Good news: I survived Mardi Gras in New Orleans, on the main parade route and then, later, in the Quarter. I am not entirely certain that NOLA or the Quarter survived me, but that may be a story for another time.
What’s up for grabs, though, is whether or not the Quarter survives Bobbie Faye, and her whacked out wedding in the novella that’s included in our new Guns and Roses Anthology. (You haven’t heard about it? Your kidnappers FINALLY let you go, YAY! Otherwise, nice rock, good soundproofing, because we’ve probably annoyed the world with our yahoooing over here. :D)
One of the very (very very very) strange things about writing a series with Bobbie Faye at the helm (and believe me, folks, she is real and she drives the bus), is that I never really know what’s going to happen. I always sort of think I know. I tend to have a plan when I start the story, but then Bobbie Faye wakes up and takes over and it’s a wild ride.
Case in point, this… well, it was going to be a short story. (ha) It was going to be a very simple, straightforward, quickie about a prelude moment before Bobbie Faye had (or didn’t have, as the case may be) her wedding. And then… Bobbie Faye showed up, took over the story, and it became a novella (about 4 times as long as my original planned length). There were heists and gunmen and Others Who Shall Remain Nameless all aiming to destroy Bobbie Faye. It was Not Pretty.
But it was a helluva ride.
God, I love that woman. I am so grateful for the day when she showed up, fully formed, (and she named herself, I’ll have you know), and sort of burst into and stopped another project I was working on cold, because, as she said, she “had words,” and I had better “get busy.” She is this living, breathing entity, to me, and, I have been blessed over the years to learn, to many others. I cannot tell you how grateful I’ve been for that. So much so, that I almost couldn’t write this story; it’s going to be the last Bobbie Faye for a long, long, long, time. There may be spin offs (see that link for a poll, if you have an opinion). But–at least for a while–Bobbie Faye is going to be stepping into the background of those other stories.
Which meant, really, that this story was our last time together, and she just went off in a direction I hadn’t predicted. I thought I knew how the story ended; I was a bit shocked, really, when there was a certain reveal, because I can honestly tell you, I had not planned it. Not at all, not even a little bit. And when it was revealed, I sat back in my chair and thought, holy shit.
So, without further ado, here’s the excerpt from BOBBIE FAYE’S WHACKED OUT, NO GOOD, REALLY SUCKY, HOT MESS OF A WEDDING:
“Exactly why is Bobbie Faye trying to kill the scarecrow again?” Nina asked Trevor, Bobbie Faye’s smoking-hot fiancé, after she’d arrived in her best friend’s back yard. He was leaning oh-so-casually against a tree with one shoulder, facing the “back forty” as Bobbie Faye called the vast expanse of wilderness surrounding their home deep in bayou territory of South Louisiana. To a casual observer, (if they could get past the abs, the biceps, the ass… boy, her girlfriend sure knew how to pick ‘em)… they might think Trevor was completely relaxed, enjoying the scenery of his fiancée decimating a scarecrow. Well, you never really knew, with some couples, what they did for kicks. But Nina was anything but a casual observer and she could feel the tension radiating out from Trevor, his arms crossed tightly, his stubbled jaw, clenched.
As Bobbie Faye unloaded her magazine, he intoned, “It’s been a particularly stressful day.” His monotone delivery barely disguised his own tightly banked fury. He was FBI—well, now, he was former FBI after their last disaster where a bad-to-the-bone terrorist had gone after Trevor by trying to destroy Bobbie Faye… and half of Baton Rouge with her, when he planted bombs at the LSU/Alabama game. In Trevor’s world, people died when they threatened Bobbie Faye, hence the former in front of that “FBI.”
Nina started to speak to her friend and Trevor held her back, shaking his head. It wasn’t that unusual to see Bobbie Faye with a gun; hell, she not only ran the gun counter at Ce Ce’s Cajun Outfitter and Feng Shui Emporium, but she was a better shot than anyone Nina had ever come across—and being neck deep in spec ops, Nina had come across plenty. It was, however, a bit strange to watch Bobbie Faye blast the stuffing out of the poor defenseless scarecrow tied to the fence, not to mention how unnerving it was to see several carcasses of previous scarecrows littering the ground. As crazy as Bobbie Faye was—and she tapped out at the top of the if-she’s-breathing-then-there’s-a-disaster-a-brewing meter—Nina had never seen her quite so… focused in her Crazy. For someone who was purely a civilian, who simply had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Bobbie Faye was generally able to deal with the stress.
Now? She looked like she was going to go batshit at any moment.
“She’s been on the phone all day,” Trevor explained. “It didn’t go well.”
“If this is ‘not well,’ then remind me to move to Russia when she gets to ‘bad.’”
“It was either encourage her to kill the scarecrows or let her go talk to the Bishop at the Diocese.”
Bobbie Faye dropped the magazine out of her FN, slammed a new one in and planted, rapid-fire, nine more rounds into the scarecrow’s left eye.
Nina suppressed a shudder. “Good call.”
Nina had heard a few of the early horror stories from Bobbie Faye as she tried to find a venue for their wedding. She personally knew local bookies who were taking bets as to how many people slammed the door in her friend’s face before Bobbie Faye had a full-on melt down. There was a betting board set up in Vegas and Homeland Security was discretely making calls. She knew of one three-star general who’d taken early retirement rather than be transferred to “Bobbie Faye” territory.
