October Shifter Surprise with @LynneCantwell #Fourth Wall Friday #Shifters
Fourth-Wall Friday, Lynne Cantwell and a Halloween Party
I am so excited to have Lynne Cantwell on Fourth-Wall Friday again! She has been here four other times for Fourth-Wall and she never ceases to bring all of the feels on hard with these great pieces. Lynne is getting ready to launch her new book Monday and we are actually working together for her promotion for it. Oh get ready to read even more goodies here on the blog! For now let’s revisit the world she built in The Pipe Woman Chronicles. Oh if you are interested in reading any of the others, check out the links below. Personally, I am a bit worried about a piece labeled with shifter and surprise.
October Shifter Surprise
By Lynne Cantwell
I headed west from Denver on I-70, with the mysterious summons on the passenger seat of my rental car. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, any excuse to visit Colorado is a good excuse. And the invitation certainly gave me a good excuse. I just didn’t know who it was from.
Well, that’s not true. I had a pretty good idea who it was from. But I thought I was done with their story when I finished writing Annealed.
I glanced again at the packet that I’d found when I got home from work two days before. You’re invited to a Halloween party you’ll never forget, the top sheet of the packet said, and gave today’s date and an address in Golden. Under that was a map, and under the map was a plane ticket and a reservation for the rental car I was now driving.
It was all very odd.
At least it was a beautiful drive. There was fresh snow on the mountain peaks, and the aspens had yet to drop their leaves.
The map took me to a lovely neighborhood perched on a hillside high above Denver. I made the final turn and bumped up a gravel driveway. And here, my suspicions were confirmed. I pulled up before a beautiful, custom-built, two-story house, and parked between a ginger-colored Nissan Cube and a van that said Coyote Construction Co. on the side.
“She’s here! She’s here!” a child exclaimed as I got out of the car, and the owner of the voice – a pint-sized version of Naomi Witherspoon – threw her arms around my knees and wouldn’t let go. She wore a fluffy pink dress with fake wings attached.
“Sage?” I asked, automatically hugging her back.
“Sage, let Lynne go,” said Naomi herself from the door. She was a little thicker around the middle than the last time I’d seen her, but then she’d had two kids in the interim. Sage was the first; kid number two – a dark-haired boy still in diapers – was balanced on his mother’s hip. “This is Joseph Andrew Curtis,” Naomi said. “Joey, can you say hi to Lynne?”
He gave me a sly grin that reminded me of his father and looked away.
Naomi threw me an apologetic look. “He gets like this,” she said. “It’s his age.”
“I know,” I told her. “It’s fine.”
“Anyway, come on in.” She held the door open in invitation, and I walked through it. “Sorry for the subterfuge. The kids wanted to surprise you.”
“Surprise! We’re having a Halloween party!” Sage said, dancing through the house to the kitchen. “I’m a fairy princess! See?” She twirled, setting her wings jiggling.
“I thought you were going to be a thunderbird,” her mother said in a teasing tone.
“Don’t be silly, Mommy,” the little girl scolded. “I’m already a thunderbird!”
“Is Joseph here?” I asked.
“He and George went to get the beer. Come on – we’re out back.” And she led me out the kitchen door to the xeriscaped backyard.
Seated around the natural stone fire pit were Naomi’s best friend, Shannon McDonough, and Joseph’s grandfather, Looks Far Guzmán. The old man had had some health issues, and I was heartened to see him looking so well.
Joseph Curtis and George Lofton arrived with the drinks, and Naomi set little Joey down while she helped Joseph put the beer on ice in a giant cooler. “You’re staying tonight, right?” Naomi called over her shoulder to me. “The old cabin’s vacant. Mom’s up in South Dakota, visiting Drew.”
“Are they ever going to get married?” I asked.
“Who knows?” Naomi said with a touch of annoyance. Then she glanced toward the doorway, where Joey was dragging a tote bag, something colorful held in one fist. “What have you got?” she asked her son.
Joseph dried his hands on his jeans and scooped up the boy, who refused to relinquish his prize. In a moment, Joseph began to chuckle. “It’s that baby blanket you started knitting for Sage but never finished,” he said. “Where’d you find that, buddy?”
“Oh. Yeah. I guess he can have it.” She threw me a guilty look. “I know you’re really into knitting, Lynne, but it was never my thing.”
“It’s okay,” I said. “It was a spur-of-the-moment addition to the story. I never actually thought you’d take to it.” Joseph put the boy down, and I grinned as he toddled over to me and plopped on the deck at my feet. As we chatted, catching up, I watched Joey in increasing wonder. “Has anybody taught him to knit?” I asked finally, when there was a lull in the conversation. “Because he’s knitting.”
“For real?” Naomi looked at me a dubiously. She crouched next to her son and pulled the needles gently from his hand. “No way,” she said as she examined the project. “Shannon?”
“Don’t look at me,” Shannon said, raising her hands. “I’m less craftsy than you are. If that’s even possible.”
It was George who said, “Isn’t that something? He’s a regular little web-weaver. Maybe you should’ve named him Webster.”
The little boy looked up from his task and grinned from ear to ear. “Webster!” he crowed. “I’m Webb!”
As Joseph and Naomi exchanged a look of resignation, Sage danced up to the fire pit. “Burn,” she whispered, and beams of flame shot from her eyes, setting the logs in the pit alight. She turned and grinned at me proudly before skipping to her mother.
“Never a dull moment,” Naomi said to me, in a tone that meant, This is all your fault.
The Pipe Woman Chronicles Omnibus
Series: Pipe Woman Chronicles, #6
by Lynne Cantwell
Published by Self-Published
on November 12th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Urban Fantasy
Amazon • • Goodreads •
Naomi is a skilled mediator who has an uncanny knack for getting everyone to agree. And she is newly engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Brock. Life is pretty sweet. But on the winter solstice of 2012, she learns that a Native American goddess named White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman has drafted her. She has enhanced Naomi’s powers of persuasion so that she may mediate a peace agreement in heaven between all the pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God.
The goddess has also given Naomi a team: Shannon, her Counselor and best friend; Joseph, a Ute skinwalker and her Guardian; and an Investigator who often causes more trouble than he is worth. Together, they embark on a journey that will change all their lives – one that will end in a time out of time, on a windswept plain, and with all life on Earth in the balance.
Praise for SEIZED (Quarterfinalist, 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award):
“Unique (and) entertaining”
“This novel blew me away”
“Well done, Ms. Cantwell, well done. I think I have found a new favorite fantasy author.”
Praise for FISSURED:
“I want to linger over a cup of tea with (the characters)”
Praise for TAPPED:
“I loved all three books in this series and am anxiously awaiting books four and five”
Praise for GRAVID:
“Ms. Cantwell has me completely invested in the outcome”
“I was happy all the way to my toes when I read this book. I even read it twice!”
Praise for ANNEALED:
“It is as near perfect as any book can get”
“I think this series spreads an enlightened message for all of humanity.”