Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Silence of the Moon
By S.A. Pavlik
Secrets of the Moon, Book 2
A werewolf in mourning.
Channing has been through enough trauma to bring any ordinary person to
their knees, but recent events might be the final straw that breaks
him. Especially when he discovers he’s lost not just the only constant
in his life, but something far greater. Meanwhile, a sinister plot is
brewing that threatens not only him, but the entire preternatural world.
But he isn’t alone. Can the man he may be ready to love help him pick
up the pieces in time?
A homicide detective with more questions than answers.
Damien O’Connor of the Columbus Police Department has seen things his
colleagues could only imagine. He’s directly responsible for the loss
that sends his werewolf lover hurtling towards the breaking point. While
the man he’s come to love is suffering, a new case lands in his lap
that leaves him questioning everything and losing more than he’d
bargained for. But sometimes moving forward means stepping back and
letting others shoulder the burden for a while. Can he and his team
solve the case before he finds himself without a home to return to?
Silence of the Moon is
Book Two of the Secrets of the Moon trilogy, an 104k-word M/M,
paranormal crime/mystery romance, with a solid HFN ending. This book is
NOT A STANDALONE and contains heavy spoilers for Death of the Moon.
While there is a complete story arc in this book, there are plot threads
ending on a soft cliffhanger that concludes the last installment of the
trilogy. There is language and explicit intimate scenes not suitable
for readers under the age of 18. Warnings: MC with PTSD, past torture
implied, dealing with grief and self-doubt.
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“Fucking hell. They’re just kids.”
Damien stared numbly at the pair of bodies in front of him. Okay, they weren’t quite kids. Young. Tweens or early teenagers at best.
To him, they were kids.
The boy lay on the sleep-rumpled bed near the window, pale-green eyes staring unseeing at the ceiling. The kid—the decedent—wore a black T-shirt and dark flannel pants. His left hand hung over the edge of the mattress as if reaching for the girl—female decedent—on the floor while his right arm remained at his side, hand curved in a loose grip. There was a hypodermic needle near his fingertips. The end of a tourniquet peeked out from the jumbled mess of the comforter near the decedent’s feet.
Damien’s eyes landed on the female decedent, curled in the fetal position on the floor between the beds. Bruises marred her wrists, and her mouth hung open in a silent scream. Her pale-blonde hair covered her eyes in a tangled, twisted mess, and a hint of a bruise was visible beneath the locks.
“Fucking hell,” Damien said again, closing his eyes briefly and taking a deep breath to regroup.
“This shit never gets any easier, does it?” Officer Kent asked from the doorway to the hotel room on the third floor of the Hilton, his gaze sweeping the room with assessing brown eyes. Damien had met twenty-six-year-old Officer Matthew Kent at Alec’s apartment last month, when he and Alec had returned from Alum Creek—where he’d first seen Alec in wolf form—only to find Alec’s apartment in total disarray.
Kent didn’t remember their first meeting, though. Ari had used her kitsune wiles on him to turn him away before he could ask too many questions. They hadn’t filed a police report for the break-in.
Christ, was that a month ago already? Felt like he’d blinked and lost days at a time.
Typically, Officers Candice Lawrence and Andrew Jones would assist Damien with the crime scene, but the pair were busy preparing for the detective exam. Soon they would be full-fledged homicide detectives.
God help them.
“Is this going to take long? We’re fully booked this evening and need the room.” The manager’s sniveling voice grated at Damien’s nerves. He sent a silent prayer to whatever deity could grant him patience.
Plastering a pleasant grin on his face, Damien turned to address the stout man. “Sir, this is a crime scene. I suggest you rebook the guests into another room.”
Face turning purple, the man opened his mouth to speak again. Kent sent Damien an apologetic grimace before steering the manager into the hallway. “Sir, why don’t we step out here?”
“What part of ‘fully booked’ did you not under—”
Kent raised his voice to speak over the manager. “The sooner Detective O’Connor and the team can do their jobs, the sooner we can release the room, okay?”
“What’s there to look at?” The manager sneered derisively, gaze shooting to the body on the bed and creasing in disgust. “A couple of junkies in a hotel room. They overdosed. Case closed. We need this room.”
Kent ushered the man further down the hall with an exasperated sigh, ruffling the neatly trimmed, light-brown hair at the back of his neck with one hand. Damien couldn’t make out Kent’s response from this distance, but the officer possessed the patience of a saint.
I owe that man a beer. Maybe a full twelve pack.
