Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday's Special Is...Red-Headed Stepchild!


RED-HEADED STEPCHILD by Jaye Wells

Pre-order from Amazon

Visit Jaye's blog


In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.

This time, it's personal.



EXCERPT FROM RED-HEADED STEPCHILD:

"Sabina Kane." His voice had this odd echo effect, as if it came from another dimension. A reptilian smile hovered on his black lips. This wasn't a social call. I crouched low, ready for battle. I'd never fought a demon, but damned if I was going to stand there like some scared woman waiting for whatever he planned.

"Get out."

"I'm afraid I can't do that," he said—at least I think it was a he. The black leather codpiece kind of hinted in that direction. A wooden stake appeared in his claw, the tip whittled down to a single spear-like point.

That didn't bode well. "Who sent you?" I slowly stepped to the right, trying to find a way to the exit. The demon's eyes tracked me.

He didn't answer, just moved a couple of steps forward. I held my ground, but tightened my grip on the gun. I didn't know if the apple bullets worked on demons, but they might slow it down. I glanced at the stake. The demon would have to get in close range to use it, whereas I had the gun. I pulled back the slide and squeezed the trigger twice.

The bullets ripped through the demon's chest. He blinked and looked down at the two rapidly healing holes. "That wasn't very nice." The stake disappeared and a crossbow took its place.

Panic froze me to the floor. My brain screamed at me to move, move, move. Instead, I watched the demon lift the crossbow as if in slow motion. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out. The arrow flew through the air so fast I barely saw it before it slammed into my chest. My body flew back as the arrow went through my body and speared me to the wall. I registered the impact on some level, but my mind was too busy dealing with the fact I was about to die. Any second my body would burst into flames and I'd be gone. Poof. Nothing left but a pile of ash.

Hot tears rolled down my cheeks as I closed my eyes and waited. There was no pain. Just shock and a dull sense of inevitability.

"Why haven't you exploded yet?" The demon was closer now, only a few feet away. I opened one eye to look at the arrow. Blood bloomed from the site of impact, just over my left breast.

"I—I don't know." Holding myself up became difficult as the seconds passed.
"Hmm. I wonder if I should stake you just to be sure."

"I'd really prefer it if you didn't," I said. "I'm sure I'll ignite any second."

I focused on the pain, which had just started to register. It didn't feel like I was about to combust though. It felt more like a freaking arrow had ripped through layers of muscle. Not the best feeling in the world, but I had to imagine it paled in comparison to having my immortal soul sucked from my body in a fiery death.

The demon came forward without warning and jerked the arrow from my body. The damned thing had lodged itself so deep it took a couple of good pulls to get it loose. I grunted against the pain and cold sweat broke out on my forehead. The tip of the arrow finally came free with a disgusting sucking noise. I collapsed to the floor and curled up into the fetal position in the puddle of spilled beer.

From the corner of my eye, I saw the demon hold the arrow up to the light. It lifted the tip to its mouth and his forked tongue darted out to taste the blood. My blood.
I groaned and squeezed my eyes shut. At that point, I almost hoped he'd stake me. No words exist to describe the pain.

"Well, I guess that's that." The demon's hooves click-clacked against the hardwoods as he walked to me. I felt him hovering close. "You okay?"

My eyes snapped open. Already, my heightened healing powers were making quick work of the wounds. "Am I okay?" I barked. "You just shot me through the heart with an arrow!"

"Hey, it's nothing personal."

******************************

Answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of RED-HEADED STEPCHILD:

If Cupid's arrow through the heart makes you fall in love, what would a demon's arrow through the heart make you do? Extra points if it gets you arrested.

Please drop in and say hi, and hang a while with Jaye! She's an uber cool person and makes strong drinks.

87 comments:

jason evans said...

Welcome, Everyone! Welcome, Jaye!!

Are you ready to kick some demon butt??

Qwill said...

I think it would depend on the type of demon? For example, if you were shot with an incubus' arrow it would make you an incurable nympho. That surely would lead to an arrest or two and possibly a long stay at some caring institution.

Looking forward to reading Red-Headed Stepchild!!

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Everyone! So cool to be here.

I'm currently shoring up my reserves with some high octane coffee. Let me have it!

Jaye Wells said...

Qwill, wonder what an incubus arrow would look like. ;)

Chris Eldin said...

OOOO!! This is good!

A fun excerpt! This is one book I can't wait to get my little paws on.
:-)

T.M. Thomas said...

