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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fearless by Christine Rains


Abby White was seven years old when she killed the monster under her bed. Now she slays creatures spawned by the fertile imaginations of children, and the number of these nightmares are on the rise. Neither she nor her guide - a stuffed hippo named Tawa - know why.

When she rescues Demetrius from an iron prison, he pledges his life to protect hers until he can return the favor. She doesn't want the help. And how can she concentrate on her job when the gorgeous wild fae throws himself in front of her during every fight? No matter how tempting, she can't take the time to lose herself to him.

To save the children and all she loves, Abby must be truly Fearless.

There was another noise to her right. Then one in front of her.

Several growls echoed the first creature’s and nearly two dozen of the critters hopped into view. Each of them a color of the pastel rainbow.

What do you see? How many? Tawa asked.

“Rabid jelly beans. A whole freakin’ basket full.

“Get out of there now!” Demetrius bellowed, trying to grab Abby from the window. His broad shoulders prevented him from slipping through.

Abby ignored him. She stood with knees bent, ready to spring into action. She nearly gagged with their fermented musky scent as it threatened to stick to her throat.

A swarm. Best strategy is to keep moving and use broad, sweeping strikes. Tawa instructed. And don’t give them a chance to jump on you all at once.

“Really? I thought that would be the best plan, considering how fuzzy and cute they look.” Abby swiped at the first brave beast that pounced at her. She sliced it in half and it fell like mush to the floor.

“Dammit, Abby! Get out!” Demetrius snarled, pounding at the sides of the window. He then let out a roar of frustration and disappeared from sight.

With a squealing cry, the monsters attacked. Abby spun fast, low to the ground. Her glowing blades made it look like the circle was unbroken. Many of the creatures met the same fate as the first beast, but two landed on their target.

Abby screamed as their long teeth bit into her. One managed to scrape against bone. She skewered the monsters and three more launched themselves at her.

Abby! Tawa cried. Retreat to higher ground. Go for the stairs!

A violet monster attached itself to Abby’s ankle as she dove over the horde and landed in a somersault. She didn’t land on both feet, but stretched the leg out that the critter clung to and smacked it on the cement floor. It squeaked, but didn’t let go. It gave two others the opportunity to jump on Abby’s back.

The basement door burst open, and Demetrius flew down the stairs. With his first strike, he squashed the one latched on to Abby’s ankle and then yanked the others off her back. As if with the same motion, Abby turned and slammed her swords through the pair of beasts. Black blood formed shiny puddles.

Demetrius leapt over her and to one side to crush a turquoise one. Abby pushed herself forward on her knees to skid across the now slick floor. She swept her blades out to the sides and killed most of the remaining monsters. Demetrius smashed the last two with a victorious grunt.

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Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. When she's not writing or reading, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on the SyFy channel. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. Christine has one novella and sixteen short stories published with three forthcoming. She's a member of RWA and S.C.I.F.I.

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