A couple of people are having really difficult time this week due to deaths in the family. They asked for a snippet, so we are making an exception and releasing a little more. We will have to put the obligatory buy links and cover so Avon views this as promotion.
I had texted Mom while en route, and the family met us at the door. Bern took Ragnar from Augustine and carried him into my office; Grandma Frida wrapped a blanket around Runa, Arabella thrust a cup of hot cocoa into her hands, Leon told her she was safe now, and Mom thanked Augustine and shut the door in his face.
Then everybody left, abandoning us in my office. Runa blinked at me from the client chair, her hands wrapped around the mug of hot chocolate, looking a little shell-shocked.
I walked over to where Ragnar lay on the floor, to the left of my desk. Someone had already moved the rug, exposing the arcane circle underneath, and Bern had placed the boy inside it. Drawn in chalk by hand, arcane circles served various purposes. Some refined the mage’s power, some amplified or channeled it. This one drained excess magic. I had drawn it for just such an emergency and redrew it every week, for practice. From above, it resembled a complex double ring, encircled by glyphs. Straight lines of various lengths pierced the rings, radiating out like the sun’s corona.
I took a piece of chalk from the shelf and drew two lines connecting the second circle under my chair to the one with Ragnar in it. I sat in the chair and sank a burst of magic into the smaller ring under my feet. The chalk lines flashed with silver and faded to a weak white glow as the circle began to sap my magic from Ragnar. Eventually I would get tired and have to quit, but I had a lot of power and I was willing to bet Ragnar would be purged first.
“He’ll be fine,” I told Runa. “There is no way to keep his magic from being drained as well, so he might be groggy, powerless, and kind of flat emotionally for the next few days.”
“That might be for the best,” she said.
I felt pressure to say something, but my brain refused to come up with anything appropriate. Asking her if she was okay was pointless. Her mother and sister had just died. In her place I would be catatonic.
Runa looked away from me to the corner of my desk. Her eyes widened. I glanced to the right to see what she was looking at.
A framed picture of Alessandro Sagredo sat on my desk. The frame itself was square, but the photograph cutout was shaped like a heart, its edge studded with rhinestones seated in the small pools of the glue from the hot glue gun. The left half of the frame was a hideous Pepto-Bismol pink; the other was covered in pink glitter. Massive plastic jewels decorated both. The image of Alessandro was black and white, and on it in pink glittery marker someone had written, “My smoochie poo.”
I would recognize that cursive anywhere. My twenty-eight-year-old sister took the time out of her busy schedule of wrenching the truth from terrorists and murderers and preparing for an extended trip overseas to make this monstrosity, and then conspired with my other sister to troll me with it.
Why, Nevada? Why . . .
He was tall and broad-shouldered. He stood with an easy, natural grace. I used to stalk his Instagram and I knew every line of his face, but he hadn’t posted for a while and usually his pics were posed. Alessandro against a Maserati. Alessandro on a yacht. Alessandro riding an elegant Andalusian horse like he was born in the saddle. Alessandro the Prime. Count Sagredo. The heir of one of the oldest noble families in Italy. Wealthy, powerful, handsome, once a teen heartthrob with millions of followers on Herald and Instagram and now a man who weaponized his influence and beauty. He could make a photograph communicate whatever he wanted.
But this, with the sun in his eyes and wind messing with his brown hair, this was real. And his smile was magic. I looked at it and was eighteen again, standing across from him in a trial room, waiting to match my magic against his and prove that I was a Prime. He had spoken to me, impossibly handsome, with amber eyes and that slightly lopsided grin, and I couldn’t even make noises come out of my mouth.
I thought I was over this.
“Boyfriend?” Runa asked.
“No.” And that didn’t hurt at all.
Whenever I looked at Alessandro, in pictures or in person, he made me think of duels and courting, of a time when men carried swords and women concealed daggers. There was a dangerous edge to him, hidden deep in his eyes, and it drew me to him like a magnet. But that Alessandro was a fantasy, born from reading too many books set in medieval Italy with all its wars, glamour, art, and poison. He was a fantasy the way imagining being a secret princess was a fantasy. I knew it wasn’t real, but it was so seductive, I couldn’t let it go.
The real Alessandro didn’t carry a sword. He was an Antistasi Prime. His magic nullified other mental magic. The Keeper of Records had chosen him to test my power during the trials. To be recognized as a Prime, I had to make Alessandro step over the line drawn on the floor. He took the full brunt of my power and resisted it for several minutes, but in the end I won.
With that type of talent, there were only two paths open to Alessandro: military service or private protection. He chose neither. Instead, he did what many young Primes with too much money and freedom chose to do. He indulged. He sailed yachts, raced fast cars, and dated stunning women.
He and I were worlds apart. He would never be what I imagined him to be and it was probably for the best.
I slapped the frame facedown on the desk. The back of the frame was covered in pink hearts and small pictures of Alessandro printed from his Instagram.
If the world had any compassion in it at all, I would teleport a thousand miles away.
Runa squinted at the back of the frame. “Is that Alessandro Sagredo?”
I picked up the frame to throw it in the trash, changed my mind halfway there, and dropped it into the desk’s top drawer instead. Putting him in the garbage was beyond me. “My sisters have a weird sense of humor.”
“Sisters do that,” she said, her voice dull.
And hers was dead. “I’m so, so sorry.”
She looked at me with haunted eyes. “Thank you. You’re the only person who’s been nice to me since this happened.”
Who wouldn’t be nice to her? She just lost most of her family. “What do you mean?”
“I was at UCLA. I’m working on my master’s, molecular toxicology.”
Her tone was flat, her expression detached. She had to be barely keeping it together. I’d been there before, in a place where you’re so freaked out that you hold yourself supertight, because any splash of emotion could break the dam and you would fall to pieces.
“On Monday I got a call from the Houston PD. They said, ‘The residence in Piney Point Village burned down and we believe your mother and sister died in the fire.’ Just like that. I understood that sentence, but also kind of didn’t. I knew what the words meant, I just couldn’t put them together to make sense. I must’ve stood there with the phone in my hand for ten minutes, just trying to process, you know?”
I didn’t, but I could imagine it in vivid detail.
Runa sighed. “I took the first flight.”
It was Wednesday now. She’d been in town for two days.
“I came back to a burned-out husk of a house and two dead bodies. Ragnar was on a school trip to Colorado at an astronomy camp. No cell reception. I had to call the local police station and get them to notify him. That first day, after I viewed the bodies, I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I mean, what do you do when your mom and sister are lying on a table so burned, the ME has to use dental records to identify them?”
That was odd. Why dental records? Everything Primes did was dictated by the need to strengthen and preserve their magic. Parenthood was no exception. The Houses based marriages on calculated DNA matches most likely to result in powerful offspring. Because of this, every magically significant bloodline registered with a genetic database. It would take at most twenty-four hours to compare DNA from the bodies to their genetic profiles, and unlike dental records, DNA match was error-proof.
Runa looked into her cup. “I didn’t want to be by myself, so I called Michelle. We’ve been friends since middle school. She wouldn’t take my call. Then I called Felicity, my other friend. She picked up, made all the right noises, and then when I asked her if I could stay with her for one night, she told me she would call me back in five minutes.”
Runa looked at me. Her eyes looked dead. My heart cracked. When I met her two and a half years ago, Runa was larger than life. She made jokes, she ate poisoned fondant, she flirted with Rogan’s security detail. She was strong and confident and alive. This Runa wasn’t even a shadow of herself. She was a ghost.
“Felicity never called back?” I guessed.
“No. I’ve known these people for years. They were my squad. We’ve lost touch since we all went to college, but we got together on holidays. We follow each other’s accounts on Herald. These were my friends, Catalina.” A little life came back into her gaze. “I expected them to have my back.”
That didn’t surprise me. Houses entered alliances based on family ties and mutual benefit. Runa wanted to hire Augustine, which meant she suspected that her family was murdered. If she was right, both she and Ragnar could be targeted. Runa was alone and inexperienced, which made her vulnerable. Sheltering her, aiding her, or associating with her brought no advantages. It only put you in danger.
“I spent the night in a hotel,” she said. “Ragnar flew in the next day. I met him at the airport and his face just fell. He must’ve expected me to tell him that it wasn’t true, but it is, and then he shut down. He went limp on me right there, and he was too heavy for me to carry. Then airport security called the first responders, and I let them take him to the hospital. I didn’t know what else to do. I was late to my appointment with Montgomery, but he agreed to meet me at Memorial. You know the rest. When Montgomery offered to see me at the hospital at one o’clock in the morning, I really thought he would help. I should’ve known better.”
“What did he quote you?” I asked.
“Twenty million. Even if I sold every financial asset the estate has, I couldn’t raise enough money.” Runa shook her head.
Even for MII, that was a high price tag. But then Augustine came and got me to help her. He had a moment of compassion. Unfortunately, telling her that wouldn’t make anything better.
Runa looked down at her hot chocolate. “Thank you again. I’ll be out of your life as soon as Ragnar wakes up.”
The responsible thing to do, the Head of the House thing to do, would be to send her on her way. This wasn’t our fight and there was no profit to be made here. We were an emerging House, and we had neither the financial resources nor the manpower of MII. If I helped her, I would be putting all of us in danger.
But she was a friend. She’d kept us all from dying at Nevada’s wedding, and when I looked at her, my chest hurt.
“You’re not going anywhere,” I told her. “We have more than enough guest bedrooms and if you don’t want to be alone, you can crash on the media room couch. Someone’s always in the media room.”
She stared at me.
“It’s a very special couch,” I told her. “Mad Rogan once fell asleep on it. We’re thinking of having it gold-plated and donated to a museum . . .”
Runa’s composure broke like a glass mask and she cried.
I got up, took away her hot chocolate before she sloshed it all over herself, and hugged her.
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I told myself I wasn’t going to read snippets but 2 weeks ago my quick in and out surgery took a different turn. Now I am stuck recovering for 6 weeks with meds that make me nauseous and not allowed to do much but walk every two hours.
So thank you for this!! You guys are too kind and the most awesome authors ever.
Patricia Schlorke says
Get well soon, Keera.
Hope you get better soon!
Get well soon!
Tiffany Crystal says
Oh no 🙁 Hope you heal up quick! ♥
Get better soon!
Chantay M. James says
I don’t know why I read the snippets. The sort of me comes out. I’m greedy, selfish, entitled and want more! More, more, more! Why can’t I be a master of time travel and go into the future so that I can read the finished book already! Sigh… I guess I’ll have to wait. Thanks for this btw. I lost my mom in November and my Dad in March sonI understand the hardship and loss people are going through. It helps to get lost in a good book or snippet as it were.
Chantay M James says
That’s worst not “sort”. Autocorrect is diabolical with a tainted sense of humor lol
Shannon in Texas says
So very sorry for your loss, Chantay. Hugs.
It sucks. It really sucks. I’m so sorry.
Oh Chantay… That is a tough six months. I hope that your burden lightens and your skies clear.
Gloria Magid says
I hope you feel better soon!
Been there with the post surgery meds. Ask your doctor about Prilosec if it hasn’t been discussed yet. It’s the only thing that allowed me to keep anything down while I was on the other meds.
Thank you! A new order is coming.
Patricia Schlorke says
Thank you! I’m having a rough day as well (work related). This is a wonderful gift.
I feel for Runa and her brother. House Baylor made another very important ally. 🙂
I also love that the allies House Baylor makes are with the more human Houses (even if that’s ironic, given that Harrison is animal mages). But they are allies with the Houses that still have heart & humanity left. I am unconvinced that Augustine is not a bad guy*. But even if he’s a “good” guy, his moments of humanity are brief and far between, and the rest of the time, he’s cold and calculating and… not good. Even if he’s not on the side of the conspiracy, he’s the same person who coerced Nevada to go after Pierce, expecting her to fail and most likely die. He’s the same person that wouldn’t help Rynda or Cornelius (and yes, some of these things are reasons for me to believe he’s actively a bad guy).
*I know. A double negative. That’s what I can manage today. “I’m not sure he’s a good guy” doesn’t seem to cover it.
This was… this was… perfection! Thank you so much for posting. I can’t wait for this pairing.
Thank you so much!
Thank you. You two are very good to the BDH and we appreciate it.
