Demon Ex Machina: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom

BOOK: Demon Ex Machina: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom
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Table of Contents
 
RAVES FOR
Deja Demon
“A delightfully different take on the paranormal romance theme that will leave fans thirsting for more.”

Monsters and Critics
 
“Kenner’s excellent pacing whips the plot forward while keeping all the emotional turmoil intact. This showdown will change everything!”

Romantic Times
 
 
Demons Are Forever
“[A] wonderful author…a fun premise…excellent characterization, intriguing stories, and snappy dialogue.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
“Fizzy . . . Kenner’s trademark cliffhanger finale promises further demonic escapades to come.”

Publishers Weekly
“This is the third in Kenner’s splendidly creative series featuring Kate, whose wickedly amusing adventures in demon hunting are a pure paranormal delight.”
—Booklist
“This chapter in Kenner’s first-person, kick-butt adventures takes a darker turn, and a more serious tone, as Demon Hunter Kate Connor faces long odds and emotional turmoil. The terrific Kenner grabs you and doesn’t let go!”
—Romantic Times
California Demon
“Kenner continues to put her fun, fresh twist on mommy-lit with another devilishly clever book.”
—Booklist
“Sassy!”—
Richmond.com
“Plenty of action and humor. Kenner is at her irreverent best . . . delightfully amusing.”
—The Best Reviews
 
“A fun paranormal adventure that definitely appeals to moms!”
—Scribes World
“More witty, funny, and poignant adventures from the marvelous Kenner.”
—Romantic Times
 
 
Carpe Demon
“I LOVED
CARPE DEMON
! . . . It was great fun; wonderfully clever. Ninety-nine percent of the wives and moms in the country will identify with this heroine. I mean, like who
hasn’t
had to battle demons between car pools and playdates?”
—Jayne Ann Krentz,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Running Hot
 
“I welcome the novels that decide to be utterly over-the-top and imagine paranormal and superhero lives for their chick-lit heroines. Take
Carpe Demon
. . .”
—Detroit Free Press
“This book, as crammed with events as any suburban mom’s calendar, shows you what would happen if Buffy got married and kept her past a secret. It’s a hoot.”
—Charlaine Harris, #1
New York Times
bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels
“What would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer got married, moved to the suburbs, and became a stay-at-home mom? She’d be a lot like Kate Connor, once a demon/vampire/ zombie killer and now ‘a glorified chauffeur for drill-team practice and Gymboree playdates’ in San Diablo, California, that’s what. But in Kenner’s sprightly, fast-paced ode to kick-ass housewives, Kate finds herself battling evil once again. Readers will find spunky Kate hard not to root for in spheres both domestic and demonic.”
—Publishers Weekly
 
“A+! This is a serious keeper—I am very ready for the next segment in Kate Connor’s life!”
—The Romance Readers Connection
 
“Smart, fast-paced, unique—a blend of sophistication and wit that has you laughing out loud.”
—Christine Feehan, #1
New York Times
bestselling author of
Hidden Currents
 
“Tongue-in-cheek...fast-pacing and in-your-face action. Give it a try. Kate’s a fun character and keeps you on the edge of your seat.”
“Ms. Kenner has a style and delivery all her own…fun and innovative . . . [
Carpe Demon
] shouldn’t be missed.”
—Fallen Angel Reviews
 
“You’re gonna love this book! A terrific summer read with lots of humor and crazy situations and action.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
“Kenner scores a direct hit with this offbeat and humorous adventure, which has an engaging cast of characters. Car pools and holy water make an unforgettable mix.”
—Romantic Times
Titles by Julie Kenner
CARPE DEMON
CALIFORNIA DEMON
DEMONS ARE FOREVER
DEJA DEMON
DEMON EX MACHINA
 
FIRST LOVE
 
Anthologies
HELL WITH THE LADIES
(with Kathleen O’Reilly and Dee Davis)
HELL ON HEELS
(with Kathleen O’Reilly and Dee Davis)
FENDI, FERRAGAMO, AND FANGS
(with Johanna Edwards and Serena Robar)
 
Berkley JAM titles by Julie Kenner
 
THE GOOD GHOULS’ GUIDE TO GETTING EVEN GOOD GHOULS DO
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
Copyright © 2009 by Julie Kenner.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
BERKLEY
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley trade paperback edition / October 2009
 
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
 
Kenner, Julie.
Demon ex machina : tales of a demon-hunting soccer mom / Julie Kenner.—Berkley trade paperback ed. p. cm.
eISBN : 978-1-101-14529-6
1. Connor, Kate (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Mothers—Fiction. 3. Suburban life—Fiction.
4. Demonology—Fiction. 5. Domestic fiction. I. Title.
PS3611.E665D463 2009
813’.6—dc22 2009020288
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

One
“Stuart!” I shouted from
my post beside the old Dakota tomb, as the black-clad figure sprinted toward my husband.
Stuart had been crouched near the ground, his forehead creased with concentration as he poked at loose dirt atop an ancient grave site. Now he lurched to his feet, turning as he reached for the dagger he wore sheathed at his hip. The kind of move you saw in martial arts films, where the hero thrusts out a leg and cuts down his opponent with one sweep, then springs on top of the bad guy and presses the tip of his blade to his neck.
My husband, unfortunately, is not an action movie star.
Neither is he a trained Demon Hunter.
And instead of catching his attacker on the approach, thrusting out and defending himself with his blade, my husband toppled backward onto his ass. A string of sailor-quality curses escaped his lips as he rolled sideways trying to avoid the wraith who now leaped through the air, landing with a thud on Stuart’s torso, knees on either side of my husband’s chest, and both hands tight around his neck.
“Kate!” Stuart yelled as I dashed forward. “This is
not
what we talked about!” He twisted under his attacker, his predicament illuminated by the single lamppost in this section of the cemetery. “Off!”
Blue eyes under a black ski mask turned to me, and I nodded. The figure rose, peeled off the mask, and flashed a grin so wide and self-satisfied that I couldn’t help but laugh.
“I don’t have any more control over the demons than I do over my daughter, Stuart,” I said. “You’re the one who wanted to train.”
“Did I hurt you?” Allie asked, offering a black-clad arm and hand to her stepfather.
He took her hand and hauled himself to his feet. “If by
hurt
you mean that I got my ass kicked by a fifteen-year-old kid, then, yeah, I guess you hurt me.”
“Sorry.” Her lips twitched. “But I’m not fifteen until next week.” She turned deliberately to me. “And I want a video iPod and my own dagger.” She turned, indicating the ivory hilt of the blade sheathed at the small of her back. “Not another one of your old ones.
Mine
. Unless you’d rather get me a crossbow?” she added, hopefully.
“I’ll get right on that.” I turned my attention back to Stuart. “Don’t blame Allie,” I said. “I told her no-holds-barred.”
“I could have stabbed her!”
“Your dagger’s rubber.”
“Something else we need to discuss,” he said, irritably. “Allie’s packing some serious steel.”
I crossed my arms over my chest and cocked my head, my expression one I used on the kids at least daily. A little fact that, considering the way he was eyeing me, wasn’t lost on Stuart. “She’s logged over a hundred training hours with that thing,” I said, compelled to soften the blow to his ego.
“I know,” he said. “I do. But I’m in a cemetery in the middle of the night in a town that apparently breeds demons. I’d like to go out armed with something that packs a little more punch than one of Timmy’s toys.”
The dagger did, in fact, belong to our toddler. A souvenir from a recent trip to SeaWorld. Either that or Peter Pan paraphernalia from the Disney Store. Honestly, it’s hard to keep track.
“We’re training, sweetheart,” I said. “Like you said. Non-lethal is a good thing.”
He grimaced, undoubtedly embarrassed by the fact that he’d been taken down by a girl who, on some level, probably considered this whole gig fair payback for various groundings and television bans over the years. Even so, his inner politician shined through, and he flashed Allie a genuine smile, the kind that made his eyes twinkle with pride. “At any rate, it was a nice move, kid. Your mom teach you that?”
BOOK: Demon Ex Machina: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom
9.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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