Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LAUNCH PARTY SPOTLIGHT + GIVEAWAY: Prince of Shadows by Tes Hilaire

 Today I want to feature an excerpt from fellow Casablanca author Tes Hilaire, whose third book in her Paladin Warrior paranormal romance series, Prince of Shadows, is in stores this month!  Something I really love about Tes’ writing is how immersed you feel in the world—which features angel warriors and creatures of the night… read on for more!

From Chapter 2…
“Pay dirt. Looks like we aren’t the only ones hunting tonight,” Valin said, nodding to the skirmish going on near the back edge of the playground. It was one hell of a fight, an opinion validated by a staggering couple who exited a nearby club, took one glance at the violent encounter, then sobered up enough to scurry down the street in the opposite direction.

“Should we help out or wait until they’re done and follow?” Bennett asked, stopping beside Valin.
Valin considered the fight. Six against two. It would have been staggering odds but for the fact that the two fighting were obviously not your average humans. The air around the man wearing the camouflage pants practically sizzled with power overshadowing any power signature that the petite blonde might have. Not that she seemed to need to resort to any sort of magic given how she wielded her knife and axe like a vengeful Valkyrie. Not a big axe, granted, just one of those ones that could be clipped on to a tool belt, but the thing must have been seriously sharp for how she cut through the vamps as if they were butter. And just watching her seductively lethal dance had him buzzing with adrenaline.

“I don’t see why they should have all the fun,” he finally said.

Bennett nodded, then reached under the back of his jacket. There was a snap, and he pulled out his curved blade.

Valin blinked, rocking back on his heels. “Hey, where’d you get that?”

Last he knew all the Paladin weapons were being kept in a shielded trunk down in one of Senior Calhoun’s off-limits storage rooms. His paranoia about the blades falling into the wrong hands (or being exposed to the general public or other such blah blah blah) was beginning to overshadow logic.

“Think I’m going to go hunting without my knife?” Bennett shook his head, disgust plainly written on his face. “Not bloody likely.”

“And you didn’t bring me mine?”

Bennett shrugged. “I figured you wouldn’t want to lose it if you had to ghost.”

There was that point. He lost his clothes and anything on him any time he entered the shade, but still…“You wouldn’t have offered to carry it for me?”

“What am I? Your valet?” Bennett called as he dashed across the street.

Valin swore and jogged after him, still in shock that easy-going, it’s-all-good, sure-thing boss Bennett had gone against council edict and stolen back his knife.

“And where are your cojones?” Valin muttered to himself as he scanned for something to use other than his bare hands.

There were a few ways to kill a vamp—sunlight, stabbing it in the heart, lopping off its head, snapping the neck and severing the spinal cord—but using a Paladin blade was certainly the easiest. One good plunge with that sucker, heart or not, and there was a better than good chance that the vampire would be dust.

A mangled pallet sat half under a pile of broken bricks nearby, left over from an attempt at re-facing the building it sat beside. Valin jogged over, grabbed a prime piece of the splintered wood and yanked it free. A couple nails came with it, but he pounded those in quickly with a brick. And look at that, a stake.

He cursed the time it took him to run down the street, climb over the chain link, and join the fray, but he didn’t want to ghost—not when he’d lose his perfectly good weapon, and not when he hoped to talk a little business after—birthday suits were fine and dandy for the right occasion, but not when trying to make friends and influence people.

By the time he arrived, Bennett had already taken care of one vamp and was helping the tall, camo-clad guy take on three more. That left one for the axe-wielding Valkyrie and one for himself.
He whistled, drawing the attention of the vampire currently circling the woman and her dancing partner. The vampire—a big motherfucker—glared, then chuckled at Valin who probably didn’t look all that imposing to the behemoth, even with the splintered piece of wood.

Valin smiled back.

The vampire hissed and charged. Easy enough to dodge and Valin even got in a good kick to the vampire’s kidneys. The vampire roared and charged again, this time coming away with a busted knee and a nice gash across its ribs from Valin’s rough-edged stake.

His opponent hesitated, his eyes gleaming a wary crimson.

