CURSED (BEHOLDER, #1)
by Christina Bauer
Most days, Elea couldn’t care less about having Necromancer magick. Who needs to conjure skeletons and sprits when you’re a farm girl? Elea only uses her powers to speed up chores and scare off suitors.
Everything changes when the evil Necromancer Tsar curses Elea. Now, she only has five years left before she burns as a ghost, tortured for all eternity. They say there’s nothing she can do, but Elea disagrees. She decides to embrace her Necromancer powers, train as a magickal assassin, and kill the Tsar… All before his curse kills her. Impossible as it may sound, Elea thinks she has it in the bag, but then everything goes horribly wrong.
That’s when a handsome mage named Rowan steps up to help. Elea wants an ally, but she doesn’t need all the mixed-up feelings that come along with Rowan’s crooked smile.
An assassination mission is no time to fall in love, but Elea’s heart may have other ideas…
“Hello, girlie.” Wyatt took a half-step closer, his gaze locked onto my breasts. I had the sudden urge to vomit.
I hefted my mallet again, hoping he’d take the hint not to come any nearer. “Elea. My name’s Elea.”
“Didn’t I say that?”
“Nope.” I adjusted my grip to show my glowing bones. “Why are you here?”
“Some monk had a letter for you. Thought I’d help out.” He slipped an envelope from his pocket. I recognized the seal right away—it was from Tristan’s old Monastery, the one where he’d trained as Necromancer. He’d given that all up to become a merchant. Why would they write me of all people?
“Thank you.” I reached for the letter, but Wyatt pulled it away. “Not so quickly. I want to talk.”
Now, we get to it.
“So talk.” My bones glowed more brightly as my swing took on extra power.
Wyatt jumped when the hammer hit. I grinned.
“You’ve grown into a lovely young woman, Elea. Eighteen years old, only ten years younger than me.” Wyatt clutched his hand to his chest the way that characters did in badly drawn illustrations of courtly love. “You’re tall and fit with hair black as a raven’s wing, smooth olive skin, and whiskey-colored eyes. A man could spend a lifetime looking at your sweet face.”
I stared at him, slack jawed. Whiskey-colored? Did he really say that? Wyatt’s blue eyes narrowed slightly and he pursed his lips as if ready for my kiss.
“Come now, Wyatt. Ever since the courts ruled in my favor, I’ve had suitors darkening my door day and night.”
Wyatt shook his head in surprise. He was really playing this up. “That’s not true. You’re a lovely maiden. The finding of the court is merely a coincidence. I’ve been hoping to be sweethearts for ages.”
“Sweethearts. Truly.” I smacked my lips. “For ages.”
I gripped my mallet tighter and imagined it was his neck.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. An avowed girl geek, Christina loves creating immersive fantasy worlds with action, adventure, romance, and kick-ass female protagonists. As part of her work in Ink Monster, Christina has co-developed the ‘Heroine’s Journey,’ a blueprint for telling female myths inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and golden retriever Ruby.
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Christina Bauer will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway