I’m head-down, and hard-working on TIN SWIFT right now. This book refuses to write any faster than a couple thousand words a day and I am SO behind my word count goals. *insert angry face*
I will finish this book. I love so much of the story so far, I can’t wait to see how it all turns out, but dang, I wish I could break through this methodical pace. Maybe I need more coffee in my coffee.
In other news, the next Allie Beckstrom book, MAGIC ON THE LINE is set to come out on November 1st! Since I just found out Publisher’s Weekly gave it a great starred review, how about I share a snippet? With Shame, of course. 😉
MAGIC ON THE LINE (with possible slightly spoilery things, so proceed at your own risk)
I traced the glyph for Impact with my right hand and held it with no magic. Then I looked through the peephole.
Shame stood there, hands in his peacoat pockets, sunglasses on, a black knit beanie tight over his head. It was May and the temperatures were mild—mostly short-sleeves-and-no-jacket weather. But I hadn’t seen Shame in less than three layers since Mikhail had possessed and nearly killed him.
Frankly, I was surprised Terric wasn’t with him.
I shook off the Impact and opened the door.
“Hey,” I said. “What are you doing here?”
He tipped his sunglasses down with one finger. “I brought the booze, of course.”
I looked down at his empty hands. “Uh-huh. Come on in.” I stepped back and held the door open as Shame walked in.
He was still moving slowly, as if the bottoms of his feet hurt or his bones were hinged together wrong. I checked down the hallway. No Terric, no booze.
“So,” I said, shutting the door. “Booze?”
“It’s in the car.” Shame eased down onto my couch and took off his sunglasses, squinting against the light coming through the window. “Thought Jones could use the exercise. Lifting, hauling. Like a manly man.”
Shame looked tired. No, more than that, he looked pale and a little sick, the bones of his face cutting too sharply beneath his skin.
“You come here alone?” I asked.
He nodded. “Why?”
“I just thought Terric would be with you.”
“God no. Can’t get rid of that wanker lately. It’s killing me. Ducked out when he was in a meeting with Bartholomew.”
Zayvion walked into the living room. “Who’s in a meeting with Bartholomew?”
“Terric. Mum too.”
“What’s the meeting about?” Zay asked.
“Dunno. Wasn’t invited. Wouldn’t have gone if I were.”
“I thought Terric was going to help you with the drinks,” Zay said.
“Listen,” Shame said, “I get that you all think Terric is my personal nursemaid or some such. But let me reiterate, slowly and clearly: I don’t like being around him. He bothers me. I don’t care what Bartholomew wants with him. I’m just glad I got some damn breathing room.”
Zay sat in the chair by my window. “I thought we said we’d do the wake at the den.”
Shame frowned, then nodded. “That’s right. Well, the hooch is in the car. It can stay there until after the service.”
“Hold on,” I said. “What ‘we’ said we were doing anything at the den?”
Zay shrugged. “We thought we’d get together after the service. Just, you know, friends for a beer or two in memory. Didn’t I tell you that?”
“I’m sure I did. You must have forgotten.”
I shook my head and stomped off to go get my journal. I opened it, flipped through the pages. A lot of short handwritten notes—my life, all of it I dared not forget—written here. “There is nothing in here about you using the den. If it’s not written down, you didn’t ask me.”
“She’s got you there, Jones.” Shame grinned. “You’ve been out-anal-retentived.”