Raw Deal, Bite Back Prequel

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Raw Deal - Front Cover

“I’d lost my entire team, and nearly lost my life. In a way, I had lost my life, and was left with this—a tightrope walk between hunting down creatures people didn’t believe existed, and being locked up as one.”

After a career-ending incident on a covert military operation, Amber Farrell is surprised to find herself back in her home town of Denver working as a rookie policewoman. But what happened in the army casts a shadow across her life from which she will never be free.

The prequel to the Bite Back series introduces Amber Farrell, a kick ass lady with a secret problem—she’s been bitten by a vampire. She’s working hard to start a new life, hold down a job and meet all the expectations put on her. When people start to die suspiciously in Denver, Amber has to decide between duty and instinct, between what she should do and what she must do.


Sleight of Hand, Bite Back Book One


“Vampires are the flickering illusions of Hollywood. They don’t exist. We do. We are the Athanate.”

For Amber Farrell, post-military life as a PI has its ups and downs: She’s been hit by a truck. She’s being sued by a client. Denver’s newest drug lord just put out a contract on her. The sinister Athanate want her to come in for a friendly chat. And it’s only Tuesday.

Enter Jennifer Kingslund: rich, gorgeous – a tough businesswoman who’s known for getting what she wants in the boardroom and the bedroom. Someone’s trying to sabotage her new resort and destroy her company – and she wants Amber to find out who.

The answers lead Amber past Were and Adepts, right back to the Athanate – and a centuries-old war that could threaten not just Denver, but the nation that Amber swore to protect and serve.

And all sides want to claim her for their own…


Hidden Trump, Bite Back Book Two


“I knew I was going to be betrayed this week.”

Amber Farrell, Denver PI, is coming to terms with being part of the paranormal community, but she’s about to find that includes very dangerous responsibilities for her. Nothing is quite what it seems, least of all Amber herself, and to survive, she must form alliances with powerful groups whose interests are in conflict. But she knows she’s expendable and betrayal is inevitable…

Denver is hosting a meeting of the opposing Athanate creeds who are stirring after a hundred years of peace. War between them would be disastrous for everyone, human and paranormal, but it’s Amber who’s being blamed for the troubles in the run-up to the Assembly.

And it’s going to get very personal…


Wild Card, Bite Back Book Three


“Now? Now, it felt like there were claws scratching at me from the inside.”

Amber Farrell, Denver PI and hybrid paranormal, is hunting a rogue Were through the secret heart of her home town.

Without the help she needs from Denver’s paranormal community, she’s unsure whether she can keep ahead of her own lethal problems long enough to catch the rogue.

Any mistake by her could expose the hidden community. Even actions with the best of intentions reveal a terrible price.

And every new discovery in the hunt for the rogue seems to change the whole game…


Cool Hand, Bite Back Book Four

“If you don’t believe your whole life has been a path leading to this one point, you’re not focused enough.”

The Athanate are on the brink of war.

Amber has to search for Diana in the forbidden zone of New Mexico, for the good of the paranormal world and her own sanity. Every step she takes is another opportunity to precipitate more conflict. Every easy choice is denied her and she must work without the support of the powerful paranormal factions in Colorado. When she most needs help, she has nothing.

But sometimes, nothing can be a real cool hand.


Angel Stakes, Bite Back Book Five

“I was all the things I had ever done.
All the things that had ever been done to me.
But I chose my path and I will be all the things I could be too.”

The Athanate are meeting in Los Angeles, the city that feeds on dreams, leaving nothing but dust and nightmares. They must forge a new Assembly and reach a consensus before Emergence is forced on them. They have to reach out and include the Were and Adepts, and they need Amber to do it.

But Amber is deep in her own personal crisis. Can she find a resolution for herself as she takes on the tasks of the Assembly?

Los Angeles. Where you can toss away your old life like a bad hand…
Or man up and play the cards you’ve been dealt.

“Always made me smile, that phrase.”


The Biting Cold and Winter’s Kiss Bite Back: Outsiders novellas

144 responses to “Books”

  1. Susann Hughey says :

    Oh man! Have to wait for Amber to let you get another glimpse into her head? Well, it Q3 now, so hopefully won’t be too much longer…..

    • Mark Henwick says :

      I’m working hard, but I’m only about half way. Now… the second half goes quicker than the first, but my main advice is to not believe my estimates until I’m in the last quarter of the book.
      I’m a slow writer, and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it – I *have* tried.

  2. daniel says :

    So I know it was probably adressed like you said it would be in book six but does amber have the penalty that regular adepts have when they use their powers too much. Where it shortens their lifespan?

    • Mark Henwick says :

      I have kicked this around in my planning and plotting. It comes down to the conundrum: how do you shorten an immortal lifespan?

      I’ve come back to the overarching position that the use of energy by Adepts comes at a price – a balance must be met. In the event there is no other source for this balance, then it’s the life force of the user that must be expended.

