I hope you're all going to like it. For now, I'll leave you with the official blurb and preview. *Hugs*
Shelter Me Blurb:
Greg Courtenay is the son of a powerful and ruthless vampire manager, Flynn. Although Greg loves living in Soho, where his father watches all, he never had the passion to walk in his father's footsteps and become the next manager. He willingly chose to run a shelter for homeless vampires because that was where his heart was called to help. Turning his back on his father's eager wishes, Greg went against the grain of Royalty and started his own life without help from his family.
A lover of hole in the wall dives, eighties music, and his rough attitude, Greg searches for the man who can fill the void in his heart where his mate is supposed to be. After countless dates with no hope in sight, he gives up on love. Until a routine pickup at the clinic leaves him breathless and hungry for a complete stranger.
Trey has no last name. He's a stray who was turned into a vampire at the bitter age of twenty, and that was fifteen years ago. When he was unable to cope with his violent turning, he sought comfort in the open arms of the Haitian mob. They turned him into a dealer. They said they were his family. They promised they would always take care of him. That is until he was set up for the death of their leader, saw his best friend murdered, and took off running with nowhere to go.
Hungry, scared, and still young at heart, Trey turns to the only place he has left... The Soho Clinic. Given a fake alias by a compassionate nurse, Trey is booked to stay at the local shelter. Knowing he will be sentenced to death if the Royals find out he was a dealer, or caught and killed by his former 'family', Trey risks it all to sate his thirst for blood and get a night's sleep in an actual bed. But, he finds out going to shelter will be more than he bargained for once he sees who's running it; the man who will bring death to his doorstep... His mate.
Shelter Me Preview:
The Second City was a city, but not really. The place was more of an underground integration into New York City. It was a community that allowed the born Royal vampires, human-turned vampires, and their families to come together and rebuild themselves as citizens and not just objects of glamour or poverty. They had family residences, schools, a church, doctors, shelters, counselors, and insurance. They were trying to play human, when they could never be. Nonetheless, they were good at hiding that fact.
The Prince of Blood had given his people new hope, making the transition bearable by giving them a purpose and restoring their love of life. They had to watch over the humans, even if they never received a speck of gratitude for it. They had the Original and his brothers, the Guardians, to protect and guard them. But, on the other side of cozy and domestic was a seriously dark underbelly in the city.
Rush, a drug cooked with vampire blood, now ran through dealer’s hands like smoke. Every territory had their own concoction of the highly addictive substance they sold to humans, some vials cheap and some rather expensive. Once a human consumed a vial of rush, they were sent on a physical trip they never wanted to end. Although the high waned after a few hours, those humans craved another taste, and the ones who tried to rehabilitate themselves failed miserably.
It was a thirst they couldn’t get rid of, and the dealers were more than okay with that, and so were their bosses. Money was made. Crime rose to an all-time high in the city. The cops couldn’t keep up. For years they’d been baffled by the mysterious Rush. No forensic scientist could understand what they were looking at. The blood-like component within the drug would evaporate before they could test it, leaving them with the usual uncut stuff that had been running the streets for decades.
To most of New York City, Rush was becoming a nightmare; even more so for the vampires because their food source was being tainted. Those who weren’t mated with their fated beloved were subjected to the harsh reality of poisoned human blood. Once a human had tasted Rush, it laid dormant in their system. But once a vampire fed from an exposed human, he or she would become feral after a short comatose state wherein they appeared dead, unconscious of their actions. When they woke, their violence was at full capacity; whether they killed a human or another vampire just for their blood, the vampire victim could not help themselves.
The effects could last for hours. They could last for days. Or it could be permanent, depending on the potency of the Rush. The only cure, aside from waiting out a cheap Rush imitation or death, was to feed from their fated mate’s blood. To the vampire community that was like asking those victims to find a needle in a haystack as they slowly lost awareness, pretty much impossible by any sane person’s standards. Only five percent of vampires who’d consumed rush in a human’s blood had been documented as successfully being drawn to their mate under dire circumstances.
