And there's a lot going on to celebrate. (Like pizza!) (Okay, maybe not pizza. Unless BFF Diana agrees to pizza for dinner, in which case, pizza!) Today I am blogging all over the place, people. That just sounds wrong...
I'm talking about buying Christmas presents for Harvey over at the Samhain blog. I'm interviewed at the Write Way Cafe, which is run by two lovely ladies from my RWA chapter. And I'm discussing Self-Rescuing Princesses over with the awesome ladies at Nine Naughty Novelists. And I'll be posting excerpts at the Samhain Cafe today. And, you know, I'll have to go into the office in the afternoon and bug the kids in the lab with my Pandora stations, but that's a normal day for me.
The Official Fire in the Blood Virtual Book Tour kicked off yesterday. For those dates, go here. You want to do that, because you want to enter for a chance to win the $50 Amazon gift card. It's like the gift that keeps on giving, except for that whole $50 limit thing.
Anyway, moving on...
You remember Patience, right? ...no? Okay, here's a refresher from the last Bad Witch book, Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered (edited for language, because Patience has a potty mouth):
And then there was a field trip to hell, with bonus Harvey. And fights with demons! Action! Excitement! And a moment of intrigue where Cat made the statement: "Did the summoner queen just call the shadowspawn faerie babe?" Because yes, she did. Which brings us to Fire in the Blood, where there is angsty relationship fun between Patience and Faust. There's an excerpt from Chapter 1 on the Samhain page which delves into that. But this is a different, special only-on-my-blog excerpt. Please to enjoy:I followed Lex into the office, and I walked into a wall of pungent brimstone-scented magic. Eau de summoner. Gross. There was a bland waiting area with an empty fish tank and old magazines strewn across the coffee table. Zach’s face smiled from one of the covers, his arm around some skinny blonde model, and I flipped him off as Lex opened the inner office door without knocking.I heard the occupant’s voice before I saw her. “No. Get out,” she snapped.“Nice to see you too, Patience,” Lex drawled.I stepped around him and got a look at her. Though her eyes were hidden behind a pair of round, mirrored sunglasses, I knew Patience Roberts was glaring at Lex. Her short hair was cherry red and cut in funky, angular layers, but she wore a plain, black business suit with a white blouse. I wasn’t sure what to make of that.“You’re not welcome here, Duquesne, and you don’t have grounds to harass me anymore, so you can get out of my office.”“He’s not here to harass you—we’re here to hire you,” I said.“Oh, this should be good. Are you looking to deal in demons now, Ms. Morrow? Your father always enjoyed it, and he was happy to pay the price in flesh,” Patience said. She grinned, and my stomach stopped, dropped and rolled.“That’s Mrs. Duquesne,” Lex corrected, “and you’d do well to call her Titania. In fact, as your Oberon, I’m orderin’ you to help us, so get the twist out of your panties now.”The smile slipped from her face, and she dropped a series of F-bombs so epic even I was impressed. Finally she jabbed a finger at the empty seats in front of her desk. “Sit down and tell me what you want.”
“Where’s the Ouija board?” I asked.“Pardon?” the mom said. I bet she had no idea what her daughter brought into the house.“Where. Is. The Ouija board?” I repeated. My voice rose, and the girl flinched as her eyes widened.“How did you know?”“Angry spirits don’t show up without an invitation, kiddo. Using a Ouija board is like chumming the water for sharks.”Which was, unfortunately, true, though spirits of the dead had nothing to do with it. What started as a clever summoner scheme for luring unsuspecting demons into this world to be bound as servants ended up as a mass-produced party game. It’s not magic, not in the usual sense, but it’s a tool. Using a Ouija board doesn’t make a straight a magician, but it does give them a party line to the hell dimensions. You never know who might pick up, and I spent a lot of time tracking down strays drawn to suburbia by girls at slumber parties. The problem had gotten worse since the summoner population had decreased to just me.Mr. Sanders looked skeptical. “It’s just a game.”“Only it’s not. Did the activity start after you brought it into the house?” I asked. The girl pondered it for a moment, and then nodded. “Well there you go. So where is it?”“Under my bed.”I glanced at Harvey, and he left to take care of it. There’d be nothing left of the thing except for a layer of ash when he was done. Good riddance. I hate Ouija boards. One of these days I was going to find the Parker Brothers and end them, provided the apocalypse didn’t do it first.“I’m going to need everyone out of the house while I clear it. I suggest a hotel room if you don’t have friends or family nearby. This might take a while.”The father began to argue, but was interrupted by the low bass rumble of a growl that shook the glass trinkets in the curio cabinet. I blinked, startled. That wasn’t Harvey—sometimes I’d have him pull a few parlor tricks if the straights argued with me, but only when I gave the order. It was a bad sign. Time to eject the family so I could get down to business.“Here,” I reached into my jacket and withdrew my money clip. “This should cover your expenses, and any damages.” I peeled off a few hundreds and pressed them into the father’s hand.“Damages?” he repeated. Another growl knocked a photo from the wall behind them, and the glass shattered in the frame when it hit the floor. Okay, very bad sign. The sudden local summoner extinction meant that bigger, meaner demons were slipping through the wards.“Everybody out,” I ordered.The family hustled, spurred on by more ominous growling. Dan frowned as he turned to me. “Do you want my help?”“No.” The word was almost a snarl, and I paused as his brow rose. “Sorry. Long day. You and Andy can stay out front until I give the all clear, if you want.”“All right. Good luck.”He followed the family out—the man was good with orders, I’d give him that. I waited until the count of ten before shucking my coat and tossing it on the couch, followed by my suit jacket. I rolled up the sleeves of my blouse, and the steady beat of approaching footsteps caught my attention as I fished through my bag for my bottle of salt.“How bad is it, Harv?” I asked without looking up.“There appears to be a demon infestation in this house,” Faust replied. I jumped, spilling spell components across the living room floor. He stood in the doorway, his hands neatly folded in front of him, calm and serene while my heart revved to one hundred miles an hour.“Lord and Lady, don’t do that,” I sputtered. “You’re supposed to be talking to the Oberon.”“I did. He asked that I keep an eye on you in the meantime, so here I am, at his request.” He smiled his Cheshire cat grin, and I sighed. If I kicked him out I’d piss off the Oberon, which I couldn’t afford to do at the moment. Duquesne was still harboring ill will toward me because I’d stabbed him once, despite the fact that he’d deserved it. Some people just can’t let things go.“All right, fine. Just stay out of the way.” Irritated, I snatched up the supplies and tossed them back into the bag. Faust nodded, and then kissed me quickly. “Cut it out, I’m on the clock,” I warned him with a sharp poke to his ribs.“Of course.” He scowled a bit, but he followed as I went in search of Harvey.
Kids! You can buy your very own shiny ebook copy of Fire in the Blood from Mr. Sam Hain for only $2.45 here! Or, if you prefer, you can pay $3.08 and get it for your Kindle or Nook. It's still less than a large latte. Unless it's any-size-latte-for-the-price-of-a-small day at Espresso Royale, in which case it's not. But close!
And here it is, your question of the day: Did you ever play with a Ouija board? Was a slumber party involved? Bonus points if it burst into flames like in that Paranormal Activity movie.