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Currently Browsing: Sunday Snippet
Dec
11

Sunday Snippet #88

Sunday Snippet #88 Magic on the Line  Author: Devon Monk  ROC November 1, 2011 REVIEW HERE We drove to Get Mugged and parked around the back side of the buildings.  It was early enough that the morning coffee crowd was still in full swing and street parking was scarce.  That was okay with me.  I wanted a walk in the cool air, in the sunlight.  Even though the magic I could see everywhere was still pretty distracting. “What are you doing?” Zayvion asked me as we passed by another window with an Unbreakable Ward so strong I could almost feel the prickly heat snapping off it. “Walking?” “Really?”  He stopped and I stopped too.  “I think that’s called weaving.” “I’m not weaving.” “Yes, you are.  I almost ran into you three times already.” “Well, then let me walk on the outside of the sidewalk.”  I stepped in front of him, but hadn’t realized there was a Lure spell on a piece of statuary just ahead.  As we headed that way, I corrected my course so as not to get caught by it. “That,” Zayvion said as I bumped into his arm. “What that?” He put his arm around me, and I could tell he wasn’t angry, just sort of frustrated and curious.  “That drunken stagger you’ve got going.” I slapped his chest, which didn’t do anything since I wasn’t trying to hurt him, and his ski coat was too damn fluffy. “I’m not staggering.  Or drunk,” I added. “So?” he asked. “I can see magic.  Everywhere.  All the time.  It’s just . . .  distracting.” “Are you using Sight?” Oh, right.  I hadn’t told Zayvion about this yet.  “No.  Ever since I tried to use magic, passed out, and gave myself a light concussion, I’ve been seeing magic.  All the time.” Zayvion stopped again.  We were on the corner now, the front door to the coffee shop in sight, just a few steps away. “Coffee?” I pointed at the door. Zay moved to stand in front of me and put both arms around my waist.  “When,” he asked quietly as if we were lovers sharing secrets, “did you pass out and get a concussion?” Ah.  Apparently I hadn’t been doing a very good job keeping him in the loop.  “Yesterday.  After coming back from the meeting with Bartholomew.  I saw a Veiled step out of a woman on the street.  And when I tried to cast Hold so I could maybe get...
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Dec
4

Sunday Snippet #87

Sunday Snippet #87 Visions of Skyfire  Author: Regan Hastings  Signet October 4, 2011 REVIEW HERE He yawned hugely, stretched his arms over his chest – the better to display his impressive rippling muscles, no doubt.  Then he gave her a grin and reached down to stroke himself.  His very impressive cock leaped to attention.  “I got something for you right here, babe.  You coming back to bed or what?  ‘Cuz if you don’t want it, there’s plenty others who do.” No respect, she thought in a sudden fury.  This insignificant male thought to bring her to heel?  To threaten her with his pathetic human whores?  Irritation spiked.  Just another pitiful symbol of how badly her day was going, this male was, as the humans often said, the last straw. In her mind’s eye, Kellyn indulged a whim and imagined the man’s eyes exploding.  She could see his skin peel from his bones.  Hear him whimpering, pleading for mercy. Some of what she was thinking must have shown on her face because he immediately shifted gears.  “C’mon, baby.  Let me take you on another ride.  Let me show you something new.” Slowly, that flash of irritation drained away.  Nothing to be gained by killing him now.  If she did, she’d have to change hotels and then be forced to spend who knew how many hours finding another lover.   And the next one might not be so well endowed.  No, she wasn’t finished with this one yet. Still, he needed to learn just who was in charge around here. Kellyn lifted her right arm, pointed at him and clenched her fist.  Instantly, the insolent male’s eyes bugged and his mouth dropped open.  He lifted both hands to his throat and clawed at whatever was closing off his airway.  Desperate, his eyes snapped to her as his skin mottled and his choking, gurgling groans sang into the room like the sweetest of music. Slowly, she walked toward him, taking her time.  She dropped her robe and felt the chill kiss of the air on her skin as she stopped alongside him.  She flicked her fingers at his neck and he wheezed in his first easy breath since Kellyn had closed off his throat.  Gasping, choking, he bent over at the waist, gulping in air. As he did, she ran her fingertips down his spine, over the curve of his behind, until she cupped his balls in the palm of her hand. He went absolutely...
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Nov
27

