I am shamelessly stealing the screenshots from Sarah of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.
Thank you so much for all the book love. 🙂 We are still on tour, but coming home on Monday.
Will there be the fourth?
We don’t know yet.
I found an inconsistency.
I want to tell you about it.
The books are out. We can’t edit them anymore, so whatever you found is here to stay. Feel free to email it to us if you wish, but again, the books are out. Some of the inconsistency emails that are collecting in our inbox are not inconsistencies, they are authorial choices. Reginald’s middle name is Blake. His family calls him Blake. Leon is older because we wanted to progress his character so we bumped him a year. Rynda doesn’t choose to use her telekinesis, because she never practiced with it as she did with empathy. Empathy is her primary talent and she doesn’t even use that. She has no sister; Rogan used it as a figure of speech. Etc. So like someone commented, “If you find any typos, you can keep them.” 🙂
I am going to speculate at length about what’s you cut from the ending.
Nothing. We didn’t write the second epilogue, but the book is complete and has everything we meant to put into it.
But some characters weren’t in it.
That’s right. We had a certain word length. Some things didn’t fit.
Why won’t you answer all of our questions? Why are you not answering them now?
Some questions are meant to remain as questions. It is more fun to speculate than to have them answered. We have close to 2,000 emails right now, including blog comments, so please understand that we will not be responding to everyone individually. The spoiler thread is there for you to discuss and have fun. It is not really an FAQ for us, or at least we didn’t mean it that way. 🙂
We will read all of your emails during the next couple of weeks, and we really appreciate all of the support and happy emails you sent. Thank you.
How is the book selling?
No clue. We are trying to stay away from all of that. We had non stop appearances, interviews, and business meetings since last Friday. We are so tired. So tired. We will know on Wednesday if it placed on any list.
That’s it for now. We are to dinner with Jeaniene Frost and her husband. Thank you for all of the awesomeness. See you Wednesday.
There wasn’t going to be more snippets, but we received a message from Tina, one of our readers, who has been in the hospital for five days due to pneumonia. She’s been checking the blog page every day and she wanted how she could better if there was never a new snippet.
Here is a new snippet.
The Office of House Records occupied a short tower of black glass on Old Spanish Trail, across the street from the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The asymmetric building leaned back, textured, its profile odd. As Rogan pulled his gunmetal- grey Range Rover into the parking lot, I saw the front of the tower. It was shaped like a feathered quill. The setting sun played on the dark glass. Only a handful of cars waited in the parking lot.
“Are you sure he will be there?” I asked.
“It’s Christmas Day.”
Rogan turned to me. “He will be there, because I called and asked.”
I gripped the zippered file so hard, my fingers went white. Last chance to back out. Rogan reached over, his magic curling around me. He took my hand and held it in his.
“Do you want me to turn around?”
“No.” I swallowed. “Let’s do this.”
We got out of the car and walked to the door. It slid open with a whisper, and we stepped into a modern lobby. Black granite sheathed the walls, grey granite shone on the floor, and in the center of the lobby, thin lines of gold traced a magic circle. A guard looked at us from behind his desk and bowed his head. Rogan led me past him to the elevators.
The folder seemed so heavy in my hands. All my doubts bubbled up and refused to disappear.
“Am I doing the right thing?”
“You’re doing the only thing that makes sense to keep your family safe.”
“What if I don’t qualify?”
“You stood toe- to- toe with Olivia Charles, a manipulator Prime, and you won.” His voice was steady. “You will qualify.”
“Thank you for coming with me.”
He didn’t answer. He’d made it clear in the past that he expected me to walk away from him the moment our family became a House. He didn’t think our magic was compatible. If we had children, they might not even be Primes. He viewed this as the beginning of our end, but he came anyway. He was also a complete idiot if he thought I’d let him get away. He was mine. My Connor.
The elevator opened. We stepped into a hallway, with a dozen doors branching off from it, all closed. At the very end of the row of doors, large double doors stood open. We walked toward those doors, then through the doorway, into a huge circular room. Books lined the walls, thousands of books on the curved wooden shelves, three stories high, each floor with its own railed balcony. A grouping of comfortable couches upholstered in dark leather occupied the center of the room. Directly in front of it, between us and the couches, a round counter rose.
An old man sat behind the counter, reading a book. His skin was a warm brown, pointing at a Latin American heritage, his hair was white, and he wore a three- piece grey suit with a tartan bow tie. He raised his head, smiled at us, and hopped off his chair. His eyes, behind large glasses, were very dark, almost black, and shiny like two pieces of obsidian.
“Ms. Baylor,” he said, his voice soft and cultured. “Finally.”
“I’m sorry to trouble you on a holiday.”
He smiled wider, showing white teeth. “Don’t mention it. It is, after all, my job. I would’ve done it anyway. I was in downtown Houston, in the tunnels, when the Old Justice Center fell. I owe you and Mr. Rogan my life.”
