Welcome, K. N. Lee and her amazing book, The Scarlett Legacy to my blog! I am excited to her have here. Today, you will get to read an excerpt from the book after learning a little bit about this new young adult paranormal fantasy romance!
The Scarlett Legacy is one of the books in the Woodland Creek Series. 30 Authors. 30 Shifter Stories. Wow! Go Team! Of course, The Scarlett Legacy has its own special flavor. Read on to find out about Evie and the Scarlett family below.
Wizards. Shifters. Murderers.
Welcome to Woodland Creek where one family of wizards gives new meaning to organized crime.
Evie Scarlett wanted two things: marry Parker Drake and leave Woodland Creek.
But when Hugh Prince, a dangerous crime boss, is mysteriously murdered while awaiting trial for her father’s murder, all eyes turn to the Scarlett family.
The arrival of Hugh’s youngest son, Avalon brings a century-old feud to a dangerous climax. This vengeful wizard gives Evie’s older brother a choice: die or give Evie to him.
When Evie’s plans for escape are broken by familial duty, she must find a way to protect those she loves and win back her freedom. What she finds is an ancient power that she never knew she had.
A power that might change everything she thought she knew about her family.
“ARE YOU SURE you’re okay?” Quinn watched Evie as she stepped out of her afternoon shift at Carter’s Books and Gifts.
Evie nodded, offering a half-hearted smile to her best friend. They met up every Friday after her shift for coffee.
“I’m fine. Thanks for asking.”
“Crazy that he just died in his holding cell. From a freaking spider bite! How does that even happen?”
You’d be surprised what could happen when you’re on my family’s bad side.
Quinn adjusted her red-rimmed glasses as she gazed at the gray sky. “It’s about to storm.”
Evie smoothed her wavy black hair down. “Well, let’s hurry over to Geek Beans.”
“Sure. I can’t stay out late tonight. I have to study for my Physics test.”
“Okay. I can’t stay late either,” Evie said as they made their way down Albrecht Street.
Quinn shook her head with an annoyed grunt. “You’re so lucky you chose English instead of biology. My physics class is killing me.”
“You’re right. I’m a writer. I’ll stick to the words.”
“How about you write me an excuse from my exam,” Quinn said with a sigh.
“I wish I could.”
Another wind brushed her hair across her face. A cool droplet of rain splashed on her nose. “Let’s hurry. I just felt a drop!”
Evie was glad she wore her ankle boots as they ran the rest of the way. A man held the door to Geek Beans open for them, and they hurried inside.
“Thanks,” Quinn said as she pulled her blonde hair back into a ponytail. A loud crash of thunder made her jump. “Whew. Close one.”
Evie’s eyes scanned the coffee shop for a seat somewhere discreet.
Geek Beans was one of the coolest places in town. Inside it felt like they weren’t in Woodland Creek. Appropriately named, all of her fellow geeks could hang out in a judgment free zone. With colorful tables that didn’t quite match, hanging plants, colorful artwork, and everyone with their tablets and laptops, it felt as if they were in a quaint coffee shop in Soho or something.
One day Evie would see Soho. She’d see the world and would forget this small town.
“What are you wearing to the Halloween party?”
Evie shrugged. “I haven’t thought about it yet. What about you?”
She breathed in the room’s delightful scent of roasted coffee beans, cinnamon, and apples. The low hum of chatter mixed with the sound of a guitar playing.
“Naughty nurse. Get it? Since I’m going to be a registered nurse,” Quinn said, nudging her.
Evie nodding, only half listening. She turned to see who was playing. Her eyes locked with the musician the moment she found him. It was as if he’d been watching her.
“Whoa,” Evie said under her breath. She couldn’t look away.
Something about him left her frozen in place. He had a familiar face, but she couldn’t place where she’d seen him before.
This was Woodland Creek, Indiana, where everyone knew everyone.
He strummed the guitar strings with grace. His voice made the hairs on her skin rise as he sang along to the guitar. She couldn’t look away. It was as if he held her captive in a spell.
With striking green eyes, tanned skin, and hair cut low on both sides and long on the top he looked like a model from a magazine. Within seconds, she imagined herself running her hands through his rich red colored hair while they kissed in the rain.
Evie felt her cheeks flush and turned away.
Where did that come from?
She’d never even dream about cheating on Parker.
Warnings flashed in her mind. Her skin started to feel hot. Her palms started to sweat.
Her eyelids flickered closed for a quick second, long enough for her to get a read on the stranger.
She opened her eyes to see him looking at her.
That’s odd, she thought.
She could always read others, with minimal effort…or magic.
Something was definitely up with the stranger.
She grabbed Quinn by the forearms. “Get me a mocha latte. I need to run to the bathroom.”
Quinn nodded, a thinly arched blonde brow raised. “Sure. You all right?”
“I’m fine,” she said before retreating to the bathroom at the back of the coffee shop.
She made it a point to avoid looking at the handsome musician that she’d never seen before. He was definitely new, which meant soon every single girl in town would be batting her eyelashes at him.
Evie shook her head.
No. No. No.
Her mind recalled the stranger’s tattoos. An eagle stretched across his neck. She now knew where she’d seen him before.
Inside the bathroom, she went to the mirror. She checked her reflection. Her cheeks were still pink. She grabbed a paper towel and wet it under cold water. After patting her cheeks, she dug into her satchel for her lip balm. She dabbed it on her lips and looked at herself one more time.
Someone knocked on the door, breaking her from her thoughts.
“Okay,” she whispered to her reflection. “Just keep calm.”
She turned and opened the door to leave.
She audibly sucked in a breath.
There he was. He stood before her and smiled, leaving her unable to speak or move. He was taller than she’d remembered from her dream, and smelled as if he’d just eaten apple pie.
Silence passed between them as she stared into his eyes.
What do I do? What do I say?
“Hi,” she squeaked.
“Hello,” he replied. He looked over her shoulder. “Are you done?”
She nodded, wishing Geek Beans would create another bathroom so situations like this wouldn’t occur.
She sidestepped around him and hurried to the table Quinn picked out by the bookcase in the corner. Once she sat down she buried her face in her hands and groaned.
The smell of the citrus bathroom soap wafted into her nose as she breathed in. “Dear God, I made a fool of myself. I just stood there!” Evie buried her face in her hands, smearing her glasses with oil from the palms of her hands.
Quinn paused the chewing of her croissant. She raised a brow. “What?”
Evie took her glasses off and wiped them with her shirt. Her shoulders slumped. She reached for her mocha latte and took a gingerly sip.
“Nothing,” she said.
Quinn chuckled. “Okay. Whatever.” She leaned in, her eyes bright. “Did you see the new guitar player? Tattoos, a great voice, and killer hair.”
Nodding, Evie took another sip, letting the warm liquid soothe her nerves. She closed her eyes.
He was a musician. That explained the music notes from the dream.
“And what a face,” Quinn continued.
“Listen to you. You sound like you’re ready to give it up to a stranger.” Evie said, forcing a smile even though her heart was racing.
“Everyone can’t get a catch like Parker Drake,” Quinn said. She scrunched up her nose. “And don’t act so high and mighty. You just lost yours this year.”
Evie drank more of her coffee.
“Shush, Quinn,” Evie kept her voice barely above a whisper. She didn’t need everyone in the coffee shop to know she was once a twenty-one-year old virgin.
“So, he asked you to stay with him for a few days? Is that the beginning of moving in together? Spill the beans.”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” She didn’t want to reveal that he had asked her to move in yet. Quinn was a good friend, but a jealous one.
Quinn pursed her lips. “Oh. I see. That’s all you’re going to give me?”
“I can’t focus on that right now. There’s too much on my mind. But sure, it sounds nice. It will be a nice change.”
“Well good for you. I’m glad you guys are together. Even if you have less and less time for your best friend.”
Evie reached a hand across the table and placed it on Quinn’s. She smiled warmly. “You’re always going to be my best friend. No matter what. We will always be close.”
“Good,” Quinn said. “Or else I’d have to move Wendy up to best friend…and she’s nowhere as cute as you are.”
Evie laughed. Her smile faded as she sat back in her chair.
She watched the musician leave the short hallway that led to the bathroom and enter the main room. He paused a moment and looked around the room. When he saw her his eyes brightened, and he started to head their way.
Evie sat up straight, praying that she could keep calm and act as though everything was still normal. Quinn saw her expression and glanced over her shoulder.
“He’s coming,” she said.
“I know,” Evie said, barely moving her lips.
She watched him come to their table and pull a chair out for himself.
Evie’s face flushed as she watched him sit next to her.
Both girls were silent as he sat back and draped an arm around the back of his seat.
There was an awkward silence for a moment.
He looked at both of them and sat up quickly as if he hadn’t noticed them sitting there until now.
“Excuse my manners,” he said. He reached a hand out to Quinn. “I’m Avalon. Nice to meet you.”
He had an accent, a sexy one that made Quinn perk up. Even Evie sat up a little straighter.
Quinn shook his hand. “Quinn. Nice to meet you too.”
When Avalon reached out to Evie she shook his hand as well, feeling the warmth of his palm against hers. Along with the warmth, she felt a slight electric pulse run up her wrist and arm.
He was a wizard.
A quite powerful one.
She could tell the instant they touched.
Wes called it a gift. He couldn’t do it. He could do other things, but always said that she was lucky to know what kind of beings existed around her. As a child, Evie looked up to Wes. They’d play games that strengthened Evie’s powers. Mental games mostly.
She missed those days.
Evie examined Avalon from the shiny red hair on his head, to his expensive black shoes.
Being a wizard explained why she couldn’t read Avalon earlier. His form of power must have prevented it.
And by the shoes on his feet he wasn’t just a guitar player.
She swallowed when he caught her checking him out.
“I’m Evie…short for Evelyse.”
“Lovely name for a beautiful lass,” he said, and settled back in his chair once again. “Do you mind if I sit with you ladies for a bit? I find myself all alone on a Friday night, and you two seem like nice normal girls.”
Normal? I wish.
Evie faked a smile.
“You’re new to town,” Quinn said. “Where are you from?”
“Woodland Creek,” Avalon replied.
They both stared at him, neither believing his story.
“Oh,” Quinn said. “I’ve never seen you before. What’s with the accent?”
Avalon tilted his head and nodded, a lock of his hair falling into his eyes. He racked his hair back. “Aye. I was shipped off to boarding school in Scotland when I was a lad.”
Quinn peered at him, clearly still suspicious of his story. “What brings you back?”
He rubbed his chin. “Good question. A little business. A little pleasure.”
Quinn grinned. “Come to charm innocent Midwestern girls with your Scottish accent and guitar?”
He chuckled at that. “Not really.” He gave Evie a sidelong glance, making her subconscious of her white lock of hair. “I’ve come to bury my father, and see an old mate.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Evie said.
Evie folded her hands in her lap, eager to hear his answer to Quinn’s question.
One of the girls from Evie’s Asian history class stepped over. “Hi,” she said.
Avalon looked up at her from his seat.
“What can I do for you, gorgeous?”
The girl blushed. “We were hoping you’d play some more. You’re really good.”
Evie raised her brows. The nerve on that girl.
Avalon nodded, glancing at the cat-shaped clock on the wall above Evie’s head. His eyes lingered on hers, making her hold her breath before he turned away.
“Aye. I can play a few more songs.” He looked to Quinn and Evie. “You’ll excuse me, ladies?”
“Of course,” Evie said, nodding. She let out a long breath as she picked up her coffee and looked away.
She couldn’t stand it when he looked at her. It was as if he could see into her soul.
“Sure,” Quinn said. “You didn’t tell us who your friend was, though, and who you’re here to bury. We might know them.”
“I’m burying my father, Hugh Prince.” He stood. “And my old friend is Wesley Scarlett.”
Evie’s head snapped in his direction. She could barely breathe when their eyes locked.
There was no denying who he was. Her suspicions were correct.
Avalon was the man from her dream.
It’s not possible, she thought.
“How do you know Wes?” Quinn looked surprised. “That’s Evie’s older brother.”
He grinned, giving Evie a knowing look. “I know.”
Quinn sipped from her coffee, her eyes going from Evie to Avalon. “Well, what a coincidence that we ran into you then.”
Grinning, Avalon pulled his guitar strap over his head. “Indeed. Especially since I’ll be heading to Scarlett Hall tonight.”
K.N. Lee is an award-winning author that resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she is not writing twisted tales, fantasy novels, and dark poetry, she does a great deal of traveling and promotes other authors. Wannabe rock-star, foreign language enthusiast, and anime geek, K.N. Lee also enjoys helping others reach their writing and publishing goals. She is a winner of the Elevate Lifestyle Top 30 Under 30 “Future Leaders of Charlotte” award for her success as a writer, business owner, and for community service.
Her works include, Rise of the Flame, The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld, Dark Prophet, A Gifted Curse, Wicked Webs, Empty Your Heart, Pixie Dust, and the paranormal collection of short stories, Thicker Than Blood.
Author, K.N. Lee loves hearing from fans and readers. Connect with her!
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