Today Erica Lucke Dean is visiting my blog with her witch, Ivie, from her latest paranormal release Suddenly Sorceress. I've brought along my dragon, Rhypez, to meet Ivie. Hey, Rhypez, our visitors are here!
‘Ivie is my name, magic is my game. It's lovely to meet you, Mr.Rhypez. Though, truth be told, I'm new at this whole ‘magic’ thing. Up until very recently I didn't believe in such things. Then one day, poof, my ex is a skunk. Speaking of stinky... your breath is a little off putting. Is that brimstone and virgin bones I smell?’
Rhypez yawned, revealing a veritable array of yellowing teeth. With one claw, he dislodged something from between two and flicked it away. ‘Brimstone keeps the teeth clean, but virgins are so passé... Witches, on the other hand, witches are interesting. Magic's an old friend of mine, but how are you and your new friend getting along, Miss Witch?’ He exhaled in a huge gust, and tongues of flame played across the floor.
‘When you say interesting, you don't mean delicious do you? Because I'm fairly certain I don't have enough meat on my bones for a big strong dragon like you. In fact... stop growling I'm trying to concentrate here... huh... still a dragon. Didn't you feel anything just then? Maybe the urge to bark? Guess I need more practice.’
‘That was a laugh, not a growl. Would you like to hear a growl? But you should know, Miss Witch, dragons are immune to most forms of magic - something it might be wise to know about someone before you try to turn them into a dog. Come closer, and we can... discuss... why witches are interesting.’
‘I'm not surprised to find out dragons are immune to magic... that seems to happen to me a lot. When I turned my jerk of an ex fiancé into a skunk it was an accident. And don't even ask about turning him back. I couldn't do that if I tried. I did turn him into a snake once... dragons are really just snakes with feet and spicy breath, right? Hey, keep those paws to yourself. Anyone ever tell you you need a manicure? Or is that a dragicure? Ah, I slay myself.’
‘Did you just call me a snake?’ In the act of poking Ivie again, Rhypez withdrew his claw and rattled his wings. He huffed out a hot, gusty breath, eyes glittering. ‘How about we agree you don't call me a snake again. But tell me about this skunk. I may deign to be amused.’
‘You do have those same snakey eyes...but fine. Stow your fire breath. As for my ex... I knew the guy was a stinker long before he was a...you know...a stinker. And seriously, he had it coming. He came home drunk and proceeded to break up with me, asking for my engagement ring back so he could give it to someone else! Who does this? A skunk. That's who. Well, that's how I found out I was a witch.’ Ivie gave the dragon a one shoulder shrug. ‘One minute he was a dude with bad decision making skills and the next he was Pepe Le Pew.’
Rhypez's flanks heaved with suppressed laughter, and a tongue of flame escaped his jaws. ‘A skunk! I love it. You should practice turning yourself into a dragon. Then think of all the nasty things you can do to men who deserve it...’
Ivie suppressed a shudder. A dragon? The goat was suddenly looking positively civilized. ‘What exactly do dragons do?’ Her mother's words came back to her...what if her face froze like that? ‘Never mind. I think I'll pass. I'm not even doing that great of a job as a witch.’
‘Do? Well... whatever we want. Who's going to tell us no? But really, we're not all that bad. Well, most of us. No eating people, not even virgins or witches. No randomly flaming people. I mean, we can, but why would you want to? No piles of gold - ugh, do you know how uncomfortable it is to sleep on a great, ugly heap of gold? And you can't eat it, neither. But you can fly. And - aren't I beautiful?’ He struck a pose, head high and wings upraised, revealing a glittering gold underside.
‘That isn't real gold is it?’ Ivie gaped at the dragon's shiny underside. ‘I could conjure up my own gold if I wanted it. I mean, not that I do, because I don't. I'm not the materialistic sort.’ She fidgeted where she stood. ‘But what I would like to do is fly. I have this pesky little fear of heights, you see. I’m not sure if witches really fly around on broomsticks, but if they do, I'm not sure I'm cut out for that. But you have lovely wings. So I assume you can fly. I don't suppose you could... maybe... teach me?’
