Friday, October 24, 2008

Excerpts for Tabitha's Trivia Contest.

Tabitha Shay is having a trivia contest. Go to her website, to find the questions from each author. Go to the loop for excerpts containing answers. My excerpts will also be on my blog, with answers in the excerpts posted there. Several authors will have sets of questions on the site and excerpts on the loop. Answer the questions, email the answers to the authors by October 30, win many prizes, to be announced on October 31.

Excerpt 1-Fairy Dust

Fairy Dust
By Carol Shenold

I hovered three feet from the ceiling in the Herb and Fairy Gardens Shop, praying no customers came in while I calmed down my fairy dust emissions and my temper.
“Bouddicca Andraste Ryan, get your fairy ass off the ceiling and come help me. I’m dying here,.”
Seirye, a six-foot elf with white hair, and half owner of the shop, yelled at me.
I went up higher. She had no patience with my iffy hold on magicmagick, especially since we had an order from a coven for twelve flower wreaths, for a moon dance. They were due to pick up the wreaths by four, and it was already after two. It’s not my fault that I’m only half Fae and not in total control.
I was named for a great warrior queen and a godessgoddess. I felt like neither as I grabbed for my flying waist- length hair with both hands, avoiding the ceiling fan.
“You hold your skinny little horses there. I’m doing the best I can. What did you expect? Tell me a team of Darklings (Turned Fairies) from the Under is on it’s way to snatch the Titania Amulet from me— and expect me to hold my temper? Not going to happen. It’s the only thing my father left me, my one tie to the Fae World. And it’s the focus that lets me use earth magicmagick so well.”
Seirye’s laugh, a short bark, held no humor. “He didn’t leave it to you, he left it because he was in a hurry to avoid responsibility.”
I plummeted to the ground. “Ow. You don’t have to get nasty about it or diss my father.”
She turned on her heel, talking over her shoulder. “It was the best way I knew to get you down before you were caught. We have work to do.”
Elves can be so pissy. I stomped after her, making certain the front door wards were in place as I passed by. They would let people in but any magical creatures would have to leave their powers behind.
Rampaging Darklings (turned fairies) were the last thing I needed. I had an assignment this afternoon with the Paranormal Investigative Unit (PIU), to pick up an errant pixie and a date that night, my first in forever.
“Come on Fairy, get the lead out. We have wreaths to make, and I have to leave for Bonham tomorrow.”
“Bite me, Elf!” I retorted.

Excerpt 2 Fairy Dust

The thing coming at me barreled out of the trees, leaping from shadow to shadow. Its rotten-meat smell driving me back. It didn’t hesitate before it threw itself at the circle shield. Sparks flew off, crackling in the air and weakening the shield. It kept coming, like the crazy it was, slamming itself into the circle, weakening it more and more until one of the impacts threw me back, into my own circle and through it Okay, out of protection here. I threw myself over to land on my knees and came up in a crouch.
The ghoul looked around as if it couldn’t figure out where I went. When it saw me, it let out a snarl and flew toward me. I sent a stream of earth fire at his sorry ass but missed because I levitated at the precise moment I let the stream of fire loose. Ahhhhh. It always happens at the wrong time. If I ever get control of the flying thing, it would be so great. Now the darkling was truly confused and I sent another tiny but forceful fire stream toward him. This time I didn’t miss, and he burst into flame, at least his arm did. He screamed with frustration because he couldn’t see where I was, floundered around a bit, and ran back into the trees.
“Damn it.” I needed down before the hell dog came back so I could get rid of it. What if some kid came along. Not one child but several, in a group, with a leader came skipping toward the bridge.
“Go back,” I yelled loud as I could. “Hurry. Run.” The kids were chattering at the top of their lungs. The leader tried to push them faster, wanting out of the park before the sun set altogether I guessed. They didn’t hear a word I said.
Shadows crept toward them, and one shadow moved away from the others. It was back and heading straight toward the kids.
“Up here, idiot. Leave the kids alone. I’m your prey. Come on, use that one cell you have for a brain.”
“Ooph.” I dropped like a dead fairy, directly in front of the thing. I was toast.

