I’m releasing Alchemy Shift a tad earlier than the intended date of October 27 because I just couldn’t wait! Jet Walsh is an adorable hero. The action is fast and intense, and the emotions … sigh. Such an enjoyable book to write. Delphi and her family made me want to move to Queens!
Alchemy Shift will be 99c for a couple of weeks, so grab your copy today and tell your friends 🙂 As always, reviews are HUGELY appreciated. I’m never sure whether it’s polite or rude to thank people individually for their reviews, so I tend not to for fear of being intrusive. But I do thank you. Sincerely.
You’ll find the blurb and an excerpt from Alchemy Shift below. Also, I had a technical hiccup putting this newsletter together. I think you may have seen the draft of a different newsletter by mistake – does “The Crocodile Virgin” ring any bells? Yeah. That was meant to be a surprise. I’m such a klutz with technical things. The Alchemy Shift excerpt in that newsletter is the one that I’ve copied below. Just so you know and don’t wonder if you’re having a deja vu moment.
A woman, her sword, and the bear-shifter who’ll steal her heart.
Delphi Cosmatos is an alchemist. She investigates the strange and magical objects that find their way to Collegium headquarters in New York. She has magic—and a big Greek family, all ready to “help” her (they mean, interfere). When Jet Walsh moves in next door with no family except the two young orphaned cousins he’s responsible for, it’s a situation of opposites attracting, especially since Jet is a bear-shifter.
But Jet can’t pursue a romantic relationship. He’s tracking the rogue mage who tortured and killed his cousins’ mom. Banned spells are being trafficked across the world and the center of the trade is New York.
Delphi knew her city was dangerous, but now her heart is in danger, too. Jet doesn’t have magic, yet he’s tangling with a powerful, ruthless mage. If she wants to save her man, she’ll need all the help she can get. No! Not from her family. Stashed in the evidence bunker at Collegium headquarters is the legendary sword Excalibur, and Delphi is just the woman to wield it. Maybe.
Excerpt from Alchemy Shift
Jet got home about 11 p.m. and he was too tired, and too heartsick, to notice that he thought of Delphi’s house as home. All he knew was that he needed to see Tony and Grace, to see for himself that they were safe, and that the thought of Delphi was a welcome one.
He let himself in quietly, using the front door since it seemed less of an intrusion than the back one. Lights were on in the living room and he heard the low babble of a television. “It’s just me,” he called.
“Hi, me.” Delphi’s voice was soft but cheerful. She muted the television as he walked into the living room, twisting around from where she was curled up on the sofa. On screen, an old black and white movie played.
He could smell hot chocolate. “I should check on the kids.”
“They were asleep by eight. Worn out by the day, I think.”
“That’s good.” He wasn’t used to coming back from a crime scene to a real home. He gestured vaguely at the stairs, and she nodded, turning back to the television. The thought of sitting with her on that cozy sofa teased him as he climbed the stairs. The romantic music of the old movie sang of love and happiness. But that was off the agenda.
The glow of a nightlight shone from the kids’ room. Jet entered silently. The kids, especially Tony, had a tendency to wake at the slightest noise. It was a habit born of fear, of their uncertain lives with Emma.
If he’d realized…
Families drifted apart. He and Emma hadn’t grown up together. They hadn’t been close. Excuses. He scowled at his own dark thoughts. If his mom had been alive, she would have checked on Emma and the two vulnerable children. He couldn’t change the past, but he’d make sure of the kids’ future.
He’d make sure they had a future.
Tony was asleep in the top bunk.
Jet tucked the blankets more securely over the boy’s skinny shoulders.
In the lower bunk, Grace slept deeply, her arm around the orange teddy bear he’d given her at their first meeting. He hoped it would keep the nightmares away for her.
He had his own. New ones after what he’d seen tonight. There’d been no way to slip into the crime scene, but Perez had shown him photos.
Jet scrubbed a hand over his face. The photos had been bad and they’d brought back the memory of seeing Emma’s body. He’d had to put all of that aside and cast around for a scent, for some hint of the man who’d done this; who’d left the boy’s body.
“Two men.” Perez had been able to study the crime scene before the police response trampled it, obliterating scent trails. “One smelled of cloves.”
Cloves. A strong scent to hide the copper stink of blood as he murdered and mutilated? Or, did the killer have toothache? Clove oil was the traditional remedy, numbing tooth pain.
Not that the killer spared his victims pain. Although this time Perez said the child had been killed swiftly, without torture or sacrifice. Unlike Tony and Grace’s mom.
Jet had cast around for the scent of cloves, ignoring the police who watched him, and tracked it a block. One block, then it vanished. The killer must have had a car waiting since the scent vanished utterly. He’d reported the information to Perez who had the power to seize any security camera footage of the street. However, the killer had likely parked where he was unobserved.
That, or the killer had used magic to ensure he was unobserved.
There were spells that obscured technological surveillance and the killer had the magic to use them.
As a were, Jet lacked magic, but he had allies.
Perhaps those allies were a tad reluctant, but they had magic and that was enough for Jet. He’d called and Martin had reluctantly crossed town to check the crime scene.
“Nothing,” had been Martin’s conclusion. “The boy must have died before they could sacrifice him.”
“Can’t you get anything?” Jet had pushed.
“There’s no death magic, here,” Martin had snapped and gone home.
Jet rolled his shoulders. Tomorrow, he’d start again. That’s what investigating required. You followed each path as far as it would go, homing in on the answers. Only, this time he was in danger of being too impatient. Delphi’s mom hadn’t been wrong to warn against involving the personal element. However, one glance at Tony and Grace sleeping in Delphi’s guest room confirmed that he had no choice. The monster he hunted had to be caught.
He joined Delphi in the living room as the credits rolled on the old movie.
She switched off the television and looked across at him as he sat down in an armchair. “Do you want a drink, something to eat?”
“To talk or be silent?”
He smiled then, faintly. “The daughter of a cop.”
“And the sister of one.” She understood. Sometimes the only way to help was to be there.
“Do you mind the television?”
She switched it back on, found a late night chat show, and they listened to its inanities.
Beneath the television’s noise, he could hear her heartbeat. He hadn’t realized that he’d slipped into his were senses. He could smell her scent, feminine and vital, and the tuna casserole she must have made for dinner. He slipped back into human senses, letting that other self fade. It wouldn’t help him to be too aware of her. This house, a haven of normality, wasn’t his, although he’d try to create something like it for Tony and Grace.
Nor was his attraction to Delphi one he should indulge. Already he felt too comfortable with her. It wasn’t her house or her competence or anything concrete: it was his sense that he belonged with her, that was dangerous.
“Bed for me.” She offered him the television remote.
He shook his head, surprised to see that twenty minutes had passed while he simply relaxed into being with her. “I’ll go up, too.” He needed to sleep. Tomorrow would be an early start and all the days after it. He stretched hugely. “Good night.”
“Good night.” She fussed with the cushions she’d been leaning against and folded up the blanket she’d been curled under.
Belatedly, he realized she was delaying so that they wouldn’t walk up the stairs to bed together. He moved away abruptly, taking the stairs two at a time, and leaving tempting dreams behind.
Buy Alchemy Shift for 99c – a limited time offer.