Special excerpt for YA fantasy romance novel Cursed by Christina Bauer

Can you believe it’s Friday again? Wow!
I’m featuring a special excerpt from the YA fantasy romance novel, Cursed, Beholder Book 1, by Christina Bauer.
her virtual book tour, Christina will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and
Noble gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to
win, use the form below. To increase
your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter
there, too.
A little bit
about Cursed:
days, Elea couldn’t care less about having Necromancer magick. Who needs to
conjure skeletons and sprits when you’re a farm girl? Elea only uses her powers
to speed up chores and scare off suitors.

changes when the evil Necromancer Tsar curses Elea. Now, she only has five
years left before she burns as a ghost, tortured for all eternity. They say
there’s nothing she can do, but Elea disagrees. She decides to embrace her
Necromancer powers, train as a magickal assassin, and kill the Tsar… All before
his curse kills her. Impossible as it may sound, Elea thinks she has it in the
bag, but then everything goes horribly wrong. 

when a handsome mage named Rowan steps up to help. Elea wants an ally, but she
doesn’t need all the mixed-up feelings that come along with Rowan’s crooked

assassination mission is no time to fall in love, but Elea’s heart may have
other ideas…

Excerpt from Cursed:
“Hail and well met.” His deep voice rumbled over the sands.
“I’m Rowan.”
I stopped an arms-length away. “Elea.”
transport spell caught with mine, Necromancer.” The way he said the word
Necromancer, I might as well be dripping with the plague. “Why did Viktor send
It was an
effort to keep my voice low and features still. Of all the people in the realm,
I would never help Viktor. “It’s not your place to question me, Caster. I’m
going to transport away. This time, you won’t interfere again. Do we understand
each other?”
“If you’re
an agent of Viktor’s, then I’m not allowing you to go anywhere until you
explain yourself.”
After five years
of monotones, his voice sounded positively wild with inflection. It made me
even more anxious to leave this man behind. “I don’t have time for your
nonsense. I’m going and, unless you want to eat a fireball, you won’t stop me.”
I lifted my
left arm and pulled in some magick. My body still felt shredded from the last
trip, but I had to risk it. I must transport to the Midnight Cloister right
away. Energy streamed into my torso. My limbs shook.
Quick as a
heartbeat, Rowan stepped forward and grabbed my wrist. How dare he? Anger made
my vision collapse until all I could see were his determined green eyes. This
man had a lesson to learn.
Well, I warned him.
I started
the incantation for a fireball spell. My bones glowed blue with power. Rowan
began some kind of counter-spell. I didn’t recognize the words, but there was
no mistaking the surge of foreign energy that coursed through me. The hold I’d
kept on my power shattered. My magick drained away.
I locked
gazes with Rowan. Not even Petra had been able to block my spells so well.
“You’re a gods-damned menace.”
“Interesting comment, coming from an agent of the Tsar.”
“I am not aligned to Viktor. I give you my word.”
“You know how many times I’ve heard that? Your kind does
nothing but lie.”
“My kind?”
This mindless thug was calling my sweet Sisters a pack of liars. Well, I had
more than one way to cast a fireball spell. My totem ring was pre-loaded with a
cluster of them. Unlike the traditional spellwork, I only had to speak one word
to launch the magick. It angered me to waste this weapon on some brute in the
desert, but it might be my only way out of here.
I raised my left fist. “Fire!”
ghostly skulls shot out from the ring, each one surrounded by blue flames. They
slammed into Rowan’s chest, knocking him onto his back. Good. I’d feel sorry
for the dolt, but he had it coming.
After that,
everything happened so quickly, it was hard to keep track. I know the veins in
Rowan’s right hand glowed red with Caster power. Giant worms burst up from the
sand, gulping down my fireball skulls, before burrowing under the ground once
again. I stared in shock. I knew Casters could control nature, but I’d no idea
they could make something strong enough to swallow a fireball skull.
The next
thing I knew, I was pinned to my back with Rowan’s bulk on top of me. Panic
skittered down my spine. I tried to summon power into my body, but his damned
counter-spell was still in place. With his right arm, Rowan held both my hands
above my head. His torso and legs pinned down the rest of me. That got my blood
boiling and how.
I writhed
and kicked, but he was so huge, my movements barely made him shift his weight.
“Get off me, you sick son of a bitch!”
“You serve
the Tsar, I know it.” His left hand gripped the neckline of my robes and tore
I fought
harder than ever before, not that it did any good. Well, there were spells that
could make him pay, now or later. “Leave me alone or you’ll regret it!”
warm fingers brushed the bare, smooth skin of my left shoulder. “You were
telling the truth.” His eyes widened. “You don’t have a mark.”
“Of course,
I was telling the truth. Now get off me or I swear, I will find a way to kill
you, in this life or the next. You can rely on it.”
Rowan’s voice turned pleading. “I’m so sorry I did that,
it’s just—”
“I said, off!”
“I’ll get
up slowly now. No need to keep fighting.” He gently rolled his massive bulk
away. Why would anyone need so many muscles, anyway? It was bad enough the guy
could cast like he did. I’d never seen anything like it.
The moment
his weight lifted, I hopped to my feet. My throat tightened with rage and hurt.
The Zelle worked me hard, sure, but no one ever raised a hand against me, let
alone pinned me down.
This is the
big, bad world, Elea. If you’re going to kill the Tsar, then you have to get
used to such things. Maybe even worse.
trembling hands, I tried to retie the ribbons on my shoulder. I didn’t want to
transport into the Midnight Cloister looking like this. A real Grand Mistress
never let her robes get messed. But there were too many torn ribbons, and my
coordination was shot. I couldn’t risk casting a spell just to fix my robes
when I needed all my strength just to transport to the Midnight. I redid my
shoulder into some semblance of proper form and then focused my attention on
“You’re a bastard.”
A little
bit about the author:
graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along
with Television, Radio, and Film Production. An avowed girl geek, Christina
loves creating immersive fantasy worlds with action, adventure, romance, and
kick-ass female protagonists. As part of her work in Ink Monster, Christina has
co-developed the ‘Heroine’s Journey,’ a blueprint for telling female myths
inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell. She lives in Newton, MA with her
husband, son, and golden retriever Ruby.
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