Moon Rise

Book Two in the Unbidden Magic series...

What reviewers said about Moonstone...

"Cross Twilight with a Stephanie Plum book."

And their most frequent comment? "I can't wait for the sequel!"

Her mom's still dating losers. Her boyfriend's gone back to Mexico. Dad still hasn't told his wife and kids that she exists. At school, the drama queens and bullies still rule. But worst of all for Allie Emerson--aka the Star Seeker of an old Gypsy prophecy--is that her powers have taken a hike. She can't read minds anymore. She can't move stuff just by looking at it. The other Star Seekers are counting on her psychic gifts more than ever, and the evil Trimarks are closing in, eager to snatch her magic moonstone necklace while she's helpless. The hot new guy at school is ready and willing to fight her battles, but he comes with some wicked baggage.

Dear Diary: I'm a little worried. My new BF is a demon.

Welcome again to Allie Emerson's funny, scary, amazing, and always unpredictable life, as the girl voted least likely to save the world from evil.

An excerpt from Moon Rise

I stood perfectly still, waiting for someone to respond. No answer. No lights. Muttering, I made my way to the corner of the house and stopped. A screened porch stretched across the back of the house, illuminated by a single bulb hanging from the ceiling. The dim wash of light extended only a few feet from the house, into a large grassy area. Beyond the splash of light, in the deep shadows, I saw something that made me gasp and dart behind a bush. I tried to comprehend what I was seeing, but my brain said, Does not compute.

Two pairs of golden orbs floated above the ground, glowing in the darkness, moving toward me. Closer. Closer. Then, suddenly, they disappeared. I shook my head in denial. No way! I had to be hallucinating. Crouched behind my bush, I breathed deeply, trying to slow my racing heart. When I looked again, I sensed movement and sound just beyond the pale slash of light. Curiosity overcame fear. What was I seeing?

I stood. Took a couple of steps and peered into the shadows. I saw the outline of two individuals, one bigger than the other. They kicked and spun, throwing punches, ducking and dodging in a blur of motion, faster than any mortal could move. The smaller person stepped away from a roundhouse kick before leaping effortlessly over the taller one’s head. Not possible. Not humanly possible.

The tall person whirled around and the two faced each other again, both inching toward the light. Could it be . . . ?

Before my shocked gaze, Beck and Nicole Bradford appeared in the light, eyes fixed on each other, engaged in a silent, deadly skirmish, with moves so incredibly swift and powerful they defied description.

Nicole, dressed in knee-length exercise pants and a midriff-baring tee shirt, took a step back as Beck advanced. In spite of the weather, he was naked from the waist up. His shoulders were broad and gleaming with sweat, his chest and arms ripped with well-defined muscles. A pair of faded jeans rode low on his hips and clung to muscular thighs. Whoa! Where did this guy come from? The Beck I knew was lean and sinewy.

Mesmerized, I watched the ritualistic pattern of advance and retreat, feeling the tension build between them, each waiting for the other to make a move. Nicole made a little growling sound, her lip curled into a sneer. Beck’s face lit up in a savage grin. Caught up in their game, I was unprepared for what happened next. They turned and began walking toward me, their golden eyes glowing with anticipation.

I didn’t stop to think about it. Instead, I listened to the voice inside my head, screaming, Something’s very wrong with this picture. Run, Allie, run!

I’m pretty fast on my feet. Especially when chased by a set of twins with glowing, golden eyes who looked like they wanted to toss me back and forth to tenderize my flesh before throwing me on the barbeque. Never mind, I could hardly see my hand in front of my face, much less the various garden implements scattered in my path, I took off like the Road Runner pursued by Wile E. Coyote. Eyes fixed on the front of the house, I’d sprinted maybe six steps when . . . Whomp! I hit a brick wall. At least that’s what I thought. Turned out, it was Beck Bradford’s chest.

Steely arms held me tight against his body. Frantic to get away, I kicked and screamed and tried to sink my teeth into Beck’s chest. Through it all, I heard the murmur of his voice, deep and soothing. In my panicked state, the words became meaningless, nothing more than garbled sound. In our struggle, I must have nipped him in a sensitive place, because I heard a grunt of pain followed by, “Allie, stop! Listen to me!”

He released me and cupped my face. His hands were warm, his touch soothing. “You’re safe here. We won’t hurt you.”

