Author: Cari Z
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 30
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Romance, Action, urban fantasy, magic, magic user, psychic/soothsayer, myth/folklore, mafia, reunited, road trip, spirits, posession
Cillian Kelly can look into people’s eyes and see their fates. He’s running from a past filled with mistakes, lying low and selling his services on the sly. When he learns that Sören Egilsson, a man who sacrificed himself so Cillian could escape imprisonment two years ago, is somehow still alive, Cillian has to find out how. What he gets is the body of the man he loves possessed by an ancient spirit who draws Cillian into a battle to the death for the right to control Sören’s fate, and the power that comes with it.
Cari Z © 2017
All Rights Reserved
My phone buzzed, interrupting my musing. I frowned as I pulled it out of my jacket pocket. Only a dozen people had this number, and I wasn’t expecting to talk to any of them any time soon. I unlocked it and looked at my new message.
Move ten paces to the right.
My feet were moving even before my brain caught up, obedience was so instinctual. Two seconds later, I was out of the mouth of the alley, and three seconds after that, a beat-up silver sedan coming down the road was clipped by a delivery van and veered straight into the corner of the building. It wasn’t moving fast, thankfully, but the crash was plenty loud, especially since I was just a few feet away from the point of impact.
A memory flashed through my mind, one of my personal rare and painful gems. I was in the backseat of an old Lincoln, and I was very small. My feet wouldn’t have touched the floor even if I hadn’t had my knees squished to my chest, and my face was pressed to the knobby joints so hard they were leaving red blotches on my cheeks. The man driving was on a phone—an old-school cell phone, clunky in his hand, distracting. He wasn’t paying attention, but I knew the moment before the car was hit and covered my head with my hands, so when I went flying into the door, it didn’t hurt as much. Metal crunched, and bright spots flashed across the darkness behind my eyelids as the car spun and spun…
I shook my head and took a deep breath, focusing on the present. The van hadn’t stopped, but I didn’t bother trying to catch its license plate number―there were plenty of people exclaiming and getting on their phones. I headed over to the driver’s side and opened the door, but didn’t reach in to touch the woman who had been driving. She was moving under her own power, picking her head up off the remains of her airbag and whimpering softly. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…”
“It’s all right,” I said gently. I might not be a martyr, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t feel compassion for another person, especially one who’d just been thrown into a wall. “You’re okay. Just a little accident. There’s an ambulance coming to help you.” I could already hear it in the distance. We were only a few blocks from a major hospital. “Can you look at me for a moment?” She blearily turned, and as soon as our eyes met, I sighed and backed out of the way. One of the employees at the auto-painting store took my place, and a second later—bam. The fucking Ace of Cups moment. Who found true love as a result of a car accident? This wasn’t exactly the heartwarming scene I’d envisioned getting me through the day earlier.
“Are you all right?” the newcomer asked frantically. “What’s your name? I’m Felix. I’m gonna stay with you until the ambulance gets here, okay? Oh Jesus, are you all right?”
“I’m…I think so?” the woman said, her voice gaining a little bit of strength. “I’m Paula.”
“Paula, hey.” He smiled at her, and she smiled back. I rolled my eyes. “Nice to meet you.”
For fuck’s sake. Well, at least the settlement from the trucking company would give them a nice nest egg to get their new place together. I turned away and walked to the end of the block before getting out my phone again and making a call.
She picked up on the second ring. “Hi, baby.”
“What, you can see me getting smeared across a wall, but you don’t bother to let me know about having a gun pulled on me?”
“Cillian.” My mother sounded half apologetic, half resigned. “You know it doesn’t work like that.”
Yes, fine, I did know that, but I didn’t feel like being reasonable right now. “So you didn’t see that this morning, then?”
“Did you need me to see it?”
I wasn’t about to go down the self-sufficiency road with her. It meant a surefire argument, and I was still buzzing with adrenaline from being so close to the car crash.
“No,” I said flatly. “I guess not.”
Story ideas come from all sorts of places. Any author will have a dozen different inspirations that they can share with you about why the wrote what they did, when. Some of my stories are big, long, complex beasts that take literally years to percolate through my brain before ending up written down.
Soothsayer wasn’t like that. I crowd-sourced the idea for it. No, I really did, by setting it up as a contest, and it worked so well.
I wanted help coming up with an idea for a new serial story to write on my blog. I posted some of my favorite pictures and asked my readers for their best story prompts. Then I sat back and waited, and eventually I was presented with the idea for Cillian Kelly, soothsayer and professional troublemaker. It was brilliant. I couldn’t stand not to write it immediately, it was so good.
So I did. I posted a new chapter every week, basically making things up as I went, and my readers followed along and enjoyed and occasionally called me out on inconsistencies, which is what happens when you don’t plot out a book before you start writing it. Eventually I finished it, thought ta-da and abandoned it to go work on something else.
But I couldn’t leave it alone. I love urban fantasy. It’s my favorite genre both to read and to write, and it didn’t take long for me to decide to rework Soothsayer and send it to a publisher. Since I’d technically published it before (for free, on my blog, since taken down but I respect the spirit of the law here) I needed to find a press that would accept reprints. Nine Star was my first choice, they went for it, and now here we are!
I hope you enjoy the story of a man who can see the future, the lover who lives in his past, and the spirit who controls everything else. Or at least tries to.
NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords
Meet the Author
Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes.
1/30 On Top Down Under
1/31 Love Bytes – www.lovebytesreviews.com
1/31 Out Of My Head
2/3 We Three Queens