A man emerged from a shadowy alcove in the side wall, moving silently across the floor. In his mid- twenties, he wore expensive shoes and a sharp black suit, with a white shirt that looked even whiter against his light bronze skin, and a black tie. Black and grey tattoos covered his hands and neck. His dark brown hair, cut short on the sides, but longer on top of his head and slicked back, defined a long handsome face, with intelligent eyes the color of whiskey. He looked dangerous and slightly mournful, like a Prohibition- era gangster at a funeral.
“It’s not every day one gets to register an emerging House,” the Records Keeper continued. He leaned closer and smiled at me, as if sharing a secret. “Especially one with a truthseeker in it. I’m so very excited to meet you. Michael is also very excited, aren’t you, Michael?”
The Records Keeper put on a pair of linen gloves and turned around. Behind him a massive book lay on a pedestal under a glass hood. He raised the hood, picked up the heavy volume, bound in marbled leather, and placed it on the counter. An elaborate gold crest decorated the front panel.
“It’s beautiful,” I said.
“It is. Eighteenth- century Dutch binding. The Houses of Texas have been recorded in this book since before statehood.”
He opened it gently and showed me an empty page. “If you pass the trials, your House will be written here.”
He turned the heavy pages to the red bookmark. Four columns of names written in beautiful calligraphy covered the page. Some were crossed out.
“Are those the people who failed the trials?”
He nodded. “Indeed. Now then, do you have the necessary paperwork?”
I passed him the folder. He opened it, scanning the pages.
“Where is the second witness?” Rogan asked.
“Running late. Given the circumstances, I wanted to make sure to select someone whose reputation is beyond contestation. Someone whose name commands respect. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
“A witness to the emergence of a House has certain obligations,” Rogan told me quietly.
“We’re expected to offer advice and guidance.”
The Keeper checked the signatures and raised his head. “You’ve presented us with a conundrum, Mr. Rogan. Finding a suitable test for a truthseeker was challenging, but identifying the younger Ms. Baylor’s magic was even more so. I must say, your sister’s power is something truly remarkable. It is, of course, a mental branch, but what subset? One would naturally lean toward a psionic, but a psionic who evokes a genuine love has never manifested. Michael and I had to dig very far through our archives and other archives. Favors were called in, access to databases had to be requested, and foreign Keepers of Records were consulted. But we persevered, didn’t we, Michael?”
Michael nodded again.
“We had to reach very far, and we finally found what we were looking for in Greece. There is a single House— just one, mind you— whose record showed the emergence of a similar talent. Only in female offspring. The last verified manifestation was in the 1940s. Apparently, there was some unpleasantness.”
This is a difficult post to write, not because of anything bad happened, but because it’s a bit awkward, so bear with me, please. Gordon and I are very grateful that you are worried about our sales. We’ve been hit with a deluge of questions about whether or not you should preorder Wildfire, what format, would the series continue if you bought two books, etc.
We very much appreciate your concern.
However, please stop worrying about the sales. The only reason we mentioned sales at all is because we try to be honest with you when you ask things like, “Will the Hidden Legacy continue?”
It will sell how it will sell. We don’t want you to spend extra money, and we want you to preorder Wildfire because you want to read it, not because you’re panicking about there not being more books. To put things in perspective, we are talking about thousands of units sold. There is no way for even the most dedicated fanbase to really affect the outcome. White Hot has done very, very well – okay, it’s done pretty damn amazing in the failing market – with #6 on NYT, #3 on Wall Street Journal, and #11 on USAT, and I don’t even remember Bookscan and BN numbers. It showed a 54% growth over Burn For Me. We are hoping Wildfire will continue this trend, but if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.
Seriously, please stop worrying. We don’t want you to have any anxiety associated with our books. We just want you to enjoy them. If you would like to “support us,” please don’t pirate them. Buy them or borrow them from a library. Leave a review at your favorite retailer or blog. That is plenty, and we will be grateful.
Don’t forget we will be there at Spicewood Branch of Austin Library tonight at 7:00 pm.
Mahmud El Shafey 1 hour ago More
@ilona_andrews if Americans get a snippet for #ComeyTestimony, shouldn’t us Brits get one for #May being elected PM? This is stressful!
This snippet wasn’t supposed to be posted until next week, but the UK peeps are upset that May was elected as PM.
“When Baranovsky choked on his own blood and collapsed, nobody helped him,” I said. “Nobody screamed. Hundreds of Primes turned and calmly started walking toward the exit, because the mansion would be locked down and they didn’t want to be inconvenienced.”
I waited a moment to let it sink in.
“Primes won’t care that you are young. They won’t be kind. They will try to use us, manipulate us, or destroy us. You could be standing in the middle of the Assembly, and if a Prime summoned a pack of wild wolves to rip you to pieces, I’m not sure anyone would help. This would be our life.”
Their faces were grim. I was losing them. I expected that Mom wouldn’t be on my side, but I had to at least convince my sisters.
“But if we do this, we can build up our strength for three years,” I said. “Victoria is coming for us now. Right now. She’s in town. The only reason she isn’t attacking us is because Rogan’s people are fortified around us. She’d have to go through them, and she doesn’t want to start a fight with House Rogan unless she has to.”
“Pack your bags,” Mom said. “The five of you are leaving.”
“Mom?” Arabella stared at her. “We can’t leave.”
