I used to follow Formula 1 until I realised the corruption, and then had trouble caring. Nowadays F1 isn’t as famous for its racing as for its sideshows: namely Max Mosley’s Nazi-themed orgy with prostitutes. I also watched a mostly American-based open-wheeler series back when it was named CART. Then it changed its name to Champ Car. For those of you celebrity-inclined, Paul Newman put the Newman in Newman/Haas Racing.
Partway through this season, Champ Car merged with author Jennifer Rardin’s favourite series, IndyCar. Yes, in a country where NASCAR is the racing series with the most fans (and its own Harlequin imprint of NASCAR-themed romance novels), our Miz Jen flies the open-wheeler flag. When I learned of this, it immediately made her stand out from all the other urban fantasy writers…and provided an excellent topic for Miz Jen to guest blog about. In this pre-post, here’s her publishing schedule:
Once Bitten, Twice Shy (8th October 2007)
I’m Jaz Parks. My boss is Vayl, born in Romania in 1744. Died there too, at the hand of his vampire wife, Liliana. But that’s ancient history. For the moment Vayl works for the CIA doing what he does best – assassination. And I help. You could say I’m an Assistant Assassin. But then I’d have to kick your ass. Our current assignment seemed easy. Get close to a Miami plastic surgeon named Assan, a charmer with ties to terrorism that run deeper than a buried body. Find out what he’s meeting with that can help him and his comrades bring America to her knees. And then close his beady little eyes forever. Why is it that nothing’s ever as easy as it seems?
Another One Bites the Dust (12th December 2007)
n their latest mission, Jaz and Vayl are sent to kill an ancient Chinese vamp who’s stolen a vital piece of biotechnology. The catch? They’re undercover as street performers…and Jaz has to bellydance.
Biting the Bullet (11th February 2008)
The Raptor, the CIA’s longtime nemesis, is back. Jaz Parks and her vampire boss Vayl are asked to join her brother David’s special ops team to take him down. But when her spirit guide tells her that she’s being lead to the wrong man, and she starts asking the wrong questions, her life – and her job – are threatened. And the one person who can help her – her boss – is off on a wild goose chase. Add to the mix a pack of reavers bent on revenge along with a small army of desert monsters…
Bitten to Death (12th August 2008)
Jaz Parks and her vampire boss, Vayl, have already fought demons, vampires, and reavers. Now, juggling work and family takes on a new dimension as she tackles her latest challenge: nail the Raptor before he can reduce her to Jaz-bits, survive a head-on crash with Vayl’s violent past, and lever her twin’s military career back on track before a dishonourable discharge ruins his life. To top it off, she must also contend with her father’s issues. Is he losing his mind? Or is someone really trying to kill him – from beyond the grave?
One More Bite (5th January 2009)
Jaz and Vayl have been assigned to travel to Inverness to prevent an assassination that has the potential to upset the balance between the west coast vampire nests and allow another Raptor to emerge. In the power vacuum left by Edward “the Raptor” Samos’ death, a struggle for supremacy has begun between his former allies: The Coven of Inverness, the Valencian Weres and The Flock. The struggle takes on a new twist when Pete learns that the Valencians have hired an assassin to take out the Coven’s leader, a powerful witch named Floraidh Halsey. Jaz and Vayl must stalk a killer as wily and Gifted as themselves as they travel through the wild, stark beauty of the Highlands. Their travels also bring new heights to their romance, a new depth to their passion, and a bond they are both, at last, willing to seal.