Archive for the ‘Urban Fiction’ Category

Title: Phoenix Burn
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Covers by Juan
Publication Date: September 18th, 2020
Blurb:
Six months ago I died. And I’ve been looking for my killer ever since.
I didn’t expect to survive death, but here I am and I’ve got questions—lots of them. Questions that lead me to a world I never knew existed in the shadows of the mundane. When I come face to face with a vampire who seems to have the answers I’m looking for, I find myself trapped in a game where I’m the pawn.
Someone is hunting me. No one is safe until I’m caught, but I refuse to be the prey. When the hunter becomes the hunted, they’ll learn I’m not as naïve as they think. That is, until the mastermind is revealed and nothing is ever the same again.
Will I be able to reclaim my old life? Or is the game just getting started …
Book Links:
Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy Author of the Mackenzie Grey novels and The Last Valkyrie series. An avid reader throughout her life, the world of Urban Fantasy easily became an obsession that turned into a passion for writing strong leading characters with authentic story arcs. When she isn’t writing badass heroines, you can find this self-proclaimed nomad in her South Florida home binge watching the latest series on Netflix or traveling far and wide for the latest inspiration for her books. Follow her on social media!
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Title: Phoenix Rise
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Covers by Juan
Publication Date: October 16th, 2020
Blurb:
For someone who can’t die, it felt as if I were already dead.
He took everything from me and I don’t have the energy or fight in me
to get it back. Not that I could. What he took is long gone and never
coming back.
The pain of what he did—what I did—will haunt me for the rest of my
life. That is until I met a certain angel in the cell next to mine and
I knew I couldn’t give up yet. Everything might have been taken from
me, but I was not alone. Far from it.
To gain my freedom, I made a deal with the devil, but will that deal
burn me in the end?
Book Links:
Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy Author of the Mackenzie Grey novels and The Last Valkyrie series. An avid reader throughout her life, the world of Urban Fantasy easily became an obsession that turned into a passion for writing strong leading characters with authentic story arcs. When she isn’t writing badass heroines, you can find this self-proclaimed nomad in her South Florida home binge watching the latest series on Netflix or traveling far and wide for the latest inspiration for her books. Follow her on social media!
 
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Title: Demon Bound
Author: Chris Cannon
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: January 6th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
When a summoning goes awry, suddenly booknerd Meena’s summer job becomes something drastically different. Instead of cleaning eccentric Carol’s house, she’s bound to a demon as his soul-collector. Soon Meena discovers that the boring, pageant-obsessed, bonfire-loving town that she’s never fit in to is a hotbed for soul-sucking demons, demon-hunting witches, and vampires who just wanna have fun… And then she comes into her own powers.
Could things get any stranger? Good thing she meets new guy Jake—who gets her and still hangs around.
When Jake’s mom sends him off to his Aunt Zelda’s for the summer, he thought he’d be bored. But nothing is what it seems in this town. His aunt isn’t just odd, she’s a witch who fights demons and tries to maintain the magical balance of the town. Jake should get the hell out of there and, he would leave, except for bad-ass newbie witch Meena, who looks at him like he matters.
He never counted on sticking around, but Meena’s bound to a demon who wants to destroy her soul—and Jake’s finally found someone worth fighting for.
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.

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Title: Magic Fire
Author: Sedona Venez
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Blurb:
If you love Magic, Mayhem, and Happily Ever Afters, this Complete Magic Fire Saga boxset is for you!
This boxset contains the Complete Magic Fire Series: All 3 books.
The road to survival is marked with betrayal and deceit, some by the people I love the most.
If I want to survive, I must put my life in the hands of a cursed shifter—that is, if I make it through the night.
Rogue gargoyle attacks aren’t exactly something I deal with every day, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. So why is this stranger insisting that I need to come with him to stay alive?
Who does this guy think he is?
I’m a skilled fae with an arsenal of magic at my disposal. I sure as hell don’t need some cocky, arrogant dragon shifter protecting me, even if he is drop-dead gorgeous.
But what if I’m wrong?
This Complete three-book MAGIC FIRE Saga features a fierce heroine, powerful alpha dragon shifter, and tons of colorful, otherworldly characters.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Sedona Venez lives in New York City with her hot ex-military hubby–hooah–and their fur babies. She loves writing sizzling, sexy intricate stories about strong but broken characters who push limits, overcome their fears, and risk it all for love.
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Title: Dead Men Rising
Author: Amber Garr
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: October 20th, 2020