“Out of the question.” I knew she would react like this.
“I’m not quitting college,” Bern said.
“We aren’t leaving you!” Catalina’s voice spiked. “We are not abandoning you and Grandma!”
My mother put steel into her voice. “You heard me.”
“Where?” Grandma Frida asked, her voice so high, it sounded broken.
Mom turned to her.
“Where can you send them so that bitch doesn’t find them, Penelope? She knows what they look like. She knows their names. She knows their social security numbers. She can pull the truth out of anyone she meets. Where on the planet can you find a place where her money and power won’t reach?”
“Mom,” my mother said quietly, looking stunned.
“I told you twenty- six years ago that if you married him, you would pay the price. I told you to let him go. You didn’t listen. You raised them to fight. They’re not going to cut and run now.”
“They will do what I say,” Mom ground out. “I’m their mother.”
Grandma Frida squinted at her. “Aha. And how did that work out for me?”
Mom opened her mouth and clicked it shut.
“What’s involved in becoming a House?” Catalina asked.
“At least two of us will have to undergo the trials and register as Primes,” I said. “Most likely it will be you and me.”
My sister frowned. “What if I don’t qualify?”
“I’ll do it!” Arabella announced.
“No,” everyone said at the same time.
“You know why not,” my mother said. “Don’t make me pull that documentary out again.”
My sister took a deep breath. Uh- oh.
“I’m not going to spend my life hiding. Nobody will ever see what I can do!” She pounded her small fist on the table. “I’m going to qualify.”
My mother’s face told me that I had to fix this fast or she would snap and try to send everyone into exile again.
“You can control your magic,” I said.
“Yes!” Arabella said.
“We know this but nobody else does. People are afraid, because the last person with your magic went crazy. The only way they’ll accept you is if all of us demonstrate that you have complete control over yourself, and we, as a family, have complete control of you. This takes time. If you give us these three years, by the end of it we’ll be established as a House. And then, at eighteen, you can qualify.”
“Nevada!” Mom snarled.
“But this also means that for the next three years all of us will be in the limelight,” I continued. “And you have to stop acting like an impulsive brat.”
“Yes,” Catalina piled on. “No more angry outbursts, no more screaming, no more punching people, or starting stupid shit on Twitter.”
Arabella crossed her arms on her chest. “Fine. But you promise me! You promise me right now that if I behave, I’ll qualify in three years.”
My mother punched the table.
“So that’s where she gets it from,” Bern observed.
“What’s the alternative?” Grandma Frida asked Mom.
“Not getting locked away for life, where they would keep her constantly sedated,” Mom growled.
“There are some other formalities,” I said. “Everyone who is qualifying will have to give a DNA sample, so they can make sure we are all related. We’ll have to submit some paperwork, they will set the date for the trials, then we are tested, and if we qualify, we become a House.”
“That’s it?” Leon asked. “Yes.”
I put my hand on the stack of paperwork. “If we decide to do this, that’s it. There is no backing out.”
“What if we don’t qualify?” Catalina asked. “We’ll look like idiots who wanted to be Primes and fell short. Nobody would do business with us again.”
“We’ll qualify. I’m a Prime and so are you.”
“They might not even know what my magic is,” she insisted. “What if I permanently affect people? What if— ”
“Oh shut up,” Arabella told her. “You made an army of hired killers sit on the floor and listen to your story like they were in kindergarten. And they’re all fine now.”
“I want to register as well,” Bern said. “Maybe not as a Prime, but the last time they tested me, I was ten. I’m stronger now.”
Leon dramatically collapsed on the back of his chair. “Rub it in, all of you. You and your magic. I’ll just sit here with my dud self.”
I opened my mouth and shut it. Now wasn’t the time to spring it on him.
“Nevada, there has to be another way,” Mom said.
“I don’t know what that is,” I told her. “And neither does Rogan. If I knew of another way, I would take it, Mom. I promise you, I would. This is the only way we can keep all of us safe.”
“If we do this, we’ll never be safe,” Mom said.
“Things will never be the same if we do this.” That wasn’t exactly a response to what she said, but I had to keep going. “Which is why we have to vote as a family. We all share responsibility for this decision. Once we make it, nobody complains and everyone has to work together. Does anyone want to add anything?”
“Everyone for becoming a House, raise your hands.” I held my hand up. Bern, Arabella, Leon, and Grandma.
“Everyone for running away and hiding?” Mom raised her hand. I looked at Catalina.
“I’m abstaining,” she said.
“You don’t get to abstain,” Arabella said. “For once in your life, make a decision!”
Catalina took a deep breath. “I vote for the House.”
“Fools,” my mother said. “I’ve raised a pack of idiots.”
“But we’re your idiots, Aunt Penelope,” Leon said.
I picked up the paperwork bristling with colored flags indicating signature lines. “I need all of you to sign.”
“Wait!” Grandma Frida grabbed her phone. “We must take a picture for posterity.”
They crowded into the shot around me. Grandma Frida set the phone on a delay and it snapped an image of all of them around me, the paperwork in front of me, a pen in my hand. Cold froze my stomach. I loved them so much. I just hoped I made the right call.