Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Blinked by Zari Reede

Zari Reede


by Zari Reede
It’s 1975 in the Big Easy where Mardi Gras floats and strangely dressed people are in abundance. Mindy Nichols, an agent of the Inner Space Monitoring Alliance Team “ISMAT,” is about to set the Crescent City on its ear. This special government team protects Earth from the Blink phenomena that connect our world to the Realm of Ortharos. An energy portal indiscriminately exchanges beings between both worlds, Blinking insane Other Realm Beings (ORBs) in as Earthlings Blink out, causing worry and angst over missing loved ones who sometimes never reappear. ISMAT’s longstanding protocol, to exterminate all ORBs for the safety of mankind, is challenged one fateful night when Mindy wakes up to find her husband, Jim, missing; a huge, naked Cyclops in her bed; an OCD brownie cleaning her kitchen; and six purple imps swinging from a chandelier. The last time ORBs roamed the Earth unchecked, a great war ensued, and Mindy knows things are about to get ugly…


I didn’t have time to play nursemaid to every ORB who Blinked onto the planet, especially a high- maintenance fire goddess who was bound to get me canned…

Miffed, ’Punzel glared at me.

“Oh, don’t take it so personally. I admit we all wish at one time or another we could blow up the world. Unlike most of us, you can.” I had started toward the door when I saw Max’s helmet and motorcycle keys on the entry table. Bingo! I had taken a tutorial from Max on his Triumph Bonneville in the Schwegmann’s parking lot one afternoon at lunch. One down, five up, I reminded myself. It wasn’t terribly hard. I just had to point it north out of town.

Leaving through the door this time, we made our way to Max’s parking space. Doubting my sanity as ’Punzel saddled up behind me, I instructed her to hold on tight. She was begrudging being led along like a puppy, but I could tell by the few smiles she couldn’t smother that she was really enjoying her vacation from Ortharos. Maybe she wasn’t aware of the DOA status of most ORBs when they returned to her world. They say ignorance is bliss, so let her be happy and hope we make it to Harry’s all in one piece.

’Punzel tapped the helmet I wore. “Where is my fancy hat?”

“Can’t your hair protect your head?” I tried to remember how to get started and realized I should probably wheel it out of the tight corner it was wedged in first. Apparently, Max shared his parking place. More likely, some hot chick shared her space with Max.

“I want a hat like yours.” ’Punzel’s pout trumped Sammy’s, but I was a pro at resisting pouts.

“Hop off for moment and let me wheel this out.”

“You made me get on and now I have to get off. And I don’t have a hat!”

Her bottom lip stuck out so far that the freaking helmet could have fit on it.



“Fine! You can wear the helmet!” I knew I shouldn’t yell, but not being a biker, I shuddered at the thought of riding the thing. I hopped off the Triumph and scowled.

She studied the handlebars and glanced over the motorcycle.

“Doesn’t look so hard.” Rapunzel eyed the bike with glowing interest. A spark shot out of the ignition switch, she revved the Triumph and sped out of the lot toward the street. As I ran after the motorcycle, I saw her hair curl and shrink around her head until it resembled a helmet with pink flowers.

Dammit all! Now I had to catch the ORB before ISMAT spotted her and she doomed us all.


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KIRKUS REVIEW
A 1970s wife—secretly in a government project to fight supernatural invaders—must find a solution when a magical creature from a dangerous fantasy realm switches places with her husband.
Pseudonymous author Reede (Daisy Dukes ’n’ Cowboy Boots, 2017) conjures a semicomical urban fantasy focusing on the antics of Mindy Nichols, a young New Orleans wife and mom. Mindy is really an agent for the Inner Space Monitoring Alliance Team, a covert U.S. government task force that battles magical intruders from other realms. Readers are told that letting such entities go uncontrolled led to the two world wars. It’s 1975, and ISMAT’s new headache is the “Blink” phenomenon, wherein hostile fairy-tale beings—imps, cyclops, etc.—are teleporting into the U.S. apparently at random from a magical world called Ortharos. For each appearance, an earthling has to teleport to Ortharos in exchange, and outcomes are not good. During Mardi Gras masquerade time, Mindy discovers that her husband, Jim, is missing, having Blinked away. But replacing him is a house-elf–style “brownie”—the first Ortharian to be communicative and friendly. Mindy, to figure out what’s happening and save her family, disobeys standing orders to terminate such beings. Multiple story strands in short, addictive chapters, each in first-person narration by a different quirky character, follow Jim to Ortharos, where he meets a green-skinned witch and her enticing, imprisoned Rapunzel look-alike sister (named Rapunzel, in fact) and the cyclops queen. Meanwhile, Mindy contends with myriad crises and phantasmic fallouts back home. The best conceit is that mythic characters defy expectations of who’s good or evil. But with two sets of protagonists teleporting or dodging peril via hidden passageways, there are considerable storyline snarls involving who is doing what, where, and in which world before things intersect at the Bacchus Krewe parade in the French Quarter. Paranormal romance followers who take the bouncy ride should delight in the playful tweaking of all the ingredients, including the Carnival king cake.
A frothy paranormal comedy-adventure that offers a respite from the usual brooding over messy werewolf/vampire love affairs.  


