Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

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  • YASH Bonus Material

    April 4, 2016

    For those of you who participate on the YA Scavenger Hunt, you may have already seen this but for those who missed it, here are the three things I revealed on the Hunt. The first thing is the title of the third and last book in the Reawakened series. This is the book I’m currently writing. The title of book three is…REALIGNED! The second thing I revealed on the hunt is a sneak peek screenshot of the still in progress book trailer for Recreated. Are you ready?

    And the third thing was a sneak peek from RECREATED. Enjoy!

    Colleen Here-One of Lily’s challenges as she tries to rescue Amon in RECREATED is that the bond that exists between the two of them causes romantic feelings to overwhelm any immortal that comes across Lily. In this scene, Lily attempts to fend off the advances of the very good-looking god, Horus.

    “I beg you not to go,” he said, interrupting my thoughts. “The netherworld is dangerous. It’s unlikely you’ll survive, let alone rescue your”—he frowned—“boy. Stay here with me. You’ll grow to cherish me over time just as I do you. There are so many things I can show you. Teach you. I can take you to a world where we can swim in a purple ocean and float on pink clouds. I can keep you warm on a planet of sparkling ice that casts prisms of light so high into the sky that the world is encased in rainbow hues. With me you’ll never experience pain, sorrow, or death.” Horus took a step closer and touched his forehead to mine. “Stay with me and be my love. Or, if that is not something you can do, then . . . just stay.”

    This time Tia wasn’t the only one moved by his words and I knew that was inherently dangerous. His promises stirred the air, wrapping around us, brushing against our defenses. The wispy tendrils seemed to touch the tender spots of my consciousness. It was tempting. How easy it would be to just let everything go and remain in the golden city of Heliopolis. Not worrying about the complications of being a sphinx. Not feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. Just heading off to the far reaches of the universe and seeing the amazing wonders these gods have created.

    Tia was the one to pull back this time. She’d wanted to experience the passion he offered, to perhaps find a mate of her own, but she wasn’t willing to give up our quest. Flashes of our prior dream filled my mind. We must stop the Unmaker. He is not what we . . . what I . . . need at this time.

    Closing my eyes, I nodded. Grateful for her acquiescence, and giving Horus a tight smile, I determinedly pushed against his chest and stepped away. Turning toward  the mirror, I looked up at him in the reflection. “We must fulfill our purpose,” I said. “We are flattered . . . no . . . we are privileged,” I amended, “to have one such as you find us interesting. Honestly, we don’t know what awaits us and we are frightened, but we must try. Do you understand?”

    Horus didn’t reply immediately but ran his hand around to the back of his neck. His eyes were wild with fear and he was desperately seeking something, anything to dissuade us. I gazed at him steadily, confidently, and he finally straightened and nodded. “I do.” He lifted a hand toward me and then stopped as if he thought better of it. With his head lowered, he said, “Will you allow me to help you prepare?”

    I turned, surprised. “I thought everything was done.”

    “Not quite.”

    He picked up a small jar and poured out some of its contents into his hand. The scent of perfume wafted toward me. “What is it?” I asked.

    Indicating I should turn around, he rubbed his palms together and stroked his fingertips down my neck. “It’s a mixture of oil and myrrh, the purest oil in the cosmos. It’s taken from a flower that grows in the snow at the upper altitudes of a mountainous planet a great distance away.” Horus moved to my side and took my hand and then pushed the sleeve of the robe all the way up my arm. Slowly he massaged from my shoulder down my arm, over my elbow to my wrist and then down my hand all the way to my fingertips, making sure to get oil between each finger.

    As he moved to my other arm, he asked, “Do you know how Anubis prepares bodies at the time of their death?” I nodded. “You must be adorned in a similar way.”

    “Do I have to wear mummy wrappings?” I asked.

    He smiled. “No. But you will need to wear white. You must be dressed in fresh clothing of the purest shade. If you cannot remain barefoot, you will wear sandals of the same color that wrap around your legs.”

    Speaking of legs, Horus had now crouched down and taken hold of my foot. As he ran his oiled palm under the sensitive arch and then up the back of my calf, I danced away nervously.

    Horus let me go and looked up at me. “I won’t hurt you.”

    “I . . . I know. I’m just not used to getting a massage standing up,” I stammered, trying to come up with something less embarrassing than nobody has ever touched me like that before. Tia wasn’t helping either. She was enjoying his ministrations too much to protest.

    Frowning slightly, he asked, “Would you prefer to lie down?”

    “No. Let’s just . . .” I wrung my hands and shook them out. “Let’s just get this over with quickly. Okay?”

    “As you wish,” he said softly, and held out a steadying hand.

    I leaned against the table, fingering the soft fabric as his palm found my leg again. He swiped the oil up and behind my knee, to halfway up my thigh, only lingering there for a fraction of a second before he did the same thing to the other one. Relief spilled out of me in a shaky breath as he stood up and turned me to face him once again.

    Ignoring my obvious discomfort, he dipped his fingertips back into the jar and stroked his thumbs across my eyebrows. Asking me to close my eyes, he touched each eyelid, leaving a whisper of moist, tingling oil behind. The lobes of my ears were next and then he traced the edge of my jaw on both sides. The last thing he did was touch the pad of his thumb to my bottom lip.

    His gaze fixed on my lips and his expression became hungry and hot. Lifting his eyes to mine, he whispered, “You are ready.”

    I swallowed, the sensation thick and searing my throat. “Thank you,” I murmured languidly.

    “You’re welcome,” he answered with a warmth that spoke volumes. We stood, unmoving for a few more heartbeats until I noticed he was smiling. “Lily,” he said.

    “Yes?” I answered, my eyes now drawn to his mouth.

    “If you keep looking at me like that, I’m not going to let you go anywhere.”

    I inhaled and realized I had stopped breathing for a few seconds. Turning away from him felt torturous, but somehow I did it and stepped toward the little table containing my weapons and my dress. That’s when I noticed the heart scarab peeking out from under the folds of white. I brushed my hand against it and the passionate fog that I’d been enveloped in dissipated, my mind completely clear.

    Narrowing my eyes, I turned and my suspicions were confirmed when I saw the self-assured grin on Horus’s face. “You tricked me, didn’t you?” I accused.

    He shrugged like the popular boy at school who knew he could get away with naughty behavior if he flirted with the teacher. “There’s no way you would have paid any attention to me at all if you had that on your person. Catching you unawares while bathing was the only way I could try to steal you away from him.”

    “You’re despicable,” I said, though my skin was still too warm from his touch to lend any weight to my words. “I knew we should’ve strangled him, Tia.”

    Horus raised his hands in surrender. “I’ve lost. I’ll admit it. And rightfully so.” He sighed. “It’s been centuries since I’ve had to work so hard to gain a woman’s interest.” When he saw my irritated expression, he added, “Take heart. You rejected me all on your own.” Leaning closer, Horus stretched out a hand to find something on the table behind me and brought his very tempting mouth to within inches of mine. He smiled when he found what he was looking for and added, “Mostly.”

    This entry was posted in Bonus Material, Recreated.

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    Author Bio
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.