As a stuntwoman in Hollywood, Lee Striga is no stranger to rolling with the punches and making intense actions look easy. These abilities suit her well for her other job: demon hunter. Readers can follow Lee on her latest adventures this summer in Dana Fredsti's The Spawn of Lilith, and Titan Books has provided us with an excerpt from the book and a look at the cover art that Daily Dead readers can enjoy right now.

Titan Books will release The Spawn of Lilith in paperback on June 20th. In the meantime, we have the official synopsis, excerpt, and cover art below, and to learn more, visit Titan Books and Amazon.

Synopsis: "Lee Striga is a successful actress and stuntwoman in Hollywood, with big secrets to keep hidden. She's also a demon hunter, forced to pay off an ancient family debt in order to free her ancestor, Lilith, Mother of Demons, imprisoned centuries ago by a vengeful god. The creatures she must kill also are the descendents of Lilith who roam the earth.

Lee’s Hollywood agents are the Mana Talent Agency, representing all manner of supernatural and preternatural beings with a taste for show business. Vampires, incubi and succubae, trolls, fae, demi-gods, fallen angels, elementals, goblins, ghouls, mer-people, mixed bloods—anyone and anything that can take direction, be discreet, and not eat the extras and crewmembers on set."


Chapter One



CONNOR, handsome half-werewolf, half-selkie, stands on a rooftop as LELA, half-vampire, half-banshee, balances precariously on the edge of the roof.




Lela! Don’t do it!

Lela looks at her lover, sadness and resignation in her eyes.


I have to, Connor. There’s no place for me in this world. I bring nothing but death, either by the taking of blood or the heralding of impending death.

Death. Nothing but death!

She moves even closer to the edge, teetering precariously in her stiletto-heeled boots, despite her supernatural vampiric grace.


No! Before you, my life WAS death! A slow living death as I tried to find my place in this world. As my two sides, werewolf and selkie, warred against each other. You bring both of my halves peace. A contentment and peace neither half has known before.


…as she stares at Connor with deep sadness in her eyes.


I thought our love would be enough to quell my vampiric thirst for blood, and stop the banshee in me from its lethal wail. But it’s not. I can’t bear living by causing death.


Lela, I’m begging you…

LELA (interrupting him)

I’ll always love you, Connor. I’m sorry.

Lela steps off the edge, vanishing from sight.

Connor falls to his knees and raises his hands skyward, shaking his fists.




That’s where I stepped in.

Dressed in Lela’s skintight pants, billowing trench coat, tank top, and thigh-high boots—all made of black leather except the tank top, which was a blood-red satin—I took my place at the edge of the roof, staring down three stories to where my best friend the airbag waited for me, just out of sight and situated far enough away from the building wall to compensate for the distance my body would push outward before dropping.

Pesky physics.

The street had been cleared of cars, garbage bins, and people. The stunt coordinator and three spotters waited below. Three different cameras waited to catch the fall from three different angles.

This film had a big budget for a piece of shit.

I was doubling for English film star Kaley Avondale. My landing in the airbag would be replaced in the editing bay with a shot of Lela’s leather clad corpse. Never mind that she’d be back for Rise of the Vampshees: The Netherworld Chronicles II.

“Ready, Lee?”

I gave the director a thumbs-up, then stared down into the void. My airbag awaited me, some forty feet down.

I’d checked the placement with the stunt coordinator. Cleared the area of anything extraneous that might interfere with my trajectory. I’d run the stunt over and over, visualizing the perfect fall and landing. A basic deadfall. Nothing fancy or complicated, and nothing I hadn’t done a gazillion times before.

And yet…

See, with every stunt—but especially high falls—there’s a moment when it’s all up to you. You make the decision. Once you push off with your back foot, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

That moment is special. It dictates that you still have so much respect for the business that it’s more important to dive into the unknown and risk injury, possibly death, than to say, “I’m sorry, I’m scared. I can’t do it.”

It’s the moment when everyone is waiting for you to go.

So I went.


When I opened my eyes, the first thing I noticed was how much my head hurt.

We’re not talking your basic headache here, or even a bad migraine. No, this felt like my skull was stuck between two wrecking balls—one in back and one in front—both smashing into it at regular pulsing intervals.

The second thing I noticed was the smell of antiseptic and bleach.

A hospital?

I heard the sound of beeping, and the gentle pulsing of what was either a mellow Darth Vader or an oxygen machine. I tried to move my arms, but they wouldn’t cooperate.

“I think she’s awake!”