Damien circled to the far side of the room, taking in the scene from different angles while waiting for Emily and her team’s arrival. Aside from the kids—decedents—and the bed, the room remained pristine.
Too pristine. Nearly untouched.
Something was missing.
Frowning, Damien opened the closet by the door. Empty. A glance across to the bathroom proved that the room was equally untouched. “Where are their things? They should’ve at least had an overnight bag.”
But there was nothing.
“Frown any harder, and your face will freeze that way.” Franklin County Medical Examiner Emily Whitehall stepped into the room and paused next to Damien, taking in the state of the decedents. A deep breath was the only sign that the scene affected her. She turned to Damien with a brilliant smile that somehow reached her bright-blue eyes as she pulled her auburn hair back into a clip at her nape. “Good morning, Detective. How was the drive back this morning? It’s a shame your cousin chose the middle of the week for the proceedings.”
Not like he could control which day of the week the full moon landed on. But Emily wouldn’t know that. As far as Damien’s coworkers were aware, he’d been in Indianapolis for an uncle’s traditional funeral rather than in a forest for Ari’s preternatural one. He’d been lucky to have gotten a single day off with minimal questions as it was.
Damien sighed dramatically. “The drive was fine, but I should’ve known better than to mention ‘North Market’ and ‘coffee’ in the same sentence before I made it to the parking lot, Em. Would’ve been better off stopping for some gas station crap instead.”
Even if the thought turned his stomach. They always burned the coffee, or it was too old. Either way, he couldn’t stand it.
He could almost hear Alec calling him a coffee snob and suppressed a snort. Now wasn’t the time.
Techs entered the room with cameras and started photographing the scene while he and Emily chatted, dropping evidence tags over everything they could find—not that there was much there, aside from the obvious on and around the bed.
Emily’s eyes creased with laugh lines as she pulled a pair of gloves out of her pocket and snapped them on. “Well, let’s get you out of here so you can get your coffee.”
Kneeling by the female decedent first, Emily lifted the tangled blonde hair out of the way to reveal the decedent’s bruised, tear-stained face. A large bruise spanned from her left eye to the corner of her mouth, covering most of the left side of her face.
“She’s got something in her hand, but rigor mortis has set in. I’ll have to wait for rigor to relax to remove the object without damaging it—might be part of a feather, but it’s hard to say.”
“Like from one of the pillows?” Damien glanced at the pile of them on the bed. Usually, at least one was a feather pillow in these hotels, and while there were no visible tears, feathers poked out of those pillows all the time. One reason he’d stopped using them so long ago.
“Could be. I’ll make sure we get a sample for comparison.” Emily carefully lifted the hand holding the object. “There’s tissue under her fingernails too. And look here.” Emily pointed at some scraping along the decedent’s forearms.
“Most likely, yes. Ah, here’s an injection site, see?” Emily gestured to the bend in the female decedent’s right elbow, barely visible because of her position. Nothing more than a tiny red pinprick over a large vein. A photographer stepped in to take several pictures.
Shifting their attention to the bed, Emily checked over the male decedent. “No obvious defensive wounds.” She gestured to a similar needle mark on his arm. “Neither present any other visible injection sites nor scarring from previous injections, either. When I get them into the lab, I will confirm, of course. I’ll have swabs from the syringe sent to BCI’s lab along with blood samples and see if we can determine just what they or someone else had injected them with.”
Was this a Romeo and Juliet situation—a murder-suicide and they injected each other? Or had someone injected both victims? Emily wouldn’t be able to answer that until she performed autopsies, but Damien’s gut told him an outside party was more likely. If the male didn’t have defensive wounds, then where did the tissue under the female’s nails come from?
Such a fucking waste. Damien heaved a sigh and glanced around the room at all the yellow tags that had popped up while they’d been talking. “Anyone find any identification in here?” A chorus of negatives from the crime scene techs. Great. Bad enough they were kids but nameless ones at that. He turned toward the door with another heavy sigh, exhaustion already weighing him down. “Let me know when you have the full report.”
Maybe Kent had been successful at prying something more productive than complaints out of the manager. Damien snorted. Yeah, sure. Keep dreaming, O’Connor. That asshole isn’t going to budge, no matter who’s asking.
As Damien made his way into the hallway, it immediately became apparent that Kent had not in fact gotten a damn thing of value from the manager, who was standing four feet away from the officer with a petulant frown on his face.
Damien briefly cast his gaze at the ceiling and approached the pair before pinning the manager with a hard glare. “Send me any and all information about the person who booked the room. Vics have no IDs that we’ve found. Have you seen those kids before?”
