~This is an in-universe piece of fiction for the Aspects series - a new YA sci-fi series - though all of the books featured are real and you can check them out by clicking on the book covers~

It's back to school time once more, which means it's time for our annual Aspects Reading List interviews.

The Aspects protect us from the monsters that roam the wastelands outside our cities but we rarely get the opportunity to get to know the mask-wearing heroes. We sat down with some of the Aspects from Tower 5 to get to know them through their favourite books. Today's Aspect is the Aspect of Pain.

I: So, last year you only brought one book and said that you weren't much of a reader. Given the spirit of these interviews, I hope you've brought more for us this time,

P: I have.

I: Great!

P: I brought two.

I: You know, maybe we should just get on with the recommendations...

Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)

P: I liked this book. You should read it.

I: You know that you're supposed to say more about it, right?

P: It's set in the future. I enjoyed reading about the characters. The worldbuilding was interesting.

I: Really? That's it?

P: I liked the relationship between Oaklee and Fillion through most of the book, but would not want to comment further in case I spoil the ending. That was the one bit I didn't like. I don't like complicated endings, even if there is another book in the series. I'm not much of a reader, after all...

What Lies Inside (Blood Bound Series #1)

P: I also liked this one.

I: Okay, seriously, is this going to happen every year?

P: This one is about werewolves and vampires and forbidden love. I really liked the relationships between the characters. To elaborate on why I liked them would spoil the book, but I will say that I liked how close Amelia was with her best friend, even if there were complicated feelings there. I'm glad that they were still there for each other. This one also had a slightly complicated ending... Maybe I need to stop taking book recommendations from Em when they're the first book in a series...

Join us again next week when we talk to the Aspects of Justice and Vengeance about their favourite books.

~If you want to pick up a free, early copy of the first book in the Aspects series - Love/Hate - you can get your copy here or add it to your Goodreads shelf.~

KINGSGUARD is now here! You can get it by following this link!

Or if you're not caught up on the rest of the Freya Snow series yet, here are the links to do so:

Books 1-6
Book 7
Book 8

But if you're all caught up and are holding off on getting KINGSGUARD, here's Chapter Two for you to read for free.

Click here if you need to catch up on Chapter One.