This book is going to be soooo good.
No chance that it will release early, is there?
I didn’t think so.
Looking forward to the whole book! Thanks again.
Gloria Magid says
Thanks so much for this. I am stuck at home recovering from my second hip replacement (now bionic on both sides), and touching base with the Baylor’s is just what I needed.
Orlana Curry says
Can’t wait for the book. Love the series.
I love how your characters always feel so real, like people who could be my friends. No matter how ridiculous or fantastical the situation, your characters always connect.
Thank you for sharing..,,I am sorry for all those who lost loved ones….praying for peace for those who need it.
Thank you for posting this. I can’t wait for it to be ready and to listen to another awesome recording.
Nice, It’s available for pre-order on Audible as well.
Elizabeth G says
I want to pre-order this AGAIN
I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve obsessively checked to make sure that I’ve pre-ordered whichever book was coming out next. If Amazon didn’t tell me I’d already pre-ordered something, who knows how many copies I would having to me on release day!
The worst part is that Amazon often notifies me WAY after I’ve already pre-ordered (I honestly don’t understand why they don’t have an automatic email blast to everyone following that author the second a book goes up. It’s not hard).
So yes, between my checking around the pages of the authors I follow, plus Amazon’s emails not knowing when I’ve already purchased a book (ALSO NOT HARD), I’d have multiple copies of so many e-books!
Thank you so much for sharing this.
*whimper* Oh man, I thought we were in for another fun book but now there are FEELINGS
I want it even more NOW and it’s SO long til August
Thank you for the snippet
Ms. Kim says
+1 – Everything Rhoda said.
Well that was a good “I’ll just pop in and take a look” visit . I have no crises or catastrophes in my life just now, touch wood, but I loved the chapter, so thank you. Now all we have to do is wait until end August for the rest, sigh!
This. This made my heart hurt. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
It’s really no wonder that the BDH constantly persters you for more. More books, more stories, more snippets. Your writing reaches us, deep inside where it counts.
I love this little teaser, thank you author lords!! I’m excited for this book to be released. But did I miss chapter one? Sorry I haven’t been on Facebook as much lately, so I probably missed it, any links be chance to it? If not it’s ok, I will definitely be buying the book on release day. Thank you again you guys are AWESOME!!
Here is the link. https://ilona-andrews.com/read-first-chapter-of-sapphire-flames/
Awesome thanks for the sneak peek
I am so glad you have written this at a time when those folks in need could benefit from it. I wish them peace. And send my condolences, too.
Ms. Kim says
Thank you for sharing. You guys are so generous to us fans. I hope everyone who has experienced a loss this week is able to get a little bit of happiness from this.
Oh god, release day can’t come soon enough! You all just wring the emotion out of us. I am on tenterhooks waiting for the rest of this story.
Pat Crouch says
Thank you. Can’t wait!
August is so far away! Thank you for the chapter though!
Argh! August, why are you so far away???
Erika B says
Was having a rough day and that just allowed me the catharsis of shedding a few tears. Thanks. Some days you just need a good cry.
Omar Mtz says
I would buy that coach or steal it from the museum they donate it to.
Can’t wait for the book to come out.
Omar Mtz says
Know i want to read that scene of the Baylor family find him asleep there.
Thank you! I love it, of course. Wishing well to those who need it.
I cried too. Its been a emotional month. My cat has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and I am struggling with PTSD. thanks for the light in the dark xx
Been there. Fought it successfully with chemotherapy for two years – this was our first cat. It was a wonder: she sat there for 20 minutes every month and was willing to get the infusion – I swear she realized we did it to help her. Her kidneys gave out at the end. It was expensive and time consuming, but worth it.
(Disclaimer: this will not work for every kind of cancer and every cat, and may be too expensive where you live.)
Anyway, I have been where you are and feel with you. You will know when it is time to let your cat go over the rainbow bridge.
Have you given a thought to CBD oil? Not sure if would be okay for the cat but it’s a thought, maybe worth the research. I’ve read about a lot of good results. So sorry about your faithful companion.
Thank you for the snippet ! I just took a glance at it and AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Nevada got to get her revenge for the R+N dress picture huhu Awesome !
I was thinking the same thing – revenge: a dish best served cold with lots of sparklies! 🙂
Thanks for being so great! I just love it already! Let’s speed the summer up, shall we? Such sweet torture! 😉
Thank you so much! I had a bad morning and this was a nice surprise. It was lovely and I can’t wait for more. Poor Runa. She went through so much. I love both her and Catalina and I hope they will form a real solid friendship.
Fan in California says
Thanks for posting!! Can hardly wait!!
I want to thank you for both of your Snippets and for the hard work that you and your husband to give us little lights to make our life a little better. I pray for all of those who are suffering due to loss, surgery, sickness or any ailments that make you feel down and like no one’s there for you. It may not be much, and we may never meet. But I’m praying for you. I pray that God moves in your life and for healing and peace to abound. God bless you all
Lisa P says
Thanks for this. I’m having a rough time (no deaths thankfully) and really needed the pick-me-up.
Amy R. says
Love those Baylor girls.
Andrea's English Newsletter says
can’t wait for the book … such a great BFF pair those to women 🙂
sorry for the double post – autofill in messed me up
can’t wait for the book … such a great BFF pair those to women 🙂
Ms. Kim says
Thank-you so much for this unexpected treasure.
Ilona, now you know. Your writing has magical healing powers! This little boost helped in so many ways. Thank you!
Thank you so much for this! For the others that have suffered recent losses — I am so sorry. It sucks.
And Ilona & Gordon, thank you for this whole chapter, where you showed us how much this sucks.
I love that the Baylor’s are at the stage where they get to tease Mad Rogan…
Oh, and I told my oncologist that no matter what she needs to get me to September 2021 so I can finish reading this trilogy.
Don‘t limit yourself! I am hoping for an Arabella trilogy after this one…
PS: I am sure heaven has the perfect library.
PPS: Hell probably also has a library. All the books you like are gone or have the most important pages torn out. However, every book you hated in school will be there…
Arabella and/or Bern!!
Haha haha!!! Perfect description Norbert.
