Monday, January 21, 2013

January Author of the Month, Week Four: Allegiance by K.A. Tucker

This is the fourth week of our Author of the Month special featuring K.A. Tucker's books. This week we shine the spotlight on Allegiance, Book Three of K.A. Tucker's YA paranormal series, Casual Enchantments

Allegiance (Causal Enchantment #3) by K.A. Tucker
YA paranormal*paperback & e-book, 320 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Papoti Books

Evangeline finally got what she longed for – the cursed pendant off her neck and Caden in her arms - only it has come at a steep price. An unknown poison now courses through her body, slowly morphing her into something no one but the Fates can foresee. She has her suspicions though...and, if she is right, it will spell certain ruin for her and Caden. She won’t last long enough to realize that though, if Viggo and Mortimer uncover the treasonous secrets she keeps from them– that Veronique is now free of her entombment and in the torturous clutches of the Witches and the Sentinel or that she is protecting a Sentinel within their very midst. 

Always the naive human caught in the midst of the vampires’ web of deceit, Evangeline is now weaving her own dangerous web in order to keep her friend alive, rescue Veronique, and stop a seemingly inevitable war from starting. But can her honourable nature handle the depths of duplicity for which she must go to be in league with the Vampires? 
Dark and gripping, full of angst-riddled scenes, Allegiance will have readers anxiously turning pages to find out if Evangeline can survive this spiralling disaster.

An excerpt from Allegiance:

Stick close to me and keep quiet, Max warned.

Swallowing a gulp of air, I scooted by the yetis, ushering Max ahead of me into the room with my hands against his rump. I couldn’t help but be momentarily awestruck by the chosen location of this gathering. With the full height of the chateau looming over me, the massive unfurnished room must have played host to a royal ball or two in its day. Gothic stained-glass windows lined two walls behind a row of archways. An imposing, ornate fireplace filled the end. Not one but four enormous bronze candelabras illuminated the intricate marble floor. I caught the scent of fresh paint, which told me that the room had recently undergone work and yet, as I surveyed its vaulted ceilings, curving in an archway of sculpted plaster, I had to believe the room’s historical characteristics were original.

I quickly lost interest in the architecture, though. In the center of the room sat a ring of twelve chairs, none of them occupied. Six foreign faces loomed around the ring—all smooth as stone, all unreadable, all locked on me. My body had yet to warm from my senseless jaunt outside but my blood turned to ice, shivers skittering through my core. Way worse than being late for class

A breeze, a brush of something against my back … Half turning, I felt Caden’s body pressing up behind mine, his mouth hovering over my right ear. My skin began to tingle. He thinks I betrayed him, my touch will soon be lethal, and yet he’s willing to protect me. With a trembling hand, I reached back to clutch his fingers. Taking a deep breath, I turned back to regard the group, now feeling marginally safer.

The six new faces stood as a poker-faced wall to oppose “the enemy”: Mage, Viggo, Sofie, and Mortimer. Amelie stood off in a corner with Julian tucked in behind her. Why he was here, risking his own safety, was beyond me. Why I was here was also questionable. No doubt Sofie had her reasons, though.

All except one of the vampires looked to be in their twenties to early thirties, based on physical appearance. And as usual, all were striking beyond measure. Four males stood side by side like soldiers, frozen and grim-faced, dressed in perfectly tailored dark clothing. Next to them, a brunette woman in a full-length red leather jacket and thigh-high stiletto boots faced off against Sofie, a pinched glare on her face. The little hairs on my neck lifted. That has to be Lilly. Such a pretty name for such a hideous thing.

As alarmingly scary as Lilly was, it was the female vampiress standing next to her who garnered my attention. It wasn’t because of the shiny black bob framing her tiny porcelain doll face; it wasn’t because of the way she eyed me, genuine curiosity sparkling in her pale blue irises, or that she was smiling. It was because she was a child! No more than twelve or thirteen in appearance, though she held none of the gangly or awkward traits of a prepubescent. Above all the fear and guilt that I stepped into this room carrying, my heart ached for this poor girl. What monster would transform a child?

Despite the tension in the room—thick enough to choke a person—I returned the little girl’s smile, finding solace in it. In a room full of vipers, this little creature appeared so refreshing, so innocent, so unpretentious …

Lilly spoke, her acrid voice ruining the moment. “She’s human,” she stated without so much as a glimpse in my direction, red lips twisting derisively.

“Only a little different, I sense …,” the child murmured with the most lovely British accent, her head cocking to the side. She had to be sensing the Tribal magic within me.

The sound of hands clapping bounced around the cavernous room. “Bravo, Kait,” Viggo said, his cold gaze settling on Lilly, needling her with a smirk. “I can see why Lilly has added you to her harem.”

I frowned. Wait a minute … If Lilly is Kait, then who is …

“Evangeline, meet Lilly,” Sofie introduced calmly, gesturing toward the child.

That’s Lilly? I gawked openly, shocked. This was the wicked, dangerous vampire who had everyone in a frenzy? Those pale blue eyes shifted to me again. “Hello,” I stumbled. With a struggle, I managed another smile.

She didn’t return it this time. “You tell me you are desperate for our help and that you have venom again, and yet you flaunt two humans, both fond of their vampire companions.” Lilly’s pointed at Caden and me to prove her claim. “Why on earth would I believe you? Please explain.” Listening to her speak, to her language, a prickle of discomfort crawled down my spine, the temporary sense of her innocence dissolving faster than sugar in boiling water.

Mage was the one who answered. “Try to sense her emotions, her mood and see if—”

“I already have,” Lilly cut her off in her childlike British lilt, pausing. “I can’t. She’s a blur.”

“Yes. That’s the effect of an anti-vampire magic coursing through her body due to … an unfortunate event,” Sofie explained. “We cannot convert her yet.”

“An unfortunate event? Another one of your mistakes?” Lilly’s tone had turned hostile. They glared at each other, exchanging a silent understanding. “Why is she here then? Why are either of the humans here?”

Good question, Lilly.

About the author:
K.A. Tucker

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

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