Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Blast: Hunting in Closed Spaces

Marradith Ryder appears to be an ordinary teenager, living in a small Texas town with her parents and younger brother. Everything changes the night that she is abducted from her home. Can she trust the man that says he was sent to protect her? And what do the powerful members of The Circle want from her?
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The bird flew in circles, climbing high into the cold night sky.
She was ready to turn around and fly back towards Leighton’s house when she saw it through the treetops; a structure abutting the edge of the property, between a hill and a thatch of trees.
She saw something gleaming.
Fiona landed, and phased back into her human form. Pine needles assaulted her bare feet. She stepped carefully, thinking of snakes and other things that might be crawling in the undergrowth. Despite the fact that she could Shift into almost any animal, there were a few of them that she did not like. Anything that slithered or had multiple eyes or sets of legs fit easily into that category.
Crickets were loud in her ears. Moonlight helped, but she felt herself moving slower than she liked. What she was able to see quite clearly from above she couldn’t make much sense of from the ground.
She was standing in front of the door before she realized she was in the right place. Fiona sighed, wanting to laugh, but choked the sound in her throat. Leighton could be anywhere, she reminded herself.
The door was glass, and it was unlocked. She slipped inside. The lights were off. The most delicious smell came to her. Flowers. She was surrounded by them.
“Who’s there?” a voice called.
She looked up and saw a pair of green eyes glowing at her from above. Now she knew what she’d seen when she was outside.
“Fi!” She could hear the relief in his voice.
She fumbled in the darkness, and was able to find the controls for the lights.
The light came on in sections, like the power being turned on in a stadium, until all of them were on. She put a hand over her mouth.
Justin was hanging from the ceiling, suspended by two black cords tied around his arms, from shoulder to wrist on each side. The cords were attached to iron hooks placed on either side of the walls. The cords were so tight that they cut into his flesh. His blood dripped onto the floor. What a clever torture device, she thought darkly. If he pulled either side, he would rip off his own arm. But if he just stayed there, he’d bleed to death. Slowly.
The sea of poppies shivered. Somewhere above a fan whirred softly. The greenhouse was huge, and time was of the essence.
“Don’t take this wrong, Fi,” he said, “never happier to see you, but uh, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be with Marra-”
“She’s up at the house,” Fiona cut him off. She was looking around, for tools, a weapon, something. “I don’t have time to explain. Let’s just say she does not take no for an answer.”
He almost smiled, despite the pain.
“Leighton’s got his own opium farm here, doesn’t he?” Fiona said, trying to distract him. She crossed into the back of the greenhouse, which led into a small room, not much more than a closet. There was a cache of opium bundled in bags, and with it, something to protect the illegal stash.
“Leighton’s heavy on it,” Justin said, as she came back into view. “Though I’d bet opium isn’t the only thing.”
“Stay as still as you can. I have - an idea. You need to trust me.”
He closed his eyes, and she saw his lips move. “Promise me something.”
“If you can’t get me down, don’t waste your time. Get my girl away from him.”
Fiona shook her head as she lifted the gun. “No. Do it yourself.”
Justin didn’t have time to flinch. A flash erupted from the muzzle of her gun.
About the Author
Lori Titus
Lori Titus is a native Californian with a penchant for stories that are twisted, scary, or both. She also enjoys a dash of romance in her storytelling when she can get away with it! She is the author of Hunting in Closed Spaces (The Marradith Ryder Series, Part 1). She is also half of the writing team known as Connor Titus (with author Crystal Connor) and has co-authored two novels, The Guardians of Man and The End Is Now. Lori has authored many short stories and two novellas, Lazarus and Hailey's Shadow. Some may know her as the Managing Editor at Flashes in the Dark. Upcoming work for 2015 includes a novel called The Bell House and the second installment of the Ryder Series.

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$25 or Gift Card. Ends 12/08/2014. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an or Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kisha from Indie Hoopla Services & Promotions, and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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