Today I would like to welcome back to RFTC author Allison Pang. Allison is celebrating the upcoming release of A Trace of Moonlight, the newest book in her Abby Sinclair series and has stopped by to share an excerpt. Please give Allison a warm welcome.
A marine biologist in a former life, Allison Pang turned to a life of crime to finance her wild spending habits and need to collect Faberge eggs. A cat thief of notable repute, she spends her days sleeping and nights scaling walls and wooing dancing boys….Well, at least the marine biology part is true. But she was taloned by a hawk once. She also loves Hello Kitty, sparkly shoes, and gorgeous violinists.
She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids and cats, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes.
Places to find Allison:
face. “I didn’t think jerky went bad—”
“It doesn’t,” Phineas whispered. “Don’t move, Abby.”
I froze, the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. The shadow of something loomed beside me and
I swallowed against the gag reflex as the rotting smell grew stronger. My eyes watered as though I’d bitten
into an onion. Made of ass.
Slowly I turned my head to catch a glimpse of a bulbous, blue-skinned face offset by tiny brows and massive pointed ears. Half-rotted furs hung from the creature’s waist, a fact for which I was terribly grateful. I had no desire to see what a troll looked like in the buff.
Of course, the fact that said blue person was only waist high to me did play into my assessment. “It’s an oversized Smurf,” I muttered, trying not flinch when it poked an inquiring finger at my thigh.
“That’s a youngling,” Phineas retorted dryly. “Mommie dearest is behind you.”
Whirling as the sun was momentarily blotted out, I craned my head upward.
“Ah,” I said cleverly.
The mother troll stood a good eight feet high or so, but unlike her shapeless, flabby offspring, she was built like a weight lifter of Arnold proportions. “Guess goatherding keeps you in better shape than I thought.”
The troll woman stared at me impassively while her child poked me again. This time I stood still, unsure
of how I was supposed to react. A sudden squalling sound made me duck in spite of myself. Most of the jerky was yanked out of my hands, and the little creature shoveled it into his maw. I caught a glimpse of moss-colored teeth before what was left of my breakfast disappeared.
“Lovely.” I sighed when it continued to paw at my skirts. “I thought Talivar said we wouldn’t run into
“Probably wouldn’t,” Phineas pointed out. “And she’s got her cub with her . . . and oh, yes, there they are.” He sighed as the troll woman yanked on a leather cord and a cluster of little goats appeared. They looked a bit less than thrilled, but I could hardly blame them. They were being dragged behind something that smelled like the love child of boiled leather and a corpse.
“Hellloooo, ladies.” The unicorn arched his neck at them coyly, making a little humph in the back of his throat when they ignored him. “I used to be a unicorn, but then I took an arrow to the knee.” He pouted.
Apparently having decided I wasn’t any sort of threat, Big Blue gestured at her son to follow her, her gaze suddenly falling on where Phineas still sat. She pointed at him and jabbered something at me. I frowned at her.
“He’s not for sale,” I said slowly, unsure of her words.
“She doesn’t want to buy me,” Phineas said, his tone frosty. “She wants to . . . breed . . . me. Apparently
she lost her billy goat a few days ago and without him, her stock will . . . dwindle.”
My mouth pursed despite myself. “So what’s the problem? You were just ogling the nannies a second
“What I do on my own time is my own business,” he sniffed. “Being sold for my services is demeaning.”
“But being a man-whore to goats isn’t?” I rolled my eyes at him, but shook my head at the troll. “I’m sorry,
but he’s not currently up to the task.” I held up a stiff finger and let it droop, ignoring the outraged squeal
The troll woman bared her teeth at me in what I think was a smile, her next pantomime suggestive of eating him. Nothing went to waste in troll country.
“I’m fattening him up first,” I assured her, nodding my head and holding my arms out to the side and rubbing
my belly. This seemed to please her well enough. She grunted again and started toward the shelter of the trees, the goats ambling behind her in a parade of caprine misery. The troll child gave me a last poke, his mouth curving into a truly dreadful grimace. “Right back at you,” I murmured, looking down at the remainder
of the jerky for a moment before handing it to him.
He let out a groan of pleasure, stuffed it into his mouth, and stumped off behind the goats, his bare feet leaving behind a trail of broken shrubs. Sinking down next to Phin, I let out a sigh. “Well, that was interesting.”
There was no answer from the unicorn, but a second later, burning pain shot through my ass.
“Jesus, what the hell was that for?” I hissed, rubbing the bite vigorously. “I’m only wearing linen skirts, asshole.”
“I’ll show you a task or two I’m not up for,” he snapped, baring his teeth at me again.
“Fine. Whatever.” I headed over to the lean-to, glancing up at the sky as I did so. Silly, since I couldn’t tell time by the sun, but I supposed it was better than staring at my feet, which was my other option. I eyed
Phin, wondering if I shouldn’t at least attempt to apologize, but decided against it. He could be a real shit
when he wanted to be.
Drinking from the waters of lethe and offering herself up as Faerie’s sacrificial Tithe …these just might be the least of Abby Sinclair’s problems.
Abby’s pact with a demon—whether or not she remembers making it—is binding, so she’d better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there’s nearly always a loophole. But her friends’ reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal and gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. She might have even been able to recover from all that had she not lost the Key to the CrossRoads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the OtherWorld and put its very existence in jeopardy.
Only one person can make things right again, but to find her, Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.
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