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Monday, March 14, 2016

Faith Hunter: "Blood in Her Veins"—stories from the world of Jane Yellowrock

Author:  Faith Hunter
Title: Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock
Plot Type: Urban Fantasy (UF)
Publisher and Titles:  Roc (2/2016)

     Back in 2009, this was one of the first urban fantasy series that I read, but somehow it inexplicably slipped through the cracks as I began to expand my reading in this genrenot because I didn't enjoy the series, but because I became swamped by the huge number of new series that hit the market back then. Now that I have read the stories in this collection, I plan to go back and pick up where I left off. Jane is a terrific urban fantasy heroine, and Hunter is a great story teller.

     In my reference book, Fang-tastic Fiction (published by the American Library Association in 2011), I included this entry that describes the series world-building based on having read the first three novels:
Urban Fantasy: Violence5, Sensuality2-3, Humor2
WORLD-BUILDING: Jane is a renowned vampire killer, hired by the New Orleans Vampire Council to take care of some “problem” vamps. She is seemingly the last of her kind: a Cherokee skinwalker who can assume the shape and characteristics of various animals, but principally a panther. Several possible love interests/nemeses emerge in book 1: Rick, a Cajun biker (or is he?); George, blood servant to the most powerful local vampire clan; and Leo, the head of that clan. Jane is loaded with weapons (in her hair, strapped to her arms and thighs, and more) and fights fiercely and usually successfully, but she still manages to sustain horrific, life-threatening injuries on a fairly regular basis. Jane’s relationship with her beast within gives a mystical cast to the stories, particularly when the beast helps her remember parts of her childhood years, which have been wiped from her memory.
   Following is Hunter's list of her JANE YELLOWROCK works in chronological order of events, beginning with a story narrated by Beast. The brief annotations for each title are Hunter's, quoted directly from her "Timeline" at the beginning of Blood in Her Veins and/or her notes preceding each story. All titles printed in yellow are included in Blood in Her Veins. "Cat Fight" and "Bound No More" are brand new novellasnever before published.

     Clicking on the pink-links (below) for the novels on this list will take you directly to their pages, where you can read print excerpts by clicking on the cover art and hear audio excerpts by clicking on the "Listen" icons. At the end of the reading-order title list, I have included the publisher's blurbs for all nine novels.

     For more information about the series, click HERE to go to the JANE YELLOWROCK page on the Urban Fantasy Wikia. You may also wish to take a look at The Jane Yellowrock World Companion (2013), which is available HERE on For a complete reading-order list of stories, novellas, and novels in this series, click HERE to go to the author's list on her web site. Click HERE to read "Candy from a Vampire," a free on-line story about Leo.

     Here is a reading-order list of the eleven JANE YELLOWROCK novels and the stories in Blood in Her Veins:

   "Wesa and the Lumber King" (short story from Beast's point of view, set in the Hunger Times of the late 1800s—early 1900s)

   "The Early Years"  (Short story about Jane just after she left the children's home)

   "Snafu" (Jane interviews for an internship with a PI)

   "Cat Tats" (short story about how Rick LaFleur got his tattoos)

   "Kits" (short story about Jane with Molly Everhart Trueblood as a secondary character)

   "Haint(s)" (short story from Molly's point of view, with Jane as a secondary character)

   "Signatures of the Dead" (short story about Molly, with Jane as a secondary character)

   Skin Walker (novel #1, 7/2009)

   "First Sight" (from George "Bruiser" Dumas' point of view, when he first sees Jane) Here, Hunter lifts a scene from Skinwalker and reworks it into her first story written from Bruiser's perspective.

   Blood Cross (novel #2, 1/2010)

   Mercy Blade (novel #3, 1/2011)

   "Blood, Fangs, and Going Furry" (short story about Rick LaFleur's first full moon after being bitten by a were, From Rick's point of view, with Jane as a secondary character)

   "Dance Master" (From Bruiser's point of view. He calls Jane to investigate a problem in the Royal Mojo Blues Company. And, oh my, do they dance…The story takes place during a period when Jane and Rick are separated by his were-taint. Rick has disappeared to live in the Appalachian Mountains with Kemnebi, while Jane is alone in New Orleans.)

   Raven Cursed (novel #4, 1/2012)

   "Golden Delicious" (Rick is in PsyLED school with his dual nemeses Brute and Pea. His fellow students go missing, and everything starts to go wrong.) This story was included in the anthology, An Apple for the Creature (9/2012). Click HERE to read my reviews of all of the stories in An Apple for the Creature.

   "Cajun with Fangs" (Jane is stranded in Bayou Oiseau when her Harley, Bitsa, has engine trouble. And she walks right into a war between witches and vampire that seems destined to drag her and her boss, Leo Pellissier, down with them into flames.)

