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Deadly Destinations journey’s into the Whitechapel District with Blade from the upcoming Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster. Blade gives us an inside look into the dark and dangerous world of the rookery. This is one place you can really hide in the shadows. Kiss of Steel will be released on September 1, 2012. Thanks to Bec, one lucky winner will receive a copy of Kiss of Steel.
Some call me the Devil o’ Whitechapel, but you can call me Blade, and I’m lord and master of these parts. It’s a good thing you ain’t one o’ the Echelon’s spies – and aye, I ‘ad the lads look into your background – ‘cos we don’t ‘old with that, ‘ere.
If you look toward the City you’ll see that enormous Ivory Tower, spearin’ ‘alfway to the ‘eavens. That’s them, right there, watchin’ over us… But it’s the closest they’ll ever get to the ‘Chapel. We see a blue blood of the Echelon ‘ere and…well… it’s difficult to kill a blue blood, but there are ways.
Don’t let that put you off. Come on, now. There ain’t been a blue blood round ‘ere for nigh on fifty years – well, ‘cept for me. And I’ve already fed this evenin’.
Fifty years, aye. Fifty years since Whitechapel rose up and showed the Echelon they weren’t the only ones as ‘ad to be feared. I’ll tell you a little bit about it, if you like.
Run afoul of a blue blood back then, name o’ Vickers. You may o’ ‘eard o’ ‘im? One of the seven Dukes as rule the Council – and the City. ‘e’s a pasty-faced maggot, aye. Still, I weren’t old enough to take ‘im on back then and I were newly infected with the cravin’ virus. Sprung meself from the sheriff’s ‘otel, right there in that Tower. They says I’m the only one as ever escaped and I tell you now, those floors were wet with blood.
Well, the duke, ‘e sent the metaljackets – you seen ‘em, right? Those armour-plated automatons as guard the City Gates? – ‘gainst the rookery, where I’d gone to ground. Bad move that. Them spitfires coulda burned the joint to the ground, but people was edgy. The blood taxes had been risin’, year after year, and the mob was gettin’ restless. The Echelon didn’t dare slaughter an entire section of the city but they wanted me real bad. I’m what they consider a rogue blue blood, infected by chance, not by choice and them as rule the city are real picky ‘bout who gets the gift of blood. It’s a sign of status to them.
I fell in wit’ the leader of the Sharks gang as run these parts, name o’ Rory O’Loughlin. Tole ‘im, if he got them blue bloods off me back, I’d throw in with ‘im, ‘elp out with a little problem ‘e were ‘avin’ with the Slasher gangs.
Rumour went about, said the Echelon were comin’ in to take children as blood-slaves. All o’ Whitechapel rose up and it were war in the streets. I did me part. A metaljacket’s a dangerous adversary when it’s in the open, but ‘ere, it’s like a bleedin’ rabbit warren. Plenty o’ places for an ambush. They don’t work too well when you rip their ‘eads off.
First time the people ever rose up against the Echelon since they overthrew the king. They ceded me the rookeries, said it weren’t worth it, but truth be told, they couldn’t a takin’ it if they’d wanted. Taught ‘em the mob was dangerous. Them blood taxes been set on two pints a year for the last fifty years, and Vickers, well, if ‘e wants me, ‘e knows where I am.
Look ahead and you’ll see the Wall. Runs right round the ‘Chapel proper. The mob made it after the Echelon withdrew, with whatever they could get their ‘ands on. Only two ways into the rookery now; Ratcatcher Gate in front of us, or the little alleyway offPetticoat Lane. Don’t think you’re sneakin’ round the back o’ me. There’s always someone willin’ to cry hue in the rookeries, and they all report back for a bit o’ the ready.
Some says the rookery’s as safe as the City these days. Well, I says it’s safer. You don’t cross me or mine – or we’ll come lookin’, you get me? You see all them crossed daggers carved into doors? That’s the sign of me Reapers gang, and them as earned the mark ‘as earned me protection. You could walk right on through ‘ere drippin’ in gold and there’s nought as would touch you, in case you belong to me.
And ‘ere in theEast End, it’s the only place that’s free o’ the threat of the Slasher gangs, them as kidnap folks in the night and drain ‘em o’ blood to sell to the draining factories down by Brickbank. I don’t ‘old with that. Them Slashers is like packs of rabid dogs. What manner o’ man needs to enhance ‘imself with ‘ooks or knives grafted to their arms, eh?
But there’s a price for me protection, see?
Charity breeds nothin’ but contempt round ‘ere and I got a reputation to protect. All it costs is the odd pint o’ blood. I got me blood thralls, but I don’t like to take too much off ‘em. Takes a body a bit to recover the blood, see, and I look after what’s mine.
So what you think? You think the rookery’s the place for you? Ha. Nobody ever comes ‘ere by choice, luv. We’re all ‘ere ‘cos there ain’t no other place to go. Or ‘cos we’re ‘idin’ from somewhat.
After all, the Echelon don’t ‘old sway ‘ere and that’s rare in the city proper. Them as want to flee the Echelon’s grasp, well… It’s either ‘ere or abroad.
Heard tell they’re lookin’ for someone now. Me dear friend Vickers put a price o’ ten thousand pounds on ‘er ‘ead. Miss Honoria Todd. You wouldn’t ‘appen to be ‘er, would you?
I’d give me left arm to get me ‘ands on somethin’ Vickers wants. The duke and I? We got an old score to settle, see.
Maybe you ‘ad best move on. Maybe the rookery ain’t goin’ to be safe for much longer. After all, you go to war with someone o’ the Echelon and it’s bound to get bloody…
Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia, and grew up with her nose in a book. After discovering The Hobbit at the age of eight, she spent hours drawing maps of her own worlds on fish-and-chip paper and creating wild stories in her head. Following a lifelong love affair with fantasy, she discovered romance and hasn’t looked back. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and adventurous steampunk romances. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds.
This giveaway is provided by Bec McMaster
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
Available September 1, 2012 from Sourcebooks Casablanca
About this Book:
He craves her like no other…
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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