The Graveside Bar and Grill

(A Charley Davidson Novella)

by Darynda Jones

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Darynda Jones comes a new story in her Charley Davidson series…

When Donovan St. James’ precocious charge asks him—no questions asked—to tail the doctor who keeps their ragtag team patched up, he wants to refuse. Not because the saucy teen is getting too big for her britches, ordering him around like a mob boss, but because the woman stirs feelings in him he would rather not explore. However, when evil threatens the doc’s life, he realizes he has no choice. Sia saved his life once. He will try to return the favor. He just prays he can do it without losing his heart.

Running from the supernatural entity that has destroyed entire worlds to have her, Sia thought she’d found a haven on Earth with a motley team of warriors protecting the girl destined to save humanity. But when Sia’s found, she realizes something on this plane is more scrumptious than her: that very teen. So, she runs—and Donovan St. James follows. Nothing is more alluring than a scruffy biker with a lacerating gaze. And she vows to tell him that…if they survive.

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An Exclusive Interview with Darynda Jones

~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog

Can you tell us why or how you chose to write about this couple for your novella?

I chose this couple mostly because readers were screaming for them. I was surprised at how many people fell in love with Donovan in the Charley Davidson books, and I knew I had to give him his HEA. Or die. According to one zealous reader. Coming up with his love interest was super fun and ties in directly to Charley’s story in what I hope will surprise the heck out of her readers.

Do you do anything to treat yourself when you finish writing a book?

I pretty much just sleep late the next morning and then watch BTS videos the next day. #ARMY4LIFE J

If someone were to narrate your life, who would you want the narrator to be and why?

One hundred and twelve percent, I would want the narrator of the Charley Davidson books, the incredible Lorelei King. She talks just like my brain thinks. Snark and sass all the way.

What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?

Finish something. Anything. Then do it again and again until you get used to having to follow through with your original, enthralling ideas. All ideas, no matter how shiny at first, rust during the process. Push through and write that shimmering, glorious ending. You will never be sorry.

Can you give us a few lines from your work in progress?

Sia scrambled into her crossover and started it just as Donovan appeared from around the building. He stepped into the low light, his broad shoulders tense and looking like they carried the weight of the world. He scraped a hand through thick, black hair in desperate need of a trim as she peeled out of the parking lot. She watched him in the rearview, worried it would be for the last time. Then, realizing it very well could be, she slammed on the brakes, threw the car into park, and jumped out of the vehicle.

His gaze followed her as she ran up to him, and though he had his brows drawn tightly in concern, he stood his ground, waiting to see what she planned. When she stopped short, he only studied her, waiting patiently for her next move. Then he did the hair thing again, his shirtsleeve stretched tight around his thick biceps. And that was her undoing.

She stepped even closer, and he dropped his hand. “In case I never see you again.”

“Why wouldn’t you—?”

Before he could finish his sentence, she threw her arms around his neck and planted her mouth on his.

It was her first kiss—and most likely her last. But, still, it was her first. And it was wonderful. A spark of electricity arced through her at the contact, and she suddenly understood the popularity.

Donovan didn’t hesitate. He pulled her closer, his large hands sliding around to her back and molding her body to his. And for the first time since becoming human, Sia was grateful for the curves she’d inherited. They fit nicely against him as he angled his head to deepen the kiss, his tongue urging her lips apart.

She parted her lips with a soft moan and pressed into him even more. He tasted sweet and smooth, his mouth opening wider as he demanded more of her, and she realized that he was enjoying their interaction as much as she was.

Her phone pinged again, and it was like someone had poured ice water down the back of her blouse. She gasped and pushed away from him, covering her mouth with one hand in horror. “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean… I have to go.”

But he didn’t seem angry. And he looked more intrigued than disappointed. “Where are you going in such a hurry?” Had his voice gotten deeper? Huskier? Sexier?

She felt warmth spread through her nether regions as her phone pinged once more. “I’m sorry,” she said again, sobering. She turned and ran for the red crossover idling half in and half out of the parking lot. Then she looked back over her shoulder and lied. “I’ll explain later!”

She had no idea if there would be a later. Or if she would ever see him again. But at least now she could die happy.

What’s your cure for hiccups?

Rubbing the soft palate of the roof of my mouth with my index finger. Seriously, I almost gag myself, but it works! Try it. They will be gone in no time.

What mythical creature do you wish actually existed?

Dragons! How amazing would that be?

What scene in this book was the toughest to write and why?

For me, the sex scene is always the toughest. Not because I don’t like them (as if) or don’t like writing them, but because there is so much at stake. They must be driven both emotionally and physically. They must move the story forward. They must make the reader squirm in their seat, or I have not done my job right.

If you could watch one scene from this book be played out like a movie, which one would it be and why?

The end. I love it when a story comes together and the heroes prevail against all odds. Also, there’s a cool fire thing that is just hot, literally and figuratively.

Biography:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier, and her books have been translated into 18 languages. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that legacy. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

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