Ill Fated Release Day
Ill Fated Book 5 in The Maurin Kincaide Series
Some things are destined to end in death. After the first attempt on her life Maurin wasn’t scared. Hell, she was almost flattered. But someone put a price on her head and things are getting complicated. Trouble is brewing in the fae courts and it’s spilling over into Salem. The UnSeelie Dark Guard have answered the call for her head on a platter and people closest to her are disappearing.
Can Maurin master court politics and find her missing men before someone claims the bounty on her head?
Other books in The Maurin Kincaide Series by Rachel Rawlings
The Morrigna (book 1)
Witch Hunt (book2)
Wolfsbane (book 3)
Blood Bath (book 4)
“You’re awake?” He sounded more than a little surprised.
“I’m not really sure the state I’m in qualifies as awake.”
“Here I was, terrified to poke the dragon, and you’re already drinking coffee and talking in complete sentences.”
I snorted and took a sip of the aforementioned liquid gold. “Are you always like this in the morning?”
“If you’d let me sleep over you’d already know the answer to that question. Why aren’t you asleep?”
In general or just tonight, I silently wondered. “Bad dream. I’ve been tossing and turning all night. I finally gave in and got out of bed.”
Papers rustled in the background and when he spoke again, his voice was lower, intimate.”You want to talk about it?”
“Something tells me my nightmares are the least of our problems.”
“You have no idea. I need you to come down to my office.”
I sighed. “Can it at least wait until after sunrise?”
“Would I be breaking the no phone calls before noon policy if it could wait?”
“There really is no rest for the wicked, is there?”
He laughed and the sound warmed me more than a hundred cups of coffee. “Apparently not, in your case. Now, there’s a dirty chai latte and a croissant for you if you’re here before Amalie. I can’t promise real coffee and pastries will survive beyond five minutes of her arrival.”
“It’s four-thirty in the morning, Mas. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll make sure at least one dirty chai and croissant remain unmolested.”
“I’ll see you soon.” He was laughing as he hung up the phone.
Three hours ago I’d practically crawled through the doorway, exhausted from cleaning up after a newbie vamp who’d broken the Jus Sanguinis Intergentes when she killed her donor. The blood pact between people and vampires had a clear no killing, no exceptions clause.
It was up to the maker to ensure their child was ready to feed unsupervised. If something went wrong and the Council found out about it, we cleaned up the mess and the sire was subject to heavy fines and possible revocation of their rights to expand their blood lines. She’d been quite literally a bitch to track and take down.
It had been a long night and it was shaping up to be an even longer day.
I wasted little time getting dressed, opting for a slip on black jersey dress, eighteen hole Docs and a leather jacket. Jewelry was a hindrance in my line of work. My meeting with Mason could easily turn into a run. Choked with my own chain? No, thank you. Unclasping the necklace, I set it in a glass dish on my bathroom counter. I ran a brush through my hair, a toothbrush over my teeth and slipped into the between. I stepped out of the alley two buildings down from the station and walked the last block and a half.
Amalie was swarmed by detectives trying to get at the goodies she brought over from the Daily Grind. She greeted me with a warm smile, shaking her head when I offered to pull her out of the fray. She had managed to endear herself to the entire department in record time. All it took was real coffee and fresh pastries. I pointed to Mason’s office. She’d make her way over once the starving masses had their fill.
Mason was so engrossed in the file on his desk he didn’t hear me come in. He looked as tired as I felt – too many double shifts. Despite an uptick in activity, SPTF was short staffed due to budget cuts. Without enough man power to staff the shifts properly overtime was mandatory.
“Is that for me?” I pointed at the to-go cup and white paper bag on his desk.
He finally looked up and gave me a smile which lit up his whole face. “As promised.”
I stole a quick kiss, grabbed the coffee and croissant, and settled in the chair across from him. I took a long sip of my latte, savoring the delicious mix of tea and espresso. “Man, I needed this. Is that the case you’re working on?”
“Yeah, we’ve got a real problem on our hands.”
“Don’t we always.” I tried to peak at the file.
Mason closed the manila folder. “I’d rather wait until everyone is here.”
“Who else is coming besides Amalie?” My curiosity was definitely peaked now. I reached across his desk, hoping to grab the file.
“You look exhausted. Tell me about your dream while we wait.”
I narrowed my eyes and glared at him. “I see this for the obvious distraction it is but you’re right.” Sighing, I rubbed my temple.“However, I’m exhausted, too exhausted to argue. So I’ll tell you. Prepare to be confounded.”
He listened intently as I filled him in on the nightly visits from the weathered old woman who washed my clothes and hauntingly called my name. I expected him to laugh and tell me it was just a dream, that I had nothing to worry about.
I didn’t expect him to look so stricken.
“Bean Nighe.” He all but whispered the name.
“You’ve heard of her?”
“Of course I’ve heard of her. How long has she been coming to you?”
I stared at him curiously. “A few weeks. Why?”
