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Dreadful Beauty by L.M. Rapp - Book Tour + Giveaway

By 6:00 AM , , , , ,


Synopsis
A girl undergoing a terrifying transformation goes on an epic quest to find a refuge from her ruthless father. 

Nymphosis, a disease that turns Humans into Chimeras, is ravaging the land of Gashom. The More-Than-Pure, determined to protect themselves, have seized power and enacted segregationist laws.

 The daughter of a high dignitary, young Neria learns she is afflicted by the very disease her father is determined to eradicate. Forced to surrender her privileges, she must flee her home in the capital and traverse the strange wilds to seek refuge with her fellow kind.

 Will she have the courage to fight oppression to emancipate the Chimeras from the yoke of the More-Than-Pure?

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3R1Utqm

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60560084-dreadful-beauty


Excerpt
One moment, she had been enjoying the security and comfort of her family home. The next, she was left helpless in a deserted square. An oil lamp rested in Neria's hand. A clay container, filled with a greenish-yellow liquid. A wick, coiled within its heart, snaked up to the groove that guided it into the open air. A flame danced on its tip, a paltry defense against the darkness of that night, one of those gentle nights that often follow the heat of the day. The moon watched her with a wry smile.

Neria suddenly felt she was going to collapse, crumpling like a sheet that had fallen to the ground. Without the warmth of the hand curled inside hers, she would have indeed done so. She remembered the last time she had seen Arhel's hand, crimson and reaching out of the covers. Who knew what the disease would do to her? But before she succumbed to it, she would save Ana
ëlle.

She breathed in, then out, and took a step forward. Her aching limbs strained at first, but after a few minutes, she was walking b
riskly, her head bowed like a servant, the child in tow. First, she had to find the secret passage her mother had told her about and cross the wall of the High District without going through the ever-guarded gates.

She came to a dead-end and saw the dried-up well and a withered pistachio tree lined with shrubs of rosemary leaning against the perimeter wall. It concealed a narrow, low opening. She went in first, crawled into a tunnel bereft of cobwebs and emerged behind an olive tree, also surrounded by shrubbery. Crouching down, she peeked between the branches. No one was there. She called to Ana
ëlle in a hushed voice, the child joining her. They emerged from their cover and arrived on the street. Before long, they had made their way to an impoverished part of town they had never been to before. The hovels were huddled together, separated here and there by narrow, randomly arranged passageways. The first on the left... The second on the right...

Hey there, little lady! Where are you off to in such a hurry?

Three guards had concealed themselves in a nook to drink to their hearts’
content.

Lady Yarines sent me on an urgent errand.

She hoped they would be too drunk to do anything and turned away. She tried to maintain her composure, a technique that had worked for her that morning. Yet heavy footsteps came ever clo
ser behind her before her arm was seized by a coarse grip.

Youve got more than enough time to come give us a little cuddle.

One of the guards looked at her, a yellow smile sp
read across his brown beard. He reeked of alcohol and nauseating filth. She tried to pull away from him, but his grip tightened.

Stay still or we'll give you a good hiding. Itll go better for you if you dont put up a fight, believe me. Leave the kid here and come on.

The two others approached.

The lamp fell and shattered. Neria took
out her knife and stuck it in the arm restraining her. The guard howled in pain and let go of her.

Youre going to regret that you whore.

The guards now surrounded her. She threatened them with her bloodied weapon. She couldn’t believe she’d been so stupid not to have stabbed him in the stomach. Her assailant barely seemed bothered. She spun around, Ana
ëlle clinging to her clothes. The girl was sobbing.

One of the men drew his sword,
Drop the knife or I kill the kid.

Neria
’s hand trembled. The knife fell on the dusty ground with a dull thud.

Run, Anaëlle, get out of here!” 

The wounded guard threw himsel
f on her, seized her elbow, slipped behind her, and choked her with his good arm.

The child, small and sp
irited, ran away. Just as Neria thought she was going to make it, the man with the sword grabbed her mid-flight.

Neria struggled, hitting the arm that choked her. His hold tightened. Her mouth gasped but the air would not come, and her movements weakened. Suddenly, the guard holding her let out a yowl of pain and released her. She collapsed, heavily panting g
ulps of air on all fours. Her assailant lay there with his throat slit. The coarse, black-nailed hand that moments before had clamped down on her arm now clawed at the earth. The corpse's glassy eyes stared up into the starry sky. His red tongue in his gaping mouth, his fleshy lips, his fat cheeks swallowed by his beard... like a giant sea urchin washed up from the sea, his insides hanging open. A shrill cry rang out and she covered her ears.

A monster, half-man, half-beast, had ripped open another guard and had now set its sights on the third. The remaining guard was still holding Ana
ëlle hostage and keeping the beast at bay with his sword.

Whi
le the tiger and guard danced their macabre dance, Neria, still on all fours, fumbled for her knife. She grasped its hilt, ran towards the soldier, raising her weapon, a wild howling in her throat. The monster took advantage of the diversion to pounce on its adversary. Neria sheathed her knife, picked up the child who had fallen to the ground, and fled, pursued by screams of agony.

Author Bio:

L.M. Rapp has lived in different countries and practiced several professions: dentist, web developer, artist, aikido teacher, farmer. Eager to learn and discover, she uses her experiences to enrich her stories. She has also written a thriller, Of Flesh and Tears.

 Website: https://www.lmrap.com/

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/L.M.Rapp

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/l.m.rapp/

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/LMRappAuthor


Giveaway 
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1 Comments

  1. The book sounds really good and one I would enjoy reading.

    ReplyDelete

Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.