Mistletoe Madness Blog Event featuring Eric R Asher
It’s is a two week event where authors with 2015 winter releases (November 2015 — January 2016) will take over our blogs with guest posts written from one of their character’s POV with a holiday theme (Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, New Years, etc.). There will be exclusive bonus scenes, recipes, top 10 lists… all manor of shenanigan is possible. Some authors are including giveaways, too, so be sure to check out each days’ posts! You can check out the full schedule on the Kickoff Post.
Today, Eric R Asher brings us a rare moment of peace from his Vesik world. (And if you’re not familiar with the Vesik series – with necromancers, fairies, and a few little puffball with teeth, – check below for your chance to win a book in the series!)
Sam narrowed her gaze and scratched Jasper behind his eyes. The gray furball purred and swelled and nestled into our parents’ couch beside her and the presents stacked precariously on the armrest.
“Take it back,” she said.
“Fine,” I said. “Fine. I promise not to use my necromancy to make you punch yourself in the face for two weeks.”
“Children,” Mom said, raising an eyebrow while sitting a small steaming teacup and saucer on the coffee table.
“She started it,” Foster said, picking up a coffee stirrer and dropping it into the very alcoholic bourbon and cider.
“Oh you little bug.” Sam growled.
Foster flexed his wings and took a long pull on the straw before wincing away. “Holy hell.”
“Bug spray,” Sam said.
Aideen took a sip and smacked her lips. “It’s quite nice. Is that butter I taste, Andi?”
Mom nodded and settled herself onto the loveseat beside Dad. He put his arm around her and shifted a small stack of presents with his foot.
“Alright,” Frank said as he stepped around the snoring cu siths by the fireplace. He set a platter of cookies and chocolate covered bacon on the coffee table.
“Dear god,” Foster said. “There’s no fudge, you heathen.”
“I got it.” I looked toward the kitchen and smiled. Vicky hummed along with the Christmas music, batting Shiawase’s hand away when he tried to help.
“Maybe don’t put that by Foster,” Mom said. “He has quite the reputation.”
“A deserved reputation,” Aideen said after taking another sip of cider.
“Thank you, Vesiks,” Shiawase said. “I am honored to be at your gathering.” He bowed slightly before sitting on the floor by the coffee table.
“We can bring in a chair from the kitchen,” Dad said.
“Unnecessary, but thank you for the offer.”
The room shook. Glasses rattled in the cabinets and Foster steadied the small pyramid of fudge.
“Is he actually coming?” Sam asked.
The stone above the fireplace shifted, two black pockets forming above the mantle before pale green fires lit in each. A rap came at the patio door a moment later.
“Aeros,” I said. “I’m so glad you could make it.”
“I have not seen a Christmas like this in many years,” the Old God said. “I thank you for having me.”
Sam blipped over to the door and slid it open, leaving Jasper to tumble into the depression her butt had left in the cushion. The furball growled and righted himself.
Zola grunted as Sam’s hug threatened to fracture things best not fractured.
“It’s good to see you too, girl. It’s good to see you too.”
Zola offered me a smile as she made her way around the room, finally dragging a kitchen chair over between me and the snoring cu siths. Vicky followed Sam back to the couch and snatched a wide-eyed Jasper off the coffee table, his mouth stuffed with fudge.
“What a pig,” Foster said through a mouthful of chocolate.
“Fairies,” Aeros’s face muttered from the stone fireplace.
Dad stared at the rocky visage, but it didn’t seem to phase Mom at all.
“Pig,” Foster said again.
“He’s a dragon, not a pig,” Vicky said, hopping up to sit between Sam and me, barely leaving room for Frank to squeeze in. “Is it time for presents now?”
It was the kind of night that I would never forget, filled with family and food and the stories we’d probably retell until we were all dead and buried. I was pretty sure that wouldn’t stop some of us. Hell, look at Shiawase for that matter.
After a time, the wrapping paper sat in mountainous chaos across the room, leaving Foster and Aideen to question what they would do with a new lightsaber, Zola with a mouthful of horehound candy, a vampire welcome mat for Mom and Dad, and a fire extinguisher for Frank’s jerky.
I pulled the ribbon of the last present and tossed the tissue paper away. Inside waited a black T-shirt with a vampire’s skull on it. I smiled at Vicky. “Thanks, Kid.”
She kept her arms wrapped tight around the giant spherical stuffed panda bear we’d gotten her.
“Best Christmas ever?” I asked.
She hesitated, and then nodded.
“A toast,” Dad said. “To the friends who couldn’t be here, the friends we’ve lost, and the family we’ve gained. Here’s to the new year. May it be a peaceful one.” Dad raised his cup, and we all followed.
To enter to win one copy of any book in Eric’s Vesik series, comment below with a book you’re looking forward to reading next year (book 5 in the Vesik series, Destroyer Rising, maybe?) Contest starts now, and ends at midnight, pacific, on December 24th. Winner will be chosen and notified on December 28th. Good Luck!
And after you’ve contemplated your 2016 reading… be sure to head over to check out the other Mistletoe Madness posts for today…