The night sky over Tulsa was alight with a magical crescent moon. Its
brilliance made the ice that coated the city, and the Benedictine Abbey
where we’d just had our showdown with a fallen immortal and a
rogue High Priestess, shimmer so that everything around me seemed
touched by our Goddess. I looked at the moonlight-bathed circle
that stood in front of Mary’s Grotto, the place of power where not
long ago Spirit, Blood, Earth, Humanity, and Night had been personified
and then had joined to triumph over hatred and darkness.
The carved image of Mary, surrounded by stone roses and nestled
within a ledge high in the grotto, appeared to be a beacon for the silver
light. I stared at the statue. Mary’s expression was serene; her ice covered
cheeks glistened as if she wept in quiet joy.
My gaze lifted to the sky. Thank you. I sent a silent prayer up to the
beautiful crescent that symbolized my Goddess, Nyx. We’re alive.
Kalona and Neferet are gone.
“Thank you,” I whispered to the moon.
Listen within . . .
The words swept through me, subtle and sweet like leaves touched
by a summer breeze, brushing my consciousness so lightly that my
waking mind barely registered them, yet Nyx’s whispered command
imprinted itself into my soul.
I was vaguely aware that there were a lot of people (well, nuns,
fledglings, and a few vampyres) around me. I could hear the mixture
of shouting, talking, crying, and even laughing that filled the night,
but it all felt distant. At that moment the only things that were real to
me were the moon above and the scar that sliced from one shoulder
all the way across my chest to the other shoulder. It tingled in response
to my silent prayer, but it wasn’t a tingle of pain. Not really. It
was a familiar warm, prickling sensation that assured me Nyx had,
once again, Marked me as hers. I knew if I peeked under the neck of
my shirt I would find a new tattoo decorating that long, angrylooking
scar with an exotic filigree of sapphire—a sign that proved I
was following my Goddess’s path.
“Erik and Heath, find Stevie Rae, Johnny B, and Dallas—then
check the perimeter of the abbey to be certain all the Raven Mockers
fled with Kalona and Neferet!” Darius shouted the command, snapping
me out of my warm, fuzzy prayer mode, and once I’d been
shocked out, it was like an iPod had been cranked too high as sound
and confusion flooded my senses.
“But Heath’s a human. A Raven Mocker could kill him in a second.”
The words burst from my mouth before I could clamp it shut,
proving beyond all doubt that being moonstruck wasn’t my only
Predictably, Heath puffed up like a cat-smacked toad.
“Zo, I’m not a damn pussy!”
Erik, looking very tall and full-grown, kick-your-butt vampyre-like,
snorted sarcastically and then said, “No, you’re a damn human.
Wait, that does make you a pussy!”
“So, we defeat the big baddies and inside five minutes Erik and
Heath are banging their chests at each other. How totally predictable,”
Aphrodite said with her patented sarcastic sneer as she joined
Darius, but her expression completely changed when she turned her
attention to the Son of Erebus Warrior. “Hey there, Hotness. You doing
“You need not worry about me,” Darius said. His eyes met hers,
and they practically telegraphed the chemistry between them, but
instead of going to her like he usually would and doing some very
gross kissing, he remained focused on Stark.
Aphrodite’s gaze went from Darius to Stark. “Okay, eew. Your
chest is totally crispy crittered.”
James Stark was standing between Darius and Erik. Okay, well,
standing wasn’t exactly what he was doing. Stark was swaying and
looking extremely unsteady.
Ignoring Aphrodite, Erik spoke up. “Darius, you should probably
get Stark inside. I’ll coordinate the reconnoitering with Stevie Rae
and make sure everything runs smoothly out here.” His words seemed
okay, but his tone was all I’m-the-big-guy-in-charge, and when he followed
up with a condescending “I’ll even let Heath help out,” he really
sounded like a pompous butt.
“You’ll let me help out?” Heath snapped. “Your mom will let me
“Hey, which one of them is supposed to be your boyfriend?” Stark
asked me. Even in the terrible shape he was in, he caught my glance
with his. His voice was scratchy, and he sounded scarily weak, but
his eyes sparkled with humor.
“I am!” Heath and Erik said together.
“Oh, for crap’s sake, Zoey, they’re both idiots!” Aphrodite said.
Stark started to chuckle, which turned to a cough, which changed
again to a painful gasp. His eyes rolled back and, like a slinky, he collapsed.
Moving with the quickness that came naturally to a Son of Erebus
Warrior, Darius caught Stark before he hit the ground. “I need to get
him inside,” Darius said.
I felt like my head was going to explode. Sagging in Darius’s arms,
Stark looked well on his way to being dead. “I-I don’t even know
where the infirmary is,” I stuttered.
“Not a problem. I’ll get a penguin to show us,” Aphrodite said.
“Hey, you, nun!” she yelled at one of the nearby black-and-white–clad
sisters who had scurried out of the abbey after the night had gone from
battle chaos to aftermath chaos.
Darius hurried after the nun, with Aphrodite following him. The
warrior glanced over his shoulder at me. “Aren’t you coming with us,
“As soon as I can.” Before I could deal with Erik and Heath, from
behind me a familiar twang saved the day.
“Go on with Darius and Aphrodite, Z. I’ll take care of Dumb and
Dumber and be sure there’s no booger monsters left out here.”
“Stevie Rae, you are the Best Friend of All Best Friends.” I turned
and hugged her quickly, loving how reassuringly solid and normal
she felt. Actually, she seemed so normal that I got a weird twinge
when she stepped back and grinned at me and I saw, as if for the first
time, the scarlet tattoos that spread out from the filled-in crescent in
the middle of her forehead and down either side of her face. A sliver
of unease threaded through me.
Misunderstanding my hesitation, she said, “Don’t worry about these
two dorks. I’m gettin’ used to jerking them apart.” When I just stood
there staring at her, the bright smile she’d been wearing dimmed.
“Hey, you know your grandma’s okay, right? Kramisha got her back
inside right after Kalona was banished and Sister Mary Angela just
told me she was goin’ inside to check on her.”
“Yeah, I remember Kramisha helping her into the wheelchair. I’m
just . . .” My voice trailed off. I was just what? How could I put into
words that I was haunted by a feeling that everything wasn’t right
with my best friend and the group of kids she’d allied herself with,
and how do I say that to my best friend?
“You’re just tired and worried ’bout a bunch of stuff ,” Stevie Rae
Was that understanding I saw flicker through her eyes? Or was it
something else, something darker?
“I get it, Z, and I’ll take care of things out here. You just be sure
Stark’s okay.” She hugged me again, and then gave me a little push in
the direction of the abbey.
“'Kay. Thanks,” I said lamely, starting toward the abbey and totally
ignoring the two dorks who were standing there staring at me.
Stevie Rae called after me, “Hey, remind Darius or someone to
keep an eye on the time. It’s only about an hour until sunrise, and
you know me and all the red fledglings gotta be inside out of the sun
“Yeah, no problem. I’ll remember,” I said.
The problem was it was getting harder and harder for me to forget
Stevie Rae wasn’t what she used to be.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Posted by PC Cast at 7:54 AM
Monday, September 28, 2009
I'm having an amazing time in the Highlands and will be heading towards Glasgow in the next day or so. My plan is to pop in these bookstores for quick stock signings (that means I'll just sign the books they have there instead of doing a formal event). I'm not sure exactly which day I'll be there, but I'm thinking probably Wednesday the 30th. Maybe I'll see some of you!
Waterstone’s 153 Sauchiehall St.
Waterstone’s 5 Argyle St.
Borders Buchanan St.
Forbidden Planet 168 Buchanan St.
Posted by PC Cast at 12:32 AM
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I'm leaving later today to return to the magical Scottish Highlands to finish research for BURNED. I'm not sure what my internet access will be while I'm there, so if my posts are sketchy you know why. I'll be back on line when I return to the states the first week of October.
Oh yeah, I'll stop in some bookstores in Inverness and Glasgow for sure and sign stock. I don't have time to do an event, but keep your eyes open...I'll be around!
Posted by PC Cast at 10:44 PM
I've decided to open the House of Night art contest to digital images! Yea! Okay, so here's the deal: If you've already entered, you're fine. If you've already entered and want to do a digital piece, you're fine because you can enter as many times as you want. SO ALL YOU GRAPHIC ARTISTS AND COMPUTER GENIUSES GO FOR IT!
1) The artwork should be inspired by the House of Night.
2) You must have copyright over all the artwork you submit. In other words, you can't pull an artist's piece from his/her site and digitally stick a tattoo on the face and enter it without the original artist's permission. If you don't know the copyright laws about artwork then either look them up or choose not to enter. If I question whether you have the right to the work I won't take a chance on infringing on another artist's piece and I won't post it. So just be original or be in the public domain and you'll be fine. If you don't know what I'm talking about do some research. Copyright infringement is stealing and it's seriously bad Karma.
3) Hand drawn art is fine, too.
4) I've extended the contest deadline until midnight on Friday, October 23rd (Central Standard Time).
5) ANYONE may enter - there are no out of the US restrictions.
6) We can not handle an influx of artwork, so you'll need to scan your image and send it in an attached file to our personal assistant, Camden Clark, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7) By entering the contest you agree to allow me to post images of your work on my blog, myspace, facebook, and/or my websites.
8) Prizes will be awarded - HoN stuff like signed books, necklaces, tee shirts, etc. (Obviously I haven't decided exactly what I'm sending y'all, but I'm make sure it's cool stuff.)
9) Work will be judged by Kristin and me!
Okay, I can't wait to see what you guys come up with because I have the most creative, most awesome fans ever! Wonder if the UK will have some big winners in this contest, too?!
Posted by PC Cast at 12:12 PM
Monday, September 14, 2009
(Pictures are from the HUNTED tour.)
The TEMPTED Tour is Set!* Below is the up-to-date list of stores and places for our US tour. We will be adding one more event in the NYC area on the 27th of October, but the exact store isn't confirmed yet. We will be coming to Canada, Vancouver area I think, probably late November. I'll post when I have confirmation. Okay, again guys, Kristin and I don't pick our tour route, cities, or stores. Our lovely publisher does that; it's completely out of our hands. So it doesn't do any good to tell me we should come to a part of the country we're not touring - I DON'T CONTROL IT. It would do good to make a bunch of noise to your local bookseller. Booksellers work with publishers on tour places. What about the UK and the rest of the world? I'll be back in Scotland later this month doing more research, and I'm going to pop in some stores in the Inverness and Glasgow area to sign stock, but I'm not going to have time to do a formal event (sorry! workworkwork). Rumor has it that we may be coming to Paris, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand, but I don't have dates/places confirmed for any of that. So hold tight. I'll give you info as I get it. We're absolutely looking forward to seeing our fans!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Barnes & Noble
118 E. Broadway, Mall of America
Bloomington, MN 55425
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
Friday, October 30, 2009
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Texas Book Festival
Monday, November 2, 2009
Barnes & Noble
2900 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
4475 Roswell Rd. - Ave. E. Cobb
Marietta, GA 30062
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
11054 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Barnes & Noble
8123 Honeygo Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21236
Saturday, November 7, 2009
2740 E 21st St
*dates and times subject to change
Oh, and here's a little added something from the HoN website. Enjoy!
An Author Interview with P.C. + Kristin
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
PC: Kristin and I love to travel together. We've been road tripping since she was little. We also like to watch trash TV and go to the movies. I like to hike with my Scottie dogs! Both of us go to the gym a lot, but that's not really a hobby. It's more of a necessity because our other hobby is eating out at cool restaurants.
What is it like to write with your daughter/mother? How do you write with someone else?
PC: I love writing with Kristin! Being an author is usually such a solitary job that it's nice to have someone else in it with me. Plus, knowing that Kristin is going to go over everything I write (I write the draft of an entire novel before I send it to Kristin for her to rewrite) takes a lot of stress off me. I don't have to worry about sounding too old or too young – Kristin will fix that. I just write the story.
KC: Writing with Mom is great because for once in my life I get to tell her she's wrong!
Do you have any advice to give young, aspiring authors?
PC: Definitely! Remember that being an author is a job. That means you need to research the career. Read writers' resource books and "how to" books written by authors you admire. Join writers' groups – take creative writing classes. Educate yourself about the basics of publishing. Then write and write and write – and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. Once you have a completed manuscript, polished to the best of your ability, then you should be ready to begin submitting to editors and agents (and you should know how to do this through your research!).
KC: What should you write? Write the book you'd most love to read.
Are there ever times when you both completely disagree on something and can't decide which way you want to go?
PC: It was weird at first. I mean, I'm used to editorial input, but writing as a team is different. I had a little experience with it because I've teemed up with the fabulous paranormal romance bestseller, Gena Showalter, on a couple anthologies we brainstormed together, and I enjoyed that. Kristin and I do disagree sometimes, but not about anything too big. Plus I'm the most experienced writer (and the mom!), so I tend to overrule her. She loves it when she's been overruled and then our editor makes the same comment she made so Kristin finds out she was right all along!
Which characters do you relate to the most?
Posted by PC Cast at 7:04 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
For those of you who aren't Okies, let me tell ya - it's been raining here like crazy the past few days. Well, thunderstorms and torrential downpours, actually. But today the rain blew away and the sun came out (with the mosquitoes, but let's not think about that). It was one of those beautiful Oklahoma days - not too hot, humid, and miserable, but with a lot of sun and billowy clouds. So Kristin and I took my Scotties and her two terrible beasts, my granddogs, Anna Nicole Smith Cast and Marlon Brando Cast, for a long walk around sunset down Riverside along the Arkansas River. It was so gorgeous I had to snap a picture with my lovely iphone and share. Enjoy!
Posted by PC Cast at 10:02 PM
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Today I had to run downtown to Dwelling Spaces, the lovely little store where Kristin and I get all our 'I heart Tulsa' shirts (I was getting more shirts for prizes!) and I drove past the Tulsa Depot - which made me think of TEMPTED - which made me stop and snap a couple quick phone pictures for y'all. Yes, major action takes place on the roof of this building (as well as under it in the tunnels, of course). So I thought I'd post these and tease you by telling you after you've read chapter 36 in TEMPTED you're going to rush back to gawk at these pictures. I'm just sayin...
Posted by PC Cast at 3:16 PM