Excerpt 1-Bloody Murder
In this excerpt, Tali Cates has gone to the county fair with Aiden Courtland, a new man in town that she met at a blood drive event earlier. The blood drive had, of course, a vampire theme, what else. She may have bitten off more than she can chew( pun intended) LOL

Excerpt 1-Bloody Murder-Book 2 in the Tali Cates mystery series

I peeked at Aiden out of the corners of my eyes. He was a little pale, vampire looking. His lips were rather rosy in comparison to his pale cheeks and dark hair, smoldering eyes. I imagined myself kissing those lips, looking into the eyes, stroking his pale skin.
“Whoa.” Something ran across the road and I swerved to avoid it, throwing Aiden against the door. “Sorry.” I’d better get my mind off him and onto the road.
The clank of metal and sound of tinny carnival music announced the fair before we parked and got out of the Cruiser. Teen screams proclaimed the rides appropriately thrilling. Cotton candy, funnel cakes, food fair scents tugged at us for attention. The intense noise level reached out to pull us into the frenetic activity, become part of the chaos.
“Let’s ride.” Aiden’s eyes took on a feverish glow as he pulled me to the faster, higher rides.
The wilder the ride, the more dangerous, the more his excitement grew. He laughed with pure joy, as if he’d never had fun in the past.
Before long, I saw the same intensity reflected in my eyes when I caught a glimpse of my reflection. I was a chicken, hated the speed and out-of-control feeling when strapped into metal machines flinging me around. And yet, with Aiden, no fear, the desire for more speed, higher altitudes, greater risk. I was immortal, unbreakable. The excitement wasn’t about the rides. It was about being near the man, touching him, clutching him for safety. Emotions, sensations coursed through me that would have left me a melting puddle if it weren’t for the desire to hang on to Aiden, to continue as my senses sharpened and heightened.
Never had I felt so alive. Not ever in my life that I could remember. Was this what drove climbers to climb mountains when they could die from the effort? On the Ferris wheel, when we stopped at the top he looked into my eyes, paralyzing me with a simple glance. He touched my cheek with his hand. Desire flooded my entire body—intense, shattering desire. I could have, would have let him do anything he wanted, in public, in the air.
“Mom! What are you doing? Come down from there. You hate heights. What are you thinking?”
My eighteen-year-old daughter, Cass, very effectively threw ice water on our fun and desire. I came to my senses, realizing my shirt had gotten pushed up so far that skin showed. I rearranged it, aware that Cass’s yell drew attention to our seat above all. Thank God, the wheel began to move and we slowly made our way toward the ground.
Cass had to learn that screaming at her mother in front of people wasn’t the best choice if she wanted to stay alive any longer.
Aiden smiled faintly and patted my hand, thinking what I’d never know. I’d certainly never see him again after this. Time had spun by in a whirl of colored lights and speed. We’d hardly talked at all, and I still knew nothing about him except that he had the power to make me do anything he wanted.
This excerpt has poor Tali dealing with her ten-year-old son’s imagination, or is it reality? In Love, Texas, you never know. Don’t forget, Bloody Murder comes out in two weeks, just time enough to read “Privy to Murder,” meet Tali, Mumsie and the boys before they have to deal with “Bloody Murder.”

Excerpt 2 Bloody Murder
“Mom. Guess what? Love used to have a vampire. It lived right here.” He plopped a musty book with a moldy-looking cover on the table, sending up a cloud of something that smelled like old books and forgotten secrets.
“What do you mean, right here? This was always our house, Sean.”
He gave me the look, the one that said, why do I put up with this idiot? “No, not here, here, I mean here in our town. We had a vampire living here a hundred years ago. The guy next door could be the same one. Maybe he’s just now come out of hiding and is trying to get back into society again so he can feed on innocents.”
“Sean, I want every comic you have, and no more movie classics for you, at least, nothing else with monsters in it. I can’t believe you. I thought we already talked about this nonsense and agreed there was no such thing. And what’s that book? If it’s what filled your head with garbage, I’ll have a talk with the librarian.”
“We talked and you said there was no such thing. I didn’t agree, I just didn’t argue. If we go over there today, in the daylight, we could find out where his coffin or plot is and stop him from moving around at night.”
“How do you propose to do that?”
“The usual way. A stake through the heart or cut off his head. Either one will work on the bloodsucking undead.” The cold look in Sean’s eyes made me sick. Who was this bloodthirsty child?
“Sean. I swear, if I thought you were serious, I’d wash your mouth out with soap before I put bars on the windows and grounded you for life. You are talking about one of our neighbors. Let’s put aside the whole vampire-coffin-bloodsucker idea. You really think you could just walk into Aiden’s house, find out where he sleeps, and cut off his head?”
“But Mom, he’s not human.”
“I don’t believe it for a minute. And what if you put a stake in his heart or cut off his head, and he doesn’t explode into a bunch of dust or slime or whatever they are supposed to do? Then tell me what you are going to do? Call JT and confess?”
“Oh, sorry, JT. I thought he was a vampire so I walked in and stabbed him just in case. It was a little mistake. I won’t do it again, I promise.”
I looked at my son’s innocent face. “Honey, you are talking about playing with people’s lives here. We do not live in a movie. You cannot assume things about people because they are a little different. For all we know, Aiden’s a writer who keeps odd hours. If you jump to dangerous conclusions and spread rumors, it’s like what that preacher did in the newspaper article when he called me and Mumsie witches. And you know how you felt when the vandals wrote things on our house. You and Rusty have to put a stop to this obsession of yours.”
Sean hung his head but I wasn’t sure I’d convinced him of anything. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll invite Aiden for dinner tonight between the Duchess and Queen contests, and you can see he’s a regular person. In the meantime, I don’t want to hear any more about this stuff, or hear that you and Rusty have been gossiping.”
“Okay. I see what you mean. But look at this book. It’s old and it was written by some professor, and he really believes in vampires. He has proof and everything.”
Sean opened the book and sneezed at the dust that flew up when he turned more pages. “See this paragraph, where he describes the beast and this map? This field he talks about is right next door. He knew what he was talking about. And he talks about how they got rid of it by pouring holy water all over the place and concentrating the ground and everything.”
“The word is ‘consecrating,’ and to be holy ground, I’m pretty sure a church has to exist on the land. Sprinkling a little water won’t quite do it, but I’m not an expert. Let me see the book.”
He handed it over and sure enough the book looked old, and there was a county map that could have indicated our property. But I couldn’t find a publication date or the name of a publishing company. The author could have published it himself for all I knew. The flowery language sounded like something out of the eighteen hundreds, similar to the style Bram Stoker used in Dracula. Maybe the author had thought he was a vampire hunter.
All I could think about was that a witch-hunt could begin if rumors started. I’d like to think that in this day and age, no one would take it seriously, but stranger things had happened.
“Sean, I don’t want you to be the one starting rumors. Take this book back to the library. And you’ll see when Aiden comes over tonight, he’s no monster, has no missing reflection, he’s just our next-door neighbor.”
Now, Tali Cates and her best friend, Cherilyn have gone to the old Rayburn house and been driven inside because of storm. The storm isn’t the only scary thing in the old house. Remember to read Privy to Murder then the wait to snap up Bloody Murder on the 7th won’t seem nearly so long.

Excerpt 3 Bloody Murder Book 2 in the Tali Cates mystery series.

“Shit, shit, shit. We’re going to have a tornado, and it’s not much after noon. They’re not supposed to hit until afternoon or evening.”
“Tell that to those clouds overhead.”
I scanned the kitchen and saw a door on the opposite side from the one outside. “Quick, in here.”
“If it’s a cellar, I’m not going to be trapped inside a death trap.”
“Oh, don’t be a baby. It’s just a pantry but it should protect us.”
She pulled back. “But it’s dark and old and there’s no telling how many critters are in there. Besides, how do you know it’s a pantry?”
I shrugged and pulled open the door, then looked around for light. In the middle of the pentagram on the floor stood a large candle. Plucking that from its resting place might not be good but it was better than being in the dark. I grabbed it, attempting to ignore the energy washing through me.
We barreled through the pantry door and closed it. Now we were in the pitch dark with an unlit candle.
“It’s noon in October, not late afternoon in May,” I shouted. “We shouldn’t be having this strong a thunderstorm.”
“Did you tell that to the weather gods? I don’t think they’re playing by the rules,” Cherilyn yelled back. “How about some light?”
“Do you have a lighter or something?” An abrupt flare of light blinded me as the wick of the candle I held burst into flame. I barely managed to hold onto the wax when I jumped. Thank God I’d dropped the sack of grass at the last thunderclap or I’d have a bag of flame.
“Okay. That was just plain weird. I know you have some gifts, but lighting things with your mind?”
“It wasn’t me. Not on purpose.”
Shelves held the usual things for an abandoned house—dust, cobwebs, more dust, spiders, a discarded, dented can of corn. The hail, wind, and rain had stopped, or else we simply couldn’t hear them, which made no sense. Was this the eye of the storm? I didn’t remember that tornados had an eye; they came and went so fast.
The pantry was enormous, as were Cherilyn’s eyes. She wasn’t looking at me, but above my head somewhere.
“What? What’s wrong?”
She pointed to the wall behind me. “Look.”
I turned. Symbols covered the wall. Most pantries had shelves on at least three walls but this one was as large as a living room, and one wall was covered with hundreds of drawings crammed together, one on top of each other. They glowed with a light of their own—or took the light from the candle. I moved closer to try to identify the drawings but an immediate chill shot through me.
My hands shook, my entire body trembled, sending the candle flame jumping like a demented firefly, throwing shadows in odd shapes all over the wall. I swore the shadows moved on their own. More than anything in the world, I didn’t want to see the things that made those shadows. Fear also moved on its own, pushed into me, froze my blood, stopping all movement, including my heart. Unreasonable fear that made me want to claw my way out of the room took over.

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