A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sharing the cover for Mother of Darkness, the prequel novella in the Renegade Guardians series. And I am so flattered by all of the love you guys showed over email and social media! From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much. It means everything to be able to share this magical journey from a shy scribbler to an author with such amazing people.
This week I have another surprise in store. Those of you subscribed to my newsletter have already received you early sneak peek and an exclusive excerpt from the first chapter (if you’re not signed up yet, be sure to join us today).
Today, I am so excited to share the cover for Daughter of Nightmares, the first book in the Renegade Guardians series set to release this spring. A sample excerpt is included below the cover. Feel free to comment or connect with me on social media to share your thoughts! One of the best parts of being an indie author is all of the interesting conversations and connections to be made.
A deafening bang rang out through the house. I shot up from the bed as if struck by a bolt of lightning. My throat tightened as I held my breath and listened for movement. Shadows obscured the bedchamber, the moon hidden behind dark clouds.
When the noise returned, realization struck. Whatever the sound, it appeared from outside. Common sense told me to wake Father, but I didn’t. I tiptoed towards the window on shaking knees and said a hushed prayer I’d find myself in a dream.
Five or six men stood on the ground below. No, not men. I’d never met a fellow with black feathered wings affixed to his back. Each of them carried a weapon fashioned like a sword, vibrant orange and blue flames surrounding sharpened steel. The one in front raised a leg and smashed it against the door, and another sharp bang followed.
The door to my bedchamber flew open. I started, my head striking the windowsill above. Father stood in the doorway, his eyes wide and face ashen. He pulled his silk robe against his torso and said, “You have to run. Now.”
“Lilianna, for once in your life will you please just listen? I’ll keep them off for as long as I can, but you must run like Zanox is on your heels because he must’ve sent them.”
“You can, and you must. Run downstairs and flee through the attendant’s exit. Don’t pause until you arrive at the train station.”
A wave of nausea gripped my stomach. “Why the station?”
Father shook his head, his expression bleak. “There’s no chance I survive this, Lili. I’ve looked after you as well as possible at this age, but I’m not strong enough to shelter you from what’s happening. Go to Mulgrave and locate the one called Remiel. Tell him this is how he will repay his debt. Now run, before they blow open the front door!”
A thousand questions raced through my mind, but the terror in Father’s eyes informed me I’d run out of time to ask them. I nodded and sprang forward to wrap my arms around his neck one last time. My eyes welled with tears as I sank into the feeling of his embrace one last time. When I dropped my grasp, I scampered down the stairs and towards the rear of the manor, my vision blurred with anguish.
I’d almost arrived at the door to the attendant’s exit when the unmistakable boom of the front door crashing against the tile floor of the foyer split through the air. I squeezed my body against the door and held my breath, nervous the slightest noise might reveal my position.
“You’re late,” Father said. “I’ve been expecting you for eighteen years now.”
A rich chuckle answered, the sound menacing enough to send a shiver down my back. How did father know our assailants? And what did he mean he’d been awaiting them?
“Don’t fool with me, old man,” a hard voice with a thick foreign accent returned. “Impressive spell-work you employed here, but not impressive enough. Now, where is the girl?”
“Piss off,” Father snarled in response. “I’d never hand her over to you.”
“You would rather the Mother of Darkness find her?”
“I’d rather see her alive and independent.”
“That’s not an option. I won’t ask again, Esorin. Where. Is. She?”
An anguished cry ripped through the air. Father. My heart shattered to pieces beneath my ribs. I wanted nothing more than to rush to his side, to throw myself in front of the attackers and shield him from harm. But if I turned, I’d render his sacrifice wasted. As much as it hurt me to do, I tore the door open and flew out into the embrace of nighttime.