About the Book:
Some secrets are too deadly to keep, some bloodlines too powerful to contain …
Reggie Lang might only be seventeen, but she’s had to grow up fast. Losing a father as a baby made things hard enough, but when her mom turned to alcohol for refuge, Reggie had to hold things together. She still does. If only she could escape it all …
When the other kids at school start calling her a freak, things only get tougher. What’s worse, she worries they’re right. Reggie shouldn’t be able to bring dead creatures back to life but somehow she can? If it wasn’t for her ride-or-die best friend, she’d have completely lost it by now.
When a mysterious man invades Reggie’s dreams, is it just another sign that she’s falling apart? He claims he’s her guardian – that he’s from another world. He tells her that her father’s killer is there …
… and that now an evil mage is gunning for her, destroying anything in his way.
Reggie’s always wanted to escape her life, but not like this. Does she really have to run to protect the people she loves? Who will take care of her mom? The man in her dreams says he’ll teach her about magic and protect her. That he’ll send someone he trusts to collect her. That her blood makes her powerful. It’s a hard choice, but ultimately protecting her mom is worth anything.
The magic-saturated world she discovers might be full of wonders, but the horrors are worse than she could have imagined. Can the man sent to guide her really protect her, or is the sign of his slavery an omen of what will happen to her?
Reggie will be pushed to her limits as she attempts her treacherous journey, struggling to adapt to a strange new world and learning to wield her powers. The Dark Mage isn’t easily evaded. He rules this world with a bloody fist. Because it’s blood he’s after—Reggie’s blood. And avoiding capture might just be the toughest thing Reggie has ever faced.
About the Author:
Rebecca Jaycox grew up in the tiny town of Berryman, which borders the Mark Twain National Forest and the Courtois River about 70 miles south of St. Louis. The beautiful landscape fed her imagination, and she began writing stories at age 10 and never stopped. Always seeking adventure, Rebecca moved to France after she graduated college with a journalism degree to teach English at a French high school. Bitten by the travel bug, she has recently visited Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, and finally made it to her bucket-list destination of Istanbul last summer. Rebecca now lives in New York City with her husband, Gregory. She enjoys reading and writing fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction.
Deep in the forest behind the small city of Porth, a shimmering patch of air stretched between two large oak trees. The trees were gnarled and ancient, their curved branches framing a makeshift doorway. It was like looking into a muted, two-way mirror. On one side was the normal forest, awake and alive with nocturnal creatures feeding and being fed upon. The other side of the mirror reflected a similar image.
With one striking exception.
Standing on the other side was a tall man; his hard stare trained in the direction of Porth, which lay in the valley below. He stretched out a hand to reach through the shimmer and a thunderous boom echoed through the forest, followed by the sound of sizzling flesh. Blue energy crackled from the indention of the man’s handprint in the barrier. Smoke trickled from his fingers.
“The magic holds,” the man murmured.
He turned and flicked his fingers. A young man appeared next to him, standing above the older man’s impressive height. Moonlight illuminated his bronze skin and eyes of deep jade. Black hair hung past slightly pointed ears. He wore a gold collar with tiny figures performing acts of labor carved into the metal.
The older man surveyed the younger. He gestured for him to put his hand through the doorway. With a slight hesitation, the young man cautiously touched the surface. The barrier sighed as energy parted, allowing his long fingers to meet the air of Reggie’s world.
“Now is the time, Asher, when I demand payment in full,” the older man said. “I personally took you out of the House for my own, educated you, saved you from the Pits that are fitting to traitors’ children. Without me, you’d be wasting away in some mine, waiting to die.” He added weight to his next words: “You can finally be free; your family can be free if you complete a task for me.”
Asher’s eyes narrowed in doubt. “All the debt, Master? All of my family, not just me? I want things spelled out clearly.” Andrius Drake, Master of the Mages Council and head of the Military of Two Cities, wasn’t known for his mercy.
“Yes, all. This task is very important to me. If you can complete it, I’ll free all of your family,” he repeated. “And restore a place in society for you.”
“What do you need me to do?” Asher said.
“Don’t look so concerned. I’m not asking you to kill anyone.” Andrius reached into the pocket of his traveling cloak and pulled out a plain gold locket and handed it to Asher.
Asher took the locket and opened it. Inside was a photo of a young girl, pretty, with brown eyes and long brown hair. Not so much a girl as a young woman; she wasn’t much younger than Asher. He traced the picture with his thumb.
“Lovely, isn’t she?” Andrius observed, looking at the photo with Asher. “Now, I’ve done my best to beat that irritating morality from you, but you insist on clinging to your guilt, so you’ll be happy to know I don’t want you to hurt her.”
Asher broke his gaze from the picture. “You don’t?”
“No, she’s very important to me.