his warmth even through the thin fabric of my shirt, and it seemed to work some magic on me.
Marcus’s eyes narrowed, looking at the hand touching me, and Trent pulled away. I hated the fact that I immediately stiffened up again.
“I think given our lack of real evidence, we’re going to have to forgo the punishment, Marcus. I’ll also talk to the coven since we can’t be sure Liv was with Kelsey.” Donovan watched us all with a grim look on his face. “Owens, please sit down. Trent, I know why you’re doing this. Believe me, I truly understand.”
Trent’s hands fisted at his sides. “You can’t possibly.”
Donovan’s left eyebrow rose as he stared at Trent. “Seriously? You think it’s not the same?”
They were having a whole conversation I didn’t understand, but I was too busy being wicked hurt over the way Marcus dismissed my feelings.
Donovan put a hand on Trent’s shoulder. “Exile is the worst punishment I would ever dole out for this particular crime and I believe I’ll prove quite tolerant. Put your mind at ease. Now stop fighting. We’re not at war, you and I. I am not your enemy. I’m someone who understands exactly where you are and I will help you.”
Trent seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. “I’m sorry, sir.”
Donovan shook his head. “No apologies necessary. Now go and put on some damn pants that fit. Keep a fresh set in your car, man. You can’t run around naked. This is not the set of Magic Mike Three.”
Trent’s lips curved up. “Yes, sir. And she totally called a hurricane demon thing. You want to punish her? Feed her kale salad for a solid week.”
“Hey.” There are some things worse than death. “I thought you were on my side.”
“I am, Owens,” he said with a wink. “But I told you I loved those jeans. Unlike your boyfriend over there, I understand the need for revenge.”
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
When Neil’s past catches up to him, Kelsey must choose between her new family and an old love…
With tensions rising between the Council and demonkind, Kelsey finds herself investigating a series of murders that threaten the fragile truce between them. If she can’t stop these killings soon, they could ignite a fire sure to burn the supernatural world down.
Unfortunately for her, Kelsey’s problems don’t stop with a pile of dead halflings. Her connection with Marcus is frayed at best, and Gray hasn’t been heard from in months. Her only semblance of peace comes from a new man in her life. When Gray storms back into the picture, her love life goes from incredibly complicated to apocalyptic.
Just as Kelsey begins to unravel the mystery, the forces of Heaven decide to take an interest in her actions. Outclassed with these powers in play, Kelsey knows that one misstep could leave the human and supernatural worlds in ashes.
Meet the Author:
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.