I’m enjoying a rare weekend off–well, almost. Still have to do “Fiction Affliction” for August, but that’s fairly mindless work.
Not blogging yesterday meant, however, that I will have TWO books to give away from comments today. Again, these are mystery books from my TBR pile. I’m heavy on science fiction and YA paranormal romance and YA urban fantasy, but will try to accommodate your preferences. I do have some PNR and UF and trad fantasy. I’m grabbing these books off the piles as I come to them, though, because the TBR pile has topped 500 books now and I can’t sort and dig through them all until the herd has been thinned out!
First off, a scene snippet from The Consort, a novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans world that will be part of the Dark Secrets anthology coming out on Sept. 29. Preorders aren’t available yet but should be within the next month or so. Stay tuned.
Okay, in this scene, we have two Fae Hunters, Faulk and Romy. In Fairie, their names were Falconer and Romany, and Falconer is the Prince of Autumn. He wasn’t cut out for life at court, however, so he passed the Autumn Court rule to his younger brother and instead became captain of the Fae Hunters, based in New Orleans. So Falconer and Romany became Faulk and Romy. The Hunters are exactly that–they hunt down members of Faerie who have crossed the veil into the human world and return them for judgment. Romany, aka Romy, has been Faulk’s BFF since they were kids, and he’s the chief lieutenant for the Hunters. Faulk owns a French Quarter nightclub called The Hunt Club. In this scene, they’re talking about a new order that just arrived from Faerie.
Faulk slumped in the black leather chair behind his desk and took the beer Romy offered him from the small fridge in the corner.
“What’ve we got?” Romy took the chair opposite the desk while Faulk opened the envelope and looked at the retrieval order that had arrived about an hour ago.
Faulk read for a moment. Damn. “Christof wants us to find his sister, Princess Tamara. She’s slipped out of the Winter Palace again.”
“She the one who’s been under house arrest for the past couple of years?”
Faulk nodded. “Yeah, she’s screwing one of Florian’s aides, and Christof is worried the pillow talk will get out of hand.”
Christof, the Winter Prince of Faerie, and his brother Florian, the Summer Prince, were in a bullshit, one-upmanship contest to see who Queen Sabine would name as her successor. The old witch couldn’t last much longer. All the royals were fruitcakes, but in Faulk’s experience, Christof had a few less nut in his fruitcake than his older brother.
Both of the princes had made cases for Faulk’s support in their feud. The backing of the Fae Hunters would be an important asset should the queen die and the brothers choose to fight for the throne. He had no interest in taking sides or, for that matter, having anything to do with the politics of Faerie.
“This one needs a seasoned Hunter.” Faulk scrolled through the contact list on his phone. He loved technology; faeries on the whole either loved or hated it. “How about Jaime?”
“I dunno.” Romy scratched at his dark beard. “Anything to do with Florian or Christof makes my skin crawl. How ’bout I take that one?”
Faulk had been thinking the same thing. “We’ll split up the Hunt so we find her in less time. Of course, Tamara can’t be hurt, no matter what she does—not a hair on her pretty red head. We’ll just truss her up and take her back to the Winter Palace. Then she’s Christof’s problem again.”
“Did our illustrious Prince of Winter have any idea where she’d go?”
Faulk shrugged. “He thinks she’ll go north in search of cooler weather—maybe Canada. I disagree. New Orleans in September is hot as hell, as we both know, so it’s the last place you’d expect her to hide, especially with the Hunters based here. She might try to go to Houston or Atlanta, but my gut says New Orleans. She doesn’t know human culture well enough to blend in anywhere else.”
New Orleans wasn’t that big, but it was jaded. Nobody batted
an eyelash at eccentricity here. Abnormal was normal.
“Besides, my guess is that she isn’t running away so much as acting out. She wants to pull Christof’s chain. Last time she ran away, she simply went to the Spring Palace and hid in an unused room until she got hungry and was caught by the cook.”
“Sounds like one of the royals. Bunch of loons, the whole lot of ’em.” Romy got up and looked out over the bar. “I’ll head on out early, if it’s okay, and get my gear. I can take a stroll around the Quarter before the bars close. It’s almost midnight.”
Faulk handed him the retrieval order. “Take the paperwork since you’re getting a head start. I’ll close up the bar. Start with the upscale hotels and see if you can feel any fae magic; she’ll project a lot. Plus, the princess has plenty of access to money. I have yet to meet a royal who’d go cheap.”
Romy folded the order and stuck it in the back pocket of his jeans. He was halfway to the door when he stopped and whistled, still looking down on the bar. “Of all the gin joints in all the world, that whiskey dick had to walk into yours.”
“You need to work on your Bogart.” Faulk stood up and walked to the window. “Who are you talking about?”
“Look to the left of the door.”
Faulk shifted his gaze and riveted on a slim blond man with slightly upturned green eyes and over-processed blond hair. “Aw, f**k.”
Florian, the Faerie Prince of Summer, was paying his first visit to The Hunt Club. That couldn’t mean anything good.
If you’ve read PIRATE’S ALLEY, both Christof and Florian will be familiar to you. Tamara appears in BELLE CHASSE in a funny scene with Jean Lafitte and DJ.
Okay, now to the good stuff. Did you win a book this week? Thanks to all of you who are playing along with the 30 Books in 30 Days game. It has been fun to read about your purple pigs and love/hate of spinach. I’ll have to see what weirdness I can come up with for next week!
If you see your name here, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact link at the top of this page and let me know if you prefer a mystery book (and preferred genre, although I can’t promise anything) or, if one of my books, which one. And, of course, your mailing address.
I’ve gotten all of last week’s U.S. winner books in the mail–be patient, because I’m sending them via book rate so I don’t go bankrupt on postage! I hope to get international winners out this week. Note that you always have the option of getting one of my books–any by Suzanne or Susannah except Pirate’s Alley. If you’re outside the U.S., I will order those from Book Depo because buying a copy with their free shipping is MUCH less expensive than international postage!
Here we go:
REBE won the Yellow Pig Day giveaway.
Spinach-loving GALENA won the Spinach Day giveaway.
DIANE MCMAHON won the Sentinels Idea Day giveaway (and thanks for all the input to all of you on the story collections!)
VICKI won the giveaway on the Paula Millhouse guest blog day.
AURIAN won the week’s Reader’s Choice contest and chose the first book in Carrie Bebries’ series.
JANIE MCGAUGH won last Sunday’s Snippet giveaway.
Come back tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice list!