Search
Close this search box.

BVC Announces Signed in Blood by Irene Radford

Signed in Blood by Irene Radford
Signed in Blood
A Tess Noncoiré Adventure
Irene Radford

How does a Warrior of the Celestial Blade fight monsters when her Imp/Blade has gone walkabout?

Tess Noncoiré may be a warrior of the Celestial Blade, but she can’t fight demons without Scrap, her imp familiar who becomes the Celestial Blade. Scrap has gone walkabout. Before he leaves he bequeaths to Tess the onyx fountain pen she used to sign in blood a special document for the Powers That Be. Scrap knows that Tess is going to need this special pen while he’s away. Figuring out how and when to use it is only half the battle with a pukha who portends death.

About the Author: Irene Radford is a founding member of Book View Café. You can find many of her books, both reprints and original titles, at the café, including her earliest books being released throughout 2023 and 2024. She has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. Editing, as Phyllis Irene Radford, grew out of her love of the craft of writing. History has been a part of her life from earliest childhood and led to her BA from Lewis and Clark College.

Mostly she writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series. Look for her writing new historical fantasy tales as Rachel Atwood, a different take on the Robin Hood mythology in Walk the Wild with Me, from DAW/Astra Books and the sequel Outcasts of the Wildwood. In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Lately she ventured into Steampunk as Julia Verne St. John.

If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can follow her on Facebook as Phyllis Irene Radford.

Buy Signed in Blood at the Book View Cafe bookstore

A lovely onyx fountain pen appeared out of nowhere and landed with a thud on my desk, bouncing slightly on a pitifully thin manuscript printed for editing. The latest Tess Noncoiré fantasy novel was taking its own sweet time getting written.

I picked up the pen. The nib was gold, broader than I liked, and the body fatter than my hand wanted to fit around. I ran my thumb over the smooth stone, absorbing the slight coolness. It nestled more comfortably in my grip, conforming to my hand. I’d held one like it before. I knew that. My memory refused to jog the image loose.

Layers of color spiraled around the pen’s heavy body, ranging from dark red to light cream, like the desert spires that filled the Valley of Fire outside of Las Vegas. A place of mystical beauty and terrible danger. Did the pen share the danger, or just the beauty?

I knew words would flow easily from this pen. Beautiful words that melded together into a story.

Something tickled the back of my mind. An idea? A sentence, then a paragraph filled my head. I touched the nib to the pristine page of a new notebook. Ten words. Two dozen.

Then nothing. My mind pulled back to reality. Where the hell had the pen come from? I pondered the mystery as I wiped the blue ink off the pen with a tissue. Strange things happened to me. Paranormal things.

I looked up at the ceiling. Lacking a large glowing hole in the ceiling, the pen clearly had dropped out of thin air. That left one option.

“Scrap?” I demanded of the ether.

A low hum skirted the back of my mind, lodging at the top of my spine.

I jabbed with the pen into the air. “Scrap, where did this pen come from?”

Dahling, I found it,” Scrap replied from elsewhere. Scrap was an imp. He could transform himself into my Celestial Blade when danger demanded it. He could slip between dimensions and times. Today he chose demure and invisible.

“Spit it out, buddy.” I searched my cluttered office for a glimpse of his translucent gray-green body. I detected motion. A hint of a barbed tail twitched between an American English dictionary and a French lexicon on the top shelf of my bookcase.

I crept away from my station at the computer and latched onto that tail, winding it around two fingers in a special grip that kept him from popping out into another dimension.

Ah, Tess, you didn’t have to do that, he cajoled, trying to yank his tail out of my grasp. I held firm.

“Tell me about the pen. Where’d it come from?”

I told you, I found it.

“Where?”

I tightened my grip as Scrap tried to slither up my arm to my shoulder.

“Cuddling won’t persuade me to relent,” I told him firmly.

Finally, he crossed his arms and pouted at me from the edge of the bookcase. I could almost see the book covers through his half-present body. The blue and black leather bindings faded and brightened with Scrap’s attempts to disappear.

Nowhere you’d want to look.

“If you found it, then it’s more than a fancy pen.” I looked down in my opposite hand. It still held the pen. Hadn’t I put it down? “Who dumped it and what was it used for?” I looked beyond the graceful lines of the onyx and the tiny slit that revealed the empty ink reservoir. I’d drained it writing my feeble paragraph.

Tiny flecks of rusty brown stained the gold nib. I’d wiped it clean. I knew I had.

Ugh, great. Dried blood. Someone had used the pen to sign in blood. I’d done that once. Blood contracts were irrevocable.

The details of signing the contract poured back into my mind. The pen. This pen. I had used it.

Someone, or something had buried that memory pretty deep so it wouldn’t surface easily or often. Probably me.

My blood on the nib.

Well, you see, the Powers That Be don’t like to use a pen more than once. In case the blood mixes between two clients and there’s crossover in their contracts, Scrap explained in a gush of words. Straight words, no drawled “dahlings” or endearing “babes,” not even a flick of his hot pink feather boa—which was missing from around his neck.

Buy Signed in Blood at the Book View Cafe bookstore

Authors

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *