Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things--Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother's recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book's untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict--a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn't trust anyone... but she's being hunted and can't survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
Kara tumbled through the darkness. Whenever she tried to scream, dirt filled her mouth and nose. She eventually just held her breath, closed her eyes, and waited to be crushed in the landing.
Two roots broke her fall and bent with her, slowing her momentum but bruising her ribs in the process. Her hands slid off the grubs and mud as she grappled for something to stop her fall. Her cheeks flushed, and her stomach floated into her throat, heaving and twisting with her body.
She took a deep breath and thudded against something solid. She covered her head with her arms. Light poured around her as she held her position, waiting to fall deeper into whatever she’d gotten herself into this time. Her shoulder throbbed from the landing. Ringing hummed in her ear, but this was a new, silent place. She peeked through two fingers.
Dirt clung to her now-ripped jeans, and red smudges covered the exposed skin on her arms. Her shoes were caked in mud. Blood seeped through a rip in her sleeve, and a purple bruise had already begun to spread over her kneecap. She searched her arms and shins to feel for breaks, but nothing stung. That was good, but her phone had disappeared and her pack was still in the gazebo.
She leaned against the something solid that had broken her fall, which turned out to be a stone desk. Blood from her arm smudged the side where she landed, its red streak a vivid contrast to the desk’s white polish. A matching stone chair sat a foot or so from the desk, as if whoever had last sat in it had only just left.
Her hair was a mess of tangles and soil, and the streaks of mud on her cheeks smelled like a combination of carrots and crusty leaves. She brushed away as much of it as she could, rubbing the last of the dirt out of her eyes and wiping her face with the least-filthy bit of her shirt. The edges of her vision blurred, but the room slowly came into focus.
Stone shelves canvassed every wall from the floor to the twelve-foot ceiling. Every inch of every shelf was covered in books, each bound in colorful leather and labeled with gold symbols she couldn’t read. There were no doors in the walls of bookshelves, and the only light came from a pane of glass in the roof. Crimson sunlight leaked into what could only be a submerged library.
Kara eyed the skylight before pulling herself onto the desk and reaching for the window, but it was at least six feet away. Without any rope, she would never be able to escape through it.
She peeked over her shoulder, trying to figure out how she’d gotten into the room in the first place, but the only evidence of her fall was the pile of dirt where she’d been sitting. It was as if she’d appeared from thin air.
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Praise for Lichgates
Wow, the world building on this one was breathtaking. The world of Ourea is just full of so many things. Surprises are around every corner.
From the first few pages into this story, it was obvious that Boyce has a way with words.
~Author Becca Campbell
Author S.M. Boyce
International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.
S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.
Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.
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