Warning Call (The Black Pages, #2)
By Danny Bell
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Elana Black. Saving the day even if she has to tear a hole in the universe to do it.
An unbeatable mythological horror has its sights set on Elana, and that’s not the worst of her problems. Gods want to use her, shadowy agents want to eliminate her, and a powerful sorcerer wants to kill her; all as she rushes to stop an event which portends the death of her best friend. It’s all catching up with her, and just in time for Christmas. Elana is going to have to figure out how all of it is connected but she’s in over her head, outnumbered, and running out of time.
And she always thought magic would make her life easier.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2zZy9KD
Okay, so cats like her and obey her commands. Oh god, please tell me more weirdness didn’t just walk into my life. “So, how do you know Claire?” I asked hopefully, silently praying for a mundane answer like High School, the gym, or prison.
“I don’t,” She said confidently.
It was only just now that I got a good look at her and a wave of panic swept through me. She was tall, nearly a foot taller than me. I’d picked up on that when she was at the door, but maybe it was the sun in my eyes or the fact that I wasn’t fully awake yet, but I hadn’t pieced together the rest of it. I would have placed her in her early forties, a couple of years older than Claire maybe, but she looked as if she had been assembled in a factory. Something was decidedly not human about her, and it was unsettling that I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. She had thick, straight hair that was the kind of blonde you only seemed to see in eighties movies. Her eyes were a deep sapphire, and aside from an amount of gold that would have bordered on excess on anyone else, I noticed something else. White shoes, a white pleated linen skirt, a white blouse.
Oh…no. “Did Roger send you because I wouldn’t accept his offer?” I asked, not breaking eye contact.
She raised an eyebrow at that as the beginnings of a grin touched the edge of her lips. “No one ever sends me anywhere,” She said bemusedly.
I wasn’t ready for a fight, especially not when some hapless customer could wander in any second now. And something about her felt decidedly not human, what if she was Fae like Bres? A fight with one of the Fae could get ugly in a hurry for everyone around. Mostly for myself.
“Kind of stupid for one Gardener to come alone,” I said shaking the blister shield out of my wrist. I was trying to sound confident, but I was terror-stricken by the unknown elements here, and it was all I could do to bluff. “It didn’t go so well for the last one who came at me alone.”
The woman couldn’t help herself as she let out a small laugh. “You fashion yourself a sorcerer?” She asked, and with a dismissive wave of her hand, my shield was gone. Just gone! “Child, sorcery is but one of my domains, and you are no more a sorcerer than any of those pretenders you are so quick to associate me with. The people of this realm wield magic that is not their own.”
I stiffened as she spoke. “Okay then,” I said slowly. “If you’re not a Gardener, then what are you.”
“Well, December is free coffee for deities month, so lucky you,” I said, trying to force a laugh.
“Is it really?” She asked. “Because I would love to try the house blend.”
“It is now,” I said, moving to make her a cup. Whoever she was, she was severely out of my league, and the best thing I could do was to keep her talking.
“Please make yourself a cup as well and join me, we have business to discuss.”
“Cream or sugar?” I asked pouring the cups. She indicated a quick no as I brought them over. “So, shouldn’t I know who I’m doing business with?”
“Indeed. I am Freyja,” She replied, sipping her coffee. “And this is quite the beverage you’ve made.”
“Thanks, I’ve been practicing,” I said taking a sip of my own.
“You don’t believe me, do you?” Freyja asked, warmly somehow. Not disappointed, or angry or defensive. “Even with everything you’ve seen and done?”
“No offense, but I’ve met a lot of magic users lately, and it’s not like someone wouldn’t just claim to be a god if they wanted to look bigger than they are. You’re definitely stronger than me, but that doesn’t mean I have to believe whatever you say at face value. I met a guy named Bres earlier this year, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the Demon King.”
Freyja chuckled at that. “Oh, the things I could tell you about Bres,” She said taking a sip. “Did you know that historians mistranslated, and he’s actually the Lemon King?”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” I snapped back. “Citrus trees aren’t native to- Oh damn it.”