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PRINT: Blood Knight: Vampire Slayer (SIGNED Paperback)

PRINT: Blood Knight: Vampire Slayer (SIGNED Paperback)

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Book One in the Blood Knight series. Published by Spice Rack Press.

About this premium SIGNED PAPERBACK:

Signed by Edie Skye. Contact us at holowriting (at) for personalization requests.

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An insatiable succubus? A shy werewolf? A scatterbrained angel? This team needs a leader!

J.B. Clarke enrolled in college to earn his degree and find a steady job. What he got instead was an adventure in a secret underworld where vampires rule over all. Emma Rose, a friendly gamer who turns out to be a succubus, recruits him into Broken Fang, an overly ambitious team of monster girls. These lovely ladies know they’ll need help if they’re to stand a chance against the vampires, and they’re looking for a few good men.

Well, one man, actually. And that’s him.

Clarke is soon thrust into a hidden world full of magic, mystery, and mythical creatures. He’s in way over his head because Broken Fang is a dysfunctional mess, and his calculus professor is a sadistic vampire who snacks on pet animals. He’ll need more than his (considerable) experience with fantasy games to solve this problem!

Fortunately, he’s far from helpless. He’s a blood knight, descended from an ancient and powerful line of vampire hunters, and his magical abilities have finally begun to awaken. But will they be enough? Can he master his powers in time to face the coming storm? Can he grow into the leader Broken Fang so desperately needs?

Or will he end up as just one more meal for the vampires?

WARNING: Blood Knight: Vampire Slayer is a fun urban fantasy adventure with a healthy side of heat: voluptuous succubi, energetic werewolves, incorrigible slime girls, nubile witches, and saucy language to match. (So don’t read it and then complain about the spice. Y’all know exactly what you’re getting into.)

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“Hey, Clarke?”


“I know this is out of the blue, but have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons before?”

J.B Clarke sat in the Engineering and Science building’s study hall, his brain fogged with the musty stench of the decades-old building his college was too cheap to update, despite its exorbitant tuition fees. It had fallen deeper into fog over the past few hours, immersed in a grueling software problem as part of his database coursework. So when Emma called upon his brain to switch gears, it was a struggle—but soon he ungummed his brain cogs and flicked his eyes up from his laptop to meet hers across the table.

Emma cocked a playful eyebrow, which managed to coax Clarke’s mind fully out of its code-induced stupor.

“A while ago,” he said cautiously, not sure what was behind her question. “Some of my friends were into it back in high school, but I haven’t played since I graduated. Why?”

“No reason, really. You just seemed the type.”

“The type?” Now it was his turn to raise an eyebrow.

Their professor had divvied up the class into random pairs for this assignment, which involved two students tackling each problem together. That meant they were supposed to divide the scope of their code between them and develop an interface to mesh their work back together.

Clarke had hoped to be paired with one of his acquaintances from the class—he hadn’t been at Chester Creek University long enough to develop any new close friends—but he’d ended up with Emma, a girl he’d exchanged no more than three words with before this assignment.

Not that he minded! He’d take about any excuse to get to know her better, and it just so happened one had landed in his lap.

It was a testament to the brain-dulling, soul-sucking nature of his surroundings that he’d managed to be distracted from her at all.

Emmaline “Emma” Rose possessed what Clarke thought of as an “abundant” figure. Her burgundy leather jacket, black miniskirt, and gray-and-black striped stockings each seemed to strain against all those curves, especially the high and heavy thrust of her breasts, almost as if her clothes were under immense pressure from the inside, ready to burst open from all that barely-contained femininity.

Her face was equally attractive with large, dark eyes behind horn-rimmed glasses and a generous—often smiling—mouth, all framed by a cascade of long, raven-black hair. The glasses gave her a “sexy geek” vibe.

“Well, are you?” Emma asked.

There was no judgment in her voice. No condescension or disdain. Just a soft, friendly form of curiosity.

