GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Excerpt: The Allie Nighthawk Mystery Series by H.R. Boldwood + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Excerpt: The Allie Nighthawk Mystery Series by H.R. Boldwood + giveaway

Tell us about yourself: when did you start writing?

I write literary fiction under my given name and horror and urban fantasy under the byline H.R. Boldwood.

I live in Mason, Ohio, with my husband and a black lab named Poe. We have two sons and three gorgeous granddaughters who keep us hopping.

I began writing in the seventh grade when my English teacher asked our class to write a short story on any topic. Of course, I wrote a horror story! It was titled “The Reincarnation of Sir Thomas More.” My teacher gave me an A and was so taken with the story that he sent it to a college professor at Northwestern University. Two years later, I won an on-the-spot poetry-writing contest.

As an adult, I attended Thomas More College, where I won the 2009 Bilbo Award for creative writing. A friend from Thomas More suggested I join an international online writing group focused on producing flash fiction stories. That was the best writing education I ever had! Flash fiction writing teaches word economy and focuses on word choice and strong verbs. Pacing is everything.

Since then, I have attended and delivered many writing seminars and published numerous short stories in addition to the Corpse Whisperer urban fantasy series.

Welcome to the world of Allie Nighthawk, corpse whisperer and bad ass zombie hunter.

The Corpse Whisperer (An Allie Nighthawk Mystery Book 1)

by H.R. Boldwood
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Mystery
Zombie hunting just got wicked fun!

Welcome to the world of Allie Nighthawk, corpse whisperer and bad ass zombie hunter.

“If you raise deadheads, you’d better be able to put ‘em down. Nobody said it was pretty. But in this day, when vampires aren’t just for breakfast anymore, and the dead are disposable pawns for necromancers, someone has to ante up. Looks like I won the lotto. Imagine my delight. You should thank me, really, because the world is batshit crazy.”

When the zombie population spikes and no one knows why, it’s up to Allie to solve the mystery. But there’s a hitch. She’s stuck babysitting Leo Abruzzi, a zombie-bitten gangster who’s turning state’s evidence. But the mob and a powerful necromancer will stop at nothing to take Leo and Allie down.

Allie Nighthawk is Anita Blake on steroids, with a fondness for leather and Jack on the rocks. She has a healthy dose of Stephanie Plum and Rachel Morgan in her, too, though she’d never admit it. The battle between good and evil just got wicked fun.

Excerpt from The Corpse Whisperer:
The cemetery would be a freaking obstacle course, but Rico insisted we wait until sundown to raise our rotter. As we climbed over the retaining wall, he explained that mommies don’t want their children watching me chase decomped deadheads down Central Parkway with a flamethrower.

I get that. I got no problem being discreet. It’s not like I want to do this work in the daylight anyway. You spike one zombie’s head, the ACLU and the paparazzi are all over you like stink on a flesh-eater. Besides, biters tend to hole up during the day, since they can’t see in sunlight. Wrangling them is easier in the dark, when they’re on the prowl.

Fallen tombstones, mole holes, and titanium flower vases all vying to take out my knees are the problem. That’s why the art of negotiation comes in handy.

“Hire me,” I said as we sprinted though the headstones. “I’m tired of this independent contractor shit. I want double-time for field work, full medical coverage, and disability benefits. Call it hazardous duty pay.”

Rico stopped and swung his flashlight in my direction. “Captain Dorsey said you’ve already discussed that with him. You’re not in the budget.”

“Really, De Palma? It’s not smart to screw with the one person who can keep your ass from getting corpsified.”

“That’s Cap’s call, not mine,” Rico said, taking off with long, powerful strides toward the gravesite.

The backhoe had done the hard work. I stared at McCoy’s low-rent casket shining in the moonlight and gave Rico one last chance to bail.

“You know, this isn’t as easy as I make it look. Raising a rotter is a lot like doing a rain dance. You might get a drizzle or you might need a freaking ark. McCoy’s a freshy. He hasn’t even been dead a week. Raising him will screw with the cognitive function of his brain—the part that processes information. He won’t be capable of lying, that requires deliberation and intent. But whatever else happens is anybody’s guess. You sure you want to do this?”

“She’s six years old, Nighthawk. We don’t have a choice.”

“Open the lid.” I closed my eyes and let the power surge through me like God’s own hand.

Make no mistake, the ability to raise the dead is a God-given gift that comes with a moral obligation to protect the living and the dead. The gift itself isn’t evil, but misuse of that gift is as ugly as it gets.

The mortician had done an impressive job, given the circumstances. McCoy looked like he was napping, like his eyes could open at any moment, and he’d be confused by his surroundings. Sometimes appearances aren’t deceiving.

“Cephas Allen McCoy, in the name of God, I command you to rise!”

Cephas moaned low and steady.

I spread my hands over him and whispered a single word. “Awaken.”

Tiny rivers of light streamed from my hands into his body, causing him to pitch and thrash. Teeth clenched, limbs flailing, he sprang upright and opened his eyes—crazed, animal-like eyes that showed fear but nothing else.

He grabbed the edge of the casket and leapt to the ground above. Shit. That’s what I’d been afraid of. His muscles still had memory. The .32 he took to the heart didn’t cause peripheral tissue damage. Climbing out of that grave, for him, was no more difficult than climbing out of bed to take a leak.

We stood, face to face—almost. He looked about six-two, giving him a good eight inches on me.

“Cephas, stop!”

He froze and stared at me, like he was trying to figure out who I was, trying to use the cognitive part of his brain that no longer worked. Then he twitched.

God. I hate when they twitch.

“Cephas, where’s Twila Harris?”

He growled and drooled on my feet.

“Answer me, damn it!” I pulled the bag of barbecue chips out of my pocket, opened it, and waved it under his nose. “Tell me where she is and they’re yours.”

Rico’s eyes went wide. “Potato chips? You’ve got to be—”

“Hey. You mind? I’m working here.”

Cephas grabbed at the chips and slurred, “Duck blind on Lake Chetak. Shush…it’s a secret.”

Now for the tough question. “Is Twila still alive?”

“Yes. Yes. Pretty. Go play with her. Need to play. Need her.” His mouth quivered, and a long string of saliva that dangled from his lip bounced like a bungee cord. Then he snarled, snatched the chips out of my hand, and bolted across the cemetery.

“Ah, shit!” I took off after him, the freaking twitcher.

Corpse Whisperer Sworn (An Allie Nighthawk Mystery Book 2)

Zombies, Voodoo, and Hoodoo-what would you do?

Life Among the Tombstones (An Allie Nighthawk Mystery Prequel)

Freelance zombie hunter seeking full-time employment-benefits required.
**Get it FREE!**

Corpse Whisperer Torn (An Allie Nighthawk Mystery Book 3)

Zombie hunting 101: Never tell your neighbors what you do for a living.

About the Author:
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H.R. Boldwood, author of the Corpse Whisperer series, countless short stories, and Imadjinn Award finalist, is a writer of horror and speculative fiction. In another incarnation, Boldwood is a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the 2009 Bilbo Award for creative writing by Thomas More College. Boldwood’s characters are often disreputable and not to be trusted. They are kicked to the curb at every conceivable opportunity when some poor unsuspecting publisher welcomes them with open arms. No responsibility is taken by this author for the dastardly and sometimes criminal acts committed by this ragtag group of miscreants.

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