No Sleep till Doomsday

No Sleep till Doomsday

by Laurence MacNaughton

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Overview

No Sleep till Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton

An inexperienced sorceress must retrieve a priceless artifact from the enchantress who stole it, break the curse on her half-demon boyfriend, and stop her friends from turning on each other before the enchantress calls down doomsday.

When a wicked enchantress steals a cursed doomsday amulet, crystal sorceress Dru Jasper has only twenty-four hours to get it back before the world will come to a fiery end. With this supernatural amulet in hand, the enchantress intends to break the sixth seal of the apocalypse scroll--making the seas boil, the stars fall from the sky, and the earth itself split apart. Overall, bad news.

Dru must hit the road to get the amulet back. But she suspects her half-demon boyfriend, Greyson, and his demon-possessed muscle car, Hellbringer, are hiding a dark secret. Can she trust them to help her stop doomsday? Worse, tracking down the enchantress runs Dru smack up against a pack of killer shape-shifters, the grim mystery of a radioactive ghost town, and a dangerous speed demon even more powerful than Hellbringer.

As the clock runs out, Dru is locked in a high-speed chase with the enchantress, fighting a fierce, magical duel she can never win alone. Can Dru and her sorcerer friends unravel Hellbringer's secrets, outwit the shape-shifters, and retrieve the stolen amulet before the dawn of doomsday?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633884977
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 10/23/2018
Series: A Dru Jasper Novel , #3
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 287
File size: 830 KB

About the Author

Laurence MacNaughton is a fantasy writer and the author of A Kiss Before Doomsday, It Happened One Doomsday, The Spider Thief, and Conspiracy of Angels.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1 — NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
 
For some reason, Dru had always assumed doomsday would fall on
a Monday. Not on a nice, easy summer Friday night. The universe
just didn’t seem to be that cruel. Then again, Dru had been wrong about
doomsday before.
 
When the energetic knock sounded at her door, she opened it to find
Greyson standing on her threshold. He held a lush bouquet of red peonies
in one hand, and an expensive-looking bottle of wine in the other. He
had replaced his usual white T-shirt and black leather biker jacket with
a pressed button-down gray shirt and designer jacket. For once, he was
freshly shaved, and he smelled great.
 
Dru’s jaw dropped open in surprise, and she quickly shut it.
His eyebrows crept upward. “Am I early?”
 
She folded her arms across her ragged sweatshirt and turned to look
at the shambles of her apartment, feeling her cheeks redden. For the
last few days, she had locked herself inside with her ancient books of
magical knowledge, determined once and for all to discover a way to
break Greyson’s curse. Every flat surface was covered with tall stacks of
smelly, old texts and multicolored crystals. The floor was dominated by a
shimmering seven-pointed star made of copper wire. The stubby dregs of
candles burned at each point.
 
Greyson gestured with the bouquet of flowers. “When I called, you
said you were lighting candles, so . . .”
 
Ohh! Candles, yes, but . . .” Dru chewed on her upper lip, struggling
to explain all of this in a way that wasn’t completely awkward.
 
“You see, the candles are for work . . .” She gestured toward the copper
star, painfully aware of the essential oil stains on her sleeve. She tried to
hide them by pretending to fix her hair, which was a hopeless disaster.
With a nervous laugh, she said, “I thought you were coming over on
Friday night.”
 
His rugged face showed utter confusion. “It is Friday.”
 
“What? Nooo.” She checked her phone. “Oh, fudge buckets. Look,
um, just give me a few minutes to straighten up and—”
 
“It’s okay. It’s work. I should probably just go.” He hesitated, as if he
wanted to say more, then held out the flowers. “These are for you.”
 
“No! No, you don’t have to go. Come in, come in.” She took the
flowers and wine, and quickly set them aside. Racing around like mad,
she picked up stacks of dusty medieval manuscripts and a couple of creatively
misplaced yoga pants, staggering under the combined weight of it
all. “Sorry. I’ve been doing all this research. Obviously. And I’m so close.
So close. I found this thing in one of the padlocked Stanislaus journals
where he made kind of a poetic reference to Tristram banishing a ‘demon
of the horse,’ which isn’t precisely the problem you have, but let me
just—whoa!” She accidentally kicked over a lit candle with her bare foot,
spilling hot wax across the hopelessly scarred wood floor.
 
“Got it.” Moving quickly, Greyson steadied her and stooped to right
the candle. The flame guttered and went out, releasing a curl of smoke.
 