Sunday Snippet #86

Sunday Snippet #86 Dead Mann Walking  Author: Stefan Petrucha  ROC October 4, 2011 REVIEW HERE  He was at the pump, had the nozzle in his hand, but for whatever reason he couldn’t seem to get it into the gas tank.  Weirder still, each try was lazier than the last.  He didn’t stop trying; he just got slower and slower.  I was as fascinated as Ashby, watching him push the nozzle against the side of the truck again and again, wondering if it would ever go in.  After a while, it looked like he was missing on purpose. Clunk.  He tried.  Clunk.  Again. Then he started talking.  No window, so it was easier to hear what he had to say. “Who gives a fuck?” he said loudly.  “Who gives a fuck?” “A fuck … heh-heh,” Ashby parroted. I had a bad feeling.  “Maybe you shouldn’t be looking out there, Ashby.” I fished in my pockets, hoping to find something shiny he could play with.  The only thing I had was my recorder and the bills, and I wasn’t about to hand either over.  The light changed, so I figured we’d be spared the rest of the scene.  Only the bus driver didn’t move.  He was busy staring at the chak, too. “Who gives a fuck?” the chak said again. He stretched the last word.  It melted into a familiar tone that matched the rumble of the bus.  I knew that tone.  One feral coming up.  That chak was going down hard.  Any minute, he’d be moaning.  I had no idea why, but I doubted it was the nozzle.  Maybe he’d had the worst day in his unlife, or maybe he’d just had enough. No reason we had to watch, though. I called to the driver, “Buddy, light’s green!” He gave me a dirty look, then went back to staring. “Light’s green, heh-heh.” I tried again.  “Maybe you want to get out of here?” “Who gives a …” the chak said one last time. His moaning started in midsentence, low and long, a nice, deep, vibrating...
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Nov
20

Sunday Snippet #85

Sunday Snippet #85 Heart of Steel Author: Meljean Brook  Berkley Sensation November 1, 2011 REVIEW HERE  “You have no idea who you’re up against.” His gaze left Yasmeen and fell to the knife at the actress’s throat. His lips curled. “Do you think I care whether she dies? Go on, slit her –” The crack of Yasmeen’s pistol cut off the rest. Mattson’s brains splattered against the foyer wall. His body dropped, gun clattering against the wood floor — and luckily, not discharging on impact. Eyes wide, Zenobia lifted her bound hands and touched the blood sprayed across her cheek and temple. She startled from her stupor and almost tripped over Mattson’s boots when the actress suddenly shrieked, ducking and covering her ears. A bit late for that — though if she kept screaming, Yasmeen might shoot her just to shut her up. She tucked the weapon back into her sash and crossed the room to nudge Mattson’s thigh with her toe. Dead. Yasmeen knew many people who seemed to function well without brains, but her bullet had definitely done this one in. Blood pooled beneath his head. “A hell of a mess,” Yasmeen said, and slipped her blade between Zenobia’s wrists, slicing through the ties. She did the same to the woman’s gag. “If you need to vomit, I suggest you do it on him. There’s less to clean up.” “Thank you,” Zenobia rasped. The corners of her mouth were raw. “But I don’t need to.”  Then she glanced down at Mattson’s face, bent over, and...
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Nov
13

Sunday Snippet #84

Sunday Snippet #84 Genie Knows Best Author: Judi Fennell  Sourcebooks Publishing November 1, 2011 REVIEW HERE  Samantha uncrossed, then recrossed her legs, and Kal admitted he might have a thing for her. Then she smiled at him, and there was no might about it. All those fantasies he’d had during the long lonely nights in his lantern… He definitely had a thing for her. One their kiss had only heightened. His cock hardened and he grabbed something off Stavros’s desk to hide the evidence. Kharah, here they were discussing urban blight and he was thinking with his dick. But it’d been too long since he’d held a woman, let alone one as beautiful as Samantha. Her smile lit up the place in a way the sun with its brutal intensity couldn’t, and made him burn even more. And with the way Monty had talked about her, Kal felt as if he knew...
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Nov
6

Sunday Snippet #83

Sunday Snippet #83 Embrace the Highland Warrior Author: Anita Clenney  Sourcebooks Publishing November 1, 2011 REVIEW HERE Cody sighed. Might as well get it over with. He removed the shackles, returned them, and bent over her. “Shay, wake up.” Her eyes flew open. She planted both hands against his chest and shoved, knocking him on his back, then sprang on top of him. “How dare you handcuff me to a bed?” she yelled, punctuating each word with a shake that rattled his brain. He didn’t fight back. She had to get it out of her system, and he didn’t blame her. He’d be more than pissed if someone shackled him. She landed a fist into his stomach, and the breath rushed out of him. Okay, enough was enough. He captured her hands and rolled, trapping her under him. “Get off me, you oaf.” “I’ll get off when you stop beating the snot out of me.” She let out a war cry and lunged for his throat, teeth bared. Intrigued, he hesitated a second too long, and she sank her teeth into his neck. A jolt of desire shot straight to his groin. He’d never been one for the rough stuff, but damn! He pulled back before she could do more than leave a bruise. He trapped her legs with his and held her hands above her head, letting his full weight press her into the soft mattress. She still struggled but could move only enough to get him excited. “I’m sorry, Shay. I had to do it. It was too dangerous to let you go traipsing through the woods. I had to keep you safe.” “What if he was hiding in one of the other bedrooms and sneaked in here while I was handcuffed to the bed? You left me so I couldn’t even protect myself.” “Lach heard him out in the woods, but that’s why I locked the door, just in case. If this guy had broken it down to get to you, you would’ve screamed, and I would’ve come running. I was never far from the house.” He’d heard every name she called him. Her eyes still flashed fire, but her breath was steadier, and she kept glancing at his mouth. He thought that was a good thing. He wondered if she’d calmed enough not to hit him, because he should move. She had to notice the effect all the wiggling around was having on him. He felt her hips push...
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Oct
30

