Andrea Speed is back with her Josh of the Damned stories, excerpts, and a grand prize giveaway. W00T!
Enjoy some teasers, check out Peek-A-Boo, and answer the question at the bottom of the post to be entered to win the entire Infected series.
Ready, set, go!
Excerpt for Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned #1)
The first time the hell vortex opened in the Quick-Mart parking lot, Josh very seriously considered quitting his job. But all that came out of it was a lizard guy, and all it did was amble inside, buy a bag of chips, and leave. All the monsters, while ugly, seemed nicer than his late-night human customers, and Mr. Kwon offered him hazard pay, so he stayed on.
Besides, it wasn’t all bad on the night shift. For instance, right now he was looking forward to the return of Hot Guy.
Of course it was a super hot night, still eighty degrees around midnight, and the air conditioner had to pick now to die. Josh peeled off his polyester work smock and put his nametag on his t-shirt, hoping Mr. Kwon wouldn’t suddenly show up and demand he put it back on. It breathed like a trash bag.
His latest customer was an obviously stoned guy buying a wheelbarrow full of snacks. Not only were his eyes glassy and red, but he reeked of pot smoke, making Josh wonder if he’d spilled the bong water. Pot Guy left and someone else came in. Josh leaned over the checkout counter, hopeful, but it wasn’t Hot Guy, just a lizard guy.
“Guy” in a generic, gender free sense of the word, of course, because Josh had no idea how to tell if they were male or female. Maybe they didn’t even have genders. He didn’t know how to ask without being a rude bastard, and there was a chance he wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.
The lizard guys were all tall, and this one was no exception, at least six foot five and so broad across the shoulders it could barely fit in the aisle. They had all your basic equipment—two arms, two legs, a recognizable face—but their mouths were huge, they had no nose, and their scaled skin ranged in color from moss green to primer gray. This one was a kind of greenish-gray, like his roommate that time he got food poisoning.
Like all lizard guys, this one had a weird gait because its feet were huge, with six long toes that almost looked like fingers . . . which was extra weird because their hands were always small and had just four stubby fingers. They looked like they’d been put together by a five year old with a bad sense of proportion.
They also made such a racket you could hear them all the way from the back room. It reminded him of his first Craigslist roommate, Barry, who couldn’t do anything, even open the damn curtains, without making several decibels of needless noise. For the brief time they’d shared a place, Josh had been convinced Barry was hiding a megaphone to fart into just for effect.
Thwak-thwak-thwak echoed in the shop as Lizard Guy waddle-stomped down the aisle, making a beeline for the Fritos display. It grabbed two bags and turned back, waddle-stomping to the register.
Purchase Pretty Monsters here.
Peek-a-Boo (Josh of the Damned #2)
eBook release: Jan 9 2012
Word count: 3,600
Page count: 15
Heat Wave: 2 - Kisses and touches, no love scenes
Erotic Frequency: 2 - Not many
Type: Part of a Series
Blurb: As night-shift clerk at the go-to Quik-Mart for monsters with the munchies, Josh Caplan believes he’s seen it all. Battling lizard men, werewolves chasing cars in the parking lot . . . nothing fazes Josh anymore.
Or so he thinks, at least, until a yeti with poor communication skills drops a dead skunk on the checkout counter. Josh can’t figure what a living, breathing shag carpet wants with him, or why it won’t leave him alone no matter how hard he ignores it. But hey, at least it seems harmless . . . if perhaps a little slow on the draw.
But Sasquatch is plenty fast when two of Josh’s human customers try to out-monster the monsters. Times are strange when creatures from the hell portal save the day, but in the protective hands of a lovesick yeti and a sexy vampire boyfriend, Josh realizes that maybe his new normal isn’t so bad after all.
Excerpt from Peek-A-Boo
Josh’s first impulse was to scream, but he bit his bottom lip instead. It seemed like a slightly less girly response to the bloody animal corpse on the counter. “Um . . . yeah.” He pointed up at the sign above the cash register while looking up at the seven-foot-tall monster in front of his check stand. It was covered head to foot in shaggy white hair, with two dark holes for eyes peering out from the fur, and a black-lipped mouth full of jagged ivory fangs. It was oddly adorable and oddly frightening at the same time, though it smelled like a wet yak that had been frolicking in a pool of Axe.
The sign on the wall behind him read American dollars only. It said it in English, Spanish, what might have been Chinese, and several languages that looked like graffiti, a child’s scribbling, and precisely-thrown monkey poo. In fact, Josh was fairly certain Mr. Kwon had put up that sign solely to fuck with him. But now that Albino Bigfoot had slapped a dead skunk on the counter, he didn’t know what to think.
Josh shook his head, and his stomach roiled as he caught the stench of dead animal mixed with the weirdly sweet stink of skunk musk. “We don’t accept that. That’s not currency to us.”
The mop monster shook its head, mimicking Josh’s movements. Damn it! He never knew if any of these monsters understood him. Weren’t they supposed to be, like, missing links or something? Shouldn’t communication be easier? Josh pointed at the dead skunk, and wondered if he was gonna be able to keep from barfing. If he threw up, would Bigfoot throw up too? “No. That’s not good here. We only take cash.”
Sasquatch pointed at the skunk like Josh was doing, shaking its head and making little grunting noises that might have been an attempt at mimicking his words. He just wasn’t getting through to the walking shag carpet, was he? “Okay, we’ll take credit cards. Hell, I’ll settle for a geode if you’ve got it, but I don’t want roadkill. Okay? Get it out of here.” He began making shoving movements with his hands, which the ambulatory area rug simply mirrored. Christ on a pogo stick, it was like talking to his one-year-old cousin.
Josh looked around behind the counter and found the broom, which he used to push the corpse off the checkout counter. Not his silver werewolf broom, just the everyday kind he used to sweep up after lizard guys who couldn’t navigate the cereal aisle without knocking the Cheerios off with their tails.
The rug monster caught the corpse before it hit the floor and tried to put it back, but Josh shooed him off with the broom. “Take it outside!” He pointed vehemently at the door, and finally Shaggy seemed to get it, stomping off outside and carrying its carrion with it.
Purchase Peek-A-Boo here.
You can contact Andrea here:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Grand Prize – The Infected series ebook collection
Question for the grand prize, which will be drawn for at the end of the tour:
What two things does the yeti try to give Josh? Simple, but you'll have to have read the story.