The Problem With Naughty Sidekicks – Blog Hop

Okay, okay I’ll confess—I have a thing for guys with a naughty sense of humor. The raunchier the better in some cases. I like a man who can be a bit of a tease and I think most romance readers are in the same boat as I am. We want a man whose jokes are a little bit risqué and can be taken a couple ways (and one of those ways always involves getting naked).

There’s only one problem with this for me. In my current Speak of the Devil Series (Book 1: Luck of the Devil was released in August of 2011) my hero is a straight laced angel. He’s not uptight. He’s not stuffy. And for the record he’s sexy as hell in my opinion. All messy dark hair and big white wings wrapped in a studly lawyer body. But now, writing the third book I’ve noticed something that come to think of it I’ve faced in all three books. He keeps getting upstaged by my heroine’s cheeky bodyguard.

Now to be fair, it’s not Malachi’s fault. The guy is damn funny in my opinion and he’s sort of an all purpose sidekick. He can tease the neighbors dog, divert the Devil’s attention while Lucifer’s youngest daughter sneaks a guy out of her apartment, and help hide the body of the man her best friend and newly minted succubus accidentally killed.  He’s like the Clorox bleach of sidekicks—he can and will clean up any mess. Even the bloody ones.

But this particular demon keeps stealing scenes. So every book I let him run rough shod in the first draft. I let all his snarky glory come out and I see what happens. Then after a short vacation from each other we go back and start negotiating. Usually he insists on prime real estate and story lines in future books and he always gets what he wants.  And well I’d complain more but what’s the point? He’s a demon he’s always going to win and add to that he’s a cheeky bugger and writing him always makes me smile. The only problem? Now that I’m in the process of winding down the writing of the series he’s starting to suggest that you know—maybe we’d have a good time together. Alone. Just the two of us. Without the kids. Maybe a whole series of his antics and right now? I just don’t know if I have the strength  of will to negotiate successfully against him.


 

 

The Bettincourt’s Go To Germany

So, some of you may know and other’s may not, that last week the German foreign language rights for Luck of the Devil and its sequel, Devil May Care, was sold to Random House Germany.  This is pretty cool for a lot of reasons. First, this means that Faith and her crew are going to get the chance to meet new readers and expose them to our screwiness. Second, it helps Malachi’s plans for world domination and if you don’t think Malachi has a world domination plan up the sleeve of his cowl you haven’t met the man who inspired him. He has a world domination plan complete with graphics and a time line that he had bound at Kinkos.  Third, I have a special place in my heart for Germany. You see, I lived there when I was pregnant with my oldest.

Germany has a lot of good and a lot of bad going for it but one of their definite “goods” is the German people and their ability to have a good laugh. The little town I lived in was an amazing place and the people there were not only kind and generous but they welcomed this country bumpkin into their homes with open arms. When I emailed a few people to tell them that Faith was coming over for a visit, they prepared to open their arms to her – and her crazy family—as well. The poor suckers.

Not much else to report from my little writing nook. Join me next Wednesday when I guest host at Rosalie Lario’s blog (www.rosalielario.com) on Wednesday October 19. Then join me for my usual biweekly posting on Thursday, October 20 at the Naked Hero Blog (www.thenakedhero.com) and I’ll be back to post some Halloween love here on October 28.

The Dinner Party from Hell

This weekend I got the joy of experiencing one of the great social traditions of modern married life. A visit by the in laws. Now, I say modern married life not because 50 years ago young wives had it easy and their mother in laws peed roses and shit sunshine while happily humming a tune about how great their daughter in laws were. Nope as my gran likes to tell me in laws have always sucked. The thing that has changed though is we’ve all started to sort of spread out. My gran’s generation, and even my mom’s to some extent, didn’t really leave the town they were raised in. Born there, met man of your dream’s there, got married there, bought a house down the street from where you grew up, popped out some babies and then proceeded to grow old and die there. Dealing with your in laws on basically a day to day basis.  Yep that’s life where I come from.

Then PPG closed the plant. Chrysler is closed about as much as it’s open. The lead smelter turned out to be pumping toxic chemicals into our air and our water supply and the economy sort of withered. You can drive 90 minutes to the nearest metro area and maybe find a job. But then again – maybe not. So a lot of us, like a lot of other 21-40 year olds from small towns, left and went seeking adventure. Or a town with more than one stoplight. Or heck, just a chance to be different from who we were perceived to be back home. Which has its up moments. (Oh don’t start you lovers of traditional family values or the 3 people from my hometown that read my blog it has its downsides too). But one thing it has created is the “Yearly Visit of the In Laws” or as I like to refer to it for short – “Hell Week”.

