I'm thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for Theresa McClinton's Lights of the Aurora. This is the second book in her The Stone Legacy Series which incorporates Maya mythology into a contemporary setting.
I have an excerpt for y'all today as well as TWO giveaways. There is a rafflecopter below for the tour-wide giveaway. And thanks to Theresa, I'm also able to offer ONE lucky commenter an ecopy of Lights of Aurora. The giveaway is international and ends January 12th. To enter, simply leave a comment. :)
**Lights of Aurora is **ONLY 99 CENTS** during the tour!**
Book title: Lights Of Aurora, book 2 of The Stone Legacy Series
After the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Ashley Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the stone of Muuk’Ich while Sarian, the underworld general, relentlessly drives her to the brink of insanity.
As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. Ashley must seize control over her supercharged powers, while dealing with the overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both.
With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Ashley’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.
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The sun was all but gone by the time Ashley finished organizingthe
stones into a circle. She wiped her dusty hands on her pants and
unzipped her bag, and then spotted Arwan’s pack. He hadn’t returned with the firewood yet. He must have been gathering enough for the whole night.
It would be helpful to get his sleeping bag out, too. He needed to build the fire when he returned—God knows she had no clue how to do it.
Twigs cracked behind her, and Ashley spun around and fell back on her butt, her palms pressed against the warm earth. She scanned the tree line. Too bad it was dark and she couldn’t see anything but a thick wall of foliage.
“Arwan?” Her voice came out in a squeak. She cleared her throat and slowly stood, her eyes never leaving the jungle. “Arwan?” Another crack in the trees made Ashley search frantically until she spotted a huge white owl perched on a branch just above her.
She exhaled and rested her hand on her chest. A smile crept over her lips. “Oh, thank God. It’s just an owl.” The creature looked down at her inquisitively, rotating its head from side to side. It was beautiful. Large, with caramel-brown feathers, outlining its heart-shaped face. The moonlight struck the bird’s feathers in just the right way, causing them to shimmer against the soft glow.
It hopped farther down the branch in her direction, unafraid. Out
here, it didn’t have any reason to fear people. Ashley stepped closer, her focus set on the bird’s almond-shaped eyes that analyzed her every move.
She smacked her lips and extended her hand, rubbing her thumb and fingers together. “Hey, beautiful. What are you doing here?” Her voice turned to a soft coo as she waited for it to move closer. “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.”
More twigs snapped behind her, and she turned, sure she’d see Arwan walking toward her with a huge stack of wood piled in his arms. But there was only darkness and silence.
Ashley dropped her hand to her side and slowly turned her back to
the owl. A soft growl radiated through the night. She stepped back, her senses on high alert. The direction of the wind shifted. Somehow she noticed the change against her skin.
She gripped the wicker emblem hung around her neck, and for the first time since London, her stone spoke to her. But its whispers translated to static. A spike of adrenaline tore through Ashley’s body and she rushed to her backpack and ripped open the zipper.
With the stone cupped in her hands, she shifted away from the bushes in front of her. Her breath stopped when her gaze met a pair of pale-yellow eyes peering at her from the foliage.
She tried to speak, but her voice was trapped somewhere in her chest. Her grip tightened around her stone and the large cat’s gaze moved down to the pulsing orb in her chest, then to the light that radiated from her stone. It bared its teeth. The wrinkles in its snout smoothed over and the animal cocked its head to the side. Its small, perked-up ears and wide snout almost made it seem curious.
“Good job on the fire pit.” Ashley spun around and jumped to her feet. Arwan must have seen her panicked expression because he immediately dropped the firewood and ran to her side. “What happened?”
She pointed into the bushes where the large cat had been. Now only shadows loomed in the empty space. Arwan must have scared it away. “There was a—wait!” She spun and pointed to the branch where the owl was perched, but the bird, too, was gone. “First it was a—it was right there!” She turned back to the bushes and surveyed the empty space. “It was some kind of cat. Maybe a cheetah or something. It had spots.”
Arwan grabbed her wrist and pulled her closer. His focus never broke away from the trees. “Where?”
“There.” She pointed to the exact spot it stood. Small plants lay crushed into the soil by the beast’s paw.
“An owl. It was huge.” She pointed to the tree. “Right there. It was all white with dark eyes. What do we do?” She drew in a sharp breath. “What if the big cat comes back? Maybe we should sleep in the trees or something.” She gathered her sleeping bag off the ground and hugged it against her chest. She wasn’t Steve-freakin’-Irwin. She didn’t jump on gators or tame snakes. She certainly didn’t sit face-to-face with a predator that considered her a snack.
“Sleeping in a tree isn’t a good idea.”
“What? Why?” She hugged her sleeping bag tighter as she scanned the jungle. “At least it would keep us off the ground.”
“Because it was a jaguar, and they drag their prey into the trees to eat,” he said in a low tone. “At least, normal jaguars do.”
Her eyes widened. “How do you know it was a jaguar?”
“Cheetahs don’t live in this area, and the jaguar has been stalking us since we wandered into its territory. But I don’t think it wants to hurt us.”
“And how did you come to that conclusion?”
“Because if it did, you’d be dead.”
**Follow Along the Tour Here**
A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of fiction.
Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and has been repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries—not to mention an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.
Coming Soon: 13th Street, Novella 2.5 of The Stone Legacy Series.