Whew! The holidays were super-busy and a little crazy, but in the end, everything and everyone was lovely. I’ll post some pics of gifts I gave and received, but today I’m following up on a promise I made a couple weeks ago.
I am announcing the titles for the Shame and Terric series, which is a spin off from the Allie Beckstrom books. Now, mind you, these titles can still change, but right now, we’re 99% sure these are the final decisions. Ready?
Books #1 and #2 of the Broken Magic series:
Tentative release dates are November 2013 and April 2014. These are told from Shame’s point of view, and take place three years after the end of MAGIC FOR A PRICE.
They’re working on cover art right now, and I’m *very* excited to see what they come up with.
And now, because I promised it, here is a totally unedited, may or may not make it into the book scene from HELL BENT
I don’t like Terric. This is a problem because Terric and I not only have to work the same damn office job together, but we also are tied by a magic I can’t break.
About an hour ago, I’d stumbled into my room here at my mum’s inn, and managed to unbutton my pants and belt and throw my jacket somewhere on the floor. From the sweaty weight on my feet, I hadn’t gotten my boots off yet.
About fifteen minutes ago, Terric had showed up, cheerfully yelling over the top of my hangover and pulling back curtains to let the light in.
Daylight, for shitsake.
“Get out of my room,” I mumbled into the pillow on top of my face.
“You said you’d come to work today, Shame. The meeting’s today. No option. Not this time.”
“No option?” I pushed the pillow off my face. Oh, God, the light. It was blinding, even through my eyelids. “I’m the boss, remember, mate? I work when I say I work.”
“No, we are the boss. We, Shame, not you. Not you alone. Which is good because you haven’t worked for a year and a half.”
Gut punch. Not that he was wrong. I’d put in a solid year of civic mindedness before deciding I am not a people person, and am more suited for darkness, destruction, and the slow madness of trying not to give a damn.
Plus there was the whole death-touch thing, the constant hunger that made me count the pulse beat of every living thing around me. After a year, that had gotten so bad I salivated whenever I was in a closed room with people, plants, or combustibles.
I needed life. Needed to drink it down, lap it up. Food helped, so did smoking, drinking, and other unsavory recreations. But none of it pushed the hunger away for long. I needed life, because I wanted to consume it, burn it out, extinguish it.
Grim damn reaper style.
So of course someone thought it would be funny to put me in charge of a city full of angry magic users. A desk job, people. Customer service. Paperwork and complaints about every damn magical glitch that happens in the entire damn city.
A lot of people were alive right now because I’d had the brains to stop punching the time clock. Not that I’d told Terric about it. Not that I had to. He knew me better than almost anyone. Came from half our lives spent growing up in the Authority, chasing down illegal magic and deadly creatures like it was all one big game.
Until I almost killed him. And he repaid the favor.
We have what is known as a difficult relationship.
“Shame.” This time he shook the bed with his foot.
“Have I said fuck off yet?”
“I’ll drag you out of here.”
I huffed out a laugh. Terric had spent the better part of a year going out of his way to keep his hands to himself. Well, to himself and his boyfriend of the month.
“I’d like to see you tr–”
Terric was up out of that chair, hands around my ankles so quick, I didn’t even hear him move. Then he yanked on my boots and I was dragged half down my bed before I could even finish insulting him.
Eyes snapped open: Jesus, the light! Every damn window poured full-watt sunlight into the room. It was daymageddeon in here.
I glared up at him.
Terric was nearly my complete opposite. I had dark hair, eyes that were sometimes black and sometimes dark green, and lately, I’d been running a good twenty pounds under my fighting weight.
Terric was taller than me, which I hated, and built like a guy who might need to jump on a jet and hit the catwalk at any moment. His hair was white silver even though he was on one side or the other of thirty and his eyes were blue and set in a face that could knock Hollywood’s leading man off the marque. We used to be best friends before I’d almost destroyed his ability to use magic.
After that, he’d moved to Seattle and became a graphic designer and gay, although he insisted he’d actually always been into both those things, I just never noticed.
“Shame,” he said, almost gently. His hands were at his sides, fingers stretched out wide as if he’d just touched something filthy. “You can’t keep doing this. Not this way.”
–continued in HELL BENT, November 2013