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BoB Character Profiles: Marcia Grey

Marcy really didn’t ask for any of this. She’s just a Pre-Law college student from a wealthy family with a bit of a penchant for self-righteous rants. She grew up in a happy family with two younger sisters that she loves, and she keeps in touch with them while she does her undergrad work in Atlanta. She’s out to save the world with her Law degree–everything from indigent criminals to pollution. She’s a bit confused about how exactly she’s going to fix the world’s problems, but her heart’s in the right place. All in all, she’s a pretty standard picture of an upper-class white girl with a cause.

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Practicing for her magazine covers.

As he usually is, Sam is the source of her problems. Marcy happened to be in the way when he decided to go for a late night run with David, and she nearly had her arm torn out because Sam was just too excited not to chase down and eat a young woman. It was only because David stopped him that she survived at all, but now she had an even bigger problem–she’d been bitten by a werewolf.

David took care of her while she recovered, and before she knew what was happening, she found herself run out of town because Sam was in trouble with the police, and she had no better option than to follow around the only two guys who could help her adjust to her new lifestyle.

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Staying on her own wasn’t exactly an option.

She got into much more trouble than she bargained for by sticking with Sam and David, but she took to the werewolf idea with surprising grace. Turns out it’s not always such a bad thing to be told you’re going to turn into a giant monster once a month, if that also means you’re going to be stronger, faster, and better in just about every way.

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Not the response Sam expected.

Becoming a werewolf can do funny things to a person, and Marcy isn’t always the sweet and happy girl she used to be. She’s learning to enjoy her new life, even if David is around every corner reminding her not to go down Sam’s road.


BoB Character Profiles: Adam Weiss

Adam is, in some ways, a bigger jerk than Sam. With Sam, you know what you’re getting just by looking at him–he’s dirty, he has a thick drawl, and you just know that he’s going to be trouble. Adam is his opposite in every way.

He was born in 1881 in New York to German immigrant parents. He comes from a long line of werewolves making up a huge family based in Ingolstadt. By tradition, the Weiss family does not have children before they’re turned. Being a pregnant werewolf is very risky, since you can’t avoid your entire body changing around once a month. Miscarriages and stillbirths are extremely common. Because of this, the Weiss family believes that since every one of their children for hundreds of years has been born to a werewolf woman, they’re getting only the strongest and best of the potential babies. Adam is the first (and as of now, only) Weiss to be born in America.

When war was coming in 1917, he married a very nice girl named Nina, which allowed him to avoid the draft due to a to “dependent spouse with insufficient family income if drafted.” He celebrated the end of the war by getting divorced from her on charges of adultery. What a happy coincidence!

During Prohibition, he revealed his true nature to Ignacio Esposito, a crime boss in New York, and he made a very good living for 13 years bootlegging up and down the country with Sam and David. When booze became legal again, he stayed on with the Esposito family as an enforcer and continued to make oodles of money, which he carefully tucked away and invested like a smart lad. Now he has buttloads of money, an apartment overlooking Central Park, a few nice cars, and he practically owns Ingolstadt.

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How much money does God have? I bet he doesn’t have any Cheval Blanc 1947.

Adam is very charming and polite on the surface, but the truth is that he’s absolutely ruthless. He considers Sam and old friend, but that doesn’t mean that he’s above using him as a piece on his game board. He’s a master puppeteer who likes to portray himself as more gentle and sophisticated than he really is. No matter how he tries to hide it, there’s a monster under the expensive suit.

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That’s a very nice Chardonnay you’re not drinking.

He’s put Sam up more than once when he’s come to call, and he doesn’t mind the trouble he brings nearly as much as David does–mostly because he has the money to pay off anyone who might bring the trouble back to his doorstep. With connections to the mafia, he isn’t very afraid of the police, either. He might act polite, but he doesn’t mind in the slightest if some homeless guy in Central Park doesn’t make it through the night when Sam comes to visit. He’s got more than a little of the “I’m wealthy so I can get away with anything” complex, and he’s mostly right.

He’s ambitious as hell, and he’s not going to be happy until his world is exactly the way he wants it.

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BoB Character Profiles: David Harris

Poor David. He gets the short end of the stick just about every time a stick-having situation occurs. He’s trying really hard to be a normal guy, but it’s difficult when you’re a werewolf and the guy who raised you is Sam. David was born in 1918 in in Atlanta, Georgia, and he was in an orphanage when he was turned by Sam at six years old. Growing up a werewolf means growing up very slowly, since they age differently than we do. So despite David being 96 years old, he’s only recently grown up enough to look like he could buy a drink in a bar. So frustrating, right? But he got to spend his childhood years bootlegging with Sam and Adam and learning to pick locks (his favorite hobby).

He’s biracial, and was (kind of) a teenager when Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were doing their thing, so he’s got a bit of an authority issue. He’s had racial slurs thrown at him and fire hoses turned on him because he frequently snuck away to rallies while Sam was listening to a ball game on the radio. To this day, he still just really hates cops.

He doesn’t really have any memories of being human since he was turned so young, so he doesn’t really connect with humans much. He’s got kind of a bad attitude, but he doesn’t usually mean to be a bad guy. He tries very hard, but he has a nasty temper and occasionally kills people (usually with good reason).

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Then he feels super guilty about it and hides in his apartment for a few weeks playing Civilization.

Sam has come and gone periodically once he was old enough to take care of himself, which means David usually has just enough time to get used to being on his own and making an attempt at normal before Sam shows back up on his doorstep. These visits usually follow a pretty predictable pattern:

Step one: Sam wants to go run in the woods at night and drags David along, and one or both of them end up killing some hapless camper/hiker/whathaveyou.