Blurb:
Cressa Ravensdale deserved a break. After raising an army of the dead to protect those she loved, Cressa had hoped she could spend a little time away from the scrutiny of being a Magic User and steal a few moments alone with her phoenix, Noah. But the Imperium has other plans, and soon the two find themselves back in the city surrounded by curious humans, suspicious new leaders, and hidden enemies.
Losing her mother had been hard enough, but now her brother keeps casting doubts on Noah’s true intentions and why their mother had left them. Her human best friend is on the verge of a breakdown, and Cressa must accept her punishment for using her magic while knowing the Imperium is tracking her every move. Being a Magic User is risky. Being on The Imperium’s most wanted list is deadly.
A demon. A draugr. A kitsune. A phoenix selling out his own kind. Cressa is caught in the middle and it’s hard for her to know who to trust. Not all demons lie and not all humans tell the truth. Whether it’s a summoning spell trapped in Hell or an imposter hiding in plain sight, the stakes are high. Cressa must choose which side of the law, and the land, she wants to stand on.
Protecting her friends is the most important job in the world. But her world is changing, and the consequences could mean losing everything worth fighting for.
 
Book Links:
Dead Men Rising (Available for Pre-Order in Soul’s Day Boxset): https://books2read.com/u/38Mvvr
Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner and author of the bestselling novels The Syrenka Series, the award-winning Water Crisis Chronicles, Second Rising Series, the Georgia Girls Series, and The Leila Marx Novels. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.
If you pre-order your copy of the box set for only $0.99, readers can claim a Pre-Order gift – a second box set of stories from the authors for FREE (products are digital, and printing is at reader’s cost).
 
