Monday, November 23, 2015

How's the NaNoWriMo coming?

Actually, not so good. I'm probably not going to hit fifty K for the first November in... well since I started. Still, The third Kundalis book is on the page. At least, the beginning of it is. So that's something. If I keep plugging away at it, hopefully, this one will make its deadline.

So... Chuck Wendig, (my dark god, don't tell him) has asked for excerpts and I do whatever Chuck says... also don't tell him that. You can read everyone's excerpts by following the links in his comments here:

Here is mine.
It's rough, this is Nano people.

Kundalis: book three

The Ryegrass rest stop stayed busy year round. Central Washington didn’t exactly have much to offer, in particular on the dry hump of scabland rising above Vantage, but to anyone crossing the state from the wet, Seattle side to the wheat infested east, usually ended up winding down this particular hillside toward the Columbia River Gorge below.
I watched the traffic from a distance, perched on top of a 300 foot wind generator while my Kundalis dragon flirted with the gigantic white blades.
“Li should be back soon.” I held a thin silver wire toward the sunlight and poked the tip into a blue glass bead. My jewelry kit sat beside my knee. A tackle box I’d found back at school in Cheney, the green case sported enough compartments for my tools, wire, findings and as many colored beads as I could pack into the little plastic squares. “We can head for home as soon as we’re done with the interview.”
Home is also boring.
I ignored the jab and strung two more glass orbs onto my wire. Then I fished out my needle nose pliers and began to twist the piece into a dragon that only slightly resembled the snakey blue monster currently complaining in my head. The pendants had been born out of my own boredom. Not that I liked to admit aloud that Blue was correct. Li had been the genius to suggest selling them online, and with the help of the ravenous media, our financial problems had been sorted out in the frenzy of Kundalis mania.
Which only lasted a few months, thank god.
You miss it.
“Only when our sales dip.”
Blue twined between the blades of the wind generator and twisted his huge head in my direction. Thank god no one else could see him. The patronizing look he favored me with wouldn’t be easy to live down in public. His whiskers trailed away like ribbons on either side of his dragon smirk, and I wondered, suddenly, what would happen if one got caught in the mechanism.
Nothing. I am not physical at the moment.
“Let me fantasize, brat.”
Li is back.
I stopped myself from saying, good. Glad to see Li was a new thing for me. Since our crew had all bolted with Doc, however, any company counted for something. We’d spent months in a state halfway like hiding out and the other half like being on tour. I did my best to plead to the media’s sense of intelligence, and Li spent her time proving to me that the media had no intelligence.
I’d manage to get an article with a shred of fact published, and she’d show up with a stack of papers about whacko dragon attacks, secret agendas and instructions on how to protect your children from being assimilated by our Kundalis cult.
Had to love Li.
She keeps you grounded.
Fair enough. The dragon had me there. Not that I’d ever needed grounding before he’d spawned from my navel like a rotten, sass-mouthed tumor. I twisted the wire into a curling tail, added a final smaller bead, and clipped off the excess wire. In my palm, a two inch mockery of my Kundalis caught the light and flashed from its facets. Li kept me grounded? Interesting. I was pretty sure I wanted that to be Doc’s job.
I set the pendant into the bottom of the tackle box, on top of the other four I’d finished before Blue got impatient. Before I could decide to close up shop or start a new one, my partner in crime shot past our perch like a cranky, Asian bottle rocket.
Li liked taking her dragon in a lot more than I did. Her black beastie could make her invisible, could put out fires, and when Li was feeling spunky, allowed her to pass through solid objects like smoke. Right now, however, she was more than visible, she hovered over Ryegrass like a anti-gravity goddess, long hair streaming behind her and nothing beneath her feet but open air and the transparent support of her Kundalis.
She lifted slight arms over her head, spun a little pirouette for effect and then lighted like a bird on the white housing in front of me. Almost blocking my view of Blue’s face, almost less annoying than my own dragon’s condescension.
“I got the papers.” Li took a step and her dragon slipped away, wafting out and upward until it stretched over her head like a black ribbon and left her less glowy, but just as snotty as ever. “Next time you fetch.”
“Sure.” I didn’t have the energy to argue with her today, or maybe, I’d just learned that agreeing saved me a lot of headaches. I cut a new piece of wire and picked up the pliers again.
“We made the A’s.” Li dropped a stack of local newspapers and then sat cross-legged across the box from me. “But Teddy’s been banished to D section.”
“He won’t like that.” I twisted a dragon snout out of wire and slipped an onyx bead on in honor of Li. “Poor Teddy.”
Li snorted. She spun my tool box around and fished inside. “We got ten more orders.”
“Really?” I set my half formed pendant down and reached for the top paper. “At least the attention is doing some good.”
“Good picture of you too.” She kept her voice level. It was hard to tell what Li was thinking on a good day, but I suspected she hid a barb in the comment somewhere.
I ignored it and opened the newspaper, separating out section A and scanning the pictures. A month ago anything about us made the front page automatically. Two months ago we were the front page. Ever since Teddy and Rick Waters outed the existence of dragons on the late night news, my Kundalis might as well have been a Kardashian.
I hardly think.
I might have only imagined a note of pride in that. It washed away quickly enough when I found the picture Li had referred to. Definitely a barb, though she’d opted to let the photographer do her nasty for her this time. I looked like a circus freak in the photo, despite the title claiming: Metaphysical Heroes Assist with Wildfire Battle. Why did they always catch me with my mouth hanging open?
Because you never stop flapping your jaws?
I growled at my dragon and Li flinched. At least our public image was pretty. I could live with that. Li and I had worked our asses off all summer to live with that.
I might have helped a little.
“Shhh.” I closed section A and flipped the rest of the paper over. The back page, and no photo either. Poor Teddy. I read his article rather than stare at my own hideous image. Our self-appointed spokesman had gone from starlet to snore faster than I’d expected, but then, he hadn’t taken his monstrous white Kundalis in yet. He couldn’t control her, and so, he couldn’t back up any of his talk with the fancy show that Li and I always managed to pull off whether we liked it or not.
Teddy couldn’t fly. He couldn’t shoot lighting from his palms. As far as I could tell, all he did was talk and cause me trouble.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Do YOU Have A Dragon Problem?

