Okay, so the fix is not working. I am going to now test the site by disabling everything. It will look weird. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Archives for July 2017
Baybay, who is the basis for Beast in Innkeeper Chronicles, has been peeing everywhere continuously, so Kid 1 took her to the vet today, expecting a UTI. Turns out she has bladder stones. She needs surgery. That will be happening tomorrow. She will have to go under anesthesia.
Kid 2’s car needs several thousand dollars in repairs. The bill is large, so they called to confirm it three times.
We are trying to finally sell the house in Georgia – we couldn’t sell it before because the market tanked and we were very upside down on the loan. We are hoping to break even. The house is going on the market, but the rental agency, which was responsible for renting it and now selling it, sent all the paperwork as Gordon and Ilona Andrews.
We had to scrap the entire chapter, because it sucked.
We have to leave on tour in ten days. I have nothing packed or dry cleaned. My hair isn’t done, my nails look like I’ve been digging in dirt – I have – and I don’t even know which way is up anymore.
So far Wednesday is pretty much kicking my butt.
I think it’s time for a small snippet, don’t you?
“What kind of unpleasantness?” I asked.
“The lady in question fought against the Russian Imperial invasion of their small city. The legend states that she placed herself onto a rocky island a short distance from the cliffs and then called an entire battalion of the invading Russian troops to her. She drowned three motorized rifle companies before the few survivors finally managed to reach the rock. She was torn apart. Quite literally, I’m afraid.”
Oh, Catalina . . . I could picture my sister on that rock. That’s exactly what she would do.
“Dreadful business.” The Records Keeper sighed. “The House hasn’t had any female heirs since then. A very knowledgeable source has speculated that it was a matter of choice rather than chance.”
“They abort female children?” Rogan asked, his voice cold.
“Such is the rumor. The House refused our attempts to reach them for a consult. They’re a very reclusive family. Thus, we are left on our own, so after much deliberation, we are creating a new category for Ms. Catalina Baylor.” The Keeper paused. “We shall refer to her as siren.”
She would hate that.
“It is so very exciting. If this magic endures within your family, this may be the beginning of a whole new subset. The rankings of the rare magic talents may shift. We’re bringing in a powerful antistasi Prime for her trials.”
Like aegis mages who blocked bullets and physical attacks, antistasi mages specialized in defense, but against mental attacks. Well, at least that should put Catalina’s mind to rest.
“Which House?” Rogan asked. “Smith?”
“Alessandro Sagredo,” the Keeper said.
Rogan raised his eyebrows.
I glanced at him.
“The best antistasi Prime on record,” Rogan explained.
“We’re taking no chances,” the Keeper said. “Unfortunately, he is otherwise engaged at the moment, so we will have to wait a couple of days. Therefore, your trials will be set exactly one week from now, next Sunday.”
A man marched into the room. In his sixties, but still athletic, he wore black pants, a black T- shirt, and a black garment that could be called a sweatshirt in the same way a Porsche could be called a car. It had notched lapels like a suit, the stylish drape of a luxury trench coat, and likely cost more than our mortgage payment. His skin was a light bronze, his hair wavy and black with a lot of white. He had bold, strong features: a broad forehead, black eyebrows, a prominent nose, and a square jaw mostly hidden by a short beard that was more grey than black. His hazel eyes, alight with intelligence, looked at the world with a touch of humor. When I saw him for the first time, I thought he looked like someone’s favorite uncle, who owned a vineyard somewhere in Greece or Spain, spent a lot of time outdoors, and laughed often. That was before I knew who he was.
“Good evening, Mr. Duncan.” The Keeper smiled.
My House formation would be witnessed by Mad Rogan, the Scourge of Mexico, and Linus Duncan, the former Speaker of the Assembly that ruled the magical families of Texas. Dear God.
“I’m late, I know, I’m sorry.” The former most powerful man in Texas hurried across the room. “Some people insist on being annoyingly difficult. What did I miss?”
“Nothing of importance,” the Keeper assured him.
Duncan nodded at Rogan. “Major.”
“Colonel,” Rogan replied.
The Keeper took out a fountain pen, cleared his throat, and glanced at me, his black eyes sparkling behind his glasses. “Michael, if you please.”
Michael stepped forward and produced a high- end camera.
“A verbal acknowledgment is required,” the Keeper told me, his tone confidential. “You must say these words to me: I, Nevada Baylor, petition the State of Texas for assessment and recognition of my family’s powers. Are you ready?”
“Yes.” My heart was beating too fast.
The Keeper nodded at Michael. Michael tapped the camera’s digital screen. The Keeper raised his pen and looked at me. My mouth had gone completely dry.
Somehow I made my lips move. “I, Nevada Baylor, petition the State of Texas for assessment and recognition of my family’s powers.”
“I, Linus Duncan, Head of House Duncan, so witness,” Duncan stated.
“I, Connor Rogan, Head of House Rogan, so witness,” Rogan echoed. “So noted.”
The Keeper wrote today’s date on the page and added, Nevada Baylor on behalf of herself, Catalina and Bernard Baylor. Witnessed by Linus Duncan of House Duncan and Connor Rogan of House Rogan.
“Your petition is granted,” the Keeper said.
Michael lowered the camera and set it aside.
“It is done,” the Keeper said.
“Congratulations, Ms. Baylor,” Linus Duncan told me.
“Thank you for coming to be my witness.”
“Well, if you’re going to jump into the wolf’s den, it helps to have an ally. Even if that ally is old with blunted teeth.”
A muscle in Rogan’s cheek jerked. He hadn’t said anything, but both he and Michael watched Linus Duncan like he would sprout fangs and claws any second.
“I hope you succeed,” Duncan said.
The sound of a woman coming down the hallway in high heels echoed through the room.
“Are you expecting someone?” Rogan asked.
“No,” the Keeper said.
We are working on Magic Triumphs. Here is a sampling of some songs from the soundtrack. I need a new album or two. Any suggestions? 🙂
We get a lot of emails asking when the Innkeeper will begin or when a particular book is coming out. If you don’t want to miss any important days, you may want to sign up for our Publishing News newsletter. Unlike the blog newsletter, which sends blog updates to your email address, Publishing News newsletter is only sent out a few times a year, announcing tour dates, releases, and of course, the moment the Innkeeper will return to the site. Right now we’re planning on working on Maud’s novella and posting it around Christmas.
Everything else you’re looking for can be found on Search page. Links to snippets, free fiction, etc. It’s a catch all page where we stick things people frequently request.
How sharp is Kate’s sword?
Here is Mihail Abramchik. He will dance and pray a bit before he gets to the cutting part. He also makes the sword sing at some point. To be able to cut through a water bottle the way he does, you have to hold the sword at a right angle and do it very fast. It’s the same technique that makes shaska sing through the air.
Why do they have different outfits in the videos?
Cossacks are not unified. There are several different groups depending on geography. Prior to Russian revolution of 1917, they were organized into nations.
These are the guys you saw in the video in the previous post. They lived around Dnieper, in the Wild Fields. You can read about them in detail here. They served as a buffer between Russian and Ottoman Empires and were self-governing. When Russian serfs ran away from their owners, they tried to make it to one of nations, because if they did, the cossacks wouldn’t give them back. Eventually Zaporoshian Cossacks had a massive falling out with the czar in mid 18th century and an army came and took away their land. They split and some of them went to Danube and formed a new nation under Turkey. The Russians got pretty alarmed by this development and they resettled the remaining cossacks at Kuban. Each of these cossacks was given a gramota, a writ from the czar, proving their special status.
My grandmother, pictured here with her first husband, had one of these writs. She was an actual Kuban cossack.
Donskie Cossacks are concentrated around river Don. They’ve existed in that location since about 6th century. They are the result of mixing of many races, namely Khazars, Russians, Turks, Mongolians, Jews. They would take anyone. They were also self-governing. They raided everyone and rebelled against Russia with ridiculous regularity.
Stepan Rasin, raising the Caspian sea. He also raided Persians and eventually led a massive uprising against the czar, for which the patriarch of Moscow anathemized him, which is like excommunication except worse. Basically, the patriarch expelled him from faith and cursed him. Because Russian Orthodox priests don’t play. The curse came true and Razin was captured, dragged in chains to Moscow, and quartered in 1671. His chains were placed in Starocherkasskaya Stanitsa, a gathering place for the cossacks, as a warning and can be viewed there today.
Czar slowly whittled at Donskie Cossacks until they all but lost their independence. Eventually, they began to look like this, as they were incorporated into Russian Army. They were used as shock troops. When czar wanted to quell and needed someone to commit and atrocity, he used cossacks.
They were nearly exterminated by Bolsheviks, which is how my family ended up in Rostov-on-Don. At some point my grandfather’s side abandoned everything and fled to the city, while on my grandmother’s side, my great grandmother, the one in the picture, refused to marry the head bolshevik in their village and he jailed her to change her mind. After a few months she decided to marry him, but that’s a different story.
After the fall of USSR, there was a revival, and now Putin once again is trying to use them as a buffer with Ukraine.
Here is a Wikipedia article that lays out the history and different Cossack organizations. It’s pretty accurate. There you go, more than you ever wanted to know about cossacks.