Linda Bloodworth Cover Reveal: A Raven’s Touch Day 5
Today we’re counting down to the cover reveal of A Raven’s Touch, by Linda Bloodworth. For the next 5 days, get closer to the cover and read a different sample each day.
Who is Linda Bloodworth?
Linda Bloodworth loves chips, like really, ketchup to be exact. Ketchup chips are only found in Canada. Lucky for Linda, she lives in Toronto with her husband and three fur babies. In between writing, debating for hours about the Oxford comma, and the misunderstood semi colon; Linda enjoys camping, and getting away from the city on day trips.
Bullied through high school, seventeen-year-old Justice St. Michaels is grateful for the help of her best friend Moira O’Fhey. Their only wish is to graduate high school, leave the sleepy town of Fallingbrook and all that happened behind them. The Heavens have other plans. Between growths on her back and being involved in explosive school fights, nothing seems to make sense. When an unexpected encounter with Darien Raventhorn causes worlds to collide it exposes the truth about who Justice’s real identity. To avenge a family death, Justice must embrace her birthright, and slay the demon before all Hell breaks loose.
Moira squeezes my arm.
“We need to get up. Come on. We aren’t going to be sitting ducks. He looks like he wants to start trouble.”
My heart starts beating faster and I stand up. Moira has already packed her bag, and she pushes mine into my hands. With her hand on the small of my back, she urges me along.
“It’s a public place, Moira, he won’t hurt us here. He’s all talk, right?” She looks me in the eyes.
“Don’t underestimate crazy.”
We hear a low wolf howl that causes a ripple of fear to flow through me. I stop momentarily. No way is that for us, surely not.
What can you expect in A Raven’s Touch?
Adventure, friendship, and bit of romance mixed into a very different kind of paranormal story. It’s not the formulaic story where there’s one type of paranormal hero. Be prepared for Half Angels, Witches, Elves, demons, and a dragon for good measure.
Add A Raven’s Touch to your TBR pile. Get your Pre-Order on Amazon!
If you miss the pre-order, don’t worry, the official release day is December 28, 2015.
What did you think of A Raven’s Touch?
Crazy In Love Series Book Cover Re-Reveal
Jennifer Zane Bio:
Jennifer Zane has lived all over the country–from Georgia to Maryland, New York to Colorado. including an exciting five years in Montana. Her time in Big Sky country was the basis for this book. When she’s not writing, she savors the insanity of raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. She currently lives with her family in Colorado.
Once you get the zing you can’t go back.
Jane West has everything a woman could want. A job in a small Montana town’s only adult store, two busy young boys and one dead husband. She’s been waiting–for a little zing. That all changes one summer morning at a garage sale with her kids.
Now someone wants their garage sale find and will let nothing get in their way. Including Jane. This new excitement for Jane spells trouble for a relationship with new neighbor–and hot fireman–Ty Strickland. Can Jane and Ty handle a relationship meddling mother-in-law, crazy kids, and stay alive while trying to solve the garage sale mystery? Will their love be worth the wait?
Now on sale for .99!
Veronica Miller is a plumber on a mission—buy out her dad and the family business is finally hers. One big, handsome problem stands in her way. And it’s not a clogged toilet.
Jack Reid is the boy she mooned over in high school. He’s back in town, but he’s no longer a boy. Ten years ago he broke her heart, skipped town and never came back. Now he’s a big shot lawyer in Florida whose uncle feigned a health crisis to trick Jack into coming back into town. Upon arrival Jack finds his uncle is gone, he’s homeless, and forced to be roommates with the one woman he could never resist.
Jack discovers his lust hasn’t cooled for the sexy Veronica, but neither has her heart forgiven him. A sex-toy educational party, romance novel writing gone awry, Goldie’s meddling, an escape artist snake, a strange stalker in a fluffy pink coat, a house fire, plumbing gone awry, bitter cold, and a smart-faced garden gnome all conspire to force Jack and Veronica to work through a decade of baggage, disappointment, wanting and unrequited lust while figuring out the mystery behind the stalker.
Emma Hardy hasn’t been able to forget Sam Carter, or his incredible kiss in the elevator. Sadly, he rocked her world (and her libido), then calmly walked away, quit his job, and disappeared for two months. Not exactly the hot kiss follow-up she’d been hoping for. But Sam was busy making plans. And now, thanks to a glued-together gnome name George, a set of handcuffs, mistletoe, and a meddling adult store cupid disguised as aneccentric but innocent grandmother, Emma’s about to get the greatest Christmas gift of all…true love.
