With the release of The Italian Screwjob just one week away, I thought it might be fun to both remind you all of who our principal players are and introduce you to a few of the many, many, many new characters that will make their appearance in this book. I hope you’ll love (or hate) the newcomers as much as I do! Now, without further ado, let’s meet the cast of The Italian Screwjob!
[Please note… if you have not read the previous books in The Many Travails of John Smith, there will be some minor spoilers!]
Notable Members of The Existing Cast
John Smith – Our hapless hero. Working as both a private investigator and a mediator1, John has had a lot of things happen over the course of the past three years. Now renting a bedroom from his friend and business partner, Juliette, the last thing John expected was to be flying to Rome to save Anastasia, the woman he loves. If only he had something to wear…
Anastasia Dumenyova – Four centuries old, Anastasia has a fearsome reputation amongst other vampires as the Stone Lady, a peerless assassin and cold-blooded killer… which might explain why she’s been arrested for murder. But what was she doing in Italy in the first place? And given her job as Lucia’s problem fixer… is she guilty?
Lucia Borghesi – Exiled former queen of the vampiric Italian Court and the permanent holder of John’s bond2, Lucia is headed to Rome to defend Anastasia, even if doing so puts both her and John at risk. But for a woman who spends lives as easily as the ex-queen, is there more at play here than just the rescue of an honored vassal?
Juliette Middleton – Vampire, newly minted private investigator, and long-time worshipper of the punk rock gods, Juliette has found life outside the San Diego House far easier than it was back in the 60s and 70s. Quick of wit and sharp of tongue, she is nevertheless ill-prepared to tackle her first solo investigation. Especially when that investigation involves goblins, who are immune to the vampiric mojo she uses to cheat her way through most cases.
Chief Tikky-Wokka Tomlinson – The chief of the Superchargers goblin tribe, Tikky-Wokka has hired John and Juliette for another case. And with John in Rome, apparently Juliette’s going to be taking lead on the investigation. Things could get messy.
Lord Beel-Kasan – Insane, hilarious, and terrifying, the vegetable demigod Lord Beel-Kasan3 is sadly somewhere else, doing things that may or may not make sense at a later time, assuming we ever learn about them. But he would like you all to know that the Mickey hand points to seven, and that means it’s ice cream time.
Lord Kala – Demigod of Death and Time, and the owner of the interdimensional bar known as the Bitter End, Lord Kala has long expressed admiration for the way death seems to follow in John’s wake. Will he still feel the same way if this latest case involves the bar that is his domain?
Jee Sun and Summer (aka Princess Tea Leaf) – Best friends, despite their differences4, neither Jee Sun nor Summer appear directly in this book, and they are both pouting ferociously because of it.
Jason Diaz and Carolyn Hawthorne – Co-leaders of the first democratic werewolf pack in North America, Jason and Carolyn used to be married, nearly lost their pack during their divorce, and are now dating again. Life moves fast when you’re a werewolf.
Mike – John’s human best friend. Who definitely exists even though he has yet to show up in four books (and counting).
A Sampling of Newcomers
Denarius Borghesi – Known as the Kingmaker, Denarius is the brother to King Aurelius, Lucia and Tomasso’s long-dead father. Unreasonably tall for a vampire of any age, he is known to be a stoic defender of the law. He is also the man who assembled the evidence against Anastasia, which will do little to help an already incendiary relationship with his niece, Lucia.
Tomasso Borghesi – Lucia’s brother, and the current king of the Italian Court, thanks entirely to his sister’s banishment a century earlier. It is anyone’s guess how Tomasso will feel about Lucia’s return to Italy.
Sabina Borghesi – Daughter to Tomasso and niece to an aunt she has never met, Sabina’s feelings towards Lucia, John, and the notorious Stone Lady are apparent from the very first meeting. And for good reason.
Maria Elena Giordano – Companion to Sabina and assigned guide/translator for John, Maria Elena could be exactly what she appears: young, a little bit flighty, and almost painfully naive. Then again, John’s judgment when it comes to women is notoriously flawed…
Ambassador Ti An – Representative of the Endless Empire of the Sun, Ti An is a name that even Lucia fears. So, why is she so fixated on John?
Dog – The singular instance in which a dog is not man’s best friend, this genuine imp from Hell seems content to traffic in supernatural narcotics while loudly proclaiming his boredom with the business of the Council to which he belongs.
Sergei – An eye patch and a take-no-prisoners attitude are enough to make Sergei John’s favorite new vampire acquaintance, even after only a single encounter. But how does he figure into the case, and why has he taken an interest in Lucia?
The Rag Lady – The world’s smallest ringwraith5, she is running from someone, in pursuit of something, but hell if John can figure out either one.
“Bobo” aka Brian – The second of Juliette’s donors, Brian gets this whole tale started, and Juliette is totally going to speak to him about that. At some point.
On Thursday, I’ll be back for the first of five sample chapters, released daily, and counting down to Tuesday’s release of The Italian Screwjob. Until then, stay safe and keep reading!
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