Sunday, 31 July 2016

#samplesunday - IGNITING THE SPARK

For our #samplesunday this week, we're looking at the final book in Michelle Irwin's Urban Fantasy Romance series: Daughter of Fire. Igniting the Spark, released 30 June, is the incredible finale to this amazing four-book series. Interested readers who don't like to begin series that are incomplete can now start the series with confidence, knowing it is finalised.


Completing the 5* series dubbed "Romeo and Juliet meets Supernatural," Igniting the Spark is sure to satisfy readers of urban fantasy romance.



BLURB

Death beckons, calling Evie Myers to the darkness. She isn’t ready to leave, and Clay isn’t ready to let her go.

After fighting back from the brink, Evie’s life is forever altered. Together with Clay, she finds a home and sanctuary within the fae community. Everything has changed, and life is perfect. Or so they believe.

They soon learn their trip into the heart of the Rain kicked off a revolution, and Clay is called back into the fold. But when Evie needs Clay the most, one mission will risk it all.

When her happy ending hangs in the balance, and everything looks lost, how will Evie find the strength to fight for what she wants the most?

Please enjoy this sample chapter from the book . . . 


CHAPTER ONE

THE SICKLY YELLOW lights reflected off the metal tables in the sterile room. Where there should have been noise, there was only silence for me.

Silence and the sight of my own bloodied, dead body.

My red-gold hair shimmered in the light of the fire surrounding me. Clay, the man I loved, clasped my body as his tears overtook him. He refused to let go even as his brother, Ethan, tried to pull him away from the flames. Blood from the wounds in my chest and back was smeared over his face and arms, and smudged into his nearly black hair.

The sight confirmed I’d committed the ultimate betrayal: I’d left him.

I wanted to comfort him, but without my voice it was impossible. There was so much I needed to tell him before I left. That I loved him. That despite everything we’d been through, he’d brought happiness to my life I’d never expected. I wanted to explain there was something more important than him and me—my daughter.

The child who would rise from the ashes after the flames consumed my body.

The image fell away as the fire raged hotter.

Darkness took hold, gripping me and squeezing tight. The sunbird pleaded with me to let go. To be free. To join with my mother, with my ancestors, and pass the baton on to the next generation. My child would be safe with Clay, and I was ready move on.

Peace filled me.

A pinprick of light broke through the inky dark that I’d sunk into. The sunbird urged me to ignore it. To focus on the certainty that my time had come. Only, the light wouldn’t be refused. When I shifted my attention to it, a flash filled the darkness around me, flooding my vision with a bright apple-green.
With the darkness gone, a new sensation overtook me. Pain. Panic. Confusion.

Flashes of the moments leading up to my death rushed through me. My drive to keep Louise safe from the harm the Unseelie fae, Caelan, intended to cause. Clay and his father fighting over the gun. 

The crack of a gunshot.

I burned again at the memory of the fire in my chest as the bullet tore through my heart. The ache of death ran through me again, and the green light grew in intensity once more.

Through the pain, there was something new. A soft voice whispered to me, calling me back. Not the sunbird, someone new but familiar all at once. She spoke words I didn’t understand, but they compelled my attention. They overrode the sunbird’s instructions—tried to push her away. They beckoned me backward instead.

To a wall of red.

Of fire and pain.

The sight of the barrier terrified me, but I could do nothing to react. I was separate from everything. Floating. As I moved closer to the wall, agony coursed through me. My chest tightened. I felt cold.
Danger lay that way.

Come with me, the sunbird whispered. You will be free of the pain; it is your daughter’s time.

She called for me to abandon the wall, to head into the darkness. I’d been so ready to until the apple-green light. Until the other voice.

Now . . .

I reached out with my mind, trying to figure out what was beyond the barrier. Something told me it was important.

“I . . . I can’t lose her.” My focus snapped to the wall when I heard another voice.

Clay’s.

He was on the other side of the barrier. Even though I’d been calm, ready to move on, hearing the heartbreak in his tone made me want to fight my way back to him. If only to reassure him he’d survive this.

Evelyn, the sunbird called, urging me away from the wall. Away from Clay.

Once more I had to choose between moving onward into the darkness or turning and fighting through the fire to get to him. Only the fire was too strong, too fierce. The pain too intense.

The sunbird, who’d convinced me to stay last time, now wanted me to move on.

It’s time, she called.

