Cover Reveal & Excerpt: No Sleep till Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton
Exciting news! Today I am absolutely thrilled to participate in a cover reveal and excerpt teaser for a book that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Later this year, Pyr Books will be releasing the third book of the Dru Jasper series No Sleep Till Doomsday by Laurence Macnaughton featuring our protagonist as she once again battles the demonic forces of evil to prevent them from bringing about the end of the world. I’ve been enjoying the hell out of these books so far (no pun intended) and I can’t wait to read this one. To give you a taste, we also have an excerpt from the first chapter to share, but first, take a look at the book’s electrifyingly eye-popping cover!
An inexperienced sorceress must retrieve a priceless artifact from the enchantress who stole it, break the curse on her half-demon boyfriend, and stop her friends from turning on each other before the enchantress calls down doomsday.
When a deadly enchantress steals an amulet of unimaginable power, crystal sorceress Dru Jasper must risk everything to get it back. With this amulet in hand, the enchantress could break the sixth seal of the apocalypse scroll. If she does, the seas will boil, the stars will fall from the sky, and the earth itself will split apart. Overall, bad news.
There’s only one way to stop doomsday: find the apocalypse scroll first. But Dru’s attempts to track down the scroll run smack up against the dark secrets of her half-demon boyfriend, Greyson. His uncanny connection to the demon-possessed muscle car Hellbringer could threaten the fate of the world–unless Dru can find a way to break his curse for good.
Which isn’t easy, since one of her friends has decided to solve the problem by eliminating Greyson. As her boyfriend battles her best friends, Dru is locked in a high-speed chase with the enchantress, fighting a fierce magical duel she cannot win alone. Can Dru save Greyson’s soul, salvage her friendships, and find the apocalypse scroll in time to stop doomsday?
Dru gently spread her fingers across his broad chest, feeling the smooth fabric of his blazer, so different from the usual black leather and zippers of his motorcycle jacket. This close, when she looked deep into his blue eyes, she could see the faint sparks of demonic energy lurking deep inside, waiting to be fanned to life again. At the first sign of danger, they would erupt into a hellish red glow.
And every time they did, she had to wonder how close he was to once again becoming one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, driving the world toward extinction.
She had a duty to break his curse. As a sorceress, she was responsible for doing whatever it took to keep the world safe from doomsday. But once she found a way to fix Greyson, would she lose him forever?
Without saying a word, Greyson pulled her to him. The heat from his body enveloped her, so familiar and yet still strange and new. The rugged scent of him intoxicated her. He looked into her eyes, and suddenly she had trouble swallowing. Her heart drummed in her chest.
He bent down, and her head tipped back. She lifted her lips toward his.
A resounding thump from the crystal shop downstairs interrupted them. Dru pulled back, suddenly alert. Someone was down there.
A swirling, fiery red glow lit up Greyson’s eyes, as if someone had stoked the embers of a nearly-cold fire and brought it to roaring life again. His chest swelled, and a dark shadow passed across his features. “What was that?”
The grid of powerful protective crystals Dru had placed strategically around the old brick building was strong enough to keep out any intruders, short of someone crashing a truck in through the front window. Dru winced at that particularly painful memory, which was still too raw in her mind. With these potent crystals in place now, anyone who tried to break in without using a key would suffer a distinctly unpleasant magical surprise.
Yet no magical backlash shook the building, which meant that someone had unlocked the door normally. Only Dru and her business partner Opal had keys. Dru realized her mistake, and inwardly groaned. “I just remembered. The other day, I gave Rane a key to the shop.”
Greyson squinted his glowing eyes, as if trying to decide whether she was joking. “That’s . . . brave.”
“Well, you know, it’s kind of self-defense. Rane has this bad habit of breaking in anytime she wants to,” Dru said.
He appeared consider that, but he didn’t look too happy with his conclusions.
“Before you say anything, I want you to know it’s complicated,” Dru said. “I mean, I love her, but oh, my God.” Dru took a deep breath, trying to calm the conflicting emotions that raced through her. “Just give me five minutes. Don’t go anywhere. If she finds out you’re here, she’ll want to play chaperone, and then things will get awkward. More. Awkward.”
He nodded once.
“I’ll be right back. I promise.” It took a force of willpower to pull herself free from his arms and head down the stairs that led to the back room of the shop.
As she padded down the old brick stairwell, feeling each gritty step beneath her bare feet, she cursed silently to herself. Why did Rane have to show up right this very second? Why did Greyson have to worry so much about becoming a normal guy again? Why did she have to get so wrapped up in her work that she never got around to showering today?
Plus, she was pretty sure there was a cold, dried-out burrito stinking up the microwave.
Other than that, for the first time Dru could remember, everything was finally be coming together. After much struggle, Rane and Salem were an item again, Opal was happily dating Riuz, and Dru had Greyson back safe and sound.
She’d even been able to pay all of her bills this month, because of the recent surge of business. As word had spread that Dru could cure magical afflictions, dozens of new faces had started showing up at her crystal shop. That included the sorcerers who had lost their powers to the spiked drinks in the underground masquerade a couple of weeks ago.
Dru had cured so many of them that she’d run out of cave calcite and had to rush-order an entire new shipment from her supplier in South America. In the process of treating the sorcerers, she’d run her hands across so many of the lumpy, white, brain-shaped crystals that her palms felt permanently exfoliated.
Now she had enough money in the bank to pay the rent for several months. Even better, she also had the undying gratitude—and, at long last, the hard-won respect—of dozens of sorcerers. Finally, she felt like she was somebody. As if she’d earned the right to truly call herself a sorceress.
Now, she just had to figure out what Rane needed. Hopefully there wasn’t any new drama with her on-again off-again boyfriend, Salem, the self-proclaimed most powerful sorcerer around. Maybe she could shoo Rane out the door, put on some makeup, slip into clothes that didn’t feature an elastic waistband, and finally go out on her first official date with Greyson.
Dru paused mid-step, realizing how strange it was that she had never actually gone out with him, not even once. The closest they had ever come to a date was when he had crashed a business dinner with her ex, and then promptly turned into a demon and started tearing up the city.
Not exactly a fairytale start to a relationship. No wonder the poor guy was having cold feet.
She resolved to make tonight special. She would tell him just how she felt. Somehow, she would make him understand that whether or not he had magical powers, he was the guy she wanted to be with.
She hustled down the stairs and opened the door at the bottom, preparing to greet Rane with a blast of good-natured sarcasm. “Hey, you crazy—” The words dried up on her tongue.
Because it wasn’t Rane.
A thin older woman, clad all in black, with gaunt cheekbones and straight red hair, studied Dru’s wall safe. It was usually hidden behind a framed photo of Ming the Merciless. But now, Ming’s picture lay discarded on the floor, missing its old yellow sticky note that read, Pathetic Earthlings! Who can save you now?
The dull metal face of Dru’s vault of cursed artifacts lay exposed, its black-and-white dial and polished steel handle shining in the faint light from the stairwell. As Dru hesitated in the doorway, the woman turned her head, her long red hair flowing with the movement. Before Dru could say another word, the woman raised a long arm and extended her fingers, claw-like. Crystal-encrusted rings bristled across her knuckles, pulsing in all different colors at once.
A prickling, suffocating pressure seized Dru. She tried to call out to Greyson for help, but managed only a faint wheeze. Her arms were pinned tightly to her sides, and an unseen weight squeezed her ribs, as if she were being crushed in an invisible fist.
The woman swung her arm, and Dru was yanked into the room by the unseen force. Her legs kicked uselessly in the air, managing to do nothing more than knock a few books off a nearby shelf.
The woman’s fierce hazel eyes gleamed with satisfaction. Her thin red lips drew back in a savage smile. She raised one long, ring-covered finger to her lips. “Shh.”
Aw, there goes Dru and Greyson, melting my heart. And the cover is just glorious, perfectly reflecting the fun and quirky nature of the series while also matching the covers for the previous books, not to mention yellow is a color that really jumps out at you from a shelf. No Sleep Till Doomsday is currently scheduled to come out in October, which can’t come soon enough. Happily, it is now available to preorder on Amazon, and don’t forget to also add the book and series on Goodreads!
Have you read or heard of the Dru Jasper books? What do you think of the cover and description of No Sleep Till Doomsday? Do you have plans to check it out? Tell me your thoughts!