So our landlord at the house in Longford has decided not to return our deposit. He’s within his legal rights to do so, as we only gave about ten days’ notice that we were leaving, but even the estate agent thought it was a fairly rat bastardly thing for him to do, particularly given that they’ve already re-rented the house, and, she said, given what great condition we left it in.
Anyway, because of this, and because we frankly don’t know if Ted’s new job is going to pay him in time to cover next month’s rent, I’m reminding people of the Old Races novella commission I’m running. The details are as follows:
The novella “Year of Miracles” reaches back four hundred years in the Old Races universe to tell another Janx and Daisani story, this time about Sarah Hopkins, the human woman they both loved in the year that London burned.
There is no minimum buy-in for this novella–pay whatever you feel is fair or can afford–but now through the end of July 2010 will be the only opportunity to order a copy: at the end of July, it goes off the market permanently until I find a traditional publisher for it.*
The novella will be delivered to you as a PDF on or before December 31, 2010. I’ll use your Paypal account email address as the one to send the story to unless otherwise directed, so direct me otherwise if necessary. Also, if you do subscribe to the story, please immediately add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email address book so that when I send the story out it actually gets through to you.
I’d be grateful if people linked or pointed others to both this entry and/or the original one, since I don’t know any other way to advertise!
And now, a new excerpt from “Year of Miracles”:
“I can’t.” Sarah held back, breaking her grip on Eliseo’s hand. “I can’t.”
“Of course you can.” He stopped and turned back, a gentle brightness in his eyes. He gestured at himself, a motion that invited her to look at him as though she’d never seen him before. Dapper: that was a word she’d learned from the two extraordinary men in her life; from the slight and swarthy man before her and from beautiful, outrageous Janx.
And that was the trouble, whether Eliseo Daisani wanted to see it or not. He suited the fine clothes, the expensive shoes, the distant music and the wealthy crowd who attended such matters as balls and courts. He was not handsome, but his aspect, the part of him that was more–and less–than human, gave him a gravitas and a compulsion that drew people to him. He belonged where she did not. Even dressed in silks, even with the slaughterfields cultured from her voice, she was a daughter of blood and guts and gore.
“Sarah,” Daisani said, still gentle. “What do you see, when you look at me?”
“More than I should.” She couldn’t help it: not since the night a gleeful Janx had shed his human form, becoming the great red dragon who offered her a place on his back. She had flown so high that night, come so close to touching the winter moon, and when they landed, Eliseo Daisani, not to be outdone, was waiting for them with a waterfall of impossible flowers in his arms. The season was wrong, all wrong, and yet his arms overflowed with blooms. Daisies she knew, though the red ones were unfamiliar, but the others were thistle-purple and elongated.
“Amaranth,” Daisani said that night. “Love everlasting, and red daisies for beauty unknown.”
“Nothing lasts forever,” she had replied, and then he had offered her proof that she was wrong, never wincing as he parted the veins of his wrist and slow blood oozed out.
“Just two sips,” he warned. “The first for health. The second for life.”
“And if I take three?” she asked, playful with the wonder of Janx’s flight.
Daisani’s gaze darkened. “Do not. The third sip is death. That’s the price of a vampire’s gift.”
“More than I should,” Sarah repeated now, because she couldn’t forget, not ever, not looking at either of her men. “Always, more than I should.”
“And they see less.” He nodded toward the distant courtyard, and offered his arm once more. “They’ll see a woman of wealth and beauty, Sarah, no matter what you feel lies below.”
*I reserve the right to do a second run of sales if it turns into a novel, which is not impossible. Otherwise, though, this is it, your one and only chance.(x-posted from the essential kit)