As much as Freya swore that it wasn’t a date - it wasn’t - she spent more than a small amount of time choosing what to wear.
Eventually, she settled on her nice pair of black jeans that made her look curvy, rather than bulky, and a green tank-top that complimented her eyes, and showed off her guns. In all honesty, as much as she liked her muscle, she knew that it could intimidate guys. Girls tended to be fans, but guys were too easily emasculated.
Damon had never been like that, but then, she’d only bulked out as she’d gotten older and switched from favouring a sword to a war-hammer so large that a Final Fantasy character might think it too much.
If her having muscle was gonna turn him off - not that she had any indication that he was ever turned on, she reminded herself - she’d rather know upfront.
She stood outside the pub he had told her, at the time he had told her, with nothing but her leather jacket - matched with black leather Docs - to separate her and the humid night air.
“Hey,” she heard from beside her, causing her to jump. She hadn’t even heard Damon approaching.
“Hey,” she said as the flames in her hand extinguished themselves. She’d gotten used to producing flame inside her fist when she was scared. It stopped them from being seen, while still allowing her to open her palm and cause significant damage if she was truly facing an enemy.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
She shrugged. “Sorry for being so easily startled.”
He smiled. “I mean, it’s not like I’m any better,” he said as he indicated to the door, allowing her to lead the way inside.
Freya prepped a sound-proof bubble, but she found that she didn’t need it. The pub was quiet enough to go without.
“We can go somewhere more vibrant if you want,” Damon said. “But you always hated loud places, so I figured here would be good.”
“It is, it’s perfect,” she assured him before following him to the bar and ordering a rum and coke treble, thanking the drinking culture in the city for being able to keep up with her Angel metabolism.
Damon ordered a whiskey and coke treble, then followed her to a booth in the corner.
“So,” he said as he sat down opposite her, “tell me everything that’s happened since we last saw each other. I mean, you went travelling. That must have been interesting.”
Freya awkwardly shrugged. “Define ‘interesting’. We had no money, so it was just driving around in a little car. Often sleeping in that same car.”
“You must have gone to some interesting places.”
She nodded. “Pretty much everywhere we could get to easily in a car. But we never stayed anywhere too long.”
“Why did you decide to go? I mean, I never took you for the travelling type.”
Because my girlfriend and I were on the run. “Neither me nor Alex really knew what we wanted to do, and travelling seemed like a fun enough thing to do while we figured it out.” She quickly picked up her drink, downing half of it in one go. Alex was an old wound, but not one she liked to dwell on.
“I’m sorry,” Damon said. “Bad break-up?”
An Oracle told me that she’d die if I stayed with her. “We wanted different things,” Freya told him with a shrug.
“So, what have you been doing since you got back? Are you back at uni?”
Keeping my head down so the Council of Light doesn’t try to kill me again. “I got a job. Like a private security thing for a big company, making sure their documents don’t get stolen and stuff.” She froze for a moment, as she remembered that Damon’s uncle had worked in private security. Technically, that was her job, but she wasn’t sure how well it would match up to the Human equivalent if he started to ask a bunch of questions about it...
“Cool,” Damon said, nodding, seemingly happy with her answer.
“So, what about you?” she asked, before he could ask any questions that she might struggle to answer.
He shrugged. “I’m working for my aunt’s husband. Remember I told you that he ran a huge company and wanted me to take over?”
Freya nodded.
“Well, he has me working for the company right now so that I can learn about how it’s run.”
“And he sent you back here?”
Damon nodded. “There’s something in the city that he needs me to take care of. It’s probably going to take several months to sort out, and we’re talking about me staying here beyond that. I’ve missed England.”
“Said no one, ever.”
“It’s not that bad here.”
“It kind of is.”
“Then why did you come back? Why not go elsewhere when you broke up with your girlfriend?”
She shrugged. “My friends and family are here.”
He smiled. “About as good a reason as any.” He frowned a little. “I’m starving. Do you want food?”
She nodded. “I’m always up for food.”
“I’m just gonna order a bunch of stuff.”
Damon got up, and returned a few moments later with a large plate of nachos and two more drinks balanced carefully in his hands. “There’s more coming in a bit,” he said as he put the plate and drinks down, before sitting back down and scooting over until he was next to her, so close that she could feel his body heat warming her arm.
She felt her face flush, sure that she was bright red, the little effect the alcohol had on her increasing her feeling of attraction so that her heart quickened in her chest.
Damon turned to her, his face particularly close to hers. She couldn’t help but notice that his own cheeks were pink, and she could have sworn that she heard his breath catch in his throat.
He couldn’t like her, could he?
#
Freya wasn’t sure how much it would take her to get drunk anymore, but by the time the pub closed, she was certainly getting there.
“Shit,” she muttered as they left. “I didn’t realise how late it was getting. My parents are gonna kill me.”
“Didn’t you tell them you would be out late?” Damon asked.
“I did, but it’s a weeknight. If I go home now, I’ll wake them up, and they have work in the morning. Not to mention that Amy has school...”
“Well, you can stay on my sofa, if you want.”
“You wouldn’t mind?”
Damon shook his head. “It makes no difference to me. Plus, it would save you taxi fare.”
“How would it save me taxi fare?”
“I don’t live far from here,” he explained, pointing down towards the quayside.
“Huh,” Freya said as she followed him.
“What?”
“Nothing. I guess I just kind of assumed you’d be back at your uncle’s old place.”
“Well, it would be kind of big for just me.”
Freya nodded. “Yeah, I know. I guess that I just assumed, since I still live at home and it’s the same place as back in the day, that it would be the same for you as well. Which is ridiculous, since that was years ago...”
“It doesn’t quite feel like it, does it?” Damon asked.
Freya smiled. “Yeah, everyone keeps insisting that I’m an adult now, but none of it seems real. I had no idea what my life would be like when I was a kid, but I don’t think I ever imagined it like this.”
“Living at home like every other millennial?”
“Except for you?”
“Yeah, but I’ve got a rich uncle who got me the job.”
“So you’re referring to your aunt’s husband as your uncle now?”
He shrugged. “‘I’ve got a rich aunt’s husband’ was too much of a mouthful. Not to mention, confusing.”
She smiled. “I guess you’ve known what you were gonna do when you grew up since before we met.”
“Not long before we met,” he reasoned. “And before that, I wasn’t even sure that I’d have a future, so, you know...”
She nodded. “I know,” she assured him, her arm slipping through his in an attempt to comfort him. She hadn’t meant to bring up his father.
“We’re both here,” he said after a few moments, making no attempt to pull away from her. “That has to count for something. Even if we have no idea what we’re doing or where we want to go.”
Freya smiled. “I think that’s the most hopeful thing anyone has said about it. It means more than vagaries like ‘you’ll figure it out’ or ‘it’ll get better’. I’ve missed your optimism.”
Damon smiled back at her. “I’ve missed talking to someone who actually gets it...”
“No one did back home?”
Damon shrugged. “My aunt made sure I had the best education money could buy. I was surrounded by a lot of entitled jackasses.”
“Yeah, I had a few of them on my course when I was at uni. They made it easier to leave.”
“They definitely added something to graduation,” Damon agreed, before stopping outside an old factory building by the river, which had been revamped into hipster flats. “Here we are.”
Freya’s eyes widened. They had walked from the old, going-out-of-business pub, and down through a series of more hipster bars and restaurants, which had eventually evolved into the really nice bars, restaurants and hotels. This was the super nice, expensive part of the city.
She knew that Damon’s family had money, but every reminder was like a shock to her system.
You have money, she reminded herself. She’d had money since she’d started hunting bounties. And yet she’d grown up knowing exactly how much difference a few pennies could make. She had always been so paranoid about growing up and not having anything, that she had never really grasped how to handle having things.
Any spend upwards of a fiver was a serious consideration, despite the thousands sitting in her savings.
If she wanted, she could probably afford one of those flats. And yet Damon having one surprised her.
She followed Damon up to his place, which was right on the top floor. He opened his door to show a minimally furnished flat. The brick walls were exposed, with hardwood floors, and a bunch of black and brown furniture. The sofa he had offered was black, distressed leather, and large enough that even Freya could probably sleep comfortably on it. It wrapped around a wooden coffee table, with a glass centre, forming an L shape. On the other side of the room, there was a large, curved TV, up against the wall.
Over at the far side of the room, a counter separated the living room from the kitchen space, and there was only one door. Freya assumed it led to Damon’s bedroom, and that the only bathroom was an ensuite.
It wasn’t the largest place, but it was the perfect size for someone living alone, and had more than enough style and amenities to assure Freya that it hadn’t been cheap.
“I know it’s small,” Damon said sheepishly as the door closed behind him. “But I liked it. It’s cosy, and a nice change from the places back home.”
“It’s brilliant,” Freya assured him, turning back around to face him.
She hadn’t realised how close he was to her, and she found her nose bumping up against his.
“Sorry,” she managed, her breath catching in her throat.
He glanced down to her lips for a moment, and she wondered if he was contemplating kissing her.
She really wanted him to kiss her.
“Don’t be,” he replied, his own voice breathless.
Freya could feel sparks between them, and would have suspected that her desire was manifesting itself as Energy, if not for the fact that, as a Human, Damon would have been hurt by such a display.
“I’m trying really hard to be a good host right now,” Damon eventually said, his low voice sending shivers down her spine, “but I really want to kiss you.”
Her heart skipped a beat. “I wouldn’t object to kissing,” she confessed.
She wasn’t sure who closed the gap between them, all she knew was that she felt her entire body light up with wanting as Damon’s lips met hers, and she quickly extracted herself from her leather jacket.

If you want to continue reading KINGSGUARD, you can get your copy by following this link!

Or if you're not caught up on the rest of the Freya Snow series yet, here are the links to do so:

Books 1-6
Book 7
Book 8

 

~This is an in-universe piece of fiction for the Aspects series - a new YA sci-fi series - though all of the books featured are real and you can check them out by clicking on the book covers~

It's back to school time once more, which means it's time for our annual Aspects Reading List interviews.

The Aspects protect us from the monsters that roam the wastelands outside our cities but we rarely get the opportunity to get to know the mask-wearing heroes. We sat down with some of the Aspects from Tower 5 to get to know them through their favourite books. Today's Aspect is the Aspect of Empathy.

I: So, Empathy, this is your fifth year providing us with a reading list. I'm always impressed by how you always manage to choose new books every year.

E: Thank you.

I: So, how old does that make you now? It's difficult to tell, you know, since you look exactly like me when you come here. And talk exactly like me. And move exactly like me...

E: It's unnerving you, isn't it? I'm sorry, most people have that reaction.

I: No, I'm not unnerved at all...

E: You can't lie to me. I get more than just your looks.

I: Right... Maybe we should just get to the books...

Fight for the Future

I really liked this book. The two main characters end up meeting just before having to stop an assassination and then running off together. I think I liked Ayleana the most, but that definitely doesn't mean that Kest wasn't also great. To be honest, this book was just full of great characters. And I liked the concept of the memories being passed down as they were, though I'm not sure how the characters didn't go mad from it...

