- N. N. Light
Raven's Edge by JB Dane is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums pick #uf #paranormalmystery #giveaway
Title: RAVEN’S EDGE
Author: JB Dane
Genre: Urban Fantasy PI Mystery Comedy (or Paranormal mystery works, too)
Name’s Bram Farrell. I’m a PI – well, used to be. Michigan doesn’t think I have the requisites for a license in this world. My experience is nearly all within the pages of a set of fantasy books written by Calista Amberson, who I thought died shortly after yanking me into the real world but hadn’t. Currently, I rank at the top of her Erase These Idiots list. The feeling is mutual.
As St. Patrick’s Day dawned, I thought the only dangerous thing on my social calendar was meeting Naomie Enright’s family. It wasn’t, though downing green dyed potato salad took courage. No, it was finding the Irish goddess Danu waiting for me at the Enright Pub’s bar. She wanted me to find an enchanted sword. Someone had nicked The Retaliator, a blade that could kill with just a scratch. Except this ancient Tuathan treasure would only go to the hand of a master swordsman.
Not many of them around in 21st century Detroit.
Except, Mack Enright, Naomie’s brother, has a friend who likes to buckle on some swash and dazzle crowds with sword play. And he's vanished, only the scents of ghoul and vampire lingering behind in his wrecked apartment. That’s never good.
And it's headed for even worse. I definitely need an edge to solve – survive – these cases!
It was still early enough to catch the end of the party O’Clankahan’s Stompers were at. From the noise etching into the night, I wondered whether anyone would be on the door to collect any fees, but a woman took my money and gave me a handful of tickets for drawings for prizes I would not want.
On the stage at the far end O’Clankahan and his troupe were doing a Riverdance. It reminded me a bit of a free-for-all kindergarten dance class I’d seen posted on Facebook.
When O’Clankahan and his team finished with bows and curtseys. I took a position at the bottom of the steep stairs up to the stage. Blocked him with my six-two, taking a step to one side, then the other when he attempted to dodge past.
“Remember me?” I asked him. “Poker game Thanksgiving weekend.”
“Yeah, I remember,” O’Clankahan grumbled. Mostly to my kneecap. I suppose he didn’t like the pain in the neck that accompanied staring up at folks who weren’t leprechauns, dwarves, or preschoolers.
“Oddly enough, those greenbacks converted themselves into faery gold before I returned home and dissipated when the sun came up,” I said.
“Yeah, that is odd,” he agreed. “Whaddaya want, Raven?”
“What about missing artifacts?”
That seemed to shut him up. He stared at the rest of his crew, all now gathered around what remained on the food tables. “Okay,” he growled, “but over where no one can hear us.”
I followed him over to a far corner.
“What’s missing?” he asked once we were both seated.
“Something Danu wants back.”
He looked sly. “If it’s an artifact, then it’s one of the Tuathan talismans.”
I didn’t give him a yes or a no, just waited.
“No one would want the stone and the caldron’s too bulky to deal with. That means it’s either the sword or the slingshot, and the twenty first century isn’t much into slingshots. That means it’s The Retaliator.”
“How easy is it to slip into Tara?” I asked rather than admit that he’d nailed it.
“You lookin’ for a guide?”
“Looking for the person who had a guide.”
O’Clankahan leaned back in his chair, though, since he’s tike sized, his legs stuck straight out rather than bend. Stared across the echoing room toward the food tables. “Let me think about it.”
“As long as you don’t think too long. Let’s say the time’s up the minute the final raffle ticket has been pulled.”
He headed across the room to join his troupe. I stopped paying attention until the final draw of the night.
“This is without a doubt the costliest donation for the raffle,” the guy at the mic said. “A full case of Green Spot. Again, the number is…”
“It’s one of the last tickets given out,” the woman at the door called, and headed straight for me. “I’ll bet you’ve got it, sir.”
Considering I hadn’t even taken my half of the raffle tickets out of my pocket, I was left searching for them as she waited, forcing her smile to stay in place. When I handed them over, she called to the man on stage. “What was that number again, Stan?”
He took his time, slowly pronouncing each digit.
“He’s got it!” the woman at my side whooped and pushed me ahead of her to the prize table.
Our prize girl, bent to push a full case of whiskey from beneath the draped table. She pulled a single bottle from hiding and held it up, presenting it to me with a flourish.
As it was the final draw of the night, the time limit I’d given the leprechaun was up. I turned to look over to where O’Clankahan had been and found a horde of strangers were rushing forward to congratulate me.
Possibly to make off with a bottle themselves since the case was opened.
And the entire O’Clankahan troupe wove between their legs and tackled me to the floor. Fortunately, the bottle didn’t break, just rolled from my hand to be snatched up by someone. I was too busy to make note of the thief.
A couple of the leprechauns landed punches to my jaw, others pounded away at my ribs and stomach. One of the women tried sinking her teeth past a sturdy layer of tweed on my arm while another had her hand in my pocket. I’d like to point out, it was not my jacket pocket. Two of the men had wrapped themselves around my legs trying to pin me in place.
“Get his wallet!” O’Clankahan yelled.
“Grab the whiskey,” someone else shouted, though I’m not sure it was one of the leprechauns.
I pushed the bitch with the overly friendly hand away.
Pulsed enough wind force to blow them off their tootsies and scrambled back to my feet. Two humans with their hands in the Green Spot case hastily returned bottles to it.
As the leprechauns regained their feet, I gathered a handful of O’Clankahan’s shirt front and lifted him way off his feet. “If you don’t want me ratting to the dragon about the faery gold you palmed off on me, you’ll spill both the name of the guide and how to get in touch with them,” I snarled.
Then another leprechaun kicked me in the ankle with a clog heavy foot. Surprised and smarting, I let go of O’Clankahan. He almost bounced.
The party broke up quickly after that. I picked up the case—it was only missing four bottles now—and limped out to my car. When the van with O’Clankahan’s name plastered on the side made it through the traffic jam of departing guests, I followed it.
Just so you know, I called 9-1-1 and reported a van weaving on the road, even though it wasn’t, and supplied O’Clankahan’s license plate number to the operator. Good citizen deed done—okay, mock good citizen—I immediately took the next right and headed for The Red Dragon.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Goodreads RAVEN'S EDGE by J.B. Dane | Goodreads
BookBub Raven’s Edge: Raven Tales Book Three (The Raven Tales 3) by J.B. Dane - BookBub
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
Winter’s were made for cuddling up with a good book and the sound of a fire crackling in the fireplace. As I don’t have a fireplace, I have a DVD that gives me the flames dancing on the wood and the sound of that crackle playing on the flat screen. It plays on a loop so I can enjoy it for hours and not need to clean up any ash. Otherwise, naps are also at the top of the list. Fortunately, I have a lot of books (those I wrote and enjoy rereading) and those from favorite authors (that also deserve rerun reads), and then there are movies or cable channel series to marathon, too, for a change of pace. I’m still under the same lap robes no matter what the choice is.
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
Raven’s Edge is definitely a good read for March. Set in Detroit, Michigan, where there are still piles of snow waiting to melt away, with this book in the series things kick off on St. Patrick’s Day, involve a magical sword stolen from Tara, and I not only threw in two sword fights but also an underground—and I do mean sub-sub-sub basement underground—jousting match attended by vampires. And if that’s all not enough danger for you, Bram meets Naomie’s entire Irish clan. Meeting your gal’s family is always takes courage, right?
But what makes any of the Raven Tales books a good “cure” for the winter blues is that along with a mystery to solve, magic being tossed, paranormal characters of various geneses, and a touch of romance, there’s lots of humor. If you’re busy laughing, how could you possibly be blue?
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs March 1 – 31, 2023.
Drawing will be held on April 3, 2023.
J.B. Dane is the author of the urban fantasy PI mystery comedy series, The Raven Tales, which includes novels published by Burns and Lea Books, and a series of Indie published novellas that are prequels and also "between the books" adventures of her MC, Bram Farrell. The latest novel in the series, RAVEN'S EDGE, was honored with a spot in the Winner’s Circle for 2022 at N.N. Lights’ Book Heaven. Quite a few 5* reviews have followed for the novels, in particular, singing praises that should make her blush though she’s too busy proudly polishing her nails against her lapel to do so. She also writes shorter fantasy fiction, many tales of which have appeared in anthologies, particularly her Nick Claus, North Pole Security stories. She writes historical and contemporary romantic mystery and speculative twisted 19th century fiction under two different names, just to confuse people. Or so they seem to think.
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