We’ve got a special Sunday guest joining us today at The Novel Approach. Please join us in welcoming author Rhys Ford and the Mad Lizard Mambo blog tour. Enjoy this exclusive little ficlet, and then be sure to check out the contest details and Rafflecopter giveaway below.
Thank you for following the Mad Lizard Mambo tour. My name’s Rhys Ford and well, we’re going back to the first character I wrote for this genre, Kai Gracen.
When I first began to write seriously, I went with an urban fantasy featuring a bisexual elfin character named Kai Gracen. The first book was Black Dog Blues and to make a long story short, DSP Publications approached me about publishing it after I’d self-pubbed it following my publishing a few books with Dreamspinner. DSP Publications hadn’t started yet but it suited their catalog and well, it’s a Dreamspinner Imprint so of course I was on board.
Now, after a few years, I would like to introduce to you Kai’s second adventure, Mad Lizard Mambo. It takes place a little bit after Black Dog Blues and well, life’s just gotten more complicated for Kai. I hope you enjoy it as well as the three short pieces I’ve done for this tour.
The first, When Kai Fell in Love, is written a little bit after Dempsey took him in. He’s young in this section and while his Singlish isn’t great, he understands a lot of what he hears. This is two parts.
The second, When Kai Discovers He Does Not Bounce, is when he’s about in his early teens(ish) and he’s on a disaster of a hunt with Dempsey. This is in four parts.
The third, That Time Kai Rescued A Shoe, is a few months after Dempsey retired and he’s moved into his warehouse in San Diego. This is in three parts.
Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to enter the giveaway on this blog! Follow the stories as they unfold on the tour and enter to win a $20 USD Gift Certificate at the e-retailer of your choice at every stop!
When Kai Discovers He Does Not Bounce (part 4)
If there was any physical means for me to have crawled out of the Quonset hut I was tossed into after my encounter with the Borrego desert dunes and a herd of white howlers, I’d have been kissing the wind before the couch I’d been deposited on grew warm from my body heat. As it was, I was weaker than a newborn salamander and packing about as much fire.
But that didn’t stop the two humans from arguing over my almost-corpse.
“Look at him,” the woman griped at Dempsey. “He’s damned skin and bones. You should be shot for what you’re doing to that boy.”
She was fierce, I’d give her that. The woman was more dried out saguaro cactus than human, a skinny grey thing with deep crows’ feet around her pale eyes and sun-bleached short silver hair. She’d be lost in the full-moon night, a gloaming brought to flesh but unlike a moonbeam, she was hot and scorching like the desert she lived in.
I used what little breath I could draw in around the pain blanketing my body to chuckle when she stabbed Dempsey’s thick chest with a hard, sharp finger, pushing him back a few steps. He wasn’t willing to give ground but then Dempsey rarely did. I didn’t know where he’d gone in between me falling out of the truck and her picking me up but I’d gotten the hours turned around after skidding across the length of Borrego.
“Kid, pull your hair back because obviously this one here didn’t take a good look at you,” Dempsey ordered, waving one fat-fingered hand at me.
“No.” I didn’t say no to Dempsey often but when I did, I meant it. I was older now, knew most of the language and was stronger. He wouldn’t hit me for saying no but sometimes I wondered if I’d ever have enough muscle to defend myself if he took it into his head to hurt me something bad. It ached to talk and something clicked ominously in my chest when I coughed but I spat out, “Fuck you.”
I was tired of being on display for the humans we ran into and I’d heard the tale of how he won me playing poker more times than a dragon had scales. The story changed frequently—the elfin was a guard or the cards in his hand was a full house or a royal flush— it all depend on who was listening and how much alcohol Dempsey’d gotten into himself.
The ending remained a constant as firm a prime number; he’d had the winning hand and I was a part of the pot.
“Jesus, kid, it’s like you want to screw up my life,” Dempsey grumbled, stomping over to the cot she’d slung me on. Grabbing a handful of my hair, he yanked it from my face and I was left bared to the harsh overhead lights, blinking at the sudden pain along my scalp. “He’s a damned elfin, you silly git, and he’s a damn sight better looking than when I first got him.”
I’d grown. Some. I didn’t know how old I was or what I’d done to deserve Dempsey as my savior but I was still damned thankful for him. I opened my mouth to protest his rough handling when something on my back caught on the blanket she’d tossed under me. I smelled blood and felt the wet begin to seep from one of my wounds and I winced when my shoulders began to throb.
“Move aside, you fricking idiot. The kid’s in pain. Elfin or not, he’s a damned mess.” She shoved past Dempsey, nearly knocking him off his feet. “My name’s Sparky, kiddo. Let’s get you fixed up a bit and then we can get you some food.”
Shoving an arm under me, she lifted, trying to get me to sit upright but the pain intensified and the blanket clung to me, hung up on my body. It didn’t feel like the fabric was under my skin. I hadn’t healed enough since they’d yanked the wool throw off my back earlier but there was definitely a problem. I tried to shift my body, hoping to get some relief when I heard Sparky suck in a sharp breath.
“Oh by the Dead God, what…?” She touched something on my shoulder and I lost control of my stomach, puking all over my own feet. Her fingers rattled something hanging from my back and I heard her hitch back a sob then she turned her head to spit at Dempsey. “Did you do this to him, you bastard? Did you put these in him?”
“No, but I’ve been pulling them out of him since I found the first one,” he growled back at her. “And now that his back’s all torn open and shit, maybe you want to help me get rid of the rest of the damned iron bolts some asshole screwed into his bones and then you can see if you’ve got enough stomach left to eat.”
About the Book
Publisher: DSP Publications
Series: Kai Gracen: Book Two
Length: 240 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
Buy Links: DSPP || Amazon
Blurb: Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.
Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.
Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.
The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.
About the Author
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep of a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Follow the Tour
Sept 6: Jeep Diva
Sept 7: Prism Book Alliance
Sept 8: It’s About The Book
Sept 9: MMGoodBookReviews
Sept 10: Sinfully Gay Romance
Sept 11: The Novel Approach
Sept 12: Oh My Shelves
Sept 13: Blogger Girls
Sept 14: Joyfully Jay