Sneak Peek at my current WIP

I’ve been working on something new lately, and I thought I’d share just a little peek of it on here. Here’s a section of a new novel, tentatively titled “The Dragon’s Treasure”. Enjoy!

1

Ryder

“I won’t warn you again,” I said, glowering down over the table of young dragons. “All clans are welcome here, and I will not tolerate fighting. That includes trying to incite a battle.”

“Why are you talking to us?” one of them asked. “It was those Tellurians!”

“I have eyes all over the place.” I gestured to the cameras in the corners of the building, able to see every inch of the bar. “Keep this up, and you’ll no longer be allowed to drink here.”

I turned away from the table just as the door swung open. Other than noting he was human, I paid little attention to the male that entered. As I was about to slip behind the counter, a woman with flowing brown hair entered behind him. Something about her expression caught my eye, and I found myself unable to look away from her. She seemed as if she was uncomfortable, and I couldn’t help wondering if it was my bar, or the man she was with.

Granted, my bar was filled with dragons, but the average person would never be able to tell that by looking at them. The men and women inside the bar looked just like everyone else. We never shifted in front of humans, never let them know that we existed.

Her blue eyes scanned the tables, and she said something to the man accompanying her. He in turn pointed to an empty table and reached toward her, wrapping an arm around her waist. I saw her cringe, and move out of his grasp, which surprisingly brought a smile to my lips. As they approached the table, I noticed a ring on his finger. Looking back to her, I realized she wasn’t wearing one. Were they using my bar as a safe haven for their affair?

The woman picked the seat facing the door, and the man sat beside her. She scooted her chair as far away from him as she could get while still facing the door. If this was an affair, she was clearly no longer interested in having it.

“Ryder!” I turned toward Artie, my best barback. “Phone is for you.”

“Thanks,” I responded, taking one more look at the woman. I slipped behind the bar and picked up the phone on the wall. “Ryder speaking.”

“She took off again,” my sister’s voice echoed through the receiver.

I sighed. “Pheebs, you do realize I’m working right now, right?”

“No kidding? I thought you’d be sleeping there. Come on, Ryder! This is serious. She’s gone.”

“Look, she’s probably out with Jake. Just give her some time, and she’ll be back.”

“I can’t believe you aren’t more concerned with your little sister’s well-being!”

Pinching the bridge of my nose, I said, “She’s twenty-two. You don’t need to be so worried about her.”

“You know, you’re right. I shouldn’t be worried that she’s out with a boy during her first fertile period. When she comes home pregnant, you can—”

“You’re overreacting,” I interrupted. “She is a smart girl, and Jake knows what I’ll do to him if he plays with my sister’s heart.” When Phoebe didn’t respond, I asked, “Have you tried texting her?”

Silence. Finally, Phoebe sighed. “I can’t help but be worried, Ryder. With Mom and Dad gone, she’s our responsibility.”

“She’s not a child anymore. It won’t be long before she’ll find a mate, like you should be doing.”

Phoebe laughed. “What about you? You’re nearly thirty, and I don’t see a woman in your life.”

My gaze swept to the brunette from earlier, catching her once again trying to move away from the man. My dragon roared with annoyance, but I held him back, unwilling to break my own rules about fighting in the bar. “Don’t worry about me. Worry about yourself. Text her and ask where she is. I have to get back to work now.”

While I busied myself at the bar, I found myself watching the woman. Actually, I was having a difficult time keeping my eyes off of her. I couldn’t figure out what was drawing me to her. Granted, she was attractive. I’d never considered having a relationship with a human, knowing how fragile they were compared to my kind. Maybe it was the strength I could see under the surface, the fact that she didn’t seem to be giving in to the unwanted advances of the man accompanying her. Even my dragon seemed to want her, as I could feel him pacing restlessly beneath the surface.

The man pushed his drink toward her, and she shook her head, refusing. A moment later, she was out of her seat, and heading in my direction.

Artie moved toward her, but I shot him a look, stopping him. I leaned forward, pressing my palms to the countertop and said, “Hey there. What can I get you?”

“Just a Coke, please,” she answered, leaning against the bar.

I nodded, reaching for a glass. “Designated driver?”

“No. Just not in the mood to drink right now.”

“You came to a bar to not drink?”

She sighed. “I came because I was told all my coworkers come here every Thursday night, but it doesn’t look like that was true.”

As I filled her glass, I said, “I’ve never seen that sleaze here before tonight.”

She smiled slightly. “How do you know he’s a sleaze?”

