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Friday, June 9, 2017

Beautiful Corpse by Eden Hudson Release Day Blitz and giveaway


Beautiful Corpse
A Jubal Van Zandt Novel
Book Two
eden Hudson

Genre: Fantasy – Cyberpunk / Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic

Publisher: Shadow Alley Press Inc     
Date of Publication: June 9, 2017

ASIN: B072M1HVRG

Number of pages: 167
Word Count: 52,000

Cover Artist: Katherine Kalymniou

Book Description:

The best thief in the history of the Revived Earth is back, and this time it's personal.

A deadly plague is ravaging the world's population and threatening to kill the only person Jubal Van Zandt cares about—himself. If he doesn't find a cure soon, he's dead.

The most promising lead is buried in the ruins of an ancient sunken city stalked by savage predators, cunning parasites, and the twisted souls of long-dead mages. It would take an army to get Jubal inside ... or just one of the most renowned knights in Guild history. The one Jubal betrayed and left for dead eighteen months ago.

First Jubal has to convince her not to kill him. Then he has to convince her to help save him.


EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE

I  motored  the  Mangshan  between  a  pair  of  thorny  locust trees  that  served  as  the  end  posts  for  the  fence  marking  the southern  boundary  of  the  Xiao  family’s  ancestral  holdings.
Carina  thought  she  could  avoid  me  by  ignoring  my  messages  and staying  holed  up  out  here  in  the  middle  of  nowhere.  Pretty ridiculous  considering  how  well  she  knew  me.
At  the  end  of  the  driveway,  the  trees  pulled  back  to  reveal a  traditional  wet-country  house—long  and  low,  enclosed  by  a weathered  wooden  porch  complete  with  steel  sliding-panel  storm walls.  Today  the  storm  walls  had  been  thrown  open  wide,  letting the  meager  sunlight  shine  onto  the  house’s  creamy  parchglass  and wood  exterior  walls.
I  parked  the  ’Shan  at  the  end  of  an  ancient  stone  walkway that  had  been  buckled  by  the  unpredictable  water  table,  and hooked  my  helmet  and  ventilator  over  the  handlebars.  It  had taken  me  almost  an  hour  to  get  way  the  hell  out  here  from  Taern— and  that  was  running  the  ’Shan  wide  open,  without  any  traffic.
Why  Carina  would  want  to  live  so  far  out  in  the  soggies  that  she could  smell  the  fishshit,  I  couldn’t  fathom.
Fire  threw  open  blast  doors  all  through  my  body.  Heat,  the most  perfect  heat,  swirled  in  my  veins,  warming  me  inside  out. There  was  even  a  taste,  sweet  and  spicy  and  a  little  ashy,  like ember  dust  mixed  with  wrackrath  smoke.
My  eyes  flew  open  and  I  sucked  in  a  damp  lungful  of  country air,  trying  to  catch  up  on  the  oxygen  I’d  missed  while  I  was out.  I  checked  my  wristpiece.  The  attack  had  only  lasted  a  few seconds.  Less  than  a  minute,  definitely.  The  PCM  fits  were getting  more  frequent,  but  they  weren’t  getting  longer.  Yet.  If Carina  had  been  watching  me  out  one  of  her  windows  or  via  a security  feed,  she  would  think  I’d  just  been  taking  in  the scenery.
I  headed  up  the  walk,  careful  not  to  trip  over  the  uneven stones,  and  stepped  onto  the  porch.  One  very  handsome  devil  with sculpted  stubble,  perfect  skin,  and  dark,  piercing  eyes  looked back  at  me  from  the  reflection  in  the  house’s  parchglass  walls. I  admired  his  striking  features  as  I  knocked.
Not  that  I  needed  to  knock  with  the  number  of  early  warning systems  Carina  probably  had  set  up  around  her  house.  But  I’m nothing  if  not  polite.  Especially  when  I  want  something.
From  inside  came  the  unmistakable  sound  of  someone  kicking something  heavy  across  the  room.
“You  better  pray  to  God  I  never  make  it  to  this  door,  Van Zandt,”  Carina  yelled  from  inside.
