By Leanna Renee Hieber
One of my favourite things about the Strangely Beautiful series has been developing a loving community in The Guard that well understand that their Grand Work is filled with strife and pain, but joy and reward too. My series is about finding and holding onto that beloved community at all costs, despite all odds, when amazing things do happen. So in honour of the community that I care so much for in real life, here’s an exclusive excerpt from my tight-knit fictional community that I also adore, The Guard. Blessings and I hope starting April 27th, during release week, you’ll do the Strangely Beautiful series the great service of supporting it in your local bookstores. I also hope to see you May 3rd at Lady Jane’s Salon, where I’ll be reading and celebrating!♥
From THE DARKLY LUMINOUS FIGHT FOR PERSEPHONE PARKER:
The Guard cried out. A phoenix bathed in light, rising from the indomitable love within two mortal hearts—this was raw, divine power, their purpose and origin made manifest. Marianna and Edward squealed. Mina Wilberforce’s hands went to her face. Alexandra gaped, tears streaming down her cheeks. Many of the attendant ghosts breathed sighs and vanished, at last sent to their rest.
Elijah turned to Marianna, Edward and Mina. He pointed a finger toward each set of eyes. “As beautiful as this is,” he began nonchalantly, “I’m terribly sorry, we’ll have to pretend that never happened.” Their gazes clouded, and only selective memories of a more mundane nature remained.
When Withersby turned his fingers in the direction of Alexandra, Alexi stopped him. “No, Elijah. Let my sister keep this sight.”
Alexandra eyed her brother with deepening wonder. “Thank you,” she murmured desperately.
“Are we married now?” Percy breathed, amazed by the blue-coloured flame wreathing her beloved’s eyes and her own. A thin line of the same traced The Guard’s hearts, each to the other, a cord of light binding them fast.
“By the gods themselves, it would seem,” Alexi replied.
The couple walked down the aisle, arm in arm, unable to take their eyes from each other. Jane broke into a jig, and the assembled company bounced out of the chapel, Rebecca taking care to wheel Alexandra to safety as everyone embraced. Jane was lost to her music, a new spirit floating behind her. Aodhan’s hard, deeply masculine features wore affection, and his ghostly hand hovered just above her shoulder. Beside him floated Beatrice Tipton.
Beatrice’s expression was almost threatening. Her voice was kinder. “Go on, my lady,” she said to Percy. “Enjoy what you’ve worked so very long to attain. Enjoy your mortal love and a bit of celebration. There’s time soon enough for the rest. But please take care. Remember all I’ve said.”
Percy swallowed and nodded. She turned to behold Alexi, who was ignorant of all but her. She delighted in his thirsty gaze before turning back to find Beatrice and Aodhan gone.
Michael, unable to contain his overflowing heart, swept Rebecca into a jig. She at first refused, but it was impossible to deny his joy for long and so she acquiesced with a chuckling sigh. It was Josephine’s giggle that alerted them all to the host of gawking professors and students eyeing first their dancing headmistress and second their most mysterious, brooding professor, clearly wedded to and infatuated with their strangest student. Rebecca simply laughed; there was nothing else to be done. Jane continued to play beside Alexandra, who from her wheelchair watched as if the world had been made far more beautiful.
Alexi kissed Percy’s hands and moved to kneel at his sister’s side. “There is an ancient magic within us, Alexandra. I’ve never wished to keep secrets from you—”
She placed her hand on Alexi’s shoulder and shook her head. “Thank you for what you allowed me to see.” Alexandra beamed as Percy knelt at her feet in rustling pool of blue satin. “You look incredible. The both of you…Alexi, what on earth made you finally allow someone close?”
Alexi tucked Percy’s arm in his. “There was no way around this woman’s radiance.”
A huge smile approached, a white crescent against brown skin, and Percy jumped up to welcome Mina. Taking Percy’s ivory hand in a far darker one, she murmured: “Congratulations, Mrs. Rychman. I never doubted your husband’s mind. What I doubted was that he could ever smile. How dear it is that you’re the one to unearth such a miracle. Come find me after your honeymoon, I’ll give you presents—books!”
Alexi bowed his head. “Hello, Miss Wilberforce, thank you for being a part of this special day.”
“No—thank you, Professor, for proving love presses past barriers.” The librarian lifted Percy’s hand in hers, showcasing the contrast that had brought them together, triumphant.
“I’m so glad to share this with you, Mina. It’s been quite a quarter,” Percy whispered.
“I should say.”
(End of Excerpt)
Blessings and thanks RWANYC, for being a part of my beloved community. Come join me this week for my Darkly Luminous Haunted London Blog Tour and tons of giveaways. Join the tour at:
As I discuss the real-life ghost stories I use in the book! And, see you at Lady Jane’s Salon!
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