New Book — Bits of Magic

Released today, Bits of Magic is a collection of all the short stories in the Magic series.

There’s magic in the world, and its hiding in plain sight. Your friends, your neighbors, the guy who runs your favorite restaurant — any of them could be more than they seem. A man trick-or-treating with his son finds the courage to go after what he wants when he confiscates and eats some unwrapped candy. A park ranger who’s afraid of outing himself in public is reminded that his lover will — and can — protect him, no matter what. An apprentice mage learns that his master never forgets when he has a lesson to finish, and will always come for him when he gets himself lost in magic. And a boy from a mage-gifted family learns that life isn’t over just because the gift has passed him by. Return to the world of Hidden Magic.

Contains:

Chasing Fear
Catching Courage
Reach Out and Touch
Unfinished Business
Candy Courage
Birthdays Suck

Buy at Torquere’s site or Amazon. Shelve on Goodreads.

New Book — The Executive Lounge

This has actually been up for about three weeks, but it was published through the M/M Romance group on Goodreads, and the mods asked us to keep it within the group for a while, so I’ve complied. I think it’s been long enough, though, so I’m posting to let everyone else know about it. 🙂

The M/M Romance group runs a fic-fest type event each summer, where anyone can choose a photo from the group’s collection, write a “letter” to the author explaining what kind of story they’d like, inspired by the photo, and then put it up for grabs as a story prompt. Prompts are first-come-first-claimed. I chose a photo of a young man in a suit sitting on the ground next to a motorcycle, handcuffed to it by his wrists. He didn’t look terribly upset to be in that situation, either. The prompt letter was as follows:

Dear Author,

It happened so quickly and was so unpredictable and completely out of control. A last minute, scratch that, a last second business trip out of town. A surprise office party for the CEO at the end of the very first day. BTW, does he look familiar or is my second martini and jet-lag messing with me? Late night bar hopping after that… and who on earth suggested checking out a BDSM club while we were at it? Certainly it couldn’t have been my idea; I know how to keep my kinks well hidden and under control. But here I am, chained to a bike like somebody’s pet and… happy? Damn if I haven’t seen that bike somewhere else up close before…

Sincerely,

Mammarella

What I wrote for Mammarella, inspired by her request, turned out to be a contemporary romance with BDSM themes. The Executive Lounge is a short novel, about 60K words long, and is available in e-book form (for free!) through a web site associated with the group, in PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats. I plan to bring out a paperback version by the end of the year, with the cover shown below. (I gave the fest folks a copy and they didn’t use it, so it has a generic event cover; I have no idea why.)

New Release — Captive Magic [Updated]

Captive Magic releases today, and is available at the Torquere site. UPDATE: It’s currently available on Amazon, Amazon UK, ARe, Rainbow eBooks, Smashwords (with a 38-page sample), and Bookstrand. No B&N or Kobo yet, and the paperback isn’t up yet at all.

Also, to go along with the new novel release, all my older books on the Torquere site are 20% off. This is a great time to catch up on the Sentinel series, or anything else you might’ve missed.

I love new release days. 😀

Angie

Captive Magic Cover

I got my cover for the third Sentinel novel, Captive Magic, and permission to show it off. 🙂

The book is due out on 4 September, and I’m excited to see what people think of it.

Teleporter Breck Bayes made a deal with a demon to save the life of his little sister Amanda, who was dying of cancer. The demon expects Breck to work off the debt — as a thief who can get past any walls or locks. If Breck balks, Amanda’s cancer will come back, and she’ll die. Breck’s a good guy, but a few trinkets versus Amanda’s life? It’s no contest.

Manny hears about Breck’s popping around town and uses his own talents to find and confront him. Sentinels are supposed to prevent the magegifted from using their talents to steal, by force if necessary, but then he gets the whole story. Manny understands family, and he decides that his Sentinel persona is going to have to suck it up and deal while he helps Breck get out from under the demon — even if it means becoming an accomplice to the thieving while they plot Breck’s escape. But then the demon notices Manny, whose truesight and seeking would be very useful in its quest to own things that don’t properly belong to it, and suddenly it’s not only Breck who’s in trouble.

There’s an entry for it on Goodreads, for folks who use that site.

Just under three weeks to go!

Angie

Emerging Magic Is Available

My new Sentinels novel, Emerging Magic, was released today, and is currently available on the Torquere Press site and through ARe. Amazon and B&N aren’t showing it yet, but should be soon. It’ll also be available in paperback (along with a paperback edition of A Hidden Magic, the first novel in the series) through Amazon; I’ll post when those show up.

Emerging Magic picks up shortly after A Hidden Magic wraps up, with Rory discovering something that changes his perception of the last decade of his life.

==========

Rory’s mother took him to psychiatrists, let them circumscribe his life, let them give him drugs, while knowing all along there was nothing wrong with him. When Rory finds out, he’s angry and confused and just wants to get away for a while. His mother’s betrayal plus another kidnap attempt make a visit to the father he hasn’t seen in ten years seem like a great idea.

When Rory, Paul and Aubrey get to Seattle, though, it’s obviously not going to be just a normal family Christmas. Someone north of San Jose tried to kidnap Rory twice before they left, and to Paul, it’s too much of a coincidence that Nathan, Rory’s dad, has magic talented friends. While Rory tries to reconnect with his only other family, Paul is trying to figure out whether anyone in Nathan’s group is after Rory. They definitely have secrets, and at least one of them has been playing around with things he doesn’t understand; the local fey are after him, and elves aren’t known for caring too much about collateral damage.

And there’s a master wizard in the area who’s up to something big and would really like to have Rory’s help….

==========

Paul, Rory, and Elizabeth strolled along the sidewalk, between pools of moth-filled light and patches of murky darkness. It was after eight, but the sidewalks were still pretty crowded; it might be a Thursday but it was a Thursday within two weeks of Christmas and the shoppers were swarming. The downtown shopping area wasn’t as insane as the malls — Paul wouldn’t go near Valley Fair at gunpoint until after New Year’s — but there were enough people around to slow progress down the street.

So when Rory suddenly stopped, Paul’s first thought was that someone ahead of him was blocking the way for a moment. But then he saw that Rory was peering into the darkness down a walkway, a narrow, bricked area where a restaurant had outdoor seating when the weather was warmer. It was currently unused and unlit, and apparently empty.

When he paid attention, though, Paul could hear a noise, something like a dog crying from behind some bushes spilling out of a planting area, back in the shadows.

Rory glanced at Paul as though checking that he’d heard something too, then started off toward the bushes. “It sounds like something’s hurt. Maybe a dog got hit by a car and dragged himself back in there?” he said over his shoulder.

Paul was about to agree when Elizabeth said, “Rory? I don’t hear anything, baby. You’re having another one of your episodes. Let’s find a place where you can sit down and meditate for a few minutes.” She hurried after him and took his arm, trying to tug him away, glancing toward a bus stop bench up the street, but Rory stood his ground.

“No, it’s a dog, Mom. I just want to go check. Paul hears it too.” Rory looked up at Paul for support, but Paul held up a hand in a “wait” signal and switched to magesight, frowning into the darkness.

There, behind the dark confusion of foliage, magic glowed a dim blue. The central shape was humanoid. It was stocky in build, and looked like it might be short for a human, but it was crouched down and Paul couldn’t quite tell.

The sound of the crying dog faded away and a blob of magic swelled blue-green, then pulled back slightly. Paul got an image of an arm winding up to throw.

He called, “Down!” and spun around, grabbing both Rory and Elizabeth by the arms. He shoved Elizabeth down onto the pavement, used a quick jerk of leverage to get Rory down next to her, then threw himself over them both while activating a bronze pendant shaped like a shield.

A blue-green flash reflected off the pale pavement, and a cluster of moths, perfectly immobile, fell to the ground around them in a rain of gentle pattering.

Elizabeth was squawking in outrage and Rory was struggling to get up. Paul ignored them both and raised a binding spell, invoking the magic in one of his pins — a tiny pair of handcuffs piercing his jacket near the collar — and then focusing all his attention on directing it at the small, stocky fey thing that was swirling blue-green magic again in a clear attempt to prepare another spell.

Hurrying would be incredibly stupid at that point, so Paul didn’t. He ignored the two people protesting beneath him and cast the binding just a moment after the fey threw something at him. It crackled. The back of his jacket flared with heat for a moment, then he smelled something burning.

He muttered, “Fuck!” under his breath and smacked out his smoldering hair with both hands. It’d been barely two weeks since a salamander had taken an inch or two off the back the same way; he was going to look like an eighties reject if the back got much shorter while the top stayed long.

Burning hair distracted Paul long enough for Rory to squirm out from under him and stagger to his feet, then help his mother up. Elizabeth was still squawking, and Paul took a moment to pay attention to what she was saying. Then he stopped, rolled over and stared up at her in shock.

“–one of those magic people! I knew you were no good, sneaking around Rory, pretending to be his friend, making him think you actually like him! You’re just using him, you lying bastard! You just want his magic, trying to seduce him into helping you with whatever plan you have for power or riches or whatever it is you’re doing that’ll get him killed while you slip away to find some other victim!”

She actually whacked Paul with her purse, something he’d never seen outside a movie, but he was too stunned to even duck. The sturdy bag hit him a good crack in one cheek, and the pain startled him out of his shock. He rolled to his feet and backed out of range, ready to fend off any more physical attacks.

Rory had stepped back too, and was staring at his mother with his eyes wide and his mouth partially open. When Elizabeth paused to take a breath before continuing with her harrangue, Rory said, “You knew.”

Elizabeth stopped, then turned and stared back at Rory in dismay. “Rory, baby–” She raised her hand to Rory’s face and moved toward him, but Rory dodged away.

“You knew.” The pain and shock and betrayal in his voice stabbed into Paul like a spike.

“Rory, no–”

“Yes. You knew all along. You knew it was real, you knew, and you let me think I was crazy! All those years! You took me to doctors, let them poke and question and give me thousands of pills, and all along you knew it was bullshit, that what I saw was real!” Rory’s voice got louder as he went, and by the end it was raw with fury. “You bitch! You ruined my whole life, let them convince me I was crazy, and for nothing!”

==========

Get the whole book at Torquere, ARe or Rainbow eBooks.

Emerging Magic Cover

November Stuff

This is going to be really short, ’cause I have two pressing deadlines and I’m actually late on one of them. [flail]

First, this is a great video of Ian McKellan talking to a film festival audience about filming the balrog sequence in Rings. It’s very short — a minute and a bit — and funny. Check it out. 🙂

Second, NaNo pretty much fizzled halfway through, but I got almost 20K words on the book, which is a great jumpstart. The Goodreads M/M Romance group is doing a holiday promo where writers write a story based on a photo and a request posted by a reader. One of the photos spawned a plot-bunny, so I volunteered. It’s taking a lot longer than I thought to write it (so what else is new?) but I like the story, and it’ll eventually be a stand-alone free read for my web site, which I’ve needed for a while. Also, for doing this I get a book-of-the-month promo slot in the group later in 2011, for a book of my choice, which I’ll admit was attractive. I decided it was worth setting Emerging Magic aside for a bit to do this. I’ll post here with a link when the story goes up.

Oh, I had a new story released and didn’t even post about it! Gotta love the holidays…. [facepalm] Hell Is in the Details is a funny short story (okay, it’s kind of long for a short, but it’s a short on a technicality) about Benioth, the Demon of Laziness, who hasn’t read his memos for a while — like, decades. He’s missed a few changes in policy and is in trouble with his boss. 🙂

November stats:

Writing 21,562 words — 9 pts.
Editing 17,106 words — 3 pts.
Wrote 1 synopsis — 1 pt.
TOTAL = 13 pts, woot!

Koala Challenge 9

Free Halloween Stories

I’m driving the bus over at Torquere Social today, on LiveJournal. I’ll be posting throughout the day, and for every one of my posts you comment on between now and noon (Pacific) tomorrow (to allow for folks in other timezones), I’ll throw a slip with your name on it into a bowl. The drawing is for a bundle of my Halloween stories — three short stories, all set in the Hidden Magic universe, plus my ghost story “A Spirit of Vengeance,” which is a novelette. Two of the shorts, “Chasing Fear” and “Candy Courage” are from years past, but “Reach Out and Touch” is brand new, just released yesterday.

I have two posts up now, and will be posting more later on. Come over, hang out, chat, and enter to win free fiction. 🙂

Angie

New Release

I have a new story out, a short called Unfinished Business. It takes place right after A Hidden Magic wraps, focusing on a couple of supporting characters — master mage Aubrey and his apprentice Cal — and a bit of unfinished business left hanging after the novel was over. It’s short and fun and sexy; I just had to write it and let the boys finish what they’d been doing earlier. 🙂

Drawing: I’m hanging out on Torquere’s LiveJournal community today, playing host, talking about whatever comes to mind, and holding a drawing. For each of my posts you comment on today, you get a ticket in the drawing, and tomorrow I’ll pull a name and send the winner a $5 Torquere gift certificate.

