OH. MY. GODS. !! Infernal Ties goes live TOMORROW!! I’m a bundle of nerves. These books are the results of years of work. The last three months have been completely insane with the editing and everything. I can’t believe it’s tomorrow!! This calls for some gifs.
This isn’t my first book release, I’m supposed to be as cool as a cucumber…
Ahem. This is far more accurate.
I have to give a huge shout out to all of my supporters and advanced readers!! Thank you, you wonderful amazing people! You’ve giving me hope in the darkness, and given some of your precious time to help me on this crazy adventure. Thank you!
Now that we’ve done gifs and dancing and panicking, we can get to the real reason you’re here. 😁 Yesterday I shared chapter one, which you can find here. 😉 Today I’m sharing chapter two.
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.
The outside of the café was almost garish in the elegant surroundings of Újezd. The dark wooden window frames made no attempt to hide the brightly coloured interior with its ever-changing modern art. Lycans weren’t a subtle bunch. Where the fae owned the trendy underground bars, the lycans preferred the places that were rougher around the edges. Of course, it could be argued that the lycans made them that way by their very presence.
I tensed as I pushed the door open and stepped into the warm surroundings of the bar. A surly-looking barman looked at me over the tall wooden bar with empty bar stools lining it. I could hear the deep growling voices of lycans in the back room. My patience had worn thin on the tram ride; it was non-existent at that moment. My twin was in trouble, and the time for manners and platitudes had vanished along with him. I pulled back my jacket to reveal the two daggers on my hips; I kept the vial and throwing knives hidden. It’s good to have some surprises.
His eyes yellowed and he nodded to the back room. We were known around the city. We’d never made any attempts to hide what we did. As long as they played by the rules, we left them alone. It was almost a shame they couldn’t play by the rules. I smiled to myself as I walked past the bar into the adjoining room; I knew that I’d hate a quiet life. I enjoyed the thrill of the fight too much to give it up.
Three broad males were in the far room with polished tree stumps for seating around the edge. The tables were stained slabs of wood, complete with knots and uneven surface. The entire place was a chaotic mash of styles and desires, yet, somehow, it managed to work. It also offered weapons; no one enjoyed having their head smashed onto one of those tree stumps.
They stopped whatever conversation they were having and turned to face me. I gave them my sweetest smile as I strolled over to the wall between the room I stood in and their room and leaned against the archway; doorway was too strong a term. If nothing else, it had no door.
“Hello, boys, have you missed me?”
The tallest, with pitch-black hair, snarled at me. I pouted.
“Now, Felix, that really isn’t very friendly.”
His younger brother, the scrawniest of the bunch, given he fit through the doorway without too much effort, put his hand on Felix’s chest and held him where he stood.
“She’s not worth it.”
I gave them a dark smile and stepped closer. “Oh… but I am.”
The brother with the dirty blond hair, whose name I didn’t remember, ran his tongue over his lips.
I rolled my eyes and said, “Playtime’s over. Where’s Quin?”
They looked at each other, a silent conversation passing between them. Mouths twisted, brows furrowed, jaws jutted; they finally turned back to me.
The brother released Felix, who grinned at me. “We don’t know. We thought he was attached to you.”
My fingers ran down over my sheathes as they puffed their chests out and shifted their weight. They were twice or more likely three times my size, but I’d dealt with them before; a ripple of fear ran through the smaller brother. He still bore the scar down the side of his neck where he tried to take me down last time.
“Why don’t you be a good girl and fuck off before we find some use for you,” Felix growled as he flexed his rather large muscles.
I pulled my daggers and stepped forward. “I’m not leaving here until you tell me where that rogue and my brother are.”
The blond took another step towards me; he was just out of arms reach. “I’ve been waiting to enjoy a human female; the last one died.”
The sound of the last shred of my patience shattering was almost audible. I needed to act quickly; they out-numbered me and had strength and size on me, too. I threw the vial of wolfsbane in Felix’s face; it would upset Quin to lose an entire vial like that, but I’d deal with that later. My daggers were coated in silver for extra impact on the beasts. I jumped onto the tree stump closest to the blond, near the wall, just as the vial connected with Felix’s face. He screamed. I plunged my dagger down into the neck of the blond while Felix clawed at his face, screaming and howling in agony.
The blond snarled, but my dagger sank down into his muscle deep enough to slow him down. And piss him off. Felix was down. The other brother almost managed to get behind me; I felt his claws graze my jacket as I ducked under the blond’s fist. They were big, but they were clumsy and dumb. I jumped onto the floor and sank down into a deep crouch, where I slashed through the brother’s jeans and hacked at his Achilles tendons.
Pain shot through my back when one of their fists connected. I struggled to stay up and stood to dance away from them. The brother was slow, but somehow managed to remain standing. Despite my best efforts, I’d only managed to nick the tendons; it wasn’t enough. Felix continued to scream. His face was coated in blood as he clawed at himself. I danced away from their onslaught, trying to keep tables between us while I figured out my next plan of action. I was used to fighting with Quin at my side. I couldn’t wear them down; I needed to end it.
The blond tossed the table between us aside as though it were a toy. His neck was bleeding quite heavily; I took my opportunity. I ran at him and leapt. I planted my foot on his hip and stretched up to dig my daggers down into his neck, one on either side.
His great fist connected with my ribs and threw me back against the far wall. He slumped down to his knees and gurgled. Two down. The brother looked between his fallen kin and paused. I coughed and hoped he’d remain cautious long enough for me to regain my breath. Those fuckers hit hard. He held tight onto the moonstone pendant that had been hidden under his shirt. They often wore moonstone to help control their changes and keep some facade of being human. His hand turned white as he gripped it so hard. His face rippled but he held himself in check.
I stood and readied myself for the next round.
He looked away from me before he said, “Xander vanished last night. We assumed you or your brother had finally killed him.”
I ground my teeth together; that wasn’t the news I was hoping for.
“You’re a fucking lycan, why didn’t you track him?” I spat.
He glared at me. “There was no trace of him. Your brother was there, though. We caught his scent. They both stopped dead. We assumed your brother threw his body in a car. They were up by the castle, at the gardens side.”
I debated the value of torturing more information out of him. He knelt next to Felix and pulled his head into his lap. Felix visibly calmed; his face was in ruins. I only regretted not getting more information out of them.
What people are saying about Infernal Ties:
Holly does an excellent job of making the reader feel the anxiety and stress Evie is experiencing. And it continues throughout the entire book thanks to the expertly crafted first person POV—whatever Evie is going through, the reader is going through it as well. Feeling every kick, punch, stab, and every emotion imaginable. – Mollie Wallace in her Not-Review.
Infernal Ties is a thrilling urban fantasy novella that follows Evie, a hunter, through the streets of Prague as she searches for her missing twin. Encountering lycans, elves, witches and necromancers, Evie delves deep into a mystery that is bigger than her imagining and the end result is a tantalizing tale full of action, intrigue guided by a new butt-kicking heroine! – Faith Rivens in her ARC review.
Infernal Ties is only 99c until July 2nd!