Sunday, January 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Lights of Aurora by Theresa McClinton-Excerpt & Giveaway

Today the blog tour for Lights of Aurora, the second book in Theresa McClinton's Stone Legacy    series stops by. I have a great excerpt and the tour wide giveaway to share!

Bright lights tore through her closed eyelids. Ashley coughed and sputtered water from her nose and throat. She rolled to her side and clawed at the scalding stone beneath her while her frozen body jerked back to life.

Still shivering, the sudden change in temperature made her dizzy. Her palms burned from pressing against the sun-beaten ground. She pried open her eyes as chanting from what had to be thousands of people drummed in her ears.

Then it hit her. The smell. Bitter and noxious in the intense heat, it infused every cell of her body. It was the same odor Sarian carried. Now she understood why. After he roamed the underworld, he must have brought its stench back with him.

She pushed herself off the ground, peering at waves of people who jumped in place, all of them with their backs facing her. Her head spun, stacking the scene two, and three times over each other before her vision finally settled in the middle.

She swayed like a drunkard in front of what must have been an entire city of people gathered in that very spot. None of them had on more than a simple loincloth to cover their genitals. It couldn’t have been much of a shield against the elements.

Stone ruins littered the cracked ground, but none of them offered shade to the unrelenting sun.

Air had never felt so hot.

She shielded her eyes and squinted to see the top of a great temple in front of her. The air danced and made the structure seem like a mirage.
Her gaze slowly drew upward. The sky wasn’t a sky at all, but soil with coils of roots writhing above them. It was endless, and whatever sun was there, however it existed in such a place, was also trapped beneath the earth.

It was Yaxche, the tree of life.

The people’s hands flailed in the air as they moved in unison, bobbing on the balls of their feet while their fingers stretched toward the sky.
She tore her attention away from the scene and searched for Arwan, but he was nowhere around. There weren’t many places to hide except behind a few sun-scorched boulders.

A roar of shouts rose from the people. Her gaze darted back to the peak of the temple where something that resembled a man stood with his hand raised in the air, blood coating his forearm.

A human heart throbbed in his clenched hand.

Ashley stumbled back, and she fell to the ground with a slap. Her eyes widened. The sacrifice…it couldn’t be Arwan. She shook her head, willing herself to believe it couldn’t be true. She would find him. They would get Jayden’s soul back and then hightail it out of there. That was the plan, anyway.

Drums pounded all around her while the crowd continued to chant and dance. Another sacrifice had been made. She’d heard the roar of the people, but did her best to block them out.

She crawled along the dusty ground in search of somewhere to hide, and a place to scout for Arwan. Beside a large rock, she squatted, but didn’t dare to touch it. The rock would scald
her, and she had no idea if her healing ability would work here—or any of her abilities, for that matter.

Dust that was once caked between her fingers flaked off and fell to the ground. Her skin, already burned underneath, was now an angry red. The sting in her eyes worsened when she squinted at the far sides of the city. There were no hills. No trees. No shelter of any kind. Just more temples, all smaller than the one in front of her.

Was it possible Arwan didn’t make it through? He had kept some serious secrets from her already. What if one of them made the difference between life and death?

The shouts from the crowd went silent. She froze. The quiet hissing of their breaths was the only noise, and she could feel them focused on her.

A single drum pounded the air in a slow, rhythmic beat. She didn’t want to look—maybe because she knew what she was about to face. She lifted her head to find thousands of people staring at her with bloodshot eyes.

Slowly, she stood and moved from where she was crouched. There was no use trying to pretend it was safe. She was an unwelcome guest in the first layer of hell, and everyone knew it.

The unforgiving sun scorched their faces. Strips of flesh hung from their necks and foreheads. Boils bloated their skin, oozing liquid and pus. No wonder the underworld’s stench was so horrible. Death and rot loomed in the unrelenting sun, only magnifying the stink of their infected wounds.

They were all seething; teeth bared from under dry, cracked lips. It was like they hadn’t had a drink in years.

They looked thirsty.

So thirsty.

Up thousands of narrow, stone steps on the peak of the temple stood a man, pointing directly at her. He pointed at her with his bony finger. The skin on his arm was stripped away, and his esophagus showed through a gaping hole in his throat.

His entire bottom jaw was completely gone.

After the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Ashley Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the stone of Muuk’Ich while Sarian, the underworld general, relentlessly drives her to the brink of insanity.

As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. Ashley must seize control over her supercharged powers, while dealing with the overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both.

With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Ashley’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—but when that woman has no soul and a taste for revenge, they will need the powers of every surviving ancestor simply to stay alive.

Lights of Aurora is currently $0.99 on Amazon! Be sure to pick up your copy while it is on sale!

Check out the other books in the series here!
A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of fiction.

Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and has been repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries—not to mention an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

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1 comment:

  1. Love, love, LOVE this blog! Such a beautiful background and feature image with so much to check out. :) Thank yo for being a part of the Lights Of Aurora book tour. I'm super excited to be here. :)


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