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SIX. Chapter One.

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As promised, here is the first chapter of SIX. November 16th is the new release date! Write it down. Tell your friends. Do a little dance. 

-Rachel 

Chapter One

January 10th, Midday

My body is tired. Running is something I have not done since childhood. The dark part of my body can go on. The human part wants to rest. Nothingness is even darker than I imagined it would be. Thick, black trees cover the gray hazy light that I can usually see in the sky. The air smells different, my skin feels odd, and my anger is still tepid. I wait for it to leave because it makes me feel awkward. Having never been able to control my fear, I now wonder if anger laces every waking moment. On its own, I prefer it to fear because it is more bearable—it drives a response from somewhere new. All of the sub-emotions connected to anger are flashing through my system. They are powerful and unrelenting.

My worn out boots crunch the ground as I walk. The echoing noise only serves to make me angrier. The sounds will give away my location and the dark witches will know where I have gone. It is not a matter of if they will. I know they will come after me. I take off my boots, strip off my socks, and continue to tread lightly on the cold ground. For a moment I forget why I do not want the witches to find me, but then I remember her dead body and her whispered last words. They were not empty words as so many of the words she spoke throughout my lifetime. They will kill you when they are done with you. Just like they killed her after her job was completed.

Anger. The emotion is blistering.

I will remind myself of her words when I feel the urge to return to my fated life.

I urge my feet to move faster through the forest to explore. I force my blue eyes to glow a magical bright white to cast addi- tional light on the trail ahead of me. When I hear something move in the distance, I freeze. The black trees look icy but it is just an illusion—they are very much alive and thriving. After the old world fell, magical spells encased the new world to keep it from dying off. I think perhaps it is a tree making the noise, but then I hear a low, gruff growl. I know then that the creatures have found me.

They are glistening, humanoid killing machines that have forced me indoors for most of my life. The wretched creatures are why my fear never left, because they refused to go as well.

I shut my eyes to hide the light that signals my otherness and the growling immediately ceases. Walking a few paces away to a large clump of trees, I slump against a trunk and heave a sigh. Quietness surrounds me as I lace my boots back on. Next, I dig my fingers into the murky, ashen dirt by my sides, desperate to keep my magic quelled. I have been wandering aimlessly, without a stopping point, and my magic is urging me to use it as a solution.

Vibration uncontrollably wracks my humming frame. It signals the magic now coursing through my body, just as vital as blood. Forcing the urges away like I used to do is no longer an option. I am eighteen and the transition is almost complete. My humanness is almost gone. Now, I am more dark witch than anything else. I would pretend for my human mother, but now there is no point. I can be what I was born to become.

My stomach suddenly growls, reminding me of the human parts that will never disappear. I clutch my middle and think about my worn storybook that I left behind in my home. I want to go back for it, but know I cannot without the witches catching me. Something buried deep inside heaves when I think of my home, my book, and my dead mother. My memory knows the story from my book by heart so I begin to recite it in my head. The familiar, hollow words calm me—they make me forget, they numb me.

I hear movement again and know without a doubt it is coming from the trees. I look up and gaze at the static branches and the still leaves. I feel the anger leaving as I take in my surroundings. With the creatures at bay, I realize I am comfortable in nothingness. I feel I do not exist to anyone else—it satisfies me completely. Nature blankets me wholly. It is an entity that has long forgotten my name. Hearing another rustle, my eyes spark white.

“Turn it off!” A female voice hisses from above. My eyes glow brighter in fear.

“I’m serious, bitch. The savages are here.”

The creatures have a different name in nothingness, as do I. I know they are one and the same. I still cannot urge my blue eyes to come. The terror and anger are back and stronger than ever. Rasping hot, stinking breath is so close I can feel it prickling my exposed skin.

The girl’s voice sighs loudly above me in the trees, and then I hear a brisk flick of something. An arrow hisses through the air and hits the savage directly between the black, protruding eyes. It falls toward me, but I nimbly move away from its hulking, slimy corpse. Swallowing loudly, I examine the steaming monster on the ground in front of me. I have never seen one close up. Growing up I would watch them from my bedroom window as they hid behind trees and stalked in the fields by my house. They sensed I was not human and they wanted to kill me. When my magic got stronger, my mother did not let me leave the confines of the house’s walls. Because of this creature and many more like it, I was a prisoner.

Remembering why it is on the ground and not brutally ripping me limb from limb, I warily look up.

A girl drops down from the trees, lithe and graceful. I stare at her, committing every feature to memory. The girl is my savior. She wears a worn plaid shirt and torn blue jeans. Her bow and quiver swings on her back like a brave warrior and her eyes do not glow, nor are they a recognizable human shade. Her eyes are a milky silver. She is one of whom my mother spoke. I know she is not a dark witch. She is a darkling—a half-human, half-dark witch. The girl is like me.

She suddenly yells, “I said turn it off! You freak!”

I flinch away from her. I do not understand her words and her tone is unfamiliar. She bends over the savage and grasps the head. I shudder when I hear her hands press into the goopy flesh. As she jerks, tendons fray and the head eventually pops off the body. My eyes widen in shock. I have never seen such brutality.

“Savages?” I ask. She tosses the head several feet away and then meets my gaze.

“Yes, freak. Savages…and more will be here soon if you don’t turn that shit off!” She points at my face, indicating my eyes as she kicks the corpse away and readies her bow to shoot again. I introduce myself.

“I am Emmalina Weaver.” My eyes are blue again—my dark side buried. I look at her from the back. She is small, yet strong. Pulling the bowstring back, she locks her sights on something and holds her breath. In response I hold my breath, too. She does not let the arrow go though. She slowly lowers her bow to aim at the ground and turns to look at me curiously.

“Well, well, Emma. Finally pulled your act together? Took you long enough. Nice eyes by the way.” The girl squints in the darkness to peer at my face.

“I am hungry,” I say quickly, in hopes of deterring her from realizing our differences. My blond hair contrasts starkly compared to her black, chin length hair that is similar to the dark witches that killed my mother, the common features I am sure most share. “Oh, Jesus. You’re hungry? You are really far gone, aren’t you? Fuck. I should just put you out of your misery now…just say the word,” she says icily. She places her hands on her hips and raises one eyebrow. The girl has asked a question I do not understand so I smile.

She raises her bow up, readying to shoot—in my direction. “No, please do not shoot me. I am frightened!” The girl cackles, her smile touching her eyes. “Okay, not all the way gone, then.” I passed a test. I smile back at her. She shakes her head as she lowers her weapon. “They are going to fucking kill me for this,” she says, stomping one foot on the ground. Her words confuse me. I want to ask if she knows where I can find food, but she was not happy when I told her of my hunger, so I ask her a question instead.

“Who? The creatures will kill you?” I ask. It seems to me that she is prepared to take on the creatures—or anything else that lurks in nothingness. I would be dead if not for her lethal shooting and decapitating abilities.

She swings her bow down by her side as she scans the forest. “No. Not the creatures.” When she finally looks at me, she closes her eyes and sucks in a deep breath. She opens them and her eyes rove my body a few more times.

“The dark witches killed my mother this morning. They came for me, but I ran from them. I will hide in nothingness,” I tell her, hoping to portray humanness by sharing a story. Though saying the words aloud makes me realize my plan is not solid. I have nowhere to go.

“Today? They came for you today?” Her forehead wrinkles and I sense fear in her voice. I am aware of it, just as I was able to sense it in my mother.

“Yes. Today,” I say.

She scans the woods once more while asking, “You ran? Why?” I am hesitant to tell her—I think she will not comprehend my reasons. I look down to the ground and answer her honestly.

“Because I felt.”

Her head snaps back to look at me. She looks me up and down twice more before saying, “Then let’s get you the fuck out of here before the next thing you feel is death.” She extends her small hand toward me. Her eyes are a mix of worry and bravery.

“Okay,” I say while wrapping my hand around hers. I know what death means and it frightens me. Trusting the girl will keep me alive. She can protect me from the savages, which seem my greatest threat at the moment.

As we walk, the girl bends down and beheads another creature with one hard jerk. She picks up the stinking, sopping dome and throws it without releasing my hand. Pulling her bloody arrow out of the creature’s chest, she then slams it back into her quiver. Casually the girl says, “I’m Lana by the way.”

The girl is a savage of a different kind.

© 2013 by Rachel Robinson. All rights reserved.

Six Cover Reveal and FAQ

What is Six about?

What happens when you take away emotions? Take them out of everything. Every decision you make, every relationship you form, every action big or small is devoid of feeling. It sure would make life simple. There would never be a reason to lie, or a concern about trust. There would also never be love, or happiness of any kind. Emmalina (Emma) discovers a whole new, and very forbidden way of living…feeling. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Surprise. Love. Joy. The Six. When she realizes she wants this alternative to the deadly, and hollow fate, it might be too late. She does have some help, with the absurdly handy, and oh-so-handsome Finn, and a wild, foul-mouthed friend named Lana. Understanding emotions is hard. Imagine feeling them for the first time. This is a dystopian romance. Romance and love play a huge role in this story.

My publisher, Eternal Press will be releasing Six November 2013.

If you are a book blogger, reviewer etc…and would like to read Six in advance, drop me a note, I’ll see what I can do. 

How is Six different than Escaped and Embraced?

While Six does have paranormal components that are similar to those in Samantha’s world, the novels are completely different. Six is dark. Six is very, very dark. Not only because the setting is a sunless-post-apocalyptic earth,  but because Emma, the main character is in a very dark place for a lot of the story. While Escaped and Embraced are driven by the crazy things and people placed in Samantha’s world, Six is completely character driven.

With that said, if you pay attention while reading Six some things, places (and maybe people) may seem familiar if you’ve read Samantha’s books. Heck, you may even pick up on some clues on what to expect in the third Samantha Scott book. Six is a stand alone novel. No cliffhangers. I promise.

Um…so Embraced? That ending? When is the next Samantha Scott book coming out?

*No Spoilers* So, about that. It had to happen. It did. While I do have a few different projects on my plate at the moment, the third book should be out next year. It actually has an outline, too! Now, I just have to find the time to write it, and let my publisher decide when they want to release it.

What exactly is on your plate right now? Tell me about the new projects, NOW!

Honestly, Six wiped me out. Emma vivisected me. I was emotionally drained when I finished writing it (no pun intended). Six is also 25,000 words longer than a typical Samantha Scott Novel. I’m stitched up now and currently working on a Contemporary Romance. *Gasp* I know. No magic. Nothing except a bunch of emotions that make everyone act crazy. It may or may not be loosely based on my real life. Watch out, real life friends. No one is safe. (Just kidding.) Also, Finn might have his own story coming down the pipe, too.

Without further hesitation, here is the cover for SIX.

How many do you have?

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Cover Art: Amanda Kelsey

Visit the SIX tab for more info.

SIX Cover Reveal. Part 2.

SIX Cover Reveal. Part 2.

Here is the second piece of the cover for SIX.

Also, a snippet :)

Lana and I perch on the top of the thick fence, our backs to the palace. What we glimpse in front of us has frozen us to this spot.

“What the fuck is that?” Lana whispers.

It is the abandoned city. Black smoke still rises from the cracked streets. Tall buildings with their tops demolished litter the deconstructed skyline. Up close it looks more tormented than from the balcony at the palace. Creatures that are indistinguishable control the gray atmosphere in every direction I look. Their scaly wings cut through the air as easily as a knife through skin. Small fires rage throughout as far as the eye can see. Life has forsaken this city long ago. My life has been split into two categories at this moment.

Before and after.

Embraced has hit the (virtual) shelves!

To buy in Amazon Kindle Store click below.

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To buy in other eBook formats visit the publisher here.

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Still to come: Barnes & Noble nook store, Paperbacks

Embraced Prologue

Hi friends, family, readers, Samantha lovers! I have to tell you that I had a really hard time pulling an excerpt from Embraced to share with you. I ended up deciding on the prologue with the hopes all my limbs stay intact. :-)

Rachel

PROLOGUE

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black

The knife came out of nowhere. It sailed in my direction, threatening a fate worse than death. It was another betrayal. I caught the handle using quick reflexes. Shock yielded quickly to anger. I swallowed hard, lifted my chin, and boldly met his gaze. I lowered the knife to my side and watched in horror as he approached, murderous ire permeating his features. He stopped in front of me. He was close enough for me to feel his hot, heavy, erratic breaths. I clenched the handle of the knife, unsure if I would be able to harm him; the man I loved. His face, a glowering mask of rage, suddenly transformed. He was a tortured, desperate man. I knew then that my man was gone. My magic started pooling around me. The attack was imminent. He grabbed my hand holding the knife as his nostrils flared with fury. I was breathless and numb, hung in the moment like a puppet on weakened strings.

“Stop, don’t do this.” My voice wavered as resentment masked my haunting despair. His sturdy grasp stayed on my hand as he shut his eyes tightly and tried to calm his breathing. I took the moment to plead with him again, although the cast to defend myself was on the tip of my tongue.

“Please, just talk to me.” My talisman tattoo lit as it did in any heightened emotional state. Without taking his gaze off mine, he raised my hand very slowly and pointed the knife straight at his shirtless chest directly above his heart. Blood welled where the tip pierced his skin. I was a prisoner to his grip, unable to move for fear I’d harm him further. He twisted the knife deeper until a steady stream of blood ran down his chest. Bile rose in my throat and strangled any words that would help the situation. He finally spoke.

“Do it, Samantha.” His voice was sharp but the pain in his eyes seared my heart. I shook my head subtly and with a pang realized he was serious. This would be the end. I regained an ounce of composure but my response was feeble.

“You don’t have to do this. There’s always a way.” Not so, my heart whispered back. He didn’t believe my words either. He quirked his mouth up in one corner as he shook his head in disagreement.

“I am disgusted with myself. Help me, Samantha. Only you can ease my torment.” I bit my quivering lip as I listened to the man I loved beg to die, pleading to end his life because of our differences.

He pointed with his free hand to the bloody knife and his heart. “This is yours. Shut it down or let it live, but make a decision. I can’t deal with this anymore.” A tear sneaked out the corner of my eye. His beautiful wide eyes were questioning. It was like some sixth sense finally awakened him. He knew exactly what I would do.

“Kiss me or kill me, Samantha.”

I hesitated briefly then screamed out in horror as he pulled my hand. The knife went in further. He knew I wouldn’t stop him.

Coming August 2013…

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