It's been a while since I gave you an update. I've gone back to a project I started last year and it's just about ready for you. Let me tell you a little about it! Into the Rainbow is a contemporary fantasy set in our world, but with a Fey twist. Similar to Toil and Trouble (and you may recognize some names and places if you've read that book), but a standalone, separate story.
March 1! I'm still waiting for Amazon to approve the preorder stuff, but as soon as I have a link, I will update this blog so you can jump on the eager bandwagon.
UPDATE: Preorders are live now!
And just to whet your appetite, here's a fun excerpt introducing the Kay sisters:
A waiter came by not long after they were seated. “Wow, not often we have so many lovely ladies at one table. Are you triplets?”
Just as Dierdre and Treasa opened their mouths to say no, Darcie gushed, “Why, yes we are! How could you tell?”
He winked at her, green eyes sparkling. “I have a gift.”
Dierdre snorted and Treasa fought to hide her giggles.
“My name is Brad and I’ll be your server this afternoon. What can I get you to drink?” He wrote down their orders and smiled. “If there’s anything you ladies need, let me know. I’ll be back with these soon.”
He hadn’t gotten far from the table when Treasa couldn’t contain herself anymore. “What are you thinking telling him we’re triplets?”
“Oh come on, haven’t you ever wanted to just string someone along on that and see how long it takes them to figure out the truth?” Darcie asked. “Especially someone as hot as he is?”
“He is never going to admit we’re anything less than triplets, especially since we’re the customers,” Dierdre retorted. She smirked. “I thought I might die when he said, ‘I have a gift.’”
Treasa giggled again. “Right, because the near identical looks didn’t give it away.”
“That just gives away that we’re related. Because after all, we’re not really triplets,” Darcie whispered as Brad approached their table with a drink tray.
“That’s a Sprite for you, Dr. Pepper for you, and a lemonade for you. Are we celebrating anything special today?”
“Just spring break,” Dierdre replied.
“And St. Patrick’s Day,” Treasa added.
“It’s my birthday today,” Darcie said with a grin.
“Ah, but you’re triplets, right?” An impish twinkle caught his eye. “So that means we have three birthday girls.”
“You’re right. They’re just too shy to admit it,” Darcie replied, batting her eyelashes. “We’re nineteen now!”
“All right, well let me be the first to wish you a very happy and lucky birthday.” Brad smiled. “Do you know what you want to order or should I give you a couple more minutes?”
“I think we’re going to need a couple minutes,” Dierdre said, trying to unclench her teeth.
As Brad sauntered away, Treasa and Dierdre rounded on Darcie. “We agreed not to say anything about our birthday.”
“I didn’t say anything about your birthday. I said it was my birthday.”
“After leading him to believe we’re triplets,” Dierdre hissed.
“Girls, come on. There’s nothing we can do about it at this point,” Treasa sighed, “so we might as well enjoy the extra attention. Maybe it won’t be too bad.”
“Unlike the Mexican restaurant Dad took us to with the mariachi band and sombreros?”
Treasa shuddered. “Yeah, I hope not. Let’s look at the menu and decide what we’re going to eat before he gets back.”
Dierdre turned her attention to her menu, but not before pinching Darcie’s arm hard enough to make her sister yelp.
“I warned you.”
The meal continued without Brad making a big deal about their birthday. The food really was as amazing as Aunt Bitsy had told them. Tender meat slathered in tangy barbecue sauce and home-style fries to die for. The buttery rolls seemed to melt in their mouths and Dierdre couldn’t remember the last time she’d had a better house salad. She had almost thought they’d made it without a fuss as she sat back from her plate. Then the unmistakable sound of banging pots drew near as Brad called out, “Ladies and gentlemen we have not one but three birthdays to celebrate today. Join us in singing our special song and give these girls a birthday they’ll never forget.”
“I swear I’m going to kill you, Darcie,” Dierdre growled as a restaurant full of off-key voices joined the staff in singing. Her ears burned and she saw Treasa covering her face, though it didn’t hide the rosy blush taking over her skin. Darcie lapped up the attention, even leading the music with a wide smile.
When the song finished, Darcie clapped her hands in delight. Dierdre and Treasa attempted pleased smiles, but they looked more like grimaces. Brad set three large slices of brownie with gooey caramel sauce and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. “Anything else, ladies?”
Darcie handed him her camera. “Can you take a picture of us please? We promised Mom we’d have birthday pictures for her.”
Darcie threw her arms around her two sisters and pulled them close. In spite of their annoyance, they couldn’t help smiling at Darcie’s enthusiasm.