Clarke had been a little nervous about how to approach Emma after class, worried about coming across as either too forward or too business-like. They were classmates assigned to the same problem; it would have been awkward for him to hit on her right out of the gate. Conversely, he didn’t want to keep things too formal. This was a golden opportunity to get to know her better, after all!

Fortunately, Emma had beaten him to the punch. She’d broken the ice outside class with a great programming joke: A SQL query goes into a bar, walks up to two tables and asks, “Can I join you?”

He’d have to remember that one.

“Why do I get the feeling this question didn’t come out of nowhere?” Clarke asked.

She flashed a brief smile. “Well, this place is boring, for one. And actually, one of my friends likes to GM. She put together this custom campaign, but we’re short one player. You interested?”


Clarke paused to consider how best to reply. A girl—a smoking hot girl—was inviting him to join her and her friends—her very possibly smoking hot friends—for a night of pen-and-paper roleplaying. There was no way he could turn this down!

Careful though, he told himself. Don’t come across as too eager. Ease up to an eventual “yes.”

“Depends,” he replied guardedly. “What gaming system are you using?”

“Pathfinder 3.5. You ever hear of it?”

“I have,” he replied, his mind flashing through countless hours playing.

“Ashley likes to use Pathfinder as a base for all her custom scenarios.”


“One of my friends. She stopped by our table earlier.”

“You mean—” He almost said the blonde that looks like a supermodel, but instead replied, “the blonde dressed all in white. Long hair? Shiny hairband?”

“That’s her. My other friends—Sammy and Brooke—also play. Normally, the three of us would be enough, but Ashley insists we have four players for this one.” Emma leaned forward and gave him a crooked, knowing smile. “She can be stubborn like that sometimes.”

“Well, if she put in all the time and effort to make her own scenario, then yeah. I can see why she’d be picky about how you played through it.”

“Which brings us back around to my question.” She leaned back and draped an arm over the back of her chair. “Interested?”

“Sure. When and where?”

“This Saturday at my apartment. We generally start arriving around five, have something to eat, then pull out the dice around six—six thirty. I’ll email you the address. It’s about twenty minutes from campus.”

“Great. I assume I’ll need to put together a character?”

“Not for this one. Ashley has prebuilt characters for all of us. That’s part of the reason why she needs a specific number of players.”

“For the story?” Clarke asked.

“You guessed it!”

“What can you tell me about the scenario?”

“It’s urban fantasy, so the setting is modern day but with all these secretive magical elements thrown in. You’ll be playing a blood knight in hiding. They’re a hybrid class, sort of like a ranger or druid. Ashley gave the class a mix of magic and combat abilities. Very versatile.”

“Sounds fun. I’ve always enjoyed playing hybrid classes. More options make for more engaging roleplay.”

“See?” She extended an open palm toward him. “I knew you were the type!”

“Yeah, I guess you had me figured out,” he replied, returning a bashful smile. “Should I bring anything to the session?”

“Just a copy of your character sheet and some dice, though I have spares if you need some.”

“No, I have my own.”

“Figured you would.” Emma gave him a friendly wink. “I’ll email you the character sheet along with the address. Just need to get it from Ashley first.”

“Thanks, but I was actually asking about food or drink. I don’t want to mooch off your hospitality or anything.”

“No worries there. The four of us—now five of us—take turns covering the pregame meal, and it’s Brooke’s turn this week.”

“Got it, and thanks for the invite. You can expect me at five, rules and dice at the ready.”

“Great! Looking forward to it!”

“What about you? What’s your character like?”

“Oh, me?” Emma placed a demure hand over her chest. “I’m playing a succubus.”


That Saturday, Clarke arrived at Emma’s apartment a few minutes before five with a ring binder clutched in the crook of his arm and a dice bag hanging from his fingers. Of the housing options available around campus, this was clearly one of the higher-end ones—not fancy, exactly, but sleek and new with pleasant facades that looked like they saw few raucous, vomit-strewn parties or drug deals, which was more than he could say about his own cheap place. He knocked on the door with his free hand.

