Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Riana Lucas "Awake"

After being nearly killed at the hands of Damien, Poppy slowly regains consciousness as a prisoner of the Seelie Court. At least that’s what Poppy believes at first. She cannot help but to wonder why she is being treated so well. She has a luxurious bedroom instead of a cell in the dungeon and a hand maid by the name of Willow who is assigned only to her. To anyone else this would seem to be a perfect arrangement, but it becomes quite clear that the Queen and the entire Seelie Court has a secret. Unfortunately this is not the only problem. Poppy wakes up every morning from horrible dreams that she just cannot seem to remember. They leave her with a sense of urgency to see her friends Reed and Rho, who she now believes are in trouble over at the Unseelie Court. Will the Queen let Poppy in on the secrets of her Court? Will she ever be allowed to return home? And will she reunite with Reed and Rho to finally discover what is happening with them?
Riana Lucas is actually a duo of writers who are best friends who go by the names Nichole and Angela in the real world.  Realizing that gobbling books like hungry caterpillars and then discussing them for hours at a time wasn’t fulfilling enough, the team decided to write their first book together.  The Deadly Flowers Series was born out of a kernel of an idea and has grown into a four book series.  The two have realized their true calling in life and plan to make a career out of writing books with strong characters who evoke true emotion.
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Chapter One
"Poppy! We need you! Please help us. I’m not sure what to do."
"Reed? Reed, is that you? Where are you?"
"I’m here, Poppy."
"Where? I cannot see you. It is too dark."
"I’m at the unseelie court, but things aren’t right."
"I do not understand."
"Rho and I have been put into the dungeons."
"I don’t know! This isn’t right. You said I would be safe!"
"I do not know how to get to you. I cannot leave. The queen will not allow it."
"Please, Poppy! We need you…"
I awake with a start, my hand reaching under the pillow for my dagger. Stretching my fingers in hopes it has only shifted in my sleep, I continue to search but am unable to find it. Even more anxious now, I jerk up in the bed and throw the pillow aside. My dagger is missing. Unarmed but still alert, I turn my attention to my surroundings. My eyes scan the room, my gaze bouncing off elegant tables, colorful flower arrangements, and exquisite paintings as my eyes frantically try to locate what woke me. As my vision adjusts to the darkness, I can see there is no one else here with me. My body, however, does not seem to understand. Sweat is dripping down my back, my heart is racing, and my head is tingling as my brain works to remember what woke me.
As I scan the room one last time, I am forced to believe it was a dream—a dream I have been having ever since I woke up in the seelie queen’s court, my enemy court, two days ago. I struggle to remember some of it, but I cannot. The only thing I am able to recall is a vision of Reed and Rho as well as Reed’s faint voice, nothing else. I do not know what they are doing or where they are and am unable to decipher the words.
I lie back in the bed, frustrated by my memory block. My head hits the mattress where my pillow was before I tossed it to the ground, the sheets are bunched down by my feet, and faint early morning light glows through the window. Staring at the ceiling, I remember the first time I woke up in this bed.
I awoke suddenly then, too. It was dark, and I was confused. My head felt as if it were filled with cotton, making it difficult to think. I could not remember where I was or what had happened to me, and I was scared—not only because of the confusion, but also because I sensed another fae in the room with me. Lying still, not wishing to alert them to the fact that I was awake, I kept my eyes closed and my breathing even. As I lay listening, I heard the sound of metal clinking and water pouring, and then felt a warm, damp rag on my forehead. The gentle movement startled me, and I had to stop myself from grabbing the hand of the fae touching me.
Instead of reacting, I slowed my breathing and concentrated on the person tending me. A female voice hummed a soft lullaby, and the sweet smell of roses and lavender wafted from her skin. The smell soothed me and felt somehow familiar. Her touch was soft and gentle, yet thorough, as she wiped my face with the damp rag. Then she used her other hand to push my hair back off my shoulders before wiping down the side of my neck.
Then I noticed I was not wearing any clothes. A thin, soft sheet covered my body. Luckily for the fae bathing me, she did not remove the sheet. Had she done so, I would have tried to kill her. Instead, she left the sheet alone and quickly finished wiping my body around it. After she moved away, I heard the sound of the cloth being placed in the water. All the while, she continued to hum her pleasant song.
As I continued to listen, I waited. After a few more seconds of muffled sounds, she returned with a dry cloth to wipe my damp skin. This cloth smelled like she did, and I realized she was spreading lotion on my skin. When she finished covering all my exposed skin, I sensed her moving down my body near my hip. The sheet began to lift, and I once again fought the urge to stop her. In doing so, my body shifted a bit, which sent a sharp pain slicing into my side.


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