Blog Tour – Colleen S. Myers – Wings of the Wicked Boxed Set

Colleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is a writer of science fiction and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antarctica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! Currently, she is working on Distant Memory, the third in her SciFi Romance series. In the meantime, look for her at https://www.colleensmyers.com

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/colleensmyers
https://www.twitter.com/colleensmyers
https://www.instagram/com/csmyers3637
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/colleen-s-myers

 

Seri Therotian lost everything to the E’mani. Her brother, her betrothed, her place among her people. But it turns out there is even more to lose including her life, her father, her people unless she is willing to lead the broken race that had forsaken her to victory.

Buy your copy at any one of these great retailers

Universal Link: books2read.com/47ZQDN

#iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1410452943

#Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wings-of-the-wicked-1

#Nook: https://bit.ly/2NPOKEL

#Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/wingswicked

 

 

08 Jan – Girl With Pen
08 Jan – Tome Tender
08 Jan – Little Shop of Readers
09 Jan – CA Milson Author
10 Jan – Urban Fantasy Investigations
11 Jan – Indie Book Fairy
14 Jan – Room With Books
15 Jan – Writing Dreams
16 Jan – Celtic Lady’s Reviews
18 Jan – Romance Reviews Today
18 Jan – Ash Stone Author

 

 

 

Seri’s grip on the sheer mountainside above the wind-swept canyon slipped. But her right claw managed to break the surface of the rock and halt her fall.

Thank goodness for sharp nails.

She scrambled for purchase until she got a more solid hold. Her fingers ached but she maintained her grasp. She had no choice. The pale E’mani clones in their dark gray jumpsuits were patrolling the path beneath her; at least four of them. She couldn’t take that many, even with her father’s help. They had weapons and shields. She had a wooden bow. Even with her magic, if it affected them, that was not much of a match.

She could fly away, but that did not seem like the smartest play either. They might notice a flying fluffy pink girl. She did kind of stand out, even among her own people. Most of whom were grey or brown like her father.

Speaking of her father, she turned to look at Jax hanging on a nearby rock face, his rust colored wings pulled close to his body. He blended with the surface of the mountain on the windswept peak. She on the other hand with her bright red feathers and orange underbelly was screwed. If the clones’ gazes rose, they’d spot her.

This sucked.

She shifted her grip to hang from one hand to the other and flexed her fingers, then repeated the gesture on the other side.

Jax whistled at her in warning and she glared in return.

Yes, she was moving, but that kept her from falling.

She wasn’t as used to hanging as enemies paced below her. She was only twenty after all, barely an adult by Avaresh standards and much less battle-forged than him. What did he expect?

Her mouth twisted. Wait, what was she thinking? Her father expected everything of her, she was after all a Therotian. How could she forget. She had a destiny. What a load of-.

Her clawed fingers dug into the rock causing dirt to rain down in a small waterfall onto the E’mani’s heads.

Shoot.

She didn’t mean to do that.

She shared a startled glance with Jax who swore under his breath.

He pushed off from the wall as the clones gazed straight up at them and fanned his wings to make himself a bigger target. But he was dark to her light. In the dusky sky, she stood out against the horizon.

They raised their weapons.

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Blog Tour – Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow by Jennifer Lee Rossman


Jack Jetstark travels the universe to seek out the descendants of superpowered freaks created long ago by VesCorp scientists. The vibrations encoded in a particular song transform the members of Jack’s crew into a firebreather and an angel, a wildman and telepathic conjoined triplets, so they hide the truth of who they really are with the theatrics of a carnival.

The song plays every night through the receptor Jack carries with them, but when one night it has a different ending and their temporary powers become permanent, Jack believes the change is a signal from the woman who sent him on this quest in the first place. He and his freaks must navigate a universe at war to protect the love of his life.

But does the ruler of VesCorp really need protecting?

Buy Links:     Amazon     Barnes and Noble     iTunes     Kobo

Author Jennifer Lee Rossman is a disabled and autistic freak, and proudly so. Her work has been featured in many anthologies and her debut novella, Anachronism, was published by Kristell Ink in 2018.

