I have no idea how I managed to do it but Chosen Wolf was unleashed upon the world on Monday (August 7th) and I completely forgot to post it up here on my blog. Don’t ask me how. I have no idea. So, for the next few minutes, I need you to suspend reality for a hot minute and pretend we all hopped in a time machine and backed up to Monday morning.
Ready? Okay, here we go….
< * insert wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff here * >
HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!
CHOSEN WOLF IS NOW LIVE!!!!!!
Down below is a bit about the book and
the first chapter for your reading pleasure!
These days, Jamie Hayes spends her time running the streets of New York City chasing down demons or digging through the histories of others like her. Hunters. Those gifted with supernatural abilities passed down through their bloodlines. The strength and speed to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Everything she thought she knew about where she came from was a sliver of a much bigger picture, and Jamie quickly begins to realize that she’s only just scratched the surface of her powers.
Black Fang is still being circulated and despite the Guild working tirelessly to get a handle on the problem, they’ve had no luck tracking down the source. Not even a street level dealer. When the universe finally hands them a break in the case, Jamie is led on a painful trip down Memory Lane.
Join Jamie, Marcel, and the rest of the Manhattan wolf pack in the next installment of the Executioner series by urban fantasy romance author Jena Gregoire.
“You’re home already?” Tessa asked from her perch in front of her computer. “You should have let me know you were on your way. I’d have put on some coffee to brew.”
“No coffee,” I replied, clipping my words as I trudged straight toward my bedroom. “Shower. Now.”
Her office chair creaked as she jumped from her seat and met me in the common room. “Oh my God, you smell like a—”
“Dead body?” I offered with a little too much faux enthusiasm. “There is a really good reason for that.”
She screwed up her face and I nodded. Her hand flew up to cover her nose but there was no escaping the acrid odor. I’d driven all the way home with all the windows down.
It didn’t help.
“Stay there,” she ordered, then disappeared upstairs.
I waited, trying not to think about the various bits and fluids clinging to my jeans and jacket. Marcel and the pack were doing a top-to-bottom cleaning of the garage for the night so I’d gone on patrol with my team to pass the time. In the span of an hour and a half, we tracked and killed three demons. The final one was a hot mess.
Carter and Xavier scented what they thought was a long-dead body. When we caught up to the smell five blocks later, it was obvious the demon’s meat suit had seen better days. I didn’t realize quite how bad it was until I caught him by the shoulder and the bulk of it came apart in my hand. He turned and attacked me, leaving pieces of himself behind with every blow.
That was enough for me. End of patrol. Blood doesn’t bother me and violence is part of the job. I draw the line at getting covered in rotting-corpse goop.
Tessa rounded the corner wearing cleaning gloves, and holding several oversized towels and a pile of trash bags. She dropped the towels and laid two of the trash bags out on the floor.
“Strip,” she commanded, pointing at the bags. I stepped onto the plastic and did as I was told, the whole time wishing I had my own gloves. “Guys,” she yelled into the other room, “stay right where you are until I tell you otherwise.”
“Got it,” I heard Damien reply. Once I was completely naked, Tessa held out one of the oversized towels to me.
“Hair first,” she said with a sympathetic glance at my head.
I closed my eyes and shook my head. “I don’t want to know,” I mumbled as I twisted the thick terry cloth around my head. When I was through, she handed me another one to wrap around my body.
“What happened?” she finally asked.
“I’m going to jump in the shower and scrub until I bleed. I’ll explain when I get back. Do me a favor and burn the Jeep?” I asked, only half kidding. I headed for the stairs without waiting for an answer. What I found when I got up there was my shower already running as hot as the faucet would allow, and I jumped in without taking the time to let my body adjust to the heat. The stream of water stung for a few moments, then I relaxed into it, happy to let it rinse away the evening’s muck. I wasted no time drowning the loofa in coconut body wash and getting to work.
