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THE WEIRD GIRLS – New Release

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THE WEIRD GIRLS

by Cecy Robson
Weird Girls, #0.5
Re-release Publication Date: December 28, 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Standalone

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AVAILABLE NOW! FIRST TIME IN PRINT!

THE WEIRD GIRLS small cover

SYNOPSIS:

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are different from every race on earth—human and supernatural. When human society is no longer an option for them, they move in among the resident vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region. Could this be the true home they’ve longed for? Um, not quite. After the sisters accidentally strip a witch of her powers in a bar brawl, they soon realize the mistake will cost them. Because to take on a witch means to take on her coven. And losing the battle isn’t an option.

THE WEIRD GIRLS teaser

THE WEIRD GIRLS EXCLUSIVE: CHAPTER ONE

The music pounded hard enough to shake Emme’s fuzzy navel, the umbrella in Shayna’s piña colada, Taran’s martini, and my Corona. I’d shoved pieces of cocktail napkin into my über sensitive ears the moment we sat. But I wasn’t going to complain about the eardrum-busting music or the crowd of young men sitting across from us ogling my sisters. We were there to celebrate.

Two years had passed since we’d left our native New Jersey. Two years of roaming the States as travelling nurses. Two years of searching for a place to settle down. We’d stumbled into the Lake Tahoe region when our agency transferred us to a local hospital on temporary assignment. We’d thought it would be fun to check out the area. We hadn’t expected to fall in love with the lush forests, the breathtaking mountains, or the mysticism of the lake. But we had, and collectively agreed to make it our home sweet home.

Shayna raised her girly drink; her blue eyes and grin sparkled despite the dimness in the booth. “To the Wird Girls finding an awesome place to live,” she hiccupped.

“To a thirty-year mortgage and a shitload of remodeling,” Taran muttered. She tried to complain, but couldn’t hide that siren grin that made males trip over their erections. She was happy to settle down, and she damn well knew it.

“To beautiful Lake Tahoe,” Emme added almost silently. She blushed when I glanced her way. I’d like to say she was just tipsy, but no. Emme blushed as easily as the wind blew fireflies. “W-well it is beautiful here, Celia.”

“I know, sweetie.” I tapped my bottle against her frou-frou drink. “Salud.”

I polished off my beer. It was my sixth round, still no buzz. Then again I could chug a keg. Alcohol had no effect on me. My lightweight sisters already slurred their words after three. In their defense, they didn’t have an inner beast with the metabolism of four linebackers to help them out. The waitress rushed over and slapped another Corona down before I could ask and hurried off. I snagged it before it tipped over. Ordinarily one might think of her as a diligent, fast, hardworking, go-getter―nah, she was just scared I’d eat her. Humans never knew what we were, yet they perceived we weren’t anything like them. They didn’t need the amplified senses of preternaturals to know we were different. Problem was, different didn’t appeal to most. And “weird” just plain terrified.

“Oh my goodness,” Emme said. “You didn’t even peek her way or anything.”

My sisters had definitely received the less-daunting side of our backfired curse. I pushed my long hair from my face and shrugged. After years of being feared, I was almost used to it. Almost. “I don’t think tigers have to necessarily look at their prey to scare them.”

Emme placed a gentle hand on my shoulder. The jarring club lights further lightened her fair skin and blond hair and bleached out most of her freckles. “It’s not you, Celia. It’s these silly humans who never want to give you a chance. You’re beautiful. And so is your inner golden tigress.”

Taran rolled her huge blue eyes. “Tigers are beautiful, Emme. But most people aren’t stupid enough to pet one.” She sipped her martini as she gave me the once-over. “Or piss one off.”

Or date one, I thought to myself, taking in the frat boys on spring break continuing to stare and whisper about my sisters.

“Adriana Lima is mine,” one said of Taran.

“I’ll take the blonde,” the other murmured.

“I’ll go with the cute brunette with the ponytail.”

“Hey, I called dibs on her first,” his friend complained.

There were four of them. Four of us. One of the guys fighting over Shayna had taken an interest in me. That is, until he looked at me. Really looked at me. He smiled, but his scent of anticipation and lust quickly evaporated, replaced by the aroma of fear. He’d seen beyond my green eyes, olive skin, and long wavy hair to spot the predator lurking within. He saw her ready to pounce, ready to shred, ready to kill. Beautiful or not, tigers had that effect on humans.

Taran shimmied out of the booth. An impressive feat in the tiny, curve-hugging yellow dress she wore. If the hem lay an inch shorter, she’d end up on the Internet. “Shit. I have to pee.”

Shayna grinned at Taran as she ambled out, her eyes alternating from sparkly to glassy. So not a good sign. “I think that’s an oxymoron, dude.” She threw in a giggle, just to further clarify she was snockered.

I shook my head. Emme smiled softly. “I’ll go with Taran.” Emme was only five feet tall, and just shy of a hundred pounds soaking wet and bloated. Taran, although only three inches taller, towered over her in those step ladders she affectionately referred to as “shoes.” Me? Nothing said comfy like jeans, Uggs, and a long-sleeved tee.

The minute they disappeared into the hall leading to the ladies room, one of the good ol’ frat boys approached Shayna, careful to avoid eye contact with me. “Hey, hot stuff. How about a dance?”

