Today Mallory McCartney and Rockstar Book Tours are happy to announce that QUEEN TO ASHES, is available for pre-order! Check out all the book info and enter the giveaway!
The vastness of the sky consumed him. It always had, ever since he was young, but tonight seemed different. The churning dark clouds cast a purplish hue, bleeding with the softness created from the moon. The stars shone between the pockets, obscuring the scene and making it beautiful. Far below him, the Ruined City laid in its grave, quiet and still, the broken buildings reminding him of splintered bones. The wildness of the forest beyond that seemed entrancing, calling him into its depths, whispering its secrets to only him.
Adair Stratton tugged his button-down jacket tighter around him, trying to block the wind from his lookout post. It had taken years to build his kingdom to what it was now, but he was relieved for the hidden lookout posts that led outside, on the edge of the mountain, and, to him, the edge of the world. Because it was here, and only here, that the voices started to ebb, the darkness in his veins smothering ever so slightly. In this brief and flickering moment of clarity, his mind wandered to the girl who was locked in the cells of his kingdom, waiting for him. Emory Fae, the Princess of Kiero.
He popped his collar up, shaking his head and sighing. Under the blanket of night, he could trace back to the man he used to be, the echo of his humanity. Thinking of her, he could see the splaying of memories come back to life all around him, of his friends, of the Academy. And it was in these sparse moments of lucidity, he allowed himself to remember. Relishing it, pushing back that yearning for destruction, pushing back on the voices, trying to lock them away. And like every other night, he lost. The wind howled, making the edges of his coat and pants tug upward, his hair standing on end from the sudden chill.
His boots kicked against the slick mountainside, his heart racing as the smooth voices filled his consciousness. “Adair, this kingdom is yours. Make her bow, make her bleed and pay for what she has done.” He closed his eyes for a beat, digging his fingernails into his flesh. “Why do you wait? You know what you want. What you have always wanted.” Images were thrown at him; so quick and enthralling, it swept his breath away. The inky crown, embedded with roses and thorns, laid delicately on top of her ebony hair. Memphis Carter, the once commander of the Black Dawn Rebellion, bowed, pleading for his life as Adair smirked. His darkness whisked away any trace of rebellion. Emory was by his side as they watched the world continue to burn, until it was only them. Always, for them.
Adair snarled, then said, “Leave me alone. Please.” Their snickers bounced around him, their whispers tugging at his heart. “Do not falter now, our Dark King. You have come so far, achieved so much. The binds your father tried to keep you in, you broke. The Academy kept you in, you turned it to ash. We are a team. We know the desires of your soul, how you revel in watching the world shudder in your reign. You have always been more. A reckoning force that no one can stop. Can never stop.”
He became still, his muscles taut. Opening his eyes, his gaze fell a thousand miles away, to where the Academy had stood. Where a boy that once wanted to explore the world and not shackle it had lived. He knew both were dead now. Ice coursed through his body, spreading through his core faster than he could register. His pulse slowed, the roaring emotions he felt slowing as well. Darkness encased him, pulling him down, down, down. Locking him away, roaring, snarling, and clawing at him. A slow exhale escaped from between his dry lips, and as he stood, every movement was precise, a predatory grace. Flicking his gaze below him once more, and instead of the dark beauty that he was met with earlier, the world around him was bleeding. Dark, black blood gushed from the mountainside, thickly caking the field and the Ruined City. Echoes of screams filled the air, and Adair was transported, reminded of his bloodshed, of his control and power. “Do not disappoint us, our King.”
The corners of his lips tugged upward as he whispered to the wind, “I won’t.”
Inside he screamed, ripping at his mind, battering against the iron wall, only to be drowned entirely by it. He turned smoothly, walking back into his world, each step anchoring him to his intentions. Make them bow and make them pay. Make her pay. He didn’t look as he stepped off the side of the cliff, freefalling. He plummeted, the wind howling, the cool night air stinging his skin. He laughed, relishing in the exhilaration of adrenaline, before he was wrenched up, his body breaking down into particles of smoke and the darkness. Cutting through the sky, he didn’t think, he just reacted to the power inside of him, and everything else bled away. Arching, he cut through the clouds, moisture collecting around him like glinting crystals, before they exploded, and he cut down, racing towards the mountain range. The moon bathed his path in luminescent light, and it was mere seconds before he slammed through the wall, through stone and wood. The smoothness of the throne room’s granite made his footfalls silent as the guards on their rotation jumped at his arrival.
He scoffed. “You all seem uneasy.”
They bowed their heads, their low murmurs cutting over one another.
“My King, we weren’t expecting you.”
“The losses, my King.”
“What is our course of action?”
“Enough!” he snapped, his cold voice bouncing off the walls and silencing them instantly. He looked at the black marble and his throne, smooth, each curve carved precisely, the bones of monsters long forgotten inlaid in it. Taking a steadying breath, he looked at each guard, quietly stating, “You will all do your duties and leave the Rebellion to me. As for the girl, bring her tomorrow, along with the other prisoner. Each decision I make has a purpose, and you aren’t doubting your allegiance to me now, are you?” Shifting uneasily, the guards paled in the soft light, swallowing nervously. Their silent answer enough. Pacing, he snapped, “Now, leave me. Return to your stations.”
They bowed, each footfall a distant tick against his mind, until the stillness of the night filled him, and he was alone once more. Striding, he threw himself on his throne, legs hanging over the edges, hands propping his head up. Far above him, the stars glinted down, the sky opening him up to the thousands of uncharted miles in between space and time. And he thought of the girl who had defied it all.
Chewing his lip, he started to count down the seconds, the minutes, and the hours until he was alone with her. And they would both see what side of him would decide her fate.
TO ASHES (Black Dawn #2)
you was missing. Fight for the missing part. Fight for this.”
Emory Fae has abandoned everything she thought she knew about her previous life on Earth. Stepping up to her role as Queen of Kiero she makes a startling sacrifice- feigning her allegiances to Adair Stratton, the man who murdered her parents and casted Kiero into ruin. Emory’s memories slowly piece together, and she soon realizes the Mad King may not be all he seems— and the man who was
once best friend, may be fighting beneath the surface.
darkness, will Emory rise as Queen?
Kiero’s reign in prosperity is over.”
Stratton and Emory Fae are following in their parent’s footsteps and living at The Academy, a home for those who are gifted. The pressure to uphold the future of their parent’s dream falls on them. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. Even if Emory tries to make him see differently. An unexpected group of friends keep him there, but as whispers of unexplained disappearances start reaching from the capital, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.
world of Kiero, and bringing Emory back she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a
dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.
dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.
McCartney is the author of the bestselling Black Dawn series. She currently
lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola
and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be
found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes
involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new
coffee and dessert shops.
Amazon Gift Card, International.