As I’m sure you’re aware, Infernal Ties, book one in my new Urban Fantasy series Infernal Hunt goes live in just two days!!
To celebrate, I’m sharing chapter one with you! Tomorrow I’ll share chapter two, because I’m fabulous like that 😉 First, the (stunningly-wonderful-gorgeous) cover, and blurb. So you have some idea of what you’re reading. 😁
The Hawke twins are hunters. They keep the supernal community of Prague in line, and they’re good at it. The witches whisper their names when something goes bump in the night, and the lycans tell stories of them to make their cubs behave. When Quin doesn’t come home after what should have been a quick rogue-disposal, Evie begins to worry.
Evelyn Hawke is a force to be reckoned with. Nothing and no one will stop her from getting her twin back. She’ll do whatever it takes, even dive into the supernal world and work with those she despises to find Quin and dig him out of the very large hole he’s got himself into.
Little does she know the far-reaching consequences of her actions.
Infernal Ties is the prequel novella, sitting at some 30,000 words.
Something was wrong. I could feel it.
The pink encroached on the greys of the morning, and he still wasn’t home. I clenched and unclenched my hands as I looked out over the red roofs of the city. He could have gotten side-tracked with some girl on his way home, but my gut told me otherwise. I paced around our large living room and tried to tell myself that it was an easy task; my dear twin could handle himself. It was only a rogue lycan, one he’d dealt with previously. I glanced at the front door again, hoping to hear his familiar footsteps. Nothing. I’d never been one to believe in psychic abilities, despite what I’d seen from the fae and witches of the city… yet I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something had happened to Quin.
Pacing wasn’t going to help anything. I resigned myself to trying to sleep. It was going to be a long night. I reassured myself that we’d be laughing about it over drinks in the evening. The set of six throwing knives, each with a different coloured hilt, caught my eye. It was foolish at that point, but it made me feel a little better. I picked up the pink-hilted knife with the elegant red swirls inlaid into the hot-pink enamel. A smile crept across my lips unbidden as I pictured his face upon seeing my message. With more force than I intended, I turned and threw the knife at the cabinet just a few feet inside of the front door. It sank into the soft pine with a satisfying thunk.
Each knife had a meaning, a way of leaving messages to the other. Pink meant, “Do not leave this flat, you’re in the shit.”
We usually hung them on the small black hook screwed into the end of the cabinet facing the front door. I couldn’t resist, though; I had to make my point clear. He had me worried sick. He’d never vanished without warning before. I sighed, feeling satisfied that there was nothing to do before the afternoon. I’d need my wits about me. With one last glance at the knife buried in the wood, I headed to bed.
The flat felt empty without him. We hadn’t spent more than a couple of days apart since we were born; we didn’t have anyone else. We relied on each other, and he needed me. I pulled on a pair of jeans and knee-high boots; spring in Prague was a fickle thing. I could almost hear Quin laughing at me and trying to lecture me when I grabbed a pastry for breakfast as I headed out the door. He always insisted that a good breakfast was key. It weighed heavily on me when I slipped his little pouch of iron filings onto my belt and his vial of wolfsbane into my pocket. I was supposed to carry the blades while he screwed around with the alchemy. He wasn’t an alchemist, but he would have dearly loved to have been one; he learned everything he could from the alchemists. I couldn’t deny that some useful things had come from it. Still, the alchemical things were his domain. It wasn’t right for me to carry it.
I jogged down the flights of stairs, my footsteps echoing off the high ceilings. I couldn’t help but admire the detailing on the ceilings around me; never stop looking up in Prague, there’s always a new piece of beautiful architecture to see. I kept telling myself that he was in bed with some local beauty. He’d just lost track of time. I ran my fingers down the leather sheathes holding my knives, just in case. Things were prone to getting bloody once the sun set.
The tram started off down the tracks just as the stop came into sight. I cursed under my breath and wished for the millionth time that we had a car. The city wasn’t made for cars, though; it would have been more of a pain than it was worth. I sat down on the wooden bench and crossed my arms over my chest as I waited for the next one. They were usually quite regular. My impatience kept building, though; I tapped my foot, waiting for the familiar whining rumble of the next tram. The idea that the city should know what was going on and bend to my will popped into my mind. I smiled to myself. The image was a foolish consideration.
My wait wasn’t long, and I was soon sitting on an uncomfortable bright-red plastic seat. Some of my anxiety was soothed by the passing of the trees that were starting to turn green again. Faces stared out at me from the architecture. Angels guarded spires. They looked fearsome in armour with large swords, a reminder that this city had been home to the paranormal since its birth. Quin had said he was going after the rogue that he’d tracked and released before. I remembered the conversation clearly; I’d told him to kill the damn thing at the time. He had some sob story for it, though. They were beasts. The moment they stepped out of line, they had to be put down. Yet he cared far more for the magical side of the city than I ever did. It was part of what made us work as hunters. We balanced each other.
I kept that in mind as I got off the tram and headed to Café Silhouette, the preferred hangout of the pack the rogue had originally belonged to. They seemed like a sensible starting point. Rogue or not, they were likely to watch out for him. Once pack, always pack, until death do them part or some shit. I pulled my hand away from my sheath and covered the head of the hilt with my leather jacket when a normal human gave me an odd look. I ignored her and carried on down to the café. They had a habit of calling bars ‘cafés’ in Prague. I didn’t believe Silhouette had ever served coffee, and yet, the café name stuck.
What people are saying about Infernal Ties:
Holly knows how to craft a thrilling story and draws us into her world of Prague, creating such vivid imagery so that the setting becomes our own. She offers excitement and wonder with every page! – Faith Rivens, in her ARC review of Infernal Ties.
I was absorbed and immediately lost in the story, loosing track of time, the world around me melting away. It felt as though I was in the seedy backrooms, creepy cemetery, or running through the streets and back alleys. – Mollie Wallace in her Not-Review.
Infernal Ties is only 99c on Amazon until July 2nd!