Today GCReading is kicking off SHADOWS BEFORE THE SUN mini-blog tour!
We sharing an excerpt with you, plus Kelly Gay is also giving away a signed copy of Shadows Before the Sun + Swag!
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For a long moment, we just stared at each other. They loved Hank, too. Emma, certainly. Rex would in time. Right now he was having too much fun playing the protector. It wasn’t so much that Rex thought I needed protecting, but more that he found it vastly entertaining to give “the siren” a hard time.
“So here’s the way I see it,” Rex broke the silence. “We have two choices. Accept the official government drivel, or give them the official Madigan salute.”
I was almost afraid to ask. “The official Madigan salute?”
He rolled his eyes like I should be following—like it was ever easy to follow Rex’s Crazy Train of thoughts. “Emma, dear one, close your eyes.” She snorted, but did as he asked. Then he turned to me and said, “Let me introduce you to your new response to any and all comers who spew this particular party line.” He made a grand gesture of lifting his hand, folding his fingers down, and popping up his middle finger. “Voilà.”
“I know what you’re doing,” Em said dryly. “I have seen the middle finger before.”
Rex gave her a gentle shove. “Already she’s a juvenile delinquent. What are they teaching you at this school of yours?”
“A bunch of boring stuff,” she muttered, falling back behind me, drawing in her knees, and crossing one leg over the other, so that her knee rested against my shoulder. Brim’s nose lifted her hand in a bid to be rubbed.
Emma had gotten a partial scholarship to attend the League of Mages’ school in Atlanta, a very private, very expensive school that taught gifted children, human and off-worlder, how to craft and best grow their powers. They also, to Emma’s great dismay and my delight, were keen instructors of math, science, grammar, languages, and believed in laying a solid foundation to crafting long before students were able to actually craft.
“Since you were going into Fiallan anyway and Bryn and Miss Marti are already watching me for the week, I think you should stick to the plan. Go to Fiallan and get Hank.”
Rex joined in. “The chief is still cool with giving you the week off. He wanted me to tell you that. And you already have the necessary paperwork to travel . . . Everything is still on, Charlie. Only question is, when are you leaving?”
A feeling of such relief and hope erupted inside of me. They weren’t going to take anyone’s word for it, either. They’d stand by me, by Hank, no matter what.
“Well?” Rex prompted.
My stomach was doing somersaults. Right. Okay. “Well, as soon as I get a shower and pack then,” I heard myself say.
Rex slapped his hands on his knees and then stood. “Awesome. I picture you walking out the Circe’s door with the siren thrown over your shoulder, giving your new salute as you go.”
Emma laughed. “That’d be so cool. You totally have to do that.”
“Yeah, I’m sure Hank would love to be thrown over my shoulder and rescued like a sack of potatoes.”
“Oh, but that’s the beauty of it,” Rex said with longing. “He’d never live it down and I could spend years reminding him of it.” He looked off into nothingness. “Good times. Good times.”
I got off the bed. “You guys are nuts.” But they believed in me. Believed in Hank. And I was fine living on the funny farm as long as I had them in my corner. I leaned down, grabbed my daughter’s face, and kissed her on the forehead. “I love you. I’m taking a shower.” I turned to walk away.
“Uh, hello? What about me?” Rex asked. “What the heck kind of gratitude is that? Why don’t I get kisses on my forehead and I love you’s?”
“Aww, what’s wrong, Wexie Poo?” Emma teased. “Are your whittle feel-wins hurt? I bet Brim will kiss you, won’t you, Brim.”
Rex’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t you dare tell that hound to kiss me.”
I stopped by the bathroom door. That was the thing about my kid. She could communicate with the hellhound, and poor Rex was about to get slimed.
Rex stood on one side of the bed and Brim on the other, attention fixed on Rex with perked-up ears and a drooling mouth. The look on my daughter’s face was priceless. She so wanted to do it; she was on the edge and already falling.
Rex must’ve realized she was a goner. “You realize I will get you back for this!”
Her grin was wide. “I know, but it’ll be worth it,” she said, right before pointing at Rex and commanding, “Smooch!”
Happy to oblige, Brim leapt onto my bed and off the other side, tackling Rex to the floor. Rex fell with a loud oomph and screamed like a little girl, vowing revenge as Brim laid wet kisses on his face. I couldn’t help but laugh. Em rolled on the bed, holding her stomach and yelling that she was going to pee her pants.
“Don’t pee on my bed!” I laughed as she jumped off and called Brim after her, running for cover, thumping down the stairs and out the back door.
Rex moaned from the floor, arms flat out, panting, face screwed up and wet. “Call 911. Hurry. I’m not . . . gonna . . . make it. Tell my wife . . . I lov—” he gasped dramatically, lifted his hand to some un- seen apparition, and then died a painful, glorious pretend death on my floor.
“Nuts,” I muttered, shutting the bathroom door. “I live in a house full of nuts.”
About Shadows Before the Sun....
The electrifying sequel to the acclaimed urban fantasies The Better Part of Darkness, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, and The Hour of Dust and Ashes!
After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that jinn crime boss, Grigori Tennin, has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep. And when Vengeance rises, Atlanta will never be the same.
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