I am happy to share that today I’ve got another Book Roulette post and this time I get to help promote an exciting Urban Fantasy/Apocalyptic series. Candace Wondrak’s novel, A MARK UNWILLING, kicks off The Reckoning Trilogy with a sassy heroine who started her day as a college student and ends it facing down the horsemen of the Apocalypse. She was marked at birth, her soul sold to an unknown master. Today she finds out who, and with any luck why. Keep reading to find out more about this series including a few exclusive excerpts!
A MARK UNWILLING
(The Reckoning #1)
NA Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Apocalypse
Published May 01, 2018
209 Pages (eBook)
Gods. Angels. Devils. The Apocalypse just got complicated.
Lexa Blue thought she had her life figured out. She’d go to college, maybe get a job, and wait until the Demon whose Mark she bears comes to collect her soul. No real concrete plans since it wouldn’t matter in the end. What she did not expect was the end of the world.
Conquest. War. Pestilence. Death.
Even with her trusted Warlock friend, David, Lexa is clueless about how to stop the apocalypse—but she’ll still try; because of her Mark, she can’t die. Who better to fight the Horsemen?
It’s not that simple. With a prophetic girl as a new sidekick, a group of Vampires who’re suspect, and an FBI Agent who somehow knows her connection to the biblical figures, Lexa’s life is going to get a heck of a lot worse before it gets better.
When her Demon finally comes to claim her, will she be ready?
A Mark Unwilling is the first in The Reckoning trilogy, an Urban Fantasy/Apocalyptic mashup perfect for fans of Buffy, Supernatural, and quirky characters!
I cross the quad, earbuds in. My bag with my notebooks was recovered. The voicemail said the president has it and wants to give it to me and meet with me about the gunman and my heroic actions. Not on my agenda anytime soon.
As I mentally wrestle with myself over it (it is my favorite Jack Skellington bag, after all), I ram shoulders with a girl whose stature is even smaller than mine, dressed in an ensemble of not-so-colorful hues. She tumbles back, her notebooks flying every which way. Papers scatter.
Pulling out an earbud, I say, “Sorry.” I help her gather her stuff when I see that notes aren’t what’s written on the pages. They’re drawings. A seven-headed beast wearing crowns on each gruesome head. A dragon descending to earth. A group of four horses.
Before it registers, she snatches them from me, muttering softly, “Those are private.” Her retort is cut short when she meets my gaze. Her wide, innocent eyes flicker with resemblance, her orange hair flapping in the wind that picked up in the last minute. “You…it’s you.”
I blink, too busy with the girl to see that a man with a hood stands in the center of the quad. “Yes, it’s me. If you want to talk about what happened the other day, sorry, but I don’t—”
“No,” she replies, pulling away from me, a look of horror on her face. “It’s you—you’re his.”
Does she mean the Mark? I have a different leather jacket on, and skinny jeans coupled with my ankle-high boots, so it’s definitely covered. How could she know about my Mark?
A scream rings out, and both the girl and I turn to look at the hooded man. Wielding a large knife that resembles a dagger, he lunges toward the nearest college student, stabbing a girl in a Star Wars shirt, cutting open her abdomen in a garish display of blood and guts. Before anyone can run, he grabs another, slicing the boy’s throat. He throws the boy down, letting him bleed out on the grass, and the man’s hood falls. The man has a tattoo on his forehead—the same tattoo as the shooter. He seems to stare directly at me and, despite the chaos and screaming around me, I have a crystal clear view of him raising his knife and impaling himself, directly in the tattoo.
“No!” the girl cries, pulling away from me. “No!”
All other students run, frantically calling the cops, but the girl with the strange drawings and I stay. Out of fear or something else, I don’t know. We watch as the cloaked man falls. His blood mingles with the other two students, and I hear sirens in the distance. Campus police are coming.
The girl beside me turns, whispering, “Oh, my God.”
I follow her line of sight. A pool of dark blood grows where the dead lay, and out of it rises something from a horror flick. A four-legged being, nothing but tendons and muscle, and a rider who is much the same. As the animal shakes off the blood, it steps forward, now a pure, white horse. Its rider, though in the shape of a man, remains bloodied. A helmet covers its face, a dark, soulless black pit. In its skeletal hand is a bow made of bones, held together by gruesome flesh stitched together. The bowstring is a tight tendon.
I naturally step between the girl and the horse. Even though she knows something, I’m the one that’s next to invincible, not her.
The horned helmet tilts as its black, eyeless face watches my protective stance. On the street, a campus police vehicle skids to a stop. Before the officer can step out, an arrow crafted of old, gnarly bone soars through the air, breaking through the windshield and impaling the young man who was only trying to do his job.
As my mouth falls, and I try to put two and two together, the rider aims another arrow at the girl. I move between them once I realize it, and to my shock, the rider slowly lowers his drawn arrow.