Violet Miller is a teacher savoring her summer break until she’s been called in as emergency reinforcements—of the dating kind. She volunteers to help an old flame by pretending to be his girlfriend. In Alaska. At a family reunion. Since the guy is a handsome, lumberjack-sized doctor she’s never quite forgotten, faking a relationship won’t be hard work—while wishing for more.
Mike Ostranski is a desperate man on vacation. His mother wants grandchildren and sees a crazy Alaskan woman as a candidate for daughter-in-law. Mike needs Violet by his side to deflect the lady’s advances.
A week in Alaska as boyfriend and girlfriend should be easy for them. They grew up together, even had a brief fling. What could go wrong?
Copyright 2012 – Jennifer Zane
When little girls play make-believe with their dolls, most pretend they’re mommies or princesses or teachers. Have little tea parties with them, play dress-up. That’s what my sister, Violet, did with hers. Me? I played plumber with mine. I dressed my little Betsy Wets-Alot up in a pair of gray coveralls stolen from a male test pilot action figure I’d found at the toy store. He’d been tossed, naked, into the back of my closet until my sister found him and used him for the groom in her pretend weddings.
Not only did I dress my self-wetting doll in menswear, I ran a straw down the pants leg to divert the faux pee away from her anatomically-incorrect little body. No potty for her. I was five and knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I, Veronica Miller, wanted to be a plumber. Just like my father.
Now, over twenty years later, I’d fulfilled my childhood dream. I was the plumber I’d longed to be, working with my dad. Soon to be working on my own. One last payment to my old man stood between his official retirement and my small business owner status.
I smiled to myself about this almost-upon-me momentous occasion while lathering my hair in the shower. I squealed when the spray of water I was standing beneath went cold and quickly rinsed out the strawberry scented shampoo.
“Stupid hot water heater,” I grumbled to myself as I yanked back the plastic shower curtain and stepped out into the steam filled room. I longed to get back to my own house as Violet’s plumbing system needed some serious work. Even in the thick humidity, goose bumps popped out all over my body as I quickly toweled off and snuggled into my ratty, yet wonderfully comfortable flannel robe.
While I leaned over and rubbed my wet hair with a bright pink towel, I heard it. The sound of a key in a lock, the front door opening. I froze in place upside-down, staring at my knees between the edges of the robe, towel tangled with my long hair. Since I was a plumber, not a law enforcement officer, I lacked the training to keep panic at bay. That hot, adrenaline-induced fear rose up inside me between one heartbeat and the next. I swear the little wet hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Help. I needed to get help, but my cell was in my purse, which I’d dropped by the front door, one room away. No house phone.
I stood up, flipped my dark hair back over my shoulder, held my breath and listened. Rustling and a little mumbling was all I could make out. Who was in the house? Sure, they must have a key since I hadn’t heard a window break, but the only other person who was supposed to have one was Violet, and she was in Utah.
I tiptoed over to the door, bit my lip and winced as I turned the knob and hoped it didn’t squeak. I slowly opened the door as I held my breath. Peeking into the bedroom, I saw nothing out of the ordinary. Barely made bed, dirty clothes tossed haphazardly at the wicker hamper. Something heavy thumped onto the floor from the vicinity of the front door and I looked in that direction as if I had x-ray vision and could see through the wall to the person in the living room.
I squeezed through the small gap I’d made in the bathroom doorway, afraid if I opened it anymore, the old hinges would give me away. Breathing as quietly as possible, which was pretty hard in panic mode, I bent down and grabbed the first thing I could get my hands on to use as a weapon. What I held didn’t register. I knew it was solid wood like a baseball bat and as good as I was going to get for protection.
Violet’s house was small, with only one floor and a scary basement I rarely visited. Living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath. That’s it. Which also meant there wasn’t anywhere to hide.
For breaking and entering, the guy wasn’t Mr. Stealth. It was the middle of the afternoon, he’d come in the front door and he was awfully noisy for someone being where they weren’t supposed to be. Even if he was the worst robber ever, that didn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous.
My palms were sweaty as I peeked around the door jamb into the living room. His back was to me and he appeared to be looking down at something he held in front of him, probably a cell phone. It appeared he was texting, or reading one. Tall, around six feet, maybe a little more, and solid. He wore jeans and dark leather shoes. His black jacket was a lighter weight than one would expect for the dead of winter in Montana in the throes of a bitter cold snap. A gray knit cap covered most of his dark hair.