Even though the visit is for 2 days it takes up a whole week of my life. Parts of my house are scrubbed and polished that haven’t been since the last visit. My kids are suddenly reminded of those little subtleties I let slide but know my mother in law will disapprove of. Menus are planned and relentlessly scrapped because I just forgot so and so doesn’t eat the side ingredient in this dish. Yeah, if this happened more than once a year I don’t think my mental health could stand it.

So I gave you that whole long winded intro as an excuse to tell you what I was thinking about while I scrubbed toilets like made at 2 am this week. See the thing is in my new book, Luck of the Devil, I explore the family dynamics of what happens when the Devil has a family reunion. So all of a sudden a whole lot of people seem to think that this either makes me a.) an expert on family dynamics b.) an expert on crazy families c.) a Satanist. For the record, I’m definitely not a Satanist. That whole blood sacrifice thing sort of squicks me out.  After that, I’m not exactly an expert on crazy families or their dynamics but I do have a large – very large—family and they’re all pretty much nuts. So maybe I am an expert on that? Who knows?

Anyway back to where we were. And so you have  a good visual – we’re with me in my upstairs bathroom, in a pair of gray sweatpants that have definitely seen better days and a ratty Ozfest t-shirt, hair back in a ponytail, glasses on, scrubbing toilets at 2 am getting ready for the arrival of the in laws. Yes, the glamorous life I lead still surprises me some days.

The next day I’m up early, kids are scrubbed, I’m clean, even my office is somewhat clean and let me tell you – that never happens. I did find a manuscript I thought had gotten lost forever though so maybe cleaning my office wasn’t such a bad thing. An hour later they announce they’ve just then left brother in law’s house. 5 hours away. So much for being on time. Shit, these kids aren’t going to stay this clean for 5 hours. Send them back upstairs to put play clothes on. Oldest grumbles about this meaning she’s going to have to take another bath.

Once kids are in everyday clothes we get the errands done. Post office? Check. Library? Check. Grocery Store? Check.

Grab lunch so I don’t have to dirty up the kitchen cooking something. Get home. Feed kids. Send oldest upstairs to do something quiet. Better half takes youngest upstairs for nap. I manage to check email, Facebook, Twitter, ect. In laws text. They’ve stopped for lunch. They’re now 3 hours out.

Should I be irritated? Hell yes. Am I irritated? Hell no.  The house is quiet and I have a golden opportunity to plot my next novel. Which is sort of kicking my butt because it’s a contemporary romance where no one is paranormal. Yeah, I’m sort of at a loss without special powers. But my hero? Uber sexy. So I am persevering to make him happy.

3 hours later I am this close – this bloody close – to having this bad boy plotted out and ding dong. Better half goes for the door and all I can think is “no, no five more minutes. Five. More. Minutes.”

Alas those five minutes were not to be. Instead, there was 8 hours of awkward throat clearing and idle chit chat. Lots of pictures were taken. My plot languished, alone and lonely in the office. My hero may have cried, cut off from the happy ending that hadn’t yet been resolved for him.

Then, they left. Not to return for another year. And once the door was closed and both kids were in bed my better half sighed, smiled at me and …

“Wait just 5 minutes,” I announced and scrambled into my office, grabbing the dry erase marker and scribbling the one thought that had been in my head all damn visit. There, plot is complete. Fictional characters in my head breathe a sigh of relief and I mentally prepare myself to start banging this little baby out the next morning (today actually).

“Feel better?” Better half asks.

“You can only imagine.”

“Aren’t you glad they only do this once a year?”

“Oh yes.” After all my characters couldn’t handle any more than that.

A new short story by Patricia

What’s a Girl Got to Do For a Drink in This Bar?

“I really have to pee,” I announced, trying to get someone at my table’s attention.  But Eminem’s newest single was cranked up so loud the club was vibrating and the dance club we were in was packed.  “Lisa, did you hear me?”

“What?” She yelled, grinding her hips back against some random guy who looked a little too pleased about having my hot roommate close to him.  He didn’t look too short but Lisa was six foot in stocking feet and the high heels she was wearing meant she towered over Mr. Bump and Grind.  No, he was probably just under six foot, and he was built well but there was a definite reason the guy was staying behind her for their little dirty dancing interlude.  I wasn’t particularly sure if it was because of his butt chin or the fact he was almost bald.  It could have been the fact that he was missing several rather important teeth.  Any of them would have been reason enough.  All of them together?  Oh man, Lisa was going to regret this tomorrow morning.

“I have to pee!” I screamed just as the volume of the music dropped slightly.  Of course.  The guy I’d been dancing with stepped back, his eyes wide and melted away into the crowd.  Jesus, it wasn’t like I’d said I was going to pee on him.  What?  Had he never peed before?  I’d had six beers and two margaritas what did he expect?

