Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dark Waltz (A Praestani Novel) by A.M. Hargrove Excerpt


Attention: This is an ADULT Book!

Dark Waltz--A sizzling legend of loss, lust and love.

It’s the year 2030 and the human population has been annihilated by a virulent form of small pox. Liasare Davidson is desperately searching for her brother, who has been missing for three months. It’s been eighteen years since she was evacuated from Earth and she is horrified to see it’s become a cesspool of unimaginable things.

In her quest to find her brother, she meets Jurek, a powerful and enigmatic being that frightens her, yet she is unable to resist. When things begin to unfold between them, they both discover a paralyzing truth that puts Liasare at grave risk. She must make a choice to join Jurek and find her brother or fulfill a role she believes she is ill equipped to undertake.

Now for the teaser…


“Going somewhere?” that husky voice asked.

 Crapitty crap!

 She sucked in her breath and dropped her annihilator, as his voice startled her. Before her brain could comprehend what was happening, she felt her body swirling through a vortex. She finally came to rest in another place.

 Disoriented and dizzy, she tried to focus on her surroundings, but everything seemed to tilt sideways.  She reached out her hand to stop herself from falling, but only succeeded in grabbing a fistful of air.  Not knowing which way was up or down, she tried, unsuccessfully, to break her fall. Instead, she felt her breath leave her body in a whoosh as she slammed into the ground.

 Fighting for oxygen, her diaphragm wouldn’t cooperate with her brain’s commands.  Worse yet, she felt a pair of hands latch onto her waist, drag her to her feet and ram her back into a wall.  Her head hung down as she fought to draw in precious oxygen, yet found she was still unable to do so.  Then the asshole had the nerve to jam his arm straight into her diaphragm and start demanding things of her.

 “Who do you work for?”

 Her mouth opened and closed repeatedly, like a poor fish that had been hauled out of the water, desperate to be thrown back in.

 “I’ll ask again, who do you work for?” he bit out each word with precision.

 Things began to turn grey and hazy as the lack of air finally took its toll on her brain.  She knew she was going to pass out.

 Double crapitty crap!

 Her head lolled to the side and…blink, lights out.

 Jurek looked at her and cursed, “What the f**k?”

 He hadn’t realized she was so close to losing it.  He laid her out on the floor and looked at her for a moment.  She wasn’t beautiful in that traditional, cookie-cutter sense, but there was something about her that enticed him.  Her chestnut mane for one, and Jurek had always been a sucker for women with beautiful hair, but those hazel eyes of hers were something else.  Her full lips were kissably soft, he thought, as he ran his thumb along her mouth.  He finally placed his hand on her forehead and in seconds, she came to, moaning.

 Her eyes fluttered open and when the recognition in them flickered, those hazel eyes shot sparks of gold.  Hovering before her was the dark haired man from the bar.  She wouldn’t have had to open her eyes to know it was him since every cell in her body was on fire with his power.

 Soft black hair hung close to his shoulders and he wore it brushed back off his face.  Liasare briefly wondered if it would feel as soft as it looked.  He had a bit of scruff on his face; he obviously hadn’t bothered to shave in the last couple of days.  His lips were full and sensuous and definitely made for kissing.  In fact, Liasare could imagine running her tongue along that lower lip of his, tugging on it and gently sucking it.  What made her nearly lose it were his eyes.  They were extraordinary.  Lavender, rimmed in indigo with flecks of silver swirling within their depths, Liasare had never seen anything so stunning in her life.

 Regaining her senses, Liasare flew to her feet and threw a right uppercut that connected beneath Jurek’s jaw.  Had he been a lesser man, it would have laid him out.  Then she spun on her heel and began the motion for an intended groin kick, but his quick reflexes caught her leg before it connected and he flicked it off with his hand.

 “You flaming asshole.  Who do you think you are?  You f***ing knock the wind out of me and then you do it again for shits and giggles?  Who the hell do you think you are?”

 “Watch your language and I’m asking the questions here.”

 “Not anymore,” Liasare hissed as she turned to head out of the building.

 Before she could take another step, an arm snaked out and grabbed her around the waist.  He pulled her tightly against his chest and whispered huskily into her ear, “I asked you a question.  I want to know who you’re working for and I don’t intend to let you go until I get an answer.”

 His voice washed over her with that electrifying intense heat.  She felt her skin erupt in a million goose bumps as every hair on her body stood at attention.

 Damn him, she thought.  How can he have this kind of power over me? 

 “You have no idea Brownie.”


 “Mmm.  Brownie.  For that glorious mane of hair you have.”  His hand spanned across her stomach and she felt a million butterflies suddenly erupt as he hugged her tightly against him. “I’ll bet you taste better than one too.”  If she could have turned around she would have seen the corners of his mouth turn up as he baited her.


