Tag Archives for " paranormal "
Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.
This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.
The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over 70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.
Sit back and enjoy The Sleeping Warrior. Set in London and Scotland, it is a crime thriller with a subtle fantasy element.
LONDON solicitor Libby Butler’s life is in a self-inflicted mess. Her affair with her boss is going nowhere as is her position in the prestigious city law firm where she works. A narrow escape from the knife of south London’s elusive serial murderer, The Vampire Killer, has challenged her outward bravado and left her nerves and personal life in tatters. When duty calls Libby to a metropolitan police station in the middle of the night, she meets the enigmatic Gabriel Radley. Dressed like an ancient warrior in studded leather armour, Gabriel has a habit of disappearing from police custody and danger appears to dog him. Gabriel is searching for a ‘stone’ he has lost, its value ‘beyond human imagination’, that will help bring a ‘monster’ to justice. When Libby agrees to help him, she unwittingly plunges her life into a series of disasters and neither she nor any of her friends are safe. A cult who call themselves The Awakened, a gangland thug and his henchman, a female assassin, a detective chief inspector from Scotland Yard, and even the serial killer, all become inadvertently embroiled in the chase for the stone and the pivotal force of Gabriel. As the death toll rises, Libby is forced to face herself, learn the true value of life, and the potent significance of the Sleeping Warrior within.
The hall was deserted, save for an abandoned upright piano in the far corner and the sharp rays of morning criss-crossing the filthy oak boards. Only the dust stirred and it whirled and eddied in the bright shards of daylight, like miniscule angels trapped inside brilliant linear prisons, spilling across the lofty room.
A shadow entered from a door on the right. The dull thuds of cardboard blocks against wood stirred the silence. She lifted one black satin toe and then another, grinding the pointes into the rosin box: her stance haughty and strong, her hands and fingers soft as if pulling through warm water. She breathed in and then out and, with each breath, her arms moved obediently to the silent rhythm. She waited for the moment, her eyes closed in concentration, her lithe body yielding to the discipline of years.
As if an orchestra had struck the first notes of a rowdy overture, the arabesque came swiftly and with the power of an earthquake. Her leg reached out behind her and her heel kissed the back of her head, while her left foot formed a perfect arch, balancing her weight on the tip of one pointe. She unfurled her arms to either side, the softness of her fingers betraying the masculine tautness of her muscles as she flapped them lightly. There was no bend in her chest to suggest unnatural exertion — her legs formed a smooth, straight line behind her — a linear sculpture. It was a perfect, motionless pose: a faultless snap-shot of gravity and balance and a celebration of one of the most beautiful art forms known to man.
Her audience of one could have been an audience of thousands. This would always be her very best performance. She kept her movements purposeful and controlled as she opened to the rhythm of her memories.
The fluttering in her heart as the curtains came up. Her dance began with soft adagio in the shadows of the hall. A series of unfolding movements of smoothness and serenity, each arabesque and attitude was a still-life study in monochrome. Her dark pony-tail trailed submissively behind her every move in faultless synchronicity, like a shimmering shadow on a hot summer’s eve.
The hot glare of the lights and the vibrant colours of the stage. Pas de bourée into a bright shard of sunlight, her feet barely seemed to move, and she paused in bras bas, her feet in first position, her head turned down towards the floor. Like an alabaster carving, swathed in black silk, the light tumbling around her, she stood motionless under the spotlight in calm neutrality.
The orchestra of blasting brass, rumbling drums and weeping strings. A series of complex turns struck like lightning, spinning her diagonally across the hall. Running, now, she thundered into an enormous leap, her legs parting in mid air with near-impossible elevation; into another —sissonne ouverte at 90 degrees straight into a grand jeté en avant. Chaîné up, chaîné down and an almighty bound in open second. Her ghostly blur shattered the shards of daylight as she soared above the boards, flickering from shadow to light, the dust crackling in the turbulent air.
The spell-bound faces shining from the dark amphitheatre. Her audience could barely contain his awe as he gasped and sighed at the powerful performance before him.
