About the Author
Born in Helsinki, Finland, Mark Everett Stone arrived in the U.S. at a young age and promptly dove into the world of the fantastic. Starting at age seven with the Iliad and the Odyssey, he went on to consume every scrap of Norse Mythology he could get his grubby little paws on. At age thirteen he graduated to Tolkien and Heinlein, building up a book collection that soon rivaled the local public library's. In college Mark majored in Journalism and minored in English. Mark has published four other books with Camel Press: What Happens in Vegas Dies in Vegas, I Left My Haunt in San Francisco, Chicago, The Windigo City (Books 2, 3, and 4 of the From the Files of the BSI series) as well as a standalone novel, The Judas Line, which was a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in the Fantasy Category. Mark lives in Denver with his amazingly patient wife, Brandie, and their two sons, Aeden and Gabriel. You can find Mark on the Web at markeverettstone.com.
Read an Excerpt
If it had been a Hollywood movie, the ghoul's arm would have separated from its body in beautiful slo-mo, with little bits flying hither and yon in an orgy of special effects gore. What happened wasn't Hollywood, but it was close.
It spun away, a chattering rattle erupting from its throat, right into fire from Wilke's .44. Unfortunately, the Detective hit it only once in the chest, the explosive round leaving a softball sized hole that oozed odious black ichor. If he had hit the sucker with more than one, the fight would've been over right then and there. Instead, the monster blurred forward, the claws of its remaining hand slashing. More metal tore and Wilkes flew off to the side, .44 clattering to concrete.
My Lahti belched fire five more times, but the ghoul was ready, dodging as if it were performing some graceful undead ballet … the Damned Swan Lake. All five shots missed. It straightened from its last dodge to see a polystyrene egg case roll three feet from its toes.
I bellowed the command word written on the side of the egg. "SNOWDIRT!"
The egg case burst like a paper party popper. A Marquise cut sapphire the size of my pinky nail, glowing with a harsh blue radiance, spun madly into the air to a height of about three feet. Hair thin lines of azure light erupted from the facets, extending some six feet.
The gem spun faster, the radiant blue lines crisscrossing the ghoul hundreds of times in less than a second. This lasted for a brief moment before abruptly winking out and tinking to the floor of the garage.
I stared at the ghoul. It stared at me.
Then it toppled. And fragmented … an avalanche of ghoul spreading itself thin along the cement in thousands of pieces.
That was Alex's version of a Bouncing Betty.
I vowed to get him a raise.