We’re so happy to be the final stop in Paige Cuccaro‘s HELLSBANE Scavenger Hunt and Blog tour. Below you’ll find part six of the first chapter of HELLSBANE. You’ll notice a word is highlighted; that is the scavenger hunt word for this post (there are 5 other tour posts with 5 more scavenger hunt words) and there will be an extra entry into the rafflecopter form for each one you get right. What are we giving away? 3 signed paperback copies of HELLSBANE, 2 $25 amazon gift cards, and a Nook color loaded with Paige Cuccaro books.
Emma Jane Hellsbane always knew she was different, but she had no idea she wasn’t even human. Well, at least she’s half-human. She’s half-fallen angel, too, and now dear ol’ dad wants her dead. All the Fallen angels want all their troublesome offspring removed from the mortal coil so she’s trying not to take it personally. Besides, she wants him dead just as much. Her father’s death is the only way she’ll be forgiven for his sin, stop those pesky demons from trying to hack off her head, and have any hope at all of getting back to a normal life as a wicked slick Intuitive Consciousness Explorer.
Of course, first she’ll have to figure out which fallen angel is her father, avoid accidentally seducing her angelic mentor, help an old friend conquer his own fallen sperm donor, and basically save the world from a cataclysmic divine smack down.
No problem. With a last name like Hellsbane, Emma Jane was definitely born for the job
CHAPTER ONE of HELLSBANE (part 6)
Spittle sprayed out with every breath from his big, red nostrils and from between his white, pointy teeth. The nice, normal-looking mailman had morphed into a red-skinned devil-thing. There were veins bulging up his thick neck and along his forehead, where his horns poked out from his head like a bull. And he was still wearing the tattered remains of his mailman’s uniform, shoes shredded by cloven hoofs.
Tommy swung his sword, but he was still weak and off-balance. The big devil-thing dodged him easily, shoving an arm out to send Tommy flying past me and into the wall. Drywall cracked and Tommy slid to the floor, breathless. The beast charged toward him, and like a deer in headlights, I stood in his way.
Barreling at me, he pulled a dagger from his mail pouch and swung it. I hit the floor, reflexes taking over. When he lunged forward, swinging again, I rolled out of the way. He kept coming, stomping my grandmother’s hardwood floors with his big, goatlike feet.
I snagged the little table under the mirror in the entryway and shoved it in his path. He stumbled into it, then swept it to the side, slamming it into the wall and knocking the mirror off its nail. The heavy frame hit hard, glass shattering across the floor. I turned and covered my face just as Tommy leapt over me.
Metal clashed against metal. I pushed up, scooting backward on my butt, away from the fight. Sword and dagger were swinging so fast, they were mostly a blur. Tommy lunged and swung, caught meat, then ducked back. The devil-thing parried, then attacked, his fat, three-fingered hands wielding the dagger as though he’d been born holding it.
He caught Tommy’s sword arm, slicing flesh, spraying blood, and Tommy yelled, dropping his weapon. He was already injured. It was a wonder he was even standing.
He stumbled back, searching the floor for his sword, eyes wide, panicked.
Where is it? Frantic, I used the bottom of my skirt to grab a big shard of the mirror and jammed it hard into the devil-thing’s ankle. He didn’t even look down, his yellow gaze on Tommy, stalking toward him, dagger dripping with Tommy’s blood.
He reached out, snagged his big hand around Tommy’s neck, and lifted him off his feet.
“Time to die, nephilim,” he said in a gruff voice that still sounded creepily like the human mailman I’d welcomed inside.
Tommy fought in the devil’s grip, kicking at his body, landing blow after blow. He pounded his fists against the thing’s thick red arms, but he just laughed, raising his dagger, ready to plunge it deep into Tommy’s gut.
Where was his damn sword? I scanned the entry, spotted the hilt sticking out from under the crumpled rug. Without thinking, I scrambled over on hands and knees, shoving slivers of mirror out of my path. But when I took a second to glance back at Tommy, a glass splinter jammed into the side of my palm. I plucked it out. Tommy was still hanging from the demon’s stiff-arm, his face ashen, his lips turning blue. He jerked wildly, his gaze steady on me instead of the devil. He shook his head as best he could, his dark lips mouthing, “No. Don’t touch it,” in little more than a hoarse croak.
My fingers found the sword, gathered the handle into my palm. I lifted it in one easy motion. The weight of it felt good in my hand, the round grip settling perfectly into my palm. I raised it to my shoulder like a baseball bat just as a searing white heat burned along my inner wrist.
“Ah, shit!” I ignored the stinging pain and swung. In that brief instant, as the blade sailed toward him, the demon turned as though something about me was suddenly worth his notice. The blade sliced cleanly through his neck. His yellow eyes, with creepy, vertical, black-slit pupils, blinked at me.
“Nephilim,” he said.
And then his head fell off.
The body collapsed, and Tommy crumpled to the floor with it. He sucked breath into his lungs, then scooted backward a moment before the whole of the demon who was once a mailman melted into a big pile of black, smoldering ooze.
I flicked my gaze to Tommy, who was clutching his neck, staring at the pile of gooey devil. I swallowed around the emotion clogging at the back of my throat. “That was not a mailman.”
Don’t Miss a Stop on the HELLSBANE Tour
Nov. 19 – Fiktshun’s Annex – Chapter 1 part 1
Nov. 20 – Shortie Says – Q&A
Nov. 21 – A Diary of A Book Addict – Chapter 1 part 2
Nov. 23 – Winterhaven Books – Guest Post
Nov. 24 – What The Cat Read – Chapter 1 part 3
Nov. 26 – Kindle and Me – Guest Post
Nov. 27 – A Life Bound By Books – Chapter 1 part 4
Nov. 28 – K-Books – Guest Post
Nov. 29 – My Shelf Confessions – Chapter 1 part 5
Dec. 1 – All Things Urban Fantasy – Chapter 1 part 6
Writing was never a foregone conclusion for me. I once had dreams of being a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, and/or an EMT. And then I met my husband and my world came into focus. Being wife and mother are my highest priorities and greatest joy. But escaping to the fanciful, sexy worlds twirling through my mind is an absolute necessity. Putting those worlds, and the cornucopia of characters that people them, on paper is just plain fun.
Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, three cats, a parakeet and a bearded dragon named Rexy, in an ever shrinking house. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.
Giveaway provided by Entangled Publishing
1 Nook color loaded with Paige Cuccaro books
3 signed paperback copies of HELLSBANE
2 $25 amazon gift cards
Free Limited Time Download of COMMENCEMENT, A Hellsbane Prequel Novella
Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn for frat guys…
Emma Jane Hellsbane knows something evil is worming its way through her college campus—she can feel it. Literally. Her freakish ability to feel other people’s emotions as though they were her own has always been monumentally awkward, and it’s easier for her to just pretend it doesn’t exist. But this time her paranormal ability just might help her save lives.
Emma Jane’s fairly certain that whatever the hateful, egomaniacal, Godlike thing is, it’s set up shop inside her boyfriend, the frat boy/soccer star Justin. And if she doesn’t figure a way to get it out of him soon, Justin’s soul will be the appetizer to the main course—the whole student body. Problem is, the big baddy is granting sinister wishes, and with each one the risks grow higher and the phrase Be careful what you wish for becomes a real-life dire warning. Of course for Emma, what feels like it could be the end is in fact just the beginning…
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