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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-12-29
  • Publisher: Del Rey
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In the heart of Ohio, Jessie Shimmer is caught up in hot, magic-drenched passion with her roguish lover, Cooper Marron, who is teaching her how to tap her supernatural powers. When they try to break a drought by calling down a rainstorm, a hellish portal opens and Cooper is ripped from this world, leaving Jessie fighting for her life against a vicious demon that's been unleashed. In the aftermath, Jessie, who knows so little about her own true nature, is branded an outlaw. She must survive by her wits and with the help of her familiar, a ferret named Palimpsest. Stalked by malevolent enemies, Jessie is determined to find out what happened to Cooper. But when she moves heaven and earth to find her man, she'll be shocked by what she discovers-and by what she must ultimately do to save them all.

Author Biography

Lucy A. Snyder is the author of the story and poetry collections Sparks and Shadows and Chimeric Machines. She has a B.S. in biology and an M.A. in journalism and is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop. Born in South Carolina, she grew up in the cowboys-and-cactus part of Texas and currently lives in Worthington, Ohio.


Chapter One 

A Simple Storm- Calling 

Cooper woke me up before the nightmare did. He caught me square in the shin with a jerking kick and I bolted up, my heart hammering like a small demon trying to break through my rib cage. Already the dream had slipped from my mind, leaving nothing behind but my wrecked nerves. Cooper twitched and ground his teeth. Sweat plastered his curly black hair against his forehead, and his tattooed arms shook as he crushed the pillow against his chest. I wanted to hold him close, wake him up. I hated seeing the man I loved in that kind of pain. It didn’t matter that he was the teacher and I, his apprentice. But I knew he’d lash out at anyone near him when he came out of the dream. So I wiped the sweat out of my eyes and scooted away from him on the bed.

 “Cooper,” I called. My throat felt like it was lined with steel wool, and I could taste pennies where I’d bitten the inside of my lip. “Wake up.” 

No response. 

My heart was slowing, finally, but my hands still shook as I wiped my eyes again. I’d never had nightmares before I started sleeping with Cooper. The first couple of times we’d both gotten bad dreams the same night, I dismissed it as coincidence. But after a dozen nights? It was pretty clear that the terror I saw in his fractured sleep mirrored the terror fading inside my own head. 

We were having the same damn nightmare . . . and lately I was having it whether I was sleeping beside him or not. 

He writhed and groaned. 

Cooper’s white fox terrier, Smoky, was cowering under my computer desk, whining. The dog was giving me a scared look:Wake him up before something bad happens.I’d seen the dog take on creatures ten times his seventeen pounds when he thought his master was in danger; he’d once torn the ear off an ogreish no- neck who was preparing to brain Cooper with a tire iron in a bar parking lot. But when the nightmare came on, fierce little Smoky was helpless. 

I could hear the rustling of my six- month- old ferret racing around in his cage in the corner. 

What’s going on inside your head?
I wondered, staring down at Cooper. 

I slid off the bed, took a deep breath, and let loose a shout that shook the floor:“Cooper!” 

He jerked awake, arms windmilling, punching the air, kicking the sheet off the bed. “No, I won’t, I won’t, get away from me—” 

“Cooper, calm down! You’re okay, you’re okay.” 

“What? Where— where am I?” he gasped, staring around in the dimness. 

“In our apartment. Remember?” I climbed back onto the bed and crawled to him across the twisted bedclothes. 

“J-jessie?” he stammered, his eyes finally seeming to focus. “Oh man am I glad to see you.” 

He caught me in a strong hug and kissed me. 

His naked skin was slick with sweat, and beneath his usual pleasantly garlicky smell was the faint, sharp odor of brimstone. Smoky padded out from under the desk and hopped up onto the bed. 

“Are you okay?” I asked. 

“Yeah. Think so. Dream can’t really hurt me, right? I can’t even remember what it was all about.” He laughed ner vous ly and patted Smoky’s smooth head. “Serves me right for falling asleep when I didn’t need to.” 

“You almostneverget enough sleep. You go till you finally pass out from

Excerpted from Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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