Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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Try As I Smite by Abigail Owen - Book Tour + Giveaway


Try As I Smite
Brimstone Inc Book 4
by Abigail Owen
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Alasdair Blakesley is the head of the Covens Syndicate. He shouldn't need to look beyond the witches and warlocks he governs, or his own abilities, to solve any problem. But a demon infestation means he can’t trust anyone who may be possessed. The last person he wants to ask for help is also the only person who can fix this, so he sucks up his pride and storms into her office.

And she turns him down cold.

As the owner of Brimstone Inc., Delilah’s passion is helping others with their supernatural problems. But Alasdair is the last man Delilah wants to tangle with. The infuriating man sees too much and demands even more. And did she mention the way he sets her body on fire?

Not that it matters—demons are the only things with which she cannot interfere. Too bad a higher power steps in and sends them both on a crash course of each others' pasts, presents, and futures.
How is a Christmas Carol nightmare supposed to solve his demon problem without breaking the rules she’s bound by?

**Only .99 cents!!**

CHAPTER 1
News of a mage going mad and lashing out with magic would typically raise alarms, but today, yet another such report in his hands was the least of Alasdair Blakesley’s worries.

A bigger problem had just walked into his office.

His long-time personal assistant, Agnes. She entered laden with a tray. Presumably his lunch.

Thai today,” she sang out.

He had no idea what alerted him that something was seriously wrong. The tone of her voice probably. Serious, semi-snappy Agnes did not use a singsongy voice. Ever.

Nearing her late sixties—though she refused to retire, informing him that he’d be a pathetic mess without her, which was true—Agnes wore her steel-gray hair severely scraped back from her face, never a strand out of place. Like her hair, she was scarily efficient at her job, and as abrasive as a Brillo pad when she deemed it necessary.

A voice like a sweet little mouse was not in her repertoire.

In fact, having to order him lunch because, as often happened, he’d let his job distract him from the time, would irritate her. As the head of the Covens Syndicate—the body of witches and warlocks who monitored, policed, protected, and ruled the established covens of magi throughout the world—he found his focus on the needs of his people overruled eating. Brillo voice would be more likely right now.

He watched her closely as she set the tray down on the round table in the corner. Made of petrified wood, the table stood out like a sore thumb from the rest of his ultra-modern office, which was all glass, black leather, and chrome. With a cheerfulness also nothing like his Agnes, she arranged the plates to her liking, then glanced up.

And blinked. Because Alasdair had taken her distraction as an opportunity to move to the door, which he shut with a quiet snick.

Can I get you anything else, sir?”

Sir? Alasdair reached for his power, allowing the magic to flow through like electric current over a wire, his fingertips buzzing with it.

Yes,” he said in a quiet voice any friend, and most enemies, would recognize meant he was holding back rage. “You can tell me what you’ve done with Agnes.”

The imposter tipped her head to the side, doing a fantastic imitation of a confused frown. “I don’t understand, sir. Of course it’s me—”

With a single thought, a slithering line of electricity shot from his fingers, aimed at the fake in front of him.

She dropped all pretense of misunderstanding, and, with a snarl that raised the hairs on the back of his neck, jumped out of the way, only to land lightly on her feet, straightening from his assistant’s customary slightly hunched posture, eyes and mouth turned the color of gangrene, the color leaching into the surrounding skin, as though evidence of an infection of the soul.

At least Alasdair knew what he was dealing with.

Demon.

Which meant he couldn’t kill it. He’d learned that the hard way a long time ago. Demons possessed human bodies, their corporeal forms too noticeable in the human realm to be used. If he killed the demon, he killed the vessel, and he couldn’t do that to Agnes. Which meant he’d need to bind it.

Please let this be a lower level demon.

Alasdair raised his hands in the air, calling on his magic. Immediately, a violent wind slashed through the office and tore at his immaculate suit jacket. The demon didn’t even sway with the impact. A glass statue in one corner wobbled and fell with a crash, shattering into a million shards, which Alasdair immediately summoned, using his magic to hurl at the demon.

With a swipe of its arm, the thing inside Agnes diverted the shards around its body. They embedded in the wall, sounding like a thousand tiny bullets hitting their mark with sharp, popping thuds.

You’ll have to do better than that,” the demon sneered, its deep, scratchy voice at odds with Agnes’s body.

It lunged, streaking with inhuman speed across the room at him. The winds he’d summoned had reached hurricane force but might not as well have been blowing for all the detriment they posed. Alasdair held still, waiting for the right movement to strike. Waiting for its sickly sweet breath to hit his face before he struck.

The words of his spell punched through his mind, and, in an instant, a length of cord materialized in his hands, glowing bright white with energy. At his will, it shot forward to wrap around the demon charging him.

The thing was fast, and damn strong, and Alasdair didn’t time it exactly right, the cord missing one of the thing’s arms. Not that it mattered. The creature screamed with agony as the holy bondage that Alasdair had summoned from his childhood home where it had been hidden for ages set the demon’s skin sizzling everywhere the rope touched.

