A Cat's Chance in Hell
Hellcat Series Book 1
by Sharon Hannaford
Genre: Urban Fantasy
If the Demon Master gets his way the City is about to become Hell on Earth.
Gabi has some extraordinary talents. Some might call them supernatural, but for her they’re just part of everyday life. What she knows about the supernatural would give most humans nightmares forever. Ridding the streets of bad-ass creatures of the night is Gabi’s other job. Taking up the mantle of her father’s legacy, she is a Hunter for the Societas Malus Venatori. The first female ever bestowed the title. Her day job is a little less dangerous. Most of the time.
Being ambushed and kidnapped by the sinfully sexy Master Vampire of the City should have been just another night on the job, except for the fact that Julius has other plans for her. When he reveals that his nemesis wants control of the City and has plans to fill it with Demons from the Etherworld, creating an army of Ghouls and turning humans into nothing more than cattle to feed his Clan, Gabi must choose her path. She must decide whether to join with Julius in a stand against the Demon Master or flee the City with her friends and family, leaving the Vampires to wage their own war and the rest of the residents to their fate.
But it’s not in Gabi’s nature to back down from a fight, no matter how impossible the odds. As the Malus Venatori prepare for war, Gabi finds herself pulled deeper into Julius’s world and she makes some disturbing discoveries about her unusual supernatural abilities. Her existence might just be the answer to a mystery as old as the Vampire race. Even more unsettling than that is her undeniable attraction to Julius and the taste of his blood. But before she can come to terms with her conflicting desires they must all survive the Demon onslaught and find a way to safeguard the truth of her heritage.
While the supernatural bad guys know her as Angeli Morte, her friends call her Hellcat!
If you like your heroine smart, sassy and absolutely kick-ass and your Vampire hero sexy as sin and twice as dangerous you’re going to love the Hellcat Series.
Contains adult content.
The flames in the fire-place suddenly surged brighter, as though hit by a blast of oxygen, and in the brief surge of amber light Gabi saw Julius’s eyes flare with their own dark flame. He quickly dropped his gaze from hers and turned his head to stare out into the night. “In fact, I think it’s probably a good time for me to leave. I just needed to know that you were alright.”
The need inside Gabi flared more insistently, resisting the thought of him leaving, and demanding she act to draw him closer.
“Why should you leave, it is your room isn’t it?” she asked, trying to keep her voice from betraying her desperation.
He turned his face back towards her, a strange kind of anguish sharpening his features. “I,” he began, then broke off, as his eyes stroked down the length of her body and legs, lying sprawled across the bed.
Gabi realised she was wearing only a loosely buttoned man’s silk shirt and nothing else. All her clothes must’ve been covered in blood.
“I’m not sure I could… resist,” he continued finally, “if I come any closer to you. You call to me like a Siren.”
She watched him swallow convulsively.
“I said come here,” she enunciated the words slowly and forcefully.
He closed his eyes, shaking his head slightly. “I’m not sure exactly what’s happening right now, I’ve never felt anything like it, but I don’t want you regretting your actions in the morning and hating me for it.” He forced out the words through a tightly clenched jaw. “I need to go.” He set the wineglass on a low table and stood up abruptly, as ungracefully as she’d ever seen him move, and headed towards the closed bedroom door.
“No,” she said low and fervently. Before he could reach the door, she was standing in front of it. Moving quicker than she’d ever moved before, she turned the key in the lock and spun to face him, leaning back against the handle so he’d have to go through her to open it.
“Last chance, Gabrielle,” he ground out warningly as he placed his hands against the door on either side of her face. “Last. Chance.”
She answered him by slowing beginning to undo the buttons down the front of the silk shirt she was wearing.
All Hell Breaks Loose
Hellcat Series Book 2
In the City, the Werewolves are restless.
Gabi is striving to get back to life as usual. Dealing with the aftermath of being kidnapped and tortured by Dantè, wrapping her head around being a Dhampir, and trying to figure out Julius’s unexpected attitude as he withdraws from her and becomes cool and distant. As if that isn’t enough to cope with, she receives the disturbing news that someone she cares about has been dragged unwillingly into her world after a brutal and calculated Werewolf attack.
