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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ward Against Disaster (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #3) by Melanie Card

Except nothing seemed complicated right at that moment. Not even the soldiers searching for them on the other side of the door. The heat from her body radiated into his, her gaze held him, invited him. Everything about her expression said she felt it, too. A breath hung between their lips. That was all. A fraction closer and he could show her how he felt. Goddess, he wanted to show her. Needed to show her.

Description:

Ward de'Ath should be dead by now. Instead, he’s chasing after a soul-eating creature—that he unleashed— and is bent on stopping her before she slaughters more innocents. Fortunately, Celia Carlyle remains by his side, a nobleman's gorgeous and deadly daughter, who is…well, dead.

Celia claims she’ll champion Ward wherever he goes, even when she thinks his quest is hopeless. He can only hope her pledge comes from her heart, and not because she’s bound to him through his magic.

When they enter Dulthyne, they stumble upon a dark power that threatens the entire town. Ward, with his unreliable necromancy, is determined to help but finds himself ensnared in the lure of white-hot magic…blood magic he struggles to resist. But if Celia’s love is a lie, it might just doom his soul to the dark arts forever.

Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

The last thing Ward de'Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can't allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire. But the mansion is filled with monsters--human and undead--and Ward has no way of telling who's friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She's still dead and he's still alive . . . for now.

AUTHOR's Playlist

When I draft I usually turn my entire playlist to repeat and just let it go. As I work, I start to wean out the songs that don’t fit the mood or feel of the scenes I’m writing. So while I have a weakness for soft and gentle songs like Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T’s, it seems Ward Against Disaster was taking me in a darker, more aggressive direction.

These are the top 7 songs that made it into constant repeat by the end of Ward Against Disaster.

Some Nights by Fun
Demons by Imagine Dragons 
I’m With You by Avril Lavigne 
Hurt by Johnny Cash 
Figure It Out by Royal Blood 
Come Out and Play by The Offspring
Come With Me Now by Kongos

EXCERPT

The room was dim, but clear, dark splashes of blood stained the pale plaster walls. Bloody speckles crept high, close to the ceiling. Spray from a major artery while the heart was pumping with panic. There was so much of it, as if Allette had painted all four walls with it like a manic artist.

Ward’s gaze slid to the table. More blood. Then lower.

Bile burned his throat. He knew what he’d see. All that blood. It couldn’t be from just one body.

His gaze landed on a dismembered arm first. It was so small that the hand, if curled into a fist, could have easily hidden in one of his.

His throat tightened and the bile rose higher. His pulse roared and panic clawed at his chest. This was his fault. He’d seen a corpse before. Many actually. He’d even dug a few from their graves to perform necropsies and further his illegal studies in medicine, but he’d never seen such carnage before and he couldn’t dissociate from these victims like he could with the necropsies. Father, mother, half a dozen children, all murdered. Their blood, with the precious soul magic Allette needed to survive, slicked the floor, pooled in uneven spots on the hard-packed dirt, and splattered the furniture.

He couldn’t catch his breath. “I did this.”

Celia grabbed the back of his shirt and jerked him from the doorway. He stumbled, his heel catching on a rock, and she shoved him against the wall outside the house.

“This is not your fault.”

“I knew she was a monster and I set her free.” His stomach heaved, and tears burned his eyes with the effort not to throw up. All that blood was on his hands.
***
More shouts to the left, even closer.

Celia threw open the door, grabbed Ward’s hand, and tugged him inside. With a yank, she pulled him around the door and shoved him into a crevasse in a wall of barrels. Nazarius leapt after them. He locked the door and slid his back to the wall beside it, his sword ready.

Celia squeezed in beside Ward, one hand holding her sword up, the other—forgotten—against Ward’s chest. The warmth of her palm burned through his shirt, and his heart raced even more. Her hip pressed against his thigh, the entire length of her body fit tight against his. How could she be so dead and yet feel so alive?

He dragged his attention to the room. All he could make out in the dim light cutting around the outline of the door and the hint of light from a shuttered window high above were hints of barrels and sacks and clutter packing the room. The piles soared to the ceiling, creating dark mounds.

Footsteps clattered past the door.

Celia sucked in a quick breath, the inhalation brushing her chest against his. Her fingers flexed and the muscles of her legs, pressed against his, tensed.

His heart thudded louder. He was sure she could hear it. He was sure Nazarius could hear it on the other side of the door. Goddess, he’d wanted her close like this since…since the moment he’d first met her. If he dipped his head, just a fraction, he could steal a kiss. Just a little one.

As if reading his thoughts, Celia glanced at him. Her pale gaze captured his. It always did. She could freeze and melt and consume his heart with a look. Her breath fluttered warm against his cheek, and her lips parted ever so slightly. He’d kissed those lips back in Brawenal City shortly after he’d brought Celia back to life. Her lips had been soft, welcoming. But that was before he’d really known how he felt about her, before he’d really known anything. And now things were so much more complicated.

Except nothing seemed complicated right at that moment. Not even the soldiers searching for them on the other side of the door. The heat from her body radiated into his, her gaze held him, invited him. Everything about her expression said she felt it, too. A breath hung between their lips. That was all. A fraction closer and he could show her how he felt. Goddess, he wanted to show her. Needed to show her.


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About the author:
I have always been drawn to story telling. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling a story in my head or on paper. In grade school, we had journal writing time which I turned into story telling time, weaving tales of magic and adventure that mimicked the fairy tales and myths that I loved to read. It was there, with the help of two very special teachers, that I nurtured this love and started my journey as a writer.

I write fantasy, paranormal romance, and everything in between, seasoned with a good dash of adventure and mystery. Join me on my tales of magic, adventure, and romance.


6 comments:

Melanie Card said...

Thank you so much for featuring Ward Against Disaster on your blog. :)

winemama said...

added to my TBR, thanks for friending me on goodreads!

CCAM said...

@Mrs. Card - You're welcome; this series is on my short TBR list

Rocio Bazan said...

Hello! Thanks for the giveaway! This series is on my TBR list too!! Kisses♥

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. Celia definitely seems like more than just a nobleman's daughter. Thanks for the giveaway!

Cyndi F said...

Sounds like a great book, and I love music too, I can't do anything without music, I even read to music, crazy i no. I love the excerpt to this book, it is a different story line, and sounds good. thanks for the giveaway as well