Fable City

Hey all! I meant to post this yesterday but that obviously didn’t happen. I sent Fable City off yesterday to my editor. It will take about four weeks from here for her to edit and proof it. Given that, I’m looking at late June for release. She hasn’t given me an exact date yet, which is why I’m not giving an  exact date.  Tentatively, I’m looking at the 23rd of June. That could be tweaked a bit, and I’ll be sure to let all of you know as soon as I am sure.

The book cover is my next objective, and I’ll be sure to post it once it’s finished. In the meantime, here is a funny excerpt from the first time Zade meets her friend Quinn. Remember, this is pre-edit so excuse any typos.

 

I quickly looked away from that half of the shop and turned to the counter where the coffee was sold, only to find a half-naked god standing behind it. Okay, he wasn’t exactly half-naked, just shirtless. I guess that could be considered half-naked, and with a chest like his, it made me want him to be fully naked.

I slowly forced my legs to move closer and my mouth not to hang open. He appeared to be the perfect male specimen. Had he been chiseled from stone, his perfection couldn’t have been more perfect. Yes, I know I just overused the word perfect, but did I mention how perfect he was? He had tussled dark hair with the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. They reminded me of a morning sky dripping with dew. I could have looked into them all day had he had a shirt on. His chest was just too enticing to pass up, though. It was an olive color and ripped without a hair on it. To heck with a six-pack, this guy had the whole case.
“Can I get you something?” he asked once I reached the counter.
“Uh.” I tried not to think about anything other than coffee, but his question brought a list of possibilities to mind. “A coffee. I want a coffee.”
He smiled showing perfectly white teeth. My brain kicked in, and I realized how stupid I sounded. “Um, I meant the special of the day.”
I had finally managed to look at the board behind him to see that there was a special of the day. At this point, it didn’t matter what it was. It could be pygmy milk, and I’d still take it with a smile.
Between the guy, my inability for rational thought when looking at him, and the stuff in the other side of this store giving me amoral ideas, I needed to get out of here as quickly as possible with my libido in check.
“It will just take a minute. You can have a seat, and I will bring it to you.” His voice was kind of stilted with a rough, scratchy sound to it that matched his appearance in sexiness. Either English wasn’t his first language so he made sure to pronounce everything properly or he was new. Because it sounded like he was reading a cue card.
“I’ll just take it in a to-go cup.”
He looked confused for a moment before nodding once and quickly retreating to the back.
A few seconds later, a woman walked out with him behind her. She had short, spiky, black hair and a perturbed expression. “I’ve told you like a bajillion times. The to-go cups are these. They’re plastic while the others are ceramic.”
She picked up both a to-go cup and a regular cup to show him. He looked at one then the other. Finally, he pointed to the to-go cup. “This one is plastic?”
She rolled her eyes. “Did I just say it was plastic?” He seemed to think about it, and she shoved it into his chest. “Just fill the damned cup, sand-for-brains.”
Okay, so maybe he wasn’t the perfect male specimen, but he sure was nice to look at. The woman finally looked away from the man, glanced my way, then started toward the back of the shop but only made it a couple of steps before she stopped in her tracks. She looked back at me for a moment and a huge smile crossed her face, only to be replaced with a sour look a second later. She put her hands on her hips and continued to eye me. “Well, it’s about freaking time. Do you know how long I’ve been stuck here alone with Claymation over here?” She nodded in the direction of the man making my coffee. “A long freaking time, I’ll tell you that.”
I couldn’t resist the urge to look behind me any longer. I had been wanting to do it since she first started staring me down, but a quick look showed no one there. I turned back to see she was still looking at me. “Uh, I think you might have me confused with someone else.”
She huffed. “As if that could happen.” She opened her mouth to say something else then closed it and tilted her head as she thought about something. “Oh damn. Why do the freaking fates keep fucking with me?”
Okay, it was apparent this woman had some issues. I didn’t say anything as I waited for the guy to finish my coffee. The problem was, he seemed to be taking an exceptionally long time to complete the process.
The woman walked around the counter when I didn’t respond to her and walked right up to me. The sour look was still in place as she held out her hand. “The names Quinn. Does it ring a bell?”
