TENS LIST by Burns
Ten Things That Drive Me Insane
Okay, so I thought that, since my new paranormal romance, Words That Bind, is about a genie and his therapist, I thought: this is the perfect top ten list! After all, loads of stuff makes me BONKERS and I could probably go on for days—
Then I thought…yeah, but everyone knows I’m happily cracked, so it would just be a typical rant coming from me.
So, instead, I offer you a peek into the psyche of my hero.
TEN THINGS THAT DRIVE ME INSANE…by Burns
10) Calling myself Burns
My true name is a carefully guarded secret, although I am quite proud of it. My beloved mother Named me in the language of our ancestors. Considering I am djinn and roughly three thousand years young—let us just say it is no longer a living language.
Henceforth, I have succumbed to using my American alias, Burns. Although it is shorter, it is by no means sweet. Except when she says it.
Then…it is not so bad.
9) Small dogs
All that distasteful yapping. I can just scream! Obviously, the inspiration for kebabs.
8) Mobile telephones
The noise. The irritating habits of the humans who cannot exist without being attached to one. The way people do not watch where they are going because they must read those infernal Tweets and the next thing you know, they are face down in the street because they trip off a curb. Oh, wait, that is the only good thing. Karma at work.
7) The skinny jeans
Tamarinda cannot understand why my blood boils at the mere mention of them. I did try to explain, but she only wore that solemn, still expression that makes it difficult to discern her true reaction. A word of wisdom, my friend…never play card games with her. You will only lose.
5) “Ethnic food” trucks
The truck aspect is completely logical. Very reminiscent of the vendors I’d seen in my youth. But the laughable parody of ethnic food offered by some of these trucks makes me want to tear someone’s hair out.
4) And, while on the subject of food…Jello
The wiggling drives me half out of my mind. Food should not do that.
3) The Sahiri
They posed as Guardians, keepers of the desert’s secrets. They were no such thing. Jealous thieves, they were, sorcerers who were jealous of power, envious of strength, and cohorts of Asmodeus the Evil One. They lived to torment me and my kin…but I dream of vengeance.
I don’t know what makes me crazier—the misconception that genies actually live inside them or the concept of trying to fit all this magnificence inside one.
1) My talisman
When I was in the prime of youth, I was betrayed by an angel (see item number seven) and enslaved, along with many of my brethren, to King Solomon. Slavery in any form is the most despicable, loathsome state anyone could ever imagine. And although Solomon was a good man, a kind man, a friend—he was still my master when he died. So it is that I have remained a slave, bound to his ring: my talisman, my prison, my deepest shame and my greatest pain. One day, I will find that talisman, and I will possess it, and I will be free. But for now, I am bound, and I am driven to the edge of my sanity.
Words That Bind
by Ash Krafton
Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.
Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.
“So. You’ve destroyed a stereotype for me. A genie who lives in a library. Different.”
“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”
“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”
He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.
Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.
He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”
His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”
She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of an urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her newest release, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition as well as a Zebulon award in 2014.
Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.
In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton also writes for the Query Tracker Blog and the Prose and Cons blog.
She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania.
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