She blogs at http://jenniferleerossman.blogspot.com/ and tweets @JenLRossman.



04 Dec – Stormy Nights
04 Dec – Tome Tender
04 Dec – Introspective Press
04 Dec – 4 Covert 2 Overt
04 Dec – Maria Catalina Egan
06 Dec – Room With Books
07 Dec – Ash Stone Author
07 Dec – Writing Dreams
08 Dec – Celtic Lady’s Reviews
10 Dec – eBooks Addict UK
10 Dec – Romance Junkies
11 Dec – CA Milson Author
12 Dec – Romance Authors That Rock
12 Dec – Romance Reviews Today
13 Dec – Indie Book Fairy
13 Dec – Sharpest Girl in Town

“First thing you’ve got to know,” I said, brushing my hair from my face as the wind began to pick up, “is that we’re all freaks. Everyone in the whole universe, for one reason or another. Most try to hide this fact. A few of us embrace it, not so much because we want to but because there’s nothing else for us. So we show people the terrifying and unseemly parts of us no one wants to see, and we charge ’em good money to see it.”

Lily stepped forward and knelt to display her shoulders and back, all bare, featherless skin down to the dangerously low neckline of her sequined dress. “See? No wings.”

“But you flew,” Cara insisted. “If it isn’t costumes and harnesses, then what?”

I held up the receiver, a small wooden box the size of my hand with a speaker on one side and images of galaxies and solar systems carved into the others. Not the most advanced technology, but I wouldn’t have anything else.

I checked the time. Soon.

I debated how much to tell her. No matter how many times I tried to explain it, it never sounded remotely plausible, but I had to warn her. Seeing the end result was one thing; seeing it happen before your eyes was another matter entirely, though the complete truth was an ancient burden none of them deserved to be saddled with.

“The music plays,” I said. “Same song, same time every night, and it triggers something inside us. That feeling you had, like you were made of magic? That’s what it feels like when your DNA recognizes a song, even if you’ve never heard it before.”

She stared at me in eager anticipation, nodding slowly. Whether she actually believed me or was just humoring me, I couldn’t say, but it was a nice change from the usual interruptions of “that’s impossible” and “science doesn’t work that way.”

I cast a sideways glance at Theon, who had given me more trouble than the others, and continued. “Makes you feel alive, like there’s a purpose to your existence and you can do the impossible, and that ain’t just in your mind. We’re all freaks, but we—” I motioned to my crew. “Well, we’re different. Our bodies hear that song, and it triggers our genes to change, to grow into… I don’t know, the true selves that live in our heart or some sentimental crap like that.”

“How poetic,” Lily said with a laugh. She looked up at Cara. “I know it’s hard to understand. It happens to me every night, and I still have no idea how it works, but I can fly, Merulo becomes the feral wildman, Parthen and the boys really can read each others’ minds and feel each others’ pain… Jack breathes fire and gains the ability to give impassioned speeches without sounding like an uninterested jerk.”

I checked the time again.

“So what changed in you?” Pneuman asked with earnest interest. “During the music, I mean?”

Cara hesitated, almost like she was afraid of hearing the absurdity out loud.

“I turn into a wild beast,” Merulo pointed out quietly. “And these three grow into one, psychic organism. Whatever you’re about to say will probably be the most normal thing we’ve heard in months.”

After another moment’s thought, Cara rolled up her sleeves. Her arms, though pale peach and freckled like her face, gleamed in the diminishing sun.

I reached out to touch her. Cold, almost metallic. That explained how she opened the lock.

“You’re a cyborg,” I said, tapping my nail on her forearm to hear the clinking sound. They just couldn’t get the texture right, no matter how hard they tried.

Her moon didn’t seem like the type of place to have a neurologist trained in bio implants, and I doubted anyone there could afford to travel to see one.

“Fancy. Who wired it into your brain?”

