Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion

In which I post late, and then do a shameless bit of self promotion ;)

Out now -- Gentleman Takes A Chance -- a dragon meets panther meets the unimaginable danger of a conspiracy of elder, more dangerous shifters:

"I take it The George is closed?" Tom said, and raised his hand to rub at his forehead between his eyebrows.
He squinted as if he had a headache and there were heavy dark circles under his eyes. Granted, skin as pale as Tom’s bruised if you sneezed on it, but he didn’t normally look like death warmed over. She wondered why he did now. "It’ s either closed now or it will be very soon. I called Anthony and he said it was pretty slow. He wanted to shut down the stoves and all, close and go home. So I told him fine. I know we could probably walk to The George but–"
"I looked out," he said. "We might very well not find The George in this. Blinding blizzard." He blinked as if realizing for the first time what she was doing. "Cookies?"
"Well... the radio said that there will be emergency shelters and I could only figure two reasons for it. Either the snow is going to be so heavy that the roof will collapse, or they’re afraid we’ll lose power. Can’t do anything about roof collapsing. Not that tall. But I can preemptively bake cookies. Make the house warm."
He came closer, to stand on the other side of the little table. Though he was still squinting, as if the light hurt his eyes, his lips trembled on the edge of a smile. "And we get to eat the cookies too. Bonus."
"Make no assumptions, Mr. Ormson," she waggled an admonitory finger. "This is the first time I’ve baked cookies. They might very well taste like builder’s cement."
His hand darted forward to the bowl and stole a lump of dough. Popping it in his mouth, he chewed appreciatively. "Not builder’s cement. Raisin AND chocolate chip?"
She shook her head and answered dolefully, "Rat droppings. The flour was so old, you see."
He nodded, equally serious. "Right. Well, I’ll take a shower, and then we can see how rat droppings bake."
Down the hallway that led to the bathroom, she heard him open the door to the linen closet. Using a clean towel every day was one of those things she didn’t seem able to break him of. But part of living together, she was learning, was picking your battles. This was one not worth fighting.
She heard him open the door to the bathroom as she put the cookie trays in the oven. She was setting the timer when she heard the shower start.
And then...
And then the sounds that came out of the bathroom became distinctly unfamiliar. They echoed of metal bending under high pressure and tile and masonry cracking, wrenching subjected to forces they weren’t designed for.
Her first thought was that the roof had caved in over the bathroom. But the sounds weren’t quite right. There was this... scraping and shifting that seemed to be shoving against the walls. The cabinet over the fridge trembled, and the dishware inside it tinkled merrily.
Kyrie ran to the hallway and to the door of the bathroom.
"Tom?" she said and tried the handle. The handle rotated freely – well, not freely but loosely enough that the door clearly was not locked. And yet it wouldn’t budge when she pushed at it. "Tom, are you in there?"
A growl and a hiss answered her.


Out January fifth, in time to redeem those gift certificates -- Darkship Thieves:

Inside, the lifepod bay was cavernous, and lifepods were set in a circle around the bay, each of them in front of its own eject lock. There were thirty five. Enough for everyone aboard. I dove towards the nearest one.
And saw one of the goons – from the bulk Narran, another of Father’s favorite bodyguards – near the control panel inside the lifepod bay. He was about to press the button that would lock the lifepods. Not that I knew there was such a button, but it stood to reason. He could prevent my leaving.
Instinct is a wondrous thing. I turned around, grabbed my slip and tore it, top to bottom, exposing my naked body.
It was only a second but, if I knew the male brain – and I did – long enough to short circuit his reactions for a couple of seconds.
Enough for me to jump into the lifepod and push the red eject button. I suspected once that was done nothing could stop it. But still, relief flooded me as the pod shot out into the membrane that divided it from the airlock. The membrane opened to let it through. Then the other membrane opened.
I shot out into space in the lifepod – which was a triangular vessel made of transparent dimatough and barely large enough to hold me – in an awkward position, effectively straddling the central axis of the vehicle, with my knees and legs on the floor of it, and bent forward over controls that consisted only of a joystick and a com button.
Trembling, I took a deep breath. Whatever was going on, I was sure my father’s goons would follow me as soon as they could strip off their dimatough armors and squeeze into the lifepods.
I had to get away from here. I had to get help.
Grabbing hold of the joystick, I pointed myself towards Circum Terra, which hung like a glowing doughnut in the eastern quadrant of the sky. With my free hand I pushed down the combutton.
"Help," I shouted into whatever frequency might be picking up. The cruiser for sure, but perhaps Circum Terra too. "My name is Athena Hera Sinistra. My father’s space cruiser has been highjacked."


C Kelsey said...

Both excellent books. I would be reading DST now, but my dad stole it first. :)

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Bad da... I mean, GOOD Daddy. :D