Nightingale cover image

Nightingale by Ashley M. Christman

Ashley M. Christman

Growing up on a farm in sunny Southern California, Ashley M. Christman filled her head with tales of horror, fantasy, and mythology. As she grew, she discovered the treasures of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series, and of course good old Neil Gaiman.

Soon enough, Ashley set out to create worlds of her own and the type of stories that she loved so much. Her style is like a mush pot of genres, taking romance and adding horror, mythology and adding modern technology, and always bordering on the dark side. She also set out to create characters who were not so much heroes as they were anti-heroes, but always having that one redeeming quality.

What Ashley quickly discovered, when trying to take a stab at being a published author, is that the publishing world is brutal. One has to be almost masochistic to partake in it. But she kept at it, collecting enough rejections to wallpaper her bathroom and perhaps tile the floor as well. She now is glad to have found a publishing home at Lyrical Press.

When not writing, she enjoys going on paranormal investigations with her local team, avoiding the gym (though she always gives in and goes anyway), and hanging out with her partner, Tom and their dog, Colby.

Nightingale: Nocturne Series Book 1
Published by Lyrical Press

Being Sidhe is hard, but a Sidhe without a heartbeat?

Life is lucrative and easy for Dr. Grace Caldwell–daughter of vampire father and fey mother–until her ex-boyfriend, FBI agent Jack Montgomery, blackmails her into helping him solve a prostitute’s murder. If only she wasn’t as attracted to Jack as ever, she could concentrate on finding the murderer and get back to her regularly scheduled life. And then there’s the vampire Constantine, seductive and powerful, a family friend she’s supposed to marry…

Not much of a vampire, and clueless about her fey powers–if she has any–Grace must journey to the Sidhe and enlist the help of the fey to unravel the riddle of the murder. She and Jack might just get killed, but then, two worlds depend on her success. If she fails, both her worlds and all of humanity will descend into chaos of epic proportions.

Excerpt

Jack snatched the phone from her. “I’ll drive you home. I’ve got some questions for you.”

Exasperated, she let out a loud groan. “Jack, I’m tired. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe…just maybe…I’ve got things that I’m dealing with that have nothing to do with you or your investigations?” The metaphysical sting of Constantine’s power was still with her, leaving wounds in her psychic defenses. She needed time to recuperate. Throw in the nearly ten pints of blood on the ground…she needed sleep and blood before she would be ready to face the world without her monster taking over. As it was, she was fighting the urge to bare her teeth and tear Jack’s throat out. Grace clinched her fists tightly until half moon imprints were left on the palm of her hand and the skin broke. The pain helped her swallow her inner monster.

“Come on, I’ll take you home. If you’re nice, I’ll leave you at the front door.”

“Where’s your car?” she relented.

Jack led her to his waiting Ford Explorer, holding the door open for her to slide in. He walked around to the other side, slid behind the wheel and put the car in drive before putting on a seatbelt. Grace sat straight up, digging her nails into her thigh. She focused on the passing buildings as they drove, trying to keep the monster at bay.

She recalled how once upon a time she would have looked over at him and smiled, not brooded silently next to him. Once upon a time they’d been in love and she would have tried harder to mask the sulking. It was all so long ago. They were just kids…stupid college kids, thinking the world would never touch them.

“So how can you be sure a vamp didn’t do the killing?” Jack asked.

“There was a spell in place to stop the fey and the blood was all there,” she replied.

“What if a witch and vamp were working together?”

Grace shook her head. “No. A vamp couldn’t have that much control.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I’m only half a vamp and it is taking everything I have to not lose control. I want blood now and I mean right now. I was fine before the smell. The sight might not have triggered me, but nearly ten pints of blood…that’s too much even for the strongest of vampires to not have a taste.” She pinched her leg to stave off the thirst. As soon as she got home, she knew she was going to need blood and she wouldn’t have time to warm it, not if she wanted to stay in control of herself. “The hemo-anemia makes us want blood, not just need it. Even with all the blood transfusions available, a vamp can’t get rid of the craving for the taste.”

Jack parked curbside outside Grace’s apartment building. She quickly undid the seatbelt, darted out of the car and fumbled getting her keys in the lock of her front door. Once she was in, she wasted no time getting to the fridge and ripping open a pint of blood. Grace greedily swallowed it as Jack looked on. She watched him watch her as she finished the last few drops.

“Feel better?” he asked, keeping a safe distance.

She nodded slowly and threw the bag away. The blood lust had receded, taking with it her beast, now that she’d given in to the craving. Catching a glimpse of herself in the gleam of a stainless steel pot, she leaned over the sink and washed the blood from her lips, horrified and embarrassed at her appearance. She looked…well, she looked like a monster.

Ashley M. Christman’s Web Site:  http://www.ashleymchristman.com/

Buy Nightingale at Lyrical Press

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Ashley M. Christman’s Page at Amazon

The Ashley M. Christman Interview Show Running Time: 32 minutes, 00 seconds

Ashley M. Christman’s Page at Barnes and Noble

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