Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish & Tate Hallaway tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!
About the Books
Genre: Paranormal / Urban Fantasy / LGBT
By: Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish
Sing a song of secrets …
A shape-shifter with a penchant for breaking and entering …
A homeless boy struggling with hallucinations that could turn out to be all too real …
A monster in need of a rescue …
And a mathematical genius with a real demon of a mother …
Fate draws Theo, Gabe, Erin and Kitty to a place they jokingly call “The School for Wayward Demons.” There they learn that sinister forces threaten to invate the city of San Francisco and plot to overthrow the powers that be. Now they must choose whom to trust: the witches, the demon, or the Shaitans. Or each other.
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy / Lesbian
By: Rachel Calish
Surviving an onslaught of dark forces took talent, strength—and allowing the Demon Abraxas into the world. Now Sabel Young’s order wants her to answer for her actions. All Sabel wants is the freedom to love the woman she rescued, Ana Khoury.
Nearly killed—and worse—in a world of magic she didn’t know existed, Ana is nursing new scars and old. Her brother wants to journey to South Dakota to confront their shared past before that opportunity is lost forever. The centuries-old feud between the demons and witches isn’t going to stop Ana from going with him.
Sabel knows there’s nowhere that Ana can go that evil won’t follow and she fears their newest ally, the Demon Gabriella, is a more profound danger than their enemies.
|SONG OF SECRETS|
|20-Jul||Meet The Storms|
|24-Jul||Rachel Rennie’s Blog|
|25-Jul||Melissa Storm’s Blog|
|26-Jul||Reading with Pixie|
|27-Jul||For the Love of Fictional Worlds
|29-Jul||My Writer’s Cramp|
|30-Jul||Emlyn Chand’s Blog & Journal
*Special Author Interview*
|31-Jul||Sterna K’s Blog
Deal Sharing Aunt
|1-Aug||The Passionate Bookworms|
|2-Aug||Lisa’s Research & Reviews|
|2-Aug||Kelly’s Thoughts on Things|
|2-Aug||Writing, Reading, & Life|
|THE DEMON GABRIELLA|
|3-Aug||Fiction from the Cross Roads|
|7 Aug||Stevie Mikayne’s Blog|
|8-Aug||Stevie Mikayne’s Blog:
The Demon Abraxas
|9-Aug||All Things Alex|
|10-Aug||Ogitchida Book Blog|
|12-Aug||Reading with Pixie
Deal Sharing Aunt
|14 Aug||Maria’s Book Bag|
|14-Aug||Sterna K’s Blog|
|15-Aug||The Passionate Bookworms|
|16-Aug||Writing, Reading, & Life|
|16-Aug||Deal Sharing Aunt|
|16-Aug||Lisa’s Research & Reviews|
|16-Aug||Kelly’s Thoughts on Things|
About the Authors
Tate Hallaway leads a double life. By day, she’s Lyda Morehouse, a mild-mannered science fiction author of the Shamus and Philip K. Dick award-winning AngeLINK series. By night, she’s the bestselling para- normal romance and urban fantasy writer, Tate Hallaway. She’s written and published over a dozen novels (five as Lyda and nine as Tate), and together her two identities have over a decade of professional publishing experience.
Connect with Tate on her website or Twitter.
Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.
Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, or Twitter..
Check out These Excerpts
Theo’s Felonious Hobby Changes Everything
Isn’t it funny how one moment in time can change everything that comes after—a single event that totally fucks up your life, but also, just maybe, makes it that much richer… more magical?
Theo hadn’t planned to piss off all of the most powerful demons controlling the West Coast, but then again she never planned to piss off anyone — it just happened. Let’s get real. Planning wasn’t exactly Theo’s strong suit. Impulse was more her thing.
That, and instinct.
Plus, Theo cultivated a rather felonious hobby: she liked being in other people’s houses and watching how they lived their lives. And, you know, once inside a house, she couldn’t leave empty-handed, could she?
Maybe it was obvious that that sort of illegal behavior might end up with some serious consequences, but it hadn’t so far. Theo had a special ability that made her little ‘habit’ harder to break—a little something magical up her sleeve that made it super-easy to get in and out without anyone knowing a thing. It was her ace in the hole. It wasn’t like she was taking a crowbar to someone’s window. This was art, elegance, and, Theo liked to think, a natural extension of healthy curiosity and imagination.
