Blood Magic (Wing Slayer Hunter Series #1)

Blood Magic (Wing Slayer Hunter Series #1)

by Jennifer Lyon

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345506344
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Series: Wing Slayer Hunter Series , #1
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Award-winning author Jennifer Lyon always wanted to be a witch. Since her witch-powers never materialized, she moved to plan B and now creates magic in her books. She has written several mystery series, and now lives with her husband and three sons in Southern California, where the horrendous traffic affords her plenty of time to dream up stories.

www.jenniferlyonbooks.com

Read an Excerpt

1

Saturday: Day One of the Death Mark

The whispers were nothing new.

Darcy MacAlister followed behind her mother’s graceful white casket with the elegant raised scrolls as they left the MacAlister Funeral Home to process to the cemetery next door. Being the funeral director eased the knot of grief and sorrow in her throat. She was honored to oversee every detail of the service that celebrated Eileen MacAlister’s life, and show the community how well-loved her mother had been. She would not let the whispers affect her.

“They used to call her Dark Mac in high school.”

“Some say her father was afraid of her.”

“. . . Drove him to drink.”

“Hush! Darcy took care of your grandfather when he passed. She’s been nothing but kind to us.”

“She found my cat for me when he got lost. Just knew where he was.”

“There’s something strange about that one . . .”

Darcy stiffened her back, her black sheath dress sliding around her legs. She focused on the coffin and inhaled the briny, damp ocean air.

Joe’s arm slid around her shoulder, pulling her close to his side.

She looked up at her cousin. Joe hovered around six feet and weighed in at one eighty, and he knew how to kill, thanks to his years in the Special Forces. And right now, his jaw was so tight, she knew he wanted to hit someone. “Ignore them,” she said softly.

He barely nodded.

Not a promise, but the best she’d get from him. It had been almost nine years since Joe had left the seaside town of Glassbreakers, California, full of excitement about changing the world. When he returned a few months ago, he was a different man, grim and disconnected, like he didn’t care if he lived or died. Yet once he found out that her mom, his aunt, was terminally ill with a complication from lupus, he would show up at the house to do chores, barbeque, or take care of anything else that needed to be done. Any thanks just irritated him.

They stopped at the grave. The base of the casket was surrounded by flower arrangements; fresh greenery and baby’s breath was woven around the poles of the canopy under which the guests sat or stood.

Darcy cleared her throat, feeling the weight of her mother’s last gift; a silver Celtic knot pendant of loops and swirls that spread out like wings at her throat. “Thank you all for coming today. My mother asked me to tell you that she cherished each of you. That you all brought joy and happiness to her life. And now, she’s asked that you don’t grieve for her, but instead celebrate each of your days, and embrace your families and loved ones.” She looked out over all the mourners, warmed to see so many that truly cared about Eileen MacAlister. “Once we do the final prayers, we will have a reception back inside. We would be pleased if you would join us.”

She took her seat, grateful that she didn’t have to worry about the reception. Her best friend, Carla Fisk, and her newest employee, Morgan Reed, were inside the mortuary right now setting up the sandwiches, salads, and cookies. Instead, she concentrated on the prayers and closing words that would send her mom to her final rest. For the last time, people streamed by the casket, cried, and hugged her. The day was nearly over.

“You’ve done your mom proud, darling,” Reverend Jack Masters said, leaning down and kissing her cheek.

Darcy rose and walked with the minister to stand by her mom’s casket. “Thank you, Jack. We planned this ceremony together. I just followed her wishes.” Those last months had been a blessing and a nightmare. Eileen had struggled with lupus since her early twenties, but in the last year her lungs had given out.

Words from two stragglers floated to them. “Strange that she doesn’t even cry for her mother.”

Jack’s face tightened, then he shook his head in disgust. “Eileen knew you loved her, Darcy. And I have worked with you on dozens of funerals. You’re a professional through and through. This is your final gift to your mother.”

She almost cried then, but hugged him instead. “Thanks, Jack. That really helps.”

“Can I walk you in?”

She shook her head. “I want to stay here for a few more minutes.”

He nodded and headed inside.

Darcy was finally alone. She inhaled the sea breeze mixed with the scent of recently cut grass and freshly turned dirt. Jack was right, she had done her mom proud. That felt good; it felt right. Her mom had adopted Darcy when she was only a few weeks old, and no matter how odd a child Darcy had turned out to be, Eileen’s love had remained rock steady. Always.