Pratima's Engines: A Short Story

This one might be kind of cheating because it's such a short read, but the characters really stuck with me. They were just so cool, and the worldbuilding was really fun. I've been busy lately with... Well, we're not supposed to be talking about my work, are we? But I will definitely be checking out the other books in this world.

Fake

I really liked how Fake handled the two main characters dealing with giving up parts of their identity in different ways. On the one hand, I really understood Penny's reluctance to give up part of her identity - and her fight to keep it, even if it's difficult - but I also admire the way Lennon gave up his when he needed to. I honestly don't know that I could pick a favourite out of the two if I had to...

Nika

Nika is about a woman who finds out that she's actually part of another species and then finds out that she's also their princess. I really like how, even though she gets swept up in all of the strangeness of the new world she finds herself in, she still remains true to herself and her personality. Maybe it's because she's so long-lived and it's difficult not to at that point. I wonder if I'll ever get there...

Join us again next week when we talk to the Aspect of Pain about his favourite books.

~If you want to pick up a free, early copy of the first book in the Aspects series - Love/Hate - you can get your copy here or add it to your Goodreads shelf.~

~This is an in-universe piece of fiction for the Aspects series - a new YA sci-fi series - though all of the books featured are real and you can check them out by clicking on the book covers~

It's back to school time once more, which means it's time for our annual Aspects Reading List interviews.

The Aspects protect us from the monsters that roam the wastelands outside our cities but we rarely get the opportunity to get to know the mask-wearing heroes. We sat down with some of the Aspects from Tower 5 to get to know them through their favourite books. First up was the most recently chosen Aspect, the Aspect of Love.

I: So, Love, tell us, what was it like to be chosen as an Aspect?

L: Okay, I guess... I thought I was just here to talk about books?

I: Well, yes, but there are some warm-up questions so that our readers can get to know you first.

L: Okay... What do you want to know?

I: How are you settling into your new life? When they set up this interview, the Aspect Program mentioned to us that you're autistic. Has that made it hard to adjust?

L: No more than it makes anything hard.

I: No trouble making friends?

L: No.

I: I suppose there's only so long you can fight monsters without becoming friends. And since your powers are based on love, I suppose it makes sense that you would get on with others.

L: I would rather not talk about... About the fighting. Can we get onto the books now?

I: Yes, of course, I understand you've chosen four of your favourite books to talk about today.

XODUS

I didn't like this book the first time I read it, but I think I was just too young for it. I picked it up again recently and now it's one of my favourites. It's about a girl who loses her mother and she thinks that she's just disappeared, but then it turns out that she has special abilities and the main character also has those abilities and she tries to find her mother... I don't want to spoil the story but I really liked how far the characters were willing to go to find their family again. To think that people can care that much...

Anyway, it's a good book.

Diamond Marked: The Tale of El'Anret

This is an old favourite of mine. Well, the first book was. I only got around to catching up with the rest recently. I don't know, I guess I just kept putting it down and forgetting before? I'm really forgetful sometimes.

Anyway, the first book is about a girl who gets chosen to be the next Queen of Diamonds, destined to rule over the Fae, but the current Queen doesn't want to give up her crown. But the old Queen's twin brother starts to help the new Queen and... Well, I don't want to spoil it but... It's got kind of a romance in it, okay? I like romances in my books. I'm the Aspect of Love, it's allowed, I'm not sappy or anything...

Editor's Note: There was certainly no mistaking the Aspect of Love's romantic streak when passers-by snapped pics of her and the Aspect of Hate sharing a heated kiss in the middle of battle last week.

Pirate Princess

Okay, really though, who doesn't like stories about pirates?

Tower Five isn't on the coast, and even if it was, all of the coastal cities need walls just as large as the others. There's not much about the world before the monsters I ever wondered about, but the sea? Well, I suppose one benefit of being an Aspect is the ability to go beyond the city walls every once in a while, even if it is just to deal with the monsters.

But I was supposed to be talking about the book, wasn't I? Well, the book is about the daughter of a pirate king and a princess. Her mother died when she was young, and when she gets older, she's sent to go and live with her mother's sister and her husband, who rule a kingdom together. She lives as a princess by day but sneaks away to be a pirate by night and I always liked how her mother was gone, and her dad couldn't be there for her, but she still had a family that looked after her, you know?

