Hello readers of Sapphyria’s Book reviews. Thanks for having me. Today I have a bonus scene from Willow’s seventieth birthday. This takes place seven years prior to Influential Magic. I wanted to give you a glimpse of Willow with her brother Beau and what Willow and Talisen were like before they lost Beau.
Willow’s Seventieth Birthday
A shiver ran through my wings as I stepped barefoot onto the soft sand. Fluttering with nervous anticipation, I rose a few inches off the ground and spotted Beau and Talisen near the bonfire laughing with a petite brunette. I scowled.
“Take it off already,” Kacee, my best friend said.
“It’s too cold.” I tugged my sweater around me, grateful for the warmth. The wind had picked up and was blowing off the pacific.
She raised a pale blond eyebrow and smirked. “Take. It. Off. We did not spend six hours looking for the perfect birthday outfit, just to have you wuss out and keep yourself covered all night.”
I glanced over at Talisen, took in the glow of the fire bouncing off his beautiful tan face, and immediately shrugged out of my sweater. My wings slid easily through the special faery slits and immediately started fluttering again once they were free.
“Willow, stop it,” Kacee ordered. “You can’t look hot when you’re nervous.”
Forcing my wings still, I smoothed my formfitting silky cream-colored top and tugged down on the micro-mini Kacee had talked me into. At five-seven, my legs were giving quite the show.
“That’s better.” She smiled and grabbed my hand. “Come on, let’s celebrate.”
“Hey, took you long enough,” Beau called when we neared the fire pit. Then his eyes narrowed. “What the hell are you wearing?”
I rolled my eyes at my twin brother. “Clothes.”
“Mom let you out like that?”
“Of course she did.” I gave him my best shut-up-before-I-smack-the-crap-out-of-you look and then took the steaming cup of mocha Kacee was holding out to me.
A long low whistle sounded from behind me. I turned and spotted Talisen regarding me with appreciation. “Damn, Willow. Where’d those legs come from?”
I smiled and sipped my drink.
His dark green eyes sparkled as he grinned at me. “Jesus, Beau. When did your sister turn into a hottie?”
Behind Tal, Kacee smiled and gave me two thumbs up. Mission accomplished. I tossed the sweater on the beach. And who needed outerwear when the man of your dreams was heating you from the inside out?
My brother groaned. “Dude, she’s my sister. Do you mind?”
“Thank the fae she’s not related to me.” Talisen winked and laid a casual arm over my shoulders, pulling me close. A shiver ran through my wings that had nothing to do with the cool night air. A tiny sigh escaped my lips.
Beau shook his head and gave Tal a disgusted look and then eyed me knowingly. Being my twin, I was certain he suspected I had a thing for Tal, but we never talked about it. He grabbed my hand and much to my displeasure tugged me out of Tal’s embrace. “I’ve got something for you.”
Frowning, I let Beau lead me to a large driftwood log. Every time Talisen started flirting with me, Beau found some way to interrupt. He was starting to get on my last nerve.
“Don’t look at me like that.” His blue eyes crinkled with humor. “I have your birthday present.”
My irritation vanished. “I thought we were exchanging tomorrow.”
He shrugged. “We were, but I think you’d like this tonight.”
I put my mocha down and held out my hand. “Okay, lay it on me. But you still have to wait for tomorrow, because your gift is under my bed.”
He laughed. “No, it’s not. It’s in the kitchen right where you left it. Well what’s left of it anyway.”
“Beau! You didn’t?” I peered into his eyes and noted his slightly enlarged pupils. “You did.”
He glanced over at the fire and his eyes softened as his gaze settled on small light-haired witch. “I needed it. I figure a girl can’t turn a guy down on his birthday.”
I shook my head. “The courage cake was for your audition.” He was trying out for the local theatre production the next day and I’d made him a small courage-infused cake to help him get through it.
He gave me a wry smile. “There’s a little left. But it doesn’t matter. This is more important.”
I was the only one who knew how deep Beau’s feeling for Carrie ran. I’d bet Talisen didn’t even know. Beau’d been lost on her for a few years now. Unfortunately up until about a month ago, she’d been attached to one of the biggest a-holes in all of northern California. Now that he was out of the picture, Beau needed to step un before someone else did. Every guy in our senior class had his eye on her.
“Good luck,” I said, not at all upset he’d found his present. “Happy birthday, bro. And she better say yes, ‘cause I’m not exactly wearing my butt-kicking clothes.”
He chuckled. “You? Take someone down? Right, but thanks for the support.” He dug in his pocket and placed a small white jewelry box in my hand. “I had this made for you.”
I lifted the lid and slowly pulled out a blood-red stone set in sterling silver. It pulsed with fae magic, but I didn’t recognize what it was. I cast him a questioning glance. “What does it do?”
Beau took the necklace from me and clasped it around my neck. “It protects your heart from getting broken.”
I ran two fingers over the smooth surface and with a smirk, I shook my head. “No, it doesn’t.”
“Yes, it does.” He glowered at me, then cracked a smile. “Okay, it doesn’t, but I wish it did.” He glanced at Tal. “You know he’s like that with every pretty girl he sees right?”
I sighed. “Yes. I grew up with him, too.”
“Just checking.” He grabbed my hand and squeezed. “The stone does contain a protection spell, but it’s for overall protection. It turns cold when danger is in your path.”
Warmth spread throughout my chilled body. Beau had been working on a way to form protection charms for quite a while now. “Is this the first one?”
“Yeah.” He kissed my forehead. “Can’t let anything happen to my little sister, now can I?”
“Little? You’re only four minutes older.”
“Whatever you say.” I hugged him back and whispered. “Thank you. I love it.”
“You’re welcome.” He stood. “Now get moving, we have a birthday to celebrate.”
We joined our small group and as Beau headed off to talk to Carrie, I warmed my hands by the fire.
A moment later, Talisen appeared by my side. “Nice necklace.”
“Thanks.” I glanced up at him. “Did you help him with it?”
Tal gave a noncommittal shrug. “It’s his magic inside.”
A smile tugged at my lips. Talisen was skilled in stone magic. Of course he helped him. “Thank you.”
He turned and stared down at me. His long lashes illuminated by the firelight just about made my knees buckle. He was beautiful.
He leaned in and his warm breath tickled my ear. “You’re welcome.”
A tingle started at the base of my neck and slowly made its way down my spine. I was in danger here. If he didn’t move back, I was going to grab him and plant my lips on his in front of Beau and the Gods and everyone. My fingers twitched to do it.
Talisen’s brought his hand up and pushed a lock of my wavy hair from my eyes. “If one of these dudes doesn’t ask you out soon, I’m going to have no choice but to take you out myself.” He gave me one of his slow, lazy smiles and pressed a soft but light lingering kiss to my lips. “Happy birthday, Wil.”
My knees wobbled and before I could say anything, he grinned cockily and disappeared to the other side of the fire.
“Holy fae,” Kacee said, appearing from nowhere and fanning herself.
My cheeks flushed with heat. “Exactly.”
Thank you so much for being here today, Deanna!!!
Crescent City Fae Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of pages: 318
Word Count: 95,000 words
Cover Artist: Art by PhatPuppy
Amazon Kindle: Influential Magic (Crescent City Fae)
It’s tough being a faery in New Orleans, a city fraught with vampires… especially when their very existence drains your life-force.
Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void is having a rough week. Four years after her twin brother’s mysterious death, Willow’s life is threatened and the director saddles her with a new partner—her ex-boyfriend, David. To her horror, he’s turned vamp, which causes her physical pain whenever she touches him… and any other specimen of the undead.
In order to save Willow’s life, David agrees to turn double agent against the most powerful vampire organization in New Orleans. Or so he says. And she’s convinced they know something about her brother’s death. Unsure where David’s loyalties lie, she turns to Talisen, her childhood crush, to help her solve the mystery.
Caught between two gorgeous men and a director who’ll stop at nothing to control Willow’s gifts, she’ll have to follow her instincts and learn who to trust.
Otherwise, she risks losing more than just her life.
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About the Author
Deanna is a native Californian, transplanted to the slower paced lifestyle of southeastern Louisiana.
When she isn't writing, she is often goofing off with her husband in New Orleans, playing with her two shih tzu dogs, making glass beads, or out hocking her wares at various bead shows across the country.
For more information and updates on newest releases visit her website at www.deannachase.com