Snippet Saturday: Jobs

Snippet Saturday (missing its graphic today because I had issues with Blogger) is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s snippet is jobs. One of my favorite job excerpts is from 1000 Kisses, where Embor, the Primary of the Realm (basically the president), is trying to get his clothes laundered…

****

The woman regarded him with a craftiness that didn’t match her apple cheeks and corkscrew curls. “I might not be able to get these done in time for your next workout.”

Embor drew himself up to his full height. “I have several sets.”

“The others aren’t ready either. You’ve been exercising so much lately. One might think you were working off steam.”

That was no secret. Court became contentious as Primary assessments approached. At least he’d quit attempting to convince the Elders to fund a full-scale humanspace search mission and had redirected his energies. They were foolish to ignore the danger posed by the renegade agents and their insider knowledge about the AOC. Embor was many things, but he wasn’t a fool.

But he did need to enhance his stamina with moderate exercise. If he encountered Anisette in the gardens at the same time, well, he was fond of multitasking.

“A logical conclusion,” he conceded. “I am the Primary. There is stress involved.” He seemed to be informing people of this a lot lately.

“You’re not coming here to visit with me, that’s for certain. I’m surprised you haven’t paid for pick-up and delivery.”

“An unnecessary expense for something my assistant or I can handle.” Interacting with citizens like the laundress allowed him the opportunity to gauge his constituency. He spoke to at least one voter on a weekly basis.

“Skythia doesn’t worry about thrift. So what’ll it be, Elder?”

Always there were hidden fees. “I can offer—”

“Ten transportation globes, Realm-wide. And information.”

“Information?” Globes he’d expected. But information?

“That’s my new rate for next-day delivery.” Banging and clattering echoed up the chute. She opened the wooden door and stuck her head in the hole. “What in the gnome-stick are you doing down there?”

“Tripped!” a voice echoed up the shaft.

“We’re training another sorter,” she told Embor. “Laundry’s big business with the influx of human clothes, and hardly anyone can do it. But now let’s talk about you.”

“Your sibs don’t ask ten globes for a job they’re already well-paid to do.” Many Court services were privatized, the suppliers allotted a base amount from the treasury.

“My sibs couldn’t magic a water stain out of a dishrag.” She slammed her book closed and placed another on top of it. “Do you want clean clothes or not?”

He crossed his arms. “What’s your clan name?”

“Serendipity.” She smiled. “We’re small, but we’re loud.”

He could see the resemblance to Talista, if not Anisette. “Seeking information about Court activities could be considered treasonous.”

She laughed. “That’s not the kind of information I want.”

Was it so important to chat with a constituent this week? He didn’t have time for this. There was an Elder Court session in three days, and he had to prepare new arguments, consult with his cabinet, attend some negotiations with Greenland, sit advisory in the Younger Court on judicial matters, consider an appointment with his physician about his sleep issues; meet with Jake Story about their clandestine project, coordinate with the Commission for Truth about the AOC, insinuate himself into Princess Anisette’s good graces and banish Warran of Clan Torval. For something.

“I fail to see why you can’t be satisfied with your salary. My salary is enough for me.” Serving at Court was a public office and paid accordingly. He bartered transportation globes he created himself for any extras he required.

“I like gossip, and I have expensive tastes,” she said. “What can I say?”

“I have no gossip.” Gossip required one engage in casual conversation, another thing he had no time for.

Places to buy One Thousand Kisses:

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Happy reading!

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

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Eliza Gayle

McKenna Jeffries

TJ Michaels

Taige Crenshaw

Delilah Devlin

Felicity Heaton

HelenKay Dimon

TJ Michaels

Shiloh Walker

Lissa Matthews

Myla Jackson

Lauren Dane

Snippet Saturday: Milestones

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday the theme is milestones. I don’t know if I’m preparing this post before I’ve had my coffee, but I can’t think of a single “milestone” in my books, nor any milemarkers. However, there’s a street sign in my upcoming book from Carina, which is due out February 2012. Alas, I don’t have a go-ahead to post from that yet! Hm. Oh, I know! Here’s one from One Thousand Kisses, though it’s more of a “sign” than a “milestone”. Our intrepid magical road trippers (aka hero, heroine, cat) have woken on a beach after an incident and now must figure out exactly where they are.

