(City of Kaus, #1)
Publication date: November 16th 2021
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Science Fiction, Western
It has been three years since Elvira “Ellie” Ryder was betrayed by her best friend Cor and watched as her hometown of Kaus was leveled by invaders from a different Zone. Now sworn to seek revenge on him, Ellie has teamed up with her old friend Zach to find their long lost friend.
After getting offered a bounty hunting job—really an assassination job—they find out that part of their payment is the whereabouts of Cor. Without hesitation Ellie and Zach take the job and make their way to the Human Zone to assassinate their target. As they make their way through the desert, and through the Human Zone, they are up against the prejudice of their kind—Kausian, a race that can shapeshift but always stand out with their golden eyes. Nevertheless, they never miss a mark—that is, unless they find out the truth about who destroyed their kind and how their target is right in the middle of it all.
Will Ellie be able to forgive Cor after learning the truth? Or will she forever hold on to that hatred?
The dealer, a human woman with curly black hair, moved the chips to my side of the table. She wore the same uniform that all the women dealers had on—a light blue dress with black fringe. This parlor really liked blue, I supposed. Then again, I had noticed most parlors picked a color theme and stuck to it religiously.
I smiled at the five others who sat around the table. They all glared at me as some rubbed their faces and the others threw in their cards. One human male stood up and walked off, leaving his three chips. He had completely given up. All that remained now were two other humans, a Lyran with gray fur, and a Sirian woman who kept winking at me even though I was taking all her coins. Perhaps she was hoping to seduce me to get them back. That’s not how I rolled, however—I was the one who would get paid in that scenario.
There were rooms above this parlor as there were above all the parlors I frequented. We had to stay at a hotel of some sort as we were constantly moving—mainly because of two pesky friends who never gave up. I glanced over the staircase that had deep blue carpet and dark wood that had been ornately carved. This was one of the nicer parlors in the region, after all.
I took all the chips I had won that round and stacked them with a bit of show. So far, I had tripled my stack, and from what I could tell, not one of my opponents was breaking even. It was priceless to see their faces, although darkened through my sunglasses. I couldn’t let them see my eyes—not when my kind was hated so much.
But that didn’t mean some in this parlor weren’t privy to my secret, just none at the table. I took a puff of my rolled herbal joint and let it out slowly, the floral taste lingering in my mouth. “Who’s in for another round?”
Before the game could go on, the Lyran with gray fur ended up grabbing his few chips and left, a deep growl coming from his furry snout. I knew I would want to monitor him throughout the evening to make sure he wouldn’t rip my throat out. It wouldn’t be the first time… nor the last.
Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University.
Currently she is working on a YA urban fantasy series called Daughter of Hades, a YA urban fantasy series called The Wonderland Chronicles, a historic fantasy vampire series called A World of Vampires, and a YA sci-fi series called Sanshlian Series. She has also started up an indie publishing company called FoxTales Press. She also works with Anthill Studios in creating comics through Antik Comics.
Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, cooking, studying different languages, wire walking, hula hoop, and working with plants. She is also an herbalist and sells her concoctions on FoxCraft Apothecary. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and visits Seattle often.
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