Saturday, April 27, 2013


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When Jocelyn Weatherford is whisked away from a preparatory academy in upstate New York to live with her extended family in New Orleans, she is unprepared to encounter the dangers awaiting her. Yet even as she is thrust into an unfamiliar world of witches and voodoo magic, the greatest threat of all may be the boy she has fallen for. While handsome and charming, he is also a Caldwell... a member of the family the Weatherford's have been feuding with for centuries. As their forbidden love grows it becomes the volatile spark that forever changes their world and everyone in it




“We’ve brought the healer.”
“Jocelyn,” said Jameson. “Her name is Jocelyn.”
“Thank you for coming,” said one of the men, sitting legs apart on a crate facing the man who was ill. It looked like he’d been there a while.
“How long has he been sick?” I asked, already squatting at the man’s side.
“A day,” said Alexander, the man Isadora stood beside. His voice was gruff, and with his massive body, he reminded me of a titan.
“His name is Aurelius?” I asked, placing my hand on the man’s arm.
I was surprised when one of the men confirmed it, not believing I had the attentiveness still in me. This was a good sign. It meant there was still energy left to heal the man.
“Aurelius,” I whispered into his ear. “You’re going to feel a jolt.” I had learned several attempts back that giving them fair warning calmed us both.
Jameson, who had been at my side since we’d entered, was preparing to drop to his knees where he would help channel his energy. But he never got the chance.
Aurelius began thrashing.
His limbs flailed, his eyes rolled back, his body arched, writhing maniacally.
Suddenly, bodies were surrounding us, holding Aurelius down, taking the strength of every one of the men to do it. I did my best to help, settling my hands on him and pressing the weight of my body down. Still, his arms swung in all directions, his fingers clawing against the pain.
Gradually, over the period of several seconds, the violent shudder seized and, finally, Aurelius went limp.
I took in a breath and let it out with a relieved laugh.
That was when I noticed no one else was reacting. Only me because I hadn’t seen it yet.
Every eye was now on my wrist, the one where I wore my mother’s bracelet. The red cloth I’d used to hide it was gone, clutched between Aurelius’s fingers.
During his thrashing, he’d revealed what we’d kept so well hidden from every other prisoner in the village.
“You’ve allowed a Weatherford here?” Alexander’s voice boomed inside the narrow walls, shaking the wooden structure with its force. His eyes were wide, incensed, as they moved between Isadora and Jameson.
Looking around, I saw the irate faces of ten strangers and I knew what was coming.
Jameson saw it before me and was prepared when the fists began to fly.
Ducking and finding cover would have been a wise choice but logic was Jameson’s trait, which I was sure he used to deduce that winning a brawl with ten stout men was going to leave him bloodied. This dawned on me too, even as I saw Jameson deftly maneuver around flying fists to take down three of the men. By the time I was able to conjure the last of my energy inside me, a fourth had collapsed in a pile on the floor. Then, just as the rest surrounded him, their feet left the ground.
Their arms and legs swung with precision but found nothing to land on as I levitated them a foot above the ground. Jameson, stunned, stepped back, his fists falling to his sides.
I still had my hands on Aurelius but could feel the energy in me slipping away.
I was running out of time.
Summoning the last of my energy, splitting it between keeping the men in the air and healing Aurelius, I opened my mouth and released a scream that rattled my eardrums.
Then I was falling back, my body crumpling like a rag doll against the hard wooden floor.
The sharp screech of my family stone as it slammed down and dragged along the planks…Aurelius’s eyes fluttering open…Jameson’s determined expression hovering above me…The blurred outline of the men as they advanced behind him.
These were the last things I saw before I disappeared into exhaustion. 

Laury Falter is the author of the bestselling Guardian Trilogy. She writes young adult paranormal romances and urban fantasy when she's not taking her stray dogs for a walk or enjoying a date night with her husband. Laury has released two series, the Guardian Trilogy and the Residue Series (a spinoff of the Guardian Trilogy books), and is currently releasing her third series, the Apocalypse Chronicles.
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