Water

And here we have... another book about water, but this one doesn't really take place on the sea, so it's not the same. I actually picked this book up recently and it really stuck with me.

In this one, the main character is afraid of water but her mother tells her that she can only go to the university she wants if she goes to camp and learns to swim. Only, she gets there and her instructor, plus a bunch of other people at the camp, are keeping secrets from her, which relate to why her dad left and I don't want to spoil anything, but I liked how close all of the siblings were in the book. Even the ones who aren't always super close care about each other and... Well, I guess I just hope... You know what? Never mind. It was a silly thought. I liked the book, it's good, go read it.

Join us again next week when we talk to the Aspect of Empathy about her favourite books.

~If you want to pick up a free, early copy of the first book in the Aspects series - Love/Hate - you can get your copy here or add it to your Goodreads shelf.~

The next Snowverse title - TARGET - is coming September 1st and will be a f/f paranormal romance novel, featuring Lady Caroline from the Freya Snow books.

The book is currently available to pre-order from iBooks and Kobo and there is a free prequel novella available from Instafreebie.

But if you want to give the book a look before picking it up, here's the first chapter:

Dealing with crime scenes had taught Caroline three important things.
First: breakfast was never a good idea. Queasiness was a lot easier to handle when there wasn't anything in her stomach to bring back up.
Second: coffee - specifically the caramel latte - was the greatest invention mankind had ever produced, and she wasn't sure how she had ever functioned without it.
Third: Humans could be easily unsettled by a deadpan, unamused glare.
Caroline jumped out of her black SUV, coffee in hand.
The door shut firmly behind her as she strode up to the warehouse she had parked outside, ignoring the police tape in her way.
The uniformed officers looked up, but quickly looked away as they recognised her. They were more than used to this routine.
Caroline walked into the warehouse, entering only to see a ritualistic display of severed limbs pinned to the metal storage racks.
She took a deep drink of her coffee as she examined the scene in front of her, trying to detach the reality of blood and flesh from the intent of the arrangement.
And there was definitely intent. This wasn't just some random pattern, she could feel the magic these components were attempting to focus.
Attempting, but not quite managing.
The question being, was the problem incompetence, had the police already tampered with the scene, or was there another component to the spell that hadn't been set up yet?
The second factor was the easiest to rule out, and her gaze swept the room as she tried to decide who to approach.
If she had been prone to such outward displays of emotion, she probably would have smiled as she recognised one of the CSIs.
"Good morning, Sas," she greeted as she walked over to him.
Sas simply sighed, brushing his long black hair from his eyes. "I knew this would be one of yours," he said as she approached. "The ritualistic and physically improbable placement of the bodies…"
"Have any of your people interfered?"
"No, not yet. I told them all to just look busy until you arrived, but the SIO is starting to catch on."
"Can't you just tell them this is one of mine?"
"Normally, I would. But she's new. The chief doesn't exactly like admitting that there is a strange woman who wanders onto our crime scenes and takes them over, so I don't think she's been brought up to speed on everything. And to be honest, I can't exactly blame the chief because I thought about explaining this situation to her but I couldn't come up with an explanation that made any kind of sense."
"I don't know… Not wanting to get in the middle of something you can't handle seems like a perfectly valid explanation to me."
Sas shook his head. "Really? Because I can't think of any way to phrase that without making this entire department out to be abject cowards."
Caroline shrugged. "Better coward than dead. Still, I suppose I should introduce myself."
Caroline's coffee caught in her throat as Sas nodded over to a woman who seemed horrendously out of place compared to everyone else there.
She was tall, with curves that were somehow a perfect combination of soft and strong. Her cropped black hair was styled out of the way of her calculating, onyx eyes, and it shone under the warehouse lights, which seemed not to have the same washing-out effect on her dark brown skin as it did on everyone else.
Caroline thought she would look more at home in Amazonian armour than her plain black pantsuit, but the latter was certainly flattering.
She couldn't help but sigh at herself. Had it truly been so long since she had been with anyone that she was thinking of a Human in such terms?
A Human that was causing her trouble, at that...
"That's her," Sas said, seemingly oblivious as Caroline cleared her throat and refocused on the task at hand. "Detective Inspector Sharma."
Caroline nodded before striding over to the woman in question. As she approached, every other officer stood back, desperate to look anywhere except for right at her.
Sharma frowned, clearly confused by the behaviour of her colleagues.
"Detective Inspector Sharma? I'm Caroline Raven of the RCE, and this is now officially my crime scene."
The detective's frown deepened. "The RCE? I've never heard of that organisation."
"Then consider yourself lucky. Most places never see us, or at least not frequently. Unfortunately, this city is a hub for exactly the kind of crimes that are our speciality. Crimes such as these."
"And what exactly do you mean by that? What kind of crimes?"
"The weird ones," the officer next to her muttered, though he quickly did his best to look as if he hadn't said anything.
Caroline simply found his behaviour amusing.
"You can't just waltz in here and take over my crime scene," the detective said. "I need some form of identification or something…"
"No, you really don't," Caroline said firmly.
"This isn't actually uncommon here," the man next to the detective said, once more under his breath. "The chief's standing orders are to hand over any crime scene to Raven when she arrives. Trust me, it's for the best."
The detective didn't seem to be buying it, however, and continued to glare at Caroline. "I can't believe that the procedure is to simply hand over an active crime scene to some random woman with no identification or recognisable organisation."
"Whether you believe it or not, it's true," Caroline said, her voice more than a little tired. "For now, this crime scene is mine. If you have a problem with it, I suggest you speak to your boss about it."
It looked for a moment as if the detective wouldn't stand down, and Caroline had to curse her luck. Most of the Humans found her unsettling because part of their brain – the ancient, primal part – still recognised her for what she was.
A dangerous predator. The monster under the bed.
A Demon.
There were some Humans, however, who had just a drop of magic in them themselves. Those Humans were more than a little infuriating for their ability to see past what unsettled the others.
Caroline didn't exactly mind when it was someone like Sas, who wouldn't ever cause her trouble, but she suspected that the detective would be far more problematic.
She wondered for a moment if she would have to use her magic on the detective to get her to drop it. She hated using her magic like that, despite how skilled she was in it. There was always a small risk of hurting the Human. No, there were other, simpler methods to get what she needed. The only problem was, they didn't seem to be working right at that moment.
Thankfully, however, the detective sighed, shaking her head. "Fine, I'll go and talk to the chief about this."
Caroline would have preferred it if she had simply dropped it all together, but at least she could rely on the chief to explain why the situation was the way it was, and to get the detective to drop it.
After a few moments, the police filed out, leaving Caroline alone to her work.

