Hey everyone! Today, I’m excited to share with you an excerpt from Amalie Howard’s Bloodcraft, book two in the Cruentus Curse duology. I absolutely adore Amalie! She’s an amazing writer and Bloodcraft was an amazing book! First, here’s more about the book:
All magic has its price, and no one knows that better than Victoria Warrick. Gifted with a centuries-old blood curse, Tori has finally learned to master her blood’s demands and has emerged triumphant with Christian Devereux, a vampire overlord, at her side.
But the worst is yet to come …
In the infamous City of Lights, home to both the Witch Clans and the Vampire Council, Tori enrolls at the exclusive Belles Fontaines school in Paris, where she is faced with a devastating choice: choose Christian and be an outcast, or choose the coven and secure her place with the witches.
When the fate of the supernatural world is targeted by a sinister new threat, Christian and Victoria must unite their two warring species to defeat it. Their bond will be tested, twisted, and sorely weakened, and Tori will find herself in uncharted territory—a dangerous place to be when her blood’s magic has its own dark agenda.
But to save them all, she may have no choice but to invoke its deadly power.
*NOTE: Bloodcraft is Upper YA / New Adult (for mature content–violence, sensuality & language)
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From Chapter Four of Bloodcraft – “The Art of War”
Lucian flinched, wondering why she was bringing up painful, ancient memories. She had chosen Christian over him, even before he had made her a vampire. Lucian often wondered if he had been the one to petition the Council to make her a vampire instead of Christian, whether she’d have accepted him as readily as she had Christian. He forced his jealousy back—she, like everyone else, had fallen for his brother first.
“You chose him,” he said flatly.
Lena sighed. “Yes. I chose him then, but I’m with you now. Regardless, I want you to know if I have to make the same choice between both of you now, I would choose you, Lucian. I stay here with you because I want to be with you. For no other reason. Do you understand that?” Lucian nodded, shaken by the feeling in her voice. He knew that she put up with his violent mood swings and his cruelty—because she did care for him in some way. Lena continued. “I meant what I said earlier. I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that the Council doesn’t execute a death order on your head. If I have to beg for Christian’s help, I will. If I have to crawl, I will, no holds barred. And I don’t give a damn what you do to me because of your stupid pride, do you hear me?”
He crossed the room then and kissed Lena’s neck in exactly the same spot he’d mauled so savagely before. “I’m sorry,” he said. “And I understand. Forgive me?”
She nodded, standing in his embrace for a few minutes before pulling away. “We need to talk.”
“I thought we just did,” he said, walking over to pour himself some cognac. “Drink?” She ignored the invitation. “That was personal. This is different. Lucian, the next Council meeting is in a few weeks. You need to speak with Christian before then. He won’t listen unless you do it.”
“He wants me to beg.” It was not a question. Lucian’s voice was tight.
“No, he knows how you feel about saving people who don’t need saving, remember?”
She softened her next words, as if noticing the sudden shift in his mood. “He needs you to ask him, Lucian. That’s all. No more, no less. Don’t make it more than it is.”
Lucian jerked a hand through his cropped blond hair. She stared at him and he sighed. “Fine,” he said, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. “I’ll talk to him.”
As he said the words, he saw the relief cross her face, and for the first time, felt a root of worry take hold. It took a lot to make Lena anxious. If the Council moved faster than either of them anticipated, his house of cards would be quick to come tumbling down. He’d speak to Christian and put the rest of his plan into place.
So far, if he was successful in instigating a coup against the leadership of the Council, he’d have the allegiance of three of the seven vampire Houses. He could call in blood favors with one more, which left only two to deal with, House Arcan and House Vesily, both of which were formidable opponents. To go up against them would be difficult, but not impossible. If he secured Kristos’s witch, that would bring an added advantage and the benefit of surprise. He’d have to move quickly, and if anything, Lena’s sense of urgency demanded it. Lucian smiled grimly.He had a lot to do in not a whole lot of time, but at least he planned to go down swinging.
He’d give them the showdown of their lives.
About the Author:
AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.
She is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national silver IPPY medalist. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.
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