I didn’t recognize him, but I wasn’t in the mood to wait for him to turn around and see me. I decided to use the element of surprise. I tiptoed over to him and whacked him on the arm with my wooden weapon. Hard.
I’d aimed for his head, but nerves and slick palms messed me up and I hit his shoulder instead. The reverberations tingled in my fingertips.
“What the fuck?” Mr. Intruder said, his voice deep, full of surprise, the cell phone dropped to the floor at his feet. He raised a hand to his upper arm.
As he started to turn to face me, I hit him again, this time on the back of the head.
It wasn’t the sound of his skull breaking, but my weapon instead. The wood broke into two, one piece clattering to the floor.
Intruder grunted, fell to his knees with a thunk, then fell face first onto the floral area rug in front of the fireplace, his face turned toward me.
I stood there motionless, stunned, holding half of my broken weapon. Huh, varsity softball had paid off. It appeared I’d hit a home run. I looked down at the prostrate form on the floor. One leg moved a little, which, combined with some groaning, indicated I hadn’t killed him. Even with his eyes closed, I instantly recognized him.
“Oh, shit,” I whispered as I knelt down next to him. The thick wool of the carpet was scratchy against my knees. Why hadn’t I known who it was before I knocked him unconscious? I should have been relieved an axe wielding mad man wasn’t trying to kill me, but I was too surprised instead.
It was Jack Reid. The guy I’d been in love with in high school who I hadn’t seen in over ten years. Ten years where I’d often fantasize about him, about what could have been. I’d often dream about the moment he’d come back into my life, but this definitely wasn’t it. Sure, when he’d gone out with Violet instead of me senior year I’d wanted to kill him, slowly and painfully for doing so, but I’d envisioned strangulation or a pummeling of some kind. Now that I’d possibly killed him, at least knocked him completely unconscious, with—I lifted my broken weapon—the Triple Smacker paddle from my box of sex toys for the toy party I was hosting tonight, I realized the anger and bitterness at his long-ago rejection hadn’t gone away.
How dare he barge into my life again, unannounced, when I wasn’t the least bit ready for him! I wanted make-up, a killer dress, some fuck-me heels on, my hair done, with a hot guy in love with me on my arm when Jack saw me again. To make him see what he’d missed out on. Then I’d crush him beneath my stiletto heel before my lover shifted my attentions elsewhere.
But a robe and tangled, wet hair? A sex toy paddle? Revenge and maybe a little payback would be nice, but a felony conviction for assault? Oh boy.
Dropping the broken paddle onto the floor, I leaned over Jack and gently probed the back of his head. No brains gushing out, no blood seeping from beneath his hat. One huge goose egg of a bump though. I winced, thinking about the headache—maybe concussion—he might have.
Man, he smelled good. Woodsy, clean, male mixed with the fruity scent of my shampoo from my hair tangled about my face. His scent was sexy in an unconscious sort of way.
“Jack, Jack wake up,” I said, gently moving his shoulder. “Jack!” He had to wake up because I couldn’t live with myselfbeing known around town as the woman who killed Jack Reid with a Triple Smacker.
After another groan and a few moans, he rolled onto his back, blinked his eyes a few times and stared at me. At first, unseeing, then with focus.
Boy, even knocked practically unconscious, he sure looked amazing. Ten years had done the man a lot of good. His face was more rugged, jaw more pronounced. It could have been the five o’clock shadow at two in the afternoon that helped with that. He had a fabulous tan. The kind you get from living in Florida. Lips I’d dreamt about kissing when I was sixteen still looked appealing now. His dark hair that peeked out of his cap had a little curl. His blue eyes, even unfocused, were just as I remembered. Longing, once forgotten, flared back to life.
He just stared at me, looking me over as if I was a space alien. I couldn’t tell if he was confused or just addle pated. “Jack, say something.”
He blinked. Smirked, but quickly winced.
Oh God, had I caused him amnesia?
He cleared his throat. “Nice breast.”
I glanced down at myself, one breast was definitely out there for Jack to see, my nipple hard. I yanked at the side of my robe that was glaringly open, my hand at my neck holding the lapels together.
“Is this how you treat all your boyfriends?” His blue eyes had cleared, weren’t quite so foggy as a minute ago. “A kiss hello would probably be better, although maybe that’s not your way.” His gaze dropped to my chest.
