Today i am excited to be showcasing the illustrations which accompany Brittany M. Willows debut novel, Bloody Spade. Brittany is both the author and illustrator for her book.
A girl full of heart
A thief touched by darkness
A boy with a fiery temper
An unwitting servant of evil
The era of magic was once thought to be a myth, but after the Reemergence ushered forces both dark and light into the mundane world, it has since become a harsh reality. Now those affected by this strange power—a specialized group of Empowered called Jokers, known collectively as Cardplay—must protect their world from the darkness that threatens to consume it, all the while fighting for equality in a society clinging to normalcy.
But the Reemergence was only the beginning.
When another influx occurs on the seventh anniversary of that fateful event, an unfortunate encounter at ground zero lands Iori Ryone, a teenage boy in possession of a corrupt and legendary magic, in the care of recent Joker graduate Ellen Amelia Jane. From him, she learns the Reemergence may not have been the inevitable natural disaster it first seemed.
Someone is trying to tear down the barrier that separates the magical realms from the mundane. The question is, can Cardplay stop them before it’s too late?
Bloody Spade is the first installment in an urban fantasy duology that follows a cat-eared thief and a spirited girl as they try to navigate his wild magic, her hotheaded brother, a sinister plot, and the feelings they’re developing for each other.
Preorder/buy Bloody Spade here:
Add Bloody Spade to your goodreads To Be Read list here:
She fetched the first aid box from the medicine cabinet, then got on her knees. Seeing the Keeper in the light surrounded by all this polished whiteness . . . There was so much blood. The stains had spread since they left the alley and were still spreading now.
Ellen took a calming breath. “Okay, let’s get this shirt off.”
The Keeper seemed hesitant. “Is that really necessary?”
“Is this really the time to be self-conscious?”
He rolled his visible eye and shrugged off his jacket. “Our second meeting and she’s already asking me to strip.”
For some time, neither of them moved. They stood there in the rain, clothes growing damper and bones growing colder, but there was a warmth between them where the wind couldn’t reach. Then Iori’s hand slid over Ellen’s. At first, she feared he would try to pry hers off.
Instead, he held it there, creating another tiny pocket of heat. “You know what they say about black cats . . . We’re bad luck.”
“Fortunately for you, I’m lucky. We cancel each other out.”
“That doesn’t sound fair.”
Ellen shrugged. “I’m willing to forego my good luck if it nullifies your bad luck.”
“It’s courage, not bravery,” Alexander said. “Bravery is the absence of fear in the face of danger. Courage is about facing danger in spite of the fear.” The ice cubes’ clinking softened, their melt hastened by the liquid washing over them. “Every time that alarm goes off, I know there’s a chance I might not come back. That’s why we welcome the nerves. They keep us on our toes and remind us that we’re human, and we are fragile. The people who forget that . . . they’re the ones who rush in headfirst and come out in a body bag.”
How odd, thought Kyani, to look down and not recognize your own legs. Where once her fingers glided along warm beige skin, they bumped over scales from knee to toe. Glossy black things, like chips of obsidian. She couldn’t decide which was stranger—these, or the entirely new appendages at her back. They drooped at her sides, raven feathers frayed and molting. A pair of small and brittle wings.
What use were wings if you could not fly?
What use is flying if you’re trapped in a cage?
A Fateful Meeting:
Ellen dashed into the fray, adrenaline coursing through her veins, barely registering Alexander’s shout for her to wait as she bolted past him.
The Keeper spotted her, raised a barrier of ink, and with a broad swing of her scythe, Ellen did what the others could not . . . and split it. Cleaved a line down the middle. Like the captured Inkblots she had fought in the training arena, every ounce of ink her blade touched dissolved into light. And for a moment, amidst the shower of ink globules and glittering ruby particles, their eyes locked.
Void ink. There was more of it around them, large splatters of the stuff.
“Are those . . . Inkblots?” asked Ellen with regard to the splatters. Whereas blight was a disease produced by the Void feeding on an individual’s misery, Inkblots were the bestial manifestations of human malice that spawned from a host’s body. Commit enough atrocities and it wouldn’t matter if you came in contact with its poisonous emissions—the Void would consume you and spit an Inkblot out in your place.
About the Author/Illustrator
Brittany M. Willows is a bisexual/asexual author and digital artist living in rural Ontario, Canada. Inspired initially by video games and the stories they told, she began building her own fictional universes and has no plans of stopping any time soon. When she’s not writing about post-apocalyptic lands, wild magic, or people gallivanting through the stars, she can be found hunched over a tablet drawing the very same things.
To keep up with the latest news regarding both current and future stories, and to find out more about Brittany or to delve deeper into the worlds she has created, check out the links below! She can also be contacted directly via these platforms: