Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pre-release Snippet for "Dragon Knight"

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
My third Collegium book is a stand-alone novel. Dragon Knight tells Lewis Bennett's story -- and if you've read Demon Hunter and Djinn Justice you'll know that his story has to be interesting. A committed guardian, a sworn magical protector, and he's burned out his magic. Who is he without the power he's always commanded?

Dragon Knight is out February 27, 2016.

The blurb:

Dragon knight Gina Sidhe serves Earth’s only resident dragon, and she’s been issued with a quest. She must return with Lewis Bennett, President of The Collegium (the world’s magical order of peacekeepers), so that he may learn the Deeper Path of Magic from the dragon. A path that has been denied to Gina, and one she desperately wants.

But Lewis isn’t interested. He knows his magic has gone, burned out amid a terrible tragedy. Which makes his current task all the harder. He must restructure and repurpose The Collegium in the wake of a shocking and sly demon attack. He doesn’t have time for Gina’s quest, until she offers him the one thing he can’t have: a hidden route out of his Collegium life.

Because Lewis has his own quest, one secret and lethal, to save the world from a threat no one else believes in.

The excerpt:

Family favours can only get you so far. Gina Sidhe had used her great-uncle’s name to achieve an appointment with the Collegium’s new president, but how she used that twenty minutes would decide the success or failure of her quest.

She’d prepared diligently.

It hadn’t been easy to research President Lewis Bennett without alerting his rabid protection squad, the famed Collegium guardians whom he’d once served with and directly commanded. After the debacle of a month ago when the Collegium discovered that a demon had infiltrated its highest ranks, possessing the former president’s personal assistant (and rumoured lover), everyone in the Collegium was on high alert.

Gina smiled at the personal assistant stationed in the outer office of the presidential suite. “Gina Sidhe, I have an appointment with President Bennett.”

The man assessed her. He wasn’t a typical PA. He was too lethal, his body honed to a fighter’s fitness and his magic sparking the tiniest warning.

Chad Price. Gina’s research had been thorough. She recognised the guardian bodyguard. Two other desks, empty at the moment, showed how a trio of guardians rotated the duty of personal assistant and security detail between them. Gina knew their names, too: Haskell Mondo and Shawn Johnson.

She waited as Chad scrutinised her. He’d find nothing to suspect. Her cover was solid. She was a junior member of the Sidhe family, famous for their hotels and their house witchery. She let her magic swirl gently, sending the message that she wasn’t a threat. Her business was mundane. She freelanced as a software consultant. As far as Chad knew, she was simply here, in New York, delivering a message from her great uncle. She hoped that her expression was appropriately faintly bored; that of a woman honouring a family request. Just as this appointment with President Bennet was Lewis Bennett honouring the favour he owed Uncle Asey.

“One moment.” Chad stood and walked to the closed door of the inner office. He knocked, received permission, and opened the door. Holding it for Gina wasn’t politeness. If she tried to attack President Bennett, Chad would be right there.

She walked across the room, conscious of her hips swaying thanks to the high heels she wore and how the cut of her navy-blue suit emphasised her figure, while the colour contrasted dramatically with her fine red-gold hair. Not that she wore her hair down. No, her hair was neatly confined in a chignon. She wanted the guardians to note her attractiveness, but not leap to the conclusion that she was trying to seduce their president.

They just had to believe it was possible.

She reached the doorway. “Thank you.” She walked past Chad and into the office.

Lewis Bennett stood behind his desk and everything in the room faded into the background. Jacket off, tie unknotted, shirt sleeves rolled up, dark blond hair too short to be anything but tidy, Lewis was impressive. Broad shoulders were well-muscled. So were his forearms and chest. His dark brown eyes mesmerised. His mouth was perfect, lips neither thin nor too full, but masculine and stern.

She’d seen his photo, read his history, but nothing had prepared her for the man.

Keep walking. Remember to breathe. Maintaining eye contact was not an issue: she couldn’t wrench her gaze away.

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