TARGET will be released September 1st and is currently available to pre-order from iBooks and Kobo and there is a free prequel novella available from Instafreebie.

Hey! Guess what's coming out in just over a week!

If you guess the eighth Freya Snow book, you would be right!

If you haven't caught up on the series so far, I would advise doing so before reading ahead to the sample chapter.

Luckily for anyone needing to catch up, the boxset of books 1-3 is currently on sale for only 99c.

Books 1-3 Boxset

Books 4-6 Boxset

Book 7

“We’re back,” Freya called as she got back to the apartment she and Alex were renting. It had only been two weeks, but after so long on the move, that practically made it home.
Alex grinned as she got out of the bathroom, her long, silky black hair still wet from the shower. She was wearing shorts and a tank top to combat the southern Spanish heat, and Freya was definitely not complaining, though she was slightly envious. Whenever she showed off that much skin, it just revealed how many scars she had.
“How did hunting for more car-sickness potion go?”
“We were successful,” Amber chimed in from beside Freya.
Amber, being a ghost, usually wasn’t visible to anyone but Freya, but after so long of it being just the two of them, Freya was now almost constantly extending her awareness of Amber to Alex as well.
Not that Amber was constantly around. She didn’t want to intrude on the couple. But every time they went somewhere new, she would help Freya find the local magical community so that she could get any supplies she needed.
“I also got burgers for lunch,” Freya said, holding up a plastic bag. “Have I mentioned how cool it is that you can get booze at McDonald’s in Europe?”
“Only every time we go.”
Freya pouted. “It’s not my fault. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had enough control over my powers to drink alcohol?”
Alex smiled, giving Freya a light kiss on the cheek before taking the bag. “I know,” she said.
“And that’s my cue to leave,” Amber said.
Freya smirked. “You’re just leaving so that you don’t have to watch us eat cheeseburgers when you can’t have any.”
“Even if I were alive, I wouldn’t be having a cheeseburger.”
Freya did a mock gasp. “Is this where we learn one of your terrible, deep dark secrets? Like - gasp - that you’re lactose intolerant? Or is that you’re vegetarian?”
“Neither,” Amber said with a wry look. “It’s not kosher.”
She disappeared at that, leaving Freya to nod at the empty space.
“Yeah okay, that makes sense,” Freya said, folding her arms and glaring at the empty space. “You know that you disappearing like that isn’t funny, right?”
Alex smirked at her girlfriend. “Yeah, but it’s exactly the kind of unfunny joke you would tell. How did you not realise you two were related?”
Freya shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t know what being related to someone was like before. I didn’t have a frame of reference.”
“No, I know, it’s just funny. I mean, you even look alike.”
Freya snorted. “Yeah, with my Elemental-green eyes and Demon-pale skin.”
Alex rolled her eyes. “I meant in the face.”
“Well, I’m face-blind, so there’s your answer there.”
“Plus, what do you mean Demon-pale skin? I’ve seen Demons with dark skin.”
“Huh... I guess you’re right. I suppose I just assumed. Caroline is pretty pale too.”
“Maybe you’re related to her as well.”
“Don’t even joke. Could you imagine if my life got that convoluted?”
“You say that as if it isn’t already,” Alex said with a smirk before biting her lip, glancing down. “So, hey, want to go down to the beach this afternoon?”
“Yeah, sure, I guess. Why?”
“No reason.”
“Really? Because you look like you have a reason...”
Alex rolled her eyes once more. “Can you please just let me surprise you with something this once?”
“Okay, okay!” Freya said, lifting her hands in mock-surrender. “Beach it is.”