Turning slightly, she swept her hand across the glossy surface of the casket. “I’m going to give the house to Joe, Mom. I’ve thought about this a lot. He needs something, an anchor. I can’t live there, I just . . . can’t. But Joe . . .”

The warmth she felt vanished, replaced by a deep chill. She snapped her head up and caught sight of a young couple walking along one of the sidewalk pathways directly in front of her. Sweeping her eyes left, she saw three people: two men and a woman standing by a headstone.

They all looked like normal visitors to the cemetery.

Dropping her gaze, she said, “Guess I’m tired. Anyway, about Joe and—”

She felt it again. This time chills raced down her back and the hair stood up on her arms. Her heart rate increased quickly. Dropping her hand, she whirled to look toward the canopy.

A man was suddenly there, standing by the chair she’d sat in earlier.

Her heart swelled and banged against her rib cage. The man was extremely tall and wore a long, black suede coat. But something was off, his face was too soft, almost feminine, yet his build was huge. Pull yourself together, he’s probably just a late mourner. Taking a deep breath, she noticed a coppery smell then said, “You startled me. Are you here for my mom?” Perhaps he was an acquaintance of her mom’s that she hadn’t met.

Staring at her, he said, “I’m here for you, Darcy.”

His eyes were a vacant and cruel green. She broke into a cold sweat. A voice in her head screamed, Run! Darcy shivered once, then turned and ran. The heels of her black pumps caught in the thick grass. She stopped, turned, and saw that the man was still standing there watching her, a nasty smirk on his full lips.

Fear washed up the back of her throat. She yanked off her shoes and looked back. The man was gone.

Vanished.

Run!

Unnamed terror pulsed deep inside of her and she ran, heading toward the mortuary. It was too far! At least thirty or forty yards . . .

“Darcy!”

It was Joe, striding toward her from the left, Morgan at his side. Darcy turned and raced to him, her thighs burning. She couldn’t get the metallic taste of fear out of her mouth.

Joe caught her in his arms, lifting her off the ground and turning with the momentum. “What’s wrong?” He set her down and whipped back around, keeping her at his back.

Tears burned behind her eyes at the gesture. He had always protected her.

“Darcy, are you okay?” Morgan looked at her, her huge blue eyes full of worry.

Warm embarrassment began in the center of Darcy’s chest and spread like a bad rash. What exactly had she panicked over? “I think I might have just made a fool of myself.”

Joe did one more scan then turned to look down at her; both of his dark eyebrows raised over vivid blue eyes. “You looked terrified. What happened?”

She shrugged, then leaned down to slide one pump onto her damp foot. “This guy just freaked me out.”

“That’s a switch. Usually it’s you freaking people out.”

She rolled her eyes as she balanced on one high heel, brushed a couple blades of grass from her foot, and slid on the other shoe. Then she stood and said, “He startled me. I didn’t hear him walk up, he was just . . . there. I asked him if he was here for mom, and he said ‘I’m here for you, Darcy.’?” Now that she said it out loud, she realized the man might have meant that he was there to support her at her mother’s funeral.

Morgan jerked her head around to stare at Darcy. “What did he look like?”

The fear coming off Morgan prickled her skin and nearly made her step back. In high school, Morgan had been popular and sure of herself while Darcy had been awkward; always trying to figure out how to fit in. Something had changed Morgan. She tried to answer, “Black hair, really weird green eyes, and his face was . . . well, it seemed almost delicate.”

“A small guy?” asked Joe.

“No. Big. Taller than you. He wore a black suede coat that went to his knees and black slacks under that.”

Morgan’s gaze darted around the cemetery, then she reached out and put her icy cold hand on Darcy’s arm. She opened her mouth, then grimaced before saying, “I need to tell you something. But I can’t seem to remember exactly . . .” She snatched her hand from Darcy’s arm and started rubbing her temples.

“Morgan, you need to eat. You’ve been working since this morning,” Joe said.

That was true, Darcy silently agreed. But she had felt the cold fear in Morgan’s hand. After being gone from town for a few years, the woman had returned scared and troubled by something. But then again, Darcy herself had just raced across the cemetery grounds like something out of a horror movie was after her, so who was she to judge? “Let’s all go inside. I’m acting like a nut house escapee and Morgan is forgetting things. We could all use some food, and we have guests waiting.”

Joe took her arm. “I’ll take a look around inside. If he’s there, I’ll get his story.”

She looked up at him. “Thanks.” It made her feel better that he took her seriously even when she felt like an utter fool. What had possessed her to run away?

