Ever since he’d been part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figured he’d used up any good karma he had when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races were left with a messy, monster-ridden world and Stalkers were often the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy and dark moved into the neighbourhood.
There certainly were no shortage of monsters or people stupidly willing to become lunch for one.It was a hard life but one Kai liked. And he was good at it. Killing monsters was easy. Especially since he was one himself.
After an accident retired Dempsey out, Kai set up permanent shop in San Diego, contracting out to the local SoCalGov depot. It was a decent life, filled with bounty, a few friends and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him he wasn’t really human.
That was until a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego and Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It was supposed to a simple run; head up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary with the new Court then back to San Diego. Easy, quick and best of all, profitable. But Ryder’s “simple” run leads to massive trouble and Kai ends up being caught in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.
No one ever got rich by being a Stalker. But then hardly any of them got old either. The way things were looking, it didn’t look like Kai was going to be the exception.
Pre-Order your copy of Black Dog Blues from DSP Publications today!
Scheduled release date February 2nd 2015
Dark, gripping, intense and imaginative, Black Dog Blues is the first book in a new somewhat Urban and slightly Dystopian fantasy series full of paranormal creatures that will surprise you.
Kai Gracen is an Elf with a dark past, living as a human and working as a Stalker. He was won in a poker game by his boss and sort of father figure, Dempsey, who is now retiring so Kai is taking over the family business. Kai is an enigma. He was born an Elf, but prefers to live his life like a human. His parentage will surprise you, but he wants nothing to do with that part of his life. And while Kai would be considered bi-sexual, he is far from someone that confines his sexuality to a title or a box.
When Kai is hired to retrieve a pregnant human woman it is supposed to be an easy job, that is until the sidhe lord Ryder shows up on his door step, intent on accompanying Kai on the job. Secrets are revealed on both sides and the job turns out to be more dangerous that Kai assumed, and then there is the lustful way Ryder eyes Kai that sets his teeth on edge. Unanswered questions prove deadly for the Elfin Stalker. Who is this human pregnant woman that Ryder is hell bent on protecting? And why is Kai’s father suddenly intent on bringing his wayward son back home?
I think I just fell in love with a fictional, slightly psychotic elf with a death wish and a snarky sense of humor. Kai is unapologetically brash and intense. He loathes his past and is determined to live his life in his own way, make his own rules. Ryder is very mysterious and secretive but the one thing he doesn’t hide is just how much he wants Kai. While there isn’t any romance per say in this story, there is an undeniable attraction between these two that Kai does an impressive job of ignoring.
There was a lot going on throughout this story, Dempsey retiring, Kai taking over, the safe transport of the pregnant woman, Ryder’s involvement in her life, Kai’s past merging with his present and the link he has to Ryder. While I was completely engrossed in this story from start to finish, I got a little confused at times with everything that was taking place, but all roads intersected along the way. There were a few unappealing secondary characters as well, but I’m thinking Ford may have plans for them somewhere in the context of this series, so I’ll file them all away for later.
Overall I thought this was a great read. As I said it is dark, imaginative, mysterious and engaging. The way Ford merged the human and Fae worlds, the history and lore of the sidhe that was told, I’m anxious to see where Ford takes Kai and Ryder and possibly Alexa in the next story. This book reminded me a lot of Holly Black’s Modern Tales of Fairy series, which is one of the best Fae series to date. If you read multiple genres like I do, or you are thinking of dipping your toe into the warm waters of the MM genre, then this book would probably be the perfect start for you.
A note from the Author, Rhys Ford... the birth of Black Dog Blues.
A few years ago, I wrote an urban fantasy called Black Dog Blues. When the book simmered and boiled in my brain, there were a few things I wanted to have in this book: An elf who was unapologetically bisexual and raised human, blood, gore, guns and monsters.I’d released it into the wilds of self-pubbing—mostly because there wasn’t a place for him then— and Kai did pretty well.
Then, one day at a yarn store, Elizabeth North of Dreamspinner Press fame, started talking about a new venture they were trying out—DSP Publications, DSP’s boutique genre imprint. Long story short, Elizabeth asked if I’d submit Black Dog Blues, I did and now, here we are—with Kai making his way into the mainstream.
Repackaged and gone over again for red squiggles, Black Dog Blues is getting a re-release on February 3rd and I can’t be more excited. The story is the same but Anne Cain rocked me a new cover, more in line with the urban fantasy feel of that genre and I’ve had a chance to kick a few of the tires I wanted to kick in editing. The biggest thing about this re-release is that Kai is going out there again and I can put his sequel firmly into my queue.
So to celebrate Black Dog Blues’ re-release, I’m holding a 12 stop blog tour where YOU can win a dragon. Well, a stuffed dragon. Who’s kind of goofy. And much less terrifying than the one Kai ran into. Leave a comment or use the widget the blog’s provided and enter to win one of these plush dragons! International welcome. Dragons for all. Mostly because man, they’re HUGE and take up a lot of space in the guest room.
As an added bonus, be sure to collect ALL of the Black Dog Blues trading cards and return to my blog at the end of the tour for a special giveaway. You’ll need the cards to enter. Winner will be chosen randomly from entrants with the correct answers.
Black Dog Blues Trading Card
These fine collectibles showcase some of the many creatures and inhabitants of Kai Gracen world. Just like life, there are no true good or evil creatures. It’s just that some of them are more wicked and deadlier than others.
If you’ve already read Black
Dog Blues, thank you. REALLY. Thank you. You rock and you’ve made Black Dog Blues a success and got it
notice. I cannot say thank you enough. No need to re-buy the book but if you’d left a review on Amazon—and
have the time—repost it onto the new listing. Unlike Goodreads, re-release
reviews don’t carry over. *grins*
If you haven’t read Black Dog Blues, ah—Kai really is my special precious, growly kitten. I adore writing him. I adore writing his world and man, there’s so many places to go with his story. I’m really looking forward to digging in.
Thank you again for letting my snarling elf have a space on your ebook reader. You all rock. Thank you.
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.
My Blog: www.rhysford.com
And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.
My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.
As Rhys said in her guest post, leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a stuffed dragon, and collect the card above so you can go to her blog at the end of the tour and enter an additional giveaway there.