Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blood and Sin, Teaser #2

Happy early summer! Sorry, I had to start with that because the days have been so freaking beautiful lately! Late spring/early summer is one of my favorite times of year, and I thought I'd celebrate today with a little teaser!

This is an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Blood and Sin (The Infernari #1), a NA paranormal novel (the first of three books), that's about demons--or Infernari, as they call themselves--and the human hunter that wants to eradicate their kind. I'll post the description below, but you can also read about it here. It comes out July 15, and for those of you newsletter subscribers, you'll be getting the first three chapters of it in my upcoming newsletter! If you haven't subscribed and would like to receive a sneak peek of Blood and Sin, I have a signup form on the top right hand of my website.

I am co-authoring this series with my husband, author Dan Rix, and it's been so much fun! If you're interested in checking out his other books (I totally recommend his Timeloopers series), you can check him out here.

By the way, I always forget to mention this but the following excerpt is unedited and subject to change. :) Without further ado, here's the second teaser:


Blood and Sin, Teaser #2

No one even gave me a second glance.

But oh, they gave Lana second glances. Plenty of them.
Sashaying next to me in her skintight jumpsuit, her eyes a luminous blue-violet and her long hair breezing unnaturally behind her, she had the attention of every guy on Bourbon Street. A whole crowd of douchebags parted around us, eyeing her up and down and whistling.

Their catcalls grated my nerves. But unlike the guy I glared at earlier, they were too drunk to heed my stare telling them to back the fuck off.

“Let’s see some titties!” one of them hollered, dancing in front of her, a dozen necklaces of glittery beads clanking around his neck.

Lana had halted, momentarily mesmerized by the rainbow colors.

“I’ll give you my best beads…” he continued, “this one right here if you show us your tits…” He fumbled to get one off.

Nuh-uh. I was not in the mood for this crap.

All night, I’d kept it on lockdown. But seeing this little twerp, seeing his crap plastic beads jingling over his fraternity hoodie, seeing him yelling and shaking his beads in Lana’s face, I cracked.

I tried to keep my cool, but I couldn’t.

Rage flared under my skin, and my fingers clamped into fists.

I tossed the bottle aside, grabbed the guy by the collar, and shoved him up against a nearby arch.

“Mardi Gras is in February,” I growled. “So take your beads and get the fuck out of my way.”

He shoved me back. “It’s always Mardi Gras where I go.” His breath reeked of beer. “That your girl? ’Cause she was eyeing my beads like she wanted some.”

My eyes fell to his clinking jewelry. I lifted up the strands of his cheap plastic beads. “You think a girl like that—” I jerked my head towards Lana, “is going to show her tits to a little shit like you for crap beads like this?” I flung them in his face. “You know what, give them to me. All of them. You’re done.” I pried them over his head and stumbled away with a fistful of plastic necklaces.

Smirking, I turned around, and one of his frat brothers punched me in the face and laid me out on the curb. The blow rang in my ears.

The other douchebags danced away, shouting, “Dude, you beaned him!”

Yep, had to get drunk and pick a fight with six frat boys, huh, Asher?

Not my proudest moment.

Rubbing my jaw, I rose slowly, seeing red. “You shouldn’t have done that.”

I tackled the guy into a nearby oyster shack, bowling over a table and scattering the screaming patrons. Already cocked back, my fist slammed into his face. His nose sprayed blood. Nice.

I was going to go to jail for this.

For defending Lana.

Fuck.

I landed one more punch before his friend dragged me off, arm clamped around my neck.

Tonight was just not my night.

I got my feet under me and thrust us backward. Through sheer dumb luck, I managed to ram him into the same archway, earning a grunt. Bits of plaster flaked off above us. Grabbing his arm, I heaved him over my shoulder and slammed him onto his back, knocking the wind out of him. Wheezing, he raised his palms at my cocked fist, and I backed off.

Breathing heavily, I turned back to the other four and wiped my bloody lip. “Anyone else think it’s Mardi Gras?”

They looked drunk enough to attack me, too. Probably thought they could take me six versus one. I’d survived worse odds, and my opponents hadn’t been idiot college boys.

“Bro, bro, he’s got a gun!” Catching sight of my holster, the guys grabbed their buddies and stumbled backward, tripping on their heels.

I called after them, “Come at me, bros! I want some more beads!”

But they were gone.

Idiots. I wasn’t even carrying concealed, and it took them that long to notice.

I looked around at the rest of the onlookers—half the street had paused to watch—and they ducked their heads and continued on their way, like I was going to shoot them or something.

“Humans are weird.” Lana frowned, clearly still trying to figure out what had happened. “What was that even about?”

I picked up the beads, and led her away by the elbow. “Told you you’d get into trouble.”

“That was you who got into trouble,” she said. “He was just being nice and trying to give me some beads…and can I at least have one? Or do I have to beat you up and steal them from you now? Is that how the bead game works?”