   Death's Rival (novel #5, 10/2012)

   Blood Trade (novel #6, 4/2013)

   "The Devil's Left Boot" (The Everhart witch sisters are asked to find a missing woman who had great taste in boots.) This story was included in the anthology, Kicking It (12/2013). Click HERE to read my reviews of all of the stories in Kicking It.

   "Beneath a Blood Moon" (Jane and her team investigate a series of possible werewolf attacks outside of Houma, Louisiana. The story takes place over two days in February, before Mardi Gras.)

   "Black Water" (Jane is back in the Deep South, near Houma, this time chasing a human predator, racing to save the lives of the two women he has kidnapped.)

   Black Arts (novel #7, 1/2014)

   "Off the Grid" (Jane is in Knoxville to do a favor for her boss, the chief fang head of the southeast U.S. It's supposed to be an easy investigation, but a very important vampire has gone missing and Jane is drawn into the search. This is where Jane meets Nell Nicholson Ingram for the first time.) Nell will soon be getting her own series, called SOULWOOD, with the first book, Blood of the Earth, due in August 2016.

   Broken Soul (novel #8, 10/2014)

   "Not All as It Seems" (A short story featuring Molly, who gets a surprise visit from vampires looking for a relic their master lost long ago.)

   Dark Heir (novel #9, 4/2015)

   "Cat Fight" (Jane is back in Bayou Oiseau, where the witches and vamps are again at war, this time over a magical talisman called le breloque.)

   "Bound No More" (Angie Baby and Molly come to visit Jane. When an arcenciel (aka dragon made of light) also shows up, bent on mischief, Angie proves she is growing upinto the most powerful witch in Everhart history.)

   Shadow Rites (novel #10, 4/2016)

**************     **************     **************

Here are the publisher's blurbs for the JANE YELLOWROCK novels:

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #1: Skinwalker
Jane Yellowrock is a supernatural skinwalkerone sharing her body with the soul of a mountain lion. When the rogue-vampire hunter is hired to hunt down a particularly nasty vamp, Jane is drawn into the steamy New Orleans vampire society where she learns the ins-and-outs of the "sane" vampire culture, more about her own Cherokee heritage, and we are drawn into a rousing, fast-paced thriller.

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #2: Blood Cross
Leo Pellissier, head of the Vampire Council, has hired skinwalker Jane Yellowrock to hunt and kill one of their own who has broken sacred ancient rules. But Jane quickly realizes that in a community that is thousands of years old, loyalties run deep, mythos have real power, and the past often has more force than the present. 

When the witches and blood magic—black magic—become involved, Jane Yellowrock needs new weapons and friends at her side to fight the malevolent evil that stalks New Orleans.

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #3: Mercy Blade
Jane Yellowrock, a shape-shifting rogue-vampire hunter-for-hire, is now taking blood money from the very vamps she used to hunt. But things start heating up in the Big Easy when weres announce their existence to the world, and revive the bitter tensions that run between them and their old enemies—vampires. Jane finds herself caught in the crossfire.

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #4: Raven Cursed

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. 

But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Is it a rogue-vampire, shapechanger, werewolf, or witch? Or something else magical? Unless she wants to face a very angry master vampire, she will have to work overtime to find the killer.  It's a good thing she's worth every penny. 

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #5: Death's Rival
For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.

Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war.
PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #6: Blood Trade
The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires—those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted—are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets.

But what he doesn’t tell Jane is that there’s something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill—even for a pro like Jane. Now, her simple job has turned into a fight to stay alive…and to protect the desperately ill child left in her care.

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #7: Black Arts
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace. 

Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #8: Broken Soul
When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team. 

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see.

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #9: Dark Heir 
Shapeshifting skinwalker Jane Yellowrock is the best in the business when it comes to slaying vampires. But her latest fanged foe may be above her pay grade. 

For centuries, the extremely powerful and ruthless vampire witches of the European Council have wandered the Earth, controlling governments, fostering war, creating political conflict, and often leaving absolute destruction in their wake. One of the strongest of them is set to create some havoc in the city of New Orleans, and it’s definitely personal. 

Jane is tasked with tracking him down. With the help of a tech wiz and an ex-Army ranger, her partners in Yellowrock Securities, she’ll have to put everything on the line, and hope it’s enough. Things are about to get real hard in the Big Easy.

PUBLISHER'S BLURB for Novel #10: Shadow Rites
Slaying vampires is child’s play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans’ supernatural players is another story...

Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep.

A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit...undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it’s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.

STILL TO COME: Novel #11: Cold Reign 
I will post the blurb for this novel as soon as it appears on line.

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