Monday, December 14, 2015

The Queen of Traitors Cover Reveal

On January 15, 2016, The Queen of Traitors (The Fallen World #2) will hit shelves, and today I get to share the cover with you all! Eek! I might love this one even more than the last! I am so excited to share the second book in the trilogy! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, you can check out The Queen of All that Dies, the first book in this NA post-apocalyptic series, here.

Additionally, the final installment of the trilogy will hit shelves in April, so no long wait for the final book in the series!




The Queen of Traitors
January 15, 2016

They say I am a queen.
They say I married a monster. That I did so willingly.
They say he cannot die, that he does not age. That together, we rule a ravaged world.
They say I used to be one of them, but now I am a traitor. 
They say many things, all which I cannot remember, but … 

I fear what they say is true.

Then there is what they don’t say, what I see in their eyes—
The king terrifies them. He cannot be stopped. And, most worrisome of all …

He is coming for me.



Laura Thalassa's Street Team
I'm very excited to welcome any and all interested readers to my street team! If you like free, signed copies of my print books, swag, and Amazon gift cards (let's be real--that last one's a no brainer) and you'd like to take a more active role in promoting my books, this is for you! If you want to know more about my street team and what goes into it, you can read more here! If you already know you want to join, then:
 

Quiz Time: Tell Me What You Like in a Book
I have about a million different book ideas saved onto my computer, and I'm excited to start each of them. It totally helps me to know what you look for in my novels so that I can prioritize those stories. Take a quick quiz (7 questions and it's multiple choice!) to let me know your thoughts!






Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Queen of Traitors, Teaser #3

Teaser time! I'm working on the cover of The Queen of Traitors (The Fallen World #2) at the moment, and I'm hoping I can share that with you in another few weeks! For now, here's another teaser from The Queen of Traitors!

The Queen of Traitors, Teaser #3
Serenity leaves me a trail of expensive breadcrumbs to follow. A satin shoe here, a diamond bracelet there. I follow them to the edge of the palace grounds. She’s several feet away from the wrought iron fence, and she’s staring up at it like she’s considering the best way to scale it.
“And here I was hoping that you might consider shedding your dress along with the jewelry.”
She doesn’t flinch at my voice, nor does she turn around. “How do you live with yourself?”
For one instant I fear that if I ever let her go, she’d disappear into the land, never to return. God, she’d want that. And I probably just caught her as she was tasting the possibility on her tongue.
I’ve been vacillating between anger and arousal since she stormed out of the palace. I settle on anger.
“You make a fool out of me and now you insult me?”
Finally she turns. Her wild eyes search mine, and it doesn’t matter that she’s broken in all the right places and whole in all the wrong ones. Or that out here with her bare feet and windblown hair, I catch a hint of the woman she should’ve been. That soul of hers, tempered by the hottest of forges, has been and will always be mine.
And it is probably the evilest thought I’ve ever had, but I’d ruin the world all over again just to be brought back to this very moment.
“You set yourself up for failure the second you decided to pursue me,” she says. “I’m never going to be one of them.” She gestures to the palace.
“No, you’re not.” And I’m glad for it.
“Then why bother making me try?”
“Serenity,” I chastise. “I’d think you more than anyone would know the answer to that.”
Her dress flaps in the breeze as she waits for me to explain myself.
“Ruling,” I say, “isn’t always about getting to be who you want to be. It’s about sacrifices.”
“And what sacrifices have you made? Bombing innocents? Taking a hostage wife?”
Usually I like the chase, but not like this, not when she’s deriding me while eyeing my perimeter walls like she’s considering escape.
“I am still your king, and you will not speak to me that way.” My voice resonates in the evening air.
“Then kill me already, or let me go.” She has the audacity to look exasperated.
Don’t yell at her.
Don’t threaten her.
Don’t rip off her dress and fuck her.
I should just walk away. I have before when I wanted to shake her. She doesn’t realize she’s the not only one being tormented here. Instead I take her hand.
She tries to jerk away, but when I don’t release her, she relaxes.
She steps in closer, and I only realize what she’s about to do the moment before her fist slams into my face. Those scarred knuckles of hers that I admired only days ago now smash into my skin and teeth.
I stumble back at the impact, and she uses the distraction throw me against the fence. Her hand goes to my neck.
“I am not something you can control, Montes,” she says, and the way the shadows play on her face make her appear downright sinister. “I’ll do many things for you—”
I raise an eyebrow, though I doubt she can see it out here.
“—but don’t try to make me become one of you.”
Had I thought I was angry or aroused before? It doesn’t hold a candle to the way my blood now heats at her presumptions. She thinks she has me in more ways than one.
I swipe her feet out from under her. I may not have the combat experience she does, but I’ve had plenty of military training. A moment later, it’s me that has her pinned. My legs straddle her torso, and I capture her hands in one of my own, pulling them high over her head.
She glares at me as I press my other hand gently to her throat, noticing the way her hair spills across the lawn. For a woman who has little time for appearances, she takes awfully good care of those golden locks.
“My queen,” I say, “you’re seriously misguided if you think you have any agency outside of what I give you. I will allow you some measure of control over our empire, and in return you will attend every dinner party I host. I’ll chain you to my side if I have to.”
She’s moving beneath me, trying to pry my hold from her. It’s only serving to display every pleasing angle of hers.
“Now,” I say, “about those many things you’ll do for me …”
“Give me a knife and I’ll show you.”
I let out a husky laugh and move one of my legs to the inside of her thighs. “Still uncomfortable with sex, I see. I’m taking that as a challenge.”
I remove my hand from her throat to grasp her freed leg. Her skirts pool around her waist. She looks indecent, and on Serenity, indecent is a good look.
She’s no longer trying to free herself from my grip, and her chest’s rising and falling faster and faster. From what I can make out of her expression, I’m thinking she has no idea what to make of intimacy in all its forms.
A spark of protectiveness flares in me. Despite everything this world’s thrown at her, Serenity still maintains a shred of innocence when it comes to things between a man and a woman. That’s going to disappear eventually—marriage will force her hand—but I’m not too keen on rushing her in this.
I’m a wicked man. I’ve never made bones about that. So I don’t readily recognize myself when get off of Serenity and extend a hand towards her. I’m not sure I like this side of me, either.
Slowly she sits up. I can feel her gaze on me. We’ve been here before. She doesn’t take my hand, but she does stand.
She turns her head to the blazing lights of the palace. “We should probably go back.”
I stick my hands in my pockets and study her. This is her peace offering. She’ll go back inside what she sees as a beacon of depravity.
“Alright,” I say.
And together we return to the castle.

***

Enjoyed what you read? Click here to add The Queen of Traitors on Goodreads! For an announcement on release day, consider joining my mailing list (top right hand corner).

Hugs and happy reading!
Laura

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fan X: A Group Newsletter

Some of you might've noticed that one of my tabs is labeled "Fan X". What is this? Today I wanted to talk about it.

Fan X is a collabrative newsletter. In English: a bunch of us authors got together and decided we wanted to send out emails with all of our new releases. The five authors include myself, Scarlett Dawn, Amber Lynn Natusch, Stacey Marie Brown, and Ashley Stoyanoff.

How Does it Work?
We will be sending out a single, monthly newsletter (separate from our personal newsletters) announcing our new releases that month (provided we have a release). I think it's important to clarify that you won't get spammed. It's twelve emails over the course of a year, and it's meant to allow you to keep up with multiple authors and discover new books as they come out.

Why it's Worth Signing Up
The most obvious reason is because these women write some bada$$ stories! If you're a fan of YA and NA paranormal, all of them are worth checking out! Even if you're not a fan of paranormal, I think most if not all of us write outside the genre as well!

OMG, there are dozens turkeys walking across my front yard! They have no idea what holiday is fast approaching ... Okay, sorry, getting back on track. So, Fan X. Doooooo it. You know you want to.

Check it out: http://eepurl.com/bBFVlX

Happy reading,
Laura

P.S. Updates on The Queen of Traitors and the cover reveal are coming soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Damned (The Unearthly #5) is Out Now!

The title says it all! The Damned is now LIVE! You can grab it here, or you can hear a little more about it in my video below and then grab it!




Hugs and happy reading!
Laura

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Damned (The Unearthly #5) Playlist

Hi readers!

So, I usually post playlists after I release the book, but for those of you getting excited for the release of The Damned, the final book in The Unearthly series, I thought I'd share the music that inspired me while writing it. I'll post later this week about The Damned, so keep a lookout for another blog post. Until then, enjoy the music!

Hugs and happy reading,
Laura

   

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Queen of Traitors, Teaser #2

This is a flyby post! The Queen of Traitors comes out January 15, but here's another teaser to hold you over until then!

