So, yesterday I finished Familiar Demon, which is the next book in the Familiar series. This is Edward and Mullins's book, and they're on a scavenger hunt that takes them into very... uh... familiar territory. I'll post an excerpt later ;-)
And pretty much the minute Kermit Flail published, ALL SORTS OF THINGS went down that should have gone on it!
Starting at the top...
Racing for the Sun has a new cover. It's currently available on Dreamspinner Press, but it will be on the link soon for Amazon.com.
Now this happened for a couple of reasons. The first was that Sonny and Ace appear in the third Fish Out of Water book, A Few Good Fish, which will be out on August 28th. We wanted to remind people about that book, because a lot of people haven't had a chance to read it, and we needed a dramatic way to say, "Uh, hey... gritty racing action here!"
ALSO, A Few Good Fish has a sequel that crosses over into Racing for the Sun. Lee Burton-- a character who appears in Racing for the Sun, shows up in A Few Good Fish, and so does his love interest, Ernie. Now as I was writing A Few Good Fish, I started Burton and Ernie's romance on the blog, mostly so I could really have a feel for who they were before they just showed up in Jackson and Ellery's story.
And people really loved it, and it was something I'd planned to write--LITERALLY--six years ago when Ace and Sonny's story had just come out. After more than one pointed reminder on FaceBook (i.e.,"Amy, you are a CONTENT CREATOR for a living, stop giving us free content and write the fucking book so we can give you our money!" was said. Not subtly. Pretty much verbatim.) I wrote the fucking book, and that's Hiding the Moon, and it's available for presale and out in October.
The cover reveal is coming soon by the way-- it's SO GORGEOUS. and it looks SO GOOD with the new Racing for the Sun cover. I'm sort of... uh.. over the moon?
And I thought you should know about it!
So I'm going to give you some buy links, and then I'm going to leave you with an excerpt from Familiar Demon, which is the sequel to Familiar Angel.
As always, I can't wait for you to read it.
Buy Fish Out of Water and Red Fish Dead Fish Here on Amazon.
Buy A Few Good Fish Here on Dreamspinner Press
Buy A Few Good Fish Here on Amazon
Buy Racing for the Sun HERE on Dreamspinner Press
Buy Hiding the Moon HERE on Amazon
Buy Hiding the Moon HERE on Dreamspinner Press
Buy Familiar Angel HERE on Amazon
A little excerpt from Familiar Demon...
* * *
Two hours later, Edward was hoping he didn’t fall to his death.
“What are we getting here again?” Harry called up to him, one hand clasped firmly around Edward's wrist while the other scrabbled for purchase on a cliff face over the Oregon coast.
Edward was hanging upside down from his knees so he had a better grip on Harry’s arm, and he had to concentrate over the blood rushing in his head.
“An eggshell from a black oystercatcher’s nest on a cliff,” he yelled.
“Why a cliff?” Bel called from his place securing Edward’s legs so he didn’t fall.
“Because…” Edward clapped both hands around Harry’s wrist as Harry tried to find his footing. “The spell called for a thing of seabird in the air, an old thing from the young, one who watches over instead of dwells in the crowd.” Edward practically had the poetry memorized by now. “These birds make their nests down among the rocks!”
“Not this one,” Harry muttered with grim satisfaction. “Let go, Edward, I’m going to need both my hands.”
“Secure your piton,” Edward gritted.
“Do you really think—”
“Secure yourself, idiot! My head’s gonna explode!”
“Fine.” Harry took his hand back and pulled his piton and his hammer out, then slung the rope at his waist through the carabiner on the piton, and then wrapped the end around his arm. Thus secured, he grunted at Edward, who allowed Beltane to hoist him, feet first, up over the cliff.
Of course Bel let him dangle for a minute once he had Edward to a safe patch of grass.
“Nice, dumbass,” Edward grumbled, arms extended so he could catch his fall. “You’re a foot taller than all of us. Must be nice to be born in the 20thcentury.”
“Twenty-first,” Bel said happily, setting Edward down. “I mean it’s close enough. In a couple thousand years, who’s going to care about such a pittance?”
