Anyway, onwards to the excerpt portion of today's post. I have always been a little bit obsessed with the Anita Blake series. Despite having major flaws, there are good ideas in there every so often. However, those ideas never get used to their full potential. I wondered if I could use some of those unexplored concepts as a jumping off point for a somewhat similar novel. In one of the books (The Harlequin?) there is a brief mention of a witch on the police force who is part of the S.W.A.T. team. A friend of mine wondered why the books weren't about that character as opposed to following Anita around, who let's face it is not very competent. So, this book is about that very thing.
This story is coming to me quite easily, which is a much needed break from the historical novel. Here's an excerpt to get you interested, though of course it's all rough first draft stuff at this stage:
“I don’t know, Dad. I guess it just doesn’t make sense to me yet. It’s that point in the investigation when all I have are threads.”
I sat at the same green formica table we’d had in our family house when I was a little kid. It was out of place in Dad’s new house, a one bedroom the real estate agent had described as “rustic.” Even though it had rough edges it did fit him, as weathered and welcoming as he was. He’d done a good personalizing it, too, with warm colors splashed on the walls and driftwood hammered in to place over the hallway entrance. He set a cup of coffee at my elbow, turning the teal mug so the chip in the rim faced away from me. I fiddled with the knobs on the battered toaster, ran my fingertip over the cracks in the tabletop. Even though being around Dad usually calmed me down and kept me from fidgeting, I hadn’t been able to leave this case at the office.
“I know you can’t tell me too much about an open investigation, but…”
“No, I can’t. Even though I want to. The most I can say is that there’s a series of thefts, drug transactions, and murders that make me damn worried we’ve got gang activity.”
Dad ran his fingers through his long hair. He was so proud of it, like most American Indian men I’d met. I looked up at him, studying the wrinkles around his eyes and mouth. I couldn’t forget him if I kept doing that. I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice; one day when he was gone, I would have every plane and angle of his face memorized.
He smiled his broad smile, the one that had made me compare it to the crescent moon when I was a child. Even though you’d think my witchcraft would make me big on the moon, it felt like a silly comparison now.
He sat across from me with his own coffee.
“I feel like I should give you the be careful speech, but I bet you have it memorized by now.”
“Dad.” I stretched out the word just like I would have as a little girl. Damn. Sometimes I felt frozen in time, trapped in that long summer when Mom had died. I’d been twelve years old, and now that I was pushing thirty I was frustrated with myself for still hanging on to it. “Anyway, I know. Trust me. I do everything carefully when I have a choice. I know I’m S.W.A.T. but honestly I don’t even like guns. Or knives. I do my damndest to leave them in their sheaths.”
Every time I pulled a cold iron blade, the sheer destructive power in it made my arm buzz and ache like my skin was covered in a swarm of angry hornets. That was good. It kept me honest.
“That’s what makes you good at your job.”
“Thanks. Sometimes I wonder why they promoted me, though. Maybe I’m too soft. I don’t like having to threaten people. Maybe kill them.”
“Even if they’re vampires?”
“They’re still people. Sentient. If you get to the point where that stops mattering, you ought to turn in your badge.”