Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Alchemist and an Amaretto (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #5) by Annette Marie

Title: The Alchemist and an Amaretto
Series: The Guild Codex: Spellbound #5
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication Date: October 11th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
As a guild bartender, I can handle pretty much anything—mages, sorcerers, witches, the occasional demon. But show me anything family-related and I’d rather run for the hills. It doesn’t even have to be my family.

So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron’s mom and pop was a good idea.

Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I’ve got a bigger problem. Students of his family’s renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds—and somehow no one has seen a single assailant? Unexplained tracks litter the nearby woods, rumors of forbidden alchemy are circulating the campus…and Ezra has been acting strangely since we arrived.

Something deadly is brewing in the shadow of Sinclair Academy, and the longer we take to uncover it, the more dangerous it becomes. But no matter the risk, we’ll protect the students.

And Aaron’s parents too, I suppose. If we have to.

“Hey!” I greeted Ramsey, eyeing the group at the far end of the bar. They were clustered around something, but I couldn’t see what. “What’s going on over there?”

Ramsey slid two glasses of ice toward me. “Moscow Mules,” he requested as he poured bourbon into a shaker. “Over there … well, that would be—”

The group shifted, opening a gap, and I saw it wasn’t an object that everyone was focused on. It was a person. A person so petite I hadn’t seen her over the others’ heads and shoulders.

“… our elusive new contractor,” Ramsey finished. “She just arrived.”

My brightening mood soured again. I grabbed two lime wedges and squeezed them violently over the glasses of ice. Reaching past Ramsey, I lifted a bottle of vodka from the well. “In the five weeks since she joined, she’s shown up, what, twice before this? Real dedicated, isn’t she?”

“I heard she had the flu,” Ramsey replied with a shrug. He slid me a can of ginger beer.

“Likely story,” I muttered darkly as I poured vodka into the two glasses, then added the beer.

Robin stood amidst the mythics with her shoulders hunched. She barely topped five feet, her figure and features equally petite. Her thick brunette hair brushed the tops of her shoulders and her slender hands were twisted in the long sleeves of her black sweater. She looked painfully uncomfortable.

“Well?” Darren demanded aggressively, his voice carrying over the other conversations. “What’s your training background? How long have you been contracting?”

Robin shrank in on herself and irritation flashed through me. Didn’t she realize letting Darren get away with that crap attitude was a big mistake?

“You killed the unbound demon, didn’t you?” Cearra asked, sniffing like she totally could have done it herself, given the chance. Never mind she hadn’t even participated in the hunt on Halloween. “How did you manage it?”

Robin mumbled something too quiet for me to hear.

“Why are you a contractor, anyway?” Darren sneered, his a**holery worsening the longer it went unchecked. “What use does a little girl like you have for a demon?”

“Who ordered the Moscow Mules?” I yelled. “Come get ’em before I throw them at you.”

Gwen and Cameron hurried over. Darren was looming over Robin, waiting for a response, while she stared at the floor. Holy hell, this girl. How hard was it to hold a conversation?

I glanced across the mythics surrounding her—and noted the complete lack of smiles on their faces. No friendliness in their eyes or their questions. Darren was the most obvious bully, but no one was exuding warmth or welcome.


Until recently, I’d been the new girl—and seven months hadn’t done a whole lot to dim the blah memories of my first week here. The hostility levels had been off the charts. The Crow and Hammer was a haven for most of its members, and we didn’t appreciate strangers butting in.

I glowered at Robin’s bowed head, then let out a disgusted sigh and raised my voice. “Hey, new girl! Over here.”

Blue eyes, half hidden behind dark-rimmed glasses, flashed in my direction, then Robin slipped around Darren in one quick move that left him blinking stupidly. She minced up to the bar.

I pointed at the stool in front of my station and she obediently climbed onto it—so short she looked like a kid getting into a booster seat. Eyes downcast, she waited a long moment, then peeked up at me through thick lashes. She wilted under my assessment. Jeez. How had a girl this easily intimidated become a contractor?

I stuck out my hand. “I’m Tori.”

Sliding her small hand into mine, she shook my fingers. “Robin.”

“Want something to drink?”


“Hey!” Darren shoved his way over, followed by Alyssa and Cearra. “Where’s your infernus? Are you even a contractor or just a wannabe pretending—”

“Darren,” I snarled, “shut your hole before you contaminate my bar with your stupidity.”

His jaw flexed. “I’m just asking what everyone else is think—”

“No one asked you, dipsh*t.” Leaning closer to a wide-eyed Robin, I added in a low voice, “Don’t let him push you around.”

Her uncertainty waned as a new thoughtfulness entered her expression. She straightened on her stool and, turning to face the others, slid her hand under the neck of her sweater. She pulled out a flat metal disc on a silver chain, its face carved with runes—her infernus, which housed her demon’s spirit.

“Would you like to see my demon?” she asked in a light alto. “Right now?”

I resisted the urge to face-palm. Politely doing what Darren wanted wasn’t what I’d meant. Not even close.

He smirked and folded his arms. “Yeah, let’s see it.”

She ran her thumb down the side of the pendant. Crimson light shimmered across it, then the eerie glow burst from the metal. Power spilled onto the floor beside her stool and stretched upward, forming a humanlike shape. The glow solidified, then died away.

A demon stood in the pub.


Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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