“Is Harry back?” Suriel asked, turning from a cat as he walked with Francis at his heels. They’d been on watch for any other visitors to the overlook—or at least that’s where Harry had asked him to serve. Edward was pretty sure it had been a ruse to keep the two of them from seeing the dumbshit thing the three of them had just done.
Francis, at least, was not fooled. He hissed, pulled himself upright and spat.
“Did you think we wouldn’t see that? Not one of you thought to learn how to fly?”
Bel and Edward exchanged looks. “We can’t fly,” Bel said logically. “There’s whole texts about how wizards and witches don’t have the power to fly. Sorceresses, yes. Wizards, no. I’m not sure why.”
Suriel looked carefully, neutrally, over Edward’s shoulder, and Edward narrowed his eyes.
“This is one of those God/Goddess things, isn’t it?” he asked. “And the other. There’s a rule here we don’t know about. Like, God’s children can’t fly but Goddess’s can?”
“Hm, I’m going to go check on Harry,” Suriel said, as though he hadn’t heard.
“I can fly,” Francis said, because couldn’t everybody?
“Really?” Bel didn’t sound jealous even a little. “Show us! Then you can go help Harry.”
Francis took a deep breath and held his arms out as though to balance, and then ascended slowly into the air. “It doesn’t feel like other magic,” he hollered, his white-blond hair a furious tornado around his head.
Edward stared, both impressed and appalled, and Bel whooped. “That’s amazing! I’m so jealous! Now go somewhere!”
They were so entranced that nobody heard Harry behind them, struggling to hoist his body up the cliff—but they all heard his reaction.
“Fucking Jesus, Francis—why didn’t you just say you could fucking fly!”
Francis set himself down and smiled smugly. “Now you know,” he said, and turned cat again to trot away.
“Where’s he going?” Edward asked, and Bel shrugged.
“It’s gorgeous up here. Let’s go kill seagulls!” And then Beltane turned into a big blond dog, woofing ecstatically and chasing the wind.
Harry and Edward watched them go, shaking their heads. “I’m…” Edward made helpless gestures with his hands.
“Yeah. Me too.” Finally Harry shrugged and held out a small ziplock bag. “Here—put that in your scary freaky little drawer organizer with the number system, and we can eat the lunch Suriel’s going to make and I’ll tell you about the next run.”
Edward took it on the bag on automatic, and was heading for the specialized piece of luggage in the minivan before the rest of what Harry said caught up with him.
“Okay—so first off, how did you know I even had that case back there—”
“Oh my God!” Harry threw up his hands. “Could you not even? What? Have I been stupid for the last hundred and fifty years?”
Edward felt a little shame. “No, brother. You’re just not great at planning.”
Harry stared at him impassively, and Edward’s remorse increased.
“Okay, okay, fine. You’re good at planning, just not great at… I don’t know. Schematicking.”
Suriel, who had been looking from one of them to the other, tilted his head. “That’s not a word,” he said, and given Suriel spoke every language known to man and beast, he would know.
“It’s an Edward word, beloved,” Harry said, his grim mouth twisted a little at the ends. “And go schematic or whatever. But what was the other thing?”
Edward shifted uncomfortably. “You, uh, have plans for the next thing on the list?” Because he had a few for a few items, but he had no idea Harry had already prepared.
Harry smiled, the picture of feline smugness. “Go schematic, Edward. I’ll show you my list after lunch. I’m going to go keep those two from chasing the oystercatchers. They’re a protected species, you know.” And then Harry turned cat and scampered off into the rest of the overlook park, leaving Edward to stomp to the minivan, Suriel at his heels.
“You’re not going to go with them?” Edward asked, trying to keep the surliness from his voice.
“Why are you angry?” Suriel asked, his voice kind.
Edward paused in the act of unlatching the back of the minivan and sighed. “Not angry,” he said truthfully, remembering that Suriel had been their wise and compassionate counselor for many many years before he’d been Harry’s lover. “Just… he makes me feel inadequate,” he confessed with a sigh.
“How?” To his credit, Suriel sounded genuinely puzzled, and Edward looked at him with fondness.
“He’s very good at everything,” Edward said with a little laugh.
