Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Excerpt + Giveaway: The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

Thanks to Simon & Schuster I have an exclusive excerpt to share with you, plus a chance to win a copy of The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. Open to U.S. residents. The winner will be announce on July 30th. Good Luck!

The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
By Molly Harper

Coming July 31st!

Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow's only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she'd like. Running all their daylight errands--from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg--gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship--and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

Cal - who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way - offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead. Even though he's imperious, unfriendly and doesn't seem to understand the difference between "employee" and "servant," Iris agrees, and finds herself breaking more and more of her own rules to help him - particularly those concerning nudity. Turns out what her quiet little life needed was some intrigue & romance--in the form of her very own stray vampire.

EXCERPT:

      “What’s wrong?” he demanded, his voice suddenly
sharp.
The house was silent. When I didn’t hear so much as
a creaking floorboard, I shook my head, stepping toward
the bedroom. “Nothing. I thought I heard something.”
      “Get out,” he commanded. “Get out of the house,
right now.”
I listened for a moment, wondering what happened
to “no emotional connections” and using me as a human
shield if necessary. “No, it’s OK. It’s nothing.”
      “Are you sure?”
      “Yeah,” I said, approaching the closet near the front
window of the bedroom. “I’m probably just being paranoid.
B and E isn’t exactly an everyday occurrence
for me.”
      “If you feel uncomfortable, I want you to leave.”
      “It’s fine.” I closed my fingers around the closet door
and opened it. It was completely empty. Not so much as
a dust bunny.
      “Cal—” A hand closed over my mouth. I shrieked,
inhaling an unpleasant combination of woodruff and
lime that stung my nose. I was pulled back against a
solid, hard body. The rough fingers stretched across my
mouth, the taste of his skin making me gag.
      “Iris!” I heard Cal’s voice yell from the earpiece, which
was now dangling from my collar.
I took a deep breath, but before I could scream, the
hand closed over my throat, cutting off my air. The earpiece
clattered to the ground, bouncing across the carpet.
The only sound I could make was a strangled croak.
Another hand slipped down my ribs and pressed hard,
squeezing me back against him.
      “Sweet little thing.” The cold, rough voice slipped
down the side of my neck. I tried to shrink away, but
he just pulled me closer. He ground his hips against my
butt, letting me know exactly how much he was enjoying
toying with his food. Hot, humiliated tears gathered at
the corners of my eyes.
      “Iris?” Cal called, his voice small and far away. “Iris,
answer me right now!”
I whimpered as his grip tightened on my mouth.
Fangs dropped, sounding like a knife being unsheathed.
I felt the points scrape against the flesh of my neck.
      “What are you doing here, pretty thing?” he whispered,
his lips clammy and wet against my skin. “You
woke me. No one is supposed to be here.”
His voice slithered around in my head, constricting,
smothering. My head felt so heavy, full and numb, like
an overblown bloom on a weak steam.
      “Do you work for him?” he asked. “Do you know
where he is?”
      “Wh-who?” I stammered, whimpering when he
wrenched my neck.
      “Don’t play stupid with me, pretty thing.”
      “I work for Ophelia,” I whispered. “For the Council. I
came to close up the house.”
