Today I am so pleased to welcome Hailey Turner to Joyfully Jay. Hailey has come to talk to us about her latest release, On the Wing of War (which Jay and Kris reviewed here and loved). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
The Crossed Arms was a shitty pub—always had been, always would be. But that’s the way its regulars liked it.
Unlike Tempest, the Crossed Arms was an utter mess, the floor sticky underneath their feet from spilled pints and spirits when they walked in. Jono’s nose twitched at the smell of stale beer and worse messes that permeated the air. The walls were scribbled over with graffiti from decades of people staking their claim in this space. Jono’s name was somewhere on the wall, probably buried under someone else’s ink by now.
The pub was dimly lit and not overly full on a Tuesday afternoon. People were still at work, after all, but some of the locals were around. The bartender laughed at something one of his patrons had said but cut himself off when a dark-haired man abruptly stood from the table at the far end. Jono recognized him by scent alone, despite the long years since their last meeting.
“Oi!” Tom Milner called out in a Scouse accent that had never faded in all the years he’d lived in London. “What do you want?”
“Is that any way to greet an old mate, Tom?” Jono asked.
His memory of Tom had grown fuzzy over the years. Standing across from him now sharpened in Jono’s mind all the times he’d stood in this same pub, hanging out with the lads who hadn’t always been human. Tom was the sort of bloke who was shit at hiding what he was, but luckily, most of the people who came to the Crossed Arms didn’t care. He was short and barrel-chested, carrying less of a paunch than he had some years ago, but still easily pissed off, judging by his greeting.
Tom’s ruddy face went through a complicated rush of emotion, as did his scent. “Jono?”
“Yeah, mate. I’m back in town for a bit.”
Jono took his sunglasses off, and Sage discreetly palmed them from him, tucking them into her purse. Wade veered away from them to go sit at the bar, dropping all of his bags on the counter and claiming a chair. He rifled through the containers, took out a kebab, and started eating.
“What the bloody fuck?” Tom came forward, staring at Jono in shock. “Since when? I haven’t seen you in years.”
“You know why.”
“Fuck me, bruv. I can’t believe you’re back.”
Tom gripped Jono’s hand and pulled him into a back-slapping hug that Jono accepted without a second thought. Of all the people in London who might want to stab him in the back, Tom was at the bottom of the list.
“Good to see you,” Jono said when they separated.
“Who’s this?” Patrick asked with the particular shade of curiosity in his voice that always told Jono someone was about to get hurt.
“Old mate of mine who didn’t care much that I was an independent werecreature when I lived here.”
“Who’s the Yank?” Tom asked, eyeing Patrick with the bristling annoyance he’d always had with new people.
Jono ignored the question. “Got a table we can have a chat at?”
Tom hesitated, gaze flickering back to Jono’s face. After a moment, he gave a sharp nod and gestured for them to follow him. “Can’t chat long. You know why.”
Jono’s mouth twisted. “Yeah.”
Jono, Patrick, and Sage followed Tom to the rear of the pub, bypassing the table filled with three other werecreatures, who watched them intently. Tom waved at them. “It’s all right. I’ll handle it. Don’t ring no one yet.”
Jono didn’t recognize any of them, so he made sure to put his back to the wall when they sat at the table. Sage sat beside him while Patrick dragged another chair over rather than put his back to the room at large. He spun the chair around and sat on it backward, resting his arms on top of it. Tom raised an eyebrow at their show of solidarity but gamely took a seat across from them.
“Want a pint?” Tom asked.
“No, we’re good,” Jono said.
Tom studied him for a long minute before letting out a quiet, disbelieving chuckle. “Never thought I’d see your face again, bruv. Not here in London, at least.”
“Found better options in New York City. That’s part of the reason I’m here to chat with you. I need the contact information for the London god pack.”
“You know where they live. You could’ve gone there rather than here.”
Jono shook his head. “That’s their personal territory, and I can’t enter it.”
“You can’t enter London, bruv, but here you are.” Tom smiled tightly at him, his scent worried—whether for Jono or himself, Jono couldn’t tell. “You know the terms of your exile.”
Remembering the dead will always give them life.
The coveted Morrígan’s staff is up for sale on the black market to the highest bidder, and SOA Special Agent Patrick Collins will do whatever it takes to ensure the Dominion Sect doesn’t get their hands on it. Returning the weapon to its rightful owner is another step on the long road toward clearing Patrick’s soul debt, but he won’t walk it alone. Jonothon de Vere won’t let him.
Obeying the gods means Patrick must travel to London. For Jono, it means facing a past he thought he’d left behind forever. His return to England isn’t welcome, and neither is their pack, but Jono and Patrick will face the antagonism together. Politics aside, their priority must be the mission, but the bone-chilling secret they uncover in the London god pack will have far-reaching repercussions no one can ignore.
A race against time takes Patrick and Jono from the streets of London to the bright lights of Paris, where hospitality is thin on the ground, the air is filled with whispered prayers for the missing, and the Morrígan’s staff will end up in the one place it should never have gone—a graveyard.
For beneath Paris lie the long-forgotten dead, and when they rise to walk again, the living can only hope to die.
On the Wings of War is a 109k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to A Vigil in the Mourning. Reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.
Hailey Turner is big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story.
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