QSFer Kaje Harper has a new MM paranormal romance out, Necromancer book 4: Trapped by Greed.
Silas Thornwood’s worst nightmare has come to life. Darien’s familiar Pip is gravely injured, and Darien and Jasper have been kidnapped. Someone ruthless and violent is holding the man Silas loves prisoner, for purposes he doesn’t want to imagine. Silas needs help from his friends to locate and rescue Darien. And when he does, those responsible― whether sorcerer, human, or demon― are going to be truly, utterly sorry…
Darien chuckled and put the car in first, pulling out as slow as molasses. Provocation, no doubt, but Silas pressed his lips together. He’d take the exaggerated old lady driving over having them all spattered across the icy landscape.
They negotiated the hill, although Silas noted that Darien’s knuckles tightened on the wheel and his feigned look of concentration became real about halfway down. Climbing the final hill home was a new challenge. The tires spun and slipped as they inched their way upward. Near the top they hit an impasse, forward motion hanging in the balance and then becoming a backward slide.
Darien muttered, “Crap,” and a flash of gold energy flickered through the car and out. The rear tires suddenly bit the road, throwing them forward and up to the summit. Spinning the wheel, Darien turned their skidding momentum into a slide that stopped with a thump, wheels against the curb, right by the driveway. Silas caught Darien’s muffled sigh of relief before his young man turned eyes bright with excitement on him. “How was that, Mr. Expert?”
Silas coughed to cover all the things he couldn’t say. “Reckless,” he managed. And brilliant. Like you. “Any chance you might pull into the driveway now?”
“Yes, sir.” Darien’s eyes didn’t dim as he eased his foot off the clutch and let the car creep forward, turning to the right in tiny motions that guided them onto the slick drive. Then a flash of gold lit the whole surface, turning the ice to vapor. Darien gunned the engine, leaped them forward, and stopped short right before the wooden garage door with a solid stomp on the brakes. “Like that?”
From Silas’s lap, Grim said, “My old necromancer had one of his apprentices scrub the entire house with a toothbrush, for showing off.”
Darien grinned and laid a hand on Silas’s thigh. “Yeah, but my necromancer loves me.”
“If you think that makes it okay to spend power like a—” Silas bit back the rest. He didn’t push Darien’s hand away though. “Open the garage door and put the car away, whippersnapper. And walk carefully. No falls.”
“Aw, you do love me.” Darien got out, letting a blast of cold air into the Studebaker.
Reluctantly, Silas opened his door too. Council-leader Ferngold might have a newfangled garage with a door right into his home, but the ramshackle mansion Silas had inherited was lucky to have this shack. As minimal as the garage was, it was still a century newer than the house. The big door creaked and popped as Darien muscled it open.
Grim leaped ponderously from Silas’s lap to the ground, swearing under his cat-breath at the chill pavement beneath his paws. Silas got to his feet and let Pip out of the back. The rat terrier landed carefully, then panted up at Silas in a doggy grin. “Hey, this part isn’t slippery at all.”
Grim muttered, “Your sorcerer’s extravagant.”
“Darien is amazing.” Pip trotted confidently toward the path to one of the back doors. As he hit the edge of the drive, the ground became ice and he skidded, tail windmilling. “Darien! This part is still ice!”
From where he’d just shouldered the heavy door up, Darien turned and gestured. A flash of power snapped along the drive and up the path, finishing with a snap and crackle of gold-into-green as it hit Silas’s house wards. Silas jolted, although the impact of Darien’s magic against his own wasn’t unpleasant. Not unpleasant at all. He grumbled, “A toothbrush would be too good for you, you fool.”
“Sorry. Overshot.” Darien didn’t sound sorry at all.
I get asked about my name a lot. It’s not something exotic, though. “Kaje” is pronounced just like “cage” – it’s an old nickname, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I’ve been writing far longer than I care to admit (whispers – forty-five years), although mostly for my own entertainment. I write M/M romance, often with added mystery, fantasy, historical, SciFi, paranormal… I also have Young Adult short stories (some released under the pen name Kira Harp.)
After decades of writing just for fun, my husband convinced me I really should submit something, somewhere. My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out in May 2011. I now have a good-sized backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published, including Amazon bestseller The Rebuilding Year and Rainbow Award Best Mystery-Thriller Tracefinder: Contact. A complete list with links can be found on my website “Books” page at https://kajeharper.com/books/.