DARKWALK, by Cassy Campbell. Her debut book is a great Scifi with a splash of urban fantasy and a sexy twist of romance. I don't always get a chance to say that I've read the book I share with my readers, but this one I have read (just finished it last night) and I LOVED it!! I'm so impressed and looking forward to her next one.
Rogue is just plain awesome, and Lace is cool and pretty darn amazing in her abilities. Campbell's writing style is a pleasure to read as it pulls you right into the story and takes you on a wild ride with these wonderful characters and the others in their group.
Stick with us to the end and you could win a copy!
by Cassy Campbell
Genre: Scifi/urban fantasy/romance.
Heat level: spicy
Lace is one of NIA-Teliad’s best agents. But when her partner Parker inexplicably turns against her, she only escapes with the help of a hauntingly familiar stranger named Rogue—a stranger who apparently knows more about her own past than she does. It isn’t until Rogue tells her the details of the past she’s made herself forget that she realizes NIA-Teliad doesn’t want her for what she did, but what she is.
When Rogue finds out what NIA-Teliad is really involved in, things take an even more sinister turn. Fossuel was used up decades ago, and the American Republic has been struggling to stay alive with the few power sources that are left. But Parker’s found the ultimate new power source. All it will cost is human lives.
Now Lace and Rogue have to stop him before more people die to supply fuel to those in power. They’ll have to go against her partner, her agency, and the shadow agency behind it all, the one she forgot existed: Darkwalk.
Lucky for her, she’s a Darkling.
(Wraith and Rogue are preparing to break into the most secure facility on the Eastern Seaboard to rescue one of the members of Rogue's team. They've scouted the facility and are now meeting to report their observations.)
There had been no visible breaches in security, and no weaknesses.
However, when Sin, who reported last, finished discussing the same things the others had seen, he hesitated as if debating whether to continue speaking.
Rogue raised an eyebrow. “Spit it out.”
Sin swallowed hard and nodded. “I saw something else. It was only for a couple of seconds, and it was in shadow, and hidden behind some bushes. It moved so fast that its shape was blurred. I didn’t really get a good look.”
He’d spoken matter-of-factly about all of the defenses she had seen, including the Watchdogs. Now he seemed to be trying to convince himself that he was wrong, and dread settled in Wraith’s gut. What could be so much worse than what they already knew?
Rogue made an impatient sound. “Are you going to get to the point any time tonight?”
Sin swallowed. “It was a Chimp.”
Ice washed through Wraith’s stomach, freezing her whole body down to her hands and feet and up her neck to her scalp. And she had thought Watchdogs were her worst fear.
Prime swallowed hard, as if he had a huge solid object blocking his throat. That was how Wraith felt. “It could have been a ‘Dog.”
Sin was already shaking his head. “It was easily eight feet tall. It walked upright.”
“You saw a lot for not getting a good look,” Prime muttered.
Rogue’s face was bleak as an open grave and his eyes were riveted on Sin. “How sure are you?”
Sin closed his eyes. “One hundred fucking percent.”
Rogue simply nodded. Wraith glanced around at the others and saw her own fear mirrored in Prime’s eyes and Sin’s.
“This doesn’t change anything,” Rogue said quietly.
“The hell it doesn’t!” Prime said with quiet force. “Rogue, I want to break Slayer out as much as anybody, but we knew this was a nearly impossible mission. I mean, the fence, the automaton, the guards, the Watchdogs. That’s enough, man. But a Chimp? How the fuck are we going to get past that?”
Sin looked miserable. “It signaled to something behind it.”
“Did you see what it was signaling to?” Rogue demanded.
“Did it receive an answer?”
Wraith would have thought it was impossible for Sin to look worse, but he suddenly did. He nodded.
“There are two of them?” Wraith asked. She was surprised her numb lips could form the words.
“At least two,” Sin said.
“Okay,” Rogue said. “This is a setback, but it’s not insurmountable. Obviously we’ve all heard the stories, but has anyone ever seen a Chimp before?”
Wraith nodded, surprised her frozen muscles weren’t cracking at the movement. “I have.”
“Okay.” Rogue held up a hand. “We don’t need a horror story, but are they as bad as the rumors say?”
Wraith shook her head. “No. They’re much worse.”
Three years ago, she’d met a contact at a government facility in Arlington while on a mission to protect the president during his cross-country campaign. A data thief hacked the mainframe while she was there. It was a local hack, and they determined the suspect’s approximate location. He was sure to be armed to the teeth, so they sent a Chimp after him.
“Would you like to see it up close?” the liaison asked. She figured this was probably her only chance, and jumped at it. Everybody heard stories, but she didn’t believe any of them. Then.
She stood in a hallway behind a locked and triple-barricaded door with a doubly reinforced window. The window looked out on another hall lined with eight enclosures each fronted by a ten-foot-square doorway covered by metal bars set in a grid.
“This door is foot-thick reinforced titanifibramic, and the window is space-station grade ten-inch-thick glass, able to withstand forces of ten megatons per square inch. The door is held closed with locking bolts ten inches thick that seat into reinforced sills set three feet into the walls, ceiling and floor. The gate bars you can see on the Chimps’ enclosures are six inches of solid titanium each, and they seat five feet into the surrounding titanifibramic frame which is the two-foot-thick core of every wall of that wing of the building. Each gate is cast as a single solid piece so there are no weak joints that might break. They can’t be cut through even with a plasma torch.”
“Are you afraid someone will get in and steal the Chimps?” Wraith asked.
The liaison stared at her with a withering mixture of shock, exasperation and pity. “No.”
Wraith turned back to the window and watched as the bars at the end of the hall slowly slid up into the ceiling. The walls were so thick they formed a sort of tunnel and the room beyond was dim, so all she saw at first was shadow.
Then a piece of the shadow moved. It was eight feet tall, and broad. It had at least a five-foot shoulder span. It shifted into the light and she had the briefest impression of a huge hulking head set low and forward, shoulders that were slightly hunched so its massive arms could reach the ground, an enormously muscled chest, and thick, powerful legs. Then it launched itself out of its den as if shot from a cannon, and all she saw was a black blur flash past the window. And it was gone.
She heard no sound as it passed, but it gave a hoarse grunt as it reached the end of the hall and vanished into the dark outside.
“Let’s retire to the monitors,” her liaison said, and they watched as the dark hulking shape tracked down not one but four hackers and brutally slaughtered them. Thank Goddess the video hadn’t been sound-equipped.
The thing brought back their dripping right hands as proof of its success. Wraith, frozen by the ice water that had apparently replaced the blood in her veins while her attention was on the Chimp, watched on a monitor as it gravely handed the hands to its trainer. It took its reward in payment and ambled back into its den.
The instant it crossed the entry to its cage, the bars snapped into place. Before seeing it in action, she would have said the beast was locked safely away, but she wasn’t sure she’d ever think of the word “safe” in conjunction with a Chimp again.
Now, she shuddered as the memory flashed through her mind. She forced herself back to the present and focused again on Rogue.
“How do we get past them?” she asked through her still-numb lips.
Rogue frowned. “I’m working on it.”
Cassy is sharing a copy of the ebook with one lucky visitor, so be sure to leave a comment with your email.
Otherwise, grab your copy now - I highly recommend the book!
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Cassy Campbell grew up in the frozen tundra of the Far North. Perhaps not surprisingly, the long dark winters encouraged her love affair with stories from an early age, and one of her favorite things is still curling up under a blanket with a book. Once she realized that she loved to write stories as much as read them, she realized the world was hers (at least the ones in her books). She wrote a book, and the rest is history. She currently lives in the much balmier climate of the Not As Far North where, at this moment, she is likely daydreaming her way through her next story.
Huge thanks to Cassy for sharing with us today and wishing all the readers good luck!