As promised yesterday, fellow Midnight Ink mystery author Jennifer Harlow is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post.
The photo above is the cover for her new release this week, To Catch a Vampire, the second book in her F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series. In the book, Beatrice Alexander, telekinetic special agent, is still adjusting to life among the F.R.E.A.K.S. while wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats. When Bea learns about her "special assignment" investigating a series of human disappearances with Oliver Montrose, her gorgeous but annoying vampire co-worker, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover. Disguised as a married couple, they infiltrate the gothic vamp scene in Dallas. While sniffing out clues, Oliver's convincing public—and not so public—displays of affection have Bea swooning in her bustier and fishnets. Between contending with her fake husband's ex-lover Marianna and feeling guilty for hiding the mission from her werewolf crush Will, Bea discovers she's not the only F.R.E.A.K. keeping secrets. Clubbing with the undead turns bloody when Oliver's old enemy, the Lord of Dallas, decides to seek his revenge. Caught in the crossfire, Bea is up to her neck in blood-sucking trouble.
This sounds like a really fun read! Below is Jennifer's guest article about her love for libraries. Please feel free to tell us about your favorite library or to ask Jennifer a question in the comments.
The first time I realized this I was eight. We were living in Sterling, Virginia at the time and they just built this new library. I was going through my classic movie monsters phase, as we all do, and they had all these kid books about them! Here was this magical building that gave me what I wanted. For free! I could get as many as I could carry. I loved this place so much I even volunteered for special programs like animal shows and reading to little kids, well littler than me. (I was eight so I mostly handed out programs to people walking in, but still.) It only lasted a short time because, you know, elementary school got in the way. But Mom would still take me at least once a week to get my fix.
As the years progressed, and we moved around even more (I'm at an even dozen now), I had to find some sort of lifeline. Something that could stay consistent in a crazy world. Libraries provided that. The location might change but their services and the books stayed the same. When I went to college the third thing I did after moving into my dorm and finding the dining hall was to hot-tail it to the library, sit down at a table, and read. The strum and drang inside my head faded away surrounded by all those books. It was as close to home as I could get.
I wrote my books in libraries too. If you're so inclined to stalk me check out the Acknowledgments section of the first book in my F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series, Mind Over Monsters. Those are my usual haunts. I just sit down at a table or study carrel, put on my headphones, and write. It gives me a place to focus on the task at hand. (And on occasion shoot flirty looks at cute guys.) Libraries are a safe place to do research, be quiet, and find my next mental adventure. So imagine my glee when I came in to work on my next novel and found my own book on the shelves. Even better when an hour later I went to see it and the book was gone and one of the librarians I know winked at me as I passed. So yes, I love libraries and the people who work in them. Always have, always will. They make what I do possible (and give me a free fix of my drug of choice).
So support your local library. Volunteer. Donate books. If you see programs getting cut due to budget problems, speak out. Viva la biblioteca revolucion!