Shayna’s glee faded when she realized I’d be alone if she went to dance. I smiled as best I could without scaring her potential date for the evening. “It’s okay. I’ll just hang and wait for Emme. Go on,” I urged when she hesitated.

The guy snaked his arm around Shayna and led her onto the dance floor. Her sleek black ponytail whipped behind her as she shot me one more tentative glance. She watched me for a while. At first I thought she might return to hang with her spinster-in-the-making sister until the call of Beyoncé loosened the hesitant muscles of her slender frame. It didn’t take long for Shayna to move like the world’s happiness depended on her booty shakes. It did, however, take a hell of a long time for Emme and Taran to return from the bathroom. The waitress dropped my eighth beer down just as I spotted Emme’s hands waving madly amidst the crowd forming near the ladies’ room. “Celia! Ceeeeeelia!”

What the hell?

I slipped out of the booth and rushed toward the crowd. The throng of horny and drunken patrons parted as I stalked, my hips swinging like a predator staking out her turf. That’s right. Stay back. Scary female approaching.

As I reached Emme, a deep buzzing sound vibrated from the bathroom, followed by a high-pitched squeal, topped off by Taran’s oh-so colorful language. I half-groaned, half-growled. Crap. How much trouble can someone get into in the bathroom?

I froze. Apparently a lot.

A fiery redhead stomped out of the restroom smelling like burnt toast, sporting a spiky new hairdo most porcupines would envy. I swore under my breath. Taran must have struck her with a mini-bolt of lightning. Her tresses stood out like wires, and the singed tips smoked. And God only knew what Taran had done to the rest of her dress. Scorched pieces of fabric barely covered Red’s pricey and fricasseed bra.

Her crazed eyes scanned the crowd. “Who’s with the slutty brunette?”

Emme glanced my way before raising a cautious hand. “Sh-sh-she’s my sister.”

The redhead stormed to Emme and jabbed an irate finger in her face. “Your sister’s a bitch.”

Maybe. But Emme certainly wasn’t. I shoved my way between them. “Leave her alone, and get out of our way.” My raspy voice remained deceptively calm. Yet Red easily picked up on my underlying threat: Mess with her, mess with me.

Red’s finger slowly lowered and her jaw slackened. She stumbled back, tripping over her feet and shoving her way through the crowd and out the exit. The ladies in line quickly followed suit and gave us ample room to pass. Perhaps there was a nice fir tree they could use out back. Emme stayed close to my heels as I shoved opened the door to the bathroom, her meek little voice shaking. “Should I get Shayna?”

“No, I think―”

My first clue should have been that Taran’s swear words had stopped bouncing off the stark white tiles like ping-pong balls. My second? The waft of dry herbs that filtered into my nose and screamed a warning. Witch. Witch magic. Taran was going head-to-head with an official worship-the-earth-talisman-wearing-broom-humper extraordinaire.

Taran’s blue irises blanched to crystal from the gamut of power tingling around a sandy-haired witch’s aura. “Sandy” smiled though it lacked any hint of warmth, friendliness, or love. In fact, if she was going for, “I’ll skin you alive and use your flesh as bedroom slippers,” one might say she pulled it off.

“Silentio. Non vide,” Sandy muttered, all the while smiling and calling forth her bladder-releasing power.

Knowing Spanish helped me translate the Latin words. Silence and . . . don’t look?

Every muscle and tendon in my body tightened. She’d cast a spell to conceal any sound, any image from the club patrons. Jesus, what did she plan to do?

The aroma of crushed thyme thickened the air as her spell accelerated, coating my taste buds with a hint of her power. Yup, definitely not a good sign. My inner tigress circled restlessly, pawing at my ribcage with her claws, demanding out. “Taran,” I warned, “time to go home.”

Taran met the witch’s smile with one that sent Emme running, hopefully to get Shayna, the car, or both. The heavy door swung shut behind Emme. A loud click told me Sandy locked us in, and anyone who could possibly help us out. Sparks sizzled from the tips of Taran’s elegantly manicured hands as she gathered her magic. “No worries, Ceel. This will only take a minute.”

“Taran,” I warned again. My fangs protruded without my consent. Another sign proclaiming deep shittiness awaited.

The sparks magnified into mini bolts of lightning as Taran stretched out her fingers. A small funnel of wind gathered around Sandy, sending bits of abandoned toilet paper circling around her. The fluorescent lights hummed and flickered just before everything went black.

“Taran!”

I tackled Taran into the handicapped stall as the equivalent of a supernatural cherry bomb took out the wall instead of my sister. The hole, roughly the size of our new dining room table, gave a great view of the dance floor where Shayna continued to shake her tiny, yet obviously shimmy-able butt. The crowd of onlookers had returned to their drunken debauchery, swallowing poor Emme as she jumped up and down trying futilely to get Mini-Shakira’s attention. It might have been funny, had I not feared we were finally about to die that miserable death we’d spent a lifetime avoiding.

Taran rubbed her head. “Son of a bitch.”

A deep growl thundered in my chest. My tigress eyes replaced my own and locked on the witch’s feet. She casually walked across the checkered floor, her red stilettos clicking like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

She reeled into the black stall where we lay. Time was up.

For her.

“Well, well―”

I kicked the door right in her face.