“It’s all in how you use it, big guy,” Valin jibed. The vamp made a low, back-of-the-throat growl and came at Valin again. They danced, Valin settling into a dodge and attack pace that was guaranteed to wear his partner down, eventually allowing for a final strike with the makeshift stake into his opponent’s chest cavity.

Through the cloud of ash, Valin saw the blonde go down, her boots losing purchase in the thick puddle of blood she’d made with that handy axe of hers. Her partner yelled from the other side of the playground, power pulsing and the lights in the street flickering as he threw his knife at the vampire standing over her. At the same time she rolled, slicing at the vamp’s ankle. The vampire screamed, crumbling as the knife sailed harmlessly over it where it dinged into the nearby building. Unfortunately for her the vampire fell on her, its anger overcoming the pain. A hand snaked out, grabbing her axe arm and twisting it into an unnatural position. A quick flash and its other hand had latched on to her side, dragging her further under him.

She swore, kicking and punching as the vampire snapped at her throat.

Yeah, not going to let that happen. No dinner for tall, dark, and deadly. Valin ran to the struggling pair on the cement. A quick plunge of his stake and right-o, disappear-o. Ignoring the lingering cloud of dust, he reached down to offer a hand but the blonde was already up, her axe ready as she eyed him warily.

Whoa… and that was a whole lot of blood pouring out of a gash at the crux of her neck. “Are you okay?”

“Never better,” she ground out from between clenched teeth, even as she tossed her hair, and ignoring the bloody mess on her shoulder, struck a stubborn hand-on-hip  pose.

Valin sucked in a breath. Holy friggen fuck. Gabby. Never would he forget that pose—or the bite of attitude that came with it. And those eyes… well he might as well lie down, roll over, and play dead because all she had to do was look at him with those emerald greens and he was her slave.

Even as his heart pounded against the confines of his ribcage, Valin forced himself not to show any reaction. Not with Bennett here. And not when Gabby had obviously gone out of her way to disguise herself. It wasn’t just the wig or the stage makeup she must have used to add a good decade or more to her physical age, but holy crap, were those socks in that bra or had she invested in some enhancements?

Why was she in disguise? Her shields were what were important for flying low under the radar or any supernatural being and if she were worried about being recognized then she shouldn’t be going after vampires in the first place. That left, what? Hiding from the Paladin? Maybe, but none of them, other than Logan, Roland, and himself, knew who and what she was. Roland wouldn’t hurt her and Logan, who probably wouldn’t either, wasn’t exactly up to doing much of anything these days anyway. That left…crap. Him. That left him.

The protein bar he ate earlier curdled in his stomach before he realized he was overreacting. She probably just wanted her new friends to treat her with respect. Must be hard being over a half-century old and stuck looking so young.

 “Fuck me,” he muttered, dragging his gaze from her newfound assets and back to the struggle that had drawn dangerously close once more.


He jerked his chin. “Behind you.”

She started to pivot, but he grabbed her quicker, shoving her aside as he stepped in to engage the vamp. This one must have grabbed camo’s thrown weapon, and as cool as Valin’s stake was it didn’t hold up against the jagged knife. The wood splintered further. Rather than keeping a useless weapon, Valin let it go, twirling under the attack and…

“Since you boys seem to have this covered…” Gabby called, slipping away from the edge of the fight.

“Shit…” He ducked the next attack that had come because of his distraction. “G— … Wait!”

He barely managed to grab the vampire’s knife arm as it plunged down toward his chest. A struggle ensued, mainly Valin trying to keep hold of the lethal knife arm as he simultaneously tried to avoid his throat being ripped out. A blast of pain erupted in his side from the vampire’s balled fist. Valin pushed away, distancing himself from the knife as he struck out with a quick kick to the vampire’s knee. The vampire swore, taking a stumbling step to the side. Enough time for Valin to scoot out of the immediate strike zone and make a quick scan of the street. Empty.

 Need help? He felt the other Paladin hesitate.
No, damn it. But I can’t get away to track them.
Already on it.

Satisfied that Bennett would keep them in his sights until Valin could catch up, Valin settled into the fight. A seemingly endless three minutes later, using the same strategy of dodge and attack, he finally managed to rile the vampire into making his last mistake. Compensating for a leg that couldn’t heal fast enough from Valin’s continued kicks, the vampire lunged too fast and too far. Valin easily dodged, following through with a reverse round-house kick, taking the vamp down. Valin was on him before he could get his hands under himself to push up. One hand on the jaw, back of the head, twist and…Snap!

“Goddamn it!” he choked on the ash, trying to fan it out of his face. Please tell me you’re still tailing them, he cast to Bennett.
Sorry, mate. There was a pause as if Bennett were distracted, then, They slipped into the subway.
And you didn’t follow them?
No. Bloody chit screamed for security. I had to dodge out real fast. I’m camping in a pub as we speak.

Valin sagged down onto the pavement, the adrenaline crash hitting him like a freight train. Gabby had been here. Less than five feet from him. And he’d lost her, again.

Valin? What do you want to do, mate?
Valin stared at the puddle of sticky blood, thinking of how not all of it was the vamps. Some of that had been Gabby’s too. A lot of it actually.
She’s okay. Okay enough to run away, at least.

He rubbed his hands over his face, forcing his legs back under him as he stood. Looked like his plans for a reunion had been put on hold. I’ll meet you back at Haven.
Calling it a night?
Yeah, we’ll try again tomorrow.  Only this time he’d be ready. There was no way Gabby would get a chance to run away from him again.

See what I mean? To enter to win 1 of 2 copies of Prince of Shadows tell us in the comments if you’d rather be a warrior angel or a vampire, and why! Open to US and Canada only, please be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you easily, winners will be chosen on Monday, 12/16. 


It's Forbidden for a Warrior of the Light to Love a Creature of the Dark...
Valin has never quite fit in with the rest of the Paladin warriors. His power to manipulate shadow has always put him at odds with their purpose of using heavenly Light to eradicate evil. His warrior brothers have no idea how close he is to being lost to his dark nature.

But Maybe He Was Never All That Light to Begin With...
When Valin meets the vampire Gabriella, she awakens within him something he thought long buried. But as he watched Gabriella's need for vengeance to drag her down into the same dark hell that he's living, he knows his only chance at redemption is bringing her out of the dark...

Daphne Award-winning author and former Tennessee native Tes Hilaire doesn’t remember how old she was when she wrote her first story, but she’s pretty sure it had something to do with a boy and a girl and a happily ever after.  Displaced at an early age to “the north country,” her stories turned darker as she started creating whole new worlds to escape the harsh, upstate NY winters. Now back in the South, her stories remain edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. Best of all, no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit her website at, follow her on Twitter, @TesHilaire, and find her on Facebook,


  1. Great excerpt, Tes! Congrats on the release :-)

  2. Hi Tes! Your book sounds great. I would like to be a warrior angel. It would be awesome to have wings and to be a strong fighter.

  3. I'd rather be a vampire. More bad ass

  4. Thanks, Shana! It's so exciting to see it go live!

    Crystal and MK... I have to say I love both warrior angels and vampires... as long as they are bad-ass and have a good heart.

    Thanks for stopping in!

  5. I'd want to be a warrior angel. Less stigma attached to it

  6. I want to be both and in Tes's world it has happened ;) .

  7. warrior angel because they sound tough

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. Congratulations and love your cover. I think an angel warrior would be awesome since I'm totally the opposite of that lol.


  9. Sharon and Delphina! Thanks for stopping in :-)You guys have been so supportive!

    bn100 - Angel warriors rock!

    Catslady - that cover is drool worthy! Pickyme and the sourcebook artwork team are amazing!

    Thanks everyone for stopping in and celebrating Prince of Shadows release with me!

  10. Sounds really great!! I would rather be a warrior Angel, I think it would be cool to have wings and fly. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com

  11. I'd rather be a vampire, because they don't have to be good all the time. It's fun to be a little bad occasionally.

  12. Congrats on the release!

    Its at toss up. Would be great to be that good, but it can be fun to be bad

  13. Loved the excerpt, Tes. Nice cover, too. ;-)

  14. I have to choose warrior angel. I want wings. :)
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

  15. Somehow, I'd rather be a warrior angel...the idea of drinking blood just doesn't quite appeal to me, lol.

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

  16. Our winners are

    Susan P


    I'll email you both shortly!

    Thanks for commenting, everyone!