Romance, drama, magic, and a fresh spin on the urban fantasy genre- these books are amazing. I am currently reading Wickedly Wonderful.
Book One of the Series, Wickedly Dangerous was so very good, check out my review here. It's a must read- and so is this one. Enjoy the excerpt below. :-)
A Baba Yaga Novel
Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…
Though she looks like a typical California surfer girl, Beka Yancy is in fact a powerful yet inexperienced witch who’s struggling with her duties as a Baba Yaga. Luckily she has her faithful dragon-turned-dog for moral support, especially when faced with her biggest job yet…
A mysterious toxin is driving the Selkie and Mer from their homes deep in the trenches of Monterey Bay. To investigate, Beka buys her way onto the boat of Marcus Dermott, a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine, and his ailing fisherman father.
While diving for clues, Beka drives Marcus crazy with her flaky New Age ideas and dazzling blue eyes. She thinks he’s rigid and cranky (and way too attractive). Meanwhile, a charming Selkie prince has plans that include Beka. Only by trusting her powers can Beka save the underwater races, pick the right man, and choose the path she’ll follow for the rest of her life…
The red-gold glow of the rising sun turned the sea into a fire of molten lava that belied the cold Pacific waters of Monterey Bay. Beka Yancy didn’t mind, though; her wetsuit kept her warm, and it was worth braving the morning chill to have the waves mostly to herself.
Soon enough there would be plenty of people around, but for now, she reveled in her solitary enjoyment of the frothy white lace overlaying blue-green depths, accompanied only by the sound of the wind and the hooting laughter of a nearby pod of dolphins. She gave a chortling greeting in dolphin-speak as she went by.
Beka paddled her surfboard out until the pull of the ocean overruled the calm of the shore, feeling herself settle into that peaceful space she only found when there was endless water below her and infinite sky above. On land, there were human beings and all their attendant noise and commotion; here, there was only the challenge that came from pitting herself against the crushing power of the rolling waves.
The fresh scent of the sea filled her nostrils and a light breeze tugged playfully on a strand of her long blonde hair as she steered in the direction of a promising incoming swell. But before she could angle herself towards it, her board jerked underneath her as if it had suddenly come to life, and she had to grab on tightly with both hands as it accelerated through the water at impossible speeds, cutting through the whitecaps as if they weren’t even there.
What the hell? Beka held on tighter, ducking her head against the biting teeth of the icy spray that washed over her. Through squinted eyes, she could barely make out what looked like a pale green hand grasping the end of her surfboard, gossamer webbing pressed against the bright red surface of the board. A powerful tail with iridescent feathery ends undulated just beneath the water, only occasionally breaking through the surface as it stroked forcefully through the ocean.
Mermaid! Beka thought to herself. But the identification of her mysterious hijacker raised more questions than it solved. She doubted the water creature meant her any harm; they normally stayed far away from human civilization, preferring to hide in their own territory concealed by ancient magic within a two-mile deep underwater trench. And Beka was friendly with most of the local non-human residents, on the rare occasions that she saw them.
Still, she was glad of the small knife she wore in a waterproof sheath strapped to her calf, carefully disguised from sight with a tiny glamour that kept the other surfers from noticing it. Not that she really expected to need it, as she had other defenses much more powerful than cold steel, but she’d discovered long ago that it paid to be prepared for the unexpected. It came with the territory, when you were a Baba Yaga.
Most people had never heard of Baba Yaga. Those who recognized the name were usually only familiar with the legendary witch from Russian fairy tales; a curved-chin, beaky-nosed crone with iron teeth who lived in a hut that ran around the forest on giant chicken legs, flew through the air in an enchanted mortar and pestle, and ate small children when they misbehaved.
Some of that had even been true, once upon a time. Certainly, the Baba Yagas were powerful witches, gifted with the ability to manipulate the elemental forces of nature. Even the tales about the huts and the odd form of transportation had been true, back when the Babas had been found only in Russia and its Slavic neighbors. Things were done a little differently these days though
Beka might have been the youngest and most inexperienced of the three Babas who lived in the United States, but she was still more than a match for a single mermaid. So it was with more curiosity than trepidation that she sat up straight on her board when they finally reached their destination.
A swift glance around showed her that the mermaid had brought her quite some distance from the shore, only barely visible as a ochre-colored smudge on the horizon behind her. Two or three miles out at least then, a guess reinforced by the sight of a commercial fishing boat moving ponderously through the steely blue sea, dragging its gnarly mesh of nets behind it like a stout wooden bride with a too-long train. Red and blue buoys bobbed on the surface, giving the nets a festive look. Up on the bow of the boat, two men argued about something she was too far away to overhear; luckily, they were looking at each other, and not at her.
Beka jumped as the mermaid surfaced without a sound; her auburn hair turned almost black by the wetness that slicked it back from her face, green eyes bright with fear as she started speaking almost before her lips reached the open air. The now-risen sun glittered off shimmering scales and glinted on sharply pointed teeth.
“Baba Yaga, you have to help me!” The merwoman’s head swiveled anxiously between the boat and Beka. Beka was about to reply; something about it being good manners to ask first before dragging someone out into the middle of the ocean, when a large cerulean tear rolled down the woman’s sharp cheekbone and she added, “My baby—my baby is caught in the net!”a Rafflecopter giveaway