He won’t shoot me.
I must have my Mark to thank.
Like it hears my thoughts, the Mark on my wrist burns. The very same spot that hurt last night, only this time, the pain goes halfway up to my elbow. Well…great.
The white horse exhales a puff of smoke, and with a dash, it and its frightening rider are gone, galloping away.
Watching it go, my shaking hands reach for my phone, dialing David. He picks up almost instantly. “David, we might have a slight problem.” He remains quiet, probably knowing what I’m about to say. “I think I just met the first Horseman of the Apocalypse.”
He sighs into the phone. “This is what I was worried about.”
“The end of the world?” I offer. “Yeah, that’s something you should’ve mentioned last night.”
pooled ink Review
A Mark Unwilling is an action-packed tale of the Apocalypse with a snarky heroine who gets a front row seat to the chaos unfolding on earth. Teeming with the paranormal, an unexpected ragtag group set on facing the End, and an interesting twist on the apocalyptic theme that keeps the story intriguing and raging forwards.
A BETRAYAL SO CRUEL
(The Reckoning #2)
NA Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Apocalypse
Published June 01, 2018
200 Pages (eBook)
A vengeful God. A Devil out for himself. And the Angels? If only they were trustworthy.
Lexa Blue’s life changed the day the apocalypse started. With her Mark activated and her Devil Master glowering and looking way too attractive, it’s only a matter of time until someone gives in. And, just like always, it’ll be her. Too bad giving in means traveling to the Underworld to save him.
A journey into a place of myth is the least of her worries, though, for when she comes back, nothing is the same. Humanity is all but gone. Hades is on the track to victory, but at what cost? Lexa will fight him until the end, until the owner of her soul forces her not to. With any luck she’ll be able to find her friends and family a new place to call home.
Before the final Reckoning, lines are drawn…and lives are lost. Running from her heart will only make it worse. This betrayal will be the cruelest of them all.
A Betrayal so Cruel is the second in The Reckoning trilogy, an Urban Fantasy/Apocalyptic mashup perfect for fans of Buffy, Supernatural, and quirky characters!
“Come at me, bro,” I say. “Bros. Sis…sisses?” As I fumble, the Harpies recoil, and within a moment, they’ve flied away. “Yeah, that’s right. Fly away like…birds.” My pathetic attempt at an insult earns a lifted brow from Dagon as he heads toward the cavern. “What?” I mutter as I get beside him. “It’s been a long day.”
“I spy with my little eye,” I say, slowing down to take an entrance ramp that would drop us onto a highway we can take through the mountain range, “something green.” I Spy. A game we took up, mostly me, to break the never-ending silence.
In the backseat, I have one particularly eager and competitive player. I’ll let you have one guess as to who it is.
“That tree,” Dagon says, pointing out of the window. “No, that tree. No! That bush over there!” His theatrics were amusing, the first six or seven times he got into it, but now, I just feel like shooting myself. This must be what parents feel like when taking their young kids on road trips, when the kids ask every two seconds are we there yet?
My lead foot releases the gas pedal as we get on the highway, the car coasting to a stop as my eyes see something so unexplainable, I can’t find any words to say.
Dagon’s head pops between Cloud and I, and he says in earnest, “Can you choose something else? There’s nothing green here.”
I don’t respond. Instead, I slowly get out of the car, stunned, stupefied, befuddled. If only I were getting out of a Jeep and seeing a live dinosaur. That would be worlds better than this. I look all around us. Ahead of us, to our left and right, where the first rolling hills of the Appalachians should be.
It’s nothing but dirt. Flat, empty dirt. Like someone drawing a wire to cut clay, it’s as if someone did the same to the land. The mountains—along with everything on them, the road, the trees, the towns that were nestled in them—are gone.
A RECKONING SO SWEET
(The Reckoning #3)
NA Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Apocalypse
Coming July 01, 2018!
The goddess herself stands with her head held high, tilted to the side, studying me. Shiny golden armor covers her body, yellow chainmail hanging from her waist like a short warrior’s skirt. Gilded greaves cling to her legs, her suit of armor more practical than sexualized.
I have to force my eyes up off the owls adorning her chest piece when she says, “We do hear every time you speak our names, Champion. More often than not, we simply choose not to come.”
Good to know, but I have business to take care of. “I need to go to Olympus.”
Gods, Seraphs and Devils fight for the right to claim the Earth as their own. In the middle, Lexa stands with Dagon, but what is she willing to give in order to defeat Hades and Lucifer for good? The Reckoning is here.
Hey guys! I’m a writer, an office worker, a wife, a mother to two dogs and two cats, and half of a strange pair of young adults who flip the houses they’re living in with the goal of having no mortgage (so that I can eventually focus on my writing career!). Needless to say, I’m busy.
Still, I somehow find time to write, to read, and to enjoy life. Wish there were more hours in the day, really!
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