***

As soon as they were out of the wind, the heat of the night smacked Ani like a wave. She hoped the cat didn’t intend for them to walk to Key West.

“Do we have money?” she asked. Murky houses rose on stilts, vehicles parked underneath. Along the road, street lamps and porch lights blazed. Sword-leaved plants and gravel decorated the tiny yards.

“Yes.” Embor paused on the sidewalk while she caught up. The cat batted a palmetto bug.

It was late enough that few cars traveled the thoroughfare. This area appeared to be family dwellings, but several blocks away she saw neon banners and other indicators of a commercial district.

The bug destroyed, the cat sauntered in that direction. Ani paced beside Embor, her head bowed. She began to sweat beneath the layers of fabric that had been insufficient in Cragen. What would the humans think of she and Embor? Blood dotted his shirt, and an angry scratch sliced his neck. His trousers were ripped and grisly. As for herself, she wore men’s clothing four sizes too large and had tooth marks on her hand. She’d visited Tali enough to know humans judged appearances on a routine basis.

“We need to clean up before we… What are we doing?”

With the street lamps and porch lights, she could see Embor better. Not that it helped. His expression was as impassive as ever. “Following the cat.”

“What if they search for us?”

“They’ll assume we used transport globes to leave the area.”

Disappearing did seem wise. “One of us could use our escape tooth and transport us to Key West.”

“Mine is gone. Yours should be preserved,” he said.

“This is kind of an emergency, don’t you think?” She licked the tooth in question, a back molar. Her tongue couldn’t distinguish it as different. “It’s not as if they’re difficult to replace.”

“No,” he repeated.

“Master Fey,” Ani begged, “were are we going?” The farther they trudged in this muggy heat, the more she wanted to strip to her gown. Human females often wore dresses that resembled sleepwear. Hers was dirty, but it would be better than drowning in sweat.

The cat pirruped, like a mother cat at a kitten. He clearly wanted them to follow.

“This is your plan? To follow the cat?” she asked Embor. She yanked her itchy hair out of her collar where it stuck to her damp neck.

“I, for one, don’t want to trap him again. So we follow.” He had to be as hot as she was. His bites and scratches needed tending, and his withdrawals could vary from a twelve-hour migraine to days of misery. “I presume the cat is leading us to… Cat, come back here.”

The cat galloped across a parking lot to the front door of The Conch Shell Inn. The walkways outside the rooms were bordered by iron railings, but the two-story building was otherwise undistinguished. “Clean rooms!”, “Outdoor pool!” and “Vacancy!” blinked on the neon sign near the road. The sign was missing a letter so it read Conch hell Inn.

It was, Ani reflected, a bad sign in many ways.

***
Places to buy One Thousand Kisses (ebook):

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Thanks for stopping by!

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

MORE MILESTONES:

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Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Lauren Dane

Vivian Arend
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Eliza Gayle
Denise A. Agnew
Beth-Ann Mason

Snippet Saturday: Magic!

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday the theme is magic and magical scenes. I think I’ll go with Survival of the Fairest today, because the heroine’s quest for much of the book was to find out whether or not humans, like fairies, could do magic. After all, she has stumbled across stage magician Jake Story and he is definitely the most magical human she’s ever met! Not that she’s met a lot of humans. But still. Here is a scene from chapter 4 with our heroine Tali investigating Jake’s stage show…

****

The ring was close. Tali clenched her hands in her lap and felt the magic tickle her skin like a cat’s whiskers. She watched Jake Story and his assistant Jessie toss glittering balls back and forth in an intricate pattern and strained to feel any surges in power.