A demon's arrow through the heart, generally, makes one dead.

/practical guy.

Unless, of course, when he shoots, he hits with...just the tip.

/starting Jaye's debauchery stories guy

Michele Bardsley said...

I'm pretty sure that getting hit with a demon's arrow means you turn into a writer. Or it gives you schizophrenia. Actually, there's not much of a difference... except writers get paid for listening to the voices in their heads.

Rylie said...

Demon's arrow through the heart? I think that it would turn one rather nasty and make a person run amok, causing chaos wherever they go.

Jaye Wells said...

TM, debauchery? Me? Never think it.

Now, see, Michele, I thought it was selling your soul to a demon that made you a writer.

Jaye Wells said...

Rylie, "amok" is one of my favorite words. That and "berserker." Thanks for stopping by!

Charles Gramlich said...

Questioin: If Cupid's arrow through the heart makes you fall in love, what would a demon's arrow through the heart make you do? Extra points if it gets you arrested.

Answer: make me listen to heavy metal and try to convince my wife we should have kinky sex, in public.

Jaye Wells said...

Charles, now that would definitely get you arrested in some states. The sex thing too.

Sarah Hina said...

Yay, Jaye!! Am going to pre-order now. Unless a demon gets me first.

I think a demon's arrow would make one absolutely indifferent. Even towards death. And worse, towards love.

Okay, I'll stop channeling Elie Wiesel and go order that book now. :) I really am incredibly excited for you, Jaye!!

(definitely not indifferent. whew ;))

Jaye Wells said...

Thanks, Sarah. That's an interesting twist on things. The demon of sloth, perhaps?

Lori said...

If Cupid's arrow through the heart makes you fall in love, a demon's arrow through the heart would make you fall completely in lust or maybe make you hate the person you love. For the extra points, maybe you would even kill the person you love or lust after having your way with them one last time....... Not sure but I gotta say, I much prefer Cupid. And Jaye, I have heard you totally rock!

Christina said...

My first thought of what a demon arrow could do that would get you arrested has already been mentioned by others but I will repeat it anyway cause I am dirty like that. Sex, full on, naked, kinky, dirty sex, in public, and lots of it. Don't forget the flogger....

And Michele, I am pretty sure that Jaye is right, it is the selling your soul to a demon that makes a writer. Are you telling me you don't remember making that particular deal (and here I thought it was such a special moment, sob)?

Sarah Hina said...

Okay, it's in my Amazon cart. Just need to wait and add some items to get Super Saver Shipping. :D

Btw, Jaye, now that you have the book in your hands, and can see the Amazon numbers climbing, have you actually absorbed that this is happening? Does it still feel a bit like a dream?

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

G'day, eh! I'm here and ready to help kick demon arse.

Hell would certainly be warmer than here -- it's still stick-your-nostrils-together cold in these parts.

If Cupid's arrow through the heart makes you fall in love, a demon's arrow through the heart makes you start singing Bee Gee songs. Especially the high parts.

Jaye Wells said...

Lori, oooh lust! It's interesting how we associate extremes of passion with evil, isn't it?

Christina's into public flogging. Good to know. ;)

Sarah, yay! Yes, it's starting to feel very real. Wonderfully, intensely so.

Rose Pressey said...

Assuming the arrow wasn’t lethal, it would turn me into a demon ass-kicker. Since kicking demon ass without a license is illegal in forty-nine states, I’d be arrested.

Can't wait to read the book!

Jaye Wells said...

Sandra, I love the Bee Gees. And I try to hit the Barry Gibb notes with zest and abandon any chance I get. When that happens everyone in the room wishes they had a crossbow.

Jaye Wells said...

Rose, you're in luck. Kicking demon ass is legal in my world.

Nancy said...

Rolling over these comments!

A demon's arrow thru my heart would make me rip the demon's head off. I mean, really. An arrow would ruin a perfectly good outfit, and then I'd have to go shopping. I hate clothes shopping.

I'm antsy to get my hands on your book, Jaye!

Light,
Nancy Haddock
Last Vampire Standing

Michele Bardsley said...

Dude. How do you think demons operate? Oh, the guy's just gonna take my soul, and then wham, arrow to the heart. It's a two-fer.

Leah said...

Sounds like a fabulous book and can't wait to read it!

I think a demon arrow must have hit a few of my former bosses. What else could account for their mean dispositions.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Jaye, what favourite books have you read lately?

Jaye Wells said...

Nancy! Hello, my friend. Seriously, and don't get me started if the blood gets on my shoes.

Michele, geez, I just had to sign a contract. You got a raw deal, my friend.

Leah, ha! I can relate to the evil boss theory.

Sandra, I read just about anything I can get my hands on. My recent faves are Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policeman's Union and Mark Henry's Road Trip of the Living Dead. Mark's stopping by the Roast tomorrow so definitely check his stuff out. He's a hoot.

jason evans said...

Whoa, I step out for a minute, and I can't even get back into the party it's so hopping!!

I think demons must be the key. ;)

Merry Monteleone said...

Am I the only one who thought cupid's arrow hit you in the ass? Maybe it's too much cartoons...

Okay, what would a demon arrow do, besides annoy the hell out of me (no pun intended)? I'm guessing it would remove my humanity, thereby rendering me a sociopath... wait, this'll be the new defense in murder cases - much more interesting than pleading regular old insanity.

Personally, I liked the commenter who said they'd be annoyed about having their clothes ruined.

Love the excerpt, Jaye. Can't wait to read it.

Fantasy Dreamer said...

I want to read this book! That excerpt has my mouth watering for more.

Demon arrow, hhmm, maybe it would lower your inhibitions, so you would do things you normally wouldn't? Like break out into a table dance that turns into a strip tease at the local diner? Or maybe it would make you tougher, meaner, able to pull the trigger without remorse? Not sure, but I sure want to find out.

Susan Adrian said...

Hi Jaye!

A demon's arrow through the heart would...give me the power to suck anyone's soul who pissed me off, and send them straight to hell.

Mwahaha. That might get me arrested, if they could figure out what I was doing...

Jackie M (Literary Escapism) said...

Wouldn't a demon's arrow also involve fire in some way?

I'm not sure what a demon's arrow would look like or do, but I do have to agree that it would depend on what type of demon.

Jaye Wells said...

Merry, I like the Demon Defense angle.

Fantasy Dreamer, I can see you're intrigued. I'll send Giguhl over in a bit.

Susan, wouldn't that be a great skill to have?

Jackie M, yes, I agree it would depend on the type of demon. Before I wrote this book I had no idea just how many types there were. It's mind-boggling.

Michele Bardsley said...

How'd you rate the nicer demon, Jaye? You're far more evil than I am.

I loved ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD. Fantastic freaking book.

jason evans said...

Jaye, work has been a drag for me to the sixth power. Which kind of demon or other supernatural entity should I blame for this turn of events?

Jaye Wells said...

Michele, I don't know if he's nicer. The contract involved some unspeakable things.

JSB said...

Besides being very painful...hrm...demon arrow in the heart would make you pissed off, pretty much all the time. Start bar brawls and break things. Kinda like permanent PMS. :)

~Jana

Michele Bardsley said...

You see why I took the arrow to the heart.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Jaye, Did you like "Yiddish Policeman..." It's on my TBR. I haven't read a Chabon book yet.

Loving these comments!! It's a real party over here!
:-)

Jaye Wells said...

JSB, and all the males shudder at the thought of permanent PMS.

Chris, I loved Yiddish Policeman's Union. An amazing book that's probably in my top five faves of all time.

brianjayjones.com said...

Just wanted to swing by to say hi to Jaye, and congrats on her launch this month! You rock, Jaye. And roll.

And I'm off to catch a plane. . .

Janet Reid said...

If Cupid's arrow makes you fall in love, a demon's arrow (no matter where!) turns you into a cranky, bitter literary agent where nothing is ever "quite right."

Am I projecting?

I must be.

I'm cranky today because my copy of Red-Headed Stepchild is still in the Amazon warehouse and not in my greedy paw.

(snarl)

Very much looking forward to reading this Jaye.

Jaye Wells said...

Brian, good luck. Say hi to Agent J for me.

Janet, I'd hand deliver a copy if I had one myself.

Bonita said...

Sounds like a absolutely delightful book. I can not wait to read it. A demon's arrow through the heart -- would suck all the emotions from you, leaving you stone cold.

donnas said...

Sounds like its going to be a great book.

I think a demons arrow would make you lose all inhibitions, control and feeling. Leading towards kinky sex, mass murder should anyone annoy you or get in your way and lack of caring about what happens to anyone but you. But since the first 2 will lead to arrest in most places the 3rd wont bother you for long.

Julie Weathers said...

Jaye, this looks like a really fun book. I'm looking forward to it.

Ah, I see Janet Reid beat me to the punch.

I think a demon arrow would turn a person into an agent or editor who hunted down authors sending queries violating the common sense rules of submission. Different rule violations would exact different punishments.

Authors would serve a month in servitude to each agent cc on a submission.

Mentioning fiction novel would be punished by reading every submission, in full, of a fiction novel for a year.

Rhetorical questions merit rhetorical punishment. "How would you feel if someone applied thumbscrews to your nether regions?" Then, of course, the thumbscrews would be attached.

Telling an agent to go to their website and check out their writing results in the demon agent sending the author to hell and telling them to check it out.

Of course, there is one way to defeat a demon agent. For instance, when they gnash their teeth about your manuscript being too long, you simply invoke the power of ABBA. http://tinyurl.com/demon-agent-control

Pam P said...

Hi Jaye, I've been wanting to read this since I first heard about it.

A demon's arrow, what would it do? Might make my eyes turn red and glowing? Make me sprout a tail and horns? Lust after males, pitchfork in hand? Those cops sure would try to arrest this ravenous lunatic loose on the streets!

Aerin said...

Hey Jaye! Yay for Red-Headed Stephchild!! Yay for you! Do you have a memory of the process of writing this book that stands out vividly for you?

I think a demon's arrow would turn a person into their fantasized self, but as a shell - so, smart, hot, whatever - total version of the world's idea of "success" but without a heart. Kind of like the Brendan Fraser movie that sucked. (I know, I know - which one - but I'm on a Fraser kick these days.)

Jaye Wells said...

Bonita, stone cold, huh? Like an emotional vacuum.

Donnas, makes me wonder if Dahmer might have been struck by the demon's arrow.

Ah, Julie, agents get suck a bad wrap. I think we need a national hug an agent day.

Pam, I don't think cops get paid enough to track down horny demons.

Aerin, thanks! I'd have to say the process of world building stands out most vividly. I love research and brainstorming, so the process was pure fun.

laughingwolf said...

welcome jaye... love how you combine humor with the frightening, and add levels of mystery at the same time :)

mama was a redhead but doubt she's the one in this tale... though she sounds more like the twin sister i never had ;)

a demon's arrow thru my heart's next to impossible, being as how the tiny thing's in my... uh... never mind!

but if it DID happen to find its mark, no doubt i'd become saintly... kinda like saint elmo's fire... causing me to ignite the hearts of maids, both fair and foul... now THAT'D be an arrestable offense, n'est-ce pas? :O lol

Sean Ferrell said...

Jaye,
Sorry I'm late. I was busy trying to come up with an excuse as to why I am late.

What does a demon arrow through the heart do? I think it turns you into Jaye Wells.

Jackie B. said...

Well...duh....a demon's arrow through the heart would make you bleed!!!!! If it did not kill you, it would also make you a demon hater and you would want to whoop some serious demonic ass!

Susan Adrian said...

LOL-- I can't wait to hear what Janet Reid thinks of "hug an agent day".

*taking cover*

Carmen R said...

Ok I'm not 100% sure that Cupid isn't a demon to began with. I mean love can be a curse so I think a demon arrow would make you fall in love with the wrong person. Maybe one were your going to be fighting all the time. I guess you could end up in jail if the fights come to blows. Depending on what kind of blows in comes to ( the good kind or bad) if in public your going to jail. lol

Jaye Wells said...

Laughingwolf, sounds like you're saying you're already quite the devil.

Sean! everyone here is pretty lucky you're my beta reader or you might have just won an ARC for that answer.

Jackie B, I can't wait till everyone reads this books and figured out what Sabina does to the demon in retaliation.

Susan, are you stirring up trouble?

Jaye Wells said...

Carmen, lol!

Susan Adrian said...

Of course I'm stirring up trouble! You didn't think it was a "roast" because it was all polite and boring, did you?

C'mon trouble. Over here.

Brandy said...

My sewing skills aren't the best and that arrow is going to leave a hole so.....A demon's arrow through the heart would tick me off and seriously make me want some revenge against said demon. It would also maybe make you immortal and easily able/sensitive to finding demons of all kinds considering it was a demon's arrow. *G*

strugglingwriter said...

The real question for me is what does cupid's arrow through the butt means. I'm pretty sure I've seen that in my newborn's diaper a few times already in his week of being alive!

Good luck to you Jaye with your awesome book!

Paul

Jaye Wells said...

Brandy, what is this sewing of which you speak? Do you mean like double stick tape or super glue? Otherwise I'm lost.

