Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hell Hounds Are for Suckers by Jessica McBrayer - FREEBIE!

Hell Hounds Are For Suckers by Jessica McBrayer
San Francisco Vampire, Book 2

Vampire, Hannah’s best friend has coupled up and Hannah is feeling alone and lonely. One night on a stroll through her favorite grave-yard she is be-hounded by a small growling fur ball. The puppy refuses to leave and reluctantly she takes him in. She soon needs expert advice because the puppy won’t eat any of the expensive dog chow she buys and burps fire.

Hannah consults her vampire friends and a friendly jinni and finds out she’s got herself a hell hound. And more, the jinni warns, there is sure to be an owner in the background somewhere. When a gorgeous demon shows up pounding on her door wanting his dog back, Hannah is suddenly in the middle of a humorous predicament. This between-quell, the second episode of the Vampires of San Francisco series, is a novella of 60 pages.


It was a dark and foggy night. No, really, it was. I was walking through the
Mountain View Cemetery at the end of Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. I’d been
feeling melancholy lately and this particular cemetery was a beautiful place
to walk, especially on nights like that night with a full moon peeking through
the fog at intervals. Seeing in the dark isn’t an issue so the moonlight gives a
nice ambiance. Mountain View is a peaceful place for the departed to rest in
—the truly departed and those of us who are stuck here. Its stately avenues
and winding pathways were the creation of the same man that designed New
York City’s Central Park. I’ve been here often to reflect and meditate. Lately,
it seems that everyone I know has someone to share their life with.
They’re living their happily ever after. Not that I go for that crap, but you
get the picture. There aren’t many vampires around here, but even the ones
I’ve met and dated have never worked out. There’s the small fact that I’d
never met a male vampire that attracted me. They were all too arrogant, selfimpressed
or nasty to trip my trigger.
But then I met Lily’s friend Sebastian. I would have loved to share his time,
or anything else he wanted. When we were first introduced and I had openly
drooled over his charm, and gorgeousness not to mention the way he looked,
oh I guess I already have. Lily had warned me about what a huge player he
was. It only took a couple of days to see that was an understatement and I’m
not into one-night stands. Then he straightens up and what does he do but
fall tongue over tonsils in love with Lily. I have to admit I’m envious. Not of
Lily but of their commitment.
Even Aidan, a Djinn friend, another drool-worthy male and the odd man
out like me, is in a relationship in his own dysfunctional way with Lily. He’s
still hanging on to her. I know they have some kind of weird thing going on. I
love Lily but if she could bottle whatever it is she’s putting out I’d beg, steal
or sell anything I had to get me some. The undead do not manufacture
pheromones, so no help there. She is beautiful, so you’ve got that, sweet and
sassy but she has some major anti-bacteria and handi-wipe habits.
You’d think with the old Vamp aura I’d be all set up with a nice little
human. Humans are nice to know but I just can’t take the heartbreak. A few
years and you can watch the aging process before your eyes. I still
considered it a couple of times but I couldn’t go the full distance, pulled my
unbeating heart away just in time. I’d lost everyone I’d loved before, at some
point you just have to get a clue. Human dude=dead man walking. Better
alone than facing that again and again.
I don’t know how I’ve reached this point in my life. Alone, with no
direction. Just existing. For a vampire, it is a dangerous place to be. I’ve
known vampires with no focus who went mad, insane and got violent.
Violence fills the void. I’ve been in that place before and I don’t want to go
there again. It happened after I was first turned, which was during the Civil
War. My maker turned me and then set me loose in the world without any
mentoring. I wandered the states draining my victims and fighting other
vampires for their territory. Eventually, about a century later, I wound up on
the West Coast and stumbled into the free love movement. I tasted my first
hippie blood and it mellowed me. Not long after that I met Lily and she made
it her mission to become my friend. She saved me. Helena, Julian and
Sebastian, her best friends, old, old, vampires, took me under their wings.
Helena was a witch, think Glinda, not the green one. She and her lover Julian
had a humane philosophy and they all practiced no-harm, no-foul, in their
hunting. I was so thankful for their love. But there was still a void. A few
weeks ago I’d helped them fight off some evil witches and a warlock and my
need to tear flesh had worried me. Since then my dark mood had deepened. I
felt restless and unsettled.
As I walked, analyzing my life, I heard a low growling. The fog can distort
sound—even my supernatural bat-like hearing was confused. I wasn’t sure
where it was coming from. When my vampire hearing kicked in, I was sure I
could track it down. My adrenaline spiked and the hunt excited me. The
growling got louder near the Gothic Chapel and I pulled up my thigh high
stockings and stomped down my combat boots, getting ready to kick some
I edged around the chapel searching for the source. Moving the creeping
ivy and brushing past the flowers I rubbed up against the cold façade of the
building. The fog cleared and the moon shone down on the small, furry black
package making all the noise.
“Hey little guy, I’m Hannah. What’s your name?” I cooed searching for a
Before I could touch the puppy, it leapt into my arms and started licking
my face. It turned back toward the headstones and let out a blood-curdling
growl. Much louder than anything its size should have been able to make —
but then what did I know about dogs. Gah! Dog drool all over my face. I
scrambled to put the dog down, confirming he didn’t have a collar or
anything to identify his owner. I couldn’t hear anything in the vicinity that
would make him nervous so I wiped off the offending saliva. He whimpered
as soon as his huge feet hit the ground.
“Sorry guy, but I’m just not that into dogs.”
He sat there panting, unimpressed with my vampire scariness, and let
more drool drip to the ground. Long canines and a lolling tongue. His eyes
were sharp and followed every move I made. When I turned to walk away, he
followed me.
“You stay there, boy. Shoo. Good doggy.”
He panted and trotted after me. I could tell he had no intention of staying
put as he shadowed me back to my vintage Volkswagen beetle. When I
opened my door, he jumped inside before I could stop him.
“Okay fur ball, out! Get out of the car! You’re sliming all over the fauxleather
interior!” I could afford real leather, but hey, I’m green.
He didn’t move. An inch. He sat there in the passenger seat and looked at
me. With the overhead light on I could see those big puppy dog eyes he
flashed me were a brilliant green. I made to grab for him but he wiggled out
of my grasp. He thought dodging me was a game. After several minutes of
using vampire speed and coming up empty handed, I finally gave up. I was
too disgusted about the drool flung all over my seats to care.
“I suppose you expect me to feed you? Just don’t get any wise ideas that if I
do, it means I’ll keep you.”
And with that comment hanging in the air, I rolled down his window so he
could hang his muzzle out and we cruised down through Oakland to Berkeley
onto Telegraph Avenue and Ashby to a chain pet store that was still open.

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