Directions on how to claim your pre-order gift can be found here: https://soulsdayboxset.com/pre-order-gift/
At once, they attacked. I barely had the door shut before a large, fuzzy microphone was shoved into my face. “Can you confirm your involvement in the incident a few weeks ago regarding the murders at The Imperium? Wasn’t one of the victims your mother?”
The woman wasted no time cutting through my heart. Her dark-rimmed glasses and hair-sprayed clump of blonde hair effectively hid the evil inside of her. She pushed on, pummeling me with a barrage of questions that blended together as one high-pitched hum in my ears.
“Get away from her,” Noah yelled. He shoved several people to the side trying to reach me. They immediately turned their cameras on him and he was forced to rein in his anger.
My hands pressed against the cool metal of the car, wishing them all away for just a moment so I could gather my thoughts. But their questions kept coming, even though I couldn’t decipher one from the other.
“Are you a Magic User?”
“What can you do?”
“How many dead bodies have you raised?”
That last question had me snapping my head in the direction of the voice. A voice that sounded familiar, yet I couldn’t quite place. Until I saw the malicious smirk on the frat boy with the college newspaper press badge. “Peter?”
“How sweet, you remembered,” he cooed, an edge of evil sneaking into his tone.
Peter, under some kind of spell from Noah, had forced me to raise a dead kitten a few months ago. I’d been hired to do parlor tricks and instead found Peter, who’d only been a pawn to test my magical ability. The instant surge of rage racing through my skin made it hard to look at Peter…or my boyfriend. And I was surprised by how violent I suddenly felt.
“Go away,” Noah growled in Peter’s face.
“Do I know you?” he asked, brow wrinkling in concentration.
“No.”
Noah grabbed my elbow and pulled me through the crowd. They kept asking questions. Kept shoving their equipment between us. But by the time we got within twenty feet of the front doors, the crowd began to part. I didn’t understand why, until I saw the large, muscular man glaring at each and every one of them.
“Rome!” I ran ahead of Noah and threw my arms around the Fiend. “I actually missed you.”
Excerpt #2 from book:
Noah continued to look as lost as I was, so I sat down next to Brit and encouraged her to continue.
“I went over there a little early to surprise him and I walked in on him and the bimbo.”
I tried not to giggle. “Did you just say bimbo?”
“Yes!” she shouted, but then Brit’s anger lessened when she saw my smile. “The chic was all over him and she was so much prettier than I am.” Tears poured down her cheeks again until Noah handed her a paper towel from the kitchen.
“Did you catch her name?” Noah asked.
“No. As soon as I saw them sitting so close, laughing and speaking quietly, I screamed at him and stormed out.”
“How long ago?” Noah questioned. I didn’t understand what he was getting at.
“Huh?” Apparently, Brit didn’t get it either.
“How long ago did you leave his house?”
“Oh.” Brit looked at her phone and then her gaze drifted to the body. “I don’t know…twenty minutes maybe?”
“What are you getting at?” I asked Noah.
But he just shook his head and bent down to look at the boy on the ground. And I say boy because the dead body couldn’t have been much older than Brit and me.
“Brit, tell us exactly what happened when you got here.”
Jumping to her feet, Brit started to pace. “I…I don’t even remember driving here because I was so pissed off, so I don’t know!”
“Brit, please calm down. It’s important.”
She looked at me and I could tell the moment the rational Brit came back to us. “Okay, yeah. You’re right.” With one more glance down at the body, she continued. “I opened the door—”
“Was it locked?” Noah interrupted.
“I don’t know.”
“Think, Brit,” I said.
She shook her head and then ran her hands through her short, blonde hair. “Yes. Yes it was. I remember because I accidently put Rome’s key into the lock first.”
“You have a key to Rome’s house?” I asked, looking at Noah in surprise. But when Brit started to freak out again, I took it back. “Sorry. Not important. Continue.”
“So I…I finally opened the door and walked into the kitchen,” Brit repeated her movements. “And when I got a glass of water, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned…and that’s when I saw him. Just standing there. In the living room not acting surprised at all.”
Brit stood above the body now, looking down at him with a blank stare. “He didn’t say anything. Not even when I asked him.”
“So how did he end up dead?” Noah asked. I gave him a glare for that.
“Oh my god, is he really dead?”
“There’s no heartbeat,” Noah said.
Brit ran over to the couch again and began sobbing. “God dammit! If he would have said something, maybe I wouldn’t have reacted so strongly.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I asked him what he was doing here, and when he took a step closer to me, I grabbed the lamp off the bookshelf and I…I slammed it into his head.”
I hadn’t noticed the broken lamp until now. It was one of the ones Brit’s mom had collected on some overseas trip. Metal with a glass blown lamp shade. The guy never had a chance.
“He didn’t move?” Noah asked, a surprise in his voice I didn’t like.
“No!” Brit pointed to the floor. “I mean obviously not!”

Title: Demon Bound
Author: Chris Cannon
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: January 6th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
When a summoning goes awry, suddenly booknerd Meena’s summer job becomes something drastically different. Instead of cleaning eccentric Carol’s house, she’s bound to a demon as his soul-collector. Soon Meena discovers that the boring, pageant-obsessed, bonfire-loving town that she’s never fit in to is a hotbed for soul-sucking demons, demon-hunting witches, and vampires who just wanna have fun… And then she comes into her own powers.
Could things get any stranger? Good thing she meets new guy Jake—who gets her and still hangs around.
When Jake’s mom sends him off to his Aunt Zelda’s for the summer, he thought he’d be bored. But nothing is what it seems in this town. His aunt isn’t just odd, she’s a witch who fights demons and tries to maintain the magical balance of the town. Jake should get the hell out of there and, he would leave, except for bad-ass newbie witch Meena, who looks at him like he matters.
He never counted on sticking around, but Meena’s bound to a demon who wants to destroy her soul—and Jake’s finally found someone worth fighting for.
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.