Bobbie Faye was Catholic, somewhat lapsed, but it mattered to her, so it hadn’t completely shocked Nina that Bobbie Faye would want a Catholic wedding. It had surprised her, when she had returned home from her latest assignment, to find out there was no venue booked and no wedding details planned—not because Bobbie Faye was anything short of a nightmare in the planning department, but because Trevor, at least, was an organizational wizard. If he hadn’t gotten her to settle on a place, things were bad.
Bobbie Faye dropped that empty magazine, slammed home another one with a vengeance, and shot off a kneecap.
“Boss?” a construction worker said, approaching them from the house—the one being renovated after the aforementioned badass terrorist had blown it up, “we gotta take off for the day.”
“It’s only noon,” Trevor said, still watching Bobbie Faye.
“I know… but,” he stammered as Bobbie Faye unloaded multiple rounds into the scarecrow. “Sir, she’s scaring the men. T-boy done dropped the big nail gun on his foot twice, an’ Mikey keeps flinching, an’ if you want your wiring to work, that ain’t so good, an’ Raoul keeps stopping to pray. An’ cry. We’re just wastin’ your money.” He’d said it all in a rush and Nina realized he’d had the sense enough to put her between Bobbie Faye and himself. “We can come back tomorrow.”
“Fine,” Trevor said, surprising Nina. It must really be bad if he wasn’t telling the man to pull up his big boy panties and get back to work. The foreman crossed himself and then sprinted back to the jobsite as Bobbie Faye loaded another magazine.
“How many churches turned her down?”
“All of them.” Trevor’s flat passionless tone didn’t fool Nina. He was just as ticked off as Bobbie Faye.
“Well, you don’t have to get married in this parish. Y’all could try—” She caught the banked disgust behind Trevor’s sunglasses. “Oh, you mean all of them. In the whole state?”
Nina blinked, waiting for the punch line. Trevor kept his gaze on Bobbie Faye. “Seriously?”
Bam bam bam bam bam bam bam — and there went the right eye. Behind them, construction workers fled, their trucks fishtailing in the driveway.
“Apparently,” Trevor added, deadpan, “she was ex-communicated last month.”
“Seriously? They still do that? The Pope?”
“It came down from a Cardinal here in the US.”
“Well that explains the weird protection detail request that came through a while back from a Cardinal who was crying and begging for help—” Trevor arched an eyebrow and she nodded. “Kept babbling about having made a grave mistake, but wouldn’t admit what it was.” Bobbie Faye reloaded. “But why? It’s not like she’s actually blown up a Catholic Church. Yet. And I’m pretty sure she hasn’t maimed and tortured any priests that I’m unaware of.”
Trevor cut his steely blue gaze her direction. “Are there some you are aware of?”
“You think I’m gonna break girlfriend code with her handling a loaded gun right there?”
Trevor barely twitched a grin at that, and he shook his head. “The ex-communication happened not long after I had mentioned to my family that we wanted a Catholic wedding. I had Izzy”—his computer-hacking whiz of a baby sister—“do a deep check of Cormi-co’s financials.”
Cold fury radiated off Trevor just at the mention of his family’s business and suddenly Nina knew. “Tell me she didn’t.” Trevor’s mom. A name banished in Trevor’s home and anywhere near Bobbie Faye. Banned by Trevor when his mom gleefully tried to trade her to the terrorist to buy back Trevor’s life.
“Moved thirty million into a charitable contribution fund, just after placing a phone call to the Pope. Said fund dispersing to the Vatican ten minutes later.”
“Wow.” Nina’s mind reeled. “Your mom really really does not want you two to get married. Does Bobbie Faye know?” Bam bam bam bam bam bam bam — and the scarecrow’s head fell off, the neck cut clean through with Bobbie Faye’s neat line of shooting. “Never mind. I’ll take that as a yes. You could always elope. She said from the beginning she didn’t want a big wedding.”
“She wants a wedding,” Trevor said after Bobbie Faye shot off the right arm of the scarecrow. “She’s not going to say it, or ask for it, but when she doesn’t think I’m looking, she pores over bridal magazines.”
“Bobbie Faye? Our Bobbie Faye?” The cowboy boot-wearing, tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners, foul-mouthed whirlwind… looking at big fluffy wedding dresses?
“She’s getting a wedding,” Trevor said, low, quiet. Scary quiet. “She’s getting a wedding, with all the frills, in a Catholic church, in a beautiful dress, if I have to kill every goddamned person in this state to do it.”
Nina watched as the other arm of the scarecrow fell off. “How many of those you been through?”
“If she makes me wear pink, I’m kicking your ass.”
… and the trouble begins…
Now, for YOU: I mention my spin off poll above… but spin offs imply favorite series and characters that you already love. So tell me, are there any spin offs that you’ve enjoyed? If so, which ones? Would you like seeing the original characters show up in the background? What’s your favorite spin off character that you met as a minor or mini-major character in another character’s book? [And if you go vote in that poll, I’d love you forever. :D]
Everyone who comments today will be entered to possibly win one of 10 $15 (email) gift certificates to an online bookstore of your choice (as long as I can buy it from online, and email it to you, it’s doable. This includes outside the US, as long as I can do it without wanting to throw my computer in the river.) Contest ends Saturday, noon, CST and winners will be announced either late Saturday or Sunday (check back on the website for the winners–you have one week to email me to claim your prize).