Friday, October 10, 2014

Devoted Angel Academy by Emery Skye [Book Tour]

Angel Academy  
Volume 1
Emery Skye

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: LemonPress Publishiing

Date of Publication: August 20, 2014

ISBN: 1936617250

Number of pages: 388
Word Count: 96K

Cover Artist: Tamara Sands

Book Description:

“Her world, her mission…is about to change. What do you choose when your blood is on the line.”

A world where your life is a mission and to succeed you must have resolute devotion to duty.

Seventeen-year-old Anna Hasdiel is a noviate at Hope Academy, a secret school for young angels where she and her sister, Amalie, train to become Warrior Legites with the duty of protecting humans from Demons for the Legion United.

Anna's devoted to the angelic cause.

She's always known she would be a Warrior for the Legion. Her world is about to change.

Noviates have been disappearing from Angel Academies around the world. No one knows why. They just hope they won’t be next.
The Powers send in Legite Nathaniel Deror for protection. Legite Deror is strong, fierce and mysterious. He seems to have it in for Anna one second and the next he’s rescuing her. He makes her feel things she shouldn’t.

They must travel to the home of the fallen Archangel Lucifer, where they will fight past a host of deadly enemies. Where do loyalties lay?

She never planned for this. She never planned for him.


Excerpt 1- Anna meets Nathan 
I power-walked toward her without paying too much attention to the world around me. The stench of garbage made me gag and distracted me. In a world of bleach and ammonia, garbage stuck out like a sore thumb.  I bumped into something… no, someone. Hard. 
He was built like a rock and I rebounded off him like a rubber ball nearly falling on my ass in front of everyone that would have been spectacular. Not. I would have done just that if he hadn’t snatched me up by my arm. His grip on my bicep was tight. His touch exhilarating, causing the tips of my fingers to tingle. When we connected, I felt heat radiate through my body and my blood began pulsating as a tickly sensation raced down my spine. Adrenalin, maybe?
 I looked from his large hand to his chiseled face taking a deep breath; I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. The fluorescent lighting above blinded me and made his face indiscernible; only his strong jawline was clearly visible. And, man, was it chiseled by God himself.
 “Sorry” was all I could muster and couldn’t help but think about how pathetic I sounded. It was unusual for me to squeak the words. Geez-loo-eez, what was going on here?
 He pulled me to my feet like I was nothing more than sack of potatoes. I literally came a foot off the ground before my shoes safely met the comfort of the white floor. Even with my feet firmly planted my equilibrium felt slightly unequal. My stomach was swishing irritably. 
“No need, you might want to be more cautious in the future.” 
His voice was majestic and polished like a seasoned general. It demanded my absolute attention. It carried just the right amount of huskiness. It was nothing like the boys at school and everything like a rugged guy raised in the mountains by prim tutors. 
I went to say something, but it never made it off my tongue. He vanished like fog into thin air. 
I continued walking through the lines of tables, weaving in and out of the groups of people still shaky. I tried to focus on anything other than the weird sensations the guy caused me. Maybe, I focused too intently. 
The noviates’ laughter swam around me. I continued walking through the lines of tables, weaving in and out of groups of people. Almost nobody smiled at me. I was mostly unknown and unnoticed. The kids that knew of me were the geeks and misfits. They were the old-fashioned ones that still cared about honor, dignity, and sportsmanship. Virtues had become unpopular, and so had the people you still held to them. It was expected, but not cultivated. It had never been modeled, so it couldn't be emulated. Not even here. 
Winning, even at nearly any cost, had become the highest virtue. Winning was instinctual. Primal. Something more base. Spiritual and carnal. Everybody gets winning I'd heard it was worse here than even at the worst human schools. This was for the best. We needed to be focused, determined, to win. It only made sense that each loss brought humiliation and combat classes that were known to make students harbor suicidal thoughts. And that each win brought us closer to a near death match. Victory meant graduation. And freedom to choose. It wasn't free will, but it was as close as angels got. 
I stood in line behind people I didn’t recognize and grabbed a disturbingly disgusting tray with mounds of unrecognizable, completely balanced slop. Right then.
Someone nudged me. I tensed, anticipating attack. My arms tightened by my sides protecting my rib cage, my left toe dug into the nose of my shoe as I placed my body weight onto my left side, reflectively gearing up for spinning hook kick that was entirely unnecessary. I turned around to see Amalie holding an edible arrangement of fruit in one hand and some of the slop in the other. “Hey,” she hedged probably noticing my tenseness. “How were your morning classes? I got you a fruit bowl,” she smiled, but it was forced. If I’d been paying better attention I would’ve noticed the scent of lilies in the air that was so Amalie. She usually arrived earlier than me and sometimes she would get my food to expedite the standing-in-line process. 
I tried to relax, but it was like unwinding a rusty coil. “Thanks, they were good; I have Dr. Cloves for Healing Rituals.” 
“Ew. Tough Break.” She didn’t have my affection for Dr. Cloves. No one did. Plus, she wasn’t even mildly interested in my morning classes. Correction: she wasn’t interested in any classes. This was Amalie. She didn’t care about classes. Hers, mine, or anybody's. 
Her eyes squinted as she scrutinized my face. I leaned away with an arm outstretched for the bowl that she, then pulled away from me recoiling like a snake.  
A little smirk built on her face. 
“What’s got you smiling like an idiot?” she asked suddenly. I hadn’t realized that my cheeks were indeed hurting.  
In response I pinched my features together, in what I’m sure was a most ugly scowl. 
“Please,” Amalie placed the weight of her body on one side leaning into her knee-high boot. “You’re not fooling anyone.”
Damn her. How did she always know? Even when I was about to knock her head off? What was I supposed to say? Anxiety caused my face to heat up and her smile only deepened. My mouth suddenly felt dry. I glanced around me feeling as if the weight of everyone’s stares had landed on me. They hadn’t. 
“I just ran into someone. It was embarrassing.” It had been. That wasn’t a lie, not really. 
“Who?” she pried like a detective. 
“No one,” I snapped reaching for the bowl like it was my lifeline. 
I turned away fast and scanned the room for an empty table. 
She stayed on my heels as I walked. I was trying to avert my eyes and keep them focused on the circles of white dotting the area.  Rivers of light streamed in through the larger than life windows stretching from the floor to the tip-top of the vaulted ceiling. 
“Who?” she asked again. She was enthusiastically skipping to the table I had chosen, unfortunately, in the middle of the chaos, but it was the only empty table left. Two boys, each holding a bottle of water and wearing smiles were shoving each other good-naturedly. I avoided them, but they noticed Amalie immediately and stopped their shoving as they stared at her like she was a Goddess incarnate. 
The noviates and Warriors were like machines, but even a Goddess couldn’t be ignored. I noticed the skip in her step didn’t change one bit. She didn’t even notice they were looking at her. I mentally shook my head. Obliviousness must be a nice place to live… as opposed to the state of paranoia I resided in.  
“Someone I’ve never seen before,” I told her with an air of indifference, my voice sounded a little too casual. 
“Would this someone happen to be a male?” Her lips pinched together.
I glared at her, my facial muscles tensing. 