Brad snapped several pictures and asked, “Any of you have a phone you want pictures taken with?”
“Come on girls, give ’em up,” Darcie said, handing him her cell phone.
Dierdre and Treasa followed suit and within a few moments, Brad returned their phones. Dierdre admired the new picture and set it as her wallpaper.
“You ladies enjoy your birthday,” Brad said with a bright smile. “Just take the check up front to the register to pay.”
“Thanks, Brad!” Darcie said, taking the slip of paper from him. As he left, the girls began enjoying their dessert. “This is the best birthday brownie I’ve ever had.”
“Too bad it’s not your birthday,” Treasa teased.
Darcie shrugged. “Minor detail.”
“Let’s finish our dessert and see if the rain has let up enough to do something outside. Maybe we can go to Worlds of Fun today,” Dierdre suggested.
As they walked out of the restaurant they were disappointed to see the rain pouring down. “Well,” Treasa said, “it was a good thought. To Cabela’s?”
“To Cabela’s,” Dierdre agreed. “I think there’s a chocolate store near there we can go to as well. It’ll be a little bit of a drive though since those are on the Kansas side.”
“That’s all right, we’ve got time.”
“Loads of it,” Darcie muttered.
For the next few hours the girls enjoyed their time shopping and laughing. They filled their car with boxes of chocolate and outdoor gear before starting to head back to the hotel. “Well, maybe tomorrow there will be sunshine,” Treasa suggested as soft rain pattered against the windshield.
Behind them, a bright ray broke from the clouds. “Ah, blessed sunshine!” Darcie cried, pulling out her camera. “Pull over! That would be a gorgeous shot.”
Dierdre obliged, finding a quiet pull-off from the main road. Darcie hopped out of the car and began snapping pictures of the sunlight. Her sisters followed, enjoying the warmth of the spring sunshine.
Treasa looked at Dierdre with a grin. “You’d think she’d never seen the sun before.”
“If I had a camera I might join her,” Dierdre teased.
Darcie turned toward them and squealed. “Ohmigosh! Have you ever seen a more gorgeous rainbow?”
Turning, the sisters gasped. Brilliant swathes of color brightened the dark clouds. “They say there’s a pot of gold at the end of it,” Treasa said.
“I’d be happy with a day of sunshine,” Dierdre teased.
Darcie rushed past them to grab her tripod. After setting the camera up she ran to her sisters and pulled them in. “Photo-op! It’ll take ten, so make ’em count.” As the shutter snapped, the girls smiled, blew kisses, and posed, enjoying the little bit of sunshine. The light rain steadily grew harder and Darcie scrambled to get her camera back in the safety of the car while Dierdre and Treasa hopped back in their seats. As Dierdre started the car, she realized she would have to drive down the small road they’d pulled off on to find an entrance back onto the main road. “This could be an adventure,” she shouted over the driving rain.
“Don’t you love the Midwest?” Treasa asked. “Sunshine to the back of us and pouring rain to the front.”
“Too bad we’re not going farther into Kansas, right?”
“The sunshine might catch up to us.”
The rainbow in front of them grew closer and more solid as the rain increased. Dierdre frowned. “I’m having a hard time seeing the road through this rain.”
“Maybe you should pull over until it slows down,” Darcie said.
“No, we’re so close to the main road.”
“Right because the visibility will be better there.”
“Shut up, Darcie.”
“Maybe she’s right, Dierdre. I can’t see anything but the rainbow.”
“We’re going to be fine,” Dierdre retorted, though she was beginning to think her sisters might have a point. She squinted to see through the pouring rain and glowing rainbow, but everything was blurred. A shape appeared in front of her.
“Dierdre, look out!” Treasa screamed.
Dierdre swerved the car to the side, narrowly missing whatever was in her way. The rainbow surrounded them as the car lurched to a stop. The seatbelt tightened against her shoulder, but the airbags didn’t deploy. It took a minute for her racing heart to slow enough for her to talk. “Are you two okay? Is everyone okay?”
“Yes,” Treasa squeaked.
“I told you we should have pulled over,” Darcie snapped.
“What was that?” Dierdre asked.
A knock on the window made the girls scream. A red-headed man stood outside their car. Dierdre cautiously lowered the window a couple inches. “What do you want?”
“Well, if you’re done attempting to murder me, I’d like to know exactly what you think you’re doing in the Emerald Glade.”
Jessica L. Elliott
Author, artist, mom and super-genius