In a city overrun with the undead, an ex-cop is given a chance to get revenge...
Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn't even human: he's a 200 year old rogue vampire!
The department doesn't believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.
Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.
But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny's strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.
Keeping one hand on his gun, he crept closer, keeping his distance, until he heard a woman's gurgling scream. He dashed into the alleyway, and what he saw changed his life forever.
The woman was on the cold, wet, dirty concrete, trying to scream again. She couldn't because the perp was latched onto her throat with fangs that could only be described as Dracula-worthy. Her clothes were torn, and blood flowed from one breast and her abdomen. He could clearly distinguish the bite marks as those he saw in every old vampire movie ever made (with the exception of Nosferatu).
"Freeze! Police!" he cried, taking out his gun. He fired two shots, which, on a normal man, would've proved instantly fatal. On this perp, it was like firing a BB gun at a rhino.
The perp looked up, his pale face ghoulish in the waning light from the lamppost a few feet down. The whites of his eyes were blood red and his pupils were entirely black, like a cat's...or a bat's. His face had elongated somehow, to accommodate the mouthful of fangs, two of which were protruding more than the others to pierce the skin. His jaw was slick and shiny with the dark, sticky lifeblood of the girl who was now breathing her last breaths. The hiss that issued from that evil mouth was like a hellborn snake. His eyes widened even more, making Danny feel faint. He passed out in the alley. His last sight, the poor dead girl with blood flowing from her unearthly bite marks and then ceasing, as her heart also ceased to beat.
The last thing he heard was a small shuffling and footsteps coming toward him before all thought ceased.
Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you today?
Angelica Cross: Well, you could certainly perform a spell to make the nighttime last longer so I have more time to do everything I need to, but that’s illegal.
How did you decide what magic was illegal? Did you start the process of paranormal lawmaking alone?
AC: At first, yes. I started the Paranormal Investigative Division before the FBI or MI-5 even existed, running it out of a fake blood bank in Chicago, Illinois. After my father was turned into a vampire and killed my mother--his sire--I decided that the paranormal community needed some laws to keep them all in line. Certain spells and curses were also made illegal for witches after 1897, when a Dark Wizard was finally defeated in Scotland. For that, I did work with Coven Masters and Mistresses from around the world.
Aside from being the PID founder, what else do you do there?
AC: I’ve been a field agent for most of the time, heading investigations and executions for creatures who break the law and endanger or kill innocent humans. In 2016, however, I was forced to retake my director’s position due to extenuating circumstances. I am not a huge fan of the job because it doesn’t allow me to get out and stretch my wings, so to speak. I get bored very easily.
Who do you trust to take on the field missions, then?
AC: Danny Mancini, my fiance and former Chicago Police Detective. He heads the field agents and also helps with training now. I would--and have--trust him with my life.
We also have Bart, our head of security. He’s a werewolf and former captain in the Werewolf Corps in the United States Army.
Brighton Sands, a human from London, is another hunter I trust to handle the tougher missions. His fiance, Mark Evans, is my deputy director, whom I trust to run the PID during the daytime...when I have to sleep.
You keep mentioning needing more nighttime hours. Why is that?
AC: Isn’t it obvious? I’m a vampire.
Oh. I guess in retrospect, that is obvious. Besides the only able to come out at night clause, does being a vampire help or hinder your business?
AC: Oh, it helps immensely. I don’t know a single human who could do what I do physically, in heels, all over Chicagoland, and not be dead or half dead at the end of the night. I can withstand regular bullets and even silver bullets, stabbings, and really almost anything else a perp can throw at me. If I wasn’t a vampire, I’d have been murdered long ago.
Who has been your most difficult perp to date?
AC: *laughter* Are you kidding? They’re all awful. I’ve faced rogue vampires, immortal witches, demons, and even my own creator, in a way. I’m more than a little fucking tired, and each one pushed me to the end of and beyond my limits. You’ll have to see for yourself all my adventures and decide who was the worst.
What’s next for you and the PID?
AC: Well, I can’t very well say, can I? As River Song might say, “Spoilers, sweetie.”
How does your relationship with Danny affect your daily working life?
AC: It gives me something to fight for. Something to look forward to at the end of a long night. Here’s the thing: my life is not ruled by my need for sex or romance. It’s secondary to the job, to saving the world. And Danny agrees. Our jobs come first, love comes second. It’s madly important, of course, but it’s not what I live for. I live for the job, like any good detective worth their salt.
If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be?
AC: I’d be an author. I think my biography would make excellent fiction!
What do you do for fun?
AC: I’m so boring, I mostly read and binge-watch TV shows. I might look like some scary, dangerous woman--and I am--but as much as I love lacing up my leather boots and being out in the night, nothing is better than a cold November night, watching postseason baseball, wearing one of Danny’s discarded t-shirts.
If you could tell people who want to dive deeper into your story one thing, what would it be?
AC: Just one? All right, don’t assume anything. You might be able to predict things for a specific reason, because there are more twists coming. Okay, and one more thing: don’t write me off as just another vampiric heroine. I’m not like the ones you’ve met before.
Lily Luchesi is the award-winning author of the bestselling Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark." At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she's not writing, she's going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.