“He’s wearing a wedding band, and you aren’t. Thought for a minute the two of you might be having an affair, but with the way you’ve been trying to avoid his touch—”

“Wait,” she interrupted. “Have you been watching me?”

Something about her voice told me she didn’t like me watching her, so I explained, “It’s my bar. I watch everything. And when someone is behaving the way he is, it tends to keep my attention.”

“If you can tell from a distance that I’m not interested, I don’t understand why he hasn’t taken the hint.”

“Guys like that don’t respond to hints,” I answered, shaking my head. “Want me to kick him out of here?”

“Thanks, but I can handle it. I just hate that I let myself get into this situation. I should have known better.”

I placed her drink on the counter, then waited for her to reach for it. Before she touched the glass, I took hold of her hand. Warmth flowed through me, and my dragon pushed at my skin, wanting out. I forced him back once more, and said, “Do me a favor, and keep your eye on this.”

She gave a slight nod, but didn’t pull away from me. “Sorry about laying my problems out for you.”

God, she was sweet. I grinned at her, enjoying our conversation. “Bartenders are like therapists for drunk people.”

“But I’m not drunk. I haven’t had anything alcoholic tonight.”

“Let’s keep it that way,” I said, reluctantly releasing her hand. “Let me know if you need anything, like a cab home.”

“Thanks,” she said, lifting her glass and turning away. I watched as she walked back to the sleaze, wondering if she’d felt anything from our encounter.

A moment later, my dragon roared beneath my skin as the sleaze wrapped his arm around the woman’s waist. She shoved at his chest, and just as I was about to leap over the counter and rush him, she tossed her drink into his face and stomped down on his foot. I couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across my lips as a feeling of pride settled in my chest.

A tap on my shoulder drew my attention away from the scene. I turned to find Myst, my head of security, standing behind me. “You need to see this.”

I sighed, then turned back in time to see the woman storming out the door. Frowning, I realized I hadn’t even learned her name.

Myst headed into the back room, which was filled with monitors showing every inch of the building and a majority of the surrounding area outside. I’d made it a part of my business to ensure that my bar was a safe haven for each of the four dragon clans in Four Peaks. As leader of the Barnett Clan, my word was law for my people, and was respected by two of the three other clan leaders. The Ripples and the Tellurians honored the peace of this bar.

The Brontes, on the other hand, didn’t care for honor or peace.

I scanned the screens in front of me, my eyes settling on the one showing the beautiful human woman sitting at the bus stop, rifling through her purse. I smiled, wondering if I should go out after her, at least to call her a cab to take her home.

Myst snapped her slender fingers in front of my face. “Are you even listening?” she asked.

“Sorry. What’s the problem?”

Myst glanced to the screen that still held my attention. “You haven’t been able to peel your eyes off of her since she entered the bar. What’s gotten into you?”

“Nothing,” I lied. “What did you need me to see?”

Shaking her head, Myst tapped several keys on the keyboard in front of her, bringing up a new image; on the screen was a young man being attacked by three others. At first, I thought nothing of it, until the attackers started to hover. “Damn it,” I muttered. “Where is this?”

“Just south of Kennebeck and Lake.” Her grey eyes darted to another screen. “Shit.”

“What?” I asked, following her gaze. I cursed as well as I realized the beauty was heading in that direction.

“You going to stop the fight, or stop your woman?” Myst asked.

“Shut up, Myst.”

“I can see why you’re so focused on her. She’s hot. Since you’re being a pussy and didn’t ask for her number, mind if I do?” A growl rumbled in my throat, and Myst chuckled. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

Shaking my head, I said, “I’m grabbing Sawyer and Pierce. Artie and Cameron should be able to handle things for a while.”

As I headed for the door, she said, “You’re not going without me.”

“Myst, I know you’re one of our best fighters—”

“Damn straight!”

“But I need you here.” I pointed to the screen that showed the young Brontes. “These assholes need to be monitored.”

She growled. “You’re really making me babysit some barely-legal punks? Fuck that, Ryder! Pierce can babysit; I’m going.” Before I could argue more, she pushed past me and headed for the back exit.

I sighed, then stuck my head out to the bar. “Sawyer!” The bouncer’s bald head snapped in my direction, and I added, “Need your help. Now.”

Advertisements

Updates

I realized today that I’d been away from the blog for much longer than I intended (not that I’m very good at keeping up with this anyway, but it’s been over two months, so…). So just a quick update on things…

1. Book 2 of the Blood Trilogy is going well. I’m just over half done with it (I know, I know, I should be further along, but…well, certain characters have been fighting me lately. They want to do their own thing, which has made the book go in a different direction than I’d planned. But we’ll get there. I’m really hoping to be finished with it by the fall, but you never know with these things!

2. I have two more book signings coming up in July. One is the Fenton Art Walk, and the other will be at CC & Company in Fenton (no date yet on that one). I’ll have both Blood of the Immortal and Heart of Lavora available at these.

3. As a result of my weird mind that can’t seem to stay on JUST ONE story at a time, I’ve been working on a couple other projects besides just Original Blood (working title for Blood 2). One is the story of the daughter of Eros, God of love. Another is a sci-fi/fantasy romance involving a warrior from another planet looking for a missing princess on Earth. I have a few others in my repertoire that I’ve put a few lines to paper on, but for the most part those are the ones I’ve been working on. I also have plans for Book 3 of Blood, but I can’t really work on that one until Book 2 is finished.

Someone really needs to crack a whip on me and force me to stick to just one project!

Heart of Lavora is now available!

It’s earlier than expected, but Heart of Lavora is now available on both Kindle and paperback (pages aren’t linked just yet, and the look inside feature isn’t active, but the book is live).

Here are the links.

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Lavora-Ashley-Jeffers-ebook/dp/B00UY3LV56/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1426901682&sr=1-1&keywords=heart+of+lavora

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Lavora-Ashley-Jeffers/dp/1508787115/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1426901682&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=heart+of+lavora

Happy reading!

Q&A with Skye

In anticipation of the release of Heart of Lavora,here’s a little interview with the main character, Skye. Enjoy!

Name: Skye Lockhart

Age: 20

Appearance: Long auburn hair, teal eyes, short frame, beautiful

Personality: Intelligent, studious, kind, brave, self-reliant, and protective of those she loves.

The perfect actress to play the role of Skye would be Jane Levy. 

  1. What is your favorite fairy tale?
    • When I was younger, I loved Beauty and the Beast. It taught me to see people for who they are inside, rather than what they look like on the outside. But I don’t believe in fairy tales anymore. Life isn’t all hearts and roses like most fairy tales portray. Loved ones leave, and those you should be able to trust can hurt you. You can’t just sit back and expect a prince to come save you.
  2. If you could have one wish, what would it be?
    • I’d want to see my parents again. They died on my seventeenth birthday, and I never got the chance to say goodbye.
  3. What is your biggest fear?
    • Right now, my ex. He’s insane, and won’t stay away from me. He’s also incredibly violent. To be honest, I’m not sure what I ever saw in him. Maybe I thought there was a good guy under his bad boy exterior. Boy, was I wrong!
  4. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
    1. Superpower? Well…if they were real, I guess it would be cool to move things with my mind. Maybe hear the thoughts of others. But they’re not, so… next question.
  5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    • I know this is going to sound stupid, but I wish I could tan. I can spend hours out in the sun, with no sunscreen, and my skin doesn’t change at all. It doesn’t burn, tan, or even get any freckles. I’m sure there are people out there that would think it would be great to have that, but frankly, it’s annoying.
  6. What’s your biggest personality flaw?
    • That one depends on who you ask. I’d say it’s that I’m a bit anti-social, and would rather spend my time working on finishing college and listening to music than going out. My cousin Hanna says it’s that I’m stubborn. She thinks I refuse to ask for help with anything because I’m afraid. But really, I just like to be independent.
  7. Do you have any secrets?
    • Aside from the fact that I haven’t told my aunt and uncle about my ex, I don’t have any. I’ve kept secrets for other people, but that’s about it.
  8. Describe your ideal date.
    • Something simple. Maybe dinner and a movie. It doesn’t have to be fancy. As long as we can talk easily, and that spark is there, it would be great.
  9. What do you look for in a guy?
    • Someone I can talk to, someone that will treat me like an equal. Obviously there has to be an attraction, but I don’t really have a specific look that I go for. Oh, and he can’t be vain. I don’t care how good-looking he is, if he acts like he’s God’s gift to women, I’m out.
  10. Do you believe in love at first sight?
    • I believe you can feel an instant connection with someone, but I’m not sure if it’s love. I’d like to think it exists. Hanna claims she fell in love with her boyfriend when they first met, but I’m still on the fence about it. If it ever happens to me, I’ll let you know.

Keep an eye out for more information on the characters from the novel. Heart of Lavora will be available April 3!

Heart Of Lavora

I’m hoping to have my next novel, Heart of Lavora, out by next month. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting info about the book, characters within it, and updates on how the publishing is going. For now, here’s the blurb for the novel!

