Title: Dead Men Rising
Author: Amber Garr
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: October 20th, 2020
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.
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).
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.
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!”