I’m trading back and forth, working on Lux #2 and a new Muddy River short fiction. I’ve surprised myself, and Lux is getting close to done. Then I can spend all of my time on Raven and Hester while my critique partners mark up Heirlooms To Die For before giving it back to me.
For Muddy River, this time, I’m trying a different type of cover. So far, I’ve used images of people with a background I hope hints at magic. This time, I found an image that I think captures the theme of the story. See what you think:
And since I’m sharing the cover, I thought I’d share the opening scene of SURVIVAL, too:
Muddy River’s spring vacation usually brings bad weather. I never schedule coven meetings during that time, so that I’m free of all responsibilities. I love my young witches, but by early April, I’m as eager for a week away from them as they are to be free of lessons and me.
Days can be almost balmy right up until students leave my classroom on Friday, but that’s just to tease us. Soon, clouds gather to deliver torrential rain, blinding snow, or hail. It’s as though the heavens don’t condone our week off.
This year, we were supposed to get lucky. According to Meda, one of my coven, her bespelled weather vanes predicted the sun would shine the entire month and the temperatures would be mild. I hummed as I waved my hand to lock the school before crossing the field to my yellow Victorian house. A week of good weather. A miracle.
Claws ran ahead of me, only stopping to check both ways before crossing the street.
“Don’t go too far!” I called to him. “We’re leaving as soon as Raven gets home.” My fire demon had decided that we should spend the week at the lake cottage he’d bought for getaways. He was craving a little privacy.
His Lamborghini wasn’t in the drive, so I kicked off my shoes and headed straight to the kitchen. I poured a glass of wine, ready to celebrate my last day of school. Looking out the kitchen window, I saw Claws prowling the river bank that bordered the back of our property. He could burn off some energy before we made the hour drive to our cottage.
I was sipping pinot grigio, letting my mind drift, when I heard Raven’s car pull into the garage. A minute later, he pushed through the kitchen door. Six-five and corded with muscle, with black hair and amber eyes, he locked gazes with me, and his look sizzled. “Is everything packed?” When I nodded, he grinned. “Brown’s covering the office while I’m gone, and Strike’s promised to help out if needed. We have an entire week to ourselves, just you, me, and Claws. I have plans for you, witch.”
It was about time. Raven was Muddy River’s enforcer. Between his job and mine, it was hard for either of us to get away. I pointed to the suitcases and coolers sitting in the corner. Swallowing the last of my wine, I stood. “Let me change, and I’m ready.”
He licked his lips. “Need any help?”
“If you want to get to the cabin by supper time, it would be safer if I did it myself.”
“Right.” His expression turned lascivious. “Everything in due time.” He went to start loading my SUV. Twenty minutes later, Claws curled on the backseat and I rode shotgun, wearing my worn jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt. Raven turned away from Muddy River, and we headed north to enjoy ourselves and each other.
Hope you enjoy these. I still have a decent amount to write for Raven and Hester.