I’m offering a little peek into HEART’S BLOOD, my contribution to the soon-to-be-released DARK SECRETS: A PARANORMAL NOIR ANTHOLOGY, over at Here Be Magic today.
This excerpt is especially special because it contains the phrase “whiskey dick,” which Megan Hart called out as entirely my fault that it appears in her story. In fact, it appears in all six stories.
Which is… well, fair enough. *How* did this happen?? Because of my smart-ass, riffing ways.
See, I learned the term from P!nk (as one does). In her song Blow Me (One Last Kiss), she has this line:
No more sick whiskey dick, no more battles for me
I asked on Twitter if it meant what I thought it meant and people assured me that, yes, it mainly refers to when a guy can’t get it up as a result of overindulging. (Though I understand that Cindy Eden used it a bit differently!)
As I was writing, the phrase popped into my head. Unusual for me when writing a fantasy story, and yet it fit the gritty, noir feel we were going for. Because it was fun for me to have a group to talk to while I was writing my story – we have a private Facebook group, for kitten-herding- I announced that I’d used this phrase. Then I threw out the semi-serious gauntlet, challenging them all to use “whiskey dick” in their stories.
To my surprise – they did!
Can’t wait to read everyone’s and find this little Easter egg.
So you can read the excerpt from mine over at Here Be Magic today and I thought I’d share excerpts from the others all this week here. Let’s start with Rachel Caine‘s!
The overall blurb:
Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.
MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine
Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he’s been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won’t let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner’s a ghost, and he’s the one who killed her. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss.
“Tell you what,” he said. “I can’t give you any guarantees I can make much progress. I’ll take twenty as a retainer. We’ll settle up once I report back.”
“We don’t want no favors, young man,” Carlyle said. He looked like what he was—an upright, dignified man in the last quarter of his life. A man who’d probably never taken a dime he didn’t earn by the sweat of his brow. A man who’d never bought on credit. A church-going voter who pulled the lever every election, faithfully, even when others lost that faith.
Val looked at pulling the lever like playing a broken slot machine. But he wasn’t Carlyle. Not even close.
“It isn’t a favor,” he said. “I work for a living. Tilde would have told you that.”
Carlyle frowned, but he nodded and passed over the bill. Val wrote him out a receipt on a corner of his notepad, tore it off, and passed it over. “Sorry. All the receipt pads are packed up.”
“This’ll do. We trust you.”
Carlyle stood up. Mrs. Carlyle—he’d never heard either of their first names, and likely they hardly ever used them anyway—stayed seated with her knees primly together, and her purse on her lap like a dog that might run away. She stared right at Val’s face and said, “You believe in spirits, Mr. Valentine?”
Tilde’s whispering laugh came to him from the file room. “Liar.”
“I do,” she said. “I believe my niece wants you to find our little Marion. You find her. For Tilde.”
He stood up and offered his hand to her. He meant to help her up, but she shook it, firm as a man, before she got up all on her own, took her husband’s arm, and walked out.
The door closed softly behind them, and the closed blinds swayed. He went and locked it, after. No sense letting more trouble come in.
Barn door, and the horse already bolted, he thought, and before he could turn, he knew she was there. He smelled that light, floral perfume again.
This time, he felt a cold hand stroke gently over the back of his neck. He didn’t turn. He was afraid that if he did, he might see the wrong Tilde. The one from his nightmares.
“Thanks,” she whispered in his ear, and then she was gone.
Add DARK SECRETS to your TBR!
We are now on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26135577-dark-secrets-a-paranormal-noir-anthology
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