She flew backwards into the sink and smashed her head into the mirror. Sometimes, I couldn’t control my strength. Fear of dying in a public bathroom will do that to a gal. I hauled Taran up by her elbow while her latest fan seemed down for the count. The cracks in the mirror spiderwebbed from her bleeding skull. I secretly hoped that since it was technically her head that broke the mirror, the bad luck fell on her.

When Sandy lurched from the sink and a second, equally pissed-off version of herself appeared to block the door leading out, I knew I was very much mistaken. Taran’s head whipped back and forth between them. “It’s the same person,” I snarled. She smelled the same, looked the same, and also bled from her forehead the same way. The only difference was she’d divided her magic in two.

Taran gathered her power once more. “I’ll take the bitch at the door. You take the bitch at the sink.”

Sandy―both of them―surprised me by laughing. “Mures,” they both spat.

That one pretty much got lost in translation. I prowled toward her. My claws shot from my fingers like bullets from a chamber. She didn’t move. She didn’t gather her magic. She didn’t blink. She simply laughed. Either she’d hit her head a little too hard or she didn’t fear us. The latter scared the hell out of me. My beast remained sure we could take her. My human half knew something sinister lurked beneath, bubbling with a touch of dark and a spoonful of evil.

A transparent heaviness filled the air, reeking of garbage and festering meat. The ten plastic soap dispensers lining the wall of the mammoth counter exploded one by one, like a row of bottles being shot to bits. Paper towels fluttered in the air around us like birds. The pipes beneath us clanged and a toilet flushed for no reason.

I hated when my human side was right.

I heard the first squeak and the scratch of tiny clawed feet followed by a few more. A lot more. Taran heard it, too. In her panic, she blasted a bolt of lightning into her psycho witch, taking out the obviously evil tampon dispenser in the far wall. Chunks of cardboard and cotton pelted me in the hair and back, and still I heard the squeaks getting louder, getting closer, getting scurrier.

The Sandy Taran attempted to fight had somehow appeared on the sink next to her other half. She sat on the counter with her legs crossed, swinging them merrily as the result of her enchantment reached a creepy crescendo.

The large brass drain near the sinks began to stir. “Taran. We need to get out of here.”

“Damn it, Celia―”

I clutched her arm when the brass drain tipped and a pink whiskered nose poked through. Mures. . . . Rats.

THE WEIRD GIRLS teaser 2

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ABOUT CECY ROBSON

Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

Connect with Cecy online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Bookbub | Goodreads | Amazon Author Profile

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A CURSED MOON by Cecy Robson Weird Girls, #2.5 Publication Date: January 30, 2019 Genres:
A Curse Awakened by Cecy Robson Weird Girls, #0.4 Re-release Publication Date: November 28, 2018
GONE HUNTING by Cecy Robson Weird Girls, #0.3 Publication Date: October 24, 2018 Genres: Adult,
Urban Fantasy City of Magic, Book 1 Release Date: January 4, 2018 Charley is a

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Temptation Trials Rebellion – Blitz

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Adult, Dystopian Romance & Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 11/30/2018
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Can love defeat the greatest temptation … lust?
In a post-apocalyptic nation where the land of the free is now run under a dictatorship, there is one factor that holds the key to keeping world order—love. The new Regime controls the emotions of the heart. It’s their most vital law. At the age of twenty-one, every citizen is forced into an arranged marriage. The only way to escape the arrangement is to enter the Temptation Trials—a government-sponsored reality TV show where the loyalties of the contestants are tested by Tempters and Temptresses who are impossible to resist.
Catalina enters the Trials as a Temptress in hopes that she can win the funds to save her brother. Sahara’s been ridiculed in the eyes of the public. By being a Temptress, she’ll be able to have a fresh start. The Regime promises that if she fulfills her role on the show they will wipe her slate clean.
The problem is that the Trials are rigged for failure. In all the prior seasons, love’s rival, lust, has proven to be more powerful. No contestant has ever won the Temptation Trials and be allowed to stay with their chosen partner. Lutheran Eminence, the world’s dictator, has shown that he’s the ultimate matchmaker.
As the Temptation Ball approaches, conflict is at an all-time high. Most couples are too hurt by betrayal to reconcile. With the odds stacked against them, Kincade and Tobias try to mend their relationships, hoping that the greater good will prevail.
Attempting to uncover the true meaning of love may cost the contestants more than they bargained for—it may cost their souls.
Excerpt
Sahara tossed and turned. When she finally fell asleep a reoccurring nightmare consumed her….
            Sahara had been in a funk all day. The last month had been horrible, not talking to Calvin. He’d tried numerous times to reach out to her. Sahara’s only response through text had been, I just think it’s best if we don’t see each other anymore.
            Slowly, his texts and calls lessened, but today Calvin had texted, begging to see her because he would be in town this weekend. Sahara was struggling with giving in, wanting to see him desperately.
            She handed a customer their latte, and then greeted the next in line—a male and female enforcer approached the counter.
            “Hello, what can I get for you guys?” Sahara greeted.
             “Are you Sahara Fenty?” the female officer asked with a stern expression.
            “I am.”
            Sahara’s co-worker, Caren, raised her eyebrows.
            “What is this about?” Sahara asked, her stomach clenching.
            “Sahara Fenty, you’re under arrest for the Floozy charge,” the female enforcer announced, loud enough for the entire cafe to hear.
            A few customers gasped, and her co-worker’s eyes were about to pop from their sockets. She wanted the floor to just suck her up. “What is the meaning of this?” Sahara questioned, having a damn good idea. She would bet money it involved her first love.
            “Calvin Bush’s wife, Bonnie, is pressing charges against you. She has proof that you and her husband are having an affair.”
            More gasps from the cafe. Sahara wanted to die. “What proof does she have?”
            “Please don’t make this harder than it has to be, Ms. Fenty,” the male enforcer intervened, wiping out his hand-cuffs.
            This was the most humiliating moment of Sahara’s life. Not wanting to cause herself further embarrassment, she cooperated and went with them willingly.
About the Author