Rhypez preened. ‘No, no, not gold, how ghastly uncomfortable would that be. Just my own hide. As for flying... well. You seem a nice enough sort, for a witch. Although I suppose being a witch still puts you a cut above the average human. I could maybe... take you for a spin? If you fancy?’ He proffered a leg, almost shy.
‘Hmm.’ Ivie scratched her head. ‘I've ridden a magician before, but never a dragon. Is there anything I should know before I...um...mount you?’ She giggled. ‘Do I need a helmet? Or a jacket? I’ve noticed your heat all blows out the front. And what about those scales? Are they slippery? I won't fall off will I. You do have seat belts, right? And what about gas...I hope you have enough gas to get us to where we're going.’ Ivie giggled again, thinking about dragon gas. What if he licked his...errr...dragon balls and burped. Would he set his own ass on fire? ‘You know, as much as I'd love to fly around the town on the back of a sexy dragon such as yourself. I think I'll pass. My magician is probably waiting up for me. And I have a whole list of people to turn into woodland creatures. And I'm sure you have a donkey to woo. So I'm going to thank you for a lovely evening and bid you goodnight. Don't be a stranger.’ Ivie held out a hand and waited for the dragon to shake it.
‘Hmph.’ Rhypez stared at her hand. ‘Gas. Scales. Seat belts! Donkeys?’ His scaly brow wrinkled in perplexity. ‘ Perhaps it's for the best, then.’ He extended one great claw and allowed Ivie to take hold of the tip. With great care, he shook. ‘Oops, sorry.’ He caught her and righted her before she fell. ‘Come visit when you figure out how to make that broomstick fly.’
Thanks so much to Erica and Ivie for dropping by to visit us! If you'd like to know more about Ivie and Suddenly Sorceress, check out the excerpt below or otherwise buy the book! Don't forget to enter the giveaway too.
Suddenly Sorceress is available from:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/suddenly-sorceress-erica-lucke-dean/1117715296?ean=2940149053964
Also check out the book and Erica at:
Book Page on Red Adept Publishing: http://redadeptpublishing.com/suddenly-sorceress-by-erica-lucke-dean/
Author page on Red Adept Publishing: http://redadeptpublishing.com/erica-lucke-dean/
Excerpt from Suddenly Sorceress
“You’re too sexy, my ass!” I tried to tune out the Right Said Fred ringtone as I fished my fiancé’s cell phone from the pocket of his discarded Dockers. I glared at the flashing caller ID. “You just don’t give up, do you?”
That was lucky number thirteen. Thirteen missed calls in the span of an hour. Thirteen calls he was unable to answer.
Because of me.
After pressing ignore one more time, I shoved the phone back into the pocket where it belonged, hoping it would muffle the sound somewhat. I didn’t know why I didn’t just turn off the damn thing. I’d endured his ridiculous ring tone more times than anyone should have to, obviously determined to punish myself. Between the maddening song and the horrible smell, I certainly felt punished. Even if it wasn’t nearly enough.
Way down deep in my bones, I knew my life had been forever changed. Even if I could somehow fix things—put them back to normal—nothing would be the same again. Not ever.
Swallowing against the crystal ball-sized lump in my throat, I dropped Matt’s pants where I’d found them, along with his shirt, his boxers, and his shoes, and I collapsed onto the rumpled blankets on the bed.
That sort of thing didn’t happen in the real world. Only small children or crazy people believed in… no, I refused to even think the word, let alone say it. It’s impossible. But I’d seen it with my own eyes, and whatever it was, it definitely wasn’t normal.
My scruffy housecat made another frantic orbit around my feet as the phone sounded again, the self-centered lyrics looping, making me cringe. Apparently, he’d also grown weary of the tune.
If only I could say the choice of ring tone was ironic, a product of his wry sense of humor. But he didn’t have much of a sense of humor. Matthew Green was exactly that arrogant. Despite every despicable thing he’d done to me, every insult, lie, and betrayal that had led us there, I truly wished Matt could answer his stupid phone himself. Unfortunately, wishing didn’t seem to be on my side that morning.
