Monday, August 15, 2016

Cover Reveal: Venerable (Among Monsters Book 1) by Laura B. Martinez

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Title: Venerable
Series: Among Monsters Book 1
Laura B. Martinez
Cover Designer: Lucy Holland
Release Date: October 31, 2016
Add it to your TBR

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Innocent. Confused. Curious.

She was a girl in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He saved her.

He took her from the hands of an animal just to throw her to the Monsters.

For the first time in his whole life, he wished he wasn't the worst of them all.

Will the darkness extinguish Sebastian's only light?

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Venerable Prologue
© Copyright Held by Laura B Martinez
This Document is unedited and subject to change.

Ten years old
I was awoken by a thunderous crash. All was silent except for the sound of the huge oak tree branches scraping across the window as the wind howled through the pitch darkness. Drenched in a cold sweat, I kicked off the covers and searched for the spiders. I could still feel them crawling up my body but they weren’t there. Another nightmare. Hearing the loud bang once again, I lay still as I tried to get my tired ears to listen to all the noises around me.

Reaching for the glass of water I kept on my nightstand, I brought it to my lips, but it was empty.  My throat was so dry it burned. Did I scream in my sleep?  

Thirsty and disoriented, I wrapped my small fingers tighter around the glass and headed to the bathroom. Trying for the light switch, I didn’t remember the sound until I heard it again.

My mom was on a trip and wouldn’t be back until noon, tomorrow. Sienna, my only sister, was enjoying her time away at summer camp. My dad and I were the only two home. Carelessly leaving the glass on the sink, I needed to get to my parents’ room.

I left my bathroom, creeping down the hallway knowing which creaky spots to avoid on the wooden floor so no one would hear me.

Cautiously opening my parents’ door, a shocked expression took over my face as I found the room empty. Where’s my dad? He should be sleeping. The howling outside continued as I wrapped my arms around myself.  Maybe he heard the sound and was already checking it out.

The sound of something shattering had me running back to my room,  grabbing my trusty wooden baseball bat. My dad could be in trouble.

I  crept down the stairs. The dimmed light seeping through the heavy grey velvet curtains barely allowed me to notice where I stepped. My mind played tricks on me as I imagined the worst case scenario. Fear was present in my bones, but I tried to push it away as I kept moving.

The lounge room was my first stop, but nothing seemed out of order. Our TV and VCR were still there; everything was as it should be.

The dining room was next. My mother’s fine china adorned the tabletop and everything was intact. The candelabra was still lit, wax dripping on the lace cloth as I leaned over to blow each flame out.

Feeling  along the wood paneled walls, I moved to the kitchen where the dishes from my earlier snack remained untouched on the granite countertop.

A high-pitched scream startled me and I gripped my bat tighter as I prepared to give it a swing.

The air turned frigid and a cold shiver ran down my spine. Knowing exactly where the sound came from, my stomach turned in knots. Dread settled in as I feared my most hated place in the house. Surrounded by four walls of darkness, it was what my nightmares were made of.

What if my dad was in trouble? Should I call the police? No, I’m the man of the house, too. Usually we both protected my mom and sister. But now, I had to protect him.

Ok, Sebastian, you can do this. Move.

With the wooden bat in front of me, I crept toward the basement door, it was slightly open and I could barely see from the soft light flickering from downstairs.

Edging down the steps, the splinters of wood pricking the bottom of my bare feet, my determination to find my father never wavered.

With the bottom approaching, my courage grew. I would have the element of surprise in case an intruder was there. My quick speed and small body would help me ward off any foul play.

Turning around to head in the direction where my father must be, I stopped cold. Paralyzed by the visual in front of me, my eyes dropped to the body lying on the floor. Blood matted to her frizzy, red hair. I took in a deep breath as her lifeless, brown eyes gazed upward.  

My eyes swept the room, and there she was, right before my stunned face. I held my breath. I stared into her dark, emerald eyes as a looming shadow held her captive on her hands and knees. Standing over her, he pulled at her long, blonde hair.  

“Please, I can’t...I can’t,” she stuttered and gasped for air.

She tried to speak more, but I couldn’t make out the garbled words coming from her mouth. The sounds of my harsh breaths drowned out everything else in the room.

I saw the shine of the blade before it disappeared into her soft flesh.  As he slid out the blood-coated knife, I watched as the deep, red liquid dripped to the floor. He shot me a wicked smirk as he plunged the dagger into her body once more and I felt my stomach tighten.

The gurgle sound as she choked on her own blood had frozen me in place. I wanted to hear it again, to hear the sounds of death. The red stain gushing from her lips mesmerized me. I wanted to touch it, to feel its warmth.

I watched her saddened eyes flutter close and I squeezed mine shut. Everything around me fell silent.

My heart pounded so hard I thought it would explode.

My eyes flew open and he leaned over her frail body as she took her last breaths.

That’s the moment I felt it, a dark, immoral sensation creeping through my body, overtaking my senses.

“No,” I screamed and I swung the bat at his head, catching him off guard. Hitting him square in the temple, he groaned. The cracking sound only fueled me more. I kept striking him. Once, I wanted more. Twice, I needed more. Three more times I swatted as he fell to the concrete.

Rage consumed me, madness burned through my veins, scorching me until I couldn’t think clearly.

Sienna was dead. He killed her. Murdered her as I watched.

I woke up panting, sweating, and shaking. “It was just a nightmare,” I reassured myself.

But I wasn’t in my bedroom. The smell of their blood was still on me. I screamed when I turned to my side. My eyes grew wide at what I saw. What the hell have I done?

As I approached the bodies lying in pools of blood, a sheer panic washed over me, quickly replaced by a longing feeling as I picked up the blade. I didn’t get the chance to use it this time.

  That was the moment I became a monster.

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Laura hails from Hell, as a destroyer of hopes and a keeper of souls, she enjoys writing dark and twisted tales while destroying the lives of happy people.
As a seeker of knowledge, she’d rather spend hours doing research than join the land of the living in the outside world. When she takes a break from
devastating humankind with her words, you can find her enjoying the pleasures that can only be obtained from her other favorite forms of art: movies,
music, and coffee.

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