Cheryl M says
Thank you. The week is only a couple of days old, and I’m ready for it to be done. This snippet is most appreciated. (And, you can let the publisher know we are anxiously awaiting the publication date. )
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for these stories, these snippets. You guys are awesome.
Thank you! Just yesterday during a conversation with coworkers I heard myself say “I don’t feel like I’ve had enough joy in my life” just like that. Yikes! Prozac anyone?
Your snippets, Innkeeper and all your books bring joy! Thank you!
OMG!! You’re awesome. Thanks!!
This totally made my Tuesday. I’m so ready for this work week to be over already.
(This is the spot where someone deigns to tell me, “It’s only Tuesday.”)
Yes, and I was over this week yesterday. So the snippet is most lovely and I can’t wait to read the rest!
That was so sweet, my heart is breaking for Runa, can’t wait for her and Catalina to spend more time together.
Thank you for this and I hope the people you posted it for will feel a little better
Sending hugs and love to you all ~~~❤️
This just brings out so many emotions. The snippet, the reason behind it, that the people at Avon will be understanding of it. And the whole
amazing BDH community, many of whom are sadly dealing with hard things in their own lives. My prayers are with you. Life will move forward with time, and if you let it (by reading this blog for example) you’ll move forward with time too.
My sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
Thank you for posting Chapter 2. It is terrific. The Baylor family is so nice and down to earth – doing the right thing even when it might not be the smart thing.
Thoughts go out to the members of the BDH going through hard times right now. Best wishes to you all.
#1!! Best wishes to all who have lost family or friends. It’s never easy.
Thanks for the snippet, though. So looking forward to this book.
Lynn T. says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews.
Mary Beth says
And thank you for the snippet.
Katherine Meservy says
Yvonne A says
Thank you so much for the snippet!!
Ilona and Gordon are great and so are the BDH, I love you all and your compassion.
Much love and hugs to everyone
Lynne Binkley says
Three rules. I have a feeling they ring true with the Authorlords. I am awed by what they so willing give to all of us, by their compassion, and their humor. I will continue to buy whatever they write.
Thank you! Pre-order made and I hope this snippet helps those who are struggling right now.
+1 and hugs
Amy Ann says
+1. And thank you for being so compassionate as to offer something to bring comfort and light to those going through rough times.
Eleanor Konik says
I pre-ordered today specifically because I want the Avon people to support your compassionate choice.
Excellent idea! -so I did too.
Helenmary Cody says
Plus, it is going to be an awesome read!
Tracye obrien says
How did you prep-order?
Lora Tyler says
I just clicked on the link in Amazon when I pre-ordered. Hope that helps you. The monies aren’t pulled out of my account for some reason when I pre-order through them. Therefore, I have to remember to keep extra funds in my account in case I forget the date of release. LOL
Katherine Meservy says
I also copied your lead! Thanks!
An author I usually pre-order says that Amazon pre-orders don’t count as first day sales, which can affect the author adversely. From her newsletter:
*-* is available for preorder everywhere except Amazon. This is because Amazon doesn’t count preorders as sales on publication day, which means authors lose out on ranking and visibility. This is incredibly annoying. So I am experimenting with releasing it on Amazon on the day–8th May–and hoping readers will be happy to pick it up then. ”
I don’t think the ALs have any problem with ranking, etc. ? However, others may, so I’m taking a chance and canceling all my preorders. Here’s hoping my memory will suffice. (Yeh, sure. ?)
Anyway, Thank you for the snippet, can’t wait for the book. ?
I am sorry. I would have pre-ordered today for that very reason, but I already pre-ordered through Barnes and Noble as soon as it was available. I have all you miscellaneous (not KD or the Edge series) books that are available in Nook format. KD and the Edge are all carried by my local library, and I periodically check them all out and re-read them (keeps them on the shelves that way!). The others I get through B&N for my Nook reading pleasure … WHENEVER I WANT!!!
My condolences to those who have lost loved ones. There’s no easy way to cope; you just get through it one day at a time.
MARLENE P says
Omg! I cant wait to see read this. So excited!
When my mom was dying, potato chips, chocolate, books and my cats kept me going. I had been reading Kate Daniels on and off, and her trials, resilience and a wicked sense of humor helped me. Then I became addicted to the Innkeeper.
I was able to function each miserable day with the thought of Friday, my mom will still be here and I get another chapter of the Innkeeper.
I can’t express how important those Friday’s were.
Wishing positive thoughts and peace to those having a difficult time.
I recommend, both the Innkeeper and Hidden Legacy with chocolate and pets . Walk a dog, go to a park early in the morning and watch dogs play while drinking tea or coffee.
Tell your pet how you really feel and they won’t judge you and probably will give you unconditional love. And step back, breathe and do anything that gives you peace and quiet.
Thank you for the most excellent chapter. Love the growth of Catalina, both Nevada and Catalina are compassionate, loyal friends. They are kind . And kind is rare and precious .
I don’t quite know why, but your comment made me cry, but in the best way. The BDH are the best people, which makes sense since the AuthorLords are the best too.
Peace to all going through rough patches.
Lynne Binkley says
Thank you! My uncle died last night. I’ve been leaking tears all day as I work through the logistics of getting to the funeral. The Baylors & the AL are Good People—they are bright spots in an otherwise heavy day.
MARLENE P says
Sorry for all those who have lost loved ones. It is a difficult time. I love the Baylor family and hope the books help in some way.
After reading this chapter I found myself wanting to reread all the books. I keep thinking about the family and kinda wonder what will Bern do after he finishes college is he planning to work in the family business. Kinda want to see them do more see their business expand. Maybe he can branch out do security add another element to the family business. Wonder if Leon would go to college and study something or just focus on being the white horse. For some reason always wanted Arabella to be a lawyer after reading in on the books about her wanting to join the debate team. So many posibilities. Wondering about Cornelius has been doing working with the family. Have they hired more people. Would love to see more about Augustine siblings. I just want about this world love it so much. My fav series of all time.
I’m so sorry for your loss. ((Hugs))
Thank you for this Gailk. When my dad died I talked to my dog a lot. It helped. I had put that out of my mind and it’s a good memory to keep. Thank you.
So fantastic! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Thank you. I neeeded this escape today.
Tracye obrien says
Such kindness and compassion in characters and in these authos. Love your work.
