Companion Story – Hunter Kiss
My contribution to the anthology is called HUNTER KISS, which is the companion novella to a brand new Urban Fantasy series about a woman whose body is covered in living tattoos—her own personal demons to call upon when the sun goes down, who both protect her life, and are destined to end it.
Wild Thing (anthology) Excerpt
My mother used to say that the tale of the world is drawn in blood, blood in flesh, veins forking into destiny like the branches of the tree from which the apple hung and the serpent danced, trading whispers for the corruption of innocents. Good and evil, knowledge and choice. And there, at the root of history, the world tumbled down.
History is legend. Legend is blood. And I am totally fucked.
My mother was murdered on the day I turned twenty-one.
It was at night. She served me cake. When I blew out the candles, she died. Shotgun blast to the head, aimed right through the kitchen window. I walked away without a scratch. I suppose I killed her, just as much as the zombie who pulled the trigger did. I try not to think about it.
Since then, though, I’ve kept to the road. No home, no roots. Just me and the boys. I suppose they deserve some of the blame, too. All of it, really. But hating them is the same as hating myself, and my mother would not want that.
So, like I said, I try not to think about it.
It is a rainy evening in Seattle. Beyond the drizzle, sunset is coming. Best time of day, or the worst—depending on where I am. Right now, it is pretty bad. I know the sun is setting because my tattoos are ready to peel. Puts me in a bind because I’ve got no place to go and nowhere to hide. I am standing beneath the arcade on the crowded upper level of Pike Place Market, only a step away from the wet cobblestones and idling traffic of First Street. There is an echo beneath my feet; the lower levels of the Market, sinking into the hill, resonating with the footsteps of tourists and locals; voices chattering around the antique dealers, the comic book sellers, the head shops and farmers and crafts and kitsch. A combination meant to evoke nostalgia, perhaps. An emotion lost on me, at this particular moment.
I blame the zombies. I am surrounded by them. They are breathing down my neck. And they are not happy to see me.
PRAISE FOR Companion Story – Hunter Kiss
Romantic Times recently published a brief announcement about the new series:
“Popular paranormal author Marjorie M. Liu is writing a new series for Ace books, due out in 2008, about a woman covered in tattoos that are actually living warriors.
“Says Liu: “I have always loved writing fantasy as much as I love writing romance, so when the character of Hunter Maxine Kiss began speaking in my mind, I could not push her away. I didn’t want to! Her world is full of demons and heartache, inter-dimensional prisons, faeries, blood, magic—ruling and shaping her life, leaving her very much alone. Except for her tattoos. Which are alive, and form her own personal army. The Hunter Kiss series is the Urban Fantasy I have always wanted to write, and it is very different from all my other work. It will be published by the Ace Imprint, and the first book will be called The Iron Hunt. I hope, very much, that my readers enjoy it—if nothing else but for a good adventure.
“As for my other books, never fear! The men and women of Dirk & Steele feel like family to me, and I have so many ideas for the series, so many characters I love and want to explore more fully. I never get tired of stepping back into that universe and following where my heroes and heroines take me—and it is always unexpected. In my upcoming Dirk & Steele novel, SOUL SONG, I found my ideas delving into the ocean, and I came back with a merman—captured, enslaved—forced to use his magic for a very evil individual. Writing that book was so much fun—and I hope my readers feel the same when reading it!”