An Edie Spence Novel
After surviving a brutal vampire attack, Nurse Edie Spence is ready to get back to work—attending to supernatural creatures in need of medical help. But her nursing skills are put to the test when she witnesses a hit-and-run on her lunch break. The injured pedestrian is not only a werewolf, he's the pack leader. And now Edie's stuck in the middle of an all-out were-war…
With two rival packs fighting tooth and nail, Edie has no intention of crossing enemy lines. But when she meets her patient's nephew—a tattooed werewolf named Lucas with a predatory gleam in his eye that's hard to resist—Edie can't help but choose sides. The question is: can she trust this dangerous new ally? And can she trust her own instincts when she's near him? Either way, Edie can't seem to pull away—even if getting involved makes her easy prey…
About the Author
In addition to being a writer, Cassie Alexander is an active registered nurse. Nightshifted is her debut novel. All of her patients are of the human variety…she thinks.
In addition to being a writer, Cassie Alexander is an active registered nurse in California. Nightshifted is her debut novel.
Read an Excerpt
"Who knew a Code Silver isn't when an old-timer tries to beat you with their walker?" Charles said as he double-looped his scarf around his neck.
I grinned at him as I pulled my gloves out of my pocket. "Technically, a walker's still a weapon." We'd been trapped in a cold, dark room watching safety-refresher videos all morning, an exquisite torture for nurses used to staying up all night. I wound up my scarf and pulled on a cap. "Why don't we get any cool codes, Charles?"
"We do. Code Fur. Code Fang." He patted through his pockets, maybe looking for his own set of gloves.
I hadn't been in on any admissions since I'd been hired as a nurse at County a few months ago. But the vampires, weres, and other assorted casualties our floor catered to had to come in from somewhere. Not that the rest of the hospital knew that we kept vampire-exposed humans — daytimers — in our beloved County Hospital's basement, but we must get advance notice somehow. I just wasn't sure how that happened. There was a lot of information I wasn't privy to yet.
I inhaled to ask another question, and then looked up at him. I could tell behind his scarf he was cracking a smile. "Awwww, you liar. Code Fang. As if."
"Nurse Edie is Code Gullible."
Charles laughed and held the building's front door open. "After you."
I braced myself and headed outside.
Winter air was like a slap in the face — the portions of my face that it could still get to. We were two days before Christmas, and the skies were bleak. My hairstyle had been hat head for what felt like weeks now, and I was swaddled up in my warmest coat. Between my own hips and the three layers of clothing I had on underneath my coat, I probably looked like a Jawa from the original Star Wars, only with blue eyes peering out.
Charles and I were going out to the Rock Ronalds for lunch. It was in front of the hospital on the next cross street down, and it was where our recently released patients would take their legally prescribed methadone to trade for illegal heroin and crack. I wouldn't go there alone at night, not even the drive-through, but during the day with a male co-worker I felt safe — plus I desperately needed caffeine if I was going to make it through the afternoon.
"So what really happened, anyhow?" Charles asked as he double-tapped the signal-change button on the light post.
"Um." I rocked up and down on my toes, watching the orange stop hand across the six-lane street. I knew what he was asking but I didn't want to rehash the past, so I shrugged without meeting his gaze. "You know. I got stabbed by vampires. My zombie boyfriend ditched me on his way out of town. That sort of thing."
"Yeah." I inhaled and looked up. He was smiling again; it gave him crinkles around his eyes. Charles was a good nurse and maybe even a better friend, in a wholesome father-figure kind of way, if I'd let him be. He'd been working at Y4 for longer than I'd been alive. I couldn't help but smile back. "We have advanced life support recertification coming up together in four months. Hit me up then."
The light changed, and we both looked both ways twice before crossing the street.
The bell over the door of the 'Ronalds rang as we walked in, and a color-coded height sticker measured us as we passed through the door, just in case.
Charles ordered fries with a side of fries at the counter, and I took off my gloves to hand him money for my Diet Coke. I realized this was the first time I'd ever hung out with a co-worker outside of work. It was our lunch break, but still, it counted for something. I grinned at him as I returned from the soda fountain.
"Code Fang," he said, and laughed. "You totally bought it."