Skye doesn’t believe in fairy tales. In her mind, happily-ever-after doesn’t exist. It can’t, not when her abusive ex-boyfriend won’t leave her alone. But all that changes when she meets Aiden.

She recognizes him the minute they meet—as the man she’s spent weeks dreaming about. While she can’t explain it, she feels an instant connection to him. Electricity strikes every time they touch. He knows things about her before she says them. After witnessing the aftermath of a run-in with her ex, all efforts to keep her distance prove futile. Aiden refuses to allow it to happen again.

But Aiden is hiding a big secret. So is everyone else around Skye. Learning the truth makes her realize there’s more out there than she ever imagined, and throws her into the middle of a war between two factions of Sidhe. Only the Heart of Lavora can save both the Sidhe and the humans from destruction.

Can Skye discover how to bring peace to both lands? Or will the war ravaging Lavora spill into the human world?

Update

It’s short notice, I know, but… I will be doing a book signing Saturday, January 17th, at Past Tense Books in Holly, MI. The bookstore is located downtown, right on Saginaw Rd, south of Grange Hall. It’s above Morgan’s Boutique. The signing will be from 1 until 3 pm, so if you’re interested in getting a signed copy of Blood of the Immortal, stop in to see me!

I’m working hard on Book 2 of the series, currently titled Original Blood. It’s a bit different from the first, as the story is told from two main characters: Corbin and Zoe. And NO, they are NOT a couple. If you’ve read Book 1, you know why. The both have their own romantic interests. The story also takes place twenty years after the end of the first.

I also have a plan for Book 3, and have one chapter down (kinda hard to work on it when the second hasn’t played itself out yet). And it’s main character (drum roll, please)… VIC! Yes, he’s getting his own book. (You’re welcome to a certain individual that kept bugging me about giving him one)

In the near future, I plan on posting a short story that is related to Heart of Lavora, the fae novel I recently finished. I’ve debated putting it into the novel as a prologue, since it explains what happened 200 years in the past to cause the current conflict. As of right now, it’s not going in, but we’ll see what happens.

Looking forward to the signing, and maybe seeing some of you there! Happy Reading!

Meet My Character

So I was tagged by Nancy Tucker, a fellow author, to do a post about a character in an upcoming book. In turn, I’m tagging Brenda Hasse and W.C. Hoffman.

The idea of this is to introduce a character from a recently completed piece or a work-in-progress. The following questions were part of the challenge:

  •   What is your character’s name?
  •    Is your character a fictional or historical person?
  •    When and where is the story set?
  •    What should we know about him/her?
  •    What is the main conflict/ what messes up up his/her life?
  •    What is the personal goal of the character?
  •    Is there a working title for the book and where can we read more about it?
  •    When can we expect it to be published?

We’re then supposed to tag other authors, asking them to do the same, and we put little bios for those authors the the end of our post. So, here goes!

1-2. My character’s name is Skye Lockhart, and she is fictional.

3. Most of the story takes place in the fictional city of Haven, located on the coast of Mass. (Though now that I think about it, the name of the city is only given once, and I never say the state.) In the last few chapters, the characters travel to the Sidhe homeland, called Lavora.

4. Skye isn’t what she thinks she is. In other words, she’s not a normal young woman. Certain aspects of her life, her heritage, have been hidden from her. She prefers to solve problems on her own, not wanting to rely on others or possibly risk their safety. That being said, when she knows she can’t do something on her own, she’ll go to others.

5. The conflict begins with Skye attempting to distance herself from her abusive ex-boyfriend, but it becomes much more. Skye is smack in the middle of a two-century long battle between Sidhe clans. She must discover her strength if she is to bring an end to the war.

6, In the beginning, Skye’s goal is to get away from her ex. Later, it shifts to finding a way to end the war, keep her family safe, and protect everyone in the human land.

7. The working title is Heart of Lavora. I’ll probably be posting more information about it on my blog soon.

8. I’m in the process of sending to agents at the moment, so I don’t have an exact date as to when it’ll be out.

Brenda Hasse is an author of children’s books, as well as young adult novels. She has several children’s books out, such as My Horsy and Me, What Can We Be?, A Unicorn For My Birthday, and Yes I Am Loved. Her YA novel is titled Wilkinshire. 

W.C. Hoffman’s debut novel, Twins of Prey, is a great outdoors mystery/action story based in the woods Michigan. It’s part of a three book series, and book two should be out soon! (Sorry, I don’t remember the exact date, though I believe it’s in October)