It's new release day, and I am back in dragon-land ready to play! The above excerpt is from the second Kundalis book, and was published (fictionally) in a metaphysical newspaper entirely of my imagining.

That being said, I'd love to hear YOUR responses to the advert. (again, fictional--or ??) and if you post them in the comments below, I'll pick one person at random to receive e-copies of both Kundalis dragons books.

Let's hear your about dragon sightings!


Monday, October 26, 2015

My Favorite Dia

I'm a big fan of the Day of the Dead. Not just in the, you know, recently very popular way either. It started when I was wayyyy back in High School, and I promise you... that's been awhile.

Not even going to tell you how many years.

But you definitely couldn't by sugar skull decorations at Walmart yet.  In fact, you couldn't get ANYTHING assoiated with Dia de los Muertos here in the states unless you knew people who had relatives south of the border.

A few years later than that my family decided to take a vacation to Puerto Vallarta on Halloween without me.

With. Out. Me.

I've forgiven them, trust me. But they did ask if I wanted anything as a souvenir and I immediately started dancing around shouting: flower skeleton, flower skeleton. My brother did the noble thing and offered to book me a room in a special facility, so I had to explain.

He gave me a sideways look and said, "How will I find this? What if I get the wrong thing?"

I assured him that on Oct. 31st in PV he would not be able to miss my flower skeletons. I'm still pretty sure he thought I was nuts. When he returned with my hand carved wooden Dia de los Muertos dude. (still my favorite decoration of all) He understood. He told me he almost bought me the life-sized one, for which he gets major points, but he'd have had to get it a seat on the plane and didn't want to foot the bill for an extra fare. For which... well, I suppose I understand that.

Life sized.

Sometimes I still imagine him riding back on the plane with it.

So... the point of all this is that I LOVE DIA DE LOS MUERTOS.

and I have a free short story up on the Zharmae blog for y'all to prove it.

It feautres the Kundalis dragons and makes a tidy bridge between book one (out now) and book two.
(coming very very soon)

I hope you all enjoy it.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Drinking the Novel

Writers have a long history of drunkenness (Both real and completely Exaggerated). In the spirit of authorly angst and punchy "I"m finally almost done with the book" fun, I have procrastinated all  morning devising the following drinking guide to the story creation process.