Writers extraordinaire, domestic goddesses, lovers of all furry things…

Zari Reede is a writing team consisting of Zoe Tasia and Minette Lauren. Both have an addiction to collaborative writing that rivals Oreo Double Stuffed cookies with fine champagne. Writing solo for years, they decided to engage in a writing exercise to strengthen their skills and enlighten their creative minds. It turned out to be a great venture and is still going strong today. Zoe lives in Houston, has two cats, two boys, and a priceless husband, who supports all her rebel dreams. Minette Lauren also enjoys living in Texas, has five dogs, two god-dogs, three turtles and a wonderful husband that thinks all things she writes are golden… even if it is horse hockey. They are lucky in life, enjoying every day they can write and dream.

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47 comments:

HiDee said...

Intriguing concept! Blinked sounds like a fun story. Thanks for joining us today!

RT Wolfe said...

Great cover. Awesome storyline. Here's wishing you many sales!
-R.T. Wolfe

Lynn said...

How inventive! The story sounds wonderful! Thank you for being on our blog!

Zari Reede said...

Thank you so much for having us! Sorry for the delay. Someone hit a fawn in our neighborhood and I’ve been doing baby deer rescue! I hope the little girl makes it. It’s something Mindy would have done🤗

Zari Reede said...

Thank you so much for stopping by! We love the cover and hope it will intrigue fantasy readers to pick it up and see what’s inside.

Zari Reede said...

Thank you for having us! We love checking out the books you host.

Unknown said...

An unusual idea! The story sounds like it will keep readers flipping pages.

Zari Reede said...

Thank you! It was a fun story to write! Very challenging for a romance writer, but Zoe Tasia loves fantasy and challenged my imagination.

Saralyn said...

It takes a lot of creativity and imagination to write urban fantasy. Congrats to both members of the dynamic writing team. You ladies rock!

Unknown said...

Exchange objects between worlds! This is wonderful and inspiring

BBantana said...

Having had the chance to read this book, I can only say that you will read it "in the blink of an eye" - very entertaining and fast paced with great character development; thanks to the authors for a trip to fantasy land and back

Zari Reede said...

Wow, what a great compliment. Thank you so much for visiting and saying hello!

kaykay said...

Always amazed and delighted at the imaginations and writing talents of others. I enjoy hearing of the pleasure derived from doing something obviously so fulfilling.

Unknown said...

Ha, a far cry from Daisy Dukes. You have many talents, guys. Good luck xx

Lica Maidana said...

What a creative and talent book that made me wondering how a young mom and wife will rescue her husband from the other magical world! Loved the cover and definitely Blinked incites my mind...thanks to you Zoe Tasi and Minette Lauren

Zari Reede said...

Just put your pen to paper and join us! The pleasure and escape is real. Thank you for stopping by!

Zari Reede said...

Thank you, Molly! We aim to please. Our imaginations love a challenge and Blinked was a blast to write.

Zari Reede said...

How nice! Thank you for stopping by and glad you are enjoying our story! Look for our mystery in September!

Zari Reede said...

Thank you, Saralyn. So glad you think so! Means a lot to us:)

Zari Reede said...

Thank you for stopping in! We love this story and think it’s pretty different from other fantasy books. We hope you enjoy it!

June Zuckerman (writing as June Trop) said...

I'm already laughing and loving your imagination!

Zari Reede said...

I love the blurb scene. Zoe and I each wrote a portion, but the great thing about co-writing is that we can’t remember who wrote what. Thanks for your comment!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

This is a truly original fantasy novel. I read and enjoyed it very much. It deserves the excellent Kirkus review.

Unknown said...

I don't usually read sci-fi, but these characters seem like a fun read. Will definitely ad it to my "must read soon" list.

Zari Reede said...

Thank you very much, Jacqueline. That means a lot to us!

Zari Reede said...

Thank you, Susan for taking the time to visit. Blinked is a fun fantasy with a nip of romance thrown in. It’s a book that almost anyone can enjoy. It is a great adventure between two worlds where even naughty characters are favorites ;)

Kathleen Kaska said...

What a fun story! It's great that you're writing in a different genre. What's next?

Zari Reede said...

Thank you for visiting! We have a mystery/thriller set in Austin, Tx coming out in September. There is a dab of humor and a good dose of edge of your seat. Likable characters and a few scary ones dot the pages. We are very excited!

Unknown said...

Having read Daisy Dukes n Cowboy Boots and loving it! ... I can only think that this book will be a hit. The story line is very intriguing, and I am looking forward to reading it!
Keep up the great work!!

Zari Reede said...

Thank you for the vote of confidence! We hope to entertain you with a story about a family this time. Mindy is searching for her lost husband and it’s rollicking adventure and laughter to the end. Glad you stopped in:)

Unknown said...

^ Sal

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to more from Zari Reede.

Zari Reede said...

Thank you so much for stopping in to say hello. Glad you enjoyed the book. We love happy readers!

Anonymous said...

I was recently referred to this author by friend and I am glad she did...I have always enjoyed fantasy especially when authors can mix-in some comedy with it as well... reminds me of some Dara Joy fantasies I read in the past.

Zari Reede said...

Ooh! I like her too. There is a little romance thrown in, Blinked. Almost every story we write has something to spice things up. Thank you for stopping by to say hello!

MLou said...

Such a unique story and interesting story line! Couldn’t put it down!

Martha said...

A modern day fairy tale with fantastic twist and turns. Great read.

Zari Reede said...

That’s what we love to hear, MLou. Thank you for your support, and look for our next release in September.

Zari Reede said...

Thank you, Martha. I love the fairy tale characters in this story. Rapunzel is my favorite. Your comment makes our day!

Keith Steinbaum said...

Just the small excerpt offered shows an abundance of creativity about characters from another world mixed with our own in combination with some comedic flare. I like the open roads of possibilities that this passage presents. Well done Zari Reede, this seems to be an inventive piece of fiction offering a unique avenue of intrigue for the reader.

Keith Steinbaum

Zari Reede said...

Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment and for your interest in our story, Keith. We hope you will check it out. The adventure starts from the very first line of the book...”I went to bed with my husband and I woke up with a monster.” It’s Zoe Tasia’s Line. Zari Reede is a team effort and the reason for the story being fast paced. We try to work excitement and intrigue into every chapter.

SRH said...

These two talented writers have introduced interesting characters guaranteed to intrigue the reader! Thank you for your ‘outside of the box’ thinking!

Zari Reede said...

Thank you, and we hope you will enjoy more from us this fall. We keep genre hopping, and turning up the heat. This next book is a mystery thriller with a dab of humor. Don’t miss it, and thanks again for commenting.

Unknown said...

Loved it! Such a fun read, not what I expected! Loved the characters and twists. Can’t wait for the next one!

Zari Reede said...

Thank you for your positive input! We loved writing it. As the story unfolded, we were just as surprised and entertained. Our next book is due out this September. It’s a mystery set in Austin, TX. Great to hear you enjoyed, Blinked!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a new Sci-Fi world I need to check out! Is there a sequel in the works?

Zari Reede said...

We have left the book open to a second novel. Our writing projects are many and lots of edits are coming down the pipe. Zoe has a book due out in November. Minette has a book due in October and another Zari Reede book due in September. There is another book waiting in the wings that may become an indie publish experiment, so we will have to see how much demand there is for a second book. We write quick...edits, not so much. Thanks for stopping in! We really appreciate the I interest.