My guest poster today is HP Mallory. HP is here to talk about the latest release in her Lily Harper series!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with HP, here is a brief bio:
H. P. Mallory is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jolie Wilkins series as well as the Dulcie O'Neil series. She began her writing career as a self-published author and after reaching a tremendous amount of success, decided to become a traditionally published author and hasn't looked back since. H. P. Mallory lives in Southern California with her husband and son, where she is at work on her next book.
Hi Rocco and everyone out there in blog space! This is H.P. Mallory and I first wanted to thank Rocco for having me! Second, I wanted to introduce the newest book in my Lily Harper series, The Underground City!
If you haven’t heard of my Lily Harper series, it’s a paranormal/ fantasy series, that follows the afterlife of heroine, Lily Harper. When Lily is killed in a car accident before it’s her time to go, she learns that the hereafter isn’t exactly what she hoped it might be.
First, there’s Angel Bill, Lily’s incompetent, alcoholic, womanizing guardian angel. Bill wasn’t paying attention when Lily was texting on her phone while driving and, consequently, her death was his fault. Enter AfterLife Enterprises! AfterLife Enterprises is the company responsible for sorting out the recently dead and sending them on their way to the Kingdom (think Heaven) or the Underground City (think hell). Because Angel Bill was employed by AfterLife Enterprises, technically Lily’s death is their fault. As such, they offer Lily the chance to live again. But, as with most things involving the afterlife, beware the small print.
In this case, small print= becoming a Soul Retriever. Lily will find herself venturing into the bowels of the Underground City to retrieve souls that were mistakenly sent there by AfterLife Enterprises during a Y2K glitch.
Perhaps the only good thing in Lily’s sordid afterlife is Tallis Black, the bladesmith. As Scottish as his kilts and his heavy brogue, Tallis is a centuries-old Celtic Druid who, for reasons only known to him, offers to train Lily in the art of swordplay and escorts her into the depths of the Underground City. Tallis is dark, brooding and he’s also chalk full of mysteries wrapped in secrets.
Lily’s story is introduced in her first book, Better Off Dead, which is currently a free e-book download on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Now, on to Lily’s second book, The Underground City!
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!
After Lily narrowly escapes her first mission into the Underground City in book one, she’s anything but excited to return! But as with most things involving the afterlife, nothing ever quite works out the way Lily wants it to!
Her newest mission will see her traveling to the sewer aqueduct of the Underground City and later, the prison. But, luckily for Lily, she’s got the hunky yet antisocial bladesmith, Tallis Black, by her side. And quite possibly unluckily for her, she’s also got her guardian angel, Bill, who’s up to his old, foul-mouthed antics.
Between learning how to wield her sword, personal training with a hot-headed demon, traveling to the Underground City not one but two times and discovering that the leader of the Underground City harbors a curious fascination with her, Lily’s hope was abandoned a long time ago…
Here is an excerpt from the book, when Tallis is training Lily on how to wield her sword:
“Um,” I started, prepared to argue the reasons why I shouldn’t fight Tallis, namely because he was a practiced warrior and I was a nobody; but he was already coming at me, his sword raised high in the air, and the maniacal look of a crazy person in his eyes. I was as good as dead.
Bracing myself, I held my sword out in a defensive stance before me. When the blade of his sword struck mine, it felt like an earthquake rocked my entire body, with the epicenter in my right arm. After the initial, jarring blow, my arms felt like jelly but, amazingly enough, I managed to maintain my grip on my sword. My brain, however, still felt like it was rattling around in my head. “Are you trying to take my arm off?” I yelled at him. “Not so freaking hard!”
Tallis raised his sword into the air again, clearly continuing his assault. “Demons o’ the Oonderground wilna be lenient oan ye, lass,” he explained as he rushed toward me again. “Ye moost learn ta defend yerself, come what may!” I experienced a few seconds of intense déjà vu, but then figured I’d just seen Braveheart one too many times.
I deflected the blow in the same way as before, but a split second later, the blade-wielding Scotsman circled around and charged me once more, his sword held high again. Before I could even fathom what was happening, Tallis held the tip of his blade against my throat. I clutched my sword in my left hand with the tip of it just skimming the ground, realizing it wasn’t doing me a whole lot of good. Tallis walked a few paces forward, and forced me to walk backwards to avoid being run through.
“If Ah were a demon, mah sword would be buried in yer head by now,” he said calmly. “Och aye, perhaps then Ah’d sever yer head an’ later, it’d be mounted oan mah wall.”
“Ha-ha,” I said with little or no humor. I fought to take a deep breath and calm my heart, which, even now, suggested I was having an attack.
Tallis shrugged. “Ye shoulda blocked meh, lass,” he finished in a deep voice, his eyes riveted on mine.
I didn’t respond until I backed up against the rough bark of a tree and realized I was cornered. “You can’t expect me to defend myself from you when you’ve had over two thousand years of practice!” I yelled, not liking the feeling of being trapped. “And what’s more, I’m not possessed by the ghost of some dead warrior! So this isn’t exactly fair!”
“Do ye wanna survive the Oonderground?” he asked rhetorically. His tone remained casual and calm, which only irritated me more.
“Of course I do!” I railed back at him, craning my neck to the side as he held me captive beneath his blade. “What are you doing?” I demanded. But he didn’t remove the sword. He held it in place, while staring at me like he’d lost his mind. “Take your sword away from my throat!” I ground out as burgeoning fear tried to overcome me. Tallis was always unpredictable, which was, by nature, intimidating.
My voice was abruptly cut short when he pushed ever so slightly on his sword and I felt the cold metal riding up my larynx, its keen point threatening my neck, yet still not piercing my skin. Without a clue of what was going on, I looked into Tallis’s eyes and what I saw there worried me. A lot. His standard, midnight blue gaze was gone and replaced by a dark, inky blackness. His eyes were so dark and shadowy, I couldn’t distinguish his pupils from his irises. I’d seen his eyes eclipsed like this before—usually in moments of combat or after his anger was incited. I’d always figured it was just the warrior spirit within him suddenly overtaking his body. But why would the warrior feel threatened by me? I had no idea why. All I could hope was that I’d survive long enough to find out.
Tallis continued to stand there, silently watching me, his sword still precariously aimed on my neck. His eyes were completely engulfed by the strange blackness. They no longer resembled the eyes of a human ...
“Tallis,” I whispered. “You’re scaring me.”
My comment seemed to thrill him because his lips parted into a smile. But he still didn’t say anything. Instead, he continued staring right through me with enigmatic eyes that revealed nothing. He continued to smile as he studied me, though, appearing amused by the fact that he had me where he wanted me, amused that I was his captive. And that was when I realized he intended to kill me.
If you’re on Facebook, be sure to friend the Lily Harper characters who all have their own pages!
Thanks again to Rocco for having me on to talk about my newest book release!
Thanks for coming on, HP!
Next week…Rebecca Hale guest posts! Also in March: Roberta Islib, Heather Graham and Brenda Novak!
INCREDIBLE BLOGGING CAT