“Okay,” she yelled back, nodding.  “Where’s your brother?”

“That’s a good question,” I said, leaning close to her so I didn’t have to yell.  “Hopefully he’s not off with some skank in the alley.”

“Tolliver wouldn’t do that,” she replied, pulling away from Mr. Bump and Grind to talk to me.  She grabbed my shoulders and stopped dancing.  “He’s too sweet for that.”

“Hardly,” I snorted and shook my head.  I didn’t want to bother explaining myself though.  Let her think it was sibling rivalry or something.  Otherwise I was going to have to explain a whole bunch of stuff to my roommate that might not go over too well.  Like the fact that my Dad was the Devil.  And after I did that I’d just whip out my horns and tail to give her a good scare.

“You go to the bathroom, I’ll find Tolliver and we’ll meet you at the table.”

“I’ll find him when I get back,” I shouted.  “Don’t worry about it.  I’ll get Tolliver and we’ll meet you at the table.” The last thing I needed was Lisa finding Tolliver out in the alley sucking face with some woman while he drained her soul.  Since he was the Archdemon of Gluttony he had to be buzzing pretty hard already with all the over indulgence taking place in the club. It wouldn’t be fair not to expect him to get a little pick me up.

She just nodded before turning away and tottering back to the table.  Hopefully my brother didn’t indulge himself too much. Lisa and I had both been drinking pretty heavily and I knew neither of us could drive.  If it were just me and Tolliver I would open a phase portal to home.  But with Lisa there we would have to find a more conventional way back to mine and Lisa’s apartment.  She was drunk but she was with it enough to notice something like that.

Oh well, we’d just have to figure it out later.  Right now my bladder was killing me and if I didn’t make it to the bathroom soon I was going to burst.  I hurried toward the back of the club and looked at the line to the bathroom.  It wound all the way back to the dance floor and I knew there had to be at least 50 women ahead of me.  Crap.  I wasn’t going to make it if I had to wait in this line.  I knew I shouldn’t have had that shot of tequila Bridgitte from Physical Therapy ordered everyone.  But then again she was Denise’s Maid of Honor.  It was her responsibility to make sure everyone was well lubricated.

I waved my fingers and watched a foggy haze settle over the other women in line.  They started looking around, confused, and began to wander out of line.  Within twenty seconds they were all gone and I was in the ultra modern, navy blue bathroom by myself.  Even the bathroom attendant chick had wandered off, leaving her tip basket sitting out for anyone to grab.

I finished what I had to do and washed my hands.  I wasn’t big on using my powers unless I absolutely had to but this was an absolutely had to.  I ran my fingers through my hair and slicked on another coat of lipstick before making my way out of the bathroom and back into the crowded bar.  Ugh. T-Pain.  I wiggled my fingers again and the song cut short, immediately switching to Rihanna.

Now where the Hell was my half brother Tolliver at?  I rose up on my tiptoes and tried to peer over the crowd.  The problem was, even in heels, I was shorter than most of the people in the club.  And it didn’t help when everyone had their hands over their head, bouncing along with the music.

I pushed my way across the dance floor, craning my neck and looking back and forth.  He had to be around here somewhere.  There was no way he would have ditched us.  None.  He’d shown up at our apartment while we were getting ready and nothing I’d said could persuade him to leave.  And then Lisa had invited him along.

I’d told him it was a bachelorette party and almost had him convinced he didn’t want to go.  I mean after all why would he want to go out with a group of giggling, middle aged women intent on celebrating the state of matrimony?  He hated the very concept of marriage.  And after twenty nine years of watching our father and his failed attempts at the practice I couldn’t blame him.  I wasn’t real keen on the idea myself, but that was another story.  And it required a lot more tequila first.

His ‘no’ was firmly in my grasp and my brother almost out of the apartment but then Lisa, distracted, had fluffed her breasts up higher in her shirt. Tolliver was a breast man.  You could have a face like a Chihuahua but if you had a nice rack he’d be after your soul before you could say ‘Our Father’.

And my obnoxious brother had been hooked.  There was no way Lisa’s breasts were going anywhere tonight without him tagging along.  To be fair, he had behaved.  He’d picked up the tab for dinner, bought everyone two rounds of beer and a round of shots, and been pleasant about it.  He hadn’t even lost his cool when Bridgette had goosed him and suggested, drunkenly, that he give Denise a lap dance.  Instead, he’d whispered something in her ear that made her blush, giggling like a schoolgirl, and gave her a pinch on her ass in return.

