Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Steele City Blues by Karen Greco

UFI welcomes Author Karen Greco. Thanks for Joining us!!

Steele City Blues, the deleted scene

I don’t have many deleted scenes. I am the sort of writer that usually needs to add to a book during the editing process, not take away. It has to do with my impatience - always in a rush to get to the end! (Yes, I do read the final page of books before I am finished!)

I do have one deleted scene from Steele City Blues to share. I do not remember who this character Nina and Frankie are going to meet is supposed to be, or what he’s doing in the story, and zerorecollection of where this happens in the book. (But I love the location description and may crib it for a later book in the series!)

I hope you enjoy the Steele City Blues deleted scene! 

“A bloody volcano?” Frankie asked for the millionth time.
“In the middle of the empty lot next door,” I responded, also for the zillionth time.  
“It’s brilliant, really,” he said, as we lurked in the shadow of scaffolding in the heart of downtown Providence. “Think you can do it again?”
I glanced around the abandoned street. “Like right here?”  
He shrugged. “It’d liven things up a bit.”
“I can only do magic at the bar,” I reminded him.
“Ah yes, mum’s magic detector,” Frankie said.
It was a great excuse because it was true. Except there was a solid chance that I’d never be able to pull off that bit of magic ever again.
“But can you imagine?” he continued. “All those brawls we had taking down monsters. You could’ve just conjured a volcano and been done with it.”
“Shhh,” I said.
He ignored me and kept talking. “Job done, go grab a pint. Easy peasey. Imagine how much time that would have saved.”
“Would you shut it?” I hissed, raising my face to the sky and taking a deep inhale. “You don’t smell that?”
He stilled, which was kind of unnerving. “Nope, what are you getting?”
“Kerosene,” I whispered, my nose still picking up the faint scent.
He wrinkled his nose. “And charred flesh.”
I shuddered. “Probably a rouge human. Mommy Dearest is rounding up the witches, not burning them. Anymore.”
“Let’s get out of here,” Frankie snatched my hand and pulled me further into the shadows. “You aren’t safe.”
“None of us are,” I said. “That’s why we have to do this.”
“Do you think it’s smart to keep running these witches out of town? Maybe they’d be safer if they stayed put.”
“They’re all in hiding, and she’s finding them.”
“We don’t know it’s any better in Boston, or in Chicago, or in Mexico for that matter,” he said. “We’ve no idea  how far this has spread. We’ve had zero contact with Nevada. She could have nuked the bloody base by now.”
I turned my back to him and stared at the brick wall of the building. “We’re not going anywhere until that woman is dealt with. Now where is this goddam doorway?”  
Frankie turned into the wall as well, pressing against it with his hands. “There’s no door here.”
I stepped back, took a deep breath, focused on feeling the movement of the air around me. The wind picked up, pulling strands of hair lose from my ponytail. Energy pushed up through the pavement, grounding me to the earth even through my ass-kicking books. With my newly awakened witch in go-mode, I turned my attention back to the wall, and squinted.
I gave a small whoop when a bunch of wards appeared. I knew fuck all what this series of complicated glyphs meant, but dammit, I saw them. Deduction told me that the glyphs were hiding the door.  Unfortunately, they weren’t hiding the magic that created them, so the witch behind these wards was as good as caught once Leila and her goons did their daily magic hunt.
No sense in hiding my own magic while I was standing beside this flashing neon magic sign. I muttered a quick spell under my breath, and watched the glyphs turn into to tendrils of smoke, which blew away in the wind that continued to gust around me. After a minute or so, we uncovered the door.
“Nice one,” Frankie nodded, pulling out his lock-pick set and getting to work.
“Not just busting down this one?” I teased while he struggled with the lock.
“We want to keep this one alive, right?” he said. “No one knows this bloke’s age, that’s how old he is. No sense  in killing him with a heart attack.”
“Good point,” I said, tapping my foot as he fumbled around with the picks.
He stepped on my foot and applied slight pressure. “Give a guy a chance, won’t you?”
“Sorry,” I muttered, giving a quick look up and down the street. “But I think we may have hit peak magic in this part of town by now, so I am sure the alarm bells are going off.”
“Got it!” he said, and the sharp click confirmed it. The hinges squeaked as Frankie pushed the door open.
We huddled in the entryway and stared up at the steep staircase, the stench of must filled my nose.
Frankie prodded me. “You first.”
“Big bad vampire afraid of a wittle witch?” I muttered as I took the stairs two at a time.
Paint peeled down the walls flanking the narrow staircase, exposing the decaying wood underneath.
“Dammit!” I yelped as my foot dropped through a rotted out step, launching me forward. I stumbled on one knee, my ass directly in Frankie’s face.  
“Nice view,” he quipped as I struggled to pull my foot out from the floorboard.
Ignoring him, I finessed my foot out of its predicament and continued up the stairs, albeit with more caution, testing the steps before I put all my weight on it.
We reached the top and stared at a metal door decorated with keep out and haz mat signs.
“I see someone likes his privacy,” Frankie said before kicking in the door.
“Subtle,” I muttered and climbed through the opening.
“Balls,” Frankie swore.
“Can’t make it in without an invite?” I asked.
“You said he didn’t own the place,” he complained.
“Gramps said he didn’t own the place,” I corrected him.
“Did Gramps tell you that I don’t like vampires?” a gruff voice barked from the back of the fetid smelling room.


Karen Greco is originally from Rhode Island and loves hot wieners from New York System, but can't stand coffee milk. She studied playwriting in college (and won an award or two). After not writing plays for a long time, a life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she decapitates characters with impunity. Steele City Blues is the third book in the Hell’s Belle series, after Hell’s Belle (the first) and Tainted Blood (number two). She writes contemporary romance for a small press under the pen-name Jillian Sterling, and has a day job in entertainment publicity.

Find Karen and her books

Steele City Blues
Hell's Belle #3

Blood Ops leader Dr. O is chained in the bowels of Steele City, the state’s maximum security prison, and the clock is ticking for Nina and Frankie to bust him out.

Now that supernatural creatures are out of the closet, Providence is descending into an Apocalyptic wasteland. With the abrupt shut down Blood Ops, Nina and Frankie are on their own to save Dr. O and the other supernatural prisoners from certain death. Not knowing where Demon Mayor Bertrand’s loyalties lie, they are forced to rely on some questionable allies to battle Leila, a powerful vampire/witch hybrid hell bent on creating an indestructible supernatural army. She also happens to be Nina’s mom.

Alliances are tested and relationships fractured as Nina and her band of supernatural crime fighting misfits are pushed to the breaking point.

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