Thursday, October 18, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway: A Trace of Moonlight by Allison Pang

UFI welcomes Allison Pang Author of The Abby Sinclair Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

Trace of Moonlight Excerpt

Ripples in the darkness.

The pit of my stomach dropped to find myself here again, the waves pinched with a deceptive stillness. A current stirred by my toes, the brush of something large sending chills through my legs. I swallowed hard against a rising panic, and the cotton dryness of my mouth flushed with salt as a whitecap slapped me in the face.

My breathing went shallow, the rise and fall of my chest echoed in the hammering of my heart. Dimly I reached for the training Brystion’s sister, Sonja, had started with me, trying to fi nd the last bit of calm to gather my power around me and consciously control the Dreaming.

Shield . . .

I imagined a white light, fitting it to my skin and pushing out. Something scraped my calf and I bit back a whimper, the hot warmth of my blood spilling into the stinging sea.

Don’t move . . .

Push. Push. Push.

I got a basic handle on it, finally opening my eyes to find myself glowing, the edges of my shield a few inches away from my body. It was enough. 

I stifled a scream as the first shark rolled past me, its tail propelling its massive form with a slow ease. No rushing in for the kill yet.

The bells in my hair chimed mockingly. What are you afraid of? You died. What could possibly frighten you here?

Get over yourself.

The thought splashed over me even as anger flooded my limbs. It was right.

Was I simply a hapless dreamer?

“No,” I whispered. “No.” I was a KeyStone. TouchStone  to the King of the Unseelie Court. Daughter of True Thomas. I’d worn the Key to the CrossRoads. I’d made a deal with the devil and come back from the dead.

I was a motherfucking Dreamer.

The power exploded from me in a heated shimmer, white flame pushing away the darkness, the thick sense of nothingness enveloping me against the glare. For a moment I caught the slivered edge of a dorsal fin slicing past me and then it skittered away into the void.

A momentary thrill of victory swelled my chest as I realized I’d actually managed to thrust my nightmares into some far distant corner. Not defeated, of course. I wasn’t sure if the darkness that lingered in my psyche would ever truly be lifted . . . but this was a start.

What had Sonja told me that one time?

You limit yourself to your own sense of physics.

The bells sounded a soft ring of agreement and I scowled at them, the shield settling into a slightly less obnoxious glow.

“Float,” I commanded, watching as it became more of a sphere. I shrugged at myself. Glinda the Good Witch it would have to be. Abruptly, the water around me receded and the bubble propelled itself upward.

My hands stretched out as though to lean against the curved walls, but I hesitated, unsure if it would pop should I touch it.

Which was ridiculous since I was standing on the thing. I let my fingers slide against the surface of the shield, a thrum of power racing up my palms to my elbow.

A tingle pulsed in my chest. Home.

The bubble shifted direction, leaving the cold blackness of the sea behind it. I’d traveled this way
once before, only Brystion had been the one to create and control it. The memory of it clung to me in an unsubtle reminder of what had happened next, the way our lives had entwined and the betrayal afterward.

And still. Where had he gone?

Beneath me, the sea faded away. The sharks did not make another appearance, but I kept a watchful eye anyway. I had my momentum; I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get it again if I let my defenses drop.

Where was the Heart of my Dreaming? I peered into the darkness, straining to see the shadow of the old Victorian, the iron gate around it, but in the end there was nothing but fog. I hesitated, not wanting to press my luck too far. Sonja had told me I had the power to be a DreamWalker during our training, and Ion had actually shown me the Dreaming Hearts of others, but the last thing I wanted was to stumble into someone else’s dreams.

Not like this.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to wander around in this void for too much longer. And if I stumbled across the CrossRoads? An uncomfortable twist roiled in my gut. Would the Queen’s geas apply even here? This was not the time to find out. Besides, even if I could make it to the CrossRoads from here, my body would still be in Faerie. Without Ion or Sonja to help me back to the Dreaming, my physical body would die.

I didn’t want to do that again either.

“A few more minutes and I’ll try to wake up,” I told myself. Worry niggled at me. Where the hell was my Heart? I’d always been able to find it before.

The mist began to dissipate as my brow furrowed and I realized I was standing in the burned-out remains of a forest. Charred and blackened bark peeled away from a crumpled willow tree, its leaves nothing more than tattered bits.

I stared at it. I knew this tree. This was my tree. From my garden behind my . . . house. I stood up with a jerk, pacing away from the fallen giant. My foot scraped against concrete. I knelt and the shield faded, taking away most of the light. I’d have been more concerned about that, but my attention was on the bricks I’d stumbled upon. The foundation.

My fingers traced a circle in the soot. The house at the center of my Dreaming Heart had burned too.

What the hell had happened?

A marine biologist in a former life, Allison Pang turned to a life of crime to finance her wild spending habits and need to collect Faberge eggs. A cat thief of notable repute, she spends her days sleeping and nights scaling walls and wooing dancing boys….Well, at least the marine biology part is true. But she was taloned by a hawk once.  She also loves Hello Kitty, sparkly shoes, and gorgeous violinists.

She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids and cats, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes.

Find Allison and her books

A Trace of Moonlight
Abby Sinclair #3


Drinking from the waters of lethe and offering herself up as Faerie’s sacrificial Tithe . . . these just might be the least of Abby Sinclair’s problems. Abby’s pact with a daemon—whether or not she remembers making it—is binding, so she’d better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there’s nearly always a loophole. But her friends’ reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal, then gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. On top of everything else, she’s lost the Key to the CrossRoads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the OtherWorld and put its very existence in jeopardy. Only one person can make things right again, but to find her, Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.
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