“I am here for you, Evelyn,” the foreign voice—the bringer of the apple-green light—called to me, speaking over the sunbird.

At the sound, panic rose in me. I couldn’t fight the fire, but I didn’t want to lose Clay. Didn’t want to abandon him to his fate—to a life of heartbreak and secondhand joy.

“If you trust me, I will help you return to us,” the new voice said, the sound lyrical, lilting, and feminine. Familiar.

As I focused on her words, and on the light she shared, her name came to me. Mackenzie, Clay’s fae sister.

In the middle of the wall, a door-shaped opening appeared. A rectangle of green through which I could hear her gentle reassurances.

“Come back to us, Evelyn. Come back to Clay.”

The sunbird hissed at the words. Come forward with me. It is time.

The green doorway shimmered. Faded. Shrank in size. A second passed and it shrank again.

My time was running out.

I had to make a choice.

And I had to make it now.



$3.99


Igniting the Spark is available in e-book and paperback from all major sellers. Details for Igniting the Spark, including sellers' links, are at:


Bottom Drawer Publications


Also available at:


Amazon US


Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Apple


B&N


Kobo


AllRomance





If you've not started the series yet, Through the Fire is currently FREE at these booksellers:


Also available at:



Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.


Social Media Links:


Remember #samplesunday is a great opportunity for you to get a look at our books. Make sure to follow us on Twitter to get notice of when: @bottomdrawerpub


Sunday, 24 July 2016

#samplesunday - Into the Rain


For our #samplesunday posts this month we've been looking at Michelle Irwin's completed Urban Fantasy Romance series: Daughter of Fire. The last book, Igniting the Spark, was released 30 June and is the incredible finale to this amazing four-book series. Last week we showcased Rise from Ash, the second book in the series, and this week we are onto book 3: Into the Rain



BLURB

Evie Meyers and Clay Jacobs have found paradise in the remote wilderness. Hidden away at the ends of the Earth, they are certain no one can find them. The illusion is shattered when Evie’s former lover Aiden crashes into their sanctuary. ‬ The tension caused by the fae’s arrival escalates when they discover the reason for his presence. An ever-present foe has kidnapped someone precious to his court, and he needs Clay’s help for the rescue. The mission will take them straight into the Rain. The path is a dangerous one, filled with dark secrets and old lies. ‬ With echoes of the past surrounding them and a shadowed threat lurking nearby, both Evie and Clay must put their trust in the hands of an enemy. How will they find a way to reconcile their prejudices and make it out alive?



Please enjoy this sample chapter from the book . . . 

CHAPTER ONE

THE RIGHT HOOK of my attacker came hard and fast. Without hesitation, I leaped to the side and spun around, readying myself to retaliate. Following a nimble arc, I dropped to the floor and swept my leg out to the side in an attempt to knock him off-balance.

A slight mistiming on my part allowed him to leap over the swinging limb at the last second. A frustrated grunt slipped from my lips, but I didn’t stop. Bouncing back onto my feet as fast as I could, I watched him closely. He aimed another blow at my chest. At the last second, I twisted sharply to the side to avoid it.


My movement carried me around in a graceful loop behind him. When I closed in on him, I threw my elbow out to the side to try to catch a weak spot—any one of them would do. A hit to the kidney or solar plexus would deliver the most pain and slow him down.


His leg lifted in a roundhouse kick, designed to knock me off-balance, but I twisted out of his way before meeting a pair of irises so brown they could almost be black. The action caused a temporary lull in our battle, barely enough for a deep breath, before his fist shot out toward me again.


Our limbs flew at each other repeatedly, striking and deflecting in turn with a rapid pace and such precision that our movements were like a fast, macabre dance.


My limbs ached and protested, begging for a break from the rigorous battle. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep up the fight, but I refused to reveal even a single symptom of my fatigue. Any vulnerability could see me hurt.


Lifting my elbow, I deflected his next punch with my forearm, before aiming a jab of my own at his side. The instant my arm closed in on his body, he grabbed my wrist and used my momentum against me. He twisted me around before tugging me closer, slamming my back against his chest. For a moment, we were still.


He exhaled and the warm air tickled along my neck. His breath was a soft pant that barely showed any sign of laboring despite our fight. I had two choices: surrender to his hold and take whatever punishment came with failure, or continue to fight and do everything in my power to break free.


His hands closed around mine, pinning my arms against my chest. Panic surged through me as I struggled to free myself; I had to find a way to get the upper hand. Each time I moved, he was able to strengthen his hold. My continued fight only tightened his grip. Stilling all motion, I silently ran through the training I’d had for this exact scenario.


Taking a slow, deep breath, I relaxed against his enfolded arms. Another breath and I forced my joints and muscles to release all tension. I paused, allowing him to think he’d bested me. As soon as the moment was right, I propelled the top half of my body forward in a sharp motion, forcing my weight against his arms to break his hold.


Leaping away from him before he could reach for me again, I kicked my foot behind me, sweeping it under his leg. At the same time, I reached for his wrist and held it tight. Twisting my body and tugging sharply at his arm, I threw him over my leg and onto the ground.


The instant his back hit the floor I dropped over him and pressed my knee to his chest.


“Surrender?” I wasn’t going to give him mercy until he begged for it. He’d come so close to winning, but now I had the advantage.


Pressing as much weight as I dared behind my knee, I stole a moment to catch my breath. Staring into the astounded but proud eyes of my attacker, my mouth widened into a triumphant grin.


“Awesome.” Clay smiled up at me from his position underneath my leg. He cupped my calf with his palm, running it up and down along the outside of my workout pants. Pride, and a growing desire, echoed in his gaze. “You’ve got that throw down perfectly.”


It wasn’t the surrender I’d asked for, but it was close enough for me. At least it was a welcome change from the dicktator he’d been when we’d first started training. He’d certainly embraced my request for some extra fun in our training. Moving to straddle his hips, I shifted my legs to either side of his body. “Well, I did have a really good teacher.”


“Really? You’ll have to introduce me to him sometime.” He lifted himself into an almost seated position, resting on his elbows. A wicked grin lit his face.


“Oh? And here I thought you were rather well acquainted with yourself.”


“I can’t take all of the credit. You’re a quick study. You’ve mastered more moves in six months than I’ve seen some people do in years.”


I raised my eyebrow at him. “You’re trying that flattery thing again, aren’t you?”


“Well, when you’re on a winning streak . . .” He trailed off into a quiet laugh.


I leaned forward over him, pressing my lips to his for the tiniest moment before sitting up again. When I did, his lower lip pushed out into a pout that earned him a giggle. Pinning me against his hips with his hold, he pulled himself completely into a seated position. I swallowed heavily as his contracting abs brushed across my inner thighs. Even though I’d tried to be subtle, Clay noticed the action and chuckled again before wrapping his arms around my waist. He held me close for a moment, resting his cheek against my chest. Despite sparring relentlessly for the past forty minutes, he didn’t seem to be as out of breath as I was. Or even remotely tired for that matter.


I don’t know how he does it.


It wasn’t a bad thing though. I for one could go a round or two of our other, much more enjoyable, tussling.


“You still haven’t surrendered,” I reminded him as I brushed my hands through his hair dragging his head back away from my body so I could meet his eyes.


“That’s because I don’t need to.”


“Oh? Is that what you think?”


His fingers brushed along my back, causing me to shift on his lap. “It’s what I know. Even if I refuse to admit defeat, you’ll still give me what I want.”


“You think I’m a pushover, don’t you?” I asked as I relaxed into his arms.


I barely had the words out before he used his hold to twist us both sharply to the side.


The next instant, he had me pressed flat on my back staring up into his eyes as he rolled on top of me and pinned me to the ground.


“Yep!” A carefree laugh followed the word.


“That’s not fair!” I whined. “You’re using underhanded tactics.”


“You’re getting good,” he said, as he immediately settled his body between my legs, pressed his lips to mine, and ground his hips deliciously against me. “But you have to remember to never let your guard down. The Rain will take advantage of any weakness.”


I was in such a good mood with the endorphins racing through my system that even his mention of the organization he’d once belonged to—the people that would hunt me once more if they suspected I was alive—couldn’t bring me down.


“I’d be a little worried if one of them was holding me like that,” I said.


Because he hadn’t cut it since the beginning of our self-imposed seclusion, his brown hair hung long around his face. When he leaned forward, it flopped down over his eyebrows, shading his features. I brushed it back off his face so I could see him better.


“Or if I was holding one like this,” I added with a laugh as I placed one of my palms against the rough stubble on his cheek.


