Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Tour ~ Poisoned by Deceit (Book 4 of The One Rises) by Anna Wolfe ~ Excerpt + Giveaway!

Poisoned by Deceit 
(Book 4 of The One Rises) 
by Anna Wolfe
(Urban Fantasy)

ISBN: 9781311645401
Book Length: 190 pages

Publisher: Self-published

Sooner or later, the past catches up. Summoned to the Bay area enclave, Edie knows her past mistakes are big enough to swallow her whole. Makeda DiBaba, the Bay Area enclave’s coven leader, member of the West Coast High Tribunal, and Edie’s ex-mother-in- law, was the one who exiled Edie from San Francisco in the first place. That the air witch now wants Edie to return can only mean trouble. Still, it would be foolish to refuse the summons of such a powerful witch. Edie can only hope that her assistance will be enough to make up for nearly killing Makeda DiBaba’s son and that the witch is no longer out for blood. 

“There is another world touching ours that is filled with demons or, at least, that’s what we call them. They call themselves something else entirely, though that is neither here nor there. Every now and again, human beings manage to pull these demons through to our side. The human dies, of course, and the demon gets a person shaped suit to live in. We call these creatures the demonridden.”

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Chapter 1: Edie Carter

He'll be here soon. The words echoed in the back of her head as she dressed, put on make-up, and slipped on her jewelry. Her fingers shook as she rubbed lotion into her hands. Pressing her hands into her stomach, Edie silently admonished herself. Stop being ridiculous. You aren't going to see him. This isn't a reunion. This is a test.

Still, a part of her was jumping with excitement. In a matter of minutes, her ex-husband would be in the house. It would be the first time they'd been on the same coast in years. Asad had called the day before and said that he had a message to deliver. He'd specifically requested that she be a part of the conversation. At first, Edie had refused to take the risk. It had been Silas who had suggested that this was an opportunity to test herself.

So here I am, hiding in my room, with a baby monitor. If she didn't believe it was necessary, it would be funny. I almost killed Asad once. I won't do it again. All I have to do is stay in this room and don't try to reach him with my power. I can do this. I can.

The others—Callie, Mark, and Hatter—had been ordered to stay in the large outbuilding that housed the gym. And we can only hope they don't burn the place to the ground. All three of them could find trouble in the dark. The sound of the doorbell set the hairs on her arms on end. Please, lord, don't let me mess this up. Please.

The first sound of Asad's voice, even over the crackling baby monitor, had her halfway across the room. Her power awoke, blooming over her skin as if it were alive. Edie's muscles cramped as she stopped herself. She could hear her breath, a ragged panting, and sweat began to bead on her forehead and back. It took several minutes for her to get her breathing back under control.  By the time Edie eased back onto the bed, her muscles shook like she'd just finished a long run and Silas and Asad seemed to have moved past the introductory pleasantries.

"Priestess Makeda Dibaba summons you to the Bay Area enclave." Asad said the words in a clipped, formal tone. "It is imperative you arrive quickly."

"To what end?" Silas asked the question blandly though Edie knew he'd be annoyed at being so peremptorily ordered around. Outside of a High Tribunal, the witches didn't really have the power to demand assistance from any of the bitten. And yet, it was often a bad idea to aggravate the witch community. That went double for the priests and priestesses who headed up enclaves and sat in judgment in the tribunals. And triple for the mother of the man I nearly killed. It would be difficult after all of these years, but Makeda could still make a great deal of trouble for me among the witches. Much more than she already has.

"I'm not supposed to tell you," Asad replied and then he laughed. It was a bitter, wry sound.  "Not that I know much. My mother doesn't trust me."

Edie flinched. And that is my fault too. Like his mother, Asad was an air witch. Unlike his
mother, he wasn't a particularly powerful one. Still, Edie had learned that feeding on Asad tasted better than anything else. She didn't know if that was true of all witches because she'd been too afraid to ever feed off a witch again. Not that one has ever invited me before or after Asad.

