Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Please Welcome Nancy Gideon as She Tells Us About Her Paranormal Romance, RISE BY MOONLIGHT, By Moonlight, Book 15



Confessions of a Halloween-aholic . . . 

It started with a simple carved pumpkin and a wobbly stroller along crowded and sometimes scary sidewalks when too young to make that dash to the doorway.

I LOVE Halloween! It’s been my favorite holiday since spreading that treasure trove of candy across the rug in search of that ONE piece we could have after trudging the usually rainy evening streets of our neighborhood in homemade costumes. The scent of crisp autumn air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the ding-dong of anticipation, the rustling of that caloric bounty hitting the bottom of the pillowcase – delightful! 

In later years, (when told we were “too old” to participate) the door bell ringing, the cries of “Trick-or-Treat!” and greedy bags thrust out in front of ghoulish or cartoonish faces brought back that rush of excitement. Then, when I became a home dweller with my own front porch, everything changed. I became a . . . Halloween-aholic. 

The symptoms weren’t easy to spot at first.  Just a string of pumpkin lights along a railing and a ceramic Jack-o-lantern’s flashing light for year one. In year two (thanks to Son working at a Halloween store with an employee discount!) came the first three buildings of Halloween Town (I should have known better after my addiction to my Christmas Village!) and a huge gauze-trailing Pumpkin Head stretching across the ceiling. The third and fourth year, my addiction ran wild.

Suddenly every available space in our street-facing dining room was covered with the macabre! Even huge faux spiders (my all-consuming phobia!) climbed the porch rails and window sills while eerie wails and moans from my now massive village filled the air! Every available space screamed of All Hollow’s Eve, from my workplace to the pets, and even my nails!  I was out of control!

When did I start storing more orange tubs than red and green in the basement?

This year should be epic!  When prices dropped at son’s place of employment, three carts full of horrific delights followed me home but never got displayed because – sigh, Michigan. Cold, bitter wind and rain ruined 2019. So, 2020, with or without Trick-or-Treaters, will begin with a groan and end in a howl from our front lawn graveyard, complete with tombstones, gates, and fog.  It’s going to be Spooktacular!

I’d better get more orange tubs!


Rise By Moonlight
By Moonlight, Book 15
by Nancy Gideon

Genre: paranormal romance/ PNR
Date of Publication:  August 3, 2020
ASIN: B08DKGQV9G
Number of pages: 273
Word Count: 88,571

Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus, Lazarus Art

Tagline: Max and Charlotte return for the explosive conclusion of the “By Moonlight” series . . . and the stakes have never been higher!

Book Description:

He’s the Promised One

A Mobster’s attack dog turned legitimate business powerhouse, Max Savoie is the reluctant leader of New Orleans’ shapeshifter clan. They’ve kept to anonymous shadows, working and living unnoticed by the human world until their new Shifter King’s past draws dangerous outsiders who threaten all.

She’s the Protector

A fiercely determined NOPD detective, Charlotte Caissie has sworn to defend her beloved city and her unborn child from both criminals and otherworldly factions at war. While standing boldly at the side of her mate/husband, secrets from the past return to shake the foundation of her beliefs.

They Have a Problem

Walking a marital tight rope between opposite worlds, Max and Cee Cee’s paths place truth and trust at odds when outside threats force enemies to become allies. The time to take a stand for their family and their future is at hand. Time to rise together for the survival of all they love!

Amazon      Nook     Kobo      iBook


Excerpt

Max hadn’t visited that dark portion of his past for a very long time. Why now? Because of the life his mate carried? Or were the dangerous shadows of unfinished business reaching out from a swampy grave, a reminder of things he’d rather forget?

A rocking chair’s familiar creak. He tensed and twisted anxiously in the throes of his dream. Icy fingers of caution and loss clutched his chest as eyes darted behind closed lids. Unable to deny his desire to look again upon the worn elegance of his mother’s features, he faced his dread the way he’d addressed his life, with a cautious, reluctant need to know the truth . . . of who and what he was.        

Shadows, like those long-ago secrets, hung thick, revealing little of the dark head bent over the child Marie Savoie held in arms both protective and comforting. Max wished she’d look up to feed time-starved memories, craving the gentle curve of her smile and loving warmth in her gaze. He settled for the steadying croon of a voice from the past.

“What is it, Max? Another bad dream? They can’t harm you.”

As much as he loved her, then and now, he’d never quite believed that assurance. Bad things existed beyond the rusty gate imprisoning his youthful curiosity within their overgrown yard for the first five years of his life. He knew because he was one of them, a child of the unnatural world. All he’d wanted was to find his place within it. But his mother had hidden that knowledge from him, just as she’d kept the outside away for as long as she could

“Mama, what’s wrong with me?” that small voice sobbed.

The rocker continued to complain as she stroked the child’s black hair. Her tender gesture failed to calm either boy or the man he’d become.

“Nothing’s wrong with you, Max. You’re perfect. They just don’t understand, so they fear you. That’s why you must be careful to never let them see the truth.”

“What truth?” he’d pleaded. “Mama, tell me!”

Low and soft, Max repeated from where he watched, decades away, “Mama, tell me.”

She brushed a kiss across the top of the child’s flushed brow then slowly straightened, turning toward Max Savoie, a surreal voyeur from the future she’d never see. Her gaze swam with tears like liquid silver before flaring bright, then hot.

Then red.

“Max,” she crooned, “you’re just like me.”


About the Author:

Nancy Gideon is the award-winning bestseller of over 70 romances ranging from historical, Regency, and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal and horror, with a couple of produced screenplays and non-fiction writing books tossed into the mix. Newly retired from 20 years as a legal assistant, she feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin, and fowl, and dotes on her grandguy. She’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West, and Lauren Giddings.












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Friday, October 23, 2020

Please Welcome Tanith Davenport as She Tells Us About Her Paranormal Erotic Romance, Spiritwalker, Some Like It Haunted

Spiritwalker
Some Like It Haunted
by Tanith Davenport

Genre: Paranormal erotic romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Date of Publication: 20 October 2020
ISBN: 978-1-83943-443-3
Number of pages: 58
Word Count: 15010

Cover Artist: Totally Bound

Tagline: By night she walks with spirits. By day they turn her world upside down.

Book Description:

Tamar Steele, a successful medium for a paranormal investigative team, should be happy with her life—but life seems to be against her. Her psychic field is being mysteriously blocked, causing her physical pain and, worse, making it more and more difficult for her to come, creating stress in her relationship with long-term boyfriend Jason.

But then, during the filming of a paranormal TV show, Tamar picks up on Leslie, the recently murdered sister of her co-worker Hana—who later tells her the murderer was in the room with them. Knowing the best way to enhance her psychic ability is through sex, Tamar must rekindle her troubled relationship with Jason and rebuild their passion as she fights to solve the murder. Can she find the killer in time?

Sequel to “I Heard Your Voice” and “Tamar Rising”


Excerpt:

“Tamar?”
Adjusting her headset, Tamar Steele shifted the microphone closer to her mouth as another chair flew across the room in front of her.
“It’s all right. I’m on it.” 
There was the sound of breaking glass above her as a light bulb shattered. Tamar moved forward to avoid the falling shards, holding her torch out in front of her.
She’s here. I can feel her.
Her back was starting to ache. Through the darkness she could see a spirit beginning to form, long white robes and flowing hair framing a thin figure and pointed face. Terrified eyes fixed on hers.
“Tamar.” Hana’s voice crackled in her ear. “You need to get out of there. This is getting too dangerous. Jason’s worried.”
“Tell Jason to calm down. I know what I’m doing.”
A newspaper shot across the floor, scattering pages everywhere. Tamar took another step towards the spirit girl, holding up her hand, focussing on the energy she could feel around her.
“Matt, I need your help here.”
She felt a light tug on her hair and knew Matt, her spirit guide, had been listening.
“Listen to me,” she said firmly, holding the girl’s stare. “I can help you.”
Fear. Panic. A name. Emily—her name is Emily. Died sometime in the 1920s.
“Let me help you, Emily.”
A sudden rush forward and the girl was right in front of her, arms outstretched, mouth open, gasping for breath. Automatically Tamar caught her wrists, keeping the reaching fingers away from her face as she saw Matt’s blond head manifesting behind the girl.
“We can help you,” she repeated, then Matt’s arms were wrapping around the girl from behind, his face close to hers as he whispered soothing words into her ear.
The girl froze, then collapsed back against him, her arms falling.
“I don’t want to be here! I don’t know why I’m here.”
“It’s all right.” Tamar’s gaze met Matt’s over the girl’s shoulder. “We can send you home.”
She concentrated. “Light. Bring light.”
A glowing white light slowly formed between them, growing until the girl was engulfed. A small smile formed on her face before, in a bright flash, she was gone.
“We’re done here, Hana.”
“Okay. Asher’s on her way.”
Already Tamar heard the heavy footsteps of their newest team member coming down the stairs into the cellar. A strong smell of sweet smoke entered the room, closely followed by a short girl with rose-pink hair in a bob, her tattooed arms emerging from her T-shirt.
“Hey, Tamar.”
“Hey, Asher.” Tamar gestured to the space in front of her. “Let’s get the room cleansed and we can get out of here.”
“No problem.” Asher moved forwards, holding the burning incense out in front of her. “Another satisfied customer upstairs.”
“Glad to hear it—”
Tamar’s voice broke off as her headset was filled with an ear-splitting scream.
“Fuck!” Asher gasped. “What was that?”
Struggling to regain her composure, her heart pounding, Tamar focussed hard on the room, stretching her energy field outwards, trying to find something…
There was nothing.
Whatever it had been, it had come and gone.

