Following my urban fantasy debut this past March with BAPTISM OF FIRE, I’m finally offering an entry into one of my favorite genres: paranormal romance. I’ve been calling my upcoming release a paranormal romance, anyway, but I feel it sort of sits between that and urban fantasy, with the romantic plot more overt than it was in Baptism of Fire. KISS ME DEADLY, which will hit digital shelves in eBook and paperback on January 19th of next year, kicks off the NICKEL CITY NECROMANCER trilogy.
If all goes well in the indie publishing world, this trilogy will be the introduction to a larger ‘verse set in the “Nickel City,” where necromancers, vampires, hunters, and warring covens of witches and warlocks all try to coexist. Peacefully? Not always.
As release week gets closer, I thought it’d be fun to give a little sneak peek into Kiss Me Deadly with some non-spoilery posts. The entire first chapter is available to read, but before you dive into that, here’s the Sparknotes version of the world you’ll be dropped into…
Today’s post will be a little primer about the ‘verse’s setting. If you’ve read any of my previous work, you’ll know that atmosphere and setting is a huge part of pretty much all of my stories. It’s one of my favorite aspects of storytelling–making sure the world that surrounds the plot is as immersive for readers as it is for the characters.
So, what is the “Nickel City”?
Aside from having a nice ring to it when paired with my protagonist’s supernatural profession, it’s actually a direct reference to the trilogy’s setting. Buffalo has a lot of nicknames, and that’s one of them. (Non-Buffalonians might just know us as that place with the chicken wings and like ten feet of snow and our infamous football fanbase.) I placed the Playing With Hellfire series in a fictionalized, alternate history version of Buffalo–it became Perdition Falls, renamed with nearby Niagara Falls in mind, after demons and Hellfire took over.
Kiss Me Deadly, and the rest of the Nickel City ‘verse, is a more contemporary, straightforward portrayal of the city…if Buffalo had rival factions who use magic, a raging feral vampire problem, and one eccentric on-call necromancer. Of course, it’s easy to set the world of your book where you live. I did it because it’s fun, but also because in a genre that’s never hurting for content, where you can find any sort of trope your heart desires, there aren’t that many set in Buffalo.
And why not, right? We’re the second-largest city in New York. Not to sound biased or anything, but it’s a great backdrop for this genre. The history. (I’m a huge history nerd, so you’re going to get a lot of Buffalo history references in this ‘verse.) The architecture. The weather. (It’s not always fantastic but it is interesting!) The local references that maybe some people will get some won’t.
Now, take all of that and add vampires who live in the beautiful old mansions downtown. Witches and warlocks who protect their covens while tending bar at a place on Pearl St. A forensic pathologist being attacked by a ghost in the county morgue. Feral vampires who roost in Buffalo Central Terminal. An exhausted necromancer trudging through snowy Forest Lawn Cemetery at midnight to perform a ritual with candles and sigils and blood.
That’s where Kiss Me Deadly starts. With a necromancer and a vampire crossing paths in Forest Lawn as enemies. Because, as my protagonist Seraphina says, you never know what you’ll find lurking in the cemeteries of this city…
Next post, I’ll introduce you to our enemies-to-lovers pair, so stay tuned!
Want to read Kiss Me Deadly for free in exchange for a review? Apply for the ARC Team.