In New Amsterdam, supernaturals and humans live side by side. That doesn’t mean there are no borders or boundaries within supernatural society. Orrin works to save the living as an NA police detective, and Gordon labors to do right by the dead as a medical examiner. Fear and insecurity foiled their first attempt at a potential relationship. Now, they find themselves pulled to one another once more by a string of gruesome murders.
Prejudice and social conventions don’t make life easy for them, and their own insecurities don’t help. Will they dare to allow love between them while they work side by side to stop a violent murderer?
WARNING: This book contains mentions of violence/assault against minors and animal cruelty though neither are graphically portrayed.
INTERVIEW WITH ALEXA PIPER
Do you have a favorite type of hero or heroine to write?
I kind like me a nice antihero. Slightly clueless characters are also fun to write. Oh, and of course characters who do banter well.
How long have you been writing, and how long did it take before your first book was published?
I started making up stories way back in kindergarten. But actively pursuing writing, that’s something I’ve only been doing for about ten years, and even in that I wasn’t very consistent. Two to three years ago, I really focused on finishing work and on writing regularly, and that was one of the best things for my writing I ever did. My first book came out in 2016, and my first short story was published in 2008.
Do you have a routine you follow when you’re working on a book? A certain time of day when you write, or a snack you keep nearby?
I do my best work at night. This is annoying when the ideas keep coming when I should be sleeping, but that’s just how it is. I also try to squeeze in writing when I commute (I write on my phone.) I don’t really have a routine though, I just sit down and write the thing.
Did anyone give you writing advice when you were first getting started? Do you think it helped?
No. Of course you pick up the classics: write what you know, show don’t tell. These are all valid. What is the most helpful at an early stage is finding someone who is better than you and then asking them to critique your work. Of course you have to be receptive to this. And you have to be able to not take it personally, because it’s going to sting.
What is the scariest thing you face as a writer? How do you handle it?
There is just never enough time. I have a day job, so I have to work all the essentials–sleep, work, food, writing–into my schedule. At the same time, I have so many stories I’m itching to finish! It’s daunting and scary, but I just try to move forward.
Writers Block. Is it a problem and if so, what do you do to break through and start writing again?
Not a problem for me. But I suggest that you don’t try to break through. Work around it instead. Go for a long walk, start a journal or write some poetry or short stories. The words will come, you just have to let them.
What do you think is the most important thing to remember when following your dreams?
Make sure that when you do, the path to your dreams translates well into the real world. A positive attitude alone is not enough.
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Alexa Piper
“You got a broadsword,” Gordon said when he came back from taking the ashes out of the oven. The dead vamp offender had burned up nicely.
“And you smell of ash,” Maxim said.
They had been playing Dragon Labyrinth for just a little under two hours, and Maxim was already frightfully good at it. If only speed and acute reactions came with vampirism automatically. All special talents Gordon had noticed in himself was that no matter what color he dyed his hair and how often he changed it, it would stay healthy and free of split ends. Not that I’m complaining about that. Healthy hair is great. Currently, he was a dark eggplant purple with black-blue highlights.
“Well, I’m sorry if –”
Someone knocked on Gordon’s still-open office door and cleared his throat. Gordon turned, and when he saw Orrin standing there, all thoughts that had been ordered in his head became a mishmash of confusion. Confusion, embarrassment, and fear, to be exact.
“I hope you don’t mind, Gordon, I asked Detective Orrin to drop by here with some information he considered important. You two have met, haven’t you?”
Gordon managed a nod.
“We have,” Orrin said. His voice sounded even, not angry, and Gordon wasn’t sure whether he would have preferred angry.
“So what was that thing about a hate crime that you were going on about, Orrin?” Maxim said.
Orrin walked into the room and closed the door behind him. “Yes. Jack the Ripper. That guy who murdered humans and Fae and tossed London into a panic around the 1890s. That ring a bell?”
Maxim paused his game and turned. “Oh, it certainly does. The Fae murders. I wasn’t in London at the time, but I followed the case. I take it you have someone emulating that killer, whoever he may have been?”
Orrin pulled something up on his phone, handed the device to Maxim. “Crime scene photos. You tell me.”
Maxim scanned through the photos slowly as if he were committing all the details to memory. Then he handed the device to Gordon. “Your opinion, Doctor?”
“Uhm,” Gordon said. “I’m not really familiar with Jack the Ripper, other than where pop culture is concerned.”
Maxim shrugged. “There’s a corpse. Don’t be shy. Have a look.”
Orrin crossed his arms. “And we’ll all just pretend I asked for you to consult.”
“Oh, silly Orrin,” Maxim said. “It’s a possible hate crime against supernaturals, which means I get informed, and through the power my position invests in me, I get to consult all the nerdy medical experts I want. And Gordon here happens to be the best, nerdy or otherwise.”
Nerdy. Yes, I guess I am that. Which made Gordon tense. He hadn’t even thought about it, but his office was, well, every collector’s wet dream, and it was really just a small slice of his entire collection, and really, Orrin could probably smell the weed cookies in the Lord Helmet cookie jar. What was he going to think about Gordon now? When Gordon had already messed up before and hadn’t even taken the time or effort or courage to set things straight. Well, fuck.
He tried to focus on the pictures, which had all the many shades of red and darkness, blended and combined to fill a canvas of a dark mind’s imagination. “Strong attacker, right-handed. I could give you a height range if I were there, but not from photographs alone. I see no obvious indicator the victim was anything other than human.”
Maxim beamed. “See? Gordon and his corpses.”
Orrin grunted. “I can get you to consult on the autopsy, but I can’t have the victim brought here. And if you wanted to, I mean, you have other things to do, but I would appreciate another set of eyes on the crime scene.” After a pause he added, “You too, Maxim. Should have a look, I mean.”
Maxim made a moue. “And here I was, just getting fond of the old broadsword and hoping that those dragon knights would bite their thumbs so I could offer them challenge.”
Gordon sighed. “I don’t think you really get video games, Maxim.”
The blond vampire snorted. “You talking about not getting things is a right hilarity, Doctor. Now, let’s go have a look at a corpse, shall we?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Her retelling of Dracula, A Tale of Honey and Garnet Wine, might be a cursed manuscript, and every writer should have at least one of those. She also loves writing series, and her Fairview Chronicles follow a ragtag gang of supernaturals who try to make their city safer. Mostly. Connect with Alexa on Facebook or Instagram, follow her on Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter!