Well if you read my blog at all, lol you already know what a huge fan I am of the Runes series by Ednah Walters. So when I was given this chance to Co-host this awesome tour I jumped on it. Since I have already left my review for a tour I did with Expresso Book Tours, I decided to mix up my post and give all of you great readers the opportunity to get to read the whole first chapter from Torin's POV.
First I want to start off with the book info:
Product description from Amazon:
Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.
Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.
Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life
ALSO IN THE SERIES:
Immortals (book 2-coming August 2013)
Where to Purchase Runes:
Amazon Pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/Runes-Ednah-Walters/dp/0983429766/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1367437599&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Runes+ednah+waltersKindle (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CP4YKTG
Kindle (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CP4YKTG
Kindle (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00CP4YKTG
EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.
Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN.
Ednah also writes New Adult paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. She is presently working on book 2, IMMORTALS.
Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She's presently working on book six. You can visit her online at www.ednahwalters.com or www.ebwalters.com.
Connect with Ednah:
Now for the awesome giveaway, 5 lucky winners will win one of each item shown below:
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Now for the awesome giveaway, 5 lucky winners will win one of each item shown below:
Now for my post:
First Chapter of Runes from Torin's POV:
I pulled into the driveway of the Seville’s, the gate closing behind me before I killed the Harley’s engine. The sprawling two-story mansion could be a real estate ad for every Immortal residence I’d visited in the last several centuries—the biggest house on the block, high security fence and expensive cars in the driveway. They didn’t even try to blend in with humans anymore.
Mentally, I went through what I knew about the Sevilles. They’d been stationed on Earth for seventeen years and had even adopted a human child, a rare thing for their kind. Had they gotten lonely? Bored? Their action was screwing up my plans royally. The presence of the boy in their home meant I couldn’t stay with them.
The front door opened before I reached it and a tall blonde woman smiled nervously at me from the doorway. Like most Immortals, it was impossible to tell her age.
“Mrs. Seville,” I said, pulling off my fingerless gloves. I didn’t offer her my hand and neither did she. In fact, she looked like she’d faint if I touched her. “Torin St. James. I’m a—”
“I know what you are, Mr. St. James.” She glanced at the gate as though checking for eavesdroppers. “Come inside, please.”
Her nervousness didn’t make sense. An Immortal had no reason to fear me. Humans, on the other hand, should run in the opposite direction if they saw me coming.
“My husband stepped out for a moment,” she waved toward a mirror, “but he should be back any minute.”
I frowned. I’d never met her before yet I made her nervous. Or maybe it was something else. “Is everything okay, Mrs. Seville?”
“Yes, of course. May I offer you a drink?”
“That won’t be necessary.” I gave the marbled grand foyer and its grand stairs a sweeping glance and tried not to wince. It was so sterile. Even the paintings on the walls and the sculptures displayed in niches belonged in a museum. Staying with them would be a nightmare. I liked to come and go as I pleased, and work on my bike without worrying about dirtying a place up. “I was told you’d provide me with lodging until I find a more suitable place.”
“You are free to stay here, of course,” the woman said, her eyes shifting to the mirror as though hoping her husband would return. “We also have a house for sale a few blocks from here. It is smaller and not furnished, but—”
“I’ll take it.” I turned on the charm, took her hand in mine and flashed a smile. The effect on her was immediate. She visibly relaxed. “Thank you.”
She smiled. “It’s an honor to help. The problem is my son has the keys to the house and he’s not home yet. He might be at his, uh, friend’s house.”
“Where does he live?”
“She,” Mrs. Seville corrected. “I’ll show you.” She pulled a runic blade from under her sleeve, walked to the floor to ceiling mirror and quickly sketched runes on its surface. The mirror shimmered and became grainy. It started to churn, the surface coiling like a snake.
The portal took forever to form. Why anyone would choose to be merely an Immortal was beyond me. Their powers were limited, making them inept at performing runic magic. Even creating a portal was a Herculean task for most Immortals. Since I had no idea where we were headed and couldn’t speed things up, I kept my mouth shut and waited, until the coiling surface formed a tunnel. Through it, I saw an empty room on the other end.
I followed Mrs. Seville, listening to her as she showed me around. We were in a room the size of the one with the portal when she pointed at the house next door.
