Yesterday, I headed to the Library Con up in Flatwoods (a small nearby city) with my writer’s group. It was a fun but way too hot day. And I didn’t even sale any books. I did managed to sale some jewelry. The peeps in attendance loved my jewelry.
Maybe next time I’ll make some book sales.. Happy wordage, Tracey
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well… okay, so that isn’t me in the picture… lol… but I thought it expressed exactly what was going on in my head… I can’t believe it, but the site I used to publish my novels is no more… what does that mean???
that means that all of my books need to be re-published in their ebook copies… the paperback copies are still there for the buying, but most peeps want that instant (and cheaper) ebook copy…
book one (Shocking Finds) is still available as an ebook, but that is because I used an indie publisher to get started… (a deal that will be ending soon… I’m not sure what that means, but most likely I will soon be facing the re-publication of that books as well)
as for books 2 and 3, I am wallowing in a bout of writer’s depression and haven’t wanted to face the work and doubts that come with putting out a novel… but I feel like I am moving in the right direction… I mean, look at me… here I am writing to y’all, when I have been avoiding all things wifi, writing, or publication for the last few months… but I feel that soon I will be back in the game…
for now I am reading the latest publications of my favorite authors… Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs (which is already out), Covert Game by Christine Feehan (coming March 20th) and coming out on March 27th, I will be reading Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands, and ‘Hot and Badgered’ by Shelly Laurenston… Clearly I have more than enough literary gas to fuel my love of all things written… hopefully April will see me back behind my lovely novels…
I don’t know much about this event… just that I will be at the library (Ashland, ky) to join in.
best I can understand, this is the first time Ashland is participating in Indie Author Day… I will have a table to sell my novels, and there will be speakers on topics that touch on writing as an indie author…
so Oct 14 I will be heading to the library… the one down by the park…. if I learn anything else, I will be sure to pass the info along…
So sorry my peeps… I know the wait has been long, but it is finally over…
Twin Findings: Finder’s Keepers book 3
is finally here for pre-order and will be out on Sept 21st
I had planned to put out my first novel in my Skymann series, but I had some Multiple Sclerosis moments, and a bit of author doubt… so those rascals still need some work…
but finally, I managed to pull myself out of my writer’s funk, worked with Marin and the rest of my peeps from my Finder’s Keepers world, and managed to get everything up and ready just in time to celebrate my baby cousin’s first birthday… on??? you guessed it…. Sept 21st… Lyla is just about the cutest thing ever and who can manage to be uninspired when babies are about… and soon this family will get to meet another bouncing cutie…
which means I need to get to work… lol… soon Raelynn will be here. (no favorites here) so that means I need another book ready to go… 😛
any whoo… here are your links so that you can go forth and pre-order Twin Findings
Now… without further ado… here is Marin’s yummy man…
Interviewer (bats her eyelashes): I’m so glad we you could find a moment to come and chat with us, Kyland… Can I call you Kyland??
Kyland (arms crossed): Kyland will be fine.
Interviewer (lightly chuckles, flipping her hair): Great. Well, it’s great to have that you could leave the Princess’s side long enough to stop in… as the new bodyguard to Princess de Platadreki, one of the rarely heard about Battle Fae, I’m sure the Fae people would love to know a little pit about you… Tell us about day to day life for a royal’s consort…
Kyland: Pfft… Marin is my mate… we are one of the first known pairs in the Fae community to be soul-mated by the Fae Goddess Lac Mar, and as such, we only have eyes for each other… (Leaning forward, with narrowed eyes)… in fact, the flirtations of other women turn my stomach… the Princess is my everything… She means more to me than my next breath… I work to make sure that she is protected and happy at all times… I also do my best to warn others not to push her buttons, unless they want to trigger one of her power flares, finding themselves shocked by her escaping gift… sadly, as a soul-mated pair, jealousy can be an issue… more for me, than my Minzet… and she is, my sweet one… but then, I find her power flares kind of cute…
Interviewer (straightening jacket and sitting up with perfect posture): umm… That sounds like important work to me… How exactly did you meet the Princess??
Kyland (finally smiles): Marin… I had searched for her for more than twenty years, and was on the verge of giving up all hope… in fact, there were many times over the years that I believed my mission would fail, but I was honor bound to keep looking… before the Queen disappeared, she asked me to give my word that I would continue looking for Marin, no matter how long it took… the Queen said that she had had a vision that a new born baby girl would be ripped away from her mother, that this child would one day mean everything to the Fae people… (huffs and shakes his head) … she forgot to mention that the child in question was her soon to be born baby girl… when I finally found the mysterious Marin, still expecting a child, someone locked away and frightened, I found a mesmerizing woman fighting for her life…
(Kyland looks over his shoulder as if searching for something… grinning and holding out his hand, he finally locates a blushing Marin just off stage… ducking her head, Marin comes to take his hand, blushing even worse as she is pulled onto his lap)
Interviewer: …. (shuffles through questions) … What goals and hardships do you face… what do you want for the Fae?? I mean… what are your plans to keep the Fae community safe?? to keep the Princess safe??
Kyland (head cocked to the side): I will take out the Danshue, those evil Fae working to take my Minzet from me… they lie in hiding around every corner, but they must be found and removed … there are other criminals in the Fae community, but the Danshue have lost their souls… their crimes have earned them a death sentence… and they will be brought to justice…
Sparks light up on Marin’s hands, but Interviewer merely gets a white
Knuckled grip on her set and continues…
Kyland (pulls Marin close and nuzzles the side of her neck, the sparks disappear ): Marin hates that our lives are so dangerous… and my main goal is to always come back to her… we keep each other safe, working together… though I wish she would stay in the background more, Marin will always jump in to protect the little guy… my job is to make sure she is not harmed when she does…
Interviewer (eyeing Marin’s now spark free hands): One final questions and we will let you get back to your new duties as soul mate and bodyguard to the Princess… Can you tell us what fears you are facing in this new chapter of your life???
Kyland: … (Deep Breath…) that someone will get past the wards and shields placed around Marin… that one of the curses surrounding her essence will be tripped while she is too far away for me to save her… that Lindal, the woman pretending to care for Marin as she abused her, will sneak onto Marin’s property with some of her Danshue cohorts, that she will- … (a small explosion blows out all the lights)
Kyland turns Marin to him, kissing her deeply, continuing even after her power flare quiets down…
Interviewer warily pulls herself up off of the floor, where she dove to avoid flying glass…
Interviewer (voice shaky): Alright… I think that’s all we have time for… thanks for stopping by Kyland… Princess…
I just wanted to jump on here and send out a thanks to all those who read my novels, especially those that take the time to place reviews on Amazon or Goodreads… (I have yet to get a bad review, so this may change… lol… but for now, I love getting an email alerting me to the existence of a new review…)
Non-authors maybe be asking themselves if I’m just blowing smoke, attempting to get the rest of my readers to jot down a few quick words…. but nope… those types of reviews would be helpful to book sales, but they are not the ones that bring the biggest smile to my face…. no, reviews are so hard to come by that it is a fair bet that the ones taking the time to write something have enjoyed/or hated the novel…. thankfully my reviews have been kind… very kind… and their words help me more than they will every know…
Barbara Underwood of Sydney, Australia wrote:
Judging by the author bio at the back of this book, Tracey Clark is obviously a very bubbly and charismatic personality, and this is evident in her writing style from the very beginning to the end of this entertaining Fantasy novel. Her storytelling technique immediately pulls the reader into her world of Fae who struggle to live in the everyday real world. This approach intrigued me right away because there was not too much out-of-this-world Fantasy to get familiar with, and the situation of the main character, Marin, not even knowing that she is a Fae Princess with tremendous powers also adds to the suspense and interest as the story unfolds.
Another prominent and positive feature of this book is that the author skilfully expresses thoughts and feelings from the two main characters: Marin and the man she is destined to be with, Kyland. In fact, this novel is also a beautiful, deep and intense love story, quite apart from the problems caused by Fae curses and helping Marin to understand and believe who she really is.
This book sets the scene for more books to come, and it is quite a lengthy book which took me some time to read, mainly because the writing style is engaging but also intense at times, so that you cannot skim through or skip anything. It is an involving read, but a very rewarding one for both Fantasy and Romance lovers alike, and I’ll be looking out for the sequel to this book!
I love writing and reading, but I do suffer from the doubt and writer’s depression like most artistic people… it is hard to look at your own work and your life and see what other’s see… especially with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) I find myself wondering why I continue to write, to paint, to go through the motions of life… I know, I know… it sounds a bit dramatic, but every once and a while the evil doubt creeps in… so I am more than grateful to those reviews that give me their thoughts on my work… it is uplifting, and helps me to shove my doubt and depression out the door… it tells me that there are those out there that really do want to enjoy my hard work, and that working through all those edits are worth it… and man do I hate edits…
Howdy y’all… 😛 I hope everyone is keeping cool and relaxed, ready to win some great prizes… over here in Ashland, Ky it is the weather seems to be a little confused (make that vindictive)… Mother Nature gave us a few lovely days of cool and comfortable, and just when I had started to relax, a smile of admiration on my face, She cackled like the witch that she is and threw enough furnace lovin’ heat at Ky to drop me to my knees, dragging my overheated Multiple Sclerosis body to safety… but I am more than ready to party… woo who…
so let’s have some fun with Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY… this is my stop here at Finder’s Keepers Series… my book site…
One lucky winner will be chosen to receive either
jewelry *(bracelet or earrings – made by me)
or one of the keychains I’ve been working on… (incase you’re not looking for jewelry)
as well as a personally made bookmark…
all you have to do is leave a commentat the bottom of this post… and you are entered to win… see… super easy… here is a peek at some of the pieces you will have to choose from…
number of winners: 2
while there is only one winner for the Block Party, I will also be choosing an extra winner from those of you interested in signing up for my Newsletter
and don’t forget to stop by the other blogs just waiting to give out freebies… check out the other peeps scheduled for today…
and now for a little bit of fun… how about a character interview (from my latest novel – Southern Discoveries) … Marin will tell us what she really think about Makayla LaPine, how she feels about the man in her life, and how she plans to work with Makayla without either of them killing each other… lol… (Books and Blurbs can be found at the bottom of the page…as well as an exciting summer sale!!!)
