As many of you know, release day for BLOOD TRADE was yesterday. Once a book comes out, all preparation and blogging and hope and hard BIC and planning and more BIC in the world is … never enough. A writer just has to wait and see what happens. With the market changing daily, even hourly, it’s hard to say what the result and the final numbers will mean. Will Jane Yellowrock rise in the listing or fall flat on her face? I just don’t know.
When David and Misty and I started MagicalWords.net, it was with a hope and prayer that we’d find a way to draw in fans and writers and make a home for all of us. We had also hoped that we might grow the site, make friends with other writers, and make new fans for our writing. None of us have a lot of time on that last part, which seems a little weird, since writers are supposed to be on the PR job all the time.
So, today, I am doing a bit of PR and sharing a snippet here. It is from one of my favorite scenes in BLOOD TRADE, and is phone call between Leo and Jane – and Jane is snarky. But most important, Jane takes the first steps into a bit of self-discovery that will drive the story for this book and the next one. It seems a small thing, but it becomes much larger in the series.
I hope you enjoy.
I sighed and set the picture facedown on the bed, reaching for the phone. It hadn’t rung, and I held it, waiting. Leo wanted to chat and my bound Beast knew it. It was childish, but I let it chime twice before I punched SEND. “Hi Leo.” Beast started to purr and rolled over on her side. I could feel the power of her breath rumbling through me.
“What have you done to my heir’s house?” he spat. I could tell his three-inch fangs had dropped down and he was talking through and around them.
“Good to speak with you too,” I said, not because it was true, but to yank his chain. “Hope you are well and chipper and all that. How’s business?” Leo was raised in a more proper time, and when he forgot or ignored the niceties it gave me an opening for insult and snark. He didn’t give me many.
“What. Have. You. Done. With my heir’s house?”
“Ahhh.” I relaxed onto the bed, understanding. I had modified the house I was using in New Orleans and I hadn’t exactly asked permission. Part of the modifications were to take over Leo’s secret lair and make it into a combo safe room and weapons’ room. “I take it you paid me a visit?”
“There is silver everywhere.”
“Guns too. And ammo. And things that go bang.”
“Silver in my lair,” he grated.
“Yeah. Sorry ’bout that,” I lied, and made sure he could hear that I wasn’t sorry at all.
Leo growled low in his throat; Beast rolled, pulling her paws beneath her, ready to pounce or flee. “My house, Leo,” I said, “for the duration of my stay in New Orleans, as per my contract. No one said I couldn’t redecorate.”
The silence was too long, that potent silence the really old vamps can do, because they don’t breathe or have a heartbeat. “We have much to discuss, my Enforcer.”
“Yeah. I guess we do. I’ll see you when I get back New Orleans. Meantime, stay out of my house.” I hit END and smiled slightly. Bet that ticked off the MOC.
Beast yawned deep inside and rolled back over. I frowned at her. Beast? You didn’t go nuts at the sound of Leo’s voice. What gives?
Beast is not chaser of squirrels.
It took a moment to realize that she was responding to my go nuts phrasing.
Fast chase, small bite, crunch and gone, she thought. And Beast is still hungry.
But you didn’t get . . . I let the thought trail off. For the first time since Beast was accidently bound to Leo, she wasn’t all ‘Pet me, mate me, rub my tummy,’ with Leo. In fact, she’d been calm. She had gotten good at batting away the magics used against her.
Fierce joy shuddered through me like an earthquake. The urge to shift slammed through like an aftershock. I hadn’t shifted in so long, afraid of what Beast would do, afraid of losing myself to her binding to the Master of the City. I needed to shift. I needed the healing and the strength that shifting could offer, the renewal. I had denied my nature longer than at any time since I rediscovered my shifting ability when I was eighteen. And I had shoved that need so far down, so deep, that it exploded upward now, as if under pressure, desperate.
That’s all. Hope you enjoyed.