“So are you.”
“But… but he’s the leader. I thought, you know. I’d be leading this one, because… because—”
“Because Mullins is yours?” Suriel asked perceptively.
Edward sighed and started working the case with the little number compartments out of the back.
“Yes,” he admitted after a moment. It sounded even weaker as he said it.
“Well, I was Harry’s, but that didn’t stop you all from summoning me when he was…” Suriel’s voice dropped. “Bleeding,” he finished with a swallow. Harry had been dying—but had been too stubborn to summon Suriel because of the personal cost to Suriel every time he left heaven. “Everybody needs help sometimes.” Suriel’s voice strengthened. “Even Emma and Leonard needed Mullins and I, remember?”
Edward smiled and put the ziplock bag from Harry into the numbered slot in the case. “I was there,” he said mildly.
“I know you were. It’s my understanding you followed Harry’s plan in that instance too.”
And nothing had gone as planned—but everything had turned out better than their wildest dreams.
“We did,” Edward acknowledged. But then, the painful truth. “But Francis and I got… we got left behind, you know. That’s why Francis was so out of it. Because Cass caught up with us while we were trying to find Harry.”
“Ah.” Suriel stood there, back straight, head tilted. Edward missed the wings that used to hover over his shoulders—but he could, in fact, almost see them even though they’d been stripped away when Suriel had chosen to return to earth and Harry’s arms.
“What?” Edward could almost hear the words. But not quite.
“It’s why you fuss so much,” Suriel said. “About having three backup plans to Harry’s one. It’s a good system.” His full mouth flashed a quiet smile. “Just remember—Harry learned from that too. And he doesn’t ever want to let you down again.”
Edward swallowed and zipped up the case, replacing it in the back of the car and pulling out the ice chest.
“Here,” Suriel offered. “Let me get that. You close the hatch.”
Which probably meant Suriel had prepped the ice chest. Cooking seemed to be one of his passions, and as often as he cooked for Emma and Leonard for their family dinners, Edward couldn’t object.
“He’s never let me down,” Edward said after a moment as they headed for the picnic table.
“He’ll be glad to hear it.”
Edward smiled a little. Suriel’s implicit, eternal faith in Harry was a little nauseating—but it was not, in fact, misplaced. Edward needed to remember that.
Suriel opened the ice chest and proceeded to make five outstanding sandwiches with the grace of a dancer. Edward dressed them on paper plates and added chips and sodas around the table, and they finished up just as their rogue familiars trotted toward them.
“I hope you’re hungry,” Edward called, “Suriel’s outdone hims—goddammit Francis!”
Francis hissed and spat out bird feathers, then had the gall to look surprised as they floated around his head. He turned human just so he could appear innocent and said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. There’s feathers everywhere. They stuck to my fur is all.”
Harry spat and changed form. “Of course they stuck to your fur—you ripped them off some poor bird. Oh my God, Francis—not even an oystercatcher—a seagull. Ew!”
Francis spat another feather and grimaced. “He did taste sort of like a garbage bird. Huh.”
Beltane wagged his tale once and then stood, engulfing Francis in a protective, over the shoulder hug. “And what does a garbage bird taste like?” he asked, his human ears practically perking up.
“Like chicken nuggets,” Francis said decisively. “I’ve seen birds eat those, you know, which just prove that they’re not real food.”
Edward and Harry stared at each other, mouths opening and closing helplessly.
“Wash up,” Edward said finally. “All of you. Spigot’s behind the van. Suriel made damned good sandwiches and we can fit in another stop today.”
Harry got back first of course, and stood on tiptoes to kiss Suriel’s cheek. “They look wonderful,” he said. “Thank you for making lunch belo—”
“Beloved my ass,” Suriel snapped. “Now that we know Francis can fly, can you maybe not dangle from a cliff next time? Good grief, Harry.”
Harry twisted his mouth. “Still, uh, upset—”
Suriel stared at him, earth brown eyes alight with irritation, until Harry bent his head. “Of course, Suriel. I shall be ever careful of my own mortal frame. I completely apologize.”
“Thank you, Harry. Sit down—yours is the one with hummus instead of mayonnaise.”