An excerpt for Brighid’s Mark (Keepers of the Flame #2) is now available over at Publishing Amazing, aka Samhain Publishing, Ltd. That means it the book will soon be available for Pre-Order directly from the publisher in a multitude of electronic formats.
Find out how our interprid heroes Callie and Liam meet for the first time!
Copyright © 2014 Cate Morgan All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Liam and Donal stood side by side in an empty intersection outside the city, watching the haze of humidity stretch its lazy reach over the skyline. Old, unmaintained asphalt glittered dully in the mellow moonlight, while the gleam of broken glass spoke to the frequent occupation of transients. A forlorn bit of plastic bumped and scraped its way across the lot. Expectancy filled the air, adding to the already overwhelming humidity.
Donal pushed his spine from a crumbling cement wall, which was covered in a chaotic patchwork of graffiti. “It must be close to time by now. We’ll need a focal point.”
Liam’s eyebrows lifted. “Focal point?”
Donal held out an expectant hand. “Something small will do. I don’t have anything that will work, not here.”
Curious, Liam pulled the ring off his finger and passed it over.
Donal hefted it experimentally. “That should do’er.” He struck out into the empty intersection, gauging by some secret set of criteria only he was privy to. Liam followed.
Donal flung Liam’s ring high into the air. It stuck at its highest apex with a ping, a small earthbound star. Its light expanded and brightened, followed by a deafening roar. Liam shielded his eyes.
Donal tackled him to the ground as a beat up blue van screamed out of nowhere. It screeched to a halt, back end swinging. It rocked on its axles and gently steamed as the metal cooled. After a moment, the passenger side door creaked open. From his prone position, Liam watched boots land on the pavement.
“You always overshoot it,” a drawling male voice observed, as a matter of interest. The driver reached through the open window to unlatch the door from the outside.
“It’s not an exact science,” his passenger pointed out, slamming her door.
Liam leveraged himself upright. His left arm throbbed where he’d landed. After a moment spent recapturing his breath, Liam circled the front of the van.
What he saw was Donal being embraced by a woman taller than the mid-sized Irishman, with a mass of wild raspberry and russet hair more or less anchored to the back of her head and a figure appropriate for the ranks of the valkyrie. The skin on Liam’s arms and the back of his neck tingled, something at his core resonating with an eerie sense recognition.
Donal stepped back from the woman, hands on her arms. “I don’t know how to tell you this, but we lost a Keeper.”
She stilled. “Tell me it isn’t—
“Eva. I’m so sorry.”
She pulled away, voice shaking. “She was one of the oldest.”
“There’s someone who can help us figure out what happened.” Donal beckoned Liam forward. “This is Liam. Liam, Callie.”
“Donny says we should talk.” Callie had the eyes of a lioness, tawny hazel and brimming with predatory curiosity.
It was a little off-putting, those eyes, but in a way that turned his insides to warm honey. The feeling of recognition increased, déjà vu coming to fruition.
Liam cleared his throat and proffered his hand. “I’m sorry about Eva. She was a colleague, of sorts.”
When he slid his hand into hers, a strange thing happened. His throbbing arm turned to wildfire, exquisite hot pain raging from hand to shoulder. In that moment, he would have gladly cut it off.
He hit the ground. He couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe. He could only hurt.
Solid weight landed next to him. He shied away from the warm hand reaching for his neck.
“Settle down, darlin’.” Callie pressed her palm against his jugular, and some of the pain dissipated. He sucked in a lung full of precious air…and immediately started coughing.
She ripped apart the buttons on his tailored shirt, damaging it beyond repair. Her spicy sweet scent of ginger tempered by clean wind and rain washed over him. “He’s Marked.” Her eyes flickered up to meet his, the corner of her mouth quirking upward in bemusement. “Well, well.”
“Marked?” Donal cocked his head at Liam, thoroughly unfazed by his new contact’s current predicament.
“It seems so, though these are unlike any Marks I’ve ever seen.” She laid her hand over the geometric maze pattern on his chest, partially covered by his undershirt. “Now. Look at me with those gorgeous dark eyes of yours and breathe with me.”
We’re now two months out from release, so be sure to let me know if you want an ARC emailed to you once I receive it from my editor–and don’t forget that I plan on self-publishing Callie’s origin story at the end of this month.
Let the Book Excitement begin! 😀