Book Excerpt: Bloodfire by Helen Harper
Helen will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
He came again. I dully wondered again how I was going to explain not shifting and regenerating when he hit me full on, knocking out my breath. He raised a paw and extended his claws and scraped them down my cheek before bringing the same claws to his mouth and sucking off the blood. My blood. I felt the fire coursing through my entire system. Anton’s face looked oddly surprised for a second then he did the same with the other cheek before lifting up his entire paw and preparing to strike. Through the haze of pain, I registered the power that he was preparing to put behind this blow and it occurred to me that this was his plan. He’d kill me with sanction and solve forever the problem of the little human. It hadn’t dawned on him that after I died the Brethren would investigate why I’d not shifted and they’d work out I was human. Then they’d kill everyone.
The rage built up inside me and the flames took over. He was playing with the pack’s lives. I sprang to my feet in one movement, ignoring the sudden streak of dizziness. He was not going to do this. Anger took over me and flooded my system but I knew with cold clarity what to do. The fire won. I sprinted back to the wall, aiming just to the left of his crouched body and ran three steps up before using it as a springboard to spin off. I was too fast and Anton had no time to turn. I put my hands round his thick neck and twisted, snapping it in one movement. My bloodfire roared in approval and he collapsed to the ground.
He was a shifter. He’d recover. I wiped a smear away from my cheek and turned and walked painfully out of the room.
Mackenzie Smith has always known that she was different. Growing up as the only human in a pack of rural shapeshifters will do that to you, but then couple it with some mean fighting skills and a fiery temper and you end up with a woman that few will dare to cross. However, when the only father figure in her life is brutally murdered, and the dangerous Brethren with their predatory Lord Alpha come to investigate, Mack has to not only ensure the physical safety of her adopted family by hiding her apparent humanity, she also has to seek the blood-soaked vengeance that she craves.
After escaping the claws of Corrigan, the Lord Alpha of the Brethren, Mack is trying to lead a quiet lonely life in Inverness in rural Scotland, away from anyone who might happen to be a shapeshifter. However, when she lands a job at an old bookstore owned by a mysterious elderly woman who not only has a familiar passion for herbal lore but also seems to know more than she should, Mack ends up caught in a maelstrom between the Ministry of Mages, the Fae and the Brethren.
Now she has to decide between staying hidden and facing the music, as well as confronting her real feelings for the green eyed power of Corrigan himself.
Mack begins her training at the mages’ academy in the hope that, by complying, the stasis spell will be lifted from her old friend, Mrs. Alcoon. However, once there, she finds herself surrounded by unfriendly adults and petulant teenagers, the majority of whom seem determined to see her fail.
Feeling attacked on all fronts, Mack finds it harder and harder to keep a rein on her temper. Forced to attend anger management classes and deal with the predatory attentions of Corrigan, the Lord Alpha of the shapeshifter world, her emotions start to unravel. But when she comes across a familiar text within the walls of the mages’ library, which might just provide the clues she needs to unlock the secrets of her background and her dragon blood, she realises that her problems are only just beginning…
About the Author
Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland. “I always loved the escapism provided by those genres,” states Helen. “No matter how bad life gets, you can always find a route out, even if only temporarily, in the pages of a good book.”
The growth of urban fantasy fascinated her – the mix of reality and fantasy along with strong heroic female characters appealed from the very beginning, and inspired her to write her own.
Facebook Author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Helen-Harper/101590660022586