“Oh, good. Nothing’s on fire.” Dru set the books down on top of another
stack, pausing a moment to make sure the whole thing didn’t topple over.
When she turned around again, Greyson was smiling down at her.
 
“Looks like I need to get you out of this apartment,” he said. “How
about a fancy dinner to shake things up?”
 
“Oh, shoot.” She adjusted her glasses and squinted at the microwave.
“I heated up that burrito like . . . Wait, was that lunchtime?” The
grumble in her belly told her that she hadn’t eaten it. “I’m sorry, everything
is such a mess. It’s just that I’m putting everything else on hold
until I find a way to break your curse. So you can be normal again, and
not one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
 
At that, Greyson’s smile vanished. Though he didn’t move, he suddenly
seemed miles away from her, as if her words had driven an invisible
gulf between them.
 
Her empty stomach clenched up with worry. “What? What did I say?”
 
He just shook his head and walked over to the window. In the evening
sky beyond, the distant sparkling lights of downtown Denver glowed
peacefully. Dru’s apartment was on the upstairs floor over her shop, the
Crystal Connection. Outside the window, metal stairs ran down to the
parking space behind her store. It wasn’t the most glamorous place to live,
and she certainly hadn’t meant Greyson to see it like this for the first time.
But that didn’t seem to be what was bugging him. “You really want
to make me normal again?”
 
“For sure. Yes. Absolutely.” She studied the tension in his shoulders,
wondering at the sudden change in him. “Why, what am I missing?”
 
He let out a long breath and hung his head, then looked at her. The light
of the candles reflected in his blue eyes. “Everything that exists between me
and you, everything, it’s all because there’s something wrong with me.”
 
At first, she thought he was joking, and she started to laugh. But the
hard look in his eyes made the laughter dry up instantly.
 
She cleared her throat. “Well, that’s just not true. We have plenty of
things in common besides, you know, doomsday problems.”
 
His gaze didn’t waver. “Name one thing.”
 
She opened her mouth to reply, but nothing sprang to mind. Her
entire life revolved around musty books, dusty rocks, and an encyclopedia’s
worth of knowledge about healing herbs and potions. His life, on
the other hand, involved old cars, engines, wrenches, tires—and being
cursed with the destructive powers of a Horseman of the Apocalypse.
 
His gaze softened. “The strange powers I have, that’s the whole reason
we met. That’s why we’ve been so close. Because you’re worried that at
any moment, I could crack. I could become a monster again.”
 
For a moment, Dru visualized the creature he’d once been. Looming
horns, vicious fangs, rippling leathery skin as black as midnight, and eyes
fiery red as hot coals. With an effort, she pushed that unsettling memory
aside and focused on the handsome man standing before her.
 
“Let’s not jump to the worst-case scenario just yet, okay? Things are
under control. There was a time, not too long ago, when you were running
around with horns growing out of your head.” With both index fingers,
she pointed at her own temples for emphasis. “And right now, you look
great, okay? More than great. Fantastic. Amazing.” She looked him up
and down, drinking in the sight of him, then shook her head, trying not
to get distracted. “The point is, we’re making progress, and that’s what
counts. I’m not giving up. Somewhere inside all of these books, there’s a
cure. And I will find it.”
 
“And then what?”
 
“Then you’ll be normal again. Isn’t that what you want?” She stepped
closer to him, acutely aware that on a deeper level, he was asking a
question she didn’t quite comprehend. “How could that possibly be a
problem?”
 
His lips pressed into a thin line. “If you fix me, if you get rid of my
Horseman powers, then what am I? Just some mechanic with an old car.”
 
The anguish in his voice cut through her. She laid a hand on his
strong arm. “Greyson, no. It’s not like that at all.”
 
“Before I met you, I never believed in magic. Or monsters. Or any of
this.” His voice grew husky. “And now I’ve seen what you can do. I know
the world needs you and your friends. People like you, born with powers
that can save lives, fight the bad guys, keep everyone safe.” His forehead
creased with worry. “But once my powers are gone, I won’t fit into your
world anymore.”
 
“That’s not true,” she said softly. But obviously he believed it. Her
eyes stung with tears. “Is this . . . ?” Her voice cracked. “Is this you
breaking up with me?”
 
How could she make him understand that they were meant to be
together? They had a connection that went deeper than just their day-today
interests. There was something about his very presence that affected
her on a fundamental level. Being near him made her feel like everything
was right with the world.