EXCERPT: Shadows Within by J.P. Cane

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Firefighter Reed Williams and his bride, Lily, are enjoying their long-awaited honeymoon in Paris. But bliss turns to agony when they’re assaulted along the Seine and Lily is murdered.

Now Reed is plunged into a world of bloodlust and horror, led by a woman who offers immortality at the price of his humanity.

Nothing makes sense. Reed doesn’t breathe, doesn’t have a pulse, and doesn’t even cast a shadow. His loss of Lily is all the more terrifying as he experiences visions of crows stealing his memories of her and all that he holds dear. Overwhelmed, he flees his relentless pursuers for home in Philadelphia.

Back in the States, he stumbles upon three unexpected allies, who, like Reed and his attackers, have non-beating hearts and shadowless bodies. The trio–a brilliant, but socially graceless linguistics professor; a grifting ladies’ man without a past; and a penitent hitman trying to atone for the widows he’s made–must pull Reed back from reckless despair and help him remember his heroic self in order to defeat those who want to claim his soul forever.


Reed takes refuge in a small bathroom. A momentary sanctuary till he figures out how to get away from Eddie and Marie. That is, if he can’t kill the smug assholes. The little Brit is unbelievably strong and the psycho witch put some weird spell on Reed. Whatever she has fed him must have given her some control over him, like he’s hypnotized. Maybe while he slept, she planted commands into his subconscious. Creepy as hell. 

Their whispers beyond the door are probably about him and how to torture him further. Good luck with that; nothing can be worse than this. 

After he turns on the tap, Reed leans against the sink, his hands gripping the bright porcelain as if it is a rock in a swift current. Too much swirls around him now: the surreal moment of waking in a strange woman’s bed; the fathomless grief of learning his wife is dead; the vulnerability and rage Marie caused. 

His shoulders hitch nearly to his ears as his breath quickens. Confusion, pain, grief churn inside him, stoking his internal inferno. 

Lily is gone. Dead, murdered, thrown away like garbage. 

He screams and his arms fly out, both fists cracking through and disappearing into the wall before him. He yanks fistfuls of the gypsum plaster out, leaving numerous gouges in the wall. 

Lily needed him, and he couldn’t do a damned thing to help. Those bastards. 

Searching for something to grab, he finds the towel rod near the toilet. The flower embroidered hand towels go flying after he tears the rod from the wall. Picturing Marie, he swings it down, down, and down again on the lip of the sink, till the rod becomes pieces. 

His fury undiminished, he finds all that remains is a small cabinet fixed to the wall. Reed wrenches it free and smashes it against the wall, adding more holes, and sending framed pictures crashing to the floor. When that’s used up, he kicks the wall till, finally, he collapses 

About the Author:

J.P. Cane is a long-time reader and first-time writer of vampire stories. His debut novel, Shadows Within, begins The Shadowless series, mostly set in his hometown of Philadelphia. He hosts a podcast on writing and enjoys supporting fellow writers. He and his wife live in Virginia.

ONLINE LINKS: Website Twitter Instagram Goodreads

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