Steele City Blues
Hell’s Belle Series
Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Date of Publication: January 3, 2017
Word Count: 98,000
Formats available: epub, mobi, pdf
Cover Artist: Robin Ludwig
Blood Ops leader Dr. O is chained in the bowels of Steele City, the state’s maximum security prison, and the clock is ticking for Nina and Frankie to bust him out.
Now that supernatural creatures are out of the closet, Providence is descending into an Apocalyptic wasteland. With the abrupt shut down Blood Ops, Nina and Frankie are on their own to save Dr. O and the other supernatural prisoners from certain death. Not knowing where Demon Mayor Bertrand’s loyalties lie, they are forced to rely on some questionable allies to battle Leila, a powerful vampire/witch hybrid hell bent on creating an indestructible supernatural army. She also happens to be Nina’s mom.
Alliances are tested and relationships fractured as Nina and her band of supernatural crime fighting misfits are pushed to the breaking point.
A (Virtual) Tour through Hell’s Belle’s Providence
The city of Providence, RI is as much of a character in the Hell’s Belle books as Nina, Frankie, Babe, etc. Some of the places are figments of my imagination, but a number of them really do exist! Here’s a virtual walking tour of these locations.
Nina’s factory apartment
The apartment Nina lives in in Hell’s Belle is located in the Olneyville section in Providence. This is the old manufacturing hub in the state, with beautiful old factory buildings circling the main street. While the Olneyville that Nina inhabits is run down and desolate, the area is experiencing a bit of a resurgence with artist friendly policies that are turning these old gems into live/work spaces for creatives.
A quick walk (or motorcycle ride) from Olneyville is Federal Hill, Providence’s Little Italy. This is where Nina and Max have coffee and we are introduced to Bertrand for the first time. Venda is a real place, it exists, and it’s something of an institution! You can buy prepared foods, fresh pasta, pastries and coffees. Go hungry, leave stuffed.
When I was growing up, the Biltmore was to Providence what the Plaza Hotel was to NYC. Over the years, a number of large hotel chains as well as charming boutique hotels have upped the competition for tourist and event dollars, but this Art Deco gem still cuts a striking appearance. In the Hell’s Belle world, this is ground zero for the city’s poltergeist problem, and serves as our demon mayor’s office away from City Hall (which is, in actuality, right across the street).
The big battle in Tainted Blood happens in the long abandoned East Side Railroad Tunnel. When I was yound, the tunnel was easily accessible - some silly “no trespassing” signs were going to keep out a bunch of creative college kids eager to party. During the era of underground raves, this was a key spot for artsy-grunge parties. After a particularly rowdy party, tunnel was finally sealed over. But its legacy endures!
Babe’s On the Sunnyside
Lets head on over to Fox Point, where Babe’s On the Sunnyside still exists in the Hell’s Belle world. Babe’s was a real watering hole when I was growing up. The kind of neighborhood bar that served cheap beer and the only “small plates” served were the pickled eggs. The original proprietor was an old boxing trainer, and old pictures of fighters adorned the walls. I recently saw the place described as “an old punk rock hangout.” And I am not sure that moniker is entirely accurate, not for the Babe’s I knew from my younger days, nor from the Babe’s the exists in the Hell’s Belle world. It was a good, old fashioned bar where as long as you didn’t cause any problems, you were welcome. And that’s what Hell’s Belle Babe’s continues to be.
About the Author:
Karen Greco is originally from Rhode Island and loves hot wieners from New York System, but can't stand coffee milk. She studied playwriting in college (and won an award or two). After not writing plays for a long time, a life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she decapitates characters with impunity. Steele City Blues is the third book in the Hell’s Belle series, after Hell’s Belle (the first) and Tainted Blood (number two). She writes contemporary romance for a small press under the pen-name Jillian Sterling, and has a day job in entertainment publicity.
10 copies of the book in Kindle or Epub format.