A little hard to believe when you’re standing in the dark and all you can see is a pair of glowing eyes. Make that two pair. Nicole stood behind Beck. As I calmed down, I became aware of my breathing. Each inhalation was accompanied by a rhythmic squeak. I sounded like a terrified mouse cornered by a cat. Very embarrassing. But, hold on! Why should I be embarrassed? I was the victim, here. Beck was the aggressor.

I put my hands on my hips and glared up at him. “You know what! You’re a jerk! First, you tell me to come over and get my backpack and, oh, be sure not to use the front door. Then, I practically kill myself stumbling around in the dark and see you and Nicole doing. . . whatever you were doing. I have one question. Why? Okay, make that two questions. How? How did you get from point A, the backyard, to point B, here, so fast? Fly?”

I stopped my squeaky tirade and gulped air.

Beck took my hand. “I don’t blame you for being mad, but I needed you to see what we are. Nicole and me. We’re . . . well, we’re different. You’re different too, aren’t you, Allie?”

Struck dumb, my mouth opened and closed, unable to formulate an answer. How did he know about me? Should I trust him? Trilby seemed to think so. More importantly, she thought I needed him to restore my missing powers.

“Let’s go inside. We’ll explain everything,” Beck said.

Followed by Nicole, he led me to the back of the house and through the enclosed porch into the big farm kitchen. A wooden table and four chairs were placed in the center of the room. Beck pulled out a chair and guided me into it. He turned one of the chairs around, straddled it and studied my face like I was a science experiment gone wrong.

Nicole gave me a disinterested glance and turned to her brother. “Is that it? I’ve got stuff to do.”

“Stick around a while, okay?” Beck said.

Nikki heaved a sigh but flopped down in the chair across from me. She ran a practiced eye over my outfit (jeans and sweatshirt) and my hair (wild, frizzy, escaping from a pony tail) before saying, “It was Beck’s idea. I told him you’d be scared. Hope you didn’t pee your pants.”

I leaned across the table and narrowed my eyes at her. After what I’d been through, I didn’t need attitude from cute, little, I-can-kick-my-brother’s-ass-without-breaking-a-sweat, Nicole Bradford. “I wasn’t that scared.”

“Yeah, right.”

“What’s your problem, Nicole? What have I ever done to you?”

She glared right back at me. “Nothing. I just don’t want you here.”

I shot up so fast the chair crashed over. “Fine. I’ll get my backpack and leave.”

Beck took hold of Nicole’s arm and gave it a little shake. “Come on, Nikki, Allie needs help. You know I have to do this.”

Nicole looked down at the table. I saw her lower lip quiver. “But then she’ll know about us.” She pulled away from Beck. “This is the first time I’ve had friends. Cool friends.” She glanced at me then back at Beck. “What if she tells them about me? About us?”

“She won’t.” Beck said.

Even though I was still ticked off, I was intrigued by Nicole’s comments. I picked up the chair and sat down. I tried to focus on Beck’s face but it was hard. Think about it. Me, Alfrieda Carlotta Emerson, sitting next to a hunky, bare-chested, totally buff Mr. Beefcake centerfold. A feast for the eyes. To hold on to my anger, I thought about Beck’s little plan, how I’d played right into his hands. “Was all that really necessary? The mysterious note . . . ‘Come at exactly 7:30 . . .don’t use the front door?’”

Beck sat. “Yes, call it a demonstration. Now that you’ve seen what we can do, you’re ready to hear the rest.”

He looked at Nicole and waited.

She examined her nails then said, “We’re Cambions.”

Okay, now I was really screwed. But no way was I going to let Nikki get the best of me.

I nodded. “Oh yes, from Cambia. What’s so different about that?”

Nicole smirked and Beck fought to keep a straight face. “So, if you know so much, tell me where is Cambia located?” Nicole asked me. She looked at her brother and grinned.

“Um . . . I think it’s in Eastern Europe. Oh, I know! It’s one of those little countries with weird names like Uzbekistan or Herzegovina. Right?”

“Wrong.” Nicole looked at Beck. “Tell her.”

Beck leaned toward me, his face deadly serious. “Don’t say anything. Just listen.”

I nodded, silenced by the sudden pain in his eyes. He took a deep breath and began, “Nicole and I are half-mortal, half-demon.”

I bit my lip to keep from crying out. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, but it didn’t sound good.

