So, I’ve been super excited about book 3 and decided to share Chapter 1 here on the blog. As most of you know Phoenix; Phoenix Elite Book 1 is available now just about anywhere online and in a few bookstores nationwide. There are links here on the site. Ruhk’s Rising will be available Feb 2013 and book 3 will be available later in the year in 2013. Hope you enjoy!
I could feel my blood beginning to boil as I picked myself up off of the kitchen floor of Novah Andros’s ranch home. I dusted my ruffled, blue jean skirt off as my eyes took in the mahogany hair and icy blue eyes of the brick wall I’d collided with. The infamous Av. It all made sense now. We’d been living in Novah’s home for weeks and Bex had spoken of Av multiple times but I had yet to see her…until now. She’d been avoiding me, and for good reason. Avril Elora Gannon stared back at me shifting from one combat boot to the other, obviously trying to figure out which lie to spout first. Perhaps she’d had amnesia like me for the last sixteen, oh say, seventeen years…doubtful. Or maybe Novah had held her against her will after she’d supposedly died on Mr. Gannon’s kitchen floor, life drained from her body. More likely. Though, Novah was far too sexy to be some skeezy, run-of-the-mill kidnapper.
I waited for her to speak but the words never came. Remorse lit her eyes, and it only angered me further. How could she possibly justify leaving her daughter motherless all this time? My BFF, Elora Gannon had beaten herself up for years thinking that she had somehow caused Avril to die during her birth. Witch, I thought. And then I said it, “Witch!” Her brow furrowed. “How could you?” I had finally regained most of my memory over the last few weeks and I definitely recognized Avril from Elora’s photos which had always rested next to her bed on the nightstand. Avril didn’t look as if she’d aged a day, except for the faint lines between her brows suggesting that she’d had her share of stress and tension. But who hadn’t? I tapped my boot impatiently against the Spanish tile waiting for her to explain. She sighed and pulled a high-backed reclaimed, wooden chair from the table causing it to scrape annoyingly across the floor. Again she was silent, so I took the floor. “So, let me get this straight, you’ve been here on the ranch whoring around with Andros this whole time?” I shook my head, knowing that I was being petty, not knowing anything about her love life or what she’d been up to all these years; but I didn’t care. She’d abandoned Els. “Don’t get me wrong, Novah’s a hot mess and if I didn’t have such a wonderful mate in Bex, I’d probably have jumped on that too,” I stabbed. I half expected her to flee the kitchen, or cry, not continue to sit silent and let my words slide off of her like water off a duck’s back. I had that effect on most people. I could be abrasive and forceful and it often had people running away in tears…but she didn’t. She shoved me, throwing me off balance, into the empty chair she’d pulled out for herself. I made to stand up but I was stiff armed. She was strong. No surprise there, her being a Phoenix.
“I don’t have to explain myself to you, little girl,” she hissed. “And you have absolutely no room to talk. Haven’t you been on a holiday from home, your parents, and Elora yourself? Does that make you Bex’s blood whore?” A sneer streaked across her perfectly plump pout. I stared taking note of how uncanny the resemblance was between Avril and her daughter. I almost let the remark slide. Almost.
“Speaking of blood, how was it that you survived all that blood loss? Is Novah the one who drained you, and then pretended to save your life? Did you shack up that very night or give it a couple of days? No doubt you are Novah’s blood whore!” I shoved back and stood up looking her in the eye. Surprisingly, I had a couple of inches on her, though I knew that she could probably take me if I chose to pick a fight. (This was definitely a prospect I was toying with.) I was after all, a newbie Ruhk and the first created female of our kind. I had been dying when Bex found me. His only option had been to have me drink of his ancient Ruhk blood, which had massive healing properties, to save my life and it ended up having an unexpected and potentially deadly change on my physical and genetic makeup. I say deadly because everyone but Bex seemed to want me dead because of it. Bex was changed in his seventeenth year. He’d been given the blood of an ancient, Egyptian immortal one summer day by a devious, old woman in the form of a quenching drink, resulting in his sprouting the most beautiful, crimson wings I’d ever seen along with an abhorrent blood lust, which I had also inherited. Fortunately for Bex, after meeting Novah he’d found that he wasn’t just a creation. He’d already had Ruhk blood by heritage and it had been waiting to be awakened in him. I had no such luck and that made me nothing more than an abomination to Novah. He wanted to eradicate every last created Ruhk from the face of the earth, along with their creator, Isaac who just happened to be the illegitimate son of Aset (or Isis) and Set born over a millennia ago. To make a very long story, minute- Isaac had been preserved in a deep sleep for thousands of years awaiting the birth of a special Phoenix aka my best friend, Elora whom he planned on wooing and then controlling like a puppet to rule the entire Elite society along with the rest of us lowly Ruhk and humans. The only problem is Isaac was unaware that his adoptive and so-called barren mother had born him a half-brother who had been the father of the born Ruhk which were abundant upon the earth today and all while Isaac slept. Novah was a direct descendant of Isaac’s half-brother who just happened to be Novah’s name sake. Novah hated, let me repeat, hated created Ruhk more than he hated Phoenix. And I got the distinct impression that the only thing keeping Novah from draining the life out of me was my very large, very strong, very protective Ruhk body guard, Bex Cruze, who also just so happened to be my boyfriend.
I waited, knew it was coming, but it didn’t make it sting any less when she planted a well-deserved slap across my face. I lunged for her throat, not caring what Els or anyone else would’ve thought about my strangling the life out of her. I was caught in mid-lunge and I swung at my interceptor, who wrapped a protective arm around me as Avril lunged back drawing a thin line of scarlet across my cheek with the tip of her nail before being drug to the opposite side of the room where I heard Novah drawl playfully. “We’ll let you two ladies go if y’all feel like y’all can play nice.” I knew he was patronizing us and I hated him for it. I suddenly hated Avril. And I wasn’t sure if it was because of her abandonment or because she was Phoenix and I was Ruhk. I’d hated Phoenixes long before I’d changed. Phoenix-kind had taken my best friend from me. They were everything we Ruhk were minus the blood lust. Strong, beautiful, and confident with wings like shimmering opal stones and on the surface, protectors of human life. Underneath they were just as deadly and ruthless as their Ruhk counterparts. Phoenixes had been born to protect humans from our kind but had ended up with a curse of their own, one in my opinion that was far more dangerous than that of the Ruhk. We only drank from humans for nourishment; we didn’t have to kill if we didn’t want to. Phoenixes however, had no choice. They’d been cursed with having to suck the very soul or life force from a human once a year on the day of their birth for the entirety of their long lives.
I nuzzled into Bex’s strong chest, took a deep, controlled breath and then took a seat. “I will if she will.” Maybe if I could catch them off guard I could take another swipe at her and bruise that runway-model perfect face of hers. I laughed silently.
“Whatever.” Avril jerked the chair Novah had been drawing from the table out of his hands, whipped it around and smoothly put the back of the chair between her and the rest of us. I hardly believed “whatever” was in her vocab but it was evident this Phoenix was hardcore. And used to getting her way.