Dark Waltz Excerpt

Liasare checked out two more bars before she decided that the next would be her last for the night.  She plopped down on the first available seat with an oomph and ordered yet another beer.
What an interesting night.  Met a blonde girl who obviously knew Tommy, got bitten by a Xanthian, stabbed and killed a Xanthian, almost got myself killed by a Xanthian, was rescued by some awesomeness that then spoke into my mind, snagged an annihilator, got asked out on a date...what next?
The hairs on the back of her neck promptly stood at attention, followed by the rest of her body hair.  The room seemed to take on an intense heated electrical charge.  She wondered if it was just her, or did everyone else feel it?  Her eyes gazed around the room, trying to locate the source of her discomfort.  No one else appeared to be affected by this strange phenomenon.  She gave her head a firm shake and turned her focus back to her beer.  While beer had never been one of her favorite beverages, the iciness of it as it slid down her throat seemed to ease the discomfort caused by the strange sensations she was experiencing.  The bottle was quickly emptied as she sought to put out the fire that had erupted within her.
The bartender raised his brows and she nodded, indicating her desire for another.  Seconds later, another bottle was in her hands and its liquid contents were making their way down her parched throat.
Liasare began inspecting the patrons of the nightclub, hunting for whatever could possibly be making her feel so uncomfortable.  As her eyes scanned the room, they came to rest on a man who was intently staring at her.   He stood still as a marble statue, not so much as blinking an eye.  Dressed in snug black leather pants that sat low on his hips, his chest was bare, with the exception of an unbuttoned black leather vest.  He wore no shirt, nor did he need one; his sculpted muscles seemed to defy the presence of something so offensive.  His arms bore a myriad of black tattoos, which were perfectly symmetrical in their swirling yet angular beauty.  They looked perfectly delicious against his smooth tawny skin and Liasare had an irrepressible urge to touch and inspect them.  His face wasn’t beautiful in the classical sense, though from her vantage point, she could see he was compellingly attractive, so much so that she found herself craning her neck to get a better look at him.
What the hell am I thinking?  He could be a serial killer or something.
Jerking her gaze away from him, she forced herself to focus on drinking the rest of her beer.
As Liasare sat there, she couldn’t stop thinking about the strange man.  Turning her bar stool to get another look at him, she was disappointed to see he had left his place against the wall.  Her instincts and body told her he was still there.  It was in the, electrifying.  It wasn’t painful, yet it wasn’t comfortable either as she found herself squirming on her perch at the bar.  She took another long pull off her beer.
“Looking for me?” his warm breath cascaded over her ear and down her neck, sending currents of heat throughout every molecule, centering on that very spot at the pinnacle of her thighs she didn’t want to think about.  She choked on her beer and spit it out on the bar as she felt his lips leave of trail of molten kisses down the side of her neck.
The bartender, noticing her distress, immediately came to her aid with a towel.  He mopped up the mess and handed her a bunch of napkins.
“Are you all right?”
“Yeah, thanks,” she squeaked.
Her face was most likely the color of a tomato; it felt like it had gone up in flames when that husky voice whispered in her ear.  She knew he was gone for her nerve endings told her so.  She swiped her hand across her sweaty brow.  In her twenty-seven years of life, never had a man affected her like this.  It would be her luck, she thought, that something like this would happen on a night like tonight.


Jurek Herdekian leaned against the wall and eyed the chestnut haired human as she drank her beer.  His mere presence affected her, which surprised him since he was always careful to mute his powers.  The human’s extreme sensitivity to him was an aberration.  He was also disturbed by the fact that he had felt her distress when she had been surrounded by the Xanthians earlier in the night.  He had no doubt that they had planned to kill her.  That she had managed to kill one of them, impressed him beyond measure.  He must find out who she worked for and what she was after.
As she drank, she turned to examine the crowd.  When her gaze landed on him, it wasn’t a quick look, but a thorough inspection.  She liked what she saw and wanted to get a closer look.  Had Jurek been in a different setting, he might have thrown his head back and laughed at her audacity.  He opted for the next best thing.
Jurek moved stealthily through the crowd until he was directly behind her, whispered something, kissed her, and then left.  He would keep her in his sights now that he knew her scent as well as her thoughts.
He waited outside the bar and watched as the sky lightened with the morning sun.  The chestnut haired human left the bar and headed south toward the old Dillsworth area. Jurek followed her at a safe distance.  When he found out where she was going, he would assign a man to her.  She was fairly smart, this one.  She took all kinds of turns and cut through yards, to lose anyone following her.   She kept a constant check behind her; of course it would have been impossible to notice him, for he was traveling in his energy form which was undetectable to the human eye, or any eye for that matter.
She arrived at a garage and made her way inside.  He followed her and saw where she was staying.  Satisfied that she would be safe for the near future, he departed and headed back to Lare-Stell Base.

Author Bio:

One day on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.
“Boss, is that you?”
“Why yes A.M., who else would be answering my phone?”
“Er… right. Well, I’m calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate because I quit.”
A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.
“Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?”
“Sure hon… having some car trouble?”
“Not at all. I need a ride because I just quit my job.”
“You WHAT?!”
“It’s time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.”
So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks.
Well, it didn’t happen exactly like that. The real story is that after years as a successful sales manager in the world of pharmaceuticals, her company was gobbled up by a larger one and her career came to a screeching halt. Always one to look at the glass as being half full, she took the job loss as an opportunity to forge down the path of her life-long dream– that of becoming a writer. Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love. The books in the series are listed in order: Beginnings (a prequel novella), Survival, Resurrection and Determinant.  Beginnings can be read at any time and Determinant, even though it is the third book in the series, can be read as a stand alone novel.



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  1. Hi Andrea! Thanks so much for being a part of the tour and featuring the excerpt and giveaway. Your blog is awesome by the way! Annie xx

  2. Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop!

  3. Sounds great. Thanks for sharing!!