Still, the demon wasn’t going down without a fight. Agnes’s neatly manicured nails turned to onyx claws, and it slashed at him, even as it fell to the ground, held secure by his bonds.

Alasdair wasn’t quite fast enough to get out of its way. Jagged pain burned through his skin as dark red patches bloomed slick and wet against the pristine white of his button-down shirt.

He disregarded the wounds, following the demon to the ground. The rope was ancient and would hold it for only so long.

Bringing all his weight to bear, he knelt on the demon’s free arm and placed a hand to its forehead, positioned to avoid now-razor-sharp, snapping teeth. Closing his eyes, Alasdair whispered the words that would bind the demon physically as well as making sure it didn’t escape to another body.

Agnes would hate being trapped inside her own hell, her magic trapped with her, and he didn’t blame her for that. But until Alasdair could summon one of the mages who specialized in demon extraction, he had no choice.

With the last uttered incantation, the possessed creature went still and quiet, arms and legs straight out, face frozen in a grotesque grimace, as though petrified. Slowly, Alasdair rose to his feet. Keeping careful watch on the thing, he moved behind his desk and picked up the phone.

Help me.”

Every muscle in his body tensed to the point of cramping at the sound of Agnes’s true voice. The black void of her eyes turned brown and human again. “Help me,” she croaked.

Mother goddess.

Anyone with a heart would be tempted to go to her, but what he knew of demons held him still.

He’s going to kill me.” She sounded so desperate, helpless.

The tension in him eased a fraction. Nope. Not Agnes. She would know better, and she would never beg. The real her would be swearing a blue streak about now, and probably even shock the doomed soul inhabiting her body.

Ignoring the creature, he dialed the number that would get him what he needed. Within moments, a team of witches and warlocks trained for battle, trained to protect, invaded his office. As soon as he knew they had Agnes and her current parasitic invader in hand, Alasdair snatched his phone from a drawer and strode from the room.

Suddenly all the reports of inexplicable crazed bouts among his people made sense. They weren’t crazed…they were fucking possessed.

If anyone had a reason to fear demon possession, he did. But the world, most of whom didn’t know magic truly did exist, would come to live in terror of them if they took over enough mages.

Don’t leave me with him inside me!” Agnes screamed, her pleading voice following him out of the room.

Leashing a flinch, he stopped at the elevator where the leader of the team, Micah Aluron, joined him, sharp eye taking in the scene with unsmiling purpose. “Orders, sir?”

Hold that thing until I get back. Gag her if you have to.”

Get back?” Micah asked. “Aren’t you supposed to be having dinner with your sister tonight?”

Dammit, he’d forgotten all about Hestia and Christmas Eve. “I can’t. This needs to be addressed immediately.”

Micah gave a quick nod. “Where are you going?”

Had this been anyone other than his old friend, Alasdair wouldn’t have bothered to answer. Only, this was Micah, a man who’d saved his ass on at least three different occasions. The time in Barcelona didn’t count, of course. Alasdair had returned the favor even more times than that. A situation that meant they trusted each other. Implicitly.

We have a demon problem,” he said, and couldn’t control the fury that turned his voice dark. “This isn’t a singular incident. It’s one of many.”

Shit.” Even Micah turned ashy at that. “You think all the other reports are possessions?”

Alastair nodded.

Micah seemed to be of the same mind. “It takes a hell of a lot of magic to exorcise a single demon.”

And they were looking at more than one. A horde maybe, hopefully not a legion. Alasdair’s own power didn’t stretch that far, and even the entire Syndicate working together might not be enough. He refused to kill those afflicted unless he had to.

 “Magic may not be able to fix this, but I know a…person who might be able to help.”

The enigmatic woman who’d been a burr under his metaphorical saddle since he met her. He would much rather have gone begging for a place in her bed to exorcise the spell she’d cast that seemed to grip him harder with every encounter they had.

Having to grovel for help, on the other hand, was the last thing he’d pictured himself ever having to do.

He should have known better.


Bait N' Witch
Brimstone Inc Book 3
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Shift Out Of Luck
Brimstone Inc Book 2
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The Demigod Complex
Brimstone Inc book 1
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Multi-award-winning paranormal romance author, Abigail Owen, loves plots that move hot and fast, feisty heroines with sass, alpha heroes with heart, a dash of snark, and oodles of sexy shifters! Other titles include wife, mother, Star Wars geek, ex-competitive skydiver, spreadsheet lover, Dr. Seuss quoter, eMBA, organizational guru, Texan, Aggie, and chocoholic.

Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. She attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it. She currently resides in Austin, Texas, with her own personal hero, her husband, and their two children, who are growing up way too fast.

Abigail also writes award-winning contemporary romance under the name Kadie Scott.

For the latest news and exclusive excerpts, sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/Lw2XH




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon 

8 comments:

  1. I like the bright colors on this cover. I enjoyed the excerpt.

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  2. I love books about witches and this one sounds like a great one.

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  3. Very pretty cover. I like the paranormal genre. I like that it is a series. Thanks for the chance. It sounds good.

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  4. The book looks really interesting.

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  5. I love the book covers and synopses, this sounds like a must read series for me. Thank you for sharing the book and author details.

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