MENTOR: Julie Sondra Decker

MENTEE: C.B. Whitney


CATEGORY/GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy

WORD COUNT: 95,000



Ex-valkyrie Ingrid would rather wrestle a manticore than play bodyguard to Earth’s most wanted. Still, her irritating client Lacie is the first woman she’s fallen for in 500 years. When otherworldly assassins with mysterious motives target them both, Ingrid must fight to save her realm, her client, and her heart.



I wish I could say the woman is the first to get blood all over my cab, or at least that she’ll be the last. Unfortunately, I’d be wrong on both counts. Lucky fucking me.

The blood drips from her matted hair, staining the shabby fabric of the carseat. In the dim illumination from the headlights around us, it takes on a purple-red hue. It will be a pain in the ass to clean, but at least the blood’s not hers—if it was, she’d have bled out already.

“Where to?” I glance in the rearview mirror. She doesn’t reply. Her blank face blinks in and out of shadow with each passing streetlight. I’ve seen that look before, the thousand-yard stare of someone who’s witnessed true horror. Granted, most of the humans I’ve seen it on were already dead.

Well, no point in rushing her. She’ll talk when she’s ready. They always do.

The squat, blocky skyline of Fulton materializes out of the drizzle as we crest a hill. It’s a night of freezing sleet, black ice, and sullen clouds glowing with the orange haze of light from the city. A night that all the gods of Elysium decided to piss down on Earth, but couldn’t be bothered to spare more than a grudging tinkle.

For a long time, there’s no sound except the patter of rain on the windshield and the hollow howl of tires on wet pavement. Then, softly at first, my blood-soaked passenger speaks.

“It killed them.”

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