This chapter seems shorter than the others. It begins right where we left off: with Daisy getting a piggyback ride from Noah.
She tightened her legs around his hips and he straightened, bouncing her into place and . . .
“Hoo boy,” she said as the sensations shot through her.
I have not had a piggyback ride in years. But I don’t remember it being like that.
Noah started down the street and with each movement, each breath, a fresh wave of pure want shot through her. The energy pooled within her, tightening in her abdomen, and everything around her seemed to pop and crackle. They crossed the street just as a warm summer wind shot down the street
(side note: don’t say the wind shot in the same way you talk about sensations shooting.)
The colors dancing on the air made Daisy feel woozy, and she closed her eyes, but then the wind on her face made her feel a little too warm in certain places, so she opened her eyes again and tightened her grip on Noah, and–
Excuse me, I need to do some research. For SCIENCE!!
Alright after multiple awkward attempts, I managed to get on Chaos’ back! I had to start from sitting on the edge of the bed, as I had an unfortunate tendency to topple him into a somersault instead of clinging, but I was decidedly on his back. Try one had my legs wrapped around his hips properly. I felt a sensation! Unfortunately it was the sensation of jean studs digging into my thighs (I had a nightgown to simulate her dress, he had jeans because I couldn’t remember what Noah was wearing.)
Try two had my legs wrapped around his waist, where it was more comfortable. Still no lady sensations. He carried me around the room, being sure to bounce me several times. I felt like I was riding a Utahraptor it was a blast! But no lady tingles. None whatsoever.
Book, you have betrayed me! Curses!!!
Anyway, this being a chicklit/romance novel, the plot immediately heads into Stupid Idea To Get The Man territory when Daisy suggests Noah drop in for Abby’s open mic night for musicians. That she has no idea she’s having yet. Whatever happened to chicks before dicks? Laaame.
(that’d be the girl equivalent to “bros before hoes”, by the way. While I don’t condone using demeaning terminology for an entire gender, I can get behind the idea of putting your close friends before your new or prospective romantic interest).
We switch perspectives again! This time to Kammani. I actually quite like this passage:
the teenagers, Bun and Gen, gathered their things and giggled at their dogs, a fat poodle mix in a tiara and a resigned foxhound in a bandanna. Twits, Kammani thought, and wondered what twits were. There were words in the air in this world, crackling as they came and went, annoying her with their strangeness and inexplicability. This world was not like her old world it was wrong, ignorant, lacking in respect
I dunno why, really, just that it strikes me as more thoughtful and descriptive than other passages in this novel thus far.
Mina gets a surname! Wortham. And she has a clue!
“I bow before thee, O Goddess. I am Mina Wortham. My mother has sent me because I am your Chosen, the youngest woman of age in our family. I will do your bidding.”
“You say you are chosen. Tell me how you will serve me.”
“My name is Death,” the girl said almost hissing the word. “I will serve you by bringing an end to any who oppose you.
Kammani closed her eyes. Seven priestesses and this is the one who remembers.
Apparently there’s meant to be seven, but we only have six: Mina, Bun, Gen, Abby, Daisy, and Shar. Also, every bit of this is perfection:
“You are not Death. You are the human manifestation of the abstract principle of the cessation of life.” Mina frowned, and Kammani tried again. “You are not a goddess; you are a priestess charged with helping the dying among my people to find Ereshkigal’s kingdom in the Netherworld.”
The girl blinked.
“Welcome, Mina, descendant of Munawirtum. You are the seventh of my priestesses–”
“And the most powerful,” Mina said, tasting th words.
“No,” Kammani said, wondering if Mina knew what happened to people who interrupted a goddess.
“And I will stand by your left hand, and I will smite your enemies,” Mina went on, her voice rising. [...]
“No, Mina. You may not smite anyone.”
So can we talk? I used to be involved in a number of Wiccan communities and there were always, always, people like this. Hell, I was one of them! Indigo children, called by some ancient goddess, charged with some sacred duty that made us special and better than anyone else, making up our own mythology when nothing we found seemed to fit. Doing battle with the Forces of Evil, leading the Forces of the Light, always striving toward some unknown purpose… basically the neopagan version of Spiritual Warfare. Mina is exactly perfect. A literal goddess is speaking to her, telling her she’s special, and here she is trying to become more special because her actual calling isn’t special enough. It’s perfect.
Oh, as an aside, Daisy isn’t even five feet tall. Dwarfism is usually defined as being under 4′ 10″, so maybe she is a Little Person? But it’s not stated. Either the book is trying to be very PC indeed, or it’s unintentional.
Nin-kagina, Belessunu, Abi-simti, humusi, Sharrat, Illtani, Munawirthum.
But now they were Gen, Bun, Abby, Daisy, Shar, Vera, and Mina. . .
[...]Vera had not even come when summoned
The seventh has a name! But not a dog yet. No cute pictures for Vera.
She had to [...] learn about this new world that made women weak and dogs mute.
The last section of the chapter picks up with Abby and Bowser. Abby’s gone to the grocery store for some baking supplies:
Butter, cream, honey, cinnamon, licorice, enough flour and sugar to consume what little money she had left, along with a six-pack of Diet Coke.
I don’t see the point in splurging on honey when you’re on a tight cookie budget and you already are buying sugar, and ditto for cream vs butter. Is licorice any good in cookies? Chocolate chips might be cheaper too. Maybe that’s a snack to keep her focused during her all-night baking session though. Heck, maybe the cream is for coffee. Who knows?
Bowser apparently likes Professor Entitled.
[The apron Abby found] was lavender as well, decorated with sparkly dragonflies and bejeweled organza ribbons, with Bea spelled out in rhinestones across the top. Clearly dear old Granny B was a far cry from the sweet little old lady Abby had fantasized about.
What about that apron says “not a sweet little old lady”? It has sparkles and dragonflies and purple. That sounds sweet to me.
A swig of magical tonic reveals another hidden attribute: it makes bad handwriting legible. Ooohkay then, lol. The baking goes surprisingly well, and Abby “just knows” when they’re done. I’ve got a good nose for when food’s done or about to burn, which is good when Chaos cooks because he can’t smell a darn thing, but even that’s pushing it a little. I guess magic tonic makes baking easier too?
Daisy drops by, and offers to wait tables and pour coffee if Abby’ll open the store for open mic night.
“I said okay,” Abby said. “Granny B would have done it, right?”
Well that was easy.
“Are you kidding? Bea would have held a circus in here if it would get me laid. She always thought it was sad that she got more action than I did.”
Now THAT doesn’t sound like a sweet little old lady. Actually, Bea sounds kind of cool. Turns out she died from a heart attack during sex, which explains why Abby’s mother never liked her:
The Real Estate Goddess of Escondido never lifted her skirts for anyone less than a millionaire.