The Queen of Traitors, Teaser #2
I pull the gun from the small of my back. The other I’d left behind in my delirium.
Heavy boots jog up the stairs. Despair sets in.
Sick, injured, but not free. Never free.
I back up as the king’s men pour out of the stairwell. There’s at least a dozen of them and they’re covered from head to toe in gear. Their guns are bared, but almost immediately their barrels swivel around the room, looking for threats other than the one in front of them.
One of men parts through the group and removes his helmet. I have to lock my knees to keep from falling.
The king.
My tormentor and my husband.
I don’t remember him, and yet a part of me aches with such ferocity that I know he’s imprinted in my bones. Or maybe it’s just the look in his eyes. It’s the first time I’ve seen compassion, and it railroads me.
There’s also a good dose of horror in those eyes of his. They track each of my features. He can see my sickness and my wounds.
With a shaky hand, I point the gun at that face. I don’t want to feel this way—like I belong to someone. I’d rather die free than live a prisoner shuffled between two enemies.
Behind him, his men turn their weapons on me. The king holds up a hand and signals to his men to hold their fire.
“Put the gun down, Serenity.”
I don’t. I don’t react at all. I’m incapable of reacting, frozen between my heart and my head.
He should die.
He must live.
He needs to pay.
I want him close.
“Put it down.” I think he has an idea where my mind is because he’s coaxing. “You’re not going to shoot me.”
I cock the gun.
His body tenses at the sound, but he’s still edging forward. “You can’t kill me. You know this. My men will take you out if you don’t put the gun down and come with me.”
“I can’t.” I don’t know anything else besides this—fighting lost causes. I was always meant to go down with the ship, not to survive it.
“You can. My queen, you already have once before.”
I have? I waver, searching for a memory that isn’t there.
My aim droops. A wave of dizziness passes over me and I stumble.
“Serenity?” Is it my imagination, or does the monster in front of me sound frightened?
I try to focus on the king, but my vision’s clouding again. I fight to stay in the moment, but my body is finally, finally giving out.

***

Enjoyed that? Make sure to add The Queen of Traitors on Goodreads! Sign up for my newsletter here to get an update when The Queen of Traitors hits shelves!

Happy reading!
Laura

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Damned Teaser #2

So I promised eons ago that I'd have more teasers up for The Damned (The Unearthly #5). This is the final book in The Unearthly series, and it hits shelves on November 15. I'll be putting one more teaser up here before The Damned's release, so make sure to keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks! Without further ado, here's the second teaser:

The Damned, Teaser #2
As the devil led me through the castle, he gestured to some of the doors we passed. “Torture chamber. Torture chamber. Conference room. Torture chamber.”

“I’m noticing a theme here,” I said.

He smirked but said nothing. His shoes clicked against the stone floor. I’d come to hate the sound of them.

The walls here, also made out of the same dark stone as the rest of the castle were carved with faces of gargoyles and demons, and if I stared long enough, I could swear those faces moved.

We halted when we came to an elaborately carved door. Hades pushed it open and stepped aside so I could enter.

The room was hexagonal, just like the one I woke up in, and, like the rest of the palace I’d seen so far, it was decked out in black. On the far side of the room, the walls opened up to an opulent balcony. And in the center of the room was a canopy bed. Gauzy swaths of semi-transparent material hung from each post.

“Another torture chamber?” I asked.

He stepped in close behind me, his lips a breath away from me. “Not quite. This is one of our bedrooms.”

My stomach dropped at his words while my connection … my connection flared to life.

“What’ve you done?” I whispered.

He came around to face me. As he did so, our connection throbbed. The devil’s—shit, Hades—and mine. “Many things, little bird. Elucidate me on which you’re accusing me of.”

I edged away from him and clutched my heart, which thumped beneath my hand. I had no time to marvel over the fact that I once again had a heartbeat. “Why do I feel you here?” I asked.

He took another step forward. “You were made for me.”

Not an answer.

“But, Andre—”

“Do not speak the vampire’s name to me,” the devil hissed.

How could this happen? Making a deal with the devil, coming to hell, that was one thing. But to be bonded to this man, to have a part of me joined with him …

Sickness rose within me. My body had betrayed me in the most fundamental way.

“Come, my queen.”

“No.”

He took my hand without asking and our surroundings disappeared, only to be replaced with those of a grand dining room.

Hades led me to an intricately wrought chair. I sat, thinking he would take his own seat, but instead he knelt in front of me.

“I will take care of you and cherish you the same way I do my power,” he said.

I searched his eyes. They were beautiful, just like the rest of his features. Beautiful, foreign and frightening.

“Why?” I asked. The devil wasn’t supposed to have a caring side. He was sadness and despair and loneliness and anger and violence and—

He sighed. “I can burn away a soul but apparently not your human misconceptions. You think I’m incapable of anything but hate and pain.”

You are.

“I am everything and nothing,” he continued. “Cultures have never agreed on a definition of me because I exceed language and logic. But, know this, Gabrielle: I am not the devil. Not with you.”

“Then what are you?”

“Your soulmate.”

***

Click here to add The Damned (The Unearthly #5) on Goodreads!

