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© 2009 Mary Hughes
Nitro? Meet glycerin…
musician Nixie Schmeling is a hundred pounds of Attitude who spells
authority a-n-c-h-o-r and thinks buying insurance is just one more step
toward death. So she really feels played when she’s “volunteered” to
run the town’s first annual fundraising festival. Especially when she
finds out it’s to pay for a heavy-hitting, suit-wearing lawyer—who’s
six-feet-plus of black-haired, blue-eyed sex on a stick.
Julian Emerson learned centuries ago that the only way to contain his
dangerous nature is to stay buttoned up. He’s come from Boston to
defend the town from a shady group of suits…and an even shadier gang
of vampires. But his biggest problem is Nixie, who shreds his
Nixie doesn’t get why
the faphead shyster doesn’t understand her. Julian wishes Nixie would
speak a known language…like Sanskrit. Even if they manage to foil the
bloodthirsty gang, what future is there for a tiny punk rocker and a
And that’s before Nixie
finds out Julian’s a vampire…
Contains more eye-popping sex, ear-popping language and gut-popping
laughs than can possibly be good for you. And vampires. Not sippy-neck
wimps, but burning beacons of raw sexuality—this means passionate
blood-heating, violent bloodletting, and fangy bloodsucking. Oh, and
cheese balls. Those things are just scary. (This title contains
explicit sexual language.)
Reviews for Biting
FAR Recommended Read! Five Angels!
"…Filled with bitingly acerbic humor, endearingly quirky characters,
and smolderingly hot vampires Biting Nixie
kept me enthralled from the opening salvo…Mary Hughes is a talented
writer and in my opinion has a bright future in the field…" ~ Reviewed
by Hayley for Fallen Angel Reviews
Recommended "…Biting Nixie
is a rockin’ thrill ride of action, lust, and romance…I adored this
book and hope Mary Hughes has stories planned for some of the vampires
we meet…" ~ Reviewed by Shayna for Joyfully
A True Gem! "Ah, Nixie…She had me rolling my eyes when we first met her in “Bite My
Fire” and has me hysterically laughing in “Biting Nixie”. And Julian, well, what
can you say about an uptight lawyer with abs of steel and pecs of iron? Um,
yummy??? …Mary Hughes had me laughing and smiling throughout the book…I can’t wait to see what else she has in store…" ~Reviewed by Kitty Angel for Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Divas! "If you like amazing fun, sexy reads, then pick up Biting
Nixie by Mary Hughes. You will laugh until
the cows come home."
~ Reviewed by Deb for Dark Diva Reviews
Stars "…a good story, quirky characters and red-hot vampire sex make
this a great read."
RT Book Reviews
"…a great story…" ~
Reviewed by Suzi for I Read Romance
“…entertaining and sexy and fresh. I hope Ms. Hughes writes more,
because I can't wait to see what else she brings to the table.”
~ Reviewed by Shannon C. for
The Good, The Bad, and The Unread
An excerpt from
Copyright © 2008 Mary
Hughes All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
“Waiting’s such a pain in the ass.” I was talking to the lady in line
ahead of me. Or rather her planet-sized hat, whose fake ostrich feather
was doing Pluto’s orbit on my face. The hat ignored me.
So I turned to the guy behind. He was skinny with
a fat butt and a long nose—like a dachshund in pants. “Life’s too
Dachshund guy stared at me like I was demented.
And maybe I was. After all, I’d been standing here
for—I checked my Juke. Over an hour. Sixty minutes and counting. In
sixty minutes a good drama could have solved World Hunger. A comedy
would have solved World Hunger, achieved Global Peace, and had a laugh
or two besides.
Forget Murphy’s Law. Nixie’s Law: if you were
waiting to make a left turn, there was always one oncoming fucktard who
sailed through on the red. If you were in a grocery line, whichever
line you picked would be run by Nimrod the Wonder-Iguana.
Waiting for the burro-cracy (aka the mule-ass
government) to move its fat butt was enough to make the Great
McHamburger Clown swear.
Standing in line in the mayor’s office for an hour
—to do the government a favor —well, please. Just flay my skin off.
I mean, it wasn’t like you could do anything while
you wait. You gotta be alert—
move up move up move up —or someone would jack your place in line.
I amused myself by making up sexual fantasies
about the people in line. Behind dachshund guy was a shaggy collie of a
woman. I imagined them doing it. Doggie style, of course. Teeny
wiener-dog frantically humping Lassie. That was good for a few chuckles.
A surgically enhanced 34-DD paired with dachshund
guy brought another round of silent laughs. I mean, his face was level
with her chest. Imagine his head on a rubber band, playing paddle ball.
That was good for about ten minutes. After that I
thought up seven different ways to kill the guy who wrote “Proud Mary”.
The best was to lock him in a room with every band that ever played a
wedding reception, each furnished with a Giant Slugger baseball bat.
But even waiting has to end. It was 4:40 p.m. and
dark out when hat lady got called to the counter. I was finally at the
front of the line. I was next.
Having someone cut in ahead of me was just a
“Excuse me.” I reached up to tap the guy’s
The buzz-cut gray head swiveled. Apparently seeing
nobody there, the guy turned back.
I’m used to that. At five-foot-nothing I’m shorter
than most fifth graders. I don’t make up for it in weight, being a size
zero. Don’t envy me. The only thing that fits me comes out of the
little girls’ section at Kmart. Since I’m twenty-five, this is a major
problem. Never mind trees falling in forests—if the shirt front is
flat, do my breasts exist?
“Excuse me,” I said again, tugging on my
tormentor’s suit coat.
He whipped around and seared me with a long glare.
Aw, shit. I recognized that sharp nose and ratty face. I knew too well
that seersucker suit, new half a century ago and hardened since into a
shell of authority.
Mr. Schleck, my high school vice-principal.
Schleck hated me. Left over from having to deal
with my party-animal sister, but he didn’t have to enjoy torturing me
quite so much.
And he did enjoy it. Schleck was the kind of guy
who liked to throw his weight around. Abusive Authority with a capital
AA. Break one tiny little rule, and he handed out detentions and
suspensions like the Ebola virus. And, from his cutting in line ahead
of me, was a two-faced bastard about it.
“Excuse me.” I yanked on his seersucker symbol of
authority. “You taxed my place. I was here first.”
The veep threw me a sneer. “Not now, little girl.”
At the counter, Twyla Tafel yelled, “Next!”
Enough was enough. Schleck had bullied me as a
teenager and got away with it. But I was an adult now. He was not going
to screw me any more. I grabbed his coat. “Just hold on there!”
Schleck whirled on me, snarling like an angry
badger. “Let go of me, you little twerp.” His fingers closed around my
hand and squeezed.
That hurt. But I had stood in that fucking line
for a fucking hour. Playing by the rules. I got pissed. “I was here
first. I’m next. No joust!”
Schleck’s face went red as a stoplight. His hand
jerked back—to hit me. Incredulous, I saw his fat palm rocket toward my
I stifled my immediate reaction, which was to
Chuck Norris his ass with a roundhouse to the head. Not that I minded
shedding a little bully-blood—but not in the mayor’s office. I would
have to take it. I squeezed my eyes shut.
“I believe you’re out of line, sir.”
The voice was deep and cultured. The words
resonated with an accent I couldn’t immediately place. Proud, almost
aristocratic. I cautiously popped one eye open.
Strong, sure fingers held Schleck’s wrist in an
unbreakable grip. The vice-principal’s face was white as he stared up.
And up. I followed that stare, and—
Towering over us both was the most beautiful man
I’d ever seen.
Bronzed skin. Black hair and brows. Outrageously
long black eyelashes sweeping over laser-sharp blue eyes. Sensuous dark
bronze mouth. A jaw made to run your fingers over. Lean muscular body
with biteable shoulders and a flat waist. He made a Chippendale look
like a cub scout.
Gorgeous Guy stared down at Schleck with cool
contempt. He didn’t squeeze the vice-principal’s wrist, didn’t hurt him
in any way. He didn’t have to. The man’s obvious strength was enough.
Schleck, like bullies everywhere, cut and ran.
Gorgeous Guy released the veep-creep as if he were slime.
Wow. Not only man-beautiful, but the guy oozed
strength. No, more. Power. Power, the kind restrained by a tremendous
will. I could have fallen in love. Could have, but not.
The guy was wearing a fucking three-piece suit.
Vest and all. Seriously, had anyone worn those
since the ancient eighties? Charcoal gray, looked like worsted wool.
Cut like a glove. Reeeeelly expensive. Black Italian wingtip shoes.
Shirt so snowy white it glowed. Striped tie, probably from some Ivy
League school. Damn. Gorgeous Guy in real life was a straight-laced
He opened the coat and checked an actual freaking
gold pocket watch. “You’re welcome.” A dry note flavored Suitguy’s
While I was staring at his tailored wool armor he
had been looking at me. “Uh, yeah. Thanks.”
He smiled slightly. Oh, stars above. What that
smile did to my innards was illegal in Georgia. His eyes flicked to the
counter. “You’re next, I believe.”
“Uh, yeah.” I couldn’t seem to think of anything
else to say. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” As he turned away, Suitguy
added, “Little girl.”
That hit my libido like a bucket of ice water. I
gave his broad back an impotent glare. When he didn’t instantly burst
into flames I settled for stomping all the way to the counter.
Behind the counter, Twyla Tafel watched me
approach. My friend Twyla is the mayor’s executive admin. She was a
hundred forty pounds of competence wrapped in seduction. Men drooled
over her and didn’t even notice she was doing their jobs better than
I’ve known Twyla since the day we were sent to
Schleck’s office for throwing paper wads on the ceiling of the girl’s
bathroom. Twyla hid us in a supply closet instead. Even as a freshman
she had keys to everything.
“What the hell is it with this stupid line?” I
grouched at her. “And where’s Heidi?” The counter is usually Heidi’s
domain and she runs it like a POW camp. Or, considering Heidi’s
affection for spike-heeled boots and black leather, maybe a medieval
Twyla shrugged. “Out sick. I’m trying not to mess
things up, but everything’s hit the fan. Thanks to the mayor’s upcoming
The city-wide fundraiser. The mad cow charity
event. Just lobotomize me. “Which explains why my short park and fart
turned into a Martin Luther-sized constipation.”
Twyla cocked her head. “What’s got your undies in
a bundle, girl?”
“Girl,” I echoed resentfully. “You’re almost as
short as me. But no one would mistake you for a kid.” Twyla’s got
breasts and hips that stun half the male population into a coma on
sight. When she walks, the other half crash. She dresses sharp, wears
designer spikes, and carries a lethal bump and grind. I glowered at
her. “If I had real breasts instead of these little lumps on my chest—”
“Oh, not that again.” Twyla rolled her cocoa brown
eyes. She was half black, her mother an African diplomat. She was half
German, too, but you’d never know to look at her. It was kind of
strange to hear fluent Deutsche coming out of the mouth of someone who
looked like a voodoo queen.
Of course, everyone here in Meiers Corners was
half German, whether they had the genes or not. A small-town thing.
Twyla tapped a long Burgundy Blast-colored nail on
the counter. “You’re not a skinny-assed kid, Nixie.”
“You’re the one who described me as Shirley Temple
crossed with Drew Barrymore.” I glowered at Schleck cowering at the end
of the line. “Not just you. Everyone seems to think I’m a kid.” I
looked around for the Gucci god. Suitguy was standing right behind
Schleck, which explained the cowering.
“What do you expect, with how you dress?” Twyla
waved a manicured hand at my clothes. “You’re an adult woman, Nixie.
Yet you dress like a punk kid.”
I waved my own short pink-and-black nails in
answer. “What am I supposed to wear? Two-hundred-dollar Liz Claiborne
suits? It would cost another two hundred just to cut them down to my
size. That’s all daggy.”
“Liz charges four hundred these days. Buy a
miniskirt. It’d at least cover your knees.”
“Ha-ha. Anyway, I’m a musician, Twyla. I’m
supposed to look rocked up.” I glanced down at today’s ensemble.
Sequined black Skechers. Purple tights. Red bike shorts peeking out
from the frill of a skirt ruffle. Garfield hoodie with the sleeves
ripped out. A jean jacket, ditto. To show the butterfly tattoo on one
arm. And the tiger on the other.
“Thank God you’re a lot smarter than you look. Or
talk. Speaking of which.” Twyla pushed a stuffed manila envelope across
the counter at me. “Your instructions. For the festival.”
“Thanks.” I hefted the envelope. “Why is the city
trying to raise money, anyway?”
“We’re hiring some hot-shot East Coast lawyer. To
protect Meiers Corners from Chicago.”
“Yeah, I heard Chicago wants to suck us up.
Although I have no idea why.”
“Nobody knows. But the big boys are pretty serious
about it. They’ve gone so far as to introduce annexation legislation
with the state.”
I whistled. “Thus the need for a wonder-shark. But
couldn’t taxes pay for this legal eagle?”
Twyla arched a perfectly plucked brow. “At five
hundred dollars an hour?”
I swore. “That’s a lot of Kraft singles!”
“It’ll be worth it,” Twyla said.
“Worth an HDTV an hour?”
“Where do you buy your HDTVs? It’d take him at
least two hours to earn one.”
Twyla was teasing, but I wasn’t. “Why get an outsider—especially at
that rate? What’s wrong with old Denny Crane?” Yeah, really. We had a
lawyer named Denny Crane. Just like Boston Legal. Meiers Corners was a
magnet for weird. Like Cabot Cove attracted murderers. Okay, that was
an ancient reference, but I saw Beauty and the Beast as a kid and had a
brief hero thing for Angela Lansbury.
Twyla tut-tutted. “You don’t want to mess around
with Chicago leet, girl. They’re top of the food chain. They’d eat
Meiers Corners and spit out the bones if we didn’t get someone tough on
“Five hundred per will kill us surer.”
“You get what you pay for.” Twyla shrugged.
“Anyway, it’s four-fifty. He’s giving us a discount.”
“Well roll me on my back and wave my legs in the
air. How generous. And who is this playa?”
“Some guy from the firm of Quincy, Emerson and
“Great. Sounds like Snobby, Priggy and Prude. Or
Dewy, Cheatem and Howe.”
“Ha-ha. Anyway, this guy’s coming to meet the
mayor tonight. I had to order up special cheese balls. You know how the
mayor loves his cheese balls.”
“Yeah.” Five hundred dollars an hour. I was lucky
to make five hundred a month. But it explained the big extravaganza. No
way little Meiers Corners could pay that much from taxes. “Well, I’d
better let you clear out the rest of the line. Thanks for this.” I
patted the envelope. “Guns and Polkas is looking forward to playing for
“Playing for it?” Twyla’s perfectly arched
eyebrows rose. “Girl, you’re running it.”
Enjoy the following excerpt for
Biting Nixie: (Warning: it contains strong language)
In the center of the room, naked to the waist, was
like some latter-day Goliath, his fists raised over his head. Muscles
bunched and strained in his arms and chest. Loose black trousers hung
low on lean hips. He slid one bare foot out, legs bent. Crossed
powerful wrists in front of him. Pivoted and punched both arms up in a
fluid harmony of motion.