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Title: Scepter of Fire
Author: LM Preston
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: We’ve Got You Covered
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2020
Blurb:
Dexter didn’t like being a pawn. It seems life was taking him there though. His father and he never saw eye to eye, but being captured and tortured for his father’s mistakes gave Dexter too much to think about. First, the girl he lost, he’d never forget what they did to her. It changed him, and made him see the small city his father moved him to for what is was, a prison for magicals, the damned, and now him. Too bad, the creator of the void didn’t realize they would be better off if they’d set him free, because now, he was fighting for his life, and someone he’d have to hide his feelings from to protect, not just from those that want to drag them back, but from him -a vigilant.
Buy Links:
Insatiable Darkness (Vigilant Book .5): https://amzn.to/2RgFajD
Caged Fire (Vigilant Book 1): https://amzn.to/2LUvJ3o
Scepter of Fire (Vigilant Book 2): https://amzn.to/3b9b32L
L.M. Preston, a native of Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. She is an author, an engineer, a professor, a mother and a wife. Her passion for writing and helping others to see their potential through her stories and encouragement has been her life’s greatest adventures. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
Insatiable Darkness (Vigilant Book .5): https://amzn.to/2RgFajD
Caged Fire (Vigilant Book 1): https://amzn.to/2LUvJ3o
Scepter of Fire (Vigilant Book 2): https://amzn.to/3b9b32L
“Do you want to escape here? I can help you.” Dex wanted out of this place.
        Nash smiled, “Yes, but now is not the time. We have to wait for her to hatch. I need her for a successful escape. It’s why I implanted a song in the guard’s mind to put her with me.”
        “You manipulated my friend Trey?” Dex wiped a hand down his face. This guy Nash was dangerous. Dex could feel it, only now, Dex felt it was time to stop trying to be the nice guy. He would survive. Finding a way to say his family would start with getting out of here, even if making a deal with this little devil would do it.
        Nash lifted an eyebrow, “I hummed him a tune.”
        “Whatever. You want my help getting out of here? I’m offering as long as we go our separate ways.”
        “I will take your willing help.” Nash cocked his head to the side, “Although, if I wanted it, I could make you give it, you know.”
        Dex crossed his arms over his chest, “Isn’t a free give better?”
        “Oh, it is. What will you give me for helping you get free?”
        Dex frowned, “Give you? I got nothing.”
        “Everyone has…something.”
        “What are you? I like to know what kind of creature I’m bargaining with.” Dex didn’t want to give this imp anything.
        “I am many things, yet in part, not a human like you.”
Dex caught a hint of regret in his tone. Dex could swear Nash had a hungry gleam in his eye. Trey had warned him that Nash was pied piper and Rumpelstiltskin. Dex knew the pied piper had something to do with music. He had no idea what a Rumpelstiltskin was, and he had a feeling he shouldn’t mention it to Nash.
        “You need to tell me specifically what you want before I can agree to anything.”
        One side of Nash’s lip kicked up. “Her. The pixie-human. Give me her.”
        Dex frowned, then scratched his head. Why would Nash ask him to give up the pixie-human? The girl wasn’t his to give, he didn’t even know what it looked like.
        “Not mine to give.”
        Nash shrugged, “Then I won’t help either of you.”
Title: Kingdom of War – Hunter’s Story
Series: Kingdom Journals #5
Author: Tricia Copeland
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: June 21, 2019

 

 
They were just imaginary childhood friends until Alena found in him in a library thirteen years later. In their quest to find the third of the trinity, they created a coven of witches, eight souls shouldered with the burden of breaking an age-old curse. But someone must lead, and from the moment he became a full witch, Hunter knew it had to be him. His power, the magic coursing through his veins, hungered for a life of its own. Can he control his own demons? Will Alena, Camille, and Hunter figure out how to break the curse or will the darkness consume them?
 

Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia and now lives in Colorado with her family. Her books include the clean new adult Being Me Series, Is This Me?, If I Could Fly, Thinking You Know Me, and the final installment, Being Me, as well as a young adult novellas, Drops of Sunshine and the Lovelock Chronicles, Lovelock Ones: Native One, published in The Butterfly Box. If she’s not out running, you can find Tricia at www.triciacopeland.com or your favorite social media.

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Title: Bridges Burned
Author: Chris Cannon
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Narrator: Julie Niblett
Audio Producer: The Audio Flow, LLC
Blurb:
Since discovering she is a shape-shifting dragon, Bryn McKenna has seen her world thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed” – part Red dragon and part Blue – means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…
But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.
Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it. 
The Going Down in Flames series is best enjoyed in order.
 
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.

Author Links:
Buy Links: 

 

Going Down in Flames: http://amzn.to/2C6jGhy

 

Bridges Burned: http://amzn.to/2BNRvQu
Trial by Fire: http://amzn.to/2Cij0Te
Fanning the Flames: http://amzn.to/2BMyDRL
Audio Buy Link:
Going Down in Flames: https://tinyurl.com/yb35sd7o
Bridges Burned: https://amzn.to/2x8fklj
Series: Jaylior Series
Title: A Flare of Hope, A Flare of Power, A Flare of Sorrow, and A Flare of Love
Author: Elodie Colt
Genre: Paranormal Romance/New Adult Urban Fantasy
BOOK 1: $0.99 ~ BOOK 2: $1.99 ~ BOOK 3: $2.99 ~ BOOK 4: $3.99
 
She was one of a few hundred in the world. A rare piece of evolutionary perfection.

 

His only chance of salvation.

 

But also, his ultimate downfall…

 

The night they killed her sister was the worst in Haylie’s life. That was until a bunch of lunatics attacked her out of the blue, and a boy sacrificed himself to save her. Another murder happening in front of her eyes. Another life taken because she couldn’t prevent it. How the hell could she go on, living with the knowledge that their deaths were her fault?
Dylan was the best Fighter in the compound. Strong. Callous. Fearless. The perfect soldier.
As second-in-command, he had a decent life with friends he considered family and women queuing up for one taste of him.
Everything changed when she showed up on his radar. Incredibly, a Natural. So unique, even the color of her eyes had its own name—jaylior. Ever since Dylan joined the compound, he devoted his life to protect people like her but failed. Twice. Two women who found a horrible fate.
He should keep her safe, but how could he when all he craved was revenge? When each time he looked into those eyes he was reminded of the painful realization she might be the next to end up dead?

 

How would you feel if you were gifted to wield nature’s greatest power?

 

Ever since Haylie found out she was a Natural—one of the rarest human beings in existence—she was determined to find out about her power. The problem? She had no clue where to start. What made things worse was that Dylan, the man who’d dared her to show up in his periphery, was now her trainer and eager to push her to her limits.
Dylan was on a mission to avoid Haylie. She was the reason his brother was buried six feet under after all. Still, as long as they were in the dark about her ability, she was a ticking time bomb. And of course, he was the only one who could defuse it. In the end, no one could have guessed what kind of power she hid behind those haunting eyes of hers.
He was just glad they still had a year or two left before her Awakening.
Little did he know that time was quickly running out…

 