Character Interview – Marin
Interviewer (Jazz):(rubbing his hands together, a wolfish grin growing on his face, he speaks into the camera, practically bouncing in his seat…)
Hey y’all… Jazz here with SBI – Affairs (we are the supernatural version of the human Internal Affairs, but with sass… our work is shared with the Supe Community during these behind the scenes news reports)…
(looks over at Marin – holding his hand out in her direction)
Today I will be sitting down with Marin Yarthine … also know as Marin de Platadreki, our long lost princess…Marin is the last connection we in the Fae community have to the royal house… hopefully, she will be willing to share how her entrance into the Supernatural world has been treating her, and what she thinks of the Supes she has met so far… and of course we will have to delve into the personal side of day to day princess life…
Marin: (her checks growing bright red she squirms around in her seat)
uh…. I’m still pretty new at all this… I still wake up each morning sure that there has been some kind of mistake. Like a really big one.
Jazz: (grinning like he has just won the lottery, he leans over the arm of his chair, closer to his victim… uhhhh… his latest interviewee…)
The Supe Community, especially the Fae, have been at a loss without that Royal touch we all took for granted. Surely, the Community has welcomed you with great rejoicing??? Would you say that is accurate, Princess??
Marin: (a small spark jumps between her twisting fingers as she clears her throat)
I’m not used to all the attention. I mean… all these people are now seeing me, talking to me, wanting my opinion… it has been overwhelming. I just can’t seem to completely trust that it’s real. My co-workers didn’t even know my name a few weeks ago, and now they all seem to want to come over and hang out in my back garden.
Jazz: (cocks his head to the side)
You seem upset by this. Is your garden such and odd place for them to wish to visit?
Marin: (for the first time, a small smile graces her face, her eyes glowing in remembrance…)
Oh… it isn’t the garden really… it’s all the Brownie children. There is just something healing about their squeals of laughter as they force my friend Diego to shift into his jaguar form so that they can have their own kitty-cat-pony…
(gives a small laugh, her cheeks warming to a darker red)
It’s the best part of all this… well, that and Kyland. Without him, I would have gone insane by now…
But those kids are just soooo dang cute… everyone leaves with a smile on their face… in fact, a lot of my co-workers have been dropping by no matter if I’m home or not…
Jazz: (just listening to her gush over the tiny Fae has him grinning himself… clearing his throat, he attempts to get the interview back on track…)
So other than the Brownie Cubs, how has your introduction to Fae life been??
Marin: (scrunches up her noes…)
other than the confusion and daily changes as new information is thrown my way, I am a little sick of the assassination attempts… (the sparks return to her fingers)
Jazz: (he knows that he is pushing her closer to what his viewers really want to hear about… this is the reason he got into journalism… still, he eyes those sparks with a health does of respect… the last person to interview the princess nearly died when her power flared out of control…)
I’m very sorry to hear that Princess…
(taking a deep breath, he continues)
How has the threat to your life changed things?? Surely, you will be guarded more closely?? Under lock and Key so to speak so that we don’t lose our last touch of Royal Essence….
(his words cut off as actual bolts of electricity zero in on his torso… vibrating in his chair he can’t help but flinch with each renewed zap, as her voice hisses through the air)
Marin: (jumping to her feet, she knows she needs to get her power under control, but her anger has a way of amplifying her power flare)
I refuse to be hidden… never again. If that is the kind of princess you people are looking for, then I know for sure that there has been a mistake.
Jazz: (unable to stop his shaking, even after an extremely pissed of Kyland, the princess’s soul-mated partner, rushes into the room.. constantly flinching, he watches with amazement as Kyland manages to calm her rage by simply pulling her into his arms… but if the glare in his eyes meant anything, Jazz knew that the princess’s mate wanted to rip out his throat… swallowing thickly, he decides to wrap up the interview… but not without one final piece of gossip…)
Ummm… I am, umm, very glad to hear that??
But continuing to stay out in public, to continue your work at Finder’s Keepers… this means that you will be forced to interact with people that you still don’t know if you can trust. Like Makayla La Pine…
We had Makayla on our show earlier this month, and to say that she is a dangerous mystery is to be polite. What our viewers want to know, is ‘How can you work a Find for her? Do you think there will be unresolved issues, threats, or any kind of animosity???’…
Marin: (her cheeks are back to their reddened state)
ummm…. well… yes… of course she is a mystery… but that is exactly why I have to meet with her. I need to know what could cause the woman I have known for years to change so drastically. And it isn’t like Kyland will allow her to hurt me.