As rogue Werewolves run rampant through the City, it becomes clear there will be no gentle reintroduction to Gabi's duties as Hunter for the Societas Malus Venatori. Once again the Vampires join forces with the SMV to contain the threat, but the odds seem stacked against them and the casualties keep mounting. Tensions run high as the perpetrators manage to stay one step ahead of the Hunters and the senseless violence continues. No one suspects betrayal from within, until Gabi’s pets unmask a traitor. But the traitor isn’t the real threat and the war has only just begun.
This time their nemesis isn’t playing by any rules and no one is safe in this deadly, new game. Not even the Master Vampire of the City. As the undeniable chemistry between Gabi and Julius reignites, they realise the danger isn’t only to the human population of the City, but threatens to overwhelm them all. What they finally uncover brings Gabi into very real conflict with the SMV Council and leaves her questioning her life-long allegiances.
Not all monsters come in obvious monster packages and sometimes what you’re fighting to protect is what you should be fighting against.
Not everyone will walk away from this fight intact.
Strap in, hang on and grab a breath while you can. All hell is about to break loose!
"The Hellcat series is one wild ride ... one of the best new series to hit the dark urban fantasy world, ever! Two words: more, please." Diane Nelson (Sand in my Shoes Reviews)
“Derek, let me in,” Gabi called when her fist pounding on the door didn’t elicit a response. She knew he was home. If the evidence of his truck in the driveway wasn’t enough, she could clearly scent him. The presence of another vehicle on the curb disturbed her. It was a small red Toyota, the sort of car a woman would drive. If he had a woman in the house with him, things could get ugly really fast because the Community was right. His normal masculine scent was now heavily cloaked in the distinct tang of Werewolf.
“Derek!” she shouted again. “Let me in, or I’m gonna break in.” Finally, she heard slow, heavy footsteps coming towards the door, then a dull thud, like a body slumping against a wall.
“Gabi.” His hoarse voice cracked on her name. “Gabi, you need to leave. I…” He took a ragged breath, like a man exhausted. “I can’t explain right now, but you have to trust me. You need to go.”
Gabi tried to keep the frustration from overwhelming her patience. “Derek, open the door,” she said in a commanding voice. “I can help you. I know what’s going on, and I can help you.”
“I’m sick, Gabi. You can’t come in here. It’s not safe,” a note of pleading in his voice now, “please just go. I’ll call you when I’m better.”
“It’s not going to get better, Derek,” she said softly, “not without help. You need to let me in. I promise you I can help. You have to trust me. I understand what’s happening to you.”
A half sob issued from the other side of the door. “How can you possibly understand?” he demanded raggedly. “No one can understand. No one can help. And…” He dragged in a breath. “I’ve done something terrible. Something unforgivable. No one can help me now.”
Ice drenched Gabi’s veins as she realised she might be too late to rescue the woman. Either way, she had to get inside.
“Derek,” she repeated, struggling to keep her voice calm when it felt like she’d just mainlined adrenalin. “You remember how many times I’ve been injured? You remember suspecting that my injuries weren’t always caused by animals? You’ve asked me about it more than once. I know you’ve thought things weren’t quite right. Your instincts weren’t wrong, Derek. Those injuries weren’t caused by animals.” She paused, letting her words sink in. “I have another job, a job that involves things that would send most humans screaming. I’m trained to deal with those things. I. Can. Help.” She said the last three words with absolute conviction.
“You know what’s happening to me?” he whispered.
“Yes, I know exactly what’s happening to you,” she replied in a soft voice.
“You can really help?” There was a tiny thread of hope in his voice.
“Let me in, Derek. We can’t talk about this with me outside where other people can overhear us.” She was getting to the point where she was going to smash his door in to get inside, but she didn’t want to draw the attention of the neighbours if she could help it. There was a sound of movement, and the lock clicked.
A Cold Day in Hell
Hellcat Series Book 3
The City may be calm, but is the Hunter about to become the hunted?
