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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.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A god in disguise - A threat of ultimate evil - Fate Undone by Linsey Hall

Thrown together, Loki and Sylvi must foil a masterful plot that threatens not only their lives, but every god in existence. It will take all of their power, and all of their long-buried love, to face the ultimate danger - or vanish and be forgotten forever… 


Description:

Can be read as a standalone
Cover Artist: Damonza

A god in disguise 
No one in the Prison for Magical Deviants knows that prisoner Logan Laufeyson has secret identity. He is the ancient trickster god Loki, in magical disguise on a mission of his own. A mission that will come to a sudden and disastrous end… 

The woman he's never forgotten 
Demi-goddess Sylvi has spent eight hundred years trying to forget her long-ago affair with Loki, which destroyed her dreams and got her banished from her home. When Loki escapes from prison and stumbles through her door with a problem that threatens both their lives, she must set aside her anger while trying to resist a passion she’s never forgotten. The fact that her magic can be enhanced by sex makes ignoring Loki even harder—especially when they must utilize her rare talent. 

A threat of ultimate evil 
Thrown together, Loki and Sylvi must foil a masterful plot that threatens not only their lives, but every god in existence. It will take all of their power, and all of their long-buried love, to face the ultimate danger - or vanish and be forgotten forever… 

MB's INTERVIEW
Thank you, Mrs.Linsey Hall
1. How Mytheana Arcana series was born (and something about its name..myth…please) and what are the features that these stories share and make them parts of this series? 
I’ve read and loved romance novels since I was about thirteen (my mother had no idea I was sneaking them from her stash). It was the 90’s, so historical romances were particularly popular and so that’s what I read. The books of Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey, and Catherine Coulter gave me a love of history that led me to archaeology as a career. It was while I was working on a project in Plymouth, England that the first story in the Mythean Arcana was born. England is the home of the Celtic warrior queen Boudica, with whom I’ve always been fascinated. In 60 and 61 AD, she fought for the freedom of her people (the British Celts). She almost evicted the Romans from Britain, but had a terrible defeat instead. She killed herself after the battle or was poisoned (no one knows for sure). Her story always made me sad and I thought it would be great to give her a happy ending in a book. 

Thus, Braving Fate and the Mythean Arcana series were born. All of the books take place in present day, though they are influenced by history – specifically ancient myths. In the world of the Mythean Arcana (which exists within our own world) – all myths are true. If enough mortals believed in it, the myth came to life. Individuals from those myths are called Mytheans. All of the heavens and hells of ancient and modern-day religions are true (they are called afterworlds) and different books will feature different types of individuals. Some characters are directly taken from mythology – like Loki in book 5, Fate Undone. But some, like Boudica, are taken from history. A third type of character you will see is the type that I make up entirely. Soulceresses are one of these types. They are witches who draw their power from the immortal souls of other Mytheans. 

2. What is your opinion about the current trends in paranormal romance? What are the bests and the worst in our day paranormal genres? 
I’m going to skip this question if that is okay. I’m not very up to date on the trends (which is terrible since I’m a writer!). I love reading paranormal, but my mind doesn’t keep track or categorize into trends very well (I’m a scatterbrain). 

3. What kind of hero and heroine will we find in your Mythean Arcana series? Are there some “imperative” features that paranormal main characters should have? 
The heroes in the Mythean Arcana series are all rough and ready alpha males, but they’re sensitive as well (especially when they meet their heroine). They don’t usually start out the book with their sensitive side, however. More often than not, the heroine has to kick some sense into them. Almost all of them are warriors who fight on the side of the Immortal University, which is more of a government organization dedicated to keeping British Mytheans in check than it is an actual learning institution. There are some rebels though, particularly in books 4 and 5 in the series. Coincidentally, they’re best friends. Other qualities you’ll find in a Mythean Arcana hero are loyalty, stubbornness, and skill in the sack J 

I adore the heroines in my series as much as the heroes. They come from all walks of life – some are mortal and deathly afraid of the new world they’ve entered and some are soulceresses or goddesses who are feared or hated by almost all. No matter how they start out the books (timid or bold), by the end of the story, they’ve come into their own. They’re smart, feisty, and don’t take and gruff from their heroes. Frankly, I’d want to be friends with all of them. 