It was nine o’clock by the time Darcy arrived home to her little apartment. The only thing that had gotten her through the last few hours was the promise of a hot shower and a big glass of wine. She lived in a ground floor unit overlooking a sunny courtyard with propane barbeques and benches shaded by a couple of large oak trees with sprawling limbs that bent and twisted like broken fingers. Tonight, it seemed dark and shadowy with too many hiding places.

Customer Reviews

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Blood Magic (Wing Slayer Hunter Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 174 reviews.
clb2525 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Jennifer Lyon's take on witchcraft- protecting humans from demons. The storyline is intriguing, romantic, and draws you in from the first few pages. I couldn't put this book down- so now I can't wait until the next book- Soul Magic comes out....urgh! I hate waiting..
kidbd More than 1 year ago
I am new to this author. I was so happy I found her. The book was a can't put down from the start. Loved the story line, characters, and the thrill factor. I can't wait for the next book. I was so happy for more I hit the book store as soon as I was done reading the first, sad to find I had to wait. But totaly worth the wait.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At well over 250+ pages of AWESOMENESS!! I can't wait to read the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great start of the series. Yes, it's romance, but the story line grabs you and doesn't let go. You'll find yourself immersed in the lives of the characters. Lyon puts a fantastic twist on the world of witchcraft. But be careful because one book is not enough. "Blood Magic" is the perfect setup for the Wing Slayer Hunters!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good story to sit down and relax. it get your attention and keeps it thru the story.
RomanceLoverMama More than 1 year ago
IN A SEA OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE, HERE IS ONE AMAZING GEM!, March 1, 2009 By L.A. Mama "LWI" (los angeles, ca United States) - See all my reviews I am a big fan of paranormal romance, and very particular about, not just quality of writing and the plot, but the characters. Well, the characters in Blood Magic DO NOT disappoint. They stay with you long after the book is finished. I swear, Axel and Darcy jumped off the page, pulled me into their action packed, super steamy story and took me for one great ride. My only gripe is that I read it too fast, and now what? Is there another one coming? And if so, when? And who's story is it going to be? More WINGSLAYER HUNTERS please!!! Jennifer Lyon is definitely an author to watch!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Funeral director Darcy MacAlister finds arranging her beloved mom¿s funeral is a catharsis of sorts although hearing some speak of the deceased as if she was evil bothers her enough that her Special Forces cousin Joe notices and tells her to ignore the fools. At about the same time that she buries her mom, witch hunter Wing Slayer Hunter leader Axel Locke is worried that his sister Hannah has been attacked by a death curse. He knows only two ways to save her: either the curse is lifted or a witch must die. Axel knows if he kills an innocent witch his soul will burn, but those witches who broke their sacred vow to protect humans from demons by switching sides are another matter as their former guardians like him are obsessed with killing the traitors.

Axel abducts a terrified Darcy whom he recognizes as an earth witch. He hopes to gain her cooperation by having her lift the spell. However though she commiserates with Hannah's dilemma, she never knew that witch blood flowed in her veins. Time is running out although she agrees to try to break the curse.

This is a fabulous opening act of a wonderful urban romantic fantasy starring two intriguing protagonists with an unwanted attraction pushing them towards each other and a blood curse pulling them apart. The story line is fast-paced, but owned by the lead pair as they ¿naturally¿ squabble while struggling to save his sibling. Jennifer Lyon bewitches sub-genre fans with this terrific thriller.

Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly this book was predictable, sex hate sex death sex hate sex love sex hate then love again. Honestly was good at the beginning then about 100 pages in got boring and repetitive. I almost didn't finish it it got that boring. At about pa ge 240 I got excited again but then was hoping it would end. Sorry for the harsh review but it was just that bad.
RBtWBC More than 1 year ago
I loved the main couple of Axel and Darcy. I easily connected with them and they're relationship was incredibly hot, but the secondary characters were intriguing as well. The plot moved at a great pace and kept me turning the pages, an interesting twist was thrown in as well and I'm curious to see how it plays out in future books. Blood Magic is a truly captivating story and a fantastic start to a series, I just purchased the next three books and can't wait to get started on them! 4.5/5 Stars
DoB77 More than 1 year ago
I have found too many paranormal series lately that are hard to stick with. The first book may be okay, so I give it another chance...and another, until I cannot waste any more time reading on. Blood Magic was a great first impression. The characters were engaging and well-written, the plot was exciting and made me look forward to what happens next. Already had the next book on my shelf and picked it up to start immediately. Hope the series continues as it has started!
twocoulters More than 1 year ago
This is only the 2nd witch based paranormal romance that I have ever enjoyed. The other was Anya Bast's Elemental Witches. This author has found a good niche with this series. I read this book in one sitting; I didn't even put my nook down to eat dinner. After the first chapter I downloaded the second book, Soul Magic, because I knew that the moment I was finished with this book I would want to move straight into the next installment. This was my first book by this author and I am glad this book was recommended to me. The writing,, story, plot, and of course the heroes are smoking hot. The heroes in the story are a brotherhood of Witch Hunters. The witch hunters struggle with a curse that makes them want to kill the witches, they once protected. They also have vowed to destroy all rogues, witch hunters that have lost their souls due to killing a witch. There is a great mix of paranormal figures; gods, demons, witches, witch hunters, and several others. I commend the author on a great first book - I hope the series continues with an ever increasing number of characters and plots. If you like paranormal romances, I recommend you pick up this book...You won't want to put it down. I am off to start the second book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story if you like paranrmal or futuristic types of books. Took a little while to get ihto it, but it was a good readl.
Silver-J More than 1 year ago
I don't often rant, rave and press books into the hands of strangers. BLOOD MAGIC is the exception to the rule. Lyon has created a new mythos in the paranormal genre with compelling characters, plot, and originality. She had me laughing out loud on one page and crying a few pages later. Axel is the perfect alpha male and Darcy is a feisty heroine thrown into a situation that would make most women run screaming. Say hello to the Wing Slayer Hunters! Axel leads a group of immortals sworn to protect earth witches and the world from villains craving witch blood. Adopted, Darcy doesn't know she's a witch until Axel kidnaps her and demands she help his little sister, the victim of a death curse. Time is running out. Lyon writes an "all-or-nothing" adventure with more than enough romance guaranteed to keep the reader turning pages late into the night. Thank goodness, this is just the first book in a series! Look for her next book, SOUL MAGIC, in November 2009. This book is a keeper!
KellyParRom More than 1 year ago
I went into this book not knowing what to expect, I didn't know the author and there weren't many reviews at the time. Let me say, I am so happy I picked it up anyway! Great story with an easy flow, great characters, and great sex, I hardly put it down. I am disappointed that I have to wait for the next one to be released.
Anonymous 7 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great twist to the paranormal romance genre
arthistorychick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blood Magic is the first book in a series about a group of hunters and the witches they are born to protect. Book one follows Darcy MacAlister, a young woman who owns and operates a funeral home and has always felt a bit different and set apart from the world around her. Darcy¿s mother died long before she had time to tell her unsuspecting daughter she is an earth witch. Unfortunately for Darcy she finds out about her nature in a most heinous way. Enter Axel Locke: a massive mountain of muscle who owns a club called Axel of Evil; has a dead sexy hawk tattoo; has a serious soft-spot for his baby sister and; is the de facto leader of the Wing Slayer Hunters. Axel Locke is not an evil man. In fact, he has struggled his entire life to fight the demons that constantly plague him and his fellow Wing Slayer Hunters. The hunters were once immortal, the beloved creation of their god, Wing Slayer who created the men to find and protect earth witches. Unfortunately that arrangement fell apart when a group of demon witches cast a spell that split the men from their god and saddled them with a nearly unquenchable thirst for sex and witch blood. Axel needs a witch in the worst kind of way, his baby sister has been marked with a death curse and there are only two ways to break it: 1) find a powerful and willing earth witch to break the curse or; 2) kill the demon witch who cast the curse. Both options have serious consequences.Darcy MacAlister is content to live her lonely life running the funeral home and avoiding relationships at all costs. That is, until the night rogue Hunters try to kill her. This traumatic event coincides with Axel dropping in to kidnap her so she can cast a spell to cure his little sister. That¿s a bad freakin¿ night. Darcy suddenly finds herself trapped in a world she knows nothing about but feels compelled to understand. After all, a little girl¿s life is on the line. Oh, and then there¿s Axel, the guy who kidnapped