Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers #Excerpt

Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers
(Duplicity #1)
Publication date: June 30th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Two hearts, one kiss…
…Nothing left.

Faye’s soul-mate is everything she should hate—an Angel, an outcast, an enemy. Ashe is just one more imperfection in her life that somehow makes everything… perfect.

Until he’s murdered.

With the only person she loves ripped away, Faye sets out to avenge Ashe’s death. The task seems impossible, until she finds Lor—an Angel who looks nearly identical to Ashe’s killer. Arrogant and hot-headed, Lor is everything Ashe wasn’t. But Lor is connected to her soul-mate’s past, and Faye needs him to find the killer—even if Lor is potentially deadly.

But when Faye discovers that Ashe’s past isn’t as black and white as she thought, she faces an impossible choice: Give up the hunt, and risk the lives of others. Or continue pursuing Ashe’s murderer, and forfeit the lives of everyone in her family—including herself.


 “So,” Farren says, his voice much too cheery. “How goes the murder mission?”
I swallow hard. Farren rarely asks about my plans to kill Ashe’s murderer, and as bile rises in my throat, I’m reminded why. It’s awkward to discuss murder plans with someone as moral as Farren. Really, really awkward…
“It’s the same as always,” I reply slowly, and keep picking at that thread. “I found a lead tonight, but it won’t go anywhere.”
“How do you know?”
I sigh, glancing toward the fireplace. A fire crackles in the hearth, and wisps of smoke disappear up the chimney. “My leads never go anywhere,” I mumble. “They get me close, but not close enough. He’s always gone when I get near.”
“But this man is still around Kastellor?” Farren asks, referring to our country’s capital.
I nod. “He’s staying close to the castle, or at least most of the time. My informants say he’s leaving the city for periods of time, and then coming back. But I have no idea what he’s up to.”
Which just about kills me. The day before Ashe was taken into custody, I saw the man in the royal throne-room. He was tall and broad, with a long scar at the corner of his mouth. A pearly patch of skin marked his collarbone, a small circle that almost looked like a brand. Treason, I’d heard him whisper out of his ruined mouth, and Father’s eyes had grown wide.
After Ashe was sentenced to death, I started hunting the man. But, after ten months, I barely have anything to show for it. Every day I wake up with this reality hanging over my head, and every day I wake up nauseous, pained… guilty.
“You don’t even know his name, Faye,” Farren says softly. Then he scoffs, his tone hardening a little. “You can barely confirm he exists.”
“I know he exists. I saw him, Farren. He’s the one who reported my Guardian as a traitor. He set him up!”
Farren does another one of his hand-flicking gestures, dismissing my words. “Maybe he did report Ashe. But what if this man was working for someone else? What if he was only a messenger?”
I wince at the way he says the name: Ashe. Like it’s just another casual word to use in discussion. I stopped using it soon after Ashe died, deciding his name deserves more respect. But I can’t convince everyone of that.
“If he was just the messenger,” I reply, my teeth gritted, “then I’ll make him tell me his employer’s name before I kill him.”
Farren shakes his head. “Why are you so set on killing him, Faye? Why does he have to die?”

The answer is so obvious that I laugh. We both wince at the harsh, ruined sound. “He has to die because he murdered my Guardian,” I growl. “It’s his fault, and he needs to die for it.” 


Olivia Rivers is the author of five novels, ranging in genres from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Along with being a writer, she’s a freelance digital artist, a literary agent assistant, and a high school student. She’s a nerd at heart, and is a hopeless fan-girl for Doctor Who and Pok√©mon. Olivia lives in California with a dog who thinks he’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a kitten who is just generally confused.