He failed to save them—his soulmate, his brother, and her sister.
He swore to protect her.
Now he broke his promise a fourth time.
Haylie was glad her Awakening was over. She could finally handle her power, thanks to Dylan who was slowly but surely breaking through their friend zone.
And slamming right into something far more intimate.
Her luck was short lived, though, when she suddenly found herself in the hands of a psychopath. Kidnapped and deceived by someone she’d thought she could trust.
Dylan was on the verge of losing his mind. The anger consuming him since his precious Natural had been snatched away under his watchful eyes was maddening. The only thing he could do was hope. Hope of finding Haylie and getting her out of wherever the hell she was. Alive.
Because if he lost her, he would find no reason to fight through another day…
He became her lover. Then he became her enemy.
Now, it was time to become her savior.
Haylie didn’t know how much more she could take.
Her father? Mysteriously alive and determined to become a part of her life.
Dylan? Unreachable. Caught in an inner war. Trapped in his own personal hell.
Haylie just wanted it to end. But the game wasn’t over. Not by a long shot.
Dylan was lost. Lost in an endless state of white-hot rage. Lost in his own torturing mind, tearing him apart little by little. Lost until she saved him, slamming right into his soul and slaughtering his demons while putting her life on the line without batting an eyelid.
 
She was the only thing stable in his life. She was the only one to make his past bearable. She was the only one to make his future livable. He’d sacrifice everything to give her the life she deserved, far away from the battles and the constant pain, but danger was once again hot on their heels…
Book 1, A Flare of Hope

 