He’d behaved, before, but I couldn’t find him now.  And that?  Yeah, that didn’t bode well for someone in Pittsburgh tonight.  Which meant it didn’t bode well for me tonight either.  Because I was going to have to clean up his mess.  I just knew it.  Damn where his wicked black soul should have been.

Wait, hold on a second.  Why was I killing myself looking for Tolliver like I was some mortal?  I took a deep breath and focused, letting my power flow through me.  I saw red sparks shimmering from a corner of the bar and began pushing my way through the crowd.  Hopefully they were just sparks of drunken power and he hadn’t done something stupid.

An explosion of black power erupted and the lights in the club began to flicker.  The music cut off with a screech and the fluorescent beer signs over the bar exploded. Aw hell, that definitely wasn’t good.

The crowd headed in mass toward the door, pushing and shoving as they went.  Smart people.  Even if they didn’t realize it.  Good, smart, drunken people heading toward the door.  Instead of following the crowd like a rational mortal, my stupid demon nature couldn’t let it be.  I knew Tolliver was behind whatever had just happened.

I worked my way through the club and stumbled to a stop in front of the bar.  Power exploded in a black fireball from the corner where Tolliver was glowing a brilliant, blood red.  This was bad.  Very, very bad.

Another fire ball erupted and Tolliver laughed gleefully, clapping his hands together like a toddler at Christmas.  What in the name of Evil did he think he was doing?  A third fireball exploded and I stood, dumbfounded, watching the figure hidden inside the flame.  It couldn’t be.  He wouldn’t dare.

There was a loud sucking sound and the power disappeared into the figure it had previously hidden. Ah damn.  I was going to kill him.

Lisa slumped forward, resting her head against the top of the bar and groaned.  Black wings exploded out of her back in a riot of feathers, ripping her shirt down the back, and a pair of tiny black horns peeked out the sides of her caramel colored ponytail.

“Can I have my Amaretto Sour now?” She muttered her head still against the bar.  “I’m really thirsty all of a sudden.”

“Garcon,” Tolliver called out, snapping his fingers at the young man cowering under the bar, his dreadlocks shaking in fear.  “A drink for the lady.”

“What the Hell did you do?” I yelled, hurrying over to wrap my arms around my roommate.  She had wings.  And a tail.  Things she did not have when we left our apartment this evening.

“I traded your best friend a drink in return for her soul.  I have her soul and now she wants an Amaretto Sour.  Except the bartender won’t come out from under the beer taps long enough to make her one.  He’d better not expect a tip.  I’ll tell you that right now.”

“What did you do to her?” I repeated.  “She’s got wings.”

“Of course she does,” he answered, snapping his fingers again.  “Garcon!  I never have these sorts of problems getting a beer when I go out with Jesus.  What is the deal?”

“The deal is my mortal roommate now has wings!”

“Well she wouldn’t be much of a succubus without them.  Would she?” he asked rolling his eyes at me.

“You turned my roommate into a succubus?”

“Well,” Tolliver licked his licks and looked over the broad expanse of creamy skin her wings had exposed.  “She’s definitely got the physical attributes to be successful at it.”

I felt a shaking hand on my arm and turned, my eyes flashing, to glare at the bartender.  He was holding a glass full of red liquid, tears running down his face.  I took the glass from him and stared into his eyes.  “Go home.  The beer coolers broke tonight about midnight and you closed the bar.  You got the bar cleaned up and were home by 3 am.  You had two pieces of toast with jelly and went straight to bed.”

“I’m gluten intolerant,” the man muttered, his eyes focused on mine.

“Fine, you had a plum.  Then you went to bed.  Sleep well.”

“But–”

“Good night!” I said sharply.

“Good night,” he agreed, turning on his heel and wandering out of the bar.  I turned to glare at my brother and he smiled.

“Very impressive.”

“Shut up you asshole,” I snapped, grabbing the Amaretto Sour and downing it in one gulp.  “What the Hell are we supposed to do now?”

“I’m going home,” Tolliver answered, snapping his fingers so a phase portal opened.

“What do you mean you’re going home?”

“The party’s over,” Tolliver replied, looking around the now empty bar.  “I’m going home.  I’d recommend you do the same.”

“You turned my roommate into a succubus!  What am I supposed to do now?”

“That is a very good question,” Tolliver announced stepping through his portal and turning around to look at me.  “I’ll be dying to find out how you handle it but I really have somewhere to be now.  Bye.”

I narrowed my eyes when he waved at me, a shit eating grin on his face, while the portal closed behind him with a snap.

“You’ll be dying all right,” I muttered, glaring at the space where the rift in reality had been.  I opened a phase portal and grabbed my unconscious roommate, dragging her through the portal and into our living room.  “Just wait till I get my hands on you.”

 

Want more?  Find it in ‘Luck of the Devil’ in stores now.