I looked at her confused. “Why would it?” I looked at her outstretched hand. “I, uh, have a thing about—“
“Touching. Yeah, I know.” She put her hand away. “So you don’t know anything about this city or its inhabitants yet.” She wasn’t asking. She seemed to think about it for a minute before pasting a fake smile on her face. “Hey, look, that was just a mix-up. I thought you were someone else. Now, I realize you’re not her. It is nice to meet you though. I’m Quinn and this doofus, is Lay.” She pointed to the Adonis still attempting to make my coffee.
He looked up and smiled, so I gave him a small wave. “Er, I’m Zade.”
She seemed to sigh when she heard my name then said under her breath, “I knew it.” She cleared her throat and spoke louder. “Well Zade, you have come to the right place because we are just bored to tears around here. Aren’t we, Lay?”
He looked up confused. She shot him a nasty look, and he began nodding emphatically. She grabbed my arm, pulled me toward a table, and plopped me down before sitting in the opposite chair. “So, tell me where you’re from.”
“Uh, Oklahoma.”
“Wow. That sounds interesting. You must have had tons of fun there. What do you do now?”
“I’m starting at Logan Enterprises tomorrow.”
“You haven’t even started yet? Damn, patience isn’t one of my virtues.”
“You don’t make sense most of the time.”
She waved her hand toward me. “I make perfect sense. If you knew what I knew, then you would understand, but you don’t, therefore, you don’t.”
“Okay.” I drew out the word to let her know I thought she was loopy.
“Just roll with it, Zade. It’ll make everything easier to deal with.”
“All right. So you own this place?”
She smiled fondly as she looked around. “Yep. She’s my baby. We have everything to get you going then get you going.” She waggled her brows as she said the last part.
“Oh, well I’m not really looking for anything like that. I just wanted a cup of coffee.”
Her smile turned sly. “Of course you did. That’s what all my customers say the first time. Wait until I show you this new corset I just got in. It is to freaking die for.”
“I’m really not here to buy anything.”
“Maybe not today, but I’m sure there’s some god you wouldn’t mind showing off for. Yeah?” She said “some god” oddly. It made me think there was some kind of hidden meaning behind it.
“No. There’s no one I would want to wear a corset for at present, so if I could just get my coffee…”
There was a crash that came from behind the counter, and I saw the Adonis quickly bend over to pick up whatever it was. Quinn didn’t do anything but roll her eyes.
“Well, it sounds like it might be a few minutes, so why don’t we get to know each other better. I’ll start. I’m Quinn, a sexy Scorpio. Damn, I already said that. How many times am I going to introduce myself?” She slapped herself on the forehead. “Anyway, now you know my name and you know where I work. What else can I tell you about? Oh, I like to…damn.” She seemed to think about it for a minute before her shoulders sagged. “Fabled Day. That’s when it happens. How many days is that?”
“That’s when what happens?”
She ignored me as she pulled out her phone and looked at the calendar on it. “Ugh. That long? Jesus.”
“You’re not making sense again.”
She smiled brightly at that statement. “I know. You like me anyway though. Right?”
For a split second, I saw vulnerability as she asked for my agreement, then she covered it with a smirk. I could tell she didn’t show her emotions very often.
“Well, I don’t know you very well, but I think you’re okay. In a quirky sort of way.”
“That’s what I thought. Lay!” She turned around in her seat and looked at the Adonis as he dropped the cherry he was trying extremely hard to set perfectly on top of my coffee. It rolled off the counter, and he started to pick it up. “Stop screwing around and get the woman her coffee. She has places to go.”
I do? Oh yeah, I was trying to get away from here and the crazy owner. He quickly brought over the cup and forced it into my left hand before placing both of his hands on my right one. I held up the cup to look at it and could tell it was only filled halfway with coffee while the rest seemed to be whipped cream. I looked at him and tried for a smile.
“I like whipped cream,” he told me with a suggestive smile as he raised his brows once.
“Uh, thanks.” I pulled my hand out of his grasp and he actually looked pouty. It was a sexy-as-hell pout though.
“Well, I guess you should go. I’ll see you after Fabled Day. Or you could come by after the parade. No, you’ll need to talk to Corbin. I’ll see you after.”
“You know Corbin?”
“Uh, no. I just know of him. It’s hard to explain and you’re giving me a headache. I’ll see you…later.”
She practically pushed me out the door. That was probably the weirdest experience I’ve ever had, and I just jumped through space earlier today. I think Quinn had even that experience beat.