THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN: A BLUD Novella (Pocket Star EBooks; January 6, 2014; $1.99) by Delilah S. Dawson
Delilah S. Dawson’s “carniepunk” e-novella THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN: A BLUD Novella introduces Demi, heroine of the 3rd BLUD novel, Wicked After Midnight.
Bad boy knife thrower Marco Taresque is the most dangerous man in the caravan—and the hottest, especially with Criminy Stain married and out of the running. Demi Ward suffers an enormous crush on the mysterious, older man, but she’s warned off by Tish, Cherie, Criminy—and everyone else she knows. Marco keeps to himself—until a pesky lady journalist arrives, anxious to interview him for her story on his speckled past. Turns out his last assistant—and target—disappeared under mysterious and bloody circumstances. He was run out of his old job by carnivalleros with pitchforks, and the papers down south call him The Deadly Daggerman.
The unsinkable Ginger Harville doesn’t take no for an answer, and the only things harder than the lady adventurer and journalist’s leather pith helmet are her skull and her heart. After losing her husband and partner on an expedition to Egypt, she’s accustomed to throwing herself into danger for her story. She knows there’s more to Marco’s past than he’ll tell, and she’s determined to wear him down no matter how dangerous he might appear—or how weak he makes her knees. He agrees to an interview—if she’ll let him strap her to a spinning table and throw knives at her body. How can she say no? And how can she resist him when he leans close for a kiss? After all, her arms and legs are pinned. It’s the first time she’s let a man get the better of her, and she’s determined it will be the last, even if she responds gladly.
Ginger receives a note from Marco, saying he’s finally ready to tell her the truth about what happened the night his lovely assistant disappeared. But he requires absolute secrecy and a promise that it will never make the papers…She finds the daggerman she’s growing to love. Only this time, he’s the one strapped to the table and surrounded by blades, held captive by a beautiful stranger. Marco is forced to reveal the truth: that a fortune teller once told him he’d spend the rest of his life with the first girl he slept with. Turns out Ginger was his first, and his ex-assistant Petra has kidnapped them both as retribution for that night, long ago, when he refused to bed and marry her. Ginger realizes her hard heart has melted, but will it be too late to save Marco—and herself—from the daggerman’s dangerous past?
WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT (Pocket Books; January 28, 2014; $7.99) by Delilah S. Dawson
This is the third romance in the sexy, steampunk-tinged “Blud” series, featuring a contortionist and a rakish brigand who must navigate the cabarets of Paris to rescue a girl taken by slavers.
Life as a contortionist in Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan should be the height of exotic adventure, but for Demi Ward, it’s total Dullsville—especially when it comes to guys. Ever since a night of hard college partying six years ago ended with her naked and bludded in Sang, Criminy has been like a father to her, and now she’s ready to explore the world on her own terms. But when her best friend Cherie is stolen by slavers outside of Paris, their Sangish road trip turns to tragedy—one Demi’s determined to make right.
Vale Hildebrand, a sarcastic and rakish brigand, finds Demi hiding near her burning carriage. On the run from his own past, he pledges to help her navigate the glittering cabarets of Paris to find Cherie, and Demi quickly becomes a star. Much to Vale’s frustration, Demi soon attracts a host of wealthy admirers, including debonair painter August Lenoir, who lures her into his studio for a portrait—and a sip of addicting, blood-tinged absinthe. It would be all too easy to accept Cherie’s disappearance, and those of a string of daimon cabaret dancers, as inevitable, but with Vale’s ferocious will and Demi’s drive to find her friend, they soon have a lead on a depraved society of Parisian notables with a taste for the obscene. Can Demi unwind herself from Vale and wind her way through the seedy underbelly of Paris in time to save her best friend before she, too, is lost?
Delilah Dawson is an artist, wife, mom and cupcake enthusiast. She’s also an Associate Editor on CoolMomPicks.com. Before writing, she was a kids’ art instructor and arts administrator, including gallery direction and public relations. She lives in Atlanta with her family.