“That’s the Coopers’ house,” she said.
It was so close I could see inside the upstairs bedroom. Lemon yellow and lime-green comforter with lace. Lacey curtains. Definitely a girl’s room. It appeared empty. “What is the girl’s name?”
“Lorraine, but everyone calls her Raine,” Mrs. Seville said with obvious disapproval.
I wondered what she had against the girl. I loved humans and their quirks, especially their women, but I had one rule I lived by—never get emotionally involved with one. Seducing them made the monotony of my existence bearable, but I always walked away. Always. For centuries, I’d roamed this world with no emotional ties or baggage. No heartache. No woman pining for me. Single-mindedly focused on my duties. Some might think I was a cold and unfeeling bastard, but I preferred my life complication-free. Humans with their excessive emotions tended to complicate things. I’d seen enough of my kind fall for a human and lose everything or do stupid things like turn them. Humans, or Mortals as often referred to them, did not belong in our world.
Downstairs, I opened the garage door, turned, and almost bumped into Mrs. Seville, who was behind me.
“You could wait at my house until Eirik comes home and gives you the key,” she said, stepping back.
“I’ll get the key later. With the garage door opened, I’m good for now.”
She nodded. “Are you here alone?”
“No.” I didn’t explain that my partner Andris was living with the only other Immortal family in Kayville. We worked in pairs or groups of two, but Andris and I hadn’t lived together in years and I preferred it that way. He was a reckless idiot who didn’t think twice about messing with humans when he got bored.
“How long will you be staying?” Mrs. Seville asked, cutting into my thoughts.
I cocked my eyebrows, and her smile faltered.
“I apologize,” she added quickly.
I tried to put her at ease with another charming smile, but she knew she’d crossed the line. We didn’t discuss our business with Immortals. It didn’t matter how old they were. Their job was to make our work easier by providing us with accommodations and information. At times, they acted as our parents, but I never had a problem enrolling in a new school.
Back at her house, she seemed eager to see me leave. She quickly wrote down the directions to the house we’d just left, name of my school and my new neighbors. I had no intention of being chummy with my neighbors, but I had the weekend to locate my new school. Thinking about it left a bitter taste in my mouth.
How many high schools and colleges had I attended the last few centuries? Too many to count. It didn’t matter whether they were private or public, preppie or Ivy League, they were all the same as far as I was concerned. Boring and packed with ignorant, hormone-driven Mortals with attention span of a goldfish. Even the smart ones had no clue about our existence.
I studied the directions Mrs. Seville had given me and gunned the engine.
The second I parked my Harley inside the garage and turned off the engine, I felt it—an essence so strong the hairs on my skin rose. Hel's Mist! Where was it coming from? How come I hadn’t sensed it earlier?
I could sense one of us from a mile away, but this one was different. It was as though it vibrated on a different frequency. Removing my sunglasses, I studied the houses in the cul-de-sac. Perfect little houses with perfect little lawns. A curtain moved at a window across from the street then fell into place. Add nosey neighbors, my worst nightmare. It had been awhile since we lived in a small town like Kayville, Oregon. Andris was going to hate it. I grinned at the thought, imagining the look on his face.
I removed the piece of paper from under my biker gloves, checked the names of the neighbors. Nosy neighbors were the Rutledges—husband was an ex-marine and the wife a homemaker. No kids. In fact, there were no kids in the cul-de-sac except for the Cooper girl. Perfect. I didn’t want to socialize with any teens except those that I came for.
I sauntered down the driveway. The curtains across the street moved again and I hid a smile. The attention didn’t bother me. I was used to it.
The closer I got to the house next door, the stronger the vibes I’d felt became. The runes on a car in the driveway cinched it. One of us lived here. Still, it didn’t explain the powerful essence.
I pressed the doorbell and waited.
Someone yanked the door open and a girl snapped, “About time you got he…”
Her voice trailed off, hazel eyes widening, pupils dilating, until I could see specks of green in the irises. The kick in the gut feeling surprised me and I sucked in a breath. I’d seen my share of gorgeous women, but something about this one…
She had expressive eyes, fragile features including the most kissable lips I’d seen on any woman in centuries—lush and juicy bottom, perfectly shaped top. The freckles dotting her nose added something to her looks. My fingers itched to reach out and stroke them. I was a lips man, but a complete sucker for freckles, which didn’t explain the sudden urge to bolt. I didn’t run from women, period! Her essence was the one I’d sensed. It was strong. Different. Like nothing I’d ever encountered before. Why would a Mortal have such a unique essence?
