We’re so pleased to have author Andrea Speed joining us today, on the tour for Infected: Holden, book one in the new Mean Streets series from DSP Publications.
Does every good hero need a sidekick? That’s what I wondered while writing the first Infected series. I knew Roan wouldn’t share some of his darker adventures and struggles with Dylan, mainly because he wouldn’t want to scare him off. But Roan needed a wingman without a doubt; he needed someone to help him out when he took leave of his senses, and everything went fubar. Which is where Holden comes into the picture.
Holden, before I named him, was a loose thought of an urban vigilante, but not like most others. Roan has no family, so he built one, mostly out of fellow weirdoes. People considered odd by others are pretty routine for him. These are his people. So right off the bat, I knew this had to be a strange character.
Holden entered the story at about this time, a slicker than shit hustler who was famous for his gift of gab, and ability to read people and shift, almost like a chameleon, into what they wanted or expected. He was a sex worker who liked his job, and had a history of being a street kid. Instantly, I thought why not him? Hooker vigilante amused me a lot.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what kind of past Holden had come from, and how this fueled his drive for justice. In Holden’s point of view, justice is for people who aren’t them: Aren’t street kids, aren’t hookers, aren’t poor, aren’t homeless, aren’t straight white upper class people. From his point of view—as a former white upper class kid—he could see the divide starkly. There is a way he was treated then, and there is a way he is treated now. He hates it, and wants to do something about it, but finds most avenues closed, so he decides to take the more direct approach. The fact that it’s illegal and morally dubious doesn’t bother him in the least, because he feels like the good outweighs the bad.
He’s the perfect sidekick for Roan, because there isn’t anything Roan can do that will genuinely horrify Holden—he’s seen it all, and probably done worse. But a guy like this needed his own story. More than one. He’s intense and dark, and in a way, unknowable even to himself.
And I feel like I should add that there’s a personal element to his avenging, but nobody knows what it is. Or should I say no reader knows what it is. Holden has never told the story, and never will, as far as I can tell. There’s a lot Holden doesn’t share about himself—in many ways, he’s a way more shut off character than Roan, in spite of his gift for gab and copious anger—and there is one story he simply doesn’t talk about. You may think you know all about Holden, but you don’t. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
~ Andrea ~
About the Book
Publisher: DSP Publications
Series: Mean Streets (Book One)
Length: 200 Pages
Buy Link: DSP Publications
Blurb: With his friend lion shifter Roan McKichan no longer in the picture, former sex worker Holden Krause is now working as a detective investigating cases in Seattle. When he receives a request to investigate a rather unusual case for Big Mike, a local drug dealer, he ignores the potential hazards in working for such a client and takes it on.
But Holden hasn’t given up his vigilante ways, occasionally seeking violent retribution for those ignored by the justice system. There’s a man stalking the streets, assaulting anyone he perceives to be trans or gender-nonconforming in any way. When the brutality escalates, the case becomes personal for Holden.
If he cannot juggle being both a detective and a vigilante, his taste for blood and danger might finally catch up with him.
Excerpt: Chapter One
His cell phone hummed in his pocket, and Holden answered it without looking. It could only be Otter. “It’s him,” he said and hung up. Holden pocketed his phone and pulled the black leather gimp mask over his face. He unzipped the mouth so he could talk to the fuckhole on his way in.
Holden stripped off his T-shirt and tossed it aside, although he kept his jeans and boots on. He had to. He had to preserve the surprise.
There was a knock on the door before it opened, and by that time Holden was lounging on the bed in his best porn-movie-bottom pose, like he was patiently waiting to be pounded by the pizza delivery boy. The man who came in smelled of cigarettes and was wearing basically anonymous blue jeans, white sneakers, and a blue polo shirt. He had thinning brown hair shaved down to a fuzz, perhaps trying to imply his baldness was a choice, and pale blue eyes that seemed to betray nothing but a kind of dull emptiness. He was pudgy, with a bit of a gut, but at least some of it was hard fat. He gazed at Holden, checking him out before bothering to look at his face. “Take that off. I wanna see your face.”
Holden slowly pushed up from the bed, and stood beside it, keeping his posture and body language as casual as possible. “Maybe you should take it off, Master.”
Something sparked briefly in his eyes. He liked being called “Master.” “I told you to do it, slave. So do it.”
Holden played around with the zipper as he slunk closer, giving him his best sexy eyes, and as soon as he was able, he grabbed the waistband of the man’s jeans and ran his thumb over the top button. The man grabbed his wrist, a little too hard as expected, and while he was asserting his dominance, Holden slipped his Taser out of his jeans and jabbed him with it. Right in the dick.
The asshole tried to scream, but he couldn’t manage much more than a squeak. He collapsed to the floor, and as soon as he was down, Holden straddled him and pulled out his butterfly knife. He opened it with a sharp flick of his wrist, exposing the blade, and pressed it against his throat before he stopped spasming. “Shouldn’t have used the same online handle, DomNick101. Did you think just ’cause you rented a boy from Backpage that gave you license to do whatever you wanted with him?”
DomNick couldn’t yet speak, although the way his eyes bulged and mouth twitched, he wanted to say something. “You think you could just beat the shit out of Otter, and there’d be no repercussions at all? ’Cause he’d never go to the cops? Did you ever think that maybe there were worse things than cops, fuckhead?”
About the Author
Andrea Speed may or may not be the holographic representative of a group of microscopic quark people, who live under your fridge and live off fallen potato chip crumbs. She also may be in Washington State, or not. The Quark people have lots of enemies, and it’s best to keep moving.
In her spare time, she arms pangolins in preparation for the upcoming war against the poachers.
Viva la revolution!