Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Tes Hilaire’s Logan from Deliver Me From Temptation.
Logan Screwed Up…Big Time
When things go bump in the night, Logan bumps back. Vampires, demons, succubi—you name it, he’s fought it. His job as a Paladin angel warrior is to pretect humans. Not fall for one.
She Never Believed in Divine Intervention…Until Now
Detective Jessica Waters protects humans too—with her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. She doesn’t believe in fate. But if anyone looks like a gift from the gods, it’s Logan. And he clearly knows more about her case than he’s letting on…
Black Friday…it’s one of the most anticipated and most dreaded days of the year. The long lines, the mob mentality, all in the spirit of buying so we can give for Christmas. Crazy, right? I, personally, refuse to leave the house on that day. Instead I beat my head against my desk as I miss online sale after online sale as the deals are snatched up before I can click the “add to cart” button. Ugh. I know I have time though. A whole months worth! But what about those procrastinators out there, or the peeps who are just too busy (…perhaps saving humanity…) to get out there on Black Friday or those month worth of days that follow? What happens when you only have a few days, or yikes! ONE to get The Perfect Gift? What do you do then? Well, I’ve written a little short story about that. Only it’s not my story, it’s Logan’s mall adventure on that very last shopping day, December 24th. I hope you enjoy this first scene and will love it so much that you’ll grab up Deliver Me From Temptation when it comes out on December 4th. And as an extra special treat, be sure to stop by my website, after December 15th for a chance to download the rest of the short, Deliver Me a Paladin for Christmas*, and find out whether Logan manages to deliver that perfect gift ;-) *(The events in this short take place after Deliver Me From Temptation)
Deliver Me a Paladin for Christmas
Logan tucked in his elbows, sucking in his breath as he tried to worm his way through the mass of holiday shoppers flooding the interior halls of the mall. It was amazing how the season of giving could turn a crowd of shoppers into a mass mob of greedy elbows and dark looks. Everyone was cranky. They all wanted the last of that something elusive which they either hadn’t been able to track down yet or hadn’t bothered to look for until today.
He sighed, running his hand down over his face. He hated crowds. He’d come back tomorrow except tomorrow would be too late. This would teach him to procrastinate.
He forged his way through the press of bodies, scanning the shop windows as he went. This would be so much easier if he knew what the heck he was looking for. But what did you give a woman who insisted she didn’t want anything?
Someone shoved into him from the side. He spun, automatically raising his arms to ward off the attack. Only there was no attack. Just two angry mothers yelling and tugging at some pillowy looking lion cub in front of one of those shopping islands. Apparently it was the last one, and little Bobby and darling Francesca both needed it under the tree Christmas morning.
He rubbed the back of his neck, popping the vertebra by manipulating his head side-to-side. He was beginning to seriously question if humanity was worth saving.
Needing some space—else he might grab the stuffed toy-pillow and rip its innards out, thus solving the dilemma of who got it—he ducked into the closest store. Almost immediately he could breathe again, the din of the rest of the mall fading in this relatively empty space. Empty by this particular day’s standards at least. There were a few other shoppers along with one very busy salesperson trying to help them all at once—and one other character standing just inside the door.
“What the hell? Aren’t there any holiday’s that are sacred to you guys?” Logan demanded, staring in disbelief at the vampire leaning against the tiled entryway, arms and legs folded as he watched the bustling shoppers whiz by outside.
The vampire shrugged, not even bothering to end his people watching—or should that be stalking—to look at Logan. “Hey, even a vampire’s got to shop.”
“I thought you guys went for donations.” As in the Red Cross kind—or the naïve, solitary shopper too hassled and overloaded with goodies to pay attention to the strange person following them.
The vampire finally looked at him, his lips pulling back into a fangy smile. “You offering, Paladin?”
“Sure, how about a one way ticket to oblivion,” Logan said, raising his hand before the vampire’s face exposing his glowing palm.
Try me, vampire. Do it. I will erase every one of the minds here if I have to. Just say the word and you’re less than dust.