Almost eight months had passed since I’d been named the first soldier in the Executioners Guild and I loved my job. My team of vampires had become more like extended family. Xavier and I were steadily chipping away at Kade on the prospect of visiting Amsterdam to see Gregor, a hunter-turned-vampire who now led the Brujani Coven.
Gregor and I began exchanging regular emails after we met at the annual coven party and I quickly found he was invaluable. He was raised with a family who gave him the training and guidance hunters are supposed to pass down to those in their bloodline. I only had my dad, who, for reasons I still didn’t know, was bitter and hateful toward the supernatural community. It was only after leaving home that I learned we were meant to be an integral part of that community.
By letting me read his hunter journals and answering my endless litany of questions, Gregor was key in my search to fill in the blanks about where I came from. I still didn’t know everything about being a hunter but I was taking my studies seriously. I couldn’t be sure but even Marisol’s teas seemed to be having their intended effect. I felt stronger and faster but nothing like the results I read about in all the old hunter journals I’d been pouring over.
Marcel and I had been dating for a while now and things were good. Things were great, actually. None of my previous anxieties about being involved with a werewolf alpha had come to fruition, thankfully. He’d been staying over at the Executioner House a few nights a week but we managed to find a solid balance with time apart so we didn’t get sick of one another. At that moment, I was glad it was one of those times apart because I was afraid he’d never look at me the same if he knew how bad I smelled.
Tessa had also made a regular habit of having the wolves over for dinner. After their first few dates, she had convinced Red to join a six-week cooking class with her. They enjoyed it so much they continued cooking as a joint hobby long after the class ended. The pack had picked on him about it at first. That came to an abrupt halt the first time they reaped the rewards of their friend’s new pastime.
True to his word, my friendship with Kade was stronger than ever. We had a standing appointment every Wednesday afternoon at the Walker Coven House. We’d train for a couple hours and then do some yoga or tai chi but it always ended with us sitting in the middle of the floor talking. Now that the Guild was in full swing, he wasn’t around as much, so I looked forward to our weekly meetings, even if I did get the shit kicked out of me in the process.
I shut off the water and reluctantly climbed out. I still wasn’t entirely convinced I’d gotten completely clean but my skin was bright red from the loofa and I was afraid I’d hit bone if I kept scrubbing. I dried off with a fresh towel and went into my room for goop-free clothes. What I found was a hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants, still hot from the dryer. I smiled and hit the intercom button on the unit next to my bed.
“Everything okay?” Tessa’s voice replied through the speaker.
“Thank you for the clean clothes,” I answered.
“Not a problem.”
“Can you bring me a trash bag and a pair of those toxic waste clean-up gloves you were wearing before?”
“Be right there,” she replied, and the speaker went dead. Within seconds, she was in my doorway, gloved up and garbage bags at the ready. “Here,” she said, holding a pair of gloves out to me, “and this.” She held out a medical mask she must have swiped from the infirmary in our basement. Thankful for the thought, I strapped it onto my face and slid on the gloves, covering my sleeves all the way to the elbow. I nodded and we headed for the bathroom.
Tessa shook open the oversized black bag and held it wide as I balled up the towels and shoved them inside. I followed them up with the loofa I’d used and the bath mat. I wasn’t taking any chances. I wanted that smell, and preferably any memories from tonight, gone. I’d settle for getting rid of the stink.
“I’ll call Kade and find out what he wants done with this. Maybe the coven has a special dry cleaner on standby for blood ‘n guts situations.”
“Don’t bother.” I let out a heavy sigh. “Just have him incinerate it all.” Her eyebrows shot up in question. “Seriously. As much as I love that jacket, I’m never wearing it again. Not after knowing it was covered in bits of dead guy.”
“You got it,” she replied, turning toward the door.
“Oh,” I announced, catching her attention before she got too far, “can you pull my blades out of the pants? There’s one in the cuff of my jacket too. I’ll be right down to clean them up. Just toss them in the sink or something.”
She nodded and disappeared through the door, leaving me to finish putting myself back together before I went downstairs to join her.
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