Yes, we do have a title finally! I am calling this one “Snake’s Alive”. I plan on releasing it mid-June, and it will be available on Amazon, Smashwords, and all the usual e-book stores. We’re working on the cover design now, so that will be revealed soon-ish!
The first book in the series, “Five and Daemon”, is currently available free to download on Smashwords (in all e-book formats), the iTunes bookstore, Kobo, B&N, etc. (Not currently available on Amazon) It will remain a free download until this second one is released. After that, the price will go up to .99 (still a bargain!) and it will be available through Amazon at that time. Go here to read the blurb and get links to download.
And here’s a little teaser excerpt from #2 “Snake’s Alive”:
“Now what?” Cerise asked.
“No clue.” Johnny let the yo-yo down on its string, keeping it taut and ready. Lucifer chuckled.
“Your toy won’t help you against whatever is out there, believe me. There is only one way out.” Johnny and Cerise turned back from staring at the door. “Give me your hands.” When they hesitated, his voice deepened and became rolling thunder. “Now! If you care to survive!” He held out his hands. Johnny glanced at Cerise, shrugged, and took one of the offered hands. Cerise took the other, wrinkling her nose as if she smelled something gone bad. Johnny broke the contact long enough to grab the small book Marion had been reading and stuff it in his pocket. Then he grabbed Lucifer’s hand again. Lucifer lifted his head, eyes closed, and they were enveloped in a dense tornado of black smoke. When it cleared seconds later, they were standing on the curb next to Johnny’s car. The building that housed the Archives was rocking on its foundation.
“Great.” Johnny turned to Lucifer. “I don’t suppose you want to finish that story?”
Lucifer didn’t get a chance to answer. The old wooden doors at the top of the stone stairs burst out in a shower of splinters. The building shook again. The empty doorway filled with the head of a huge snake. It swayed back and forth, its long tongue tasting the air. It stopped, dark glittering eyes focused on the three figures standing at the curb.
“Uh-oh,” Cerise muttered. The snake shot out of the building, straight at them. They could hear the rasp of scales on the stones of the ruined doorway. Before they could react, it wound its gray-green coils around Lucifer. Just before he disappeared in a spiral of scales, he called out.
“John!” And tossed something toward Johnny. The snake hissed, a long sibilant sound, and it and Lucifer dissolved into gray-green smoke. When it cleared, they were gone. Johnny opened his hand. Sitting in his palm was the trident pin Lucifer wore on his lapel.
“Just when I was starting to get used to having him around.” Cerise gestured to the pin in Johnny’s hand. “What are we supposed to do with that?”
“I don’t know.” Johnny looked back at the building. It was still now, the shattered bits of the door scattered on the stone porch and steps.
“And how are we supposed to figure this out when both of our main sources of information just went poof?”
“I don’t know that, either.” Johnny walked around the car and opened the driver’s door. “But we’ll figure something out.” Cerise looked less than convinced but she got into the car. For once, it started on the first try and they turned the corner at the cross street just as three police cars, lights blazing and sirens blaring, shot past.
Johnny was sitting at the work table in the basement of his house, staring at the red trident sitting in front of him. Cerise came down the stairs and set a mug of tea next to his hand.
“It’s that special blend of his,” she said, climbing up on the stool next to Johnny. She raised a second mug toward him. “Figured maybe it’d give us some inspiration.” Johnny half-smiled and picked up the tea to sip it.
“This really is good stuff.” Johnny set the mug down and touched the trident with one finger. “Wish I had some idea why he tossed this.”
“You think that thing that grabbed him was the Serpent he told us about?”
“I don’t think so. I think it may have been sent by that whatever it is, but what we saw was a manifestation, not an actual demon. It was pure power.”
“And it was sent to grab Lucifer?”
Johnny nodded. “Yeah.”
“But why? And where did it take him?”
“I don’t know. But I’m betting when we find out, we find the answers to all of it.”
Johnny picked up the red trident and stared at it. “C’mon, Luc. Give me a hint.” They were quiet for a few seconds, until Johnny looked up.
“What?” Cerise asked. Johnny didn’t answer. He stood up and reached into the pocket of the jacket he was still wearing. He pulled out the silver yo-yo, which was vibrating and buzzing. Cerise stared at it. “I’ve never seen it do that before.”
“Me, either.” Johnny slipped the loop of the string onto his finger, and tried to throw the yo-yo out. The toy appeared to have a mind of its own, and simply dropped to the tabletop and fell over. Johnny picked it up, and rewound the string, trying again to throw a simple trick. Again, the yo-yo dropped to the table, rolled a few inches, and fell over.
“I think it’s trying to tell you something.” Cerise pointed to the toy, sitting next to the trident. Johnny stared at the two pieces, wrinkles furrowing his brow. He picked up the pin and yo-yo and held them up.
“Get the wards.” Cerise climbed down from the stool and crossed to the small bookshelf against the far wall. She picked up the wooden chest and brought it to the table. Johnny opened the chest and took out the items inside. He used the charcoal again to draw a circle on the table, and placed the talismans at their positions. Cerise watched him work.
“You think that’s going to be necessary?”
“No idea. But I’d rather have things contained, just in case.” He finished and set the yo-yo down in the center of the circle. He put the red trident pin on top of the silver toy. Nothing happened.
“Well, that was…” Cerise stopped as the yo-yo began to vibrate against the wooden table top. A swirl of red smoke rose from the trident and the rattling increased in tempo.
“Oh, for the love of… Not again!” Johnny put out a hand to grab his yo-yo and pulled it back when he got a sharp shock. The vibrating yo-yo slowed and stopped, the red smoke clearing. The red trident was embedded in the silver surface of the yo-yo, like a logo.
“And that helps us how?” Cerise was staring down at the emblazoned yo-yo. “A little reminder of Lucifer’s love?”
“Snake’s Alive”, The Yo-Yo files #2, available mid-June!
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