Monday, August 3, 2015

Awakened (Auralight Codex: Dakota Shepherd, Book 1) by Shei Darksbane and Annathesa Nikola Darksbane

Release date: July 20, 2015
Subgenre: Urban fantasy

About Awakened


Geeky lesbian Dakota Shepherd was just a bored night security guard, working at a museum in Knoxville, Tennessee until one fateful encounter changed it all. A rogue wizard. A demonic ritual. A silver chalice. Dakota Awakened, Hellfire blazing from her hands.
Dakota's powers are a danger to herself and everyone around her, and she has to learn to control them quickly or risk losing her one chance to finally fulfill a lifelong dream.
While coming to terms with her new reality, she stumbles upon a secret that changed the course of her life.
Now she wants to know who is responsible for the holes in her memory, the blocks that hold back her powers, and all the years she spent alone.
Who put her back to sleep when she Awakened years before?

Awakened is the first book in the Auralight Codex: Dakota Shepherd series.



“Miss Shepherd?” He slowly stepped toward me, tugging on a black glove.
I took a step back, not backing down, but bracing myself. I didn’t trust this man one bit. “Who the hell are you and what do you want?”
The man in black adjusted his glove then started to pull on the other one. I noticed a silver emblem on the back of his glove, an iron cross, and my head was swimming with need to remember where I’d seen that symbol before recently. The man regarded me levelly as he settled his gloves. “Dakota Shepherd, you are a werewolf.” I straightened reflexively; my instincts were screaming danger. “And I will purge you in the name of God.” Crap.
I took a step back. “Wait, what? Why would you need to purge me? I haven’t hurt anyone.” My thoughts were racing. The man pushed his coat aside, revealing a freaking longsword on his hip. The same iron cross adorned the pommel. I had seen that symbol before. I knew I had.
He put his hand on the hilt of the sword. “You are an abomination in the sight of the Lord. Your kind will be cleansed from the Earth in His name.” I heard a thumping sound from the next room, and what I presumed to be raised voices, muffled by the thick wall, but I didn’t have time to think about it.
“Woah!” I was starting to panic. “Hold on there Father Psychopants! I’m not an abomination! I’m just a girl that happens to be a werewolf! I can’t even shift!”
For an instant, I thought I had swayed him. He closed his eyes as an expression of earnest sorrow flashed across his features. “Then may God have mercy upon your soul.” He drew the sword, and I flexed my hand upward, gripping the lambent flames that sprouted from my palm without so much as a thought. The man in black hesitated, taking a step back reflexively.
“Hold the hell on!” I yelled. I was as surprised as he looked that the flames had come to my call. I hadn’t even had to focus on it the way Nita had taught me. I’d barely even formed the idea of bringing the Hellfire forth when it’d just happened, coming as naturally as a breath of air. “Just hold it right there. I don’t know who you are and I have no idea why you want to kill me, but you don’t want to do this. Just put the sword down, and I won’t have to use this.” I held up my hand threateningly. His face contorted in disgust and outrage. I steeled myself. “I know you know what this is.” I didn’t. “And I know you don’t want me to use it.” I hoped. “So back the hell off, and we’ll all walk away from this.” The thumping from the other room was accented by the screech of metal twisting against metal, but I was entirely too distracted to process that at the moment.
The man took another step back but his grip on the sword tightened. “This only proves that you are truly an abomination. A werewolf is one thing, but a werewolf who bears Hellfire is no innocent lamb.” His eyes darkened as he readied the sword. “For a moment, I believed your lies. But now I can not allow you to leave.”
I was getting pretty desperate. I didn’t dare actually use the Hellfire on him. After all my practice with Nita, there was one thing I was absolutely sure of: if I unleashed the Hellfire in force, there was an excellent chance I would never regain control of it. And we were in the middle of a crowded building, full of innocent people, children, old folks, and probably even a couple of puppies. There was no way I would risk all of their lives, even to save my own, and I knew it. But he didn’t. I flexed my arm toward the wall beside me. “Take one step closer and I’ll set the building on fire.”
The man snarled at me. “Fiendish creature!” he spat, incensed. He raised the sword to strike, but snapped his head around to the door as something hit it from the outside, hard, denting it inward and all hell broke loose.




About Shei and Annathesa Nikola Darksbane: 

Shei Darksbane is a blue-haired geek with a love of awesome stories of all kinds whether they come in the form of books, shows, movies, comics, roleplay, video games, music, art, theater, etc.

She is a proud lesbian and feminist, a human rights activist, and a passionate person in general who loves the wonderful, beautiful world and the incredible creativity of humankind. She refuses to give up believing in magic, fairies, and monsters under the bed, and she feels sorry for those who do. She lives with her wife who has been her partner for over 15 years, their awesome daughter, Rune, and one really cool cat named Velvet.

Shei studied Illustration at the Academy of Art University, worked as a professional illustrator for a while, then gave it up to focus on telling her own stories instead. She turned to writing, inspired by her wife who is also an author, Annathesa Nikola Darksbane. Now she writes Urban Fantasy in a world they have been crafting together for more than a decade, and she has enough stories to keep her busy for the next several years.

When she isn't writing, co-writing with Annathesa, or working on their cover art, she spends her time roleplaying or playing video games with her family, reading, listening to music, singing, geeking out over her favorite shows, artists, authors, and musicians, or dreaming about traveling and seeing all the awesome places and peoples in the world.

Annathesa Nikola Darksbane is a Discordian lesbian sorceress who dreams of one day becoming a real cyborg. Currently residing in Portland with her awesome partner (and fellow author) of 15 years, and her unusually awesome eight year old daughter, Rune.

She loves philosophy, science, critical thinking, chaos, good food, reading, writing, pen and paper RPGs, video games of most kinds, has an interest in melee combat and believes in doing magic every day. She is also the world record holder as the only living person on Earth to have ever seen a live armadillo.

Though she was born wanting to be a storyteller, for many years the only stories she told were born of being a game master for varying circles of friends. Eventually, with much prodding, she was convinced that those tales needed a new home, instead of living solely in her head.

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