Standing with his back against the far wall beneath a dilapidated balcony, he could hear the music as if he sat directly above the orchestra pit and could see the colourful splendour of the stage; he could feel the silk of the swirling costumes and sense the vibrant life-force in this divine prima ballerina. He put his hands together in rapturous applause.
The hailstorm of flowers and the thunderous ovation at the end of the performance. Her expression remained inscrutable as she halted in mid-turn, her arms and legs splayed out in opposite directions to leave her body wide open. She had seen him. A perfect double pirouette en dehors, then another, then another en dedan. Fouetté, fouetté, fouetté, fouetté, fouetté, over and over again — a hazy silhouette of vigorous perpetual motion. Her dark form was a smudge as she spun on her toe, faster and faster towards him… flicker …flicker …flicker … flick … flick … flick.
‘Beautiful, truly beautiful!’ her appreciative audience shouted his delight and clapped his hands together until his palms stung. He couldn’t hide the star-struck admiration in his expression as she stood before him and narrowed her pale green eyes. She was a good head shorter than him and so slim that she looked almost fragile. ‘How do you do that with your legs? You’d make a great pole dancer.’
The assault came suddenly and he was pinned against the wall by his neck, her knee bent at her right ear, the black pointe pressing the air from his windpipe, crushing the sensitive cartilage into his spine.
Slowly choking to death, he was powerless to defend himself and couldn’t even muster up the energy to grab the foot from his throat. His eyes began to bulge, his face was on fire, but the pain slowly began to recede as unconsciousness beckoned. As quickly as it had attacked, the pointe withdrew and he slumped to the ground gargling.
‘Lars has sent you?’
He could only nod as he held one hand to his throat and the other in the air, his fingers splayed in a gesture of supplication. Her Russian accent didn’t surprise him as his senses slowly returned.
‘Do you have a pen?’
It was an odd question in the circumstances but, having lost the ability to speak, he nodded again and fumbled inside his jacket. Still sprawled on the ground on his hands and knees, he drew out a black ballpoint and thrust it towards her.
‘If Lars has sent you, then that means money.’ The nod of assent was all she needed. She grabbed him by the thinning clumps of hair scattered across the top of his head and scribbled something on the bald patch, digging the point into the skin. ‘Tell him to call me.’ Her kick sent him spinning onto his back.
She took five wide backward steps into the middle of the floor and saluted him with a graceful, elegant curtsy to mark the dramatic finale of her best performance. She spun on her heels and marched across the room, leaving the hall empty save for an upright piano in the far corner; an injured man choking on the ground; and the faintest sniff of rosin in the settling dust.
Enter the world of The Celadon Circle with the first book, Blind Sight.
Jordan has visions of monsters, demons, and death. Seventeen, orphaned, and born into the family business, she doesn’t have friends, she doesn’t have choices. Her uncle, older brothers, and a few annoying angels dominate her life, demanding she tow their lines – and the punishment is severe when those lines are crossed.
When Jordan is ordered to help hunt down a monster, she’s not sure which she dreads more: the elusive, blood-thirsty creature or spending time in a cramped backwoods cabin with a brother who despises her. To make matters worse, a demon shows up and warns Jordan that she could be her family’s next assignment.
In a game between Good and Evil where God seems to have tapped out early, lines are blurred and not everything is as it seems. Jordan learns a little too late that the real monster is closer than she thinks.
If you like paranormal romance, check out My Immortal Playlist from Julius St. Clair.
Alexandra Cain is cursed.
She’s unpopular, a little lonely, and all of her boyfriends have this nasty habit of dying and then coming back to haunt her in unimaginable ways.
It’s not easy being a Siren in high school. A femme fatale whose first instinct is to enchant a man and have him for dinner, instead of being asked out to it. Burdened by her nature, it doesn’t seem like she’ll ever find the romance and passion she’s been looking for.
Until Lucas Hawthorne arrives.
He’s gorgeous. He’s mysterious. And he’s so dangerous that even she knows she should stay away.
But there’s something about him that keeps her digging deeper into his past, and following him into situations that keep getting worse and worse. She just can’t break his hold over her, and soon she has no choice but to ask herself a terrifying question: Who cast the spell over whom?
