Updated: Mar 29
Welcome to the sneak peeks countdown. With the 5th book, Cardinal Rose, soon to be released at the end of December, I'll be posting some snippets from the story to whet your whistles :)
I'm sure everyone has a lot going on right now with the upcoming holidays, so if you've made it this far, then I thank you for being here and tuning in.
Now, if you're here, then you are getting excited for the release of Cardinal Rose, book 5 of the Cardinal Series! With a late December release, hopefully it'll be the perfect atmosphere to read cuddled up in front of a fire with busy holdiay plans winding down.
Also, as a reminder--if you're interested in purchasing a new hardcopy set of the first two books, The Cardinal Bird and Cardinal Caged, you can buy the first volume here. This volume is also available in the Kindle Unlimited store if you want to purchase or add to your ten-book Unlimited list to help free up a slot for another great book. I know I always have a hard time trying to cull my ten-books. Get the Kindle version here. Both versions save you some money by bundling :) Plus, it has an amazing new cover design. Soon, I'll be bundling the second volume of the series to include Cardinal of Hope and The Cardinal Sin. I'll make sure to announce it on social media.
Just some old business to bring up, I created the pre-order for the next book so that I could include the link within the current book, but I haven't been promoting it.
We're almost through the series now. People have asked if I'll be making another series with these characters in it, and my answer for now is undecided. With the finish of each book in my first ever series, the feeling has gone from to relief to bittersweet. I know some of you feel the same way. Which is why I can't completely close the lid on further series with Callie and her boys. I've been laying small Easter eggs that would pave the way for further plot, but not be so pressing as to leave us hanging when we reach the end of book 6.
For now, enjoy it while it lasts :)
Cardinal Rose, book 5
Andrea rubbed his hands and clapped them together, making Corbin jump beside me. “But hey, no need to dwell on the past. Let’s make some grub.” Andrea got to his feet, heading toward the living room. “I don’t know about you guys, but I could eat a horse, literally.”
He left our line of sight as he turned right. It would take him through the dining room and into the kitchen.
Jace shook his head, clicking his tongue on the roof of his mouth. “Well, he’s certainly familiar with the place.”
CJ looked up from his iPad. “Well, he did turn every single light in the house on. I’m sure he’d explore.”
Payton eyed the shyer of the twins. “Find anything?”
“No,” he responded, closing the screen on his iPad. “He didn’t seem to snoop any more than normal. He came in, glanced in all the rooms, left a message in Callie’s, and then waited for us to show up.”
Payton turned to me now. “What do you think, luv?”
I let out a frustrated breath. “On one hand, what he did to you guys, to the Cardinals… it was risky and aggressive. At the same time, he probably didn’t see it that way. He’s cocky, but he can back it up. He’s good at what he does, so he probably didn’t think twice about chasing us out of the house with a bomb or trying to separate me from you by clipping Bryce and CJ.”
The group stayed silent though I’d expected Brock to burst out with pressurized anger, volatile after being contained for so long. He didn’t. Corbin did.
“Oh, fried green eggs and ham! He’s cooking!” And then he was off, running for the kitchen. “The one time I actually convince Em to cook us pigs-in-a-blanket! You’re not going to ruin this for me, you oblong little yo-yo.”
I shifted around, hardly believing the change tonight had taken.
“Callie, luv,” Payton intoned.
“I need to call this into Karl and Delta.”
My mind hadn’t gotten that far yet, but it made sense. I shrugged.
“I just wanted to warn you. The Cardinals will likely hear about this before the night is out, despite the late hour.”
“Um… okay?” My eyes widened. “Oh!”
Jace snickered. “Yeah, oh, Damsel. The guy blew up their house. We’ll be lucky if Sabra can rein them in until the crack of dawn.” He reconsidered. “That is if she doesn’t lead the she-pack herself. I tried to pull a small, little harmless joke on her one day, and she roared my head off like a lion.”
I coughed back a surprised laugh that sought to bubble up. “I’ll call them myself and tell them what’s happening.” I side-eyed Jace. “Maybe I can keep them from going all Hulking green in your home.”
I nodded in concession to Duane’s reminder. “Right, our home.”
“So, we’re having dinner with the elusive, formerly dead Andrea. I guess that’s a thing now,” Jace mused.
Clangs and clashes rang out from the kitchen, followed by raised muffled voices, though I was pretty sure I heard the phrase “psychotic bald-headed weasel” shouted in a voice suspiciously similar to Corbin’s. I grinned to myself when I caught how the clatter had drawn Payton’s undivided attention. He shifted in his seat, torn between alerting Delta and Karl, and checking on his precious kitchen.
Jade orbs flew to mine with hesitant relief. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. I lived with the Cardinals for over half a year. I think I can handle one measly little phone call with them. And Jace is co-lead, right? He can call it in for you.”
Belatedly, Jace straightened up. “Wait, what?”
Payton didn’t even spare Jace’s shocked look a second glance before he took off walking—vigorously—to protect his sanctuary.
“Gee, thanks, Damsel. All the time, I save you, and how do you repay that kindness? By throwing me under the bus.”
“You’re lucky I like you.”
“And that you’re cute.”
“And that I’m sleeping with you in your room tonight. I don’t care if the freaking president himself called dibs. We’re sleep buddies for the next twelve hours. Accept it.”
“Twelve hours? It’ll be just before noon by then.”
“Hey, as long as it’s technically morning, it’s not a taboo to still be in bed.”
I shook my head. “You’re crazy if you think I can convince the Cardinals to stay away until then. What was it you said, crack of dawn and all that?”
He dropped his face into his hands with a groan. “Don’t remind me. Those Cardinal ladies are scary.”
“Technically, I’m still a Cardinal, you know. Karl explained that anyone that speaks three or more languages is a Cardinal, including men. In fact, I think technically Brock is a Cardinal.” Then I recalled how studious Jace had been while studying Portuguese in Brazil. “Hey, you speak German, I know that. It’s your first language. But did you keep up with your Portuguese after we returned?”
“No,” he admitted. “There was too much going on.”
“You should start practicing again.”
He squinted in concentration. “Okay, I understood the words ‘you’ and ‘practice.’ What was the one at the end? Novuh—?”
“Right. Again.” He stretched out the word like it left an unpleasant taste in his mouth. “I was hoping you were saying you wanted me to practice with you. In bed. Aleks always says that—”
“No, no, I know what Aleks says.” I glanced around, expecting to see the Russian giant watching my face and waiting for a blush to bloom. He had an unhealthy fascination with my embarrassment. But he wasn’t. They’d followed Payton into the kitchen, likely to threaten Andrea with their mean stares some more.
“Well then,” Jace started. “Shall we make these calls and go eat some of those pig things before they’re all gone?”
“Sure thing, Hero.”
“Watch the sarcasm, Damsel.”
I smiled and pecked him on the cheek.
Hope you enjoyed!
Don't forget to stop by for next week's preview as well!