Monday, November 12, 2018

Rising Darkness by Chrissy Peebles Releases November 14th!


Rising Darkness

The Vampire and Werewolf Chronicles
Book 8


Chrissy Peebles





Copyright 2018 Chrissy Peebles
  
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.
  

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.



Chapter 1

I took all three of my dogs for a quick walk outside before I left to get a bite to eat with Beth and Julie. We hadn’t done lunch in a long time and we were eager to catch up. It was a last-minute idea we came up with while chatting on the phone. The birds chirped and the sun shone brightly. Suddenly, my dogs took off across the well-manicured lawn. I’d give them a couple of minutes before reigning them back in. So I sat down on a concrete bench and enjoyed the lush garden that burst with vibrant color all around me. I loved the gorgeous fragrance, it was like I was running in a field of flowers. The fountain and reflective pool Al had installed were so calming, tranquil, and relaxing.
My gaze drifted off in front of me. I stared at my magnificent castle. I couldn’t believe how happy I was. While fairytale castles are more often associated with medieval Europe, I had my very own right here in the good old USA. I lived in a safe, impregnable fortress that had stood longer than the United States had been established. I was truly blessed. Slayer barked. I laughed as my dogs gleefully romped and rolled around in the soft grass to their heart’s content.
I’ve never been so happy.
I sent a text to Logan, then looked down at the time on my phone. I better get the dogs back in and check on Beth.
When I stepped back inside, I called up the stairs to Beth. “Are you ready yet?” 
“Almost.”
“C’mon, girl. It shouldn’t take this long.”
“That long? You only told me we’re heading to lunch what, twenty minutes ago?”
“A little spontaneity never hurt anyone,” I hollered up at her with a shrug.
“Don’t lecture me about being come-what-may. You know the things I’ve seen! I’ll be down in a minute.”
“Okay.”
“Hey, did you let your hubby know you’re going to lunch?”
“He’s helping Mr. Peterson put up some drywall in his shop in town. The poor guy is seventy years old and doesn’t have anyone to give him a hand.”
“Aw. That fella of yours is a saint,” she said.
A grin spread across my face. “And that’s why I love him.”
A flash of yellow light brightened the room as our friend teleported in. “Hello, ladies!”
My little dog, Slayer, barked as his nails clicked across the marble floor. My hellhounds just wagged their tails. They all greeted Julie with a warm welcome.
I rushed over and gave her a hug. “Julie! It’s so great to see you.”
“It’s wonderful to see you too.”
“Hmm,” I said, staring curiously at her camouflage attire. “Is this some sort of new trend I didn’t know about?”
“Oh. About that…” she said, looking down at herself.
Before she could finish her explanation of the military garb, Beth walked in wearing a cute dress with ruffles, looking like she’d just stepped off an episode of Overgrown Toddlers and Tiaras.
“Uh, I’m sorry, but that frilly frou-frou is just not gonna work,” Julie said, shaking her head.
Beth frowned. “Why not, Miss G.I. Jane?”
My brow raised. “What, exactly, do you have planned? I was told we were just going to grab a quick bite somewhere in town.”
She handed us some power bars. “There’s been a change of plans. So here’s a snack.”
“But I wanted real food.”
Beth smirked. “What was that you just told me? A little spontaneity never hurt anyone.”
“Hush, you,” I scolded, pretending to be irritated.
“No worries, girls. Munch on these snacks. We can get a bite afterward.”
“After what?” Beth said with a nervous laugh.
“Oh, nothing much, just a little raid,” Julie said.
This time Beth sighed. “Look, my stomach’s growling, and I’m dressed to kill in this cute little number I found at that boutique. I’m not doing any raids unless it’s a boxer shorts raid at the local frat house.”
Julie laughed. “It’s not exactly fitting for taking down a house deep in the woods and arresting all the occupants.”
“Arresting them? What for?”
“They’re vamps who’ve been feasting on humans, breaking immortal law. The Council thought it might be good for both of you to accompany us, for a little training and experience.”
“I’m intrigued,” she said. “Let me just change really quick.”
“Change quickly? That’ll be the day,” I whispered to Julie.
“Hey! I heard that,” Beth said before she ran up the stairs. “I may not be immortal, but my ears still work, you know.”
I laughed and clapped Julie on the shoulder. “I’ll be right back,” I said. I then hurried upstairs to my room, threw my hair into a high ponytail, and changed out of my little skort and tank and into my trusty camouflage skinny jeans and boots. When I ran into Beth in the hallway, she was wearing an army-green jacket, black skinny jeans, boots, and a hat.
“Much better, you two. Now you really are dressed to kill!” Julie said.
We said goodbye to our furry friends, then we were transported to California, where we were briefed about the upcoming mission.
