Welcome to the fourth part of my spotlight of the Paradox Series and author Patti Roberts. So far, we’ve had a look at The Angels Are Here and Progeny of Innocence, which is still FREE to download from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Smashwords.
Last week I took you along to the site dedicated to this magical world and shown you what an amazing artist and committed author Patti really is. In case you’ve missed them, here are the links to Post 1, Post 2 and Post 3.
Today I’d like to show you a sample from the third book in the series, Bound By Blood, and I’ll try to find out what we can expect to see this time from the Grigori clan, Grace and all her friends and protectors. I really can’t wait until the October release date. I have to know now.
Bound By Blood
Chapter 1 – I Will Remember
New World– Darwin 2009
You will fly and you will crawl; God knows even angels fall. No such thing as you lost it all. God knows even angels fall. It’s a secret no one tells; One day it’s heaven, one day it’s hell.
(Even Angels Fall – Lyrics by Jessica Riddle)
“Run!” a girl’s voice screamed into the night, breaking the spell of Damon’s kiss, and tearing me away from his embrace.
However, it wasn’t the warning from the blond-haired girl standing rigid with bow in hand preparing to shoot that alerted Damon to the pending danger, but the guttural sound resonating from the throat of the advancing black beast from the shadows.
He swung around, pushing me behind him and then crouched, preparing for the attacking animal. The menacing growl from Damon’s lips made me shudder. In the eyes of any mortal, boy and beast were both adept instruments of death in their own lethal way.
“Run!” the girl shouted again over the crashing waves far below as she swiftly pulled an arrow taut in her bow until her fingers rested gently against her cheek. Then she took aim, released her fingers, and let the arrow fly toward the predator leaping high into the air. The arrow, true to its target, pierced the skull of the animal dead center between its yellow eyes, felling the rancid smelling beast with a heavy thud at Damon’s feet. Immediately, as if on cue, with lips pulled back over a row of razor-sharp fangs, another beastly hound leapt forward to take the downed beast’s place.
The blonde girl released another arrow, sending it soaring through the air, and impaling the beast solidly in its hindquarters. The beast howled in agony, whipped its massive head around, seized the projectile between its fangs, and yanked the arrow, coated with its own blood and sinew, from its flesh with one quick flick of its head.
The animal, although wounded, stayed true to its task.
Its enormous paws drummed the earth as the beast powered forward at an alarming pace. Then, suddenly, it leapt into the air, long claws protruding from its paws, ready for its lethal impact.
The girl shot another arrow, bringing the beast down at our feet. “Get her out of here, now!” she yelled at Damon as a bolt of lightning crackled through the black sky, charging it with an electric humming sound inaudible to the human ear. “I can take care of this. Go!” she yelled, as she aimed and released another arrow. She shot another, then another as further beasts, fangs drooling with threads of saliva, leapt out of the long shadows cast by the walls of the two-story school building.
Damon nodded and called back, “Holly, are you sure you can do this?”
“Yes, go!” she shouted again as she worked another arrow taut in her bow. “I’ve got this. Go!”
Damon grabbed my hand and swiftly spun me around – and we ran… The storm escalated with each footfall, whipping the beautiful long gown around my legs – Grace’s legs. I started to fall, but Damon gripped my hand tighter and pulled me back onto my feet. Muddy puddles of water, from the earlier storm, splashed up my legs as I ran, soiling the skirt of the long gown. I reached down with my free hand and gathered up the layers of fabric in my arm.
I could smell the foul breath of the beast as it thundered behind us along the dark cliff face, each second bringing it even closer. I could feel Grace’s heart pumping in my chest as she struggled against me to take back her body. Another wave crashed, spraying us with a mist of salty seawater. I hung on with all of my strength onto Grace’s body. I was stronger, faster. I could do this. I could save her.
“Are you okay, Juliette?” Damon’s shout is almost inaudible through the howling wind as it whips around us. I nod in response. Inside, I sense Grace shaking her head. Her eyes are wide and frantic, brimming with tears. I try to subdue her, telling her that everything will be okay if she would just let go, close her eyes, and pretend to sleep. Even if she didn’t know it, didn’t trust me, she needed me to take care of her…
“Just a bit further,” Damon shouted, indicating a spot just up ahead. “The rocks begin to fall away just beyond that tree. If we jump out far enough, we will miss the rocks and land on the beach. Can you do it?”
‘Nooo!’ I heard Grace’s panicked voice scream in my head, deafening me until all I could hear was her voice. ‘I can’t do it. The cliff’s too high. Please don’t do this… The fall will kill me!’ I could feel Grace’s fist beating against me from the inside in a vain attempt to escape this insanity. ‘It’s just a dream,’ I whispered to her silently. ‘Go back to sleep, Grace.’ For a moment, I feel her let go, giving me control of her body.
Damon squeezed my hand. “Juliette, are you ready?” he shouted as we neared the edge of the cliff face.
I spun my head around. The beast was only seconds behind us, leaving us no choice now but to jump.
“Yes!” I replied, as I felt Grace gasp, hold her breath, and grip Damon’s hand even tighter. I heard her uttered a prayer, ‘God help me,’ and then, ‘I don’t want to die. Don’t let me die!‘ Grace did something then that I was not expecting. She squeezed her eyes shut, leaving me blind…
I felt nothing but air beneath my feet as we jumped, hand in hand, out into the dark void. Had we jumped out far enough to miss the rocks? I couldn’t tell. I felt Grace’s human body prepare for the fatal impact as every muscle tensed, leaving me with one thought – that I had failed this girl, too. I willed Grace to open her eyes. ‘Please, Grace,’ I said pleading with her. ‘I can’t see. You have to let me see. Please, open your eyes…’ I felt the quickening pulse of electricity crackle through her veins, and then her eyelids shot open, giving me sight once again. ‘Thank you,’ I said silently, praising her.
For a few precious moments, as though frozen in time, we stopped falling and we appeared to float, suspended by an invisible thread from the heavens. All at once, my hearing became amplified, allowing me to hear the most minuscule of sounds all around me – a twang, the flutter of a bird’s wing in flight, a sizzling disturbance in the air currents. Grace’s breathing. Then, the unmistakable sound of death. A morbid pop followed by a sharp crack – the sound of tearing flesh and bones being broken. A garbled hissing sound, as air escaped from a punctured lung, as one of Holly’s arrows tore into the ribcage of a ravenous beast.
A gush of putrid smelling blood and saliva spewed from between the animal’s fangs as it opened its mouth and exhaled one last breath. Then, its lifeless body, contorted by death, crashed on the rocky outcrop far below.
A bolt of lightning streaks across the sky, severing the invisible thread that kept us suspended, and we begin to fall. I am alarmed at how fast the earth below is rushing up to greet us… I turn to look at Damon, searching for answers, but he just smiles, unaffected by the foreseeable death on the rocks below.
For I see now, with absolute certainty, that we have not jumped far enough out from the cliff face. The white sandy beach, which would have cushioned our fall, is still too far away to offer us any refuge from our pending fate.
So this is how this life – Grace’s life – is going to end. I will remember her, of course, just like I remember all the others. This beautiful girl, Grace, who misses her dead father every day, I will remember. The girl who fears the loss of her mother, and being left alone in this world, I will remember. A girl who dreams about a boy, and falling in love, I will remember. The same boy who is going to let her die, so that I may live again, I will remember.
How could I have been so wrong to put my trust in Damon? Had I learned nothing? Was this his plan all along, to sacrifice Grace’s life in a bid to take me from this place?
Grace, sensing her looming predicament, inhaled a sharp breath and screamed, blocking out the sounds from the thunderous claps of thunder and the smashing waves that are crashing violently all around us – just Grace’s scream, exploding in my mind and the sensation of the salty damp air on my skin as we plummet earthward… toward Grace’s death. I see faces flash before my eyes. Kate, Brian, Wade, Angela, Joshua, Abe, Patrick and Zach. Grace is saying goodbye to all those she loves.
“I’m so sorry, Grace,” I whisper. “I’m so sorry.” Then I close my eyes, too, and wait for the end. I will remember.
Do you need any more convincing after this chapter? I most certainly want this book. I have to have it.
Here’s the full description
Long ago, in an almost forgotten Realm, a race of fallen Angles called the Grigori clash with a ruling house of Angels called the Bulguardi. Their battle changed events in the Ancient World and the New World forever. In a Realm where a year can last centuries and an Ancient magical people still rule, even the immortals face danger. Rising up from their imprisonment underground on Altair, evil has returned and the Grigori are on a destructive path of revenge. When their preferred food source grows scarce, Earth, a world teaming with humans, becomes their target.
Trapped in the middle between the old world and the new, is a little girl cursed with horrific visions from the past. From an Ancient world to the new world on Earth, this is a tale of myth and legend, mayhem and magic, birth and death. A tale of families torn apart, souls searching for lost loves, and evil walking out of the shadows. You can run, but you cannot run forever.
Over the centuries, from the time before time, the Grigori were called many things. In Greece, they called them, Vrykolakas. In Romania, Strigoi. In earlier times, there were others. Other blood-sucking demons that preyed on the innocent. In ancient Babylonia, it was Lilitu and her sistren, who instilled fear among the Babylonians. In the new world, they would go by another name. Vampire.
A world that defies logic and reason. A world that may very well be true: Paradox – The Angels Are Here.
I have loved and lost in so many different ways. I have died endless deaths… So when I ask myself the question today, who am I? My answer is…I do not know. My name is Juliette. Nine hundred years ago, I died. Today, I am alive… this is my story.
I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait.
Where’s Patti? I need to ask her some questions. I need to know more. The more I know, the more I can dream about. It’ll be hard, and the wait will be painful, but I might just make it till October if I had a few details.
Diyari, the tribal princess, clothed is tight-fitting camel skins, and her cortège, from the Utopia desert, arrived on foot and Camelback. Tribal warriors carried long spears whittled from the trunks of the batwing tree. Flag bearers waved long poles in the air, mounted with the Athangker Desert People’s sigil, the black dragon claw gripping a large red batwing seed. Ancient cave paintings and stories told by the elders around campfires late into the night tell how the first tiny sand dragons were hatched from the shiny red seeds of the batwing tree. Then, as legend has it, the Gods turned the small, insignificant sand dragon lizards into the mighty dragons to protect the tribal princess, Diyari, and her people.
The tribal people, painted with the ancient symbols depicting the legends of their dreamtime Gods, were a people rich with traditions that were as vast as the lands from which they came.
All, from the young to the very old, wore layers of ropes threaded with tiny red seeds around their necks, wrists, and ankles to show their reverence to the Dreamtime Gods, and all they created.
Two giant sand dragons, one with red scales and one black with a hint of violet, sauntered lazily along after them. Their towering wings stretched high above their heads, while their powerful tails fanned the cobbled streets behind them, swishing everything aside in their wake. For the Altairian children though, the sight of the majestic desert dragons was awe inspiring, and they ran alongside them squealing with delight. A young boy, running too close, was swept up in the air by the red dragon’s coiling tail, causing the child’s mother to shriek hysterically. The red dragon turned slowly, let out a burst of flames into the air from its long, fanged snout, then returned the giggling child into the arms of his pleading mother.