Bailey and Quinn are back for one last action-filled adventure!
A corrupt police chief is on the loose, and it falls to Bailey and Quinn to put an end to him before he finds some way to weaponize the spreading rabies virus, create yet another batch of potent gorgon dust, and otherwise wreck Bailey’s happily ever after.
With a pair of orphaned gorgon whelps to care for, more animals she can shake a stick at, and her husband’s determination to make the world a perfect place for her, Bailey has her hands full. To protect everyone she loves, she must embrace her dubious role as the Calamity Queen and rain hell down on those who stand in her way.
The Flame Game is on.
Warning: this novel contains two fire-breathing unicorns on a napalm bender, action, adventure, chaos, mayhem, humor, and bodies. Proceed with caution.
Grab your copy now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, or Kobo!
And since it would be cruel to leave you without a snippet…
The father I hadn’t met until this morning walked me down the aisle, but Quinn’s hands holding mine kept me from running in terror at so many people witnessing me marrying someone like him. I questioned everything about my odd life. Me, the Calamity Queen, marry him? It took a few moments to remember I’d already married him once. I’d asked that same question then, too. He’d laughed, and then he’d goaded me until I’d done what he wanted, which involved me marrying him.
There’d been a bunch of witnesses to that courthouse madness, too, and I’d survived through it mostly unscathed. Most of the witnesses to our first wedding had been too busy brawling with each other to pay any attention to me signing the papers that gave Samuel Leviticus Quinn certain rights to me, but that didn’t matter.
Reminding myself his signature on the same papers meant I got rights to him did a good job of steadying my rattled nerves.
No matter how many times I failed to tell him properly, I loved him.
To endure so many people staring at me, all I needed to do was remember a few key things. After the vows came the food, after the food came a show of gorgons petrifying each other during a brawl, and after the brawling came the pampering in our suite, which would be devoid of children for at least twenty-four hours, courtesy of an assortment of parents and grandparents.
I needed a lot longer than twenty-four hours to come to terms with having two pairs of parents.
One set hated me.
The other, who I’d learned about just yesterday, loved me.
I needed a lot longer than twenty-four hours to adjust to my life’s new circumstances.
First, I needed to survive through my second wedding. Tomorrow, I would resume my quest to be the best mother possible for our pair of orphaned gorgon children, who would spend the rest of the day and most of tomorrow socializing with the other gorgons in attendance, most of whom were related to my husband in one way or another.
Staring at Quinn and refusing to acknowledge anyone else in the Venetian’s canals would help with that, at least until we made it to the food portion of our wedding day. Once the food came around, I didn’t care who watched me devour steak, steak, and even more steak.
The fire-breathing, meat-eating unicorn in me loved steak almost as much as I loved the man who’d turned my life upside down on me.
My husband made no effort to hide his amusement, and he squeezed my hands while we both ignored the minister, who did a pretty damned good job of impersonating Elvis while reading the scripted sermon. He went on and on about the responsibilities of married couples, husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers, along with the death-do-we-part stuff I doubted applied to us at all thanks to our mishmash of crazy relatives, most of whom were in attendance.
A few too many gods and goddesses for my comfort joined almost every damned cop in our precinct to witness us confess our love to each other. Or, at a minimum, blurt ‘I do’ in some horrifically embarrassing fashion.
I had trouble with the basics, and nothing had changed since I’d married my gorgon-incubus doohickey the first time.
“You can look somewhere other than me if you want,” Quinn whispered, leaning closer to me.
I debated stealing a kiss before the official kissing portion of the ceremony, although the dumb veil kept getting in my way. Quinn had already shunted the damned thing back, but it kept falling wherever it wanted, to the point I wanted to light it on fire.
Nobody had warned me how much of a pain in the ass wedding dresses could be. And the heels? The heels might do me in. What had I done to deserve the damned heels, especially with the asshole pair of parents uninvited from the ceremony? While inserting my heels into their asses would have made my day, having a pair of parents who actually wanted me trumped my petty desire for revenge.
Huh. Somehow, I’d grown up since meeting Quinn, although only a little.
I forced my attention back on my husband. “If I look anywhere other than at you, I will see them staring at me. You’re prettier than they are, and I absolutely refuse to be ashamed of this.”
A few months ago, I would have gone and cried in the bathroom had I said that where anyone might hear me.
The Elvis impersonator grinned. “He really is prettier than everyone else here. You’re a very lucky woman.”
Oops. I shrugged, but I also smiled. “It’s true. I can’t help it. He’s in a suit. He can’t wear dress uniforms at home. I get ideas. I am enjoying this while it lasts. Someone is going to take a picture of him in his suit, and I will end up being bribed for copies of the pictures. I’ll have to ration the pictures out. I make him late for work if he wears anything other than his normal uniform. He has to change at work.”
Well, maybe I couldn’t keep my blabbering mouth under control, but I could make people laugh. The entire audience had a field day with my runaway commentary, but beyond blushing over my nervous tendencies, I resisted the urge to dash for the door. If I bolted, Quinn would catch me, drag me back, and laugh about it for the rest of eternity.