#

As far as places to watch the sunset went, Freya thought to herself, the Balcon de Europa wasn’t bad. Far from it, in fact. Just a year ago, that would have meant nothing coming from her. She’d never left England, and she had barely ever left the North-East.
The past year had changed that, as she supposed being on the run always would.
“You’re burning up,” Alex said as she came back to where Freya was standing, holding their drinks in her hand.
Freya frowned. Despite her paper white skin, she didn’t burn in the sun. When she looked down at her arms, however, she realised that that wasn’t what Alex had meant. Her arms were covered in faint flames that flickered gently across her skin.
“Oops,” Freya said with a sheepish smile. She had a habit of doing that in the direct sunlight sometimes. As if she wanted to join in with the sun.
“Do you need me to dampen your magic?” Alex asked.
Freya shook her head, the flames fading. “I think I’m finally getting the hang of these powers.”
Alex grinned at that. “That you are,” she said before leaning forward, capturing Freya’s lips in hers.
Kissing hadn’t been easy in the early days. Freya had been too liable to go up in flames. But after so many months, it took a particularly good lay for her to worry about setting Alex alight anymore.
When Freya pulled away, she linked her arm through Alex’s, turning back to the ocean to watch the sunset. Of course, it was setting over to their right, but the colour change over the ocean was still nice to watch.
“So,” Freya said, “we’ve been here a while. It must be getting time to move again.”
Alex nodded. “I was thinking that we could hit the road the day after tomorrow.”
“Where will we be going this time? Are we still heading east?”
Alex got a faraway look at that. “I’ve actually been thinking about that, Freya.”
Freya frowned a little at her serious tone.
“I am happy being with you, no matter where we are. I could stay on the move with you forever. But... I think I want something more.”
“Like what?”
“Like taking the fight to the rest of the Enhanced.”
Freya bit her lip a little at that. “Alex... Do you really think we can take on an army on our own?”
“I’m not thinking of doing this on our own. I’m not convinced that all of the Enhanced are so gung-ho about restarting the War. I know I wasn’t. I don’t think any of my batch-siblings would be, either.”
“We met one of your batch-siblings, remember? He wasn’t exactly easy to convince.”
“But we did convince him.”
“So you want to try and contact him again?”
Alex nodded. “I can’t guarantee that the others will listen, but it might give us a starting chance. A chance to stop running from them. I mean, that rune Amber helped you craft stops the Council of Light from finding you, so we just need to stop the Enhanced and then...”
“And then?”
Alex took the hand that wasn’t linked through Freya’s arm, reaching into her pocket. Out of the pocket, she drew a small box.
Freya frowned. The box looked like... Well, it looked like the kind that jewellery came in. But neither of them really wore jewellery.
Alex flipped open the box, revealing a small diamond ring inside.
“Is that...?” Freya barely managed to whisper, her breath catching in her throat.
Was Alex really doing this?
Sure, they had run away together, but Freya hadn’t allowed herself to think more long-term than their next destination. Not when their enemies were so close behind.
“It’s a promise,” Alex told her. “A promise that we’ll stop the Enhanced, and then you and I can go wherever we want and stay put. We can have a normal, happy life together. Just you and me.”
Freya’s face heated up at that, and she wasn’t sure if it was a blush or flames, but she found that she didn’t care, she was too busy drawing Alex into her arms, holding her tight.
“I think I love the sound of that,” she eventually admitted.
Alex let out a relieved laugh at that as Freya pulled away, taking the ring and putting it on Freya’s finger.
“We’ll have to get you one,” Freya said.
Alex blinked, before laughing. “I didn’t think of that...”
Freya grinned at her girlfriend before wrapping her hands around her waist, drawing her close and kissing her. Alex wrapped her own hands around Freya’s sides, gasping a little at the ferocity of Freya’s kiss.
Freya never wanted the moment to end.

