It’s Release Day! Smoke and Ritual (Beautiful Dark Beasts) by Melissa Sercia ~ #BookTour #Excerpt

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Smoke and Ritual
by Melissa Sercia
(Beautiful Dark Beasts, #1)
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: May 5th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

The voices haunt her…

Their whispers taunt her with a war she never wanted…

But Arya Frost has more to contend with than the cryptic voices disturbing her sleep.

Protected inside the haven of Sanctum after losing both her parents in the Blood War a decade ago, Arya is different from other witches. She’s the only witch without a coven.

Or so she thinks.

As her powers accelerate, so do the revelations about her true lineage.

Destined to become the Aether—a witch who can control all four elements—the Elemental covens want her magic, power she didn’t even know she had.

And when the sexy and mysterious god, Chaos shows up, Arya’s place in the world is put even more at risk.

But learning who and what she is, and how to wield her power only tips the surface of the battle raging inside her. She’ll have to find a way to awaken her magic, deal with her growing attraction to Chaos, all while being thrust into the middle of a magical feud that has been building for centuries.

The Blood War might be over, but the war between witches is just beginning.



As I made my way toward Jane’s office, my newfound courage was starting to waiver. When I was a kid, they’d told us that war was something we’d never have to experience. The age of peace would last. We had the gods on our side. There were so many who had fought and died for us to be safe. Would their sacrifice be in vain?

Our parents grew up in a different time. Bloodshed and dark magic were all they knew. They were prepared for it. But my generation was soft. We never even thought to look over our shoulders. As I stood outside Jane’s door, I knew that was all about to change.

“Arya, please come in. We were just discussing you.” Jane sat still and stoic at her desk. Chaos paced back and forth behind her.

I ignored the nervous tickle that crept up my throat, praying that my voice didn’t fail me. “I’ve made my decision. I—I want to help. I will do whatever it is you want me to do.” My knees wobbled as the words left my lips.

“You can’t be serious,” Chaos snapped. “Have you ever even been off this island? I don’t care what your lineage is. You aren’t ready.” He folded his chiseled arms to his chest and leaned back against the wall, seeming satisfied with his assessment of me.

The way he looked at me without emotion, the dismissiveness in his tone, it was all I could do to not crawl under Jane’s desk and hide. “Thanks for the vote of confidence,” I mumbled.

Jane pressed her palms onto the desk, as if she were bracing herself. “Chaos, enough. We’ve been over this all night. She has to be the Aether. She’s the only one who can tap into that power.” Her voice softened as she looked back toward me. “Arya, dear, is there anything at all you can tell us about Echo? Anything you remember?”

I looked down at my scuffed boots, unsure of what was real or just imagined. “I—I don’t know. I’ve been having strange dreams for months. Echo—or at least who I think is Echo—calls to me in them. She tells me she needs me. At first, I thought it was just my own longing for a coven, manifesting in a dream…but then the birds came. The white crows.”

“So it’s begun,” she murmured. “Arya, tell me more about the birds.”

“I found one in my bed a couple days ago, it’s neck was broken…there was so much blood. Another one slammed into my window the night after. And then…last night, I had another dream. This time it was the ancestors calling to me. I could see them…in Purgatory.”

Jane jumped to her feet. “We have to get you away from here, Arya. It’s not safe anymore.”

Chaos threw up his hands. “Nowhere is safe, don’t you get it? They’ve marked her, and they won’t stop until they have what they want. I should have destroyed this realm when I had the—”

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence,” Jane snapped. “She will be safe with you, Chaos.”

My head pounded. Less than a week ago, my biggest worry was passing a potion test. Now, standing between a Crescent witch elder and an actual god as they argued over how I was going to become some all-powerful being, it seemed so trivial. How did my whole life change in just a matter of days?



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Melissa Sercia is an Urban Fantasy author with a passion for philosophy, mythology, and all things supernatural. She is the author of the Blood and Darkness and Beautiful Dark Beasts series’. Melissa lives in California with her man and her cat. When she’s not building dark fantasy worlds and slaying demons, you can find her in the kitchen cooking with a glass of wine in her hand.

Author links:
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I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

4 comments on “It’s Release Day! Smoke and Ritual (Beautiful Dark Beasts) by Melissa Sercia ~ #BookTour #Excerpt

  1. Sounds like something I want to read!!

  2. What an intriguing book! Great cover too.

  3. looks like a good one. thanks for sharing
    sherry @ fundinmental M

  4. Oh that fun! A new series!