14 Oct '13

Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway : Blood of an Ancient by Rinda Elliott

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Blood of an Ancient, the second book in my Beri O’Dell urban fantasy series, releases next Tuesday from Samhain Publishing. I’ve been excited about this book from the moment I first saw the gorgeous cover. You can preorder it at your favorite online book retailer, but through next week, it’s only $3.85 here at Samhain

There’s another excerpt you can check out there as well, but I’m sharing an exclusive one here for Scorching Book Reviews readers. Oh! I’m also giving away a copy of both book one, Dweller on the Threshold and Blood of an Ancient to one commenter. Just comment below to be in with a chance of winning. Good luck! The contest is going to close on the 19th of October 🙂

Saving the love of her life could mean letting her inner darkness out to play.

Beri O’Dell, Book 2

Beri O’Dell is on a mission. She has to rip back into a hell dimension fast, but needs two things first—the blood of an ancient and a fix for her friend Blythe’s magic, which careened out of control after the battle with the Dweller.

Finding ancient blood isn’t easy when the old ones are rare and unwilling to donate. She needs to find Blythe’s former mentor…except the woman has lost her mind and joined a traveling band of singing witches.

That’s not the only magical monkey on her back. Nikolos is imprisoned, and after a screwed-up spell lets her witness the horror that has become his life, her fear for him grows by the day. Now there’s another problem—a powerful being unleashed during the battle with the Dweller likes her gluttonous new existence, and will kill anyone who threatens it.

But Beri has a few tricks up her costumed sleeve, even if it means mining the darkness of her soul to set everything right…and get Nikolos back in her arms.

Product Warnings

Sleazy ancients. Random fires. Nosy teenage hackers. Hints of off-screen torture. Battles with…Beri doesn’t know what. And one scary boyfriend who keeps inching toward insanity.

  “I would expect vampire magic to be darker, sharper. Not something lush like this.” A huge beehive filled one corner of the warehouse. I hoped Elsa didn’t spot it, but she couldn’t miss the large number of bees present. Here it was warm and well lit. “Yet…” Turning my attention to the garden, I was struck again at the precision of the planting, the mingling of scents. This was a special kind of garden. An evening garden. The kind put together by someone who loves the night. All the flowers were night bloomers. Evening primroses with their yellow flowers. Moonflowers climbed trellises around the room and my eyes flew open wide as I finally realized the unique scent that pushed its way through all the others. 

Ah, there was the anomaly. 

The corner of my mouth turned up as I walked over to the plants. Their beautiful, white trumpet-like flowers were all open to the night sky. Datura. A well-known hallucinogenic plant. Datura’s scent is hard to explain, but it isn’t like the scent of any other flower I know. And these were slightly different—beyond sweet, like candy…

Eyes still wide, I followed the dangerous flowers with my gaze. Row after row—I’d never seen this many in one place at a time.

“Oh, what is that heavenly smell?” Blythe, apparently pee-less now, danced her way to the center of the flowers. She turned a full circle and took in a deep, deep breath. “I’ve never smelled datura flowers this strong before. Oh my. It’s just lovely, lovely, lovely.”

Yep, they were datura flowers all right, and Blythe was already higher than a dotty-on-the-verge-of-psychic witch should go. Smelling the flowers shouldn’t make her high, but I had the feeling these weren’t the ordinary plants. Something else was with us—I felt its presence—but I didn’t let on that I knew we were no longer alone.

Phro walked up to stand with me. She wore a skin-tight, short black dress. Pearls snuggled against her neck in a choker that met in the center of her throat to form a V. Her black hair was pulled tight and gathered in a bun on top of her head. She watched the spinning witch for a second, a slow grin forming at one end of her mouth. “Back in my day, we used this as a poison. Maybe we should get the little twit out of here.”

“Thought Fred was the twit,” I murmured. Did I mention that datura can be deadly as hell?

“He’s not here.”

I didn’t like thinking about that. I hadn’t seen my true spirit guide—or the person I’d grown up believing to be my true spirit guide—since before the battle with the Dweller on the Threshold. “She’ll be all right for a minute. She’s not eating the stuff. Jeez, I bet she can’t even take aspirin. She’s obviously very susceptible if the smell alone is making her, uh… What is she doing now?”

Castor’s grin was huge. “Jumping jacks?”

We watched her spunky exercise routine for a sec.

I pulled them a little ways from Blythe. “This doesn’t feel like vampire magic, and this garden is screaming fairy or pixie. Just look at how healthy everything is. It’s in a warehouse, not out in the open. It takes a special kind of skill and magic to create something like this inside a building. And I can’t imagine anyone but a drug dealer growing this much datura. I’m not sure we have the right place.”

“You might.”

The new voice didn’t make me jump. I’d learned early in my investigations that it’s better to let the creature show itself first. Let it think the first move was its choice. It never was, but being prepared and aware was the way to go.

There was a slight buzzing near my ear and before I knew what was happening, a few low lights clicked on around the room. I saw a brief glimpse of tiny, flapping wings and I followed them to a corner where someone had set up a home. I tilted my head and took in the very human, albeit small, items arranged on a large, formal dining table. No pixies I’d ever met went for lush, human surroundings.

Especially, red. Lots of red, lush, human surroundings.

When the speaker finally landed, I got it. 

Then wished I hadn’t.

Nix

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