“I’m looking for Eirik Seville,” I said impatiently.
She closed her eyes tight and then quickly opened them and gave me a once over, her eyes lingering on my face and hair with such intensity I started to fidget.
Mortal reaction to my presence never failed to amuse me. Half the time they stammered and blushed. The other half, they became tongue-tied. This was the first time things were reversed. This girl made me uneasy. It was as though she could see through the bullshit to the real me, which was ridiculous. She was just a mere Mortal. I was a legend.
“Have you seen him?” I asked again, eager to get an answer and leave.
“What?” she asked. The single word came out in two syllables.
“I asked if you’d seen Eirik Seville,” I said, “and you shook your head. Does that mean you didn’t understand what I said, don’t know him, or don’t know where he is?”
“I, uh, the third one.” A blush crept up her face, making the freckles more noticeable. “I mean, I don’t know where he is,” she added in a tiny voice.
“He said he would be at the house of...” I knew her name, but I still pulled out the piece of paper from the back of my biker glove, giving myself time to get my thoughts and emotions under control. “Raine Cooper.”
“That’s me. Lorraine Cooper, but everyone calls me Raine. You know, rain with a silent E,” she said in a chipper voice. “Yeah, well, Eirik’s not here.”
“When do you expect him? Or should I ask when does he usually get here, Raine with an E?” I asked.
She frowned, her chin lifting. “He doesn’t always come here after school, you know. You could try his house or text him.”
Nice comeback. “If I wanted to use modern technology I would, but I’d rather not. Could you do me a favor?”
She shook her head, her frown deepening, her gaze assessing. Once again, I fought the urge to bolt even though I had no idea why. She was just a girl, a mere Mortal, I told myself. The problem was repeating that crap didn’t stop the effect she appeared to have on me.
“You’re shaking your head again. Did my question confuse you? Am I talking too fast, too slow, or is it me? I’ve been told my presence tends to, uh, throw people off.”
She crossed her arms, her chin shooting up, so she could stare down her nose at me. “No.”
The movement drew my attention to her chest. That I found her modest chest fascinating annoyed the Hel out of me.
“No to what?” I asked. I knew I was being rude, probably making a complete ass of myself, but I didn’t give a crap. It was self-preservation time.
“No, you didn’t confuse me. And no, I won’t do you a favor,” she said.
Forget this. I plucked wraparound sunglasses from my front pocket, slipped them on, and turned to leave. What in Hel’s Mist was wrong with me? Grown men trembled in my presence and begged me to spare their lives. Yet here I was running away from a woman. No, not a woman. A girl on the verge of becoming a woman all because she made me feel something I didn’t understand and couldn’t explain.
Steeling myself, I turned and gave her my most charming smile. The one that often got me play with women of all ages. “Okay, Raine with an E, what do I have to do to make you play nice?”
Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. My grin broadened. I had her.
“Stop being rude and condescending for starters,” she snapped.
I blinked. Not exactly the response I’d expected, but it said something about her. Raine Cooper was no doormat or easily charmed.
“I thought I was being extremely polite,” I said.
She gave an unladylike snort. “Right.”
“Do I need to apologize?”
“Not if you don’t mean it.”
“Then I won’t.”
Her eyes narrowed with a mixture of annoyance and determination and I could swear she wanted to smack me. I found myself waiting for her next move with anticipation. It had been a while since I enjoyed bantering with a woman.
“Okay, shoot. What’s the favor?” she asked.
Disappointed that she gave in too easily, I said, “Tell your boyfriend that he and I need to talk. Today. In the next hour if possible.”
“Yes, sir.” She saluted me, her beautiful lips curving into a mocking, but enticing smile.
An insane thought popped into my head. I wanted to capture her smile. Touch her lips and see if they were as soft as they looked. My hand shot out but then I remembered something. I didn’t get emotionally involved with Mortals, yet here I was acting on impulse, letting something I was still yet to understand dictate my actions. The realization was like a douse in ice-cold water. I corrected my aim and touched her nose instead.
