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Guest Author Wednesdays ♥ Andrea Speed

Hello everyone. Today I’m thrilled to have Romance Author Andrea Speed stop by. She’s sharing some about her wonderful Infected series, so keep reading, lol. Don’t forget to leave her a little love below!

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)

In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

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Infected: Undertow        
by Andrea Speed

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

Now Roan is locked in a coma as the struggle between his human and werecat sides reaches a new extreme. All Dylan can do is sit, wait, and think.

Meanwhile, Roan’s assistant, Holden, wants to shed his old street life and his relationship with Scott, but he can’t seem to do either. Holden doesn’t want a relationship with Scott but finds himself drawn to him all the same, even if he can never fully reveal his past.

With Roan out of commission, Holden looks into the murder of an old friend. At the same time, Fiona takes on a case about underground death matches between infecteds —one with connections to the Church of the Divine Transformation.

Finally Roan wakes only to discover that his shifts have new consequences. His lion’s strength is growing, and he can’t hide from it any longer…. 

Dreamspinner Press

Infected & Conquences

By now, I’m sure it’s reasonably well know that the inspiration for the Infected series was an article on gene therapy. But there’s more to it than that as well.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say it’s my stealth superhero story. I’ve always wanted to explore what that might be like, to be a real one in a world where they don’t exist, and be a kind that basically no one wants (not even you). But there’s also been something that bothers me, about certain superhero tales and certain shifter tales as well.

Now this isn’t true of all of them, mind you. But in some, society looks so favorably on you (superheroes), or your abilities are so easy to use (mainly shifters, but superheroes as well), it pretty much begs the question why not use them all the time? I mean really, what’s holding you back exactly? While the X-Men are looked on as dangerous freaks, and Banner can’t control his Hulk, and Superman wants to pretend he’s normal, many heroes/shifters don’t have this kind of built in trigger guard. I mean, why not use your powers all the time? Life would be so much easier, in many different respects, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that they don’t. Even the “regular person” argument is problematic, simply because their powers/abilities will always make them different anyways, and “regular” is an issue of self-perception more than anything else.

So – and is this a spoiler? Perhaps, if you haven’t read the first two books, so consider yourself warned – the Infected series is my answer to that as well. The virus that causes werecats doesn’t result in special abilities (except in Roan’s case). The virus inflicts a terrible toll, and those with it are stigmatized. In Roan’s case, he knows he’s different than most, but he isn’t aware of just how different he is until he starts testing those limits. So you’d think he’d use his abilities as much as possible. And sure, he does. But what a toll they take on him. It costs him physically and it costs him dearly, each and every time. In fact, the physical cost seems to rise, slowly but exponentially. And there seems to be a psychic/mental/emotional toll as well. This doesn’t even begin to take into account the toll it takes on friends and loved ones who see you suffering, but can’t do anything about it. Where do you draw the line on helping others when it hurts you to do so? For many, this is an easy question to answer, but, as I’ve established, Roan isn’t like most people.

I don’t mean for this to sound like a downer, although it probably is. But everything in life has consequences, and sometimes I long for a story where we see what those consequences are. After all, in the real world, there are no super heroes with super powers. But if there were, it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t be subjected to the same laws and rues of physics as the rest of us. In the end, it isn’t the powers that really make you special. It’s the choices you make.

Infected: Freefall        
by Andrea Speed

First Place: Best Gay Paranormal/HorrorIn a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

Conceived bearing the lion strain of the virus, Roan is the only fully functioning virus child in the country—maybe in the world. But that doesn’t mean he’s okay. He’s still struggling with the death of his husband and the guilt of finding new love; his old enemy, the Church of the Divine Transformation, is becoming increasingly hostile; and he’s taken on a tragic cold case involving a long-missing boy.

As Roan fights to control the lion inside him, his world explodes with all kinds of trouble. The leader of the church is ramping up the violence against him, calling Roan out as a traitor to his kind. There’s a loose Infected terrorizing the city. And Holden, male prostitute and Roan’s unofficial assistant, brings him a case involving the suspicious death of one of Holden’s clients, which puts Roan far too close to a murderer for his state of mind….

Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt from Infected: Undertow


Campanelli, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, drove a ’09 Lexus SC430 convertible, that silver color that automakers seemed to have embraced wholeheartedly in the last couple of years.

There was no fucking way a guy with his spotty employment record could have afforded this car, even if it was years old, but that’s probably where the gambling came in. But considering how fast the leaders of the church died, Roan wouldn’t have been surprised if he ran out and got a huge car loan he knew he’d never have to pay back, although most banks weren’t willing to take a risk on an infected.

Roan called Holden to let him know he didn’t have to infiltrate. Roan could just try and tail this motherfucker until he dropped, but of course, Holden had his phone turned off. The problem wasn’t getting Holden in a place, it was getting him out. If Holden was a true psychopath, he’d be the worst serial killer the world had ever seen, but if he were a true altruist, he’d be the greatest Human that ever lived. Somehow he slipped between all the categories until he was simply himself, a dichotomous, uncomfortable mix between saint and demon, a danger to himself and others. Was this really the sidekick he wanted? Well, it was the sidekick he deserved, so maybe it didn’t matter.

Roan had locked up his office and was in his car when his cell went off. He was hoping for Holden, but he got Seb. “Problem?” he asked, answering the phone.

“I don’t call to shoot the shit, do I?” Seb replied, although it was with a wry hint of humor.

“Not that I’m aware of. Address, nature of problem, severity,” he asked, putting the keys in the ignition and starting the car. Seb let out a slight scoff, but that was all. “Need you at the Bradford Academy, Bellevue. Damn, I wish you just got a GPS, old man. I could give you coordinates.”

“I don’t need another overpriced gizmo I’ll never use—wait, Bradford Academy? Isn’t that that private Christian school?” Since it was in Bellevue, you could also guess it was for rich folks as it was. Not as rich as the Medina folks, but certainly better off than the trailer-park denizens of Kent.

“Yep, and we got a kid who shifted in the bathroom. The school is mostly evacuated, but we have a few unaccounted for, although they may have just run off. The Chief wants this settled with the least amount of bloodshed and as quickly as possible. Get your ass down here. I’ve been authorized to okay an escort if you need it.”

“Holy shit, are you kidding me?” If they wanted all the lights and sirens going, it was a big deal indeed. But the immediate problem stuck in his throat. “Wait—there’s no way a kid could’ve shifted in the bathroom. It takes at least an hour.”

“I know, and the possible shifter is a kid who was marked absent, even though her sister said she’d come to school: a fifteen year-old named Salome Little.”

“Somebody named their kid Salome? The poor bastard.”

“You’re talkin’ to a guy named Sebastian, remember? Now get your ass down here.”

Roan did, driving as fast as traffic would allow, and since it wasn’t rush hour yet, he made decent time. Still, when he reached the school, it seemed like everyone in King County had arrived before he did. He even saw the Channel Six news van, and the cameraman must have known him, because as soon as he got out of the car, he heard the guy say to someone (probably the on-air talent), “Holy shit, I heard he was dead.” Nice to know the local press hadn’t completely forgotten him.

Infected: Prey       
by Andrea Speed

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

Dreamspinner Press