Sale: It just happens that Torquere’s having a sale today and tomorrow. Enter “prejuly” in the coupon code box when you check out, and you’ll get 15% off your purchase. Add that to the fact of the backlist books’ prices going up on 1 July, and that makes these two days a really wonderful time to grab some bargains. Or to just have your five dollars go that much farther if you win the drawing. 🙂

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From “Unfinished Business:”

After a morning of saving the world, apprentice mage Cal Toscani heads down and works a full day in his busy restaurant, because foiling the bad guy doesn’t pay the bills. After midnight, bruised and aching from the aforementioned foiling, and exhausted from a long day of work, Cal goes home hoping for a hot bath, a nice massage and some sex, not necessarily in that order. His lover and master, Aubrey Fletcher, unfortunately remembers that he’d given Cal a lesson that morning before everything got exciting, and he’s determined that Cal’s going to finish that lesson before anything else happens — yes, right now. Cal finds himself naked in bed, trying to figure out how to remove Aubrey’s spell, while a naked Aubrey does his best to be distracting. Cal’s pretty sure he’s going to explode long before he figures the damn thing out!

==========

Cal grinned, tossed his jacket onto a chair, then spread his arms and did a slow rotation in place. “No orc bites!” he reported, his expression a parody of relief.

Aubrey just raised an eyebrow, then pointed at him and drew a twitchy little sigil Cal couldn’t quite catch before it was gone. An ominously familiar warm weight on either side of his head made him groan. Those damn ass’s ears again!

“Now?” he griped. “Come on, I just finished work, I’m tired, I want a shower and was kind of hoping for a nice massage and sex. Can’t we finish this tomorrow?”

His master crossed his arms and leaned against the doorway. “Do you think enemies–”

“–will wait until you’re rested and ready?” Cal chorused with him. “No, I know, but come on!”

Aubrey just stared at him.

“Fuck.”

One corner of Aubrey’s mouth twitched and his eyes twinkled up into Cal’s. “Maybe.” He uncrossed his arms and moved closer, leaning in until their bodies touched from chest to knees. “Maybe you need some incentive?”

Cal felt a hand slide between them and rub at his suddenly-interested cock. The hand moved away again immediately and he moaned in protest.

“You have six pairs of ears right now,” said Aubrey. His eyes were still twinkling and the old bastard sounded like he was having a grand time. “They’re quite colorful and rather cheery, but I’m assuming you want to get rid of them. For every pair you banish, I’ll escalate.” He lifted up on his toes for a moment and gave Cal a quick kiss, then backed away.

==========

Read the Rest

A Hidden Magic

My urban fantasy novel A Hidden Magic has been released and is available through my publisher’s site. I’m sitting here vibrating with excitement, with this ridiculously huge smile on my face.

Oh, and they used the blurb I wrote and the excerpt I chose when I did my marketing doc, which is pretty cool. Unless you don’t like it, of course, in which case it’s all my fault, but there you go — nothing’s completely perfect, right? 🙂

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A Hidden Magic -- Cover

Fey incursions into the mortal world have been on the rise, and Paul MacAllister’s trying to figure out what the king of the local Elven enclave Under the Hill is up to and how to stop it. Rory Ellison was caught up in one of those attacks and nearly killed by a gang of goblins. He doesn’t believe they were real, though, and is resisting anything Paul might say to the contrary.

Normally Paul would be willing to let Rory go his own way, at least until he’s taken care of more immediate business. But Rory has a particularly rare gift, one the Elven king needs to have under his control in order to carry out his plan. Keeping Rory away from the fey who will use him, to death if necessary, means protecting him night and day, whether Rory agrees or not.

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The rushing of the water and the squawk-twitter of the birds were soothing, almost hypnotic. The breeze blowing across the small river was cool; it felt good on Rory’s overheated skin and it smelled like green. It was a wonderful place to rest, but it was time to move. He opened his eyes and tried to stand up… and couldn’t.

He tried again with no better luck. He was stuck to the bench.

“Damn! Aren’t they supposed to put up signs when they paint?” Resigned to being a total mess, he put his hand down on the seat for leverage, but it didn’t help. And then he couldn’t move his hand. “What the–? It couldn’t have dried that fast!”

Then he remembered he’d brushed leaves off the bench before sitting; it hadn’t been wet then, or sticky with anything. He tugged at his hand but it was stuck tight and pulling just hurt.

“Got a problem, sweet thing?” A screechy, smarmy-sounding voice squawked directly into his ear, and Rory whipped his head around while jerking as far away as he could. Hanging off the back of the bench and grinning at him with far too many teeth was a scrawny creature the size of a small, scrawny teenager, with scraggly hair and round, yellow eyes. The backwards baseball cap, multiple pendants, baggy basketball shirt, and shorts that dragged nearly to his ankles said “juvenile hoodlum,” but the pitted, gray-green skin and the drooping points on the ears had Rory in a panicked freeze.

It’s not real. It’s not, I’m imagining it, it’s not real and it can’t hurt me unless I think it can unless I want it to it’s not….

“Umm, this one smells tasty!” cooed another voice. Rory forced himself to look. It (she?) was a grayish purple and had the longest tongue he’d ever seen outside of a cartoon. Her hungry expression wasn’t at all funny, though; it was pure menace, and the rough, pointed tongue-tip which rasped its way up his cheek burned like acid.

A pair of gray-orange hands appeared from behind him, one wrapping itself around his throat while the other slid around his forehead and braced. He couldn’t move, and there were more of them, whatever they were, scooting and slithering around him, climbing up onto the bench and perching in his lap, hanging off his arms, rubbing and pinching and tasting. He couldn’t move and his vision was blurring and darkening as they pressed in around him, tugging at his clothes, touching and licking any skin they uncovered. He couldn’t move and all he could do was open his mouth to scream, but a long, dripping tongue slid inside and he couldn’t make a sound.

Rory struggled instinctively at first, fighting the gripping fingers and burning tongues, but then he forced himself to relax. It’s just an episode, he reminded himself. They’re creations of a misfiring brain. They’re not there, they’re not real, they can’t hurt you, relax….

He closed his eyes and let his muscles go slack, one set at a time as his doctor had taught him, while regulating his breathing. He pulled his awareness inward and focused on feeling the air rushing in through his nose and down to his lungs, filling them. He felt his heart beating, focusing his perceptions down into his own body until each lub-dub sent out a shockwave he could feel shuddering through his entire torso.

Suddenly a nasal voice screeched into his ear, “You can’t hide from us!” and the creature straddling his lap sank her teeth into his shoulder. Rory screamed and jerked, trying to throw her off, but he could barely move between the skinny arms clutching at him and whatever it was that held him to the bench.

Nothing! There was nothing holding him but his own imaginings. He fought to relax and focus but “nothing” yanked his head back by the hair and plunged her caustic tongue back into his throat, so deep he thought she’d taste the coffee he’d had on the way to the bus stop. He gagged and his stomach tried to expell the irritant but he couldn’t move and she wouldn’t stop and he tasted bile and couldn’t help gagging and then it was much easier to relax because he felt himself fading and slowing and everything went fuzzy and smeary and then dark.

***

Paul plunged through the hole in the air as soon as Aubrey stepped back and nodded. He took off from hardwood and landed on packed dirt, near a particular curving bank on the Guadalupe River, which ran through the heart of San Jose. Paul came out with a Don’t-Look on him, which Cal had cast on the group while Aubrey worked on the Port. A quick look around spotted both the mob of goblins feeding at a bench a dozen yards away, and the fact that there was no one else nearby. Excellent — he wouldn’t have to waste time or energy distracting onlookers or hiding any fireworks.

He stepped clear, his focus now on the goblins, and the others immediately followed one by one. They formed up on Paul and ran toward the goblin mob, yelling and waving cold iron weapons, hoping to at least startle the things off their victim.

The goblins swarmed like starving hyenas around a corpse, which was an unfortunate mental image just then. He heard Manny call, “Alive, but fading!” the tension grating in his voice.

Paul pulled his screwdriver out of a pocket inside his jacket and moved forward with Cal right behind him. Aubrey was prepping a banishing spell, but they needed to get the vermin off of Manny’s friend now, not two minutes from now, and cold iron would get their attention nicely.