It amazed me how much could change in such a short period of time. Six months ago, I’d been bitter, alone, tired, and hungry more often than not. I no longer worried about what I’d eat; if I skipped a meal, Quinn chased me down and hovered until I did what he wanted, which involved eating whatever offering he had brought for me.
Greasy fries and burgers showed up almost as often as healthier fare. He even tolerated me trying to shove fries down his throat, as he deserved to enjoy greasy goodness, too.
I had issues.
I had a lot fewer issues than six months ago.
Yeeesss, it really is here, and you really can grab your copy now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, or Kobo!
We hope you all have a safe and happy holidays, humans! Now, before we wander off, some news!
First, ACX/Audible/Amazon emailed re: their 1 year penalize-the-authors/creators return policy. This is from their email:
We hope this helps convey perspective to our valued writers and ACX partners as to the impact of our current returns policies. However, in recognition of these concerns, moving forward and effective as of January 1, 2021, Audible will pay royalties for any title returned more than 7 days following purchase. This adjustment does not impact our customers’ current benefits of membership, and we look forward to continuing to welcome millions of first-time listeners, enabling our members to discover new content they enjoy and growing the audience for our valued creative partners.A Note from ACX re: customer returns/exchanges
Considering Amazon receives 60-75% of the title’s price while authors receive either 20% or 25% (20% if royalty shared with a producer, 25% if they are non-exclusive) they can afford to pay us for our works.
From our limited knowledge of listener behavior, this is similar to using a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. Most listen (and would return) within seven days following their purchase, which means the author would first be credited with royalties and then have the royalties removed from their account in most cases. This would stop the “you now owe ACX/Audible/Amazon month six months after the audiobook released because a reader just got around to exchanging the audiobook” but we suspect this will be a drop in the flood.
They also do not provide any data for us regarding returns, and their letter did not promise or even mention the lack of transparency on how many copies we are having returned. (This problem was initially noticed because some authors suddenly owed Amazon/ACX/Audible for return copies; otherwise the statistics and financials are completely invisible to us.)
We will re-evaluate audiobooks in February, after we see if they opt to give us figures on return/exchanges.
We shall see.
Next up, License to Kill outgrew its britches. As such, the duet is being extended into a trilogy. This creates problems, but my original plan/plotline is approximately at the halfway point into License to Kill… and the book exceeds 75,000. As such, the book’s structure is ridiculous, life is hard, and while one major conflict from License to Kill is resolved, the female now has a poorly named book.
We do not have a date for when Old Secrets will release. We were not anticipating License to Kill to just bugger off with the plot and take the female twice as long to write as anticipated. So, be kind.
Apparently, the female did not anticipate the book receiving a license to kill her. Oops.
And there is the story of how the book is not cooperating, the plot structure is weird, there is insufficient time to do any form of rewrite although the book fairly closely matches the female’s intentions for it… if the book had the room to become a 160,000+ monstrosity, which is not the case.
License to Kill can be ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo, and will release on December 22, 2020. Contained within its pages: the author’s shattered sanity.
In good news, while the overlying story arc won’t be completed in License to Kill, it will not include a cliffhanger. It will be set up where you know what the characters shall be doing leading into Old Secrets, so you’re basically getting a finale that’s a bunch of action-adventure-investigation-kill people goodness.
Please let me remind you again: License to Kill is a dark urban fantasy, and while there are funny moments, you are more likely to cry than laugh. Not all books can be sunshine and cookies and roses and kittens.
Remember: Karma was also a dark urban fantasy. This series is not for you if you can’t handle serious and dark subject matter to go with your laughs.
Karma and License to Kill deal with subjects of depression, mental health issues, and abuse.
You have been warned.
While it will take a miracle to accomplish, the plan is to still release Murder Mittens as scheduled on December 25, 2020. This is the most ‘standalone’ of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) novels to date, in that there won’t be many (or any?) connections to other books in the series. This is just a fun romp with kitties, and it’s meant to be just fun with bodies. And some more bodies. And extra bodies. I feel I should have put in a ^ with “large” in front of body on this one…
I’m not worried about forgetting there are supposed to be bodies in this series with this book, at least.
Murder Mittens can be preordered at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo.
And that is the conclusion to the 2020 list of upcoming releases!
Do not look 2021 in the eyes. If you have candy, offer it a piece. Maybe make it a nice cup of hot cocoa or a coffee. Say nice things to it.
We challenged 2020, and we lost. We must learn from our mistakes!
We hope you have a great day, humans. Please enjoy Bailey & Quinn’s final novel.
Water Viper (in audio format) is now available through Audible.
Flame Game and Water Viper in one week! Happy dance 🙂
Thank you for another delight. I hope you had as much fun writing the wedding as
I had reading it! I do have one problem -I want a gorgon-mouse-rat doohickey stuffy for Christmas as it is not possible (fortunately?) to have a colony of the real things.
Stay well and sane and have a peaceful Thanksgiving.
I loved The Flame Game! Didn’t get much done at work today but I did finish the book. Long live all cindercorns and gorgon-incubus-doohickeis! I have to agree with Bailey on how to get rid of Morrison (Squish! Stomp! Burn! Stomp! More stomp!). I would want to add more burning. Guy was gross! I wanted to cheer when I got to his demise. It was a wonderful ending to the storyline.
I just have one question, the female gorgon they saved, is she same one that is Blending In? I breezed through the book trying to find her name and couldn’t find it (I will have to read through Blending In again (such a hardship) and see). I thought her name was Anne too. I could be wrong but it would be neat, don’t you think?
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
No, they are not the same gorgon.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
The gorgon is Michella Darven, and she has only made an appearance in Blending In thus far. That said, she IS the only gorgon that would ever be a candidate to be written as a main character because she’s monogamous versus the standard polyamorous. But they are not the same gorgon.
Michella does not have any relation to the Chicago hive. (That Michella is a different one.)
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Also, the age is completely wrong. The gorgon is 23 in Blending In, and Anne has been trapped in stone for years. Their ages don’t match up, plus Blending In happened while she was stone.
I’m saving Flame Game for Saturday when I’m home alone. Husbands interrupting a great read is not acceptable .
I really, really enjoyed Karma, far more than I expected. The main character is kick-ass. And while she has issues she deals with them, or not, and I can accept that. I am looking forward to the next book.
I got hooked on the “body count” books, but I now have a growing collection from several series and pseudonyms. Awesome stories. I have been known to read encyclopedias when short of reading material. Variety is wonderful.
Well, I lost a whole day. I parked my butt on the couch and spent it reading The Flame Game. It was a wonderful read and an appropriate ending to the Cindercorn story. I am more of an animal person than a human and it was sad that so many animals were lost to the evil villain before he was stopped. I am glad the “Wolf” got him although it was a bit quick for my liking. I wanted more stomping, squishing, and burning. Still, I will take what I can get. The saving of the gorgon-mouse-rat doohickey little ones was wonderful.
Thank you for a wonderful read. Now rest. Please.
But I really shouldn’t start page turners (most of your books have been) just before going to bed. I was up until 3:00 am or so finishing it.
Sooo….no sleep for me whilst I devoured The Flame Game. Lovely to see a cameo appearance by the Chicago mafia 😀…knee caps lol. Looking forward to some new characters although I will miss Bailey and her issues. Sorry License to Kill has been a beast creating a third novel…..can’t wait *jumping up and down* 😁
Thank you so much for “The Flame Game” I love it!!!!! I know there won’t be anymore Bailey and Quin books but would be able to find out more about the “gorgon-mice-rat doohickeys “? I would love to have a short story about them…. or even a full length book(hoping???) thank you for all of your wonderful writing.
I loved The Flame Game, couldn’t put it down. Bailey and Sam are great. I really hope we catch them in the other books because I want to know about the birth and what the babies are like.
i absolutely love all of the RJ blain books especially the magic comedy’s with a body count. I got my The FLAME GAME the day it was released. preordered back in march.
I have pre ordered the other books some as far out as November of 2021. I do not want to miss any.
as i read the FLAME GAME a proof read came to my attention.
it is the chapter where bailey is making her wish list to burn Morrison. She copied and pasted it to Quinn and started a new one with noodles sea bugs and a kind of sauce.
the incident of Baily being abandoned at work. First chapters of first book.
“All of my co workers abandoned me the day Magus McGee delivered the cell phone bomb filled with PIXIE DUST”
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
This has been corrected, but in future, please use the correction link at the top of the page. That’s the appropriate place to report proofing mistakes. Thanks!
The Flame game was marvelous! I absolutely loved Bailey and Sam. I will be sad to see the end of their stories. They are my favorites of your Mag Rom Com. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. Your darker stories are not as much my thing but that’s okay they don’t have to be. You are a very good very diverse writer and it’s really lovely. Please continue sharing your creative genius with us.
Wait………Maine……..sentient gorgon- mice-rat doohickies………rodent transformatives…….. any connection to A Chip on her shoulder?
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
No, there is no connection.
Loved the book couldn’t stop reading it! A nice way to finish it out! And I’m also so excited about Water Viper being available on Audible too! I’ve been checking every few days since august lol hoping it would come out! Also loving the narrator for it too! I hope gets a good kick in the rear and realizes they are shooting them selves in the foot with what they are doing and gets their shit together so there can be an audiobook of flame game and steel heart too! But mainly so they stop screwing over authors!
That was supposed to say Amazon should get a kick in the rear.
Why was Blaine abandoned that day at the coffee shop? There was some discussion that it was possibly arranged, but never any confirmation.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I opted to leave that thread open because of certain reasons I’m not at liberty to state due to spoilers. I don’t know if I’ll work with that open thread, but if I close it/tie it off, I *can’t* play with it in the future.
I see something interesting in our future!
I love your books. Thanks for sharing them with us. I own almost all of them.
I’m hoping for a short Bailey story that has the birth of her twins and Perkette’s quads. Not a full story but a short one. And maybe Morrison’s son in another book could get some closure and a happy ending? Poor guy. He had to be the victim of severe abuse.
Also, omg! I love the rat mice doohickeys!
Thank you for the book. I stayed up till 1 am finishing it and now I’m going back and starting the whole series over again.