The only surge Tali felt was her pulse racing whenever Jake performed one of his dangerous stunts without the aid of magic. He’d had swords stuck through him, he’d had his body divided into three pieces and he’d transported himself, somehow, out of a padlocked bag in a water-filled glass chamber.

She could still feel the painful wrench of her heart when Jake, trapped in the bag and struggling to release himself from his bonds, had stopped moving. Jessie had raced across the stage, drained the water, opened the chamber, frantically untied the knot on the bag—and a huge, toy snake had sprung forth, to the stunned delight of the audience.

The whole thing was preposterous. Nerve-wracking. Exhilarating.

Right now he wasn’t doing anything risky. He wasn’t juggling knives or flaming knives or double-bladed, poison-tipped flaming knives. Just colored balls.

He hadn’t used magic so far, but he kept disappearing and reappearing. How did he do it? Why was he risking his life in such a fashion if he had no magic to save him?

Could it be Jake merely wished to please the crowd? The couple at the table next to Tali had drawn her attention away from the stage more than once.
The large man frequently added a raucous yell to the cheers of the audience. The Court instructors taught that humans as a race were barbaric, enjoyed blood sports and other primitive spectacles, and this man certainly supported that.

Was Jake’s act some human magic, some human aberration she couldn’t sense. Perhaps she could attend other shows to look for magic in humanspace, a worthy and educational venture.

Jake’s form-fitting black outfit stood out in stark contrast to the gaudy stage equipment and flashing lights. As the two men juggled, the flying objects twisted and turned in the air, catching the light, and neither of them dropped a single one. They tossed them under their legs, backwards and even one-handed. Suddenly, Jake threw up his arms, and all the balls turned into white doves, which fluttered toward the lofty ceiling. The audience oohed with appreciation and erupted into applause.

When the noise died, Jake spoke again. His gaze sought hers in the crowd, and Tali felt herself pinned to her seat.

“And now,” Jake said, his voice as dark and sensual as the recently discovered fudge, “we delve into the realm of the subconscious, the mysterious. Complete surrender. Complete hypnosis.”

From the corner of her eye, she noticed the man at the table beside her shake his head in disbelief, but she couldn’t tear her gaze away. Did Jake mean mind control? While the other five great spirits of fire, earth, water, air and ether graced the Realm with harmony, the spirit Fet’s domain wasn’t safe to tread. The mind was sacrosanct, not that anyone she knew was capable of the shadow arts. She certainly didn’t know how to control another’s mind.

His gaze bore into hers and a sudden image of the two of them wrapped in a passionate embrace, wind whipping their bodies, light flaring, flashed in her brain.

Was it possible? Jake tapped a dexterous finger against his mouth, and Tali felt warm lips press against hers and demand that she yield.

With a gasp, she rubbed her face, and the strange spell broke.

“This is the final and most precarious segment of my show,” he said. Jessie stood silently to the side as orange-clad stagehands cleared off the glittering tables, boxes and other objects. “If you’re faint of heart, if the thought of another person controlling you is abhorrent, I suggest you exit now. Once I begin, none of you shall retain the will to leave your seats.”

Many individuals shifted in their padded chairs, and a crowd of brilliantly clad young people to the left, the ones who applauded when Jessie participated in the tricks, broke into excited chatter.

“Great danger lurks when one being has ultimate power over another. I could abuse it. I could implant suggestions for you to rob banks or harm others. But fear not. I’m far too ethical to command you to empty your wallets to me.”

The audience chuckled, weakly.

Another trick. It had to be. The Doctrine of Ethical Magic Use prohibited the sixth art. Unless he was an unethical fairy—or unknowing human. Her drinking glass gleamed in the heatless light of the table candles, and Tali felt a rise of tension in the dark room.

The tight fabric of Jake’s shirt outlined his lean, muscled torso as he paced the length of the stage. Tali again sensed a mesmerizing pull.

Why would he baldly declare he intended to hypnotize everyone unless he could? Failure would make him a laughingstock. Though his show contained comic elements, like the Realm’s carnivale skits, he didn’t seem to be joking about his grand finale.

Tali considered various explanations. She didn’t mind if he were a secret agent—that was exciting—but if he were evil, like the spirit Fet… She massaged her hands in an attempt to release her building anxiety.

Jake strode to the center of the stage and placed his fists on his hips. He gazed over the heads of the crowd, his dark eyes vital and his stance commanding. “You’ve heard that an individual must be willing to be hypnotized in order for it to work. You’ve heard that a person must trust the practitioner and believe in the experience.

“I’m here to prove everyone wrong.” He threw back his long, dark hair and his white teeth flashed in an almost cruel grin.

“Let me give you a sample.” He opened his palms and closed his eyes as if channeling some mystical force, and Tali felt a corresponding leap in the magic of the ring.

“Oh, crikey!” she breathed. She’d heard that expression on the teley-vision today and it seemed appropriate. A haze descended over her mind and clouded her thinking. Was this mind control? Was this Fet’s caress?

Jake’s eyes popped open and seemed to glow. “Everyone sip your drink.”

The rustle of sleeves, the tinkle of ice, the thunk of glasses on the table sounded across the vaulted chamber as the room obeyed him. Even Tali. Even straining for the magic she could feel so close, even resisting. Her glass of Coka-Cola was empty, but she obeyed.

“Everyone smile.” Tali’s gaze fixed on Jake, and her mouth curled in a rictus of a grin.

“Everyone do something kind for someone tomorrow.” A thought implanted itself in her brain and wriggled away where she couldn’t reach it. She wanted to claw it out with her nails, but her hands wouldn’t move.

Jake clapped his hands and the whole room inhaled. In another moment they burst into applause.

They enjoyed being forced to do things not of their will? Tali fumed. Dark magic, indeed! How had no other fairies discovered this? If researchers frequented this hotel, how was it this perversion had never been shut down?

Perhaps she alone had determined what this man was doing. Perhaps she alone had the power. It wasn’t out of the question. Researchers were never more than foursies and rarely worked in sibling sets.

“And now,” Jake said, “for the final part of the demonstration. If you don’t believe in magic, raise your hand. If you think yourself my match, raise your hand. If anyone has ever declared you unhypnotizable, raise your hand. I need an unwilling volunteer, folks. Someone who thinks he or she can bring down my house of cards.”

A black velvet curtain lowered over the glitzy backdrop, and Jessie’s red costume stood out like a beacon of fire. Behind him, the cleared stage held only a single wooden chair. Tiny lights winked from the stage floor and cast huge shadows. Jake, in his black clothes, was nearly invisible and wholly mysterious. And watching her, evaluating her.

“Who shall it be tonight?” he asked. “Who will be my unwilling vassal?”

Tali sank into her chair. Crabapples. He was going to pick her.

***

Places you can buy Survival of the Fairest:

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Amazon (ebook)
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Barnes and Noble (ebook)
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Powells (paperback)
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Samhain Publishing (ebook)

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

MORE MAGIC ALL OVER THE INTERNETS:

McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Lacey Savage
Sasha White
Lauren Dane
Beth-Ann Mason
Shiloh Walker
Eliza Gayle
Myla Jackson
Alison Kent

Snippet Saturday: A Dream

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday the theme is dreams. I’m going to share a very short snippet from our dear Embor Fiertag, Primary of the Fey Realm (at least in One Thousand Kisses), who is having a little issue with sleep disturbances, aka nightmares. In my fairy world, fairies don’t have nightmares unless they’re pretty imbalanced, and while Embor had them for awhile after his kidnapping in Survival of the Fairest, which takes place five or so years before One Thousand Kisses, he hasn’t had them since. I must say, he chooses to deal with them in a VERY mature fashion:

***

After reinforcing the invisible perimeter around Anisette’s room, his next step was to take an energy pill. He had to convene an emergency meeting with Skythia and their cabinet about the Torvals, and it wouldn’t do if they sensed his depletion. He’d gotten the tiny globes from an unofficial source when the sleep disturbances had resurfaced. They masked the symptoms but weren’t a cure.

In fact, one might argue they were an ailment unto themselves, but he had to have them. He had to appear hale and hearty. The globes were provisional.

He had no idea why the dreams had returned, with such peculiar leanings. He thought he’d eliminated them. These dreams weren’t identical to the originals, but they were equally unsettling and exhausting. Today he’d yawned in public five times, and Warran Torval had questioned his health. If he couldn’t conquer this, his condition would show up in the assessment and wreck his and Skythia’s standing.

In desperation, he’d discussed it with his source. The man told him to get off the crack and offered sleep globes instead. It hadn’t worked. He’d ended up so muzzed he’d almost taken a sick day. Whereupon the man suggested a human drug called caffeine.

What had he expected from a fairy who spent that much time in humanspace?

***

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

MORE snippets: who dreamed a dream?

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Snippet Saturday: Water

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday the theme is water. At one point in 1000 Kisses, our heroine is having a bit of a panic situation and our hero has to cure her with some tough love involving the liquid element.
***

“Oh my stars. The Primary.” Ani closed her eyes. “This can’t be happening. I thought you were… Oh my stars.”

“Are you all right?” he repeated.

Fresh panic rose within her. “Please forgive me. I didn’t mean it.” Attacking the Primary was punishable by all sorts of things. “I can fix it. I’m authorized to heal. I’ve got my journeyman’s license.” She reached for his throat, and he stopped her.

“It can wait.”

“I’m so sorry. I wasn’t trying to…”

Assassinate him. Assassinate the Primary. Who would do that?

Fear. Hatred. Ice.

Ani’s vision tunneled white. Again. Her chest heaved convulsively, as stark and desperate as a heart attack. Her tight bustier didn’t make breathing any easier.

“Shhhh.” Warm hands cupped her face, stroked her hair. Lips touched her forehead, her temple.

Her body pulsed with fright. “I nearly killed you.”

“Hush. You’re all right.” Was he kissing her? She tasted smoke and sweet but couldn’t feel her face. She’d gone numb.

She began to shake, worse than when she’d been so cold. When had she been so cold? Her extremities prickled. She heard a dry whoop through a long tube and realized it was her, struggling for air.

In a great whoosh, her body vaulted up, followed by pressure against every inch of skin. Darkness again, a draft of magic. Then suddenly she plummeted into water.

The cold splash shocked her out of her fit.

“Hey!” she spluttered before she sank. Without thought, she reached for water magic, dragging the cool liquid through her lungs. Sanity accompanied it. After a long, weightless moment, she bobbed to the surface, shaking hair out of her eyes.

She was in the natural springs below the Court complex, the mineral smell and chill water a giveaway. Dim lights illuminated the cavern. Liquid drips echoed through the huge chamber. No other fairies were present. In order to maintain its purity, the spring-fed lake was only accessible via transportation.

Embor poised knee-deep in the pool, ready to lunge after her. When she remained at the surface, treading water, he relaxed. Slightly.

**

Get your copy of 1000 Kisses:

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Sony

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com  

Emma Petersen
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
T.J. Michaels

Snippet Saturday: Unusual Setting

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday the theme is unusual settings. So how about a castle laundry? Is that unusual enough? This is from 1000 Kisses at the beginning of Chapter Three when our hero is attempting to tend to his housekeeping tasks himself.

Chapter Three

The laundry fairy accepted Embor’s bundle of soiled fabric with a scowl. “This reeks. What have you been doing, Primary?”

Embor raised an eyebrow but explained since it might help her cleanse the fabric. “I encountered the Serendipity triplets.”

“In a pigsty?” The tiny blonde cast a stasis spell on the bundle to prevent cross contamination.

