I've been neglecting you. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I haven't kept up with this post like I want to. (And I want to so badly because this blog connects me to you. I can talk about all the crazy things that are going on with Incendiary and with me.) In an effort to get back to what's important (this story and you) I have a new song for you; it's called ARMS by CHRISTINA PERRI --it's definitely Evie.
(My friend, Kelsey Rae Keeton, introduced me to this song—she's a singer. You can check her out at http://www.kelseyraekeeton.com).
I also have a TEASER (an excerpt from chapter 2). I know that some of you hate them, so I posted it at the end of this blog and I will mark it as TEASER to warn you so you can avoid reading it if you hate them. Okay?
Here's what I thought would happen this past weekend in Nashville: I thought I would be working on Incendiary in between a few people trickling over to have me sign a book—maybe I'd get a chance to take pics to blog about it. The reality was that I hardly had time to sit down because I was on panel discussions, and then I had people following me to the bathroom to talk to me. I shared a room with three other writers (well, two writers and a very nice person) so I never really had a quiet moment to work. But that's over now. Now I can get back to Incendiary. I woke up this morning and swore that I will hang out less on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest until I finish the novel and turn it over to the publisher.
I hope to be done with the editing in a week or so. I plan to blow off anything and anyone who tries to distract me from my goal (except for my family because they need me). I haven't been slacking really, it's just that marketing and special events have taken all of my time, but the bottom line is that I need to publish if I want to continue to have readers, so that's what I'm going to do.
I want to put some minds at ease before I move on to the Incendiary teaser. Marianna (@LifeAsMarianna on Twitter) told me that I need to clear up something on this post. She explained that a few of you are worried that Evie no longer has "butterflies" when Reed is around. I'm sorry that it was confusing. A few of you were right when you said that it was because Casimir hit Evie so that she didn't feel them. And the other time, on Zee's island, Evie was so deep in thought that when Reed snuck up on her she didn't feel them then, but the butterflies are still there. Reed and Evie still have that magnetic force pulling them to each other. Is that cleared up?
Okay...here it is, this is a teaser from Chapter 2 of Incendiary (I hope you like it):
Standing in the heavy downpour on the beach, I let rivulets of water stream down my face, dripping in torrents from my bottom jaw. I angle my chin downward and slightly to the left so that I can see any movement Reed might make toward me.
Th-thump…th-thump…th-thump...my heart wants to increase its beat, but I’m trying to control it as I wait like a statue for him to make a move. The clang of swords being clashed together near me fades to the background because I know the lethal threat is the one just ahead of me. My fingers twitch on the long-handled dagger in my left hand while my hand tightens on the sword hilt in my right.
I take a deep breath, and as I begin to exhale Reed makes his move, instantly cutting in half the distance between us. I tense for a millisecond, waiting for him to get closer before I spring forward, running at him with all my speed. I jump up and over the swing of the sword in his right hand, planting one foot on his arm. I feel the whistle of air from the dagger in his left hand blow upward, inches from my cheek as my other foot steps on his shoulder. I launch into the air, using my planted foot to kick off from his shoulder, and hopefully, knock him off balance. Stretching my crimson wings out and gliding back to the sand, I spin around, facing my opponent again.
As I stare into Reed’s dark green eyes, a slow smile twitches on the corners of his lips, causing me to narrow my eyes at him. Then, I feel the severed left strap of my tank top slip from my shoulder. The fabric of my shirt slouches over, but still clings to my wet body. Looking at it, my eyes narrow more before I lift them to Reed’s face again. Both his eyebrows rise quickly before he lets them fall, making his face go blank.
I wait a half a second, and then, as if on cue, the front pocket of his t-shirt droops over and falls to the ground at his feet. Reed looks down at it and then over at me. I lift my eyebrows quickly before letting them both fall.
Reed’s charcoal-gray wings unfold from his back menacingly, as a frown touches his lips. Tensing, I wait for him to make another move toward me. In an instant, he shoots straight up in the air and seems to dematerialize. Turning in circles, my heartbeat kicks up as I try to see where he went, and more importantly, from which direction he’s going to pounce. Pulling energy to me rapidly, I whisper words quickly, erecting a transparent wall of energy around me as a shield, I feel safe for maybe a millisecond. Then, warm arms wrap around my waist, startling a scream from me as Reed comes from behind me, pulling me against his chest. Shifting in his arms, he grins down at me in triumph before leaning down and kissing my lips.
“How did you get through my shield?” I ask breathlessly, feeling my heartbeat increase as his warm lips trail lower.
“I was already here by the time you employed it,” he says, reaching out and tapping on the invisible energy field around us. “But, it was impressive, nonetheless.”
I drop my weapons to the sand, putting my arms around Reed’s neck lightly and touching his dark brown hair. It’s dripping wet from the rain. “I should’ve built a wall around you instead,” I whisper, brushing my lips against his jaw and over his cheek to his lips, tasting the salty water on his skin.
“That would’ve been a better strategy,” he agrees, his fingers tracing a path from my waist up my side. “One I would’ve had to outrun.”
“As if you could outrun my magic,” I reply sarcastically, kissing his lips gently.
“As if I could,” he agrees, deepening our kiss.
Tap, tap, tap…Knocks sound on the invisible barrier surrounding us, startling me. I look over to see water dripping from Zephyr’s disapproving face staring down on us. His startling-blue eyes narrow as my cheeks redden.
“It does not appear to be dinner time, yet,” he says, showing us his watch and reminding us that we have more training time left before Reed and I can have some private time together.
“Uh…sorry,” I mutter, pulling energy back to me so that the shield I erected around us melts away to nothingness.
“We are switching partners,” Zephyr says sternly to Reed as I pick up my weapons from the sand. “You go train with Russell,” he orders Reed, while his light brown wings unfold in agitation.
“Naw, Zee, I’ll train with Evie,” Russell says from behind him, his face growing dark.
“That will not work, since I want the two of you to learn how angels fight,” Zephyr argues. “I want you to study what to look for in an angelic opponent. You cannot learn that from Evie.”
“C’mon, Zee,” Russell says, scowling at Zephyr.
“We need to bring Evie up to your level, Russell,” Zephyr explains. “She had no real training in fighting while she was with the Gancanagh.”
“Uh…I trained a little…” I trail off when I see the frown on Zephyr’s face.
“They trained you to fight like a Faerie. We will have to break you of all the bad habits they taught you,” Zephyr replies, sounding superior. He lifts his wicked broad sword and looks down the hilt of it as he points it at me. “You cannot concentrate with your current partner.”
Looking at Reed, he gives me a sensual smile. I lose my train of thought for a second as my mind wanders to the way he kissed me just a few second ago. In the next moment, I am jolted out of my revelry by Zephyr again. “Did you hear what I said?” he asks.
“Uh…bad Faerie habits?” I ask, looking as his eyebrows draw together, indicating he probably said something I completely missed.
“Reed,” Zephyr says in a stern tone as water drips from his brown hair.
Reed steps reluctantly forward, putting his arms around me and hugging me to his chest. “We’ll have time alone together tonight, love,” he whispers in my ear, and I nod.
As Reed walks over to Russell, each of them begins sizing the other one up. They haven’t been training together, not really. They barely speak to one another, as the bond between them that had formed when I was a captive of the Gancanagh dissolves by the day. Brownie and Buns have both noticed it. We’ve discussed it a few times when I took my flying lessons with them in the evenings after dinner. It worries me to see them spar now, like this is a real battle over a coveted prize.
“Zee,” I murmur, watching Russell’s sword cut dangerously close to Reed’s neck. “Is this a good idea?”
“Time will tell,” he replies.
AMY A. BARTOL
I'm not a Pepper or the car I drive.
Evie's Playlist on Spotify
Reed's playlist on Spotify
Russell's Playlist on Spotify
Brennus' Playlist on Spotify
The Fellas' Playlist on Spotify
Zephyr's Playlist on Spotify