Happy Sunday! I’m off doing family stuff today, or at least the early part of the day. My cousin Janet will be in town, and we’ll be catching up. I grew up in a family with 35 first cousins. Crazy! There were a gaggle of us girls who were really close in age. Jan’s a year older than me and her sister is a year younger. Lynn and Melissa were all within a couple of years. Karen and I were born two months apart. So you can imagine what holidays were like when we were little. And that was just my mom’s side of the family. (The Sandlins, I learned from genealogy research, always bred like rabbits!)
Our poor parents!
Anyway, I was languishing over at the Savvy Authors website yesterday, which I didn’t even bother to publicize because, really, who’s online on Saturday? But I’m yapping about stress management. If you have any interest in it, you can find it here.
Are you anywhere near the Birmingham, Alabama, area? If so, I will be doing an event on the evening of Friday, August 1, at the Hoover Public Library. I’ll be on a romance panel with authors Abbi Glines and Beatriz Williams, and author Lauren Willig will be the main speaker. Then there’s a book signing and general chat. The next day, on Saturday, some of my fellow authors in the Southern Magic RWA chapter, including the fabulous Naima Simone and Jennifer Echols and Christy Reece and Lynne Rae Harris and Carla Swafford (it really IS an amazing chapter) will be signing during the afternoon. It’s free, of course. I’ll be putting up more details closer to the date.
Now, how about a snippet? I’ll just pick something from the scene I’m working on. It takes place early in the book, at the Interspecies Council hearing, which is being held after hours at the Orleans Parish District Criminal Court building. Here’s the building. One of these days, I’ll have to share the horror of doing jury duty in Orleans Parish criminal court. OMG. Anyway, DJ and Jean have had something else to attend to and re-enter the meeting room after something has gone wrong….
Jean and I paused in the doorway that led back into the meeting room, momentarily speechless.
“Merde,” Jean finally said.
“Exactly,” I added.
Flames engulfed the long table where the council members had been sitting. On either end, Elder Zrakovi and Elder Sato had taken off their robes and were using them to beat at the flames, to little avail.
“Where have you been?” Alex yelled as he rushed past me and grabbed the arm of Toussaint Delachaise. “I’m having to take people out in the transport a couple at a time. Can you make the transport bigger?”
“Not without shutting that one down and creating another one,” I shouted to his retreating back. Mr. Delachaise’s Einstein hair was in more disarray than ever.
I turned to get a better overview of the scene. Jake and several of the werewolf security people were trying to stop the fire from spreading to the carpet by stomping on sparks. Apparently the Blue Congress wizards in charge of decoration hadn’t used flame-retardant fibers.
Floating several feet above the chaos was Sabine the Faerie Queen, who laughed while the dark-haired faery yelled at his blond counterpart. Finally, I realized what must have happened. The blond had lost control of his fireball. Now he stood with a stubborn expression on his face and his arms crossed over his chest, glaring at his colleague. Some enterprising wizard had at least equipped the room with emergency lighting, although the flames cast eerie shadows on the walls. The fire was spreading slowly and so far had been confined to the table, yet hadn’t consumed it. Either the table was fire-resistant, or the flame was some kind of magical faery business. My bet was on the latter.
I moved closer to the faeries. I wasn’t sure where Jean had gotten off to, but we probably didn’t have long before the building’s smoke sensors would alert the NOFD, if they hadn’t already.
The faeries were still fighting among themselves.
“Put the damnable fire out!” Dark-haired faery’s chiseled features had flushed an unbecoming pink. He shouted with a slight accent I couldn’t place. “Make it rain, you overgrown clump of crab grass!”
“Make it rain yourself.” Blond faery waved his arm in the direction of the fire, and a sudden wind gusted through the room, blowing the sparks beyond the werewolf stompers and igniting the carpet beside the council table. “Sabine is enjoying the show, and she needs to see my power.”
Oh good grief. Dueling faeries, and a roomful of prete politicians who couldn’t figure out how to put out a fire. Could this night get any more ridiculous?
I hobbled to my messenger bag, still on the floor beside my chair, and pulled out a container of unrefined sea salt. Ignoring the flapping and shouting around me, I laid a containment circle around the burning table and the section of carpet that was on fire, shooed Elder Sato outside the circle, and touched Charlie to the salt. I watched with satisfaction as my magical barricade sprang into place.
Go, DJ and Charlie! Faeries. You gotta love crazy faeries.
Now….Did you win a book this week? If so, you know the drill. Email me with any info I need to know.
BROOKE B won a digital copy of Anna Steffl’s Solace Trilogy. I just need your preferred format and email address.
BREANA won this week’s Reader’s Choice contest and chose Tim Pratt’s Heirs of Grace. If you’re in the U.S., choice of print, digital or audio. If outside the U.S., print or audio only.
Look for a new Reader’s Choice tomorrow!