"Yeah, yeah, make fun of the new kid."
"We don't get enough new people for me to tease."
"Maybe if so many new hires didn't die — which no one ever told me, by the way — you'd get more chances." I followed him to the nearest table and sat across from him.
"Would you have believed us if we told you?"
I drank a deep gulp of my soda and considered this. "Probably not."
"For the record, I told you not to go back into that guy's room." He glanced meaningfully toward my left hand. It had a semicircular scar across the back of it, from where I'd been bitten by a vampire. It didn't ache, except for when it was cold — which, since we were in the depths of winter, was all the damn time.
I rubbed at my scar. "If in the future you have a choice between blatantly warning me about possible death, versus vaguely warning me in a smug fashion, please go with the former."
He nodded. "Duly noted."
At my last job my biggest fear was being coughed on by someone with active TB. But at County, particularly on floor Y4, where Charles and I both worked, the opportunities to screw things up and maybe get killed were endless. Floor Y4 catered to the supernatural creatures that no one else knew about: werecreatures in their mortal phases, the daytime servants of the vampires, the sanctioned donors of the vampires, and shapeshifters that occasionally went insane. And sometimes zombies, whom nurses occasionally dated, with poor outcomes. At the thought of my now twice-dead love life, my urge to make small talk chilled.
Across from me, Charles was starting in on his second cone of fries. Funny how knowing exactly what a ton of salt and fat could do to your heart didn't stop you from wanting to eat them. Like nurses who worked in oncology and still smoked. Charles watched me watching him eat, and tilted the cone toward me. I waved away his offer — it still felt too early to eat, my stomach was on night shift even if I was awake — and he shrugged.
"You sure you don't want to talk?"
Charles measured me as he polished off the fry cone. "Here," he said. He wiped his hands on his napkins, then opened his coat and reached for his shirt buttons.
"What are you doing?" I whispered, and glanced around to see if other restaurant patrons were looking.
"I'll show you mine if you show me yours." Three buttons down, he started pulling the fabric out and away from his neck. "Seven years ago. Were-attack. Shattered my clavicle. I couldn't lift my arm over my head for six months."
I couldn't see anything; it was shadowed by the clothing he'd bunched away to show me. But I believed him that the scars were there. Even if they didn't show — they were there. I shook my head. "I'm not showing you mine. Just trust me, it looks like I got a C-section from an epileptic."
Charles released his collar and straightened his shirt. "That sucks. But on the plus side, at least you didn't wind up needing to start a college fund."
"True, that." I helped myself to one of the loose fries on his tray.
"So now we're scar-buddies. Right?"
I nodded quickly, a little ashamed at how badly I wanted Charles and me to get along.
"Then listen to me, Edie. What I'm trying to say is this — I remember how it was to be you. All excited about the adventure — it's not a safe way to be. You have to protect yourself. You have to remember that to them, we're disposable."
I didn't need to ask who them was. Them was the vampires that'd tried to kill me. And also the zombie boyfriend who'd needed to leave town. I'd felt pretty disposable then. The new scars didn't help me to not feel like that either.
"So no heroics. Be safe. I want to keep you around."
I was genuinely glad someone unrelated to me did. "Thanks."
"You're welcome." He finished his soda and stood. "Let's get back. Only five hours of films to go."
We bundled up and pressed outside again. "What do you think the next film will be?" I should have gotten a Diet Coke for the road. Maybe then the need to pee would keep me awake through class.
"Ignoring Ebola: One Thousand Ways to Die," Charles suggested. "Or Mr. Radiation, Uncle X-Ray's Spooky Friend." He did a little cartoon dance, and I laughed.
"I liked the one where they explained how to evacuate the hospital by taking people down the stairs one at a time." I wasn't even sure Y4 had stairs. I'd only ever taken the elevator in and out.
"God. If we did that, it'd end up being some sort of horrible Hurricane-Katrina thing. Some people would get left behind, others'd make bad choices. If it ever gets that bad, I'm staying home." Charles hit the button to change the intersection's light, and I decided to press my luck.
"So tell me about the were attack?"
Charles kept his eyes on the light across the street, but I could see him squinting into the past. "Ask me when we have advanced life support recertification. We can trade war stories then."
There was a man with tufts of white hair sticking out from under his snow cap six lanes across from us, pacing back and forth. At first I thought he was just trying to stay warm, but as he moved I could tell by his bearing that he was angry. The traffic between us slowed as the light changed. Charles and I stepped off the curb at the same time as the other man did. We were across half a lane when a truck that'd seemed to be slowing down for the red light sped up instead. I heard the engine shift gears, looked up, and saw the man coming toward us do the same.
It hit him.
He crumpled forward against the hood, arms out, like he was hugging it in a moment of game-show triumph. Then it launched him into the air. I stopped in the middle of the road, stunned, unable to believe that I was actually watching someone fly. He made an arc, landed, bounced, and skidded to a stop, smearing red behind himself.
Half a second for the impact to occur, another half a second for the landing, and then the sound of screeching brakes as all other rightful traffic through the intersection came to a halt — except for the truck, which kept going. It missed the man's landing body by inches, and drove away with his blood in its tire treads.
"Jesus Christ," Charles said, and started to run for the injured man. I ran after him.
"I've already called nine-one-one!" yelled a bystander. I could hear someone retching behind me as we reached the man's still form.
"Everybody back! We're nurses!" Charles yelled.
Fuck me fuck me fuck me. I was no paramedic. I was used to people whom the emergency department had already cleaned up and put tubes and lines in. He was so injured — where to even begin? Charles knelt down, putting his fingers on the man's neck. "He's got a pulse. He's breathing." I knelt down beside him. Dark bruises were blossoming around both the man's eyes.
"Raccoon eyes," I whispered, having only seen it once before, on a trauma test in nursing school.
"Brain shear, go figure." Charles spared me a dark glance.
We had no supplies. We couldn't move him and risk his spine. One of the man's legs was twisted the wrong way, denim torn open, exposing meat and bone below. A moment earlier, and we'd have seen the stuffing of him, ragged edges of skin, yellow-white subcutaneous fat, red stripes of muscle tissue. But that moment had let his blood catch up with his injuries, and now it welled out from arteries and leaked from veins. It filled up his wounds, overflowing their edges and spilling out like oil onto the ground. When it began to ebb, I gritted my teeth and reached in, pushing against his broken leg's femoral artery. Blood wicked through the fabric of my glove and was hot against my hand.
"Here's an old-timer trick." Charles knelt straight into the stranger's thigh, his knee almost into the groin, only pausing for me to pull my hands out of the way. The blood leaching out of the man's leg subsided — although that might've been because there wasn't much left. "It'll clamp down the artery completely."
I inhaled to complain now was not a good time for class — but I stopped when I realized teaching was what Charles did to cope. Our patient groaned and tried to move his head. I crawled through the gravel and broken glass up to the man's head. "Sir, you can't move right now. There's been a bad accident." I put my hands on either side of his head. His snow cap had been peeled off, along with part of his scalp, and his wispy white hair was sticky with blood. "I'm so sorry, just please stay still."
"Aren't you going to breathe for him?" someone behind me asked. I glanced back and saw a man with a cell phone jutting forward.
"What is wrong with you?" I swatted the phone out of his hand, sent it skittering into a slick of blood stained snow by the curb. "Show some respect!"
"Hey! That's my new phone!" The bystander started pawing gloved hands through the grimy snow to get what was his. There was a shadow there, cast by the man himself, and I saw it shudder, swallowing the phone inside its blackness like a throat. I wondered if it'd been a trick of the light.
The injured man moved again, reaching up a hand to fight me. "No no no no no," I said, but he continued to clutch my wrist with the strength of someone who had nothing left to lose. "Stay still, okay? It's all going to be fine," I said, knowing I was lying. "Just stay still."
He groaned and the shape of his jaw shifted, becoming narrow and more angular. His teeth pressed forward, stretching against the limits of his lips, lengthening, showing yellow enamel. His beard began to grow — just like fur. "Charles?" I asked, my voice rising in pitch. It was daytime, on a cloudy December day — but I looked over my shoulder and saw Charles's face turn dusky, like the surrounding gray sky.
