Title: CINDERELLA’S INFERNO (Cinderella, Necromancer #2)
Author: F.M. Boughan
Pub. Date: May 28, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Synopsis: Purity cannot abide the darkness.
It’s been two years since Ellison defeated her stepsisters and sent her evil stepmother back into the Abyss.
Though she’s learning to control her dark magic and has spent time traveling with Prince William and bringing peace to the kingdom, one fact remains. She is a necromancer and he is a paladin of light. And so, the king refuses to give his blessing for them to marry.
To appease his father, William has begun to avoid her. But when even her younger brother Edward grows distant, Ellison learns her mother’s spirit has been visiting Edward in secret, threatening to overwhelm him with her own loneliness and longing. When Ellison accidentally touches her mother’s spirit, her tainted touch condemns her mother’s spirit to eternal damnation.
Ellison resolves to descend into hell to save her mother’s soul and bring her physical body back to the world of the living. William hopes this good deed will bring Ellison into favor and finally allow them to be wed.
But the journey through hell is fraught with peril. Temptations abound and the demons Ellison sent back to the Abyss are thirsty for revenge.
Evil cannot be defeated without sacrifice—but when that sacrifice means choosing between the ones Ellison loves and her very own life, how far is she willing to go to make her family whole again?
Title: CINDERELLA NECROMANCER
Author: F.M. Boughan
Pub. Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Synopsis: CINDERELLA,NECROMANCER is CHIME meets ANNA, DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters.
When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom.
Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival.
But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?
As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.
Excerpt from Chapter 4, “The Damning”
I crouched beside the iron gate, peering above the branches of a roughly trimmed hedge to watch Edward’s hand reach toward our mother as she, too, extended hers to him. I hoped for a word of joy or encouragement that Edward might pass on to Father and me. Or, better still, a reason for her absence. I didn’t need to touch her, I would not inflict purposeful pain, but did she truly believe otherwise? Perhaps she recalled that moment two years prior when we’d reached for each other—how angry, black scabs had formed over her luminescent spirit flesh when we’d made contact. I still heard her cries of pain, recalling easily the way my skin had burned at her touch. Did she fear I would reach for her again, that I would cause her purity to fester? Was that why she’d stayed away?
Anger flared in my belly and unbalanced my deep crouch. My toe caught on the front of my skirt and I toppled forward to land directly in front of the closed gate. No longer hidden by the hedge, I held a quiet hope that the fumble had gone unnoticed. But when I glanced up to regard my family, Edward gaped as though he had forgotten my presence at all, and my mother—oh, my dear and most precious mother—was not pleased to see me. If she had any reaction at all, I might have called it … anger. Or was it blame?
“Ella, go back,” Edward pleaded.
“Mother, please,” I breathed. She didn’t speak to me but the air around her shimmering form darkened. The dulled brightness of her spirit dimmed further, and I stared in alarm as I rose to my feet.
“No, Ella. Go.” Edward took a step toward me as I found myself pressed into the iron gate. My trembling fingers caught the latch and raised it. My mother’s spirit, faded and stark, lifted her palms toward me—not beckoning, but forbidding.
“Why don’t you want me?” My voice cracked, and I choked on the words as I stepped through onto hallowed ground. “Why doesn’t anyone want me?”
Excerpt from Chapter 6, “The Request”
The vapor, with the eagerness of a gusting wind, vanished and reappeared, then wrapped around the heads of the halberds and tossed them aside. The guards, still gripping their weapons, cried out in alarm and lurched back from their posts. They tumbled to the floor, as did their useless implements. I thought the clatter might bring more guards, so I called the formless spirit back to me without delay.
Guilt panged in my chest as the shimmering vapor swirled around my wrists, lending me strength. I knew I shouldn’t use my powers in such a way—for myself, to remove obstacles that weren’t a direct threat to my well-being—but I did not do this for myself. I had a plan to set right what I had seen in the graveyard.
With spirit-strengthened limbs, I placed both hands on the towering doors of the Great Hall and pushed. They gave way under the pressure of my palms and swung open.
After a beat of silent shock, the men seated at the long dining table leaped to their feet nearly as one. Confusion reflected on every face but that of my beloved. His shone with a secret smile, though restrained in the presence of his father. My heart skipped as a stone across still waters. Had he expected I might find a way to invite myself to dinner?
“What is the meaning of this intrusion?” The king’s voice boomed throughout the room as his gaze bore into mine. “Who allowed her in here? Guards!”
“You’ll find that the men who were stationed outside those doors are indisposed.” I turned my address from His Majesty to William and stepped toward him, though he remained in place at the table.
I knew what the king would say even before I spoke, but it was not our monarch’s assistance I had come to beg.
“William,” I said, an urgency creeping into my voice, “I have need of you.”
Excerpt from Chapter 18, “The Summoning”
My father was right.
We needed to run.
“What is it?” is all I managed to breathe.
“This is the circle of gluttony and greed,” my father said, taking my hand and pulling me away from my sisters. This time, I did not resist. “What else could dwell here but the true green-eyed monster itself?”
Jealousy. We faced the incarnate form of jealousy made manifest by my stepsisters. They envied my ability to walk upon the earth, and they envied the power they thought could be gained by aligning themselves with mortal royalty. Victoria had, after all, tried to marry William.
“Let’s go,” I whispered. “I cannot fight this. I don’t know how.” The monster roared again, and I turned to flee—but in that moment, Hund launched himself toward the beast. “Hund! No!” I nearly pulled out of my father’s grasp. “Come back!”
“He’ll be fine,” my father said. “Watch.”
And I did, for as my canine companion leapt, he began to grow. And grow, and grow, new heads bursting from the sides of his neck, jaws widening until three mouths filled with sword-sharp teeth snarled before the heinous Jealousy. Hund’s fangs dripped yellow venom, and the claws on his enormous paws were at least as long as my brother was tall.
This was not Hund at all, this spirit I thought I had called to do my bidding. No, Charon had spoken the truth when he’d said I had tamed a guardian, though I had not fully understood. This monstrous ally, this hound who trotted by my side and risked his own body for my protection, I knew by his three heads. This was none other than Cerberus, the hound of Hades, guardian of the underworld.
And he had chosen to protect me.
F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.
You can follow Faith on Twitter (@FaithBoughan) for plenty of flailing about food (she likes to cook!), TV shows (she watches too many), and world dance (did you know she’s been performing & instructing in Bollywood-style dance for over 8 years?).
Or catch her on Facebook where she just might post pictures of her adorable cat & bird… among other things.
F.M. Boughan is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman.
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