      “For the Council?” He chuckled. He sniffed my neck.
      “You’re untapped. No one’s ever taken a bite out of you?”
I shook my head frantically.
Please, please, please, just let me get out of this “untapped,”
I prayed. Gigi is too young to be left alone. I
haven’t filled out her Free Application for Federal Student
Aid yet. And she still doesn’t understand that the “check
engine” light is more than just a sparkly greeting from
her car.
His voice was flowing over me now, pulling me under
an oily surface. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. He
murmured, “I’m so hungry, and you smell just mouthwatering.
I think I might keep you with me so I can
drink you all up. You don’t mind, do you? After all, it’s
the neighborly thing to do.”
The hazy brain-fog cleared enough that I found that
I didn’t mind giving him my blood. It didn’t seem like
such an unreasonable request. It seemed rude somehow
not to offer him something to drink. I tilted my head so
he would be able to access my neck. He chuckled, pressing
a smacking little kiss over my jugular before sinking
his fangs into me.
A stuttering gasp rippled through my chest as he
broke the skin over my vein. Pain, a bright, hot, pulsat-
ing flower, bloomed through my nerve endings. I felt a
trickle of blood soak through the neck of my cardigan.
He moaned, making loud slurping pulls at my skin. I
whimpered at the burning, tugging sensation of my
blood being drained away.
His enjoyment of my blood was so complete that he
wasn’t even bothering to hold my arms. My eyes rolled
back, and I fought the need to pass out. Breathing deeply,
I snuck my hand into my pocket and wrapped my fingers
around the silver handle.
I inhaled sharply, jerking the silver pie server out
and shoving it over my shoulder. There was a horrible
screeching noise as the pie server met a little resistance,
sinking into the vampire’s flesh. The pressure at my neck
slipped away.
I stumbled out of the closet and toward the window,
pressing the button that released the sunproof shades.
The room was flooded with sunlight, temporarily blinding
me as the vampire screamed in rage. I turned to face
him, a canister of silver vampire spray in hand. I couldn’t
make out his face, just the smoking outline of a very
angry vampire.
The smell of burning popcorn sizzled through the air
as the combination of silver and sun burned his flesh.
Wrenching my shoulder, he shoved me back toward the
open closet, cursing and sputtering. I pressed the spray
button, aiming for eye level. He screamed, growling viciously
as I added another layer of pain to his suffering.
Howling, he threw me back into the open closet. Flail-
ing, I caught the doorknob with my sleeve, inadvertently
slamming the door behind me.
For a second, I panicked, thinking he might be in
the closet with me. I kicked and struck out, swinging at
nothing but air. Lunging for the rattling doorknob, I held
it in a death grip as he yanked on it from the outside.
Although the strain on my arms burned, exposure to the
sunlight had obviously weakened him. I held on, despite
the guttural stream of graphic, anatomically impossible
death threats he threw at me.
The growling and shaking stopped suddenly, but I kept
my grip on the door for another minute. I only let go when
my legs gave way. Slumping against the wall, I sucked in
huge, gulping breaths, closing my eyes and willing the panic
to die down. My stomach rolled, and I pitched to my knees,
praying that I wouldn’t vomit on the floor in Cal’s closet.
Though, clearly, I owed him a few yarks.
I pressed my fingertips into my eyes, willing myself to
wake up if this was a nightmare. Because this couldn’t be
the way Iris Scanlon departed this earth, huddling in a
closet, waiting for the angry, weakened vampire outside
to recover enough to swoop in and devour her. At this
sad point, my options were:

1. Go charging out of the closet, screaming
Xena-style, and hope that the vampire was
weakened by the sunlight or doubled over
laughing at my weak attempt at overpowering
him.

Likely result: Death or, at the very least, humiliation.
2. Duck out of my closet just long enough to
grab for my purse, hoping that the vampire
didn’t catch me, and then call 911 . . . and
carefully explain to the police what I was
doing in a vampire’s home where I had no
legitimate business.

Likely result: Three to five years for breaking
and entering. Which was inconvenient,
because I looked really washed out in orange.

3. Hide in this closet overnight until sunrise.

Likely result: Being yanked out of the closet
and drained as soon as the vampire recovered.
I split the difference between options 1 and 3, waiting
until I had the nerve to crack the door open and scan the
room for Gropey Groperson. All was quiet in the bedroom.
I couldn’t see the silver pie server. I wondered idly
whether it was still stuck in the vampire’s chest.
From the other side of the door, I could hear the
faintest impression of Cal’s voice calling. I waited several
long minutes, listening for any sound of the injured
vampire. I grasped the can of silver spray firmly in front
of me and kicked open the door. The well-lit bedroom
was empty. And my mom’s silver pie server was gone.
I was so glad she wasn’t around to ground me for this
one.

The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires can be purchased at these stores:

To learn more about Molly and her books, check out her website:

41 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed all the other books I've read by Molly Harper, and I really liked the excerpt listed. The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires sounds like a great book, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to leave my email: Barbed1951 at aol dot com

      Delete
  2. All of Molly Harper's books are so hilarious and you can't help but laugh out loud. The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires is on my wish list.

    dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like an awesome read. Thanks for the giveaway!

    jdzchaotickittie@yahoo.com

    Ashley @ Dr. Pepper Diva

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks like an awesome book! Thank you for this giveaway(:

    andrea_rose95@rocketmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've enjoyed Molly Harper's other books. Thanks for the giveaway.

    sgiden at verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMG this sounds great! I am looking forward to it!!

    Kerryjcj@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  7. This looks like a great story and I loved the excerpt. Thanks so much for the post and for the giveaway.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. This sounds great!

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. thanks for the great post and giveaway! I love Molly's books and I can't wait for this one :)

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love Molly's books. I'm looking forward to reading this one also.

    Jen(at)delux(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great excerpt! Thank you for the giveaway!

    amethystfaerieATmsnDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had this book on my TBR list. It sounds so good.
      twoofakind12@yahoo.com

      Delete
  12. I love and have all of the Jane books. They are hilarious, I love Molly Harper's writing. Thanks for the chance at this great giveaway!

    huntress023@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really enjoyed the first Naked Werewolf novel and hope to read more by this author. This series sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Sara M
    sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love anything about vampires. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Molly Harper is a new author for me & I would love to win this!

    wade2121 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dying, dying to read this book. Molly Harper is one of my favorite authors and this excerpt shows why, she's amazingly talented.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    lovesfabromance at cox dot net

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've not read anything by Molly Harper and this looks like a great place to start!

    yadkny@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds great. I would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have heard great things about Molly Harpers books and this one looks like it would be a fun place to start!

    Thanks so much!
    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Loved Molly Harpers first vampire book, can't wait for this one.

    amy2read89@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I soooo cannot wait to read this one.

    michelleinmi@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm a huge Molly Harper fan and I cannot wait to read this one! Her books always make me giggle! dlc1983@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I absolutely love Molly's books and I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway!
    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to read this one. jpage01@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  25. Congrats on your new book. Looking forward to reading it.

    Carole
    carole720@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'd rather lose part of my lung (hey, don't judge me, I can live without it) than to pick my favorite Molly Harper book. Much like children, I love them all equally! I can't wait to read this new one and would love it even more if I won it (it's okay to have a favorite as long as the others don't know, right?!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, forgot my email.
      Kassie.knoll@gmail.com

      Delete
  27. Sounds awesome and can't freakin wait!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't wait to read the rest of Iris's story with Cal and her sister Gigi!~
    katystuhldreher@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Huge fan of Molly Harper's! I love the humor in her books. I usually listen to them while on a run and more than once I have found myself laughing out loud while running. I'm sure people thought I was crazy!! LOL

    bluesun1218@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love Mollys books have been waiting anxiously for this one .I cant waitto snag myself a copy and dive in.Thank you for this chance to win it .Have a wonderful week.
    flanagan@Mebtel.net

    ReplyDelete
  31. Can't wait for this book!

    thague(at)insightbb(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!!!

    kclapsadl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. The more I see of this the more I know I'm going to enjoy it.

    vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Would love to read this, thanks for the giveaway!!

    Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've been waiting for this book to come out ever since I read the excerpt in Driving Mr.Dead. Thanks for the doing the giveaway. bluepooh1@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love Molly's books. Cant wait to get my hands on this one.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sign me up, this sounds like another fun ride :) What a treat to read and have a little chuckle.
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete

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