Hugs and happy reading!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reaping Angels Is Now Out!

Hi all!

Reaping Angels is now live, and you can find it here! I hope you enjoy X and Angel's story. It's the first time I've ever written a superhero story, and if you asked me two years ago if I'd ever write a story like this, I would've said, "Pssh, no way!" And here we are. Never say never, I guess!

So the nitty gritty: Angel's a superhero whose touch can heal. The Executioner--or X, for short--is a supervillain who kills with his touch. Their paths cross, he touches her, she doesn't die, he becomes a stage five clinger, and the rest you'll have to read! :) Here's the official blurb:


There are few things superhero Angel wants in life. World peace. Unlimited chocolate banana milkshakes. Spandex outfits with pockets. What she doesn’t want is the attention of the Executioner, a supervillain who kills with his touch. 

But the moment she survives a caress—and a kiss—at the mercy of his lethal skin, Angel realizes her problems just got a whole lot bigger. Because the only thing worse than a supervillain who wants to kill you is one who wants to keep you.


I had a blast writing this, and originally it was part of an anthology whose proceeds benefited the Wounded Warriors Project (so if you bought the anthology and read my story there, please save yourself the money of repurchasing it--the stories are the same). This is also a standalone--my first!--so I won't be leaving you hanging for months waiting on a sequel.

In other news, tomorrow marks the one month countdown until The Damned (The Unearthly #5) hits shelves! Keep your eyes open for teasers. (I have two coming your way in the next couple weeks!)

Hugs and happy reading!
Laura

Friday, October 2, 2015

All You Need to Know About My Upcoming Books: 2016 Schedule

So this is a pretty big post. Two nights ago I finished a marathon editing spree for The Damned (The Unearthly #5), and I was getting giddy about sharing it with you. I'd given myself until the end of September to finish it, and at 11 p.m. two nights ago ... I finally, finally accomplished my goal (by the skin of my teeth!). I can't wait to share more teasers with you, and in my upcoming posts, I'll expand on discussing The Unearthly series with you.

Now that I can actually think about something other than Andre, Gabrielle and the gang, I realized I had some major book news I needed to share with you all. For those of you who want info on certain upcoming novels, I've sectioned these off by series.

2016 Schedule

The Fallen World Series
The Queen of Traitors will hit shelves January 15, 2016. My super big news? I've decided to expand this series into a trilogy! Originally I'd planned on a duology, but to make a short story long, The Queen of All that Dies was originally intended to be a prequel to another book idea that had sunk its talons in me. TQOATD (terrible acronym!) was essentially this backstory that got so out of hand I decided to make a book out of it. The trouble was, this prequel got off track--the characters staged a coup, and the novel didn't end up anywhere near where I'd wanted it to.

Because of this, I'd decided to make a separate sequel to The Queen of All that Dies (what you all know as The Queen of Traitors), but when I began outlining this sequel, the novel kept leading back to my original idea. So all of this explanation is essentially to tell you that my original idea will be book three in The Fallen World series. I have a name picked out for it, and I'll share it with you at the end of The Queen of Traitors!

Want to know the extra good news? I'm planning to write book three on the heels of The Queen of Traitors, and I'm setting a tentative release date for April 15, 2016. This date could change. But I couldn't bear putting you all through another year-long wait!

In another month or so I'll be releasing the cover of The Queen of Traitors, along with another teaser, so keep your eyes open for this!

Rhapsodic
For those of you siren and fairy lovers out there, Rhapsodic is my next adult paranormal romance novel that will feature both of these creatures! I've tentatively scheduled this release for July 15, 2016! I can't wait to share Callie and The Bargainer's story with you!


Surprise Book
October/November 2016
Um, this is sort of a placeholder for literally over a dozen different book ideas that are bouncing around my head. If you have any preference--young adult, new adult, paranormal, sci-fi, etc.--that you'd like to see from me, let me know! I can't say that you'll get what you asked for, but I always welcome feedback from my readers since I often have no clue what you all are excited for until you hit me upside the head with it! :) This also might be when I publish sequels to my ongoing series.

The Curse Catcher
At some point in 2016 I, along with dozens of other authors, am publishing a novella as a part of The Complex series. I'm not sure how much I can say on this subject but I will tell you a little bit about my story. Like Reaping Angels, while this is a novella, it'll still be about two-thirds to three-fourths the length of my regular novels, meaning that you shouldn't get through it in an hour, (unless you're Speedy Gonzales when it comes to reading) and you can still expect a long-ish story with a full plot. Ugh, I so badly want to tell you what this story is about because I'm ridiculously excited about it, but I'll hold off until the group's ready to make a big announcement. The title might also change. However, I've added a tentative page for The Curse Catcher up on Goodreads, and you can add it to your "To-Read" list here. Here's a quick teaser description I wrote up for it:

An ancient beast’s cravings have awoken, and now they must be fed.

