24 Mar 2017

Through the Ashes (The Division: Book Two) by Connie L. Smith

The war has begun. The battle’s unfolding. And victory feels so distant…
The Essenced had prepared and trained, but never imagined the true horror of watching demons tearing through the Division to invade the realm. Every claw is horrific—every snarl disgusting—and the responsibility of keeping that vile terror from expanding beyond the battlefield’s borders rests in the teenagers’ hands. They thought they were ready for that challenge…
But then their confidence is shaken when a deadly new weapon emerges from the enemy’s arsenal, and well-kept secrets from the Essenced’s angelic superiors begin to surface.
In the midst of the carnage, can the teens find the strength within themselves, and among themselves, to grasp victory in blood-tainted hands?

Excerpt
Rightfully interpreting the sudden urgency of her hold, he soothingly traced his hands up her back and through her hair. “I’m not going anywhere.”
After pinching her eyes closed against her fears, AJ reopened them and pulled back to give him a hard, unblinking stare. “You’d better survive this war, Julius. If not, I’m gonna get Clint to yell at you. I’ll write an angry speech and everything.”
He smirked at her words, even chuckled. “Yeah, I didn’t think you’d let something as tiny as death get in the way of arguing with me.”
“I’m serious,” she insisted with a glare that contradicted the smile hinting on her lips.
“I know you’re serious, and saying how heartbroken you’d be if I died would be much too normal to fit into your ‘you better survive’ lecture.” He shrugged lightheartedly. “Truthfully, I’d have been a little disappointed had you chosen that angle.”
She kept the harsh expression, but had to keep wrestling back her grin.
“And you might as well go ahead and smile.” He tapped the right edge of her mouth with his index finger. “I can see it practically begging to spill out.”
Finally caving, she let her smile blossom, but rolled her eyes in mock irritation. “I’m still serious. You better survive.”
“I’ll survive if you will,” he softly told her while his right hand trailed over her brow, down her cheek, and to her neck.
With a hum of agreement, she collapsed against his chest and hugged him with all the strength she could spare.
Tugging her closer, he gave her a whole new wave of strength to dip into.
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Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.
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