Sunday Snippet #82

Sunday Snippet #82 Last Breath by: Rachel Caine  NAL November 1, 2011 REVIEW HERE    Shane couldn’t go quite as fast as Myrnin wanted, but that was good; as it was, Claire felt she was hurtling uncontrollably down a dark tunnel, like something flung out of a slingshot.  It was a deeply unsettling feeling.  As short a drive as it was, she was relieved when Shane hit the brakes and slid to a stop at the Founder’s Square guard post, manned by a uniformed cop.  He was starting to explain when Myrnin rolled down his window and snapped, “Call Amelie and tell her I’m coming.  Tell her to be waiting.” “Sir!” the cop said, and practically saluted.  Not because Myrnin was so commanding, generally, but right now, he sounded very focused. He was actually very scared, Claire thought.  And that raised her personal terror scale all the way up into the red zone. “Myrnin, what’s in the envelope?” she asked. He didn’t answer, but then, she didn’t really expect him to.  “There, take a left,” Myrnin said, leaning over the seat to point. “Get your hands out of my face, man,” Shane said, but he followed the directions, and steered the car down the ramp into the parking garage beneath Founder’s Square.  It was crowded today, and as he looked for a parking space, Myrnin growled in impatience, opened his door in the back, and bailed. “Hey!” Claire called.  Shane found a parking spot and pulled in.  They got out at the same time, and caught up with Myrnin as he punched the elevator’s call button for about the hundredth time in thirty seconds.  “Chill out, Myrnin, you’re going to break it.  Listen, it’s coming.” He was practically vibrating with tension, and she couldn’t understand why.  She’d seen him in many bad situations, and even in the worst, even with Bishop, he hadn’t been this freaked.  When the elevator doors parted, he shoved his way in and jammed the floor button just as frantically as he had on the outside.  Claire finally put herself physically between him and the control panel, out of a very real fear he was going to shove his finer through the button and short out the electronics altogether. Myrnin took in a breath – unusual, except when he was talking – and slumped against the back wall.  He pulled off his hat and wiped his forehead with a trembling hand, as if he were sweating, though Claire...
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Oct
23

Sunday Snippet #81

Sunday Snippet #81 Crossroads by: Jeanne C. Stein ACE August 30, 2011 REVIEW HERE She senses my approach. She. Max’s coyote. We’re still a mile away from each other, but she picks up the rage. I close the distance in seconds. Then we’re face-to-face. The vampire and the man and woman at her side. They are stunned by my sudden appearance, by my vampire face. They are young, maybe twenty, dressed in dark jeans and hoodies that are tattered and stained. They each carry a small satchel. They cringe away, look to their guide. I look at her, too. She has the smooth, unlined face of a very young woman. Dark skinned, dark hair and eyes that tilt up at the corners. Exotic. Latino or Middle Eastern? I point to the humans. Let them go. The vampire tilts her head to one side, studying me. Physically, we are evenly matched. She is weighing her options. You have no options. She is cloaking her thoughts. Then, abruptly, she says, Perhaps you are right. These two are of no consequence. Do they speak English? A nod. I drag my eyes away from her, motion to the couple. “The border is three miles straight ahead. There is a tear in the fence. You can make it on your own.” I am trying very hard to sound human. Even to my own ears, my voice is rough. It comes from my gut, not my vocal cords. A growl. The humans are mesmerized. They can’t look away from my eyes. The vampire raises a hand, strokes the hair of the woman. They want to stay with me. She has not shown her true nature. The woman steps behind her for protection. The vampire laughs. The fury in me builds. I realize her intention. Her mouth opens, her teeth gnash. She reaches behind to pull the woman forward. I have her neck before she can grab the woman. I pull her away and spin her around, showing the cowering couple the true face of their savior. They jump back, mouths open in astonishment. The vampire laughs again. I force her to her knees. Reach into the pocket of her jacket. Pull a wad of bills from inside. Toss it to the man. “Take your money. Go. Now.” This time, there is no hesitation. They circle around us in a wide arc, uncomprehending, fearful the creatures might change their minds. Then they are off, running across the desert floor....
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Oct
16

