– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Re-Vamping Las Vegas’ blogtour, organised by Xpresso Book Tours.
About the Author :
Jen Pretty is a well- known and prolific writer of smart urban fantasies. Her novels are character driven, witty, often violent, and with a liberal sprinkling of course language. Some of her books genre-hop into mythology, pulling characters and situations from a variety of sources.
When not writing, Jen can be found in the barn with her horses, or knee-deep in the vegetable garden at her home in rural Ontario, Canada, which she shares with her husband, three children, and a white husky dog named Salt.
Title: Re-Vamping Las Vegas
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Nia hates people.
She also hates vampires.
Too bad she is one.
An innocent bit of fun finds Nia tangled with a dangerous man and the powers that be send her to live with the vampire lord of Las Vegas.
Their efforts to get Nia back on the straight and narrow are almost as ridiculous as her fathers attempt to make her this heir in his bid for world domination.
It’s Las Vegas, what trouble could she possibly find?
Her life takes a sharp turn when someone tries to use her in a power struggle against her father, and her past sneaks up on her.
The past never stays where you left it, and sometimes the beginning is just the start of the end.
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“I told you I won’t take your bets anymore, Nia.”
“Aw, come on. Chicken?”
“Broke,” Ray laughed as he moved down the bar to deliver a drink.
On Saturday nights, half-drunk college kids filled the city. That’s what’s great about living in a small college town. The nightlife was young, beautiful and flocked to the local hot spots. Ray’s nightclub was large, and the bar ran along one full wall. The opposite end was a raised DJ booth and in between was a sea of bodies writhing and churning like the ocean.
Ray’s was closest to the college, and I always got in free, but Saturday night was my favourite.
My victim danced around with a drink in his hand, trying to pick up girls. Cute and soft, like a puppy, his tail flapped so fast his butt wiggled. I was sure he would strike out. The girls who came to a bar like this weren’t looking for a nice boy. Wearing their low-cut tops with their hair swept up, displaying their necks like a fisherman in a market with his catch of the day.
They were dinner on legs.
Very long legs.
I downed my drink and left the barstool to join the wild party girls. They were probably going to hell, but so was I. We might as well enjoy ourselves. Music was the great equalizer, forcing us all to move to its beat in the cramped space between our bodies. The stench of sweat and antiperspirant filled the stagnant air. My sense of smell was, unfortunately, more delicate than the rest of the people in the nightclub, but the alcohol numbed it.
My teeth ached. The sight of that wiggly boy made me ravenous, but I kept losing sight of him. There he was. His sandy hair was long enough it stuck it to his forehead, slick with sweat. Then he disappeared in the crowd. I danced with the girls until I caught sight of him again. He sat at the bar, another drink in his hand. Was that his third? Hmm, college boy might be getting tipsy.
The music changed from deep bass to a sharp pop song, and the silly girls all screamed with glee.
I wasn’t drunk enough for this. As I crossed the room, my nape prickled. A pair of eyes tracked me. Ryan. He was a moron and always had to shop at my club. There were two other nightclubs like this one in town, but Ryan still came to dinner here.
I blocked out the feeling of his eyes on my ass and slid onto the barstool beside my new puppy. I waved to Ray who shook his head when he caught sight of who I was sitting beside. He poured me another drink. Only one type of drink affected patrons like me. Ray kept it well stocked. One more reason this was my favourite nightclub.
“How are you, Nia?”
He snuck up beside me — creepy bastard.
“I’m fine, Ryan. Go away.”
Ray delivered my drink. I picked up the glass and took a long sip.
Ryan didn’t speak again. He stood beside me staring holes into the side of my head. I rolled my eyes and looked at him. He had coiffed his hair in a modern style. He looked like a pale GQ model with sharp teeth. Too bad he was a disgusting blood-sucking old guy and every time he opened his mouth, I heard nails on a chalkboard.
“I haven’t seen you around town this week,” he said, flashing me his teeth.
Like I cared about his long, pointy incisors. I wasn’t a college girl, ready to throw myself at any old, gross vampire.
“That’s because I have been busy and also, I’ve been avoiding you.” I turned my back to him, hoping Ryan would take the hint and leave me alone, only to find my puppy had left.
At sundown, I took a cab to the mall. There was a high-end electronics store owned by a local guy named Darren. He could hack, I was sure. He was the only person to suspect I was up to no good with my laptop. I replaced mine more often than average, but my continued patronage assured his silence.
My father thought he could buy me back by padding my bank account. He couldn’t, but he was rich, so I spent his money, and new laptops were my main purchase.
The mall was overrun with teenagers and old people pushing wheeled walkers with bags full of knitting supplies or whatever. No sensible person went to the mall when they could help it. The long wide hall with escalators down the center made way for the shops and department stores where well-dressed women and men rang through purchases of clothing and electronics. Beautiful women at cosmetic counters sprayed passers-by with perfumes that smelled like toilet cleaner. The teenagers hung around in a group like a cackle of hyenas, laughing raucously and shoving each other.
“Hey, Nia,” Darren greeted me as I walked up to the counter. He was geeky, in a cute way. His glasses made him look smart and his shirt and tie- professional. I had seen him in the club a couple of times though. Not a complete nerd.
“Hey, Darren. How’s it going?”
“Not too bad. What can I get for you today?”
“Something fast and pretty,” I smiled. He knew I didn’t tinker. I wanted a laptop ready to go, like usual.
He smiled and went into the back room.
I waited at the counter and watched a kid read the backs of all the video game packages by the front of the store. The kid was no more than thirteen years old and kind of motley. He wore an over-sized coat and his hair was shaggy and unkempt. He looked around and then tucked one game into his coat. I almost laughed but bit my lip. There was a security tag on everything in the store. Cue the fireworks.
Just as Darren came out from the back carrying my new toy, the kid walked out between the alarm sensors and lights and sirens went nuts.
“Hang on a sec, Nia,” Darren said as he went storming off after the kid. I walked to the doorway and watched as the kid raced down the hall towards the mall exit, Darren in hot pursuit. Mall security nabbed the kid before he made it out the door and he started screaming like a stuck pig. I laughed and watched as the kid squirmed trying to break free of the overweight security guard.
Once the guard had the kid well in hand, he told Darren he would call the police, but Darren just took his game back and told the kid not to enter his store ever again–probably scared him straight. Or set him up to be a career criminal. Either way, everyone settled down, and Darren came back to ring me through.
“Sorry about that, Nia. This has been happening more and more. I’m thinking about putting the games behind a glass case.”
“You’re pretty fast. I thought for sure that kid would make it.”
Darren looked at me and raised an eyebrow. When I didn’t respond, he chuckled and rang through my purchase. “You’re a strange one, Nia. I hope this laptop lasts longer than the last one.” He put it in a bag, I thanked him and walked back out of the mall.
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The Magic of Wor(l)ds
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