How different was it, really, from checking out an estate sale and spending your time piecing together life stories from what was left behind? Making up stories to explain away other people and their crazy actions was a thing everyone did.
Theo just did it a little more… aggressively.
That guy who was so short-tempered with his wife and little kid? Theo figured he totally had a crush on his super-hot guy neighbor and it freaked him out. That kid who studied until the middle of the night? That one wanted to become a famous veterinarian who only worked on pot-bellied pigs. The fragile-looking woman with all the diamonds? She was thinking about giving it all away to charity and moving to India…. And, so…. Theo just helped her get started on the ‘giving away’ part.
These new people that had caught Theo’s attention–now, they were driving her to distraction. She couldn’t figure out enough about them to even start a story.
So in a way, they kind of asked for it. She HAD to get in. Because, seriously, WTF?
Their house was the kind with large expanses of pure white carpet, where a guest would feel hyper-aware of any smudge, even on their underwear, which made Theo’s current disguise all the more delicious.
She’d been in the house two days in the form of an Ironclad Beetle.
Yeah, so her ace? Her ability to shape-shift.
She could be a number of different animals, but the insect was her favorite breaking and entering form because it was all about the entering with minimal breaking. In this body, she was three-quarters of an inch long and almost impossible to kill. Her carapace could take the full weight of a grown man without cracking. That’s why she’d hitchhiked down to Texas with the sole purpose of finding an Ironclad Beetle. She’d seen a TV special about them and just had to absorb that tiny, beautiful black-and-white body into her storehouse of shape-changing forms.
Yet, cool as it was, by day two Theo was getting mightily tired of being an Ironclad Beetle. For one, it took forever to get from one end of the room to the other. Secondly, there wasn’t a lot for her to eat here, being a fungivore and all. Third, she was starting to think strangely—like, one more day and maybe her whole world might be reduced to click-clack of mandibles and scuttle, scuttle of tickity-toes—but damn if she’d leave until all the puzzle pieces fit!
These people were more than your average mystery, more than her usual just-curious/in-and-out type, which is why she’d stayed in their house so long. There was some deep shit going down here.
On the surface, the owner appeared to be an older man who spent most of his days in his huge garden. Another man and a woman lived with him, but they kept a cool distance from each other. The reason Theo had initially decided to explore their lives was that, from the outside, they seemed to be some kind of funky suburban, professional threesome. And how wild would that be? But, it turned out they were nothing like Theo thought they’d be.
Still titillating, just in a completely different way.
No sex. In fact, the atmosphere between the threesome was chilly, workmanlike. The older guy seemed to own the place. Everyone had separate beds. All three of them were ridiculously nondescript in their suburban whiteness and nearly interchangeable, but for age and gender. They didn’t even seem to have any personal effects, no ‘happy threesome’ or ‘family vacation’ photos. It was like they were living in a house decorated by the FBI for the witness protection program.
Which was a possibility… except for the guns. Theo was pretty sure the FBI wouldn’t want ex-criminals or Mafioso running round toting firearms. She knew about the guns because she’d seen the woman tuck one into a holster at the small of her back as she and the young guy left the house the other day.
Puzzle piece number sixty-three: the two of them went somewhere, for every day, for eight hours at a stretch… like a job? A job where guns were required? Were they some kind of cops or agents? Or maybe just fancy Mall cops or security guards?
Theo thought she’d read somewhere that your average police officer worked a ten-hour shift. She had no idea how long FBI or CIA agents worked, so that was still a possibility.
If they were law enforcement, a smarter person would get out of the house and not take anything, but where was the fun in that?
So she continued to wander, following the owner as he moved through the house. Theo waited for that thing that would be a clue to the strangeness of this fake-threesome. Finally, she hit the jackpot.
A keypad locked door!
She’d seen it in her wanderings the night before, but no one had gone through it. She’d originally figured it was nothing more than high-tech garage door, but it hadn’t mapped out right. Puzzle-piece number twenty-two, but she’d set it aside because it went with nothing else.
Finally, it looked like the owner was going to go through. He pressed the code on the pad. The mystery door opened!