A familiar voice, but one I couldn’t place because of whatever was trying to crack open my skull. I tried turning toward the sound, but my head remained stubbornly where it was. When I tried to lift my right hand, something jerked it back into place. Even that minimal effort, however, was enough to drive one last spike of pain straight through my eye.

I slid back into blissful unconsciousness.


Next time I woke, up the two wrecking balls attacking my head had evidently been replaced by someone gently pounding nails into my skull.

“Lee? You awake?”

That same familiar voice.

I opened my eyes and found myself nose to nose with a man. I yelped in surprise—although the yelp was more of a croak, as if I hadn’t used my voice in a while. The man jerked his head back slightly, then leaned forward eagerly.

“Lee, honey. Do you know me?”

I stared at the face hovering above mine. Shaggy blond hair, sky-blue eyes, handsome, slightly weathered man in his fifties or thereabouts. I recognized him, I knew I did, but the name swirled around in a cloud of pain and fog.

Uncle Sean. The answer appeared in my head as if someone had flicked on a convenient neon sign. But I usually just call him Sean. And he’s not really…

The thought unraveled before it could finish forming.

“Sean?” My voice barely reached a whisper. My throat hurt.

His face broke into a relieved smile.

“Oh, thank God.”

The sound of Sean’s voice—warm, concerned and familiar—sent slow tears trickling down my face. The feel of liquid on my skin made me aware of how thirsty I was.

“Water?” I croaked.

“Sure. Sure, hon.”

He vanished from sight, then reappeared with a plastic cup, complete with sippy straw. He carefully put the tip of the straw between my lips.

I took a sip, the cool water like ambrosia to my parched throat.

“Where—” I started to cough. It hurt like hell.

“Don’t try and talk, hon,” Sean said. “You’re in the hospital and your neck is in a brace, understand? You took a bad fall and… broke a few things.”

A few things? What few things?

My back?

My neck?

My eyes must have mirrored my fears because he patted me clumsily on one leg. I couldn’t see the movement, but I could feel it, which reassured me that I wouldn’t be paralyzed.

“Why can’t I move?” The words were weak, but clear.

“You’re wrapped in a shit ton of plaster and what not to keep you still so all the sprains, strains and fractures can start healing up. Your neck and back were wrenched pretty badly.” He shook his head. “You took quite a pounding, but you’ll be okay. It’ll just take some time.”

“How long—”

Another coughing fit. He brought the straw back up to my lips. I sipped gratefully, the cool water soothing the burning ache in my throat. As I drank, Sean answered my last question.

“You’ve been out of it for over a week.” He paused, swallowing heavily. “We thought we’d lost you, Lee.”

“What happened?”

“The airbag. Some damn fool overfilled it and it got shifted a few feet sometime between your last rehearsal and the actual take. Marty—”

Marty, I thought. Stunt coordinator.

“—is still out for blood. No one’s manned up yet, though. At any rate, your mark was off, you landed in the wrong place, bounced off into the building and then hit the sidewalk. Even you couldn’t handle it.”

I vaguely remembered the wind rushing up to greet me as I fell, but the memories thankfully ended with the moment I hit the canvas, and not when my entire body smashed into the cement.

“Musta looked like Wile E. Coyote, huh?”

Sean gave a surprised snort of laughter.

“Yeah, kinda.” He patted me again, just as awkwardly the second time around.

“That close, huh?”


Both of us ignored the way his voice choked up on that one word. Neither of us had ever been much for overt displays of emotion. Then he leaned forward, pressing something into my hand. It was cool and metallic. I couldn’t see it and I couldn’t close my fingers around it either.

“It’s your necklace,” he said. “The one your mom gave you. I found it with your clothes and bag in your dressing room.”

I struggled to remember what he was talking about. An image flashed in my mind, another one of those little neon bursts. An amulet on a leather cord.

“Can you keep it somewhere safe for me until…” I trailed off, unsure how to end that sentence. Until I could walk? Stand? Get the brace off my neck?


Sean removed the necklace again, putting it in his pocket.

“It’ll be waiting for you, don’t you worry.”

After a few seconds I said, “Gotta ask you another question.”

Sean nodded. “Shoot.”

“Am I gonna get out of here soon?”

Sean knew me well enough to realize what I was really asking. He hesitated.

“It’s gonna be a while before you can get back to work, Lee. Maybe a few months. You’re gonna have to take small steps.”

A few months. I could live with that.

“Maybe even a year.”

Now that might be a problem.


  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.