Drinking the Novel:

Inspiration strikes(Glorious): Glass of wine
Plotting(Intellectual time): Gin
Facing the blank page (Nerves): Shot of Vodka
Inciting Incident: (Getting excited) Appletini
Commitment Point: (Go time)Stout Ale
Midpoint:(Shifting Gears) Rum
Downtime:(Relaxing) Fuzzy Navel
Dark Moment: (Tragedy) Shot of Whiskey
Main Conflict: (Ahhhh!) Tequila
Third Act Twist: (Surprise) Grab anything!!
Resolution: (Tie it up neatly) Kahlua
Finished the book: (Celebration) Champagne
Editing:(Kill me now) Rum, Tequila and the rest of the Whiskey

Don't try this at home, kids.
*above guide is intended for novel creation of a long and arduous nature. For the freaks of nature who whip theses things out in a weekend, alcohol poisoning is no laughing matter.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Favorite Heroines Blog Hop

Today we are playing in the Favorite Heroines Blog Hop. I'll be sharing some of my favorite heroines, and if you follow the links to the other blogs, you can meet even more. In addition, each blog will be holding some  kind of giveaway. For my prize, one commenter below will get their pick of either a first print proof copy of HORDED or an electronic copy of any one of my books.

Best of luck on all your hops!

First let me say that my favorite heroines are not "badass" in the usual sense of the term. I mean, sure I like a girl that can kick butt as much as the next reader, but to be honest, the ones that really stand out for me are the heroines that are strong in a different way.

I appreciate strength of character, perseverance, gentleness,personal growth and okay, a lot of badass magic too. So, my picks are less kicking butt and shooting targets and more, delving the inner reaches of their own psyches to route out some pretty ugly personal demons.

That being said, my all time favorite heroine is Sybel from Patricia McKillip's, Forgotten Beasts of Eld. She's a high wizard who calls ancient, mythological animals to her and keeps them as her servants. Sybel starts out powerful as hell, but her journey is about learning to be soft, allowing herself to need more than just power, and I am absolutely enamored with her character arc and her story.
(I own two signed copies to my great delight)

Gillan from Andre Norton's, Year of the Unicorn, is a very close second. In truth, it's probably a tie.  Gillan is studying to be a nun and herbalist when her story begins. In order to save a friend, however, she takes the girl's place in secret and ends up offered as a bartered bride to a group of wer riders from out of the wastes. No one knows anything about these men except that they are dangerous. Despite the fact that she is low-born and was never meant to be a part of the bride tribute, Gillan is the one who uses her strength to uncover the truth about the mysterious wer riders, and then uses her own power to battle for her life and the man she loves.
Gillan's battle is also internal, though she faces outward foes as well along the way. In the end, she is trapped inside her own mind and forced to find her true self and her own way back out into the light.

Both stories are lyrical and beautiful and I suppose, show how my own work has been influenced. The themes are certainly some of my favorites to use as well. The inner journey, facing down the shadow, and personal growth... In my book, that's some badass heroine-ism.

So, what are your thoughts? Do heroines have to kick butt and take names to be badass? Can they do both? Comment for an entry into my giveaway, and hop via the links below to enter the rest!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Okay, so I skipped a few weeks. I'm still trucking along on the Shrouded Princes novel, so here's the (somewhat) weekly excerpt. :)


(disclaimer- from the W.I.P excerpts are from works in progress and therefore not edited or proofed. Please expect errors)


