Okay, lets spring ( pun intended) into action! Lame, I know, but I hope you’ll enjoy an excerpt from the first chapter of the my upcoming release PHOENIX! It’s the fourth installment of the Leah Wolfe SINS Novel Series. Stay on the blog hop for a chance to win lots of prizes and if you just stumbled upon us or lost your way, click on www.justromance.me to get back on the hop!
If you prefer the juicier excerpts: read on a find out what Leah and Ian are up to in the bedroom…
PHOENIX: A LEAH WOLFE SINS NOVEL
Releasing May 6th at www.LSBooks.com
Chapter 1 Excerpt:
Ground fog covered all but the tips of the headstones marking graves that dated back to the early nineteen hundreds. Angels Cross was one of the oldest and most prestigious cemeteries in the state. Governors, actors, almost anyone on the proverbial who’s who list were, most likely laid to rest in this hallowed ground. That offered me no comfort as I stepped through the mist and made my way to Tabitha Walden’s grave. Her grandfather, Arthur Walden, was a prominent businessman, and a strong supporter of the Supernatural Investigations of Non-Human Species, SINS for short the branch of law enforcement that employed me as a federal agent. Had Walden’s influence, and more importantly, his money, bought my services for the evening?
I’d like to say no.
I’d really, really like to say no.
But that would make me naive and, while I was many things, gullible definitely was not one of them.
“Federal Agent Leah Wolfe.” Arthur Walden’s deep voice cut through the dark just before his rotund figure appeared through the mist surrounding him. His expression was somber as he extended his hand to me in greeting.
“That’s what they tell me.” I shook his hand and flashed a look at Sam standing beside him.
“Mr. Anderson here tells me you’re the best at what you do.” Walden’s gaze slid to Sam then back to me.
“Well, he should know,” I replied drily.
Sam cleared his throat, warning me to behave. “Leah is the only Necromancer in existence that we know of.”
Sam Anderson was the director of SINS. He was my boss as well as my friend. He also knew I wasn’t thrilled about using my necromancy. Having the ability to speak to the souls of the dead was one thing; being able to raise them from their graves and reanimate them was downright creepy. Yet that was the gift I had, even if I was just learning how to use it.
“You are aware that my abilities are inconsistent.” I tried once again to backpedal my way out of this mess.
“Don’t be modest, Miss Wolfe.” Arthur jerked his head toward Sam. “Mr. Anderson speaks very highly of you.”
“And I appreciate that—however…” I tried to keep from openly scowling at Sam, “I cannot make any guarantees.”
“You are the only chance that I have to say good-bye to my granddaughter, Miss Wolfe.” He leveled his gaze with mine. “Please, just try.”
I let out a heavy breath and nodded. “Let’s get started then, shall we?” I followed Sam and Arthur through the maze of headstones, trying my best to walk between them. Somehow, it just didn’t seem right to walk over the ground where their bodies were buried. The moon shone a perfect half curve, illuminating the mist and giving the haze an eerie life of its own as it wafted throughout the cemetery and swirled around the central mausoleum.
Walden finally stopped and jerked his head toward the nearest headstone. I walked closer to Tabitha’s grave and ran my hand along the top of her marker. It was white marble inscribed with her name, dates of birth and death. IN THE ARMS OF ANGELS was engraved across the top, and BELOVED DAUGHTER AND GRANDDAUGHTER below that.
Tabitha had been found dead in her home of an apparent overdose of narcotics. The coroner called it suicide and Arthur used his substantial influence to keep it out of the newspapers. Mustn’t let the actions of his granddaughter tarnish his squeaky-clean reputation.
I wondered how many times he’d used his influence to protect Tabitha, not that I blamed him. Arthur raised Tabitha himself. She was the only family he had left. His wife died years before and both of Tabitha’s parents followed soon after in a tragic house fire. When Arthur asked Sam for our help, he confided in him that he thought the stress of losing so many people drove Tabitha to take her own life.
“Where do you need me to stand?” Arthur called, interrupting my thoughts.
“A couple of feet away from the headstone should do.” As long as he wasn’t in the way of the body I was there to raise, it didn’t really matter. Keep it professional, Leah.
Sam stood beside Arthur and I saw him tense as I kneeled before the headstone. Sam didn’t like graveyards; most people don’t, especially at night.
