It’s Promo Friday! In honor of the occasion, I’ve decided to post a teaser here. I’m getting ready for NaNoWriMo, to throw myself into my own Tales of the Navel and the Shadow Forest. My plan is to write a rough draft of the next book in the series, ‘A Godling for Your Thoughts?’
This is from the last book in the series, ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’. It was last year’s NaNoWriMo project.
“How might I enter the Shadow Forest?”
These were words, which never failed to send a chill through me. It was a question, which had been posed, over and over, by someone very precious to me. He’d answered it, successfully. He’d disappeared from my life.
Now someone else I cared for, in spite of my better judgment, was asking the same question.
My hands spasmed. Cards were knocked over, sent flying. I stared at them, as they fluttered to the ground.
That’s right. I’d been trying to arrange a bunch of tarot cards on a shelf in an attractive way, which might catch a potential customer’s eye. The Navel was supposed to the center of all things bizarre. I’d been trying to do something bizarre, when the question about the Shadow Forest had distracted me. I didn’t remember taking the cards out of their boxes. The cards landed with an utter lack of grace, face up, face down, without any regard for me.
Except for one card. It landed, face up. Its face smiled brightly up at me, even as he prepared to stroll off a cliff’s edge. He had auburn hair, clinging to his face in sweaty locks.
All right, this isn’t really true. The Fool on the card didn’t have sweaty, auburn locks. The fool who’d asked me the question did.
Peter smiled at me, as he raised a hand to fiddle with his already rumpled hair. He was always preening around me. Once, I’d found it annoying. The habit had been growing on me, with such sneaky steadiness I hadn’t noticed it. Was I actually starting to find it cute?
Damian looked at me from the back of my mind, where he always lingered, even if he was no longer in this world. He raised his slender black eyebrow. Amusement, cynicism, and a certain weary acceptance were all in the gesture. Of course, I was starting to find Peter cute. Peter was cute. He was here, in the Navel, exactly where he wanted to be. He was doing everything he could to charm me. Why wouldn’t he succeed? Why would I resist?