The People are in a time of great need. The Prophecy of Light has been rediscovered, the Eternal Order constitutes a growing threat, and the IECS Archives may hold the key the People need to forever be free of An’s curse.
Moira the Reluctant, immortal Daughter of the renowned Rebecca Upton, journeys from her home in Ireland to assist with efforts to locate Sanctuary, the legendary refuge of the Seven Sisters. There, she meets Tom Fairfax, a reserved archivist tasked with organizing and modernizing the Archives. Tom is everything a Daughter could want in a future mate, handsome, intelligent, and kind. Above all, his touch arouses her in a way no other man’s ever has.
The moment Tom spied Moira, his heart tangled into a knot and hasn’t loosened since. The beautiful Daughter has a sharp tongue and a temper to match, and is not at all the kind of woman he dreamed of calling his own. In spite of the attraction he feels for her, Tom goes out of his way to avoid the fiery Daughter, determined to protect himself from certain heartbreak. Moira is equally determined to have him, regardless of his apparent infatuation with another Daughter.
When Moira’s brother is kidnapped, she and Tom are thrown together in a way neither anticipated, forcing them to trust one another or risk losing their budding love under the crushing weight of the Order’s never-ending quest for continued immortality.
Released February 2015 by Bone Diggers Press. Copyright 2015.
Excerpt from In All Things, Balance
Moira Firebrand, the Reluctant, daughter of Rebecca the Blade of the line of Abragni, did not like being ignored.
No one ignored a woman of her temperament, not and lived to tell the tale.
Well, almost no one.
Across the crowded floor of The Omega, Tellowee, Georgia’s one and only bar, Tom Fairfax sat at a table with three of his friends, his back to the bar where Moira stood. Of a certainty, he’d taken that position deliberately, putting distance between himself and her as if a turned back would stop a Daughter.
Apparently, nearly two years spent among the People hadn’t taught the mortal a feckin’ thing about their women.
Moira did her own turning, facing the bar, and tapped her hand on its immaculate wooden surface. “Oy there, Will. Pull me another pint.”
Will Corbin jerked his chin at her and slung a crisp, white bar towel over his shoulder. Her cousin was a handsome Son, tall and broad of shoulder, with thick blonde hair, leaf green eyes, and cheeks that dimpled with every smile.
Those eyes were trained on Sigrid Glyvynsdatter with an intensity Moira well understood. Hadn’t she her own problems with the opposite sex, particularly with one man who looked right through her as if she didn’t exist?
She accepted the Murphy’s Irish Red Will had built her and winked at him, pleased at the saucy wink he shot back. That was Will, always even-keeled. If she hadn’t changed his nappies when he was a babe, she would’ve tried for him, cousin or no, but a woman had her limits and that was one of hers.
Sigrid leaned her elbows on the bar next to Moira, her steely eyes fixed on the tele above their heads, the top of her golden head six inches above Moira’s own. “Stop sighing over the mortal, Moira. If you want him so much, go take him.”
Moira sipped her ale, savoring its caramel hints. “We’ve moved into the twenty-first century, Sig. Now we have to ask a man before we (have sex with) him.”
Sigrid snorted and raised her own mug of lager. “As if that ever stopped you.”
“Might this time,” Moira muttered. She’d never met a man so stubbornly intent on avoiding her. They worked together, feck’s sake, and still, their paths hardly crossed during the day. She’d resorted to stalking him at the bar on the off chance that he might share a kind word or, Ki willing, dance with her again.
“This man doesn’t want you, go get another. One’s as good as any when the lights are out and your bed is cold.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Moira caught the sour scowl Will aimed at Sigrid. Poor lad, but that was the way of things when an immortal Daughter was involved, particularly one that had cut her teeth on raiding. Rumor had it the former Viking had taken her share of treasure in men she’d chained to her bed. ‘Course, rumor also said the men shackled themselves willingly.
Some poor sap slid coin into the jukebox stationed at the end of the bar and punched up a love song. Moira swiveled and leaned against the bar, sneering at the crowd of couples easing onto the postage stamp dance floor. It was the principle of the thing. Any Daughter worth her salt had quashed the need for tender embraces by the time she ended her first century, yet there they were, lining up with their lovers and intendeds, resting their heads on broad shoulders like cooing schoolgirls instead of the battle hardened warriors they were.
A slender Daughter with pale blonde hair and a sweet smile threaded through the crowd and placed her hand on Tom’s, her milky white cheeks creased in a smile. A moment later, he led her onto the dance floor, pulling her close within the tight confines of the couples already occupying its wooden surface.
A twinge of what might’ve been envy poked at Moira. With every other woman, including the one he held, Tom was an angel, shining his kind smile and intelligent brown-green eyes everywhere but on Moira. What had she done to earn the cold shoulder he pointed at her as often as not since the night he’d asked her to dance and held her as he now did Naomi Spillfeite? Carefully, tenderly, like a man who wanted the woman he was with. A full month it had been since that dance, more than since she’d begun work at the Archives, and in all that time, he’d grown steadily colder toward her.
She, on the other hand, had warmed right up to him. Feck’s sake, he was a full room away and nerves fluttered in her gut, low and achy, burning need into her with every twitch of his wide shoulders, with every turn of his midnight head.
She drained the last of her ale and smacked the glass mug onto the bar. What kind of Daughter allowed another to claim the man she wanted? Not her, that was who. Handsome Thomas had had three months to make his peace with her and rejected every blessed attempt she’d made to lure him in. Her patience was gone. He’d sparked a fierce yearning in her the night of that dance, and now, he’d soothe her the way a man should.
The song ended and another began, this one a slow do-wop. Moira pushed herself away from the bar and marched toward the dance floor. Aye, Tom Fairfax had a lot of soothing to do, and he could begin it with another dance.