 “I think we should contact the king,” Jadyek whispered, but it wouldn’t matter if Jarn had their room bugged.
“Shh.” He’d had the same thought a dozen times. If they turned themselves in, begged King Peryl for mercy, it would mean prison again, but Shroud had no death sentence. At least they’d live. Knowing what he did about the king, it would probably mean they could see each other, even if only on occasion. The heartbond was too revered on Shroud to be blatantly sundered… even for traitors.
Dielel put up a hand and leaned his head to the side. Did Jarn listen to them? Did the demon know they’d happily go back to a hole in the ground than remain at his mercy? There had to be a way to do neither. He chewed on that thought all the time now. Throughout the lifeless days and all through the nights he spent half awake, waiting for some sign that their air had been terminated.
“We still might get away together,” he said. “Jarn will find us a safe port, and then we can start over somewhere alone.”
“I know.” Jadyek managed to smile for him. Hope sparkled in his wide eyes that didn’t, couldn’t, possibly still believe in that future. “It’s been longer than I’d thought is all.”
And they’d both seen the looks Jarn cast in their direction when they dared venture from the cabin. Unless he’d summoned them for a purpose, their pilot wanted them out of sight. Until he needed them, he wanted them only as something to torture.
Maybe screwing with them helped him pass the time. Maybe it helped Jarn sleep, though Deiel hadn’t managed to catch him at that. He’d fancied it a dozen times, catching Jarn fast asleep and summoning the courage to slit the man’s throat before he could wake, but even in his fantasies Dielel suspected he’d never have the guts to really do it.
He’d have to find another way to be rid of the madman. He’d have to, for Jadyek’s sake. And they’d have to think of it in a hurry, he suspected. If Jarn found a use for them, the man wouldn’t hesitate to seize it. When the time came, there wouldn’t be any room for contemplation. They’d have to act, fast, and that had never been Dielel’s style.
Jadyek’s hand settled over his, a warm comfort. “It will be fine, Deilel. You’ll see.”
Looking into Jadyek’s pale face, he could almost believe it. He breathed, felt the heart beating in his chest, and the ship they rode on lurch to one side as something impacted the hull.
The devil’s voice screamed through the intercom, Jarn, coming through the walls to reach them. “Get out here! The bastards have found us.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From the Work In Progress...

It's work in progress Wednesday! I am still slogging through draft one of the third Princes of the Shroud book. (book one and two are available from Zharmae books) Let's see what the characters are up to today...


(disclaimer- from the W.I.P excerpts are from works in progress and therefore not edited or proofed. Please expect errors)

“Yes? What shall I ask?” She looked him in the eye, held her thoughts under a sharp thumb and smiled for her boss. “What do you want to know?”
Dern’s eyes squinted into slits when he tried to shield himself. He shouldn’t have bothered. Corah saw his plan forming, a dark seed wrapped in intrigue and weighed from all directions against Gervis’ goals. How could he use this man, that was his real question. What could Gervis Dern do with a lookalike to the planetary governor’s mate. She read it, and she understood now exactly why this particular slave had been singled out, why he waited now on a chair in an empty room enduring what was supposed to be torture. She understood it better than Dern did, and she saw her chances in that understanding too, and angle she might play as well.
She hid that quickly, waited for a probe from Mawl or Santel, for any sign they’d caught her deceit and meant to turn her out, to trade her life for an ounce of favor from their master. Nothing. No fingers in her mind, no invasion. She breathed and focused on her hearing, on the next words from Gervis Dern. She felt him huddled around his idea, happy with it, but nervous too. When the question came, Corah was ready for it.
“Can I trust him?”
She needed time. If the man was here for murder, she needed to make sure it happened in the way that would serve her purpose too. If he was here for anything else, then she’d need time to sway him, to get him on the right side or else, to get rid of him before Dern could make him his. For now, she needed him alive, but not in Dern’s pocket as of yet.
“Corah! Can I trust the man or not?”
“Not.” She watched Dern, felt his impatience flutter dangerously close to disappointment, to a final decision to kill the man and be done with the whole thing. Not yet, Dern. Not until I’ve had a chance to use him too. “You can’t trust him yet, Gervis.”
“Ahh.” Dern smiled, a wormy twist of lips that made his face into a parody of itself. “Dear Corah. Of course. I’m too eager, too careless. Good. Yes. Not yet, but… eventually?”
“It is possible.”
“I knew it.” Gervis clapped his hands together and turned the wiggling smile on the viewing wall. The prisoner shifted on his perch, turned his head in a swivel that brought the eagle to mind again. “Not yet, of course.”
The lilac man found her, somehow, though no vision could pierce the one way wall. His eyes found Corah just the same. They pegged her down, accused her and named her all at once. Betrayer. She heard his thoughts in her own head, through shields that no one had ever breached. Heart.
She heard it in the blood pounding against her temples. Heart.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday

Since I missed WIP wednesday this week, and some great authorly friends of mine partake of Flash Fiction Friday, I decided to hop along for the ride.

