Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Twiceborn (Book 1 of The Proving) by Marina Finlayson

Release date: December 25, 2014
Subgenre: Urban fantasy

About Twiceborn:

Still grieving her beloved son, Kate O’Connor’s just going through the motions. She doesn’t care that strangers often shadow her on the unorthodox courier jobs she does for a friend. She doesn’t even care what’s in the packages until the day she returns from a special rush job with no memory of the event. But it must have been pretty wild, because now there’s a werewolf in her kitchen trying to kill her—and he’s just the first in line.

Dragged into a supernatural war of succession between the daughters of the dragon queen, Kate discovers a Sydney she never knew existed, peopled by all kinds of strange half-human creatures. To have any hope of surviving she must uncover the explosive secret hidden in her memory—but first she has to live through the night.

Twiceborn is the first book in the urban fantasy trilogy The Proving


“Glass is right up there with mankind’s great inventions, like the wheel, penicillin and chocolate. Not only can you see through it, but you can look into it, and a shop window, even tinselled-up and sprayed with fake snow for the silly season, gives a great reflected view of what’s behind you. In my case, that was Centre Court in all its Christmassy glory, and two guys showing way too much interest in a pregnant woman.

Giant baubles hung from the ceiling behind me, and a dozen white kangaroos hauled Santa’s sleigh across the back of a temporary stage area, the only concession to the summery reality of Christmas in Australia. Santa himself had retired to the North Pole for another year, and his throne with its posse of photographers had been replaced by racks of bargain swimwear, much more suited to the season than snowmen and furs. The place was jumping with people, all out to find a great deal in the post-Christmas sales, as if they hadn’t had enough of shopping before Christmas. Madness. Throw the word “bargain” around a few times, and people will swarm the tiredest old dreck like bees in search of a new hive. Or maybe locusts, ready to strip the place bare.

They even buzzed like swarming insects. Voices raised in conversation and laughter, plus the occasional shrieks of a tired child, formed a background roar that still failed to drown out the tired tinkle of Christmas music piped over the top. I’d only been here ten minutes and already I’d heard White Christmas twice. Two times too many in my book.

Without turning I scanned the reflected crowds heaving behind me, one hand on the small of my supposedly pregnant back. My two tails still followed.

One stood in front of a big touch-screen centre directory, pretending to be absorbed in locating the shop of his choice. Did they have a shop for spies here? Spooks “R” Us, maybe? He was a smallish guy, mid-thirties, receding brown hair. His mate was taller, a little younger, and too cool to take his sunnies off indoors. He was outside the jeans shop opposite me, pretending to talk on his mobile phone. Or perhaps he really was talking to someone.

Yeah, we’ve got her in sight. She’s checking out the shops. Doesn’t know we’re watching her. Sure, Boss, I’ll let you know as soon as she meets her contact.

Bet Boss wouldn’t be pleased about the sunnies thing. Making yourself look like a tosser was a personal choice, of course, but it meant Sunnies Dude stood out from the crowd. Despite the heat and glare outside, no one else in here wore sunglasses. What did they teach these guys in spy school? Didn’t he know he should be trying to blend in?

I meandered away, dragging my tails behind me. Beats me how I always managed to acquire them on these jobs. As if they had a sixth sense or something. You’d pick up the package with no one in sight, but before ten minutes had passed, hey presto! Someone would be following you.

Being stalked by strangers is an odd feeling. Guaranteed to get the adrenalin pumping, at least, so that’s something. The old fight-or-flight instinct kicks in, bypassing the brain altogether, so for a while I remember what it’s like to feel alive. Not that they ever do anything but watch. They only want to find out where the package is going.

It’s my job to make sure they don’t.”



About Marina Finlayson:

Marina Finlayson is a reformed wedding organist who now writes fantasy. She is married and shares her Sydney home with three kids, a large collection of dragon statues and one very stupid dog with a death wish.

Twiceborn, Book 1 of The Proving trilogy, is her first novel.

Find her website at
Goodreads: Marina Finlayson


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