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B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old and is grateful to have accomplished this dream. She has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of action and sci-fi. She writes New Adult and Adult, Romance. Sci-fi, Dystopian, and Paranormal genres.
B. Truly likes to explore different elements of sci-fi romance, and create various realms of reality. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.
B. Truly has three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.
Contact Links
Purchase Link
RABT Book Tours & PR
Now a Hugo-nominated series! The eighth book in the funny and fast-paced InCryptid urban fantasy
  About the book: Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately
Now in hardcover, the twelfth installment of the Hugo-nominated, New York Times-bestselling Toby Daye urban
A CURSED MOON by Cecy Robson Weird Girls, #2.5 Publication Date: January 30, 2019 Genres:
Urban Fantasy City of Magic, Book 1 Release Date: January 4, 2018 Charley is a

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Hidden – Blitz

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Hidden (Fire and Iceland #1)
Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Date Published: October 31, 2018
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
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After a breathtaking journey through Iceland, Vanessa Evanston finishes her dream vacation with her two best friends in the capital city of Reykjavik—and wakes up the next morning on the ground, on a tiny island 250 kilometers north, with no memory of how she got there.
Luckily, handsome and kind-hearted local Gunnar Heimirsson stumbles upon her—unluckily, he can’t explain her mysterious journey either. Nor can anyone explain why Vanessa soon discovers “last night” actually happened a year ago, and everyone thinks she’s dead.
Iceland is known for its folklore, but beyond the elves and mountain trolls, there are other creatures: beautiful, powerful, and vengeful, known as the huldufólk. Gunnar has been alive for a century, trapped by their curse after angering them. From the far flung Westfjords to the black sands of Reynisfjara, the answer to Vanessa’s missing year might be connected to Gunnar’s punishment—as well as his long-lost wife, Hera—but the truth lies somewhere in the realm of magic, myth, and love, and Vanessa has only just discovered fairy tales are real.
Excerpt
Her paranoia intensified, until she could no longer stay put. She felt like a child, quivering in the dark, wanting to run to her parents’ room. Truth be told, she’d give anything to run to her parents’ room right now. Thinking about that made her want to cry, on top of feeling alone and frightened.
She got up from the couch, grabbed her pillow and a blanket, and padded down the darkened hallway. She knew the door for the bathroom. The others were open, except for one. Hugging the pillow and blanket, still feeling like a little kid, she timidly knocked.
She heard movement inside the room. The door inched open and Gunnar peeked out. “What’s wrong?”
 “I know this sounds dumb,” she said, her voice trembling and tears burning her eyes, “but I’m really, really scared right now. I don’t want to be alone.” A tear streaked down her cheek. “Can I stay with you? I’ll curl up in a corner or something.”
He opened the door fully, and the worry in his eyes faded. “It’s not dumb at all.”
She was momentarily distracted from her distress as Gunnar was shirtless, and his clothes were cruel for covering him up prior to this. His chest was broad, his shoulders wide and the rest of him beautifully toned. Combined with his tight, flat stomach—which she’d seen already—he looked like a damn fitness model. He wore sweat pants as well, which hung low on his hips.
She struggled not to stare. His hair was a mess and he looked soft and huggable. Or rather, climbable.
 “Come in.” He stepped back so she could enter the room. “I won’t make you sleep in a corner.”
She walked in. The room smelled like him, like her t-shirt: a manly, musky scent with a touch of his fruity cologne. It was small and contained a double bed with a tall wooden headboard, a vanity-dresser combo, and a TV, next to a closet with a folding door. Across from the bed were two windows, the curtains open. The view looked out on the hills behind the house. She wondered if he left the curtains open to keep watch.
 “Um.” He brushed against her as he stepped around her. “I’ll sleep on the floor, you can have the bed.” He started dragging pillows off.
She hesitated. It was his bed, and she had no right to run him out of it just because she was a scaredy-cat. “It’s big enough for both of us, I don’t mind.” She wiped her eyes. “If you don’t mind.”
He paused in removing the pillows. His eyes gleamed in the dim light. “Are you sure?”
She nodded and walked around to the other side, still clutching her blanket and pillow. “You’re a gentleman, aren’t you?” She managed a smile. “And I think I’ll be more likely to get some sleep if someone is close by. Especially someone who knows about … them. And how to fend them off.”
He tossed the pillows back on the bed. “I wouldn’t be in this situation if I knew how to fend them off.” There was humor in his voice, but it was dark.
She crawled into bed. “Just let me pretend.”
The mattress was soft, and she wrapped herself up in her blanket—not because she worried he would touch her, but because she felt safer in a cocoon. He crawled in beside her and slipped under the blanket that was on the bed. There was enough room they had a few feet of space between them.
She wondered if he’d chosen a big bed so he had room for female visitors. One couldn’t live a hundred years without some fun.
 “Try to rest,” he murmured. “Don’t worry, they’ve never entered this house before.”
The faint blue light traced the sharp lines of his face, his hair soft against the pillow, eyes glittering. The bed smelled even more like him and it both comforted and distracted her.
 “In any case…” He rolled his head so he was staring at the ceiling. “I think she made it perfectly clear she has no more words for us. They won’t try to make contact again. We won’t see them.”
She glanced at the windows, looking out on the murky twilight. Rain spattered the glass.
 “Is that why you have the curtains open?” She snuggled down in her blanket.
He didn’t respond.
About the Author

