The official website of author

James Tarr

A little teaser from Fire and Bone, the upcoming sequel to Bestiarii.

You wanted more Seamus….


Corey found Seamus exiting the hotel restaurant. Seamus liked walking the property once a day, randomly checking various entrances and exits, and he’d just been poking around the kitchen, getting looks from the staff which he studiously ignored.

Corey gave him an innocent, questioning look. “Were you back there asking them to make you one of those traditional English dishes that make you think of your mum and rainy London afternoons? Spotted dick…or was it speckled bum? It’s so hard to remember, the English have such classy names for their food.” He’d been waiting for just such an opportunity, after doing a bit of culinary research. “Faggots, spotted dick, cock-a-leekie…what was the other one? Oh, yeah, toad in the hole. I’m not sure if we’re still talking about food or gay sex, it all sounds a bit like buggery. Or is buggery a traditional English dessert? I can never remember….”

“I’m not a fan of spotted dick. That’d be your mum. Have our lovebirds made a decision?”

Corey, smiling, nodded. “Kid wants to go to a restaurant down the street. Total American sports bar theme. TVs on all the walls. Bar food. Probably misses burgers and pizza.”

“On a Friday night? She’s going to bloody hate it,” Seamus said with a wide, delighted smile.


“Brilliant! Let’s round up the lads. And…the suits are fine for certain venues, but tell them to dress down for this. I want to stick out as little as possible.”

Manny wore a Hawaiian shirt so ugly it worked like reactive camouflage—everyone immediately looked away from him. “I think a few days in the sun with your lady friend fried your brain,” Seamus said to him as they sat at the bar of El Americano. “Can you not see colors anymore? You’re as colorful as a St. George’s day vomit.”

Manny just smiled and sipped at his ice water. Chris had flown back to her Raven duty station a week earlier. He’d gotten to spend two days with her. They had been a very good two days.

There were flatscreens covering seemingly every inch of the walls in the bar area of the restaurant, most of them showing sporting events from around the world. The sound was down, but the managers had decided to blast American classic rock from the hidden speakers. Everyone had to shout to be heard.

They sat facing Mike and Tina, who were at a table by themselves. Corey and Coche were at a table between the two lovebirds and the door, and Antonio was posted just outside the front entrance.

Seamus looked up from the laminated bar menu. “Is this a joke? Are you having me on?”

The bartender looked over. “Sir?”

“Is this your real menu?”

“Yes, sir. Is there a problem?”

Seamus looked at Manny. “And Corey thinking it was English dishes full of sexual innuendo. Puffy taco? I think I’ll pass, my shots aren’t up to date.” He frowned at the menu. “Potato skins? Those are the bits you throw out. And what the bloody hell are jalapeño poppers?” Manny just shrugged. Seamus shifted, trying to find a comfortable way to sit. He’d borrowed an inside-the-waistband holster from Antonio which fit his Walther, but as he didn’t want the butt of the gun poking his shirt out as he sat he’d stuffed it down the front of his trousers. So now it was not just pointed directly at the family jewels but mashing them a bit. “Well, I suppose the good Lord hates a coward. Barman!” he called out, lifting a hand. “An order of jalapeño poppers. And for me mate…?” He turned to look at Manny.

“Fish tacos,” Manny told him.

Seamus gave him a look of disappointment. “You go to an American pub and order Mexican food?”

Manny frowned at him. “I very much doubt whatever shows up will resemble Mexican food in any way.”