Hi everyone! I’d like to thank Amber for this opportunity to infiltrate her blog and say a big happy birthday to her. Happy Birthday Amber!!!
The last 18 months have been a real slog for me personally and something had to give in order for me to be able to make it through. Unfortunately, that something was writing. I am very happy to say that things are getting back on track and I am back writing again. My fourth book in the Hounds of the Hunt series released last month and I couldn’t be prouder of this story.
But before we get to that, here’s a little birthday snippet:
Nicor sat at his computer, headphones on and microphone in front of him. The little red bean on the screen with devil horns raced around the map with murderous intent. Nicor couldn’t believe he’d finally gotten imposter. He’d been playing for well over an hour and had nothing but crewmate the entire time.
He ran into electrical and found a lone crewmate doing tasks. Nicor shook his head. “Rookie” he muttered. The guy should know that no one ever survives electrical. Nicor hit the kill button as he raced past on his way to the vent in the corner. Poor little thing, didn’t even know what hit him.
Nicor flicked between the vents trying to find a safe place to pop out, before deciding on medical. He headed over and stood at the wall pretending to do a task, in case anyone walked in and saw him. Really, he was waiting for his kill timer to cool down.
“Nicor” Adze called as he knocked on Nicor’s bedroom door, before opening it and walking into the room. Nicor didn’t take his eyes of the screen in front of him as he ran across the cafeteria through to weapons.
“Oi,” Adze said as he stepped up beside Nicor. Nicor looked up for a moment as he was curious about what Adze was holding. He grinned and accidentally clicked his mouse at the same time. Nicor looked back at the screen just in time to see the dead body hit the floor and Nicor be reported.
“Damn it!” he swore before he unmuted himself.
“Nicor,” CrazyDave said through his headphones. “You maybe wanna tell the group why you decided to kill poor BlueBell right in front of me?”
Nicor scowled at Adze before he turned his attention back to his game. “If I told you that my brother just walked into my room with a birthday cupcake, and it was an accident, would you forgive me?” Nicor asked in his most whim some voice.
The laughter through his headphones from the other players was answer enough. “Happy birthday, man,” CrazyDave said as the little icon on the screen lit up to say he had voted. A chorus of birthday wishes flew his way from the others on the chat.
“It was worth a try!” Nicor laughed as everyone else left alive cast their votes in quick succession. Nicor, knowing that he was caught, voted for himself to speed up the timer.
Sure enough, moments later all votes were on him and he was cast out into space. Not exactly how he wanted his first imposter run to go, but who knows, he might still pull off the win if his partner in crime could hold it together.
Nicor pulled his headphones off and turned to Adze. “You have awesome timing, as per usual, man.”
Adze laughed. “Happy Birthday,” he held out the chocolate cupcake with a pile of icing and a bright pink candle, flickering away merrily on top towards Nicor. “Now, wrap it up, the guests are starting to arrive and Jordan should be here any minute.”
Nicor sat up straighter at the mention of his mate. He’d missed him something bad while they’d been apart. But he couldn’t think of a better birthday present than getting to see his mate again. Nicor grabbed the cupcake and blew out the candle. He didn’t wish for anything. Nicor already had everything he could ever want. Instead he removed the candle, peeled away the paper and bit the cupcake clear in half.
Adze laughed. “You’re a pig. Now, hurry up!”
Nicor finished his cupcake, and put his headset back on. As the game was currently silenced, Nicor waited patiently until another dead body was found. Before anyone could talk Nicor spoke.
“Hey guys, I gotta jet, birthday party and all. Thanks for playing with me. Will let you know when I can log back in again.”
A chorus of goodbye’s started before they got down to the business of trying to locate the second imposter. Nicor signed off and headed for the bathroom, whistling at the mere mention that he’d get to see his mate again soon. Best Birthday ever he thought as he licked frosting from his fingers.
As a special birthday present, I’d like to give one lucky commenter the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Jordan’s Accidental Adoption
Away from home on a hunt in less familiar territory, Nicor gets hit by the unexpected—his mate. Changing course for the hellhounds of Australia in unexpected ways.