Paperinas  flitted  around  my  stomach,  and  a  crazy  grin stretched  across  my  face.  I  hadn’t  felt  much  of  anything  but  the PCM  attacks  in  such  a  long  time  that  the  excitement  was  making me  giddy.
“Are  you  seriously  still  mad?”  I’m  not  always  great  with time,  but  it  felt  like  centuries  had  passed  since  I’d  last  seen Carina.  I  took  a  guess.  “Soam  was  like…a  year  ago?”
There  was  another  crash  inside.  Then  the  house’s  door roared  open  on  its  track  and  I  was  staring  down  the  business  end of  Carina’s  well-worn  knuckgun.  She  grabbed  me  by  the  jacket collar  and  slammed  me  against  one  of  the  porch’s  thick  wooden columns,  then  jammed  the  knuckgun  up  under  my  jaw.
“Eighteen  months,”  she  said.  A  muscle  in  her  mahogany- colored  cheek  ticked.  If  the  symmetrical  muscle  under  her  other cheek  hadn’t  been  trapped  in  all  that  shiny  pink  scar  tissue,  it probably  would’ve  tocked.
Our  time  apart  had  not  been  good  to  Carina.  Since  the  last time  I’d  seen  her,  crow’s  feet  had  etched  themselves  into  the dark  skin  at  the  outside  corners  of  her  green  eyes.  She’d  been athletic  and  sleek  before,  a  very  successful  feline  predator.
Now  shadows  stood  out  below  her  high  cheekbones.  Where  her  long sleeves  rode  up,  I  could  see  the  veins  in  her  wrists  and  thin straps  of  muscle  in  her  forearms.  The  past  eighteen  months  had whittled  her  curves  and  soft  places  down  to  hard  angles  and razorblades.  She  looked  sharp.  Painfully  so.
Apparently,  in  spite  of  Soam’s  nationwide  obesity  epidemic, good  eats  were  not  a  part  of  their  prison  system.
“It  took  you  eighteen  months  to  break  out  of  a  prison  pit?” I  squinted  at  her  in  disbelief.  “In  Soam?”
“My  femur  was  shattered,”  she  said.  “Two  of  my  vertebra  had to  be  replaced.”
“Pretty  convenient  excuses,”  I  said.
Carina  thumbed  the  knuckgun’s  switch  from  SAFETY  to  BURST, effectively  changing  its  purpose  from  SCARE  JUBAL  to  TURN JUBAL’S  SKULL  INTO  A  BRAIN  GEYSER.
I  tried  to  jerk  away  from  the  deadly  weapon—I  love  myself and  I  don’t  f****** like  anything  that  has  the  potential  to  kill that  self—but  Carina’s  grip  on  my  collar  just  tightened.  She  had me  pinned  to  the  column.
I  grunted.  “You’re  awfully  strong  for  a  stick  figure.” “It  was  a  miracle  I  wasn’t  killed  on  impact.”
“Exactly,  so  what  are  you  yelling  at  me  for?”  I  said.  “It’s not  like  you  didn’t  know  what  you  were  getting  into  ahead  of time,  hiring  me.  You’re  just  mad  that  I  saw  through  your manipulation  in  time  to  save  my  own  skin.”
Carina’s  dark  eyebrows  twitched  together,  and  her  head cocked  a  fraction  of  a  fraction.  “Manipulation?”
“Don’t  play  dumb  with  me,  Bloodslinger,  it  looks  terrible on  you.”  I  tried  again  to  squirm  away  from  the  knuckgun.  “Will you  put  that  piece  away  already?  We  both  know  you’re  not  going to  use  it  on  me.  It’s  served  its  purpose—I’m  very  intimidated and  a  little  bit  aroused.”
Carina  made  a  disgusted  sound  in  her  throat  and  shoved  away from  me,  lowering  the  knuckgun  to  her  side.  “What  are  you  doing here,  Van  Zandt?”
“What  kind  of  stupid  question  is  that?”  I  straightened  my jacket.  “You  know  why  I’m  here.  You’ve  opened  every  message  I sent  you  since  you  got  back  to  Emden.”
“You  hacked  my  wristpiece?!”


About the Author:

I am invincible. I am a mutant. I have 3 hearts and was born with no eyes. I had eyes implanted later. I didn't have hands, either, just stumps. When my eyes were implanted they asked if I would like hands as well and I said, "Yes, I'll take those," and pointed with my stump. But sometimes I'm a hellbender peeking out from under a rock. When it rains, I live in a music box.

But I'm also a tattoo-addict, coffee-junkie, drummer, and aspiring skateboarder. Jesus actually is my homeboy.


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