It’s high time

postSince last week, I’ve finished Dark is the Night and begun two new books – No Dark Disguise and Bird of the Summer. Therefore, I think it only right that I ought to introduce you to both of them by way of snippets. I hope you like each other.


He jumped down from the ladder and pushed it more to the right. “Give me the rest of the records and you can work on getting the tinsel up.”

Easton gave him a narrow look. “For the fifth time, it’s not tinsel. They’re streamers.”

“We can call them streamers until Christmas,” he said magnanimously. “Then they’re tinsel.”

– No Dark Disguise

“I hate to break it to you, but I think your windshield wipers are shot.”

Skata lifted his head and looked around the side of his Jeep. “Shot?”

“Yeah,” said Castle. “Shot. As in, broken.”

“Oh.” Skata returned to the depths of his trunk.

– No Dark Disguise

Do you think…I mean, maybe there’s a chance we are in your dream.”

“Not a large one, I wouldn’t think,” he responded.

That struck me as a very odd response. “Why are you so certain?”

“Because,” he said; his voice shrugged its shoulders. “I don’t dream.”

“What do you mean, you don’t dream?” I asked, almost scornfully. “Everyone dreams.”

“I’m afraid I don’t.”


“Don’t know. It’s rather nice to be inside yours, for the moment,” he replied politely.

– Bird of the Summer

I promised Nim I’d help paint the foyer and the kitchen today.”

“I forgot.”

“It’s early, you’re exempt. We’re painting it spindrift.”

I rubbed my eyes. “Huh?”

“Spindrift,” she said. “The color. It’s kind of a pale blue. It’s actually very close to Nim’s personal color, which makes sense. Probably why she wants to paint a third of the house in it.”

– Bird of the Summer

Fox Hollow was what they had decided to name the house in which they lived. It was an odd place, like something out of an illustrated children’s book; with three stories, including the attic, and a very pointed roof. Most of the windows were stretched and rounded at the top, and the carpentry was very detailed. The front porch wrapped around the whole front of the house, and an eight-foot long brick walk from the sidewalk to the front steps. The house was a faded but pleasant green that contrasted nicely with the butter-colored trim and the dark gray-blue, patterned shingles. There was even some muted red here and there, and the front doors were raw oak.

On either side of the front walk was a turn-of-the-century street lamp, each with three lamps curving gracefully from the top, like swan’s necks. A garden, willful and half-wild with herbs and flowers, grew around the side of the house and into the backyard where Nimue ventured out on a daily basis to try and tame it.

There was no garage, so the cars were all parked around the back of the house on the hidden driveway, and the overall effect of Fox Hollow was that it wasn’t quite real.

It suited the Fox women perfectly.

– Bird of the Summer

Skata turned and looked down the long, gravel drive where Spencer’s car was pulling up, closely followed by Angel’s convertible. They got out and walked up the driveway.

“I thought you weren’t supposed to be back until midnight,” said Skata, closing the trunk before any of them could see inside.

“Well, we weren’t.” Angel put his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “And then a dead guy happened, like they do. So we came home.”

– No Dark Disguise

I was surprised to see not one, but a trio of soaked college boys dripping water on the hand-knotted rug Ophelia had made. Then again, I wasn’t focused on the rug, it had seen worse. I was too startled by the fact three complete strangers had all waltzed into the shop at the same time.

– Bird of the Summer

Skata put the magazine back in the gun and set it on the counter. Angel was making the last of the mochas, a towel thrown over his shoulder, while Castle and Easton were unabashedly watching Skata’s every move. “What?”

“You’re kind of killing the mood here,” said Angel, without looking over his shoulder.

Skata shifted his jaw and tucked the gun into his waistband. “Fine.”

“Do you have to bring a gun to the table with you?” Easton wanted to know. “There’s nobody for you to shoot right now.”

“Depends on the day,” said Skata, glancing at Angel.

“Just think of him as a teenager with a cell phone,” suggested Castle, grinning as he took a sip of his drink.

“Yeah,” said Angel, turning around with the final mocha. He took the towel off his shoulder. “Young people these days, with their texting and homicide.”

– No Dark Disguise

It smells old in here,” said the same guy who had attempted to smash the wind chimes. He turned to glare at a stiff, upright rabbit figurine, who stared back with orange, unblinking eyes.

“That’s because,” said the soft boy patiently, “it’s an antique store.”

“Half antique,” I corrected. “Everything else is…everything else.”

“I see,” said the soft boy. “I apologize for Ashby. He hates everything.”

I wasn’t sure whether Ashby’s scowl was intended for me or not. “I can believe it,” I said. Then, because I liked this boy, I said, “I’m Aster.”

“What a unique name,” he said, holding out a hand. “Is it short for something?”

“Asterismos,” I said without missing a beat.

He blinked twice in quick succession. “Ah.”

“It’s Greek.”

“I see.”

– Bird of the Summer

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