The hunt is on for the merpeople kidnapping young women and making them disappear without a trace. Each dead end leads to more frustration, making Nicor feel the weight of each missing woman more and more. The police want answers the hellhounds can’t give. A break in the case sends Nicor and his packmates to Sydney—away from home and on less familiar territory. When Nicor and the other hellhounds think they’ve cornered their suspects, an enemy surfaces and causes mayhem for the hounds—leaving a wounded Nicor behind.
Out and about working on an art project, Jordan stumbles on an unforeseen complication in his long life—his mate. How could a hellhound be his mate? Weren’t they natural enemies? Jordan knows how other Sups view his kind. To make matters even more problematic, the hound has been hurt and doesn’t seem to remember that he’s a demon from Hell or has a human half. Jordan knows he can’t just walk away, so he takes the hellhound back home to his refuge and studio.
One fateful encounter changes both their worlds forever. The amnesiac hellhound adopts Jordan as his human. Only problem is Jordan isn’t human, and he’s not sure his mate will accept all of him when the hound’s memory returns.
Hellhounds hunt the bad monsters that go bump in the night, keeping the human world safe from supernatural evil. High stakes and deep passions follow Adze’s Australian pack as they try to deal with sudden mate discoveries while trying to do their difficult and hazardous jobs.
Darwin sucked. Nicor always hated it when they had to travel to the far north. While the rest of the country froze during winter the great far north had to be contrary. Nicor had to admit that June through August was the more pleasant time to visit. Unlike December, when you couldn’t take two steps outside without being covered in sweat from head to toe, no matter the time of day or bloody night it was.
Right now, it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t mind-meltingly hot, and thankfully, the humidity that made people want to kill themselves in the later months had disappeared. It might actually make a nice change from the freeze-your-balls off temperatures in Melbourne.
Nicor stared once again at the BOM website and the temperatures listed there. Every other capital city was in single digits, or low teens. Darwin, however, settled in the high twenties.
Sighing, he glanced up at Adze. He had called everyone into the living room for a meeting.
It looked like the never-ending search for the mermaid responsible for the missing dozen women would be put on hold again, for now. It had been nearly a year since the ringleader had managed to give Pyro the slip that night. They had yet to find a single, miniscule trace of the mermaid. She’d obviously gone to ground somewhere. It wasn’t like she could disappear into thin air. Water, yeah, but the women she took couldn’t survive. Nicor was confident they would find her in the end, though. It was just taking a little longer than they’d all thought.
The right here and now, however, meant they had a new situation to deal with.
“Matti’s been keeping an eye on a situation in Darwin over the last couple of weeks,” Adze had told them, leading Nicor on a search of the BOM site for the current temps as the meeting begun.
“What kind of situation?” Daevas asked.
“The kind where nearly half a dozen pregnant women have died suddenly—their bodies disappearing not long after.”
Nicor racked his brain trying to think of what the hell could be the cause of something like that. He came up blank.
“What does Matti think is doing it?” Pyro asked.
Adze glanced around the room at the five of them. Both Callum and Archie were at work right then, Archie having gone back to the accounting firm part-time a little while ago. It was only two days a week to see how he coped, but so far so good.
“Matti believes we have an aswang on our hands.”
“Seriously?” Cacus asked.
“I thought they were only prevalent in the Philippines,” Oriax remarked.
“So did we, but apparently one decided to travel and seems to have taken up residence in the far north.”
“When do we leave?” Nicor asked, resigning himself to the trip to Darwin.
Adze grinned. “We leave tonight. As soon as Archie and Callum get home.”
Nicor nodded. He didn’t envy Pyro and Adze having to leave their mates behind, but it wasn’t like they could actually come with them.
As Nicor sat on the private plane later that night, he thanked whoever would listen that they didn’t have to fly commercial. The long flight to Darwin was already bad enough, he couldn’t imagine what it was like to be stuck in the middle of all those people, unable to get up easily and walk around.
He wasn’t an easy flyer at the best of times, though he’d gotten used to it over the years from all the travel they had to do. Still, Nicor found himself feeling like the walls were closing in on him and he’d have to get up and do laps of the small plane.
The others left him alone to pace and play his games, knowing how he felt about flying. After a half hour of pacing he finally settled enough to sit again. He pulled out his Switch to distract himself with one of his many games. Nicor plugged his headphones in, so he didn’t disturb the rest of his pack and concentrated on the small console in front of him.
A couple of hours into the flight, Nicor paused his game and pulled his headphones off. “So, what’s the plan?” he asked as he looked up at the others in the cabin.
“It’s not going to be easy that’s for sure,” Adze replied. The others all ceased their chatter and tuned into their conversation. “As you know, during the day the aswang looks just like any other human. At night it can shapeshift. Matti’s come across a couple of reports of people thinking they’d spotted a Tasmanian Devil in Darwin, which is what pointed her towards the aswang being responsible for the women’s deaths.”
“A Tassie Devil? In Darwin?” Oriax asked incredulously.
“Great. Well, at least we know what to look for.”
“Only during the night. During the day the only way to tell is either with garlic, which they’re vulnerable to, or by looking them in the eyes and having your reflection turned upside down. We’ll be looking for someone of Pilipino decent, which in Darwin, doesn’t really help as they have such a large population of people with Asian backgrounds.”
Nicor nodded. With Darwin being nicknamed the gateway to Asia, it was understandable they would reside there. Plus, the weather was remarkably similar to their own countries.
“How many women have died?” Daevas asked.
“At last count, five. The problem is, once an aswang kills its victim and devours the unborn child it can create a doppelganger of the deceased from any plant life around them and send it home in place of the real person. The doppelganger then falls ill and dies within a couple of days, making it look like all the women have died from various ailments and at different times than they actually did. The real bodies have either been consumed over time by the aswang or are being hidden.”
“Well, that certainly makes things interesting,” Oriax commented.
33 thoughts on “Welcome Birthday Guest Toni Griffin!”
Thank you so much for the snippet! I loved it!
I haven’t read any of these before but that snippet hooked me in. Can I read them as st a mnemonic d aliens or do I need to read them in order? *need to adjust book fund to afford more than one if necessary*
what happened to my question? Did the hellhounds try and eat it? I was wondering if they were standalone reads or needed to be read in series order, Can some one let me know please,
It’s a true series–if you read out of order, you’ll need breadcrumbs and a flashlight to understand the relationships and characters.
I just finished reading Jordan’s story and am already looking forward to number 5 of the series!
Sounds like a very interesting read.
I love this series! I’m super excoted about this new one! Thank you for the snippet!
Hi, I’m so happy that the new book is out, I love all your books. Thank you!
I do not know if I have read this series. I shall go on a quest.
I haven’t read this series yet but sounds right u my alley. Thanks for sharing
I have not read this series! But I am looking forward to reading this series. I really enjoyed the excerpt that you left. Yesterday was my birthday and my hubby forgot! 🤪 Guess I’ll have to guilt him into buying this set! Thank you
So glad to hear you are back writing I have missed your stories. Are you still with same publisher? Will be looking in on you. Any chance of more Thompson Agency and Holland Family stories?
Definitely need to get this series!!
Oh, a new series to read. Thanks for the info.
Yay. New Hounds of the Hunt.
YAY! A new series to get over this hump we call 2020!
So glad you’re writing again, Toni Griffin. Love the Hounds of the Hunt series, and have them all, except the new release. That’s on my wish list.
I haven’t read this series, but will look into them. I have a couple of your older stories, which I enjoyed. Thanks for this opportunity!
Sounds good. I’ll have to check these out.
I haven’t read this series yet but I sure am interested in it now.
Haven’t read this series yet off to get them loved it 😻
Love that the next book is up! Thank you Toni!!
Haven’t read this series yet but it sounds really good!
thanks for the snippet, love the cover 🙂
I’ve started the series but haven’t been keeping up with it. I really need to catch up. Thank you for the snippet!
I’ve read almost all of Toni’s series, I cannot wait for her new book!
Happy Birthday Toni! Love this series.
congrats on the new release, sounds intriguing
Just finished reading Nik & Jordan’s story today. Loved it.
I love this series and the new book looks amazing. Thank you for the chance.
Loved the snippet, thank you. My daughter plays a game similiar to this, lol. I have the new book, just haven’t had a chance to read it yet. So glad to see you back. 🙂
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