Saying a small prayer, I blessed myself with the sign of the cross and then stood, took a deep breath, and tried to clear my head of all thoughts except for Tabitha. I envisioned her in the photographs Arthur had provided for me and wondered what her life had been like. She had been undoubtedly happy in the pictures with her parents. Her eyes were bright and wide with innocence. Then the photos taken of her after her parents’ deaths slipped into my mind when the joy seemed to have been drained from her. The misery of the loss of her parents was evident in every aspect of her appearance. Her eyes were jaded— stripped of their innocence and clouded in angst.
The ground below me rumbled as if a great vibration rocked the earth, sending bits of dirt and rock dancing upon its surface.
Arthur Walden gasped as the ground cracked over Tabitha’s grave, leaving a fissure nearly six feet long. It was as if the earth had opened a passageway for her to climb out of her tomb.
Two hands gripped the side of the fissure and Tabitha hoisted herself out of the earth. She clambered to her feet and placed her hands on her head, feeling her face as if looking for damage. My heart dropped into my stomach.
This had been no drug overdose.
Tabitha Walden was shot in the head, at very close range judging from the damage. While the left side of her face was intact, the top right side was nearly completely missing. Only her eyeball, dangling from a piece of tendon, remained. Her jaw was completely undamaged as if the bullet had managed to crack off a piece of her top skull and then fragmented out the back, leaving most of its carnage there.
“What the hell?” I managed to yell at Arthur just before Tabitha opened her mouth in an eerie wail that pierced the peaceful night air.
“I thought she’d be a ghost!” Arthur’s expression was horrified and his deep voice cracked. “I’m s-sorry, Tabby, so sorry.” Arthur stammered. “It wasn’t supposed to end like this.” He edged closer to Tabitha, his voice pleading.
“You killed her?” Sam’s voice hitched as the blood drained from his face.
“No.” Arthur turned his attention to Sam. “It wasn’t really me.”
At his words, Tabitha’s head snapped toward Arthur. Her eyeball made a sloshing sound as it dangled from her face. Tabitha made a few wet, choking gurgles. “You did this to me.” Tabitha said it as if she died knowing her grandfather had killed her. The pain of her betrayal hollowed the insides of my chest, halting my breath.
Tabitha tottered closer to Arthur. “I’m your granddaughter!” What was left of her face twisted with anguish.
Arthur stumbled back as she closed in on him. I felt his fear, his horror, and couldn’t bring myself to care. He’d had his own granddaughter murdered. He deserved to feel like shit.
Arthur’s voice rose. “I could never hurt you. I wasn’t myself; it was me, but not me.” His face wrinkled as he spoke. As if even he realized what he’d just said didn’t make sense. “It was a nightmare, not real.”
“Does this look like a dream? I am your granddaughter!” She screeched as she closed the remaining distance between them. “The child of your only daughter!”
Arthur braced himself against a headstone. “I don’t know how, but it wasn’t me. I swear it!”
“What the hell is going on, Arthur?” Sam demanded.
“I could never do this.” Arthur turned toward Sam. “I swear—it wasn’t really me.”
I didn’t like the feel of this. “Sam?” I called cautiously. “Step away from Arthur.”
“How the hell could you do this?” Sam stood his ground, ignoring my warning.
“Move, Sam!” I shouted, a moment before Tabitha jumped at her grandfather and flattened him to the ground.
I leaped at Sam and wrenched him away as Tabitha tore into her grandfather. She ripped strips of flesh off him as he screamed wildly.
I started an incantation, ordering Tabitha back to her grave, but it didn’t even slow her down. I was supposed to be able to control her.
So much for that theory.
I pulled my gun and fired one shot into Tabitha.
She turned, her hands dripping with the goo and flesh of her grandfather and speckles of blood dotting her face and the front of the dress she’d been buried in. “I’m already dead. You can’t kill me twice,” she sneered.
I fired another shot into her, but she simply turned away and continued battering Arthur.
Excerpt 2: Adults only
I captured his lips with mine before he could speak again. It was a sneaky way to change the subject, but hey, it worked.
Shifting, I trailed my mouth down his neck, teasing his chest and then sliding lower, where I confirmed that Ian was, indeed, naked, hard, and eager for me. Ian lowered his lips to mine and our tongues tangled together. Short, slow licks quickly smoldered into white-hot desire as we made love to each other’s bodies with our lips and tongues.
I hope you enjoyed these excerpts from PHOENIX: A LEAH WOLFE SINS NOVEL! So tell me, which did you prefer as a teaser…Chapter 1 or Juicy. 😉