“You’re that Paladin…Calhoun,” the vampire hissed, arms and legs uncrossing as he retreated back into the store a good five feet. As if that would help if Logan decided to exert the time and effort to end him.
“Nice to see I’m somewhat famous.” He took a step closer, straining to keep the light confined to the palm he held out before him. If it wasn’t for the shoppers. And the location. And the fact that Logan had only a few limited hours left to find the perfect gift…
He did not need this right now.
He leaned in, using both his height and the dreaded light pulsing in the palm of his hand to intimidate. “Shh, don’t tell. But if you leave. Now. I’ll forget you were ever here.”
The vampire took the suggestion to heart, bolting out of the store toward the nearest mall exit.
“Merry Christmas!” Logan called at his fleeing back. Didn’t anyone ever say thank you for the gifts they received anymore?
Sighing, he looked around the small store to see if anyone had made note of that little interaction. His brow furrowing in puzzlement. None of the shoppers seemed to have noticed but that might have been because they were all engrossed in checking out the stores wares. The store itself looked like a cross between a marching band store with the drum sticks and batons, and a BDSM dungeon with an interesting assortment of balls and chains and other medieval looking objects. The dungeon of hell theme was completed with dramatic black painted walls and pillars of decorative flame for effect.
Takes all kinds, he thought, shaking his head. He wondered how many of the half-dozen shoppers might have gone home with that vampire willingly if Logan hadn’t chased him off.
Convinced he’d done his good deed for the day, he started to turn to leave when a shelf of books caught his eye. He moved closer, picking up one that had a time-lapsed photo of a woman twirling wands of fire on the cover. He read the title: Unleash Your Inner Fire. His eyes widened, and he spun to take another look at the stock in the store. The long chains with the assortment of balls on the end were all under a flame-decorated sign that said Poi, and the batons were under another labeled Staves, there was also sections labeled Staff, Torches, Chi Fans, Wands, and was that… Angel Wings? He looked at the back of the store. Behind the cash register was a larger sign, the lettering so overshadowed by embellishment he hadn’t realized there were words within the flames until now. It read: Angie’s Dance—your supplier for all your fire dancing needs.
He took a deep breath, letting it out. Angie might consider some new décor, or at least some posters with pictures like that book cover. He wondered how many other customers had taken one look and bolted without ever figuring out what the shop was really about. Certainly he would never have found this gem of a store if he hadn’t happened to stumble in here.
Jessica would love this place.
All of a sudden his little misadventure with the two mothers fighting over the cub seemed more like fate. He moved forward into the store, making a b-line for one section in particular. Stopping at the display, he ran his fingers over the shiny metal staff that connected the short chain and wick wrapped head.
“Can I help you?”
Logan turned to the woman at his elbow, scanned her nametag and smiled. “Why yes, Angie, I think you can.”
Phew! Wonder what Logan got Jessica? :-) Remember to find out, stop by my website after December 15th to get the rest of Deliver Me a Paladin for Christmas.
Meet Tes Hilaire!
Daphne Award-winning author and former Tennessee native Tes Hilaire doesn’t remember how old she was when she wrote her first story, but she’s pretty sure it had something to do with a boy and a girl and a happily ever after. Displaced at an early age to “the north country,” her stories turned darker as she started creating whole new worlds to escape the harsh, upstate NY winters. Now back in the South, her stories remain edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. Best of all, no one ever has to shovel snow.
Want to purchase Tes’s novels?
Please help spread the word: Tweet: Celebrate the madness with 32 authors while #giveaways ensue during #BlackFriday (Nov23-Dec24) http://tinyurl.com/LEBlackFriday2012 #paranormal #fantasy
Thank you Tes for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!
Tes is giving away Paladin novel of choice: Deliver Me from Darkness or Deliver Me from Temptation. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: When is/was the positively last day is that you’ve ever gone hunting down a gift? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
All Black Friday contests will remain open until December 31st at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have. Have you checked out the other Black Friday contests yet? Check out the Master List to see all the Black Friday giveaways
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.