Saturday, February 27, 2010
Delicious Tease Day #14: Dawn McClure
Today's author is Dawn McClure, who is giving away an authographed copy of Asmodeus. Comment below for a chance to win, and wish her a Happy Birthday as well!
Being an aspiring witch is daunting business…
When Brianna Claxton accidentally summons a demon, she is forced to face her mistake head-on. That becomes problematic when her mistake comes in the form of ahot, ancient demon named Asmodeus who refuses to go back to the hell from which she summoned him.
Thoughts of revenge have kept him sane…
Asmodeus is leader of the Rebel Watchers, angels who fell from grace out of lust for human women. He had been subjected to the Abyss, tortured in a virtual Hell in Heaven, until the careless mistake of a human witch released him from the fires. Now faced with temptations of the flesh by the sexy witch who summoned him, he tries convincing himself that embarking on a relationship with Brianna would be a mistake of biblical proportions.
Two lives hang in the balance…
Just when things start heating up, four Death Angels give her a mission: Use her powers to kill him…or face the Abyss herself. Gaining his trust is the key—except the closer she gets, the more he reveals the man he is, not the demon she thought him to be.
Brianna sat on her bed and held the spell book to her chest, paralyzed by fear. A bright flash of light had burst through her house only seconds before, accompanied by a sound that had her reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Her light yellow curtains tangled with the rush of wind sweeping through her bedroom, fanning out like wisps of ghosts. Family photos fell from their place on her dresser, and her television made a loud popping noise just before going blank. Gray smoke poured from the top of it, filling her room with an acidic stench.
From now on she was going to listen to her inner voice. The very same voice that had told her not to cast any spell that lay within the leather-bound pages she cradled in her arms.
The power contained in the book had called to her the moment she had touched it. Dark and compelling. That should have been her first indication not to play with the spells contained within. In retrospect, it was more than likely the reason she had purchased it. The rare ancient language sparked an academic interest. Deciphering the language posed a challenge.
A whisper of darkness slid through her, a steadfast warning that hadn’t affected her as it should have.
She ought to have known something like this would happen. She was pushing herself to become a witch, focusing all her energy on spells and her obscure success at casting them. It was safe to say she was out of her league in this ambition. How long would she torment herself with powers she had no hope of mastering?
Now, after years of casting and studying spells, she knew what true darkness felt like. And it was currently in her house.
In the hallway.
Moaning such as she’d never heard nor imagined came from just beyond her opened bedroom door in the darkness that lay outside the circle of light cast by her bedside lamp. The question wasn’t if something was in her house, it was a question of what.
Her psychic abilities were failing her. The only truth she could discern was whatever lay ten feet away wasn’t human, and it certainly wasn’t virtuous. She was unable to control her emotions long enough to concentrate on the entity, another one of her Achilles’ heels. She needed meditation for her psychic visions to come to her. It was safe to say her skills concerning psychic capacity were sorely lacking.
The moaning coming from the hallway slowly gave way to silence. She closed her eyes and prayed the situation wasn’t as bad as she was making it out to be. She hadn’t merely made a blunder with a spell; she’d done something terribly worse. Something she may have no control over.
She listened for movement as her house once again grew silent.
Perhaps whatever she had summoned had died. That thought, though tantalizing, didn’t leave her with a comfortable feeling. Whatever condition this creature was currently in, the simple fact it was in her house remained.
She put the book on her nightstand and crawled out of bed. She couldn’t ignore what had happened, nor could she leave whatever it was in her hallway, possibly dying. This had happened because of a spell she had cast, and now it was her responsibility to rid her house of her mistake.
She grabbed her old, tattered spell book off her dresser and flipped to page forty, to her Oops Spell, as she liked to call it. It was a retraction spell.
Unfortunately she used it quite often.
She tiptoed to her door and summoned the courage to face what she had called forth. The house was so damned quiet she could hear her refrigerator humming in the kitchen. She took a deep breath and forced herself to peek around the corner.
There was a naked man lying on her floor. A rather large, unconscious, naked man sprawled in her hallway.
Had she yanked someone from a different time? A different dimension?
She tiptoed to his side, close enough to poke his leg with her foot. Years of watching horror flicks had her imagining all kinds of things. Him jumping up and snarling at her, brandishing a knife and a mask. His face contorting into a vampiric nightmare, fangs extended, claws tearing at her skin.
“Are you alive?” she whispered. She nudged his side with her bare foot.
She stepped back so fast she tripped over her own feet, fell against her bedroom doorframe and landed in a heap on the carpet.
She scooted against the wall and opened her book to page forty again. Her hands shook so badly it was difficult to turn the delicate pages. To hell with this. Whoever it was had to go back to where he came from.
She fumbled with her spell book, glancing up when the man, a mere silhouette of shadow in the darkness, moved. “Sorry for yanking you from wherever it is you’re from, but I’m sending you back. Don’t worry,” she muttered as she scanned the familiar spell.
There was just enough light coming from her bedroom for her to see the words on the page. It wasn’t as if she needed the spell book. She practically had this spell memorized. Still, she always followed a spell with painstaking accuracy. Even one missing word could cause a terrible disaster. A disaster such as the one lying before her.
Why she’d uttered a spell in a different language, which brought this being into her house, she had no idea. It was a stupid blunder on her part, and far beyond anything she had done before.
She gathered her courage and focused on the energy emanating from the Earth surrounding her. The natural energy provided the fuel she needed for her words to take on a greater power. “Tainted words escaped, a bad mistake, to make it right—”
Her head snapped up at the rough command torn from the man’s throat. She hit the back of her head against the wall.
The man pushed himself up, and if it was at all possible, he seemed larger. His long, blond hair fell around his face, shielding his features. The light from her bedroom danced along the contours of the muscles in his back as he slowly twisted to face her.
“Listen,” she said, running a hand over the back of her head to ease the ache. “I’m sorry I snatched you from wherever you were, but I’ll send you back.”
She took a deep breath and began her spell again. “Tainted words escaped, a bad mista—”
“No,” he growled, rising to snatch the book from her hands. For someone so close to death, he sure could move his ass when provoked. One second he was three feet away, moaning and in obvious pain, the next he was on her like a deranged madman. She yelped, scrambling away from him. He made it quite difficult when he grabbed her by her hair.
He flipped her onto her back and yanked the book from her hands, displaying strength and speed beyond that of a human.
With the book in hand he fell against the same wall she had just launched herself from. His hair was still a tangled mess around his face, reminding her of a wild animal. He was gasping for breath and holding his side.
“No. Going back. No.”
Whispering those few words seemed to tap whatever strength he had left. He began to writhe against the wall, clutching his chest while straining against some unseen force.
She wasn’t in the business of killing people. She crawled to him, her fear of him diminishing in light of her fear for him. She couldn’t let him die. This was her fault. By performing a spell she hadn’t understood, she had created this problem for him. It was her duty to fix it.
She held her hand just out of reach of his body, for the first time realizing how physically perfect he was. Absolutely perfect.
His jaw, barely visible underneath his golden hair, was square and smooth. Full lips pulled back to reveal perfect teeth, white and even. His shoulders were rounded with muscle, arms and chest ripped.
He couldn’t be from too far in the past, because the man obviously liked to get waxed. Other than the hair on his head, and the bit at his, ahem, he was bare and golden, if not a bit flushed. The muscles on his body were taut, perfectly sculpted, not a bulging vein to be seen. He had very few blemishes on his skin. Those she saw looked like blisters.
She slowly reached out, as one would to a stray dog, placing a reluctant hand on his chest. His skin was scalding. She snatched her hand away, forced to withdraw before she burned herself. Leaning forward, she noted the blisters were forming, then in the blink of an eye they were healing.
Oh my God…
Question of the Day: With all these Paranormal/ Sci-fi romances going up these days, it makes me wonder about new and exciting adventures. If you could pick a wild, crazy or exciting adventure to have-- what would it be? I think I'd like to try space travel-- not very original, but still very cool.
Don't forget, today’s prize is a chance to win an autographed copy of Asmodeus, so comment away. And Shayla's signing books today-- including some early copies of Delicious-- at 3pm at the Barnes & Noble in Hurst, TX, near the Northeast Mall.
Happy Saturday everyone!