Today, Soul Trade, the fifth Black London book, is out in the wild. I’m especially proud of this volume of the series, as it serves as the tipping point in the story, when things for Pete and Jack start to get really bad, really fast. Book 6, Dark Days, is coming out in April and marks the end of this story arc, so Soul Trade, as the penultimate volume, as a lot riding on it.
And not to be biased, but I think I pulled it off! There are zombies, creepy villages, monsters straight out of Purgatory, some familiar faces and some new threats. It was a ton of fun to write, so I hope you guys have a great time reading it.
Here’s the back cover copy:
The crow-mage Jack Winter returns —to crash a secret gathering of ghost hunters, soul stealers, and other uninvited guests, both dead and alive…
It all begins with an invitation. Five pale figures surround Pete in the cemetery to “cordially” invite her to a gathering of the Prometheus Club. Pete’s never heard of them, but Jack has—and he’s not thrilled about it. Especially the part that says, “Attend or die.” The Prometheans wouldn’t come to London unless something big’s about to go down. So Pete and Jack decide to play it safe and make nice with the club—even if that means facing down an army of demons in the process. But now that they’ve joined the group, they’re about to discover that membership comes at a cost…and has apocalyptic consequences.
Heroes & Heartbreakers has a 2-chapter excerpt posted (requires registration.)
I’ll put just a snippet here to whet your appetite. This excerpt contains minor spoilers for the first four Black London novels.
Pete Caldecott sat on a tombstone, watching fog curl soft fingers against the graveyard earth and waiting for Mickey Martin’s ghost to appear.
Mickey Martin hadn’t always been a ghost, and before a hail of constable’s bullets had snuffed out his life in the winter of 1844, he’d managed to slit the throats of thirteen women.
Murderers weren’t supposed to be buried on consecrated ground, but with a bribe to the right vicar, Mickey Martin’s admirers made sure he got a proper burial. Even razor-wielding serial killers had their fans.
Mickey Martin professed to be a man of God, ridding the earth of wickedness, and in the poverty-stricken world of Victorian London, a bloke who went about slashing prostitutes and charwomen was looked on not as a monster, but as an avenging angel, cleaning the mud-choked streets of the East End of their filth.
Pete wasn’t usually the one who sat in chilly graveyards, waiting for the dead. Usually, that was Jack’s job. But Jack, the one who could see the dead with his second sight, the one who had all the talent when it came to disposing of the unnatural that crawled under cover of night in London, wanted nothing to do with the Mickey Martin business. Or, if Pete was honest, with much of anything lately.
She could have put her foot down, demanded that Jack be the one to take this on, but that would bring on a row, and she’d had her fill of those for this lifetime and possibly the next. Sitting alone in a graveyard at nearly midnight didn’t bother her overmuch. It wasn’t like she’d be getting any sleep at home, between Lily’s erratic schedule and Jack’s ever-present foul mood.
Still, she wished she could chuck it in and go home, sit down in front of the telly with Lily and Jack, and pretend just for the span of a program or two that they were a regular sort of family. The sort where Mum and Dad occasionally got along, and neither of them had any special connection to the ghosts and magic that wound around the city as surely as the river and the rail lines.
Jack had said this job wasn’t worth their time when it had come in, but he said that about every routine exorcism. They weren’t flashy, but they usually paid, the victims too terrified to even consider stiffing the person who had made the big bad ghost go poof. And something had to put food on Pete and Jack’s table, to pay for Lily’s nappies and the expenses involved with living in London, which were considerable. If that was boring, shopworn exorcisms, so be it.
It wasn’t as if this particular ghost job had come from a disreputable source. PC Brandi Wolcott was a member of Pete’s old squad when she’d been on the Met, smart and hardworking, ambitious and driven. And now terrified, after a routine call had turned into a brush with Mickey Martin.
Pete had a reputation with such matters, whether she liked it or not. Everyone at her old squad in Camden knew she’d quit to go chase spooks and vapors. Or at least those were the rumors. The truth was a little more complicated. But trying to explain to coppers like PC Wolcott that if they just cared to look, from the corner of their eye, a part of London would reveal itself—a part made of magic and shadows, harboring creatures like Mickey Martin and far, far worse—would end with leather straps and lithium, and that wouldn’t help anyone.
Here’s a few more Soul Trade-related goodies:
- Under the Covers book blog has an interview and giveaway posted
- Soul Trade has garnered a few nice reviews: Fresh Fiction, Under the Covers, Night Owl Reviews
As always, you can find Soul Trade pretty much anywhere book-like objects are sold, as well as online via Powells, Amazon, B&N, IndieBound or Book Depository, for international readers. Soul Trade (and the rest of the Black London series) are also available as e-books for most mainstream e-readers.
That about covers it! See you for more shameless self-promotion next time I have a book out.