"Makeda should be calling on Ina." Silas said the words evenly though there was a question implied in the statement. The enforcers were stretched thin at the moment, only ten active in the North American Free Territories, and so often helped each other pick up the slack. That said, San Francisco was technically Ina's responsibility.

Asad let out a more honest chuckle that made Edie's gut clench. It's been so long since I heard him laugh. "Those two get along about as well as a fork and an electric socket. My mother thinks she has a hold on you, that's why she's calling you. Besides, Ina's in LA, cleaning up after Giwetashskad."

Silas made a dismissive hissing sound. "Your mother sent you here." There was a pause and Edie could almost see Silas' gesturing at the house around him. "To this place, near the woman who nearly killed you, to tell me that? A phone call would have sufficed."

There was a long silence and then Asad said, "I sent myself. I need to talk to Edith alone."

"No." Silas' refusal was immediate.

Asad's sigh was long. Even through the crackling baby monitor, she could hear his annoyance.  "You don't have to leave the house, but you do need to leave the room. She and I need to have words."

Fear clenched in her chest like an icy fist.

After a moment, Silas let out a sigh of his own. "Tell your mother my people will arrive in three days. I will be nearby if you need anything. Either of you."

For several heartbeats, there was only the hissing sound of the monitor. Then she heard the sound of a chair creaking and Asad's voice was suddenly louder and clearer. "I know the privacy is an illusion; Silas has ears like a bat, but I couldn't do this with him looking at me. And I need to do this."

Then he stopped talking and Edie wished she could see his face. It would be easier to tell what might be coming next. Finally, he spoke again.

"I forgive you. For what happened." Asad spoke quietly and then was silent again.

Edie pressed her fist against her mouth as tears welled up in her eyes.

"I should have called you sooner and told you that. I just…" He stopped again.

Edie closed her eyes and shook her head. She didn't want him to say he'd hated her too much. I should have realized that my abilities were expanding. I should have seen something had changed. I'm so sorry.

"I kept thinking it would get better. We'd get better, have another shot at being together." Asad let out a sharp, wheezing laugh. "Then I'd have another attack and need you so badly. That's never going to change. I love you, I forgive you, and this is as close as we're ever going to get.  Edith, I have to move on with my life." His voice broke on her name.

The pressure around her chest tightened until she bowed her head and pressed her face into her hands. She knew he was right. A part of her was always reaching for him and she knew she wouldn't be able to stop. He tasted too good. Even now, she wanted to go downstairs so badly her body shook.

"That's it. That's why I came. And my nephew's missing. That's why she's calling you guys out there and something crazy has to be going on for her to want outside help. Take care of yourself, Edith."

And just like that, he was gone. Really gone. Edie had known it was over between her and Asad for a while. A long while, she made herself admit. Still, it had hurt to hear him confirm it.

Silas hovered in the doorway. "Edie?"

She shook her head violently, but kept her face hidden. "No!" She didn't want to be touched or have to look anyone in the eye. Edie didn't have to look up to know that Silas was gone. He wouldn't stay where he wasn't invited. But he'll be hovering somewhere near in case I lose it. The knowledge made her feel angry and grateful at the same time.

The warmth that was her link to Luis Rivera stirred and expanded. She found herself relaxing into the sensation before jerking herself upright. With effort, she compressed the bond between them. The tie between them was still new, barely a month old, and Edie still wasn't sure how it worked. I can't feed on him, not until I'm sure he'll be safe. I can't be wrong again. I just… can't.
About the Author
I'm a college professor with a Ph.D. so new it squeaks. I have a husband, a heterolifemate, and two cats. I'm willing to try any food I've never eaten at least once. I have jumped out of a plane (awesome), blown fire (also awesome), learned that having accelerant soak into your sports bra hurts like hell, and am a pagan (please note that this does not mean I'm a satanist).

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