“I should’ve stayed home,” I sighed under my breath.
“You didn’t put up much of a fight,” she said, her blue mascara strangely accenting her vibrant green eyes. What was with this new fad of mixing strange colors together?
“Yeah,” I said. “But that’s only because someone told me this movie was different. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be at all.”
“Okay, and what were you expecting? A horror movie?”
“Exactly. I mean c’mon, the movie is called Zombie Kisses. How do zombies kiss?”
“Like everyone else.”
“Well, it didn’t look appealing.”
“You’re not supposed to like horror movies anyways,” she huffed.
“And why is that?” I scoffed, sitting up in my seat quickly. Margaret flashed an award winning smile and made her voice all cutesy.
“Because you’re a woman,” she said. “You’re not supposed to like horror movies.”
“Ugh,” I groaned again, closing my eyes and turning around to see our fellow moviegoers leave in frustration and disappointment.
“I’m serious. If we’re ever going to graduate high school and snag a husband, we can’t give off the image that we’re into blood and gore and all those unattractive things.”
“Not like horror movies…snag a husband…what is this? The 50’s? Seriously, Margaret, you’re being unrealistic. And a little bit of a hypocrite. Do you seriously think that just because this movie is classified as a romance, it means you’re not into the supernatural? Think about it. A girl gets tired of her marriage with a vampire and decides to fall for a zombie! Who, I might add, tries to eat her shoulder when they’re making out! Listen, I don’t care if Malcolm Maximus looked nothing like a zombie. Yes, he was as gorgeous as always, but the concept is still gross and creepy.”
“This is completely different and you know it! There was no gore or violence whatsoever!”
“Yeah, but it’s a girl and a zombie…”
“Which if you ask me, didn’t look so bad.”
Silence filled the theater and I realized her face was not giving off its usual amused glow.
“You’re serious,” I said.
“Okay, that’s not funny…I think I’m going to be sick.”
“What do you want to me say, Alexandra? I love these types of movies, but I still think it’s improper to engage in viewing gory flicks like that stupid torture one that’s making all the headlines these days.”
“Oh, you mean Screwdriver VIII.”
“Yes. Absolutely disgusting.”
“It’s classic horror. A carpenter teams up with a mechanic on this one. Double the screwdrivers. Double the terror. Double the fun.” I really wasn’t fond of horror movies, but I was willing to say anything to get under Margaret’s skin.
“Are you like doing a commercial for them or something? You sound way too excited.”
“Um,” a voice interrupted our conversation from below. We looked down to see a pimply faced, red-haired attendant brushing some nachos under a chair in row six. “The movie’s over. I gotta clean up the aisles before the next showing starts.”
“Sorry about that!” I called down as we awkwardly retrieved our purses and jackets in one swoop.
“So…he was cute, wasn’t he?”
“Not really,” I muttered, trying to attempt damage control. “His face was so greasy I could see myself in his forehead.”
“Isn’t that your type?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, trying to drown out my annoyance by taking loud footsteps on the parking lot asphalt.
“Well, you went out with that Elliot kid, and that was after he changed over the summer, I might add.”
“Well,” I muttered, unsure of what to say. I kept my head down in shame as we walked, but then I miraculously remembered that we drove separately. I didn’t actually have to suffer through the whole conversation today. Maybe if I got to my car in time, I could change the subject. Make a comment about how rusty and old it was before Margaret had any follow up questions. But of course, it was Three Dollar Tuesday at the movies, which meant every high schooler with a half-beaten go-kart was in attendance, and my car suddenly blended in like a toenail in a bag of rice…don’t ask.
“He was so dreamy before,” she continued on. “I mean, I almost broke my own dating rule and asked him out, but you know, a lady has to have standards. After his…um, makeover…he didn’t appeal to me as much.”
“You wouldn’t have liked him,” I muttered, before I realized what I was saying. I was such an idiot sometimes. Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?
“Oh? And why is that? Did you two…”
“Ew. No,” I shuddered, “and I’m surprised a woman of your class would ask such a thing.”
“Some things transcend class.”
“Apparently,” I said, fumbling with my car keys. Why couldn’t it have one of those convenient beepers that let you know where your car was located? I would be spamming it like an elevator button.
“So tell me about you two. I know you went out for at least a month last summer. What was it about him that attracted you?”
“To be honest? He was a little obsessive. Kept hounding me for a date.”
“Oh? Do tell!” Margaret said excitedly as she grabbed my arm and made me face her. I guess the search for the missing rust bucket was at a halt for now.
“All he wanted to do was touch me…or grab me,” I said, smiling like a maniac. “And he liked the taste of my flesh.”
“Okay, that’s enough,” Margaret backed away, wrinkling her face. “Why do you have to put it like that?”
“It’s true though, and it started getting crazier too. He would chase me around the neighborhood, roaring away as he picked at his face, peeling off dead skin like he had gotten the worst sunburn imaginable, yelling how he wanted to lick my sweat…”
“Stop! Just stop!” Margaret shrieked, stamping her feet to the pavement. “That’s just disgusting! And you know how I can’t stand it when you’re being gross! Just…just see me at lunch tomorrow!”
And with that, my best and only human friend ran away like I had been infected with a plague. I didn’t get why she was so upset. I thought she liked zombies.
Oh well, people just liked dreaming. They never thought about how unromantic it was in reality. Deep down, they didn’t really want to be a part of that paranormal world…
And I would know.
After all, I was living in it.
I’m so excited to be on the blog today talking about the Fairy Realms Bundle! I have always loved stories about fairies of every sort. As a kid I devoured anything about them that I could get my hands on about fairies, sprites, or pixies. As I grew older, I kept my passion for fae under wraps.
I kept my fairy books hidden under my bed, out of sight from any of my friends that might stop by. While I still loved the fanciful stories, they were not the sort of thing to make you popular in the seventh grade. See that was in the days before Kindles or iPad, reading wasn’t exactly the cool thing to do and reading about fairies…Well, that was just social suicide.
Of course secrets always have a way of getting out and sure enough I outed myself one day in study hall. I sat there, barely awake, doodling on the cover of my notebook. What was I doodling? A wood nymph…Yeah, that spread like wildfire as soon as one of those snobby too-perfect popular girls looked over my shoulder and saw it.
So yes, I was known as the freak, the one with her nose stuck in a book, the one reading about forest nymphs. That followed me all the way through high school, but that’s okay. When I became a writer, I never forgot those “fairy tales” from my youth. I wrote my own twisted version of one of my favorite fae legends and something amazing happened…readers actually like it.
Yes, suddenly I wasn’t alone. There were other people out in the world that loved the idea of magic as much as I did! It was as if all of a sudden I was that humiliated kid again and could thumb my nose at all of the “popular kids” that made my life hell for years.
Which brings me to why I’m telling you all of this, thanks to my own little Gypsy Fairy Tale Series, I got the chance to work with some really great authors that love all things fairy as much as I do. In fact, my novella Once (Gypsy Fairy Tale Book One) is included in the Fairy Realms Bundle.
So, now that we’re friends, and I’ve confessed one of my most embarrassing moments, I’d like to ask you to go and download Faery Realms: Ten Magical Titles: Multi-Author Bundle of Novels & Novellas for 0.99 cents. You could read it just because it’s so popular right now on Amazon, but you could also read it for that poor girl that was ridiculed in the seventh grade for loving fairies.
Discover Kelbian Noel’s Witchbound series with this sample from book 2, Sprung.
Since she discovered magic, seventeen-year-old Skye Jackson’s life is almost perfect. Almost. Even perfect has its glitches.
What happens when the one with all the power makes the biggest mistakes? Welcome to my life.
Four months ago, I couldn’t have been happier. When my parents got divorced, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Especially when Mom married a guy half her age. But then I found out I wasn’t the average Joana. Discovering magic existed and, best of all, I could use it, made everything easier to deal with. That is until I got a little too spell happy. But what girl wouldn’t defend her best friend against a world-class creep? Now I’m stuck in a nightmare, forced to make life and death decisions I never dreamed I’d face.
