Sneak Peek Sunday: Bound by Blood (A Night Shift Novella)

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Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday!

For this week’s sneak peek, I’m sharing a glimpse of Bound by Blood, due out in November. So check it out, then HOP to the rest of the participants’ blogs for more great excerpts!



Oatmeal always makes me think apocalypse.

Not the kind of apocalypse I’m actually likely to witness, spread through droplets so small they can’t be seen by the naked eye, by germs so tiny that they might as well be science fiction to most people.

And not the kind we thought we were getting when the vampires showed up a few years ago—though something weird happened in Dallas recently, so the vampires have been hiding out for the last several months. No one knows why, for sure, but I know that the guys in the ER are thankful for the drop in neck traumas and exsanguination victims. And I was glad the hospital had an isolation hall created to watch ex-sang victims overnight, just to be sure they didn’t turn. It made my job as a consultant for the CDC—Center for Disease Control—easier.

No, when I’m confronted with the prospect of oatmeal, I begin to think how useful it would be in a world where scavenging had become the norm—like one of those zombie movies where people slide through grocery stores throwing food items into baskets, racing to gather as much as they can before the shambling horde attacks.

“I’m just saying.” I tucked a few strands of dark hair that had escaped my bun up under my scrub hat. “When the inevitable zombie apocalypse hits? Go for the oatmeal. It’s lightweight and nutritious, can be eaten alone or used to make easy-to-carry cakes, can even be eaten uncooked. It’s pretty much the perfect post-apocalyptic food.”

“That assumes,” Dr. Will Manning said as we scrubbed in at the sinks in the small anteroom that lead into the isolation unit, “that either there is someone out there doing all the hard work of growing and then milling it—or whatever it is people do to oats that turns them into oatmeal—or that there are few enough people around that the stores are still chock-full of oatmeal packets, just ripe for the picking.” He wrapped the paper gown ties around behind him, criss-crossing them around his waist and tying them in the front.



Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real.

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother’s cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston—even when many of those other children fell ill, and her neighbors whispered that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the CDC—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. As a strange sickness sweeps the city, Lili races to find its source, and maybe a cure.

But in order to save the children, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected…




This novella is also part of the Mysticism & Myths anthology, available December 15, 2014.






HOP to the rest of the blogs!

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