Title MOON ILLUSION (The Better to Kiss You With 3 ) by Michelle Osgood
Publisher: Interlude Press
Release Date (Print & Ebook): March 22, 2018
Interlude Press Web Store: https://store.interludepress.com/collections/moon-illusion-by-michelle-osgood
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Nathan Roberts was just your average polyamorous librarian living in Vancouver until his best friend, Deanna started dating a werewolf. While hosting the small pack in his apartment while they hid from the underground network of Huntsmen, Nathan enjoyed a casual fling with Cole, the pack leader’s brother. But now, he may just be falling for him.
When his neighbor is murdered, Nathan is convinced the death is linked to the supernatural, but Cole and their friends deny any paranormal connection. This leads to a fracture of trust in their relationship, and Cole’s pack is left to deal with an unknown killer on the loose. As Nathan pursues answers on his own, he must come to terms with the truth, and his feelings for Cole.
Exclusive Excerpt for Scattered Thoughts:
Content warning: Blood
Nathan flung out his arms to catch himself, but it wasn’t enough. His palms slid against the floor; his forearms and butt landed with enough force to bruise before his head cracked against the cement floor. Stars burst across his vision. He had one breathless, suspended moment of relief that he was relatively intact until pain radiated like a halo from the back of his skull.
Nathan groaned. His eyes blinked open. Ow.
He sat up gingerly. His hands and arms were wet with something dark: a viscous liquid that was the unpleasant color of blood. Ew.
Now he’d have to shower before his nap. And, maybe, the way his head pounded sickeningly, he’d also have to throw up the pad thai he’d just eaten.
He’d let go of the garbage and the recycling as well as his phone on his way down. They all seemed to have landed clear of the mess that Nathan slipped on, but empty containers were strewn across the floor.
Careful of his sure-to-be-bruised body, Nathan eased himself up. When he wobbled to his feet, the smell caught him—hot copper, like a penny left sitting in the sun.
Not looks like blood, but is blood.
The pad thai threatened to come up then and there. Nathan gritted his teeth against the swell of nausea, closed his eyes, and breathed through his mouth. He realized his mistake instantly when the heavy scent coated his throat. He gagged and lurched to the side. He grabbed the nearest recycling bin to steady himself and took several deep breaths through his nose. CARDBOARD PAPER ONLY the bin announced. Nathan focused on the crisp shape of letters until the immediate need to puke passed. He wasn’t ruling out puking later. In fact, he suspected it was likely.
After one more deep breath, Nathan steeled himself and turned.
Blood, more than he’d ever seen, more than he realized was possible to see, coated the floor like spilled paint. Five liters. Just over five liters—that’s how much blood could be in the human body. His brain helpfully offered up an image of a plastic, four-liter milk jug and a second one-liter carton. When he thought about it like that, with the neat, sanitized whiteness of the two-percent milk he used to drink as a kid, the amount seemed terribly innocuous, hardly anything. But the amount on the floor, the amount that pooled on the concrete, that drew his eyes unerringly to its center, there was nothing innocuous about that, nor about the body.
It was a body. That was one thing Nathan was certain of, even if the rest of his reality was slowly tilting sideways. It was a body and not a person, because people couldn’t survive losing all that blood—four point seven to five point five liters, depending on size—just as they couldn’t survive losing their heads or both their hands without immediate medical attention. And whoever this was had lost all the above.
It was total overkill. To kill someone—and it wasn’t as if Nathan planned on killing someone, but it paid to have some idea how to kill someone just in case it was ever necessary— there were a hell of a lot of easier ways to do it than behead them. Besides, it wasn’t as though swords or axes or other traditional beheading tools were common in 2017 Vancouver.
That thought sparked in Nathan’s mind. The only people he’d seen who carried axes were the Huntsmen. And sure, they were metaphorical axes rather than literal axes—they were tattoos of an axe—but if the Huntsmen could get their hands on automatic weapons, an actual axe was hardly a stretch.
Nathan crept forward, careful to edge around the blood as much as possible. He should feel something, he knew: guilt, fear, horror. But curiosity fueled him and, for now, it had pushed aside everything else, even nausea, and replaced it with a much simpler need: to know.
Why behead a human? Why behead a human and take their hands? It didn’t make sense. Real life wasn’t an episode of Dexter. If you wanted to kill someone, there were a thousand easier ways.
Say what you wanted to kill wasn’t human, though. Say it was superhuman. Supernatural.
About Michelle Osgood:
Michelle Osgood writes queer, feminist romance from her tiny apartment in Vancouver, BC. She loves stories in all media, especially those created by Shonda Rhimes, and dreams of one day owning a wine cellar to rival Olivia Pope’s. She is active in Vancouver’s poly and LGBTQ communities, never turns down a debate about pop culture, and is trying to learn how to cook. Her novels The Better to Kiss You With (2016) and Huntsmen (2017) were published by Interlude Press.
Connect with Michelle: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads
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Length (Print & Ebook): 210 pages / 61,000 words
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance: Paranormal, LGBT/Urban Fantasy
Author’s content warnings:
Moon Illusion by Michelle Osgood
- Insomnia, paranoia, alcohol and marijuana use
- Chapter 5: Graphic violence and an animal death during a dream sequence
- Chapters 7-8: Gore
- Chapter 16: Animal death
- Chapters 18-20: Graphic violence during a dream sequence
- Chapters 33-44: Domestic abuse, graphic violence, stalking