Monday, July 22, 2013

Lauren Grimley #2: Unveiled Excerpt

The second excerpt from Lauren Grimley today is from Unveiled, the second book in the Alex Crocker Series. Also, don't miss the giveaway at the bottom!

To see the first excerpt from Unforeseen posted earlier today go here:

Book Information:
Genres/tags: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire series
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Paramance
Website page:
Trailer link:
Goodreads -

With strength comes vulnerabilities. With love comes loss. With power comes pain. The world Alex now belongs to hinges on such balance. Her every step seems to be lurching her precariously closer to one wrong side or another.

Alex had known her life as a Seer wouldn’t be easy. She knew her gift would be difficult to control and constantly sensing others’ emotions would be overwhelming. She even knew she’d be hunted for the power it would provide whichever coven of vampires controlled her. What she didn’t foresee were the difficulties she’d have with the parts of her life she ought to be able to control: her decisions, her actions, and her relationships.

It isn’t until she’s botched every facet of her new life that the opportunity arises to make things right. Rocky’s lover has been abducted, and Alex’s gift is the best shot at bringing her home alive. But even that will require tipping the scales in a direction no one but Alex can understand.

This sequel to Unforeseen is a darker tale of the battles Alex continues to fight against her enemies, her gift, and even herself. This time victory might cost her sanity, her lover, or her life.

Purchase links for Unveiled, book 2: 
Amazon -

Barnes & Noble -

Excerpt from Chapter 1, Unveiled:
Two hours later Alex was dressed and sitting cross-legged in the center of the bed debating her next move. And there had to be a next move, because status quo since she’d made her transformation from freakishly intuitive human to full-blown Seer involved spending her nights on the brink of insanity. She’d kept up the act as long as she could. It was time to do something or admit defeat. Alex didn’t give up that easy.

She opened the small wooden jewelry box that lay before her on the center of the bedspread. Stacked on top of the tangled mess of costume jewelry she’d accumulated during high school and college were the array of bracelets she had worn on her right wrist for years. She had taken them off and stashed them away last summer without a second thought. Now she fingered a studded leather cuff, two of frayed woven cotton in muted earth tones, and one of pewter maille made by a classmate in college.

Disgusted, she slammed the lid closed. The force of it sent a folded scrap of paper fluttering onto the thick comforter. She didn’t need to unfold it to see what it said. The words in Darian’s neat cursive were etched into her memory.

The last of three,
Where essence is strong, marred And before the turn, battle-worn From which will then be born to us A unique warrior
’Tis she who Sees a way
To victory.

This was the prophecy supposedly foretelling Alex’s future as a Seer. While her first impression had been that it read like poorly written mumbo-jumbo, she had eventually accepted there might be something to it. Boiled down it predicted that her two brothers would die, she’d be gravely injured, carried to the safety of the coven, and be the first ever female to fight alongside the warriors. So far every charming line had turned out true, except the last two, which implied she’d be the one to end the centuries-long feud between two covens of creatures who could crush her in a heartbeat. Since most Seers suffered early painful deaths, Darian likely hoped she’d get a move on and wrap it all up before she turned thirty, to boot. But no pressure or anything.

Alex angrily tore the paper to bits and flung the pieces into the air where they scattered among the mess surrounding her. She tapped her front teeth together as she examined the room she’d lived in ever since she had been brought to the Regan’s farmhouse and told about the existence of vampires, Seers, and prophecies, all things most people in the small city of Bristol, Mass., believed to exist only in books—or horror movies. The once neatly kept guest room now teemed with distractions: a set of Shakespeare paperbacks, well-worn and marked from her college literature classes; an old Latin textbook she’d borrowed from Sarah, in hopes of being able to understand a few words of hers and Markus’s upcoming mating ceremony; two equally worn and dirty pairs of running shoes; and a new silver iPod with matching speakers.

Sage had given her these last two items for her twenty-sixth birthday after an embarrassing incident the week before. Listening to her old iPod had been a source of refuge from her sense. The tirade of swears that had spewed from her mouth the night it died after a rainy run had been epic. As a Knower, who was constantly inundated with his friends’ thoughts, the way Alex was bombarded with their emotions, Sage understood her need to block out her sense at times. Still, the present had come with a warning.

“Don’t make us regret the speakers,” he’d said. “If I have to be subjected to that chick rock you listen to, no music is going to drown out my irritation.”

In the weeks since, she had regularly ignored this instruction, blasting her playlists packed with the anthems of emos everywhere, in a vain attempt to numb her growing sense. None of her housemates said anything to stop her. They were ever-supportive as she tried to adjust to her gift. Their ignoring the signs that she was slowly falling apart and her pretending she was holding it all together was just part of the dance they shared on a nightly basis now. Sarah’s turning to Darian with her concern over her weight loss had been the first sign that the dance was coming to an end. Looking across the bedroom to the mirror that hung above the cherry dresser, Alex admitted it was a miracle it had lasted this long. She flinched at her own reflection. Her face was as pale as it would be mid-January, despite being only a few weeks into September. The red- violet under-eye circles stood out sharply against the pallid complexion. She looked away.

She needed to learn control, but what she really wanted was release. Books and music were merely diversions, which lasted only as long as her attention span. These days that wasn’t nearly long enough. Running had always been her go-to, but even that comfort only lasted as long as her body could hold out. Although that was far longer than she was allowed on the fields surrounding the property most nights. One of Darian’s many new safety precautions—or power plays, depending on who was asked.

With emotions rather than reason in charge, her promise to Markus was soon forgotten. She grabbed the remote to her speakers. Maybe a good fight was just what she needed. She pressed play and then held her thumb over the volume button until the angry alternative beats shook the entire upstairs. She couldn’t hear the growl or the stomping that accompanied the aggravation she sensed from the approaching Regan. Her door swung open seconds into the first song and Darian yanked the cord from the wall.

“Do you mind? I’m trying to prepare for a meeting.” He stood glaring at her, entirely filling the doorframe. This used to intimidate her. If she were being smart and not being overrun by her sense, it might still.

“And I’m trying to drown out how you’re feeling about that meeting.” Fresh and invasive, it was a nice touch.
“Are you adding listening to music to my proscribed list of activities? What does that leave me, Regan, knitting?”

Darian’s fists clenched and unclenched by his side.

Go ahead. Give in to it. Hit me. I’ve wanted to project someone onto his ass ever since my gift matured.

His hands dropped to his sides. Apparently she was the only one giving into her moods tonight. Darian had done what she had been unable to do for nearly two months: control his emotions.

“Use headphones. Or at least turn it down.” He spun around, closing her door as he exited.

Before it had even shut, she hurled her copy of King Lear at the wall beside it. “Every inch a king, my ass.”

His footsteps paused; his anger blazed. Alex’s hope rekindled. Then his sympathy seeped in, dissipating his fury. Heavy tread could be heard again heading down the hall to his office.

“Damn it.” She thought of all the times she had wanted Darian’s indulgence and was denied. Tonight when she craved confrontation, he yielded.

She slammed her fists into the pillows until, too exhausted to continue, she collapsed onto them. Eventually her breathing eased. In a calmer state, she realized what she had just done. Her stomach flipped. Picking a fight with a vampire, a Regan, might have sounded braver than her newest plan. She doubted, though, if anything could be more foolish. Still, she sighed.

Turning her head she gazed into the adjoining bathroom as one hand drifted back to the jewelry box. There had to be a way to keep them safe without doing this. There had to be a way to keep herself sane without doing this. She wished desperately she knew what that way was.

Author Information:
Twitter @legrimley:

Lauren Grimley lives in central Massachusetts where she grew up, but her heart is on the beaches of Cape Cod where she spends as much of her time as possible. After graduating from Boston University she became a middle school English teacher. She now balances writing, reading, and correcting, all with a cat on her lap and a glass of red wine close by.

Also by Lauren Grimley:

“Unknown” a short story from the Alex Crocker series:

Middle school is supposed to bite. Middle schoolers aren't.

Alex simply wanted to do a favor for a friend while taking a much-needed reprieve from her far-from-average life and returning temporarily to her teaching position. Torie was just trying to trudge through another day of middle school surrounded by naïve peers who had no idea what she was to become. Neither teacher nor student expected to glance across a classroom of normal human teenagers and into the face of their enemy. Neither Seer nor Knower could have understood how their gifts would leave them second-guessing everything they'd been taught to believe about the other side.

“Apply Liberally” a short romantic comedy/chick lit piece:

Lissa had decided when she left the stale air of her classroom that afternoon that she was not going to wallow. She would not give Tom, Mr. I'm-just-not-ready-to-commit-right-now, the satisfaction of devastating her summer the way he had destroyed her confidence and sanity the previous four months. No, she decided she would bask in the freedom of her single status. Or at least drown her sorrows in a pitcher of Margaritas, a torrid romance novel, and a package or two of Oreos enjoyed on the nearest vacant stretch of beach.

That's when it started raining.

Still, a single woman on a mission can not be deterred. And who doesn’t need a little sunscreen even in a thunderstorm?

No comments:

Post a Comment