So, this is excerpt week. I’ve decided to give you a bit of the opening for the fourth book in the Sarah Beauhall series — Hearth & Home. I hope this whets your appetites.
Katie was looking pretty good despite the fact she’d been throwing up blood an hour before the party. The color was back in her face and she didn’t look like she was going to collapse, for now. She thought maybe she was getting an ulcer or something, but I knew better. It was the magic. Her songs were growing more and more powerful and they were wrecking her body — eating her up inside.
She was getting weaker, frailer. It was the little things, like when she had to catch her breath after tying her shoes or wringing her hands like she was in pain. She faked it well enough. Didn’t think anyone noticed, but I did. I loved her more than breathing.
Stuart had told me how she had nearly collapsed while battling the cultists during the winter solstice. Jimmy had found her face down in a pool of her own blood after the battle. I hate thinking about how close I came to losing her that night. They kept her in the hospital overnight. Gave her two pints of blood. Thing was, she had no real symptoms. They just got her stabilized and suggested she see a specialist.
We had another appointment later this week just to rule out anything mundane — like cancer or something. I hated it. This would be the third specialist visit in as many months. I wasn’t dealing with the ambiguity too well. This wasn’t something I could stab or punch, or hit with a hammer. I couldn’t bend it to my will like iron, or wrestle it to the ground like a dwarf. One thing I knew about myself, something I didn’t need any shrink to help me figure out, was I did not take too well to feeling helpless.