“I did it all myself.” She held up a hand and demonstrated the various functions and attachments installed in her fingers, glossing right over the fact that she had just admitted to performing brain surgery on herself. She yanked her sleeves down. “And I’m not a cyborg,” she clarified. “I’m just good with electronics and I like gadgets. My dad says it’s bad to be a cyborg.”

“Well, I tell you what, kid. You can’t make a person change by pointing out their flaws, but you can be the one person who doesn’t try to.”

“I’ve always had a connection to electronics,” she said, shyly extending a hexagonal wrench from her forefinger, “like I could talk to them. But when I heard the music… something happened.”

I checked my watch. Not long now. “Yeah, something always happens. What matters is what happened to you, kid.”

“They… talked back.” Her words came slow at first, her reluctance to being different still holding her back, but as she talked, she grew more excited, more animated. “I could hear the messages stored on the phones of everyone around me, could see the last videos that played on their contact lenses. I could see the blueprints of your ship in my head. She’s an Aldebaran cargo ship, Highwire model. Superluminal capability, more weapons than she came out of the factory with, and she has a capacitor that should be repaired soon. And I felt like, if I wanted to, I could touch any source of power on the ship and control everything remotely.”

“Ready to feel that way again?” I asked, holding out the transmitter as showtime approached.

And passed.

It was time, but the music didn’t play. The music didn’t play.

Why didn’t the music play?

Timeless Surrender by Torie James

Born on the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous,I am the illegitimate love child of Han Solo and  Daenerys Targaryen. Rescued by Gandalf shortly before my home planet was destroyed in the last days of the Clone Wars, I was raised in relative obscurity by my foster parents, Severus Snape and Pippi Longstocking. At the tender age of 113, I inherited the best little whorehouse in Texas and it’s been rumored that I am bringing Sexy Back. A self- confessed chocoholic, I’ve been engaged to Willy Wonka for several years despite gossip surrounding millionaire Bruce Wayne and myself.

And clearly, I practice delusion on a daily basis.

Fact is nowhere near as fun as fiction!

Growing up, I could be found nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, I made up my own and kept going. This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped keep my feet on the ground while my head stayed firmly in the clouds.

My first brush with romance novels came at the tender age of 8 when I filched a Barbara Cartland dog eared paperback from my unassuming aunt and fell into a world of magic, wonder and entirely innocent G rated writing. (Seriously, the farthest Dame Cartland ever took any romantic scene was a chaste kiss and that generally didn’t occur until the very end.) I went on to greedily consume Johanna Lindsey, Jude Devereaux and Anne Rice when older.

Now, I’m a middle aged woman with moxie, no shame and a vivid imagination who loves to write and share her crazy with the world. Her future plans include, hopefully, buying a lovely Scottish castle and convincing Queen Elizabeth I that I’d make a fab addition to the Royal Family.

I live in Southern California, a stone’s throw from Disneyland, with my family and the most ridiculously spoiled pets anyone could imagine. My goals are simple: Keep reading, keep writing and never lose the determination to make life as random, quirky and beautiful as it can be.

Stalk Torie James online…

Blog and Website      Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     Goodreads     Amazon Author Page     Pinterest

History branded him a coward. Prophecy labeled her his destruction. Some legends are born of lies. Others begin when the lies end. And not everything remains myth…

“If you could live forever, what would you choose to live for? I chose power…”

Born of darkness and raised on revenge, Mordred Lothian spent an eternity fighting for the honor of a woman who had none. Free of her hatred, his only goal is to pick up the pieces of betrayal and attempt to forge a new life in a world that never wanted him.

Raised by one of Hollywood’s most scandalous actresses, Jenalyn Rhodes knows true illusion begins when the end credits roll. Damaged by the one person who should have protected her most, she is determined to have no master and only one mistress: Herself.

Thrown together to stop an ancient evil hell bent on vengeance, can the sacrifice of one be the salvation of the other?

BUY YOUR COPY HERE:     Books2Read Universal Link     Amazon

 

 

 

 

“What are you doing?”

He heard the uncertain tremor in Jennie’s voice and spoke before he could think better of his answer. “Do you trust me?”

