Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Haedyn's Choice by Jennifer L Oliver

Date Published: 5/15/13

There's always a choice.

Haedyn is the last Unnamed and the demon Azazel's personal assassin - his most prized servant. It's not
a title she wants, but it keeps her alive and that's all that matters. But when she is tricked into protecting
Lex, the same human her master is hunting, she learns of Azazel's terrifying plan to create an army of
evil souls - and that Lex isn't the only one slated for sacrifice.

Can Haedyn accept the truth of her past and face the demon who molded her in his image, or will she
risk the losing the souls of those she loves?

EXCERPT:   Chapter One

The concrete cell reeked with a mixture of rotten trash, burning flesh, and the sweet tanginess of blood. Haedyn twitched her nose. No matter how often she had to deal with it, she'd never get used to that smell. It was horrible.
            Dirt crunched and rolled under the soles of her boots as she circled the silver chair in the middle of the room. Its occupant was furious, snapping and snarling at her. Not that she blamed him. Being captured by a demon's minion wouldn't rate high on her list of fun, either.
            The prisoner struggled against his restraints. “Bitch. My Alpha’s gonna kill you. Just wait," he growled, pupils wide with the animosity of a trapped animal. "He’ll come here and rip through that white skin of yours like it's a sheet of paper, then hang your head on the wall like a trophy.”
            She rolled her eyes and ignored his aggression. Werewolves had the worst tempers, especially when they were wounded or trapped. This one was both. Plus, he’d been drugged and was unable to change to his more powerful wolf form. Yeah, he was beyond pissed.
            She sighed and continued circling. He'd wear himself out eventually. The anger and vile comments were all part of the process. Then the next phase would begin, full of tears and begging. That's when she'd break him; make him tell her where to find the human. But for now, she'd play the game until he was ready.
“Where's the human?”
"I ain't telling you shit." He spat on the floor at her feet.
"Tell me where the human is and I'll set you free."
The werewolf narrowed his yellow eyes. "You won't set me free. You think I don't know who you are? You're that demon Azazel's little bitch. You don't set no one free. You kill 'em."
            Haedyn clenched her jaw. The werewolf was right; he wasn't going to leave here alive. She needed that information and there was only one way he was going to tell her. Poor sap. He just forced her hand.
            She circled the chair again. This was the part of the job she hated. Inflicting pain. Killing. Every time she heard them scream, made them bleed, she swore a piece of her insides turned to dust.
It was the price she paid for serving a demon. But she didn't have a choice. Either she did what was expected of her or she faced punishment from her master.
Demons didn’t give second chances, and Azazel was no different. Disobeying his orders meant death. And even if she was stupid enough to go up against him, she had no one to turn to for help.
She was the last Unnamed. A mistake created by the demons and angels, which is why they killed off the rest of her kind. Humans mistakenly called her “albino” and kept their distance once they saw her deep red eyes. The supernatural world thought she was an abomination. If they weren't scared shitless of her, then they wanted to kill her.
She didn't fit in and she was all alone. Which is why she made the decision fourteen years ago to do whatever she had to in order to survive. Serving Azazel was the only choice she had.
Besides, what else would she do? She was evil, part demon. And like Azazel said the night he found her at the orphanage, she had a gift for death. One which he had honed. Now, she was his best interrogator, his best assassin. 
            Haedyn looked again at the werewolf. He shifted and squirmed, pulling at his shackles. Drops of blood beaded along his forehead. She smelled the panic and the fear mixed in with his sweat. Then she met his eyes. For a brief moment, a part of her screamed to let him go. She quickly pushed the impulse away.
Discipline. She had to maintain discipline. Compassion was a weakness. How many times had Azazel pounded that into her during their sessions? Fourteen years of intense training and still she had to remind herself.
            She closed her eyes, burying the whispers of empathy deep inside. A stillness settled within her. Then she re-emerged as the cold-hearted, unemotional assassin Azazel had molded her into.
This is what she was trained to be. This is what she was trained to do. Save them. Deliver them. It's what kept her alive, and that’s all that mattered.
