3 Fantasy Excerpts: Waking the Dragon, Cage of Deceit, Dark Light of Day

Today, I’m pleased to share excerpts from the following books:


These are fantasy excerpts we shared during tours when we were on Books That Hook. Because that website got deleted, we are trying to restore all of our content, in some fashion. Instead of posting the entire tour for each, which would no longer be relevant, we decided to just retain the excerpts for our readers to continue enjoying.

Some of the excerpts are long, so click the MORE button if you want to continue.

Excerpt from DARK LIGHT OF DAY by Jill Archer

“I’ve been watching you, wondering, waiting to see where you’d end up. After all, there are other demon law schools,” Seknecus said, making a moue of distaste that made it clear exactly what he thought of them. “But I was happy to see that you chose St. Lucifer’s.”

Technically my mother chose St. Lucifer’s . . . But there seemed no reason to interrupt to clarify that bit of misinformation. Seknecus wandered around the room, picking through papers, flipping open and quickly shutting the front covers of various leather-bound books, never meeting my eye. I had no doubt, however, that his attention was fully focused on me.

“So, you see, seeing your name on my list wasn’t exactly a surprise, although it appeared much later than I would have liked.”

He did look at me then, with a frown of disapproval. I did my best to look expressionless because none seemed appropriate. It wouldn’t do to look amused, bored or, Luck forbid, rebellious. Seknecus stared at me with narrowed eyes and then went back to wandering.

“You’ve got some catching up to do,” he said, addressing a copy of Sin and Sanction: Codification & Case Law. “It doesn’t matter why or what excuses you’ve got for yourself. You will be held to the same standards as everyone else, regardless of whose daughter you are. And you’ve missed a lot of class already.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but he cut me off with a wave.

“Manipulation class,” he clarified. “You’re going to have to work ten times as hard as everyone else just to pass. Quintus Rochester doesn’t go easy on students and he’s likely to see your absence during the early part of the semester as a challenge. You know, failing is not an option. Not if you want to live . . .”

Excerpt from WAKING THE DRAGON by Juliette Cross

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

The beautiful blonde froze.

Silence.

She peered down the darkened corridor of the cellar beneath the Vaengar Stadium. No one.

The Morgon with black hair and black eyes at the bar had told her the restroom was this way. The only sound was the wafting crackle of the torches. The only sight was long shadows cast by flickering flame. An eerie tendril of fear snaked up her spine. Even half-drunk, something primitive warned her of danger, like the innate foreboding a deer senses when the tiger stalks unseen from the trees.

She shook it off, flipped her long hair over one shoulder, and walked on, knowing the restroom must be just around the bend up ahead.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

She stopped again and spun around, unable to tell from which direction the sound came.

“Bennett? Is that you?” A hollow echo of her voice reverberated down the empty corridor. “Stop it! You’re scaring me.” The last came out a faint whisper. A presence—corporeal, malevolent, and drawing closer—plunged her into icy fear. Her pulse quickened. A hiss of wind pressed the thin fabric of her mini-dress to her thighs. The flame on the wall guttered to nothing, then relit anew.

Tick.

Tick.

Directly behind her. She whirled and stared up at a massive Morgon man who stood only feet away. A behemoth silhouetted by the flambeau. His pointed wings, half-open and huge, kept the rest of him in shadow, as if the light itself repelled him. She could see nothing but his eyes—amber orbs with serpentine slits, bright as the torch-flame. Her breath hitched in her throat. She fell back against cold stone, scraping her bare shoulders against the rough cavern wall.

He passed near a sconce, the light illuminating hard, angular planes, the ancestral lines of the dragon sculpting his face in stark relief—more beast than man. Her heart thrashed against her ribcage.

“I—I lost my way, I think. I should go.” She gestured in the direction she had come, inching along the wall.

He moved with lethal grace, angling closer in slow, even steps.

Tick.

Her gaze dropped to his large hand. Claw-tipped fingers spread wide, the sharp nail of the index tapping the stone. She bolted left, only to find a wall of six Morgon men blocking her exit. They’d materialized out of the shadows in silent stealth. Unmoving, watching. Backing against the wall, she swiveled her head from those blocking her path to their master stalking closer.

“What—what do you want from me?” Her voice cracked, primal fear ripping through her gut.

By now, she’d reached the pinnacle of terror, petrified in place. Tangible evil seeped into her skin as the sinister creature loomed, enveloping her in his shadow. Something screamed for her to run, while a compelling power rolling from the beast kept her pinned in place. It was as if his very presence demanded obedience, subservience.