My cigarette glowed in the darkness, and I watched the apartment through the haze of smoke. All the lights were off. Congratulations Dylan, you haven’t considered the possibility of her already being asleep. Worst cloak-and-dagger mission ever.
What now? Break in and sneak up on her in her bedroom? She might die of a heart attack. Not that I’d care, but this wasn’t my style. Damn, what was I even doing here?
There was a dimly lit courtyard leading to the backside which could help me getting a closer look. Maybe I could catch something through the windows.
Just as I approached the porch, the tip-tap of quiet footsteps resounded and something like keys jingling. Quickly hiding in the shadows, I saw a female figure coming up the steps.
Where did she suddenly come from? I should have spotted her on the sidewalk, but the streets had been clear. No human soul in sight. I remembered what Jimmy had said about the girl having a knack for moving on top of the buildings. Her hair was hidden behind a hood, but I could see some windblown strands sticking out in front of her face. She was panting, her chest heaving as if she’d just run ten miles.
So, this was the Natural. Damn, she didn’t have an ounce of imagination what burden lay on her shoulders.
She was tall, I guessed about five feet nine. Her clothes were plain black. It was obvious she wanted to blend in with the darkness. She moved with caution, her steps hesitant and her head whipping from side to side as if she feared for a creature to jump out of the shadows any second. Well, she wasn’t completely off base, considering I intended to do exactly that.
She turned the keys inside the lock, and the door clicked open. This was my opportunity.
Leaving my hideout, I rocked up to her. “Are you Haylie Bryceland?” I asked flat out.
Of course, the girl let out a shriek of surprise. She dropped the keys in her panic but reacted fast and snatched a baseball bat from behind the door. Huh, not a bad move. Her reflexes were astounding. Guess she had every right to be paranoid. Not that the baseball bat would help her driving off someone like me, but how was she supposed know?
The girl didn’t answer but just stood there with her wooden weapon, bracing herself for a fight she couldn’t possibly win. The way she held the handle—the knuckle of her bottom hand not pointing up the barrel, and her index finger not separated from the others—would make any baseball player do a face-palm.
I forced my thoughts back on track. She still owed me her name. And her confession.
In any case, I needed to handle the matter discreetly and avoid making a scene out here, so I repeated my question, trying to sound as calm as Jimmy. “I’m not here to hurt you.” Aren’t you? “Are you Haylie Bryceland?”
I took the steps up to the porch, and her grip tightened around the handle as if she was fighting the urge to recoil. Her lips quivered, but from the cold or from fear, I couldn’t tell. Her hood hid most of her face, but I should have been able to catch the Flare by now. And yet, her eyes hadn’t shown their natural reflection. Did I catch the wrong one?
“Why do you want to know my name?” Her voice was calmer than she felt. Demanding, even. She was walking on thin ice because tonight, I was her most formidable predator.
“I have every right to know. You are the reason he died, after all,” I growled in a deep timbre, not bothering to mention Ricky’s name. I wanted to know if she remembered it. See what it triggered in her.
Her first reaction was to backpedal with a gasp. Wrong move on her part because now I knew for a certainty that she was Haylie Bryceland—the third Natural I met in my life, right after Jenna and the sister, Shawna. All dead. Great track record, eh? And at last, the girl who was the reason Ricky was no more. To say I was stark raving mad would have been an understatement.
What she did next made me lose my cool for a moment, though. As if letting all her walls down, the bat slipped from her fingers and crashed onto the wooden panels with a loud clunk.
“Ricky,” she whispered, her tone so wistful it cracked its way right into my soul. Her hand moved to her trembling lips as if she was trying to hold in her sobs.
With a murderous glare and a wide step forward, I clutched her throat and slammed her into the nearest wall—too fast for her to react in time. Her hands flew up to mine, nails digging in in panic. I cut off her air supply with enough pressure to keep her from screaming, although I admit I was close to giving in to the need to squeeze just a little bit tighter. The world was better off without her. No… I was better off without her.
With my other hand, I yanked off the hood only to see short, piss-blonde hair. A fucking wig. Why was she wearing one?
Grabbing her chin, I bore my eyes into hers, but they were not the color I expected to see. No, it was something between gray and brown and looked completely off. On a closer look, I could make out the rim of contact lenses. A camouflage tactic. Certainly helpful to avoid attracting the Hunters’ attention. Unfortunately, not enough to avoid mine.
“I know what eye color you’re hiding behind those,” I spat, careful not to use the word ‘jaylior’. You never knew where Catchers were crawling around. Now it made sense why I couldn’t see the Flare—the lenses disrupted the natural light reflection.
My reproach made her shut her eyes and yank her head to the side—at least she tried, but my grip restrained her movements. Grabbing her wig, I yanked it off, and she cried out when it got stuck in her hair clip. Lush, glossy, dark brown hair lay underneath.
“Look at me!” I hissed at her, and she opened her eyes reluctantly. Damn, I couldn’t remove her contact lenses, but maybe it was better if I didn’t get to see myself reflected in those eyes. It would only remind me of all my failures.
First things first—I’m not an English native speaker. I live in a boring little town on the outskirts of Vienna, Austria, so probably very far away from you! I’m an avid reader and have been reading English books my entire life. When I write, I can’t think in my mother tongue anymore. For a long time, this was the reason I refused to take that leap of faith into publishing, because I feared I could never compete with the others. A year later, I decided it was worth the risk, and now here I am… Crazy!
 
I’m a hybrid steamy/erotic romance author. Doesn’t matter if contemporary, paranormal, dystopian, or urban fantasy—I write & read them all!
 
Relationship status—living happily with my boyfriend, not married and no kids, yet. I have a fulltime job in marketing and wish to make a living as an author. Let’s see how this will turn out in the future…
 
I’m too organized. Everything has its place, everything is planned. Also, I’m always busy and looking for work, which is pretty exhausting sometimes.
 
I have an uncanny talent for remembering faces and names, but I’m shitty when it comes to directions. I’m not kidding you, I can get lost everywhere, especially on ski slopes!
 
I love movies, my Kindle Reader, snowboarding, wakeboarding and sunbathing. I hate The Simpsons (I know, I’m probably the only person in the world, but I just can’t warm up to them), zombie movies, and fish (as in the food—got sick once and can’t touch that stuff ever since). 
 
That’s pretty much the short version of it. If you want to know more or have the feeling you need to stalk me, find me on the usual platforms.

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