Thursday, March 05, 2015
STUFF AND CHAPTER 1
We're in the beginning of March. March 10 is the release date for THE EXILE. I have a huge blog tour coming up, which is awesome. (See below. There are a couple more interviews that were late entries into the game, I'll try to post them later, but can't seem to find them at the moment).
3/10/15 The Vampire Book Club http://vampirebookclub.net
3/11/15 Layers of Thought http://www.layersofthought.net/
3/12/15 Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews http://paranormalromanticsuspensereviews.blogspot.com
3/13/15 My Bookish Ways http://www.mybookishways.com
3/14/15 Urban Fantasy Investigation http://urbanfantasyinvestigations.blogspot.com
3/15/15 SciFi Chick http://www.scifichick.com
3/16/15 From the Shadows http://www.fromtheshadows.info
3/17/15 Little Miss Trainwreck http://littlemisstrainwreck.com
3/18/15 SF Signal http://www.sfsignal.com/
3/19/15 Manda-Rae Reads A Lot http://www.manda-rae-reads.com/
3/20/15 Literally Jen http://www.literallyjen.com
3/21/15 Civilian Reader http://civilianreader.wordpress.com
3/22/15 Preternatura http://suzannejohnsonauthor.com/category/blog
3/23/15 The Qwillery http://qwillery.blogspot.com
3/24/15 Fantasy Literature http://www.fantasyliterature.com
3/25/15 Between Dreams and Reality www.betweendandr.com
I just got the newsletter drafted. It should go out today. New puzzle with contest and, of course, the first sneak peek of the book. I haven't gotten the video camera thing going yet because life has been lifish, but I want to get you guys excited, so you get a sneak peek too. Now, the newsletter peek was a bit longer -- I want to reward people who sign up after all. But you get a taste now, and more to follow in a couple of days.
(Note, this was cut and pasted from a typed version of the manuscript, not the final copy, so pardon any errors as being part of the risk you take for peeking.):
Atropos shivered, despite the weight of her heavy wool cloak. Her bones ached and her joints stiffened in wet weather. It made her move more slowly, which meant she would be out in the rain longer. That soured her mood. She did not want to do this, and cursed the necessity. Normally she’d let one of her other two aspects handle it. With her youth, Clotho could ignore foul weather, and while Lachesis loathed the damp, it didn’t incapacitate her. But both of them had history with the King of the Sidhe. Atropos did not trust the younger ones not to be affected by sentiment. So with faltering footsteps, supported by a cane carved of ash, she made her way through the darkened rose garden, following a path strewn with shifting shadows, until she reached a little-known servant’s door, tucked discreetly in a corner behind a trellis that bore a thick covering of ivy.
The door was unlocked, as arranged, and she stepped through into a wide, marble-floored hallway dimly lit by a few glowing crystals.
Depending on one’s perspective, it was either very late or quite early, barely three hours past midnight. Even the hardiest courtiers had gone to their beds, as had most of the servants. But Atropos knew the king was still awake and at work, and his guards with him.
The man on the door was no fool and no coward. The moment he saw Atropos he knew who, and what, she was. But he stood his ground, a mountain of ebony muscle barring the heavy oak doors with his body, weapons ready, though not actively threatening her.
“I will see the king.”
The guard did not meet her milky gaze. Instead he stared over her left shoulder, into the middle distance, as he answered her in a voice that was completely steady, despite the muscle that twitched nervously above his right eye. “The king is not to be disturbed.”
“He will see me.” Her voice was harsh as the caw of a carrion bird, but the soldier neither flinched nor moved. He was accustomed to death, this one, having dealt it out, and seen it, more often than most. His name, she recalled, was Petros. It was certainly apt. He was solid as a rock—and just about as bright.
Petros opened his mouth to again refuse her, but was saved by the king’s command from behind the closed doors.
“Let the crone in.”
The guard turned and opened the door for her without further comment.
After the chill dimness of the hall, the warmth and light of King Leu’s library was most welcome. Atropos moved gratefully toward the fireplace in the corner nearest the door. Though Leu was seated near the fire, he was not looking into the flames. Instead, he stared at a painting that hung on the wall nearby. To the uninformed, the painting was just that, a perfect rendering of the entry hall of a modern human apartment. Atropos knew, however, that the frame contained something more than a painting. She also knew just how much the image meant to her host.
Leu made her wait before turning to greet her. It was a deliberate slight, and it rankled, though Atropos knew better than to let that show. She had sought this meeting. She was in his castle, his place of power. And while all men must bow to the will of Fate, this was not the time or place to remind him of it. Leu was a king, and a proud man.
“Why are you here?” He spoke calmly, his eyes gleaming silver in the firelight.
“I need a boon,” she answered sourly.
His elegant, dark brows rose so high they disappeared beneath a shock of his dark hair, in the front braided tight against his skull and pulled back in a tail, the back hanging nearly to his knees. She felt a pang of memory—Clotho’s—of the silken feel of that hair beneath her fingers and sliding over her naked body. . . . The crone found herself fighting her younger aspect for control of their shared body. Closing her eyes, she clamped down tight with her will until Clotho sullenly relented.
“You seek a boon? From me?” Leu gave a slow, feral smile, his pleasure evident in the anticipatory flash of sharp, white teeth. “Have a seat,” he suggested with belated courtesy, gesturing toward the beautifully carved wooden chair across from him. “Would you like a drink?”
Atropos nodded her consent. Resting her cane against the nearby table she lowered herself onto the straight-backed chair. It was not a comfortable seat. The carvings dug painfully into her back, and whatever padding the seat had once held had been worn down to nothing. She smiled grimly, knowing that the only better seat in the room was the king’s; the others were all intended to subtly discourage everyone else from lingering.
Everything about Leu was subtle, complex, layered. He was a very physical being, Clotho and Lachesis could both attest to that, but ultimately his mind was what made him most dangerous—and the kind of High King Faerie needed. Atropos might not like the man, but she respected him, and her respect was not earned easily.
She took a glass of wine from his hand, the liquid so dark a red it was nearly purple. She didn’t worry about poison. He wasn’t the type, and she was immune to most of them anyway. Still, there was always the possibility of an accident. The man had so very many enemies.
Leu pushed aside a stack of maps and leaned back against the edge of the table, quite close to her. Taking a sip from his glass, he looked down at her and, smiling that dangerous smile, said, “Let the dickering begin.”
* * *