A big welcome to Stacey Kennedy who is here to give us an excerpt from Witches Be Burned and celebrating the release of Witches Be Burned, Magic & Mayhem #2 (published on May 19, 2015 by LoveSwept by Random House).
Excerpt from WITCHES BE BURNED
Thank you so much for letting me stop by today. There are so many reasons why I love writing paranormal romance. Sure, the men are usually the alpha-male type and are incredibly sexy in their own right. Of course, the world building is super fun, since I get to be creative. But I gotta admit what I love writing most is the action scenes. What can I say? They are ridiculously fun to write and get the heart racing.
You see, Nexi from, Witches Be Burned, is a Spirit Witch. The elements have granted her the power from Fire and Air, which basically means she can kick some serious magical butt. In the scene below, we get to see Nexi in action, and boy-oh-boy was it exciting to write. Throughout the story, we do see Nexi fulfilling the other side of herself, which is a guardian – meaning she knows how to throw a good punch and can use a sword to destroy any treat – but by the end of the book, we get to see Nexi fulfilling the witch side of herself. And there is nothing more thrilling than watching two witches fight it out! Don’t you think?
Happy reading, and I hope you enjoy the scene as much as I enjoyed writing it!
A rage so dark and deadly filled Nexi, nearly crackling in the sky. She remained on her knees, gulping at the air to stay in the present and not fall so deeply into a horror she couldn’t even fathom. Kyden can’t die. She couldn’t survive losing anyone else. Nor would she stand another night of staring down evil and allowing it to walk away.
She noticed Astoria turning, as if to walk away as though she hadn’t ruined Nexi’s life. A burn fueled Nexi as she rose. Wind soared over her body, which was not a natural occurrence, but was the force of her magic igniting. Even Nexi became aware that something different was arising in her, something that wasn’t good, something that hungered for this witch’s blood. Not because Astoria was an evil witch, but because she had threatened the life of the one supernatural Nexi couldn’t live without.
Astoria wanted to take from Nexi, and Nexi would not allow it.
The wind roared in her ears, spitting up rock and sticks from the ground. Astoria turned and paused, studying Nexi. She finally said, sounding incredulous, “You cannot be serious?”
“I’m so fucking tired of losing people I love.” Nexi glanced to her hands, sensing an odd thick energy bouncing off her. It seemed different. Whatever magic filled her now she had not trained with, but maybe that was because she hadn’t needed the magic. She’d never faced such a powerful opponent before.
The magic inside wasn’t whispering soft words of encouragement. The magic spoke to her in a harsher demand, holding one focus.
Astoria tilted her head; her gaze turned probing. “What power is that?”
Nexi couldn’t speak, she couldn’t move; the power within pulsated to cause mayhem. Hate burned so deep inside, and before she even had a thought on what to do next, a wave of energy soared from her body so intense it burned in the worst possible way.
Astoria went flying backward, landing by the log she had casually been sitting on. She bounced back onto her feet and levitated off the ground before a blast of cool air from the mountains rushed across Nexi, sending her soaring backward to slam against a tree trunk. A bone in her shoulder cracked, but the pain couldn’t even register as she spotted flames spiraling toward her.
Kill, the magic roared inside.
Nexi agreed and focused deep, pulling on this new rich power within her. This unlimited force gave Nexi the sense that she could match the witch she fought now. The fire drew nearer and, instinctively, Nexi knew exactly what to do. The magic guided her to push that fierce energy whipping inside her outward. She screamed as the magic burned against her soul, though an odd sense of happiness filled her with a shield of energy—almost like a pulsating heat wave that formed around her.
The heat from the fiery inferno at her front drew sweat to bead along her skin, though the magic now could not be hindered. Astoria’s flames couldn’t touch her. Nexi’s fists clenched as she stared at the wall of fire, attempting to break through and harm her. Each second that passed brought more of Astoria’s magic, forming a black cloud behind the fire, and somehow this magic seemed familiar to Nexi.
In the lodge, the magic had tasted wrong . . . felt dirty. Now she didn’t want to repel it, she wanted to draw it in and hold it. Use it as hers. Raw power seeped through the flames and screams of agony rippled against the air. Trees uprooted around Nexi, and her ears popped as the roar of Astoria’s fire intensified.
Nexi asked more of the magic now, forcing out her abilities in a way she’d never asked before—with the intent to kill without mercy—and it seemed as if the elements were fighting back, almost refusing her desire.
Stop, her soul screamed at her.
Kill, the power argued.
Nexi could hardly see in front of her as the blaze against her shield burned like an uncontrollable wildfire. Large orange, red, and purple flames pushed against the wall of energy, and Nexi screamed at the power forced on her. She roared against the sweltering evil and the cruelty of life, and against the hell she had landed herself in. Trees blackened around her, causing thick, dark smoke to rise high to the sky, and the air smelled of burning trees and leaves on fire.
The magic at her front intensified, forming fingers in the flames—thousands of them, reaching out in attack. Nexi’s shield held like an unbreakable wall while Astoria’s magic pressed on.
Stop, the elements inside warned, but Nexi screamed against that request.
No more lives would be lost. No one else would dare touch the supernaturals she loved. This power itched to fill her, to consume her, and she nearly allowed it until she heard three words echo in her heart: Protect your soul.
Her mind somehow snapped back and she realized with a sudden coldness that there was a certain darkness fluttering through her. This power did not belong to her elements. Dear God, it was tempting, making her feel stronger than she’d ever been in her life. Yet something deep inside her knew that if she used this power, her soul would be lost forever.
This magic could kill Astoria.
Nexi also knew there would be a cost if she tapped into these new powers.
A cost that apparently she’d pay for with her soul.
Stacey Kennedy is the USA Today bestselling author of the CLUB SIN series. Growing up, Stacey’s mind wandered the path less traveled and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and she continues to feed off emotion – staying true to her heart. Those traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two young children. If she’s not on mom duty or plugging away at a new story, you’ll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter and obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones and Outlander.
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Witches Be Burned by Stacey Kennedy
Available on May 19, 2015 by LoveSwept by Random House
Nexi Jones has lost her family, she’s been stripped of her guardian duties, and she’s still learning the ins and outs of white magic. At least she has Kyden, the smoldering hot elite guardian who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi completes her training, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Ready or not, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.
Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the Black Witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed Nexi’s blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock who covets Nexi’s heart. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.
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