Love the magic. Hate the responsibility.
I tiptoe across the room to stand in front of the chest. Running my fingers across the dark ancient wood, I glance back at Nana, one more time, before making my move. She’s fast asleep, still seated in her favorite chair in front of the window. Head slumped to the side, mouth parted, slightly.
With lips bitten together and eyes squeezed shut, I hold my breath and ease the top drawer halfway open. Slipping my hand inside until I find my treasure, I pull back slowly, the small green book firmly grasped between my fingers. With a final glance at Nana, I sink to the floor, leaning my back up against the corner wall.
I’ve been visiting her in this home for almost five years, but it wasn’t until a few months ago things changed. Five years, without a word, and I’m the first one she opens up to? I stroke the rough pages of the book with my fingers. It can’t be a coincidence. From what I’ve learned so far, magic never is.
I close my eyes again and mutter the spell she taught me on the very first day.
“Solidify this room and refresh this place. Sterilize my thoughts, anoint their minds. Consecrate this space.” A slight breeze blows across the room and I tilt my head upwards with a smile. After all these weeks, and all the spells, the wonder of it all is still firmly intact.
Magic is real. And it’s in me.
All those weeks ago, this Secrecy Spell kept every nurse and orderly from doing so much as knock on the door. For hours, she filled my head with stories she’d been telling since my childhood. Tales that, up until now, I thought were just that—fairy tales, stories to coax a little girl to sleep. But I was wrong. And she was harboring a huge secret.
Ever since, that same spell has allowed me to snoop at will—provided she doesn’t wake up from her nap anytime soon.
I gaze back down at the book, holding it close to my face and picking up where I left off.
She was the most beautiful woman with a rich life beyond measurement. But love can sometimes play the villain. For a heart as pure as hers, the break was clean. She loved fiercely, and when the Universe changed course, she forced its hand. Extending a life that was meant to move on.
But her lover’s soul had been promised to another and, despite her efforts, the love was gone. In despair, she vowed to spend the rest of eternity searching for his replacement. She cast a spell more powerful than any other had seen, one that would seal her fate and the future of all Elementals.
From that day forward, the Pure would revere, the Tainted would covet.
“Elementals,” I whisper.
I’ve seen the word at least fifty times in just the first half of the book. The names of most of the spells are in a language I don’t recognize, but in parentheses beside each one is always the word Elemental. Still, I have no clue what it means.
If only I could ask her. I turn the page, my gaze shifting briefly to Nana.
With a finger, I quickly scan through the pages of the text. “Elemental, Elemental, Elemen—“ I hold the book even closer to my face. “Elementals, the vessels of Pure magic. These four rare individuals hold the ultimate power. Ancient and pure. Seoirse—Earth, Govad—Air, Irving—Fire, Conley—Water.”
I read through the rest of the page, glued to the story, taken by each word.
Four clans: Seoirse, Govad, Irving and Conley. The most powerful witches known to man and beast. The originals. Elementals.
Together they wielded the purest of magic. Healed the sick, fertilized the land, and drove out demons. Their magic was revered, but with reverence came covetousness.
The Tainted soon emerged. Joining the family, simply for power, their children were trained to use the magic to their advantage, wielding it to succeed in unfair undertakings such as wealth and popularity in the face of competition.
Dissonance abounded within the village and the Elementals saw it fit to alter access to magic. No longer was it a birthright, but a spiritual connection. The Earth’s mystical power would only yield to those able to commune with its elements.
With this change came an opportunity for all individuals to access Elemental power, magic in its purest form. Thus, a new problem emerged—magic was discovered and used by hundreds. The elements were manipulated, through animal and human sacrifices. Tainted arts began to thrive.
After decades of discord, the Church interceded, vowing to put an end to magic. An end to the Elementals.
But only for a time.
A loud clatter jolts me to attention and I shoot up from the floor. Tucking the book in my back pocket, I quickly close the drawer.
Nana groans, stretching her legs out in front of her. “Did I fall asleep on you again?” She wipes the side of her face with the back of her hand.