“In the garden.” All Court members had PAs to lighten the workload, but since the Incident, it was frowned on for anyone to distance themselves from basic survival skills. For Embor that meant handling personal business like laundry himself. Sometimes.

“Well, don’t do it again.” She tossed his clothing down a chute.

“It’s not on my schedule.” His upcoming meeting with Jake would hopefully be free of children. And Talista. He stifled an abrupt yawn and frowned.

Happily, she missed his display of weakness. She scribbled his name in a paper book, a method of recordkeeping in vogue since the Incident as well. Much had changed in the past forty years.

“Do you know how hard it is to get whites white?” she complained. “Who decided white exercise clothes were a good idea anyway?”

The question seemed rhetorical so he didn’t respond.

“Your sib’s outfits are bad enough,” she continued. “If she’d dress like a decent fairy, I wouldn’t spend more time on her clothing than anyone else’s at Court. Don’t think I didn’t notice that yellow leather outfit. Leather! Might as well have been wearing a meat sack. What is wrong with her?”

Another rhetorical question, he hoped. He abhorred Skythia’s garish clothing as well but didn’t want to go on record as having stated it.

The woman regarded him with a craftiness that didn’t match her apple cheeks and corkscrew curls. “I might not be able to get these done in time for your next workout.”

Embor drew himself up to his full height. “I have several sets.”

“The others aren’t ready either. You’ve been exercising so much lately. One might think you were working off steam.”

That was no secret. Court became contentious as Primary assessments approached. At least he’d quit attempting to convince the Elders to fund a full-scale humanspace search mission and had redirected his energies. They were foolish to ignore the danger posed by the renegade agents and their insider knowledge about the AOC. Embor was many things, but he wasn’t a fool.

But he did need to enhance his stamina with moderate exercise. If he encountered Anisette in the gardens at the same time, well, he was fond of multitasking.

“A logical conclusion,” he conceded. “I am the Primary. There is stress involved.” He seemed to be informing people of this a lot lately.

“You’re not coming here to visit with me, that’s for certain. I’m surprised you haven’t paid for pick-up and delivery.”

“An unnecessary expense for something my assistant or I can handle.” Interacting with citizens like the laundress allowed him the opportunity to gauge his constituency. He spoke to at least one voter on a weekly basis.

“Skythia doesn’t worry about thrift. So what’ll it be, Elder?”

Always there were hidden fees. “I can offer—”

“Ten transportation globes, Realm-wide. And information.”

***

If you want to know how Embor responded to the laundry blackmail, you’ll have to buy the book 🙂

Places to buy One Thousand Kisses (ebook):

All Romance Ebooks
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books on Board

Diesel Ebooks
Fictionwise
Google Books
Mobipocket
Powells
Samhain Publishing
Sony

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com  

More settings:

Emma Petersen
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
T.J. Michaels
Shelli Stevens

Snippet Saturday: The Male Protagonist

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. Today’s Saturday Snippet is all about the male protagonist, so let me show you what Embor Fiertag from One Thousand Kisses thinks about himself.

Here’s a reminder of the blurb:

Embor Fiertag, Primary of the Court, has overcome no tougher challenge than the three facing him right now: get reelected, capture the rogue agents who tried to murder him, and improve his love life. The third one should be easy—except he hasn’t exactly told Court trainee Anisette Serendipity she’s his foretold bondmate. Plus, she’s dating his chief political rival and doesn’t seem to like Embor. At. All.

Ani has good reason to avoid the stern, serious Embor. Her wayward sister almost got him killed once, and now he monitors Ani like he expects her to do worse. But Ani’s not the adventurous type. She can’t even break up with Warran Torval, a man she knows she doesn’t want, a man who spends half his time plotting Embor’s downfall.

When Torval attempts to force a bond with Ani, Embor senses her fear and steps in…directly into an unsavory political strategy gone all too right. Forced to flee together to humanspace with a manipulative magical cat, Embor and Ani must find the courage to reveal—and heal—their vulnerabilities before the fabric between the Fey Realm and humanspace is ripped to shreds.

