I am honored to be a stop on this blog tour. These books are raw, gritty and exciting. It is worth your time to check out the descriptions and then the excerpt below. When you realize you want more, click on the buy links at the bottom. You won’t be disappointed.
THE DISCORD TRILOGY
The Golden Apple of Discord – Book 1
***Winner of the Compulsion Reads Quality Book Endorsement***
Taralie Severin and her three sisters are a powerful coven of modern-day witches who banish mythical creatures in between classes and shifts at the police station. But when Taralie is kidnapped by vampires and converted into the undead, her sisters are ordered to execute her for crimes against the Milunfran order. Refusing, the sisters become fugitives from both their kind and vampires alike.
Ignorant and hunted, Taralie becomes entangled with unlikely allies, a band of vampires in hiding from the ruling vamperic government. With this new addition to their coven Taralie must balance duty with desire while learning not everything is as it seems, their enemies are worse than she knows, and she could be on the verge of ending a thousand-year-old civil war.
Abomination – Book 2
Taralie Severin and her sisters have secured a non-aggression pact with the rulers of the vampire world, the Noricum. Having relocated to Cannon Beach, Oregon, Alexander prepares to marry his beloved Tara. But when an encounter with average vampires goes wrong, the Severin coven’s fragile amnesty with the Noricum is destroyed. With the supremacy of their rule challenged, the Noricum set out to restore the balance of power, leaving the Severin family two choices – die on their feet, or live on their knees.
Rubicon – Book 3
Hidden away on a Caribbean island, Tara’s body survived abomination while her mind did not. Strangled from within by Verus’s accumulated memories, the eldest Severin sister struggles under the weight of so many conciseness inside her mind. But the Noricum are not idle, nor are they forgiving. Enraged by Tara’s murdering of their princess, they hunt the Severins relentlessly. After turning a powerful halfling and declaring open war, the Severin coven must choose between defending the Milunfran witches protecting humanity or their own extinction.
The below excerpt is one of the author’s favorites:
“What the-” Cora says. Melise is muddy, crying, and down a couple of digits.
“Watch this!” Tara kicks Melise’s legs out from under her and forces her face into the mud. In vivid color, Tara forces the scene of Blake’s death into her mind. Draco and Lucius appear in his living room with Blake sitting in a recliner, grading math papers on the coffee table. He pulls a lighter out of his pocket but doesn’t get it open before Lucius throws him up against a wall.
First he uses Blake as a battering ram to destroy Tara’s childhood home. Then Lucius feeds on him.
“It was just one human!” Melise screams.
Tara punches the back of her head several times. “I’m the human’s daughter.” She pins Melise’s wrist under her boot and snaps off another finger.
Cora raises her arm, planning on separating the huntress and her prey but Thomas pulls her back by her jacket.
“I want to see what Tara has been concealing from all of us,” he says.
In between punches Melise says, “Please. He’ll give you anything!”
Tara stills her hand and smiles. “Will he now? Let’s go find out.” Placing her hand on Melise’s throat our prisoner goes slack, followed by Tara collapsing on top of her.
All eyes remain on the pile of bodies. The thoughts of everyone, even Aggie, are stunned beyond understanding.
“What was that,” Ruben says.
“Stekie,” Aggie whispers.
“Why are we letting this continue?” Cora asks.
Thomas says, “It’s gotta come out some time.”
We don’t have time for this right now.
“Ann, come with me to the throne room,” I command and offer my hand.
Ann stands beside me in the corner of the great hall. It’s just as we left it but quieter. Only a dozen servants remain. The others have possibly gone to deal with arriving emergency vehicles. The throne room is tucked away under the courtyard in the middle of the castle insulated from the noise outside. The occupants of the throne room are somber. Sabine has returned bearing a gift no one wants. She hands Lucius the finger Tara broke off. He’s cradling it like delicate glass.
“Lucius?” Melise calls out, across the room from the four thrones. His head snaps up. Tara stands next to her.
The vampires part to the sides of the rectangular room leaving Verus, Draco, Sabine, and Priam standing behind Lucius. Tara and Melise move toward them. Ann and I stay hidden in the corner behind some retreating servants.
“He told you killing the father was foolish,” Tara says.
Lucius is incensed. “Return her!”
“Arrogance. That just cost her another finger.” They both disappear.
“Where is she?!” Lucius roars at Draco.
I reply from the corner, “You have no idea what you’ve unleashed.”
My former spy master along with everyone else in the ancient hall snaps their gaze towards me.
“Alexander?” Draco asks, “How did you find her?”
“It doesn’t matter. What matters is we were content to leave you alone.”
Tara returns with Melise. She’s missing another finger. She can’t feel the pain of her body in this state so Tara’s way of torturing Lucius is giving her a reprieve.
“Please,” Melise says to Draco.
“I cannot save you,” he says.
“Lucius?” her voice quivers.
“What do you want, Taralie?”
Tara moves to him very slowly. Her voice is pleasant. “Ask.”
He looks around to the dozen vampires watching with baited breath. His desperation thinly veiled. “Return her.”
She leers in a little closer. “Say please.”
His shoulders sag. “Please, return her.”
“Tell me why? Tell me what she means to you.”
He looks at Melise. “I love her.”
“Kneel.” Tara growls in a low voice. He sinks to his knees, bowing his head to his wife’s torturer. “Beg.”
“Please do not kill her, I will give you anything.”
“There is one thing that will spare her, such as she is.”
If she was really here, her breath would be on his face.
“My father’s life.”
“Noooooo!” He falls forward with a pained cry. Priam comes to his side.
“You sent her to me, the lion at the door. She will die as my father did and you will wish for death before I am done with you.”
Tara announces to the entire room, “It begins with her.”
“Please, Priam, do something!” Lucius begs from the floor.
Tara disappears. The sudden change in scenery and rain on my face tells me Ann has broken the stekie and while the laments of the soon-to-be widower are no longer available to me, the soundtrack here is no better. My wife is once again beating Melise and snapping off fingers.
“We have to stop this.” Ruben whispers as he helps me from the ground. I agree but now that Cora is here for Tara to mimic, are we even capable of it?
“Thomas, sedate her. We have to stop this now.”
“Alex, we should have stopped this weeks ago.”
After a few more punches Tara tears the head off of our doomed prisoner. Tara smiles then takes the gas can Aggie fetched from inside the cabin while I was in Bolugone. She douses her new kill, then takes the box of matches Aggie offers. She strikes a match. Melise erupts into flame.
With the flames and smoke of a Noricum princess rising behind her, Tara takes Melise’s ring out of her pocket, tosses it to Cora, and wipes her muddy hands on her pants. “Next.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Lauren Hodge, a chemist turned author with three children, a lot of friends no one else can see, and a swearing habit. Writing is something I stumbled into on accident. I was reading fiction for the first time as an adult and wondered if I could do it. It never crossed my mind to publish until my twin got a hold of my manuscripts and pressured me into it like the cool drug seeking kid from the After School Specials.
Because of that, my books are different. I don’t write because I have a story to tell. I write because there is a story inside my head and it’s merely using my fingers to get out. I enjoy writing protagonists that are flawed and enemies that aren’t. Not everyone is all good or all bad and I love the philosophical process of defining that grey area.
There are two parts of communication. What is articulated and what is received for only the latter can compel action. You, the reader, are more important than me, the author. I relish understanding what you receive from my articulation. To help with that, I have editors – lots and lots of editors. Editors are the heroes authors need, but not the heroes they deserve. As an author, I strive every day to be worthy of professional editors.
I’m the oldest of seven and have an identical twin/perfect organ donor.