Excerpt 2- Anna and Deror fight
Amalie stood off to the side in a royal blue long-sleeved blouse and faded skinny jeans tucked into a pair of dark grey rider boots. She stuck out big time. Two boys were standing by her sides. I rolled my eyes. My sweet, little sister doubled as a serious guy magnet. 
She smiled when our eyes connected. I smiled back before taking a deep breath and mentally gearing up for the fight to come. Everyone may as well have disappeared. They didn’t matter. Not right now. 
“Miss. Hasdiel, did you study the blocking moves?” Deror asked, knowing I had. 
“Yes, Legite,” I was sullen. Everyone had gotten into the rhythm of me being chosen. Erick gave me a reassuring nudge as I stepped out of line and joined Deror on the mat. 
“Good. Are you ready?” He knew I was. 
He took the ready stance and I took the self-defense stance. 
Another Warrior, I didn’t bother looking at said, “Begin.”
He threw the first punch. I almost fell, but I stopped his fist from connecting with my face. I became his personal punching bag in these exercises. 
“Very good.” He was starting off easy. My teeth ground together. 
 Everyone knew it. I even think I heard Taylor feign a yawn. God, she could be so irritating. 
 He came at me with a downward sweeping elbow strike. I listened to the whistle as his arm cut through the air like a knife. I pulled back, surprised, nearly tripping over my feet in the process. The elbow strike was a more advanced move than we’d been working on. He was showing off for his legites. There was a snarky glimmer in his eye. The gold hues melted against the green in his eyes. I squinted, angry. He looked more amused.  Or was it something else? I wasn't sure.
The last week had been a total mind-fuck, my body quaked with anger and bits of red fingered my vision. Yep, it was happening again. Red. 
I executed a perfect, I mean, perfect, high block and came back with an upper body counter attack that would’ve made a ninja jealous. 
I knew I should only be blocking, but I was done! A fire burned in my belly, my blood boiled. I'd had enough. He knew it. He made me look weak on a daily basis. He told me how green I was; how I had no control. I was inexperienced. 
Was he right? Probably. 
But I was going to prove him wrong even if it killed me.
He turned and executed a perfect stepping back kick. I countered with an inside block. His body pounded against mine. 
I changed tactics. Jab punch. He blocked it easily. He looked smug. Cocky jackass. I wasn’t going to let him get off that easy. Sweat drenched my hairline. Front roundhouse kick to his chest. He wasn’t prepared for a kick. I could see it in his eyes. We'd been restricted to upper-body maneuvers in class, but I was capable of so much more.
 I attacked with a mid-elbow strike to the stomach. I could see the pain in his perfect almond shaped eyes. We danced a while longer.  We fought like a thunderstorm raged inside us. Each one blocking, dodging, and throwing punches. The strikes traveled from his legs, arms, head, and hands. Some happened singularly, others with seconds between them. The lightening was accompanied by sweat raining off us. My legs and lungs burned white-hot with the effort. My arms were starting to feel like boiled pasta. He executed a high downward hammer fist to my nose. I blocked him, but not effectively. The guy had eight inches on me. My jaw hurt. My lip bled. I ignored it. He'd drawn first blood. That galled. Blood was the goal. I had combat lust. He suddenly stopped, concerned. He came at me slowly, incautiously.  

Excerpt 3- Group to Dark World
“Here we go!” I shifted my attention to Nathan, “So, now what?”
“Now, we go to the Dark World,” he said serenely.  
“How do we do that?” I asked, feeling a little stupid.
“I put the book on the floor, open to the right page, and we each step into the page,” he glanced and around the room at our shifty eyes.
“It’s that simple?” I was not convinced. 
“What’s the catch Warrior boy?” Taylor asked, resorting to sarcasm. She did have a point, there had to be something else to this. 
“No, it's not that simple,” his tanned arms were crossed on his wide chest that strained his black sweater. 
Oh-my-gosh, his body was distracting. I couldn't stop staring at his rippling biceps. 
“You have to envision the Dark World: A place of supreme sadness, hatred, and death. That, and worse."  
“You just described New York City,” Taylor said,
She was absolutely right. This was a very sketchy plan. 
“How are we all supposed to envision the same place? That seems idealistic and,” she coughed in her palm, “stupid.”
 I almost chuckled, but caught it before it slipped out. 
“Trust me, the page will help. You just have to believe there really is a place that atrocious. This will be hardest for you, Amalie, because you are the most innocent.” 
He wasn’t being insulting.  He was serious.
“I am not naive,” Amalie interrupted. 
 I smiled. She was. 
Lucas laughed.
“It’s not a bad thing. You just haven’t seen... or can’t understand... how monstrous the world is. ” 
He wasn’t patronizing. He was trying to explain something you didn’t understand, and couldn't, without experiencing years of pain and turmoil, yourself.
 I hoped she would never understand the world the way it really was. If I could, I would shelter her from it for all eternity. That’s what sisters are for, right? 
Taylor stared at Nathan like he just went Marilyn Manson on her.  Lucas wore his usual cocky smirk that I loved. Not. 
 “Can you concentrate completely on a single atrocity and maximize it? Think rape, but imagine every detail of it. The screaming, the crying--” 
“How about when my boyfriend was kidnapped?”  She wept. My heart ached for her.  I wanted to hold her, but she moved while talking.  I tried to stop her, but Nathan waved me off.  I stepped back. 
Her pain must have been the energy the book used to get her there. She stepped onto the page, and was gone. There was no dust, or ripple in the air like I’ve seen in movies. She was just gone. Poof. 
I felt my eyes widen.
“My turn!” I stepped forward and Nathan grabbed my wrist. I was  annoyed. 
“Taylor, then Lucas.” He opened his eyes to me, and I felt desperation behind the order. So, again, I stepped back, but gave him the dirtiest look I could manage.  
Taylor moved forward and turned back to me. “I got it,” she said in a way that was so unlike Taylor. It was the way a soldier addresses a comrade in battle. She took foxiness to a whole new level. Her eyes emanated determination that made my heart swell with pride and confusion. This wasn’t the Taylor from school. It was a new Taylor. In a single smooth motion, she faced Lucas, “See you soon, lover.” 
Of course Taylor would have to be dramatic. She stepped onto the page, and was gone. Lucas stepped onto the page. Now it was just Nathan and me. Alone.
“See you soon, I guess.” I shifted under his gaze, uncertain. 
“Yes, you will. Stay put when you get over there. Anna, Amalie will be okay. You’re a good sister.” 
I looked at him and saw love in his eyes. For the first time, I felt truly stupid for doubting that my attraction was reciprocated. I looked at his full lips, and the stubble that lined his tight jaw. The hair was thicker, now making his lips more pronounced, enticing. He seemed to be drinking me in, too. His eyes moved down from the top of my head, to my eyes, and finally, to my lips. I froze. He leaned toward me.  I could feel the heat of his warm, minty, perfect breath. That was it: he smelled like wintergreen.
He looked at me like I was the only thing in the world. For that single, eternal moment, it was just Nathan, and me, and the heat radiating between us. 
I wanted to kiss this man while I had the chance, but I didn’t think I was brave enough. I decided to try anyway. I stood on my tippy-toes, making my move. He beat me to it. He came down to me, and our lips connected. 
At first, the kiss was patient. It was exploratory. His tongue roamed mine. There was velvety texture to his lips that felt perfect against my own. I fell into him. Our bodies melted together. Heat exploded through my blood. My heart raced. The sound of blood rushing in my ears sounded like a roaring lion. My emotions were in a frenzy. He pulled me closer, held me tighter.  I grabbed his dark brown hair, enjoying the length as my fingers curled in his hair and I pulled him closer to me. I wanted more, I wanted him with every ounce of my being, and he wanted me too. I needed him, I needed his warmth, I needed to taste everything that was Nathaniel Deror

Excerpt 4- Anna and Nathan
He puffed out some air.  I waited. “Do you wonder if you’re making the right decision?”
Ah. We were back to this. Was I making the right decision? 
As an angel… no.  Definitely not. At least, according to The Law, this was, probably the worst decision I could have made. 
As a sister, I had no clue. 
“I’m doing what I have to.” I repeated what I’d said when we drove home from the hockey stadium. 
He nodded curtly. 
“Do you?” 
He glanced up and jawline stood out against the darkness of night.
 “I’m doing what I have to, as well.”
“For your brother,” I added.
He didn’t say anything. 
He looked back at me and leaned closer. 
My heart beat violently in my chest. He might actually kiss me. 
His head dipped lower. “Is it hard?”
“Huh,” I mumbled, dumbfounded. “Is what hard?”
“Doing what you have to, always for someone else.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “It’s not always for Amalie,” I said. 
He chuckled. “So maybe, most of the time, it is, but not always.”
“Tell me one thing you’ve done for yourself.”
“When I choose to be a Warrior, that’ll be for me and no one else.” I looked away. 
God, the stubble on his chin made his jawline look even better. That five-o’clock shadow should be illegal.
“No matter what whenever, wherever, she needs me, I’ll be here. Even if she hates me. I’ll always be here for her.”
“What do you mean?”
I shifted uncomfortably. “Well, ever since Alyosha and her got close, it’s like she’s been distancing herself from me.”
He gave me a one-sided smile that squeezed my heart. “She loves you.”
“I know. It’s not that.”
“Then what is it?” he asked, honestly curious.
I took a deep breath. “You have a little brother. You know what it’s like.” I paused. “I'd do anything for her. I'd give my life to save hers.  Sometimes, I wish I could trust her to take care of herself. She isn’t like other noviates. Amalie has always been so reckless, carefree. Sometimes I’m afraid for her. 
“Don’t get me wrong, her recklessness is something I love, but... I want her to be safe more than anything, and lately, I can’t trust her to use her brain. I hate that feeling.” I confided while looking at the bleeding horizon. On one hand, 4-D was completely different than the human world; on the other, so similar. 
“Yeah, I know what you mean.” His eyes crinkled at the corners and he frowned with his brows making him appear older than I’d ever seen him.
“What's it like, having Alyosha for a little brother?” I’d kill myself, I thought. 
“He’s a good kid. A great kid. Our parents…died, when we were young... ” he paused, “We both had to grow up fast. Alyosha rebelled and found trouble everywhere. He was a damned disaster magnet...” he spoke with warmth in his voice that I understood too well. “Until he met your sister.” He smiled and a glint appeared in his eyes that only a kid with a younger sibling could truly appreciate. “It was like Alyosha finally grew up, when he met Amalie. He started acting like the man I always knew he could be.”

