Sneak Peek: Spliced Magic

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Excerpt, Spliced Magic

I grabbed some coveralls from a cabinet and slipped into them, then rolled the tool cart over to the TIV, my baby. She was a cherry red Ford 350 Super Duty truck with four-wheel drive and a 6.7-liter turbo charged Diesel engine with propane and water injection. I’d take her home with me, if it weren’t for the modifications: aluminum, steel, Kevlar, and polycarbonate armor, hydraulic wind skirts on all sides, and stabilizing spikes. The TIV was a 14,000-pound tank that would probably scare most other drivers in Tulsa off the road. It was too bad I only ever got to drive her May through June.

I changed the oil, cleaned the cylinders, flushed the fuel injection system, and was about to move on to rotating the tires when my cell phone rang. My nerves were still wound so tight that I bumped my head on the elevated hood as I jerked up. Rubbing the sore spot with one hand, I frantically fished my phone out of my pocket with the other, not even caring that I was getting grease on the case. Preston’s name lit up the caller ID.

I swiped the answer arrow, then tucked the phone between my ear and shoulder so I could grab a rag. “Hey.”

“Hey, you at home?” There was a tightness in his voice that made me take notice.

“No, the garage.”

Preston sighed. “Mind calling me back from an office line?” He sounded a little put out by the request, which baffled me since it was coming from him in the first place.

“I guess, but why?”

He hung up without answering, and I pulled the phone away from my ear to stare at it in bewilderment. Shaking my head, I went to the sink and washed my hands before heading into the lab. I didn’t bother flipping a light switch, as there was enough illumination from the ten computers sitting on the right side of the large room. Their screen savers alternated between slideshow photos of our team and generic swirly rainbows. We left the computers on over the weekend because they were processing data and running simulations that couldn’t be interrupted. That also meant the air conditioning ran constantly, and the shades on all the windows were pulled down to keep the place cool.

I slumped into a rolling chair from one of the desks and picked up the landline telephone. Preston answered before the first ring had finished.

“You alone?”

I quirked a confused brow. “Yes. What’s going on?”

Preston made a disgruntled noise. “Josh called me.”

What?” I lurched to my feet, sending the chair wheeling back to knock against another desk. “Is he okay? Where the hell is he? And why did he call you?”

“Before you get pissed, he only called me to pass on a message to you. He didn’t call you directly because he’s afraid your phone might be tapped.”

Preston snorted as though the idea was ridiculous. I, however, felt a chill down my spine. Would the SPA tap my phone? Maybe if they didn’t believe I hadn’t heard from my brother, or they thought Josh would reach out eventually. Which he had, finally, though I was going to ream him good for making me crazy with worry.

I took a deep breath. “What’d he say?”

“He wants you to meet him,” Preston said tightly. “Where—and I quote—‘you beat up Howard Minke.’ The first time.”

I blinked. Josh was using code? Was it because he was afraid the SPA was listening in, or because he didn’t trust Preston, even though Josh was using him as a middle man? I pinched the bridge of my nose. This was too much. At least I knew the place he was referring to, and it was only a twenty-minute drive with no traffic on a late Sunday afternoon.

A cold thought dropped a lead ball into my stomach. What if the SPA was watching me? I didn’t want to lead them to Josh, not without hearing his side first. My head turned toward the parking lot where my motorcycle had been sitting unattended for the past six hours. And before that, it’d been at my apartment while I’d walked to the café to meet Gage. What if Agents Ford and Romero had stuck a tracker on it? I snorted to myself; now I sounded paranoid. Still…

“Can I borrow your car?”

“Sylphie,” Preston said, tone warning. “Don’t get mixed up in this.”

“He’s my brother.”

“Then do what’s best for Josh and convince him to turn himself in.”

I gritted my teeth and said irritably, “I can’t very well do that if I don’t go meet him. And it’d be better if I drove him back in a car, not on the back of my bike.” I heard a scowl on the other end of the line.

“Fine, just…try not to get charged aiding a fugitive.”

“They’d have to catch me first.”

I wasn’t completely convinced the SPA would be on my tail, but if they were, they wouldn’t find me an easy target. I outran tornados for a living; I could certainly outrun them.

Spliced Magic is available for pre-order on Amazon. Release date August 3, 2015.

Sylphie Seaton’s life is about to get turned upside-down when her brother ends up wanted for murder. Framed and dying from exposure to a genetically engineered super serum, Josh turns to Sylphie for help clearing his name and finding a cure. But the conspiracy may go deeper than either of them ever imagined, and not even an acclaimed storm chaser can outrun this tempest.

Add on Goodreads

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Excerpt of Dreamstealer: Lexa vs. The Dress

I have another excerpt of Dreamstealer for you today, this time one with a little humor. Lexa is on her way to Teltania to see if their princess is in fact a new dreamwalker. Unfortunately, her cover for this mission is to go as a visiting diplomat of Artasia. And one must dress to fit the part…

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Neil gestured to the gray-toned, crackle-textured trunk. “Mathias left this for you, but he insisted you not open it until the day before our arrival. So, here it is.”