My mouth fell open as anger flared. “You’re not my boyfriend. You lost your chance ten years ago,” I said tartly.
Jack leered. The smile he gave me couldn’t be described as anything else. “So you flash everyone who comes through the door, or just me?” He lifted a hand and rubbed the back of his head, winced.
I felt my cheeks burn hot at the thought of my epic wardrobe malfunction. It was completely and utterly mortifying, and on top of that, he was being a complete jerk about it. “Only ones I bash on the head first.”
THE PERIMETER (Outside Series #3) by Shalini Boland
Broken Dreams (Shattered Lives, Book One)
Release Date: October 25, 2013
Elaina Cooper’s world was turned upside down on her wedding day. She was about to marry Henry Daniels, the man of her dreams or so she thought. Just as she was to walk down the aisle, screams pierced the air and with that, the apocalypse had begun.
Elaina felt something was wrong; Henry knew far too much about the undead roaming the street and she was determined to get to the bottom of it no matter what it took. Henry’s haunted past catches up to him in more ways than one. He must face his demons and Elaina must learn to accept him and his past. Henry is determined to fight to the very end to make their sexy, mercurial relationship work no matter what staggers in their path.
Along with their thrown together band of survivors, they must travel south to face Henry’s haunted past. There will be joys and loss but in the end, can love hold them together?
Anastasia’s entire family had been killed by something quite un-natural. She has her own obstacles to face; lets follow the journey to see what happens with Anastasia and The Dregg Chronicles.
Cover Reveal brought to you by:
Today we have a cover reveal of Ashley Robertson’s Crimson Flames. Please also enjoy a sneak peek at the 1st Chapter! This is the sequel to Crimson Groves.
Crimson Flames blurb
Half-vampire Abby Tate is determined to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?
Chapter One Sneak Peek
MY STOMACH CLENCHED as I sensed the vampire’s approach. He was close. So close I could feel the thrum of his power vibrating along my skin. The hairs on the back of my neck rose, and I knew if I was going to use my power for defense, then I needed to bring it forth now. I closed my eyes, forcing myself to breathe as deeply as I could—which thankfully had gotten easier with practice. I focused on the energy inside me, willing it to the surface, and as I felt it swelling, building like an approaching storm, I threw out my hand, gripped Stone’s shirtsleeve, and urged him to the floor. “Get down! He’s here!”
Stone raked me with a look that told me he was not too pleased, but then fear swept over his face when he realized just how little time we had.
The wooden door to the pub suddenly burst open—bits of wood and dust raining down from the force. Even though Stone should’ve cowered behind me—since his gift of reading blood wasn’t something he could fight with—somehow he’d found some bravery and boldly stood by my side. Though I appreciated it, I didn’t like it, and desperately wished he had listened to me. But I couldn’t think about that and call forth the fire within me at the same time. So I pushed Stone to the back of my mind with the silent promise of dealing with him later. Then I returned my attention to the power building inside me. One last deep breath and my heart shuddered to life inside my chest, making a rhythmic pattern with my faux breathing. A tingling warmth spread from head to toe, then settled on my awaiting hands. Seconds later, there was a glowing orb of fire (about the size of a basketball) cupped inside my palms. And just as the vampire appeared through the settling fog, I called out, “Not another step, Tristan, or it will be your last!”
“I think you should reconsider your threat,” Tristan shot back. “We are on the same side.”
That I sincerely doubted, but I knew killing a member of the Head Council would definitely put me on the “Most Wanted” list. Which I might already be on, since I’d helped the human this vampire was here to claim escape.
“She’s not bluffing!” Stone said through a snarl. I wanted to glare him into silence, but I refused to take my eyes off of the vampire standing in the broken doorway, wearing a black Armani-looking suit—now lightly covered with dust. It was a custom for all members of the Head Council to wear black suits, but each of them would wear shoes and an undershirt of their own choosing. I guess it was a way to express their individual personalities. Yet this one seemed to express himself through his spiked, platinum blond hair, not the basic black undershirt and matching boots—which were much more boring compared to what I’d seen a few of the other Council members wearing. But this vampire was far from boring. He was a tracker for the Council—one of the best hunters on earth. And he was after my human boyfriend.
“You know why I’m here, Abigail,” Tristan bit out. “The human was here.”
I felt my gaze narrow as I carefully took a step forward, the ball of flames growing hotter in my hands. “Yes, he was. It’s my fault he wasn’t captured.”