“It’s okay,” I say. Darting across the room, I bend to pick up the fallen tray. “I—I have to go. I’m supposed to be at Claire’s and—”
“Secrecy?” Nana sniffs. “Why?”
“Um,” I lick my lips. “I…you looked so comfortable I didn’t want them to wake you.”
“Hmm.” She glances at her watch and my gaze shifts to the floor. “Magic isn’t for such frivolous things, Skye. If that were the case—”
The door to her room opens and an orderly rolls in with her afternoon serving of pills. Nana and I lock gazes, and as he passes by me, I place a hand on his arm, forcing him to make eye contact. “Not today,” I say. “She’s doing just fine.”
With that, he offers a curt nod, and circles back and out the door.
I cross my arms. “What were you saying about frivolity?”
She clears her throat. “You know what those things do to me. Come.” She beckons for me to sit down on the windowsill across from her. “One more story, before you go.”
Check out the first book in Kai Strand’s Super Villain Academy series: King of Bad.
Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he’s recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA. He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?
Lexia thought she was normal, ordinary…
Lincoln thought he’d spend the rest of his life seeking revenge…
Find out what happens, when the one you love is your enemy…
When Lexia sneaks out one night to go to a party, she hardly expects to be attacked by vampires. Much less be able to kill them with her bare hands.
That night triggers events Lexia can’t escape and soon she struggles to keep up a facade around her friends and family.
And then there’s Lincoln; she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But Lexia senses he wants something more dangerous than a simple romance.
Lincoln has secrets and what she learns changes her life forever.
A story of love, loss, and, betrayal.
Lexia and Lincoln’s lives will never be the same again.
*This book contains some harsh language and sex scenes*
All Lexia ever wanted was to graduate from high school and leave Deadwood.
Now she would give anything to have her quiet life back.
Her Father was murdered and her best friend, Alice kidnapped. With the help of Lincoln, the Panther Shifter she has fallen in Love with; they rescue Alice. But rescuing her wasn’t as easy as first thought and Lexia and Lincoln barely make it out alive.
Lexia met her Mother, the Mother she thought had left her as a baby. But Secrets unravel and Lexia learns who she really is.
Her Mother created her and she was created for one purpose only…
Follow Lexia as she runs from her Mother and the fate she set for her.
Can Lexia fight the Darkness within her?
Can she have the ‘happily ever after'” she wants?
Only one thing is certain, sacrifices will be made and lives will be lost.
Finding Esta is the tumultuous tale of one extraordinary woman’s journey of self-discovery within a supernatural underworld.
If you wrote those words, I doubt you could hurt me. His eyes shone, tears lingered, longing for release. Great swaths of grey grief poured from him and pierced my chest. I winced at the sting of his need, his loss.
Is it you? Did you ever find your Esta?
Despite the possibility of immense pain, I now longed for him to touch me. It made no sense, but I needed it. Perhaps to prove him real, not a hologram? Perhaps to see if I could? And like he’d heard my desires, he raised his hand towards my cheek again. This time I made no attempt to block him, I simply braced myself, the cloth of my outfit in my fists at my sides. I clenched my jaw and held my breath, but my eyes remained open; I had to see him, his reaction.
We stared at one another, waiting for the touch that might even kill me. His fingertips made contact with my cheek and a cool, soft, and electric stimulus passed through my skin.
Immense emotion poured from them, into me. But no pain followed, nor visions to flood or cripple me, no agonies of histories. When he saw me relax into his fingertips, he cupped my cheek fully and I felt, for the first time in my life, the absolute wonder of painless flesh on flesh touch. My hand flew to hold it in place. I never wanted it to end. And from his chest passed the purest of all emotions … love.
Is that for me? But …?
For a perfect moment, I thought if I died right then, it wouldn’t be too bad.
Tears of my joy soaked his gentle palm, and I forgot about the razor, the house, the loss of Flo and Ada, my mysterious loitering stranger with his messages, dreams and unspoken intent. Even the blood’s allure dissolved, somewhat.
We remained in this odd position for what seemed like hours. Until I coughed, feeling more and more weak. He removed his hand and licked my tears away with his blood soaked tongue. This broke my reverie and reawakened my hunger for blood.
