The City Beneath: Night Blood #1 by Melody Johnson with Excerpt

Today I have the start of a new series by Melody Johnson, the first book in the Night Blood Paranormal series. Please read on for an excerpt, be sure to check the other tour stops to see what people thought of this title and please be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway where one winner will get an iBook copy of the title and a $25 eGift card to Bookseller of choice, and two more winners will get iBook copies of the title, The City Beneath.

The City Beneath

It’s been a while since I jumped into a pure paranormal romance, and this new series from Melody Johnson just looked too good to pass up.  While I was expecting more romance, the twists and turns and overwhelming tension add to the mystery feel of the story, leaving the more tried and true Vamp meets Girl, Girl is in danger, fights happen and HEA appears in the dust.

Cassidy is a journalist, curious by nature and profession she is after the next newest thing, and she uncovers far more than she could have expected.  A purported animal attack victim catches her interest, and her exposing the possibility that more is in play than anyone expected put her right in danger and in the middle of a world she didn’t know existed.

Dominic is the master vampire of New York City, and Cassidy’s continued poking at the world she has no idea about may lead him to drastic measures: it won’t be the first or last time a curious looky-loo was silenced.  But, when he realizes that she has powers of her own, and can become vampire, her intelligence, organization and experience as a journalist become an asset: she can work with him to quash the potential rebellion.

Oh this was fun, even though I had ideas about the ‘bad guy’ early on, it wasn’t completely revealed or gave me the solid “ok- I understand it all now” moment until the very end, a wonderful note to end this story but keep me curious about the next in the series.

Full of action and suspense, the new creation story for the vampires and a refreshing lack of the romantic triangles or angst that often overtakes a plot and pushes all else to the side, Johnson’s snappy dialogue, action packed moments and a clear sense of explaining the new world to Cassidy without dumbing down the many factors that contributed to the potential uprising kept the story fresh with a solid mystery arc that flowed nicely from beginning to end.

The City Beneath: Night Blood #1 by Melody Johnson with Excerpt

Title: The City Beneath
Author: Melody Johnson
Series: Night Blood #1
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Published by: Lyrical Press
Published on: 28 April, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 258
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One Flame

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As a journalist, Cassidy DiRocco thought she had seen every depraved thing New York City’s underbelly had to offer. But while covering what appears to be a vicious animal attack, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed. Her exposé makes her the target of the handsome yet brutal Dominic Lysander, the Master Vampire of New York City, who has no problem silencing her to keep his coven's secrets safe…

But Dominic offers Cassidy another option: ally. He reveals she is a night blood, a being with powers of her own, including the ability to become a vampire. As the body count escalates, Cassidy is caught in the middle of a vampire rebellion. Dominic insists she can help him stop the coming war, but wary of his intentions, Cassidy enlists the help of the charming Ian Walker, a fellow night blood. As the battle between vampires takes over the city, Cassidy will have to tap into her newfound powers and decide where to place her trust...

See the Night Blood Series on GoodReads

 

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

 

The man’s chest rattled.

 

I stared at the man, hard. He’d been pronounced dead, and I had a story to write. That alone should have been enough to send me on my way, but staring at the scar on his chin, at the proof of a life lived before this burned hell, I couldn’t simply leave him the way I’d found him.

 

I texted Nathan to bring me a backboard, and he appeared around the corner a few minutes later. His thick black hair was straight and identical to mine except for the cut. Where mine hung past my shoulders and was usually yanked back in a high ponytail, Nathan’s was close-cropped at the edges and longer toward the top in a faux hawk. His nose ring glinted in the streetlight as he approached.

 

“If she thought an animal attack in the middle of Brooklyn was crazy, she won’t have a clue what to make of him,” I said, pointing to the man between us.

 

Nathan whistled. “None of the other victims were burned. Does he have any animal bites?”

 

“Not that I could tell, but I need you to take a look. The other paramedic wouldn’t treat him, and he’s still breathing, Nathan.”

 

He frowned. “I thought that Donavan pronounced him dead.”

 

“That’s Donavan? Your partner?” I asked. At Nathan’s nod, I snorted. “Donavan can’t hear a pulse, but I—”

 

“If he doesn’t have a pulse, then he’s not breathing,” Nathan said flatly.

 

“I can hear him breathing,” I insisted stubbornly.

 

Nathan stared at me, hard. I knew that look. He was checking my pupils and watching my reaction, calculating the possibility that I was high. I hadn’t abused painkillers in four years, and had, in fact, gritted through my hip pain during occasions when a Percocet was probably necessary because I never wanted to slip down that steep spiral again.

 

I gave him the look right back, annoyed that even after all this time, even after everything I’d accomplished, my brother was the one who still couldn’t forget.

 

Nathan sighed heavily, but nevertheless, he squatted next to the man and pressed his ear to his chest. “If I had the opportunity to confront the people responsible for crimes like this, I wouldn’t wait for them to confess their side of the story. I’d make damn sure they never—”

 

The man exhaled in a high, rattling hiss.

 

Nathan met my gaze, his eyes rounded with shock. “Oh my God.”

 

“You heard it?” I asked, astounded.

 

Nathan bounded to his feet and unbuckled the backboard straps. “I told you he was breathing. I told you that—”

 

“Fuck, don’t just stand there. Help me board him!”

 

I ignored my hip and helped Nathan clip the man onto the backboard. “As much as I hate to say it, I can’t help you carry him—”

 

“Hey!”

 

I looked up from the backboard straps and groaned. Donavan was jogging toward us, and if the frown creasing his brow was any indication, he had a temper to rival mine.

 

“What do you think you’re doing? The police haven’t processed this scene yet. You can’t just—”

 

Nathan stood to face Donavan, and I finished snapping the buckles on my own.

 

“He’s still breathing,” Nathan whispered hotly.

 

Donavan paused, midrant. “What are you playing at?”

 

“You take his head. If we can get him back to the ambulance, maybe—”

 

“He’s dead,” Donavan said, shocked. “Why would we—”

 

“No, he’s not.” Nathan said. “We’ve wasted enough time, time we could’ve spent treating him. Help me get him back to the ambulance.”

 

Donavan shook his head. “You’re crazy. I checked him myself. He’s been dead for a while, and I—”

 

Nathan leaned closer, so I had to strain to hear his next words. “Mistakes happen. Sometimes people notice and sometimes people don’t. Cassidy and I noticed, but if you help me get him back to the ambulance, no one else has to.”

 

Donavan stared back at Nathan, shock and anger giving way to fear as he realized that Nathan was serious. He looked down at me. I stared back at him, trying to convey that my mouth was a steel trap, but mostly, I felt wary. He looked back at Nathan, and I knew Nathan’s expression as well as my own reflection. Even three years my junior, our shared grief and bitterness could line Nathan’s face with an identical aged determination.

 

“He didn’t have a pulse,” Donavan whispered, but he bent in front of me and gripped the head of the backboard anyway.

 

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About Melody Johnson

Melody Johnson is the author of the Night Blood series. She graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology. While still earning her degree, she worked as an editing intern for Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. She was a copyeditor for several novels, including Cheetah by Missy Jackson; Trust No Man II by Cash; and Karma with a Vengeance by Tash Hawthorne. Book #1 of the Night Blood series, The City Beneath, is her debut novel. When she isn't writing, Melody can be found hiking the many woodsy trails in her Pennsylvania hometown or sunning and swimming at the beach. You can learn more about Melody and her work at elodymay.blog.com, Facebook and Twitter.

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