Date Published: 4/29/2013
Dark Prophecy, Book 2
"Out of the darkness and into the fire. The truth changes everything."
The discovery of who and what she is changed Kat Matheson's life forever, revealing a world she never knew existed. A world filled with ominous spirits, mystical beings and dark magic. And a powerful ruler who will stop at nothing to achieve his ultimate goal: her death. Now, in her fight to stay alive, and to protect those she loves, Kat begins the battle to take back what's hers.
Teaming with the enigmatic Lovell, Kat searches for the clues that hold the secret to her destiny. Clues that take her to places she never imagined, exposing her life—and her heart—to dangers she never saw coming…
Using a poker, Lovell shifts the remnants of blackened logs, adding two fresh ones to the top. Stepping back, he lowers his head and stares into the firebox. Two small flames appear, slowly working their way up from the bottom of the pile. Growing larger, they sweep up and around the logs, the wood popping and snapping as it ignites.
I look at him in astonishment. "How did you do that?"
"I'm a man of many talents," he says, pouring water into a mug. He takes a sip. "You can do it, too."
"What?" I shake my head. "There's no way…"
"Yes, you can."
I cross my arms, one hip thrusting out. "How?"
"Come here." Lovell gestures me forward, positioning me in front of the hearth. He sweeps his hand through the air and the fire goes out.
I look at him, a comment on the tip of my tongue. He returns the look, one eyebrow raised. I swallow the comment and exhale through my nose. Standing behind me, he places his hands on the side of my head.
"Clear your mind and concentrate," he says. "Don't think about anything but the fire. Picture the flame where you want it to appear."
I take a deep breath, exhaling slowly. Closing my eyes, I try to empty my mind. But it's impossible. Too many thoughts, too many images flash in a Technicolor stream.
"Concentrate, Kat," Lovell whispers. "Nothing but the flame."
I can't help but wonder if he can actually read my thoughts. I hope not because the feel of him behind me is conjuring images I don't want to think about. Or him to know.
"Just the flame," he repeats.
I force myself to think of nothing but a blank wall. Black and empty. When I've succeeded, I picture a flame, small and hot, working it's way through the wood.
"Keep focusing, Kat. Don't let it go."
I picture it building and building, growing larger as it consumes the logs. I hear Rick gasp behind me. But I keep the image in my head, holding onto the flame until the logs are ablaze with fire. The logs begin to shift, morphing into twisted, fiery shapes. They pop and sizzle as sap bleeds out of them. And, then, they aren't logs anymore. They've melted and burned, realigning themselves into a shape that becomes slowly human. A head and shoulders and torso emerge. It grows taller and taller. The flames part to reveal a face.
He smiles, his silver-blue eyes challenging me. I will the flames higher and hotter and he throws his head back and laughs. I can feel the heat washing over me, the sweat accumulating on my forehead, my neck. I push my energy forward again, and the flames engulf him, igniting his hair, his flesh. His face begins to melt and I feel a surge of power, so energizing, so invigorating, it's intoxicating. I revel in it, thrilling to the force pouring through my blood.
"Kat!" Lovell's voice is far away, a distant echo on the wind. "Kat!" It comes again, louder this time. "Stop!" He pulls me away from the fireplace, swiping his hand through the air.
I gasp and stare at the hearth. At the logs, now no more than ashes. At the black scorch marks, reaching towards the mantle. Rick is looking at me with a mixture of shock and awe. "What happened?" I stammer.
"You almost turned this place into an inferno," Rick says.
I look at Lovell.
"That is not what I expected," he says. "At this stage in your training, you should not be able to do that."
I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado and currently live just outside of Denver. I write my books on a laptop perched atop a rather creaky desk, surrounded by two crazy and loving cats. I love to travel and have visited 27 of the 50 states, as well as Canada, Ireland and England. And there are still a lot of places I want to go.
I spent entirely too many years in the gray dullness of the corporate world, imagining something more exciting as I punched numbers on a keyboard. During that time, I worked on a degree in English Literature, but never quite managed to complete it. Mostly because I was too busy reading and creating fantasy worlds in my head. It’s actually my love of reading and imagining that led me to take up writing full time. I thought I should finally give all the characters in my head a voice.
Music is a huge part of my life and plays a big role in the creation of my books. Although I listen to everything from Johann Sebastian Bach and Dvorak, to Glen Miller and Bobby Darin, to Rihanna and Nox Arcana, as well as movie and video game soundtracks, there are two bands whose music is practically my lifeblood: Daughtry and Linkin Park. I will listen to or see them live anytime, anywhere.
I’m a fan of British television, Doctor Who (favorite doctor? David Tennant. Let the debate begin!), The Vampire Diaries, Japanese animé, Ghost Hunters, MI-5 and Eureka. And anything featuring James McAvoy. And I probably would never be able to unwind without That 70′s Show.
When I’m not reading and writing, you'll probably find me listening to music, practicing yoga, working on my very inadequate French, playing piano, enjoying a lovely glass of red wine or champagne, or looking for inspiring landscapes to photograph.
Twitter - @mollymhallbooks