The Night Beat by Gini Koch

Finished: January 22, 2019

So today is Gini Koch’s birthday, and I thought writing up my review for her action-packed Urban Fantasy novel, The Night Beat, was a great way to celebrate!

My Review:

This book is an incredible roller coaster ride of action, monsters, and special guests. Yes, this book features such surprises as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and (no, I’m not joking) Queen singer Freddie Mercury. That should give you a good idea of the kind of wacky adventures that ensure and the kind of world you’re jumping into.

Victoria Wolfe is an undercover werewolf who works as a police officer to protect Prosaic City. What starts out as fighting an unspeakable monster that’s taking out the city’s unfortunates turns into a fight bigger than heaven and hell. It’s pulpy, it’s hilarious, and it’s intense from page one to the end. I absolutely loved it and am looking forward to her next book!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Absolutely! This book is like a fantastic fever dream of your favorite horror and action films.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? If you enjoy fast-paced, pulpy stories with a heavy dose of intricate world-building and a slew of inhuman characters, then yes!
  3. Does it stick with you? This book is so unique and unusual that it definitely sticks with you. There’s just nothing quite like it.

My overall rating: 5/5

Drabble: Bigger than You

Prompt: Bigger than You

She’s bigger than you and definitely built. She wields a sword that could skewer you vertically and not reach the hilt. Her reach is incredible. All you have is a set of daggers, little good when you’re rolling to keep your head attached to your shoulders.

You duck down just in time as the greatsword whistles over your head. You’re pretty sure you lost a few hairs in that move, but at least you’re alive. You can’t keep up at this pace. She’s not even breathing hard and here you are performing acrobatic feats. You need space to move. You need distance to think.

You spin on your heel and sprint for the door, slamming through the cold metal and running to the opposite end of the yard. Fencing topped with barbed wire greet you on all sides. A defeated whimper pulls at your throat.

“You can’t escape me,” she calls with a laugh, her powerful form emerging from the doorway. She rests the flat end of her blade against her shoulder and smiles. You’re the captured mouse here, not her. You’re the one who’s trapped on a butcher’s block.

That doesn’t mean you give up.

You laugh and show a cocky grin. “You have to catch me first.”

She barks a laugh and readies her blade, her muscled legs making little work of the distance. You have to think, while you still have a head, while a steamroller is barreling towards you.

Out of pure instinct more than intelligence, you spin your dagger in the air, catch the blade between your fingertips and chuck it at her. Her wild eyes get huge as the blade plunges into her forehead. She collapses with the outrage of a beast. You stand panting between nervous laughter.

“You gotta be quicker than that!”

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Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less. Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.

Romances and Creepy Paths

So even though I am re-reading The Hobbit right now in preparation for Peter Jackson’s film release in just a few weeks (can you say excited?), I promise you that I didn’t have it in mind when I wrote my bit today. It just so happened that the path that leads to the witch’s house kind of acts like the Mirkwood elves partying in the woods. So if you’re familiar with that scene, then you’ll have an idea of how that works. In addition to that fun bit, my MC and gunslinger girlfriend got into a bit of an unexpected romance scene. Totally didn’t anticipate that happening, but that’s where the characters decided to go. Those unexpected moments are really what make me love the writing-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method. Also found out that Rennick chugging down half a glass of whiskey makes for some much needed hilarity.

In other news, I’m finally caught up with my word count in NaNo. I’m over the halfway point, so it’s all downhill from here, right? The plot has totally veered off course from the very loose outline I started out with. Kind of expected, but makes it a bit more difficult with how to wrap up all these loose ends. Somewhere ahead there’s going to be another kidnapping, and plenty more unexpected magical hijinks, cause you know, these are actual witches not herbalists like my poor trio thinks they are dealing with. Though I suppose the long, windy path with creepy mirror qualities should have been a major clue.

Project: Smoke & Witchcraft

Summary: My trio of protagonists (a werewolf, a half-vampire, and a sharpshooter) head to New Orleans to investigate a series of unexplained abductions. So far this pulpy paranormal will have plenty of banter, a slew of fistfights, undercover operations that fail miserably, battles of magic, a necromancer seductress, a coven of witches with a bad rap, and a ton of zombie alligators. Also I plan to toss the damsel in distress idea on its head since both guys will likely need saving. Oh, and did I mention awkward romance?

