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Articles: The Guardian's Curse, The Guardian Trilogy, Book 2

Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 06:52 PM, (752 Reads)

Things just haven’t gone as planned for Claire and her vampire Guardian Nikoli after the Fang was destroyed. They thought their struggle was over but a curse placed on Nikoli forces them to seek help from an unlikely source.
Hades, the God of the Underworld, holds the key to the curse but his help comes at a price. A new foe sets his sights on Claire, and he possesses the power to rip her away from Nikoli forever. Unless Claire and Nikoli can find a way to unravel the mess they’re in, they’ll never get their Happily Ever After together!

The next book in The Guardian Trilogy by T.R.Raven releases February 8, 2013! Find the first book, The Guardian's Keeper, The Guardian Trilogy, Book 1 on Amazon now http://amzn.com/B00A9NXA96. Here's an excerpt from the next book in the trilogy, The Guardian's Curse, The Guardian Trilogy, Book 2.

Please note both books are properly formatted for Kindle despite their appearance here!

Claire expected stepping into the vortex to the Underworld to feel like falling into a frozen pond. With the artic wind that came off of it she was surprised to feel nothing, nothing at all. One moment she was in the fields at the cottage, the next she was landing on gigantic featherbed covered in black silk. The featherbed was directly on the floor, the perfect landing pad for inexperienced realm-hoppers.
Nikoli landed with a grunt beside her on the oversized mattress. He scrambled to his feet at vampire speed and grasped Claire’s hands to pull her up beside him. He kept hold of one hand and together they stood, their feet sinking into the featherbed, gaping at their surroundings.
They were in a huge cavernous room with a cave-like feel to it. The walls and ceiling were smooth slabs of obsidian speckled with tiny swirls of rust and caramel tones. The floor was highly polished black marble. The biggest fireplace Claire had ever seen took up most of the wall to her right. In it a huge fire roared, taller than Claire and dozens of feet long. The firelight danced off the gleaming obsidian walls, making the space feel both bright and dark simultaneously. To her left stood statues of horribly misshapen creatures, full of knots and horns and scales. Claire couldn’t identify them as any kind of animal she was familiar with. The chamber reached so far back past the statues that she was unable to see the far wall.Something unidentifiable moved in the depths there and Claire tensed until Nikoli squeezed her hand reassuringly.
“C’mon, Claire, this won’t be so bad. Just remember what Circe told us,” Nikoli reminded her softy. He stepped off the featherbed and helped Claire escape its soft depths.
Claire trembled with terror and Nikoli froze beside her as a grotesquely oversized three-headed dog emerged from the shadows, each of its three heads growling as thick ropes of saliva dripped from its trio of jaws.
“Cerberus!” a deep voice thundered from the other end of the chamber, “Those are my guests, leave them be.” The monstrous dog stopped mid-step, studied Claire and Nikoli a moment more, and then skulked back into the shadows it had come from.
A man emerged from gloom. No, not a man, Claire realized, a God. Hades himself, God of the Underworld. He was tall and thickly built, his skin a pale white, his eyes fiery red. Long, curling red horns emerged from beneath his wild mane of black hair. A thick beard adorned his face. In one hand he carried a golden staff topped with a human skull. The stink of sulfur reached Claire and Nikoli before Hades did.
Nikoli dropped into a low bow from the waist, pulling Claire with him. “Be respectful,” he whispered. He pulled her slowly back up with him out of the bow.
“Hades, I thank you for allowing us to come,” Nikoli said formally. “I am Nikoli, the Guardian of the Keeper, and this is Claire, my Keeper.”
Hades held up a massive pale hand. “I know who you are, Guardian, and I know why you’re here. Come, let us sit.” Hades gestured for them to follow him across the chamber. Nikoli obliged, pulling Claire with him.
Claire was sick with fear but stumbled along beside Nikoli, willing her legs to function. She felt like she might pass out at any moment. The stink of sulfur and the flicker of the firelight on the polished black walls were overwhelming her. Nikoli released her hand for a moment and grasped her upper arm, forcing her to pause a moment. Wordlessly his eyes sought hers and he offered her a tiny smile. His touch and his gaze were enough to diminish Claire’s terror. With only a look Nikoli had calmed her substantially.
Hades motioned for them to sit on a black leather couch. The front of the arm rests were studded with human teeth. Claire did her best not to grimace as she lowered herself gracefully onto the horrible couch. She sat close to Nikoli, her leg brushing his, and focused on remaining calm and composed. Nikoli rested his hand lightly on her knee and waited for Hades to settle into place.
Hades sat across from them on a huge chair made of large animal bones. Cerberus sat by his side, all three sets of his eyes locked on Claire and Nikoli. Hades looked at Nikoli expectantly.
“I wanted to thank you again for permitting us to come to your realm to speak with you,” Nikoli began. Claire was amazed at just how confident he sounded, as if he always spoke with the God of the Dead. “It has been brought to my attention that when Circe brought me back from the dead a curse came along with me.”
Hades nodded in agreement but remained silent. His keen eyes flitted back and forth between Nikoli and Claire. Claire moved her hand on top on Nikoli’s hand on her knee- whether to give Nikoli strength or seek comfort herself she wasn’t sure.
“I accidentally made two zombies with my touch,” Nikoli continued. “One almost killed Claire here, before I put it down, and the other made it to a village. It infected every man, woman and child in that village. The whole place was lost.” Claire could hear his voice waver on the last statement as he fought to remain composed as he recalled the horrors he had witnessed in the village.
“I have been told that perhaps you cursed me, when Circe brought me back to the realm of the living. If this is true, we have come to ask you to remove the curse. This curse threatens-”
“Yes, that’s my curse, and I know just what it threatens,” Hades cut him off. “I didn’t curse you to get revenge upon Circe as she thinks, that self-absorbed harpy, I cursed you to get your attention. You,” he turned to Claire, “have something I want, something that was stolen from me. I want it back.”
Claire stared at Hades with her mouth hanging open in shock as her mind went into over-drive. She wasn’t a thief- she had never stolen anything from anyone. What could he possibly think she had stolen from him?

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