Grabbing the body by the arm, he drug it between the manacles, careful not to disturb the sword. Not yet.

“I do trust you,” Jenalyn admitted reluctantly. ‘Probably more than I should.”

Mordred closed his eyes, letting the words rush over him.

“But it’s a whole lot easier to do when you tell me what you’re doing!”

“You need to wait.”

“Yeah. And we all know how good I am at waiting.” She snorted.

He looked at the wall clock. If this went the way it should, he would have a few scant minutes.

The red numbers clicked over the minute.

He braced one hand on the body’s chest and pulled the sword free from the flesh. The blood-soaked metal hit the floor with a wet clang, but he’d already moved. He stripped the jacket from the body, then the long black over-shirt, leaving the tight black T-shirt behind.

Next, he removed the knife sheath on the left arm, then the watch and the rings and the bracelet, tossing them all on the blanket by the trunk.

Another minute ticked by.

The locks on the manacles were well oiled and tumbled open effortlessly under the key. He rolled the body onto its back and had a manacle around the left wrist before Jennie’s affronted sputtering penetrated his consciousness.

“Have you completely lost your mind? What is she?”

The manacle locked around the right wrist with a satisfying click. He let the tension leave his body as he relaxed back onto his heels. “I haven’t lost my mind,” he murmured.

Jenalyn knelt by his side. “So why the S&M cuffs?”

He gave her a questioning look. “You spend a lot of time in the S&M scene? Huh, and here I thought your stint at the Glass Dragon was your first.”

She elbowed his healing ribs. “You know what I mean.” She pointed at the body. “Is she a vampire? Some kind of demon? Is she really dead?”

“See for yourself.”

Hesitating a moment, she shuffled forward. Careful to avoid the path of blood where he’d dragged the body, she laid her fingers against the corpse’s throat.

“There’s no pulse, no breath, nothing,” She reported as she knelt back. “So why did you lock up a harmless corpse?”

“She’s not harmless. Trust me. The chains are to keep her from leaving until she answers a few questions.”

“Yeah, you could, I dunno, ask her, instead?”

He ignored her.

The third minute ticked by.

Life returned violently to the body, gasping breath and the pounding of blood to a heart magically healed from the sword. The woman on the floor convulsed, arms straining against the manacles as she fought to sit up. “Iron, you asshole? Really? “Her voice rang sweet but low, a lilting South African accent flavoring her speech.

“No other way to keep you from using your mojo. I have some questions.”

“How about asking a girl instead of this kinky shit?”

“That’s what I said!” Jenalyn barked. She’d stumbled back, utter confusion on her face as she gaped at the thief’s resurrection.

He let a satisfied smile cross his lips. “Jenalyn, I’d like you to meet Jo. Technically, she’s my cousin.” The blonde Immortal twisted in his “Jo, this is Jennie.”

“Mordred,” Jo growled. “Let me go.”

His smile grew wider as he crawled towards Jo. “You honestly expect me to let you go after you broke into my home? And how the hell did you manage it?

Jo jerked against the chains. “No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition, do they?” she offered jokingly. “I got hired by a client to break in and get something you have. To be fair, Mordred, I didn’t know you lived here. My employer simply gave me an address.”

“It doesn’t explain how you got past my shields.”

“It’s the only answer I’ve got.”

“You broke into my house. Again.”

“I figured it worked so well last time–”

“Be quiet.”

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour – Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low

Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower—a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.

…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.

Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.

Social Media Links: Twitter& Instagram: @cherylwlow Website: cheryllow.com

In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets.

Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. From the tea to the pastries, everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses.  And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm.

From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he’ll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.

A deliciously decadent debut that will make you reconsider the world within which we live – because how different are we than Low’s drugged-up citizens of the upper crust?” — Sara Dobie Bauer, author of the Bite Somebody series

Grab your copy now     World Weaver Press     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iTunes     Kobo     Goodreads

08 Aug – Indie Book Fairy
08 Aug – Tome Tender
08 Aug – Celtic Lady’s Reviews
08 Aug – Erzabet’s Enchantments
09 Aug – CA Milson Author
10 Aug – Girl With Pen
11 Aug – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
11 Aug – Writing Dreams
12 Aug – Ash Stone Author
16 Aug – Torie James
17 Aug – Foreplay & Fangs
18 Aug – Romance Reviews Today

Excerpt

“Vaun took another deep drag off the cigarette one of his new friends, Gabby, had offered him. She and the man sitting beside her pretended quite comically to be from the High. The prince did not ruin the show by telling them that he knew everyone in the High, to some degree. The quality of their vanity charms indicated they were not, not to mention the state of their clothing. Being rude was only fashionable if one’s victim was up to the challenge and could strike back. Besides, Vaun never discouraged people who tried so hard to amuse him.

The prince exhaled black smoke. It was thick and dramatic, but his skin didn’t hum the way it usually did after a deep breath of dust. In fact, the tingle was more of an agitation, making him shift in his seat and flick his cigarette more angrily than usual. Ash fluttered through the air. How much tea did he have to drink for a decent buzz? He all but dropped his cup back on its chipped saucer in disgust. “I shouldn’t have come,” he muttered.

“You’re leaving?” Gabby’s smile faltered. Her fingers clenched around her teacup. She wore fingerless, black lace gloves like his sister did on occasion and Vaun noticed that her skirts and bodice were also in dark colors with hints of lace sewn in wherever possible, some obviously added as an afterthought and not even matching the lace elsewhere. It would have been easier to try to imitate the High fashion of Belholn but Gabby had aimed even higher, for the princess herself.

“Yes. I’m sure I have a date somewhere.” Some part of him enjoyed the distress of the people around him at the possibility of his departure. It made him want to leave even more.

“Wait!” Gabby grabbed at the man beside her, whose name Vaun had forgotten a while ago, and tugged at the sleeve of his obviously repaired jacket. “Show him,” she whispered urgently.

Vaun took another draw of his disappointing cigarette. The best part about going to a teahouse or club in the thick of the Main was how the people tried so desperately to impress him. The people in the High knew him too well to try so hard. They feared his mockery even more than they desired his attention. But this group had spent the better part of the last hour trying to wow him with their trinkets and knowledge of the High. It was all nonsense read from the paper and mostly outdated. “I truly doubt you have anything to show me that I have not seen.”

The man reached into his jacket a little uncomfortably and took out a small mason jar. Others giggled, recognizing it, but Vaun only blinked at first. Its glass belly was full but not with anything liquid or solid. Light, captured and pulsing, swirled inside the jar. Vaun felt it as much as he saw it. He heard it like a whisper against his senses and found himself leaning forward to see it more clearly: a soul. Vaun had seen them before, but they weren’t common. So uncommon, in fact, that he was surprised they hadn’t led with this in their attempt to impress him. He supposed they might have been afraid he’d take it. Soul capturing was an old craft that most considered barbaric now.

His gaze turned up from the jar to the man holding it. “Who is it?” The soul was a beautiful captive, but the person walking around without it was the real prize—the puppet, someone that could be made to do anything.

“I couldn’t say.” The man smiled. “He wouldn’t be much of a spy if I did.”

 

Blog Tour – Meddlers of Moonshine by A.E. Decker

author-photo-ae-deckerA.E. Decker hails from Pennsylvania. A former doll-maker and ESL tutor, she earned a master’s degree in history, where she developed a love of turning old stories upside-down to see what fell out of them.

This led in turn to the writing of her YA novel, The Falling of the Moon. A graduate of Odyssey 2011, her short fiction has appeared in such venues as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fireside Magazine, and in World Weaver Press’s own Specter Spectacular.

Like all writers, she is owned by three cats. Come visit her, her cats, and her fur Daleks at wordsmeetworld.com.