Locked away in a prison meant to hold an immortal, a creature’s inhuman screams pierce the air. Something batters the walls of its cage, denting them from the inside out.

A sacrifice is chosen to slake the creature’s enduring hunger. She knows the rules. Death to all that pass into the beast’s lair. Only, she’s not planning on dying.

And the beast’s not planning on letting her go.

**This is not a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.**


Alrighty, I think that's all the info I have for now. I know I didn't mention anything about The Disappearing Act (The Vanishing Girl #3). That's because based on my contract with Skyscape, Amazon's young adult publishing house, I have to wait a certain number of months before I publish the novel. I'm angling to get the third and final novel in the series published either at the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, but I can't give any set dates since the release is so far out.

Hugs and happy reading!
Laura

Monday, September 21, 2015

Reaping Angels Cover Reveal

I hope you are all enjoying the first stirrings of fall (my favorite season!). I have some releases headed your way--The Damned (The Unearthly #5) on November 15, and The Queen of Traitors (The Fallen World #2) on January 15, 2016. Before all that, however, I'm releasing my NA superhero novella, Reaping Angels, on October 15! If you're a sucker for enemies-to-lovers (like I am!) then this is right up your ally!


Can we take a moment to fawn over the cover? Dan Rix, in addition to being an incredible writer and a wonderful husband, is also a ridiculously talented cover artist, and I'm blown away by this latest cover!

Reaping Angels Description

There are few things superhero Angel wants in life. World peace. Unlimited chocolate banana milkshakes. Spandex outfits with pockets. What she doesn’t want is the attention of the Executioner, a supervillain who kills with his touch.

But the moment she survives a caress—and a kiss—at the mercy of his lethal skin, Angel realizes her problems just got a whole lot bigger. Because the only thing worse than a supervillain who wants to kill you is one who wants to keep you.


Teaser

He watched me, mesmerized by my movements. The Executioner might never have experienced this casual seduction between a man and a woman. Even I, a twenty-three year old who was allergic to relationships, knew more about this than he did, and he looked to be several years older than me.
I snuck a glance down at his hands. Fisted. Meaning he was restraining himself a great deal. I was quickly learning all of his tells.
“What are you doing?” he asked, his voice rough.
I looked up at him. His jaw was tight with tension and his eyes glinted. Some long and drawn out war was going on behind that face of his.
“Removing your clothing,” I said. The smile I gave him was sly.
As soon as I unzipped his jacket, I slid my hands beneath it and over his chest. Mmm, Torture Boy had a nice set of pecs. My touch moved up to his shoulders. Thick, corded muscle covered these too.
“Why would you do that?” he murmured.
I forced his jacket down his arms. Underneath it, he wore a fitted T-shirt.
“Remove your clothing?” I asked, my gaze moving from his chest back to his face, where his eyes devoured me. “Because I want to. And because you have me here for this very reason. Or would you rather we play checkers and sing songs together? We can do that if you’d prefer.” The Executioner’s jacket hit the floor a second later, the sound punctuating my words.
“I can remove my own clothing,” he growled.
“But then you can’t chance one of my hands grazing your skin.” As I spoke, I deliberately slid the tips of my fingers down his forearms.
His eyes darkened with want. All from my words. Toying with this supervillain was kind of fun. Much better than my usual experience with them, which usually involved lots of blood and pain.
I grabbed the edges of the black shirt he wore and yanked up, uncovering miles and miles of delicious muscles.
Le sigh. Bad guys always had the hottest bodies.
The Executioner helped me remove the shirt since he was considerably taller than me. And then he stood there, all his sculpted muscles on display. And no one to give this exquisite form love. I wanted to cry out on behalf of woman everywhere that no one had gotten to revel in these muscles before me.
I reached out to touch him, curious to see what reaction this would elicit.
The Executioner caught my wrist and almost dropped it before he remembered that I couldn’t be killed by his touch. “Too fast,” he said, closing his eyes.
“But you got to kiss me.”
He nodded, his nostrils flaring. His eyes were still closed. “That was too fast.”
Changing his tune now, was he?
The Executioner threaded his fingers through my own. “Goddamn,” he murmured, opening his eyes to stare at our entwined hands.
He was soaking up my touch, savoring it like it was something decadent. And so help me, I was charmed to my toes.
He’s a bad guy, Angel, not a neglected puppy.
But even as I thought it, a small voice whispered in my ear, Maybe he’s both

***

If you enjoyed that, make sure to click here to add Reaping Angels to your "To Read" list on Goodreads. And mark your calendars for October 15, when it hits shelves!