4. At least in two books you use historical and/or mythological elements. What are the disadvantages (or mistakes :P that an author could do), when the “real facts” are (or should be) well known by many readers? 
Well, this is a doozy! History is a tricky thing and I’m going to give you a long answer because I think it’s fascinating (feel free to skip if it’s not your cup of tea:-). I’ve spent years studying both history and archaeology - the difference being that history is something that was written down by people of the past and archaeology is the study of the things they left behind, not their writing. What I learned more than anything is that we rarely know the full truth of what actually happened and we can usually never be certain of our interpretation. They say that history is written by the victors, and that’s true (to an extent). But the victors didn’t always tell the truth in their writing. They might have tried to make themselves look better, for example. That’s not to say that all written history is false. Far from it. Just that we can’t take what we read as the gospel truth. 

Then there’s the archaeology side, and that’s what I’m more familiar with as it was my career before writing. We do our best in archaeology to properly interpret the material culture (the things) that we find on archaeological sites. In historical archaeology (my specific area of study), we can compare the artifacts with the writing (the history side) and try to get a better picture. However, we’re never guaranteed to get it all right. This scares some archaeologists and makes them very slow to publish their findings. Some never publish at all because they are worried about being wrong. This is bad, because it means that the data they’ve discovered stays locked up for decades in their office. I’m of the school of thought that one should be as accurate as possible and very careful in their research, but they shouldn’t worry about publishing something that might have a wrong fact or two - because we always have a wrong fact or two. But the only way to discover our errors is to publish our findings so that someone else can use that data to help them discover more truths about history. I believe that as an archaeologist or historian, it is our job to establish the building blocks that other scholars can step upon to discover greater truths – and sometimes, this means finding our flaws. The downside of this is that sometimes other scholars will give you grief if you got something wrong. That’s pretty miserable, but I try not to let it bother me. This was good practice for getting bad reviews of my books :-) 

So why the long answer about historical accuracy in my books and the fear that I’ll get it wrong and annoy readers? Because my opinion on this was developed when I was an archaeologist. I wrote a lot of things (much drier than what I write now :-) that people might have disagreed with. I was prepared for it and I wanted it to happened because it sparks discussion. I did my best as an archaeologist to be accurate and I do my best as a novelist to be accurate to history as well – but I’m prepared to annoy some people with my interpretation. I hope I don’t, but I accept it as part of working with history, even in a tangential way like I do now. 

I should say, that because I am an archaeologist and I believe in citing my sources (I wanted my first book to have footnotes - thank goodness my editor convinced me not to!), each of my books has an Author’s Note in the back. Here I discuss the history and myth that I utilized in the books and I mention what it true (at least, as true as historians and archaeologists can determine) and what I have changed for the purposes of the story. For example – I mentioned that we don’t know exactly how Boudica died. Some people think she killed herself, some think she died of illness. I chose the first – suicide. Some readers might say, “hey! You’re wrong!”, but in reality, because it is such ancient history, what we think we know might not actually be true. 

The ‘too long, didn’t read’ short answer to your question is that the disadvantages of using history and myth in my writing is that people could tell me I’m wrong. Fortunately, I’m used to this :-) I hope The trick (for me, at least) is to be as accurate as I can in my writing. I’m used to research and already have a large library of the history that I’m interested in, so that helps. Anywhere that I change history for the story, I mention it in my Author’s Note in the back of each book. I hope that if I annoy readers with any inaccuracy, that my Author’s Note will explain why I chose to change parts of a myth or history. 

5. Did your studies and experiences as a nautical archaeologist inspire your stories plot? (some examples, please). 
Yes! Honestly, I would say that it is more my work as an archaeologist in general that inspires my stories, because I have not yet wrote anything themed with nautical archaeology (I will, one day). First, my commitment to historical accuracy leads me to be precise in my research and to note where I deviate from what we know about history. I’ve also chosen a lot of the locations in my novels based upon the places that I have done archaeological projects. One of my favorite projects was conducted in Scotland, so I set the Immortal University there. I’ve been many times for research, so it helped in the writing. In one book, there’s a scene set in Spain working on a Phoenecian shipwreck that I helped to excavate. This is a very small scene at the very end of the book, but it was such a neat project that I included it. 

I set the series at a place called the Immortal University, because as an academic, universities are environments I am familiar with. There are no classes or teachers in my books and all characters are adults, but I set it at a university because I respect institutions of learning and they are often homes of research as well as teaching. I liked the idea of the organizational body of British Mytheans being an educational organization instead of just a government one. 

I also write about historians and archaeologists sometimes –though my archaeologists are more like treasure hunters. I should note – treasure hunting is not a good practice (also, you almost never make money at it). Archaeological artifacts belong to all people and should be in museums, not private homes. Our past belongs to us all. In my books, some of my characters steal artifacts for financial gain (which I disagree with), but I try to make it clear that these are magical artifacts. Maybe that doesn’t make it any better, but it’s a world that isn’t our own – it’s a magical one. Other characters, like Fiona in book 4, work for the university and are treasure hunters for a greater purpose. Some books take place at historical or archaeological sites because that is what I find interesting. My books (particularly 4 & 5) have been compared to Indiana Jones adventures. I didn’t set out to write books like that, but it’s what I’m interested in, so that’s what they became. 

Thank you for having me on your blog! 

EXCERPT





PROLOGUE

Asgard, Afterworld of the Norse Gods

1213 AD


Pain tore through Loki’s chest, burning through every vein in his body. He roared, his muscles straining against the chains that bound him to the rock. Despite his godly strength, he could not break them. Above him, the great snake draped over a tree limb, dripping venom onto his chest. Its yellow eyes gleamed, watching him as the fluid seeped from its fangs.

The venom sizzled when it hit his skin, eating through to the muscle underneath. His heart must be beating against the air now, no longer protected within its cage of flesh.

“You went too far, Loki,” roared Odin, the greatest of the Norse gods.

Loki wanted to yell back at him, at the crowd of gods who stood around him, but words could not form on his tongue. I’d do it again, he would shout, if only the pain hadn’t stolen his words.

“You’ll stay here until Ragnarok, when the final battle shall take your life. It is a fitting punishment for your crimes,” Odin said. 

The snake’s venom dripped again, shooting pain through Loki’s body until his vision blurred. He could barely see the other gods nodding their heads before they turned in unison and walked out of the clearing in which he was trapped.

Bastards. But he hadn’t seen Sigyn. His love hadn’t been with them, thank gods.

The venom dripped again, pouring from the snake’s mouth in quantities only magic could create. Loki roared, his voice hoarse, and almost passed out from the pain. A feminine scream pulled him from the daze.

Suddenly, delicate hands reached out over his chest, attempting to catch the venom before it fell onto him. Sigyn.

“No!” he roared, fear for her helping him find the strength to form words. He was close to blacking out from the pain.

When the venom dripped onto her palm, she collapsed to her knees. He craned his head to see her, slumped against the stone upon which he was bound, her golden hair concealing her face. She’d passed out from the pain.

Terror for her stole the breath from his lungs. He’d been angry about this punishment, but never afraid. Not until it risked her. She must leave here. His vengeance against the gods had been necessary and just. But he didn’t want her to suffer for it. If the other gods knew how he felt about her, they might punish her too. She’d done nothing wrong, but it wouldn’t stop them.

He couldn’t bear to think of her suffering. It was a pain worse than the venom. He strained against the bonds, attempting to break them so he could drive her away.

She moaned, then sat up. When her gaze landed upon his face, her eyes widened. 

“Go,” he rasped. “Go from here.”

She pushed herself up and leaned over him, her tears dripping upon his face.

“Go.” His voice was so rough it was almost gone. He had to make her leave. His pursuit of vengeance put her at risk. She would hate him for that. Would likely never forgive him. 

“Never. I’ll get you out of—”

He roared when venom dripped into his wound, the pain finally taking him into the blackness.


CHAPTER ONE


Prison for Magical Deviants, Immortal University

Edinburgh, Scotland


Logan Laufeyson gritted his teeth as the guard removed the manacles from his wrists and shoved him into his damp stone cell. The familiar rage at his powerlessness welled and he breathed deeply to tamp it down, counting back from ten. He had more important things to be worried about than an asshole guard.

He’d only been in this hell three months, after all, and it was temporary. Barely anything compared to the tortures he’d suffered in the past or the century that his friend Ian had been locked in here before Logan had taken his place. He’d been a bastard for leaving Ian rotting in here for so long, but it had been necessary. 

