Hey, so, Reaper comes out on Thursday!
And as it’s the seventh Freya Snow book, I’ve made it easier to catch up on the first six.
These sales are only happening for April, and once May 1st hits, they’ll be going back up to regular price ($9.99 for the Books 1-6 boxset).
And if you want to read the first chapter to get an idea of what’s coming, check it out below. Hope you enjoy!
“Where are we now?” Freya asked as she awoke from her nap, cringing away from where her seatbelt was digging into her neck.
“France still, I think,” her girlfriend, Alex, told her from the driver’s seat.
“Well, we haven’t come across any border checks yet.”
Freya nodded, stretching as well as she could in the front passenger seat of the car. They spent all day, every day driving. They stopped at a hotel each night, allowing Alex to sleep so they weren’t in danger of crashing due to a tired driver. Freya felt bad about not taking a turn behind the wheel, but she had never learned to drive. She knew of a charm that could drive the car for you, but she didn’t know how to make it.
The problem with spending all day driving, Freya found, was that she was incredibly prone to travel sickness. In order to keep her lunch in her stomach, she continually used travel sickness tablets, but they knocked her right out. Even when she was awake, she felt incredibly stoned.
That became a problem when they couldn’t stop. Alex was being hunted by the Enhanced – genetically engineered Humans from another timeline – and Freya was being hunted by the Council of Light – the people in charge of the Light magical beings.
The Enhanced were limited to Human technology, so Alex could cover their tracks there. When it came to the Council of Light, however, they were able to track Freya via her magic, no matter how much she tried to mask it. There was simply too much to mask on her own now.
That meant staying on the road. Tracking someone with magic wasn’t easy, so staying on the move would hopefully obscure Freya from the Council.
Freya didn’t really want to think about what would happen if it stopped working.
“Do you need anything from the shop?” Alex asked as she pulled into a petrol station.
“I could use some pop. Something carbonated, I don’t mind what,” Freya said, then frowned. “Wait, how are we paying for stuff?”
Alex raised an eyebrow. “You’re asking that now?”
Freya groaned. “Look, I am pretty stoned on these freaking tablets. Forgive me if I’m not exactly firing on all cylinders…”
Alex rolled her eyes. “Oh great and intelligent Freya, I implore you not to take offence at my words.”
Freya smiled, shaking her head. “Okay, but, seriously, can’t the Enhanced trace your card?”
“Not if I keep doing my very clever thing that I’m doing.”
“What clever thing?”
“Do you want to sit here for two hours while I explain it, or are you happy to wait until I get back?”
“It can wait. But I do want to know.”
Alex smiled. “I know you do, but it is pretty complicated.”
“I can handle complicated.”
“I know you can. It’s one of the things I like about you.”
Freya grinned, leaning back in her chair. “Have I told you how sexy it is that you’re so smart?”
Alex grinned back. “You know, I wasn’t just grown for my brawn.”
“Yes, but that is also impressive.”
Alex leaned forward, giving Freya a quick kiss. “You’re so sweet when you’re stoned.”
Freya laughed, though it came out as a weird mix between a snort and a giggle.
“I’ll go and get you that pop.”
Alex got out of the car, leaving Freya alone once more.
She wasn’t alone for long, however, as she felt the familiar tug of Amber – the ghost of her great-great-grandmother who had been tied to Freya by her mother to keep an eye on her – trying to materialise.
Freya sighed. She was drowsy, and just wanted to go back to sleep. But she hadn’t spoken to Amber since before everything had gone down. Since before she had been captured and tortured and lost control of her powers.
Freya concentrated on her breathing, trying to calm the tightness in her chest. It dissipated after a moment, and she decided to let Amber through. It wasn’t fair to drag her around Europe without telling her what had happened, even if Freya very much didn’t want to talk about it.
Amber appeared on the back seat as soon as Freya let her through. Freya unbuckled herself and turned in her chair so that she was kneeling, facing her.
“Do you know what happened?” Freya asked. As much as Freya didn’t like it, Amber did watch her when she wasn’t fully materialised. For once, Freya hoped that Amber hadn’t listened to her when she had expressed her discomfort with it.
“Are you asking because you don’t remember, or because you don’t want to talk about it?”
Freya took a deep breath, doing her best to remain calm. She hadn’t thought about the fact that Amber might have seen what had happened when she had lost control of her powers. Her memories from that point weren’t great, and she didn’t know if that was because she had given herself over to her powers or if it was her mind trying to protect itself.
