Posts in category JC Daniels

Misery’s Way: A Kit Colbana World short story

Releases today!

This story is set in Kit Colbana’s world.  It’s loosely connected, but can be read as a stand-alone.  

MiserysWay300 (1)A Kit Colbana World Short Story

Her name is Frankie. At least, that’s what she calls herself.

She looks human, but she’s no more human than she is a faith-healer. That doesn’t stop her from using her…more unique abilities to take care of certain needs. It’s those abilities that lead to a chance encounter with an unusual woman in Florida.

It’s a chance encounter with fate that will set these two down a collision course with destiny.

 

Excerpt

“It’s crowded tonight.”

I glanced up at the man who’d slipped up to join me.  I stood just outside the curtain of the tent.  Through the slit, I could peer inside and the darkness of the night kept them from seeing me.  It was one of the few remaining moments of solitude, of peace, that I’d have for the rest of the night.

Saleel’s presence didn’t disturb that solitude.

He was as welcome as the whisper of air against my skin, as the twinkle of stars overhead.

He was a reminder of what I did have—even if I didn’t have something as simple and coveted as humanity, I had my life.  I had freedom.  And I had him as my companion.

We shared a moment of comfortable silence before I looked back inside.

“You’re restless,” he said after another moment.

I wasn’t surprised he’d noticed.  Saleel noticed everything.

I slanted a look up at him.  “I guess I’m getting bored here.  Ready to move on.  Have you scouted out the next spot?”

Saleel lifted one shoulder.  “Yes.  Montana.  I tire of the heat.”

“Montana?”  I grimaced and mentally shuddered.  Summer was rapidly drawing to a close.  That would mean cold.  Snow.  Worse…ice.  “I hate the cold.”

I’d spent many of my earliest years in the muggy heat of America’s south—or in the heart of Africa.  Some of those years that hadn’t been spent…elsewhere.  Heat was simply bred into my bones.  I could handle the cold, but that didn’t mean I liked it.

Saleel’s teeth flashed white in the faintest of smiles when he glanced at me.  “Then perhaps next time when I ask you if you have a preference, you should give me an answer.  Instead, you say, Do whatever you want, Sal.”

He managed an imitation of my voice that was almost dead-on.

I stuck my tongue out at him.

He went back to staring into tent.  “Offer your tongue again, my angel, and I will make use of it.”

Yeah.  Right.

The two of us were like gasoline and fire and we both knew it.  Combustible—and dangerous.

“Promises, promises,” I said lightly and then I eased closer, bracing my shoulder on the lightweight metal of the door frame, gazing deeper into the tent.

Saleel was right.

I was restless.

But I hadn’t yet figured out why.

A hot summer wind caressed the back of my neck.  I enjoyed it while I could.  Once I got inside, the air would be stifling. Already, I was dreading it.  I could smell the heat of too many bodies and the air was thick with sweat.  Heavy with despair.

Hope clung to many of the people who awaited me but hope was a capricious bitch. I could all but hear the cackling, gleeful laugh as she darted from one person to another, crooning…you don’t really think this will work, do you?  You’re going to die…you’re all going to die…

Fans churned from all corners, laboriously whirring away.  They did little to cool the temperature, but at least the air kept moving.

It wasn’t the heat, though, that plagued me.  It wasn’t even the promise of death.  People died.  It was simply part of life.  It wasn’t the despair or the misery—the hunger inside me reached for that, but that wasn’t what made me restless.

“It’s time,” Saleel murmured.

I nodded.

But still, I didn’t move, searching inside the tent.

“Frankie?”

“I’m going.”  I took a deep breath and reached deep inside for the well of calm that would carry me through when I took another’s pain inside me.  I craved pain—fed on it.  That didn’t mean it was pleasant.

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I missed my calling

Sometimes I think I should have gone into photography.  :)

See this?  The next time you see it, it will be magically morphed into a cover for the Kit Colbana books.

urban fantasy book covers

Who is that gorgeous young lady, you ask?