Thank you dear Authors!
Thank you so much for posting this snippet. Love to photo frame with “lovely” pink crystals and glitter, they are so bad!! Really made smile and made my day after an awful few weeks with ill family members. ????
I work in a bookstore and honestly, I hand-sell the print books we have of yours because of things like how you interact on this blog and your kindness in doing things like this.
When my dad died very suddenly, I turned to my favourite authors for a few minutes of respite and escape. I managed to eke out a sense of normalcy in a world that was suddenly NOT NORMAL so I think authors like you are pretty fantastic.
Jean Morgan says
I agree, the last two years spent helping an elderly mom as she declined, working full time, etc. these books were a Godsend. No regrets at all, but this is a great blog by great authors, thank you so very much.
Katherine L Woodbury says
Thank you. This has been an awful week for me too and it’s only Tuesday. This helped me escape for a few moments and that is a priceless gift. I also pre-ordered the book as a thank you to you.
I hope your week improves starting immediately if not sooner. Hang in there.
Experiencing some intense challenges with our rescue dog and going back to work, and how that will impact my daughter …worrying and thinking in circles is making my brain hurt. I loved stopping in here for this snippet/chapter! Got me out of my head space. Love to all those going through difficulties and loss. Hang in there. I think this is the best online community! And looking forward to this book very much!
House Baylor rocks! Thanks for Snippeting us. I can already tell this will be another fun and amazing read. Pre-ordered and drooling.
I love this so much! It’s brightened up my whole day. Your character development is always so fantastic.
Is it too early to ship Runa with either Bern or Leon? 😉 She seems like she would be a great fit with the family.
Oh god. Runa & Leon should not be unleashed together upon the world.
Can’t wait to see more Leon.
I’m not sure Leon will ever catch up to Runa, but Bern might be an option.
Thank you for this part of the story. As in all you books so far, this one promises a future with a roller coaster ride. Thrills and chills, maybe some mayhem thrown in wit the chicanery. I’m looking forward to August 26 for BN’s notice at 11:30 PM that Sapphire Flames is ready to download. A new Andrew’s book, and the football season will be started.
Jen K says
Thank you. I love this family and can’t wait to read more.
So I love the dental records thing. It’s already got the wheels spinning. The obvious answer is that Scroll or whatever-their-family-is-using wouldn’t give access without the Head of House which is now Runa.
But I don’t believe the AL’s would make such a point of it here, especially when they had to spend a week cutting every. last. unnecessary. moment. *gleefully rubs hands together*
I’m also soso interested to see what has happened to Catalina in the past 2,5 years. One of the things I have really liked about Kate and Nevada and Rose and Cerise and Audrey and Catherine and everyone else is that they weren’t virginal girls with their first boyfriends. They’d been around the block (even when it ended up a nasty trip).
Has Catalina had a boyfriend? Has she had sex? With her magic, and her still-crush on Alessandro, I’m guessing not. And if not, this will be a new angle for the AL’s and I can’t wait to see how they handle it. I already adore the fact that Catalina *knows* her dream-Alessandro can’t be the real one. So even if a romantic relationship is a new thing for her, she knows some of the mistakes in advance. But I also like (in another snippet) that she can’t completely identify her emotions here. Just that “a disquieting, unpleasant feeling squeezed my chest, not pain exactly, but a kind of discomfort.” She sounds a little less self-aware than Kate or Nevada or Audrey, which would be fitting a lack of experience in that area.
Counting the days…
It’s not that hard to have sex without getting one’s emotions too engaged, if that’s what you’re trying for, and I can imagine… kind of going out and doing that, just to know you can? I mean, better than being a virgin because you can’t trust yourself? …but still not that satisfying.
(I am now trying to imagine a discussion between Catalina and grandma Frieda about whether she managed the zipless f*ck. Okay, maybe I should call it a night…)
So I cried. But in a cathartic way. My friend’s dad just died and this helps me with my feeling of helplessness. Just being there is all I can do, but at least I’m there.
My father, a grief counselor, used to tell me that “being” is an active verb.
As one of those who just lost some people, and begged for the snippet, I will tell you that being there definitely helps. For two weeks after I got back from the funeral, all I was is numb. I felt sedated. I would suddenly burst into tears, but it was like my body was crying on its own, not because I felt something.
But my friends were/are there for me, and came over, and drank coffee with me, and let me tell them what happened. And talk about the funeral, and my conflicted emotions about my family, and about how the only sibling I could trust to always be there for me was the one who had just died.
And when I had talked enough about it — whether it was enough times, or to enough people — I woke up. I wasn’t numb, and I was no longer spontaneously crying. I was… gonna be ok. This was all less than a month ago, and I am definitely still feeling it and getting weepy and yes, crying, but now I cry because I’m sad and miss them, not because my body decided to all on its own.
Being is an active verb. And it helps. OMG it helps.
This reflects my experience, at least from when my partner of many years (and then good friend for many after that) died a few years back. My history is a little more checkered :-p
Thank you, Tylikcat. Actually, literally the day I got home from my brother’s funeral, I found out that my college boyfriend who seamlessly switched into Really Good Friend for the last 20 years ALSO died. He was repairing his brakes and the car fell on him. It’s been a VERY shitty month.
I understand the sort of checkered background, too. Although it’s easy to pass for straight when you are married to a man. 😐
(trying again, since what I wrote yesterday hasn’t posted…)
Two deaths in such short a time is the kind of thing that is likely to knock you flat, too. It sounds like you have good community around you, I hope so? (You aren’t either of my current locals, are you?)
I wasn’t trying to be coy when I used partner – sometimes girlfriend sounds so juvenile. (I both don’t really expect people to keep track of me being bi, but figure it’s a matter of public record if anyone cares?) The checkered past in question was more about whether I managed to handle grief in a mature or healthy manner. Often, especially when I was younger, not so much. (I guess my past is checkered, figured and plaid.)
I love that the camaraderie of the sisters is still there which is hilarious. I’ll be looking forward to the perfect match to the youngest sister as well. Will there be a book for Augustine?
Thank you so much for posting that chapter. Truly can’t thank you enough.
Anne V says
I am happy to now be part of such a supporting community. Y’all are the best.
Thank you for the read! Thank you for always being so responsive to your readers!
