Wednesday, October 2, 2013

BREAKING EMMA - is moving up ;)

 

Umm...yes you are.

In honor of Dean's obvious adorable-ness, I have decided to move the release date for BREAKING EMMA up! Yep you got it. It will available on Amazon Friday, October 4th. Yay! I am so excited I just can't wait.

My world lately has been craziness. So many projects, not enough time. I am finishing up a Anthology called BLOOD, LOVE, MAGIC this week and then I am diving back into CHASING ANGEL. The new covers for the Divisa series are coming along magnificently. I LOVE them so much and can't wait to share them.

To hold you until Friday, here is a sneak peak at Chapter 1:


Chapter 1
 

I am a hunter.

It is in my blood, flowing from generation to generation.

So I’m told.

We aren’t the usual mill of hunters. No deer, elk, wild turkeys, or caribou for my family or the others like us. That would be too normal, and my family is as abnormal as the things we hunt.

Demons.

Hellhounds.

Any ugly thing that shows its head from Hell.

And of course its offspring. Divisa—half human, half demon.

You would be surprised at the number of these half-breeds that live among us, or how common it is for demons to leave a human impregnated. Hell will often kill their young, kind of like a wolf spider, but more often a Divisa finds a way to avoid its heritage and survive. Then it falls to us to take care of the problem.

Leave it to the underworld to make us clean up its messes.

Before I realized what a crockpot of shit the world was, and before I was molded into a ruthless hunter, I was a dancer…

A great dancer.

Talk about yin from yang.

But God I loved dancing. It was like breathing. Nothing gave me the rush that dancing did, or the immense satisfaction, an outstanding sense of achievement. I always assumed that was what I would be. A professional dancer—the big leagues, but how quickly those dreams of twirling in the Big Apple or the Windy City disappeared. Poof. Like dust, they were gone.

And so was I.

Except in my case, magic had nothing to do with it. I never got the chance to say good-bye to the friends I’d made in Spring Valley. I never got the chance to decide if this was what I wanted. And most importantly, I never got the chance to see Travis one last time. If only…

Maybe things would have turned out differently. Maybe he would have been able to save me from what I’d become. It didn’t really matter in the end, because what-if’s were not going to change what had already come to pass. Dwelling on what could have been was for the weak, and I was anything but.

My instructor saw to that.

The night I was taken, I’d actually been on my way to see Travis, but someone had gotten to me first. Black mask, bright green eyes, and a familiar face greeted me that night on the abandoned road. I was told that I fainted, but I had a hard time believing that. Fainted? Never had I swooned in my life, but I guess being abducted can have an odd effect on people.

When I awoke, I was in a room that looked like a sad excuse for a college dorm. The walls were sterile white and the carpet was dull grey. Not an ounce of color touched the room, and I so loved color. Bright. Bold. Eye-popping. The brightest thing in the room was my strawberry-blonde hair. It stood out against the bleached walls.

Disorientated, I rubbed my eyes, attempting to push aside the workings of a migraine. At first I thought that this was surely a dream or a very bad joke. How could this possibly be real? Slowly memories began to trickle. What I couldn’t shake or make sense of was my dad.

Why had he been with those men?

Who were those men cloaked in the night?

And what did they want with little me?

You can imagine the vivid and disturbing images that came to mind. I couldn’t help but associate a kidnapping with rape and beatings, yet I just couldn’t see my dad being mixed up with that kind of thing. Sure, I guess he didn’t have a stellar background. He had been weirder than usual. Coming and going at ungodly hours. Running around dressed like some kind of ninja with knives strapped to his pants.

Okay, so my dad wasn’t what he seemed.

That much I got.

But what exactly was he mixed up in? Underground street gangs? Alien experimentation? CIA? And why had he gone to such extremes to bring me here? I still didn’t have the foggiest clue where here was?

As luck would have it, I didn’t have to wait long to find out.

The door to my new accommodations opened and in walked the man who would become my instructor. A man I thought I knew. The one man in my life who I’d always thought would protect me, guide me, and watch out for me.

It sucked ass to be so wrong.

I’d wanted to blame what I thought I had seen that night, however I couldn’t deny what was standing in front of my very own frightened eyes. I’d never really been afraid of him before. It was a feeling I was unaccustomed to. My first instinct when he had stepped through the door had been relief. I had wanted to throw myself into his arms, but something held me back. It was that one memory right before everything went fuzzy and black.

The one that was on repeat in my brain: He could have a part in all this. That thought ran rampant in my pounding head as I stood up and stared teary-eyed into emerald eyes just like mine.

“Dad?” I squeaked.

“Emma.”  I recognized his serious business tone. No BS allowed. No time for cuddling or emotional breakdowns. “We have a lot to discuss. Why don’t you sit down?”

Sit down? I didn’t want to sit. I didn’t want to be here. What I wanted was for him to take me home. I didn’t like the sound of this one itty-bitty bit, but when my dad commanded, you obeyed. At that time, rebellion wasn’t something I’d ever thought about. Maybe I should have…

Folding my hands neatly in my lap, I sat on the edge of the cot-like bed. It was probably better I sat anyway, since my knees were wobbling and my legs were shaky. “What’s going on? Why am I here?”

“This, Emma, is the family business, and it is time you took your place.”

Family business? My place? This was the first I’d heard of it, but I still didn’t understand the need for such extreme theatrics. I rubbed my sweaty palms on the thigh of my jeans. “I don’t understand. Why drag me here?” Not to mention scare the piss out of me.

“It was necessary. Trust me. If I could have done this anymore…delicately, I would have, but precautions were a must. This facility is highly guarded and off the radar.” He paced in the tiny room as he talked. Two steps to one wall, two steps back to the other.

Under my fear and skepticism, my interest was piqued enough for me to ask, “Why? What is so secret about this place?”

His red hair glinted off the overhead lights. “Demons. And, more importantly, their half-breeds, Divisa.”

I gulped. Oh boy. If he only knew how much I did know about half-demons. His dark green eyes narrowed at me. Something inside me told me that I needed to kick up my surprise a notch, like someone who didn’t know that demons walked the earth. “Deviza?” I echoed as if it was a foreign word, tripping over the pronunciation and trying to look confused.

That seemed to do the trick as he relaxed his shoulders—well relaxed for the sergeant, as I have nicknamed him—and continued, “I know that this might be hard to believe, but we live among demons disguised in human forms. They prey on us, manipulate our minds, get us to do things we normally wouldn’t do. Rape. Murder. You name it. They impregnate our women and leave them to raise their half-breed bastards. These abominations are dangerous. Extremely dangerous. They need to be taken care of. To keep families like ours safe, we need to wipe every Divisa from existence.”

I twiddled my fingers in my lap, trying to look anywhere but at my father as I tried to process what he was telling me. He hunted Divisa. He hunted people like Travis. And he expected me to do the same.

I gulped, swallowing back the bile rising in my throat.

I was going to hurl.

“From here on out, I will no longer be your father… I will be your instructor,” he informed in his deep military voice. There was no room for argument. My shoulders were rigid even though I knew I was in a hopeless situation.

My stomach fell through the concrete floor as I realized I wasn’t getting out of here or this situation. Dread overwhelmed me. I knew there was one thing I could never admit, that I had to keep hidden for my sake and for the protection of the guy I loved. My dad—errr instructor—could never find out what Travis was. Never. That was if he hadn’t already figured it out. Everything in my body told me it was vital that I told no one what I already knew.

Those first few days I was naïve and delusional.

I should have listened to that sinking feeling in my gut that told me my dad already knew what Travis was. He might have met him only twice, but maybe that was all it took to decipher Travis as something other than human. But I was no expert yet, that was for sure.

For now, I played dumb.

The first thing my instructor confiscated during my training was my iPod. Before, I’d never left my house without it. I was always moving to the beat of music. In the car, relaxing on my bed, walking the halls between classes, anywhere I could get away with it.

Hall High.

I couldn’t believe how much I’d miss it. Being homeschooled wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. Sure it sounded glamorous when you were sitting in a classroom day in and day out, but I thought it sucked.

It probably had something to do with the fact that I hadn’t been given a choice, like most things in my life lately. My freedom and decision-making had been stripped from me. My worst fears come true.

Six months ago all I had wanted to do was graduate with my class, in the town I loved, and study dance at a great college. It was amazing how fast dreams could be crushed.

In a blink, I saw the life I’d always envisioned disappear. In its place, I saw blood, death, and murder. I saw someone I didn’t recognize as myself. I would never again be that naïve, youthful girl. Dancing was a useless dream, my instructor told me that first day…a little girl’s fantasy.

Cruel words from my own father, who was now my mentor.

I was given a new path in life, one I just accepted because in the beginning I thought I could save Travis. But really, there was no other alternative.

Not if I wanted to survive. I wasn’t given one…

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