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Megan Morgan is an award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author from Cleveland, Ohio. A mild-mannered airport bar supervisor by day and purveyor of things that go bump in the night, she lives on the often-wintry shores of Lake Erie with her spoiled cat and adult son, both of whom shed too much.

 

Contact Links
Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR
Now a Hugo-nominated series! The eighth book in the funny and fast-paced InCryptid urban fantasy
  About the book: Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately
Now in hardcover, the twelfth installment of the Hugo-nominated, New York Times-bestselling Toby Daye urban
A CURSED MOON by Cecy Robson Weird Girls, #2.5 Publication Date: January 30, 2019 Genres:
Urban Fantasy City of Magic, Book 1 Release Date: January 4, 2018 Charley is a

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A Curse Awakened – Cover Reveal

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A Curse Awakened

by Cecy Robson
Weird Girls, #0.4
Re-release Publication Date: November 28, 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Standalone

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SYNOPSIS:

Discover Cecy Robson’s sensational Weird Girls series—or return to where the magic first began—with this eBook original prequel novella about four sisters coming to grips with their unique supernatural powers.

Celia Wird shouldn’t possess the ability to transform into a tigress. Her three sisters should never be able to burst into flames, heal wounds, or transform common objects into deadly weapons. And yet they do.

Before they were born, the Wird Sisters were cursed by a spell that was intended to destroy them, not endow them with extraordinary powers. The sisters’ magic is untamed and explosive at best, and time is running out for them to take command.

Vampires have targeted Celia’s sweet, tragically human ex-boyfriend Danny. The sisters rush to his aid, but in order to take down the vamps, first they must face their dark past and break a spell that’s screwing up their powers. Except this curse wasn’t meant to be broken . . . and the witch who cast it isn’t done toying with them yet.

A Curse Awakened teaser 1

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Danny shook his head. “No. He mistook them for Mafia, but I think at best they’re vamps with Mafia ties. There’s this female among them that seems fixated on my father. I think she’s been drinking from him. It’s odd. She’s odd. The whole thing is . . . odd.”

Shayna grimaced. “You mean aside from her drinking blood?”

Danny tried to stand. “Yeah. I don’t know if vampires can be mentally ill. From what I’ve researched so far, they’re immune to diseases. But nothing I’ve read mentions anything about being immune to insanity.”

I steadied him with my hand. “Why have you been reading up on vamps? I mean, I know since you’ve learned about us, you’ve been curious, but . . . I’m not a vampire.”

He sighed, watching me with his dark sad eyes. “Believe it or not, I thought I could help you. You and your sisters have something special.”

“Ah, no, we don’t.” Taran glared his way. “At best we’re atom bombs ready to detonate.” As if to make a point, a puff of blue and white smoke from her fire popped and sizzled above her head.

Danny returned the glasses to his face. “I don’t agree. There’re not a lot of books available here in the U.S. about the supernatural―the real kind, I mean―weres, witches, vamps, those types of beings. But I’ve purchased a few ancient volumes from old libraries in Europe, where most legends stem from actual truths. I haven’t been able to find much about what you are or what you could be. In fact, I’m positive you’re different from any race of humans or preternaturals on earth.”

“Yay for us,” Taran muttered.

Danny offered a sympathetic smile. “One thing I have learned a great deal about are curses and magic in general.” His gaze skipped to each one of us. “I think you’re all in a bind.”

“No shit,” Taran snapped. “I’m surprised we haven’t killed each other.”

Danny held out a hand. “No, that’s not what I mean. I think you’ve been bound―in the magical sense. Sort of like a noose or tie that holds your powers back, and therefore your control.” He focused on me. “Celia, I think you can manage your powers best because your tigress gives you added strength. Picture a pit bull on a leash. You’re going to pull harder against it than another, smaller breed, making it harder to hold you back.”

Shayna inched forward. “Um, Danny, maybe you should watch the dog references. I understand what you’re trying to say, but Taran’s a little touchier.” She motioned to Taran with a jerk of her head. “Know what I mean, little guy?”

Taran narrowed her eyes, proving Shayna’s point.

Danny’s mouth popped open. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to insult you, ladies.”

I barely heard his apologies, my ears homing in on the rumble of motors. Two cars entered the dead-end street leading to the field and to us. The roar of their engines didn’t sound familiar or appropriate for the area. We were in blue-collar territory and these vehicles were definitely not your standard beaters. And instead of slowing down when they entered the narrow street, they sped faster, like cheetahs who’d found a herd of wounded gazelles.