“A few weeks and this is the first I’m hearing of it?” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, obviously struggling to control his temper.“We talked about this. No holding things back, remember?”
“I thought it was just a dream.” I shrugged.“Honestly, I didn’t think it was a big deal.”
“It was a big enough deal for you to research it.” Agitation rolled off him in waves.
When I agreed to give this thing with Mason a chance I also agreed to some conditions. No more flying solo, no more rash decisions or rushing off to play the hero. We were a team, in everything. This was just one of many set-backs.
“I got curious, did a little digging. Until tonight, everything I found pointed to deep seated family issues, particularly with a mother figure. I’ve told you about my childhood, does that dream analysis surprise you?”
His growl told me he wasn’t in the mood for reasonable—at least to me—explanations. “When did you discover the true meaning of the dream? How long have you known about the Bean Nighe?”
“Tonight. This morning. Before you called me.” I held up a hand to stop the tongue lashing I knew he wanted to give me. “I would have told you. I got the impression on the phone there were more pressing matters than my insomnia.”
“Is this why you won’t let me stay at your place?” His gaze roamed over my face, searching.“Why you never stay at mine?”
“Is that the real reason why you’re so upset?” I arched my brows. “Because we’re not having sleepovers?”
“I stayed at your lovely apartment the first night we met.”
I turned to watch Aidan glide into the room, stopping behind my chair. Rolling my eyes, I snorted and muttered, “In the closet.”
Mason’s jaw twitched but he didn’t take the bait. “Aidan.”
“It’s almost sunrise. Shouldn’t you be hunkered down for the day?” I sighed, wondering what he was doing here. I was too tired to deal with Aidan and Mason and their combined testoserone.
Putting the three of us in a room together was like throwing lit matches at sticks of dynamite – eventually one of them will explode.
Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA. She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn’t until 2009 ago that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.
When she isn’t writing, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded Hallowread- an interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres.
She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
A. This is a little known fact about me- the inspiration part. I’d dabbled in writing every since middle school, poems and incomplete stories mostly. Even then I was passionately in love with reading and deep down wanted to write. Life happens and then marriage and three children- I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Flash forward to 2009. I was working the night shift and reading a very popular author. Thirteen books into her series I had become increasingly frustrated with the author’s vision. sure i understood it was her world, her story to tell but I kept thinking ‘if it were me, I’d write it like this’. And then I did. I’d email my best friend and the only other member of my book club, a chapter at a time until the book was finished.
Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
A. Some of the most influential authors in my life were Anne Rice- my personal hero, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe and Tolkein. And books, there’s so many…. To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, Treasure Island, The Most Dangerous Game (actually a short story) and of course the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
A. Maurin had been bouncing around in my head for a while. She’s the no nonsense, bad ass heroine I like to think I am, lol! She’s a work in progress, trying to grow and find herself in a world that is ever changing, much like ours but with a slew of immortals and supernatural creatures. The men have a tendency to creep up on me. I think I’m writing a secondary character and then end up demanding more face time. Cash earned himself a novella that way.
Q. What motivates you to write?
A. I write because I enjoy it. It’s not easy, the words don’t always flow. Some days the word count is negative because I back out more than I keep but I have stories I want to tell and can’t ignore. I’m working on two at the same time- a first for me- with two more openings written. My to be written pile has waged a war with my to be read pile. It just may win. For me, it’s a love of the written word, I love words, love to write, I need to write. it’s not about the fame or fortune- though that would be an added bonus- just knowing someone read and enjoyed what I wrote is the real payoff.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing?
A. Time, carving it out every single day. I still have a family and outside priorities that I have to juggle. Writing is a very solitary thing, at least it is for me. getting over the guilt of taking time away from the ones I love to spend time in the worlds I love to create is tough.
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
A. Writing The Morrigna reaffirmed two things for me. One- that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and you can be what ever you want to be, even a writer. And two- nothing worthwhile is easy. That might actually be three things, lol.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
A. I don’t know where exactly sometimes like the book on my to be written pile Payable On Death was sparked b the song by Heaven Knows by Pretty Little Reckless, the name of the book came from the initials of another band P.O.D. I’m not sure what it means for the band but when I was a bank teller it meant Payable On Death. They played concurrently on 98Rock- a local radio station- and before you know it I had a character who sold her soul to the Devil at seventeen and had been fighting to make up for it ever since. They come from anywhere and everywhere.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
A. My kids think I’m pretty rock star when they see a picture in a local paper or I’m off to another convention. My husband thinks my head is probably a scary place to live but he’s my biggest fan. I’m truly blessed to have the love and support of an amazing family.
Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
A. Write every day. Write one sentence, one paragraph, one chpater. Just write. Everyday. Hire an editor, it’s money well spent. do the research to find the right one. You want an editor who will challenge you, ask questions, help you fill in the gaps and remove the unnecessary words. When you find them, hold on to them.
Co-Coordinator, Magnolias and Mausoleums, an author/reader event in New Orleans