Why…that’s Diva.  My oldest.  Yes, it’s kinda small and you can’t enlarge, but I don’t want anybody grabbing it.  I’m taking a whole bunch of pictures of her and my cover lady is going to make her into Kit.  Blonde hair, bad-ass backgrounds…

Cute young lady with kicking sword = awesome urban fantasy book covers.

I’m planning to repackage the whole series.  I love the model I’ve used for the Kit books, but she’s popping up on a lot of books now.  Once I’m done repackaging these, nobody will have these covers.  And I gotta say… my daughter makes one hell of a Kit. At least when it comes to cockiness. 😉

 

Final Protocol…up for preorder

My first straight SF in…well…ever.  There is a romantic sub-plot, so for those who need some romance, and for those who think…ewww…yuck, romance…

FP

“If you’re in the mood to watch, he might let you. After he’s done.”

I looked away from the couple to find Garner staring at me with his dark, dead eyes. “Watching isn’t really my thing, Garner.”

“No. You prefer to fuck my brother and try to play cunt-games with him.” He leaned in, the smell of synthetic garlic heavy on his breath. “The games don’t work. But it’s fun to watch you try.”

My gut rolled. Play with his brother. If only I had much choice in it. I’d stay on the other side of the galaxy if I had any say in the matter. But I didn’t mention that. If either of them had any idea just how deep my revulsion ran, it would become a tool, a weapon against me. Instead of showing how I felt, I reached up and touched a finger to his cheek. “You spend an awful lot of time worrying about the games I play with your brother, Garner… What’s the matter?” I leaned in closer and pressed my lips to his ear. “Are you jealous?”

Then I pushed around him and headed for the center of the dance floor.

You might think he’d have his offices in the back. Or down below the floor, in a dungeon, where monsters like him should rot.

But no. He kept his offices high above, and if I wanted in during business hours, I had to take the tube in the middle of the floor. Where he could see me coming.

Garner was right behind me.

I pretended not to notice.

It wasn’t that hard. If he were going to try and hurt me, he’d have had more of his men with him, and he would have done it outside.

That meant I had a bigger fear to concern myself with. I’d rather take pain over his other forms of keeping me in line. Pain was easy. The humiliations… Shudders gripped me, wrenched at me, even as I fought not to let Garner see any sign of what I was feeling.

No matter what he’d said to get me here, my handler wouldn’t just let me walk away from a job like that.

There would be a reckoning.

And if he wouldn’t take it in blood, he’d take it in flesh.

My body was already burning.

My soul was already screaming.

A hand came up behind me and shoved me into the tube and then Garner crowded in around me.

As it sucked us up into the air, I bowed my head, my hands braced on the smooth, clear ’stene surface.

I’d get through this.

I’d done it before.

I’d even do this job, I thought, just because doing it took me away from Jakor. Maybe this would be the last one. Maybe when it was done, I’d guide my transport into the nearest star and end it, swift and easy. Or I could just fuck with the wiring on my transport, dump the oxygen supply—I knew how to do that. I’d killed one of my targets that way once. It wasn’t a pleasant way to die, but I didn’t need pleasant. I just needed it done and final.

Anything to be away from here, forever.

The tube opened up and Garner slid past me.

I stepped outside and slowly lifted my head. Darkness greeted me. This…this wasn’t good. Heart hammering against my ribs, sweat trickling down between my breasts, my shoulder blades, a dull memory worked its way free. It was an old memory; more than a decade had passed since that day. The first time I truly remembered much of anything…including the man who awaited me somewhere in the darkness.

He owed me money. But he was too afraid to face me himself…so I’m taking you instead. You’ll have to serve in his stead…

And here I was. Still serving. Still trapped.

It would end when I made it end.

Twelve years. It was enough.

