Happy Sunday! I’m late posting today, but I come bearing ARCs of BELLE CHASSE! I have two available for giveaway to two commenters—just let me know which Sentinels character—other than DJ–is your favorite! Easy-peasy, right?
And here’s a snippet…In this scene, DJ (who’s on the lam) has sneaked into NOLA both to see Alex and get some help for Rene, who’s been poisoned. She scries Alex and finds he’s at her favorite restaurant having dinner with a woman DJ doesn’t know. After a short, sweet reunion back in a private courtyard, all hell breaks loose (what a surprise, right?):
Alex dropped my hands, stood, and turned toward the door. I hadn’t heard anything earlier, but now the sound of loud voices came from the dining room. He looked back at me. “You sense anything?”
I edged around him and stayed against the wall, moving closer to the door. A shiver ran across my shoulder blades. “Red Congress magic, and shifters. Werewolves, I think.”
“Shit. You’ve gotta get out of here. If I slow them down, can you make a transport out here?”
I looked around quickly. “A small one, yes.”
“Do it.” He stood between me and the door while I pulled a vial of sea salt from my messenger bag and drew a hasty interlocking circle and triangle.
I’d just taken Charlie out of the thigh holster when a crash sounded from inside and thick smoke billowed out the door. Something in the dining room had exploded, judging by the sounds and smoke. Frantic screams blended with the crash of breaking glass, chairs falling on hard flooring, and trampling feet.
I jumped into the transport but paused when a tall brunette tripped on her way out the door, coughing furiously. “I slowed them down, but it won’t last long,” she said between hacks, her accent British and upper-crust. “DJ must leave now.”
“Who are you?” She was Alex’s dinner companion, and she was close enough now for me to tell she was a wizard from her familiar energy buzz. But what wizard?
“DJ, zap me with the staff—just enough to knock me out,” Alex said. “That way, they won’t suspect me of helping you escape. It’s okay to burn me a little.”
“Okay. I guess.” Made sense. I was already a fleeing criminal and Alex was my mole on the inside. I held out the staff, touching it to Alex’s shoulder, but hesitated. I couldn’t zap him, mole or not, and I didn’t trust myself not to really hurt him. “I can’t—”
“Oh, bloody hell. We don’t have time for this. The flipping werewolves are on the march!” The brunette jerked Charlie out of my outstretched hand and, in one smooth motion, beaned Alex over the head with it. Hard. His face registered shock for about two seconds before he crumpled.
“What have you done? He could have a concussion.” I snatched Charlie out of her hand, but was prevented from going to Alex when the woman shoved me back into the transport. “Get out of here, DJ. Now.”
She was right. The scuffling sounds were near the door of the restaurant. I leaned over and touched Charlie to the transport, praying Alex had nothing but a minor lump on the head as well as a good cover story. “Who are you?” I asked, before mumbling, “Maison Rouge, Barataria.”
Her voice came through faintly as I transported out. “I’m your cousin Audrey. Lovely to meet you!”
A new character! I think you’ll like Audrey. Think a younger DJ with no training. Scary, yes?
So…who’s your favorite? (Please note that ARCS don’t have final covers and might have a few typographical or continuity errors that won’t be in the final version. It is also illegal to sell ARCs.)
If you have a book review site and wish a print ARC, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have very limited numbers available, but digital ARCs also will be available.