Excerpt 5: Anna’s love for Amalie
I wanted her to feel strong without me ever doing anything. I wanted her to feel confident to use her own voice, but in the end I was and would always be there to back her up. She smiled wide and I gave her a kiss on the check.
“I wish you didn’t have to do this for me,” she repeated, and her blue eyes were brightened with sadness. “This isn’t some stupid kid teasing me in the park. This is our lives…your life.”
“I am not just doing this for you.” Duh. I hugged her again.  
“But, I’m the reason we’re here,” her lips turned down. This weighed heavily on her conscious. If something bad happened to me, she’d never forgive herself. I couldn’t let that happen.
“Don’t be so selfish, Amalie,” I kidded. Then I straightened up and got serious, “I’m here because I decided to. At any point I could’ve turned back. You are not responsible for the actions of others. Like humans shape their own lives, we shape ours. I chose this. Not you. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
That’s not what we were taught. But, for once, I believed I did have a choice. 
 “It'll be fine.” I said, and I finally meant it. 

Excerpt 6: Hans v. Deror
“Stand down!” roared a hauntingly delicious, familiar voice.  Hans got pinned to nearby bookshelf.
Once Hans was out of sight and out of mind, my fear was confirmed: Legite Deror, Nathaniel Deror, was standing over me. We both knew what he had just seen. This night was getting better and better. 
“What were you doing?” Legite Deror growled. He pinned me with his right eye. He used his left to quickly scan my left side. There was a small glimmer in his eyes and a slight arch in his left brow. Before I could enjoy this new expression he regained his composure and moved to Hans. 
I kept my mouth shut. 
“We were just having a little fun!” Hans said like the worthless, lying piece of shit he was. 
Lying asshole.
Rage swelled inside me.  Hans's voice ignited a flame.  I clenched my fist, angry. 
Deror ignored Hans's statement. “What's your name?”
Hans swallowed hard, and clenched his jaw. Deror was at least a head taller than Hans, and, side-by-side, there was no comparison. He could grind Hans to dust with one thumb. And he was way hotter. 
“Hans Matthews,” Hans's voice squeaked, broke like a little girls. I hoped he'd piss himself. 
“It is past curfew. You both know better, ” he glanced at me suddenly and gave a lazy half smile that I didn’t think Hans saw. “You do know better, don't you Noviate Matthews?  Hans wouldn't look at him. The legite raised his right fist. 
“Ye-ye-yes, Sir.” Hans stuttered, still looking at the floor.
Deror extended his arm until his fist was under Hans's face. He turned his fist thumb up and lifted his thumb. Hans looked at him. Deror lifted Hans's chin with his thumb until the boy was straining against the force. "Conduct unbecoming for just the curfew violation. What if I were to report what I interrupted?"
Hans closed his eyes and began trembling. I almost felt sorry for him. For a second.
“Are you injured, Noviate Hazdiel? He looked at me. 
I sighed. "No."
"Are you inviolate?" 
That was fancy way of asking if I hadn’t screwed the guy. Lovely.
"Nothing happened." In that sense.
"Will you make a formal complaint?"
Hans finally pissed himself. It was a satisfying moment. I let him sweat.
"No." I answered finally with a slight shake of the head. 
Deror dropped Hans. He slipped on the wet spot and landed on his ass.
 I stood up. 
Deror turned to me. "I have to report your curfew infraction, Anna." His voice dripped with curiosity.
 “Hang on!" I said, then remembered my dress was ... disheveled from Hans's attentions. I looked down as I straightened it. "I've been looking for my sister. We left my room together, but I haven't seen her for hours. I didn't see her leave. And this,” I gestured at Hans, “forced himself on me.”
"Was he helping you look for your sister?"
"Under false pretenses,” I snapped.  “To get me alone," I dragged out the last word.
Deror frowned momentarily, and then said, "You're sure you won't make a formal complaint? You can’t change your mind unless you do it now." True to the angel ways and following protocol. 
"With what's been going on, I don't want to put the Academy through anything else."
Deror seemed surprised. "That is very…noble.” His face said something else like maybe he wanted me to report it. “Is there anything you wish to... say to Noviate Matthews?"
"Yes please."
Deror lifted Hans to his feet with one hand. "Face her like a man, boy. Improve my opinion of you." Deror was only three, maybe four years older than Hans, but at the moment he seemed far older than his years. 
Hans shuffled over, but stayed just out of arm's reach. Fine with me. I kicked him in the balls as hard as I could. His feet came three inches off the floor. I watched him land on his face and left him panting for air.  

The bitter cold was a reality check.  I had to find Amalie. Fast. This was the Worst. Freaking. Night. Ever.
“Anna!”  Deror’s voice… I walked faster. . “Anna, please stop,” He'd gotten awful close awful fast. I tried to walk even faster, my legs moving like the pistons of a hemi at full bore. 
“Anna!” he called louder than before. He was farther away.  He’d stopped. I inhaled and shook my head. Just my luck. Why did he have to come after me? And why the hell did he have to move so damn fast?
I stopped. I turned.  “ I need to find Amalie. Are you going to help me, or is this really about a curfew violation? I can give you about a hundred more,” I paused. I wasn’t really the type to rat someone out, but I would for Amalie’s sake. 
He studied me silently. Probably wondering if my statement was true. 
 “Protocols must be followed. That does not mean justice is blind. When we find your sister, everything will go into my report. If you're reprimanded at all, it will be informal.” He crossed his arms over his broad chest. “Now I know why I didn't trust Hans.”
Protocol. This guy was seriously talking protocol right now. You have got to be kidding me. My blood simmered and vision turned a red haze, but I took a deep breath steadying myself.  
“Well, congratulations. You were right.” God, he was good-looking. 
The skin of his forehead wrinkled suddenly, and he rubbed his eyes with his palms. When he dropped his hands, he looked immediately, overwhelmingly, exhausted. He looked like he was being tired for about fifteen people, and he was still beautiful. 
“I didn’t want to be right, I just--” he paused scanning the immediate area I saw a tick in his jaw as his teeth ground together before he sighed and his eyes ran over me again. That glimmer was back. “You must be cold,” he took off his black coat that hugged his torso revealing a black T and held the coat out to me. Peace offering, maybe.
I felt my left brow rise up. I wanted to take the coat. My whole body was shaking and my teeth were chattering. I really wanted to take the coat, but I wondered if this was another one of his tests. Would it be seen as a weakness if I took the coat? Hell, if I died of hypothermia we’d never find out anyway. I reached for it. 
My skin embraced the warmth it carried. The sleeves were too long and it fell well past my butt, but it was the best thing I’d felt all night. I wrapped my arms around myself and rose my shoulders up to my ears enjoying the warmth and smell of hazelnut. It was so perfectly the legite beside me. 
After I sighed deeply, I realized that: 1. My eyes were closed; 2. Deror was right her watching me hug his coat. How embarrassing.  
When I snapped my eyes opened, my suspicions were confirmed. Deror was indeed watching me with a lifted brow and a glimmer in those cloudy green eyes. 
Double embarrassing. 
“What?” I bit. My teeth were no longer vibrating like the stands of packed football stadium, but shivers still raked my body and I wore gooseflesh like tights on my legs.  

Excerpt: Dark World

The bell sounded, and Nathan motioned for me to mount. Amalie and Taylor screamed their support.  Nathan wasn’t smiling. He looked up at me like I was a rock star. He liked me on a horse and I felt invincible. 
I settled onto the saddle. Diamond looked over her shoulder. I knew how to ride. I pressed my heels down, brought my calf back, straightened up, and lifted my chin. I was going to ride like I’d never rode before. Diamond wasn’t built like Sox, but he was a comfortable mount: not too bony or fat. I rubbed his shoulder and neck.
A loud bell went off. It made me want pull my ears off. Diamond shook his head irritably. Another horse trotted onto the course. After a couple seconds, I recognized the rider. It was... it was... a man. No! It was a noviate!
I recognized him from my Demonology class last year. He'd been missing for three months. He was emaciated. His shoulders protruded so much that they looked too big for his body. His collarbone stuck out at the ends like a hangar. I feared that if he opened his mouth, his cheeks would rip. He obviously hadn’t had a good meal since his abduction. He emanated despair and rage like a jet engine. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. 

About the Author:

Gemini Emery is a horse trainer living in Colorado with two yappy dogs and a few quirky horses.

She gradated from Regis University with a BS in Business Administration and a minor in philosophy.

A life-long reader, Emery has always had a special affection for the urban fantasy and paranormal romance realms.

When not riding horses or writing she actively searches for adventure and, as such, partakes in archery, skydiving, and shooting. In her downtime she reads until her vision blurs, writes, hikes, spends time with family and drinks an excessive amount of chai and coffee.

Devoted is her first novel.


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