Update and Snippet

Hi friends,

Work on Tea Princess Book 3 has begun, but regretfully posts are going to start later than I’d anticipated. To make a long story short, January was supposed to be a recovery month for me, and instead life Extremely Happened and it turned out to be the polar opposite, leaving me only just now beginning to claw my way back to some semblance of normalcy. I’m getting it together, but unfortunately my “early 2019” plan for this launch is blown. My sincerest apologies for the delay.

I’ll update with more news soon, but I didn’t want to leave you all hanging: TPC 3 is still coming, it is in process, and it will launch soon. *stares grimly at the fates* As for how soon, probably April, but all I can say for sure is I’m working on it as fast as I can.

Thank you for your patience, and in the meantime, here’s a snippet from an unrelated project I think you might enjoy as well to help tide you over until my next post.

Happy reading,

Casey


 

Jorella stared across small, cozy room at Dorian, comfortable in a plush chair and not paying her any mind. She didn’t want to bother him.

With a sigh, she stood and moved in front of the crackling fire, the only open space in the room, and started running through some basic stretches, lunges, nothing fancy. Couldn’t do anything fancy in a room this small, though that was its own kind of challenge, which was something.

Then she finished, and sighed.

She glanced over at Dorian again.

The prince turned a page of his book and didn’t look up.

Jorella gazed outside at the falling snow, then back in. She unfolded a blanket aspirationally, but after her exercise she was too warm for it to feel anything but stifling. She moved an empty mug to the cabin’s small kitchen, returned, found the place cursing pristine. What kind of cabin in the woods was pristine?

A luxury cabin, that’s what. She looked at Dorian and sighed again.

Dorian glanced up at her over his book, elegant spectacles tilted down on his aquiline nose. Even with his dark curls tousled and leisure clothes rumpled from lying around with books all day, somehow he still exuded royal vibes.

Also, he was gorgeous. That had to be how she’d gotten herself into this.

“You’re bored,” Dorian said. It wasn’t a question; maybe he’d noticed her dramatic sighing after all.

So bored,” Jorella agreed. “Will you be done soon?”

“No. I just started.”

“You’ve read two books today already!” she protested.

“But I just started this one,” he argued reasonably. “We’re on vacation. I can read as much as I want.”

Jorella’s temper, not coping well with having been cooped up for two days already, flared. “Right. We are on vacation. So why do only you get to have a good time?”

That got his attention. Dorian set his book aside without even pausing to mark his page and focused on her. “I thought,” he said slowly, “that you liked reading?”

“I do like reading! Just not nonstop.”

“Then why did you agree to come with me?”

There was a thread of both hurt and confusion in his voice, which was so preposterously out of place in her conception of Dorian that Jorella felt panic burgeoning, like somehow she’d trapped herself, or they’d trapped each other, and she’d tear herself apart to escape.

She waved her arms wildly around. “It’s the forest! I thought we’d do other things! I mean, is this—is this really all you were planning on doing? For days?”

“I—yes,” Dorian said, and in that hesitation she heard his embarrassment and disappointment.

For her. Because she didn’t want to only read books. Jorella felt her chest tighten. She should’ve known this would never work, not her of all people, with him

“I misjudged you,” Dorian said.

Jorella closed her eyes.

“You spend so much time punching people,” he said, “I thought not having to would be a nice break.”

“I had a nice break,” she managed, trying to hold it together. “Now I am going to explode. You understand I do enjoy punching people? I didn’t land in my line of work by accident.”

A mercenary captain and a prince. She should have known better. But she had thought, had hoped—

“I suppose not,” Dorian mused.

Well. She’d been wrong, hadn’t she? And she was going to end up erupting out of her skin and tear their careful relationship apart in a matter of days.

“Well,” Dorian said, and the echo of her own thought made her tense. “What do you suggest?”

Jorella stared at him.

“Surely you’re not going to tell me you’ve been pacing in front of the window there for an hour and have no preferences on how you’d rather be spending your time,” he said wryly.

She stared some more. Was he serious?

“Jorella.” Dorian’s tone was laced with both amusement and impatience, and she nearly shivered just to hear him say it.

“Snow tiger,” she blurted.

Now it was Dorian’s turn to stare. “Snow tigers are one of the most dangerous animals in the forest, including all the magical creatures this far north,” he said. “You’re proposing we seek one out?”

“I don’t want to hunt them!”

“I should hope not.”

“Just to see.”

Dorian waited.

“And maybe make friends.”

The prince gazed up at the ceiling, as if for divine guidance.

“I know it’s snowing right now, but that means—”

“—it’s the best chance we have of actually seeing a snow tiger on the move, yes, I’m aware. But you do remember you have a perfectly satisfactory dragon mount back home?”

“How dare you. Flameon is well beyond ‘satisfactory’.” Dorian’s lips twitched at the familiar and vaguely ridiculous name, and Jorella felt her heart beginning to swell. “And I’m sure Flameon would be best friends with any snow tiger we introduce him to.”

“I suppose I should be glad he’s not here to make the case for snow tiger pets as well,” Dorian said dryly. “Do you have a plan to find a snow tiger?”

“Only a partial one,” Jorella admitted. “I haven’t looked at the map yet.”

“Thought digging through my packs might tip me off you were planning on haring off without me?” he teased.

Seriously, Jorella answered, “I thought you’d think I wanted to be anywhere but with you.”

The prince cocked his head to one side. “Do you?”

“Of course not! I want to see a snow tiger with you.”

Dorian leaned forward and brushed a lock of hair out of Jorella’s face. “Then I’ll get the map,” he said softly, and then grinned. “Inasmuch as we ever manage to follow set courses anyway.”


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