You see, way back when I was planning out my promotional efforts and such for this first part of the year, I had it in my head that I had a nice spaced-out set of releases and this was good. I planned accordingly. Then, somehow, I went brain-dead and when I got the grey matter back on line, I had it cross wired to think I had two releases in May and was frantically trying to figure out how I was going to dole out promotion evenly and fairly for two releases in one month. I wasn't looking forward to it.
This morning, I come back from running errands to see a post on my Facebook wall saying "Happy release day, love!" And I was all, like....O.o What? Release day? Huh?
Another brain short. Another reboot. and lo and behold, there is the original mind map telling me I had a nice, evenly spaced first half of the year as far as releases were concerned, just like I first thought. Except for the fact I suddenly have no promo planned for March. I have a book out and now a frenzy of OMG!!! I need to tell people!! Ack!!1.....
Mind melt. Time to go to the day job. This is my life, folks. How I will get from one end of it to the other, I do not know. How those around me, like the wonderful, wonderful Sarah, with whom I wrote this book, put up with my constantly short circuited brain, I have no idea, but there it is. Sarah, my darling, you rock hard, woman. THANK YOU!!!!!
One cop. One killer. Both dreamwalkers. Not every dream should see the light of day...
Three very different people have one thing in common-a dreamscape steeped in horror. Barry has had dreams of violent death all his life, and as a cop, he now works to solve the crimes his dreams tell him about in hopes he can save at least one victim from suffering the fate he faces every time he lays his head on his pillow. His ex-lover, Tag—now his boss—has no idea how to help him cope other than to protect his job...and try to protect their hearts from the dreams that could end up killing them both.
Layton welcomes the dream state that shows him his next victim. He's been a killer for as long as he can remember, and the land where he walks in shadow beside the horn-headed man who guides him feels more like home than the waking world. Now, in addition to seeking out those who would kill the innocent and ending their lives in his own special reign of terror, Layton is promised a bride—someone to love him forever. It seems everything he's ever dreamed is about to come true.
Jessica just wants to get her life back after her boyfriend is murdered and she is abducted. Twice. Finding herself at Leyton's mercy is a nightmare she soon finds is only the very beginning. When the horn-headed man visits her, she knows nothing will ever be the same again.
The four of them now have to find a way to navigate the real world while the dream state dictates their very lives and threatens everything they hold dear. If they manage catch a few killers and save a few innocent lives along the way, that will have to be their compensation for the "gifts" given by The Dreaming.
And now for a lovely (if possibly disturbing) excerpt from today's release: Tools of Justice.
“Listen.” Tag palmed the steering wheel, guiding the car smoothly around the corner. “Don’t worry about this.” He squeezed Barry’s hand again. “Anyone says anything about us, you let me deal with it. You just concentrate on figuring out who it is that’s getting into your head and what he wants.”
“God, you say that like it’s a normal, everyday occurrence.”
Barry glared at him, feeling the tension knotting at the base of his skull.
“Here’s the thing,” Tag continued mildly. “You have always had these dreams. They have to be coming from somewhere. It isn’t like you were actually there, so how could you possibly know what those victims felt unless something else is going on? I feel slightly more comfortable with the idea that someone might be orchestrating all this than with the idea your brain randomly taps into some freak radio wave that we can’t control. A person, an entity, whatever…something behind it means there’s a chance we can stop it.” He spared a quick glance for Barry. “It means I can protect you from it.”
The elusive ache at the back of Barry’s head suddenly swelled, sending him into a dizzying spiral of ferocious pain. He screamed, grabbed at his head, and doubled over. Somewhere outside himself, tyres squealed, horns blared. The car lurched and spun, and Barry felt everything tumble out and away before the vehicle came to a devastating stop.
For a long minute, he remained still, trying to work out what had happened. The world was dark around him. Night air whisked across the back of his neck, cooling the sweat, and slowly, the awareness of a horrid, shrilling blast broke through. The car horn bled sound on and on, out into the night.
“Tag?” He blinked and shook his head, which sent the world spinning around off its axis. “Tag…”
The steady drone of the horn was his only answer.
Finally managing to right himself, Barry blinked at the deflated air bag in his lap.
His brain clicked into gear, and he looked to the driver’s seat.
“No. This is not happening. Tag!”
Gently, he touched his lover’s shoulder. No twitch of movement, no moan, no response at all. Blood dripped in a steady plop, plop off the base of the steering wheel.
“I tried to warn you, Barry.”
“Not now! Tag!” He scooted closer, reached for both Tag and the radio. “Code thirty! Code thirty! We’ve gone…” He glanced around, unsure where, exactly, they were. “Off the road under the west turnpike bridge. Send a fucking bus! Tag!”
Dumping the radio in favour of carefully prying Tag back from where he slumped over the steering wheel, Barry tried to peer around into his captain’s bloodied face. “Tag, come on. This is not a good time for you to check out on me. Please.”
“You should have listened.”
“I said… Not. Now!”
“Now is all there is.”
Barry tried to shut out the voice in his head as Tag finally made a low, guttural sound in his throat. Blood bubbled out of his mouth, and he coughed, a weak, pathetic little bleat.
“Oh, God. Okay. Tag, it’s going to be okay. Just…” He glanced around. They weren’t that far from the crime scene. Where the hell was everyone? “Just try and relax.”
Outside the window, he could see only low rolling fog and tendrils of mist snaking along through the grass. Anything beyond that was gone—the road, the traffic, the light of the sirens that should have been there… It was like they’d dropped out of the world.
The mist shrouded everything, clawed up the side of the car and curled around Tag’s open window. Barry’s two worlds meshed into one, horrifying reality. He dived across Tag’s lap as he began to choke, the mist roiling up along his neck and into his mouth, his nostrils, seeping into his hair and ears.
“No! No, no, no!”
Frantic, Barry twisted the window lever round and round, but the fog was already inside with them, already forcing Tag’s mouth wider, climbing down his throat like a thing alive.
He shook Tag, tried to wipe the stuff away. It clung in clammy, sticky globs to his flesh.
“Stop it! Fuck! Leave him alone! You promised!”
There was nothing to grab onto as Tag choked and convulsed, trying to get air into his lungs. His eyes opened finally and fixed on Barry, pleading for help he couldn’t give.
“What do you want?” Barry shouted. “What? I already said I would help. I said. Don’t do this.” His voice drained to a hoarse whisper, and he dragged Tag into his arms. “Don’t. You said you wouldn’t hurt him. Jesus fuck, please. I’ll do anything, just don’t take him.”
“He will interfere, Barry. Distract you. You need to focus.”
“He is my focus.” Barry petted Tag’s hair, rocked him, tying to ease the pain and fear knotting his lover’s muscles, trying not to listen to the dying sounds he was making. “I’ll do whatever you want. Leave him out of it.”
“Can you leave him out of it?”
“What? No! I need him!” Barry tightened his arms. “You want me? You only get me if I have him. I can’t do this alone.”
“He can’t threaten us, our mission, Barry. Not even in words. You make him understand. It doesn’t stop. You have a gift. You must use it.”
“Okay! Okay, just… Let him go!”
In his arms, Tag heaved, convulsed, then the fog was withdrawing, snaking back out the window, and Tag was hauling in breath after breath, shuddering and panting in Barry’s arms.
“It’s going to be okay,” Barry whispered, over and over with each stroke of his hand through Tag’s hair.
Even after Tag was breathing somewhat normally again, Barry held onto him, stroking him, rocking, whispering his mantra.