            She walked behind the prisoner. He bucked harder against his chains and handcuffs. She leaned in close to his ear and whispered, “The silver chair and all those silver chains, they're burning you. I can smell your skin roasting. And just as it heals, the silver sears it off again. Must be painful.”
Haedyn paused, watching his shoulders and chest heave. Sweat dripped down his neck and back, mixing with the blood on the floor. He panted. It wouldn’t be long now.
“I can see it, you know, the wolf within you," she continued. "Your beast wants to heal and protect you. It's raging to be released. It rolls under your skin like ripples on a pond and just before it breaks the surface, it crawls away like a scared, little puppy. You know the drug I gave you is still swirling in your system, keeping you from turning. Yet you keep trying to shift. Why do you torture your beast so?"
            The prisoner’s growl grew louder and he yanked again at his restraints.
            "Tell me where to find the human. Tell me, and I’ll end your suffering.”
            The werewolf stopped and leaned back in the chair. He took a ragged breath, “I’m dead whether I tell you or not. ”
            Haedyn straightened and looked down at the back of her prisoner’s head. So fierce and honorable. His pack leader, the Alpha Wolf, would be proud.
She ran her gloved hands through his short, brown hair. Then grabbed a handful and yanked his head back. Through her darkened glasses, she could see the anger and disgust in his eyes. He hated her, but soon she would be his savior. Like she was to all those who came before him. She delivered them, away from evil, just like they were meant to be.
She flipped a silver dagger out from its sheath around her waist and let the yellow glow from the dingy, fluorescent lights glare upon the blade. She pressed the tip along her prisoner’s right cheek, puncturing the skin just enough to draw blood, and slowly drew it down the length of his face.
It wasn’t the actual cut that caused pain, not for a werewolf. They have a relatively high tolerance. It was the slicing with silver that caused the burn of agony.
Haedyn moved the blade down his body splitting the skin in different areas as she went. With each mark she made, the victim flinched and clenched his jaw. Then she stabbed the dagger straight through the bones in his wrist, pinning his arm to the chair and bringing a loud growl from his throat. She plunged more daggers into him, one in his other wrist and one in each foot. The silver seared the skin where it punctured and began eating away at his bones like acid. Ignoring the werewolf’s tormented howls, she took a silver rod and slammed it through his kneecap. His screams reverberated off the walls of the small chamber.
She stood before him and stared. His veins darkened with the poison of silver seeping through his body. He cried and begged for death. It was almost over.
“Tell me,” she said.
He sobbed and hung his head.
“Tell me,” she demanded. “I’ll take them out and put them all back in again, unless you tell me.”
“No! No, please.”
“Tell me. And I’ll end your suffering.”
            The werewolf took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. “Medford. The last place we tracked him to was Medford, Mass. It's... It's right outside Boston.”
Haedyn looked at the surveillance camera in the upper corner of the cell and nodded. Her job was almost done. Save them. Deliver them.
The prisoner raised his head and look at her. “Kill me," he said. "Please."
It was time, he was ready. She had broken him and now she’d free him.
A tear dripped slowly from the corner of his yellow eyes. Her own eyes burned. She pulled out her .44 magnum, and shot him in the head.

Author Bio
Jennifer L. Oliver was born and raised in North Carolina and now lives on Florida's gulf coast with her husband, two cats, a Royal Bahamian Potcake dog, and multiple fish. She is the author of dark urban fantasy and paranormal thrillers. When she's not writing, you can find her giggling with her granddaughter and enjoying time with her family and friends. For more about Jennifer, visit her website at or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.








The Giveaway for this tour is for eBook Copies of Untamed which is the PRELUDE to The Haedyn Chronicals.

5 / 5

I have read so many 4 + star books lately, I keep waiting for that one to break the amazing string of fantastic authors ... Haedyn's Choice was not the book to do that.  In fact it was just the opposite, the tight story with so real (I felt like I was there) characters have set the bar just a bit higher for books that I'll review after this.  Jennifer did a wonderful job taking me into Haedyn's world and I look forward to reading more of these breath taking characters.  


1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Rahna, I'm so glad you enjoyed Haedyn's Choice! Thank you for taking the time to read and review. I greatly appreciate it!