A modern queer retelling of Dracula, where romance meets thriller meets gothic.
–Avon Gale and Roan Parrish
Publisher: Philtre Press
Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 27th, 2018
Dating Sucks & Love Bites
Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.
When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.
As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.
A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Teaser Excerpt 1 (NSFW):
Arthur plucked the book from my hand and slid it onto the coffee table.
“Van, pay attention to me,” he said, mouth in a tempting pout.
“Rude, Arthur,” I said, grabbing the book and opening it again.
Arthur’s pout deepened, and he sighed, flopping onto the couch beside me. “Fine.”
He sulked on the couch for a few minutes, then his hand crept to my thigh, sliding between my legs as it moved higher. The words on the page became more difficult to focus on. I clapped a stilling hand on his and looked at him sternly.
He huffed again, then inspiration lit his eyes. He toed off his shoes casually, dropping his socks on the floor. Then he wandered into my bedroom and I turned again to my reading. Just when I’d sunk back into the book, Arthur walked out of the bedroom, naked except for a pair of very tight, very sheer black underwear. His backside was pert and perfect, his cock straining the fabric of the underwear. When I looked up, he licked his lips.
I raised an eyebrow at him, then deliberately went back to reading. Arthur slumped, clearly disappointed that his ruse to distract me hadn’t worked. Then he dropped into the armchair, spread his legs wide, and hooked one knee over the arm, sheer black underwear making his genitals a perfect package between his spread legs. And right in front of me.
“How’s your book, professor?” Arthur murmured, voice like honey. He dropped a graceful hand into his lap and cupped his penis.
His hand began to move, stroking himself gently. I watched surreptitiously over the top of my book as he hardened beneath his own touch. As his erection swelled, the underwear became tighter and tighter, and his legs fell farther apart. Arthur’s head dropped back onto the cushion, lips parting as his breath came faster.
“Are you trying to distract me?”
“No. Just taking things into my own hands, since you’d rather be reading.”
I let him continue, his cock thick and ruddy inside his underwear, arousal flushing his cheeks.
“That’s enough, Arthur. Stop.”
Arthur’s breath caught. “Wh-what?”
“You heard me. Remove your hand.”
Arthur looked at me, beautiful blue eyes hazy with lust. He removed his hand. I went back to my book.
“Vaaannn,” Arthur whined after a minute.
“You don’t have much restraint, do you, Arthur?”
Arthur groaned. “Oh, god, restraint, yes, please.”
His head was thrown back, hair mussed, firmly muscled chest rising and falling with quick breaths.
“Touch yourself,” I said. “Lightly. Slowly. Until I tell you to stop.”
Teaser Excerpt 2:
Mina Murray’s Journal
I can’t believe we finished a whole season of Shadowcast. Lucy and I have sure come pretty far from lurking in the occult book store on Magazine and trawling LiveJournal looking for everything on true crime we could find. Ha, take that, everyone who thought I was a total morbid creep! Well, okay, I am morbid but not a creep. Besides, what does it mean to be morbid except to be fascinated by the things that are kept hidden and are excised from “polite” conversation. The guarantee of death is the singular thing every human shares—how odd that it should be the thing we’re glared at for mentioning.
Things with Luce have been great lately. I think in some ways the podcast has given her a thing to focus all her excess energy on, and that focus has brought us closer together. There are still moments when I see my life as it would have been if I’d never confessed my feelings for her. It horrifies me to imagine that life. I’ll never let myself forget that I was scared and shaking with the threat of losing my best friend, but that if I hadn’t taken a risk, I would still be trapped in that purgatory of longing that made every moment I spent with Lucy a bittersweet agony.
I’ve been thinking of asking L if she’s ready to move in together yet. I’ve been wary of being the one to broach all new levels of our relationship, but knowing Lucy if I wait for her to do it then one day she’ll rush up and grab me and say we should move to a castle in the south of France or the mountains of Romania. Which…wouldn’t be the worst thing…
Enter the giveaway: win 1 of 3 e-copies of any back catalog book by Avon Gale or Roan Parrish!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, JRPGs and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.
Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.