If you want to pre-order TRIDENT from Kobo, Apple, or Barnes and Noble, follow this link.

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Okay, so, if you're on my Lady Ruth newsletter, you probably already know this, but I was supposed to write a newsletter-exclusive epilogue short story to the series.

Which I did.

Only, it wasn't so much an epilogue, as it was a prologue for an entirely new series set in the 1920s.

I kind of really want to write this series, but I want to know just how much people actually want to read it before I make any real in-roads into development.

So, I've released the short story to the Lady Ruth newsletter with the caveat that it is canon for now, but if people want me to write the series proper, it will be removed from canon and replaced with the new series, which will be slightly altered. For example, the romance will be far more of a slow burn and I'll probably change Lu's name, given that it was originally a call back to the meta-fiction of the Lady Ruth books, but that quickly becomes weird with a full-blown story for reasons...

If you haven't read the short story, here's a link to join the Lady Ruth newsletter and get it.

If you have, here's a poll on whether or not you would read a full fleshed out series based on the idea:

If This Short Story Was Fleshed Out Into a Full-Blown Series, Would You Read It?

View Results

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FS1FS2FS3

Want to read the first three Freya Snow books for free?

I’m currently doing a giveaway of the Pup Trilogy (the first three books, including the short stories) on Goodreads. Just follow this link to enter.

Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, the Goodreads paperback giveaway is only available to people in the US, UK or Canada.

But if you live elsewhere, or just prefer ebooks, you can get the ebook version for free by following this link.

Both of these giveaways will end on the 14th of October 2016, but if you missed them, you can always get the first book for free here, and you can get access to review copies of my books here.

I’m back with a vengeance, people. Here’s how it’s going down.

CanonAuties

Starting tomorrow (because I started drinking on the plane home), I am doing a proper launch of CanonAuties. This means regular updates on all of the canonical autistic characters out there.

YouTube

So, I stopped posting to YouTube because my editing software broke and I got chubby. But no more! I am going to re-record my review of On the Edge of Gone and upload it in the next week, and then I plan to vlog all throughout August, so subscribe for that goodness here.

Twitter and Facebook

I’ve really been neglecting my followers on those platforms, but no more. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

The Hunt Rewrite

I’m rewriting the first Freya Snow book. I’m not doing anything too drastic, I’m just hoping to clean it up a little. I’m posting (unedited) chapters on Wattpad and Tumblr when I finish them. This will probably precede a rebranding of the series (keep an eye out for new covers).

The Summer Write-a-thon

Still going, but I’ve added a spin-off mermaid romance (between Freya Snow books 6 and 7). So now I’m halfway through book 5 of 7.

Newsletter Goodies

Are you subscribed to my newsletter? If not, I’ve got to say, there are may be some exclusive goodies/early releases/sales coming up in the next couple of months that you’ll want to be a part of.

The Call for Street Team Members

What’s a street team? It’s my collective of beta readers/reviewers. They get my books early and for free. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s the best place to be. Right now, Freya Snow beta readers can read the next three books in the series, and Lady Ruth beta readers can read the whole trilogy. All I ask is that you tell me if you spot any mistakes. Reviewers will get these books as soon as they’re done with the beta readers (again, early and for free) in exchange for short, honest reviews when the books release.

If you want to join the street team, contact me through any social media platform (Tumblr, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc.) or send an email to lucy@lcmawson.com *

*While anyone can join the advanced review team for Lady Ruth, for Freya Snow, the first book is available for free on all major ebook retailers, so potential reviewers must first leave a review on the Amazon US page of the first book to show that they’re serious about it (anyone who has left a review will be able to join the review team, I’m not judging the review on anything other than it actually being there).