Yes. I’d do this final job, and then I’d find a way to end this. I’d either find that botanist, or I’d find my own end. Either way, I’d never return here, to this place, ever again.

A shimmer of gold moved in the darkness and I turned my head, saw him.

Swallowing the lump in my throat, I managed to form words.

“Hello, Gold.”

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Misery’s Way is up on Netgalley…

If you review, you can request it. Just a note, I don’t approve requests, but I do know that people who actively review the titles they’ve requested are usually approved by the people who handle my titles.

You can request here… this is set in the Kit Colbana world.

Nice, no? Upcoming J.C. Daniels title

FinalProtocol300

Tip #1: Don’t get on her bad side. Tip #2: There’s no good side.

read more at the J.C. site!

Misery’s Way… a Colbana World short story

It’s a Kit-related thing…not a Kit thing.

O.O

MiserysWay300 (1)

Her name is Frankie. At least, that’s what she calls herself.

She looks human, but she’s no more human than she is a faith-healer.  That doesn’t stop her from using her…more unique abilities to take care of certain needs.  It’s those abilities that lead to a chance encounter with an unusual woman in Florida.

It’s a chance encounter with fate that will set these two down a collision course with destiny.

This short story is loosely connected to the Kit Colbana Files.  Can be read as a stand-alone.

Due out in June.  Preorder links coming soonish…

snippet

Eventually, the emotions in my head, the misery and easing of it stopped crashing and swelling inside me, coming to an uneasy sort of peace.

Sleep.

I’d sleep—right there…

The sound had me coming up off the bed and landing in a crouch.  Too many years of fleeing from those who might yet hunt me had me drawing my weapon.  The blade was as long as my forearm, the metal matte black—it didn’t reflect any light, not that there was much of it in my room.  I’d had the blade designed after a flash of light had almost given me away years ago.  I wouldn’t make that mistake again. Not ever.

Head cocked, I listened.

Not even the brush of a shoe on pavement was that quiet.  But somebody was outside, on the farthest edges of the parking lot.

I crept to the walls.

I hadn’t turned on the lights.  I’m just as at home in the shadows and darkness as I am in the light.  Comes from living in a perpetual gloom for the first two or three decades of my life.  What might seem an unending, unyielding blackness to others was no hindrance to me.  Placing one foot in front of the other, carefully placing each step, I made my way to the window, stopping just at the edge of the frame so I could peer out.

Behind me, the air in the room stirred.

There was no sound to indicate who it was, but I knew, nonetheless.

“They are clever, aren’t they?” I said softly.

Saleel’s scarred hand touched my shoulder.  “Shall I take care of them?”

In Saleel’s mind, there was only one way to take care of something.

I shook my head.

If I really wanted to take care of them, we both knew I could do it myself.  Just as we both knew that Saleel considered it his job.  His…duty.  Even an honor.

“No,” I said.  They were closer now.  I couldn’t see her, which was an oddity, considering how pale she was.  I could barely see him, but he was a witch.  I could smell a witch a mile away.  One that pretty was worth keeping an eye on, too.

“I wonder what they want.”

“They don’t approve of you,” Saleel said, and his disgust was so thick, I could have spread it on a slice of toast.

I slid him a smirk over my shoulder.  “Neither did you…once.”

His eyes, nearly black even in the bright of day, held mine.  “I did not make a judgment simply because I saw you spread your hands out over a room of ill people.”

“No.  You judged me for a different reason entirely.”  I gave him an arch look.

A grim smile curled his lips.

Our history was complicated.

Very complicated.

I held out a hand.  “Come.  I’m not in the mood for distractions tonight.”

I could practically taste his annoyance as he placed his hand in mine.  He must have been in the mood to play cat and mouse.

Poor Saleel.

Upcoming

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August

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The Forsaken new releases

(contains The Unwanted & The Innocent)

January 2016

southern romance

Serial Romance

Coming late 2015

30 Nights Serial Romance Novels

July 2015

May 2015

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