Happy reading!
Laura

Monday, September 7, 2015

Rhapsodic, Teaser #2

A while ago, I promised I'd share a teaser for my paranormal romance, Rhapsodic. This poor book had been patiently waited in the wings while I finished my other series, but next year it will finally get published.

Before then, however, I thought I'd share an excerpt!

Rhapsodic, Teaser #2

Ten years ago ...
The air wavers, like I’m staring at a mirage, then suddenly, he’s here, filling the room like he owns it.
The Bargainer.
Holy shit, it worked.
All I can see of him is a good six feet of man and a whole lot of raven dark hair tied together in a leather thong. The Bargainer’s back is to me.
A whistle breaks the silence. “That is one dead man,” he says, staring at my handiwork. His heavy boots clink as he approaches the body.
The toe of his boot nudges the corpse. “Hmm, I stand corrected. Mostly dead.”
What?” He can’t be alive. The fear that thrums through my veins is a living, breathing thing.
“It will cost you probably more than you’re willing to offer, but I can still revive him.”
Revive him? What is this dude smoking?
“I don’t want him alive,” I say.
The Bargainer turns, and for the first time ever I get a good look at him.
I just stare and stare. I’d imagined a thug, and I was ready to hate him even as I accepted his help. But wicked though the man in front of me might be, he is no thug.
Far too pretty for prison.
The Bargainer is gorgeous in a way that only a few rare men are. He’s not rugged, despite the strong jaw and hard gleam in his eyes. There’s a symmetry to his face, a lushness in each one of his features that I expect in beautiful women, not men. Despite this, he’s not feminine in the least. But it’s hard to look at him and not be reeled in.
Had it been any other night, my heart might’ve actually skipped a beat or two and my knees might’ve gone weak. Now, however, I simply hug my arms tightly to my chest. One bad man to follow another, and both appear deceptively nice.
He sizes me up. “No.”
I stare at him quizzically. “No what?”
“I don’t do business with minors.”
The air shimmers and ohmygod he’s leaving.
“Wait—wait!” I reach out. Now it’s not just the air that shimmers. It’s my skin. It’s been doing that a lot lately.
He pauses to stare at my arm. “What are you?” His eyes narrow as he reassess me. “And what kind of mess have you gotten yourself in?”
My hand drops. “I didn’t get myself into this mess.” I just had to clean it up. “I really need to make a deal.”
The Bargainer sighs, sounding all sorts of put out. “Listen, I don’t make deals with minors. Go to the police.”
“I can’t. Please, help me.”
The Bargainer gnashes his teeth together, scowling like he smells something bad. “Fine,” he says. “I’ll help you at”—more teeth gnashing—“no cost. Just this once. Consider this my pro bono for the century.”
I open my mouth to thank him, but he raises his hand, his eyes pinching shut. “Don’t.”
When he opens his eyes, they pass over the room. I feel the magic pulse out of him. I know about this side of our world—the supernatural side. However, I’ve never seen this kind of magic in action, and I gasp as the blood dissolves from the floor, and then the countertop, and then my clothes.
The broken bottle follows. One moment it’s there, the next, it vanishes.
“How did you do that?” Whatever enchantment this is, it licks against my skin, and it’s warm, which makes no sense to me. I’d think expending energy would cool a room, not heat it up. But there appears to be no orderly logic to the Bargainer’s powers.
Once he’s done with the crime scene, the Bargainer heads towards the body.
He pauses when he gets there, peering curiously down at the dead man. Then he stills. “Is that who I think it is?”
Now is probably not a good time to tell the Bargainer that I off’ed the most powerful stock market analyst out there. He might not have been the world’s best seer, but he was one of the richest. Not that it saved him from death.
Oh the irony.
The Bargainer lets loose a string of curses. Again, any other night I might’ve laughed or felt fortunate for getting a good deal out of such a corrupt man. Instead, all I feel is a cold deadness. It takes root low in my belly, numbing me from the inside out.
“Fucking cursed sirens,” he mutters. “Your bad luck’s rubbing off on me.”
I flinch, well acquainted with my line’s predisposition for misfortune. It’s what landed my mother an unwanted pregnancy and an early death.
“How old are you?”
“I’ll be sixteen in two weeks.”
“Finally some good news. Pack your bags. Tomorrow you’re moving to the Isle of Man, where you’ll be attending school in the fall.”
“What? Wait—tomorrow?” I’d be moving? And so soon? My head spins at the thought.
“Unless you’d prefer I go. I’d be happy to leave you here with this mess.”
“No—please stay!”
Another long-suffering sigh. “I’ll deal with the body and the authorities. If anyone asks, he had a heart attack.”
The Bargainer eyes me curiously before remembering that he’s annoyed with me. He snaps his fingers, and the body levitates. It takes several seconds to process the fact that a corpse is floating in my kitchen.
The Bargainer looks unfazed.
“There’s something you should know,” he says.
“Uh-huh?” My gaze slides back to the floating body. So creepy.
“Eyes on me,” the Bargainer snaps.
My attention moves to him.
“There’s a chance my magic will wear off over time. I might be powerful, but a curse as deeply embedded as yours tends to override these things.”
The siren’s curse.
“What happens if that’s the case?” I ask.
The Bargainer smirks. Huge asshole. I’ve already got him profiled. “Then you best start utilizing your womanly wiles, cherub. You’ll be needing them.”
With that parting line, the Bargainer disappears, along with the man I killed.

