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About the author:
Cynthia is an award-winning paranormal romance author that writes for sassy nerds with a sharp sense of humor. Starting her adult life in theater, she earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Costume Design, but her first love was telling stories. After some encouragement, she dove down the writing rabbit hole, creating magical worlds, snarky heroines, and sexy heroes with a dash of "cinnamon roll".
When not telling tales, Cynthia is a geek, a costumer, and an amateur artist. She resides in sunny San Diego, California with her husband Max, two cats of varying intelligence, and a ton of goldfish.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Jack walked away about twenty paces then turned and held his arms out. “Okay, hit me,” he said.
Adelle’s eyes almost bugged right out of her skull. “What?”
“Come on. Hit me with everything you got. I can take it.”
“Are you out of your damn mind? I’ll kill you!”
“How am I going to assess what you got if you don’t show me what you got? I’ve been hit by a full blood siren both barrels be-fore so what harm can a half-blood do? I need to see what your raw talent is. Besides, you’re a tiny girl. “Jack gave her a cocky smile and Adelle felt her blood boil. “You’re not going to kill me.”
Adelle folded her arms tight across her chest as her cheeks heated up. With a long deep breath, she pushed the anger back down into her gut. “You are insane.”
“And you’re a wimp for just standing there, balking.” His mouth curled into an arrogant smile. That stupid grin only poked her ire more.
“I am not going to unleash the beast on you.”
Keep Calm Adelle; he’s just trying to rile you up on purpose. Unfortunately, Jack just kept on smiling which started to put a sizable crack in her calm.
“Chicken,” Jack said.
Adelle took another deep breath, the teasing seeping under her skin. Who the hell was he to judge her courage? “I’m serious. Don’t make me,” Adelle said through clenched teeth.
“You are really cute when you’re angry.”
“Stop pissing me off! It’s only making it worse!”
“Your nose scrunches up in the most adorable way and you turn a delightful shade of pink-”
It was when he started clucking like a chicken that she lost her temper.
Adelle let out a scream that bent the treetops backwards and sent birds skyward into a panic flight. A wave of shimmering blue energy ripped through the air, bashed Jack right in the chest, and sent him sailing backwards. She would never forget his expression when the force hit him. It was a delightful cross be-tween utter shock and complete regret. After knocking down three young trees, Jack dropped fifty feet away, leaving a deep groove in the dirt where he landed.
Wide-eyed, Adelle held her breath; afraid that maybe she had killed the poor guy. When Jack’s legs twitched out from the hole he lay in, she inhaled in relief, the irritation returning.
Serves the arrogant ass right.
Adelle strolled over to where Jack was half-buried and looked down at him. Lazily, she cocked her head to the side.
“I warned you,” she said.
After a high pitched groan, Jack spit up some soil and coughed. He wiggled like a turtle on his back before Adelle offered a hand to help him to his feet. His pride wasn’t so bruised that he didn’t accept it.
“Holy shit, you pack a punch,” Jack said.
“Well, you were right. I didn’t kill you.”
He tightened his gaze at her. “You were holding back, weren’t you?”
Adelle bit her lower lip and blushed, raising her gaze to the sky.
Jack’s amber eyes widened as he gaped at her. “Holy crap. You were.”
“Maybe just a little bit.”
Jack dusted off his jeans and rubbed his lower back, letting out a painful sounding grunt. Adelle was certain he would have one hell of a road rash on his magnificent ass after that crash landing.
“Well, now that I know what damage you can do. I suppose we should talk about control,” he said.
Adelle sighed. “Which I have none of.”
“Wrong. You could have killed me, but you didn’t.” Jack rubbed his lower back again and winced. “So, what makes you feel in control?”
Adelle smirked at him. “Not using my powers.”
“Ha ha. Adorable. What else?”
“Not a whole lot else when it comes to this.”
“There’s got to be something.” Jack walked around in a tight circle, back half bent. With every step, his posture straightened a bit. Then he shook his head. “Let me rephrase. What out there makes you feel both passionate as hell and in control of everything?”
Adelle pursed her lips in thought. It really wasn’t that hard of an answer to find. “When I sing.” Jack’s bewildered expression almost made Adelle giggle. She smiled back at him. “Yes, I sing. I’m full of surprises.”
“Singing, huh? You love it?”
“With a passion.”
“You’re good at it?”
“If I may toot my own horn, yes, I used to be great at it.”
Jack ran his tongue over her bottom lip then nodded. “All right then, try a few scales and phrases. See if you can use that as your catalyst.”
Adelle’s stomach dropped like a brick and went cold. “Jack, singing is what got me into this problem in the first place. The last time I sang, people almost died.”
“It’s something you love right?” Jack asked. “You feel passionate about it enough that when you sing, stuff goes boom? And you’re a trained singer?”
“I have a bachelor's in music. But I haven't sang in-”
Jack pointed at her, wagging one of his large fingers under her nose. The gesture silenced her, quick. “So you know how to use your voice.”
“Well yeah but-”
“No buts, Adelle. Do you or don’t you know how to use your voice?”
Her thoughts wandered back to the horrible birthday she manifested. During the emotional second verse of Ave Maria, the whole church began to shake. Plaster crumbled from the ceiling in white puffs of dust. People screamed “Earthquake!” and dove under their pews. Adelle didn’t even know it was happening, so entrenched in the music. It wasn’t until Cybil grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her out the doors that she noticed something was wrong. Her voice, the one thing she cherished most about herself, could demolish buildings and make heads explode. Luckily, only a little structural damage was done to the church and just some people walked out with splitting headaches.
Since that day, Adelle had assumed singing was the problem, not the key to control. But the ins and outs of music were as in tune with Adelle as much as breathing. Music was just another part of her, another limb, and another heartbeat. It flowed through her veins and gave her life. When she stopped singing, a small piece of her died. God, she’d give anything to sing again, to break from the numbed existence she had been living for ten years. If she could channel her power through her song, maybe there was a way.
“Yes. I do know how to use my voice,” she said. “I’ve just been… afraid.”
Jack nodded and raked his black fingernails through the stubble on this chin. “Well, it’s safe out here. Maybe you should act like your species, sing a tune or two, and cause some mass destruction.”
Adelle quirked a little smirk. “How do you know so much about sirens?”
Jack grinned, wiping some dust from his cheek with his sleeve. "I don’t. I’m just assuming that it’s along the same lines as learning to breathe fire.”
“So, you’re about as clueless as me.”
“Yup, we’re going to die.” He patted her on the head and walked stiffly away, his large hand pressed against his tailbone. Actually, it was less of a walk and more of a limp. “We probably still got a good hour left before I have to get back. So fling some notes around and we’ll see where this goes. Um, maybe aim for the trees this time and not me.”