Step two: David feels bad and tries to kick Sam out, which never works. Instead, Sam will spend the next couple of weeks sleeping on David’s couch, drinking all of his beer, and watching baseball on television. At least one night, he will come home from the bar covered in blood.

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Why. Just why. Why do you do this?

Step three: David attempts to have a sit-down with Sam about all the reasons he hates him and never wants to see him again.

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We have different life goals. I want a job and a girlfriend and a clean apartment, and you’re an asshole.

Step four: Sam pretends to listen, and then asks David if he wants to go to the bar. David goes. Repeat every couple of months or years.

It’s a vicious cycle of bullshit that David can’t quite seem to break away from, no matter how much he wishes he was normal. He might have a bit of an easier time if he wasn’t 6’5″ and surly, but he does his best to hide how huge and intimidating he is by wearing dorky polo shirts and khakis that are too short. (This might actually be due to his absolutely terrible fashion sense, and is probably in no way intentional.)

Poor David.


BoB Character Profiles: Sam Carter

Sam, Sam, Sammy Sam. Played in my dreams by Anson Mount. No spoilers here except for backstory.

Sam is The Beast of Birmingham, also known as Scratch. He’s a truly awful individual. He likes to pick up girls in bars, take them back to his motel, and have sex with them. The problem is that he likes it rough–way rough–and the girls frequently don’t survive his affection. He kills people kind of by accident and kind of because it’s fun, he drinks a lot of beer and a lot of whiskey, and he’s been homeless for the last hundred years or so. He just travels around making trouble.

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Sexy trouble.

Sam was born in 1889 in Birmingham, Alabama. Back when he was a human, he worked in a steel mill and had a wife and daughter. Unfortunately for them, he was attacked by a werewolf, and when he changed for the first time, he killed them both. Despite all of his faults, he still has a soft spot for little girls, and would probably never hurt one (even if they were only a stupid human).

He wandered around biting whoever he pleased and turning quite a few people, some of whom are still alive but most of whom are now dead. He was drafted in 1917 and went to fight in the Great War, where he met Duncan, an older werewolf RAF pilot who showed him the ropes. When he got back to the States, he fell in with Adam Weiss, who got him involved in bootlegging for the mafia in New York during Prohibition.

Ever since they split, he’s been traveling wherever he wants, picking pockets, crashing on couches, and generally being a pain in the ass to everyone he meets. This is mostly a problem for David, a boy he turned when he was only six years old back in 1924. He sticks on David like glue, and he’s the only one Sam treats even a little bit decently.

The problem about Sam is that he just plain old doesn’t think of humans as people anymore. They aren’t worth the trouble it takes to keep from killing them. He’s generally just out to have a good time, but that means something very different to him than it might to you or me. So, when you meet him, he might seem like this:

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But when you really get to know him, he’s actually more like this:

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He earned the name Scratch because of the scars on his face from when he was turned, and he earned The Beast of Birmingham by being exceptionally bloody, extra brutal, and unapologetically cruel. He’s an urban legend among werewolves–almost a myth, except for the few people who can claim to have known him and seen his work first hand. Even young werewolves know the name because of whispers passed around or stories posted online. He doesn’t pay that sort of thing any mind, but it means that he has a legend to live up to whether he likes it or not.

So, there you have it. There’s Sam.


The Beast of Birmingham is Turning Two! (And Four?) 2

Holy crap you guys! March 31 will be the two-year anniversary of the release of Under the Devil’s Wing, the book that set me down this road of caffeine, red ink, and conventions. I’ve made friends, I started a company, and I’ve written more than I ever thought possible. It’s been a crazy ride with lots of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wouldn’t be where I am without the amazing friendship and support that I found in my local NaNoWriMo group. They encouraged me and helped me, and they were my first cheerleaders, and I love every one of them.

I’ve also found so much love and support from fans that I just can’t express enough gratitude. Every time one of you finds me at a convention to tell me you loved one of my books, it just makes my whole day. It makes the hard work and stress worth it, and it alleviates some of that constantly-looming dread that I’m a terrible imposter hack. So thank you.

But enough sappy crap! We’re here to talk about The Beast of Birmingham! To celebrate the anniversary, I’m going to have a little giveaway. Under the Devil’s Wing is free on your e-reader of choice, as always, so here’s the deal:

If you’ve read Under the Devil’s Wing but haven’t reviewed it (naughty), here’s your chance. Leave me a review either on Amazon or Goodreads and let me know about it, and you’ll earn yourself an entry to win a set of Beast of Birmingham character art cards as well as a $10 Amazon gift card! (Good toward the next two books in the series; just sayin.)

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Banana for scale.

I’m going to be at Cyphacon in Lake Charles, Louisiana on April 8-10, celebrating the anniversary! Just look for little Sam here and come and say hello. He does bite, but I promise you’ll like it. I’ll be accepting entries in the giveaway until midnight on April 17 to give you Louisiana folks time to enter, and I’ll announce the winner here and on my various other social media on Monday the 18th.

The Beast of Birmingham was my leap of faith into the world of being an author. I’m so thankful for everything that’s led me to where I am today, and I know that Sam and company were the start of that. Sam may be a total, incorrigible bastard, but he’ll forever have a special place in my heart, as will the rest of my werewolf crew.

So, recognizing that, I think you all deserve to know that I’m working on a special project. The Beast of Birmingham trilogy may be over, but lives go on.

So, this is me officially announcing The Beast of Birmingham: American Hunter, coming Holiday 2016!

Merry Chrismahanukkwanzaavus, y’all. Get ready to take on the States!

I’ll also be doing some posts over the next couple of weeks for those of you who might not be familiar with The Beast of Birmingham yet. I’ve got some character profiles coming your way, some ramblings, and some sneak peeks at the coming story. So super excited!

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