Stifling a groan, I pulled myself from the warmth of the bed to dig the phone out of Matt’s pocket again. Geez, persistent much? With a deep, cleansing breath, I mashed down the button to accept the call.
“Matt! Where are you?” Matt’s receptionist, Ginger, snapped before I had a chance to say hello. “Friday’s your busiest day. Do you have any idea what time it is? You’ve already missed two appointments.”
Even without caller ID, I would have recognized her breathy Betty Boop voice. She sounded as though she’d been sucking helium all morning. I didn’t know her well, but I suspected she was banging my fiancé.
“We’ll be lucky if there’s enough time for a quickie before the next patient arrives,” she continued in a whisper.
Yep… definitely banging him.
“And another thing.” Her sweet baby voice morphed into a feral growl. “Candy’s been standing outside your office all morning. I thought you said you were done with her? I’m not kidding, Matt, if I find out you’re still screwing her, I’m going to cut off your balls.”
Apparently, I was engaged to a pathological cheater. Of course, I hadn’t known that when I agreed to marry him. There were a lot of things I didn’t know about Matt. Then again, there was a lot I didn’t know about me.
“Well? Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“Uh… hi, Ginger.” I cleared my throat and resisted the urge to “say anything.” “This is Ivie. Matt can’t come to the phone. I… uh... don’t think he’s going to be able to… uh… make it into work today.” I managed to stammer through the basics without my voice cracking.
“Oh, hi, Ivie.” Her voice changed again; she sounded as if she’d been sucking lemons. She didn’t even have the decency to be embarrassed. “What’s wrong with Matt? He hasn’t missed a day in… Actually, I don’t think he’s ever called in sick.”
My eyes darted to the closed bathroom door, and I shuddered. “He’s really not feeling like himself today.” Understatement of the century.
“Is he sick?”
“Um… I definitely don’t think anyone wants what he has.” I tiptoed around the answer. I wasn’t good at coy, but I gave it my best shot.
“Oh… Well, in that case, maybe it’s best if he stays home.” I could almost see her coiling a lock of her thick red hair around her finger as she spoke. “Just tell him I hope he feels better, and not to worry. I’ll reschedule his appointments for him. Do you think he’ll be well enough to come in Monday?”
I tamped down a flicker of panic. “I really hope so.” But I seriously doubt it.
After listening to Ginger rant for a minute about missed appointments and the difficult task of rescheduling, I ended the call, staring at the bathroom door as if I expected a silent command to open it. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the door swinging wide and my fiancé sauntering out. I popped open one eye. The door hadn’t moved—not even a crack.
For far too long, I’d avoided that room. With three tentative steps, I closed the distance between myself and the master bathroom, covering my mouth and nose with one hand as I cracked the door. I’d almost gotten used to the foul odor in the bedroom. It was bad but not unbearable. The stench in the bathroom was overwhelming. The fumes poured out, bringing tears to my eyes. The small space reeked worse than when I’d locked him in there last night. It smelled as if someone had cooked up a potion of burning tires and rotten eggs in a boiling vat of sour ammonia, and even that comparison wasn’t quite bad enough.
Blinking back the sting of tears, I scanned the room. I didn’t see him anywhere, just a puddle that looked suspiciously like urine in one corner and in the other, a makeshift bed fashioned out of—were those my good bath towels?
A quick rush of adrenaline kick-started my heart. What’s happened to him now? This is bad. Very, very bad. As if things weren’t bad enough already. What sort of person was I? What I’d done was unspeakable, so horrible even I didn’t know what I’d done.
Just as I was about to have a full-blown panic attack, he slinked out from behind the hamper. I should have been relieved he was still alive, but I wasn’t sure if his current state was much better. He stared up at me—his beady little black eyes blinking in the harsh fluorescent light—so much smaller than he used to be and covered in a thick pelt of black and white fur. My fiancé.