Scene Snippet Sunday, Black Diamond Edition, and Weekly Winners

Holy heat lamps, Batman. It is miserable out there. And up here on the second floor where my writing office is located (as opposed to the day job office). It’s supposed to top 100F today.

COOL NEWS! The Amazon Editors named WILD MAN’S CURSE one of the 20 top romance books of 2016 (“so far”) in its midyear rankings!


This weekend, I’m up to my neck in book proofs for the sequel, BLACK DIAMOND, which are due back to my editor on Monday. So it seems appropriate to run a snippet here….

Since readers of WILD MAN’S CURSE seem particularly fond of senior game warden Paul Billiott, here’s one of my favorite scenes with Paul from BLACK DIAMOND. It’s from Jena’s POV, as she rides with Paul in his truck.

Since Paul wasn’t a big conversationalist—he was the anti-Mac, in other words, and today had been the longest she’d ever heard him speak in consecutive sentences—Jena watched the scenery for a while. Then she decided to study the inside of Paul’s truck to see what she could learn about him.

Technically, it was exactly like hers and Gentry’s. It had a black exterior with a blue light bar across the top and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division logo on the doors.

It was tech heavy on the front dash, just like theirs, with LDWF, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Louisiana State Police Troop C radios, a laptop, a GPS unit, and a weather unit.

In her truck and in Gentry’s, the cords and wires were a colorful tangle of plastic and metal, usually with extra plugs dangling around like vines. Paul’s cords were all black, and he had them woven in pairs and tucked underneath the dash, where they neatly disappeared.

She leaned over to see how he’d achieved such a thing, and noticed identical zip ties holding them in place.

“Sinclair, I hate to ask, but what are you doing?”

He sounded more bemused than annoyed, so she said, “I’m psychoanalyzing you based on the interior of your truck.”

He almost ran off the road. “Why?”

“Your scintillating conversation was putting me to sleep.”

His dark brows knit together but he seemed to have no answer to that.

She turned around in her seat, as much as the seat belt allowed, and continued her study. Paul had a 12-gauge shotgun and a .223 carbine mounted right behind the driver’s seat, same as in her own truck. The mounts had hidden release buttons so the agents could get the guns out one-handed and quickly.

But where her truck had a catch-all supply of stuff, from paper towels to zip ties to evidence bags to fast-food wrappers thrown in the back, Paul’s backseat was empty but for a zippered storage container normal people used for shoes. Each space held different things, all neatly arranged. Jena spotted evidence bags in one. Zip ties in another. Notebooks. Citation books. Paperwork. A spare uniform hung over one window, with a dry-cleaner’s tag dangling from the shirt’s top button.

Good Lord. She turned back around.

“What did you learn?” Paul finally asked.

“You’re an obsessive-compulsive neat freak,” she said. “Accent on freak.”

Heh. Like Paul cares.

Okay, were you a winner this week on the blog? If so, please contact me at or at the contact tab above, with the relevant info. Insert usual stuff about me being behind schedule. Ha. Note that Dena Garson (our nervous mom with the driving child) will be selecting winners at the end of her blog tour.

ROGER won the $5 Amazon GC for ‘fessing up to his bucket list. (Another trip to NOLA!)

ACHAROL won a copy of Robin D. Owens’ LOST HEART–your choice of digital or print. Let me know which you prefer, and either your email for digital or snail-mail address for print.

SUE SATTLER won this week’s Reader’s Choice and chose Rachel Dunne’s SHADOW OF THE GODS (which I agree sounds pretty awesome). Since it is Reader’s Choice, you can have either digital or print of that book, of if you prefer any other book up to $15US, just send me the Amazon or B&N link for it.

That’s it for this week. Come back tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice and we’ll do it all over again!

Scene-Snippet Sunday and Weekly Winners

Gigner kittenAck–where did the day go? Oh yeah. Grocery shopping. I really HATE grocery shopping. I haven’t yet figured out a way around it, however. But it’s Sunday and therefore time for a Scene-Snippet.

I’m finishing up revisions on BELLE CHASSE today, so how about something not too revealing from there? (Think of it this way, by the time the book actually comes out on November 8, you’ll have forgotten the snippets–LOL.)

In this scene, DJ is at Jean’s house in Barataria and has just written a note to send via transport to her cousin Audrey, who only got a mention in PIRATE’S ALLEY but becomes more important in BELLE CHASSE. She’s interrupted by our old friend Adrian Hoffman.

“Writing the great American wizard novel?”

            I gritted my teeth out of habit. Adrian Hoffman no longer irritated me, at least not most of the time, but I’d disliked him for so long that whenever he spoke, my first reaction was a knee-jerk negative. I needed to get over that. Adrian is my ally. Adrian is my ally. Rinse and repeat a few hundred times.

            I turned to find him lounging in the doorway to the study. “Sending a note to my cousin to bring a few things from New Orleans next time she comes. You need anything?”

            “You trust her?”

            If anyone knew how the Elders worked, it was Adrian. His father had been First Elder, after all, and Adrian himself had worked at Elder Central in Edinburgh for years. I needed to consult him on matters more often. Like whether they’d enlist one of their young family members to spy for them. Since I’d once employed the undead Louis Armstrong as my spy, I had no room to judge. Although Louis was the worst spy ever.

            “I’m not sure, so I’m being careful what I entrust to her. She sent some holy water after I asked for it, for example, but I never said what it was for. It could be to bless Jean’s undead fleet of pirate ships for all she knows. I don’t intend to tell her I will be using it to scry. I doubt anyone among the Elders would figure that out.”

            Adrian nodded. “Agreed. It’s too far outside the realm of their skills, so they tend to forget you can do a lot of elven magic. I wondered if you were going to watch the Interspecies Council meeting today. I don’t know what time it will be.”

            I nodded my head. “It’s at noon, and I’m going to be set up and ready. Florian is trying to frame me for conspiring with Christof and stirring things up between the fae and the elves, so I want to hear what he’s going to say.”

            Adrian leaned against the doorjamb. “Do you know where they’re meeting? Surely they’re running out of public buildings to destroy.”

Heh. I’m sure they can find a few public buildings left to destroy in New Orleans, right?

Now…did you win a book this week? If you see your name, please email me at or via the “Contact Me” tab above. Unless stated otherwise, these are for print books. If you missed the memo, by the way, I’m now not giving away single TBR books (so ignore the TBR tab for now); I’m stuffing as many as I can into a flat-rate Priority Mail box (at least six, and up to ten). For international winners, because the postage would be half my monthly paycheck, I’ll substitute a Book Depository gift to the equivalent of the US postage, which is about USD$15.

STEPHANIE F won a box ‘o TBR books for commenting on the pathetic state of my office. Which has not improved since Wednesday, sadly.

ROGER won a box o’ TBR books for commenting on the “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day” post.

CARL SCOTT won this week’s Reader’s Choice giveaway and chose Marc Turner’s Dragon Hunters. This is the second book in his Chronicle of the Exile series; if you’d prefer the first book in the series, let me know.

And that’s it for today! Off to revision land for me, and stop by tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice Giveaway….which might have to run Tuesday if I can’t get it finished. Revisions come first. So PROBABLY tomorrow 🙂

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day. As you can see, I’m spending the day of romance with Jean Lafitte and Rene Delachaise (okay, and DJ and Adrian Hoffman). Could be worse!

(Oh, and what does the kitten in the sweater have to do with anything? Nothing. I just thought it was cute!)