Warning: This title contains sex, fairy drugs, rampant gnomes, bloodshed, and cats ruling the world. As they should.

So we know Embor would like to make some progress with Anisette but can’t seem to do it. Why is that, he wonders?

***

The girl squirmed, so he placed her on his hip. Her body was hotter and wetter than expected. Perhaps she’d found a pond already. She grabbed his queue of hair and yanked, jerking his head to the side.

The child seemed unusually strong for her age, which he believed to be three. He removed her hand from his hair. She laughed and stuck a finger in his mouth.

“Stop that,” he ordered. She crammed her fingers between his lips, and the flavor of dirt and something salty flooded his mouth.

A moving object crashed into the tall privacy hedge that enclosed the exercise area. Embor tensed as the bushes trembled. Assassination attempts weren’t unheard of, and Embor had become increasingly unpopular in the past five years.

More inside the Court than out of it, but most coups sprang from the inside.

He gathered magic to transport himself and the child to safety, perturbed it wasn’t instantaneous.

“Violet?” called a feminine voice, an edge of panic evident. “Where are you, kitten?”

Not an assassin. Not the tot’s mother.

Anisette.

“She’s here,” he said.

Anisette’s slim form squeezed between two bushes. A yellow gown, stains on the skirt and bodice, shimmered around her like a butterfly. Her dark red hair had partially escaped an upsweep, and a twig pronged out of the top.

The day had grown hot. Embor’s mouth dried like the desert in Xerode. It reduced the terrible taste of Violet’s fingers.

“By the spirits! That little monkey is going to run me ragged. Thank you for… Oh. It’s you.” Anisette curtseyed and added, “Elder Embor.”

“Fair met, Princess Anisette.” He inclined his head.

From the time she’d arrived at Court, Anisette had been gracious, studious and led into temptation by two things alone—her sibling’s antics and the eligibles at Court who hoped to discover that rarest of relationships—a bondmate. Her high status meant she was pursued by many. She’d even countenanced that slimy bastard from Clan Torval.

Embor wasn’t a monster. He was in his fertility phase. He’d been told he wasn’t unattractive. He was the Primary, for Ka’s sake. Yet Anisette was friendly to everyone but him.

***

Yeah, go figure…what fairy princess wouldn’t be dying to get a piece of THAT action?

Luckily this is the beginning of the book. He gets better.

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

More dudes here:

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T.J. Michaels

Contest for 1000 Kisses

Did you know I was a Featured Author at The Romance Studio this month? Well I sure am! http://theromancestudio.com/who9.php

And if you want to try to win a free copy of 1000 Kisses, I’m giving it away as part of TRS’s Book a Day giveaway on March 12: http://theromancestudio.com/bad_form.php You have to visit on the appropriate day to enter.

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

Win One Thousand Kisses

I’m participating in Edie Ramer’s latest release party and giving away a copy of One Thousand Kisses. Lots of other authors are giving away books too! http://edieramer.com/2011/02/22/excerpt-giveway-one-thousand-kisses-by-jody-wallace/ The more comments you leave over there, the more chances you have to win.

Now I’m off to get squashed. Everyone have a better day than me!

Jody W.
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://www.meankitty.com/

Which Cat Embodies Master Fey?

On Meankitty’s website, we’ve been picking and choosing from all the archived kitties and the ones we’ve reposted to the new design to see which frolicsome feline looks and behaves the most like the most important character in One Thousand Kisses. Not the hero, not the heroine — the cat, of course!

Which one do you think is hitting the Master Fey buttons the best so far?

http://meankitty.com/tag/master-fey/

We’ll be posting tuxedo cats all month in honor of the book release.

Also, Meankitty is telling the TRUE story behind One Thousand Kisses at Mary Hughes’ blog today.

Sincerely,
Jody W. and Meankitty
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://www.meankitty.com/