Monday, November 26, 2012

One Week To Go Before A GALACTIC HOLIDAY Releases--Let's Celebrate!

Welcome to the first day of A GALACTIC HOLIDAY's blogfest!
*throws confetti*

To kick off the excitement, Sasha Summers, Anna Hackett and I are over at Ye Olde Inkwell today, talking about how A GALACTIC HOLIDAY was first put together.  We're also doing a giveaway with three prizes at the end of the blogfest on December 21st.  The more you enter, the better chance you'll win!  Good luck!

Also throughout the week I'm going to be posting excerpts from my novella, HOW THE GLITCH SAVED CHRISTMAS.  In this scene, Detective Reina Vedette and her rival in the department, Edison Wicke, are at the scene of a crime, but it's unlike any other scene they've come across.  Instead of finding chaos, loss and misery, the two discover what could possibly be the beginnings of a Christmas miracle.  Enjoy the excerpt!


“Wow. A real tree.” Reina leaned in to sniff appreciatively, and he wanted to run a finger down that cute little ski-shoot bump she called a nose. “Call me sentimental, but I love that scent.”
“Sentimental,” he obliged her, then drank up the pleasant tingle when she slanted those inky black eyes his way. “Want to hold hands and sing Christmas carols? I know all the words to ‘Gimme, Santa, Gimme’.”
“I think ‘O Tannenbaum’ would be more appropriate.”
“I’m not singing about shit I don’t even know how to say.” Narrowing his eyes, he went online and did a quick Christmas carol search. “Okay, now I do. Feel like singing?”
She fished a small rectangular item out of a zip pocket and thumbed a button. In an instant the clear crime-scene investigation visor—the same kind he’d used before he’d gotten his bod-mods—sprang from its compact state. “Thanks, I’ll pass.”
“Vedette, you have no sense of adventure.”
“Hmm.” Visor in place, her attention veered back to the tree. With an air of curiosity, she touched the string of popcorn swirled around it. “Real tree, real popcorn. A red and green paper-chain, paper doily snowflake ornaments and a star made out of aluminum foil. What does this remind you of?”
“I told you—‘Gimme, Santa, Gimme.’”
“I can’t believe I forgot you suffer from an incurable case of smartassery.” She shook her head as though lamenting this tragic flaw in his personality. “Are you ever serious, Detective Wicke?”
“Seriousness is overrated. And we’ve known each other a couple years now, yeah?”
She pursed her lips. “Let’s see. My first memory of you was when you ate the pistachios given to me by the family of the last victim of the Lake Shore Drive Cannibal. This occurred a couple months before that twitchy university professor wired his campus’s science building to go up in a nuclear flash. As I recall, you were hyped up about sniping him straight out, while I thought it might be a great idea to find out why he’d flipped his lid.”
“My plan had merit.”
“Except for the fact that the detonation trigger was biomechanically hard-wired to his body. Your plan would have turned Chicago into a mushroom cloud. Mine uncovered the fact that the student he’d been obsessing over was going off to spend Spring Break with her boyfriend. A couple sweet-nothings from her via vid-chat, and he was as docile as a lamb.” She shot him a frown. “Is there a point to your question?”
“The point is, we’ve known each other for a while now. When are you going to start calling me Edison?”
“Maybe when you tell me what you and your bionic brain come up with when you look at this tree.”
There was a challenge in her tone he couldn’t help but answer. He plugged the screencap of the tree into a search engine and let it roll. “This is an Austrian pine tree, standing at a height that would be consistent with a tree that is approximately three to five years in age and could therefore be considered a sapling. The needle tips are showing the first signs of Diplodia, a blight-like disease that hits Austrian pines living primarily in urban areas—”
“God, I hate all the trivial garbage search engines vomit out.” If he had been plant life, the look she gave him would have been just as devastating as Diplodia. “Try to look at this object with human eyes and tell me what you see. That is, if you can even remember how that’s done.”
With a curse, he closed the internal search window. “Someone has a really bad sense of Christmas style?”
“This is a child’s tree.” Though she still looked as irritated as he felt, her tone softened as if a part of her was slipping away to another place. She brought a gloved finger to one of the doily snowflakes as if it were made of the finest crystal. “I used to make these when I was a kid. Same with the paper chains. Though I have to admit mine never came out as symmetrically perfect as these little geometric wonders, no matter how hard I tried.”
“Yeah?” There was something in her expression, an echo of sadness that didn’t jibe with the conversation. “I can see you shooting for perfection, even as a rugrat.”
“It’s not my fault I’m detail-oriented. Did Ms. Seldon notice if any of her household items were used to make the decorations?”
“She says no. She didn’t even know what a doily was, and quite frankly neither did I. Who knew there was such a thing as doily snowflakes?”
“My parents.” She hunkered down to examine the base of the tree. “This material wrapped around the tree’s base looks like that sheet hanging up at the window, complete with a sun-bleaching on one side. Unlike the ornaments and the tree itself, this tree skirt didn’t come from outside. This was already here.”
“Tree skirts, doily snowflakes.” He shook his head, watching the intriguing play of emotion drift across her face. What he wouldn’t give to link with her now. “I don’t even know the names of these things. You must really go all out for Christmas, yeah?”
She shook her head and lifted the sheet to examine what was underneath. “Not since I was sixteen.”
“What happened when you were sixteen?”
“How amazing that a level five detective would have to ask something so obvious. Guess they don’t make level fives like they used to.”
“You’re the one who told me to simply ask you about stuff, rather than be invasive,” he shot back, while his already-iffy mood hit the skids to land him in a place where putting his fist through a wall seemed like a fine idea. “Don’t get pissy because I’m a level five now. I earned it, make no mistake.”
She ducked her head almost to the floor, doing something under the sheet with her free hand that seemed to have all her attention. “I will admit, you are a better detective than, say, level three Manu Obie.”
“Damn, you know how to insult a guy.”
For a closer look at HOW THE GLITCH SAVED CHRISTMAS, please visit my BOOKS page for the blurb.  You can also view its detailed storyboard on Pinterest.

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