Completing the 5* series dubbed "Romeo and Juliet meets Supernatural," Igniting the Spark is sure to satisfy readers of urban fantasy romance.
Please enjoy this sample chapter from the book . . .
THE SICKLY YELLOW lights reflected off the metal tables in the sterile room. Where there should have been noise, there was only silence for me.
Silence and the sight of my own bloodied, dead body.
My red-gold hair shimmered in the light of the fire surrounding me. Clay, the man I loved, clasped my body as his tears overtook him. He refused to let go even as his brother, Ethan, tried to pull him away from the flames. Blood from the wounds in my chest and back was smeared over his face and arms, and smudged into his nearly black hair.
The sight confirmed I’d committed the ultimate betrayal: I’d left him.
I wanted to comfort him, but without my voice it was impossible. There was so much I needed to tell him before I left. That I loved him. That despite everything we’d been through, he’d brought happiness to my life I’d never expected. I wanted to explain there was something more important than him and me—my daughter.
The child who would rise from the ashes after the flames consumed my body.
The image fell away as the fire raged hotter.
Darkness took hold, gripping me and squeezing tight. The sunbird pleaded with me to let go. To be free. To join with my mother, with my ancestors, and pass the baton on to the next generation. My child would be safe with Clay, and I was ready move on.
Peace filled me.
A pinprick of light broke through the inky dark that I’d sunk into. The sunbird urged me to ignore it. To focus on the certainty that my time had come. Only, the light wouldn’t be refused. When I shifted my attention to it, a flash filled the darkness around me, flooding my vision with a bright apple-green.
With the darkness gone, a new sensation overtook me. Pain. Panic. Confusion.
Flashes of the moments leading up to my death rushed through me. My drive to keep Louise safe from the harm the Unseelie fae, Caelan, intended to cause. Clay and his father fighting over the gun.
The crack of a gunshot.
I burned again at the memory of the fire in my chest as the bullet tore through my heart. The ache of death ran through me again, and the green light grew in intensity once more.
Through the pain, there was something new. A soft voice whispered to me, calling me back. Not the sunbird, someone new but familiar all at once. She spoke words I didn’t understand, but they compelled my attention. They overrode the sunbird’s instructions—tried to push her away. They beckoned me backward instead.
To a wall of red.
Of fire and pain.
The sight of the barrier terrified me, but I could do nothing to react. I was separate from everything. Floating. As I moved closer to the wall, agony coursed through me. My chest tightened. I felt cold.
Danger lay that way.
Come with me, the sunbird whispered. You will be free of the pain; it is your daughter’s time.
She called for me to abandon the wall, to head into the darkness. I’d been so ready to until the apple-green light. Until the other voice.
Now . . .
I reached out with my mind, trying to figure out what was beyond the barrier. Something told me it was important.
“I . . . I can’t lose her.” My focus snapped to the wall when I heard another voice.
He was on the other side of the barrier. Even though I’d been calm, ready to move on, hearing the heartbreak in his tone made me want to fight my way back to him. If only to reassure him he’d survive this.
Evelyn, the sunbird called, urging me away from the wall. Away from Clay.
Once more I had to choose between moving onward into the darkness or turning and fighting through the fire to get to him. Only the fire was too strong, too fierce. The pain too intense.
The sunbird, who’d convinced me to stay last time, now wanted me to move on.
It’s time, she called.
“I am here for you, Evelyn,” the foreign voice—the bringer of the apple-green light—called to me, speaking over the sunbird.
At the sound, panic rose in me. I couldn’t fight the fire, but I didn’t want to lose Clay. Didn’t want to abandon him to his fate—to a life of heartbreak and secondhand joy.
“If you trust me, I will help you return to us,” the new voice said, the sound lyrical, lilting, and feminine. Familiar.
As I focused on her words, and on the light she shared, her name came to me. Mackenzie, Clay’s fae sister.
In the middle of the wall, a door-shaped opening appeared. A rectangle of green through which I could hear her gentle reassurances.
“Come back to us, Evelyn. Come back to Clay.”
The sunbird hissed at the words. Come forward with me. It is time.
The green doorway shimmered. Faded. Shrank in size. A second passed and it shrank again.
My time was running out.
I had to make a choice.
And I had to make it now.
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Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.
Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.
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