Stamp of Fate – Release Party

July 30, 2012

Hello everyone! I’m here to celebrate the release of my second novel, Stamp of Fate. This one’s a murder mystery with a mythological twist, and I’m really excited that it’s finally here. I had a lot of fun writing this and I can’t wait to share it with all of you. To celebrate, I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of Stamp of Fate. To win, you’ll need to comment on one of my Greek god trivia posts, so brush up on your mythology and enjoy the excerpt below.

Blurb:

A dead body is never a welcome sight, but it’s especially troublesome when Tadd Leventis and Declan Anagnos return home to find one in their foyer. Most people know the dead woman as a curator at the local museum, but Tadd and Declan recognize her as someone from their distant past—Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare. To Tadd and Declan, it’s more than a murder. It’s a threat to the mortal lives they’ve worked so hard to build—and a wakeup call that their immortal lives are in danger too.

At Zeus’s request, they once again don the mantles of Ares and Hermes, but when they start investigating their fellow Olympians, Tadd and Declan discover things are far more complicated than they seem. As the body count rises, tracking the killer becomes more dangerous, and the investigation starts to strain their relationship. Can they patch things up in time to catch the killer, or will the killer catch them first?

Excerpt:

Declan stalks inside when he gets home, snatches his car keys from the hook by the door, and catches Tadd’s eye. “Let’s go.” He’s in the car, garage door open and engine running by the time Tadd makes it out, and the moment Tadd’s door closes, Declan throws the vehicle into reverse and careens out of the driveway.

He’s halfway to his office before Tadd shifts in his seat and clears his throat. “So, Sofia didn’t know who killed her?”

“I didn’t talk to Sofia.” Declan jerks the car around a corner, making the tires squeal, and smiles slightly as the harsh noise eases his tension a little. “Hades has her locked in Tartarus and wouldn’t take me to her.” He yanks the wheel to the left, sending the car skidding around another corner. “I can’t challenge him on his territory. We have to do this the hard way.”

“We could—” Tadd starts, but Declan cuts him off before he finishes the sentence.

“No. He won’t let you leave if you come with me. That’s a last resort.”

“All right.” Tadd holds up his hands, clearly taken aback by Declan’s vehemence. “We’ll try the hard way.”

“Thank you.” Declan eases back on the gas a little as he merges with traffic. Most of his anger is gone now and he relaxes his grip on the steering wheel as he maneuvers the car into the pattern of moving vehicles.

Tadd fiddles with the radio, flipping through all of Declan’s presets before turning it off. “Can you tell me what he said? I’d rather be prepared if we have to go back later.”

“There isn’t much else, but sure.” They’re still a few miles from the office. Declan fills Tadd in on the entire conversation with Hades, answering all of Tadd’s questions and finishing just as he pulls the car into his assigned parking spot. “Perfect timing.” He climbs out, waits for Tadd to follow, and hits the remote lock as he leads the way into the building.

Rachel Chambers is sitting in her usual spot when they reach Declan’s office, an earpiece in her ear and her computer screen showing Declan’s calendar as well as the memo she was typing. A PowerPoint presentation is minimized to her taskbar, and Declan has a brief flash of worry before he remembers he asked her to edit the presentation he gave the board last month so it could be used in pitches to other companies. It’s nothing he has to do, which is good, because he strongly suspects he won’t be able to take much of a hands-on approach to running the business for the next few weeks.

“You’re late,” Rachel says, pointing her pen at him with one hand as she presses the disconnect button on the phone with another. “I’ve had to reschedule two appointments already, and I was starting to think I’d have to reschedule your lunch meeting too. Where have you been?”

“With me.” Tadd steps in before Declan has a chance to formulate a response. Rachel always manages to make him feel uncomfortable, like he’s the clueless mortal and she’s the god, and he’s never quite sure how he’s supposed to respond when she scolds him like that. She’s his administrative assistant, but Tadd hired her for him when they first orchestrated the switch from being their “fathers” to being themselves, and he’s not sure he can fire her. Tadd would probably just hire her right back.

“Mr. Leventis.” Rachel lets a small smile slip through before she directs her stern gaze at Tadd as well. “I should have known you’d be at fault here.” Her gaze narrows, and she purses her lips as she stares at him.

She looks so ridiculously serious that Declan has to step in. “He actually wasn’t. It was personal business. Something came up unexpectedly. I’m sorry.” Declan sits on the edge of her desk and directs his most winning smile and widest eyes at her. “Can you forgive me?”

“Is it over?”

“Unfortunately, no.” Declan’s reluctant sigh is only half-fake. “I’m not going to be able to be around much for the next several weeks, at least.”

