Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Wish in One Hand

And now for something we hope you'll really like... a snippet from Wish in One Hand - the book I just restarted querying.

Basil said this would be ‘easy-peasy’ (his words, not mine). Hearing my several centuries-old business partner talk like that, in and of itself, should’ve given me a heads-up. But, no. I took him at his word and dropped into upstate New York blind.
I closed my eyes and before the breeze of teleportation could ruffle my hair, I stood in what could’ve been a storeroom at the Louvre. Except I knew better. Some rich guy with more cash than ethics had whipped out his double-platinum, diamond-encrusted Visa and bought a great many things he should never have. And he hadn’t stopped with owning another person. Judging from what I could see at first glance, this Master was one naughty monkey. No fewer than a dozen works of art reported lost or stolen graced his gallery. In one corner sat a Rodin reported missing from a prestigious Italian museum.
Growing up as the daughter of a cat-burglar has its advantages. But as my fingers itched toward a priceless Faberge egg, I had to admit the disadvantages of being Reggie’s child, too. One being that the instant my fingertips brushed along the egg’s cloisonné surface, an alarm-ageddon loud enough to blow out eardrums in Pennsylvania started.
I jerked my hand away and threw a quick wish. The alarms stopped, but the damage was done. Even in this sleepy backwoods area, I had ten minutes tops before the authorities arrived.
Reaching out with my senses made short work of locating the genie in question. His sanctuary—his lamp away from home, so to speak—sat nestled on a velvet bed in an ornate showcase. Suppressing my cringe over the cliché of a genie living in a lamp, I smashed the glass and snatched the offensive thing.
And that’s when my life became way more interesting than it really needed to be.
The initial appearance of a genie to any new friend usually just means ‘poof, there he is’. Some djinn like a little more pizzazz. This bastard’s full pyrotechnic display shot me halfway across the room. Only quick thinking and energy I couldn’t afford to waste stopped me from taking out a couple million dollars worth of masterpieces.
“Sunuvabitch,” I shouted as the smoke coalesced into a human shape. Before I knew it, I found myself staring at a guy who could’ve been a stand-in for Omar Sharif—Lawrence of Arabia style.
“You are not my Master,” he said without looking at me.
“Damn straight I’m not.” The whole Master/genie transaction required more personal contact than the standard latex I wore allowed. Unless one of the gloves had been pierced somehow—like say by tiny shards of glass from a broken display case. “Shit.”
Omar’s eyes finally rested on me while I cussed out my stupid luck. Luck plus lack of rest between missions, to be more specific. Usually the alerts from the network were weeks—even months—apart. This one only days after purloining Mena’s Ethiopian princess from a forgotten antiques store in New Orleans might wreck me.
As soon as Omar opened his mouth again, I knew I’d met our princess’s new playmate in the vault.
“You are not my Master.”
“You said that already, but this time I can’t agree with you.” After stripping off my useless gloves, I let the brassy lamp dangle from the crook of one finger. “Sorry, bud. But don’t worry. I won’t be your Master any longer than absolutely necessary. We’ll get it all sorted…” My mouth stopped moving when my new friend slid a wicked scimitar from his sash.
Aside from being dangerous as hell—it could probably slice, dice and make julienne fries—the blade was a thing of beauty. I didn’t know they made that quality of steel in whatever era Omar hailed from. Such delicate filigree was etched along its surface I could’ve wept. As he shifted the hilt from one hand to the other, my dealer’s eye tallied the worth of the gems embedded there. Any human could easily retire on the rubies alone.
“You will never be my Master,” he said, grinding the words out from between his teeth.
We’ll see about that, I thought. Drawing one finger over the lamp’s surface, I spoke the words I knew he’d obey. “I command you back into your sanctuary.”
I was rewarded with a hiss of air in front of me. Even as I looked at my favorite turtleneck in ruins and the line of blood welling up just above my breasticles, I didn’t feel pain—just pissed.
“Sharp,” I said. And then the burn hit me like the world’s largest paper cut. Holding back a gasp, I fought not to hit him with the last of my power. I doubted I could really hurt the guy, but I sure as hell wanted to try. The last thing I needed was a battle I had a snowball’s chance in Tahiti of winning.
When I heard the first strains of police sirens headed toward the place, I amended that whole ‘last thing I needed’ idea. The human authorities butting in—now that was the last thing I needed. Djinn, as a general rule, are damn protective of their anonymity. Word leaking out genies were really real would cause nothing but mayhem.
Plus, I couldn’t afford to be associated with thieving like this. Not only would it kill the business I used as a front, but I’d have to change identities again. I hate that. Sure, every few decades, I have to do it anyway, but this was the first time since the day Stavros hijacked me I allowed myself to look… well, like myself. I didn’t want to lose that—not so soon.
As the cut across my chest healed, my options danced through my head. Let’s just say it was a short conga line. I needed to get the flock away from there. I needed to take Senor Slash along, when he obviously didn’t enjoy my company. Boiling it all down in the seconds I had available, I really had only one choice.

And if anyone ever sees fit to publish this, you'll find out what that one choice was.  ;o)


Janet said...

I love the new title - but I'll always call it Djinnocide, just so you know :)

Great snippet - but you already know how much I love this. Thanks for posting the snippet, B.E.

BTW - fools, damn fools!

B.E. Sanderson said...

LOL, me too, Janet. And thanks for loving the new title. =o) I do know. You've been one of my biggest supporters. :hugs:

jblynn said...

I love the new title too. I love the book. I love it all.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks, JB! And thanks for all the support you've given me, too. You are awesome. :hugs:

Silver James said...

I <3 this book so much and crossing everything in hopes it finds a home. I may have to go back and give it a reread in my odd spare moment. ;)

B.E. Sanderson said...

From your fingers to publishing's ears, Silver. Someone up there ought to love it as much as we do. :hugs: Thanks for all your support.

Aisyah Putri Setiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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