Today we have author Shayla Black, and it’s exciting because this is her release day, and she’s sharing an exclusive excerpt of her new book!
Thank you so much for inviting me to visit. I have to say that Embrace Me At Dawn was one of the most engrossing books I have recently written and there were more than a few surprises even I did not see coming as it unfolded and each of the characters began to interact with each other. I always knew where I wanted the tale to go, but there were more than a few twists that cropped up as I wrote. I am so appreciative of everyone waiting so long for the story of Lucan, Anka, and Shock and I truly hope they will not be disappointed. All of the characters that have appeared in the previous books have a part to play, and there is plenty of emotion and action, and more than a couple surprises.
When I originally sold the series on this concept my idea was that in today’s world of technology, science and logic, few people realize that magic lives and breathes-and walks on two legs-among mortals. Or that magickind possesses a weapon that can hurt, heal, comfort, destroy, grant fantasies, bring peace. Or, in the hands of someone terrible and strong enough to call forth its power, the weapon can bring about Doomsday.
Created during the days of the Round Table, it resurfaces in modern-day London and is sought by a wizard of evil brilliance with one goal: dominion over human and magical worlds alike. Only a band of wizards, enemies who must learn to become friends and accept love, can save the world from destruction.
Or as I like to call it, it’s my very adult Harry Potter with twists.
No man will ever define her again.
Anka MacTavish lost everything when Mathias D’Arc captured her, shattered her bond with her mate, and broke both her body and spirit. Determined to heal her bleeding soul, she joins the Doomsday Brethren’s fight to vanquish the evil wizard and seize her revenge. But becoming a magical warrior will require close contact with her former mate, the love who’s never left her heart, Lucan. And she’ll have to explain why she left him and fled to the arms of another lover…
No woman can ever take her place.
Lucan’s world crumbled when Anka escaped Mathias and sought protection from his long-time rival, Shock. Now she has returned, and Lucan must train her to confront a new and terrible danger that threatens magickind. With every punch, blow, and parry, Lucan discovers that Anka isn’t the demure wife he once knew, and his growing desire for this woman is a need he can’t control. He vows to do whatever it takes to reclaim her heart and make her his once more. But when the Doomsday Brethren are forced to make an unlikely alliance, it will test Anka’s resolve like never before. To survive, she and Lucan must rely on one another, face their deepest fears…and expose the dark secrets that threaten to destroy everything, including their love.
Anka jumped between Lucan and Shock. It wasn’t like her former mate to lose his temper so quickly. Sabelle had more than hinted that Lucan wasn’t himself anymore. Anka’s heart wept with concern. She didn’t dare hope that longing for her had put him on edge. She didn’t know how to make him understand the hows or whys of the past three months. And now that she’d graced the bed of his enemy willingly, she doubted he’d want to hear them. She only wanted him well and happy, and it hurt deeply to know he’d find those things without her.
Both wizards urged her out of their way, then charged at one another again. Thankfully, Bram stepped between them this time and threw a force field between both, keeping them apart.
“I have precious little energy for this shit, children,” Bram groused. “The clock is ticking down until Morganna’s next trick, whatever that may be. I have no mate to replenish me. We can’t afford this fighting amongst ourselves.”
Lucan drew in a deep, shuddering breath, jaw clenched, eyes narrowed. God, she’d rarely seen him so angry. But with a roll of his wide shoulders, he backed away, still looking murderous. She wished she could help him. Shock clenched a meaty fist at his side but dropped an expression onto his face that looked to all the world like he didn’t give a fuck. Anka knew better, and she had a feeling she’d have to deal with whatever was eating at him soon.
After a long pause, Bram finally dropped his hands and the force fields. After a sharp glance at both, he nodded. “Shock, you can tell Mathias we’ll consider his request. I’m not ready to commit to anything.”
“Are you out of your fucking mind?” He looked at Bram as if someone had beaten the Doomsday Brethren’s leader with a stupid stick. “Do you have any bloody idea what else Morganna can do to expose us while you sit with your thumb up your arse?”
Bram grabbed Shock’s leather jacket with one hand. “I don’t trust you for shit. And I’m hardly sitting around with my thumb up my arse. This isn’t just my decision; it’s everyone’s. I’m not making a move until I talk to them all, so you can run along and tell your boss that once we’ve talked, I’ll be in touch.”
Shock looked like he wanted to argue, but he jerked out of Bram’s hold and straightened his jacket with a shrug. “Stupid fuck. More deaths will be on your conscience.”
“I’m tired of your shit. Get off my property.” Bram tossed his head in the direction of the gate.
Anka bit her lip. She wanted to ask Bram if he could live with those deaths, but before she could, Shock growled, grabbing her arm. “Let’s go.”
“She stays here,” Bram demanded. “She came to me for a favor, and I haven’t heard it yet. I’ll do that now.”
Shock’s gaze bounced between her and Bram. Anka thought of anything and everything other than the topic of her business with Bram. She felt him probe into her mind with a hard shove. It hurt, and she glared at him and winced, raising her hand to her abused forehead.
Lucan charged over to her, hovering right beside her. “You’re hurting her. Get the hell out of her head!”
After a moment’s hesitation, Shock shrugged. “I’ll figure it out when I fuck her later.”
With a hard slap of his hand on her backside that tingled across her skin and fired her nerve endings, Shock walked away and left the grounds with a slam of the gate before teleporting out.
Lucan stared at her like he didn’t understand. No, like he didn’t know her at all. Having him near brought out the very worst in Shock, and Anka wished to hell the floor would open up and swallow her whole. The silence almost weighed too much for her slender shoulders. God, what must her former mate be thinking? She drew in a deep breath and shook the thought away. Lucan was no longer her concern—even if she missed him until insanity seemed just a breath away.
“Why are you with him?” Lucan demanded.
There was nothing she could say that he’d truly understand. Certainly nothing that would change their situation. So she remained mute.
“God damn it! If it’s for protection, you’re deluding yourself. Mathias knows exactly where to find you. If he wants you again, Shock won’t be able to stop him.”
All true. But Mathias didn’t really want her, merely to weaken the Doomsday Brethren. He’d nearly driven Lucan mad with mate mourning after forcibly severing her bond with him. She couldn’t risk Mathias targeting Lucan again. She alone had healed him from that terrible, mad state. It had cost her nearly every bit of her magic. Neither of them would survive that again.