I am sorry so many people are going through such rough times 🙁 Hope the new read lightened the load for a bit.
Lynn T. says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews. I appreciate your compassion and kindness for your fellow humans.
Unfortunately when my Dad was undergoing chemo and dying from cancer, we had not discovered you yet. We read and discussed Bujold, Briggs, (John) Ringo and (David) Weber and toward the end Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense books. He would have enjoyed all that you write and discussing.
Thank you both for your compassion. Escaping for a little while from stress of illness, death and grief is very helpful foe the well and survivors.
I don’t know what is going on with my comments all of a sudden. I’m sorry for the ones just posting my name, although in this case…
Lora Tyler says
Thank you so much for sharing this. It makes my heart hurt just reading about it. I am so glad that your stories have such compassion in them.
So good. Can hardly wait. Counting the days.
Bill G says
Love it. And I love that you gave it up for some folks who were really down.
-Forgot to mention that the come-on didn’t make me order it. (Already pre-ordered.)
You are totally marvellous and what an incredibly kind thing to do for sad and hurting readers. Thanks from us!
I went to Amazon only to find I had pre-ordered back in Feb already!
Three years ago the author lords amazed me by their kindness when they published a belated Happy Birthday to me from my daughter. I found out about it on a day when we had just sadly lost a friend at work and it raised my spirits tremendously. Little kindnesses mean such a lot and even 3 years later it still makes me happier. My thoughts are with all those here having difficult times.
Thank you for the chapter and for making people’s lives better. I ordered the kindle edition so promotion slightly successful.
Thank you for giving us another chapter of Sapphire Flames. I’ve already pre-ordered and can’t wait to read the rest!
Thanks for the snippets. I’ve preordered the book, and cannot wait for it to drop. But I can’t help looking ahead, and wondering about Arabella & Augustine. I know he’s at least 15 years older than she is, but they are such perfect opposites – he’s controlled, she’s not; he makes himself beautiful, she turns into a monster, he’s calculating, she’s emotional. They would be so interesting together! But you’ll do what you’ll do.
I think the AL have been pretty clear on that point, but… y’know, not everything has to be about romance?
My slightly older best bud of the last 28 years who has crossed over to being a full on adopted brother for both my sister and I is spending a bunch of time with my sister right now. They’re only nine years apart – which is a gap, but not uncrossable? Except I set them up *ahem* years ago, and they enjoy each other a lot, but have no chemistry. (They both said they other felt more like a sibling, even then.) Anyhow, they’ve both been going through romantic tumult, and having a good friend to confide in and go to movies and stuff with has been great.
(I mean, the sniping and gossip has been kind of epic between the three of us. There is a betting pool on my romantic life right now, and they won’t even tell me what the categories are. <= I think it's them hoping I'll provide them with more gossip fodder in this particular area.)
So, Augustine and Arabella in a buddies story? At the very least it would make some pretty epic fan fiction, right? But what would the circumstances be that would force them to work together?
+1, although I remain very suspicious that Augustine is a bad guy.
I just pre-ordered, to help you with claiming it as promotion.
It’s a good thing my Kindle keeps me from accidentally double-buying things. 😉
Kashefa Merchant says
Thank you so much for that.
Enjoyed it and preordered it because #1 it’s Entertainment at its finest.
#2 you’re so kind to your readers especially when they’re down.
Well, that made me tear up. 🙂
I want to hug Runa too…
Me too, I got teary eyed….then I started reading the comments and the tears are just running down my face.
To everyone going through tough times, hang in there, have hope and blessings to you all.
I will definitely pre-order Now that I’ve read this amazing snippet. I wasn’t sure before (wink wink). Love Nevada getting a little revenge for the teasing before. Love the human compassion from the Authorlords and the Baylor family. Our world needs more of that. Pul-leeese tell me Arabella will get a book too.
Good to know what happened to the bedazzler after the wedding. The go girl is a good person. These chapters are great. Thanks for sharing them.
OMG, my first thought was “they kept the Bedazzler!” But then they mention the drips from the hot glue gun. I’m going to go with both — the smaller sparklies are from the leftover Bedazzler, and the bigger ones used a glue gun.
Paulina T says
Thank you so much for giving us another chapter – so excited for this book!
My best wishes & sympathy to those who lost a loved one.
Ilona & Gordon, you are truly kind people. This was a nice treat.
Never fear, I pre-ordered the book in November and can’t wait for August. From what I’ve read, it’s going to be a long wait for August.
I snickered at Nevada’s and Arabella’s prank with Alessandro’s photo. I was teary at Runa’s pain and her treatment by her so-called friends. Of course, Catalina’s going to take the case. I’m hoping she has DNA tests done on the bodies and it proves the body’s aren’t Runa’s sister and mother.
cheryl z says
Welp, I must say one of the reasons I love the Hidden Legacy books so much, is the incredible humanity of the Barr family-every single one of them could star in a book that I would gobble up. Authors write best about what they know, so I suspect the humanity of the characters in all your books comes from their creators.
cheryl z says
oppsie meant Baylor family
Line Renate says
I’ve read so much crap lately, and reading this I just…. Yes. You’re amazing writers. You bring us right there, with the feels and everything. Oh, how I’ve missed your books. I love Catalina. At first I was disappointed when I learned you were changing main caracters, though I really should have had faith in our authorlords, because hello, you always deliver amazingly.
Gonna have to re-read everything, again, while I wait. Only problem is I know them by heart. On the one hand I’m like, why aren’t you the kind of author who publish several books a year, but then I read your latest and, oh yeah that’s why.
+1 to knowing them by heart, but… they do publish several times/year. Generally two or three. They said they were rewriting Maude’s Innkeeper story now, and that Hugh #2 would be next. So we’ll almost certainly get 2, and possibly 3 in 2019.
What a wonderful #TuesdayTreat
I can’t wait to read the entire book.
And I love the fact Nevada is getting back for how they trolled her about Rogan. ♡♡♡
Cannot tell you how much I needed this today – both the chapter, and the reminder that people really do still do things just to make other people feel better. Thank you. What a truly wonderful surprise.
Thank you for everything that you do for us Ilona Andrews. You are always kind to us and you’re always here to help. Thank you for your books and for the joy that you brings even when everything else is sad.
