Announcement: Schedule Shifting

So, I’m writing a sequel to Slow Burn, and I want to get it out as soon as possible, so I’m pushing back the third Helicon book. (Trust me, it is going to be awesome. A wee bit darker than the first book, but with intense poignancy. At least if I get it right. I’m thinking of calling it Slow Agony. I would call it Slow Torture, but I think it would get confused with Tortured. Any suggestions?)

I know. I’m sorry.

But Come Together is already outlined, and I’ve already written 15K of it, and so it’s just a matter of getting it done, which I will do right after I write the sequel to Slow Burn. I swear.

I promise that Helicon is very close to my heart and that I will not abandon it. I promise.

So schedule shifts to the following–
March release: Slow Burn sequel
April release: Come Together, book three of the Helicon Muses
May release: Jason and Azazel #8

To make up for it, here’s an excerpt from what I’ve written of Come Together already. It’s utterly unedited, so I’m sorry if it’s crap. 🙂

Excerpt from Come Together:

“Don’t bother,”Sawyer said. He was rustling through a rack of fabric in the clothing enclave.

Nora watched his long fingers dance over the various colors and textures of fabric. Blue silk, yellow flannel, white linen. She’d met him here a minute ago to help him get measurements for their dresses for the Winter Ball. The minute she’d mentioned Maddie, his expression had gone stormy. “But I want to talk to her.”

He turned away from the fabric. “Trust me, you don’t. She’s in a foul mood, and she’s channeling her anger at you for no reason.”

“Me?”Nora sat down on a chair next to a sewing machine. It was late evening. She and Sawyer were the only two in the vast clothing tent. “What did I do?”

“She’s jealous,”he said. “Because Daryl turned out not to like her, I guess. She said that you get all the guys.”

She furrowed her brow. What did Maddie mean by that? “I don’t.”

Sawyer pulled out some purple velour and showed it to Nora. “What do you think?”

“It’s pretty,”she said. “Seriously, why would she say that? I don’t get all the guys.”

Sawyer ran his hand over the fabric. “Well, there was Owen, Agler, and me. And Maddie said you changed my sexual orientation, which isn’t true, but–”

“Owen doesn’t like me, he’s obsessed with me,”said Nora. “And Agler practically told me to date you at Halloween last year.”

“He did?”Sawyer put the velour back, looking at her sharply.

“I don’t get all the guys.”She folded her arms over her chest. “And you liked girls before me, you just didn’t know it.”

He considered. “Well, actually, I like you. I’ve never really–”

“Did I change your sexual orientation, Sawyer?”

“No,”he said. “Not at all. I’m not like that, anyway. I don’t have… orientations.”

She was quiet.

“Look, I’m sorry I brought it up. I didn’t mean to upset you. She’s only angry and hurt and sad.”

Nora’s arms were still crossed. She still felt angry. “Are you making her a dress?”

“She said she’s not coming.”

She sighed. She let her arms drop. “Well. That is sad.”She chewed on her lip. “I wish we could help her.”

“We can’t,”he said. “Not until she’ll let us in. And right now she won’t.”

Sawyer tugged out some pale blue brocade. “What about this?”

“That’s nice. For you or me?”

He shrugged. “What if we… matched? Is that really corny?”

“Like wore the same dresses?”

No.”He looked at her like she was crazy. “Give me some credit. I’m not without a sense of style here. Just similar fabric, maybe?”

“I’d be okay with us being in the same dresses.”She giggled. “I guess I don’t have a sense of style.”

He scrutinized her. “You do okay.”

“Okay?”She looked mock offended. “What’s that mean?”

He grinned. “It means that you’re lucky you have me to dress you for really important events.”

She bounded to her feet and went to him, pressing her body against his. “I am lucky.”

He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her. “No way. I’m the lucky one here.”

She loved it when he said things like that. She looked at him. His eyes were still closed. He looked blissfully pleased. She kissed his forehead, then the bridge of his nose.

He opened his eyes slowly. He had such long lashes. “I’m lucky you want to kiss me.”

She grinned, flushing in pleasure and a little bit of embarrassment. Being close to Sawyer was still new and exciting. It had only been a few weeks, and they were still working it all out. She wasn’t sure how to respond to his compliments. Should she say them back? Say thank you? Say nothing? Owen (unsurprisingly) hadn’t been much for compliments.

His hands spanning her waist, his fingers gently brushed her skin, making her tingle. He kissed her again.

She closed her eyes and surrendered to it. She loved that Sawyer was a collection of opposites. His hands were large, his fingers thick, but his touch was delicate and soft. She loved how graceful and willowy he was. What she loved even more was the way his maleness seemed to intrude on his litheness, making him somehow strong and firm at the same time. She put a hand on his chest. It was solid and sinewy as she ran her fingers over it.

Sawyer let out a little gasp. He pulled back. “We should, um, do the measuring thing.”

Right. That was why she was here, wasn’t it? “Okay.”