Today’s Deadly Destination is from Renee Collins‘s Maggie Davis on Old West Colorado with a fantasy twist from RELIC (published on August 27, 2013 by Entangled Teen). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
Renee Collins’s Maggie Davis on Old West Colorado with a fantasy twist from Relic
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Diary of Eugenia P. Wilkins
I arrived in Burning Mesa on the evening train. I declare, I’ve never seen a place so dusty and hot. They told me I’d bake in the Colorado sun. I see now they were quite serious. The only thing to break the oppressive stretch of desert are the huge red rock cliffs that stand on the horizon.
The townspeople of Burning Mesa seem to pay no mind to the heat. Perhaps they all have some type of relic to keep cool. The main street bustles with all the wild, rugged types of folks I imagined I’d find here. There are relic miners, whores, and poor farmer types. Mexican merchants. Cowboys. Even the fancy Hacienda folk with their expensive parasols turned against the beating sun.
Looking at the rough, shady folk around me, my natural fear sets in. If they find out what I carry with me . . .
Hopefully I can finish my business here as swiftly as possible.
Quite the scare in town today. A ranger came riding down main street, hollering for help. One of the farmers out near Haydenville had been attacked by a creature Mr. Hollings called a rock devil. Sounds like a most horrid creature. Horse-sized and covered in sharp spines, these cousins of the ancient sand dragon run rampant the open desert around Burning Mesa. They spit poison and multiply like rats. They say a person can’t go more than a mile without risking attack. I hear that ghost coyotes also haunt the surrounding desert. And fire scorpions and medusa snakes. What godforsaken place have I come to?
Mr. Hollings, the owner of my hotel, seems to have his mind set to scare me out of town. Last night at supper, he told me about the trouble Burning Mesa has been having with the Apaches. They’re up in Alkali Mountain, hidden with a wealth of goblin relics. They attack the miners every chance they get. The fight over the relic mining grounds has nearly brought war to this town.
I am fearful of an encounter with these fierce warriors. If they seek out relics as ruthlessly as Mr. Hollings claims, perhaps they are an even greater threat to me than the rough folks of Burning Mesa.
I must complete my work quickly. I have arranged a meeting with one of the best relic experts in town. A man called Moon John. I hear he is from the Orient. This fills me with confidence that he can help me.
All of my greatest fears are coming true. The relic I have brought to Burning Mesa has been categorized as possessing shadow magic. Therefore, in addition to being rare and dangerous, it is also illegal. I don’t know this Moon John fellow well, but I fear greatly that he will turn me in to the local sheriff.
As I write this, hidden in a dark corner of the Desert Rose Saloon, I worry for my very life. Most eyes are on the dancers or their poker games. But I can barely drink my dragon whiskey. I must send a telegram to Dr. Wolsheim. I must leave this forsaken place as soon as possible.
Someone broke into the relic refinery! I was awoken from my bed to the sounds of screams and ran into the street. It looked as if the front wall of the refinery had been smashed into pieces with huge fists. I suspect troll relic was used.
Mr. Hollings says the Apaches are responsible. But I overheard the Sheriff say that none of the rare, unpolished relics in the safes were touched. The culprit, whoever they are, were looking for something.
Even as I write these words, my hand trembles. Deep in my bones, I feel that I won’t see the morning.
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Renee Collins grew up in Hawaii, where she and her twin sister created countless stories of to act out in their backyard. She took those stories with her to Brigham Young University, graduating with a degree in History. She currently lives with her family in the shadow of the Colorado red-rock cliffs, though she hasn’t unearthed any relics. Yet. Her debut novel, Relic, releases August 27, 2013 from Entangled Teen.
1 print copy of RELIC
Available on August 27, 2013 by Entangled Teen
After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive the best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa.
In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.
Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa.
Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.
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