Her naivety made me smile. “Stop. Look at me.”

We paused on a street corner out of the way, those strangely beautiful eyes of hers fixed on me. God, she was innocent. Something protective reared up in me.

I draped all the beads around her neck. “There. Now they’re yours.”

The way her eyes lit up, you’d think she’d just learned Santa Claus was real. She ran her fingers reverently over the molded plastic balls, her expression wondrous.

I stared at her, unable to look away, suddenly bewitched by her. Like a moth being pulled towards a flame. Her allure was toxic. And I needed to get away from her before I did something I would regret.

But I didn’t edge away. Neither did she.

“Wait,” she said, “you won them, you should get some too.” She lifted off half the necklaces and stepped in close as she reached up to put them over my own head, so close I could smell her ashy scent, a scent I’d come to hate. A scent I was now reconsidering.

Her fingers brushed my chest, and my pulse spiked before her hand flinched back.

She’d felt it too, whatever that was.

Whatever this was.

I felt a tickle on my lip, still bleeding, and her eyes darted to it. I licked it away.

She wanted that blood.

Her gaze lifted shyly to mine. “Was that fight about me, Jame Asher?”

She was calling me out, and I had no answer. I shook my head, my heart thumping at the base of my throat.

“About how he was talking to me?”

And looking at you.

“Nah,” I said, running a hand through my hair, “I just didn’t like his punk attitude. Wasn’t about you.”

She knew I was lying, she could read it on my face.

I knew I should break the moment, snap out of it, ignore her and keep walking like I didn’t want to be here, but I couldn’t budge. In that instant, everything else faded away—the drunks swimming around us like fish, the chaos of Bourbon Street, the rhythm and blues thumping from nearby clubs. Maybe it was the adrenaline still pumping through my veins, maybe it was the odor of sex and desire in the air, maybe it was the way her eyes seemed to glow like blue-violet flames, but all I saw right then was her.

And for the barest of moments, it didn’t matter that I’d sworn to kill her kind, or that they were hunting me. All that mattered was that for the first time in a very long time, I felt something beyond grief and anger. Something light and good. And even though a part of me knew it was reckless, knew that I was that idiot moth about to get burned, for once I didn’t fucking care.

I cupped the side of Lana’s neck and I kissed her.

***

If you enjoyed that, you can click here to add Blood and Sin to your "To Read" list on Goodreads. Read on for the book's description.

Blood and Sin
July 15, 2016

Hot-blooded, prideful, feral, Lana Malesuis is a demon. She has sworn an oath to heal her war-torn, dying species. Her method: drain human blood, use it to fuel her dark magic, reap human misfortune. She has come to the town of White Sulfur Springs to cull.

Cold-blooded, ruthless, conniving, Jame Asher is a human. He has sworn to avenge his wife and baby girl, killed by demon magic. His plan: destroy demons’ portals, deprive them of their human blood supply, exterminate them one by one. He has come to White Sulfur Springs to kill.

But when they meet, and he takes Lana as his prisoner, the last thing he expects to see in her wild violet eyes is the frightened innocence of a young girl. For her part, Lana never expects to feel anything but hate for the most feared demon hunter on Earth. 

Neither of them expected it to become something more.


Happy reading,
Laura

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Queen of All that Lives: Answers and Extras

I was going to make this a video, but uploading it takes forever and I didn't want readers to have to slog through the entire thing to get to info they wanted to know about.

So what exactly is this? It's a post that goes over some of the questions that you all might have concerning The Queen of All that Lives. Let me emphasize this: This post is for people that have already read The Queen of All that Lives (The Fallen World #3). It contains SPOILERS, so if you want to read this book, I'd stop right where you are and leave this page.

Below I'm inserting a photo of the book to hide the spoilers that follow. If you're interested in reading The Queen of All that Lives, you can click on the image, or you can click here.


Alright, so if you've made it this far, let's begin!

The Double Agent Paradox
So, at the end of the book, you find out that Marco is a double agent. But if Marco is a double-agent, why is it that he didn't prevent all those times that his life and Serenity's and the king's were in danger when he supposedly could've?

The thing about Marco's relationship with the representatives is that it's unequal. Just like we saw with the reps and Serenity, they don't hold their allies on equal footing. The representatives don't tell Marco everything. The attack on the plane, for instance, was an off-the-cuff decision they made because Serenity was gaining too much ground with the people. They feed Marco enough information to keep him loyal, but he is by no means in their inner circle.

But most importantly, Marco has agreed to die for his cause. His cause, as the representatives understand it, is taking out the king and allowing the West to win the war. They expect him to lay down his life if that means killing Montes and Serenity without blowing his cover. So Marco has to juggle this with his allegiance to the king. And the king's end game is to kill all 13 representatives. Until that happens, Marco can't blow his cover as a mole and destroy the relationship with the West he spent decades building. Otherwise the plan he and Montes came up with--the one Montes tells Serenity about at the end of the book--would all be for nothing.

It's a mindf*ck, I know. This is why I simply left it out. :)

Montes's Changed Personality
I don't think there are too many questions concerning this, but I wanted to say anyway why I decided to make him the way he is. I think at our core, some things never change. A part of Montes will always be wicked. But, on the flipside, people do change. And Montes has had a long time to reflect on who he is, what he's done, and who he wants to be. Ultimately, he wanted to become someone he could admire, someone worthy of his wife's love.

Throughout the books, Serenity is plagued by this question: can wicked people be redeemed? And I wanted to answer it through Montes, who's one of the evilest people she knows. If he can redeem himself, then she can redeem herself.

Montes the All-Knowing
At the end of the book, Montes explains to Serenity that he planned everything. Does he actually know everything?

Simply put--no.

However, this is a man who has spent the last 100 years trying to (1) heal Serenity, (2) end the war, (3) cling to the wisdom and decency he's acquired over the decades. And Montes is a man who wants his cake and to eat it too. So he spent much of that time strategizing a way to get all of this, going through scenario after scenario of "what ifs". Even after all of that, he couldn't plan everything, which is why he and Serenity almost died several times.

To some degree, I did want him to seem omnipotent (even if he wasn't). I wanted to make sure that this unnatural--almost supernatural--aspect of his character that always spooked Serenity shined through all the way to the end of the series.

***

Alright, that's all I got for now, but if you have other questions, email me and I'll update this with your questions!

Hugs and happy reading!
Laura

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Queen of All that Lives is now Live!

I have a surprise for you all! So today … isn’t May 15, but it is the day The Queen of All that Lives (The Fallen World #3) releases! For those of you who’ve been waiting, I really wanted you to have the weekend to read the novel! So, without further ado, you can find The Queen of All that Lives here.


For those of you who haven’t yet read my new adult post-apocalyptic series, the first two books are currently on sale for $0.99 each, and you can find them here! However, that sale ends tonight, May 13, at midnigh
t (West Coast time), so there are only a few hours left.

The Queen of All that Lives was probably one of the hardest (and most rewarding) books I've written. It was far longer than the other two in the series, so it simply took longer to write. It was also so heavy, and heavy can be really hard headspace to be in day in and day out. But I'm in love with the end result, and I hope you, too, enjoy this final installment in The Fallen World series.

By the way, keep a look out for another email on Blood and Sin! Dan and I have bumped the release date to July 15, but it could potentially be released even later. (I'm a slow poke when it comes to writing, and obsessive when it comes to editing, so blame me for the schedule changes!)

Anyway, have a great weekend you all, and thank you for taking a chance on my books! You are what makes my job so special.

Freedom or death (you'll get it soon enough),
Laura


The Queen of All that Lives description:
She’s a martyr.
A myth.
A ghost.
A legend.
She’s my soulmate and my captive, my conscience and my wrath. I love her too much to let her die; I fear her too much to wake her from her slumber.
She’s mine.
And now she’s gone.

He’s unnatural.
Undying.
Unethical.
Unstoppable.
He’s the keeper of lies and lost souls. Mine slipped through his clutches.
I am his wife, his queen, the love of his very long life.
And soon, I will be his executioner.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Queen of All that Lives, Teaser #3

Ahhhh! One more week! On May 15, The Queen of All that Lives (The Fallen World #3) will hit shelves, and today I have the final teaser for you.
I know what you all want to read--what happens when Serenity and Montes meet. And I reeeeeaaaally don't want to give anything away, so the following snippet is my compromise! I hope you enjoy it!

The Queen of All that Lives, Teaser #3
They take me to a room I assume is used for extravagant parties, judging by how large the double doors are.
We stop in front of it, and one of my guards knocks.
No one answers the door and no one responds.
I cast aside glance at the soldiers. They don’t appear surprised about this.
What is waiting for me on the other side?
They pause for several more seconds, then reach for the doors.
As soon as they swing open, my breath catches.
If parties were once held in this room, they are no longer. A world map covers the far wall. The same hated strings and blacked out faces are pinned to it. But the two adjacent walls, those are filled from floor to ceiling with photographs and reports.
Conquering has become Montes’s obsession, though obsession is not nearly a strong enough word for this.
A century to transform a man into whatever thing he wishes to become …
Right in the middle of the room, staring up at his enormous map, his hands clasped behind him, is the one man I hate more than any other.
My tormentor. My lover.
The king.

***

If you enjoyed that, you can add The Queen of All that Lives here on Goodreads! If you'd like to receive an email the day it hits shelves, you can join my newsletter in the top right hand corner of my website!

Hugs and happy reading!
Laura