Current Word Count: 32,240

New Words Written: 2,234 (Today), 5,034 (since last post)

Progress: Ex-boyfriend gets the gunslinger pissed off? Check. Unexpected romance with new boyfriend ensues? Check. Cue the creepy magical wards, disturbing illusions, and yep, now they’ve spotted movement. I swear, I don’t think I’ve given this group a break since they stepped off the train and into town. That’s a good thing though, right?

Total Words for 2012: 145,253

The Importance of Debate and Title Trouble

Had a serious chat about past events in the town as Kate learns more about her father. She grows a spine and ends up having to do some interesting political jumps as well. This poor girl is having to grow up fast from the selfish, whining child she was before. I’m glad that I ended up writing from her perspective because I feel like I’m able to really dig deep into what makes her character tick and show how this is changing who she is. Ended up having to make up for missing half of my NaNo writing yesterday because we went to go see Prometheus.

Just a moment while I do a nerd headdesk. Alright, now that that’s out of my system…

I’ve been watching TED talks on Netflix lately, and came across this one earlier today. I had listened to it previously in podcast form, so watching it was really a treat.

Watching this makes me glad that I turned my werewolf bid for power away from a typical attack and slash battle into a political match. It made that scene much juicier and really adds a bit of flavor to my version of werewolves in this story. I admit that I rolled my eyes in Wolf Man when the climax of the movie was reduced to two werewolves duking it out. I like awesome fight scenes as much as the next action aficionado, but that was just a silly way to end it. It’s a fun film to be sure, and I own the blu-ray copy here at the house to prove it, but it had some major issues for me. I like to skip to the good parts and rarely watch it from beginning to end.

On to word metrics!

Project: Secrets of Leekston

Summary: Leekston is an unassumingly quiet southern town, but it hides many secrets. An unusual government entity studies the supernatural activity in the area, but for what purpose? A crazy scientist runs a research lab of particular patients, and his daughter may pay the price for the people he’s maimed. Six years after the incident at the Kayak Hills subdivision, sixteen year-old Suzie Daper once again must protect her family, this time from a bloodthirsty werewolf pack bent on destroying anyone standing in the way of their vengeance.

Current total words: 72,595
New words written: 6/12 and 6/13 – 4,142

Total Words for 2012: 85,596

Favorite Line: This just made me laugh, so I thought I’d share. Can you imagine this guy as your High School principal? 🙂

Janos nodded, his brow glistening with sweat. The man had a formidable build, but he always dressed as though he’d never left the 70s. His Beatles-esque haircut only made his flowery psychedelic tie more prominent.

PS. I’m still not happy with this title. I have so many twists and turns with the plot of this book that it’s hard to figure out what to call it. More than likely the title won’t be finalized until the book’s nearly done. Hopefully I figure it out *before* this draft is done. Why can’t I come up with awesome names like Cherie Priest’s upcoming book, Fiddlehead? Somehow she’s able to come up with book titles before writing, which tells me she must plan quite a bit ahead of time. So jealous!

Six Sentence Sunday – Judge & Executioner

I haven’t done a Six Sentence Sunday post in quite a while it seems! I looked over my previous entries and realized I hadn’t done one yet this year. So I thought I ought to remedy that. This bit is from Night Feeders, a western horror novelette now available on most eBook platforms.

Setup: Motley wandered into the wrong town, and Sheriff Ritters wants to make an example out of him. Of course, Ritters is always looking for an excuse to do that.

Ritters sought to handle legal matters his own way: criminals were tried in the open street, and the speed of his pistols served as both judge and executioner.

Above them, the giant town clock ticked the seconds by with little remorse. Once, it had been the symbol of the adventurous frontier spirit in this small, dusty town, and now the fact that it even worked at all against the dirt and wind which tore through town year by year was a tiny miracle. It hammered the seconds out like a horse being driven by a cruel master, until finally at the strike of noon it released its out-of-tune chimes.

No sooner had the first chime rung than Ritters let loose a series of gunshots. The first bullet lodged in Motley’s shooting arm—he’d barely gotten his gun out of the holster before he was struck.

The full story is now available as an eBook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Be sure to drop by Six Sentence Sunday to see what other action-packed teasers have been posted!