For the first time in months the City is peaceful, so peaceful that Gabi’s suspension from the Societas Malus Venatori doesn’t feel like a punishment. Her relationship with Julius is stronger than ever and Kyle has finally found his soul mate, even if he seems to need some convincing. Gabi thinks boredom is her most serious problem. She couldn’t be more wrong.
The visitor Julius has been both expecting and dreading arrives, bringing with him dire news. An old enemy, out to destroy them, has revealed to the Masters of the Vampire race that Gabi is a Dhampir. The visitor’s presence also answers the question that’s been simmering in Gabi’s head for years; the truth of her origins. This truth brings with it a deeper understanding of the implications of her very existence, and she doesn’t like what she discovers. But it’s too late to change what’s been done and Julius must now answer to the Princeps’ Court.
As Gabi makes plans to leave the City, drawing danger away from friends and family, a dark prophesy by the Magi Oracles forces her to change course. She will not be leaving the City alone, and she will not be running from the threat. She, Julius and a handful of others will be heading straight into the mouth of the beast. They must present themselves at Court before the Princeps travel to the City and inadvertently uncover one of the most closely guarded secrets of the Magi world.
While the Princeps wear a face of impartiality and civility, what boils beneath the surface is a storm of selfishness, greed, lust and perversion. Danger lurks in every corner and it soon becomes clear that someone is determined to ensure that Gabi will never get the chance of a fair hearing.
Old friends and old enemies do what they have always done best, while new friends and new enemies emerge at every turn. Only one thing is sure; it’ll be a cold day in Hell before Hellcat goes down without a fight.
Put the coffee on and warm up your page-turning finger, it’s going to be a long night.
This is a full length novel.
Please note this novel is written in UK English and contains some adult content.
Julius heard her scream, heard the rage in the single word as he reached the edge of the alley. Just in time to watch Gabi head-butt the Rogue Vampire hard enough to force bits of the bridge of his nose up into his brain. The Vampire staggered back, dazed. Not even the oldest Vampire could heal that kind of injury instantly. Julius's first instinct was to seize the Vamp with the power of his mind and squash him like a bug. Every nerve in his body wanted to squeeze the Rogue's mind until it popped, but some other, deeper instinct froze him where he stood.
Gabi was in full-blown Red Rage. This was the second time he'd seen it. The last time had been her first descent into the madness. It seemed to have been triggered by her proximity to him and needing the blood her body had been craving for years. She'd snapped for a minor annoyance and utterly destroyed his office before he managed to calm her. Now, she was using the rage as a weapon. It rode her, but she had control of the reins.
Somehow he sensed that this was what she needed. Not the therapy sessions they'd been using to desensitize her to the feeling of being trapped. She was Hellcat. She took care of herself and everyone else around her. She didn't need to get used to the idea of being trapped; she needed to annihilate the enemy trapping her. This was the therapy she truly needed.
It took more control than he thought he possessed to watch her fight the Rogue. Though it honestly wasn't much of a fight after that. She systematically kicked and beat the Vampire to a bloody pulp. When he lay in a crumpled heap, face down on the tarmac, no longer moving, she rolled him over with the tip of one boot to face her. Then she calmly picked up Nex, knelt over his body, and stabbed the blade directly into his heart. Then she pulled the blade out and stabbed him again, and again, and again.
To Hell and Back
Hellcat Series Book 4
SOME SECRETS ARE WORTH DYING TO PROTECT
When Werewolves start turning up dead, drained of blood, the City’s Alphas turn accusing eyes on the Vampires. It doesn’t take much to get the newly-formed Werewolf Alliance riled up. But once Vampires start dying the same way it becomes clear they have a mutual enemy.
An unexpected visitor brings news that vulnerable supernaturals from neighbouring towns are also being kidnapped and murdered, and that the City seems to be the focus of the violence. With no idea of the motives behind the attacks, Gabi and the rest of the City’s defenders immediately commit to eliminating whoever, or whatever, is behind the bizarre and gruesome acts.
Adding to the chaos, demons suddenly attack in unprecedented numbers, stretching the City’s supernatural resources thin. The reappearance of an old foe from the Etherworld sparks fears that Mariska is back and still seeking revenge. And that once again, she’s made powerful, dark alliances. When all fingers point to something hellbent on uncovering whatever secrets the City hides, eyes finally turn to the Magi.
A war will be waged for the greatest supernatural prize of them all, and the outcome is impossible to predict. Not even the presence of a powerful Princep and the shocking revelation of Julius’s true potential can assure victory for the pure of heart.
This time Gabi is determined to get Mariska in her crosshairs, and she’s ready and willing to even the score. But there is no guarantee that everyone will survive this trip to Hell and back!
“Make your pretty little cohort hand back my things, and nobody gets hurt,” Gabi growled, only barely holding onto her temper now. Mr Tall-muscled-and-stupid was either too witless or too unobservant to take the hint. He took another step closer, actually lifting his right hand as though ready to backhand her.
“What you going to do?” Gabi challenged him snarkily. “Assault me in front of dozens of witnesses. Gods, you’re even more moronic than I originally thought.” It seemed there was only going to be one way to conclude this little set-to, but she wasn’t walking away from her wallet and phone.
The man raised his eyebrows incredulously, shocked that she hadn’t backed down from his aggression. Then, emboldened by the gathering crowd’s lack of action against him, his eyes narrowed deviously.
“Twenty bucks on the lady,” a rough, gravelly, masculine voice called lazily from her left.
Gabi allowed her attention to dart in that direction for a fraction of a second, assessing the newcomer. He’d shouldered his way through the crowd to stand a foot closer than the rest of the humans, with his arms loosely crossed. He was a tall, older man, maybe in his fifties. Grey flecked the dark brown hair at his temples and punctuated the five-day-old stubble on his chin. Grizzled was the word that popped into Gabi’s mind, the sort of man you expected to see playing the lead in a fifties Western. While there was nothing overtly dangerous about the man, even his casual dress code of jeans and a button-down, checked shirt didn’t detract from the air of unconscious swagger that marked the man a fighter to Gabi’s experienced eye. Mr Stupid seemed confused. Again.
“I’m not sure there are any ladies here,” Gabi quipped, buying time to work out if the older man was in on the con. He was human, so no real threat to Gabi, but if he was on their side, things weren’t looking good for the recovery of her personal items.
A slow, wry grin broke through the stubble on the man’s face, and he inclined his head ever so slightly. “I use the term loosely,” he conceded.
“What the fuck do you want, old man?” Stupid snarled.
Gabi noticed that the girl was trying to back away from the fray. She could run, but she couldn’t hide, not from Gabi. The chase might be fun though.
“Hey, it’s your funeral. I just thought it was fair to warn you, you know, man to man?” the newcomer told him. “You see, this lady,” his lips twitched in amusement, “works out at a dojo I used to do maintenance work for. She’s pretty notorious there; not too many women achieve black belts in three different martial arts, and she has a reputation for a pretty short fuse. I think you’ve caught her on a good day if you’re still standing here arguing with her.”
Gabi was hard-pressed to keep back the snort of laughter that bubbled up from her chest. Did this man have any idea of how close to the truth he’d just hit? Or did he? Still keeping half her attention on Stupid, she flicked her gaze back to the older man, studying him more deeply, trying to discern if she’d ever come across him before. Aside from his fighter’s bearing, nothing about him seemed familiar to her.
With a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders, he turned dismissively from Stupid. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Then he lifted his leather-booted foot onto the lip of a sturdy, cement flower box and leaned one elbow against his upraised knee as though preparing to watch the showdown.
Something must have finally penetrated Stupid’s thick skull because he looked around at the gathering crowd, took a couple of steps back from her, and twitched his head at the girl. She gave a sullen snarl and threw the wallet and phone at Gabi before the two of them took off at a dead run, straight towards the nearby train station.
Come Hell or High Water
Hellcat Series Book 5
IS IT WRONG TO FEAR SHADOWS WHEN THOSE SHADOWS HAVE THE POWER TO DESTROY YOU?
The City’s supernatural community is still in mourning, but there’s no time to spend licking their wounds. The face of the City has changed forever and now her citizens must keep up or risk succumbing to the darkness.