"Code Fur, Edie. We need Domitor, now." He fished in his coat pocket for a phone. "I'm calling the floor." The sound of a distant ambulance began in the background. "Get back here before they do."
I stood, found my footing in the ice and blood, then I was gone.
I froggered through the rubberneckers on either side of the highway, then hit the edge of the hospital grounds, my feet pounding against cement. Fortunately we deiced the sidewalks as a courtesy to our patient population, who frequently had to crutch, walker, or wheelchair themselves in. The frozen dead lawn was too slick and treacherous to run on.
I ran past the office complexes that kept our bureaucracy running, between twenty rows of cars in an employee parking lot, around the edge of our loading docks, and made a beeline for the main hospital doors.
Running through the hospital as a nurse in scrubs is easy — people get the hell out of your way, assuming you've got someplace important to be. Running into the lobby in civilian gear covered in blood, however —
"What's going on?" Our officer-guard held his hand up and looked behind me for pursuit.
"Emer-gen-cy —" I gasped. I yanked my badge out of my back pocket, dangling it for inspection as I brushed past him. "Gotta go —"
"Not so fast —"
"Gotta go!" I yelled and ducked down the next hallway, running for the stairs.
I wasn't in shape at the best of times, and working at Y4 didn't pay enough for me to have a gym membership — and ever since I'd started working there, getting to the gym had been less of a priority than staying alive. But I raced as fast as I could, my knees and chest screaming — because I'd left Charles out there with a werewolf, in the middle of who knew how many gathering civilians, himself a prior victim of a werewolf attack.
There was a warren of hallways that led to my elevator. I took all of them at speed, and seemed to have lost the security officer behind me. I reached the elevator that led to Y4 — running into it to stop myself. I swept my badge over the access pad, then braced my hands on my thighs and panted for air. Tiny electrical shocks were running up and down my hamstrings, and my knees kept trying to melt.
The elevator doors didn't open. I ran my badge over the access pad again. The light went green, but there was no opening sound.
"Come on." I flashed my badge a few more times, then scanned the recesses in the ceiling for the Shadows, the creatures that acted as the gatekeepers for our floor. "I know you're watching this. Hurry up!"
There was an audible metal thunk as the elevator arrived. The orange doors opened and a Y4 day-shift nurse I recognized handed a 60cc syringe out to me, with one alcohol wipe.
"Tell Dr. Carlson to get ready —" I told her as I snatched them from her.
I turned around and started running back down the hall, before spinning around again. "IV or IM?" I yelled out. I wasn't one of the vets on staff, how the hell should I know how we gave this med?
"Intramuscular!" she yelled back at me before the closing elevator doors cut her off.
Excerpted from "Moonshifted"
Copyright © 2012 Erin Cashier.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog “Edie Spence series is for sure one of the best UF books around.” ~Under the Covers Moonshifted is the second installment of Edie Spence series. Ms. Alexander delivered another well written and engaging story. She managed to make this book even better with a more detailed but complex plot. I devoured it in about two and half days which is big for me considering I’m a slow reader. Edie continues to get her nursing experience working at a secret unit called Y4 where her patients are of the supernatural kind. If you read Nightshifted (book1), you know that Edie is a special nurse. She is a patient advocate and she goes above and beyond her duties. She is good at what she does and can handle high stress level situations. Well, she definitely proved that here when chaos occurs at her work as well as her personal life. The world building is more in-depth in this installment. Ms. Alexander definitely widened the world, it’s not just limited to the patients in Y4 but even beyond the hospital walls. Edie is more involved with the faction of vampires’ and the wolves’ hierarchies during the overturn of leaders. Along with the caring for a patient who happens to be the Alpha of his pack; she also promised to be responsible and be a part of a vampire coronation ceremony. Both factions are involved in a power struggle that is of course brewing into war. Edie just finds herself in the midst of all the chaos. I’m telling you, they all seem to flock to her for help. While she does well with this type of chaos, I can’t say the same for her love life. She still doesn’t have one. After her zombie boyfriend left her she just can’t seem to shake him off. Not that she doesn’t have any choices, in fact, she has two good candidates. Asher, a sexy shifter is at her beck and call. And Lucas, a wolf up for the Alpha leadership position is also very interested. It’s frustrating to see her attraction for them but not able to give a relationship a chance. I mean, both men are super sexy, very powerful and did I mention sexy? I just totally disagree