Lexa could tell she was not going to like this. She strode forward, flipped the latch, and swung the lid up. The trunk was full of clothes, it seemed, and dresses at that. She stared at the fitted, maroon velvet gown with a cross-laced bodice on top.

“Hell no.” She slammed the lid down again.

Neil cleared his throat. “I believe his words were something about you being a lady and needing to dress to fit the part.”

No wonder Mathias hadn’t wanted her opening it until the last minute…or while he was still around. She would have strangled him. Yes, she understood the importance of playing the role of diplomat, but did he have to choose such…opulent clothes? If he had given her more time, she would have done her own shopping—which had probably been his plan all along.

Lexa threw the lid open again; the hinges rattled as they quaked under her wrath. She grabbed the maroon dress and lifted it up. It was even worse in full form: puffed sleeves at the shoulder, which tapered down into a tightly fitted cuff at the wrist. Her arms would look like mutton legs in it. She tossed it on the bed. The next dress on the pile was an aquamarine with wide, billowy sleeves and lace around the neck meant to imitate sea spray. Underneath that lay a dark green gown with a loose skirt that Lexa thought she could tolerate, but for the most part, she discarded the various dresses on the bed, her lip curling in even more disgust with each one.

“I’m going to throttle him.”

Neil arched a brow at the mess. “So you two hadn’t discussed this?”

Lexa glowered at him. “Don’t pretend that comes as a surprise. He did tell you to keep this until the last minute.”

Neil rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m not sure I see the problem.”

Lexa gestured to her plain shirt and pants, then at the dresses. “Seriously?”

He quirked a smile. “They would look stunning on you.”

“They’re ridiculous.”

“Perhaps you should try one on first.” He dug under the pile, pulled out the maroon one, and held it out to Lexa. Her fingers twitched, unwilling to even touch the extravagant fabric. But with Neil watching her closely, she swallowed her discomfort and snatched it from his hand.

“You’re forgetting a piece.” He reached into the trunk and pulled out a corset.

Lexa gave it a blank stare.

“It’s all the fashion in Teltania right now.”

“You wear it.”

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I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek. I was also on Mistress of the Dark Path’s blog this weekend for an interview. Curious if I have a naughty side? … 😉

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Dreamstealer is available on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.

When her kingdom’s former enemy suspects their princess is a budding dreamwalker, Lexa is drafted out of retirement and sent to Teltania to train the twelve-year-old girl. But hidden agendas complicate her mission, and Lexa doesn’t know whom to trust. Meanwhile, her own dreamwalking powers are waning when she needs them most. Can Lexa decipher the mysteries at every turn, or will the dreamscape claim yet another dreamwalker?

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Cover Reveal: Dreamstealer

I am so excited to share with you all the cover for my next release, Dreamstealer, the sequel to Dreamwalker. It looks AMAZING. But first, here’s some fun info about the upcoming book.

1. Where did the idea for Dreamstealer come from?

Well, it’s the sequel to the novella, Dreamwalker, which was supposed to be a single book, but readers kept threatening begging me to write another one. So I did.

2. What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy. Kick-ass fantasy, I might add.

3. Who’s the main character?

Lexa is an ex-special forces soldier who knows how to kill a man half a dozen ways with her bare hands. She also has the rare ability to transcend from her mind into the dreamscape, an otherworldly realm somewhere between dreams and the heavens, and then to also enter other people’s dreams. Lexa is a tough, no-nonsense kind of woman who tackles challenges with either sharpened sarcasm or well-aimed right hooks.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jennifer Garner as Lexa (definitely with the sai from the movie Elektra, but not the leather outfit):

Hugh Jackman for Sir Neil Duram (think from Kate & Leopold):

Child actresses are really hard to find, so let’s say we’d cast an unknown, brand new girl for Princess Taryn and she’d become a star.

Hector Elizondo for, well, Hector, the Steward.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Lexa is once again called out of retirement, this time to help her country’s former enemy when they suspect their twelve-year-old princess is a budding dreamwalker.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be self-published, represented by me.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft…two months. But it was bare bones. The second draft and fleshing out took another month, and the real magic happened in the next two. From the first draft to final, the word count more than doubled. So those of you who were sad when Dreamwalker was so short…buckle your seat belts.

8. Does this book have a soundtrack?

Not a very long one, but “Skyrim” by Peter Hollens & Lindsey Stirling is perfect for every fight scene, and “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele is the backdrop for a very specific, very romantic, scene. (Yes, that’s right, Lexa is getting a shot at romance.)

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My readers. They loved Lexa so much, they wanted more of her. And really, who could blame them? She’s now my favorite character (don’t tell the Elemental Magic women).

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Everything readers loved about the first book—action-packed scenes with plenty of combat, intrigue, snarky Lexa humor, and a quirky guy attempting to sweep her off her feet—you’ll find in this one. And just when I thought I’d already thrown Lexa through the ringer in the first book, well, let’s just say Dreamstealer is one hell of a ride.

And now, drum roll please….

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Cover Design by Amber Shah at BookBeautiful.com

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