Something to Look Forward To

We all need a little something positive to look forward to this year, don’t we? For readers, we always have new books on the horizon (though I know earlier in the year, and even now for some, it was hard to focus on even reading, as much as we enjoy it). For some, it’s holidays, even as different as they are this year.

Right now, I am looking forward to live music in a few weeks. We’ve had a tradition for a long time of seeing Trans-Siberian Orchestra late in the year, and of course, this year, they, along with every other performer, had to cancel tours. But they are doing a live-stream concert in a couple weeks, so we will get to see them anyway. Even better, the night before and the night after, another band I love, Gaelic Storm, and Josh Groban are also doing live-stream shows, so we are looking forward to three consecutive nights of live music in our house. We’ve missed concerts. The last one we saw was Hall & Oates in February, at the beginning of their tour and before the world shut down. Of course it isn’t the same as sitting a few feet from the stage in a crowded arena, but this way, we still get to enjoy our favorite performances and everyone involved gets to stay safe. Win-win, right? That’s my something to look forward to in the short-term. Longer term? I have book plans for 2021 that I’m still working out, and hopefully that is something for you to look forward to as well.

Before I get back to working on one of those books, I have a little snippet for you today from Hunting Medusa.

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It was one of those days when having the Medusa’s fabled power to turn people to stone would really come in handy.

Andrea Rosakis did not, however, have that ability, not this week, anyway. Even though she was the reigning Medusa.

She glared at the man on her back porch, wondering if he could ever understand how lucky he was she wasn’t suffering from PMS this week. And why wouldn’t he stop talking? Her fingers itched to slam the door.

“…if you just have five minutes, ma’am,” he concluded.

She narrowed her gaze on the vacuum beside him. “No, thank you.” And how the hell had he found her all the way out here? No one ever bothered to follow her rough, muddy driveway all the way to the top, even if they did ignore the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the foot of it. Not to mention the protective warding she had set at the boundaries of the entire property. Sure, it wasn’t the heavy artillery of protection spells, but no one else had ever gotten past it. This man however, had not only ignored the signs and the subtle “go away” protections, but managed the entire bumpy, muddy track into the woods and halfway up the mountain. Just to hear her say, “No.”

And he didn’t look discouraged. At all.

Andi almost wished she were PMSing this week, though it would be a real pain in the ass to have to get rid of a life-sized stone statue of a vacuum salesman.

Or maybe she could keep it. He was very pretty, even if he annoyed her. He was tall and broad, his inky black hair was a tad too long, and his bright green eyes held her attention. At least as stone, he’d be silent and still pretty. She gave herself a mental shake. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this—”

“When would be a better time?”

“Never.”

He did blink at that, but his smile never disappeared. “I’ll have to check my calendar.”

She snorted, then clapped her free hand over her mouth. Laughing would not discourage the man. “Look, I’m sure it’s a great vacuum, but I don’t need it. I don’t want to see how it works, and I’d like you to get off my property.”

His smile did fade a little bit. “Well, I suppose, if that’s what you really want.”

She quirked an eyebrow, trying not to smile again. He had the faintest hint of an accent, but she couldn’t place it. Not without hearing him talk some more, and she didn’t want to encourage that either, or he’d just keep trying to sell her an expensive vacuum she didn’t need.

“Maybe I could talk you into meeting me for coffee sometime then,” he said.

Her jaw dropped. The cute salesman was hitting on her. For half a second, she indulged the fantasy of a date with the hunk. A real date, maybe ending with a real kiss. Her pulse quickened. Then she remembered one good date led to more, and eventually, it led to guys running away from her, gibbering like idiots when PMS struck. She shut her mouth and ignored the regret burning in her middle. “Sorry, but no.”

“You’re a hard woman,” he said lightly, his bright gaze sliding down to her mouth. “I’ll leave my card in case you change your mind. About the coffee, that is.” He forced a small card into her hand and picked up his vacuum.

Andi stared after him as he strode off her porch. The bulky vacuum looked like it weighed nothing in his hand, swinging at his side on his way to the shiny, new truck parked behind her car.

When he took one hand from the steering wheel to wave at her, she stopped herself from lifting her hand in response. He turned the truck around and vanished down the drive into the trees. Frowning, she went back inside and shut the door, then locked it and re-armed the alarm. He’d tossed the vacuum into the bed of the truck. A very strong salesman.

Who didn’t seem to care the impending rain was going to damage his expensive vacuum.

She turned back to the door and stared out the narrow window beside it, her heart beating faster now with alarm. Maybe he didn’t realize. Or maybe he really hadn’t come here to sell her a vacuum.

She swallowed hard.

Aunt Celosia had always told the cousins stories of the Harvesters, the men who still hunted for the Medusa. Somehow, Andi had always thought they’d be more frightening. More obvious. Ugly men intent on murder.

If this vacuum salesman was a Harvester, he was sneaky. Of course, if he was a Harvester, he would be sneaky, as Perseus had been when he killed the first Medusa.

She was in a lot of trouble.

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Aside from live music for the first time in ages, I actually am looking forward to book things. This month, I am looking at book covers for the rest of the Medusa’s Daughters’ trilogy for next year, and I’m excited about that. Until those are out in the world, though, I do have Light the Way Home available at all of your favorite booksellers. If you click on the title, the link will take you where you want to go.

What kind of things are you looking forward to before the end of the year? Big things or something smaller? My current pleasure is smaller, a nice mug of hot chocolate, though I don’t have cookies to eat with it, which is probably good, since my willpower is lacking when it comes to sweets. But the hot chocolate is delicious. Until next week, cheers!


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