Casting Shadows

Casting Shadows

L. R. Braden

July 2020 $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-989-6

Children are disappearing.

Our PriceUS$15.95
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Children are disappearing.

With Purity growing in political power and bigotry on the rise across the Realms, Alex’s short-term goals are to stay under the PTF's radar and as far from the fae Courts as she can. But her plans go up in smoke when May, the younger sister of her good friend Emma, goes missing.

The fae are involved.

Alex will do everything she can to find May, but to mount a rescue she'll have to avoid PTF raids, conquer old ghosts, and risk coming face to face with her fae grandfather again.

War is coming.

Lines are being drawn. No one is safe. To survive, Alex will have to choose a side.

About the Author: Born and raised in Colorado, award-winning author L. R. BRADEN makes her home in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her wonderful husband, precocious daughter, and psychotic cat. With degrees in both English literature and metalsmithing, she splits her time between writing and art.

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"Questions and secrets come out of the shadows, and I still love this series!”

—Matthew Shank, Librarian and NetGalley Reviewer
on Courting Darkness


"Readers can’t tear their eyes away as they become one hundred percent immersed in all the excitement of Alex’s life.”

 —Eva Millien, BookBub reviews on Courting Darkness

 "Action packed from start to finish.”

 —Lovabull Books Blog on A Drop of Magic


"The world building is great . . . a definite read for lovers of Urban para­normal with a strong female main character.”

 —Evan Garron, consumer reviewer
Goodreads and Amazon on Faerie Forged


"Great world building and characters, a gripping plot, and a surprising and excellent ending.”


—Anna Maria Giacomasso, NetGalley reviewer on Faerie Forged

Chapter 1

THE BRAKES ON my old Jeep groaned as I slowed, then followed the green turn arrow through an intersection. Above the surrounding build­ings,clouds glowed with ribbons of sunset like someone had spray- painted streaks of fuchsia and sapphire across the sky, and long shadows cloaked the street down which I drove. At the far end of the block, orange lights flashed by the side of the road. I eased off the gas and swore.

Maggie’s gaze swung from the gently swollen belly she’d been rub­bing happily to the front windshield and locked on the mobile check­point on the approaching corner. Her thick black curls bounced with the sudden motion. She cut her eyes to me. "Can you—”

"I’ll be fine.”

"I didn’t think the ultrasound would take so long. I wouldn’t have—”

"It’s fine, Mags.” I set my hand on her wrist and smiled. "This isn’t my first test.”

Despite my words, my heart was racing. The new governor of Colorado had pretty much turned the local branch of the Paranatural Task Force into his own private army. PTF mobile checkpoints had gone up the day after Anderson’s State of the State Address in conjunction with his newly implemented curfew. Any paranatural caught out after dark, registered or no, was taken to one of the detention camps resurrected from the Faerie Wars. Luckily, the basic test they performed on street corners wasn’t enough to identify me as the fae halfer I was, thanks to my immunity to iron.

That didn’t make the process any less nerve-wracking.

The brakes groaned again as I pulled up beside the checkpoint, knuckles white on the wheel. A woman in a PTF uniform and an orange safety vest stepped around the Jeep’s front end and tapped my window with a flashlight. Swallowing, I lowered the glass.

The warmth pumping through my vents escaped into the bitter night, and cold air rushed in to take its place.

"License and registration.” The woman sounded bored. Her cheeks and nose were red compared to the rest of her pale skin.

Reaching past Maggie’s knees, I pulled the registration from my glove box and handed it over with my license.

The woman squinted at my ID, then swung her light up to study my face.

I blinked and cringed away from the light as spots flared in my vi­sion.

Lowering her flashlight, the agent passed my credentials back through the window and stepped back. "Stick out your arm.”

I pushed my arm out the open window, my elbow resting on the frame. The cuff of my new winter coat rode up a bit, exposing a strip of silky, black fabric wrapped around my wrist like a bracelet. The black band wasn’t exactly my style, but I wasn’t wearing it for its aesthetic value. The ribbon was basically an emergency phone call to a fae who owed me a favor. I’d been foolish enough to take it off a few weeks back. Maybe if I hadn’t, my friend Oz would still be alive. I wouldn’t make that mistake again, no matter how much it itched or how badly it clashed with my wardrobe.

An older man stepped up beside the woman. He was also dressed in a PTF uniform and safety vest, but he wore a bright-blue knit cap with a fluffy pompom and a pair of purple rubber gloves. He carried a small box, and from it he pulled a thin black cylinder that would be used to prick my finger.

I wrinkled my nose, but held my arm steady so they could do what they needed. There was a pinch of pain as the needle broke the surface on my index finger, and a shiny red dot swelled on my fingertip.

The man squeezed my finger and tipped my hand so three bright- red drops fell into his little box, which was filled with iron shavings. A crude test, but iron was still the fastest, most effective indicator of fae heritage. In everyone except me anyway. Maggie, the female agent, and I all stared at the man, who stared into the box. Then he snapped the lid closed and jerked his head in a nod.

I exhaled and forced myself to smile at the agents. No faeries here. Thanks for keeping the streets safe from all those dangerous magic users. And while you’re at it, why don’t you go jump off a cliff.

They circled the car, the man stopping off at the back of their van to swap out my test box for a new one, and repeated the process with Maggie. Once she passed, they waved us on and the next car in line took our place.

We drove for two blocks before Maggie broke the silence. "Sorry again, Alex. I shouldn’t have called you.”

"I’m glad you did.” I pictured the image the nurse had put on the monitor of the squirmy little baby in Maggie’s tummy. I’d almost cost that little guy his life by hiding my true identity from Maggie. I was going to do all I could to make it up to them. "What are faerie godmothers for?”

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