I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on THE DARK AWAKENING by D.L. Blade Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
Title: THE DARK AWAKENING (Chosen Coven #1)
Author: D.L. Blade
Pub. Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Fifth Element Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N
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Get ready for a new kind of witch—she’s about to save humanity.
Haunting secrets, witches, vampires, werewolves, love, betrayal, & twists you won’t see coming!
Mercy’s life has devolved into a string of bad events. A brutal beating that nearly stole her life, a dangerous stalker lurking in the shadows, and a car accident, where the man who rescued her disappears right before her eyes.
But this man who she thought was a hallucination, tracks her down at a nearby cove, and claims they were once in love from another time. Another century. But Mercy has no memory of this world he shares and instinctively doesn’t trust him. He also reveals to her a life-changing secret—she’s an ancient witch, vampires are real, and she's destined to destroy them.
There’s also the troubling discovery that her blood is lusted after by the undead, and a sadistic vampire leader sets his eyes on her and will stop at nothing until he takes Mercy as his own.
Mercy needs to fight. Fight for her life, fight to discover the truth, fight to remember who—or what—she really is before it’s too late.
The Chosen Coven Trilogy - read in order
The Dark Awakening
The Dark Underworld
The Dark Deliverance
Last night wasn’t any different. I exited my car after an exhausting day at work and heard what sounded like a low, deep exhale coming from the forest next to Lily’s house. I swiftly turned around, fumbling with the flashlight on my phone, but when the light pierced the darkness, the sound stopped.
Tonight, it was a silhouette behind my aunt Lily’s fence in the backyard. It wasn’t someone walking by with their dog or a neighbor taking out their trash. They were standing there, staring, as I walked to the sink to rinse my dinner bowl. I wasn’t going to tell her again. She’d just tell me what she’d told me last time I brought it up. She’d say I was just seeing things and that it was normal to feel this way after trauma.
“Your turn, Mercy,” Lily said. Her voice pulled my gaze from the window.
“I’m coming,” I said, taking one last glance toward the silhouette.
They were gone.
Maybe I am imagining things.
Lily tucked her short, brown strands behind her left ear and took a sip of her red wine, gripping her glass firmly, while her index finger tapped gently and rhythmically on the side of the slender wine glass.
Waiting patiently for me to finish my turn were Shannon and Cami, my two best girlfriends, and my ex-boyfriend, Riley. A brief glance at the clock told me we had been playing for over three hours. My head fogged over, and my lower back ached from sitting for so long.
I gripped the dice in my hand before sitting back down and looked around the table. I wondered what my friends would think if they only knew what was happening with me. Would they respond like Lily had? Or would they believe me?
I had known Riley since we were little kids, and I’d known Cami and Shannon since cheerleading
camp our freshmen year. I could trust them, right?
The truth was, a small part of me still envied what my friends had, that I no longer did. At one point, I had looked forward to dressing up for a night out, being the popular girl at our school, and I held the confidence I needed to walk in with my head held high as we crashed someone’s party. That wasn’t me anymore. I wasn’t frumpy by any means. I was blessed with good genes. I had my mom’s long, dark brown hair, emerald eyes, and a tall, slender figure. But now, I was happy in a T-shirt and ripped jeans because I no longer cared what anyone thought. I was now the shadow lurking behind my friends, and I was okay with that.
Shannon straightened her back once I sat down and pulled her raven-black hair to the side, wrapping it into a braid against her dark, olive skin, and batted her fake lashes at us before stifling a yawn.
I stretched out my legs, took a deep breath, and gave my cards a once-over. I just needed to roll an eight.
Cami’s thick, long locks fell over her face, and she let out an exhausted breath to blow it away. “I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.” She grabbed her water, took a swig, and glanced down at her phone, checking the time.
“I’ll drive your car,” Shannon said, “my energy drink is doing its job keeping me alive right now.”
Riley flashed me a handsome grin as I rolled the dice a few times in my palm.
As I went to toss them, I hesitated. The tingling feeling in my fingertips had returned. It felt like electricity vibrating violently under my fingernails. I had to pull my hands close to my body to conceal it and shut it off. Something had been happening to me, and it all started around the time I felt someone’s eyes on the back of my head.
I glanced around the table one last time, pulled myself together, and gently tossed the two dice, so they didn’t roll off the table. One die landed right in front of me, showing five red dots, and the other landed in front of Riley.
“It’s a three.” Riley beamed.
