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Friday, 18 September 2015

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway - Blood Sky by Traci L. Slatton



Blood Sky
The After Series
Book 4
Traci L. Slatton
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Parvati Press
Date of Publication: August 24, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-942523-02-4
ASIN: B012TXZ4OC
Word Count: 67,000
Cover Artist: Gwyn Snider

Book Description:

In a time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test… Deep in the badlands of Outpost City, in the Dark Horse saloon, a poker game is being played. The stakes are life and death—for the world.

What can Emma afford to lose? Will she gamble on herself, or on Arthur?

Will love find a way when the apocalypse closes in? A mystical odyssey, a haunting love…

 Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26003778-blood-sky



Excerpt

Taken from Chapter 1

Theo and Donny trotted out ahead of us to a sprawling yellow place with a spacious yard. I watched them dismount and take out their guns. This was the After, and they couldn’t be too careful. There was no telling who might be hiding in the house, and how sane they might be. Billions of people had died on The Day, that terrible Christmas eve that the mists rolled across the globe and devoured structures, people, animals, objects…anything with the wrong balance of metals in their chemical composition.

Fortunately, many millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions, hadn’t died. But some percentage of the survivors were mad, and were a threat to the rest of us. The mists had made them mad.

“Emma,” said a quiet voice from my elbow.

I turned, and it was Susie. Her heart-shaped face was solemn. She jerked her blonde head to one side, wanting to speak to me privately. I guided my horse out a few meters away from Laurette. Susie followed so close that my horse danced anxiously beneath me.

“Quit!” I said firmly, dropping my heels in the stirrups. I looked over at Susie, who was practically at my shoulder. “So?”

Susie frowned. “Something’s wrong. Something here in this town.” “You’ve seen something?”

“Not exactly.” “Felt something?” “Not really.”

“Then what?” I pressed, in a low voice. Perhaps Susie had felt something with a sixth sense stimulated by the mists. All too often, the mists left strange psychic gifts in their wake, extrasensory abilities that both tormented and enhanced the recipient. We all feared these gifts because they often preceded madness. I had a gift, a healing gift in my hands, and I kept careful watch over my internal state, lest I descend into a chaos from which few people emerged.

Susie shook her head ferociously. She uttered, “Yah!” Her horse quickened its pace and she rode off toward the yellow house without answering me.

I stared after her in bemusement. Susie who lived to kill raiders was uncomfortable with something in Starbuck, and she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, explain her feeling to me. Perhaps it was ordinary intuition, perhaps it was something more. I looked around carefully, steering my horse in a tight clockwise spin when my neck wouldn’t turn anymore. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Streets were empty, houses were quiet and dark. There was no movement apart from our group.

“What’s wrong?” It was Arthur, who had guided his horse close to mine. He studied my face.

“Susie feels uneasy,” I murmured, still scanning the surroundings.

“She has good sensitivity, she’s open psychically,” he murmured back. “I always think she’ll be a key piece of the equation, when we mount an attack on the mists.” He looked around. “I don’t see anything.”
“Me, neither.” I frowned as I caught his eyes. “That’s what worries me.”

His gray eyes lit up, the way they always did when his genius struck him. Before the mists, Arthur had been a professor of sorts, a polymath inventor involved in military research and development. “I know what you mean. It’s all a little too quiet.”

“Why are the yards all so tidy? And where are the dogs?” I wondered. “Packs of wild dogs run through every ghost town. We should have seen some.”

He scowled and gathered his reins in one hand, and then pulled out his pistol with the other.

I followed his example.

“What are we fearing?” Robert asked, riding up to us. He didn’t wait for us to answer but drew his weapon, as well, holding it firmly in his hand despite the baby nestled on his chest.

“The quiet,” Arthur answered.

Theo yelled for us to come to the house, breaking the unnatural silence of the sunny afternoon. Arthur motioned the rest of us to go ahead while he took up the rear and scanned the countryside.

The yellow house was spacious enough, a living room with a fireplace, four bedrooms, and a nicely appointed den. We were eleven adults and two babies, and Laurette assigned us all rooms. She delegated bedrooms to couples and gave Donny his own in case Kangee showed up, put Susie in the den, and told Marco, Theo, and Gaff to figure out their accommodations in the living room.

“I like this place, it is very well kept,” Laurette approved. She stood in the kitchen with her arms akimbo.

“Too well kept.” I was going through the pantry. There was little in it, though it was very well organized and spotlessly clean.


“I know what you mean, but why question it, it is so pleasant? You are so suspicious, Emma,” Laurette said. She peered over my shoulder into the cabinet. “There are dried beans, we can use those.”

“Someone will have to hunt something, there’s not enough.” “We can look into nearby homes, also,” Laurette said. “Susie—”

“I don’t want to go out,” Susie said. She seated herself at the kitchen nook.

I pulled out a box of Earl Grey sachets. “Cup of tea? If I can get some water boiling.”

“There’s no electricity,” Susie said. She laid her head on her arms.

“The water runs,” Laurette said, turning on the faucet for a few seconds. “There’s a fireplace,” I said.

Jeannie came into the kitchen with a twin on each hip. “I’m so thankful to be off a horse! Emma, what have we got? Anything to snack on?” She slid into the nook table opposite Susie, who didn’t pick up her head.

“Not much, yet. I’m still looking,” I said.

Shaggy and awkward, Gaff stood in the doorway. “Arthur is sending us to scout for food in nearby houses.”

“Don’t go anywhere alone,” Susie murmured.

“He said to stay in pairs,” Gaff said. “I’ll be with Marco.” He watched Susie. “You okay?”

“Shut up,” she answered, but her voice sounded listless, without its usual snap for Gaff.

“Go on, then, Gaff,” Jeannie said. She started unbuttoning her shirt so she could nurse the babies.

Gaff shrugged but he scowled at Susie and then made a face at me before he went outside.

I took his point: something was up with Susie.

Something more than what was usually up with her, that is. Susie was often quiet, depressive. She had been kept by a group of raiders after the mists had ravaged her home town and killed her family. The raiders had used her badly and the residue of their cruelty stayed with her. I had helped her get free after a mist incursion, and she was closer to me than anyone else, but she was still often remote.

“I will start a fire in the fireplace,” Laurette announced. She took a large pot from inside a cabinet and filled it with tap water, then went to the living room.

“It won’t matter,” Susie said. “Even if she gets the fire going and she boils the water. It won’t matter. Nothing matters.”


About the Author
Traci L. Slatton is the international bestselling author of historical, paranormal, and romantic novels, including IMMORTAL (BantamDell) and BROKEN; the award-winning dystopian After Series which includes FALLEN, COLD LIGHT, FAR SHORE, and BLOOD SKY; the bittersweet romantic comedy THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE; and the vampire art history romp THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. She has also published the lyrical poetry collection DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE and THE ART OF LIFE, a photo-essay about figurative sculpture through the ages. Her book PIERCING TIME & SPACE explores the meeting ground of science and spirituality.

Author Links:



***GIVEAWAY***

5 ecopies of Blood Sky.

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2 comments:

  1. Question to the author: how did you come up with the title?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an exciting book! Great excerpt. I would love to read more.

    ReplyDelete