***

Enjoyed that? You can click here to add Rhapsodic to your "To Read" list on Goodreads!

Hugs and happy reading!
Laura

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cover Reveal for The Damned (The Unearthly #5)

Hi readers,

For all you Unearthly fans, this is a long time coming. The Damned, the last book in the series, which hits shelves November 15, finally has a cover and a description. The Unearthly was the first book I ever published, and this is the first series I’m ending, so this is a very satisfying—and very bittersweet—time for me! I can’t wait to finish Gabrielle and Andre’s journey with you all.

On that note, are you ready?


The Damned

Taken. Whisked away to hell. Forever bound to a monstrous god. This is seventeen-year-old Gabrielle Fiori’s fate. It’s everything she’s ever feared, and it has all come to pass.

Only … the devil isn’t the monster she remembers. At times he seems gentle and, most unnerving of all, she’s drawn to him. He wants her for all eternity, and if she gives in, everything he has to offer can be hers. The only cost? The last of her soul—and her humanity.

By a twist of myth, Gabrielle finds herself back on earth from dusk to dawn. Back where the living breathe, where Andre de Leon, the king of vampires and her former soulmate, await her. Yet she can’t help but feel that something’s wrong. She’s wrong. Her blood seeds demons and her powers can move earth and air and all manner of creation.

Now angels flood the skies, gods and demons are made flesh. A battle between good and evil is erupting, and if Gabrielle wants to escape hell and save the world, she’ll need to end it, once and for all.

***


Click here to add The Damned (The Unearthly #5) to you Goodreads “To-Read” list.

Hugs and happy reading!
Laura

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Queen of Traitors, Teaser #1

So, I promised I’d post the first teaser for The Queen of Traitors (The Fallen World #2). This is a rough version and both the content and wording could change, but I wanted to give you all something to hold you over for the moment! Enjoy!

The Queen of Traitors, Teaser #1


The door to my cell opens, and Lieutenant Begbie enters, followed by a soldier.
“So it’s true, you really don’t remember your past?” he opens, rounding the interview table in my cell and taking a seat. The table’s been bolted to the floor, but the chairs aren’t. I’ve already considered everything in this room as a potential weapon. The sheets can choke, the chairs can bludgeon, my pillow can smother. Those types of deaths require intimacy and strength, neither of which I have at the moment. Hence, I’ve taken to assessing the soldiers that come into the room.
Lieutenant Begbie has a gun holstered at his side. The soldier has several. This time they pulled in a greenie. I can see it in his jaw; he’s forcing himself to look stoic. The more experienced soldiers don’t have to force anything. They’ve seen and done it all, and if it hasn’t broken their mind or their will, they become a whole new type of lethal, one that will sometimes let you see the emptiness in their eyes.
This soldier’s eyes are not empty, despite all his valiant efforts. I tear my eyes away from him before either he or Begbie can notice my interest.
“We’re in negotiations with the king at the moment,” Begbie says.
The king. He’s supposed to be my ally, but I don’t want any part of his madness.
“What does he want?” I ask, walking over to the chair. 
Begbie stares at me for an unnerving amount of time, a slow smile stretching along his face. “The general told me all about you, and I’ve seen the footage.”
I narrow my eyes. 
“Apparently so has the king, and he still wants you. Seems he has a thing for wildcats.” 
I ignore the barb.
“And you’re going to give me to him?”
“There’s a rumor out there that the king is immortal, that he can’t die.” Begbie leans forward. “We have clips of the king getting mortally wounded, and still he lives.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
Before he has time to respond, a soldier cracks open the door. “Get the prisoner ready.”
Lieutenant Begbie stands. “Put your hands behind your back,” he orders me.
I could do it now—kill him. By the time the lieutenant figured out my motives, it would be too late. And I’d gamble the greenie wouldn’t shoot me before I got a chance to fire at him.
I could do it, there’s a confidence to my assessment and I already know I have the muscle memory. Yet every fiber of my being recoils from the thought. Whatever else, I’m not a monster by design.
Just necessity.
“Put your hands behind your back,” Begbie says more forcefully.
I’ve missed my opportunity.
I do so, and he cuffs me rougher than necessary. I run my tongue over my teeth, clenching my jaw as my raw wrists and my bullet wound sting. I still hurt all over, and it doesn’t help that the lieutenant jerks me up out of my seat.
Pain is a warm companion. I must’ve known it quite well before today, whether at the hands of the WUN or the king. Probably both. It seems like they are two sides of the same coin, and both are missing compassion.
Begbie and the soldier escort me out of the cell, and I get my first good look at my prison. More cement walls and fluorescent lights. No windows.
“Where are we going?”
No one answers me.
I might be walking to my death. Or to an interrogation chamber, the kind that leaves behind teeth and bloodstains. Now I know why I was so ready to kill, despite my disgust. Being soft doesn’t save you in this place. Power does, fear does, and pain does.

If I have the chance to act again, I won’t hesitate.

*

They march me down the narrow corridor. We make several turns. The drabness of this prison doesn’t exactly change, but the atmosphere does. An increasing number of people wander the halls. When their eyes land on me, I see them react. Sometimes it’s just recognition, other times it’s fear or anger or pity.
They know of me.
What had I been expecting? I am the king’s wife. Likely a public figure.
We stop in front of a door, and on the other side I can hear murmurs.
An execution, then. Torture doesn’t require so many people, I think.
Only, when they open the door, my presumptions melt away. In front of me rests a camera and a chair, the latter currently occupied by a soldier.
But that is not what captures my attention.
At the back of the room is a large screen. My breath catches when my eyes land on it. 
The soldier sitting in front of the camera turns, then stands when he sees us. My guards march me forward and force me into the abdicated seat.
The entire time I stare at the man whose face takes up the screen.
I expected an abomination.
Not this.
Evil is supposed to be ugly, but he isn’t ugly. In fact, this man—my husband, if my assumption’s correct—is pleasing to stare at.
Unlined, tan skin, dark hair brushed back from his face, a strong, straight nose, eyes that draw you in, and a mouth that promises dark secrets. Was that why I married him? I hope to God not. I don’t want to know who I was if that were the reason.
My heart thumps faster. He is gorgeous, but it’s not his looks that have moved me.
I recognize myself in his eyes. Even as fogged as my mind is, even as unaware of my past as I am, something about him resonates deep within me. I don’t know what it means, but already I can no longer think of him objectively.
 “Serenity.” He doesn’t say my name the same way my captors do, like I’m the scourge of the earth. He says it like we’re lovers.
We are lovers.
He wants me back. I can read it plainly on his face, in the way his pupils dilate. This is the man they all fear and hate. A man, if they’re to be believed, that I fear and hate.
“King Lazuli.”
“Montes,” he corrects. I get the impression he’s done that before—corrected me.
“Have they hurt you?” As he asks, his eyes drift to my wrapped arm. A vein in his temple pulses.
One wrong word and this house of cards will tumble. That’s the kind of power I wield, being this man’s wife. He’ll kill them all, and unlike me, he’ll enjoy it thoroughly.
“I’m a prisoner,” I respond. “I expect I’m being treated about as decently as any other.”
His chin trembles ever so slightly. Whoever this king is, right now, he’s more man than nightmare. Perhaps he’s depraved, but he feels something for me. Odd that right now, of the two of us, I feel I am the colder one. My heart is made of steel and fire and I cannot muster emotion to match his.
“I’m going to get you out of there. You need to stay alive for me.”
I can’t go back to him. I can’t. He has power over me, power that has nothing to do with pain and punishment. I’m enthralled by him, and considering the way he tracks my every movement through the screen, the feeling seems mutual.
“Time’s up,” someone calls. “We’ve proved she’s alive.” 
“Alive and injured,” the king says. A dozen different threats lace his voice. I fear that if I live long enough, I’ll see each one of them carried out.
A soldier grabs my uninjured arm and pulls me to my feet.
I take in the handsome man on the other side of the screen a final time. “Whoever you are, I hope you were worth it.”

***

If you enjoyed that, make sure to click here to add The Queen of Traitors (The Fallen World #2) on Goodreads. To see The Queen of All that Dies (The Fallen World #1), the first novel in the series, click here.

In the coming months I’ll have more teasers for you and a cover reveal, so keep your eyes out for more! :)


Happy reading!
Laura