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Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Dangerous Calling by A.J. Larrieu

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Dangerous Calling by A.J. LarrieuI’m so thrilled to be spending my release day with Vampire Book Club! Dangerous Calling is the second book in my dark, sexy urban fantasy series, The Shadowminds, and it continues the story of Cass Weatherfield, the damaged and powerful telekinetic I introduced in Twisted Miracles.

When Cass first came to me as a character, I knew she had a lot of flaws to work through, and in this second installment in the series, I got to explore just how deep those demons run. Following a character down into the shadowy parts of her personality can lead a story to some dark places, and today, I wanted to give readers just a hint of the consequences of Cass’s powerful abilities.

I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt with Vampire Book Club, a scene that takes place midway through the book. Cass is returning to the fishing camp where the villain she took care of in Twisted Miracles kept his stash of money and weapons. This scene gives just a taste of the damage her dangerous powers can inflict on the environment—and on Cass herself.

EXCERPT

Shane eased the boat into a turn in the Amite River. We’d just left Lake Maurepas behind, and the way was still wide. It was a gorgeous day for a ride, all blue sky and glass-smooth water. The banks were lush and green with palmetto plants and blackberry bushes, cypress and tupelo. We passed a group of kids out waterskiing and had to slow down for a fisherman taking advantage of a fallen log against the bank. Shane waved to him in apology for the wake, and he waved back and returned to his line.

The first camps showed up at the turn to Blue Sand River, only a few of them, some long abandoned to rot. Of the ones that were still in good repair, only one had a boat tied to the dock.

“After the next bend, I think.” I’d only been to the Tooleys’ camp a handful of times, and half of them, I’d teleported. I began to fear I wouldn’t be able to find it, but we went through the next turn and I saw it. A weathered white camp on tall stilts, surrounded by swampland in a turn of the river.

“There.”

It had never been in good repair, but the past months of neglect had sent it over the edge. One of the planks that formed the low dock had broken, and at least half of the paint had curled off, leaving the exposed wood open to wet and rot. I stopped worrying about whether the cash was still there and started worrying whether the building would support us while we looked for it.

Shane bumped the throttle down to idle and took the boat around back. As we approached what remained of the dock, I caught sight of the swamp stretching out behind the camp and went still.

“What—?” Shane began, picking up on my distress, but when he looked up he went quiet.

For fifty yards around the camp, everything was dead.

We were smack in the middle of a sweltering Louisiana summer. The trees farther from the camp were bright green and lush, thick with leaves and the bright signs of wildlife I could pick up with my powers. Closer to the camp, the trees were gray and brittle. Not only that—the underbrush was nonexistent. The lack of overhead foliage should’ve encouraged a swarm of smaller plants taking advantage of the unfiltered subtropical sun. Some grasses and smaller plants had taken root at the edges of the dead zone, but the center was barren.

I’d scorched the marshy earth when I’d teleported from this spot months ago. Here was the cost.

Shane was quiet while he tied the boat off to one of the remaining pylons. We climbed the rickety ladder to the porch without speaking, and I held my breath while I waited to see if the planks would take our weight. A few of them bowed under my feet, but they didn’t break.

“You okay?” Shane asked.

I didn’t answer him. I stared at the wall of the camp, the one that formed the back of the porch. The pattern of peeled paint was odd, as though the destruction had grown from some central point like an organic thing, a starburst pattern with feathery arms. I walked forward and put my hand to the center, remembering. This was the point from which the ice my gift created had crept over the building.

“Cass?”

“I’m fine.”

“Should we go in?” His voice was careful and I hated it.

“Yeah.” I walked past Shane into the camp’s austere bedroom. The door was still open; bills still littered the floor.

“Jesus.” He hit his knees and began gathering them up. “How much is here?”

“Like I said, no clue. I was more worried about getting back to you.” I went to the trap door and opened it.

It was full of cash. Packed. Nestled among the bills was an open metal box I knew once contained a gun. A box of ammo was tucked to one side.

“How much do we need?”

I looked up. Shane stood over me, his hands full of cash. There had to be thousands of dollars, here. Tens of thousands. The bills had gotten moldy in the months of damp. We were going to have to literally launder this money.

I looked at the pile and the slivers of muddy water visible through the cracks in the floorboards. “All of it.”

You can find out more about Dangerous Calling and read the first chapter here, and you can see where the series started here. Thanks so much to Vampire Book Club for helping me celebrate my release day!

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26 Responses to “Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Dangerous Calling by A.J. Larrieu”

  1. Ashley says:

    I can’t wait to read it sounds good!

  2. Patrycja Chudziak says:

    I love it already…need a good new vampire story..*crossing fingers* TY for the chance!!!

  3. Michelle Pike says:

    Sounds great. Love that it’s set in Louisiana. 🙂 Definitely going on my must read list.

  4. Lais says:

    looks awesome!!!

  5. erinf1 says:

    Congrats AJ on the series!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!! These sounds fantastic 🙂

  6. Geenakmom says:

    This sounds so interesting and has grabbed me. This is definitely going on my TBR list.

  7. Pam Blome says:

    Thanks for the opportunity, looks like a good read!

  8. Zonell Conant says:

    Dangerous Calling sounds so good! Love the cover

  9. Aliyah says:

    It sounds super fun… adding it to my pile of things to read now!

  10. Katie says:

    Sounds good!

  11. Mary Preston says:

    This does sound like a great read.

  12. Laura says:

    Thanks for the giveaway, looks like a good read!

  13. Jessie H. says:

    Twisted Miracles was so good! I can’t wait to read Dangerous Calling!

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