Exclusive Chapter 1 Excerpt: The Hidden Library (#2, The Collectors' Society) by Heather Lyons - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Exclusive Chapter 1 Excerpt: The Hidden Library (#2, The Collectors’ Society) by Heather Lyons


Alice and Finn are back, ready to do what must be done to keep the timelines from being destroyed. The Hidden Library is the second book in The Collectors’ Society series, and I loved it!!! In this second, electrifying installment, we get to know Finn on a deeper level, see their relationship evolve, and witness Alice become stronger… a true force to be reckoned with. It’s sexier than it’s predecessor, with romance, action and mystery suffused on every page. I’m super excited to share a part of Chapter 1—an excerpt that shows us what a kickass heroine Alice can be. She’s smart and fearless and willing to do whatever it takes to complete the task at hand.

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the hidden library collectors societySometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.

Chapter 1 Excerpt

Interrogation Techniques – Alice

“You and I are due for a talk, don’t you think? Lady to lady.”

The cackles erupting from the woman before me would make the sorceresses of Wonderlandian lore proud. Or even the Red Queen, who often practiced perfecting such a laugh to be used during the Red Court’s infamous bandersnatch arena games. Rage has turned Rosemary’s eyes bloodshot yet glassy, and with her black hair dipped white and in a bird’s-nest array around her head, she promises to be a fright to behold for many.

I am not afraid of Rosemary, though. Especially not when she is constrained as she is.

We are in one of the Institute’s more secure rooms with a locked door behind me. The only piece of furniture within is the chair she’s strapped to. Everything else was hastily removed prior to our entrance.

The Collectors’ Society, the clandestine organization I work for, never saw fit for such a space prior to the last few days. While technologically advanced and cunning, their specialties have lain in the acquisition and preservation of catalysts from various Timelines, not the capture and interrogation of villains. But two such persons newly reside within the Institute’s walls, and answers must be taken, whether willingly or through force.

As my partner is currently embroiled in important meetings, I am the woman to happily provide such coercion.

“What is your name?”

Spittle flies from between Rosemary’s lips. “Go fuck yourself, you ugly bitch whore!” A frenzy overtakes her, much like the berserkers of yore. She shouts, she struggles against the straps binding her to the chair, she froths at the mouth. And then, just when it appears she might burst out of her skin and morph into a beast, she begins singing in a voice so beautiful, so rich and pure, a woman with a softer heart than mine might shed a tear over it.

Unfortunately for her, though, I am no such lady.

Carry on, beyond the skies,

beyond tumultuous sea,

to the heart of the mountain

lies wondrous future for ye.

Sing, sing, little children!

Spill blood graciously.

Rest assured, in the end,

treasure and glory await thee.

The villainess’ head tilts back, her eyes close. Her voice lowers and begins anew.

Fear not the blade of death,

fear not the hole of time.

Come, come, little children!

Harken to beauteous sign.

The small earpiece I am wearing vibrates as Mary Lennox’s voice says, “Well, if she isn’t crazier than a bag of hungry opossums, then I don’t know what’s what.”

I am unsure of what opossums are, but I feel it is safe to agree with my colleague’s assessment. I have known and fought many a crazed lady in my life, but Rosemary is one of the most unsettling. The others—the Queens of Red, Hearts, and White—all had method and rationale behind their madnesses and were more than happy to wax eloquent on issues when queried. I may have rarely agreed with their actions, but I knew what made them tick. This woman, who has attacked me multiple times and is suspected to have destroyed numerous Timelines and thereby murdering countless souls, cannot willingly offer up any rhyme or reason for her actions.

She is an alien creature if there ever was one.

I cannot allow what she has done to continue, even though Rosemary is now in Society custody. A team of our agents captured her and an associate whilst several others and I were acquiring the Wonderlandian catalyst. Unfortunately for all, though, S. Todd, Rosemary’s assumed paramour and partner, escaped after annihilating a catalyst and slashing Abraham Van Brunt’s throat. The Society’s leader is currently recovering in a nearby hospital and doing well, but the events have left our organization impatient to bring these fiends to justice.

I clap politely whilst Rosemary softly hums another stanza. Her eyes close in rapture, her head slumps forward. “What a pretty song. The time for such diversions is over, though. What is your full name?”

Rage overtakes her once more. This time, her fits send her and the chair she’s strapped to toppling over onto the ground. From there, she lashes about like a fish out of water.

I step forward, crouching down over her sideways body until I have her pinned sufficiently below me. She gnashes her teeth, snarling like a rabid beast. I carefully take hold of her jaw, ensuring my fingers remain safe from her overly sharp-appearing teeth. “You are responsible for the deletion of numerous Timelines. True or false?”

Attempts to whip her head about are stymied by both my grip and the awkward angle of her body trapped beneath mine. “Eat shit,” she hisses.

I am undeterred at her pathetic efforts. She no longer holds the upper hand, no matter what delusions she suffers under. “Where is S. Todd?”

“You’re going to die, bitch!”

Further questions are answered with loudly voiced assurances of my upcoming albeit untimely demise. I am close to violence when a thought comes to me.

I release her face and stand up. Interestingly enough, my sudden retreat has left her momentarily stunned.

“Alice?” Mary’s voice fills my ear. “Is everything okay?”

My colleague has been observing the interrogation via a security camera stationed in the corner of the room. To answer, I push on the small earpiece. “Have the door opened.”

Rosemary resumes her cackling. She thinks she has bested me, and I allow her this piece of assumed yet false accomplishment.

When I exit the room and the door is locked behind me, I instruct the guard, “As she chose to fall to the ground, leave her be.” And then I make my way to the nearby medical wing of the Institute.


Reading Order and Links

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About Heather Lyons

heather lyonsHeather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

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  1. lorainediaz49 said:

    After reading this little bit of The Hidden Library I just can’t wait until tomorrow!


  2. Jessica z. said:

    Love Heather’s ability to incorporate classics in a whole new light. This latest read furthers the adventure and leaves readers ready for more!


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