laylah: a person's torso; the person wears black and has hands hooked in belt loops. the belt buckle is a silver cross. (every man a liar)
Today is release day for Devil's Bargain, Devil's Kiss! (Link takes you to the publisher's site: you can buy directly from them, or from the third-party sites linked there—the links to each site will go live as the story gets added there.)

The best thing about working on this story, hands down, was getting to write Doctor Nicholas Black. I have a perennial weakness for the charming villain, the fellow who tips his hat and smiles politely while he ruins everything. The fellow who's friendly and well-spoken and only a touch sly, only a touch pointed...until you try to cross him, and it turns out there's an iron fist in that velvet glove. I love that archetype. I love watching them wreak havoc. It's not quite the trickster type—tricksters have more energy, and are more likely to be motivated by curiosity ("What happens to your culture when I pull this sacred cow's tail?")—but it's close. They're cousins, perhaps, the trickster and the gentleman bastard; they'd each tell you the other is the black sheep of the family.

And the good doctor is a chance for me to indulge myself shamelessly in that trope, slathered liberally with old-time Southern politeness (itself often a pretty veneer over the ugly reality of inequality and injustice). Doctor Black's Patented Tonic can fix what ails you, but it's one of those cases where the cure really is worse than the disease. It tastes so sweet, though, and the first dose comes so cheap. Ain't easy to resist a deal like that, not for most folks around here. Never has been for me, anyhow.

You neither, I hope. ♥

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laylah: an illustration from  Through the Looking Glass: a black kitten pawing at a ball of yarn. (Default)
Laylah Hunter

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