“That’s not exactly true,” said Stone as he moved up beside me.
I stole a few deep breaths, fighting the urge to throw my fireball at him instead of the blond vampire in the suit.
“Please explain!” Tristan ordered with impatience. But as Stone attempted a reply, he was cut off. “Not you! I want to hear this directly from Abigail!”
“Abby,” I corrected, feeling sweat forming above my brows and pooling between my breasts.
The blond vampire smirked, folding his arms in front of his chest.
“I did not restrain him because I do not believe he will be kept safe once in your hands,” I went on. “And until I can prove his innocence in all of this, I feel it’s best that he stay far away from you.”
A tinge of red formed a ring around Tristan’s irises as he scowled. “That is not your decision. He must pay for his involvement with those rogue vampires, including Bronx. He cannot get away with helping them try to destroy our stronghold.”
“I made an agreement with the other Council members,” I reminded him. “Doesn’t that count for something? Your word is nothing if your actions do not back up what you say.” My voice was getting louder, my patience thinning. And the angrier I got, the more difficult it became to control the fire in my hands.
“Yes. We have a deal,” Tristan assured. “We will not kill him or harm him—just as we told you—but that does not mean he won’t be punished some other way.”
“I don’t believe you,” I snapped.
Stone put his hand on my shoulder. “Abby, maybe you should—”
In a flash of movement, the vampire closed the distance between us and held Stone in a headlock from behind with his fangs hovering over my friend’s neck. And since it wasn’t to drink Stone’s blood, since Stone was also a vampire, then that meant it was a threat to rip out my friend’s jugular. From there it would be too easy to finish Stone by ripping off his head. And that’s when my patience snapped. There were only two ways to kill a vampire—burning to death or decapitation—and he was about to find out firsthand just how very dangerous I was. Sure, he could threaten to kill my friend, but he’d be burned alive before Stone’s head hit the ground. I placed all my focus on the orb of heat in my hand, willing it to retract to half its size while intensifying, growing hotter, then I thrust it at Tristan’s face. In a blur of motion, he ducked, throwing Stone to the floor as the fireball grazed over his head, singeing the soft tips of his hair. A snarl erupted from his throat as his fiery gaze locked onto mine. There was a brief hesitation, burnt hair and musk filling my senses, then something similar to curiosity flashed over his eyes and he was airborne, plunging straight for me. My body shuddered as heat blasted out of every pore, radiating from me like invisible steam. Throwing his arms over his face, the vampire faltered midair and fell sideways, then jumped back once he landed and retreated by the door from which he’d entered. Satisfied I’d made my point, I pulled all the heat back inside me, then rushed over to Stone and helped him up. “You okay?” I asked.
He nodded by way of an answer, then ran his hand through his coffee-colored hair—which was completely messed up now.
My eyes narrowing, I fixed my gaze on Tristan across the bar by the door. “Do that again and I’ll kill you,” I warned.
Tristan brushed some of the dust off of his pants. “Abigail, I’d rather not have to repeat that again. Hopefully I’ve made my point by now,” he said, his mouth curling into an amused grin that nearly reached his eyes. The hints of crimson were gone—for now anyway. “I would not have harmed your friend, as I’m sure Mr. Rayver here is already aware.” He glanced at my disheveled friend, a smirk still pulling at his lips; then his gaze slid back to me. “Your powers make you far greater than just any other Enforcer. You are an equal with us. We should work side by side, you making the sixth, and final member, of the Council. But you must not argue with our protocol. If rules are broken, there are, and will always be, consequences. There are no exceptions to this. Ever. The rules of our kind are ageless. It’s been that way for centuries and shall remain that way indefinitely.”
Well that was news to me. I knew the Head Council wanted my services, but I’d thought they just wanted me to be one of their many Enforcers. Enforcers were gifted vampires like me. Well, kind of. A few months ago I’d been kidnapped by an evil vampire named Bronx and turned against my will, which awakened the sorceress’s bloodline inside me, unbeknownst to me. But Bronx knew all about it, and he’d planned to use my powers to defeat the Head Council. Only I’d killed him before he got the chance. Later on, I’d learned about my real mother being an all-powerful sorceress and how she’d used her magic to impregnate her vampire lover—my father. So I never really was just another vampire. Or even an Enforcer. I was always more than that. A whole new species altogether, a hybrid, and a hot commodity among the vampire world—since there was no other like me. Yet if the Head Council really wanted my partnership, then I just gained a whole lot of leverage. Anxiety curled through my belly. “If you want me to work with you, and of course the others, then I will need you to be more flexible. Rules are always in place for guidance, but we both know they are not in stone. Especially when I believe innocence is a key component.”
“When there is proof of one’s innocence, then we have a trial,” Tristan explained. “But there is no proof of that with this human.”
I thought about that for a moment. Sure, I didn’t have “proof” per se, but I had Tyler’s word. And though he’d lied to me about his alliance with Bronx, and the fact he’d known about my father’s death all along, for some crazy reason I believed him now. “Allow me the time to find the proof you require and I will consider partnering with you.”
Tristan shot me a lasered glare. His face softened but I had absolutely no idea what his thoughts were. Mind reading wasn’t one of my gifts—yet. Since no one could predict what other gifts I’d inherit.
“How can you possibly believe this human didn’t help those rogue vampires?” he asked at last.
Keeping my eyes on Tristan’s, I shook my head. “He was involved. I’m not saying I can prove that differently. He’s innocent of knowing what Bronx’s intentions were, what those rogue vampires’ intentions were.” I paused a moment to suppress some of the heat inside me, though I didn’t completely extinguish it just in case things got hostile again. “He thought he was helping them,” I went on. “He thought they were in trouble. He didn’t realize he was working for the bad guys until…until it was too late.”
Stone snorted in disbelief, but kept his mouth shut. Smart vampire.
Tristan’s eyes widened. “How can you possibly believe that? He must have you brainwashed!”
“That isn’t possible,” I told him.
“What are you speaking of?”—confusion in Tristan’s voice. “Bronx would have claimed you with his mind control had you not killed him first.”
“No, it’s not possible to brainwash me,” I explained. “And that is how I was able to kill Bronx.” Saying that struck a pang inside my chest: I didn’t want to be a murderer any more than I wanted to be a vampire, err hybrid. “I have the ability of blocking powers.”
A wave of surprise flashed over Tristan’s face. “There is so much to learn about you, Abigail,” he said.
“So do we have a deal?” I asked, taking a couple steps toward him.
Tristan raised a brow. “How much time are you asking for?”
“As long as it takes,” I replied instantly. “I have a feeling you and the others will delay me, since we are all curious to learn more about my powers.”
Tristan closed his eyes momentarily, presumably using his telepathic powers to confer with the other members of the Council. I stole a moment to look at Stone. He was shaking his head slowly, azure eyes with hints of red wide with shock. I shrugged my shoulders warily, knowing fully that to keep Tyler safe, I’d break this deal and the neck of anyone who attacked him. Obviously Stone knew that too.
“We have a deal,” Tristan finally announced.
I smiled. Relief flushed through me as the remnant heat within finally extinguished. Moments later, my breathing slowed and my heartbeat completely stopped. Oh the joys of being a vampire hybrid. “I have one more favor to ask,” I said, a whole new confidence exuding in my voice.
Stone called out, “Abby, what are you—”
“Silence, Mr. Rayver,” Tristan stated. “I am very interested in what Abigail will ask for now.”
“I want to speak to Madelaine. Will Elliott do that for me?” My real sorceress mother, Madelaine, had died long ago, and I’d never even had the chance to meet her. My father and one of his female blood donors, all the while believing she was my mother, had raised me. And though I’d love for Elliott to connect me to my father, I simply couldn’t risk giving away the fact he was dead too. Who knew how that little piece of info would affect the deal I’d just made, or the innocence I wanted to prove for Tyler. Bronx killed my father. But it was because of Tyler’s gift of premonition that Bronx was able to find my dad in the first place. So I guess you could say Tyler did carry some of the blame. But he’d sworn that he never thought Bronx would’ve killed him. And I believed him, hopefully not foolishly. So far I was taking the news of my father’s death okay. Maybe my estranged relationship with him was helping me through the mourning process. After all, he’d left me when I was ten. Fifteen years later, I’d finally gotten a phone call from him, warning me I was in danger. I never had a chance to thank him for trying to help me…or see him again.
“Abigail,” Tristan said, bringing me out of those thoughts. “You’re going to make a great addition to our team. You’re already very good at negotiations.” He chuckled lightly. “It will be our pleasure to call upon Madelaine for you and an honor to introduce you to your real mother.” Holding out his hand, he moved closer, giving me a good view of his violet eyes speckled with the deepest of cobalt, not a trace of crimson in them, which calmed me further. “So we have a deal?”
