Today I’m going to introduce you to Two Witches and a Whiskey – the third book in The Guild Codex: Spellbound series by Annette Marie. There’s an excerpt and a giveaway, but first: a little bit about the book.
Publication date: February 8, 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, magic, witches, mages, fae
Three months ago, I landed a job as a bartender. But not at a bar—at a guild. Yeah, the magic kind.
I’m not a badass mage like my three smokin’ hot best friends. I’m not a sorcerer or an alchemist, or even a wussy witch. I’m just a human, slinging drinks like a pro and keeping my non-magical nose out of mythic business. Seriously, I know my limits.
So why am I currently standing in a black-magic ritual circle across from a fae lord?
Somewhere behind me, my three mage friends are battling for their lives. Somewhere near my feet is the rogue witch I just knocked out with a stolen spell. And I have about five seconds to convince this very angry sea god not to shmoosh me like a bug.
I’m pretty sure this wasn’t part of the job description.
At first, I saw nothing. Then the air shimmered, rippled, and melted. A shape materialized from the darkness.
“Such fascinating chaos, brazen one.” The otherworldly voice whispered across my senses as the creature’s form solidified. It was a fae.
A fae I recognized.
Flowing garments in unfamiliar fabrics draped his lean body, but that wasn’t the strangest thing about him. No, that would be the black dragon wings rising off his back, the long tail slithering along the leaf litter behind him, and the dark talons that tipped his slender fingers.
“Echo?” With effort, I closed my jaw. It had been weeks since my first and only glimpse of the dragon wyldfae’s humanoid form. “What are you doing here?”
“I have answered your summons, as promised.” He glided closer, silent on the forest floor. Halting beside me, he gazed toward the ocean and the dual battles—one between my mages and the rogues, and one between the leviathan and the ritual circle. “A most unpleasant night, I see.”
I stared at his flawless skin, so close. I wanted to touch his delicately pointed ears and feel the texture of his braided black hair, shining with blue and purple streaks, that hung over one shoulder down to his waist. He didn’t seem real, more like a dream than a living creature.
Another enraged cry from the leviathan down on the beach snapped me out of my daze. “I didn’t call you.”
His large, dark eyes turned to me. Crystalline, pupilless, and with a hint of swirling stars in their depths. “You touched my mark upon your arm and called my name.”
“No, I didn’t. I touched my arm but I—I only thought your name. Silently.”
His lips curved in an unsettling smile, and I remembered a certain druid’s warning to be very
careful around this wyldfae.
A purplish glow blazed across the foreshore. The leviathan had reached the circle, and its lines pulsed with light. Contorting its thick, powerful body, the sea fae screamed as it was dragged toward the rogue in the center.
“Great fae!” Odette gasped, her voice shaking so badly the words were nearly incomprehensible. “Oh, noble lord, please, I beg you. Intercede in this black ritual and save your kin.”
Echo didn’t react to her plea. He studied the struggling leviathan, then appraised me with the same disconcerting focus. “You called, and I have answered. What aid may I give you?”
I pointed. “Can you stop that?”
“No longer.” His leathery wings stretched wide, brushing the nearby trees, then folded against his back. “Llyrlethiad is already bound. All that remains is for the witch to enslave him.”
My stomach dropped. Aaron, Kai, and Ezra were fighting to save the fae, but it was already too late. “There’s nothing we can do?”
Echo canted his head. “Wrong question, little one.”
Urgency pounded through me, and I struggled to calm myself, to think. To understand what the fae wanted me to ask.
“What can I do?” I blurted.
He smiled, flashing his predatory fangs. “You can deliver Llyrlethiad from the witch’s enslavement. I will instruct you how, and the debt between us shall be met.”
“Okay, yes! I agree,” I added formally.
Echo’s tail lashed side to side, rustling the shrubbery. “The witch holds a relic of fae power, for no human magic could enslave one such as Llyrlethiad. Part the relic from the witch’s hold and you will save Llyrlethiad from his fate. This you must accomplish before the ritual is complete.”
“How long until it’s complete?”
Echo glanced into the sky where the full moon hung above the ocean. “Minutes.”
Well, that was specific. “Anything else I need to know?”
“This you alone can do.” Another fang-laden smile. “I shall offer one more small assistance.”
His elegant hands closed around my upper arms. Wings unfurling, he drifted weightlessly upward, and with a flick of his tail he pulled me off the bluff.
I choked on a shriek as we dropped, but his huge wings caught the air and my feet settled lightly on the ground. The pressure of his touch faded to a whisper and his soft, alien voice crooned in my ear.
“Farewell, brazen one.”
I twisted around, but he was already gone. Okay then.
Facing the battlefield, I gulped down a wave of panic. I was on my own, but I could do this. I would make it work.
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Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and the romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
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