Logan dragged his shirt over his head and used it to scrub the grit off his face. The worst thing about the daily prison work detail which he’d just returned from was the damned sand in the afterworld of Moloch. The best thing about prison work detail was that the hellish Moloch was exactly what he’d been looking for when he’d broken into the Prison for Magical Deviants three months ago. 

He didn’t mind spending twelve back-breaking hours a day hauling rocks, not once he’d realized that the stone was being used to construct the place he’d been hunting for nearly a century. He could use that time to learn enough about it to destroy it.

Though washing the sweat and grime off himself would be the greatest pleasure he had all day, he ignored the leaky hose in the corner of the cell in favor of using his magic to change his clothes. He closed his eyes and envisioned a shirt and pants identical to the ones he wore as his usual prison uniform—black on black. Not so different from his normal attire.

What was different, however, was his face. He ran his hand over his unfamiliar nose and jaw. He was full shapeshifter, able to adopt any identity of man or beast. Since he was in this prison to take his friend’s place, he’d adopted a copy of his friend Ian’s face. Alone in his cell, he could change back to the looks he adopted normally. It, too, was a disguise, but he’d worn it for centuries and it was comfortable by now. 

He had no watch and no window, so no way to tell time. But he could count on the prison schedule to be military precise, and every seven days, directly after he was shoved back in his cell, he had a meeting.

He listened carefully at the heavy wooden door for footsteps. Silence. It was highly unlikely anyone would come to his cell before a guard brought a miserly dinner in an hour. Once he was confident there was nothing but silence in the hall, he moved to the corner that would be hidden by the door if it opened.

Logan drew in a deep breath and held out his hands, envisioning flame. A fire, two feet tall and at least as wide, burst into life in the corner, as if a hearth had been built. After a moment, a face appeared. The seer was always on time for their meetings.

“Loki,” she said, the image of her face flickering in the light of the flame.

“Logan,” he corrected. 

“Fine. Logan."

He was the Norse trickster god Loki, but he went by Logan to protect himself from the wrath of the other Norse gods. He also consistently used his shapeshifting to alter his face. He had the same dark hair and eyes as he’d had as Loki, but his face was shaped differently enough that no one would recognize him.

He’d buried his identity as Loki deep in the past. 

“Do you have anything for me?” he asked. He was so certain she would say no, as she had at every other meeting, that he nearly lost control of the flame when she answered.

“Yes. It’s almost time. The Labyrinthine Prison of Lethe will be complete in no more than two weeks.”

Adrenaline spiked through him, driving through his veins and making his mind hum. “Two weeks? That’s all? Damn it, what kind of seer are you that you couldn’t see it sooner?”

“The best.” She smirked. “Of which you are well aware, or you wouldn’t pay me so much money. Visions come when they come. You need to quit with the recon or protecting your friend or whatever it is you’re doing in there and go get whatever’s at the end of the map I gave you.”

She was right. There was no question he had to leave the Prison for Magical Deviants. He wasn’t learning anything new here now and Ian MacKenzie, his only friend, was safely out of Scotland. 

“Fine,” he said. “You’re certain of this? I’ve been on Moloch every day for three months, helping to build the labyrinth, and it doesn’t look nearly finished.” 

In an ironic twist of fate, the university prison was using prisoners to construct a far greater monstrosity than the one he’d been caged in—an inescapable labyrinth prison that would capture and contain the gods. Like himself. Like Sigyn.

He sure as hell wasn’t going to let that happen.

“Yes. I believe the prison is designed to make you forget. I saw more in this vision than in all the others. It’s called the Labyrinthine Prison of Lethe because the Architect of the prison has diverted the waters of the River Lethe. He’s created a portal to the Greek afterworld that allows the river to flow through the labyrinth.”

“What the hell?” He hadn’t heard the name of the river that ran through Hades in centuries. The River of Forgetfulness made those who drank from it forget their lives.

“If you’re imprisoned—which you will be, as all gods will be—you’ll forget yourself entirely. As will the world. I believe the river Lethe is making even the builders forget what they’ve built. It’s part of the torture of the labyrinth—to endlessly toil yet believe you make no progress.”

He scrubbed a hand over his face. This was a hell of a lot worse than he’d anticipated. Aleia’s prophesies always came true. Always. The cocky part of him had always kind of thought he’d be able to break out of the prison if he were thrown in.