“Both, I guess.”
Amber nodded. “I don’t think there’s anything that you don’t remember that you haven’t been filled in on. You destroyed the Enhanced base in your escape, killing Alex’s monitor. Then you started growing vines around the shopping centre. If given long enough, I would guess you would have built some kind of living fortress.
“After a little while, Mel and Sarah arrived with Alex and a white wolf.”
Freya frowned. “A white wolf?” That somehow seemed familiar to her, but she couldn’t quite remember.
Amber shrugged. “I don’t know who the wolf was, or who sent her, but she got your friends and brought them to you. They managed to talk you down, and then you passed out. I lost my connection to Earth until you woke up.”
Freya nodded. That about added up with what she remembered, and what Alex had told her.
“So, are you going to yell at me for running away with Alex?” Freya asked.
Amber gave a sympathetic smile, shaking her head. “You were right to trust Alex, Freya. I think that going with her was the only sensible option.”
“Even more sensible than going to the Underworld and hiding there?”
Amber nodded. “I don’t think you could have sat still there. Not knowing that Alex was in peril elsewhere.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Freya said with a smile. “So, the Council of Light? Alex told me that they’ll probably be after me, but she was delivering the information second-hand.”
Amber looked away, her gaze fixing on something in the distance, through the window. “The Council of Light… I tried to work with them in my youth, but it became clear to me then that they were only interested in protecting their own power. When your mother was sent to the Shadow Realm and the War with the Humans restarted, they declared a state of emergency. For the Council, that means not replacing members until the state of emergency has ended.”
“And it hasn’t ended?” Freya guessed.
“No, it hasn’t. After the timeline shift, the Light beings had been hit the hardest. From what I managed to find out while I still possessed a body, it seems the Council said that consistency was needed during the rebuilding.”
“But it’s been twenty years.”
“Exactly. Everyone is chafing under the lack of democracy.”
Freya frowned. “I’m kind of surprised that they ever had a democracy at all. I mean, the Demons have a monarchy.”
“Before the current monarchy, Demons fought each other for control of the Underworld. They were as responsible for the depletion of their numbers as anyone else. Under the current monarchy, that stopped, and the Underworld thrived.”
Freya raised an eyebrow. “A benevolent dictator is still a dictator.”
Amber raised her hands in surrender. “I’m not defending it. I’m saying that it arose from a need in the Underworld, and it has worked better for the Demons than any other system.”
“And I imagine it’ll keep working until they get a shit king.”
“Well, given that the current king is dying with no heir, I’m sure we’ll soon find out how well Demons fare without him.
“Regardless, the Light beings don’t need that kind of steel hand guiding them. They existed in small groups and chose their leaders from among themselves. Under the current monarchy, the Demons became far more organised and centralised in their government. You’ve seen how they extend protection to Dark Witches that work with them. The Light beings sought to mimic that, resulting in the Council of Light, who oversee all of the affairs of Light beings, though the members were still chosen by the beings they would represent.”
Freya groaned, resting her forehead against the headrest. “I’ve spent so long being careful not to take sides. How have I still managed to get dragged into this mess?”
“Well, that might have actually hurt you,” Amber figured.
“If you had declared yourself a Dark Angel, the tensions between Light and Dark magical beings would have grown, I have no doubt of that. But the Light beings wouldn’t have had a symbol to rally around to challenge the Council.”
“Do you really think that would happen? Would they really rally behind me after all of the destruction I caused?”
Amber smiled. “You’re still an Angel, Freya. You didn’t grow up around magic, so you don’t know what that means, but trust me when I say that people will take your appearance as a sign of change. For many Light beings, they will assume that the change will be in the Council of Light.”
“Well then, I guess running away really was the best idea.”
Amber smiled, then disappeared as Alex opened the door on the driver’s side and got in.
“Are you okay?” Alex asked, noticing how Freya was awkwardly leaning backwards against her seat.
Freya nodded as she moved back to sit properly. “Yeah, just tired.”
“Well, go back to sleep.”
“I’ve been sleeping constantly. I feel bad leaving you alone like that with nothing but the French radio.”
“It’s fine, je parle français.”
Freya smiled, shaking her head. “Of course you do.”
“You know, we could take a break from driving. I could mask you from the Council of Light again.”
Freya shook her head. “Nope. If it doesn’t work and they catch up with us, we’ll need you at full strength.”
“All right, then,” Alex agreed with a sigh. “It’s getting late anyway, so we’ll have to stop soon regardless.”