I have something super exciting today and it is the cover reveal of the second book in The Enertia Tirals series. As you may remember, i really liked the first book and i have been excited about this sequel since I finished Afterimage. You can find my review for the first book here : Afterimage
I think it looks sooooo cool. I’m seriously excited to get my hands on this book! Encender comes out february 29th!
AFTERIMAGE : «Reggie’s dreams . . . aren’t dreams. Visions of the future flood her mind like shards of broken puzzles. Caged in her cell, every morning begins the same. She’s drugged, tortured, and images are torn from her memory by Public One. Until the morning everything changes. The vision is different. The future’s never been about her, and now she knows they’re coming for her: Nomads. How will she convince them to keep her alive when Nate, their leader, doesn’t like or even trust her? To him, she’s a science experiment. A machine. When Public One will do anything to keep her, Reggie must make a decision: remain a slave to her past, or risk her future to venture into a world more terrifying than she’s ever known.»
buy Afterimage here : X
Oh and the lovely Jernae Kowallis sent me the first chapter of the book, hope you enjoy this little sneak peek of Encender :
Everything was dead. His eyes felt dead. The earth. The sounds of the morning. Even the blazing sun threatened to consume itself in its own deadly heat. The only object seemingly oblivious to this mass execution was the engine of the rusted Ford pickup that roared like a lion with a bellyache.
Estevan Benitez couldn’t get them out of his thoughts. He ran a hand over his eyes again and then cupped his mouth in his hand, his other wrist lazily positioned on the top of the steering wheel.
A lineup of people. An older woman and man, two young men in their thirties, a young woman and her bastard children. Each gunned down while the killers laughed, holding Estevan back.
They weren’t just people though. Were they? After all, his family was his soul. Now they were dead and so was he.
Why should it shock him? His whole life, he’d been their plague. A black mark on his father’s insignificant reputation. And for what? Some cheap thrills and ties to a so-called band of brothers?
He knew the consequences. Dammit. He knew if he didn’t show up for his fight, the ring owner would come after him. Why grow a conscience right then? Or have a mental breakdown?
Estevan beat the top of the steering wheel.
He should have just fought. Why hadn’t he fulfilled his contract?
Because you’re a selfish weak pendejo, he thought to himself. They were murdered because you failed to fight. You ran. Coward.
The truck rattled, wobbling on its flat tire over the broken pavement faster than he knew he should be going in such a beat up piece of shit. He didn’t care to pull over and change it. He had no spare. If he could just get it to catch on a crack, perhaps veer to the left, at a speed too high to control, maybe he could end it all.
Estevan’s foot pressed harder on the gas. His eyes strained to see through the waves of heat shimmering above the sweltering broken highway. Sweat poured into his eyes and he wiped it away. He was still sore. Cut. Bruised. And that wasn’t just the injuries from yesterday.
Something in the street came into focus. Lying in the road. What in the hell? He was going to hit it. Estevan slammed on the brakes. The truck lurched and his body flew toward the windshield. His seatbelt snatched him backward, and he cussed when the truck lurched to a complete stop.
The engine continued to groan in his ears, the only sound for miles.
He stared blankly at the tattooed letters across his knuckles, the skin white from gripping the steering wheel. Muerte Favorita.
He looked up and narrowed his eyes on the road. Sonofa bitch, he thought to himself, almost whispering it aloud.
Estevan released his grasp and unbuckled his seatbelt, scrambling for the release button. The corroded hinges on the pickup squealed in objection to the door’s swinging movement. His feet hit the crumbled pavement. It was cooler outside than in the cab, shockingly. Even then, he could feel the heat rising through the rubber soles of his boots.
He had to have imagined it. There was no way there could have been . . . .
Estevan widened his eyes when he saw. He hadn’t been hallucinating. It was a child. A kid. Alone.
The young girl, not much older than an eight-year-old, was tucked into the fetal position on her right side, her back facing the nose of his pickup. Only two inches
separated her small body and the kiss of burning steel that had nearly run her over.
She looked like she’d been casually dropped there, laid to rest for a mid-afternoon nap. Peaceful almost, with porcelain skin and long dark eyelashes. At least, she would have looked that way if her body wasn’t sweating profusely. He could see dehydration in her body—pale skin, dry cracked lips, sweat-drenched hair and clothing.
Estevan looked up and down the road. There was no sign of any other vehicle on the road, not a person within miles. How long had she been sleeping there?
He stepped closer, careful of his distance. She was definitely breathing. She laid there calmly, hand cupped under her head. Yet, there was no sign of struggle or abuse anywhere on her.
What type of idiot would just dropped off a kid on the highway? He couldn’t just leave her here, could he? Unless she were close to death anyway. Maybe she was there because of that. Diseased, or injured beyond help somehow.
If he quickly drove around her, no one would know. He couldn’t take care of a child anyway. He could barely feed himself let alone a little girl. Soon the birds and scavengers would find her. Or maybe someone else. Someone else who could take better care of her.
Estevan’s boots shifted and his heel clipped the edge of a loose chunk of pavement. He stopped.
What was he doing? Walk away? Leave her to die? He knew no one else would come. He hadn’t seen another vehicle or body for four hundred miles now.
Then again, it wasn’t his responsibility. Not his kid, not his problem. He turned to shuffle back to the truck.
A wind picked up, blowing his shaggy sweat-drenched hair from his cheeks. Sand and dirt stung his face and arms. He squinted against the wind-blown debris and frowned, coming to a stop.
The wind died off, leaving him in stillness. Just the sound of the engine again. He reached for the door handle.
A billow of wind slammed against his body. Threatening to push him over.
“No!” he growled, looking up at the sky. “You’ve got the wrong hombre! You hear me, God? Jesus Christ, Great Spirit, whatever the hell you are! We both know she’ll die if I take her!”
She’d die if he left her, too.
The wind slowed to a gentle breeze. Warm. Irritating.
Estevan clenched the door handle, his knuckles turning white. This couldn’t be happening to him. He didn’t know how to take care of a little girl.
He looked down at the ground, the sand and dirt now still. Maybe he had to take her. Some sort of redeeming second chance that fate was cursing him with. The chance to save someone where he’d failed to save his family.
He looked up into the sky again. “You’ve got to be kidding. ¿Yo? I’m nobody.”
Another blast of warm wind hit the side of his face, spinning up dirt and more sand.
“Okay! Okay!” he waved his arms at the gusting blow to fend it off.
Estevan turned and walked back toward the kid. She breathed slower now. The heat was killing her. He slipped his arms under her knees and upper body, and unwillingly picked her up. She was hotter than he expected her to be. Burning.
Her hair was damp. It stuck to his sweaty arm like long leeches. She was surprisingly lightweight. Almost like she wasn’t there. The hard heals of his boots crunched on the cracked pavement with each heavy step. When he reached the truck, Estevan carefully drew the door open, propping it with his shoulder, and lowered her into the passenger side seat.
Around her wrist was a black band. Metal of some sort. He fingered it, trying to get a good look. Along one side, there was what looked like a highly advanced scan code and on the other, in large bold letters appeared a single engraved word: RANSLEY.
Estevan lifted his eyebrow. Hopefully it was her name. Maybe some clue to get her back to where she belonged.
A canteen of somewhat drinkable water had been rolling back and forth on the floor of the pickup and he leaned over for it. He took off the plastic cap to pour water down her throat, hoping to get her moving again. Maybe if she woke up, she could tell him if there was a family he could leave her with.
The water steamed when it contacted her peeling lips. Estevan stumbled backward away from the truck’s open door and cussed. Steam?
He looked at the water bottle and then back at the girl. Careful not to wake her, he reached forward and touched her face. Snapping his hand back, he hissed. She was too hot for even him to touch. The water had directly turned to steam on her skin.
Little girl, huh? More like a little demon.
She wasn’t simply dehydrated; her skin was burning up. Most likely her insides were, too.
The girl’s eyelids flickered and shot open, wildly staring at him. Panic flooded her eyes and her mouth opened wide enough for him to see her back teeth.
Her scream pierced Estevan’s ears, drilling into his ear drums. He clamped his hands over them to save his hearing from bursting. The scream intensified and instantaneous fire erupted from under the hood of the pickup. A wall of heat slammed into him, singeing the hairs on his arms and face, propelling him backward.
Estevan tripped on a roadside bush, his eyes glued to the girl. He dropped to his knees in shock. The girl reared back in the seat, scrambling in panic while the flames rose on the other side of the glass and out through the cab’s vents. Her screams intensified, along with the inferno.
He rushed forward, snatching the child by her arm and out of the truck, hugging her searing body close to him. Having never been around his youngest siblings, he had
no clue how to console a scared little girl, but he tried to calm her down. Hushing her, talking softly in his thick Spanish.
“Está bien. Está bien, Ransley.”
She didn’t respond. Her fists beat at him, trying to push herself away. He could feel her body burning hotter, but he couldn’t let her go. Ransley continued to shake and scream the more he held her. The flames reacted to each cry, climbing higher, licking the windshield. Each scream, created a billow of smoke. Each breath she took in spurned the inferno on inside the cab.
Estevan watched the blaze, entranced.
“Hush, hush,” he barely whispered. “I won’t hurt you.”
The fire leapt again with her shriek. Estevan fell backward to his culo, keeping the kid tucked against him. He couldn’t look at anything else. Just the flames. They were connected to her. To her fear and her emotions. How was it possible?
His eyes burned from the heat. Finally, he had to look away, dropping his gape to the girl, filled with a mixture of terror and amazement.
A girl like this just left behind on the road? No. She wasn’t left there by accident. None of this was an accident.
“What in the world are you, perdida? Where did you come from?”