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Golden Shears – Bonus Chapter

I had one surprise twist saved for the end of book 2, but after much deliberation, I’ve decided it belongs at the front of book 3 instead. I’m adding it here, so you can read it now – the rest of the story continues in book 3 of the series… The Emerald Tablet.

17

I could feel the broken bones in my arm scrape together under my skin, like wooden blocks covered in sandpaper. Puriel lifted me up from the pile of rubble that used to be my childhood home and carried me to the black sports car. It was so quiet, I thought my ears must have been damaged, but then I could hear Puriel’s voice. He was asking me something, something about how to drive the car. I shrugged and rolled my head. I’d been in JDRI since I was nine, and driving lessons were never on the curriculum. I looked around for Sitri, why wasn’t he driving? Then I saw him, or at least the dark furry shape he’d become. The impossibly large, wolf-like creature. He was waiting for us in the middle of the road. Howling at us. Puriel finally figured out the mechanics and the car screeched out of the suburban coldesac. I could hear sirens getting louder, and we passed several police cars and an ambulance. I blinked against the harsh flashing lights. Puriel kept checking the skies. I looked up as well, expecting a helicopter, but instead I saw a flash of wings and a glimmer of silver shapes, illuminated by the early light. The sun hadn’t risen yet, so I only saw silhouettes against the dark sky, but I knew what they were. Hunters. Dozens of them.

“Why aren’t they attacking us?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Puriel said. “But Zeus isn’t going to want us to reach Nevah. Not with the shears.

The Golden Shears. 

I looked down, and sure enough, my pale fingers were still clenched around the golden metal, almost like they’d melded with my fist. My arm looked like a spiked hammer. The shears radiated power, and I could feel a pulsing. A throbbing through my whole body. I didn’t know if it was my own heartbeat, or the shears.

My hands felt sticky, and I realized they were covered with bright blue goo, that shimmered when I moved them. Pure divinity. Zeus’s blood. I shuddered, resisting the urge to wipe it against my clothes.

“Do we have a towel or something?” I asked.

Puriel looked physically pained, and his eyes were coal black, with unusually wide pupils. He stared at my hands with more than just concern. It was hunger. This much energy, right here, it was taking all his strength to restrain himself.

“You… want this?” I asked.

Hunger took over his face, and for a moment I worried he was going to lose control and bite my hand off. Instead he reached for my hand and held it up to his mouth. He gently kissed my fingertips, and I felt his tongue flick over my skin. It should have been erotic, but it wasn’t. I knew this disgusted him as much as it disgusted me. But after what we’d been through, he needed strength. It must have taken a tremendous amount of willpower to resist Zeus, and Puriel had refused him. He’d given me the shears, and I’d stabbed Zeus in the thigh. Nobody could question his loyalty now. He’d had his shot at redemption, and he’d chosen us.

Tall fir trees tore past us. I looked behind us and saw Sitri keeping up, running impossibly fast. We were going nearly over 100 miles per hour. Puriel was hugging the curves tightly, his white knuckles gripping the wheel with singular focus. I couldn’t believe he’d never driven before.

The Olympic forest expanded before us, inviting us in—a hundred miles of virgin territory, as far as anyone else knew anyway. But up ahead, I could see the a small road that cut through the forest to Nevah; Able’s private sanctuary for heirs, roots and magical creatures.

But something looked different this time. Something was blocking the road, some kind of wall. Puriel slammed on the brakes when we got close enough to see clearly. The wall was actually a tight lattice of hunters, their golden armor glistening, swords glowing with divine power. There were at least thirty, and streaks of light overhead told me more were arriving every second. They spread their wings in uniform, and it was like drawing the drapes closed. Puriel slammed on the brakes and the car screeched to a stop. I heard a growl as Sitri launched himself into the wall of hunters, barreling through the middle. He tossed one hunter up in the air with a flick of his jaw, and pinned another to the ground, tearing at its neck with bloody jowls.

“Stay here!” Puriel shouted. He tore the door off and held it with one hand like a shield, then he grabbed his sword and darted towards the fray. His sword didn’t glow like the hunters, who were connected with Zeus’s energy, but after feeding straight from the source, he was much stronger. He cleaved hunters in half with raw strength, slicing through their metal armor. He cut through them like a lawnmower, tossing up bits and pieces.

Someone’s head bounced off the windshield. I hit the wipers, and watched them spread the glowing, silver blood across the glass. A tiny stream of soap shot out, and the wipers worked furiously until I could see again.

I gripped the door weakly and tried to push it open with my shoulder, but pain radiated down my arm. Hunters materialized by the door. One of them ripped the side door off and tossed it aside. He grabbed me by my clothes and threw me to the ground outside. I didn’t think they’d kill me. I was far too valuable, and too dangerous. Unless, now that I had the shears, Zeus didn’t want to take the risk.

The shears. I rolled to my knees and held them up, feeling their power. Zeus was afraid of me. I’d hurt him. The look of surprise on his face filled me with courage. I took a deep breath, and focused on the slender threads of the hunter’s lifespans. They shone like siler glowsticks in the early light. But when I tried to reach for them, a numbing, icy pain shot through my elbow. With my arm broken, I couldn’t lift my hand high enough, which meant I couldn’t grip the threads and also cut them with the shears, not with one hand anyway. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t do any damage. I tucked the shears into my pocket, then lashed out and flicked the thread with my bare fingertips, and watched the nearest hunter crumple and writhe on the ground. The other two froze and exchanged a look. I got to my feet and dusted off my jeans, then looked up at them with a smirk. I curled my fingers like talons, just before one of them swung a fist at me. I ducked and hooked his thread, winding it around my finger before pulling sharply. He dropped like a stone. Two others grabbed my arms and held them in a vice-like grip. A third grabbed the shears, attempting to rip them out of my pocket. An arrow appeared in his neck, and he slumped to the side. I looked up to see Mist flying towards us, loosing arrows nimbly. Dion and Tori were right behind her. Dion charged through the hunters like a bull, skewering them with his double scimitars.

The hunters kept coming, like flies to meat, swarming around us. But then the sky darkened. Able and Stephanie, holding hands, descended in dark splendor, with some kind of dark lattice of energy between them. They sucked out the light, causing temporary blindness, except for the small portal under their arms.

We passed through, with Stephanie chanting, and the gateway closed behind us. The sealed passage swallowed up the sounds of battle. We’d made it back to Nevah safely. My knees buckled and my face hit the dirt, for the third time this morning.

 

 

I’m going to be adding a final bonus chapter here soon – sorry it isn’t ready yet! If you want to sign up to my list, I’ll let you know when you can get it!

Don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway too!

 

 

Thanks for your patience! If you have a minute, please post a review on the book on Amazon.

 

Taste – free short story (vampire dystopia)

A couple years ago I started plotting a vampire dystopian fantasy… kind of Hunger Games meets Van Helsing. This is the cover…

I put the first few chapters of Taste in the YA anthology I helped publish last year, That Moment When (it’s free, go download it!). But now I’m trying to finish the whole story. Hopefully it’ll be epic and you’ll love it… I’ve actually agreed to join a boxset of fantasy/scifi books called Dominion Rising, and I THINK the full novel will be exclusive to that boxset for the first three months, until I publish it on its own. There’s a chance I’ll include another project, I need to get busy writing to see what I can finish this spring.

I’m really excited about writing vampire book, but I think I may need to brand better… even though Taste is actually a dystopian/post apoc setting and the “elites” are not true, supernatural vampires (they have a scientific basis), I’d also like to have a more traditional urban fantasy/supernatural thriller with vampires, werewolves, fae, dragons and magic… something more stereotypically vampire.

I’m working on a plot for that too, and believe I’m going to call it Vampire Magic. Today I was playing around with some art. I’m not quite sure if I’ll use the above cover for Taste, or rebrand it with a better title and some fancy art like those below… or if I’ll save the art below for the new series I want to start.

