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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sample Sunday and latest interview news

Anne-Marie Simpson put up with my warped sense of humour in this weeks Author/Human interview on her blog here.

Laughing Boy, the follow up to Basement Blues, is trotting along nicely. If all goes well this should be ready for e-publishing in the next couple of months, and the first couple of chapters are posted below as a bit of a sneak peek. Hope you enjoy.

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One

When Mike Lin called me I was trying to decide between a third cappuccino with sprinkles or lacing a straight coffee with a shot of whiskey.
It was two o’clock in the afternoon, I was on my day off, and I was bored out of my tiny little mind.

It never occurred to me to ignore the call, which came through on my work cell phone. Mike’s a pretty good guy – the only reliable medium I’ve ever dealt with – and since he managed to get control of his allergies around me, we’ve become sort of friends.
If I’d known what he was about to drop my furry ass into, I would have pushed the little red button on the phone instead, and developing friendship be damned.

Instead, I pushed the green button. Keanu Reeves, eat your heart out.

“Mike. What’s up?”
“Billy.” Mike’s voice was terse and clipped, totally unlike his usual semi-drawl.
I dropped my feet off of the table and sat upright. “What’s wrong?”
“I need your help. I‘m way over my head on this one.” He paused. “I’m scared, Billy.”
“Where are you?”
“Can I meet you at your office? I’ll have a client with me.”

I thought for a moment. I didn’t want to go into the office. Bored or not, I had no interest in driving to the business district. And I knew better than to bring a strange human into Astrid’s home territory. That never ended well.

If you think cats are territorial, you’ve never met a vampire.

I named a local area coffee shop, and Mike quickly agreed. I hung up and tapped the phone against the palm of my mind. I’d never heard Mike so rattled, and I’d been through a couple of bad situations with him.

The old saying about curiousity killing the cat? When the cat is a private detective, you might as well throw in re-incarnation and a cool I.D. card.

Two

I was halfway through a sandwich and iced coffee when Mike walked into the shop with his client.
They headed over to my table, Mike leading the way.
I looked at his client and forgot how to breathe.
She was tiny. Huge brown eyes and light brown hair, skin the colour of toasted caramel. I reckoned my hands would fit around her waist without straining my fingers, and unless she was wearing very high heels the top of her head wouldn’t quite reach my chest.
Mike pulled out a chair for her, kicking me swiftly under the table and giving me a chance to swallow my mouthful of ham on rye.
I swallowed and smiled at her. “I’m Billy.”
She smiled back.
“I’m a detective,” I said, and heard Mike groan quietly. Smooth, Billy. Real smooth.
She eyed me as though I’d grown a second pair of eyebrows.

“Billy,” Mike said, and I thankfully transferred my attention to him and felt my brain start to function again. “This one’s serious.”
“Talk to me,” I invited, and watched Mike blanch. Tiny little beads of sweat popped up on his upper lip, like little pearls.
“Is this a joke?” The girl on the other side of the table did not sound happy. I held up a hand without looking at her.
“I’ve said that to you dozens of times, Mike. Why are you freaking out on me now?”
He swiped a hand over his mouth. “Sorry. I used that phrase to open a channel today. The results were .. unpleasant.”

I looked at him, then popped the last of my sandwich in my mouth and chewed. No point in letting the food go to waste, and it gave Mike time to think. I took a sip of iced coffee and waited.

I’m good at waiting. I’m not sure if that’s a cat thing or just me, but when I know something is going to happen I can wait for a long, long time. It’s a skill that most people don’t have.

Eventually the girl leaned forward. “Mike? Are you okay?”
“No,” he answered, and cocked his head. “No, I’m not.”  And passed out cold, taking the table and the remnants of my iced coffee with him.

Just as well I ate the rest of my sandwich when I did.

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J H Sked is the author of WolfSong & Basement Blues.
You can find WolfSong on Amazon, Sony  e-bookstore, Nook and Smashwords. Basement Blues is on Amazon and Smashwords