Six Sensational Stories from award-winning and best-selling authors that include love with a psychic, trapping a saber-tooth tiger, a mercenary and a rebel, a fae and a werewolf, an ascended vampire and the darkening, and an epic battle between a werewolf cop and the Army of Evil. Dare to take this ride of action and adventure in sci fi, fantasy and paranormal romance!
Todays excerpt is from the kick ass Vivi Anna. I’ve been a fan of this woman’s work since Vanquished (Hell Kat) was first published back in 2006.
Glimmer is the first in her Nina Decker series..so it’s check it out!
Abandoned at the age of ten, to be raised by her father, Nina Decker has never forgiven her fae mother for that or for cursing her human father with fae-sickness. When her mother reappears with startling revelations about an upcoming war with the fae, Nina puts her trust in sexy as hell werewolf Severin Saint Morgan to help her safe her father and the world.
Setting down my cup, I reached for one of the butcher knives from the wooden block. If the tiny fae were back, they would soon wish they’d picked another house to flutter over. Holding the knife, blade down, in a defensive position, I slid open the deck doors and crept outside in my bare feet. Heart pounding so hard it hurt, I moved toward the garden, searching the plants for any movement.
Every breath I took burned my lungs. Fear gripped me tight, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I wouldn’t let anything injure my father, no matter how big or how mean it turned out to be.
When I reached the edge of the garden, I scanned the area. Nothing moved. No breeze whispered. The only thing I heard were crickets chirping nearby in the grass.
I stepped into the dirt between the rows of night blooming moon flowers. Feeling the earth between my toes grounded me a little. I’d always possessed an affinity to the ground, the dirt, and the flowers and plants that grew in it. During my childhood years, I spent as much time as I could in our garden, running my fingers through the soil, touching the leaves of the plants. I didn’t realize why then, but I knew now my actions were because of my fae blood. I was connected to the earth.
As I continued through the garden, I trailed my fingers over the dark petals, feeling for anything out of place. Anything not of plant origin. When I reached the pond, I turned and looked over the path I’d just come. Nothing out here. Maybe my fatigue was playing with my mind. It wouldn’t be the first time.
As I let go the breath I’d been holding, something caused me to turn toward the pond. Normally, there were two frogs living in it. I eyed the rippling water, searching for the tops of their warty heads. I didn’t see them, but the water continued to ripple as if stirred by something beneath the surface.
While I stared into the undulating dark pond, I felt something tugging at my mind. A phantom hand pulling on a string attached to somewhere deep within my psyche. Resisting its lure, I tried to move away, but my feet wouldn’t obey. I stayed standing in that spot, watching the movement of the water.
Buzzing rang in my ears. Like static, sound hummed against my eardrums. Between the waves of nothingness, I heard whispering. The murmurs were seductive. I strained to hear more. I wanted to hear more.
Dropping the knife to the ground, I fell to my knees and leaned toward the pond. Was the whispering coming from the water? Something was trying to communicate with me. Something alien but sensual in its promise. What was it saying? I needed to know.
Panic gripped me and I leaned even closer. I could see the moon reflected in the water. Something about the light urged me closer, tempting me to touch it, promising me that I could hold it in the palm of my hand. I’d always wanted to hold the moon. Knowing it would feel cool and pleasant on my skin like caressing porcelain.
Settling my hands on the water’s edge, I leaned even further, my nose nearly touching the dark ripples. I stared at my reflection, illuminated by the pale moonbeams. My eyes glowed green like the orbs on a traffic post. It might’ve been a trick of the light, but I felt like the luminosity was coming from within. Somewhere deep inside me burned bright with emerald fire.
My pale skin seemed even paler–as white as alabaster. That too could’ve been a deception by the moon’s rays, but from the same place that sizzled green flame radiated the white glow of my skin.
Wide-eyed and ferocious, my appearance startled me. I looked like a dark warrior not of this world. The cut on my cheek added to the battle-scarred effect. The fae blood coursing through my veins showed through my human façade. There was no mistaking it. Not now, with the glow of moonlight cascading over my flesh, urging the glow from within. I looked fierce, as if I could take down a man with one blow.
I liked that. A lot.
The whispering continued and I strained to hear the beautifully haunting words. Balancing on my knees and hands, I was close to falling into the water. But I didn’t care. The promises in the murmurs were too seductive to pull away from. My whole existence resided on those words, if only I could decipher them. If only I could understand.
Then the words stopped. Dead. Like a vacuum had sucked up all the sound around me. Even the crickets stopped chirping.
Frantic, I eyed the water, searching for the source of the whispers. I wouldn’t be denied the knowledge that I knew lay within the murmured words. A cold sense of dread crept over me. As if I had lost the warmth of a sweater during an icy winter storm.
So lost in my hunt, I never saw the thing that reached for me from the pond.
There was no time to take in a deep breath before it yanked my head under the water. Frenzied, I clawed at the thing clutching me. I felt hard cold flesh under my fingers and nails. Plumes of blood floated up from the wounds I had inflicted. Something, or someone, had a hand bound in my hair pulling me down, keeping me in the water, drowning me.
As I scratched and kicked against the hold on me, I wondered how I could drown in the shallow pond. When I looked down through the water now, I sensed it went on forever. As if I had an endless ocean in my garden.
I pulled and yanked back my head, fighting desperately to get away. Even as I struggled, I could feel the air pushing out of my lungs. Pressure on my chest made my head pound and my eyes bulge painfully. I wouldn’t hold out much longer… the urge to open my mouth and gasp for air burned through me.
With a last ditch effort, I clawed my nails across the icy flesh holding me, tearing divots into it. A faint cry of agony floated up in a bubble and the grip on my hair loosened. It was enough to raise my head and gasp for breath.
As I filled my aching chest with oxygen, gulping mouthfuls of air, I saw the hand that had grasped me coming for my neck. White flesh covered long bones and angles. On the end of elongated skeletal fingers were jagged nails, black and rotting under the cuticles. Gray and mottled scales dotted the skin.
What in hell was it? Before I could come up with an answer, I was pulled under the water again.
Dagger-like claws dug into my throat as I thrashed about trying to get free. But the grip was a solid one. I wouldn’t get away so easily this time. Wrapping my hands around the bony wrist, I yanked and pulled and scratched and clawed but to no avail. Another minute more under the water and I was going to die.
I thrust my hands out of the water blindly. Scrambling against the edge of the pond, I searched for the knife I’d dropped. If I was going to live, I needed a weapon. Fingertips brushed the handle but I couldn’t get a grip. Thoughts were fading from my mind, replaced by an eerie serenity. As if I was already dead and my soul was quietly slipping from my body. But I wasn’t ready to die. I had too much to live for. Too much to do still. I couldn’t slough off this mortal coil. It was too soon.
Hands reaching, I touched something metal. I wrapped my fingers around the handle and brought it down into the water. Without thought, I slashed at the arm holding me. Then I saw what I had in my hand–a small hand rake with three sharp prongs. The weapon had to be enough.
I slashed again and again, unsure if I met my mark every time, or at any time. Soon my vision was obscured by blood mucking the water. Like I was looking through crimson-colored glasses.
A high-pitched shriek pierced the muffled garbling of the water. As I felt the pressure at my neck loosen, I saw the fury-filled face float down into the black depths. The face of something non-human and alien, like from a fairytale. But not those told by Walt Disney, no these stories were from a more sinister venue where a happily ever after wasn’t on the menu— children were.
Lifting my head, I pushed up as hard as I could and rolled onto my back at the pond’s edge. Lungs burning like acid, I gasped for air, greedily taking in as much as I could stand. When I could think straight, I scrambled further from the water and rolled onto my knees, nearly retching from the pain that ripped through my chest. Reaching for the knife, I grasped it tight and pushed to a stand.
Blade poised, with my hair stuck to my forehead and water dripping into my eyes, I stood over the pond and waited to see if my assailant would follow me out of the water. After a few minutes, I realized nothing would come bursting out to attack me again. The thing was gone. For now, at least, it had failed its mission.
The water rippled again, and I raised the knife to strike. A green warty head broke the surface. The frog jumped out of the pond and landed near my bare foot, now caked in mud. Bulgy eyes blinked up at me expectantly.
I glared down at the fae ambassador and fumed with rage. I wanted to lift my foot and press it down onto the green mass, hoping to split open its skin and mash its insides until it twitched no more. Instead, I pointed the tip of the blade at the slimy frog.
“I will not be an easy target. Tell them I will kill any they send to harm me or my father.”
It croaked once as if in answer, then hopped back into the pond, disappearing beneath the dark water. I hoped after it delivered my message, it would drown in the return trip to this realm. From this point on, I had a real hate-on for frogs.
As I continued to stare down into the pond, I pondered how the portal worked. Because obviously that was what the water hole was–a gate between this realm and Nightfall. That was how the pixies arrived, and maybe this was the spot where my mother had disappeared all those years ago. The pond was a door. A way to travel back and forth. And it needed to be blocked forever.
Tucking the knife into the belt of my pants, I marched toward the tool shed. I opened the door, grabbed the long handled spade, and hauled it back to the garden. Unconcerned about the vegetable plants and flowers, I stuck the blade of the shovel into the ground and scooped as much dirt as I could lift. Without pause, I tossed it into the pond.
Two hours later, back aching and muscles quivering, I had filled in the pond. A sense of smug accomplishment filled me as I surveyed my handiwork. Although the rest of the garden was ruined, with the tomato plants in shambles and most of flowers ripped from their soil beds, I had closed the portal. No one from Nightfall could bother us again. Not unless they found another way in.
Too exhausted and sore to do anything but crawl up the stairs to my bed, I decided to think on that later. Right now, I just wanted to sleep. Despite the fact my hair was still damp and my shirt still clung to my body, muddy with bits of grass and plant stuck on, I knew I’d fall asleep the second my head hit the pillow.
I let the shovel fall from my hand and I shuffled, head down, eyes drooping into the house. Once I climbed the stairs, I pushed open the door to my room and ambled to the bed. But before I collapsed on top of the comforter, I had the presence of mind to slip the knife from my belt and slide it under my pillow. The fact I was dead to the world didn’t mean I had any intention of staying that way permanently.
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Vivi Anna Author Bio:
Vivi Anna is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling and award winning, Canadian author in paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and scifi. She’s been writing since 2002, and since then she’s published over 40 books and novellas. You can visit her at http://www.vivianna.net.
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If you want a chance to win your choice of book from my Backlist (Includes print books if available! Print books will only be shipped to North America) or a $10 GC from either All Romance eBooks or Amazon, then simply say something in any of the posts this week. Ask the author a question, leave a comment, on their story, or simply say hi? You can have up to 6 entries. One for each day, if you comment every day.
I’ll be running this all week, and the winner will be announced her eon Sunday, December 6th. You’ll have 48 hours to claim your prize or I’ll pick another winner.
PSSST: Don’t forget there will be a new excerpt every day this week. so come back often!!