by Dianne Duvall
Publisher: Zebra (Kensington)
Published: February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback (320 pages)
Series: Immortal Guardians
***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***
Courtesy of Kensington Books, I have pasted this first page snippet for your reading pleasure:
A strident screech pierced the predawn quiet.
The hair on the back of her neck rising, Sarah Bingham surveyed the meadow around her. The sky had gone from black to charcoal gray, a harbinger of sunrise that did little to alleviate the gloom. In the nine months North Carolina had been her home, she had heard some creepy animal calls, but that one had sounded downright human.
Couldn’t have been. She lived way out in the boonies with no nearby neighbors.
Struggling to shake off her unease, she impaled the soil with a shovel, turned it over, then repeated the process that would ultimately culminate in a vegetable garden. The unseasonable heat she had hoped to avoid by starting early added a glimmer of moisture to her skin as she grappled with the drought-hardened ground.
Oh yeah. A few hours of this and she would definitely collapse into an exhausted slumber. Screw you, insomnia! The spring semester was over. Her students were gone. She was going to sleep tonight if it killed her.
Loud snarling, growling sounds abruptly split the air, accompanied by cracks and thumps and the snap of branches.
Starting violently, Sarah gripped the wooden handle of the shovel and stared at the heavy undergrowth in front of her with wide, unblinking eyes.
The foliage began to thrash and sway. Her heart slammed against her ribs.
Oh crap! Weren’t there bears in North Carolina?
Branches and leaves exploded outward as a massive dark form, moving so fast she couldn’t see it clearly, charged toward her.
Too panicked to even scream, she dropped the wooden handle and raised her arms to protect her face, head, and neck. A heavy weight crashed into her left side. Feet flying up, she hit the ground hard on her back two or three yards away. Dry soil and twigs abraded her hands as she threw them out to the sides. Something tore through her right shirtsleeve and cut her elbow. A painful throbbing invaded her ribs.
Rolling onto her stomach, Sarah jerked her head up and looked around wildly in time to see the trees that bisected this end of the meadow envelop . . . whatever had barreled into her.
Quiet settled upon the clearing.
Wincing, she pressed a hand to her aching side and scrambled to her feet.
The growls and thrashing resumed, even louder than before. Adrenaline surging through her veins, shortening her breath, speeding her pulse, she grabbed the shovel with shaking hands, turned it upside down, and held it like a baseball bat.
She didn’t know what that thing was, but if it came back, she was going to knock it six ways from Sunday.
“Where’d they go?” a voice called out breathlessly.
Sarah jumped and glanced at the trees that bordered the meadow on her right.
“That way! Straight ahead! Don’t lose ’em!”
Two figures, mere shadows amid the dense, dark brush, moved as quickly as they could in the same direction as the . . . thing. Only visible for a brief moment before the trees swallowed them again, they didn’t appear to have noticed her. The long-sleeved green shirt she wore over a black tank top and sweat pants must have made her blend into the dim scenery.
If you’re into Vampires, Immortals, and passion. This book is for you!
To celebrate Dianne Duvall’s release of NIGHT REIGNS (December 2011 Zebra) the second book in the Immortal series, I’m offering a giveaway for DARKNESS DAWNS the debut book of the Immortal series!
For readers of this blog, throughout the United States and Canada, you can enter a random drawing for a free physical book of DARKNESS DAWNS just by leaving a comment. The comment form will require an email address but this will not be published.
I will announce the winner on a future blog post. So, you stay tuned and check back often! I just may have more giveaways coming in the future.