All right everybody. Today is a big day. Shit just got real. Today the advance copies of Beasts of Burdin went out to reviewers. Deep breath. I got this. Even if I don’t I guess it’s kind of out of my hands now anyway. So, while I sit here and freak out about what the reviewers think, I am going to share a sneak peek of the first chapter with everybody. Here it is in all of its sarcastic, alcoholic glory, the opening to Beasts of Burdin. Please leave comments and tell me what you think. The whole thing will be available to everyone on February 10, 2014.
“Ty Burdin! Answer the phone already. It’s your brother.” The voice comes from the next room in a tone usually used by stress-fried mothers, not twenty-something-year-old receptionists. The harsh words crack through my whiskey-soaked brain like someone snapped a bullwhip in my ear. I pick my head up off the desk and wipe the drool from my mouth, as she bursts in the door.
“He’s adopted, and good morning,” I say, opening the drawer to my desk and digging through it.
“It’s not morning. It’s past noon, you lazy drunk.” Her tone is accusing, but there’s a slight smile to her ruby red lips. I really do think Nora gets enjoyment from trying to keep me in line. Her rockabilly style, all tattoos and polkadots, might scare some people off, but honestly, I think it’s kind of cool.
“Fine, I was wrong about the time, but you’re wrong, too,” I say.
“Oh, yeah? How’s that?” Nora kicks her hip to the side and props a hand on her leopard print skirt.
“I’m not drunk. I’m hungover.” I pull out a flask full of scotch and take a long drink. “I’m working on getting back on track, though.” I tip the flask toward her.
“I swear someone’s gonna find you in a ditch one day.” Her voice has a trace of concern, but it’s mostly drowned out by annoyance.
“In my line of work, that’s almost a guarantee. Now, can you tell me why you disturbed my ugly sleep?” Ugly sleep is a gross understatement. No amount of alcohol ever seems to drown out the vision of the young, innocent girl burned into my memory. The scene is even more ominous in my dreams than it was in real life.
A thunderclap breaks the silence of my memories. Nora stares down at me, hands stuck together. “Wake up, drunkard. Hartnet’s been trying to reach you on the phone for the past fifteen minutes.”
The pocket of my jacket buzzes, probably been ringing the entire time. Nora walks over to where it hangs by the door and withdraws the phone. “Jesus, Ty. You’ve got four missed calls, ten new messages, and over twenty emails. Do you ever check this thing?”
“No.” I have the phone, but honestly, I hate it.
Nora sets the still ringing phone on my desk, puts her hands on her hips and, using only facial expressions, guilts me into picking up.
“Hello,” I say into the phone that smells of smoke. I use my free hand to dig out cigarettes and a lighter.
“Ty! Finally, man, where you been?” Hartnet asks.
“Oh, you know me. I just got back from hiking the Swiss Alps with Edmund Hillary.”
“Real funny, Ty, but I imagine you’ve been spending more time with Jim or Jack.”
“God, no, I hate southern whiskey,” I say. “I prefer a fine scotch, Macallan to be specific.”
“You prefer whatever’s in front of you as long as there’s a proof label on the bottle,” Hartnet says.
I don’t have any argument for that. “So, what do you want?”
Going back and reading that just now, I wish I could share more with you guys. Listen, Ty is more than just an alcoholic. He hunts demons in his spare time. Yeah, demons.