Hello lovely readers,
First of all, I just want to warn y’all there will be some HORRENDOUS Instagram abuse by moi this weekend/next week.
I’ve been promising to visit my friend in Florida for AGES and they finally had an epic Southwest sale that I could NOT resist. So I bought tickets to FL and we made plans to go to Disneyworld. Then my mother made googlie eyes at me and I was like, “You should come too, moms!” and she was all, “And your dad!” So it became an epic Peeler event.
Anyway, long story short like a week later I was invited to speak at an event starting the day after I return from Florida, at the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. Whut? Yes. There are so many levels on which this is like a total nerdgasm-worthy dream. First off: speaking at the Library of Congress. Secondly, I’m a talking head in a documentary about romance, called Love Between the Covers.
Keep in mind that, as a child, I didn’t watch TV and want to be the heroine in the gunslinger Western, or the tough cop in the TV drama. I wanted to be the talking head on the PBS documentary of Napoleon, because that was what was inevitably playing on our televsion. Then, in college, I’d get SO psyched seeing my professors talking on PBS or the BBC about the historical Jesus, or Modernism, or whatever. So to be a talking head in a documentary may be the lamest dream come true you’ve ever heard of since that one girl in the fifties asked for saddle shoes but for serious. I am SO PSYCHED.
The next day, I’m speaking on the plenary panel of the related symposium on popular romance. You can go to either the film or the symposium or both! For free! More info available here.
Anyway, the whole weekend/week is going to be a whirlwind, but a delightful one. Disneyland, Harry Potter world, the film premier, and then Library of Congress. Amazing! And you know there will be hella pictures, so feel free to follow me here.
Up till now I’ve been busy getting BASIC INCUBUS ready for sale on the 17th of this month. Here’s an excerpt, as a treat. Thank you all for enjoying these little stories. They’ve been a joy to write, and have reminded me that I actually like writing. Thank you for reading them.
Without further ado, here’s a brief snippet of BASIC INCUBUS:
The first part of date night was lovely. We went all the way to Eastport for dinner and a movie, since we could only do the dinner part if we stayed in Rockabill. Dinner was delish and I, at least, enjoyed the film.
“I can’t believe you made me watch that,” Anyan complained as we walked to the car. We’d parked where we usually did when we came into Eastport—behind Iris’s boutique, which was equidistant from our favorite restaurant and the small movie theater. It was also a nice, dark, quiet alley that no one used, except during the daytime, which meant we didn’t have to go home to get down, wink wink, nudge nudge.
“Dude. It was awesome.”
He gave me a wild-eyed look, the kind he gave me when he was seriously doubting my sanity. “It was not awesome. It was horrendous. It made absolutely no sense.”
“But there were gigantic robots. Gigantic, sentient robots. Fighting!”
“Is that seriously all you need to enjoy a film?”
I thought about that for a few seconds. “Actually, yes,” I decided, eventually.
“I am partnered with a fourteen-year-old boy,” he grumbled. It was an old complaint. I grinned at him.
“And you have the soul of a ninety-five-year-old woman. If you didn’t have me in your life you’d be at home right now, drinking Ensure and watching Murder, She Wrote.”
“I’ll give you a ninety-five-year-old woman,” he growled, backing me into the side of our truck, pinning me there to loom over me. His head dipped for a kiss, one I returned with enthusiasm.
I loved date night.
Things had just started to get interesting, with one of Anyan’s big paws finding its way under my shirt and my own hand wrestling with his belt buckle, when we heard a long, terrified scream from a few blocks down the dark, unused alley.
Anyan stepped back, his head raised to the wind. But the screamer didn’t stop, just took a ragged breath and started screaming again, this time shouting, “Police! Help!”
With practiced moves, Anyan’s shirt was off and his pants were undone and he was dogging out, leaping out of his jeans and boots to land on four feet. He raced down the alley toward the sound, barking like mad. I followed him, gathering up his clothes and running laboriously behind him.
I was part seal, fercrissakes. Gimme a break.
When I caught up with him, he was standing at the edge of a small half-circle of people, gathered around something lying next to the back wall of Eastport’s small hardware store. I could feel Anyan’s glamour, so no one noticed the giant hell hound nudging through the crowd to see what had happened, or me following.
The good news was that the screamer was alive. She was sobbing and still gasping for help, but her friend had her in a tight embrace and was comfort-shushing her.
But that was the only good news.
For on the pavement, lying between the store’s dumpster and the concrete stoop leading up to the back door, was the body of a girl. She may have been late teens or early twenties, but she looked very young and very fragile. She was also very dead.
And she hadn’t died pretty.