I do love this story so far. So many possibilities, so many directions. Can’t wait for its debut!
Thank you for your snippet and your compassion.
Thank you. Both for your compassion to the community, and because I really love this snippet. (My life is pretty great in all but the most superficial ways… deadlines, revisions, a cold, and flying tomorrow. But it’s not a very bad cold, I hope? And definitely not a very long flight. I’m also hoping for spending tomorrow evening having a lovely dinner, rather holed up finishing that thrice blasted revisions.)
Jackie H says
Thank you .
Thank you! I can’t wait for the book to come out!
Being one of the fortunate lucky ones, this week, I’ll just wish peace and tranquility to surpass understand unto those that need it. The snippet was a lovely compassionate surcease.
Hugs and blessings to all the BDH who need them!
Thanks to the Author Lords for being consistently fabulous both as authors and as human beings!
Oh my! Sorry for those who are grieving.
Also I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!
Love this so much. I can’t wait. Thank you!
Penny w says
Thank you ? loved it, cannot wait
What a perfect end to a very long night! Thank you so much!!!
Thank you for this. Very difficult times and I really needed this too. 🙂
*Hugs for Runa and Ragnar*
Thanks for the except! I can hardly wait to get my preorder.
I know. I had to check the date because I couldn’t remember. Almost 4 months away.
I just want to say thank you. You guys really are awesome.
So good! Thank you for sharing!
I just got back from having to make the hard call to transfer my grandmother to a hospice nursing facility. This was a gift. But then I was sad that I have to wait until August for my preorder to arrive. Thank you!
Thanks for this. It’s already (on Tuesday!) been a long week. And you reminded me to pre-order, so now I can look forward to even more awesomeness!
Thank you for this snippet! I’m so looking forward to reading it when it comes out.
Thank you for the snippet. I am sorry that people are having to deal with deaths in their families. There have been times when dealing with death in my family that I have used books as an escape for short periods, your stories work wonderfully
Carol Stauffer says
Your Writing always makes me feel better. Thank you so much for releasing this for the folks who have lost family recently.
Thank you 🙂
Thank you for this chapter. It was sad, but will lead to a wonderful story with Catalina and the Baylor Family, as well as Alessandro Segredo. I can’t wait to see where they all are after almost three years. Peace and blessings to all.
Michelle Balkenhol says
Thank you. I just spent the last two weeks trying to figure out how to stretch 100 band uniforms to cover 131 students, in a school district that has a spending freeze and a $17 million dollar deficit. Having a chapter to read was a ray of sunshine.
Considered Kickstarter or Go Fund Me? I am always amazed at the success these sorts of things have. And your situation seems like it would get the right draw. If you start one up, see if you can leave a note here. Don’t have a lot of money, but I would send something your way.
+1. I love band.
+1 on the gofundme – I would contribute too.
I loved this chapter – it was vivid, beautiful, and heartbreaking. It does make me wonder how she can tell when all of her magic has been purged.
Laura Robbins says
+1 on the Go Fund Me. I had the most fun in marching band in both high school and college, and would love to make sure someone else had the chance.
DonorsChoose.org is another great resource for teachers trying to raise money for class supplies/projects. My son’s teachers used it and were often successful at raising enough money.
My condolences to those going through a hard time.
Let us know, please. I cannot be the only one who loved band. When asked my instrument, I always say “I play clarinet, badly.” (Though I guess I can’t say that any more, since my clarinet was stolen in a break in.)
But I still love band.
Many condolences and many hugs to those who grieve.
Thank you for being so generous and let them read and escape for a little while.
Aww poor Runa! Go Catarina! (Ah, & Nevada: sweet, sweet pictorial revenge! Bwah haha!)
Hmm, if the book description is right & Catarina thinks Alessandro is all rich & idle, then…. I gotta think Mr. Sagredo/ Count Antistasi Whatever is leading some kind of double life……ooooooo, the suspense!
Is anyone else hearing the 007 theme song here?
To all dealing with the passing of loved ones, my sincere condolences. I can empathize, but that is not enough. I hope those that passed are now past suffering, and you have many around to share your loss and load. I hope you have all the help you need, and if you don’t find someone to help.
To others having a hard time,whether it is a bad day or rough patch, I hope your loads are lightened, and soon. There is always tomorrow, and I hope it is filled with hope and light.
Your writing hits me in the heart… This one left me crying, as I’ve known how this feels from both sides. It gets me when people ignore all the reasons why not and reach out so people who are hurting have someone to hold onto.
Cannot wait for August now,so I can read this. Pre-ordered this in Dec.
Katherine M Coynore says
Oh my, yes. This is amazing. How much longer before it comes out?
Angel Mercury says
Why is it not August yet~~~
Thank you 🙂
This was the tiny ray of light I didn’t even realize I needed to survive this mongrel of a week. Thank you!
Thank you! Looking forward to book release. Hope we all have a happier, healthy May.
The two of you are awesome! Thank you so much for the totally unexpected but much appreciated snippet.
Wow, this is beautifully written. Thank you for making me so curious. The waiting will kill me but on the other hand anticipating this exciting story is great too! Teej, good idea this double life Allessandro might be leading … can’t wait … ?
Thanks very much for putting this beginning back into the book. What a tremendous way to start the new series.
Jujubee D says
OMG! What a lovely treat. Thank you so much. You guys are the best. I love everything you write. Now off to read the Hidden Legacy series from the start.
Wow..making me tear up and it is only the second chapter.. is this mean or is it brilliant?
My condolences for this persons loss. All I can say is bless you. We lost our youngest daughter almost 3 yrs ago. Sometimes the only thing that pulled me out of the dark abbess was getting lost in a story.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Most deaths are hard, but I believe the loss of a child would be the worst. ((Hugs))
OH just wonderful, Thank you!
Thank you..cant wait to buy this book
Peace come to those who are grieving. Thank you for the chapter!
Claire M says
To those having such an awful week, hang in there. One moment at a time, one breath at a time if you have to.
Ilona and Gordon, thanks for sharing this. Made me smile too.
Sheila G Williams says
I’m so glad this book is coming out! I read the first one and I love this world. I am the one that got our local library to order the book, and I’ll be the first one to get it. I’m so pumped!