The others were put behind solid steel bars or killed by Royals Guards, and sometimes the Guardians themselves. With every fallen vampire, no matter who they were or where they came from, they were mourned. They were mourned, even if they were the enemy, because their death meant another notch in the belt of evil wrapping around the city.
The Royals and their human-turned followers cherished their close-knit community to keep from suffocating, that and a device known as a nick. The Royal Doctor, as he was known, had developed the small blood testing device for their race. Before every feeding, a single vamp would swipe their human donor into a state of tranquility and nick them to test for traces of Rush. Unless a vampire had acquired a trusted and willing human as his or her permanent blood donor, then the nick was completely necessary.
Feeding without a nick was a dangerous game.
And that is where the Second City came into play. The structure provided all vampires with a safe means of living if they were willing to follow the rules. There was the NYC manager, Oliver Caldwell, who ran the business end of things in the city. He was the head honcho, right under the Guardians and the queen and the prince. He kept things in line with the other managers, one for each of the Burroughs in the city and the others to both north and south of him.
Each manager was tasked with keeping their territory in line, much like the alpha of the pack. Trickling down the line, there were also middle-of-the-road employees such as nurses and doctors, teachers and every day Joes. Among other facilities, each territory had as many as three clinics for emergency wounds, blood loss, and the simple distribution of nicks. But the most important work of all, the most overlooked position within the city was that of the shelter worker.
Shelters had popped up all over New York with the growing need to house human-turned vampires who walked the streets confused and alone, and more importantly to keep them out of trouble. Random turnings happened on an everyday basis now. For their enemy’s entertainment or to turn a minion, to maybe someone pretty they wanted to rough up and keep around, turnings were become increasingly popular. So much so, the shelters were desperately needed.
A homeless vampire was something the Royals had never imagined in all of their long years on earth. They were more than willing to contribute monetary gifts to the needy, but most of them feared associating with those men and women who had been forced into a life of immortality; those who were poor and couldn’t hold jobs with humans because they would never age and people would begin to ask questions; those who couldn’t control their hungry urges because they hadn’t been raised to know what to expect; those who had terrible pasts and wanted to change but didn’t have the help they needed.
It was up to the generosity of the shelter workers to reach deep into their hearts, overlook the past of those who had wronged or suffered, and give them hope and a safe place to thrive. They were a different breed of Royal. They were the younger generation who questioned the older generation’s standards and opposed their laziness. They were vampires who wanted to get their hands dirty and make a difference, and not with their pocketbooks. They wanted to better their world and the older vamps, the ones who hid behind their riches and fancy Guards didn’t understand why they would put themselves in danger every single day.
The younger generation was growing, both Royal and not, and there was nothing the world could do to stop them from lending a helping hand. They were the new warriors and teachers. They were the ones who changed lives. They were the ones who fought for a new day. And when one of them found their true mate… it was fate’s way of saying job well done. No one deserved love more than those who loved without asking for anything in return.
Greg was one of those people. He resisted hiding behind his family’s money and power. He turned down the chance to work with his father, the manager of Soho and Tribeca, to work where he was needed most.
Greg was a shelter worker, one of the best. His life revolved around helping others and most of the time he forgot his own needs in the process. Not to say he was perfect. Most would think he was a muscled asshole who needed a dose of happiness to cure his grumpy demeanor. But, most wouldn’t know where his heart really was. They wouldn’t know that he liked to surround himself with work because he was lonely for his other half. They also wouldn’t know that he hungered to help because it did make him happy. Maybe he would never jump for joy or start randomly hugging people when a person made it to his shelter, but he was happy on the inside, where it counted.
He just never smiled. He didn’t have a reason to. He didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. He knew who he was. He knew what he wanted. The only problem was, he was having one hell of a time finding that guy who made him smile, not forcibly, but for the reason that he was so happy to see his mate, who completed his life, that he couldn’t help it. Until he did find his one and only, Greg was content to make others smile. It was just what he did. He helped and he waited.
Shelter Me: Coming to the blog late July.