Yes it has!
It’s been three years since I released the first story in my Crescent City Arcana series, The Hunter and the Witch, which is still free at all US eBook retailers and Smashwords! 😉
I released this short story prequel into the wild late April in 2015, then published the first full-length novel of the Urban Fantasy series about newbie witch Bethany Hayes and ex-gladiator/assassin Lucius Sempronius Asper this past August. It’s been a crazy ride, and totally worth it. 🙂 I’m working on a few things at the moment, but I definitely plan to revisit Beth and Lucius, as well as dig into all those enchanting otherworldly secrets New Orleans is hiding.
In the meantime, here’s a short excerpt from Infernal Embrace (Crescent City Arcana #1):
It was just after eleven when Beth took the dog out to the courtyard behind the townhouse where she now lived. The man watched her from a distance, waiting for the right moment to carry out his plan. Her short hair was almost golden under the decorative outdoor lamps lining the walkway and the belted dress hugging her hourglass figure fluttered in the slight breeze. The apples of her cheeks had a rosy tinge from time spent in the sun, a warm contrast to her otherwise fair skin. She closed her eyes and tilted her head up, evidently enjoying the brief respite from the oppressive Louisiana heat. This was the perfect time—she was relaxed, unprepared. He’d strike now.
He rolled a small leather pouch around in his hand. The bag was filled with yagé leaves, typically boiled after being freshly picked by Amazonian shamans to brew a hallucinogenic tea. But this Spirit Vine, or ayahuasca, was prepared neither as it is traditionally in Peru, nor as given to groups of adventurous celebrities and the bored elite of New York and Los Angeles willing to vomit for hours in exchange for a potentially life-altering trip. The leaves crunching within the leather in his palm had been dried and purified by a local brujo and sealed in the bag with a binding charm. But not before a few strands of Beth’s and his own hair were tucked inside. He needed to get her alone. Just the two of them.
With his lips pressed to the pouch, he whispered an ancient verse, and then lit it with a silver flip-top lighter. As he held it away from his body, the bag burned cobalt blue, then the fire changed to a bright purple. The flames neared his fingertips and he scowled. In the back room of the botánica shop he’d been warned not to release the yagé a moment too soon or both he and Beth could become trapped in el Velo Entre los Mundos.
The Veil Between the Worlds. A place for neither the living nor the dead. Somewhere Beth would have no choice but to use her magic.
The fire had darkened to a deep plum and the searing heat now toyed with his thumb and index finger, but he didn’t dare drop it. At last the space surrounding her began to fade away, black and empty at the edges like a photo taken with a pinhole camera. Beth must have seen the margins of reality falling into shadows as well; she took several steps back and looked around frantically. Before the courtyard vanished completely, she found him in the darkness and met his eyes.
Pick up Infernal Embrace at your favorite ebook retailer today.
“Fans of urban fantasy will get a kick out of this New Orleans adventure!”
-Sarah E Bradley, InD’Tale Magazine, November 2017