I’ll probably ask for some cover feedback once I have the story finished and send out ARCs to see which cover you thinks fits the story (though, that doesn’t actually matter as much as which covers make you want to read the story).

Some of this art was made by the amazing Consuelo Parra.

 

Anyway, go download That Moment When (it’s free) – and let me know if you like the first few chapters of Taste… and if you want to read more, check out Dominion Rising (20+ full-length novels for 99cents).

 

Dark Legends – 21 Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Books for 99cents (Boxset)

I’m so excited to be part of this urban fantasy boxset – I’ve added my book Scarlet Thread, which just got a new cover. I’ve put this page together to show off the other books you can get in the Dark Legends boxset.

>>Preorder Dark Legends<< and get 20 full-length paranormal and urban fantasy novels for 99¢.

20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romances

This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

From International Bestselling author, T.F. Walsh, Demon’s MarkAs a half-demon, Cary has survived a lot… but this love thing might be her undoing.

From author Monica Corwin, On a Red Horse – Scarlet needs a new job but Horseman of the Apocalypse doesn’t look good on a resume.

From Award-Winning and International Bestselling author J.L. Weil, White Raven – Dreadful Lies. Unexpected love. Impossible truth.

From NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling author Laxmi Hariharan, RedemptionWill fated mates be destroyed by their differences?

From Award-Winning and International Bestselling author J.A. Culican, The Keeper of The Dragons – On his 18th birthday, Cole learns that he is a dragon fated to save all that was deemed true.

From Award-Winning and International Bestselling author, Muffy Wilson, The Para-Portage of Emily – What flames the timeless passions spanning the decades? Love, desire or obsession?

From International Bestselling author G.K. Derosa, Wilder – Two mysterious, gorgeous brothers. One typical high school girl. A key that unlocks a family secret.

From Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling author Marilyn Peake, ShadeGirl on a hero’s journey, going from smart-ass to badass.

From author,  Kevin McLaughlin, By Darkness RevealedThere is more to Ryan than meets the eye. But even with the powers he controls, can he stand against this darkness, or will it swallow him whole?

From Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling author, Carissa Ann Lynch, Midnight MossIt’s not the key to her new house… it’s the key to a secret world. One that is more twisted and bizarre than Dorothea ever could have dreamed of.

From Award-Winning and International Bestselling author, Vivienne Savage, Making Waves – Curvy beach babe Alessa Kokinos scored the perfect life at the Yucatán’s hottest island resort. The only thing that could make her happier would be if Dante finally realized how much he means to her.

From author, Anna Hub, Beyond the Shadows – What if your shadow was the gateway to a sinister new world?

From Amazon Bestselling author HJ Lawson, New Order – They were born to fight. Created to win. But the question remains… Who’s the real enemy?

From International Bestselling author Emma Nichols, Blood MoonHiking Yellowstone couldn’t be farther away from her comfort zone. Returning to Yellowstone could help him fulfill his destiny.

From author Shelley Munro, Claimed and SeducedA war is brewing, one that brands Jarlath and Keira enemies, yet their hearts shout otherwise and their animal selves—the leopard and the crow—care nothing for conventional barriers.

From author, JA Armitage, Two of Clubs – Fifty-two weeks, four royal families, one war.

From Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling author, Leilani Love, Violca’s DragonA story about five witch sisters and the dragons and shifters who would do anything to protect them.

From Award-Winning and International Bestselling author, Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift – Mermaids don’t fall in love with humans. For centuries it has been so.

From Amazon Bestselling author, J.T. Williams, Winemaker of the North – Darkness falls upon The North and magic is failing. Fate will force Sviska into a terrible choice.

From Award-Winning and International Bestselling author, Xyla Turner, Broken Treaty  – Jessica finds herself in the middle of an old war between vampires and hunters. Too many company secrets.

From PhD in Literature and author, D.S. Murphy , The Scarlet Thread – My name is Kaidance Monroe, and sometimes when I touch people, I see how they die.

urban fantasy & paranormal romance 99cent kindle books - boxset