The door cracked open, and Emma peeked her head out.

“Hey, Clarke!” She gave him with a warm smile. “Come on in.”


She swung the door wide, and he stepped in, taking in the apartment. It was larger than the cubbyhole he called home—and cleaner, too—with comfy recliners and a long couch arranged around a low coffee table. Artwork hung on the walls in thick, black frames depicting a mix of anime and movie characters. Frames. She definitely lived a step above him.

“Thanks for the invite, again.” He set the binder down on the granite counter that separated the kitchen from the living room and tried not to look overly curious as he returned his attention to the binder. “It feels like ages since I scratched that pen-and-paper itch.”

“Don’t mention it.”

“Though, I do have some slight concerns.”

“Like what?”

“Well …” Clarke opened the binder and thumbed through the hundred or so pages. “I wasn’t expecting quite this many custom rules.”

“Yeah,” Emma replied, her eyes laughing. “Sometimes Ashley can go a bit overboard.”

“Where’s she find the time for all this, anyway?”

“Who knows? But you know how it is. If you’re passionate about something, you find the time.”

“I guess so. Just wondering if her grades suffer because of her hobby.”

“Nope. Quite the opposite, in fact. She gets straight A’s every semester, and I’m pretty sure she takes more hours than either of us.”

“You know her major?”

“Ma-jors, actually. Political science and history.”

Clarke’s eyes widened. “She’s getting straight A’s with a dual major?”


Clarke shook his head. He flipped back to the front page, which contained the bulk of his character stats.

Emma glanced down at the page. Something must have caught her eye, because her brow furrowed.

“Uh, Clarke?”


“That’s not your real name, is it?”

Clarke sighed internally. Here we go.

“I’m afraid so.”

“But …” She made a disgusted face. “There’s no way.”

“I wish that were true,” he replied in a tired manner that attested to many similar conversations he endured in the past.

“I thought Clarke was your first name.”

“That would have been nice, but no. It’s my last name.”

“Come on.” Emma pointed to the name at the top of his character sheet, as if that would reveal some secret, really real name beneath it. “You’re pulling my leg.”

“Wish I was.”

“But no one’s parents would be that cruel!”

“You’d think.”

J.B. Clarke gave her a sad smile, because his full name was Joffrey Baratheon Clarke. His mother—bless her enthusiastic fantasy-loving heart—had discovered George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire a few years before he’d been born and had “really liked the name’s ring.”

His father—bless his heart—hadn’t put his foot down, which led to him being named after a contender for “worst human being in fiction.”

It wasn’t all bad, though. Back then, most people didn’t have a clue who Joffrey Baratheon was, and the name shortened to the much more palatable J.B., though his parents had settled for Joff most of the time. However, his namesake’s anonymity had vanished once HBO turned the books into a popular TV series and thus elevated the character from “worst human being in fiction” to “worst human being in fiction, for whom people cheered when he died and then rewound to watch it again.”

And then the teasing began.

And kept going.

And going.

And fucking going.

Clarke couldn’t have been happier when the show tanked in its last season so disastrously that literally no one wanted to talk about it anymore. Even a global pandemic couldn’t get people to rewatch its dumpster fire of an ending.

That said, his parents had been less than sympathetic when he’d confronted them about his namesake, stressing that they had no way of seeing into the future and it could have been worse. They even shared the supposedly true story of a woman who’d wanted to name her newborn daughter “Vagina” because she’d never encountered the word before the obstetrician used it and because, “Thas jus tha purdiest word I eva hurd!”

Clarke shivered involuntarily. Yes, it could have been worse.

“Actually,” he continued, “I’m wondering how Ashley knew my name, because it seems you didn’t tell her.”

“Nope. News to me.”

“Will she let me go by ‘Clarke’ in the campaign?” He tapped a note on the page. “Because this part says we’re playing alternate versions of ourselves in the scenario.”

“Oh, I’m sure Ashley will,” Emma replied with a carefree wave of her hand.

“Will what?” came the unexpected response from the opening door.

“Hey, Ash! Speak of the devil.”

The newcomer gave Emma a cross look. “You know I don’t like that joke.”

“Must be why I keep using it, then,” Emma teased in a good-natured manner.

Ashley Smith rolled her eyes as she eased the door shut, then crossed the room with long-legged strides, high heels clicking on the hardwood. She’d dressed in all white again, this time with a short neck scarf to accent her sleeveless button-down shirt. She’d left the first three buttons open to provide a tantalizing glimpse of deep, firm cleavage. Her long, blonde hair practically gleamed in the light, held back by a metallic hairband.

She smiled at Clarke, but the expression held all the warmth of a business transaction. Clarke fought an urge to check his phone, almost certain she’d arrived at exactly 5:00 PM. She struck him as the severely punctual type.

“I’m Ashley.” She extended a slender hand, which he shook, and found she was all business there, too. “I’m glad you could make it.”

“Me, too,” Clarke replied, not sure what else to say, and trying to keep his eyes from wandering toward her plunging neckline. (Which was not business-appropriate.)

“So, what are you sure I’ll allow?” Ashley asked.

“He wants to shorten his character name.” Emma tapped her finger on the character sheet. “Just chop off the first two parts.”

Ashley leaned over the page, then glanced up at Clarke.

“You don’t want to use your given name?” she asked, sounding somewhat perplexed.

“Not really.”

“Why not?”

“Uh …” Clarke frowned at her. “Isn’t it obvious?”

Ashley’s eyes darted to the character sheet, stayed there for long, confused seconds, then zipped back up to Clarke. She seemed ready to ask another question, but then something softened in her face, and she shrugged.

“If you’re not comfortable with it, then use whatever you like. I only thought starting with everyone’s real names would make the scenario more immersive.” She gave Emma a knowing glance. “After all, if tonight goes well—”

The door swung open violently. A tall, athletic woman barged in, four pizza boxes balanced atop one hand with absurd grace compared to the rest of her, especially when she shouted:

“Hey, bitches! I brought the meats!”

The second newcomer was almost as tall as Clarke, who was no slouch in the height department, though her shoulders weren’t nearly as broad, and her chest possessed a great deal more … topology than his. Still, the toned muscles visible on her arms and bare midriff spoke to an active lifestyle. Or curriculum. Or both, perhaps.

She’d tied her thick, wavy mane of brunette hair back into a ponytail and wore a baggy gray T-shirt cut off at the bottom to reveal her firm stomach, its design and lettering too faded to make out. Her jeans gave a similar impression of comfortable wear and tear with a few rips around the knees.

Her sharp, intense eyes caught his, but then widened suddenly, and she froze midstride, almost launching the pizzas forward before she stabilized them with her free hand. Her expression—initially loud and boisterous—became almost mousy.

“Oh. You’re already here.”

“That I am,” Clarke replied dryly.

“Uh … Hi? I’m Brooke. Brooke Hawthorne.”

“Clarke. Nice to meet you.”

“Yeah, uh.” Brooke held the boxes out as if offering them as an apology. “I brought pizza.”

“I’ll take those.” Emma grabbed the pizza boxes and began arraying them on the kitchen counter.

The rich, savory smell of hot cheese, meat, and marinara tickled Clarke’s nose, and his stomach grumbled in anticipation. Emma and Ashley busied themselves setting out paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, and a selection of colas at one end of the boxes. Brooke eventually unfroze from her awkward pose, gave Clarke a bashful glance, then grabbed a plate and began loading it up with pizza slices.

Clarke grabbed his own plate and surveyed the selection: three large pizzas consisting of pepperoni, meat lovers, supreme (also piled high with enough meat that the rare veggies would have cowered in fear if they’d been sapient), one medium pizza split into half pepperoni and half cheese, and a bag of breadsticks and marinara dipping sauce.

“The meats indeed,” Ashley noted with a sour glance over the options.

“The cheesy one is for you,” Brooke said. “See? I kept you in mind.”

“And what about our guest? You consider him, too?”

“I—” Brooke paused with her mouth open, then frowned. She faced Clarke. “You’re not a vegetarian, are you?”


“Any allergies?”

“None I’m aware of.”

“You like pizza?”

“No, I love pizza, and the more meat the better.”

“Fantastic! I was worried there for a minute.” Brooke’s face brightened. “You’ll fit right in.”

“The point,” Ashley said firmly, “is you should have asked before you bought the food.”

“Whoops.” Brooke shrugged before adding another slice to her plate.

“Hey there, girlfriends!” said a petite figure from the doorway.

“Hey, Sammy!” Emma waved at her. “Would you mind locking the door? We’re all here.”

“Sure thing.”

Clarke realized he’d seen Sammy a few times around campus, though he’d never spoken to her. In fact, it was hard not to notice her, since she favored loud clothes and even louder hair, which seemed to be a different color every time he laid eyes on her. She wore a hoodie stylized with splotches of fluorescent paint, the hood pulled back to reveal a pixie cut of vibrant red hair blending toward purple at the tips.

She walked up to Clarke. “You Clarke?”

“That’s right.”

“Samantha Eloise.” She extended a gloved hand. “But you can call me Sammy. All my friends do.”

He shook her hand. “A pleasure to meet you, Sammy.”

“You ready to kick some vampire butt tonight?”

Shh!” Ashley snapped. “Spoilers!”

“Oh, come on.” Sammy rolled her eyes as she grabbed her plate. “He already knows. You put it right there in your twenty-thousand-word lore dump.”

Clarke kept very quiet.

“I suppose you have a point there.” Ashley placed a single cheesy slice on her plate, struggling to disentangle the gooey strands gracefully. “You did read all the lore, right?” she asked, her voice tinged with uneasy hopefulness.

“I …” Clarke sighed. “Okay, I’m going to be honest here. I didn’t realize there was going to be quite so much material when I started printing it out. All I did was skim it before I drove over.”

Ashley sank in her seat a little and, oddly, her hairband seemed to darken a few shades. It must have been a trick of the lighting.

“Don’t give him that look.” Sammy flopped into one of the recliners and took a large bite from a breadstick. She continued speaking with her mouth full. “All I did was skim it, too. It was either that or fall asleep halfway through.”

“Hey, now,” Ashley protested. “It wasn’t that dry.”

Sammy snorted out a laugh.

“Well, I liked it.” Brooke plopped down into one of the chairs. “I think it’s a good primer for people new to the, uh, setting.”

Clarke guessed she’d been about to use a different word there at the end, but he didn’t give it more than a passing thought.

Ashley sighed and joined them around the coffee table.

With all the recliners taken, Clarke sat down at one end of the couch, fully expecting Emma to pick the other end.

She didn’t, instead choosing to sit in the middle close enough for their hips to press against each other. Clarke felt a jolt of almost electric excitement surge through him at the unexpected contact. He glanced over at her, and she smiled sweetly back.

“Something wrong?” she asked.

“It’s nothing.” He was about to start eating when he noticed Emma hadn’t brought a plate. “Not eating with us?”

“I’ll snack on something else later.”

“Not a fan of pizza?”

“It’s not that. I love a good slice of pizza as much as the next girl. I just have these”—she twirled a hand around as if searching for the right word—“dietary restrictions.”


“I can only handle so much junk food before I get hit with these cravings and need something more, umm, nutritious to fill me up.”

“Got it. Say no more.”

Sammy chuckled around a fat bite of breadstick. He had no idea why.