Cover & Excerpt
by Jill Archer
Noon Onyx series Book Two
Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.
Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, along with a lack of control and a reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider among her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.
When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task that will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined.…
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Ends June 30, 2013
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“What woman?” I said, diverting attention to another question. “There aren’t going to be two executions, are there?” I glanced at Ari.
“No, the accused has a . . .” He paused, considering.
“Wife? Paramour? Accomplice?” The Angel mused. He slid his hands into his pockets and rocked back on his heels, as if he were trying to decide between vinegar or mustard in a condiment line. “What do you think, Ari? Was Ynocencia actually a victim?”
Ari stared at the Angel, his eyes dark. The Angel stopped rocking, but kept his hands in his pockets and his stance relaxed. He wore an expectant expression as he met Ari’s stare.
“I think Ynocencia has lived her whole life between the demon and the deep,” Ari said slowly.
“Yes, but who’s the real demon, hmm?” The Angel waggled his brows and Ari scowled.
Forget about that, I thought. “Who’s Ynocencia?” I asked, completely lost. Sasha rolled his eyes.
“Weren’t you paying attention in class today? Ynocencia is Jezebeth’s lover. Jezebeth?” he repeated after seeing the blank look on my face. It galled me that Sasha knew more about the Carne Vale case than I did, but I guess that’s what I got for keeping my head out of the books since I’d been back. “The Demon of Falsehoods and Lies?” Sasha prodded.
I shook my head. I had a vague suspicion Jezebeth was the demon we were supposed to execute today. I shifted nervously on my feet and risked another glance through the crowd, calculating my chances of ducking out unnoticed. By then, Sasha had turned his attention to the Hyrkes around us and was doing a hack’s job of explaining the case to them.
By all accounts, Ynocencia had been a dutiful wife to an abusive husband. Then, seven years ago, Ynocencia’s husband sailed down the Lethe to seek greater fortune. Ynocencia would have been happy had that been the last of him, but he returned last fall a changed man—stronger, smarter, kinder. Unfortunately for Ynocencia, she’d forgotten (or willingly chose to ignore) that, in Halja, perception and truth are not always the same.
Six months later, Ynocencia’s real husband returned—as weak, stupid, and mean as he had been before he left. He challenged Jezebeth’s identity and declared him a fraud. He claimed Jezebeth was a drakon who had used his human form to sleep with his wife and steal his farm. At first, Ynocencia’s neighbors rallied around her, swearing that Jezebeth was Ynocencia’s loving husband. The town began formal proceedings to oust the “newcomer” but things got ugly, provoking the drakon to shift into his true form. When Jezebeth realized he might lose his human lover, he went mad and terrorized the town. One woman and three children were killed. The neighbors withdrew their support and Jezebeth was put on trial for adultery, fornication, duplicitous conduct, theft—”
Wait! Jezebeth was a drakon? I didn’t think they existed...
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