Thursday, September 13, 2012

Promotional post & 2Giveaways: Under the Moon by Natalie J. Damschroder

Under the Moon by Natalie J. Damschroder 
Chapter One (part 7 of 7)
Shit. She lurched forward, but she was still too far away to do anything, and Katie hadn’t noticed the knife. Reacting on instinct rather than thought, Quinn snapped her fingers and opened her hand as the knife soared to it. Relief flooded her. Concentrate. This isn’t over yet. She squeezed the handle of the knife so no one could see her shaking.

The drunk waved his hand, then frowned when he realized it was empty. “What the—” He looked up and blinked at Quinn. “How’d you do that?”

Quinn signaled a white-faced Katie to step away. She glanced around to be sure everyone was out of reach and then faced the drunk.

“You want to leave my establishment,” she told him with forced calm.

He scowled. “T’hell I do. I ordered a beer! And I’m not leavin’ till I get it!”

“Yes you are.” She jerked back as the man lunged at her, flicking her fingers at him. He slammed into an invisible wall but only grew angrier. Quinn swallowed hard. She didn’t have the power for more than this, and she couldn’t risk her staff getting hurt. Summoning the knife and stopping the drunk’s movement required only a little access to the waning moon. But because it had already passed the zenith of its arc, even this drained her.
  She had enough for one more act. Please let it be enough. She thought heat and pointed at the sleeve of the man’s denim jacket. A second later it caught fire. He yelled and slapped at it, extinguishing the flame almost immediately, but it had done its job. 

His eyes wide, he tried to back away. The overturned chair tripped him up and he stopped. “What are you?” His voice quavered.

Electric awareness alerted Quinn to the presence of the man two feet behind her before she heard his voice, a slight Texas drawl mellowing the deep rumble that always made her think of his perfectly tuned muscle car.

“She’s a goddess.”

“Goddess,” the drunk scoffed. “Them’s just a myth.”

Nick Jarrett stepped past Quinn, standing between her and the drunk without making it look like he was getting in her way. The hunger that had been easing all day flared, but because she’d never recharged with Nick, she was able to stamp it down more easily than she had last night.

“You don’t believe your own eyes?” Nick said to the drunk. The drunk scowled at them, then at the tiny wisp of smoke rising from his sleeve. He blinked blearily and stumbled toward the door, grumbling under his breath.

“That’s what I thought.” Nick swung around to look at her, a hint of a smile on his full lips and welcome in his green eyes. “Nice parlor tricks.”

Quinn snorted, covering how happy and relieved she was to see him, and turned to her busboy. “Catch that guy and call Charlie to pick him up in his cab, will you?”

“Sure.” He pulled out his cell phone and hit speed dial on his way out. Everyone else dispersed, leaving Quinn relatively alone with Nick. Adrenaline drained out of her, and she would have sat, if showing weakness in front of him wasn’t so unappealing.

“So what’s going on?” She tucked her fingertips into her jeans pockets. The anxiety buzzing in her all day disappeared, allowing the alarm triggered by the e-mail to resurge. “You’re never early.”

“We’ve got a problem.”

Quinn watched him scan the room, cataloging her customers and staff, lingering on her computer in the far corner and the closed door to her office. His face tightened, and he moved a step closer.

“I know we do,” she said.

He whipped his head around, his eyes sharp. “You do?”

“I just found out. Come here.” She led him to the table where her computer slept, its screen dark. “I read this e-mail not five minutes ago.” They sat down, and she tapped a key to wake the computer while Nick signaled for a beer.

They waited for the wireless connection to reestablish. “You getting a lot of trouble like that guy?” he asked.

“No more than usual.” She glanced at him. “Why? Is someone else?”

“Nah.” He stood to pull off his battered, hip-length brown leather coat and hang it over the back of the chair, then rolled the sleeves of his flannel shirt up strong forearms. A waitress sashayed over to set an amber bottle on their table. She looked at Quinn, who shook her head, but Nick made a face and dropped the money on her tray. “Don’t listen to her.”

Quinn didn’t bother to argue. They had the same argument every time he came. Sometimes she won, sometimes he did. It balanced in the end.

Nick sat back down and took a pull of the beer, his strong throat working with the swallow. Light from a nearby candle picked up glints of gold in his short-cropped, dark blond hair. “Where’s Sam?”

Quinn cleared her throat. “In the office.” She diverted her eyes to the computer screen but heard his small snort of derision. “I had it under control, Nick.”

“The moon’s waning, Quinn. I don’t care how powerful you are at peak, you’re tapped out by this time—”

“Not completely. And protecting me isn’t Sam’s job.” She winced, realizing too late it might sound like criticism of Nick, and she hadn’t meant it to be.

He froze, the bottle halfway to his mouth, then set it down. “I told you to stick close. He should be out here. Or you shouldn’t. And I’m not listening to you argue with me. What have you got?”

He turned the computer toward him, ignoring her exasperation. She twisted to read the e-mail with him, now more confused by the words on the screen than anything else. “Well?”

Seconds passed while his eyes tracked over the words. “Fuck me,” he said softly. “That’s not the problem I was talking about at all.”

  Under the Moon Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million |  

Their power gives them strength…and makes them targets. Quinn Caldwell is the epitome of a modern goddess. Her power source is the moon, her abilities restricted only by physical resources and lunar phase. She runs a consulting business and her father’s bar, serves on the board of the ancient Society for Goddess Education and Defense, and yearns for Nick Jarrett, professional goddess protector and the soul mate she can never have. But someone has developed the rare and difficult ability to drain a goddess of her powers, and Quinn is a target. With the world thinking Nick has gone rogue (whatever that means) and that Quinn is influenced by “family ties” she didn’t know she had, keeping themselves safe while working to find the enemy proves harder each day. But not as hard as denying their hearts…

  Look for Heavy Metal, Book 2 in the Goddesses Rising series, in March 2013!

Natalie J. Damschroder grew up in Massachusetts, and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she's not writing romantic adventure for Carina Press and paranormal romance for Entangled Publishing, she does freelance editing and works part time as a chiropractic assistant. She and her husband have two daughters they've dubbed "the anti-teenagers," one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.) You can learn more about Natalie and her books at her website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. She blogs with a number of fantastic romance authors at Everybody Needs a Little Romance and just to hear herself talk at Indulge Yourself.



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