As the Magi withdraw to protect themselves and their vulnerable power source, it falls to the Werewolves to step into the void left by a crippled SMV. The Vampires are more than willing to help, but things are moving in the shadows; bad things that threaten to destroy everything Julius has worked for. Princep scheming seems suspicious, but in truth the greater danger lurks much closer to home.
When one of Gabi’s Werewolf friends is kidnapped by tech-savvy vigilantes it seems like an open and shut case of humans fearing what they do not understand. But as Julius travels from the City to answer the Princeps’ summons, leaving Gabi in the relative safety of the Clan, it soon becomes clear that they’ve misjudged the real enemy.
Left confused and floundering, it’s the Princep Benedict who finally provides the information they desperately seek. But his answers do not come without a price.
Defending their beloved City may seem overwhelming, but, come Hell or high water, Hellcat and Co will do whatever it takes.
Batten down the hatches, a tempest is imminent.
Gabi had thought they were ready for just about anything. She had been wrong. There was indeed a trap inside, but not the kind they’d been expecting. As Gabi followed Rory, Ross and Butch through the double doors at the back of the building, she, along with all the other rescuers, came to a screeching halt, and the Vampires paused on the ledges of the windows they’d broken through.
The entire inside of the old church had been stripped bare, and in its centre a large metal cage huddled, cemented into the ground and reinforced with thick cables lashed to the very foundations of the building. A dozen spotlights, dark but ready, surrounded the cage, and on a pallet in the middle of the cage lay Adriana. She sat up in alarm, her blonde curls tangled and dirty, her face streaked with blood and grime and tears, her clothing in tatters, barely covering her body.
“Adriana,” Gabi gasped, rushing forward and tucking the MacDart gun into its holster on her hip.
The girl’s eyes widened with recognition and then relief. And then fear. In the dim lighting Gabi could see dark red welts covering much of her friend’s exposed skin, her eyes were round with terror, and the scent of her wolf was dangerously strong.
“Down, down, the cellar,” she said in a hoarse whisper.
There'll Be Hell to Pay
Hellcat Series Book 6
THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL
Just a few months ago Gabi thought her life was damn near perfect. She could never have imagined that meeting one man would spark a chain of events that would change everything. The only resemblance to her previous life is her relentless hunt for supernatural criminals. Right now, her world has narrowed to two points of focus; co-leading the newly formed Special Investigations Department alongside Julius, her Master Vampire Consort, and searching for the traitorous Vampire Caspian and his pregnant Dark Magus cohort, Mariska. Catching up with friends and making peace with her mother are also on her agenda for the week, but life may just have other plans.
Even the most rookie supernatural investigator would figure out that things aren’t going well for the Magi of the City, but the High Council is maintaining its silence and remaining distant from the other races. The safety and security of the City’s population is falling ever more heavily on the shoulders of the fledgling Werewolf Alliance, leaving Kyle, Trish and the other Pack Alphas to handle a rising influx of demons committed to infiltrating the City and wreaking havoc.
There are many scenarios that keep Gabi from her sleep, and when one of those concerns becomes a sickening reality, it rocks her to the core. Taking one of those most dear to her is a dangerous game, one that few would play, knowing what she and Julius are capable of. The list of suspects is short and the guilty party soon shows their hand, but is this all just a ruse and what could they hope to accomplish by riling up such powerful enemies?
There is no rest for the team as, with one emergency over, they are handed a scrap of information that will ultimately lead them straight to Caspian and Mariska. But are they truly ready for the final standoff?
Who will make the ultimate sacrifice and how will the rest deal with the repercussions of an ancient prophesy that culminates in the birth of Mariska’s twin children?
This is the nail-biting conclusion to the Hellcat Series.
Buckle up boys and girls - there’s turbulence ahead.
Red. Red. A deep red mist erupted at the very edges of her vision as fury tore through her. She roared unintelligibly and lunged at Julius, her fists ready to pummel, to hurt, to kill.
Steel bands fastened around her wrists, as unbreakable as they were gentle. She struggled, spinning her body, twisting into her captor, throwing her hip and swiping at his knee with her boot. Her move failed to shift the bands that now held her even tighter in their grip. The red grew thicker, obscuring her vision and dulling her senses.