her and who she is uncontrollably attracted to. In a few short days Darcy¿s life is turned upside down. With very few stutter-steps, Darcy accepts every challenge, even the role of soul-mirror to her kidnapper; this last part is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. Lyon had a lot of ground to cover in this first book: she introduces all the major characters, the long-term plot line, and the more immediate plot line associated with this particular book. That¿s a tall order and Lyon does a decent job of covering everything. She is not only establishing a whole new cast of characters, all with their own drama and dilemmas, but also a whole new history to go along with the characters and the long-term plot line. Initially the history is a bit convoluted but eventually straightens out and makes perfect sense. This is done primarily through a ton of action, dirty awesome sex, and great dialogue. Lyon¿s writing style is smooth, the plot is fast-paced, and the characters are intriguing.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I struggled hard with just how to rate "Blood Magic" by Jennifer Lyon. On the plus side, she managed to come up with a new twist on witches using a fusion of mythology, lore, and witchcraft. On the minus side, the writing wasn't as tight as I like and the story seemed to 'hop and jump' for me. So I decided to round up in the hope that the next in this series, which I DO intend to read, will sharpen and smooth out some of the rough edges I found here.Darcy has just buried her adoptive mother when a strange man threatens her life. Twenty four hours later, she's been assaulted by two men, only to be rescued by a third and then held hostage until she agrees to heal his little sister by casting a spell??? OOO-kay.Axel is the leader of what's left of the witch guardians. Unfortunately, since they were cursed as a group thirty years ago, they now crave the blood of the very witches they are supposed to protect. More and more guardians are killing witches which turns them rogue where they live to kill more and more witches for the blood high and Axel's father is leading those rogues. Then he comes home to find his sister has been cursed by a demon blood witch. That means he only has less than a month to either find a witch to cure her, kill the witch who cursed her which will turn him rogue, or watch his sister die. Alex has no intention of watching his sister die.Loved the concept and the back story which was revealed in bits and pieces throughout the novel. The heat factor is pretty high and Lyon does a great job writing the growing tension and eventual sex scenes. The only thing I wanted more of was answers. Okay, and smoother shifting of scenes and relationship building and just general plot unfolding. I do plan to buy "Soul Magic" which is scheduled to release in Nov2009 as I'm interested to see where Jennifer Lyon's goes next with this world and if she can sustain my interest.
dearheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a new paranormal romance series, and the first one written in this genre by this author. You might know her as Jennifer Apodaca, author of the Samantha Shaw Mystery series and a couple of stand-alone contemporaries.Witches are females; a different species than humans, although humans aren¿t aware of them. Some of them, looking for power, have been taken over by a demon. Guardian hunters were created by another entity to protect the earth witches from the demon witches, but thirty years ago, a trap was set by the demon witches. They got a hunter to convert to their side and both the hunters and earth witches ended up cursed. We¿ve now got hunters that have lost their souls by killing a witch and have been lead to believe that killing off all witches is the only way to get their souls back. Then there is a group of Winged Slayer Hunters who still believe in protecting the earth witches as their creator originally ordered, even though they can easily lose themselves in the bloodlust that they¿ve been cursed with when near a witch. Earth witches have gone into hiding as the rogue hunters keep killing them off.Axel is a hunter, with a small group of men, who take their vow to protect the earth witches seriously. Unfortunately, the earth witches are afraid of all hunters, so mostly their task is limited to killing off the rogue hunters, and unfortunately, his father is the leader of them in the area.Darcy knew she was a little different and some people were nervous around her, but had no clue she was a witch. She¿d been raised from infancy by adoptive parents when her mother was killed. So she¿s a little surprised when men come to kill her, and not so trusting when Axel kidnaps her both for her own good as well as to save the life of his little sister.We follow Darcy as she must learn how to use her powers, going into details about the hows and whys as she struggles to learn enough in time to save Axel¿s sister.I never would have guessed that this was the same author who wrote the mystery series I¿d read. That series was light-hearted and funny, much like the Stephanie Plum books. This was a much more serious story and did a great job of grabbing me emotionally.
butterflybaby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is going to be a little bit harsh. This book was cheesey and predictable. I found myself skipping through the chapters and felt like I didn't miss a thing. I don't know if it was the writing or if it was just that I wasn't in the mood for this genre. I might retry it later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow at many times and with repetitiveness... I guess it was written by a special Ed teacher. X-rated however bingaux
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting, but had some slow parts. Took a deep breath and plodded through. Glad i finally finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a sinfully delicious series, that I couldn't put one book down soon enough to devour the next. I wish it came in a boxed set, I'd buy it and read the series over and over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait too read the others
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You people should just read this novel yourselvres and write your own review on this book. I really enjoyed reading this novel very much so. ShelleyMa