Are you ready for the best season?
Okay, I know, many don’t like Halloween or fall, but it’s my favorite.
Pumpkins are carved, the fire and candles are ready, the candy is waiting, and the costumes, even though no one will see them, are fabulous.
So, out here in the deep woods, we don’t have a lot of trick or treating options, but I’m going to set up a scavenger candy hunt in my backyard with flashlights for my family. Because not even a global panorama can stop the fun that is Halloween at my house!
With that fun in mind…
|You all know that the patreon has bonus episodes every week this month, and that Crossroad Inn on Amazon’s Vella will have a bonus episode go live on Halloween and the Monday after will have its normal release of an episode too. But, I also am going to include an excerpt from episode 2 of Crossroad Inn just for you. First, though…|
Don’t forget, Heart of Cinders is out now!
This one is for the stabby girls.
And book 2, Heart of Shattered Glass is on preorder now!
Before the Fire, the prequel novella is free with sign up for my newsletter:
“When the eyes of the King of the dead darkened, it was like every soul in the Three Realms shivered at once.” — Ellie, Crossroad Inn
“A deal with the Seelie Queen has now come due.” — King of the Underworld, Crossroad Inn
“I’m trying to decide if I should hit you with my sparks and make you leave, or if I should say thank you for the worst compliment ever,”–Ellie, Crossroad Inn
“Silly fae. Witches didn’t play the game that way.” — Crossroad Inn
“Sparks snapped off the ends of my hair as I raised my hands and flung my magic.” — Ellie, Crossroad Inn
Crossroad Inn bonus episode can be found here:
|I am so excited for Halloween, but right around the corner is also November. And you know what that means!|
So, for every week of NaNo, I will be including the things that keep me going through this wild writing month when the Holidays are around the corner and there is already so much going on.
But… I thought you said you were going to do a nutter butter thing of beating NaNo in ten days? I hear you ask.
Yes, I did. What does that mean, then?
It means…Multiple Projects!
For now, we’re going to call them, HEA secret squirrel project 1, and More Stabby secret squirrel project 1, and 2!
Yep. Don’t know how successful I will be on this, but that’s the fun of a challenge. Shoot for the stars.
For now, here’s the excerpt from episode 2 of Crossroad Inn for you.
Excerpt from episode 2
|My jaw popped on a yawn I couldn’t contain. |
“Ellie,” Mother said, her voice low and dangerous. Although if a guest heard her, it probably would have sounded like a sweet sing song. I knew better.
I had to get it together, before a guest pointed out that I was dragging.
Water. Some ice-cold water would help.
I got myself a glass behind the counter and took a moment to rub my hands over my face while my back was to the dining room.
“Ellie, are you on double? Do you need a potion?” Meribeth, my middle sister, said, standing next to me straight, stiff, and so tall I had to tilt my head back to see her face. Her medium brown hair and unassuming looks hid one the most talented potion mixers the witch world had ever seen.
“Thank you, but I just need to get through this. I’m afraid if I take something I won’t fall asleep when I finally get a chance.”
“Okay, but I can always include a timer,” she said. Behind her spectacles she narrowed her eyes at me before she turned around to help someone in the dining room.
Come on, Ellie, pull yourself together. All you have to do is make it until the demon is taken away.
With a shake, I raised my brows high and turned back to the room. Making it until the demon was taken away was easier said than done at that moment.
A group of Fae huddled together in one corner, their frenzied whispers accompanied by frantic hand movements and even the occasional outburst of their wings. All of them kept darting their eyes, elongated to points at the end and set tilted in their faces, to stare at the group of angels silently eating in the opposite corner.
No, not at the whole group. They kept looking at the back of the officer’s head.
Great. Whatever had gone on in the graveyard the night before was starting to send shockwaves through the Inn.
“Letha, do we know what’s going on out there?” I asked, leaning to the side where she was filling a pint and humming to herself.
“No, but oh, they’re dreamy,” she said, her voice dangerously close to hitting on the pitch of her power.
“Letha,” I snapped. She shook her head and stared at me, eyes wide. “Please, don’t do it. We don’t need another visit from Father if the angels and Fae are already on edge.”
“Me?” She put a hand to her chest and tried to feign innocence, her face all doe-eyed and her mouth open just enough. But I saw the muscle in her cheek bounce on the smile that wanted to bloom on her face.
“I mean it. Please.”
She deflated and sighed, staring longingly at the angels. One of them stared back, their face slack and their gaze only half focused.
“Letha,” I called as she walked away, leaving me to roll my eyes and then narrow them at the Legionaerie who turned to track her through the room.
Father might start a war with the Second Realm, the Soul Realm, if Letha ran off with a damn angel.Just over the shoulder of the Legionaerie falling for my sister’s charms, a Stalker, the badge of her pledge clear on her long, leather coat, stared daggers at me.
The Stalker looked away from me and toward the wall across from her. An awful lot of questionable things were happening with people’s eyes tonight, but this one was the one that made my fingers itch with magic.
I thought I knew all the Stalkers who had taken the pledge—non-magic people who were imbued with long lives, strength, and youth until their last days. But this one was not among the pledges I saw in the pledge reports the stalker cults sent us.
“Ellie, maybe you should switch with me for a while. It might help you wake up,” Meribeth said.
“You’re right.” I grabbed an order from the kitchen with the ticket telling me which table to drop it off at and made my way into the dining area.
There was a reason I didn’t do more of this. I hated it. Weaving my way through the people cluttered in the dining room, trailing one hand along the shoulders of everyone I passed, my brain started flashing the worst current impulses of all of them. The only people who my brain could never pick up on were the Legionaeries.
But, to be honest, I never wanted to know what their worst impulses were.
If the rumors about the Soul Realm were true, their worst impulses would be to sleep in and get what they wanted. Not exactly known for revelries, the ranks of the Legion.
Of all the flashes in my mind, there was exactly one that I wanted to see. It wasn’t the Fae woman who was hoping to drink an entire barrel of ale, although she did manage to make me smile. It wasn’t the vampire who wanted to be able to try a piece of chocolate without getting sick. Although that one made me want to find a way for them to do it, because that was no way to live.
I wanted to get to the new Stalker. Someone that powerful to our world, someone charged with hunting any person deemed a monster by the cult, was someone I wanted to understand. We didn’t need a repeat of the Hunter. Reaching the Stalker in her corner table, I moved to her side and smiled down at her.
“Hello, I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Ellie, and you are Stalker…” I let the end of my sentence hang, waiting on her to fill in the rest of her title.She clenched her jaw and stared at the wall across from her, like I wasn’t even there.
“Is there something I could get you?” I narrowed my eyes, my smile still in place, but an edge was creeping into my voice no matter how hard I tried to keep it hidden
.When she still didn’t say anything, I dropped the smile and pursed my lips. If she wasn’t even going to pretend to play along, I would go around her.
Most of the time, I didn’t like to just invade the personal space of strangers whose names I didn’t know, but if this Stalker thought I was above such things, she was a damn fool.
I lunged and tapped her shoulder, a vision of her killing my Father right here in the dining room bloomed inside my mind before I snatched my hand back.
A scream tore through my throat accompanied by purple sparks snapping along the ends of my hair and my fingertips.
As always, happy reading!