Theo scuttled down the stairs after him. Her tiny, simple heart beat faster; her legs clacked in excitement.
The room they entered looked like a museum. Display cases held items that ranged from books to jewelry to old-fashioned weapons. She scurried to hide behind a case and waited as the man crossed a room, opened a case, took its contents, and headed back out the door. Lights went out. The door closed.
Theo was alone in the ‘treasure’ room. Time to change back into a form that could do a decent amount of scouting in a short time. Honestly, sometimes she had a hard time seeing through the beetle’s eyes, being so differently structured, so it was time to take a real, good look around.
It was hard to wait, but at least in this form her palms didn’t sweat. To be on the safe side, she stayed motionless for another quarter-hour before she finally moved out from behind the case and shifted from beetle to human.
Shifting was weird.
Transformation always felt like being hit in the forehead so suddenly that her consciousness fell backwards out of her body.
There was a dizzying minute while she got her bearings. She’d learned not to move during that time. Theo thought the shift ought to make a vibration like a bell being struck, but without sound. It didn’t, but the tingle of ionization, like the sensation and smell that preceded lightning, followed her through from whatever magic space her body travelled.
That was that: Theo was human again.
She blinked, feeling overwhelmingly thirsty and itchy. She rubbed her face with her hands and then brushed her palms over her shoulders and down her arms, already chilly. Clothing didn’t change with her body, so she was bare as the day she was born.
Above, in the house, an alarm clanged.
Oh shit! Motion triggered? She should’ve known better. She’d been in houses where the alarm wouldn’t register the cat but would pick up a human.
Cold adrenaline shot through her blood and she grinned. Time to grab and run.
Against one wall was a long walking stick with a cloth wrap on a peg. She grabbed the stick and swung it at the nearest cases, shattering the glass. Taking the cloth wrap, she doubled it up and made a pouch of it, then walked carefully amid the shattered cases, trying to avoid the broken glass and grab what she could.
The door swung open and the older man stared at her in shock. Theo returned the favor because his pupils were no longer a cloudy gray but red and slit like a cat’s.
What was he? A demon?
He opened his mouth and said a few words in a language Theo didn’t recognize. Magic?
If magic was going down, the time to book it was long passed.
Theo darted across the room, shouldered him out of the way, and sprinted up the stairs.
Over the last few days, she’d cased the place well so she knew her exit: through the garden to the place where broken bricks made the wall easy to scale. It was early spring and the ground felt spongy under Theo’s bare feet. The cool air brought goose pimples to her skin. She had tiny wave of guilt as her feet trampled the newly planted garden, but that feeling evaporated when she saw how quickly the old man moved. She figured he’d be spry and fit, but something about his movements were… unnatural. Theo didn’t have the luxury to really examine him, but it was almost as if, instead of a natural run, the old guy leaped forward in too-long bounds, almost like an animal, but even then, unnaturally so as it was more jerky than graceful.
Shit. That was creepy.
Theo made for the wall as fast as she could. The bricks were rough on her hands and feet, but she’d done this sort of thing enough—even in the dead of winter—that she had hard callouses for palms and soles.
Yep, demon or magic of some kind. At least the wall slowed him.
Theo landed at a run and headed for the next yard over. These estates all had yards of an acre or more, dotted with trees and ornamental hedges. Not quite as much cover as she’d prefer, but enough for her to dodge around and hide behind as she made for her escape point.
A half-mile over was a high school—a long, low red brick building. It was the reason she’d been successfully stealing in this neighborhood for the last three months. Several months ago, she’d rigged the first-floor girls’ bathroom window to not latch.
Coming from behind the school, she streaked through a patch of trees, and then along the back side of an auxiliary building so she could reach the window without being seen by anyone on the grounds. Most of the kids were in afternoon classes. Even so, someone must have seen her. Normally, she did this kind of escape at night. She could only hope that no one would believe that a naked girl was running full-tilt toward the school. At least she’d picked on that was built in the 1970s with very few windows.
Similarly, she’d lucked out that no one was out for gym, because seeing a naked girl busting ass across school grounds might have been a bit… awkward. Though, she did have a Plan B for a worst case scenario which involved crying for help.
Thank Fate she hadn’t had to use that one yet.
This time cut things close, however.
Setting her bundle on the ledge, Theo pushed the window up and crawled in. Grabbing the goods just before a workman came around the side of the building, she had the window lowered again in seconds. In the second stall, she stood on the toilet seat and moved aside the ceiling tile she’d marked. Inside, she’d stowed a backpack stuffed with a school uniform. She dressed quickly and then put the cloth and the goods into the backpack next to the notebook and textbook she kept there as part of her cover.
At the sinks, she washed her face and hands thoroughly and then pulled her long black hair back into a simple ponytail. It made her look younger than twenty-two. She figured she could easily pass for eighteen.
The bell rang and she stepped out into the hall with the surge of students pouring from the classrooms. She followed half-remembered directions and helpful signage to the library. At a table in the back, she took out the textbook and notebook. She glanced at a clock. Once again, luck favored the foolish.
It was the final period of the day. In forty-three minutes, she could walk out the front door.
It was a long forty-three minutes. She was a seasoned pro at the whole smash-and-grab thing, but that guy’s cat-like eyes had totally freaked her out. A demon… Theo was sure of it.
When the bell finally rang, she gathered up the notebook in which she’d been trying to sketch his eyes, packed it into the backpack on top of the stolen items, and joined the mass of students heading for the front door. She was feeling pretty calm until she spotted the old man. He stood on the sidewalk, scanning the crowd of students with the woman with the gun. Theo’s skin crawled with the ache to burst into a run, but she made herself keep walking slowly with the crowd.
As they moved onto the steps, she stayed near the center of a large clot of students. Randomly, Theo touched the arm of the boy closest to her. She guessed him to be a senior so she asked: “Hey, are you in my…” she had to think for a second, but came up with, “…Trigonometry class?”
“Third period? Mrs. Adderley?” he responded. He seemed super-excited by the prospect, but then his acne-dotted face crumpled as if he was trying to place her.
“No, I guess not,” she giggled flirtatiously. Then, she sighed. “Damn, I really need those notes. I totally fell asleep,” she said with another little, gosh-I’m-so-dumb laugh. They were passing within a few feet of the woman in the jacket, but Theo made herself stare at the boy as if he was the only person in the whole world.
It worked like a charm. He blushed and stammered, “I could tutor you a little if you want.”
She grinned at him with honest gratefulness. He’d already helped her more than he would ever know. Still, she needed one more favor. “You know what I really need? A ride home. Usually my mom picks me up and she texted to say she’s stuck at the office.”
“Oh,” he said, his flush growing even redder. “Yeah, sure. No problem. My car is kind of a wreck, but you know, uh, yeah… wow. I’d be happy to.”
“You’re awesome!” She poured on the charm and took his arm. “Thanks. You’re a real lifesaver.”
When they pulled away from the school’s parking lot, the man and woman were still out front, talking quickly to each other, the man shaking his head.
Theo let out a huge sigh of relief and leaned back against the passenger seat.
She’d gotten away.
Now, if only she could shake that creepy sensation that slithered along her spine when she recalled those glowing red, cat-slit eyes.
Right, so not only was there a kind of magic in the world that no one told her about, but there were also demons.
Theo wasn’t sure how she felt about this, but she thought maybe she was a little pissed off. Because, for a world that wasn’t supposed to have any magic at all, Theo’s sure was full of it.
The eyes glaring at Ana through the upstairs window were varicolored red with slit pupils, like a snake’s. A passing car’s headlights outlined the dark, misshapen head. Fear and adrenaline spiked through her, pushed on a rising wave of anger. She jumped up from her meditation cushion and threw the window open. A semi-transparent black body scuttled up the side of the house like a crab.
Call Lily, the familiar voice of the demon Abraxas spoke into her mind.
“You call Lily, I’m going after it,” she snapped back.
Sure, she let a demon live inside her body, but that didn’t make it okay for snake-eyed creepers to look in on her all hours of the night. Plus she wanted to test the enhanced strength Abraxas gave her.
Ana leaned out the window and grabbed a bracket of drainpipe and a bar of the decorative wood siding. Hauling herself up, she kicked out a leg and pulled herself onto a narrow ledge. From there she ran two steps, gripped the edge of the roof, and swung around and up onto the deeply slanted, shingled surface.
The little demon crouched at the far end of the roof, eyes widening with surprise. It fled up over the peak and she followed.
She spoke to Abraxas internally, in case one of the neighbors had an open window. How can I be strong enough to pull myself up onto the roof and still have a belly? she asked him as they ran.
Your body is a complicated metabolic organism, he replied.
Too many carbs, Abraxas said. Lily is on her way.
The little demon scampered up the next roof and Ana jumped across the few feet between houses without effort. A light wind from the south carried the smells of sweet pine, juniper and lemon that mixed with the gray scent of wet pavement from a light, early evening rain.
Six months ago, she’d been a corporate publicist whose biggest challenge was asking out the professor who made her guts feel like molten lava. Restless and too curious by half, Ana had stumbled into a murder and been captured by a group of demon summoners. She’d let Abraxas into her body to help her escape.
She hadn’t realized she’d end up sharing her body with a demon full time.
Ana went up and over four more roofs, paying close attention to her footing. Her agility hadn’t increased with her strength. The fleeing demon was gaining a longer lead, it jumped from the last gabled roof down to the flat roof of a store as they approached a larger street.
She sped up and leapt after it, absorbing the impact by making a quick roll across the flat surface and letting her momentum carry her back up to her feet. Some of the effects of sharing her body with a demon were upsetting, to put it mildly, but she liked how much more resilient he’d made her. And his lessons in demon magics were pretty sweet.
Does Lily know the direction we’re going? she asked Abraxas.
He answered with a wordless affirmative. He was probably still in the process of sending her their location. Half-demon, Lily was the best banisher in San Francisco. Ana had met her that first week with Abraxas, when she was still trying to get rid of him. Lily helped them fight the stronger demon, Ashmedai, who wanted to kill Ana and bind Abraxas to him instead. They’d been friends since. More than friends when it came to Abraxas. Somehow he and Lily were carrying on an intimate relationship despite the fact that he had no body of his own.
The little demon scurried down the side of the two-story flat roofed building and ran for the four lane street. It was the size of a large dog and would be mistaken for one—if people could see its black form at all. Most humans couldn’t see demons.
There were few cars this late and it dashed across with only a moment’s pause. Ana held the edge of the roof, let her legs dangle and then dropped to a ledge at the one-story level.
She dropped again, caught that ledge for a moment and then let go. Her legs hit the sidewalk with minimal impact. She pivoted and sprinted across the street toward where the demon was climbing the wall of another shop.
She couldn’t scale the two-story wall, but next to it was a shorter building. With a quick prayer that she had enough speed, she ran two steps up the side of the building and threw her arms up as high as she could reach. Her hands closed over the edge of the roof. She pulled up hard and scrambled with her feet against the bricks until she was up on the roof. On the side of the taller building, not facing the street, were pipes and brackets and a myriad of handholds that made it easy to climb to the higher level.
Did you see that? she asked Abraxas, though of course he had. I’m like a ninja!
A long sigh of exasperation crossed her mind in reply.
The demon wasn’t even half-way across the higher roof. It had slowed, thinking she had only the strength of an average human and no way to chase it up the wall. Seeing her, its black-veined, red eyes looked around furiously, seeking escape. It turned to run but hit the side of a protruding metal vent and staggered sideways.
Wait for Lily, Abraxas warned.
This was too perfect and she didn’t want to chase this thing over another block of rooftops only to have Lily bind it before she could get her hands on it. The little shit had been staring in her window and she wanted to be the one to punch it in its lopsided, toothy mouth. Then Lily could have it. Not that Ana could punch an mostly-incorporeal demon, but Abraxas could. And he could bind it well enough if they could grab it. She ran forward and dove at it.
As soon as she got her hands on it, she felt it begin to dematerialize. Like many of the small demons used as servants, it didn’t have a physical body and could only pull the barest amount of solid matter around it so it could function in this material world. Holding it was like trying to enclose a biting, struggling cloud. For Abraxas to bind it, she had to get her arms around it in a circle. She stepped forward and to one side, trying to get a better angle.
Under her skin, Abraxas moved to help her contain it. She felt his energy flow through her arms, but so did the little demon. In a desperate effort to escape, it popped out of the material world. Ana’s arms tightened on air. Overbalanced, she tripped forward, hit another vent, stumbled and saw the edge of the roof coming up too fast.
She caught it one-handed. Her momentum carried her over the edge and she felt a painful twist and jerk in her shoulder as her body’s full weight snapped down under her. Her fingers lost their hold. She fell the rest of the way to the pavement.
Abraxas tried to break the fall by putting the loose cloudy form he sometimes wore between her and the concrete. That didn’t stop her from slamming into it with enough force to knock the air out of her lungs.
Gasping and coughing, she tried to feel through the mass of pain in her back, arm and head to see if she’d really injured herself.
Nothing broken, Abraxas told her. He could scan through her body faster and more completely than she could. Torn muscles and tendons in the shoulder. Get ice on it and I’ll see what I can do.
He could encourage her body to heal itself more quickly than normal, though hardly at a superhuman level. She wouldn’t be bouncing up off the pavement and shaking herself back into place.
If you try to lecture me about this, I’m going to tell Lily that you ogle other women when she’s not around, Ana told him.
Just because you let your anger lead and forgot that it could banish itself? That’s not enough subject matter for a full lecture. And you should think about that ogling accusation considering that you’re in control of our eyes.
Ana was still working on a retort when Lily drove up in a sporty matte silver crossover. Sometimes Ana thought Lily would be driving a sports car if she didn’t need to carry so much magical stuff in the back. Lily worked the hip soccer mom look, probably because being half-demon, she appeared to be mid-40s but was closer to mid-90s. Her thick, wavy, dark brown hair was pulled back and she wore a loose sweater with yoga pants and oversized slippers. If she’d arrived mid-chase, Ana knew Lily would have those slippers off in a second because her taloned eagle feet were much better for running over rooftops than anything that came standard on a human body.
Ana had managed to get herself sitting and pushed with her feet and good arm until she was leaning back against the wall of the store she’d fallen from. Lily crouched in front of her.
“I heard you had a misstep. Do you want to go home or to the hospital?”
“Home,” Ana said.
Abraxas moved so that part of his being was outside of Ana, beside her, also crouching like Lily. His form looked made of mist, and anyone standing more than a few feet from them wouldn’t see him at all.
“Before it dematerialized, I touched it,” he said. His voice, outside of Ana’s head, could sound like anything from wind and sand to a thunderstorm. Right now it was at the quiet end of that spectrum. “It was from Ashmedai.”
“He’s not—“ Ana started, then had to cough, which sent shooting pain from her shoulder across her chest. She bit back a groan and tried again. “Not allowed in the city.”
“I don’t like this,” Lily said. “He must be gathering allies. At least one who can summon demons in the city for him.”
“Sick of this,” Ana said. “It was looking in my window while I was trying to meditate.” She didn’t add that she’d been relieved for the distraction and an excuse to stop sitting.
“If we catch the next one, I can try to get it to tell us who’s doing the summoning,” Lily said.
“I don’t want to keep chasing the little ones. This is the third one I’ve seen around my house this month. We have to find a way to get to Ashmedai, before he gets any stronger.”
“We’re working on it,” Lily said, meaning the larger group of protector demons that she and Abraxas were part of. “Do you want me to call Sabel?”
Ana sighed slowly so the motion wouldn’t jar her shoulder. It had turned out that the hot professor was part of an ancient order of witches and way more clued in about this magic stuff than Ana had been. She and Sabel had been dating for the last six months and she wanted nothing more than for Sabel to come over and sit with her while she iced her shoulder, but that wasn’t fair to Sabel.
“Let her sleep, she’s teaching this week. I’m okay, really, I think. But can we pick up a bag of ice on the way?”
She let Lily help her up and into the car, wondering if Sabel was in bed already and if so what she was wearing. Sabel had the best collection of lacy undergarments and things that were allegedly pajamas but that Ana thought weren’t meant to be worn for more than five minutes. But she saw them rarely and almost never got to take them off Sabel because of the centuries-old feud between the demons and the witches.
How much of her impatience to get rid of Ashmedai came from simply wanting to be closer to Sabel? And did it matter? Ana had defeated Ashmedai once and if she could just get rid of him for good, they’d all be happier and a heck of a lot safer.