Discover the World of the Steel & Stone Series by Annette Marie In CHASE THE DARK…
Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen meets Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me in CHASE THE DARK, the first book in the addictive Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy Steel & Stone series. All Piper wants is to be a Consul, a keeper of the peace between humans and daemons. When she’s framed for a treasonous crime, she knows she’s dead on her own, but there’s no one she can trust except two seriously hot—and equally untrustworthy—daemons.
People are raving about the Steel & Stone series!
I have found my ‘dream’ book! Let’s make sure I have my checklist right and what I LOVED about this book: Kick ass female = check. Fantasy world = check. Hot leading man = double check and increasing in this case. Action, adventurous, with more kicking-ass = CHECK. Creatures = dragons, incubus then yes check. O yes…Dragons anyone?? = check. – Pandora’s Opened Box
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“When everyone wants you dead, good help is really hard to find.”
Piper Griffiths wants one thing in life: To become a Consul, a keeper of the peace between humans and daemons. There are three obstacles in her way.
The first is Lyre. Incubus. Hotter than hell and with a wicked streak to match. His greatest mission in life is to get Piper into bed and otherwise annoy the crap out of her. The second is Ash. Draconian. Powerful. Dangerous. He knows too much and reveals nothing. Also, disturbingly attractive — and scary. Did she mention scary?
The third is the Sahar Stone. Top secret magical weapon of mass destruction. Previously hidden in her Consulate until thieves broke in, went on a murder spree, and disappeared with the weapon.
And they left Piper to take the fall for their crimes.
Now she’s on the run, her dreams of becoming a Consul shattered and every daemon in the city gunning to kill her. She’s dead on her own, but there’s no one she can trust — no one except two entirely untrustworthy daemons … See problems one and two.
Excerpt for CHASE THE DARK (Steel & Stone Book 1)
His fist closed around a handful of her hair and the next thing she knew, she was flying through the air. She hit the coffee table and the legs snapped, dumping her onto the floor. She rolled over as Ether turned back to Ozar, murder written in every line of his body. Ozar’s laughter abruptly cut off and his muscles bulged as he prepared to defend himself.
“Stop!” Piper shrieked.
Both combatants went rigid. She paused halfway to her feet, wary at their reaction. Bloodthirsty berserkers didn’t normally freeze at her command. Ether and Ozar straightened from their aggressive poses and focused on the other end of the room. Piper followed their gazes and felt her blood chill.
A newcomer stood in the doorway, cloaked in shadows. Menace clung to him, speaking more clearly than the dark clothing and leather accents to his outfit. She couldn’t make out his face but she felt the touch of his gaze as he took in the scene.
“What are you doing, Ether?”
Piper shivered as his voice slid through her like hot silk, rubbing against her bones.
Ether cleared his throat. His eyes were no longer black, but pale blue and wide. “Ash,” he mumbled. “Ozar ate Shishu and I—”
“And it’s your own damn fault. Don’t break the rules because you didn’t protect your own. No bloodshed.”
Ether cringed, not daring to argue. Ash’s attention shifted to Ozar. “You’re leaving the Consulate tonight.”
Ozar blinked vacantly. “What? No, I—”
“You’re leaving. Tonight.”
Ozar hunched his shoulders. “Yes … right away.”
Ash stood in the doorway for another moment. Piper kept her gaze on the floor as his stare swept over her again. If she looked up, he would see her fury and that would be bad. Damn him. This was her job, not his.
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BIND THE SOUL (Steel & Stone Book 2)
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“Piper!” he roared.
She bolted, arms flailing for balance as she ran for the waiting car. The back door opened. She caught a glimpse of Miysis before he moved back to make room for her.
“Piper, get back in here right now!”
She dove into the darkness of the car. Miysis reached across her and pulled the door closed as the car began moving. Piper glanced out the window in time to see Quinn running across the lawn after her, fear stamped across his face. Her insides squirmed with guilt. He couldn’t know who owned the black car and he couldn’t have seen Miysis in the shadowy interior. All he’d seen was his daughter, wearing a dress for the first time in years, sneaking out to a mysterious car with unknown occupants one night after he’d found out she was possibly participating in illegal activities. She hoped he didn’t think she’d just been picked up by a pimp.
Miysis eased back into his seat as the car sped up. She pulled her skirt down to where it belonged and gave him a quick once over. Her heart sank. He looked like a million bucks in a smoky gray tux with a silvery vest and a fancy-collared shirt. His honey blond hair was tousled in a perfect mix of messy and deliberate and his golden-green eyes almost glowed in the dark interior of the car.
Sitting next to him, she looked ridiculously cheap and underdressed. His gaze flicked over her stupid little dress. He opened his mouth to speak.
“I didn’t have anything to wear,” she wailed before he could complain. “I didn’t have anything.”
“I know,” he said with a hint of a smile. “That’s why I brought you something.”
He pointed to a long garment bag hanging beside him.
She blinked. “You bought me a dress?”
He smiled, by all appearances totally serene. “You didn’t think I would let my date go in rags, did you?”
“Your—your date?” She gaped at him. “I’m going as your date? I—I thought you were making me one of your attendants or something.”
Daemon royalty always had a gaggle of advisors, attendants, and bodyguards following them around.
“Really, Piper. How would I explain the daughter of the Head Consul waiting on me? You should be glad I didn’t have a date already.”
“But—but—” She goggled.
