THE CRIMSON GATE by Whitney A. Miller
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Harlow must stop her evil counterpart in this thrilling sequel to The Violet Hour.
Harlow Wintergreen has just been named the new Matriarch of VisionCrest, the powerful religious organization previously led by her father. But there's one big problem. The real Harlow is trapped inside a Cambodian temple, and her double, the evil Isiris, has escaped confinement and is masquerading as her.
Now initiated as their leader, Isiris intends to unleash a killer super virus aimed at cleansing the planet of VisionCrest. In order to stop her, Harlow must find a way out of the temple and locate the Resistance...or the world will be destroyed.
Isiris stood over Adam, watching him sleep. He lay on his side in the center of the bed, one sinewy arm crooked beneath his head, lashes like spiderlegs. His chest fragile in its arrhythmic rise and fall, tattoos stretching and retracting with every breath. A fortress of pillows surrounded him.
A light breeze ruffled through the open windows into a palatial room. It traipsed across the thin sheet covering him, leaving just enough to the imagination. I didn’t recognize the room, but I knew one thing for sure—they weren’t in Twin Falls anymore. In fact, it seemed like they were inside some kind of castle. Ceilings several stories high. Elaborate carvings, Renaissance art, and museum-like tapestries clinging to the walls. The vista outside the floor-to-ceiling glass was a sea of brownish buildings tumbled together like stones cast up from the ocean. The room looked down on it all from on high. I couldn’t place the city, but it was vast. Just like this new place Isiris had claimed as home.
Isiris’s dark thoughts coursed through my veins. She remembered how it felt to touch him—her tongue tracing spirals across the ink, the salvation and damnation of his beautifully branded skin. She imagined what it would be like to discard her dress and slip beneath the sheets next to him; to press the length of her cold body against the full measure of his warm one. He was always so hot, like there was a fever boiling just beneath his skin. Which, in a way, there was.
Isiris’s eyes darted to the half-empty glass, cloudy with narcotics, on the nightstand next to Adam’s sleeping form. A vase bloated with star-gazer lilies drooped over it; the cloying scent of flowers and rot hung like a fog in the air. The sense of smell was something new. Like I’d somehow poked a hole in Isiris’s world so a little more of it could seep through.
Drugged. The word whispered through my mind.
It took me a moment to realize that this thought was not my own—it was Isiris’s. I wasn’t sure if something had changed or if I was getting used to being on the other side of the looking glass, but this time I wasn’t just a bystander. I was, at least in some small way, a participant. If I was getting stronger, the same way that Isiris had when she was the invader, then I was doing it much faster than she had. I could no longer feel the ache of my bitten ankle or missing fingertip—Isiris’s body was my body, whole and unblemished. Maybe I had more power than I realized.
Helpless. Another word zigzagged across my subconscious.
I stopped marveling at my new awareness and took notice of the sinister direction of Isiris’s thoughts. Her eyes cut to the cloudy glass again as she slipped her hand into the pocket of her dress. She pressed her fingertip against the sharp corner of something small and square. Metal pricked her skin, a shiver of anticipation tickling down her spine.
Whitney A. Miller lives in San Francisco with her husband and a struggling houseplant. She’s summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, ridden the Trans-Siberian rails, bicycled through Vietnam, done the splits on the Great Wall of China, and evaded the boat police in Venice. However, her best international adventures take place on the page.Whitney is represented by Jennifer Laughran at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
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2 Signed Copies of The Crimson Gate and Swag by Whitney A. Miller