  3. ben says :

    Is there any news on Book seven of the bite back series?

  4. ben says :

    Will book seven go deeper into the “Bian and amber” Relationship? I won’t go with spoilers but will we see more of what we did in book six and how Jen and alex handle it? Also will Jen ever get turned?

    • Mark Henwick says :

      There is more interaction between Bian and Amber, but I haven’t yet managed a scene where all 4 of them are together. It was originally planned for this book, but it didn’t seem to fit, and they’re in different parts of the country at different times!

      Jen isn’t infused in the timeline of the Bite Back series, which is reaching a conclusion (i.e. Emergence) within another 2-3 books.

      The book is at the editor, and I expect to start working on corrections & edits in the first week of December. I’m still hoping that means a December publication.

      • ben says :

        So there will be more books in the bite back universe after this series ends? Will it just be this series post emergence? Also thank you and can’t wait for book seven.

        • Mark Henwick says :

          There’s a lot I could write about within the universe, but at the moment all I’m concentrating on is Bite Back (2-3 books left) and Bian’s Tale (5-6 books). That’s at least 4 years at my current rate of writing, though I keep trying to find a way to write faster.
          When I get to that point, I’ll re-assess. There’s also the SciFi which isn’t finished…

          • ben says :

            I am currently trying to write a book and have seen how much of a time consumer it is. Not including the fact that it always seems like you have something new to add or something isn’t right. So while I ask for updates from all the authors I like I understand it can’rt be rushed.

  5. ben says :

    Also when I said “you” always have something new to add or something isn’t right” I meant writers writing their books not “you” specifically.

    Just wanted to add that in case it came off different then I meant it.

  6. Daniel says :

    Just finished reading queen of diamonds and loved it. But Was her power really “unholy” like the book description said or did it just mean a “dark” power? Also I realize you don’t like to give deadlines but any idea if the next book will be out this year? Also will yelena come back in the next book?

    Also did amber use her “new” power in the alpha fight to change into a new form or was it just her naturally doing it and if she changes into it again it won’t have the dark cost that her “new” powers cost. Weird question but I was wondering.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      The book’s delivery is all through Amber, therefore readers have to be aware that sometimes Amber is wrong or confused, and therefore her ‘reporting’ of events will be colored by that. Amber is certainly concerned that any use of T-cat’s power is ‘unholy’. As a reader, you have to take a position. Does the good she could do by channeling power outweigh the possible harm? Does the use of tainted power make the action tainted/unholy, even if the action is good?

      I doubt I’ll be able to complete book 8 this year. My long standing promise to write Bian’s Tale 2 will slow me down, and writing any substantial book seems to take me a year anyway.

      Book 8 has to start with Amber responding to a summons to New York. Yelena’s there, and what she’s doing is a the driver for the opening scenes. (Which were originally going to be the closing scenes of QoD)

      As above wrt to the new shapeshifting abilities during the alpha fight – Amber’s not quite sure how much was T-cat, how much was her own ability and whether, once her body has learned a new form, would she need assistance shifting to it in future… Now she has become more powerful in the spirit world, could she rely more on Ash? If her House agrees, could she tap their combined powers? Steal power from opponents? If she can is that use of power tainted?

      All to find out.

      • Daniel says :

        what about rita? Can she now change into a jaguar since amber helped her? Also will yelena stay where she is now or will she join amber again in the next bite back book

        • Mark Henwick says :

          Part of the irony about werewolves distrusting skinwalkers is that all shifters are in fact skinwalkers. Once they have been shown a different form, they can shift to it.

          Yelena will return to her position as one of Amber’s Diakons.

          • Daniel says :

            awesome! Yelena is one of my favorite characters and I love the interactions she has with everyone. Her “ukranian sayings” are hilarious. Although Rita is another one of my favs too.

          • Jon says :

            So basically Were’s can change into any form as long as they see it in person? Or see a change in person?

          • Mark Henwick says :

            Not quite just monkey see monkey do.

            I didn’t want to get into the pseudo science of shiifting, but in essence, shifting is a magical way to execute the codes held in DNA. You can do it if you’re magically shown it by someone who can already. Your default is taken from the bio-agents of infusion, and you could learn a new form by infusion. If a Were-bear took a Were-cougar lover, they would probably, over time, learn each other’s forms.

  7. Melyssa says :

    Just wanted to say this is one of my absolute favorite series. I love Amber and frankly the moment I see another book in the series is available will buy it. Just thought I would let you know.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thank you Melyssa! This writing engine runs on feedback like this. 🙂

      I’m writing Bian’s Tale 2 at the moment, because I promised readers I would and it’s been a while since The Harvest of Lies. I’m also producing two serial novels which I distribute in my monthly newsletter episode by episode (1 SF and 1 PNR loosely tied into to Amber’s story). Despite all of that, Bite Back 8 is also coming along, demanding to be written, but I can’t give schedules yet.

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