“What should I tell your appointments? I can’t just ask them to keep waiting on their bids because you don’t know when you’ll be back. The business will go under. I’ll be out of a job!”

“Like Tadd would ever let that happen.”

Behind Declan, Tadd shakes his head, a small smile playing on his lips. “I’d find something for you to do, Rachel. I promise.”

“Well,” she huffs, “that’s better than him.”

“Hey!”

“Well, you wouldn’t find something for me, would you?”

“I wouldn’t have to, Tadd would!”

“Not the point.”

“Fine.” Declan assumes his most put-upon expression. “I would find you a better job than Tadd would. Happy?”

“I will be once you tell me what to do with all these meetings I have you scheduled for.”

Declan closes his eyes for a minute, trying to think. Running the business can’t take top priority right now, not with Bront expecting him to solve this mystery, but he can’t let the business sink, either. He and Tadd have worked too hard to get things the way they are. Declan Anagnos, CEO of Alpha Wing Communications, and Hermes, spy for Zeus, must remain separate entities. “Give as many of them to the directors as you can. If there’s anyone I need to handle personally, forward it to me, and I’ll find time.”

“Will do.” Rachel nods. “Anything else?”

“One thing.” Declan waits until he has her full attention. “Did you schedule me for a dinner meeting with Lukas Gallo last night?”

Rachel blinks twice and then her hand flies to her mouth. “Oh my God! I didn’t tell you!” She sucks her bottom lip into her mouth with a hissing noise. “He called yesterday while you were at lunch! I was going to tell you, but you had that conference call, and then you rushed out like your office was on fire. I’m sorry!”

“So he did have an appointment?”

“Yeah. That’s what I just said.” Rachel tilts her head to the side. “Was that wrong? You didn’t have anything on your schedule, and I thought….”

“It’s fine.” Declan flashes a smile at her and squeezes her shoulder as he slides off the desk. “I was caught up with this personal business last night and he surprised me, that’s all. I’ll call him to reschedule.”

“Okeie-dokie.”

Tadd laughs as he takes Declan’s hand. “Thanks, Rachel.”

“Bye, Mr. Leventis.” She wiggles her fingers in a tiny wave as they walk out the door.

As soon as the door shuts behind them, Declan turns to Tadd, a mischievous grin on his face. “Sometimes I think Rachel likes you better than me.”

“What can I say.” Tadd grins back at Declan. “I’m irresistible.”

“Good thing you’re mine, then.” They get into the elevator, and Declan pushes Tadd against the wall and pins him there with his slightly larger frame. He slides his hands up Tadd’s sides to cup his face and leans in to kiss him deeply. As the elevator goes down from the top floor, people start to get on but stop short when they see Declan and Tadd inside and universally decide to take the next car. Declan ignores them, instead concentrating on kissing Tadd, his tongue sliding between Tadd’s lips as he presses their bodies together.

When the elevator is close to the bottom, Declan pulls his keys from his pocket and uses one of them to override the elevator controls. Once it’s locked down, he yanks Tadd’s shirt from his pants so he can slide his hands under it.

“Careful,” Tadd murmurs, pulling back from the kiss just enough to talk. “Don’t pop the buttons.”

“I like popped buttons. They’re a good look on you.”

“You think everything’s a good look on me.” Tadd puts his hands on Declan’s chest and pushes firmly, making Declan take a step back. “We can’t, though.”

“Why not?”

“We’re in the elevator at your office building! While investigating a murder!”

“So I’ll be fast.” Declan leans in as close as he can with Tadd’s hands in the way and smirks. “I’m good at fast.”

“Oh, well, that’s just what I want.” Tadd rolls his eyes. “A quickie in the elevator. You’re almost as classy as Eros.”

Declan winces as he straightens. “Ouch. That hurts.”

“Truth often does.” Tadd pats him on the chest as he leans up and kisses him softly. “I still love you, though, classy or not.”

“Love you too.” Declan’s scowl transforms into a grin, and he kisses Tadd deeply before pulling back and turning the key to return the elevator to the ground floor. He kisses Tadd again as he tucks Tadd’s shirt back into his pants, and when the elevator doors slide open, they step out, their hands entwined once more.

——–

Stayed tuned for more posts about my novel as well as a giveaway!

2 Responses to “Stamp of Fate – Release Party”

  1. Judi P says:

    Ooh, This sounds great! =D heh… a bit late but I shall enjoy the posts now. ;)

  2. Nessa L. Warin says:

    No worries! There’s still plenty to come!

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