with her sleeping around and I can’t wait for her to give love a chance. *Preferably with Asher* Edie’s co-workers, her brother and even her mom were fun to read about. They are so easy to love or hate (as far as her brother goes). Ms. Alexander is obviously knowledgeable about nursing care but what awes me is her incorporation of it into a paranormal world. It was really cool to see how protocols are handled when your patients are supernaturals. Ms. Alexander ended this book with a bit of a cliffhanger. There were some decisions that seemed final and I’m curious to see how she will pull Edie out of that situation. I enjoyed every bit of this book. The plot is very intriguing, full of action and a good amount of smexy. Edie Spence series is for sure one of the best UF books around. *ARC provided by publisher
Moonshifted was a great second adventure featuring Edie Spence. This book begins with a hit and run that Edie witnesses, and before she knows it she is back in the middle of a supernatural turf war. Edie deals with a lot in this book with her family, her new friends, her job, and some new enemies, but she is strong enough to stand up for what is right even if it puts her at risk. I liked the introduction of Lucas and Gideon because each challenge her in different ways. Lucas helps her come to terms with the loss of her ex as she tries to move on and Gideon becomes a friend when she needs one the most. Moonshifted is fast paced which made it hard to put down, and it was full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Overall Moonshifted was a great read that I would most definitely recommend, and I look forward to reading Edie's next adventure.
I have really enjoyed the entire series! As a nurse also, Edie makes me proud! I love the bits of nursing humor and medical jargon that these books contain!
This is the second book in the Edie Spence series. In this one Edie, a nurse in the Y4, a special floor of the hospital that treats vampires and werewolves and other things that go bump in the night, is walking across the street with a fellow nurse when they witness a hit and run. The victim turns out to be the pack leader of the local werewolf pack. Now Edie is caught between two rival packs and she has to deal with her vampire friends too. When Edie starts getting attacked by weres who don't smell like any pack and don't act like normal weres, she asks for help and protection from the pack leader's nephew while she tries to figure out what is going on. All while trying to work the Y4 night shift at the hospital. When I first picked this up I did't know it was the second in the series, but I think it was pretty easy to follow just from the author's recap. I really thought the premise was interesting and I really liked Edie, not to mention numerous other characters, including Lucas and Asher and Gina. I did feel like the characters could've had more depth but that might just be because I haven't read the first book yet. As for the story itself, it kept me interested and I really didn't know who was behind everything pretty much almost until it was revealed. Overall I quite enjoyed it.
I thought this was a worthy followup to “Nightshifted,” and an enjoyable second installment in the series. Edie continues to be a character with enviable street smarts and an understandable interest in the supernatural beings she encounters. I thought I would be more bothered by Ti's departure as I very much liked the character in the previous book, but I found Asher much more attractive a personality than I did in the previous book. I was also surprised by the end of the novel as I did not expect that particular step to be taken until later in the series, so I'm delighted and curious to read the third book to find out just how this is resolved. The one thing that continues to bother me about the books is the use of Edie's addict brother Jake as her impetus for continuing to work at Y4. I would like to see her working there of her own volition rather than to help a brother who doesn't seem to want to take the second chance her assistance provides him. I'm sure she will work there for herself in the long run, but for now it's equally as frustrating for the reader as it is for Edie to see her brother wasting the opportunity she's providing for him. As for the supernatural elements, Anna continues to be my favorite supernatural being in the books, while Meaty gains a new and interesting angle. I can't wait to read the third book and see what happens next.
Eddie is one of my favorite characters. I can't wait to see what she does in the next book. Highly recommend this book. Can't wait for more.
1st book was really good 2nd was better...summer 2013 cant wait for the 3rd
Interesting premise on healthcare for the paranormal.
This is the 2nd book in the series.... I cannot wait for the 3rd
It's the second book in the Edie spence series and it's pretty good. You learn a little more about the characters and the world they live in. Definitely recommend. The only warning I have is that the books are in first person so if your not a fan of only one characters point of view then you might want to skip this. Other than that its an excellent series.