Anne-Marie McRoberts says
Thank you so much for this … ?snipter . It’s been a tough week. Sent birthday wishes to one old friend to get the response that it had been the worst birthday ever, her brother had died of cancer and opened facebook to a rant against cancer from another friend who had lost a dear friend. Sigh. But this helped.
Celeste WB says
Thank You! ?
Thank you, Thank you, & Thank you! This was a ray of sunshine!
Wow! You guys are the bomb. I can hardly wait for the book.
I just got all the feels. Sending comforting hugs, fist bumps and warm thoughts to everyone in need.
Annette Chung says
Oh jeez this is just heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing the second chapter, and I’m sorry for those who are hurt today, tomorrow and probably forever. May you and your loved ones find a measure of peace.
Please please please can you publish this book earlier… I’m dying to read more of Catalina and Alessandro.
Thanks for the snippet, sorry about the circumstances under which you decided to do so. Hope it bought a measure of peace for all of those in need of it.
Emma L. says
I know you both hear this a lot, but these books and these serials have helped me get through some of the worst parts of my life. Escaping to your reality has been often my cheif solace for years and I want to thank you so much for your work. It is magical.
Love love love these characters so much… can’t wait for this book.
Stephanie B says
What a wonderful thing to do. And, you have given Catalina the same compassion you show. Excellent snippet. Thanks.
Thanks so much for the snippet. So sorry for anyone who has had a loss.
The fact that BOTH Catalina’s sisters were in on that photo made me giggle. I am anxiously awaiting my copy, the pre-order has been in place since it was first available.
I’m sorry for those grieving and going through a harm time.
Thank you for the snippet. This book comes out a day b4 my daughter’s 9th birthday and now I’m willing that day to arrive faster.
My only sister just survived a massive stroke. Once again I dove into your stories for comfort. Thank you so much for your snippets your talents and your gifts you so freely give. This came at a time I needed a break to hide from fear. Thank you so much. Creator bless you both. Love Rosalita Shipman
Tina Black says
Thank you for caring about your readers. Been there and your gifts are the best.
No worries Avon. I pre-ordered MONTHS ago.
Thank you authors for the bonus. We appreciate you.
Lisa B. says
You are good people. Thank you!
Why oh why…so good. If I could chain you both to a deal and ask you to write forever I would ?
Lovely chapter looking forward to Cat and Alex’s story. ????
I needed this. Thank you so much. I can’t wait until the book comes out.
Pauline Dixon says
The compassion shines through in every word loved this chapter can’t wait to read the book
Having surgery tomorrow. I really needed the distraction tonight. Thank you so much for this. It helped to take my mind off tomorrow if only for a bit. I enjoyed this lovely heartwarming chapter.
I hope your surgery went well and glad that Ilona posted this to help you and the others get through your week.
I absolutely love the worlds you two create. Fan for life!
Love it. 3rd rule always.
I don’t understand how August is still so far away when I have been willing the release date to hurry up and get here for MONTHS.
Thank you guys so very much. Yes, it has been a cr@ptastical week and this was a light halfway through the tunnel.
Melissa Blanchard says
Such a huge treat. So appreciate your talent.
Heart-warming is the right word. Compassion and courage.
In many ways 2019 has been challeging. My brother passed away unexpectedly, I have a dear friend who has had critical health issues, and several friends and colleagues battling cancer. Sometimes I can’t help but to cry. I believe that we all go thru life’s challenges to learn and to grow. Leaning on my faith but this year sucks! Thanks for providing a break from reality.
Sois los mejores.
I love you.
Anne Dijeh says
The wait is killing me. I really did not want to visit your blog cos it makes me notice how far August is…..but here I am wiping tears at the emotions displayed in only one chapter. Ilona, you are amazing❤❤❤
Pauline Deasy says
Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!
Thank you so much for getting us ready for Cat at Alessandro’s story.
I fall in love everytime I read an Ilona Andrews story.
I went to preorder my copy on Apple Books and discovered that chapters 1,2 AND 3 are available in the sample. 🙂
Susan McGillicuddy says
Eleanor Stevens says
I’m wondering why Catalina is replacing Nevada as Head of House Baylor? Will this question be answered in Sapphire Flames?
Gladylyn Miranda says
I think I’m addicted. In between releases of your new novels, I try to read other novels even those of my previous favorites, but nothing compares! I hope ypu can release at least 4 to 5 books in a year?.
Thank you for this chapter.
May I just say, the three rules of house Baylor are some dang good rules to live by. Props to the author lords and hugs to the rest of you all out there…here’s hoping for peace and good juju for you, and maybe a good cry as needed. I find a “hope floats” type of movie can trigger a good molt and sometimes it helps. Cheers and wishing happier stories for you all!!
You guys are the best!!! Thank you!!!!
I might die waiting for August to read my copy!!! (LOL)
Thanks for sharing more of your new book in the Hidden Legacy Series. I’m deeply sorry for those who have lost their loved ones and hope that they can have comfort in their moments of sadness.
I’ve re-read Nevada and Rogan’s Story in preparation for this new series. I love the action, sense of humor, and romance in your writings. I laughed so much with Augustine and Rogan’s encounters, I mean it was intense and then he ended up being his best man. The ferrets, and Arabella’s trials had me LOL. I hanged at the edge of the seat with all the confrontations, and sighted deeply with Rogan’s devotion for Nevada. Can’t wait for the rest of them to get their own stories.
I wonder, does Augustine know about Arabella’s powers? He wasn’t in wildfire, and in Sapphire Flames he comments on them being an unknown, but he knows about Catalina, but when Arabella transformed he wasn’t around, so what a surprise! For a man that takes pride in knowing it all, it must be killing him. I keep wondering what he really looks like, Rogan once said he knew how he really looked like without magic. Catalina Gad another power related to combat, I expect to see some sword fighting scenes. Alexandro and his secret missions, because no way he’s just a spoiled aristocrat. By the way does Catalina know he is a Count? Will we see more of Cornellious, and Matilda? She should be 8 or ten years old. Will Leon still be a dark horse? He makes me laugh! I’m really looking forward to this book’s release and so near my birthday, it’ll make a great birthday present!