Reader Reviews for Moon Rise

"The events in the climax of the last book have really affected Allie. In addition to being powerless, she is also angry, sad, and guilt-ridden. There is a lot of pressure on her from her newly found dad and the rest of his organization, the Star Seekers, for Allie to fulfill the prophesy and keep the moonstone necklace from getting into the hands of the ancient enemies of Star Seekers, Trimarks. In addition to danger from the Trimarks, Allie now has to worry about a school counselor who is threatening to take her away from her mother. While Allie learns to let go of the past and discovers new secrets about the moonstone, she also gets to know two new kids at school: Beck and Nicole Bradford. They will be integral to her safety and involved in her life more than she could have guessed... and it doesn’t hurt that Beck is gorgeous.

"This was another exciting adventure for Allie, and I really enjoyed the new side she shows. Beck and Nicole are interesting new characters that I am excited to learn more about. This book has it all: danger, mystery, unexpected plot twists. The events of the book brought forward many unanswered questions and complications, and really made me look forward to the next book. I can’t wait."

~Mo, Unmainstream Mom Reads

"Alfrieda Emerson recently learned that she, and the moonstone necklace her friend Kizzy gave her, are part of a prophecy. Her fellow Star Seekers expect great things from her, but she’s lost her telekinetic powers along with the ability to read minds.

"Beck Bradford is the hunky new guy in school, and he may well be the answer to some of her difficulties. Problem is that he and his sister Nicole are keeping a big secret of their own. With the Trimarks out to get Allie for the moonstone, banding together could be their only hope of preserving the Star Seekers' prophecy, and for keeping Allie and the necklace safe.

"Moon Rise is the second installment in the young adult Unbidden Magic series, and follows Allie’s continued struggle to find her place in a supernatural world. Ms. Brothers does a wonderful job of expanding the world she’s created and adding interesting new characters to the mix. Moon Rise gives a deeper view of both the Star Seekers and the Trimarks, and shares exciting new developments for the heroine. Fans of the first release (Moonstone) will also be happy to see that the author gives them a peek at what Junior has been up to. I’m looking forward to seeing what new adventures await Allie in future releases. This book should appeal to young adult and mature readers alike."

~Kimberly Swan,

"Moon Rise contains a fabulous fast-paced story line, but is owned by the heroine whose perspective on her out-of-control life is simply fun to follow as danger lurks around every corner of the school, home, and town."

~Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews

"The second book in the Unbidden Magic Series is absolutely wonderful! Allie's world is extended with the addition of more information about the prophecy and the addition of some unique and versatile characters. The action is page-turning and there are some gasp-out-loud surprises. I'm looking forward to the next in the series to see what happens in Allie's world next! Her supernatural world is expanding and she is learning how to find her place in it. Magically delicious!"

~Wendy, Wendy's Minding Spot

Moon Rise was a great sequel to Moonstone, the first book in the Unbidden Magic series. It was very exciting with twists and turns in the plot on every page... I also liked the new characters that were introduced in this book- Beck, Nicole, Luella, among others. Beck was great and the truth about him and his sister is really neat... Half-demons aren't something you hear about very often, so that added an intriguing touch to the book... I would definitely recommend Moon Rise, but only after you've read the first book, Moonstone. It had suspense, romance, excitement, and much more. A great read that kept me on the edge of my seat."

Kelsey, The Book Scout

"Brothers drops you right into the action. Allie, despite her paranormal powers, is a typical angsty teenager. I liked the mysteries this book revealed. (Who was Allie’s maternal grandmother? Did she have powers?) These will keep readers wanting more. I can’t wait to read book 3. I want to know what happens with Beck. He definitely has the Edward Appeal. (Question—Are demons more dangerous than vampires?) I was a bit perplexed by Junior’s extended trip to Mexico and the introduction of Beck into the story. Allie (unintentionally) seems to be boy-hopping."

~Bridget, What is Bridget Reading?

"A great second installment in this fun paranormal series. Danger, magic, demons, paranormal powers, enemies awaiting revenge, and a dash of romance makes this read hard to put down."

~Jennifer Rummel, YABOOKNERD

"The action [in Moon Rise] is spread out through the story and involved different things. I liked how Beck helps Allie get her powers back. It adds to the tension. It also helps Allie realize that there are people who she can turn to that understand the supernatural part of this world. I also liked how the Tri-marks are still out to get her. I thought how that all played out in the end was intense. It seems to have a lot more magic involved that I originally thought.

"The characters are growing on me (yes even Faye). I'll be reading the next in the series. I want to know what else is in store for Allie!"

~Page, One Book at a Time

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