He’d been keeping himself mostly clean-shaven for the last few months and was due to shave again. At my touch, he gave me a look filled with salacious intent.


“Or if they did that.” I moaned as he rocked his hips against mine again.


“You never know,” he murmured as he trailed a line of kisses along my throat. “Some villains are very devious.”


“You’re devious.” I tilted my head, allowing him more room to continue lavishing his attentions on my sensitive skin. “You’ll do anything to win, won’t you?”


He chuckled against my collarbone. “Don’t you know it. But I don’t hear you complaining.”


I lifted my hands to caress his cheeks, guiding his face back to mine. Claiming his lips in a desperate kiss, I moved my hands to his shoulders and wrapped my legs around his waist.


In response, he kissed me harder.


I used his distraction to my advantage, flipping him onto his back and straddling him. I grinned down at him. “You don’t always have to win,” I said.


His gaze raked over my body, and he rested his hands on my hips, shifting my body over his. “See, that’s where you’re wrong.” He laughed again. “The way I see it, I’m still winning.”


He trailed his hands upward along my sides, lifting my clothes away in the process until he’d lifted my shirt to my shoulders. In the next instant, his fingers were in my hair guiding my face to his. Kissing me tenderly, he dragged one hand through my hair while the other explored my back in long, loving strokes.


“Yep, definitely winning,” he murmured against my lips as he allowed the strands of my hair to cascade around our joined faces.


It became clear that the rest of my lesson would have to wait as heated kisses quickly replaced our matching smiles and our training session disintegrated steadily into a make-out one.





Into the Rain is available in e-book and paperback from all major sellers. 


Bottom Drawer Publications


Also available at:


Amazon US


Amazon UK


Amazon AU


Apple


B&N


Kobo

AllRomance






If you're ready for Igniting the Spark, the final book in the series, check out our website for all available booksellers.

If you've not started the series yet, Through the Fire is FREE at these booksellers:


Also available at:



Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.


Social Media Links:


Remember #samplesunday is a great opportunity for you to get a look at our books. Make sure to follow us on Twitter to get notice of when: @bottomdrawerpub

Sunday, 17 July 2016

#samplesunday - Rise from Ash by Michelle Irwin


For our #samplesunday posts this month we're looking at Michelle Irwin's completed Urban Fantasy Romance series: Daughter of Fire. The last book, Igniting the Spark, was released 30 June, and is the incredible finale to this amazing four-book series. Last week we showcased Through the Fire, the first book in the series which is currently free (see details below) and this week we are onto book 2: Rise from Ash.



BLURB

Love has cost Evie Meyers everything. Wounded and alone, she has no choice but to learn how to survive without becoming the monster she is thought to be by the man she loves. When she discovers a cryptic message from that very man, Clay Jacobs, her mind is thrown into turmoil. It’s second nature for Evie to run, but there is no escaping the memories of their time together. While she is certain it’s a trap, she longs to discover the true meaning of his words. With heart battling mind, her choices send her on a collision course with what was once lost, leaving her life hanging in the balance. Can Evie rise from the ashes of her charred dreams, or will she burn in the attempt?



Please enjoy this sample chapter from the book . . . 


CHAPTER TWO

THE ADMISSION THAT I couldn’t survive alone burned through me as the failure it was.

When I’d left Detroit, I’d planned for self-sufficiency, but although the epiphany that struck me soon after I escaped Clay had been enough to carry me into the wilderness with the certainty that I would be okay, it hadn’t lasted long. Initially, it had been a desperately needed reminder that I wasn’t helpless. The first time I was alone, after Dad died, I had survived well enough—at least until I’d given up hope before being taken into a fae court—and during our time in Detroit, Clay had only built on the foundation of knowledge that Dad had instilled in me. I’d thought that my epiphany would be my driving force for the rest of my life, and yet, less than two weeks later, I was already failing.

No! I don’t need someone to care for me. I just need medicine. I just have to find a doctor.

Pushing myself back up onto my feet, I took a moment to wait for the dizziness to pass. Even through my hazy thoughts and fever-induced delusions, it was clear I couldn’t stay hidden any longer. I needed to find somewhere to clean off the filth of the road properly and then locate a doctor willing to treat my infected wound.

I started moving again, desperate to escape the fear that the dream had inspired in me, which was increasing with every second I was in the open—fear of the hunter I’d caused Clay to become once more.

