Bram Farrell here to talk about something that not many humans – or passing for humans – need to deal with on a daily basis.

What might that be?

Well, if you’ve read RAVEN’S MOON, you know I picked up a sidekick that I didn’t have in the prequel tales. He probably prefers to consider himself “backup” as sidekick seems rather diminutive.

But considering he’s a black and tan dachshund, he’s sort of on the diminutive side most of the time.

Not always though.

You see, he’s a hellhound, so shape changing might be an expected sideline for him. Not that he turns into anything other than a dog, of course.

Now, what, you might be asking, is required of a guy who has backup that everyone else considers a cute pet but is really a vicious demon when he feels like it?

Not a whole lot, really. Beelz (aka Beelzie, or more formally, Beelzebub) was stuck being fed that specially concocted dog food – which looks nothing like real food – before I arrived on the scene. That stopped being his grub really fast once he began investigative work with me though. Now we both thrive on anything that was once on the hoof – okay, not anything that has hooves and is either paranormal, supernatural or legendary, and not horses or mules or zebras or… Just think “once lived on a farm or ranch” and you’re on target. Except for the horses and the mules, naturally. Grilled steaks, chops and barbecued ribs are our preferences. We do not turn down bacon, either.

We draw the line at vegetables whenever possible. I did not travel across the seam-stitched binding boundary to eat things that are good for a fella. Beelz is in accord with that.

We also took to daily donuts pretty fast, particularly with maple or cream cheese icing dripping down the sides. Buttered popcorn from Target? It is definitely another treat at the top of our list.

Beelz has not developed a taste for bourbon, so my stash of Evan Williams is safe. He’s not good with pizza either, so I get him meatball sandwiches, hold the bread.

Now, chocolate is an entirely different matter. Yeah, we’ve both heard it’s bad for dogs, but this isn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill dog. As far as Beelz is concerned, he far out classes AKC breeds, too. I mean, can they change in a blink of an eye to a much larger and fiercer looking mutt? I don’t think so.

The only thing that sets him apart from other short statured dogs, which he appears when in his Clark Kent disguise, is that his eyes aren’t normal canine orbs. No, they burn with the fires of hell, so they are definitely a bit off-putting. We tell folks not in the know that he has a gene defect. He doesn’t seem to mind.

The benefit of having a hellhound around the house though is the scent of him works as an extremely efficient pest deterrent. No bugs, no rodents, not even any gremlins or garden fairies or…well, nothin’ wants to be within his circle of friends.

‘Cept me. Well, maybe his previous owner, but she didn’t supply him with miscreants to chew on like I do. He likes me best.

At least, I think he does.

Come to think of it though, he does move in on any female I have a romantic hankerin’ for. Hounds get belly rubs just by giving girls the big-eyed look. He gets to lick ‘em, too. Am I jealous? Damn, right I am! Next life, I’m coming back as a crime fighting mutt! They get all the attention from the ladies.

There’s lots of daring-do for the two of us to do whether we want to or not in the future. Plenty of folks who might be passing for human come our way, and they aren’t selling Girl Scout cookies. But then I had to deal with the same type of miscreant when I was still on the other side – inside the book rather than out of it.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. Beelz is curled up under the blanket in his bed for a snooze, but J.B.’s calling me. Something about a guy who can read cuneiform that we left hanging in the wind.


Bram, aka The Raven

P.S. By the way. If you’d like to give us your email address and have notices of when J.B., Nick Claus, or some other hero type like myself takes over the keyboard here, if the option to do so doesn’t turn up at the bottom of this page, then go to Blog: JB Dane This is where we put the first blog entry and for some reason we haven’t found a way back in that door to keep earlier posts yet still have the new post on that page. We’ll figure it out — probably with a lot of swearing and frustration. That’s the worst part of moving into a new home, even on the web. Getting the hang of the new place.

Published by daneanddarnell

JB Dane and Nied Darnell are fantasy mystery comedy adventure authors. JB writes urban fantasy with comedy and mystery and sometimes fantasy with comedy and mystery that isn't urban fantasy at all! Nied Darnell likes the past but also fantasy comedy adventure and mystery, so it's a given that she's drawn to Weird West Steampunk (has a BA in American History with a minor in British Modern under her "real" name) and Dieselpunk. Both of them have written under a variety of other names...and answer to an entirely different name at the bank and to the tax man, though it's the same name as they are in fact are housed in just one human form), and have a publishing career that is 30 novels strong and growing. Following either of them is possible on Twitter: @JBDaneWriter and @NiedDarnell and on Facebook via for JB and for Nied.

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