“Cute. Nice meeting you, Raine with an E.” I hurried away before I could forget myself and do something I’d regret. Still, I was aware of her eyes on me.
“What’s your name?” she called out.
Ignore her and keep walking. It’s the right thing to do. But the reckless part of me, suppressed for so long, wanted to come out and play.
Slowly, I turned, lowered my sunglasses, and studied her. She was all legs and curves, but what got to me, sucked me was her expression. It was a mixture of innocent curiosity, seductive charm and defiant boldness. I wasn’t here to tango with a snarky Mortal, but this one made me want to change my mind. After centuries, it might be nice to find someone worthy of my time. She might even make this assignment bearable. Of course, knowing she wouldn’t remember me afterwards made her even more appealing.
“Why do you want to know?” I asked.
“I don’t,” she said, her perfect nose up in the air again, “but Eirik will need a name to go with the message.”
“My name won’t mean anything to him. Just tell him the message is from your new neighbor.” Her mouth formed a perfect O as though my news surprised her. Grinning, I dragged my eyes away from her enticing lips. Yeah, living next door to this Mortal was going to be very interesting.
As I turned toward the sidewalk, stickers on the back of the car in her driveway caught my attention.
She was one of them, the reason I was in their little town. Good. That mean I had every reason to up close and personal with her. She was still watching me when I reached my door. I caught her gaze and grinned.
I selected my bedroom, the one facing her house. Liking our close proximity, I whistled as I headed to the room with the mirror portal. Time to move a few things into my new home. The old one had been in upstate New York by the beach. It had its moments, but I was happy to leave.
Throwing my jacket on the window seat, I started to leave the room when a blonde appeared on Raine’s bedroom window. Pretty, busty, gorgeous hair, so not my type. Funny, I never had a type until now.
I willed runes and they appeared, coiling on my skin like tats. A surge of pure energy shot through my body. The portal in the other room responded and opened with a warm breeze.
The scent of the sea teased my nostril. I was going to miss the beach house, my base the last four years. Our bases were often temporary in case some Mortal remembered us or we got too attached to it. At least that was what the council claimed. Personally, I think they just loved to yank our chains. We were free to move between realms while they were stuck in Asgard. So we changed bases every few years while the Norns, deities in charge of destinies, scrambled memories of Mortals whose paths we crossed. Keeping our existence a secret meant everything to the Norns.
After several trips, I had a furnished my new bedroom and something to sit on in my new living room. The kitchen utensils would wait until tomorrow. All I needed were the fridge contents.
“Damn!” The lid of the gravy popped open and half of its content spewed on my shirt and pants. I dumped the remaining gravy in the sink, removed my shirt, and wiped off the gunk on my pants.
Instead of going upstairs for another shirt, I pulled out a lap top. I hated modern technology, but occasionally Mortals came up with something ingenious. Like motorcycles. Right now, joining the swim team of my new high school was my first priority and I’d sent the coach an e-mail a few days ago.
I read the response from the coach. The swim team had Ultimate Frisbee game in the park tomorrow afternoon and tryouts in a few weeks. I responded to his e-mail then headed to the garage.
Most of my kind, when not working, found a hobby to keep them preoccupied. Motorcycles were my thing. There was not a single engine I couldn’t dismantle and put together again, tweak or modify for maximum performance. My interest started when the first steam-powered motorcycles were built in 1800s. By then, I had gotten tired of using portals. I even bought one of the first commercially available motorcycles with an internal combustion engine.
My latest was a Harley. V-twin engine. Top of the line. I loved it. I was almost done modifying it to my specification, but I couldn’t work in this garage. I glanced around and shook my head. Didn’t the Sevilles ever throw away anything? There were way too much crap stored in the place, majority of them old electronics—TV, computers, gaming consoles.
Pushing my bike outside, I heard a car start and looked up. Raine was backing out of her driveway, but her eyes were on me. Her car shot backwards and slammed into something.
“You okay?” I yelled, running toward her car. She jumped out of her car and stared at her neighbor’s mailbox in horror. It looked like a road kill, the mail spilled all over the ground. “That looks bad.”
“You think?” she retorted.
I chuckled. “From that snarky comment, you must be okay.”
When she started collecting the mail, I squatted and helped her. Her hair was in a ponytail and I found myself studying the fine hair at the base of her neck. Once again, an insane urge to reach out and stroke her skin surprised me. She had freckles on her nape.
I dragged my eyes from her neck when she turned. Instead of looking up at me, which wasn’t a bad thing because I was sure my lustful thoughts were written all over my face, she stared at my chest and abs, reminding me I was still shirtless. My muscles tensed. Her gaze on me felt like a physical touch, which was equally bad.
“My face is up here, Freckles.”
Her eyes flew to mine, and she blushed. “I, uh, I was just leaving to go to swim practice and… and...”
“I distracted you. Sorry about that.”
I cocked my eyebrows, getting some perverse pleasure from the fact that she couldn’t take her eyes off me. “Didn’t what?”
“Distract me,” she snapped and snatched the mail in my hands. “Thanks. I was checking my text messages when I should have been paying attention to where I was going.”
Liar. But I didn’t call her out though. I liked seeing her flustered, but I hated seeing her vulnerable. Knocking down her neighbor’s mailbox had rattled her. It made me want to hug her and reassure her everything would be okay.
When she started toward the driver’s seat, I said, “Aren’t you going to tell them you hit their mailbox? I mean, it’s against the law to flee a crime scene and all that.”
She glared. “I will talk to them when they come home from work. For now, I plan on leaving them a note. Not that it’s any of your business.” She disappeared inside her car.
“I could explain to them what happened if you’d like,” I offered. “You know, share the responsibility. After all, I did distract you.”
She didn’t respond right away. Instead she stood and cut me a look that would have shriveled a lesser guy. “I don’t need your help.”
“Actually, you do.”
“No, I don’t.” She turned and marched away. I grinned when she threw me another killer glance. She was ice and fire, innocence and seductive charm. Somehow, I doubted that she knew how fascinating she was.
I walked to the mailbox, touched the surface and studied the damage. Runes should fix this in seconds, but would Raine let me help. Her car had scratches too. For the first time in centuries, I wanted to tell a Mortal about who I was. It didn’t matter that I barely knew her. Something about her called to me at a fundamental level. It defied description. It was illogical. Unfortunately, if I dared to reveal who I was, the council would give me a one way ticket to Hel. One time on Hel duty was enough.
Raine was back, a fat manila envelope in her hand. From its size, she’d put the neighbor’s mail inside it. A piece of paper was taped to the outside. Probably an apology letter. How sweet.
“Excuse me,” she said, skirted me him and propped the manila envelope against the crooked pole.
“I can fix this before they come home,” I said.
She eyed me suspiciously. “Really? How?”
“Magic?” Her hands fisted, eyes narrowing. “You know what? Stay away from me, Blue Eyes. Don’t talk to me or even acknowledge we know each other when our paths cross again. ”
Somehow, I didn’t think she’d believe me. Humans didn’t believe in what they couldn’t see or touch. Just as well. “Blue Eyes?”
“That’s me playing nice.”
I laughed. Nice and she didn’t go together. “Look, Freckles—”
“Don’t call me that,” she snapped, got behind the wheel and took off.
Like I said, she was ice and fire. I waited until her car disappeared around the bend, then glanced at the doors of the houses around the cul-de-sac. Most of the people weren’t home, except the Rutledges. Moving fast, I removed a runic blade from the back pocket of my pants, etched runes on the box and the pole and stepped back. The wood responded and remolded until the mailbox was whole again.
Ah, the power of runes never ceases to impress me.
I picked up the envelope she’d left behind, replaced the mail back inside the mailbox. I glanced at her letter and grinned. Neat handwriting. Straight to the point. I liked her style.
I froze, then slowly turned and smiled at the two women standing on the porch across the cul-de-sac. How much had they seen? I folded Raine’s letter and envelope, and shoved them in my back pocket. Time to charm the neighbors.
Our own Torin St. James has made it into the last rounds of the Indie Crush Torney, So starting June 10th lets all go and vote for him. Grab this button below and put it on your blog to spread the word: