Cradled: Beholder 4.5, by Christina Bauer **Read Chapter One-Giveaway**
Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
An Epilogue Novella
At last, Elea and Rowan are settling in to their new lives. Trouble is, Rowan is spending a lot of time cleaning up messes from his childhood. And considering the nightmare that was his mother, those are some ugly messes indeed. In fact, the experience is enough to make Rowan vow that he never wants children of his own.
Someone was wearing out their knuckles on my bedroom door. Yanking my covers over my head, I tried blocking out the sound. It didn’t work.
I stifled a groan. Most days, I’d say this about my life: It’s good to be the queen. Sadly, today wasn’t one of those days. Last night, I’d asked the castle servants not to disturb me until dawn. Now I lay in bed, trying to rest, and yet?
Whoever it was, they weren’t giving up.
I opened my eyes a crack, finding myself alone in bed. My husband wasn’t here, but that was no surprise. Rowan knew I wanted to sleep in, so he’d slipped off a while ago. As for my bedchamber, the place looked as it always did. The red stone walls were lined with tapestries of animals being magickally brought to life by mages. My own spell books lay in neat piles on a nearby table.
Peering through the chamber’s window holes, the outside world looked dark. Definitely not morning. There could only be one explanation; the staff must have missed my orders to sleep in.
“Please return later,” I called. “At dawn.”
A muffled voice echoed through the closed door. “It’s long past dawn. The sun came up more than twelve hours ago.”
The speaker was Jicho, my little brother in law. “Are you toying with me?” Jicho loved his practical jokes.
“Not at all. It’s nine o’clock at night. The Fete of the Family has already started. Rowan’s been there for hours.”
Sitting up, I carefully scanned the view from my window. Sure enough, the moon peeped over the sill.
That was unexpected, not to mention concerning. Rowan’s people were Creation Casters, mages who gained magick from life. I’d been trained as a Necromancer, so my mage powers were drawn from the echoes of existence in bones. Together, we’d been ruling both classes of magick users for a year now, and I’d learned one thing early on.
Creation Casters loved their festivals. A lot.
Rowan and I tried to attend as many celebrations as passible, and Fete of the Family was one of the biggest. Not one that I wanted to miss. After pushing off my covers, I set my bare feet on the cold marble floor. “I’ll join you soon.”
In this case, soon meant after I had a warm bath and some hot food. Caster parties lasted all night. No doubt, there was still plenty of time to join the fun.
“No, you need to hurry.” Jicho lowered his voice to a hush. “I’ve had a vision.”
My breath caught. Although he was only ten years old, Jicho was a powerful Seer who often had painfully accurate visions of the future.
This was not good.
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
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