The First Beast is Slain

By Tess Adair


I hit a big milestone this weekend: I wrote the last chapter of a novel. Insert celebration noises here! I’d do it myself, but I’m way too tired.


I am happy, of course. It feels like I beat the game. It feels like Arya Stark has returned to Winterfell, and we can all rest easy now.


Of course, that’s not entirely true. Arya’s made it back to Westeros, but Winterfell is a few more steps down the line. I didn’t beat the whole game--I just made it to the first save point.


In essence: phase one, stage one is complete. Time to rest and I can get going on phase one, stage two.


I wrote a novel, coming in at just under 80,000 words. It took about five months. The first novel I ever wrote took a year and some change, and back then, I didn’t have nearly as much to occupy my time as I do now. So, five months for a novel when I still have a full time job and a social life--and, oh yeah, I moved houses and entertained two different out-of-town guests and officiated a wedding in the meantime--is not too bad.


I am...super duper tired. In the two days that have passed since I finished, I’ve probably gotten about 20 hours of sleep--so about 10 a night. So...yeah. I’ve been tired.


But it’s done!


So what did I spend all that time writing? Well, I suppose I should just tell you. Let the spoilers commence! Not really, but I will give you a basic summary. Here!


A reformed petty criminal takes over her father’s business as a “shadow consultant”—a contractor who specializes in paranormal occurrence. Most of the time, H. C. Logan is beholden to the whims of the clients who hire her: often the wealthy and bored or, on bad days, the wealthy and pathological. She would leave it all behind her, if it weren’t for her bond of loyalty to her dad’s old partner, Hugh Knatt. Fortunately for Logan, Knatt isn’t her only connection to the supernatural world. She also happens to possess the Choronzon Key—a mysterious artifact of unknown power, believed in most circles to be a myth.


Much to her chagrin, the Key has sent Logan on a new mission—investigating the grisly death of a teenage girl in Nowhere, Montana. To find her killer, Logan must comb the whiny depths of the local high school students for any possible motives. She soon narrows in on a likely suspect: a victim of the dead girl’s brutal bullying. But is everything in this small town just as it seems, or is something more nefarious at work?


Meanwhile, the Choronzon Key feeds her shadows and images…


…and whispers warnings about a Wolf.


So, there it is. That novel is complete. I’ve rested a little bit, but I’m already geared up and working on the next piece of the puzzle.


No time to waste. Miles to go before I sleep. Figuratively, that is.


(Uh, by the way, if you like that summary and you want to read more, you should go here and click on "Look Inside." Have fun!)