I nodded, taking his hand inside mine. “We have a deal.” Then I asked, “When do we leave?”
His answer was one simple word: “Dusk.”
I felt my chest tighten as he said it, even though I’d somewhat expected that to be his answer. Moving to where Stone was behind me, I threw my arms around his neck and buried my face against the softness of his tee, yet I could feel the ridged lines of muscle just beneath. “I know I just got back here, but I promise we’ll have more time once this is all over. I will miss you,” I told him, my voice muffled.
He gently grabbed my shoulders and pushed me back, just enough for him to look at my face. “What in the hell are you talking about? Do you actually think you can get rid of me that easy?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, feeling confused.
“I’m coming with you.”
“No, you’re not!” Tristan shouted from behind me.
I shrugged as a plan formed in my mind. “Wait a second. I think it’s a great idea for Stone to come.”
“No,” Tristan repeated.
“Actually, sir,” Stone said, “I can be of help to both Abby and the Council. I can help look for the information Abby seeks to clear her human while she is tied up with business affairs with you. It would make her that much more available.”
I felt my eyes widen. That was actually better than my plan. “But you hate Tyler.” And he did—with a passion.
“Oh I still hate him, but I think the world of you.” Stone gently gripped my chin, caressing it between his thumb and forefinger.
A lone tear I hadn’t felt before dripped from my eye as I smiled. Stone let go to wipe it and I glanced over at Tristan. “Please allow Stone to come with us. He would be a true asset. And he is my friend. Please.”
Tristan was quiet for a short moment, face hard, eyes studying us intently. “Very well.”
“Where are we going exactly?” I asked.
“Boston,” Tristan replied. “We have a few stronghold locations, but we are operating out of Boston right now. It’s good to move around. Staying in the same place for centuries can get quite boring. And it’s not as safe.”
I nodded. I’d never been to Boston before, but I’d heard it was an interesting place. A huge part of me was looking forward to seeing it, checking out all the historic monuments, buildings, and the statue of Sam Adams, if there would be any time for sightseeing. With Stone coming, we would certainly accomplish twice as much, twice as fast. I trusted that he would work diligently on finding a way to prove Tyler’s innocence. Though Stone despised Tyler, I was certain that he cared enough about me to do as he said he would. Yet Stone wouldn’t be upset in the slightest if he was unable to find the proof we needed to clear Tyler’s name.
There was also the uncertainty over what kind of situation I’d be getting myself into with the Head Council. Learning vampire politics and more about the new species I’d become when Bronx turned me…well, that could take more time from me than I could ever imagine. Plus meeting my mother for the first time and finding out more about her set my emotions swirling with anxiety.
I closed my eyes and let out a deep, long sigh. Just take one thing at a time, Abby. One thing at a time. Quit worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. Bronx was dead. Tyler was alive and pardoned for the moment. Lily, my closest human friend and old blood donor, was okay. Stone was here with me now and would stay with me at the Head Council’s stronghold. And I’d gotten pretty good control over my amazing, awesome, and insanely strong powers. I’d say my life, afterlife, whatever, was going pretty darn well at the moment. Yet, at the time, I had no idea just how quickly everything was about to change.
Today we have T.L. Frye’s cover reveal. I have had the pleasure of reading an advance copy and the book is a magical adventure that you will want to go on again and again. It is one that you don’t want to miss if you like YA Fantasy.
The Secret of Magik and Dragons Synopsis
In a land far away, 15-yr-old (she thinks) Alex just wants to do her magic show to make enough money to see her and Gwennie through the winter. She doesn’t want any mistakes. She doesn’t care (much) about the missing king and queen or the despotic ruler, Rolando, that is making life so hard for everyone.
But she ends up the not-so-proud owner of a scraggly dragon, and sets off (reluctantly) to discover there’s a lot more she needs to learn about magik and dragons, and a boy named Orion that visits her dreams…
T.L. Frye Author Bio
T. L. Frye lives in southeastern Virginia with her husband and daughter, and two stand-in dragons (her two bullmastiffs.) After 6 years in the Navy, a Bachelor’s degree in English, and one child that couldn’t find anything she liked to read, she decided it was time to start publishing her stories.
Please check out and LIKE her facebook page for more information
PRINT RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 1, 2013
COMING SOON AFTER TO KINDLE
Cover by Rene Folsom of Phycel Designs