My breath punched out as well, like I’d been hit
by a truck. Julian’s body was beyond gorgeous. His abs were cut like
diamonds, his chest was chiseled marble. He turned and his back…stars
above. His back made me want to wrap my thighs around him and ride him
like a horse.
Twin wings of pure, hard muscle flared from his
narrow waist to his immense shoulders. I could see individual muscles
work as his fists spun out in a ballet of power. A thin sheen of sweat
slicked his skin. I wanted to lick it off.
He turned again and I was overwhelmed by color.
Bronze skin, deep bronze nipples. Short black hairs feathered up the
center of his abs and over his broad chest. Black glossy hair curled
around his ears as his two-hundred-dollar haircut absorbed the sweat of
his exertion. Laser-blue eyes, made even more startling by his black
sweeping lashes, stared—
Julian Emerson was staring straight at me.
I jerked back. The door swung gently shut. I
checked the corners of my mouth for drool. Okay, I hadn’t completely
The door reopened. Julian stood there, a white
towel draped over his broad bronzed shoulders. I took a deep,
involuntary breath. The smell of a strong, well-oiled male body came
like thick incense. I could practically taste it on my tongue, it was
so wonderfully tangy. I nearly swooned.
“Nixie? What are you doing here?” Julian’s deep,
cultured drawl caressed me like cream. I wanted to melt in its liquid
Which would have been mortifying beyond words. I
was drowning in a tide of mindless hormones. What the hell was I doing,
lusting after Suitguy? Although he was not exactly Suitguy at the
moment. He was Pumped Pecs guy. Taut Ass guy…I struggled to get myself
back on some sane footing. “What kind of accent is that?”
“Bostonian.” He eyed me strangely. “Is there some
“No, no.” I backed away. “I was working with Elena
and heard the thumping.” Thumping, pounding, rhythmic and hard. Like
bodies pounding into the sand with the surf pounding all around—
Fuck. The guy was a lawyer! Just because he
smelled like sex on a Harley didn’t make him one iota less proper and
dull. “Do you ever wear leather?” I asked, and could have bit my tongue.
“My shoes,” he said, clearly confused. “My
watchband.” He showed me his wrist. Black leather, but connected to a
highly conservative, highly expensive timepiece.
“I thought you used a pocket watch.” I could have
bit my tongue again.
That almost made him smile. “No pockets.” He
indicated his naked torso.
“Yeah,” I breathed, and choked. “Well, I have to
get back…to work. Yeah, work. Before Elena has to leave.”
Julian frowned. “How did you get here?”
“Get here? Well, I…I walked.”
“Walked.” The frown became a scowl, and I
remembered his telling me not to be out alone after dark. “Well, when
you’re done working, let me know. I will walk you
He still thought I was a little kid! Annoyance
sliced through the sensual haze. “Who died and made you my keeper?”
The scowl turned into a slight smile. “I did.”
He died and made himself my
keeper. Oh, great. A bloodsucking lawyer, playing babysitter to a
twenty-five-year-old. And an autocratic bloodsucking lawyer at that.
“For your information, I’m not going home. I’m going to audition bands
at the Kosmopolitisch.”
“Then I’ll walk you there.”
Stupid autocratic bloodsucking tenacious
lawyer. “Well, be warned. I’m in charge of this
extravaganza that’s paying your exorbitant fees. And I’m putting
everyone I see to work. You might find yourself in charge of the cheese
“I’ll take my chances.” Julian checked his watch.
Whipping the towel off his shoulders he started to rub the sweat off
his chest. His pecs were really huge for such a lean man and they
danced like heavyweight wrestlers. I wanted him to stop with the towel.
I wanted to lick his chest dry instead.
No, no, no! I wanted to leave him strictly
alone. Pristine white shirts and old school ties
normally covered that chest. Delectable though said chest was.
I wondered what Julian would look like in only an
old school tie…and nothing else.
I was so fucked.