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Authors: Faith Hunter

Skinwalker

BOOK: Skinwalker
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Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for the Novels of Faith Hunter
Bloodring
“A bold interpretation of the what-might-be. . . . With a delicate weaving of magic and Scripture, Faith Hunter left me wondering: What's a woman to do when she falls in love with a seraph's child?”—Kim Harrison
 
“Entertaining . . . outstanding supporting characters. . . . The strong cliff-hanger of an ending bodes well for future adventures.” —
Publishers Weekly
 
“The cast is incredible. . . . Fans of postapocalypse fantasies will appreciate this superb interpretation of the endless end of days.”—
Midwest Book Review
 
“Hunter's distinctive future vision offers a fresh though dark glimpse into a newly made postapocalyptic world. Bold and imaginative in approach, with appealing characters and a suspense-filled story, this belongs in most fantasy collections.”—
Library Journal
 
“It's a pleasure to read this engaging tale about characters connected by strong bonds of friendship and family. Mixes romance, high fantasy, apocalyptic and postapocalyptic adventure to good effect.”—
Kirkus Reviews
 
“Hunter's very professionally executed, tasty blend of dark fantasy, mystery, and romance should please fans of all three genres.”—
Booklist
 
“Entertaining . . . a promising new series. . . . Steady pacing, dashes of humor, and a strong story line coupled with a great ending neatly setting up the next adventure make this take on the apocalypse worth checking out.”
—Monsters and Critics
 
“Enjoyable . . . a tale of magic and secrets in a world gone mad.”—
Romantic Times
 
Seraphs
“The world [Hunter] has created is unique and bleak . . . [an] exciting science fiction thriller.”
—
Midwest Book Review
 
“Continuing the story begun in
Bloodring
, Hunter expands on her darkly alluring vision of a future in which the armies of good and evil wage their eternal struggle in the world of flesh and blood. Strong characters and a compelling story.”
—
Library Journal
 
“This thrilling dark fantasy has elements of danger, adventure, and religious fanaticism, plus sexual overtones. Hunter's impressive narrative skills vividly describe a changed world, and she artfully weaves in social commentary . . . a well-written, exciting novel.”—
Romantic Times
 
Host
“Hunter's world continues to expand in this highly original fantasy with lively characters where nothing can ever be taken for granted.”—
Publishers Weekly
 
“Hunter has created a remarkable interpretation of the aftermath of Armageddon in which angels and devils once again walk the earth and humans struggle to find a place. Stylish storytelling and gripping drama make this a good addition to most fantasy collections.”—
Library Journal
 
“Readers will admire [Thorn's] sacrifice [in] placing others before herself. . . . Fans will enjoy reading about the continuing end of days.”—
Midwest Book Review
 
“With fast-paced action and the possibility of more romance, this is an enjoyable read with an alluring magical touch.”—Darque Reviews
OTHER NOVELS BY FAITH HUNTER
The Rogue Mage Novels
Bloodring
Seraphs
Host
ROC
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,
Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, July 2009
 
Copyright © Faith Hunter, 2009
ISBN: 9781101082218
All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER'S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
 
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

Version_3

To my Renaissance Man,
who knows the songs to sing and the rivers to run
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The Guy in the Leather Jacket, for telling me Jane needed a softer side.
Sarah Spieth for helping out with New Orleans settings.
Melanie Otto, for beta reading.
Holly McClure, for Cherokee stories, especially for allowing me to cull info from her Cherokee novel,
Lightning Creek
.
Randall Pruette, for gun info and for designing the vamp-killing ammo.
Mike Pruette, Web guru at www.FaithHunter.net and fan.
Judith Bienvenu, for coming up with the model for Jane's bike, and for beta reading.
Stephen Mullen, of Nightrider.com and TuneYourHarley.com for bike info and for creating a background for Jacob, Zen Harley Master.
Melissa Lee and Audrey Wilkinson for reading the first chapter and demanding more.
Rod Hunter, for the right word when my tired brain was stymied.
Joyce Wright, for reading everything I write, no matter how “weird.”
Kim Harrison, Misty Massey, David B. Coe, C. E. Murphy, Tamar Myers, Greg Paxton, Raven Blackwell, Chris tina Stiles, and all my writer friends, for taking the writing journey with me.
My Yahoo fan group at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/the-enclave.
My cowriters at www.magicalwords.net.
Lucienne Diver, for doing what an agent does best, with grace and kindness.
And last but not least, my editor at Roc, Jessica Wade, who saw the multisouled Beast in Jane and bought this series.
Y'all ROCK!
CHAPTER 1
I travel light
I wheeled my bike down Decatur Street and eased deeper into the French Quarter, the bike's engine purring. My shotgun, a Benelli M4 Super 90, was slung over my back and loaded for vamp with hand-packed silver fléchette rounds. I carried a selection of silver crosses in my belt, hidden under my leather jacket, and stakes, secured in loops on my jeans-clad thighs. The saddlebags on my bike were filled with my meager travel belongings—clothes in one side, tools of the trade in the other. As a vamp killer for hire, I travel light.
I'd need to put the vamp-hunting tools out of sight for my interview. My hostess might be offended. Not a good thing when said hostess held my next paycheck in her hands and possessed a set of fangs of her own.
A guy, a good-looking Joe standing in a doorway, turned his head to follow my progress as I motored past. He wore leather boots, a jacket, and jeans, like me, though his dark hair was short and mine was down to my hips when not braided out of the way, tight to my head, for fighting. A Kawasaki motorbike leaned on a stand nearby. I didn't like his interest, but he didn't prick my predatory or territorial instincts.
I maneuvered the bike down St. Louis and then onto Dauphine, weaving between nervous-looking shop workers heading home for the evening and a few early revelers out for fun. I spotted the address in the fading light. Katie's Ladies was the oldest continually operating whorehouse in the Quarter, in business since 1845, though at various locations, depending on hurricane, flood, the price of rent, and the agreeable nature of local law and its enforcement officers. I parked, set the kickstand, and unwound my long legs from the hog.
BOOK: Skinwalker
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