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Friday, May 13, 2016

In the Spotlight: Waylaid by Kim Harrison







Title: Waylaid
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Pocket Star
Pages: 100
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Romance

Worlds collide when Rachel Morgan of The Hollows meets Peri Reed of The Drafter, in this exciting new short story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison!

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Book Excerpt:
“You know what I’d like to do?” Jack leaned in to Peri, his hand curving suggestively about her waist, and she breathed in the faint scent of ozone and aftershave like a balm. Under it was a hint of gun oil, and Peri was hard-pressed to decide which one intrigued her more as they stood outside her apartment door with their carry-ons, glad they had the next week off.

“Mmmm, I like games,” Peri said as she tapped her key card to her apartment door pad. It disengaged the lock with an almost unheard click, and she turned to him, seeing the bound heat behind his sandy hair and blue eyes as he leaned to nuzzle under her ear. The tips of her short black hair tickled her neck along with his lips, and she stifled a quiver.

“I’d like to be there tomorrow when they find that ball of wax you left them,” Jack whispered. “That’s all. What did you think I meant?”

Peri exhaled in annoyance, giving him a little shove as he pulled back and took up their bags. Eyes rolling, she pushed open the door, her faint smile widening as Carnac, their cat, came out to weave between their feet, threatening to trip them.

“Hi, Carnac. Did you miss me more than Jack is going to tonight?” she said, scooping up the orange tabby and cuddling him as she followed Jack into the spacious apartment they
shared. It was dark, and Detroit’s neon-draped skyline sparkled through the wide glass windows. The lighted mass-transit rail circled to touch upon the city’s hot spots to look like jewels on a necklace, and she let Carnac slide from her. It hadn’t been a strenuous job, but the timing had been meticulous, requiring several days and multiple dry runs. She was mind-weary and ready for some downtime.

“Lights up,” she said, to shake the apartment out of extended leave, and the glow brightened to show the comfortable mix of her and Jack among the modern open-floor plan, everything angled to take advantage of the view of a glittering new Detroit.

“Sure is a pretty thing,” Jack said as she dropped her coat and purse on a chair and went into the open kitchen to give Carnac some soft food.

“The accelerator?” she asked, seeing that he’d taken it from his pocket and was holding it up to the spotlight over the gas fireplace. The walnut-size, meticulously engineered crystal was one-of-a-kind, and it caught the light like a disco ball, sending wavelengths too short to be seen ricocheting around the apartment to make her back teeth hurt. She’d held it briefly before giving it back for Jack to carry. It gave her the willies, the orb’s facets feeling warm and malleable even as they pricked her skin.

Jack lowered the glittering crystal. “Hard to believe something this small is worth an entire city,” he said as he put it back in his pocket.

Hard to believe you can hold it like that in your bare fingers, she thought as she ripped open a pouch of cat food. “Whenit’s plugged in, sure,” she muttered, watching Carnac weave between her feet as she set the bowl on the floor and fondled the cat’s ears. “Right now it’s giving me a headache.”

The small orb was Event Horizon’s latest wonder, fracturing wavelengths to allow information to be sent out on a particle, instead of an entire wave. In layman’s terms, it was like having a single bandwidth hold a hundred thousand conversations instead of one, and it would revolutionize how information was handled. Whoever held it would own the world.

And it’s in Jack’s pocket, she thought as she seriously considered sleeping with it under her pillow tonight. It would go to Opti in the morning, and from there, returned to Event
Horizon, the company that had developed it. It bothered Peri how often corporations stole or patented technology just to shove it in a drawer so their older technology would remain viable.

The pop of a wine bottle brought her head up, and she smiled at Jack, loving him. The accelerator had been in a research facility outside of Cincinnati, and they’d done well to

get in and out with no one the wiser. Preparation and skill had meant there’d been no need for her to draft, transposing a small part of time and space a few seconds into the past in order to erase a mistake. Content, Peri gave Carnac a last fondle about the ears and went to join Jack in the living room. It had been months since she’d needed to draft to rub out what could have been a fatal error, and she enjoyed feeling normal.

“Oh, please tell me you’re joking,” she said as Jack turned on the TV and settled back into the cushions, eyes riveted on the menu as he loaded his latest fix. “Ja-a-a-ack  .  .  .” she moaned as opening credits flowed over the flashing images of an athletic girl and her sidekick parrot, doing a magic spell and catching the sexy vampire. “Can’t you fall in love with something remotely possible?”


About the Author


Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive.  After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow.  She's currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.
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