Hovering above me, his face now over mine, I lay admiring him and the blood colouring the otherwise white glare of his complexion. The smooth glow of his flesh shone through a midnight blue, sheer woollen sweater. I imagined my tongue licking vanilla ice cream and finding his flesh instead. I wouldn’t have minded.
My head buzzed, stomach churned with physical attraction and mounting hunger, an intoxicating blend I found increasingly hard to resist. He sunk towards me, still suspended by some magical force.
What the hell am I feeling?
I should have screamed, fought, fled. But the tranquil aura circling us, overflowing with soft light, filled me with a sense of love, true or false. It oozed from him like blood from a wound. He was the most arresting being I’d ever encountered, other then Abby. Unashamed, transfixed, and willing, I lay yearning in silence beneath him. Overcome, my tears continued to dribble and my lungs stretched with held breath.
The fantastic finally killed all reason. He lowered further still, until a droplet of blood fell from the razor onto my cheek, then another fell between my lips. My autonomic response was to lick it, savour it, drink it, which of course horrified me. But the taste was too divine to deny myself. My hunger multiplied, my body screamed that I needed it. The blood raced through my veins, moistened dusty pathways, cleansed the drought.
“Ah …” I adored it, right up until my vegetarian conscience asserted itself, and as much as I’d savoured its taste, reason said to spit, choke, vomit. I turned my head to do so, but the demon grabbed my face to stop me.
He sliced the razor across his tongue, gasped in pain until his lips found mine and luscious blood flooded my mouth.
He delivered my first kiss and I sucked, licked, and drank him in.
No pain or visions interrupted the sensation of his unadulterated passion, which rode into me on each blood cell.
My body sang the sweetest sonnet. Such a kiss reached way beyond the famous Charlie Brown kiss I’d dreamt of as a child. I soared through midnight starry skies like an Apollo spacecraft, right up into a completely new dimension. I zipped around glorious moonbeams and chatted with the man on the moon … I mean this was epic.
My mind called out to anyone who might hear it, hoping that my Shadows shared my frequency, even if I couldn’t share theirs.
“If I die today, now, know that I died one happy lady.”
Take a peek at the beginning of Shéa MacLeod’s Fearless, the first in her Soulshifter Trilogy.
“I hated this life I’d found myself in and yet I had no choice but to carry on living it. Lost. Confused. Alone. Forever separated from my own kind.”
Murdered at the hands of her king and former lover, Zip finds herself stripped of nearly all her powers and trapped inside the mortal body of a teenager. She finally knows what it is to be human, but it might be the last thing she wants. Especially with a killer stalking the halls…
“Swallowing hard, I held his gaze. I wasn’t sure if I was daring him or defying him. Maybe both.”
Mick Egan is determined to make his life count for something. Getting clean was one thing. Discovering the secrets of a girl like Zip is another. If he was smart, he’d run like hell, except he’s not about to leave her alone to face a murderer.
Ms. Higgins slid a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula onto the shelf and heaved a sigh. Finally. She could go home. It was late and it had been one of those days. Sometimes she wondered what had possessed her to become a high school librarian.
Smoothing a wayward strand of gray hair back where it belonged, she made her way carefully through the deep shadows cast by the stacks. Most people would have left all the overhead lights on instead of just the ones at the front, but Ms. Higgins was not most people. No sense in wasting energy. She didn’t need that much light to work. She knew where every book went. After all, she’d been at this for nearly forty years.
Her sensible heels suddenly slid out from under her. Arms flailing, she shrieked as she collapsed in a heap on the ground, face pressed to the rough carpet. Her wrist gave a painful twinge. That was all she needed: an injury right before she planned to paint her dining room.
Ms. Higgins started to get up, but something under her cheek was wet and slippery. Sitting up cautiously, she frowned as she swiped her hand at the wetness on her face. As she stared at dark stuff coating her hand, the coppery tang finally registered: blood.
Scrambling to her feet, she slid again, this time careening sideways and landing on somebody’s lap. A very dead somebody. Ms. Higgins opened her mouth and screamed and screamed and screamed.