But from what Aleia was saying, it sounded like the river Lethe had already fucked with his mind. If the prison was completed, he would end up there as prophesied. With the river working on his mind, there’s no way he’d find his way out before he forgot.

“It looks like my time here is up. I’ll contact you if I need you again,” Logan said.

“Aye aye, boss.” She disappeared into the flames.

Logan thrust aside the chilling thought of losing his memory in the labyrinth and focused on what was next.

Escape.

His heart sped at the idea of finally being able to break out of this hell hole. With the wheels of the Labyrinthine Prison finally turning, he couldn’t stay, hoping for more information. Aleia had informed him of the prison’s construction over a century ago. After a hundred years of searching for it, he was suddenly running out of time.

Speaking of time… The guard would arrive with “dinner” any minute. It took only seconds to tear off strips of the bed sheet. He took up position at the door and quieted his mind, listening for the coming footsteps of the burly guard. 

The guard was part demon, though from what afterworld, Logan wasn’t sure. Mytheans, as supernatural individuals of the various species were called, could be dangerous. The university, which was more of an unofficial government organization dedicated to hiding the existence of Mytheans than it was a learning institution, hired all sorts of Mytheans. 

Roughly two minutes later, thudding footsteps sounded at the end of the hall. His cell was the third and last. It would buy him some extra time, since the other prisoners wouldn’t be alerted that something was wrong when their dinner didn’t appear.

For old time’s sake, he’d love nothing more than to bust some of these assholes out just to fuck with the university. He’d never liked authority figures. But his end goal was more important than his whims.

He shifted on his feet, and when the key finally scratched in the lock on his door, he moved forward. The heavy wooden door swung open and a gruff voice said, “Slop time, Ian MacKenzie.”

The guard’s eyes widened when Logan’s fist came at him. They rolled back into his head not a second later. Logan snatched the tray before it clattered to the ground. The guard started to slump against the wall, but popped upright half a moment later.

So that’s why this bastard was a guard. He was damn hard to knock out.

Logan grabbed the guard by the collar, dragging him into the room. It looked like this might be a fight and he wanted privacy. The guard swung at him and Logan ducked, put the tray on the floor, then slipped behind him and reached up to grasp his head. It took a second to snap his neck. He turned it halfway around just to be sure he completed the job. 

Logan eased the massive body to the ground and thanked his buddy Ian for being such a model prisoner that there’d been only one guard. 

Logan quietly shut the door. In seconds, he had the guard’s hands bound behind his back and a makeshift gag over his mouth. Though he’d broken the guard’s neck, it certainly wouldn’t kill a Mythean. And whatever type this one was, his recovery period was ridiculously quick. He really should have been passed out for hours from Logan’s first punch.

The last strip of bed sheet went around the guard’s ankles and Logan figured he had a solid ten minutes to make it off campus. Maybe even fifteen, if he got lucky.

He’d need only five. Quickly, he laid a hand on the guard’s burly shoulder and envisioned himself shedding his own face and form and adopting the guard’s. When the knuckles of his hand widened and bristly hairs sprouted from the backs, his face had transformed as well. He magically adopted the guard’s uniform.

Without a backward glance at the miserable four walls that had been his home for the last three months, he walked out the door and down the hall. He remembered it from his time sneaking in to free Ian, so it wasn’t hard to act like he knew where he was going.

The hall was empty and silent but for the humming of the fluorescent lights above. They were out of place amongst the otherwise ancient architectural features, primarily stone for the walls and wood for the floor. The huge door at the end of the hall beckoned. Freedom.

When he reached it, he placed his palm against the metal. Magic zinged up his arm as the lock registered the guard’s palm. It would have been a hell of a lot harder to break out had he not been a shapeshifter. Only the handprint of the guard, willingly given, would open the door.

He grinned as he pushed the door open and climbed the stairs to the first floor of the Praesidium, the university department that dealt with security and protecting those individuals important to humanity. Basically, a bunch of heads-up-their-asses, full-of-themselves morons who thought they were the world’s police. Any species of Mythean could work for the university, but he’d never met one he liked.

When he reached the door at the top of the stairs, Logan straightened his shoulders and scowled, trying for an expression as stupid as the guard’s. If he was going to meet anyone on his way out of the building, it would be here, in the halls of the Praesidium. And whoever he met wouldn’t be bad in a fight, given that only warriors worked for the Praesidium. 

Still, they’d be no match for him. He wiped what he knew must be a cocky grin off his face and relaxed his features into bovine boredom, then pushed out into the rich, wood-paneled hallway. 

A shock of familiar energy hit him in the chest. He stiffened.

Sigyn. She was close. His chest ached, his soul seeming to pull away from his body in search of her. He hadn’t felt her presence in centuries, not since he’d left Norway. The enchanted shields on the prison must have blocked out the magic that filled the university buildings above, including hers.

He’d known she worked for the university and he’d intended to seek her out once he’d destroyed the labyrinth, but he hadn’t expected to ever be so close to her that he felt her. She had to be in this very building.

Ironic that the two things he wanted most in this world—Sigyn and access to the labyrinth so that he could destroy it—could be found in the same place. 

He slammed a fist against his chest, trying to quiet the pulling of his soul. He was in control of himself, damn it, and he had a job to do before he could seek out Sigyn.

But seek her out he would. Once he’d destroyed the labyrinth and ensured his own safety—and hers—he would come for her. He’d been waiting.

With a shake of his head to banish thoughts of the woman he still wanted, he turned right and strode down the hall to the enormous atrium at the entrance of the building. He held his breath as he skirted by an open door, but no one called out to him. The paintings on the wall seemed to frown pityingly at him as he walked by. With memories of Sigyn driving through his brain, he probably deserved it. He should be focusing on the labyrinth, not her.

Escape loomed ahead, the wide open space of the atrium calling him to freedom. The great double doors lay just beyond. But every step he took carried him farther away from Sigyn. Her pull was so strong, she had to be in this building. 

But he had to keep going. He focused on what was at stake—eternal imprisonment, not just in the labyrinth, but within his own lost mind, once the River Lethe stole his memory. And he had to keep going for her. She was a demigod and would suffer the same terrible fate if he failed to destroy the prison. The thought spurred him forward. He pushed out through the great double doors into the cool night beyond.

He sucked in the air and grinned. The idiots at the university couldn’t keep a god chained. But then, that’s why they were building the super prison. Regular Mytheans might not be able to chain the gods—but the gods could chain themselves. If they lost their memories, they’d lose the ability to fight their way free. 

It was an excellent plan. Evil, but excellent.

The cobblestone courtyard and parking lot spread out in front of him, surrounded on all sides by enormous stone buildings. Old fashioned street lamps shone yellow lights on their ornately carved facades and ivy crawled up their sides. The courtyard was empty save for an individual sliding into a car.

Sigyn?

No. He wanted to see her so he was imagining her. He forced his mind away. He would come back for her once this was all over, as he’d planned. She was his end goal. He just had to clear the way to get to her, which meant escaping so he could find a way to destroy the prison to save both their lives. 

To do that, he needed to find privacy to transform. Ever since his aetherwalking had been bound by the other Norse gods, he’d relied upon his ability to shapeshift into the form of a falcon for transportation. He sorely missed the ability to travel instantly through the aether—that ephemeral substance connecting the earth and the afterworlds. It was far easier to envision a place and appear than it was to fly there, but he had no choice.

The courtyard was too well lit, so he trotted down the stairs and jogged around the side of the building. By his calculation, he only had a few minutes to spare until the other prison guards noticed their dimwitted colleague was missing.

He slid into the shadows at the edge of the stone wall of the building. It was dark enough to hide the green light of magic that swirled around him when he transformed and no other buildings looked directly out at him. It was perfect. 

He glanced right to confirm the coast was clear and caught sight of a scene in the window next to him. A woman danced within a large, well-lit wooden room. A wall of mirrors reflected her form.

His heart pounded, beating itself senseless against his ribs.

Sigyn. 

She spun about the room, a blue cloak waving behind her as her lithe form leapt and lunged and dodged. Golden hair trailed behind her and it was only once she spun toward him that he noticed the long wooden staff in her hands. Pale wood and elegant, she spun it about her form almost faster than the eye could see. Her cloak flickered. It wasn’t real, just an illusion.

She wasn’t dancing. She was training. Her motions weren’t those of a ballerina, but those of a warrior. He’d never seen her like this, but he’d heard of her. The woman he’d cared for eight hundred years ago had been far quieter than the shining warrior goddess within the room. She’d been strong—capable of protecting herself—but nothing like the woman on the other side of the glass.

This woman was all power and grace, strength and motion. She took his breath away. Fire flashed in her green eyes as if she saw her foe while she practiced her motions. She moved so fast, a mortal would never be able to see her. It was magic. Quite literally. Her talents had grown over the years.

His head buzzed as he watched her and he was helpless to draw away. After so many years, here he stood, actually near her. He’d only seen her a few times for a few breathless moments after he’d driven her away all those years ago. He hadn’t been able to help himself, as he couldn’t now.

He’d made sure she never saw him, though it had torn at something in his chest to maintain his distance. It was the only way to stay away from her, though. If he spoke to her, he’d be unable to leave her. The last time he’d seen her had been over five hundred years ago.

He’d forgotten so many things over his life, so many faces and names and places, but he’d never forgotten her. Not the curve of her slender arms, the length of her legs, or the shine of her hair. She was beautiful—tall and strong and everything the Norse gods were supposed to be, though she’d been a demigod when they’d both left Asgard, home of the Norse pantheon.

He was supposed to wait until he’d destroyed the labyrinth to come for her because she was a distraction. Yet he couldn’t take his eyes off of her as she continued to leap around the room, the apparition of the blue cloak swirling around her marking her as a Vala, a student of the magical teachings of the goddess Freya. 

A cry sounded in the night. Shouts followed.

Shit. He’d fucking forgotten he was on the run. He dragged his eyes from Sigyn, his heart clutching as she left his vision, and focused all his energy on envisioning the falcon form he would take. If he could just make it to the air, he could get—

A shot rang out, a harsh blast echoing through the quiet night. Pain tore through his gut.

What the fuck? They’d used fucking guns? Fucking mortals used fucking guns.

Agony streaked from his stomach through his extremities. Another shot rang out, and this time pain bloomed in his shoulder. Guards charged toward him through the shadows, only a few dozen feet away.

He cursed internally at the idea he’d have to transform in front of them, and thereby possibly give away his true identity, but there was nothing for it. If they caught him when he was this injured, he wouldn’t even be able to hold the false form he normally went by. They’d know he was a god and imprison him accordingly. In the labyrinth. He shuddered.

Logan gritted his teeth. He tried to ignore the pain bombarding him long enough to force the magic through his veins, transforming his muscle and bone to feather and flight.

It was sluggish, but the transformation worked amidst the swirls of green magic he’d never learned how to diminish. Soon he felt the wind under his wings and he climbed into the air, a fraction less graceful and effortless than normal. Pain ripped through him with every stroke of his wings and he faltered on the breeze. 

The ground was only a hundred feet below him, not nearly far enough to get out of the range of bullets. He pushed himself higher, nearly blind from the agony. He’d never make it off the campus like this. There was no way he had more than a couple hundred yards left in him, and the guards were right behind him.



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About the author: 
Linsey Hall is the author of the Mythean Arcana, a sexy paranormal romance series. Before becoming a romance novelist, Linsey was an underwater archaeologist who studied shipwrecks in all kinds of water, from the tropics to muddy rivers (and she has a distinct preference for one over the other). Her books draw upon her love of history, travel, and the paranormal elements that she can't help but include. 

Several of her books may or may not feature her cats. 

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14 comments:

Angie D said...

Enjoyed the interview. Thank you!

Jessica Stout said...

Loved the interview. I need to check this out and get my reading on. :)

patrick siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

Danielle Merkle said...

Great excerpt, thank you for the giveaway!

Sandy said...

Congratulations Linsey on the new release. Thank you for interview.

katieoscarlet said...

The author being an underwater archaeologist must have been fascinating work.

Stephane Bourque said...

Sounds like an interesting read! Thanks for the excerpt!

John Thuku said...

Congratulations on your new release. I loved reading the interview.

Nikolina said...

Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Judy Thomas said...

Loved the interview, thank you.

Judy Thomas said...

Loved the interview, thank you.

Dan said...

I like the cover and excerpt! I hope this book is a big success!

Olivia Caleb said...

Thanks.

Jerry Marquardt said...

Thank you for giving all of us the chance to win this fine giveaway.