Struggling, OMG I can't believe I forgot to congratulate you on the new baby. I'm so sorry. Yeah, those meconium diapers are downright toxic. Better invest in some rubber gloves.

Jaye Wells said...

Susan, I'm not sure I could handle what would happen if i tried to hug Janet.

lindalou said...

A demon's arrow thru the heart would bring on uncontrollable lust... IF this occurred in an inappropriate place, you could be arrested for exhibiting such behavior... IF it was REALLY HOT, you could burst into flames as a result of that lust...

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Jaye, if anyone tries to hug Janet, they'd probably burst into flames.

Mwah, Janet!

Jaye Wells said...

Lindalou, ouch! That sounds painful.

Sandra, maybe if you plied her with Scotch first.

laughingwolf said...

i'll have you know, jaye, i neither confirm nor deny any rumors you may have heard about the ol wuffster... that'd be telling ;) lol

as for red, she sounds like a great celtic lady a stiff dram of single malt would help in her current situ!

sorry for tardiness, muscle surgery on both eyes friday is blurring my vision today :(

Jaye Wells said...

Wolf, is the surgery to blame for the glowing eyes in your pic? Hope you feel better soon.

As for Sabina, she's a California girl, but she's never met a stiff drink she didn't like.

Elena said...

Jaye,

Your book sounds very interesting. I can't wait to read it.

As for what would happen if a demon shot an arrow, I think it depends whom it would hit. If it hit me, I would sue him :). Economy's in crisis, after all.

Anonymous said...

lots and lots of sexxxxx
with or without other ppl :)
in the town square with the wagon train parade


gypsywitch36@yahoo.com

Carol said...

Mmm -- I imagine it would make you do all sorts of naughty things, ones that you would not come up with on your own...

Jaye Wells said...

Fascinating answers guys. Apparently a demon arrow will either make you horny, a sociopath or litigious. Or perhaps all three.

Jaye Wells said...

Okay so all this roasting is making me hungry. Unfortunately, I have a book coming out in a month so I'm officially on the "operation hot author diet."

Hmm, maybe a demon's arrow could shed unwanted pounds.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Don't I wish! Point that sucker my way!

Jaye Wells said...

Sandra, can you imagine the line for that target practice?

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Jenny Craig would go out of business.

Carmen R said...

I would so be in that line lol

Merry Monteleone said...

That can't be right... the only way a demon arrow makes you lose weight is if it's some sort of Faustian deal... like, yay, I'm skinny but the world has suddenly riverted to liking rubenesque women and thinking thin is sickly...

Jaye Wells said...

Ah Merry, don't ruin our fun! But oh man how awesome would it be the Rubenesque frame came back in vogue. Let's start a revolution! Vive le curves!!

laughingwolf said...

yup, the surgery makes the old eyes glow ;)

well, nothing wrong with a stiff one... any time :O lol

jason evans said...

The bell for the end of the witching hour has sounded. The contest is now closed.

Thanks, Jaye, for an awesome, awesome day!! It's been truly a blast. I want to thank you for being a great friend, and I wish you every success in your writing career. :)

Now, let's pick that winner, Jaye! Whoever the lucky person is, please contact Jaye directly to arrange for receiving your prize.

Merry Monteleone said...

Maybe we can push someone else in front of the demon weight loss arrow... and the rest of us can reap the rewards of the new Rubenesque Age... Vive le Curves!!

:-)

(who said demons were the only ones who could be sneaky?)

Jaye Wells said...

Wow, you guys. You sure don't make it easy for a girl to pick a winner. Before the big reveal, I just want to thank Jason and the cool people of Book Roast for throwing the party. It was a blast.

Now, I chose the winner based on creativity. And I loved Carmen R's idea that maybe Cupid was really a demon. Now if that's not the seed for a great story, I don't know what is.

Carmen R. email me and I'll send out your ARC ASAP.

Thanks, guys!

Carmen R said...

omg thank you so much. i can't wait to read it.

Jackie Ballway said...

Hmm...I made a snarky comment about the demon arrow turning you into a booze guzzling zombie, but that disappeared. So I'll make it again.

A demon arrow through the heart would make you feral...for designer clothes and a delicious drink.

Jackie Ballway said...

(And yes, I knew the contest was over. I just really liked my answer!)

Cat Rambo said...

Surely it would make you want to hunt down Cupid and eat HIS heart?

laughingwolf said...

grats carmen, and thank you jaye :D

Pam P said...

Congrats, Carmen!