The Alterealm Series
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: First Realm Publishing
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 121,000
Cover Artist: Jared at Off the Wall Creation
What would you do if you woke up in another realm where the residents are beings from fictional tales?
Where all those things that go bump in the night are real and other realities do exist!!
Damariss Maxx just woke up in a world where all those things that go bump in the night are real.
An alternate realm where the residents are beings she thought only existed in fiction.
Will she find the way to keep life normal and simple for those unknowing without losing her own sanity?
All she has to do now is find a way to protect the people in her world from the nightmares that have bleed from this other realm into it and fulfill a prophecy that says she's their huntress queen or doom this other world to a bleak, violent existence.
I didn’t even get both eyes opened and focused before I knew something was wrong. Where was the color? I was only seeing sepia? Everything was brown. Blinking rapidly, I tried to readjust my eyes to see if there was any other hue. It didn’t change a thing and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why.
Sitting there, I tried to decipher what was going on and why I was sitting on the ground. Looking down I ran my hand over the dried dusty surface. Why was I on the ground? Craning my neck as far as I could in all directions, I looked around. Okay, where was the pavement and cement? The buildings and streets I called my natural turf?
The why’s flying around in my brain suddenly decided the top question, was what the hell was going on?
Squeezing my eyes shut, I struggled to recall the last thing I remembered doing. I was hunting down a bounty—a nice one with a large dollar sign attached to her. I had tracked her ass down and…
I confronted her? Yes, I was minutes away from calling Frank and telling him to get out his shiny pen and sign my check.
So what happened between then and now? Not to sound repetitive, which is something that drives me nuts, but what the hell was going on?
Startled, I started to check for bullet holes or the deep crevices that knives leave behind in flesh. That had to be it, I’d taken a beating and this was that in between place you sit when you’re near death’s door, but not quite ready to see what lies on the other side.
Finding no critical injury, I slumped forward and rubbed my head. There was some rational explanation for this, there had to be. Had I been drugged? It could be some crazy hallucination. Any minute now I was going to either wake up in my bed at home or some hospital with a cheery nurse leaning over me, reassuring me we are going to be just fine. I only had to wait it out a little longer and all would be normal.
To kill time until I woke up, I looked around some more. Wherever this was it looked like a burnt out world. Not the charred kind of burn, but depleted and completely used up sort.
Sitting still wasn’t really a strong trait of mine, so I figured I’d get up and take a look around, there had to be something to see around here. If my body was actually somewhere else for safekeeping, what harm could come to me, right?
I staggered like I’d never stood before, struggling to get my balance. Whatever was going on with me, my equilibrium was totally shot. Standing there swaying like grass in the breeze, I turned carefully trying to see if there was anything around me except rust tinted dirt and nothingness.
My heart stumbled around in my chest when I spotted someone coming in my direction. Yes! I wasn’t the only one in this soulless place.
The closer it got to me made me the more I questioned my original conclusion. I didn’t know, exactly, but it was not someone it was a something. No one label could describe it. Standing over six feet, it had the shape of a man dressed in jeans and a large, very out of fashion gingham snap up shirt. When I reached the face, I can only describe it as part wrinkle puppy dog with floppy skin crossed with Freddy and Jason after the slash scenes.
It stopped in front of me and instinct had me reach around behind me under my jean jacket for my raptor claw knife, which I put on as regular as underwear when dressing; and that would be everyday, by the way. Relief washed over me when I felt the small circular handle. At least while waiting to survive I got to bring my toys with me.
Big brown eyes assessed me slowly and I wanted to make the call that it was harmless, but yeah, having tracked down anything from a sicko killer to a card shark in the last three years, I knew better than to fall for sappy looks.
“Are you a magishian? You juisht appeared.”
A male voice, even though he spoke with a heavy lisp that randomly inserted ish into his words. Then again if I had saggy lips like he did, I’d be happy to talk at all. I sized him up for a few more seconds, trying to gauge whether he was really in front of me, or if I was having some sort of psychotic episode. Was a magician good or bad? I decided the play dumb, being blonde did have some advantages. “A magician?”
Those brown eyes developed a nervous quiver. Magician equaled bad. “No…”
He looked relieved. “Oh good. I didn’t want to have to bash you over the head.”
I grasped my raptor tightly and shrugged. “Yeah, me either.”
The sky brightened and began to glow a rust orange color. When I asked for some color, I’d hoped for something out of the orange family.
“We better go, they’ll be coming soon.”
“They?” I glanced around quickly, not wanting to take my eyes off him for long.
He nodded and pranced on the spot, the nervous movement had me on high alert. “The daywalkers.” He whispered.
Daywalkers? Did I even want to know? I didn’t think so, but this bizarre nightmare wasn’t going to be complete if I didn’t ask.
Looking me over a few times, his eyes widened under the pressure of his drooping forehead; that was quite the expression. “You’re not one of them are you?”
I walked in the day, night and even at dusk, but I wasn’t going to tell him that. I decided honesty might work, if not violence was always a good backup. Judging by his expression daywalker ranked on the bad list with magician. “I—I don’t know what you’d call me.”
Those sappy eyes looked me up and down a few times trying to figure me out. “You better come with me. It’s not safe to leave you wandering around.” He looked behind him and then motioned behind me and started walking.
I knew in my gut it was a mistake, but as I had no other real options… I didn’t know where I was or what was going on and so far he knew more than I did. “Where are we going?”
Pausing he glanced over his shoulder and then lumbered along again. “I’ll take you to Troy, he’ll know what to do.”
My eyes were starting to strain as the sky brightened. “This Troy, he’s in charge?”
He stopped so suddenly I almost ploughed right into his back. When he turned and looked at me, his eyes weren’t a sad brown any more but were leaning more towards red. It had to be from the strange color of the sunrise. “You’re not from Alterealm are you?”
“Is that where we are?”
That nervous jitter of his seemed to return all at one. “How did you get here?”
A reasonable question that I had nothing to offer that resembled an answer. “I don’t know that either.”
His red eyes darted to the sky. “We have to go.”
Turning, he began jogging toward, well, nothing that I could see. Not wanting to find out what he was afraid of, I ran along behind him. All I could think was this Troy person, if he was a person, better have some answers.
He stopped again and dropped down onto his knees. Was he hurt? Surely that short jaunt hadn’t winded him that much. He began tapping his hand on the ground. What was he doing? Looking all around us, I kept watch for anything really, not wanting to meet these daywalkers in the slightest. Just when I’d had about enough of his short break, he grasped something in the sand and pulled a door in the ground open.
“We’re going to have to use the shortcut. We don’t have time to get to the main gates.”
Looking down into a hole with a ladder, I glanced around again and despite every muscle in my body telling me to run and get the hell out of here, I started down the metal rungs into a deep hole that would take me, hopefully back to friggin’ reality.
About the Author:
I wanted to write a story that would fit into young adult, new adult and adult levels. Something that was serious with fun paranormal and afntasy elements that everyone could read and enjoy.
I've even decided to use J. Risk as the pen name for this to separate this series from my other writing which is definitely adult reading material.
Author Jacqueline Paige-Multi-published Paranormal Romance author of The Magic Seasons series, The Hidden Senses Trilogy, The Dream Series and more
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