My tigress growled a warning. Taran’s blue eyes blanched to white, her magic sensing another’s approach.

Danny jerked around upon seeing the first car barrel up the small incline. “It’s the vampires. Run!”

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ABOUT CECY ROBSON

Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

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The Admiralty Archives, Book One
Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Village Green Press
Date Published:  July 2018
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A NATO training exercise goes terribly wrong when five warships from different countries are mysteriously transported to Eledon, the Realm of the Elves. The warrior Lady Alexin is charged to escort the troops back home to London in the year 2031 with the aid of the Wizard Ecstasy and a magic shrinking potion. Yet, when the authorities question her story, Alex is detained and imprisoned under suspicion of terrorism. Caught in a web of politics, betrayal and bungling bureaucracy, the confusing world of the future will push her magical gifts to their limit, and her own future will hang in the balance, caught between “justice” and the place she calls home.
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Excerpt
Chapter 1
CURSE OF THE SEA
The fogbank loomed like an impenetrable barrier, blotting out the moon, stars, and any vestiges of the early morning sun. The seas, which had been choppy, calmed. The crew on the wooden Elf ship, Kite, tensed, not knowing what lay ahead as the ship sliced through gray walls of mist into eerie silence.
Alex stood on the bow as the primary lookout. Moisture condensed on her face and water dripped off her chin. Long ago, she’d proven to the crew that her vision was better than theirs under these circumstances. Pulling her long, black hair from her face, she revealed the blue tufts in her ears, marking her as a young Water Elf. But her ears were rounded like a mortal’s; her eyesight exceptional, that of a Titan. Wiping her face, she grimaced through the discomfort of wet hair, wet skin, and wet clothes, narrowing her blue eyes to pierce through the murkiness.
Alex wasn’t a member of the crew, but a frequent visitor. She’d used the ship several times in her capacity as the Keeper of the Keys for the Council of Elders, so the crew knew her well. The Kite was a small, maneuverable warship in the Water Elf fleet called a coaster, made of Arethus wood for maximum strength with a single mast and a crew of ten, all skilled seamen, blond, good-looking, and formidable warriors, trained in clandestine operations. The crew taunted Crestan, the ship’s captain, about his close relationship with Alex. He didn’t deny it, but cautioned them about teasing her. The sword she wore on her side and the Elfin Blade strapped to her right thigh weren’t for decoration. Alex could be dangerous.
Tendrils of fog wrapped around her head, enveloping her in a shroud. Waving at it only made it close in tighter around her face. She didn’t fear death; maybe she was too young and naïve to worry about it. A shiver ran up her spine; she had trouble catching her breath and her hands felt clammy and cold.
From behind, her grandfather, Lord Odin of the Tree Elves, chanted a spell to lift the fog—his voice clear and strong. Comforted, Alex breathed easier and returned her gaze to search for Seaward Isle, but all she could see was more fog, the curse of the sea.
It should burn off soon.
*             *             *
Faraway on the mortal world of Earth, the American aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78, sailed majestically at the head of NATO Exercise Hunter Dawn 2031 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an alliance of nations formed in 1949, sponsored these exercises to maintain readiness and improve cooperation. In 2031, Hunter Dawn was the largest one held in decades, involving fifty ships and submarines from twelve different countries.
From the British Royal Navy, Vice Admiral Sir Malcolm Teller observed flight operations from the carrier’s bridge as a jet aircraft took off. He was in command of the NATO exercise, the first British Admiral to be selected in years. Over the last few decades, the British fleet had scaled back its presence, citing the high cost and continuing economic woes. Still, a few members of the British Parliament pressed for more influence and his assignment was the result. At fifty-one, Teller was the one of the youngest three-star Admirals in the British fleet and the only black man holding that rank. He wasn’t sure if he was setting a new precedent as a black man or following one. It didn’t matter to him.
With contained excitement, the Admiral watched the jet take off—the sound was so loud he felt it to his core. It rumbled and roared like a caged beast. Unbelievable…and the precision! All the sailors and aircraft moved around the flight deck in a magical dance.
Before the launch of the next jet, the captain of the ship, U.S. Navy Captain John Delacruz, stepped up to the Admiral and leaned close to his ear. “I need to show you something in the CIC, Admiral.”
                “Certainly. What’s wrong?”
                “Follow me, please.” He led the Admiral from the bridge to a locked door for the Command Information Center, known by sailors as the CIC, the heart of naval operations at sea. Access was strictly limited, even to the crew. The Captain entered the security code, bent his head down, and stepped through the watertight door. The Admiral wasn’t quite as tall, but he bent his head just the same. He’d been on enough ships over his career to have old scars on his forehead from these low doorways. The Captain led him over to a radar screen.
“Admiral, this is Chief Petty Officer Lawson. He’ll explain.”
                The Chief stood at attention and pressed a button to replay the latest radar images. “Yes, Captain. Admiral Teller, sir, about fifteen minutes ago at zero-nine-thirty hours, we detected a squall line of bad weather heading for the rear of the formation. Our radio operators notified the five ships at the rear and they acknowledged. Once the squall line passed, we attempted to resume radio contact, but there’s been no response. We can’t locate them by radar, either. They’ve disappeared, Admiral…all five ships.”
