Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bandit Creek Books Spotlight Devil Unknown by Steena Holmes

Now it's time for the Bandit Creek Books Spotlight. 

This week I'm showcasing Devil Unknown by Steena Holmes

Devil Unknown 
By Steena Holmes 
Genre: Supernatural Suspense 
A Bandit Creek Thriller


“Each generation, evil takes form and steals the soul of the most devout.”

A long forgotten myth holds the key to the evil descending upon Bandit Creek. When the town turns to their beloved former pastor for answers, little do they realize he may be the evil they fear.

Nathan Hanlin is at a crossroads. His soul is in jeopardy, and he doesn’t know it. Yet. He thought leaving the church would be easy, but when demonic crows start talking and demons reveal a secret about his past -- he realizes turning his back on God might have been a mistake. A ripped page from a journal holds the key to discovering why the supernatural are appearing in Bandit Creek but it’s too late. The myth is real and the only person who knows the answer is missing. Can Nathan save the woman he loves...or is he the reason her life is in danger? 

About the Author:

Two words can describe Steena. Chocolate and passion. Passion for life. For love. For adventure. For chocolate.

Weaving stories with passion for life flows through all of Steena’s stories – whether they be erotic romance under her pen name Anya Winter, in her women’s fiction or in her thrillers. 

Join her in discovering the passion for life. Twitter @SteenaHolmes Website: www.steenaholmes.com 
Bandit Creek Books: www.banditcreekbooks.com

Excerpt from Devil Unknown


He stood motionless in the cold, sparse room. Perfect for his plans.

The rat droppings were fresh. His intended guest would have more company than first thought. The stench of mold, urine and sulfur filled the air. The aroma aroused him.

He rubbed his hands together as he viewed the room. The scorched cement blocks were a nice addition. The fingers of long ago flames licked the walls and left burn patterns snaking towards the ceiling. The little cracks in the floor crisscrossed each other until the kaleidoscope of weeds peeping through the cracks decorated the floor. Ants and other insects scurried away from his boots as he walked around the room.

Chains anchored in the walls promised torturous delight. Exactly what his guest deserved. Saliva pooled and dripped from his lips as he imagined the hell he was about to create for her.

It was all for her.

Innocent. Humble.

A gift. For him.

Chapter One

Rotting carcasses littered the path to home.

Nathan Hanlin entered the twilight zone as he drove along the curving mountain road towards home. The remnants of ominous music played in his mind. If he didn’t know better, from the dark swelling clouds filling his rearview mirrors to the dust swirls up ahead, Nathan would think he’d entered his own private hell.

Sentries of large black crows faced him on either side of the highway.

His worst nightmares come true.

For the past week his dreams were filled with the disgusting birds circling over a car wreck. Nathan shuddered at the memory. He’d heard that crows were once used as messengers from the spirits, but if they were trying to tell him something, he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear it.

He rolled his shoulders, trying to ease a kink that had set in more than an hour ago. The highway from the city to Bandit Creek stretched on forever. Ahead was the pass but at the rate he was going, it would be night before he reached it.

Swerving to miss another dead animal, Nathan’s grip tightened on the steering wheel. The crows’ beady eyes followed him as he drove past. It was unreal how they perched there, their black wings tucked tight against their slick bodies. Only their eyes moved, as if tracking him.

He could have sworn they were looking directly at him. Not his vehicle. Him. As if they knew him.

The archway to the Pass approached in the distance. Nathan pushed his foot until the speedometer inched higher. Thirty feet ahead a barricade of large black crows were positioned beneath the large metal sign with the aged black letters – Crow Mountain Pass. Swirling clouds of dust sheathed the birds’ movements, creating an illusion of a huge black dust storm. Hundreds of eyes stared at him.

You need us.

Nathan jerked his foot off the pedal. What the…?

He must be more tired than he thought. Not a good thing to be on this road. He’d conducted too many funerals from late night driving accidents on this windy road. His vehicle inched its way along, coming to a full stop right before the crows as their deafening caws filled the air.

The side windows and windshield cracked as the multitude of crows flew at him, their screams filling the air. Nathan ducked his head to his steering wheel, hands over his ears. The glass shook from the impact. Nathan was sure his windows would break. He didn’t understand what was happening. His skin rippled from the onslaught of the invisible beaks poking at his skin. Fingers of dread tunneled through his brain. Nathan cried out in anguish, begging God for help.

Raising his head, he jammed his foot on the gas and accelerated until he drove past the swirling cascade. Gasping, Nathan struggled to regulate his breathing, failing with each inhale. Once he made it beneath the archway, he glanced in his rearview mirror. Nothing.

No crows, no swirling dust, nothing. The chaos had vanished.

He hit the brake, his toes cramping from the quick movement. He leaned forward and rested his arms on the steering wheel. Scratch marks ran along the hood. Nicked, dented and littered with stray feathers, his truck looked like it had been dragged into hell.

His hand reached for the door handle then stopped. His arms collapsed and chafed against the leather edge of the wheel before they fell onto his legs. His body shook as if an earthquake erupted beneath his feet. Pools of sweat poured down his face as they mingled with his tears.

What just happened?

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