“Lea, my Lea.” A soothing voice washed through her mind, blowing at the mist, trying to clear it.
“No,” she growled, fighting harder, kicking out again. The fury felt right, it felt good, it was part of her and it wanted to be free. The shackles tugged her forward, forcing her hands down and behind her back. Strong pillars enclosed her, and she was yanked up against a cool, familiar wall.
“The rage will not help us now, Lea. I need you back with me. All of you, not just vengeance, not just fury. You are strong enough to deal with this. We are strong enough to deal with this. Come back to me.”
She didn’t want to hear the words, trying to block them from her ears, from her mind. But the crisp, cool breeze of his presence was so familiar, so intimate that it was impossible to resist. Lips touched hers, featherlight at first, and then, as she softened her stance, the red cloud receding just a little, the kiss turned harder, became demanding. She breathed out, opening her mouth to allow his tongue entry. His grip around her wrists unlocked and his hands travelled up her body, over her ribcage, up her back either side of Nex’s sheath and into her hair.
As the last of the rage burned away, Julius pulled back a fraction, his eyes searching hers, his chest rippling under her fingers.
“Hello, beautiful,” was all he said. She dropped her head to his chest, suddenly exhausted. He folded his arms around her and just held her.
A Hellcat World Novel
The rest period is over and the ultimate endgame round has just begun.
The City has seen a peaceful lull for the past three years. The Werewolf Alliance has settled into their role as peacekeepers, stamping out threats the moment they rear their heads. The Magi have recovered from their losses both in numbers and strength and the Veil is more solid than ever. The Vampires never rest; the desire to create Dhampirs grows despite the law and the deadly consequences, but even their weapons are gathering dust.
And yet all of them know this peace is an illusion; a small space in time to rest and regroup. Because the Decuria still exist in the shadows and the Prophesy calls to all sides. The battle of the millennium is looming and only one side can win.
A new player has joined the game as old foes prepare to once more roll the dice. The board pieces are set, the gameplan is decided and the protectors of the City are the only ones who don’t know the rules.
Kyle and Trish have the family they never dared to wish for. Not only two daughters but an ever-growing, ever-strengthening Werewolf Pack. The love and security of family is everything they desired, but the weight of responsibility is burdensome and they can never let down their guard. Just when they thought everything was black and white, they are faced with a new choice; one that is all shades of grey, one that could change the Werewolf world forever.
Still reeling from the shock of the decision they must make, the fragile peace is inevitably broken, leaving the Pack blind-sided and chasing their tails. It will take everything they have to keep their family and friends safe. They will have to find strength in their weaknesses and vulnerability in their strengths if they are to survive this assault. Can they ever be prepared for the consequences of that which has been prophesied?
Fasten that safety belt and grab a handhold, this will not be a quiet Sunday afternoon drive.
Sharon has been calling herself a writer since she was eight years old. She wrote her first auto-biography at age ten. As a teenager, she was teased about being a witch, because she wore lots of black and walked around with her black, Oriental cat on a lead. She never disagreed too loudly, after all, that may have drawn attention to the herd of unicorns that lived in her back garden.
Born and raised in South Africa, she has called New Zealand home since 2008. Her life consists largely of looking after her husband, two kids, three cats, a dog, a pony and a horse, but her working day is spent writing, and her occasional hours off usually include books, horses or a glass of good red wine.
Though she has had many jobs over the years, her favourite is, without doubt, being paid to write about the characters who take up residence in her head. After an early foray into writing for children, Sharon discovered Urban Fantasy; the genre that felt as though it had been created with her in mind. She loves nothing more than to create strong-willed, female lead characters, who challenge those around them almost as much as they challenge themselves.
Sharon also loves animals of all shapes and sizes. She has owned all the usual suspects one would keep as a pet, and a few more exotic ones thrown in for good measure. She spent her teens working at a tourist farm and animal park, and as a result has handled everything from porcupines and warthogs, to ferrets and hedgehogs. She has been surrogate mom to many orphans including; kittens, lambs and an eagle owl. No matter how hard she tries, animals always seem to steal the limelight in her novels.
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