                The Admiral gripped his chest—it felt tight. “We still need verification.”
                “I took the liberty of contacting our submarine, USS Casa Grande, to check it out. So far, nothing… no contact.” The Chief pointed to the radar screen as a bead of sweat trickled down his face. “They should be right here, but nothing’s there, sir. It’s like they vanished into thin air.” He replayed the images on the radar screen.
                Admiral Teller touched his forehead, not sure he understood the man clearly. “There must be an oil slick or some other debris. There always is.”
                “There’s nothing, Admiral.”
                “Is there any other way to confirm it?”
                Captain Delacruz intervened. “With your permission, Admiral, we can send our helos over the scene to look for debris. They’re already in the air on plane guard duty.”
“Do it.” Admiral Teller took a deep breath but had a sinking feeling in his gut. He ran his hand over his head; guilt washed over him like a tidal wave. He’d ordered the five ships to the rear as part of the exercise. Oh my God, what have I done?
*             *             *
Six months before, Alex had fixed the Elf grid for the Plane of Eledon. The fog indicated the process of restoring the island to the grid was working. But it was already the end of June. Shortly after it began, the Mentors, the Elf Guides, had issued a warning not to use the entry points to the island, but since then, they hadn’t said a word.
Alex agonized over the island’s fate, hoping the people living there survived. When she’d initially repaired the grid six months ago, she didn’t know the process, but then again, no one else did either because it had never happened before. For over a thousand years, the island had been in limbo, part of Eledon and yet not. Encased in a “bubble,” it clung to Eledon by the use of entry points, or wormholes—the situation had been deteriorating until Alex solved the problem. Yeah, right, I fixed it all right. Look at all this fog. Her face went hot with guilt as she glanced back to the bridge, making out her grandfather’s purple cloak and his long, blond hair.
The fog was lifting.
Her grandfather, Lord Odin, the leader of the Tree Elves and a senior member of the Council of Elders, had suggested this exploratory voyage to the island and enlisted the aid of Crestan, the captain of the ship Kite, to sail into the unknown.
                “See anything, Alex?” her grandfather asked through cupped hands.
                “Nothing. It should be here. Are you sure you used the right spell?” She heard his affirmative response and turned around. Seconds later, a faint image emerged through the fog—a wooden ship sat dead in the water. “Ship ahead!” Alex whirled around. “Crestan, turn now!”
                Crestan squinted and waved his hand to the left. “Turn port, forty-five degrees.”
                “Port, forty-five degrees,” came the confirmation from the boatswain at the wheel which spun like a top, so fast the spindles were a blur.
                “We’re clear.” Crestan breathed a sigh of relief. He recognized the other ship’s markings. “A Rock Elf ship.” Alarmed, he closed his eyes to report it to Prince Darin in Elfspeak, a form of elvish telepathic communication. The Prince was Alex’s cousin, in charge of the Water Elf fleet, the largest in Eledon. He was intensely interested in Rock Elf movements near the island and not without reason.
                “Your Highness, this is Crestan. May I speak?”
                “Where are you?”
                “Near Seaward Isle. We’ve spotted a Rock Elf ship in the fog.”
                “Very well. Keep your eyes open for more.”
                “Yes, your Highness.” Crestan opened his eyes. The conversation had barely lasted a few seconds.
                Alex made out another shape. “There’s another one. It’s really big!” She stood on her tiptoes and extended her hands as high as she could, but her arms weren’t long enough.
                “Where?”
                “Ahead of us. Can’t you see it?” She pointed up. A large, gray mass blended into the mist, but its straight lines gave away its presence. A klaxon blared.
                Crestan gasped as he heard the klaxon and detected the gray hulk, simultaneously. “Right full rudder!” He ran to the wheel to help his boatswain spin it faster. They narrowly missed the ship, but it was so close Crestan could reach out and touch the hull. It was made of metal, not wood. Painted on the side in large black letters was the name HMS Camelot.
                “HMS Camelot?” Alex furrowed her brow. “King Arthur didn’t have ships like that.”
                Lord Odin came up to her. “What kind of ship is this? It’s made of metal. What’s it doing here?”
                “I don’t know, but Camelot was the name of King Arthur’s castle. His ships were made out of wood, like ours.” Alex shook her head. A few years ago, she’d seen his ships on her last visit to the mortal world and had even met the man. “Whose ship was that behind us? The wooden one.” She hoped it wasn’t a mortal ship.
                “Rock Elves. I’ve already notified Prince Darin,” Crestan said.
                “Oh, no. Do they have a lot of them?”
                “At least a hundred. Lord Boulder increased their fleet before he died, but none of their ships are built with Arethus wood.” Crestan bowed to Lord Odin; the Tree Elves had supplied the special wood.
                “Unfortunately, we know what the Rock Elves want.” Lord Odin sighed. “They want Seaward Isle.”
The Rock Elves used to live on the island, but abandoned it when it became unstable. Now that it had returned to Eledon, they wanted it back. Neither Lord Odin nor Alex intended to let them have it.
                Slowly, the Kite cleared the bow of the Camelot, only to find a flotilla of small rubber boats with men in orange life vests, picking others out of the water. Alex leaned over the bow, her face and black hair still dripping as she surveyed the situation below.
                Crestan came alongside. “All stop! Throw out the sea anchor. Begin rescue operations.”