Check their great stories out too:

Future Gazing
first published on Romance Flash  website

“I don’t see anything.” She tossed her hair, long, luscious blonde, and frowned at him. The expression set his knees trembling. “Are you sure?”
“It’s tonight,” he said. “I’m certain I read the tables correctly.”
“Well.” She flopped back onto the grass and shrugged. “We’ll see, won’t we?”
Tam nodded, but his hands shook. He bent over the eyepiece and checked the view again. A circle of night sky, a spattering of stars, and no sign of the comet. He sighed. The dials all read correctly. He checked the book on the TV tray they’d lugged outside. Tonight. They should be able to see it by now. He looked through the telescope one more time.
“Joe Milligan said you could only see it in the southern hemisphere.” Lily’s voice tittered from his lawn. Its music was tainted by the whiff of suspicion and by the name of his nemesis.
“Joe Milligan got a B minus in astronomy last term.”
“I know.” Lily leaned back onto her elbows and eyed the sky. “He said he just partied too much.”
Maybe he had. Tam could see them attending the same campus events, Lily had the popularity to fit in with that crowd. She had the looks as well. Tam clenched his fists and shook off the image of her dancing with Joe Milligan. She had too much brains for it, should be able to see through idiots like Joe.
He eyed the tables and re-calculated the viewing angle. Then he tweaked the dials and took another look. Behind him, Lily sighed again. He heard the rustle of her changing position and knew her patience had just about run out. He was going to lose the moment, his moment, and his once chance to impress the girl he’d been in love with since the fourth grade.
“I don’t know, Tam. It’s getting late.” She stood up. He’d blown it.
“Wait, Lily.” He spun around, bumping the TV tray and sending the tables spilling to the grass. He dove to catch them, and his elbow smacked the eyepiece. The scope swung to the left. “It’s tonight. I’m not wrong.”
His papers littered the hillside. His heart cracked as a breeze lifted one and scuttled it farther out of reach. He crawled after it on hands and knees, like a dog, a kicked dog who’d never have another moment alone with the girl of his dreams, who’d hear about her years later. He’d share her future through the town gossip. Did you hear about lily and Joe Milligan? Honeymoon in Tahiti, another baby on the way.
Tam’s throat closed at the thought. His lungs pressed in. He’d left his inhaler by the bed, hadn’t wanted to use it in front of her, to remind her he was the geeky kid next door--still.
Of course crawling down the hillside after his astronomy tables looked so much cooler. God, why did he invite her? Just because she’d always liked the stars, because they’d been able to share that much over the years.
“What?” He sat up and turned back toward the apex. Lily Anderson leaned over his telescope. Her golden hair blocked her face, but she looked through the eyepiece and her voice drifted down the slope to catch him.
“Come back, Tam. I think I see something.”
“Really?” He’d hit the thing pretty hard. It had to be half a sky away from the comet. He stood and brushed his pants free of dry grass, then did his best to climb the hill with a little decorum. “It might be a galaxy,” he said. “What are the readings?”
“It’s the comet, Tam. Look.”  Lily shifted to the side a few inches, but she didn’t move away. When he bent for his turn at the eyepiece, their shoulders brushed. Her hair tickled his forearm.
Tam swallowed hard and closed his left eye. His comet blazed against the circle of sky. Front and center. “How?” He leaned away for a second and caught sight of her grin. He double checked the view. “But, I must have knocked it off a good--”
“Well, you’re not the only one who knows how to work that thing.” Lily whispered right at his side. “It’s not like I haven’t paid attention in class. I got an A.”
Tam turned to find her staring at him. Her eyes had stretched wide, and her lips twisted into an amused little pout. “You didn’t party too much?” He held his breath.
“Not my scene, Tam.”
His heart danced. Their arms still touched, and her eyes narrowed just enough to make him wonder if she hadn’t known all along, if she hadn’t asked about the comet for a different reason. He blinked and imagined kissing her.
“Tam,” she whispered again, his angel.
“You’re hogging the view.”
“Right. Oh! Sorry.” He leaned away, and Lily Anderson squeezed in beside him. She looked at the comet he’d found--they’d found--and only giggled when he put an arm across her shoulders.
“It’s beautiful, Tam, isn’t it?”
The breeze danced across the hill, and sent his tables wandering again. It was late. They had a few more weeks of school. He should pack it in, put the scope away and see Lily home. The lights were still on at Mr. Murray’s house across the street. A few cars slow as they passed two kids on a hillside in the middle of the night.
A honeymoon in Tahiti, another baby on the way.
Tam could imagine the rumors already.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

From the W.I.P.