“Please, please, please let me be me.”
I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, eyes squeezed shut, as I’d done every morning since that cold February day a couple months ago. I clenched my fists at my sides willing today to be different. Taking a deep breath I opened my eyes.
“Abigail Evangeline Roberts. That is no way for a young lady to talk.” The voice was muffled through the bathroom door, but my aunt’s – or rather her aunt’s – snippy tone was crystal clear.
“Sorry, Aunt Liz,” I called through the door. “Broke a nail.” Yeah. That was a good answer. Humans swore over silly things like broken nails all the time.
Aunt Liz said something about not being late, but I had already tuned her out. I had more important things to worry about than being late to some stupid school. Like the fact that the face staring back at me from the mirror wasn’t mine. Like the fact I was wearing the skin of a dead girl.
Like the fact I was dead. Sort of.
Check out an excerpt from Shana Norris’ YA paranormal romance, Surfacing, the first in her Swans Landing series.
Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing.
But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.
As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.
A loud crack to my left made me jump at least a foot. The hairs all along my arms and all the way up my spine were certainly standing on end. I turned my cell phone in that direction, extending a frozen and trembling arm to try to make the light reach farther into the darkness.
“Anyone there?” My voice was low and shaking, barely above a whisper. I cleared my throat and tried again. “If you’re out there, come here or I’ll find you and kick your ass for scaring me.”
My eyes searched the darkness, but no one came forward despite the definite feeling that unseen eyes hid within the trees. I listened again for several moments, but there were no sounds other than the usual woodsy ones.
If I survived this night in one piece with my sanity still somewhat intact, I would never come back into these trees again.
And then I heard it.
I spun around, trying to determine what direction it came from, but it was impossible. The song seemed to be coming from everywhere all at once.
It started as a low hum at first, soft and sighing, but gradually it grew in volume and intensity. The sounds vibrated through me and I suddenly craved saltwater more than ever. My body cried out for it and every bone in me ached and popped and itched. For what, I didn’t know. My only thought was that I wanted to go toward the sound, even though I still couldn’t determine where exactly it came from, and so I started forward, stumbling over a tree root.
A hand closed around mine, stopping me. My head whipped around to find Josh’s face peering at me in the dim glow of my phone.
“What—” I started to say, but he shook his head. His expression was tight, his lips a thin straight line. He closed his eyes, swaying slightly, and a look of pain washed over his face.
“What’s going—” The words died in my throat. A movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention.
When I turned in that direction, I saw a figure slip between the trees, into the darkness.
I stared hard at the area where she’d disappeared, searching the shadows. She was there, I knew she was even though at the same time I knew this was impossible. Mom was dead and her body was buried in a little cemetery in Tennessee. My mom was not wandering around Pirate’s Cove in Swans Landing.
And yet I smelled her perfume. She whispered my name and then laughed. She was there.
“Mom!” I called.
But Josh clasped his free hand over my mouth, his eyes still closed and his face contorted in pain. I struggled against him, trying to break free. Mom was there in the woods and I needed to find her. But the more I struggled, the more Josh pulled me against him, his arm wrapped around my ribcage and crushing me to his chest.
I fought against him, kicking and hitting. My teeth clamped down on his hand.
“Ow!” he cried, letting me go.
With my newfound freedom, I lurched forward, stumbling over roots. I ran through the trees, narrowly missing hitting my head on a low branch. “Mom!” I shouted. My eyes scanned the darkness of the forest, desperate to find her.
Josh caught up to me and grabbed me again. I tried to break free, struggling against the violent craving for salt water that wracked my body in order to keep my wits about me. But maybe I had long ago lost my sense of reality. I didn’t know what was really true anymore.
Josh’s fingers dug into my wrist. “Mara, no!”
“I have to find her,” I told him, my voice high-pitched and wild even to my own ears.
He wrenched me toward him. I raised my fists to push away, but Josh’s arms enveloped me, pressing me close.
And then his lips met mine and the world I barely had any remaining grip on slipped away completely.