What is it about this book that makes it special?

Working on Spiritwalker was a new experience for me, just as working on the previous story Tamar Rising was. Tamar Rising was the first sequel I had ever written, and in Spiritwalker I now have the concluding part of a trilogy.

When I began the first story in the trilogy, I Heard Your Voice, my heroine Tamar Steele was a downtrodden paranormal investigator being used for her psychic ability by the team’s celebrity medium, Reed James, while nursing a secret love for fellow team member Jason. Her ability to attract spirits by singing was what made her come into her own. Now, in Spiritwalker, Tamar is a fully fledged medium in a relationship with Jason, but her powers unexpectedly draw her into a murder investigation and force her to rekindle her now-struggling relationship to solve the mystery.

I received a lot of feedback from readers about how they loved to see Tamar perform and also loved to hate Reed, who was irresistibly arrogant. So in Spiritwalker we get to see more of Tamar performing as a medium and more of Reed at his insufferable best, plus Jason in his geeky glory and new character Asher, who seems to exist to drive Tamar to distraction but whose skills as a smudger prove pivotal to solving the murder.

I hope you enjoy it!


About the Author:

Tanith Davenport began writing erotica at the age of 27 by way of the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme. Her debut novel "The Hand He Dealt" was released by Totally Bound in June 2011 and was shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award for 2012.

Tanith has had short stories published by Naughty Nights Press and House of Erotica. She loves to travel and dreams of one day taking a driving tour of the United States, preferably in a classic 1950s pink Cadillac Eldorado.

Tanith's idea of heaven is an Indian head massage with a Mojito at her side.







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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Please Welcome Susan Mac Nicol as She Tells Us About Her Paranormal/Urban Fantasy MM Romance, Double Alchemy



EVERYDAY FEAR

Have you ever had that creepy sensation that someone was behind you when you look in the mirror…?

Carrie Benton kicked off her shoes, did a little twirl around her bedroom, and sank gladly into the armchair beside the bay window that looked out onto the street. She gazed down dreamily at the road below, still seeing Gerald’s tanned face smiling down at her, still feeling the gentle touch of his hand against her arm. She decided there and then that it had been the perfect evening. Nothing could mar this, she mused, and it would be even better in the morning when he came to collect her for breakfast and they would share the whole day, not just the evening.

Tosca chose that moment to make his entrance, his pitiful meow shaking her out of the dream world she was currently in. Carrie gathered the cat into her arms. ‘Hi there, cattykins, who’s hungry then?’ she crooned into his fur. He arched his back and playfully shot his paw at her. She giggled and set him down on the bed where he regarded her with an air of suspicion.

‘I am going to fix you some food,’ she teased, ‘right after I wash my face and get my dressing gown on. You’ll just have to wait a while.’

Carrie switched on the en-suite bathroom light and hummed to herself as she picked up the facial wash from the shelf. She heard Tosca scratching the coverlet of her bed in what she assumed was act frustration at being thwarted out of his food. ‘Not long,’ she sang out, ‘Then I’ll get you your dinner and I’ll tell you all about Gerald and our date.’

Carrie heard Tosca hiss as if to say,’ Damn your date, just fix me some food!’ and she heard a soft plop as the cat jumped off the bed. A minute later she shivered as she felt a sharp cold draft blowing through the bathroom. Darn cat, she thought, he must have squeezed through the bedroom door to the landing and left the door open.

Carrie smeared the facial wash over her face, mixing it with water from the tap. The soapsuds bubbled on her skin. As she splashed warm water on her face, she thought she heard someone behind her. She looked up into the mirror, her face dripping water.  Gerald stood there, framed in the entrance to the bathroom. She peered at him through a veil of soapy tears, thinking at first it was a trick of the light, or perhaps some water in the eyes making her vision blurry and unstable. It was only when she felt the quick bloody pain across her throat and smelt the scent of his Brut aftershave mixed with her blood that she realised, too late, it was Gerald and that her dream date had just turned into a nightmare.


