My second novel "Runs in Good Condition" (book2 in the Linus Saga) is now available for pre-orders. Here is a special sneak peak at book 2 for your enjoyment. You can pre-order your copy using the button at the bottom.
Preface: Linus has suddenly taken ill on the morning of his exams. His wife (Deirdre), daughter (Irene), and secretary (Morfindel) are scrambling to help him ready and upright.
Irene looked around for whoever was hissing at her, to find Morfindel peering in at the kitchen window, the rain was pounding mercilessly outside, as he tried to squeeze under the protection of the narrow alley.
"What are you doing?" Irene cried through the open window. "You're supposed to be getting my dad ready! This is no time for playing in the rain!"
"I climbed out of the window on the stairs. Is your mum around?" asked Morfindel, leaning his head in.
"You’re soaking wet! Mum’s not here, she’s in the cellar."
"Good," said Morfindel and propped a leg up on the windowsill. In half a moment, he'd stepped through the window and into the sink below it. Unfortunately for Morfindel, it was full of dirty dishes soaking in cloudy water. There was a loud ceramic crack as Morfindel trod on Deirdre’s favorite platter. Irene was staring at him, hands on her hips, in a perfect imitation of Deirdre.
"Morfindel Cunlias! Have you lost your faculties?!" she cried.
"'M trying to sneak in," said Morfindel, sheepishly as more of Deirdre’s flatware met their untimely demise under his feet.
"We have a back door, you idiot!" cried Irene, flinging her dishrag to the floor in frustration and offering Morfindel an arm down.
"I know, but I wasn't taking any chances. I don't care what your mum says, I am NOT dressing your father like a rag doll–oops! Sorry," said Morfindel, as another dish broke. He was trying to get out of the sink without destroying anything else and was failing miserably. He would have been clear had his sock not caught on the pump handle. In a flurry of water and broken china, Morfindel tumbled forward and landed on Irene, biting his lip in the process.
"Ow!" moaned Irene from the pile of arms and legs. The skirt of her white poplin dress had flown up over both of their heads and caught on her pinned hair. Morfindel's damp head was resting on her shoulder, his lip dripping blood onto her lace collar. The Elf, a little disoriented, had trouble figuring out where he was. His eyes were met with an endless field of white, and a queer creaking sound. For a moment he thought he was at sea, until he felt the rise and fall of the warm body underneath him. Lifting himself up a little, his golden eyes met deep green ones; they were flashing and alive like running water. His hands were resting on her waist, where they felt the distinct ribbing of whalebone, which creaked slightly as she breathed. Irene, feeling faint, looked up at the dashing, dark-haired young man above her, utterly incapable of speech or thought–until his weight put more strain on her corset than she could manage.
"You ninny! Get off me!" she gasped with what little breath she had left.
Suddenly realizing what was going on, Morfindel jerked his head forward sharply, only to have it connect with Irene's chin. He cried out and clutched his head, as they sat up on the stone floor in a heap. Morfindel was quicker to recover and waved his hands over his head wildly, hoping to dislodge Irene's petticoats.
"Ow! OW! Stop it!" cried Irene. "It's stuck on me pins!"
"On your what?" yelled Morfindel, wondering if it was a euphemism.
"On my hair pins! OW! I said quit it! Just hold still, and don't move!" snapped Irene, as her hands scrabbled at her hair.
"Oh! Oh! Me sleeve is caught!" she wailed. The strings of her apron had caught on Morfindel's belt buckle and now held her arms down firmly at her side.
"You take 'em out," she said, thrusting her head at Morfindel.
"What do they look like?" asked Morfindel.
"Are you kidding me?!"
"I grew up in a monastery, Irene – a MONASTERY: men only! I didn't get much exposure to hair pins at the time!" he cried, the panic rising in his stomach.
"Irene? I heard a crash!" came Deirdre's voice from the cellar. "Is everything alright, love?"
Irene and Morfindel exchanged a glance of pure terror, before Morfindel started running his fingers through Irene's hair, pulling on anything that might be a pin.
"(Ow!) I'M FINE, MOTHER! (That's not a pin, that's my ear!) ARE YOU DONE DOWN THERE?"
"Not yet!" Deirdre called back. "I can't seem to find the black currant cordial. Do you know where it is?"
"DID YOU LOOK ON THE SHELF BY THE STAIRS?” she called before rounding on Morfindel again. “Look, you! Pulling out every pin is not going to work. Find the one that's stuck to my skirts and pull that one out!"
"Fine," grunted Morfindel, his mouth full of pins.
"Yes," called back Deirdre, "but I didn't see it. What happened to it?"
Irene still found time to roll her eyes at her mother, despite her predicament. "I DUNNO, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT?" she called, while Morfindel's fingers worked feverishly.
"I think I left it in the cupboard over the kitchen sink!" called Deirdre, and to the horror of the two trapped on the kitchen floor, her footfalls resounded on the cellar stairs, becoming steadily louder.
"Quickly!" cried Irene, franticly.
"I'm trying!" Morfindel squeaked back, his heart thrumming.
"Oh dear, I left the infusion downstairs," called Deirdre and the footsteps stopped. "Irene, be a dear and see if you can find the cordial up there. Bring it down here when you get a chance." They then heard her descend back into the cellar.
Morfindel and Irene dared to breathe again, and continued untangling themselves. In a few moments, the culprit pin was freed, the apron strings were unwound, and the blood and dishwater were mopped up before Deirdre came up the stairs again. In her hand was a steaming mug, and she looked rather annoyed at her daughter.
"Irene, have you found it yet? We don't have time to dally, sweetheart."
Her sharp dragon eyes, garnet red in the early morning light, took in the wrinkled clothes, Irene's frowsy hair, the blood on Morfindel's lip and two large, wet handprints on Irene’s waist.
"What have you two been doing in here?" she asked suspiciously.
"Morfindel slipped on some water and bit his lip," said Irene, trying to look composed. "We both took a tumble but now we're okay," she finished. Morfindel tried not to blush at Irene's unfortunate choice of words, but wouldn't meet Deirdre's eyes. He’d had alarming revelation a few minutes ago. While his head had been resting on Irene's bosoms he had been shocked to discover that she actually had them...
'Runs in Good Condition' by Monica Marier is now available for pre-order!
Linus is back from his travels with money to burn and a grateful family. Only now he finds himself swept up in a danger worse than dragons and kobolds: Politics. Nominated for Union President Linus goes toe to toe with crooked leaders, a tank of water, dancing slippers, pop singers, corsets, and even a werewolf or two. That is if he even passes the qualifying rounds… and if he can avoid planting his foot in his mouth every two seconds.
Whether you’re liberal, conservative, or nihilist, there’s nothing as impolitic as Linus Weedwhacker: Candidate at Large.
Runs in Good Condition Pre-order Through PayPal
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