Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the latest battle, the stakes are higher than ever before, time hardly an ally to Nicholai’s army of paranormal soldiers. The Tomes remain hidden, and the clock is ticking for the Essenced tainted with the demon’s incurable toxin. And beyond those worries, reason exists to suspect that magic might be vanishing, a twist that could insurmountably cripple the army’s capabilities prior to the war’s conclusion.
Never has the conflict felt quite as desperate, danger escalating and hope lessening with the slow drain of each issue’s hourglass.
Will the answers to these dilemmas surface in time, or will the efforts of the band of warriors fail to prevent the ruin of the world?
Series: The Division Chronicles
Author Bio: Connie L. Smith spends far too much 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. Her music of choice is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers.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 is currently working on her MA.
Guest Post: There are two main couples in the first two books of The Division Chronicles, and the third book of the trilogy begins with one of those couples in a bad situation. Johnny and McKenna ended Emblazed in a heartbreaking manner due to demonic poison as of yet incurable. The book begins with the two trying to maintain hope that an antidote will be found in time, but only time will tell if Johnny will survive or if McKenna will lose her love so soon after finding him.
I mention this not to offer spoilers, but to preface the following segment. This is part of a deleted scene from Enscrolled where McKenna is confiding her anxieties to fellow soldier, AJ, the pair both having endured significant grief in the most recent battle. As I said, this is a deleted scene, so you won’t be able to find it in any of the books, and there’s more to this chapter (yes, the whole chapter was deleted) that is planned to be available on my blog after this blog-stop fiasco. You’ll be able to read the entire chapter, from start to finish then, but this is a preview :)
Before we get into the scene, I want to let everyone know that there is a Goodreads giveaway going on NOW for the first book of this trilogy (Essenced).
And you can also add my upcoming NA Romance book (Tail Lights) to your Goodreads bookshelf while you’re there. And, of course, Enscrolled is available on Amazon and Smashwords for purchase.
Please give my books a chance!
Okay. Deleted scene…
McKenna’s hand fell away from AJ’s shoulder, dropping to her own lap. “Being strong doesn’t mean not crying. You’re grieving. Cry. Scream. Throw things. Whatever you need to do. Being strong means that you push through it, and you do what you gotta do anyway. Pausing between responsibilities to deal isn’t weak. It’s healthy.”
Sniffling, AJ’s expression grew thoughtful while she regarded her ally. “Is that what you’re doing? Pausing to deal?”
“Yeah.” McKenna shrugged, countenance tormented. “It is.”
AJ nodded slowly, sympathetically. “I’m sorry about Johnny. But you still have time…”
“I know.” A half hearted grin spread over McKenna’s face. “They’re looking for the cure. And Johnny’s tough. He’ll pull through.”
Though brave words, AJ detected the daunting fear within her friend. And who could blame her? Her boyfriend, without a cure, would be dead within two weeks. “You’re still scared. Anyone would be.”
“More like mind numbingly terrified.” McKenna smiled once more, though it was clearly forced. “He’s… I…”
“I’m in love, too,” AJ assured, paraphrasing McKenna’s earlier proclamation. “You don’t have to explain it to me.”
McKenna’s grin then mixed with a wince. “You know, he doesn’t even know.”
“That I love him.” Bottom lip between her teeth, McKenna shrugged again before continuing. “I haven’t told him yet.”
Shocked, AJ lifted an eyebrow. “But you do.”
“I do. So much.”
Eyes wide, AJ waved her hand in front of her, visibly at a loss. “Then why haven’t you told him?”
McKenna laughed then, shaking her head. “He’s not Julius, AJ. He’s…” Her sigh echoed across the room. “Do you know how hard it was just to convince him to give us a chance to begin with? And I know he was feeling it. It was obvious. The way he’d look at me, talk to me, protect me…”
Chuckling, AJ nodded. “Yeah, we had a bet going on about you guys.”
Stunned, McKenna peeked at AJ. “What?”
“Lexia started it. We bet how long it would take for you guys to finally get together. It was obvious to everyone that it was gonna happen, so we figured we’d have a little fun with it.”
Still surprised, McKenna gawked at her friend for a few seconds more, clearly deciding how to react to this information. Finally, with a roll of her shoulders, she arched an eyebrow. “Who won?”
“Diego,” AJ smirked, “as if he needed another reason to have a big head. Didn’t you notice for days after, a different alpha gave him a popsicle at lunch?”
McKenna furrowed her brow, though amused. “You bet popsicles?”
“We’re at war. What else were we gonna bet? And no, it wasn’t popsicles. It was a dessert of the winner’s preference. Diego just really, really likes popsicles.”
Absorbing the information, McKenna eventually shook her head. “I’ll agree it was obvious, but he still wouldn’t. Not until I brought it up when we were stuck on a cliff together. He doesn’t…” She laughed helplessly, shrugging yet again. “I know he cares about me. A lot. He’s done everything but say the words. But it was hard to even get him to go this far. I don’t wanna spook him.”
AJ chuckled. “He’s your boyfriend. Not a horse.”
McKenna rolled her eyes, fondness in their depths. “Too stubborn to be a horse. And he isn’t used to all this. I’ll not throw something at him that he isn’t ready to hear. Even if it wouldn’t scare him away…”
AJ took the cap from her water bottle, slowly bringing it toward her grinning lips. “I don’t think a crowbar and dynamite would get him away from you.”
“…He deserves to get there in his own time. When he’s ready. And not one second before.”
Seconds of silence filled the room until AJ snorted. Caught off guard, McKenna glanced at her oddly.
Waving a hand at her friend, AJ grunted. “You guys are soo different from me and Julius…”
McKenna then offered her own snort. “Don’t I know it?” She sat quietly, seeming to gather her courage. “He has to live, AJ. He just has to. I can’t even…” Her words shifted to tears as she leaned forward, elbows on her knees, and sobbed. From beside her, AJ rested one hand on her back, the other on her right arm, offering what comfort she could to her fellow alpha. When she could again speak, McKenna shook her head. “I know he says that I’m the optimistic one, but with everything that’s happened here… I need him just as much as he needs me. Sometimes, it feels like he’s all that holds me together anymore. If I lose him…”
“You won’t. Not with Tobias looking day and night for a cure. Not with Johnny fighting on his end of the problem. He’ll get through this.”
Still, McKenna cried. “He has to, AJ. He just has to.”
“He will,” AJ whispered, peeking toward the medical center. “He will.”