The beast braced one arm next to her head, her panic filling up the confines of their space. He inhaled a deep breath, drinking her fear in like the sweetest nectar.

“Will she serve, my lord?” A voice of authority from one of the Morgons in shadow—sultry but edged like a razor.

Her chest rose and fell, drawing the beast’s gaze. He leaned closer, trailing one claw lightly over her swelling breasts. Viper-swift, he clamped her mouth with his other hand, stifling her screams, and continued his exploration of her naked skin with the blade-like nail. Her rapid pulse beat frantically at the base of her neck.

“Perhaps.” One word, grating and broken. The voice of a monster.

He snaked his claw across the bottom of her throat, then down the line of her cleavage, pressing just enough to scrape the skin, a thin line of red rushing to the surface. Keeping her immobile with his crushing weight, he scraped a drop of blood from her breasts. He opened his mouth, revealing a row of sharpened teeth, the canines most prominent. Reeking of menace and power, he licked the tip of his claw.

“Perhaps.”

His voice fell to a raspy whisper. A rumbling growl rattled her bones. A flash of flame and shadow and all was black.

 

Excerpt from CAGE OF DECEIT by Jennifer Ann Davis

Allyssa despised sparring in a dress. However, that was the way her father had taught her to fight. He said if someone attacked her, she would be in a gown, so she had to be able to maneuver in heavy fabric.

“Faster,” Marek instructed. “You’re not focusing.”

She wanted to growl because he was right, she was too distracted. Putting all thoughts of the pretty prince out of her mind, she gave Marek her full attention. He swung his sword, hitting hers near the hilt, making her drop it. Not intending to lose their match so easily, she twisted and came in close to him. When he went to grab her, she rammed her elbow into his stomach. He hunched over and she yanked him down, slamming her knee into his face.

He dropped his sword.

“I win,” she declared.

Catching his breath, he wiped his forehead. “You seem to have gained a few new moves.” Not a question.

“Perhaps,” was all she said in reply. The training room was lined with her personal guards. She knew her father didn’t want her practicing—he’d rather she prepare for the ball. But in order to make it through dinner and dancing, she had to release her anger and frustration.

Marek took their wooden swords and put them back on the rack.

“I’m not ready to return to my rooms.” She still felt off balance and unsettled.

He glanced to the door where Mayra and Madelin were waiting for her. “I need to go over some security details with my father,” Marek stated.

“Then go.” She waved him away. “I’ll only be a few more minutes.”

He briefly spoke with the guards before he said, “Your Highness,” and left.

As soon as he was gone, she put leather gloves on and went to the hay figure secured to the wall. Taking a deep breath, she started punching it, imagining the dummy was the prince. Smiling, she started hitting it harder and faster, allowing all of her aggression to evaporate.

Someone started clapping, and she spun around about to yell at whoever had interrupted her.

Prince Odar stood there with a smirk.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded, wiping the sweat off her forehead with her arm. He was accompanied by two of his soldiers and the squire she noticed earlier in the Throne Room.

He clicked his tongue. “A testy remark from someone so delicate and lovely.”

Her eyes narrowed. She was dirty, smelly, and certainly not the picture of a princess at the moment. The squire clasped his hands behind his back, staring daggers at her. He must not approve of a woman who could take care of herself, knew how to fight, and who dared to sweat. She hated him almost as much as she hated the prince.

“I’m sorry, Your Highness,” she said, trying to keep the detest from her voice. “Please excuse me, I must prepare for this evening.”

Mayra rushed forward and placed a cloak upon Allyssa’s shoulders. The princess yanked the hood up, concealing herself so no one from the court would see her all sweaty. She swept out of the room, not looking back. She could have sworn she heard the prince chuckling as she hurried down the corridor.

“Why didn’t you use the opportunity to speak with the prince?” Mayra asked, trying to keep up. “He obviously sought you out.”

Allyssa’s eyes sliced over to her lady-in-waiting. “Because,” she snapped, “I don’t want to talk to someone who flatters with pointless words.”

Mayra laughed. “He is rather charming.”

“He appears to be exactly as a prince should,” Allyssa said. “And I have no interest in princes.”

“Aiming a bit higher?”

“No,” Allyssa replied. “I’m aiming for someone a bit more real.”

 

I hope you enjoyed reading these fantasy excerpts. If you’d like to read more excerpts, there are some author pages that have them, and all of our posts with excerpts can be found in our main menu under ‘Features’ and ‘Excerpts.’

About Jen Schaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).
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