Since I’d escaped from him, a little more than a week earlier, there were so many moments when all I wanted to do was rush back to his side. One was almost strong enough to strip me of my remaining willpower: the moment I had returned to the ashes of our life together. Faced with the reminders of what we’d had, my decision to leave became utterly real and completely terrifying. In that mindset, my desire to return to Clay had threatened to stop my escape before it had even really started.


IT HADN’T taken long after I rushed from the hospital before I’d realized that I had nothing but the set of scrubs I’d stolen from the nurse. I had no immediate way to get money or fresh clothing, and the risk of running into Clay or the Rain before I could leave Detroit was impossibly high. There was no doubt in my mind that every operative in the state of Michigan had a copy of my photo from school. Even if I wasn’t already on their hit list just because I wasn’t human, killing one of their members would have put me squarely at the top.

Even though returning to the space we’d shared together felt a little like a suicide mission, there was a small chance some of my belongings had escaped the fire. If that were the case, being able to gather my clothing and take the last of our emergency money would be worth the risk. Regardless, there was part of me that had to know—had to see—what damage I’d caused. Besides, I couldn’t walk away from the place that held some of my happiest memories without saying goodbye in some way—even if Clay would never know I had.

The opportunity was limited though and only available if I acted quickly. I would have to be in and out again before Clay, his family, or the Rain had time to investigate my escape from the hospital. I put faith in the fact that Clay knew me well enough to know it was a choice I would never make—returning for items that held no special sentimentality. Which was exactly the reason I felt safe and justified in choosing to return.

By the time I reached the space, the sun was just rising, flooding the entrance to our building with the sort of light that should have seemed warm and welcoming, but instead flickered orange and red, reminiscent of the flames I’d escaped the day I ran.

I hadn’t even reached our apartment door before I spotted the first evidence of the physical damage caused by the fire that had destroyed the life Clay and I had shared for barely a month. The blaze had blackened the hallway leading to our home, burning and blistering the graffiti on the walls. The fire I’d started when I’d been ambushed, bound and threatened by Clay’s sister, Louise, must have followed me as I’d tried desperately to flee the gasoline-fueled flames.

The sight was a reminder that while I had escaped with my life, Louise hadn’t been so lucky. She’d perished—at my hand.

Pushing the potentially debilitating thought of Louise, Clay—all of the reasons the happiness I’d felt just a few days ago was now lost to me—out of my head, I moved farther down the corridor. The door to our apartment was missing, and a blackened frame stood in its place. Police tape was the only thing that secured our remaining belongings.

I paused at the sight as the memory of the first time Clay lead me through into the apartment rendered me motionless. Just as he had on our first “official” date, when he’d welcomed me into the warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina the first time we’d reunited, he’d asked if I trusted him. Only unlike that first time, I’d answered without pause with an unequivocal, “Yes.”

The moment the words were out his fingers had closed around my eyes and, with laughter on both of our lips, he guided me into our new home. Even after he led me through the entrance though, he left his hands over my eyes.

“I can’t see,” I complained.

“You have to use your imagination,” he replied, pressing his lips to the back of my neck. “There’s nothing here yet, but over there”—he uncovered my eyes and pointed into the open space of the living area—“will be a sofa where I’ll make you mine at least twice daily.” He spun me in a slow circle until we were facing the kitchen. “And there’s the kitchen bench, where I’ll taste you every day.” He grabbed my hips and gently guided me to a closed door. “And through here”—he pushed open a door, revealing an old bed already in the cramped bedroom—“is the place where we’ll spend most of our time.” He spun me around, lifted me up, and carried me to the bed, nuzzling into the crook of my neck as he did.

Taking a deep breath to clear away the memory of a happier time, I tore through the tape and stepped inside. My heart beat loudly against my ribcage as I assessed the damage. The flames had ravaged the living room and kitchen of our apartment, destroying all evidence of the life Clay and I had shared for a few precious weeks.

Holding my breath to avoid breathing in the acrid smell of stale smoke and scorched dreams, I moved through the space without examining anything in detail. The charred frame of our second-hand sofa sat corpse-like in the middle of the living room. Every piece of furniture that had filled the place, most of it now destroyed, contained memories of Clay and me together. Of him wrapping his arms around me, and of sweet words whispered softly against bare skin. I touched the chain around my neck—Clay’s chain—a reminder of the love we’d shared. The words Clay had uttered after he gave it to me echoed in my head. “I’ve got everything I want right here. I don’t need any more good luck.”

The words were evidence of his love—the love that I’d destroyed when I lost control and let the sunbird take over.

When I stepped into our bedroom, I saw that it had largely escaped the flames. The space had provided a temporary sanctuary from the harsh realities of our world and held such precious memories.

Just being near all of the reminders of how it had been until so recently was almost enough to force me back to the hospital to find Clay and beg for his forgiveness. Only one thing stopped me. Nine words, whispered with so much hatred and venom it was almost impossible to reconcile the fact that they came from the same mouth, the same lips and tongue, that had whispered sweet nothings to soothe my nightmares.

“If she doesn’t pull through, I’ll never forgive you.”

They were the last words I’d heard from Clay, and they circled through my head as a warning to run away. To flee the promises of the life we’d shared and that I’d destroyed because of what I was.
Unworthy of his love.

Unwilling to let the thought destroy me, or freeze me in place, I took a deep breath and moved to uncover the hole Clay had made behind the head of the bed. Reaching into the wall cavity, I breathed a sigh of relief when my fingers brushed across the plastic bag we’d stored our funds in. Because of the state of the apartment, and the fact that we’d had nothing of any great value, I didn’t know if any vagrants had ransacked the place while I was in hospital. Nothing seemed to be missing though—my clothes were still in place and so were my sneakers.

Regardless, the small stash of cash that we’d left as well as the cards I’d had in my possession when I’d reunited with Clay—the ones he’d refused to use—were both in the bag and would give me a little freedom. After shoving the plastic bag into the bottom of my backpack, I changed into something more comfortable and pulled on my sneakers before forcing the scrubs into the wall space so they wouldn’t be in the open if the police or the Rain returned to the apartment. I would have taken them with me, but they would only take up valuable space in my bag. Then I collected my clothes, threw them into the backpack, and left the apartment again, certain it would be the last time I would share anything with Clay.


ONCE I LEFT the apartment, I pulled my backpack on and hit the road. Trying to blend into the streets as much as possible, I headed away from the center of town. The first drugstore I spotted, I stopped and used some of the cash I had on bandages and saline wash.

I walked as far as I could and put as many miles as I could between Detroit and myself before I finally stopped to actually assess and treat my injuries. By then, I was beyond fatigued and barely functioning.

When I reached a crossroads, I briefly considered heading straight to New York and begging Aiden for sanctuary at his fae court. He had taken care of me once before after all, saving me from certain death when I’d given up on life. In theory, it was still possible to return to him, but he was beyond my reach this time. Even though I’d left his care with a blessing to call the court home again when I wanted to, I couldn’t. I didn’t deserve the luxury of care and acceptance. Aiden and his family had always treated me as if I wasn’t a monster, as if I’d deserved friendship. At the time, I’d believed them. I knew better now though.

I was a monster.

A killer.

A bitter chill raced through me before the sunbird burned it off.

I’d killed Louise.

I could easily kill Clay too.

To even consider fitting into the place of love and acceptance Aiden’s court was, I would have to admit to the evil that resided within me. I couldn’t in good conscience put their lives in danger by hiding the truth. It was true that I’d never actually felt evil before, but I had no other explanation for the death and damage that I’d caused in the lives of those I encountered.

It was impossible to know how Aiden would react to my revelations, but if he understood just how dark I must be in my core—how much damage I could cause to his loved ones—he would surely turn me away. Seeing rejection in the eyes of yet another person that I’d cared about would finish me off. Even if he was able to look beyond the evil inside me, I didn’t deserve the forgiveness or love it would take to do that. They were concepts reserved for good people.

With my touch, I could destroy anything and anyone. I was better off alone, at least I couldn’t hurt anyone else.

I rubbed my fingers across the pendant around my neck. Ignoring the dove, which symbolized my death warrant, I traced the letters of Clay’s name engraved on the underside. It reminded me that my solitary life was penance for what I’d done to the man who’d once loved me. A man who no longer existed.





Rise from Ash is available in e-book and paperback from all major sellers. 


Bottom Drawer Publications


Also available at:


Amazon US


Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Apple


B&N


Kobo

AllRomance





If you're ready for Igniting the Spark, the final book in the series, check out our website for all available booksellers

If you've not started the series yet, Through the Fire is FREE at these booksellers:


Also available at:





Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.


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