Double Alchemy
by Susan Mac Nicol

Genre: Paranormal/urban fantasy MM romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication: 23/03/2014
ISBN: 978-1-941260-04-3
ASIN: B00J7FVYRC
Number of pages: 335 pages
Word Count: 110 000
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Tagline: The World in Shadow

Book Description:

Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.

In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.

In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await. More awaits in book two…



They lay beside each other in Cade’s bed, snuggled under the covers together. It was a large king-size bed, one they’d made the most of it that evening. Quinn turned and regarded Cade with drowsy eyes as his fingers trailed soft patterns across his chest. Cade caught his breath at Quinn's lazy touch, his body still jazzed up from their love making. Quinn fingered the small metal piercing in Cade's left nipple with lazy indolence. Cade's hands caressed Quinn's stomach, lingering on an ugly, puckered three-inch scar which stretched down to his left hip.

“You seem to be getting used to this whole situation,” Quinn murmured. He caressed the nipple piercing. "And this was a nice surprise. You didn't have it in the other night.  I think I explored you enough to know you don't have any more anywhere." He grinned wickedly as Cade's fingers pinched his hip.

Cade laughed softly. “I took it out for the benefit dinner. It doesn't fit well under a dress shirt. And as for all this -I don’t believe it all myself.  But I don’t seem to have a choice. You’ve made that quite clear. And I have to say it’s not all that much of a hardship. You’re a pretty personable and sexy guy and to be honest, this just feels –so right- somehow.” He licked a wet tongue down Quinn's shoulder and grinned as Quinn lost his breath.

Cade murmured, “I saw you in the paper with a man called Adam Carnover.”

Quinn started and looked at Cade with hooded eyes.

Cade watched his eyes. “Is he still in your life? The papers seemed to think you were getting married. “

Quinn leaned over and kissed his forehead softly. “I wouldn’t be here with you if I was with another man. Adam isn’t in my life any longer.”

“What happened?”

Quinn frowned, his face dark. “We had a difference of opinion and decided to go our separate ways.”

“Was he like me, or was he normal?” Cade asked curiously, glad that the man was no longer around but still intending to find out more about their past relationship.

Quinn was still. “He was normal, nothing like you,” he said shortly.

Cade could tell he really didn’t want to talk about his ex. Wisely, he let it rest for the moment.  “Another thing you haven’t told me. Who was that man I saw in the forest that evening? Was that something to do with you?”

Quinn’s eyes narrowed as if debating what to say next.

 “Are you going to tell me?” Cade watched him closely. He reached down and grasped Quinn's semi erect cock. "Or do I have to suck it out of you like I did earlier?"

Quinn gave a low laugh and sat up, the bed covers draped across his waist as he leaned back against the headboard. "As much as I find that idea very appealing, I think I need to recuperate first. I don't think I've got any moisture left in my body after that very intense blow job. But please feel free to repeat the experience in a little while."

About the Author:

Bringing lovers together, one book at a time

The official stuff

Susan writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark and hopefully always entertaining. She’s also Editor in Chief at Divine Magazine, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and a member of The Society of Authors, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, and the Authors Guild in the US. 

Susan is also an award-winning script writer, with scripts based on two of her own published works. Sight Unseen has garnered no less than five awards to date and her TV pilot, Reel Life, based on her debut novel, Cassandra by Starlight, was also a winner at the Oaxaca Film Fest.

The ‘unofficial’ stuff…

She loves going to the theatre, live music concerts (especially if it’s her man crush Adam Lambert or the divine Cumberbatch) walks in the countryside, a good G and T, lazing away afternoons reading a good book, and watching re-runs of Silent Witness.

Her chequered past includes stories like being mistaken for a prostitute in the city of Johannesburg, being chased by a rhino on a dusty Kenyan road, getting kicked out of a youth club for being a ‘bad influence’ (she encourages free thinking) and having an aunt who was engaged to Cliff Richard.

I'd love you to stalk me so here you go..  










LinkedIn  https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanmacnicol/ 




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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

New! LOVE LITES, A Collection of Romantic Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal Vignettes


New!

LOVE LITES
A Collection of Romantic Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal Vignettes
(Rated G to R)

Word Count: 18.2K
$0.99 e

Stories Included are:

INNIE - Katherine shows her shifter husband the value of a good innie.

A BOTTLE OF LOVE - Fighting a full-blown cold, the last thing Marlow expected was a handmade gift from Liston.

THE COLOR OF ROSES - She may be a cyborg, but DeShay wants to experience what human women do...like painting her toenails.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Stacie and the rest of the spaceship's crew teach Gallas how to celebrate.

THE SLOT MACHINE - Wendell wins his heart's desire...whatever that is.

LADDER OF GLASS - Darra gives a heartfelt confession to her dead father.

SONG OF RELIEF - Ysidra learned it from her husband, who came from the future.

MY WORST - Carra tempts her husband, Vector, to do his worst.

PICKLES 'N ICE CREAM - When Dia asks her alien husband, Favan, to pick up dessert on his way home, he learns what it could mean.

BONDED - Peg is branded a witch and sentenced to be burned, but her new friend has other plans.

AN INFINITY OF KISSES - Illustra gets a late-night visit from a secret admirer.

THE DAY OF THE WHITE GOLD - One day on the planet determines how much water they'll have for the rest of the year.

THE GHOST OF KRISMAS PAST - Tina relives the day she lost her beloved husband...only to find out it's not forever.

COLD FAIRY MOON - When Brinn joins Sassa in watching the new year's celebrations, he ventures to suggest they have one of their own.

Excerpt and Buy Links
 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Please Welcome Barb Jones as She Tells Us About Her Paranormal Romance, Queen’s Ascension, Blood Prophecy, Book Three


The Perfect Monster Party for Kids

I love planning parties, so that’s why I am a Special Event Coordinator on the side, in addition to my many other facets.  This party was such a success for my kids (when they were smaller) and I’ve been planning Halloween parties each year for friends, family and strangers.  

First, know the age group of the kids.  This party is planned for those that are between 6-10.

Invites:

One of the most important steps in party planning is the invite.  This sets the tone.  I created my own invites (using the computer) that outlined all sorts of monsters (no so scary for the little ones but enough to entice the older kids).  

For this invite, I used the following wording:

Do you DARE join us for an amazing monster hunting party?  This is your chance to either slay all the monsters or chase the hunters…..

(Enter party details)

Provide your preference: Monster or Hunter (tell us when you RSVP)

D├ęcor:

Decorate the house or yard to the best you can to simulate monster hunting.  Allow enough room to hide, shoot those arrows, and run!  Yes, run!  That’s the best part.  For the parties, I have a collection of hanging spider webs, coffins, zombies, witches, a lifesize cut out of Van Helsing even.  Decorate your home, keeping with the theme as much as possible.

Guests:

Separate the kids into the two groups, hunters and monsters.  Because my daughter was 4 years older than my son, I hired her and her friends to be additional monsters (after all, it’s Halloween).  They dressed up as Frankenstein, Dracula, Witches, you name it.

Food:

Probably the most important part!  I had two tables: one for the monsters, one for the hunters.  Of course the monsters had foods like “Bloody Eyeballs” (which was simply watermelon scooped into balls), “Intestines” (fruit salad), “Human Fingers” (Hot Dogs),  You get the idea.

The Hunters had things like Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, etc.  

Of course, they could eat off the other table but I made sure each table was similar but definitely meant for the chosen character.  

Drinks were Gatorade, Bloody Water (Shirley Temple), Acid (Green Juice)

And of course, lots of candy.

Games:

The game is Monster hunting of course.  I let the monsters run around and the hunters had their gear.  The kids ran around for hours, stopping only to eat.  What was planned to be a 4 hour party turned into an 8 hour party because the kids had so much fun.


Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy, Book Three
by Barb Jones

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
Print ISBN:  9781953271013
eBook ISBN:  9781953271020
ASIN: B08DKK66PM
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words
Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Tagline: Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

Book Description:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart -- her friends, her great love -- Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people -- Chloe and Michael -- that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon     BN


Excerpt:

 Malakai, Seattle, Present Day

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.

He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.

…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.

Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling. 

***

Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day

Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.

She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.

A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.

She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.

“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”

She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.

Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her. 

About the Author:

Barb Jones is a paranormal thriller author, IT professional, and the mother of two fantastic children. She is known for her ability to create relatable characters and detailed settings without compromising her unique plots. When people have asked her who she is, she's been quoted saying, "It can be hard to write at times, but never give up on what you're passionate about." She's a mother, first and foremost, and an author and supernatural enthusiast after. She currently resides in Sarasota, FL, but is a Seattle native at heart. When she's not writing, she's traveling and looking for new inspiration for her books.













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