Today I was visited by the wonderful Liv Rancourt and Irene Preston who were kind enough to talk about Nocturne, book two in the Hours of the Night series. Be sure to keep reading for an excerpt and a giveaway, and you can always check out my four petal review of Nocturne.
Nocturne comes out on October 12, 2017 and is available at all your favorite retailers.
Thanks so much for having us, Maggie. Irene and I are excited to be sharing Nocturne with readers. It’s been a long time in coming, but finally we can say it’s here!
Setting a vampire story in New Orleans might not be the most original idea ever, but that’s part of why we decided to do it. There’s something about NOLA’s heat, humidity, history, and magic that makes it perfect for a vampire story.
In New Orleans, the carnival season starts in late January, then builds and builds until the finale on Mardi Gras. We chose that season deliberately, because the chaos surrounding the celebration makes a great back-drop for the challenges Thaddeus and Sarasija face.
Irene’s got another reason. “In Nocturne, we wanted to ride in a parade, so we invented Krewe of Thaumaturges. They even have their own signature parade throws. Like the Zulu coconuts and Muses shoes, Thaumaturge medallions are highly sought after by the crowds.”
I do kinda want to make Krewe of Thaumaturges tee shirts, you know? They’d be so cool!
I was in New Orleans last February, the week before Mardi Gras, so I had no trouble channeling the crowds and color and confusion for the story. Even better, Irene grew up in Louisiana, so she has local’s knowledge and understanding of how crazy things can get. I hope Nocturne takes you on a little vacation to one of the coolest cities in the US, during the wildest time of the year.
Keep reading for an excerpt, and be sure and enter our rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 gift card. Thanks so much, and laissez les bon temps rouler!!
Nohea’s car had been built for speed, not comfort. The backseat, a claustrophobic nest of black leather, was more of an afterthought than anything else. Sara offered me the front seat, but I refused, and not because I feared sitting next to Nohea. Sara was more adept with the GPS system. He should be the navigator, while I sat in back reciting the Hail Mary.
Because Nohea gave her glossy black vehicle every opportunity to show off its speed.
Once we climbed up onto Route 10, I eased back. “You agreed to compare notes while we drove, and by now, we’ve been to three parties. What have we learned?”
Nohea scooted from lane to lane, dodging slower-moving vehicles. The iPad cast a blue glow over Sara’s features, and the air conditioner surrounded us with stale air.
“Well…” Sara tapped on the iPad’s screen. “In my opinion, Mardi Gras parties can be hazardous to your health.”
Nohea gave him a sidelong glance, while I bit my lip to keep from smiling.
“What? You know it’s true. The first party Aunt Berta died, and this last one Uncle Whose-its almost did, too.”
The traffic around us thickened, forcing Nohea to ease up on the accelerator. “It’s almost always the same people attending, too.”
“I noticed that, and as hard as we try to go Sherlock on them, we’re coming up with squat.” Sara’s phone chirped, and he wrestled it out of his pocket. With a noise of frustration, he thrust it back in.
“What?” Nohea asked.
“My friends are idiots.”
We drove in silence until we neared the bend that would take us over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. This narrow band of concrete ran some twenty miles over open water, carrying us out of the city. Under the cover of the night sky, I allowed my thoughts to wander.
I found it hard to believe all these events were linked. On the other hand… “Paul and Roberta are not related, are they?”
“Not directly, but maybe by marriage?” Nohea said.
Sara tapped on the iPad screen. “Gimme a minute. I saved the family tree from my email.” His phone chirped, interrupting him. “Crap,” he muttered. After a moment, he stuffed the phone away. “Whatever. It looks like Aunt Berta was married to Uncle Paulie’s older brother for a little while, so there is kind of a link.”
“And didn’t someone tell us that Aunt Berta was the head of the family business?” Nohea asked.
I racked my memory, but nothing came to me. “I didn’t know Brother Michael’s family had a business.”
“It’s not”—Sara’s phone chirped again—“dammit.”
“What is it?” Nohea glanced at him, brows drawn as if she were puzzled by his behavior.
The phone chirped again. And again. “Fuck.”
“Sara?” His behavior worried me. “Who is texting you?”
“Josephine and her brother.”
“Josef?” Nohea asked.
He grimaced and nodded.
“What do they want?” I found I didn’t really want to know the answer to my question. While I could not begrudge Sara the opportunity to make friends his own age, I would not have chosen the twins to be his companions.
“They started by asking me to go clubbing, but now Jo’s freaking out on me.” He stared through the window at the glossy black water. “They told me to turn around and come back to the city.”
“They are irresponsible.” I spoke forcefully, then recoiled, hoping I had not quieted him completely.
He shifted in his seat and met my gaze, brows drawn with worry. “Especially since I didn’t tell them we were going anywhere.”
His obvious concern infected me, and the vast empty lake around us left me feeling vulnerable, exposed. The city of New Orleans was a warm smudge behind us, and up ahead was a fainter glow.
“God only knows what those two are up to.” Nohea’s common-sense tone settled both of us.
“You’re right,” Sara murmured.
Our speed increased, and I eagerly anticipated our arrival back on solid ground.
When we reached the far shore, Sara used Nohea’s cell phone to find our destination. We left the freeway, taking smaller and smaller country roads. Our destination was on Monroe Lane, close enough to the lake that slivers of the dark water could be seen from the road.
“Twenty-three thirty-seven…thirty-eight…it should be right up there.” Sara pointed past a clump of hemlock liberally draped with Spanish moss.
“This is it?” Nohea slowed to a stop in front of a small shotgun cabin. The house was raised on stilts several feet off the ground. “Doesn’t seem right.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, it’s not like we were friends or anything, but the woman we met at the Gretna store didn’t look nearly country enough to live out here.”
Sara rolled his window down, letting in a wave of moist air. “A little too much corporate shark for out here.”
“She doesn’t appear to be home.” The house was dark, and there was no car in the drive.
Nohea slapped the steering wheel. “Where’d you get this address again?”
“From Z,” Sara snapped. “I told you.” He opened his car door.
He ignored me, climbing out of the car. I had no choice but to follow. “Let me see if I sense anyone.”
“It’s fine, Thaddeus.” Sara strode up the front walkway. “She’ll either be here or she won’t.”
Short of wrestling him to the ground, I could not stop him. Sara mounted the front step and rapped on the door.
An explosion knocked us both to the ground, and the house went up in flames
Nocturne is only $2.99 (40% off) through Oct. 12.
Don’t miss Vespers and Bonfire (Hours of the Night 1 and 1.5) at the special price of $0.99 for the same period!
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Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.