Today’s stop is for Dina Given’s Unhidden & Unraveled . We will have info about the books and author, a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.
Happy Reading 🙂
It’s not always easy to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys, especially when your heroine is a trained killer and she may be falling in love with her evil hunter…
Emma Hayes, a former military Special Forces Operative turned mercenary-for-hire, finds her tightly controlled world turned upside down when she is attacked by horrible monsters.
Emma must use every skill in her arsenal to stay alive as she tries to solve the mystery of why she has been targeted. Her list of enemies keeps growing – from Zane Shayde, an evil Mage, to a secret branch of the US government – and she doesn’t know if there is anyone left she can trust.
To complicate matters further, Emma is inexplicably drawn to Zane in a way she doesn’t quite understand, even knowing her life is forfeit if captured. Who is he and why does he have this affect on her? How can she fight a being that calls to her, body and soul?
Emma is left haunted by questions, doubts and fears as to why she has been targeted, when they will come for her next, and how she will possibly be able to survive against an enemy she doesn’t understand.
Emma Hayes, a mercenary turned monster hunter, finds herself the secret savior of Earth as she attempts to battle creatures, called Monere, and keep unsuspecting humans safe.
Emma already has blood on her hands, and the tide of Monere keep coming. She quickly learns that not all battles can be won with a gun and she must decide whether to take up Sharur, the magical battle axe, which may trigger a latent and terrifying magical ability within her.
Emma’s monster hunting skills also catch the attention of a government operative who enlists her help to discover the identity of another hunter. This investigation leads Emma deep into the heart of a supernatural organized crime Syndicate, and all of her notions about the evil nature of these creatures are called into question when she meets The Syndicate’s leader.
Can Emma unravel the true nature of the Monere and come to terms with her own magical ability before the next gateway opens, threatening the future of humankind?
Cold marble pressed against my face, numbing my cheek. My stomach roiled from the spinning of the room, threatening to release my dinner. I took a deep, ragged breath and tried to keep the dizziness under control. A voice in my head screamed at me to get up and defend myself, but my body wouldn’t obey. With a herculean effort, I pulled my legs under me in an effort to rise.
I felt the vibration in the floor before I heard the heavy thud of footsteps. The bastard was back for more. It must be my lucky day. A vice clamped around my ankles, and I slid along the smooth stone floors of the mansion. Crystal chandeliers and Renaissance paintings streaked across my vision as I was pulled through an open doorway.
I twisted and flailed, scrabbling to clutch the doorframe to stop my relentless slide into the darkened room. I tried to make it a rule to never be forced into a room when I didn’t know what lay within.
I managed a weak handhold on the doorframe, but with a sharp tug, my captor caused me to easily lose my grip. He—because only a man could own hands that large and strong—“accidentally” slammed me into a coffee table before coming to a stop without releasing me.
The concussive grenade that was triggered when I had been finishing my sweep of the last room in the mansion had left my temples throbbing, preventing me from lifting my head to get a good look at my captor. I needed to pull myself together if I was going to fight my way out of here.
Swallowing hard, I took a silent inventory of my injuries: a few bruises, no broken bones, no bleeding. Sweet. This was going to be easier than I’d thought.
Compartmentalizing the pain—a trick I had learned years ago in the Special Forces—I readied myself to twist sharply to the side in an effort to release my ankles and make a run for it. Then another set of bear paws clamped down hard around my wrists, pulling them over my head. Crap! This would make escape a bit more difficult, although not necessarily impossible. I simply had to be patient enough to wait for an opening, and patience was not one of my virtues.
“I know you are thinking about trying to escape, Miss Hayes. I would advise you against it,” said a smooth, male voice. He spoke very proper Queen’s English, as if he came from old money and would never dream of using a contraction. It made me think of those period British romance movies like Sense and Sensibility. I pictured him wearing a Victorian tailcoat and ascot, with a smarmy-looking mustache adorning his face.
I managed to lift my head a few centimeters off the hardwood floor. With my feet and the person holding them hidden in deep shadows, it was impossible to make out anything more than a crouched, hulking figure.
The English man was sitting in a cozy-looking, red leather armchair. A colorful Tiffany lamp cast a dim glow that didn’t extend very far into the room, and a thick folder sat next to it on the table.
When the Brit leaned forward, the scant light illuminating his features, I recognized him at once.
“Mr. Darko, I must say, it’s quite a surprise to see you here.” My visions of Hugh Grant disappeared, replaced by the sight of the father who had hired me to find and recover his little girl, Sarah.
Vincent Darko wasn’t wearing coat tails, but his well-tailored gray suit probably cost more than my Ducati. He wasn’t unattractive, yet I wouldn’t describe him as handsome. He was slim, almost slight, with an effeminate air about him. Maybe it was the way he crossed his legs at the knees or the way his hands hung a little limp at the wrists. Coupled with that egotistical over-confidence, he had the air of a man trying to prove he was no longer the little kid who could be bullied on the playground.
“Did you grow a set of balls and choose to find your daughter on your own?”
He chuckled deeply in response, though the amusement never reached his eyes. “I’m glad to see that, even in your current predicament, you haven’t lost your usual charm.”
“Oh, I’ve been in worse situations.” I managed a small shrug, which also served to test the grip of my captor who had my wrists. It was solid, but he clenched tighter for a moment when I moved, telling me he was somewhat relaxed and not holding me as tightly as he could have been. “So, what brings you to the Mexican jungle? Wait, let me guess. Your daughter never was kidnapped, was she?” I made a show of eyeing him up and down. “I actually have a hard time believing any woman would have sex with you, so I’m willing to bet Sarah doesn’t even exist, does she?”
“Oh, but that’s where you are wrong. Come!” he called, like he was commanding an unruly puppy.
The child who emerged from the shadows was a scrawny, bedraggled little thing. Her emaciated frame gave her the appearance of a six-year-old, not the ten-year-old that Darko had claimed her to be. Tear tracks stained her grimy cheeks, and she was hunched over, hugging herself, her matted hair falling into her face.
I ground my teeth together as I looked upon her. A fury rose up through my gut and threatened to explode, but it would have been impotent in my current situation. I choked it back down, holding it in reserve for the right time.
“I did need sufficient motivation to get you here, after all, and most humans seem to have a soft spot for these little creatures,” Darko said.
Humans? His odd word use put a chill on my fury. What was that supposed to mean?
Not only was Darko a jackass, he may also be a little crazy. In my experience, crazy was dangerous because of its unpredictability. I needed to break the hold on my wrists and ankles, overpower the guards, grab the girl, and make my way out while avoiding pursuit and capture. That was a tall order, even for me.
Dina Given lives in rural New Jersey – home of farms, horses and the largest hot air balloon festival in North America – with her husband, two crazy kids, and one rescue dog. She is an exercise enthusiast and avid lover of food and wine (hence the need to exercise). Dina also works full time for one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. She attributes her ability to juggle family, work and writing to her obsessive, hyper-focused, Type A personality.