Twitter     Goodreads

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cover-meddlers-of-moonshineSomething is rotten in the town of Widget, and Rags-n-Bones knows it’s all his fault. Ever since he snitched that avocado from Miss Ascot’s pack, things have been going wrong. Armed with a handful of memories he never realized he had, Rags-n-Bones searches for a way to put right whatever he did to Widget in the past. If only he knew what it was! Unfortunately, the only person who seems to have answers is a half-mad youth that only Rags can see.

Widget is also suffering from a ghost infestation that has the townsfolk almost as spooked of outsiders as they are of actual spooks. While Rags-n-Bones seeks answers in the past, Ascot offers the town leaders her service as an exorcist, only to be handed an ultimatum: banish the ghosts or be banished herself!

Who’s meddling with Widget? To catch the culprit, Ascot and Rags-n-Bones must match wits with a shifty sorcerer, a prissy ex-governess, and a troublingly attractive captain before the town consigns itself to the graveyard of history.

Buy your copy here

Amazon      Barnes & Noble      Kobo     iTunes      World Weaver Press

 

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the-meddlers-of-moonshine-blog-tour

24 Oct – Book, Dreams, Life
25 Oct – Celtic Lady’s Reviews
25 Oct – Girl With Pen
26 Oct – Savvy Authors
27 Oct – Romance Reviews Today
27 Oct – Ash Stone Author
27 Oct – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
28 Oct – Writing Dreams
28 Oct – Romancing the Book
28 Oct – Indie Book Fairy
28 Oct  – Reading In Sarah’s Corner
29 Oct – Stormy Nights
30 Oct – Shelli Rosewarne
30 Oct – Cynthia Bloggs
30 Oct – Making It Happen
03 Oct  – Dana’s YA Book Pile

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There was a hand in the forest, and it held an avocado.

“Miss Ascot bought it for me,” said Rags-n-Bones, clutching it to his chest as he ran. The dead leaves crunched softly underfoot, thick and bouncy as a crispy cloud. “That means it’s not stealing.”

On his shoulder, Nipper squeaked. Being a rat, Nipper was hazy on the concept of “stealing.” Generally, he felt if you could get something in your mouth, it was yours.

Rags-n-Bones wished he were a rat. It would make dealing with guilt much easier. I should never have rummaged through Miss Ascot’s pack, he thought, ducking around a birch. His thumb caressed the avocado’s soft, pebbly skin. If I’d waited, she, or the Captain, or Sir Dmitri, or the Mighty Terror from the Deepest Shadows would’ve awakened and given it to me. He leaped over a log, mouth watering in anticipation of the avocado’s rich, buttery flavor. I should go back right now and—

Squeak? Nipper stuck his nose in Rags-n-Bones’ ear impatiently.

Rags-n-Bones gave up. He’d take whatever punishment arrived later. Right now, the torment of not eating the avocado was too great to bear. “There’s a grove up ahead,” he replied. “Around that cone-shaped boulder. We’ll eat it there.” Avocados required privacy for proper consumption.

How could you possibly know there’s a grove ahead? asked a small part of his brain not drunk on avocado-lust. You’ve never been here before.

He shrugged. Ahead just seemed like a convenient place for a grove. A small circle of beech trees, with an old oak smack in the center, its gnarled, moss-covered roots gripping the hummock it sat atop like an old man clutching a tea cake.

A foot skidded out from under him as he rounded the boulder, kicking up a trail of wet leaves and the smell of tannin. That’s a lot of detail for a mere hunch. Why, you can visualize the oak, can’t you? That thick, knobby trunk. Those bare, crooked branches. And carved into the bark—

Six feet into the grove, Rags-n-Bones stumbled to a halt and stared vacantly at a patch of earth. Something was very wrong. Was he being watched?

He whimpered. He was being watched. A disapproving stare pressed almost tangibly on the top of his bowed head. Branches swayed creakily overhead. He watched the wind skitter a fallen acorn across the carpet of leaves.

Squeak? Nipper scrabbled at his cheek.

I have to do it. Slowly, Rags-n-Bones lifted his gaze to meet the watcher’s.

The avocado hit the leaves with a soft crunch as his fingers abruptly slackened. Punishment had arrived sooner than expected.