Sunday Snippet #80

Sunday Snippet #80 Ghost of a Smile by: Simon R. Green  ACE August 30, 2011 REVIEW HERE  “Took one look at what?” said Happy. “I don’t know,” said Melody.  “But I’m pretty sure whatever these things were, they’re still here.” She shut down the computer and stood up abruptly, glaring about her.  The others huddled together unconsciously, checking out every possible hiding place with a hard look, and still they couldn’t see anything.  The atmosphere had moved beyond tense to actually oppressive.  They all felt like they were being watched, studied, by cold, unseen eyes.  Happy sniffed the air. “Is it only me, or can you smell something?” “Yes,” said JC.  “A ripe, spoiled sort of smell.  Meat that’s gone off.  Blood, too.  Other things of that nature, none of them good.” “It’s getting stronger,” said Happy.  “It’s leaving a really nasty taste in the back of my mouth.” “Hush,” said Melody.  “I can hear something . . .” They all stood very still, straining their ears against the quiet, and slowly they began to hear soft, approaching sounds.  Dragging sounds, of something heavy hauling itself along the floor, through sheer will-power.  Wet, slapping sounds, slipping and sliding, coming from a dozen different directions at once. “Oh no,” said Happy.  “I know it’s going to be some horrible human shape of patched-together organs, probably all red and blobby with no proper exterior, so you can see things moving inside, with dozens of eyes bobbing about at the top.  Dripping blood and bile and leaving a smoking trail of acid behind it . . .” He stopped as he realized they were all looking at him. “You’ve been watching those Japanese manga movies again, haven’t you?” said JC. Happy wrapped his dignity around him, and stared back.  “Legend of the Overfiend is a classic!  Though it does practically define the phrase guilty pleasure.” “Take a few of your little chemical helpers, and get yourself together,” said JC.  “You’re no use to me if you can’t keep your head in game.” “I am trying to cope without them,” said Happy.  “Ever since my piss started turning funny colours.  Better living through chemistry is all very well, but in practice it doesn’t half take it out on your liver.” “And because you can’t get it up when you’re trashed,” said Melody. “Why do you keep putting mental images into my head that I know I’m going to have to scour out with wire wool?” said...
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Oct
9

Sunday Snippet #79

Sunday Snippet #79 Basklisk  by: Rob Thurman Roc August 2, 2011 REVIEW HERE  Things are never as easy as they appear on the Net or in instructional videos.  I blamed an imperfect world for that.  I was a genius – I wasn’t blaming myself, because it obviously was not my fault.  Stefan didn’t throw up as I gradually turned theoretical into a reality.  I had to give him credit.  He turned green, he closed his eyes, he cursed nonstop, but he didn’t vomit, and it was an extremely bumpy ride for at least fifteen minutes.  Godzilla did throw up, down Stefan’s shirt as he wrapped himself tightly around my brother’s neck and shivered.  He wasn’t a fan of theoretical flying either.  I was surrounded by critics. That didn’t improve five hours later when I landed at the new Institute.  Stefan, who hadn’t been at all interested in the details of maximum cruising speed, fuel capacity, maximum climb rate, called it crashing, but I think that was an exaggeration.  Considering his lack of curiosity about all things plane related – except for the copilot’s three-point restraint system, or as he referred to it, “Where’s the goddamn seat belt?” – I didn’t think he had much room to judge. The ground’s rapidly approaching brown dirt, the unforeseen difficulty in getting the nose up, the speed down, but not too far down, and the bouncing off a jutting rock camouflaged the same color as the dirt – it did get the adrenaline pumping.  There was no doubt about that, but it didn’t change matters. “Gravity, genius,” Stefan groaned, holding on to his seat so tightly with one of his hands that it would probably cramp for days.  The other hand held something else.  “Gravity leads to crashes.” Despite the bump on my head and the blood dripping down Stefan’s forehead, it definitely wasn’t a full-on, complete crash.  It was at least a controlled crash and that was the next best thing to a legitimate landing.  That was my opinion and I was sticking with it.  Besides, it was not my fault.  I didn’t create the often-inconvenient laws of physics.  “Gravity” – I waved a dismissive and slightly shaking hand at Stefan’s bitching – “schmavity.  It’s all relative.” “I thought that was time, Einstein,” he pointed out, wiping blood onto the dried ferret vomit already on his shirt, “not schmavity.”  Why did he have to be smart at the least timely moment?  It was close enough...
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