Cover & Excerpt Reveal
by Barb Taub & Hannah Taub
Null City Book One
Superpowers suck. If you just want to live a normal life, Null City is only a Metro ride away. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hellhounds become poodles. Demons settle down, become parents, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes.
Null City is the only sanctuary for Gaby Parker and Leila Rice, two young women confronting cataclysmic forces waging an unseen war between Heaven and Hell. Gaby and her younger brother and sister are already targets in the war that cost their parents' lives. Should they forsake the powers that complete their souls and flee to Null City? Meanwhile, Leila Rice has inherited a French chateau, a mysterious legacy – and a prophecy that she will end the world. Gaby and Leila become catalysts for the founding and survival of Null City. It just would have been nice if someone told them the angels were all on the other side.
A thrilling chase through time and space, littered with slick rock stars, stoic warriors and Nephilim—the descendants of angels—don’t miss the beginning of this exciting new series!
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In the room made of light they plan the end of Hell. White floors disappear into the distance to blend seamlessly with walls and ceilings. A portable conference table with four folding chairs occupies the center. Three gold laptops blinking blue-screen error messages are ignored while their owners cluster around the fourth, with its apple-shaped icon gleaming in a brushed aluminum case.
“I told you not to order through in-house Central Stores.” The fourth laptop’s owner sits back to allow them a better view and serenely folds her hands into the flowing sleeves of her robe. “They have a sweetheart deal with Celestron Computers, but their processors are dinosaurs and they’ve outsourced their tech support to imps at Fallen Court.” Her face, while carved from the same perfect model, hints at an unfinished spark not visible in her three companions.
Ignoring her words, the others focus on the message on her screen. The rustle of their robes subsides until the only sound is brisk tapping as her fingers return to the keyboard. “That’s it then.” She looks up at her three elders. “My calculations show if we control all three points in time that determine Null City’s history, we have a 96.7 percent chance of successfully isolating the City and recovering the Archangel Raziel’s Book.”
The Eldest softly closes his gold laptop. “Null City must be destroyed before humans try to use the power in the Book to unmake Creation.”
The laptop operator’s voice is calm and her face remains immobile. But her youth relative to their endless eons is betrayed when she asks, “Not only will that strategy lead to massive death and destruction for humans, but it could mean war between Fallen and Angels. Is there no other way?”
Gently, the Eldest replies, “No.”
Gaby’s new employee handbook was clear: missing a client appointment was an excellent way to get fired. But it didn’t say a thing about breaking and entering. She’d checked. Over the past hour, she’d knocked, called, tried the house phone, paced, and automatically straightened the paintings lining the elegant hallway of Seattle’s Olympic Hotel. Despite the muted voices from within the suite, the brass-bound double doors of the Presidential Suite remained closed.
She’d promised Dad: no more B&E. Her foot tapped. She could go back and try to explain to the agency. Tap. But this assignment was supposed to pay crazy-well for a week or more and they’d asked for her specifically. Tap, tap. She needed that money for the normal life she’d promised her brother and sister after their parents were killed. Her foot slowed. Sorry, Dad. She pulled out her father’s torque wrench and favorite hook pick. Moments later the lock’s tumblers hit the shear line with a subtle click. I didn’t break a friggin thing; Dad. I’m just entering. Returning the little tools to her bag, she eased the door ajar a careful half-inch. “Hello?”
No answer. No problem. If there was one thing raising her brother and sister taught her, it was how to power a bellow. “Is anyone here?”
“Dammit, Harry, did you leave the door open again?” The man’s voice was velvet and smoke, with a faint Creole accent. He called, “Be with you in a minute. What do you play?”
Gaby juggled the now-cold coffee she’d brought from the lobby, briefcase with her beloved ten-key adding machine, purse, and dripping coat, while digging in her pocket for the assignment slip from the Agency to check―again. Yep, she had the right room. The door was pulled open and she stared. Nobody gets to be that beautiful was as far as her thoughts would go. Then again, maybe the hollow feeling in her stomach was hunger—she had skipped breakfast to get ready for this assignment.
“Luic leMuir.” Leaning against the jamb with one arm blocking the doorway, he ignored her outstretched hand.
Don’t say it, she sternly admonished her squealing inner-Gaby. He doesn’t need to know you have every record he’s ever made. Or that you take your showers to the sound of that voice…
“Gabrielle Parker, CPA.”
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Be on the lookout for Barb Taub's next book, Round Trip Fare, coming March 2014
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