No… I need to know what has changed… she went from being a bitchy-sex-pot, to quiet and distant. It isn’t that I want the old Makayla back. I mean… I’m not stupid. Nope. I want to get to the bottom of this change in attitude, because surprises are never good. If she wants to attack me, then it is best to get it out of the way.
One meeting and we will know if Makayla is a threat. At least that is what I can only hope for. No one in their right mind would want to forever be looking over their shoulder for ‘Southern-Bitch-Barbie’…
Soooo, I will meet with Makayla. No matter what the men in my life think about it.
(even at her diminutive height, she looked foreboding… but then, that could be because of the sparks escaping her fingertips.)
Jazz: (he does he best to hid a grin as Kyland sighs and looks toward the ceiling… keeping the princess safe has to be a full time job…)
We’re almost out of time, but please tell us what you think about your upcoming birthday celebration.
–Kyland loses the fight to remain silent, a bark of laughter escaping as he pulls Marin closer—
Marin: (stomping her delicate foot, yes stomping it like a small child, she whines…)
I don’t see why it is soooo important to have something that I thought was already over. I already feel like my birthday is in the past… and there will be soooo many people… all looking at me…. can’t we just bypass this year??
(the hopeful look in her eyes dies as Kyland leans down to whisper in her ear… crossing her arms, she pouts… yep… the woman’s emotions were all over the place… rage, whining, pouting, giddy… it was hard to keep up)
Jazz: (Clearing his throat to get rid of the laughter dying to escape…)
Welll…. hopefully you will enjoy the experience anyway… this is your Transition Year, which is more important than all your other birthdays put together… this is the year that-
Marin: (Throwing her hands in the air, she pushes away from Kyland’s comforting arms as her mate starts to chuckle, and stomps from the room)
Jazz: (joining Kyland in his laughter, he turns back to the camera to wrap up the show…)
Well, there you have it… our lovely Princess has spoken… let us all wish her good luck on her Transition Year, silently and not to her face, and hope that her meeting with dangerous charmer Makayla La Pine goes well… until next time, this is Snazzy Jazz signing out…
Blurb for Southern Discoveries…
Makayla can’t believe that her life has been reduced to this… asking the flighty office girl for help. Could Marin really be capable of working the decades old Find that has plagued Makayla for most of her life? With her goal within reach, she will take a chance on Marin, avoiding all distractions. Especially the overwhelmingly delicious stranger begging for her attention.
Quaidin Lari wants to get in, finish his mission, and get out. Anything to get back to Out-realm and as far from Earth-side Kentucky as possible. His band of mercenaries – the Fianna – have one goal… to locate Marin, the highly sought after Fae Princess, and see to her protection. As the Incubus on the squad, he needs to focus on persuasion and manipulation.
The mission was a walk in the park… until her. Quaidin never saw Makayla coming. A woman with enough sexual allure to bring him to his knees…
And…. on the shelf for Summer Sale, we have my first novel… Shocking Finds
woo who… 99 cent Summer Sale…
here is the blurb and buy links…
An act of rebellion, Marin doesn’t think that running into the new store in town will hurt anything. Her aunt will never know… right? One car wreck later, her aunt is hospitalized, Marin is forced to spend her twenty-first birthday fighting for her life, and magic – the very thing her aunt has always sworn to be for fools – is real. And so is the irresistible Fae dedicated to Marin’s protection.
Kyland has searched Earth-side and all the other realms, looking for a missing Fae child. A child his Queen prophesied would be able to one day save the Fae people from the Danshue, as the evil Fae threat tries to overwhelm the entire Supernatural Community. A child that would know nothing of her blocked gifts, or her Fae heritage waiting to be claimed. A child that has grown into a curvy, delicious morsel he would love to taste
Together Marin and Kyland will fight Fae assassins, overcome betrayals, and if they’re lucky … they will find the Danshue responsible for their plight. That’s if Marin doesn’t shock him to death with her erratic new gift, and her out of control emotions.
for information about my short stories to be found in the following anthologies, go to the link at the top of the page for Short Stories…
Giving Chase – short
Hidden Bounty – short
and finally, here is some information on my short story Goodbye Roanoke… only 99 cents…
What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? Jodina knows that she should be embarrassed, but really… they had it coming. As a Vampire/Dragon hybred, Jodina has lived for more than 200 years avoiding humans and supernatural creatures alike. But one accidental fire – hey, her Dragon side can be a bit testy – and she finds herself locked up with a handsome Vampire and a few innocent children. Their crimes? Well, the mob outside their cell has decided that they are unclean abominations… Jealousy and fear, with a heaping dose of hate, can turn human beings into deadly creatures.
hey y’all… most of my updates on the daily Block party Blog stops will be on Finder’s Keepers – Author Tracey Clark … but today that site is scheduled as one of the stops… soooo I decided to put the update here for everyone…
there is another stop today besides little ole me… make sure to drop by their sites and my author site … leave a comment and you will be automatically entered to win a giveaway or two… woo who…
it is release day… woo who… I am extremely excited to have book two out in the world… the Finder’s Keepers series has two finished books out Shocking Finds & Southern Discoveries… and book three (rough draft only) is in the works… to celebrate, let’s check out ch 2 of Southern Discoveries…
All joking aside, Quaidin had feared that the SUV would be too small to hold all five of his squad, plus the driver. Other than Yolland, they were all good sized men with wide muscular shoulders.
Quaidin rolled down his window and allowed his arm and shoulder to hang out. They may have fit in the vehicle, but that didn’t make the arrangement comfortable. Yolland and Zander were stuffed in the back with all of their satchels, both the larger equipment satchels and the smaller ones for potions. Vloran had to lean out of the window on his side of the middle seat, while Casfin had the front-passenger seat reclined to the point that his head rested in Quaidin’s lap, making the middle seat feel even smaller. Quaidin feared he would lose feeling in his legs if the ride took much longer.
As soon as possible, they needed to acquire a few vehicles with hidden enlargement spells placed on them. It was either that or expect Vloran and the Captain to start riding strapped to the top.
Their driver, a guy named Cedric, seemed to bounce in his seat to music that only he could hear. “So… what are you guys here for? You’re Fianna troops, right? You guys are always on a mission.”
Quaidin did his best not to laugh at the pup’s rapid-fire excitement. Cedric couldn’t be more than a few decades old. Once Cedric reached his two-hundred-fiftieth year, things would look a little differently. The hidden mercenary troops of the Fianna would lose their allure once he had that many years weighing on his shoulders.
Casfin didn’t look at the pup as he answered, “We are on the trail of a Danshue. One responsible for three kidnappings.”
That was the party line. They were under strict orders to keep the true details of their mission under wraps. The fewer people that knew, the fewer problems they would have to deal with while carrying out their mission to protect the Princess.
Cedric glanced at Casfin, turning most of his body to make eye contact, and freaking Quaidin out in the process. “You came to the right place. Anton has some of the best Finders to be found in all the realms.”
Quaidin felt his buddies stop breathing for a moment, each of them glancing away from the pup. Cedric’s shoulders started to visibly tense up, his body moving to glance in Casfin’s direction again.
Clearing his throat, Quaidin prepared to do what he did best. Persuade and distract. “That is true, but be a good sport and keep the knowledge to yourself. We need the public to see us as strong. Especially with the larger than average number of Danshue coming out of the woodwork. If we are seen as unable to Find our prey without traveling to another realm to ask for help, there could be panic. Personally, I would like your take on the information we have managed to gather so far.” Giving a self-deprecating laugh, he looked into the rearview mirror, meeting Cedric’s gaze, and gave a small shrug.
Cedric didn’t revert back to his bouncing excitement but at least the tension left his shoulders. “If the case is that difficult, you may want to ask Anton to get the Princess to take a look.”
Casfin’s seat managed to lay back even further, but Quaidin didn’t need the warning. “Is she better at Finding than you or your boss? Perhaps we should wait and see if your boss can help, before we bother the Princess.”
Cedric went back to speaking a million miles a minute, while moving around in the driver’s seat like a jumping bean. But at least, Casfin pulled his seat up an inch or two, allowing blessed circulation to return to Quaidin’s legs.
Listening to the pup chatter about anything and everything, Quaidin allowed his eyes to scan the passing streets. Now they just needed to get past Anton and they were free to go about their business in secret. Just the way they liked it.
Anton Slade watched his office fill up with mercenaries. Man did he hate dealing with the second rate police force. He could feel their power radiating from their pores, where the Sentinels would have been hiding their strength. But power alone wasn’t enough to enforce Queen’s Law.
Normally, Anton wouldn’t be able to guess a Fae’s parentage, at least not on the first meeting. But the Lower Fae tended to wear their genetics on their skin. The Fianna had little, if any, Elder Fae in their bloodlines.
One glance and Anton could see that he was dealing with Vloran, a slow moving Rock Fae; Yolland, a Dryad and Captain Casfin, an Ogre – two species best known for being pacifists; and Quaidin, a damn Incubus. Zander was the only unknown, with his midnight skin and light brown hair, leaving Anton at a loss until he noticed that the man had a tendency to fade into the background. Anton had to search for Zander more than once, which meant that he was most likely a Shadow Fae.
Anton shook his head. This was the crackpot team sent to protect the Princess? That girl obviously had some enemies in high places. No matter what the Fianna claimed, he would be stupid to believe that they weren’t interested in the new royal. “Gentlemen, please, have a seat.” Anton moved to shut his office door as his visitors got comfortable in the seating area. Though comfortable was a bit of a stretch with Vloran and Casfin making the couch look like a love seat.
He watched Cedric’s hands as he approached the seated Fianna troops. Cedric signed discreetly by his hip. Anton wanted to throw them all out as he read the message loud and clear. The Fianna were holding something back. And there was only one group he could think of that would send these men on a mission to another realm.
“Let us get straight to the point, gentlemen. What do you want with the Princess?” Anton settled in the last remaining chair.
The men froze, all but Quaidin. He sat back in a relaxed position, his hands waving through the air as he met Anton’s eyes with his earnest expression. “Oh course, we would be honored to meet the Princess. If there is time that is. But our main goal is to locate and stop the Danshue attacking our children. I am sure the Princess is very busy, Antonius.”
“Please, call me Anton. And say what you will, but there is a large number of people that would be displeased if you decided to upset the Princess on behalf of the Elders. No matter how well-meaning their intentions are, of course.”
“As you say, but we-” Quaidin’s words stopped short as the door to Anton’s office flew open.
Makayla LaPine sauntered into the room, ignoring his guests. “Hey, Sugar… since when do ya shut your office door? For any-thang? Ya wouldn’t be workin’ yourself to hard, now would ya?”
This was the Makayla Anton was used to dealing with. It was almost a relief not to be forced to watch hunched shoulders that lived to be thrown back, or shuffled feet that were more at home strutting across a room as if Makayla owned the place, and everyone in it. Hair tossing and swinging hips… this was the Makayla he knew. “Can I help you with something, Makayla?”
“Sorry, hon. I thought ya were holdin’ one o’ your private times with our little Marin.” Anton wanted to growl at the Fianna as each man gawked at him, most with raised eyebrows, but Makayla wasn’t finished. “I know ya want to personally help the girl out, but some fokes are startin’ to get the wrong impression from all dat closed door attention she’s been gettin’. I wouldn’t want people to start talkin’ about the poor thang.”
Of course not. If someone else was spreading the gossip, what would Makayla do for fun? “Then I guess it is a good thing that you have Marin’s best interest at heart. For now, be a dear, and show these men to the empty office over in the west wing. All but Quaidin, here. I think that I can get just as much information from one man as I can five.”
Quaidin smirked. “That sounds wonderful. Then we can also discuss the fact that your employees are running around on a first name basis with the-”
Anton all but shouted, cutting Quaidin off. “The best Finders to be found in all of the world.” Clearing his throat, Anton ran a hand over his perfectly placed tie. Lowering his voice, he said, “I am sure that you have many questions about Finder’s Keepers and its employees.”
Anton ground his teeth and waited. Was the man trying to break the Queen’s Law, bringing up Fae secrets in front of an unknown? Every Fae knew that unknowns were dangerous, and if you weren’t 100% sure that someone knew about the Fae already, they were an unknown. Makayla had worked for him for years, but as far as he knew she was Human with only the enhanced senses that most were born with. Better hearing or sight didn’t make her Fae.
Anton could see the lust in Quaidin’s eyes as his gaze followed Makayla’s swaying hips out of the room. She waited for the men to exit, before turning back to grab the doorknob. “I’ll get these fokes settled right quick, but then I’ll be needin’ ta speak with Marin. If ya would be so kind an’ point me in her direction.”
Anton flinched at her increased southern twang, but quickly threw Marin to the wolves. “I believe she is working from home today.”
Makayla shot him a withering glare and whipped out of the room, slamming the door on her way. Her muttered, “Daggon good fer nuthin’ pole cat,” reaching his sensitive ears as she went. Anton made a mental note to warn Marin that Makayla was looking for her, and to look up southern uses for the phrase pole cat. For the moment he turned to face a more pressing issue.
Moving smoothly to his feet, Anton walked around his desk and took his seat. Getting comfortable, he waited for Cedric and Quaidin to swallow their laughter and follow. Makayla was a disruptive pain but she was damn good at her job. Not to mention the number of men that would follow her in off the street and pay top dollar for a Find they didn’t really need, just for the chance to watch her walk across a room.
Cedric immediately moved over and took one of the guest chairs facing Anton’s desk, but Quaidin took his time. The man had a way of working his masculine frame that put all of Makayla’s sexual moves to shame. His chocolate eyes and copper tan seemed to glow in the low lighting of the office table lamps. Anton smirked, thinking that the man would be hard to look at if he continued to glow like that. He didn’t know how Norms and Humans managed to miss some of the things the Fae could do.
Anton knew what was happening. It was a part of the Incubus’s innate magic; a shine that drew and held the eyes of their prey. “Cut the light show.” The sexual energy that Quaidin could pull from simple attraction could help to make his words more persuasive.
“My apologies. It is as natural as breathing. My power is always reaching out, seeking to draw in energy that could be the difference between life and death in a fight.”
Anton didn’t know if he believed that. Oh, he knew that an Incubus’s power was always hungry, ready to light a fire to passion. Even the male appreciation that usually comes across as envy when another man sees someone with a stronger jaw, more muscles, or attention from the female that they desire. “If you are old enough to be one of the Fianna, you are old enough to control you gifts. I know that the Fianna do not abide by the two-hundred-fifty-years rule, that you could be as young as fifty and still be inducted into their numbers, but fifty years is still old enough to learn control.”
