Welcome back to the Fantasy for Christmas group tour! I’ve had a blast discovering new books from such fabulous authors this past week. You can see everyone over at We Write Fantasy. But I wanted to give a special highlight to my bestest author buddies also participating in this event. First up, we have the fantastically talented Belle Malory!
I first discovered Belle after picking up a copy of her parnormal romance, Wanderlove. I have absolutely devoured everything else she’s written since. I can’t stress enough how important character development is to a story. But it is especially key to writing any romance, and Belle is gifted in spades. Not only are her books super fun, but she’s also a lovely person in real life! And she was one of the first authors to take the time to answer all my newbie questions years ago.
Today I’m excited to share Belle’s latest in her Deviant Academy series. If you love stories about mythology, or the children/demigods of gods and goddesses, you’ll love Deviants. Keep reading for a fun excerpt, and the link to the big giveaway below!
(Deviant Academy #2)
By Belle Malory
YA Urban Fantasy Paperback & ebook December 29, 2020
Welcome to Arcadia, where bloodlines and magic are divided.
After catching my sister hooking up with my boyfriend, I snapped. Like full-on, epic snapping.
I tried to kill her.
I know, it’s terrible. I have issues, okay? The magical kind. AKA, I’m cursed. I’m also a descendant of Ares, the God of War. Let’s just say, it means I come from a long line of hotheaded crazies.
Since my family no longer trusts me, they ship me off to Arcadia, the academy for descendants. Full of booby traps and conniving students, this school is not for the faint of heart. This one gladiator, Xander, shows me the ropes, keeping our alliance a secret. My connection to him is strong, but we’re from different houses. We can never be anything more.
The worst part?
The Fates decide my bloodlust is too unpredictable. There’s something destructive inside of me, something I can’t control. The only way to contain it is to practice love magic in House Aphrodite, where I’m not exactly welcomed with open arms.
And every day, I get closer to fulfilling the curse’s prophecy. If I can’t figure out a way to stop it, I may end up destroying myself…
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“Let’s say by some miracle, the fire determines you’re worthy,” Redtree continued, his hawk-eyed gaze darting around the crowd. “Make sure you hold your hand steady. You must outlast the pain to complete the Summoning. Once it’s done, you and your weapon are bound for life.”
Well, this was just perfect. He was expecting each of us to go up there, in front of everyone. I wasn’t afraid of the pain, but I didn’t want to put my hand in while others were staring. I could already hear their boos and cackles coming for me. Thankfully, Redtree went in alphabetical order, which meant I would be one of the last to be called.
Student after student got up, put their hand in, and came out with nothing. Most of them lost their tempers, kicked the ground, and shouted expletives. These were hotheaded Ares descendants, after all. None of us handled patience very well.
One kid, Leo Valentine, stuck his hand in and started convulsing. His body jerked chaotically, then he laughed when the crowd gasped in anticipation. He withdrew his arm and shrugged, running off when the other students started throwing random items at him; an apple, several pencils, and someone’s tattered sandal.
“Sheridan Thorne,” Master Redtree called, and I flinched. Several groans made their way across the field.
“I hope the fire shoots her back to Aphrodite,” one student said, and I winced.
“I hope it burns her alive,” said another.
Their words lashed against me like a whip. I shouldn’t care what they thought, but I did. To make matters worse, Xander heard them too. “Shut your mouths, or I’ll do it for you,” he said, glaring.
Let’s get this over with.
I hurried toward the fire, stopping at the glass cage. The blue flames hissed and swished as if they were alive. Slightly hypnotized, I stuck my arm inside, ready to pull it back out and return to my seat as quickly as possible.
But when I jerked back, the fire grabbed hold of me. Its flames wrapped around my wrist, cuffing me there in the spotlight. The burning sensation engulfed my entire arm, like hot grease. I ground my teeth together, feeling my skin sizzle and spark. My instincts told me to yank it out and run because it felt as if my arm was being seared off. But I refused to cower. Not in front of them.
I stood as still as possible, digging my heels into the ground, trying not to let everyone see how much pain I was in. My eyes burned with unshed tears, but I held strong.
“No way,” someone whispered.
“This has to be a joke,” said someone else.
Their whispers and comments buzzed in my ears. I blocked them out, too absorbed by the pain and confusion of what was going on. A tornado of energy swirled around me, dulling everything else. Strong magic whooshed through my body, sending little sparks of heat in every direction. The magic was searching for something. Whatever it was, I hoped it found it quick.
My arm exploded in an array of white flames. They were so bright it blinded me for a few dizzying seconds. Amazingly, I continued to stand my ground. The flames dulled, ending with one last burst of blue. My arm fell slack, but my whole body trembled.
The entire field was silent. So silent, I could hear the sound of my own shaky breath. I looked around at the crowd, a little dazed. All of their wide eyes were on me, but not on my face. Glancing down at my arm, I saw the reason for their stunned gazes.
My fingers were curled around a sleek, golden bow. A quiver of arrows was strapped to my shoulder, encrusted in glittering gems. Diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds—what was I seeing? Both pieces gleamed in the sunlight, as if the gods had personally created them.
Master Redtree slowly clapped his hands together. “Well, well.” He released a shaky breath. “Miss Thorne, you are the youngest student I’ve ever witnessed summon a soul weapon.” He continued to clap, the only one to do so. “Class, this is the student to watch out for. If summoning came that easily, fighting will too.”
No one said a word.
Excerpted from Deviant Descendants by Belle Malory. Copyright © Belle Malory.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
I enjoy writing stories about magic because the real world is often too boring. As an author, my goal is to make you feel something, to put a dreamy smile on your face, to make you laugh, cry, or to escape life for a while.
I live in Orlando, FL with my family. Keep up with me on social media.
I love hearing from readers!
(Posts go live on the day they’re scheduled.)
November 29th: Launch
November 30th: R.J. Anderson – Swift
December 1st: Ralene Burke – Armor of Aletheia
December 2nd: Michelle Diener – Breakaway
December 3rd: Sandra Fernandez Rhoads – Mortal Sight
December 4th: J.M. Hackman – Burn
December 5th: Sharon Hinck – Forsaken Island
December 6th: Ronie Kendig – Dawn of Vengeance
December 7th: Carla Laureano – Oath of the Brotherhood
December 8th: Belle Malory – Deviant Descendants
December 9th: Sara Schaller – The Genesis of Seven
December 10th: Jennifer Silverwood – Stay
December 11th: Anne Wheeler – Treason’s Crown
December 12th: Melissa Wright – Between Ink and Shadows
December 13th: Morgan Wylie – Silent Orchids
December 14th: Kristen Young – Apprentice
December 15th: Grand Finale
One winner will receive a $75 (USD) Amazon eGift Card
Ends December 19, 2020