Eeeeee! I'm beyond excited to bring you a new book that starts a new and thrilling series by Skyla Dawn Cameron!
I've read the book, and I'm NOT sorry to say I'm in love! I love everything this book has for us.
Okay. On we go to the cover reveal...
A Livi Talbot Novel #1
By: Skyla Dawn Cameron
Due Out: September 20, 2016
EX-DEBUTANTE. SINGLE MOTHER. TREASURE HUNTER.
Disowned and left penniless for getting pregnant at seventeen, former celebutante Olivia Talbot was willing to do whatever it took to provide for her daughter…including become a treasure hunter. Since the Pulse hit, activating relics of legend, there are plenty of artifacts to be had—not to mention wealthy clients willing to pay top dollar for them.
Just as her daughter’s private school tuition cheque bounces, Livi gets an offer that could be the break she needs to return to some semblance of her former life. A potential new client wants her to travel to Ethiopia and retrieve the Seal of Solomon—a mythical ring said to control demons and djinn—and this bounty comes with one hell of a financial pay off.
The deadline: a week. The team: unreliable. The competition: her world-renowned archaeologist older brother. Nothing Livi can’t handle… Except the danger goes beyond a few subterranean serpent-dragons she might encounter or tangling with her employer’s deadly second-in-command. This client isn’t all he seems, and handing him the ring might be worse than what he’ll do to her—and her daughter—if she doesn’t.
Excited? I am. I love how this is something different for us to dive into. I love this cover as it looks like Livi and in the cave that she's in... and the dangers! Oh my!
You can Pre-order and have Olivia Talbot delivered to your eReader on release day!
I inched along, my steps slow and cautious. I’d feel better with my guns, but they were still sealed away in Ziploc bags in my pack. Instead I reached for the easily accessible large combat knife sheathed in the pocket of my pack. My headlamp, from the helmet gripped in my other hand, shone white back and forth over the rock walls and jutting stalagmites.
I listened, picking through the sounds around me. Laurel’s breathing was loud still, noisy through her nose as if it was plugged. Maybe allergies. Her steps shifted nervously, pebbles and dirt scraping under the soles of her boots. Beyond, more boot treads skimmed rocks, someone else from our party descending. The descender squeaked. Voices echoed in the distance, perhaps someone else moving through the short tunnel to squeeze through the hole—
There. Sand whispering. Click click click, ticking over stone.
Prickles rolled down my spine and my throat went dry. I backed up, swinging my head—and headlamp in hand—from side to side, fingers tensing around the handle of the knife.
It darted suddenly, swiftly, streaking in an instant and disappearing in the darkness far to my right. I’d had little more than a flash to take in but one thing was for sure...
It was big.
My lips parted to shout when it dashed forward, great, gaping mouth open and hissing. The creature was long and sleek, maybe fifteen or more feet from nose to tail. Body of a large, thick snake but with four legs jutting from its sides, some evolutionary link in between creatures far bigger than something like that should be. It scampered forward, kicking up dirt, charging at me with a long forked tongue flicking.
I dodged, dropped, rolled. Its tail whipped past me, cutting through the dirt—I did not want to be hit with that thing.
Laurel screamed, babbling something, but I didn’t hear—I was already on my feet, bracing. I’d tossed aside the helmet and now it threw white over the dirt, fading off into blackness. I had but a small area of light to maneuver in—too far in any direction and I risked ending up in the dark.
“Quiet!” I called and Laurel squeaked to silence, just her occasional whimper and the creaking of someone descending on the rope breaking the quiet. I glanced back and forth, hand tense on the knife’s hilt, hair cutting over my face, the top of my coveralls folded over my belt rustling at my sides.
A second before I saw it, I heard it rushing at me again, scampering over the rocks and dirt. This time when I dove to the side, it anticipated, braking suddenly to turn. I couldn’t move fast enough and its tail snapped out, hitting me in the gut and knocking me off my feet. I flew back, slammed hard into the ground, gasping for breath. I blinked dirt from my eyes and winced as I struggled to rise—my arm hurt from the landing, ribs stung from being struck. Now dread sank in my stomach as I found myself with darkness at my back, Laurel, my helmet and the glowstick far ahead.
And no sign of the creature.
I stepped forward cautiously, glancing around in a rush, wincing as I breathed in and pain zigzagged through my chest. I squeezed the knife handle.
Should’ve pulled out a gun, I knew it.
Light was bouncing high up—Tucker had stopped his descent, holding the rope with one hand and pulling out a gun with the other. “What the hell was that?” he shouted, voice echoing off the walls.
Well, at least I could assume he hadn’t been prepared for any potential monsters in the cave. Small comfort that he didn’t know and simply hadn’t warmed me.
I parted my lips to answer before movement flashed again in my peripheral vision. The snake-thing rushed forward. It barreled toward me, that pronged tongue firing out, black eyes on mine—
Shots fired, Tucker shooting from his spot suspended in the air.
The creature halted, hissed. Its eyes widened but a sheen of white covered them—I suspected the thing was blind. A bullet pinged its rough hide, perhaps what would’ve been a headshot if it wasn’t already running toward our resident merc.
I dove, reached for the tail—missed it by inches, landed on my stomach in the dirt. The thing leapt for the wall, slithering madly, Tucker firing again and again. It clung to the wall, climbing, the clicking of nails punctuated by the firing of bullets. Voices shouted, echoing, probably from the rest of our party trying to figure out what was going on.
Then something cracked.
The creature dove from a stalactite into the wall just above the hole and rock snapped, buckled. My helmet was gone—I was dimly aware of where I’d left it due to the light from its headlamp ahead—but I shouted warning of the collapse just as I dropped to a crouch and covered my head. Someone screamed, a male voice bellowed, rocks tumbled. I glanced up through my arms—it was too dark to see the hole, which worried me, as a glimpse of light from our collected companions gathered there should’ve been visible. I stood warily, dust and pebbles rolling off my back and arms. Laurel was on her hands and knees, choking several yards away; Tucker groaned, tangled in rope and pinned in a mess of rocks, his headlamp bobbing light around the dark cavern as he shook with a cough.
The room was so, so black, the patch of light I stood in seeming smaller than before. I tensed, gaze darting around. It was here, still. Breathing. Waiting.
Slithering from the darkness, mouth parted in a hiss, it spilled blood from holes in its torso as it went. I took a breath, held still. It raced closer, closer—twenty feet, fifteen, twelve...
Dirt gave and kicked up under my feet, pebbles flying. Its mouth opened wide, fangs sharp and glistening.
Two feet away from it, I pushed forward on my right foot and leapt, high, flying, feet kicking, its mouth snapping and missing me by inches. My foot stepped down on its snout, pressing its mouth closed, then I jumped again.
I twisted as I landed on its back, both hands on the hilt of the knife. Weapon raised, I plunged it down, down, even as the creature kept moving and threatened to topple me over. The blade sank into its skull, just behind the eyes, biting down deep and through bone. For a moment, the creature thrashed, knocking from side to side violently, but I gripped the damn knife and pinched my knees against its sides like riding a bucking horse, holding on with everything I had in me.
The monster stilled.