My new year is just now kicking into gear. I know, right? A bit on the lazy side? Anyway... I am hip deep in a new Work In Progress and have no plans on not being so for the rest of pretty much my life. So, I'm going to try to post at least weekly (probably more) with a little excerpt from whatever it is that I am writing. Trying to make some kind of regular meme/posting/content out of it, but we'll see.

I don't do commitment so well.

For now, however, here is the first installment of From the W.I.P. Today's excerpt is from Eclisped, the third Princes of the Shroud book, my romantic Science Fiction series from Zharmae Books.
Books one and two are available already. Gods willing, book three will join them on schedule.


(disclaimer- from the W.I.P excerpts are from works in progress and therefore not edited or proofed. Please expect errors)

Inhale. Shuffle forward. Mof’s chain buddy passed into illumination, and the official flicked a glance out and back. Not good enough. They needed him looking, paying very close attention. He let the rumble have full rein this time, growled with all his breath, for all he was worth. The slave ahead hurried his feet. The guards’ heads swiveled toward the hold. Mofitan growled like a shadow cat on steroids and stepped, fully upright, into the light.
The slaver emitted a girlish scream and backed into the port official. The cargo manifest, so carefully checked and re-checked, fell to the ground with a sharp, expensive-sounding crack. Mof kept his eyes on his target, on the thin, well-dressed man who was definitely paying attention now. He met those calculating eyes with his own, flicked a half grin for the man’s benefit and then held his chains up between them and flexed once.
Metal snapped. The cuffs came free of one another and it took only one good jerk of his fists to separate the looped chains, to free the other slaves from the futile and blatantly stupid thing he was about to do next. The rain of links rattled against the open hatch. Mofitan growled over the sound, winked at the man he’d bet belonged to Gervis Dern, and then bolted straight into the nearest line of guards.
They should have been fired to a man. He’d never have hired anyone so incompetent in the first place. Spectre’s protection fell away in the face of the lavender giant. They parted courteously and let Mofitan slip between them. Damn. If he got away the whole wretched ruse would be for nothing. If the idiots in Spectre couldn’t catch a rampaging Shrouded prince, why had he come in the first place?
He slowed his feet after passing them, growled in real frustration now and heard, at last, a thin voice shouting orders. Mofitan pretended to flee while avoiding anything truly helpful. He leaped over a motorized cargo sled, ran past at least three dark alleys, and kept himself in the light, visible, as obvious as a man of his size and color could possibly be.
Like a vein of heartsone in a basalt matrix.
Mofitan glowed against the night. He shouted and feigned a stumble. A web of darts landed against his bare back. Electricity fired from the studs, lanced through his body and curved his spine backwards. Pain, lightning through his veins. He howled it out, let his muscle spasms feed Shayd’s mind shield, let it keep his thoughts genuine. Pain and freedom… Shit that hurt.
He fell forward, no pretending now. The electric web embedded in his back zapped his spine again and turned his limbs to jelly. They had a remote on it. The ground slapped against him and he lay on it twitching and imagining what sort of weapon fired a unit like that. Useful. A good non-lethal option. He might look into picking some up if he survived this shit.
They gave him another jolt after he was down. Probably to keep him there. It blazed through already raw nerves and, possibly, made him drool a little. The ground might have been wet before he whacked it. Now, something sticky clung to his face and his body registered the impact of the fall as a dull background to the fire of pain from the dart net.
Perfect really. When they rolled him over, he burbled something he’d meant to be an argument. It came out in bubbles that might have contained blood. Possibly, he’d done his job a little too well. The men glaring down at him didn’t look amused. They shuffled aside for their boss, but someone triggered to jolt again, just to be sure.
Mofitan screamed. His back arched, lifting his considerable bulk from the pavement until only his shoulders and heels touched down. He saw stars outside and inside, and he heard the enemy for the first time, the soft chuckle of a man who he prayed actually worked for Gervis Dern. The stars winked and began to fade. Dark, dark and more dark. A voice snapped like the metal whips of the net in his back.
“Well now. Isn’t this just something.”