***
Lunch was definitely postponed. The next thing I knew, I was lying on my belly in the bushes, peering through the riflescope and watching for any signs of movement in the house in front of us. I felt like some sort of military sniper. I’d even been fitted with a bulletproof vest, and I had a tactical earpiece headset to allow me to eavesdrop.
“Got satellite on the house?” a voice asked.
“Yep. Our drone’s up and running, and there are definitely signs of life in there.”
“You sure about that?” the voice said. “I mean, technically speaking, vamps are—”
“Yeah, yeah. You know what I mean.”
“Anyway, how many?”
“Four total, one on the south side, two on the east, and another on the west…er. Hold up. They’re moving. Looks like they’re movin’ the party to the living room.”
“The living room? Nice.”
“Very funny…but there’s nothin’ nice about it. We’ve been made!”
“All right. Proceed as planned.”
I peeked through the bushes and watched a smoke grenade sail through the air, right into the open window of the family room.
“Go time, girlies,” Julie said, then tapped Beth and me and motioned for us to follow her.
With weapons drawn, we crept behind her.
Julie pointed at the door. “Sophie, why don’t you do the honors?”
I nodded and grinned, then gave it a swift kick, splintering it down the center. Sometimes, I didn’t know my own strength. But I was super strong, maybe even stronger than one of these immortals here with us.  
Once again, Julie took the lead and leapt in, sweeping her gun back and forth in the smoky house. With my heart racing, I followed, with Beth right behind me. Windows crashed, and more immortals from our team flew in, bursting through the smog and commotion. Shards of glass peppered the floors.
“Watch out!” Julie yelled, giving me a shove to save me from doom as glass flew past me.
With a shuddering breath, I stumbled against the wall. “Thanks. That was a close one,” I said.
More gunfire filled the air, coming from friends and enemies alike. Chunks of plaster separated from the wall, and screams echoed around me. I blinked and coughed, trying not to inhale too much of the sulfuric stench.
While I was trying to breathe and ignore the burning sensation in my eyes in the aftermath of another explosion of bullets next to me, a vampire pounced. The undead thing growled like some rabid beast as it savagely bit the neck of a nearby police officer. Beth’s ammo hit it more than once, but it was too strong and powerful to be taken down so easily, and it quickly turned its attention to her. Fearing the worst, I ran over to help, but by the time I got there, Beth had everything under control and emptied her clip into the vampire. It fell down, twitching, then closed its eyes.
A burst of machine gunfire was next on the menu. Fortunately for everyone on my side, I could give Superman a run for his money when it came to being faster than a speeding bullet. I simply held up my hands, and the shells stopped in midair, then clattered to the floor.
While I was disarming the spray of gunfire, strong arms wrapped around me and lifted me high in the air. Before I could even turn to see who it was, I was flying over the table and crashing into a mirror. Stunned, and with pain filling my body, I jumped to my feet. My head spun, and I couldn’t seem to force my eyes to focus.
The thudding of heavy boots and the crunch of glass underfoot alerted me that someone or something else was coming my way. I squinted through the swirling smoke and made out a man with long, red hair and razor-sharp teeth. With a look of disgust on his face, he raised his automatic rifle at me and fired. As a shiver ran up my spine, I threw up a wall of energy to defend myself. I was highly relieved when the bullet bounced back and embedded itself deep in the wall.
Furious, the redheaded vampire picked up the table, as if it weighed nothing at all, and violently swung it around in the air. His wicked gaze never left me, not even when he sidestepped to avoid the blazing energy ball I hurled his way. The wall exploded behind him when the fireball hit, but I concentrated on conjuring up another one. I took better aim with the second onslaught, and that time, I didn’t miss; with all the accuracy of an NFL quarterback, I knocked that creature right on his end zone, slamming him into the china cabinet.
“Drop your weapon!” Julie shouted at him. “Now!” Then, as soon as he complied, she threw the vampire up against the wall and cuffed him.
I was on my way over to help her with the brute when a woman came out of nowhere and clamped her hand around my throat. Her black nails were so long that I felt them graze my earlobes, and she came at me with such momentum that it sent us both rolling, till we collided with the dining room table. I lifted my arm and threw a fireball at her, and she let out the scream of a banshee in labor as she flew back and connected with the wall.

End of sample. 

Rising Darkness releases November 14th, 2018. 

No comments: