Genre: Paranormal Romance
Word count: approx. 71k
Pages: approx. 275
Author Kate Baray begins her new paranormal romance series with Lost Library, a tale of werewolves, magic, adventure and romance.
John Braxton arrives unannounced on Lizzie’s doorstep. Little does she know that when she invites him to a drink on the porch, Lizzie opens the door to a secret world of werewolves—oops, they don’t like that name!—Lycan, magic, spelled books, and power hungry evildoers. Caught up in one man’s search for power, Lizzie soon begins to uncover surprising secrets about her own past and powers.
And romance with a serious but sexy Lycan? It might just happen…
Lizzie Smith had been Lizzie since before she could remember. When she moved back to Texas a few years ago—new job, new friends, new city—she tried to make the change to the grown-up version of her name. But Elizabeth hadn’t stuck. She also cut her long curly locks to what she imagined was a more mature medium-ish length. Over thirty and still answering to Lizzie seemed to scream perky—and Lizzie wouldn’t describe herself as perky.
But her name and her shorter curls stayed. She was still Lizzie Smith at thirty-four. A not particularly perky, not especially young, but not very old Lizzie. She liked herself. Well, for the most part—everyone had flaws. But she didn’t think of herself as particularly unusual in any way. She wasn’t brilliant, artistic, or gorgeous. Just average.
When she received a large padded envelope addressed in handwritten capital letters to Elizabeth Smith, a name not one friend or family member used, it stood apart from the similarly addressed bills and junk mailers. Not a bill, not from a close friend…
She picked up the padded envelope along with several bills, a fundraiser request—it was from her alma mater, so what else could it be—and the normal assortment of miscellaneous junk mail. She thrust everything under her arm and hurried into the house. Austin, Texas wasn’t cold often, but the temperatures had been abnormally low, record-breaking even.
Several minutes and two happily-pottied dogs later, she sat at the kitchen table to investigate her unusual mail. Hand addressed packages weren’t common, and receiving one was an event. She planned to savor the moment. As she’d set the package down on the table earlier, she’d recognized the unique heft and size of a hardcover book.
Hot tea ready at her elbow, she opened the package. Carefully slitting the package open, she discovered she’d been partially correct. When she tipped the contents out on the table, a book emerged. But not a standard, mass-produced hardcover. The cover was dark green, worn leather. The edges were battered and faded to a lighter mossy green. But even showing its age, it was a gorgeous old book. Thumbing the edge, she discovered the pages were thick and likely hand cut. Seeing no title or author printed on the cover, she flipped open the cover to examine the title page.
Lizzie’s eyesight wasn’t perfect. A few too many late nights cuddled in bed with her Kindle, or one too many paperbacks read by flashlight under the covers as a child—who knew? But she passed her driver’s eye exam every time it came up, and really, who could read the tiny white letters on street signs? That’s what GPS was for. Still, it was possible her eyesight was more impaired than she thought. Because those tiny, faded letters swam on the page.
She closed the book, rubbed her eyes, then got up and flipped on an extra set of lights. Once again sitting in front of the book, she flipped the front cover open…and couldn’t believe her eyes. Bold red ink where there had been faded blue. And there was no question—the words on the page swam…and flipped…and maybe even glowed. Thump. She let the book fall closed.
Confused by the book’s contents, several competing questions pushed into her mind. “Who might have sent it?” won the contest, since that was a question she might be able to answer. Standing up, she walked over to the recycle bin and retrieved the discarded padded envelope.
Just as she’d seen on her initial inspection, there was no return address to mark the sender, and no postage mark. She shook the envelope sharply, cut side down. But no note appeared. She reached her hand inside and swept from side to side to ensure no message was hiding or stuck inside. Nothing.
This was the moment when average Lizzie Smith might have decided she’d been the victim of mail tampering—perhaps LSD? Average Lizzie might think she was hallucinating, maybe feverish? Average Lizzie might have decided she needed medical attention.
But she didn’t call a friend for a ride to the hospital. She didn’t call her doctor to schedule a checkup. She didn’t even make an eye appointment with the ophthalmologist. What Lizzie did was sit down, drink her tea, tuck her feet under a napping dog…and study a book.
This was the day Lizzie Smith decided that while she might not be perky, brilliant, artistic, or gorgeous—she might not be average, either.
About the Author:
Kate Baray is a paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer. She lives and writes in Austin, Texas with the help of her spotty dogs and hound. Kate has worked as an attorney, a manager, a tractor sales person, and a dog trainer. All exciting and interesting jobs, but none so much as writing!