                Alex pinched her nose. “It smells like gasoline.” Years ago, she’d witnessed another shipwreck near Seaward Isle with a similar smell. The pungent odor irritated her breathing. Even her grandfather covered his nose and mouth with his cloak.
The crew ignored the smell and focused their efforts on rescuing as many as they could. It was the law of the sea—sailors always helped others in distress, except in battle, but sometimes even then. They lowered a rope ladder and dropped their only lifeboat in the water. As survivors came aboard, Alex handed out towels and blankets and gave them water while her grandfather checked them for injuries.
To Alex’s surprise, the sailors spoke the common tongue, the language spoken on Seaward Isle. Alex approached a middle-aged man with dark eyes and dark hair, graying at the temples. He wore a wet uniform with multiple gold stripes on his shoulders, obviously an officer.
                “My name’s Alex. Are you in charge?”
                “Yes, I am.”
                “Are you hurt, sir? You’re bleeding.” She pointed to his forehead.
                “Just a scratch.” He dabbed it with his fingers. “Thank you for your assistance. You said your name was Alex, correct? My name is Captain William Jonas, British Royal Navy. I’m the Commanding Officer of the HMS Camelot. We were participating in NATO Exercise Hunter Dawn 2031. Where are we?”
                “You’re off the coast of Seaward Isle. We’re not exactly sure how you got here. This wasn’t supposed to happen anymore.” She cast a concerned glance over her shoulder. “This is my grandfather, Lord Odin—he’s the Tree Elf representative on the Council of Elders.”
                Captain Jonas extended his hand. “A pleasure to meet you, sir.” He paused and stared at him. “Did you say Tree Elf?” He laughed. “Marvelous job of makeup. Your ears are even pointed.”
                “But I am a Tree Elf, Captain.”
                The Captain’s smile vanished as he stared, his mouth ajar. “How did you get here?”
                “The correct question is how did you get here? We live here in Eledon. This is the Elf ship, Kite, and this is the captain, Crestan. You’ll notice his ears are also pointed because we’re Elves. Unfortunately, the crew doesn’t speak the common tongue as my granddaughter and I do.”
                Upon hearing his name, Crestan saluted Captain Jonas in the Elf fashion with his right hand over his chest and a nod.
                “Honored to meet a fellow seaman.” Captain Jonas returned a crisp salute to the brow, palm out, British-style. He swallowed hard. “The common tongue? You mean English?”
                “Yes, it’s spoken on Seaward Isle. My granddaughter and I lived on this island for many years, but Crestan and his crew did not. The island was populated by mortals who’d been shipwrecked here, just as you are. But we haven’t had any shipwrecks in years. We just repaired the Elf grid, so this would never happen again.”
                “Apparently, it did. So, what do we do now?”
                “Let’s get you and your crew to shore and figure this out.” Lord Odin turned away. “Take us to shore, Crestan,” he said in Elf.
                Crestan waved two fingers over his head, followed by other verbal commands to his crew.
                “Turn two,” Captain Jonas said. “At least that’s the same.” The nautical signal told the crew to begin ship operations, which they did. They raised the sea anchor, lowered the sail, and caught a light breeze.
                Once moving, Crestan sent out a distress call, using a pink conch shell. It was a long wail followed by two short blasts, notifying anyone within earshot of the accident scene. The ship sailed ahead, throwing lines over the side to tow the rubber boats behind it.
                Alex pointed to the right—the fog was lifting. “Grandfather, there’s more gray ships over there.”
                Captain Jonas nodded. “Yes, four more ships from the countries of the United States, France, Canada, and Italy, with over seven hundred sailors including ours. How deep is the water here? And where are you taking us?”
                “I don’t know how deep it is, but the city of Agana is just ahead.” Alex pointed forward.
                “Agana on the island of Guam? That’s impossible. That’s in the Pacific Ocean and we were in the Atlantic.”
                “No, Captain. This isn’t the same Agana. I’m not sure where the name of this city came from, but…you’re not in the mortal world anymore.”
                “What do you mean we’re not in the mortal world?”
                “You’re in Eledon, the world of the Elves.”
                “Impossible!” He stared at Lord Odin. “How did we get here?” His eyebrows raised high.
                Alex shrugged. “That’s what we’ve been trying to explain.”
                Lord Odin rested his hand on the Captain’s shoulder. “Eledon was created by our Mentors, our guides, when we were sent away from Earth over ten thousand years ago. Our journey took us through a wormhole, so we’re probably quite a distance from Earth.”
                Captain Jonas turned pale and touched his forehead. “This isn’t possible.”
                “I’m afraid it is.”
                “How do we get back…to Earth?”
                “I’ll ask our Mentors for help. They can make an entry point to the mortal world, but it can take some time. Meanwhile, we need to take care of you and your crew.”
                “How am I going to explain this to them?” The Captain muttered; his eyes wide and mouth open. He shook his head slowly. “Surely this must be a mistake.”
About the Author

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Writing fantasy novels is what Joni Parker loves to do. She’s written two book series so far; the first is a trilogy called, “The Seaward Isle Saga” and the second one has four books and is called, “The Chronicles of Eledon.” An award-winning novelist, she’s also branched off into short stories and blogs about the latest movies she’s seen or books she’s read. Her writing career began after her second retirement. In her first career, she served 22 years in the U.S. Navy and in the second, she served in the Department of Homeland Security. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.
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