Today we're happy to be hosting an exclusive excerpt of Wild Card by Jamie Wyman. You'll want to get your hands on this fun urban fantasy that's a refreshing change of pace featuring trickster gods.
Marius swept the Mercedes down a soft slope leading into the parking garage below the hotel. He flashed a pass to a weary security guard and pulled into a side lot reserved for executives.
As we made our way to the elevator, our steps echoed in the low-ceilinged garage. Marius still wore his suit slacks and black shirt. He’d taken off his tie and opened the first couple of buttons. With his sleeves rolled up and his typical indifferent gait, he looked like it was perfectly normal to be going to the office at zero dark thirty.
On the elevator, he sagged against the back railing. Pinching the bridge of his nose, his face puckered for a second, then split into a leonine yawn. “I’ll be glad when this is over. I could use a few hours of sleep and a massage from Swedish triplets.”
“Past your bedtime, Marius?”
“Lousy date. You’ve kept me up and running about all night, and what do I get for my troubles? Attacked by some deity’s minions and throttled by a geek with a god complex. You could at least have had the courtesy to invite me to watch you slink out of your dress.” He closed his eyes and tilted his head back against the wall. “I bet you won’t so much as offer me breakfast.”
In the years we’d worked together, I had rarely spent this much time with him at one sitting. Now, in light of all we’d been through, I was seeing more than a snarky goat. I saw something human about him. God help me, I’d started to like the bastard. In spite of myself, I smiled. I may have even giggled.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.
I shook my head. “It’s nothing.”
“Nothing, she says. I’m beginning to think that a date is precisely what you need.”
“Oh, really? That’s the magic that will fix all my woes?”
Marius eyed me up and down. “It’s a place to start. You need a sleepless night…and not one where you’re running from gods and monsters. You, Catherine Sharp,” he said, taking the few steps toward me, “need a real date.”
I laughed uncomfortably and tried to slide past him, to put some space between our bodies. He edged forward. With an arm on each side of my body, he wedged me against the wall.
“You need someone to seduce you within an inch of your small and sorry life. A night with good wine and the promise of soft kisses. Perhaps,” he said, his breath tracing warm lines over my cheeks, “a dance beneath the moonlight.”
His fingertips glided over my arm. My head swam with his closeness. The heat of his body so near to mine called to my blood, and my skin flushed. The scent of him—a clean, spicy cologne and natural musk—set my senses swirling. My breaths came in shaky, shallow draughts.
His eyes held mine captive. “Spend the hours until dawn touching and in a tangle of pleasure and silk sheets,” he purred.
Marius gently lifted my chin, and my stomach knotted with anticipation. Nerves standing at attention, heart pounding, I waited, breathless.
His voice was little more than a whisper. “Yes, I think that is exactly what you need.”
Marius tilted his head. As if it were the most natural conclusion, I closed my eyes, ready to welcome his mouth over mine.
After a misspent adulthood pursuing a Music Education degree, JAMIE WYMAN fostered several interests before discovering that being an author means never having to get out of pajamas. (However, she can eat/spin fire, tell you a lot about auditioning to be a Blue Man, and read/write in Circular Gallifreyan.) As an author, Jamie’s favorite playgrounds are urban fantasy, horror and creepy carnival settings. When she’s not traipsing about with her imaginary friends, she lives in Phoenix with two hobbits and two cats. She is proud to say she has a deeply disturbed following at her blog.
Jamie’s debut novel, WILD CARD, will be coming to an e-reader near you November 2013 thanks to Entangled Publishing. You can also find her short story “The Clever One” in the anthologyWHEN THE HERO COMES HOME 2 (Dragon Moon Press, August ’13).
It was bad enough that gods gambled with human souls, but Catherine Sharp’s soul just had to be won by the Greek goddess of Discord, Eris. As if working a dead-end tech support job didn’t suck the life out of her as it was. Now, Cat finds herself performing random tasks for the goddess in her free time.
But when Coyote, the Native American trickster himself, claims to have won her own soul in Mayhem's weekly poker game, Cat wants in on the action. With five sneaky gods upping the ante, Cat needs to find a way to collect the winning chips that could save her soul.
Marius, a handsome yet irritating satyr with his own debt to Eris, might finally come in handy for something. If they play their cards right and work together, Cat and Marius may just get their freedom back. If they don't kill each other or fall in love first.