“Dang it!” Shannon tossed the remaining cards onto the table. “Surprise, surprise. Mercy wins again.”
I applauded myself and moved my hips from side to side in a victory dance while I grabbed the last Battle-Star, which would earn me the final, winning point. Once I placed my Battle-Star down on the table, Riley grabbed my knee, and my leg jerked to the side at his touch. I looked up at his boyish face as a small crease formed in his brow. Thankfully, everyone else was so preoccupied with cleaning up their game pieces, no one had noticed. I leaned in toward Riley. “We need to talk.”
“I didn’t mean—”
“I know,” I snapped. “We still need to talk.”
“Sorry.” His voice cracked, and he lowered his head. This absolutely killed me. Riley was the nicest guy I had ever known, and I was crushing his spirit.
What is wrong with me?
Shannon looked over at us. “Sorry for what?”
“Nothing,” I responded before he could say anything.
He stood up from the table and calmly walked out the backdoor. I hesitated, deciding not to follow him.
I’ll give him a minute.
Cami looked around the room at everyone. “What’s with him?”
Lily, too, had been watching the awkward encounter, and she stood. “Do you girls care for anything else to eat?” She placed the lid on the game box and gestured toward the pot of homemade chili she had cooked for us. This was her obvious attempt to distract everyone from what had just happened.
“We’re good, Lily. Thank you,” Cami responded for them both as she handed Shannon her keys.
Shannon gripped the keys tight in her fist and turned to face me while pulling her purse over her shoulder. “Are you joining us tomorrow?”
“Yeah. Just not too early. I want to sleep in.” I sounded whinier than I meant to. Shannon always scheduled our Thursday morning breakfast meetups for eight in the morning since graduation.
“I really need to go, guys. I have to put my mom to bed,” Cami said as she tapped her foot on the tile floor of the entryway. Cami’s mom, Laurie, was an alcoholic. I honestly couldn’t recall if I had ever seen her without a bottle of booze in her hand, and she often drank herself into a senseless stupor.
“Where do you guys want to meet?” I asked.
“Probably Tippy’s Pancake House. It just opened last weekend,” Cami answered.
I looked at her and tilted my head. “Tippy as in Ryan ‘Tippy’ Harrison?”
“Yeah, I guess he figured out what he was going to do with all those royalty checks from that song he wrote a few years back—open a pancake house. His grandma Joanne tracked us down on Main last week and told us we had to go opening week to support him. So, we’re going.”
“Well, good for him. And, yes, that works,” I said.
Shannon glanced over toward the window facing the backyard where Riley waited for me. “Call me if you need me.” Shannon offered me an empty wish of good luck with a strained smile and a shrug as if to express how uncomfortable she knew the moment would be for Riley and me.
“I’ll fill you in at breakfast. Riley has a job working on Miss Darla’s car, so he won’t be there.”
Cami moved past Shannon to give me a warm hug, but I tensed. I always hid my discomfort when someone touched me. Someday, I hoped I’d get better, but in this moment, I wasn’t ready. After Cami released me, Shannon followed her lead and came in for a hug. I took a deep breath in and counted to five in my head. As I slowly let out my breath, she released me from the suffocating embrace. They walked toward Cami’s car, and I sent them off with a wave.
Closing the door behind them, I secured the bottom lock and strolled into the kitchen to see if Lily needed help cleaning up. I knew she’d tell me not to bother, but I always offered anyway.
“Do you need help with anything?” I asked.
Turning to face me, she said, “I’ve got this covered. Go see Riley. He’s been waiting, hun. You can’t avoid him forever.”
She was right. I was stalling. Riley had more patience with me than I ever could have with anyone. I made him feel uncomfortable because he accidentally made me feel uncomfortable, but still, he was willing to wait for me to lecture him about not touching me.
While giving her a forced smile and a nod, I moved toward the door that led to the backyard.
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D.L. Blade grew up in southern California, but relocated to Colorado with her family in 2014.
She always loved writing, concentrating on poetry rather than prose when she was younger. That changed however when she had a dream one night and decided to create a story about it.
In her spare time, D.L. enjoys a wide variety of hobbies, including reading, and attending rock concerts. She also enjoys visiting animal sanctuaries and pet shelters. She hopes one day she will own enough land to start her own dog rescue.
In the future, D.L. hopes that she can continue to write exciting novels that will captivate her readers and bring them into the worlds that she creates using her imagination.
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