When I see this author at the Reading Until Dawn Conference, I'm going in for the full-contact hug (you've been warned, Mr. Ritchey!) He gave me a chapter for BOTH #TeamBelle AND #TeamCandy! That's some serious commitment right there.
For all the author-profile-ish low-down on Ritchey, hopefully you saw yesterday's post. Today, we're following up the adventures of Candy, whose world just keeps getting weirder.
You can find Candy's backstory at these links:
Part 1 from Selena Laurence,
Part 2 from Chelsea O'Neal
Part 3 from Holley Trent
Part 4 from Seleste DeLaney
And the challenge words from Candace Blackburn are: drift, segment, ribbed, slick and clementine.
P5 (and all that jive):
Mr. Tall, Dark, and Criminal didn’t respond. He was focused on her finger which was swelling up like a segment of a clementine. So much for golden-eyed men being able to multi-task.
He squeezed the lube onto her finger, slickening the dodecahedronical diamond ring. He tugged, but it wouldn’t come off. She felt it tighten even more. Her arousal had taken a train to Gone-ville and panic had flown in on a red-eye from Cleveland.
He moved away, agile for such a large man. Candy clutched at the ring and tried as hard as she could to pull it off. Both the pain and the frustration made her scream.
Returning to her, the man held a book—well, not just any kind of book, but an ancient leather weather-stained tome. He flipped open to a page, muttered three words, and the ring fell from her finger. Only the ring didn’t fall. It drifted to the floor. She expected to hear it clatter on the stone, but instead, it remained, floating.
Candy watched it, speechless. She wanted to say something flippant, or rib her savior, but all she could do was stand, stunned, as the ring floated above the stone.
“A mine shaft, yes,” the man said. His voice, his presence, brought her back, and she found herself staring into those mesmerizing eyes.
“We of the A’hem search for what was lost but must be found. Just as I found you, you will find your love for me.” He paused. “Princess.”
“You of the A’hem. Not me.” She made a face. “Princess? No, I’m a lot of things, stripper, poet, pastry chef, Mensa member, but I am not a princess.”
“But you are.” He took her hand and rubbed the soreness from her finger. “Lost royalty. And I swore an oath to your real father, before he died, to save you.”
“Which means Jace is a prince?” She made another face.
“A fallen prince, yes. He gave you the dodecahedronical ring for a reason. Not to marry you, but to kill you, so he could reign supreme. You see, the A’hem are without king, without queen, and the war with the Nah still rages in worlds unseen by mortals.”
She expected him to smirk. He didn’t.
Breathless, she looked down at the ring, still floating. “You know, I finally realize what that ring looks like. In high school, I played way too much Dungeons and Dragons. That’s a twelve-sided die.”
Candy signed. “Tell me more about the Nah, and the…” she cleared her throat… “A’hem.”
“Funny.” For the first time, Tall, Dark and Prophetic smiled.
A'hem. Nah. And he got my D&D die reference (yes, I donated the first 5 words). I'm having a moment here.
Alright then. If THAT doesn't make you want to come to the Reading Until Dawn Con, I'm not sure we want you there.
If you'd like to see more of Ritchey's work, you know the drill: check the website, then head for Amazon or the retailer of your choice.
If you'd like to influence the next authors, vote for #TeamCandy or #TeamBelle, either on Twitter or here in comments!
Are you registered for Reading Until Dawn Con?
If not, why not?! Join us for fun, games, snacks and possibly pants-optional dancing.