Cal moved up next to him, his favorite physical weapons against the fey — a pair of heavy wrenches — already in hand. Manny, on his other side, had his crowbar in both hands; pure iron, it was particularly effective.

Paul descended on the gang of goblins, the other two flanking him, and a moment later they laid into the creatures, stabbing and bashing and yanking them off their victim.

Magic sprayed like blood wherever their weapons hit. The goblins screeched and cursed and turned on them in a furious pack. Teeth snapped, claws slashed and curses stung, but each swing or thrust of a cold iron weapon sent a goblin shrieking and scrambling out of range, away from the bench and the pale, limp body draped across it.

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Get the whole thing here.

Release — Boarding Action

I just had a new story released, “Boarding Action,” in the pirate themed anthology Walk the Plank.

Walk the Plank is a Taste Test, a short anthology with three stories all on a theme. Short stories sold alone cost $1.29; Taste Tests have three and sell for $2.49, so it’s a little better than getting one free. 🙂

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Cam and his friends plan a pirate themed prank to play on their friend Marsha Donovan and her father. They dress up and go out in their motorboat with their pirate costumes, plastic swords and water guns, hoping to stage a fun, fake pirate attack on the Donovans’ yacht, then spend the afternoon swimming and cruising. Of course it all goes wrong, and Cam’s friends bail on him, leaving him to face an angry — but hot — man with a gun who wants to know just WTF he thought he was doing.

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Cam had been out with Marcia’s family on their boat a few times and knew where they usually went. There was a series of beaches up the coast where Mr. Donovan liked to anchor and fish. They cruised by, keeping an eye out for the distinctive white hull, but didn’t have any luck. Next, Cam directed David out to a cluster of islands Marcia liked; the tiny beaches there were quieter than the mainland, and sometimes she could persuade her dad to go there, even thought the fishing wasn’t as good.

They cruised around the wooded islands for half an hour or so, then Ted yelled, “There! Hah! Gear up, me hearties!”

Cam snickered and made sure his head scarf was straight, then dug his hat out from behind the cooler where he’d stuck it to keep it from blowing overboard or getting stepped on. David aimed the go-fast right for the Donovans’ yacht and the other three all pulled their plastic swords and waved them around, smacking each other a few times in the process.

He happened to be on the right side of the boat when David pulled up to the swim platform at the stern of the anchored yacht, so Cam was the first off. He hopped over while Ted bellowed from behind him, “Ho the yacht! Come out with yer hands in the air and bring yer valuables, arrr!”

Idiot, Cam thought with a grin and a smirk. He scrambled up the ladder with his plastic sword still in his hand, then heard the approaching patter of feet. Bare feet, and coming a lot faster than Mr. Donovan — who was pushing three hundred pounds if he was an ounce — could possibly manage without falling over with a heart attack. Hah, it had to be Marcia!

Facing the far corner of the cabin, Cam dropped his sword and leveled his water-uzi at the place where his friend would appear. Ted appeared on the ladder behind him with his own water gun in hand, and Stone and David piled up behind him.

Cam turned to give his friends a grin, then looked back toward the far corner just as a blond figure came dashing into view. He stepped forward and yelled, “Hey, Marcia!” and let loose with a stream of water just as the newcomer aimed a gun right between his eyes. The blond — who was definitely not Marcia — yelled, “Fuck!” just as Cam yelped in fear and ducked. He heard an explosion right next to his head and dropped down onto the deck, curled up in a ball with his hands over his ears.

A blast of swearing drifted around him, with drumming footsteps, a slightly more distant thump! splat! thump! and then the roar of an engine zooming away.

Cam’s heart was banging away double-time; he could feel it slamming into his ribs and his breath was coming in short, panting puffs around it. All he could think of was that they’d made a mistake, that this wasn’t the Selkie and they’d played pirate-attack on some stranger’s yacht two weeks after another boat had been attacked and the pissed-off owner was going to shoot him and dump his body onto the pier for the harbor police and if he ever got his hands on Ted he was going to strangle the idiot, and then himself for going along with such a half-assed–

Someone kicked him in the thigh and snapped, “Get the fuck up! Who are you and what the hell were you doing?”

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Also included in the book are “Canons and Honor” by PD Singer, and “Life on the Ocean Wave” by Mara Ismine. Get the whole thing here!