Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Branded (Unturned, Book 1) by Rob Cornell

Release date: June 20, 2016
Subgenre: Urban fantasy

About Branded


Sorcerer Sebastian Light has long used his powerful magic to corner the market on demon hunting in Detroit. With control over the elements, he can burn through bounties almost as fast as the Ministry can issue them—much to the chagrin of the Motor City’s other hunters. But after a group of vampires taints him with their blood in an effort to turn him, collecting bounties is the least of his worries.

News of Sebastian’s vampire infection spreads through the city like Hellfire. Now he has a contract on his own head, and his rivals see an opportunity to take out their biggest competition. He can expend magical energy to keep the infection from blazing through him, but fending off constant attacks at the same time requires more power than even he can muster. Weakening daily and hunted wherever he goes, Sebastian scrambles to find a cure—before this fight for his life leaves him undead.



I chased the vampire all the way from MacArthur Bridge to the William Scott Fountain on Belle Isle and my lungs burned. I’m okay with a foot chase as long as it doesn’t go on too long. I’m more of a sprinter.
The vamp had already taken three hits from my fire bolts, but he kept running. His name was Darius Strong, and he lived up to his last name just fine. His leather coat was half melted to his flesh, and I had singed off most of his hair so that he kind of looked like Darth Vader without his helmet.
Yet the bastard kept running, and he was fast.
Blue and red lights illuminated the white stone lions perched on the fountain, the colors in observance of Independence Day. The vamp headed straight for it. I had no idea where he thought he was going. Maybe he planned on jumping into the fountain to put out my flames.
Not happening.
I drew on the heat in the damp Michigan air with a simple act of will. My right hand grew warm and then burst into flame. I focused my magical energy into the flame then threw it.
A good fifty yards stood between myself and Darius, but I managed to hit him square in the back.
The force of the bolt sent him flying off of his feet. He soared like a flaming comet straight into the fountain’s basin with a wild splash. The water put the flames out immediately with a steamy hiss.
“Aw, man.”
Darius flailed in the water and then came up and spun to face me.
His lips peeled back a good two inches from his gums, exposing two-inch fangs. His mortal glamour had fallen away after the first time I had burned him. He glared at me with his red eyes. The skin on his wrinkled, gray face looked like it might slough off in a strong breeze. Pus oozed from pockmarks in his cheeks.
I jogged to the edge of the bricked area surrounding the fountain, puffing and huffing like an old man. I really needed to work on my endurance. I have a six-pack and some nice looking bulges in all the right places, but absolutely zero stamina.
I don’t usually need it.
“All right,” I said. “Might as well take it like a vamp.” I raised my right hand and clenched my fist. Again, my hand ignited.
I started to push my will into the flames, preparing to toss the bolt at him, when he was hit with another kind of bolt all together.
I heard the zip of the shot an instant before I saw the arrow slam into the vamp’s chest, inches from his undead heart.
The vamp’s eyes went wild. He threw back his head, and the screech that came from his throat made my ear drums quiver.
I released the magical energy powering the flame around my hand and the flame went out. I glanced back to try to spot the source of the arrow. The midnight shadows made a lot of cover for anyone to hide in.
But I had a pretty damn good idea where that arrow had come from.


About Rob Cornell:

Rob Cornell is the author of The Lockman Chronicles, a five-book urban fantasy series featuring ex-government agent and monster hunter, Craig Lockman. He also has a new book series that starts with Branded, about a sorcerer with a serious vampire problem.

Raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, He-Man, G.I. Joe, and Transformers, he has always spent much of his time wandering the halls of his imagination, conjuring stories. Nowadays, he writes them down like a responsible adult. He lives in rural Southeast Michigan with his family.

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