When Riley’s mother rudely interrupted his comfortable summer of snacking and TV reruns, the notion he was about to enter the world of the supernatural never
Riley Rose finds his cushy campus lifestyle part of history when one hot August day, Jakup, a scrub jay and freelance familiar for Local 723 of the Witches Union, Napa branch, drafts him into the psychic and supernatural world. A reluctant Riley signs on to assist Jakup in an assignment to thwart a threat to the vintners of the valley. Riley learns he possesses a multitude of undiscovered psychic talents, none of which he’d consciously used before. Still skeptical of the jay story, he joins the witch’s effort to overcome the insidious plot of strange vampires and outsiders from around the world plotting to bring down the famous wine growing area.
“I really enjoyed the humorous dialogue in the book. Riley's character truly shines through in his funny internal mutterings and the constant bickering between him and Jakup. Jakup himself is the opposite to Riley, yet the two are a match made in heaven.”
“Wisecracking quips and plenty of action make Jakup the Jay an enjoyable read – just right for the holidays. I'd recommend this for teenage readers.”
“Great quick read with unusual characters and a wry humor. Urban fantasy worth a read for older teens and adults.”
The attack struck from behind--he’d executed a classic sneak attack. The lowlife landed on my arrogant as a conqueror entering a city with flags flying. Bright blue with slicked wrist down head feathers, this aggressor was no passive pretty-boy bluebird. This was a no nonsense scrub jay who dug in his claws and acted an arrogant captor. He stared at me with an unblinking yellow eye. Waiting.
He clamped tightly and stalked up my arm, settling in to squelch any effort I might make to fling him off the crook in my elbow. I didn’t catch any movement of his beak but clear as a bell ting-a-linging in a holiday concert, he said, “I’m Jakup. What the hell took you so long to get here? I received my orders weeks ago.”
“We’re supposed to team up for this mission. I hope you’re well stocked with birdseed and peanuts. I have no intention of going survivalist.”
In that moment, I realized I was talking to a bird, and the bird was talking back. The light dawned. I’d lost it. Next stop the booby hatch.
“Who teamed us up? Teamed us up for what?” I asked anyway.
“Witches Coven 723, Coastal District.”
His answer stifled any speech and left me mute like the rest of the feathered contingent. I took a deep breath. I still hadn’t learned my lesson. “Coven, like at Salem?”
Disgusted, he marched down and jammed his beak deep into my already raw wrist. His head stretched out, beak bloody. “Where did they dig you up? Salem is ancient history. I hope you’re not as inept as you are out of touch.”
“But don’t witches use cats?” I regretted asking as soon as the words spilled out.
The baleful glare he gave me made it quite clear I’d screwed up again.
“They don’t have the range or accessibility most jobs require. Worked all right back in the sixteen hundreds, but not good enough for years now. People drive cars, take airplanes, and own their own boats. They’re mobile and over ninety per cent of the time people are the root cause of our missions. Not to mention, the friggin’ felines fall considerably farther down on the IQ scale. Got any more stupid questions? We need to blow this joint. Open the gate. I’ll hop a shoulder.”
“Hold it, Buster. We’re not going anywhere. If I left that flock of hungry fledglings here needing their chow, my mom would have me for lunch. You come second until my shift’s over.”
Already halfway to my shoulder, he stopped, settling back on my wrist. “All right, you’ve got a point. I’ll let dispatch know we’re delayed.”
“And you,” I said, more confident now that I’d bested him once, “can get your little blue butt off my wrist. I can’t work with you sitting there.”
He uttered a birdie snarl, but relocated said butt to my shoulder.