Miysis was one of the top-ranking Overworld daemons. Going as his date was like going to a coronation with a member of a royal family. She’d never imagined he would go out on a limb like that for her. The entire political community would be gossiping about it for months. She might be the Head Consul’s daughter, but compared to Miysis, she was a dirt-poor commoner.
“But aren’t you worried what people will think?” she asked.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the looks on their faces,” he said with satisfaction. “The confusion and alarm will be priceless. They won’t know what to make of it.”
She thought about it then shrugged. “I guess if you don’t mind …”
He canted one eye toward her. “Do you?”
YIELD THE NIGHT (Steel & Stone Book 3)
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The daemon rose to her feet, shedding her glamour in the same movement. Her wild red hair drifted outward, suddenly immune to gravity. Her ears were now pointed, cheeks hollow beneath dramatically sharp cheekbones. Her eyes were huge and black as coal. Her body, more willowy and lightweight than ever, coiled in readiness. Narrow red things—scales? feathers?—rose in lines on her arms like a cat’s hair standing on end.
Before Piper could even finish her protest, Kindra sprang out of the trees. With impossible speed, she flashed across the expanse of lawn. Piper swore under her breath and ran out after her, keeping low.
Kindra was on the first man before he could turn. Piper didn’t see what Kindra did but the man screamed as he fell. The others spun toward the daemon. She dashed away, almost too fast for the eye to follow, then reappeared, making a grab for a second one. The third got his gun up and fired but Kindra abandoned her target and flashed away, a dark blur. His gun flipped up, hitting him in the face, struck by an invisible blow from the daemon. He staggered, brandishing his rifle and wildly looking around for Kindra.
Between the darkness, the haze of rain, and the lethal daemon, none of them noticed Piper coming.
FEED THE FLAMES (Steel & Stone Book 3.5)
In this short story addition to the Steel & Stone series, discover the fate of Seiya and Lyre following the conclusion of YIELD THE NIGHT (Steel & Stone #3).
Check out this highlight from the short story FEED THE FLAMES (Steel & Stone Book 3.5)
“So your spell will disable the collar for . . . how long?”
“Maybe five minutes.”
She masked her shock. Most daemons performed magic through on-the-spot spell-casting. Magic could also be woven into materials such as metals and gemstones, but that was far more complex. Creating weavings that could interact with other weavings was high-level magic. She couldn’t do anything like that, and neither could Ash. Sure, they’d learned how to set a spell in a piece of stone or metal, but they weren’t inventing intricate, interactive weavings.
Developing new magic was the life’s work of the most gifted daemon minds. The only daemons she knew with that kind of talent worked at Chrysalis, Samael’s most sinister business. They’d developed some of the most complex magic she’d ever heard of, like the collar that had nearly killed Ash.
She studied Lyre, swallowing the touch of suspicion trying to creep into her voice. Spell weaving wasn’t something a daemon picked up on the fly.
“Where did you learn to make stuff like that?”
He rolled his eyes. “You’re right. This is the perfect time to share my life’s story.”
REAP THE SHADOWS (Steel & Stone Book 4)
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An animal snarl ripped through the silence as the beast dove for them like a half-ton missile. She threw her hands up and cast a shield. Black fire exploded outward when the creature slammed into her spell. The dragon rebounded into the air, great wings beating as it roared.
Piper spun to see that all the apprentices were on the ground, having thrown themselves down when the monster had charged them.
“Get up and run!” she yelled.
Lexa yanked Lee up by his arm. “Go!”
The apprentices scrambled to their feet and bolted down the alley. Lexa ran after them, but Piper’s eyes were locked on the second shadow. It held still, standing on the rooftop with partially spread wings. She could feel the burn of the draconian’s gaze on her. He was here for her.
With a frantic glance toward the fleeing apprentices, she turned and ran between two buildings. Just before her line of sight was cut off, she saw the dragon swoop over the heads of its prey, letting out a terrifying roar even as it deliberately missed them by several feet. It must be herding them away.
Fighting for calm, Piper sprinted down the narrow passageway between buildings—too narrow for a draconian’s wingspan. Darkness enclosed her but she didn’t dare create any light. She ran on, stumbling over cracks and garbage. She could feel the press of the draconian’s stare and knew he was following her, not the others.
Ahead of her, the passageway opened up into a wide street faintly illuminated by a single streetlamp. She skidded to a stop just short of the sidewalk, lifted her gun, and waited.
UNLEASH THE STORM (Steel & Stone Book 5)
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A tingle of magic sparked in the air, coming from Lyre. She looked up and felt a violent swoop in her belly. He had dropped glamour. His impossibly beautiful face was calm and smooth, but grim resolve hardened his golden eyes into steel. His pale hair gleamed in the last of the sunlight, a ruby shining like a drop of blood at the end of the thin braid that hung down one side of his face. Staring at him, she couldn’t even breathe.
He reached over his shoulder, fingers brushing across the feathered tips of his arrows. He pulled one free from the quiver, but instead of nocking it on his bow, he spun the shaft in his hand. Pointing the arrowhead down, he dragged the razor point across the palm of the hand in which he held his bow. Blood welled, running down his wrist.
Shocked out of her trance, she realized what he had done. Blood magic. He had just activated a spell on the arrow—likely the most powerful spell he had.
The arrow spun in his hand again and the next moment, it was nocked on the bow and he’d drawn the string back to his cheek. His blood clung to the tip of the arrow as it began to glow an eerie red. Her heart leaped with hope—hope that his spell, one so deadly his blood was required to unleash it, would be enough to save Ash.
Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every book.
Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.