Indignation flared in the manager’s eyes, and the man was practically seconds away from throwing a tantrum. Nice. “I have not. And if you don’t have a warrant, I have nothing for you. Can I have my room back now, or do we need to continue this useless charade?”
Behind the manager, Kent rubbed his temples and shook his head in exasperation.
Damien nodded and made a note on his pad. “Okay, warrant it is. You’ll be hearing from Kent or me.” His voice took on a false brightness that wouldn’t match his expression. “And no, sir, that’s a crime scene. The room isn’t to be touched under any circumstances. Understand?”
The manager opened his mouth, likely gearing up to protest.
To hell with this.
Damien stepped into the manager’s space, speaking low through gritted teeth. “Now listen here, you shit. I don’t give any fucks what you think or how much you need that room—those kids are not addicts, and you will give them the respect they deserve. As far as I’m concerned, they’re murder victims until evidence proves otherwise.”
Damien stalked off toward the elevator. Fucking hell, he had to rein in his temper.
Kent fell into step beside him, a calm voice of reason. “I’ll get started on that warrant as soon as I get back to my precinct.”
The elevator doors were open when Damien got there. He marched directly inside and punched the button for the lobby a little too hard. Kent slipped through before the doors closed. Damien pinched his brow and closed his eyes to avoid Kent’s concern-filled gaze, counting to ten. He blew out a frustrated breath and deflated against the elevator wall as they descended. “I hate when it’s kids.”
“Yeah,” Kent murmured quietly, a tight expression on his face. “I do too.”
There was a ding as the elevator reached the first floor. The doors opened to the lobby, where a vaguely familiar street officer stood, holding a cup of coffee from Stauf’s away from him like it was on fire. His gaze drifted over the crowd until it came to rest on Damien, smoothing into one of relief. The officer rushed over and shoved the cup in front of Damien’s face. “Detective O’Connor! Someone by the name of Alec asked me to give this to you. Said you hadn’t had any yet this morning?”
Coffee. Oh, thank fuck. Damien grabbed the cup and took a sip, closing his eyes as the hot, bitter bliss hit his tongue. A moan escaped him as the pressure from the scene upstairs lifted for just a moment. He pulled out his phone and typed out a text: Thank you, sweetheart. I needed this. I’ll see you at home.
Alec’s reply was instant. Figured you would. Hope everything’s okay.
It is now.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Silence of the Moon, S.A. Pavlik is giving away:
- A signed paperback of reader’s choice: Death of the Moon or Silence of the Moon & swag pack (US winner)
- Paperback & a mailed swag pack including a signed bookplate (International winner)
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57680/?
Check out Book 1: Death of the Moon
Secrets of the Moon, Book 1
A werewolf with secrets.
Alec Channing has lived a long life, going through the motions, lost in his troubled past, until fellow shifters start dying around him. An increase in werewolf attacks only adds to Alec’s problems. As his past closes in, his only hope lies in one man—an unaware human whose vanilla and spice scent and easygoing attitude draw Alec in. However, what happens when that man uncovers the truth about Alec’s world?
A homicide detective out of his depth.
Detective Damien O’Connor joined the Columbus Police Department to bring closure to victims and their families—closure he never got for himself. But when none of the evidence adds up for what should be a routine death investigation, he’s floundering. As the bodies pile up, the sweet man who caught Damien’s eye falls in the center of the storm. When secrets come out, can Damien reconcile his new reality and solve the case?
Death of the Moon is book one of the Secrets of the Moon trilogy, an 83k word M/M Paranormal Crime/Mystery Romance, with an HFN ending. While there is a complete story arc in this book, there are plot threads that will carry on throughout the trilogy. There are language and explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18. Warnings: MC with PTSD, past torture implied through flashbacks, dealing with grief.
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About the Author:
S.A. Pavlik writes what she wants to read, but it doesn’t exist… yet. An avid reader, she first discovered and promptly devoured hundreds of M/M Romance novels in 2019 and it rekindled her desire to write. She started her debut novel, Death of the Moon, the very next year.
She was born and raised in Wisconsin where it’s too cold but she loves it there anyway. She lives with her husband and her furbaby—a needy, elderly, deaf cat named Rise (Ree-say). Because who uses names that are instantly pronounceable? When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s obsessively playing video games or proving that an introvert can be an extrovert on the internet after all.
FB Group (Pavlik’s Pavilion): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1595352617506076
Amazon author page link is: www.amazon.com/author/sapavlikwrites
GoodReads Author Page is www.goodreads.com/sapavlikwrites