Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at The Bawdy Book Blog. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story.
This Week’s Excerpt: The Banshee’s Embrace by Victoria Richards!
Genre: Paranormal Romance Publish Date: August 2012 Like this excerpt? Buy it: Kindle
Jacqueline Huston has no idea what has been happening to her, but it started the night she was attacked by men with strange powers. While wounded in the attack, Jacqueline knows she would have surely died if her husband hadn’t thrown himself into the line of fire. But being alive is little comfort when your husband is dead. Ever since that night, Jacqueline has been strangely attracted to death for reasons she doesn’t understand. When death is nearby, she experiences the uncanny feeling that she can predict when it is coming for someone. However, it’s the weird urge to sing when she gets close to dying people that disturbs her the most. Toby Williams is a wizard and a member of the Brotherhood of Merlyn, an ancient order of wizards. He’s been charged by the Brotherhood to keep an eye on Jacqueline Huston. After all, half banshees are rare, and if placed in the wrong hands, they can be a powerful weapon. As owner of Merlyn’s Bar, a place the lovely Ms. Huston frequents, it seems an easy enough assignment for Toby. When sinister Derek Spark attempts to kidnap her, Jacqueline learns a frightening truth–she comes descended from an old Irish family whose women are destined to become banshees upon their deaths. Jacqueline was meant to die in the attack a year ago, but because she was only wounded, her banshee genes are coming out, making her a powerful weapon to those in the supernatural world. Derek wants to use her soul reaping powers for his own evil plans. Jacqueline must discover the truth about her heritage and save Toby, the man she finds herself falling in love with, and from her own banshee urge to reap his soul.
The rain howled down, causing Jacqueline’s skirt to stick to her as if it were a second skin. She didn’t notice, nor did the pounding rain cause her any discomfort. Her attention was focused on the body next to her, her mind trying to make sense of everything that she’d seen.
Eric is dead.
The thought tore at her heart. Someone had just killed her husband. Even though she knew that, even though her mind knew she needed to run, to get the hell out of danger, Jacqueline could do nothing but stare down at the man who had somehow managed to save her from death.
But how? How had he done it? The deep ache in her chest where she’d been hit was proof something happened, but had she imagined the sparks she’d seen flying from his fingertips, the sparks that had sailed through the wet night and at the mysterious man who’d attempted to assault her. No. It wasn’t possible. Her mind was playing tricks. It had to have been a gun, some sort of new technology. Eric was a cop. He would have had access to those things. It had only looked like…
The murderer had taken off into the night, not bothering to see if his victim was alive or dead. Her mind replayed the events of the past few minutes. Jacqueline had been certain that death was going to claim her, but as she’d lain on the soaked ground, Eric’s worried face appeared above her. The wind had picked up, carrying with it an odd, almost melodious howl.
“No, Jackie!” Eric’s voice was stern, though blood dripped down the side of his face. “Don’t listen to the song. It’s not your time to become one of them.”
“Eric, baby…” She could feel the strength slipping from her body. It felt like something dark tugged at her spirit, something that wanted very badly for her to let go of life.
What a weird thought…
“No!” With a deep breath, Eric had raised his head to the night sky and begun chanting strange words. His hands glowed with a soft, comforting white light, and as he placed them on her chest, just above her heart, heat slid into her skin. The tugging feeling evaporated.
“Eric?” As she sat up, he fell onto his side, eyes wide and empty.
Her emotions were numb with dread, and though her mind had already darted and delved its way into a million questions, she willed herself to be still just a moment longer. Just a little while more. If she sat very, very still, everything would go back to normal. She’d wake up from the horror, from the truth.
Eric is dead.
She reached forward and touched the body of the man she’d been married to for five years. He was already cold. The rain lashed against him, and suddenly Jacqueline threw herself against his chest, ready to shield him from the harsh drops. Desperately, she breathed in his scent.
Her skin tingled. Anxiety danced in her stomach, and the oddest sensation of power rippled through her abdomen. The spot on her chest where the man had hit her, that Eric had healed, ached. Her heart raced and dizziness washed over Jacqueline, mixing with the sensation of rain on her skin. She could literally feel this new energy rising through her body until it reached the esophagus.
Jacqueline lifted her face to the sky. If she could have seen herself, she would have been shocked to see that her eyes were a deep, luminescent green. Her mouth opened and a long wail flew free from within her. Only it wasn’t really a wail.
It had melody.
It lifted up through the air, skimming the rain and dancing across the night sky, carrying along the sound of her lament.
About the Author
Victoria Richards is a native southern Californian. She is a married and a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful daughters. She holds two degrees, one in Liberal Arts and the other in History. Victoria has been writing since she was old enough to pick up a pencil, but it wasn’t until her college years that she really developed a love for writing creatively. At the suggestion of her creative writing professor she decided to pursue a more full-time career as a writer, something that she enjoys and gives her immense satisfaction.
Her passion for reading and writing has been focused mostly in the romance genre. With a hyperactive (and romantic) imagination, a degree in history and a love for the arts she finds it easy to blend these many disperse elements together to create romance stories that can range from the beautiful to the bizarre.
Her other interests include traveling, painting, shopping, volleyball, jogging at the beach, and enjoying a good game of billiards.
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