Quaidin was about to sit. He froze, hovering over the cushion before flashing a brilliant smile. “I see you know more about the Fianna than most, but crossing over to Earth-side took a lot of energy. Especially once the Captain decided that we should followed our Danshue quarry through a rogue portal, so that we could stay on his trail and shut down the portal from this side.”
“And what is so important that your innate gifts are breaching your control?” Anton watched Quaidin, waiting for any sign of misdirection, but the harder he looked the more he saw a Male-Makayla. He wanted the Fianna out of his building and on their way back to Out-realm. He wanted them out of his hair.
Quaidin delivered his words without another misstep. No more pauses, no flinches, and he never avoided eye contact. Even Quaidin’s emotions were under control. It was maddening. The more believable Quaidin’s story became, the harder it was for Anton to trust him. “We need a favor. My squad used to contain a man that moved frequently through the realms, but he is … unavailable. A fight last month turned out poorly for us, leaving us a man short. We need someone that can move through Earth-side knowledgeably, but it needs to be someone that can keep their mouth shut. In the current climate, we need the supernatural community to believe that we are infallible. One of your Human employees would be best. Blind to the Supernatural world, they would be more likely to be unaware of the Supes around them, and will have never even heard the word Fianna.”
Anton thought it over. But no. That would be wrong. Sooo wrong. The more Anton thought about what he should do, and what he wanted to do, the harder it was to keep a grin off his lips. Clearing his throat, he did his best to look forbidding. “Fine. You can catch up with your squad and tell Makayla that she has been assigned to assist in your Find. Perhaps she will even be able to help you locate the Danshue you are tracking. But be careful not to break Queen’s Law. She knows nothing of the Fae, especially not that Marin is our lost Princess.”
Anton held his breath as Quaidin nodded and moved to leave the room. He waited for the office door to shut behind his unwanted guest before throwing his head back in laughter. Holding his side, he glanced at an all too quiet Cedric, his lips firmly shut. “What?”
Cedric cracked a smile, as he fought to keep from joining Anton’s mirth. “You do know that this could back fire.”
When Anton cocked his head to the side, Cedric finally allowed an evil grin to grow on his face. “What will you do if they become mates, instead of killing each other?”
Pulling out his cell phone, Anton shuddered as he called to tell Marin about Makayla. Glancing at Cedric, he simply said, “Then they will have to move to Out-realm, otherwise I will be forced to kill them both.”
There was no way that he could put up with two of Makayla. Not even the trickster God, Coyote, would be so cruel. At least Cedric would be spending the next few weeks working with the SBI, learning from Kennith and the other Supernatural Bureau of Intelligence agents. Anton didn’t want to deal with the other man’s delight should everything blow up in his face.
Quaidin made it to the squad’s appointed office and watched as the most glorious woman he had ever seen wrapped his squad members around her little finger. It was almost funny to watch as the normally taciturn Vloran stood before Makayla’s raven haired perfection grinning like a loon.
He listened as Makayla pointed out all the different ways that Finder’s Keepers interacted with their clients, and what exactly it was to be a Finder.
“Boss man says to show y’all around, but seeins how he’s puttin’ y’all in one of our last restin’ spots, I’s assume ya know that Finders are responsible for all information pertainin’ to the cases ya work. We go after no account, good for nothin’ murders and scum when the officials come callin’. And those are details y’all need ta keep your peace about. Our clients mainly want Finds for lost items, nothing too strainin’.”
“Sure thing.” Vloran’s eyes looked a little glazed, his words coming even slower than usual. The woman was a walking, talking aphrodisiac.
Zander sat in the corner, nodding his head to every word out of Makayla’s mouth, while Yolland hummed a little every time she paused to take a breath. Not that the woman seemed to need much air.
“We take in all manner of cases. Should ya hear sump’n one of the others are workin’ on, Lord a-mercy, keep it to ya’self.”
Though truth be told, Quaidin had trouble understanding every other word out of her mouth, her accent getting thicker the longer she spoke. He assured himself that his lack of attention had nothing to do with a need to fall into her sky-blue eyes.
Cocking her hip to the side, she continued to point out all the lower level people working for Finder’s Keepers that were there to help a Finder complete their mission in a timely and thorough manner. “Seein’ how Finders are sum-times on da clock to get things done. We hafta have a comprehensive amount of information. Which reminds me. Y’all get yourselves settled in. I have a rascal office girl ta pin down.”
Makayla flipped her hair over her shoulder and turned to leave. Quaidin stood frozen, blocking the door. He found himself dumb struck as much as, or maybe even more so, than the others. How in the name of the Lower Reaches could one woman radiate so much sexual appeal and not be one of his kind? He would have known within seconds if Makayla was one of their rare Succubus. Their births were even rarer than those of the male Incubus children. So rare that their Elders demanded that the females be housed in Fae Boarding Schools, and then married off as soon as possible.
Crossing his arms, he looked to the ceiling. It was a callous decision on the part of their leaders. Quaidin had never figured out how the parents could allow it so easily, but he had to agree that it usually kept the girls safe. It was-
Quaidin’s thoughts scattered as the feel of delicate fingers danced across his chest. Having Makayla so close he realized that she stood a few inches taller than his own six-foot frame.
Glancing down, he followed the line of long, delicious, porcelain-skinned legs and noticed the four inch heels gracing her feet. Eyes flowing back up legs that he wanted to feel wrapped around his waist, he felt his heart begin to race.
“Hey, darling, ya mind scoochin’ over a bit,” she purred.
Clearing his throat, Quaidin did his best to pull his thoughts back to the matter at hand, but his mind had gone blank as he watched her pink little tongue peek out to wet her full, red lips. “Uh-huh.” He was pretty sure he needed to tell this vixen something, but nothing seemed more important that reaching up to see if her raven locks were as soft as they looked.
Makayla allowed him to tuck some of her waist length strands behind her ear. She placed her delicate hands on his hips. Quaidin could feel her maneuvering him up against the doorframe.
He should have been taking control of the situation but why bother.
Instead Quaidin closed his eyes as those lush red lips got closer to his own. His breathing accelerated to the point of heart attack territory. Her hands traveled up his sides and then slid away. Impatient to feel this mysterious woman’s lips on his, Quaidin leaned in to claim what he wanted. Only to snap erect as his squad mates burst into laughter.
Blinking his eyes open, Quaidin whipped around to watch the curvy hips of his dream woman swinging from side to side as she disappeared around the corner. He hadjust been bested by the Pied Piper of Horney Men. Blushing scarlet, Quaidin barked, “Oh, shut it. Like you guys were doing any better resisting her.”
Casfin held his side, doing his best to speak through his wheezing laughter. “But you are our seduction expert.”
Working with that woman was going to kill him. Quaidin ran his fingers through his hair, wanting badly to rip out a few of the brown and blonde strands. Either Earth-side had developed its own version of a Succubus or he was losing his Incubus powers. “I really do hate this place.”
Quaidin stepped into the hallway, mumbling and fisting his hands the entire way.
“Where are you going?” Casfin yelled after him.
If anyone else had tried to stop him, Quaidin would have ignored them. Falling back on decades of training, he stopped and turned to his Captain. “Anton said that we would be working with Makayla. So I plan to work with her.”
“You mean you plan to follow her.” Casfin leaned in the doorway of their temporary office space, his arms crossed and a smirk permanently affixed to his face.
Yolland sauntered up behind Casfin, grinning like a fool. “Perhaps our Lover Fae enjoys making a fool of himself. Why else chase after the one woman in all the realms that appears to be able to resist his charms?” Yolland threw his head back, roaring with laughter.
Casfin ignored the other man and walked out into the hallway. “So what is your plan? Or is Yolland right?”
Quaidin scrubbed his hands over his face and started to pace. “I admit that getting to the bottom of that woman’s power over men is high on my to-do list. But we can also use her to get closer to the Princess. Using Anton would be a mistake, but Makayla is going to meet with her. She is even on a first name basis with Princess de Platadreki. I can follow from a discreet distance, taking note of all Humans, Norms, and Fae that they interact with.”
Casfin was shaking his head, but it was a still chuckling Yolland that said, “I am pretty sure that everyone calls the Princess by her first name. I have heard a number of her co-workers talking about her, and they always call her Marin. I overheard a group of the SBI agents planning to drop by so they could spend time in the Princess’s gardens. Not sure why, but it sounded quite casual.”
“Fine. We could use one of the others.” Quaidin shook his head. “No. I have to learn more about Makayla. It has to be her.”
Zander shimmered into view, stepping out of the shadows to stand by Casfin, blocking Yolland’s smaller frame. “If her power is greater than yours, things could go poorly for you. Perhaps your powers are useless when Earth-side.”
Quaidin heard the clip of high heels and turned to watch as a blonde in a three-piece suit stamped down the hallway, her eyes glued to the paperwork in her hands. Glancing in his direction, she headed his way but refocused on her paperwork.
Without paying him any attention, Miss Prim and Proper started reading from a list of restrictions. Keep the Fae secret, watch out for hidden Danshue traps, any magic exposed to Humans or Norms was to be reported to the SBI immediately… and on, and on.
Quaidin felt like throwing something, stomping his foot, or maybe he should just run back to Out-realm and look for a new line of work.
Taking a deep breath, he stepped up to the woman. Lightly touching her on the shoulder, Quaidin whispered, “Not to worry. We are acquainted with the Queen’s Laws.” He watched as her paper-laden arms lowered and her glazed eyes came up to his.
As the buttoned down, picture of professional women everywhere smiled up at him and one of her hands moved to release her perfectly coiffed hair, Quaidin removed his hand from her shoulder and took a huge step back. It looked like his powers were working just fine. “Alright then, I need to dash.”
Quaidin ignored the barks of laughter following him down the hallway as he rushed off to track down Makayla. He may have used a little too much of his gift on the office girl, but how else was he supposed to know what to expect of the females of Earth-side.
Gritting his teeth, he vowed that he would get the upper hand with Makayla if it killed him.