QSFer Rhys Ford has a new MM urban fantasy book out:
Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.
Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, and Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.
Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder’s—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.
The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.
The Kai Gracen Series Book Two
“CARI!” I screamed across the lava field, hoping the wind would carry my panic. The night was silent except for the rapid, furious beating of wings behind me and the frantic heave of my chest. Even the wind held its breath, waiting to see the outcome of its evening’s entertainment.
There was no sign she heard me. She was too far away and locked up tight, sitting in the Nova’s driver seat, waiting for me to emerge out of the fields.
A step or two later, a torrent of swirling winds kicked up from the shore, sweeping over the crinkled black landscape and into tight clefts of jagged peaks at the base of the Pendle range. The juts stabbed at the air, envious of the craggy mountains looming behind them, and snagged the interest of the smaller lizards on the draconian food chain. Dotting an upper mesa like dollops of stygian meringue, they provided a safe haven of sorts for the lesser beasts, a place where battles for territory and mates were raged under a sea of stars.
The rising wind was harsh, grabbing at my shout and whisking my panicked mewling off as if it never existed. Screaming into the wind was as useless as pissing into it, except you didn’t get a mouthful of pee when you turned your head.
Considering the dragon riding my ass, I’d take the mouthful of piss any day.
Cold air spiked my lungs. I kept my breaths short, huffing through pressed-in lips. Exhaling misty puffs, I kept up my pace, keenly aware of the hot wind steaming my trail. The paho’eho’e lava was uneven and probably slicing the hell out of the soles of my boots, but I kept running. Stopping was definitely not an option.
Not with the waves of hot, fetid breath gushing over my neck and the whispery swoosh of massive dragon wings slapping through the air behind me.
I tightened my hold on the egg, cradling it to my chest. Off in the distance and way too far away was a small white glow, giving me an idea of where Cari waited with her brother’s souped-up Nova hatchback. With any luck she’d listened to me when I told her to keep the Nova’s big-block engine running.
If she didn’t, then I was not only screwed but probably dinner. And if the dragon was still pissed off and hungry, she’d be second helpings.
Each flap of the dragon’s wings pushed a rush of air against my back, nearly shoving me to the ground. Its cry was furious, enraged at my intrusion or possibly that I was running for my life. Most dragons didn’t take kindly to their dinner beating a hasty retreat, and this one was no exception to the rule. The force of pushed air was enough to drive me to my knees, and running with a stolen winged lizard egg didn’t make things any easier. Dodging jagged rocks, I almost lost my knee to a boulder, and my jeans, already old, ripped. My shin stung, and the air burned down to my calf.
I couldn’t lose the egg, and if I fell, the elongated oversized lizard chasing me would have a helping of elfin tartare. The orb was almost too large for me to hold on to, but its ridged, swirled patterns gave me something to grip, useful when fleeing over sharp lava rocks.
“Guns. Need… guns.” I had them. They were hanging from their holsters on my thigh and side, but none of my weapons were going to do me any good. Not with my arms full. “Fucking dragon.”
Rhys Ford is a firm believer in love and let love, short walks to a coffee shop and having a spare cat or two. Most days she can be found swearing at her laptop and trying to come up with new ways to kill off perfectly good random characters.
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawaii then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, a black Pomeranian puffball and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a purple Bella coffee maker.