Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Isabel Cooper’s Reggie Talbot-Jones from The Highland Dragon’s Lady.
He’s Out of the Highlands and on the Prowl…
Regina Talbot-Jones has always known her rambling family home was haunted. She’s also aware her brother has invited one of his friends to attend an ill-conceived séance. She didn’t count on that friend being so handsome…and she certainly didn’t expect him to be a dragon.
Younger son of a family of shapeshifting dragons, Highlander Colin MacAlasdair has lived a life free of both family duty and mortal cares. Moving in and out of human society as he wishes, he takes very little seriously—until Regina drops onto his balcony one midnight, catching his attention and his interest. She’s like no mortal he’s ever met, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to get her out of his head.
Bound by circumstance, drawn by the fire awakening inside of them, Colin and Regina must work together to defeat a vengeful spirit—and discover whether their growing love is powerful enough to defy convention.
Make sure you stick around to the end and earn another entry into the Black Friday $50 Amazon giftcard giveaway.
A New Experience For Reggie by Isabel Cooper
Reggie Talbot-Jones flattened herself against an orange-tiled wall, thought of Pamplona and the running of the bulls, and tried to see a path through the constant mobs of people. She’d thought London would have gotten her used to crowds, and she supposed there were many more people in the city, but there was also a lot more city, not just a giant box of hurrying people.
You wanted to do this, she reminded herself. You thought it sounded like fun.
She snaked a hand down into the pocket of her strange trousers and found that her money, like her clothes, had translated as Colin’s friend had told her they would. At least, she assumed the money had translated. The clothes were a certainty: half the people she saw, women included, were wearing the same sort of blue denim trousers and thick baggy shirts. Her pounds and pence had at least become some version of American dollars, though not one she’d encountered before, and the accents she heard over the din were, likewise, some version of American.
At least she was properly equipped.
Reggie braced herself and then strode forward, moving through the crowds at first with the aid of elbows and the constant repetition of “excuse me.” After a few moments she started to see patterns, groups of people clinging together like lifeboats after a shipwreck—or noodles in soup—and the spaces between them, spaces where a relatively slim girl could slide through.
Over people’s voices, music played, though Reggie couldn’t remotely find the source: it seemed to be just as loud wherever she went, as if it followed her around the place. The tune was fast, the instruments unearthly; as she made her way forward, it changed to one she did know, Joy to the World, except played with the same sort of…mechanisms?
It’s not quite the goblin market, Serena had said, her three-lobed silver eyes dancing with mirth, and it might actually be less pleasant in some respects. But it will definitely be a new experience, and you will certainly find new things there.
All of that was true. Reggie passed storefronts with bright mechanical toys in primary colors, with mannequins modeling silk undergarments brief enough to make even her blush (and then, thinking of Colin, to note the location for later), and with sleek flashing machinery whose function she could only imagine. She would have stopped and stared if the crowds hadn’t carried her along.
And she thought that she could get to like some of this: not the crowds, though there was a certain energy there, but maybe the music, and almost certainly the displays, the novelty and the flash of them. She could certainly have gotten to like the food if she’d let herself, particularly as all the vendors seemed to be offering free samples, and the smells were incredible.
Serena had been very clear on that point, though: no food. No drink. Remember Persephone, she’d said. And remember that we couldn’t rescue you for a year. The walls between places are too thick most of the time.
You can only get there on Black Friday.
Meet Isabel Cooper!
Isabel Cooper lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her boyfriend and a houseplant she’s managed to keep alive for over a year now—a personal best. By day, she’s a mild-mannered editor at a legal publishing company. By night, she’s really quite a geek: polyhedral dice, video games, and everything. She only travels through time the normal direction, and has never fought any kind of demon, unless you count younger sisters. She can waltz, though.
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Thank you Isabel for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!
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Other than the crowds, what other impressions would someone new to the Black Friday experience get?