Title: Curses & Ash
Author: Tiffany Daune
Series: Coral & Bone Series
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Jester Ink Press
Release Date: Jan 20 2016
Source: Author & RBTL Book Promotions for Blog Tour & Honest Opinion
Discover the spellbinding sequel to Coral & Bone…
A demented twin sister, a demon hijacking her powers, and a mysterious journal filled with more questions than answers—Halen needs her Guardian Dax more than ever. But if she confides in Dax, she fears he will never forgive her, not after all he sacrificed to help her vanquish Asair. Halen drowned Asair in a tornado of wings—at least, she thought she killed him. Why then does his mocking voice snake through her thoughts, enticing her to surrender her power? Maybe she screwed up—big time—but she will never allow Asair to control her magick. And when Etils' fires threaten the Earth, suspicions surrounding Asair's death rise, igniting restlessness within the realms. Her life in balance, Halen must race time, purge the demon's soul before flames consume the Earth or the Tari strike first.
The wolf from the shadows flashed through her mind, and her breath caught. Her grip tightened on the handle. Suddenly, the door swept open and a heavyset man with a white bakery box pushed past, wedging between her and the boy. She scooted inside the bakery and slammed the door at once, but when she peered out the window, the boy with the razor-sharp teeth had vanished. She pressed her nose to the glass. Where had he gone? She couldn’t even see the man with the bakery box, either. The entire street was empty.
A cool breeze blew at her back, sending shivers along her skin.
She spun around. The cakes and breads were gone and she now stood in a narrow room. If she spread her arms, she was sure she could touch both walls with her fingertips. Cages of birds lined the walls above, spiraling up to the endless ceiling, which seemed high enough to touch the stars. Golden canaries chirped noisily, pastel budgies paced their perches, pigeons cooed, and a raven peered at her through glassy eyes. It cawed, flapping its wings, and she jumped back, pressing her spine against the door.
Candles set in brass sconces flickered dangerously close to the birds’ cages. A putrid odor, a mix of acrid bird crap and heavy patchouli incense, cut the air. Her hand scrabbled with the door handle, but the knob would not turn. She tugged harder. Her heart thrummed in her ears as the birds competed with chirps and whistles.
As she reached to cover her ears, her elbow knocked the edge of one cage. It swung, and the budgies flapped their wings violently, swaying the cage. The budgerigars’ cage bumped the caged canaries and they too fluttered, so their cage knocked the finch’s cage beside it; and so like dominoes the cages were all set in motion with screeching birds.
“Stop the racket or I’ll eat you all at once!” A bald woman, with skin so dark she could have been born of the night itself, pushed open a door across the room. Halen had not even noticed another entrance or exit amongst all the cages, yet there she stood, her golden eyes wide, scanning the birds, until her gaze settled on Halen. “What’s this we have here?”
Her voice was husky and smoky, curling seductively, like a song to lure prey. It rang with familiarity in Halen’s mind, sending an earie chill in the marrow of her bones.
Halen’s shoulder blades pressed harder against the glass as the woman stepped from the doorway. She wore a robe of purple silk that swept her ankles. Her dewy skin glistened in the dim flickers of light.
Why had Asair’s instincts led her to this place? She was mistaken to trust his memories. Had he tricked her once more?
“How did you summon this place?” the woman asked.
Halen’s lips felt stitched, her throat dry. “I didn’t.” She cleared her throat. “I was hungry. I thought I would buy a treat.”
The woman tilted her chin toward the birds. The dolman sleeve of her robe cascaded to her elbow as she stretched for the tarnished lock on one of the cages. Unlocking the latch with the hook of her long black fingernail, she reached inside. The budgerigar hopped onto her finger, pecking the tip of her dark nail. Being careful not to rock the cage, she coaxed the little bird out. Her eyes narrowed as she offered Halen the bird. “Is this your idea of a treat?”
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Deepening Plot: What's the relationship between my protagonist and my antagonist?
In the Coral & Bone series the main character Halen has to face her greatest fears. Though she has mermaids, shifters and Hunters plotting her demise, her true challenge is trusting in her own abilities. Though by the end of book one, she is starting to realize how powerful she is, she still has many inner demons to face. In Curses & Ash she's stronger and more confident, but she's quickly sidetracked by her feelings for her Guardian. Her emotions betray her, guide her and thrust her into chaos. Even though she has come a long way, Halen still must dig deep and conquer her true enemy—herself.
Tiffany Daune writes stories about magick, love and dark creatures lurking in the shadows. She is the author of Surface and the Coral & Bone series. When she's not lost in Editland, you can find her reading a book from her towering TBR pile or kicking back and watching movies with her family. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by mermaids that are much nicer than the ones found in her books.
Coral & Bone Series
Coral & Bone (Book 1)
Curses & Ash (Book 2)